In this paper, DeLone and McLean’s updated information system model was used to evaluate the success of an e-Learning system and its courses in a transitional country like Serbia. In order to adapt this model to an e-Learning system, suitable success metrics were chosen for each of the evaluation stages. Furthermore, the success metrics for e-Learning evaluation are expanded by providing several systems for quantifying the given success metrics. The results presented in this paper are based on courses that were taught both online and traditionally in three different subject areas: graphic design, information technology, and management. Of particular interest were success metrics which can be determined using quantifiable data from the e-Learning system itself, in order to evaluate and find the relationship between students’ academic achievement, usage of learning materials, and students’ satisfaction. The results from different courses were used to illustrate the implementation and evaluation of these success metrics for both online and traditional students.
The continuous growth of online learning and its movement towards cross-border and cross-culture education has recently taken a new turn with the epic hype that currently surrounds the development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) (Beattie-Moss, 2013). This development brings to focus the experiences of international students who take online courses designed and offered within the paradigm of Western pedagogy. Employing a sociocultural theoretical framework (Vygotsky, 1978; Scollon & Scollon, 2001), this paper examines the mediating roles that peers may play in the context of multicultural online learning environments. This two-stage, mixed methods study explored the experiences of 12 international graduate students who took fully online courses in a large research university in the northeastern region of the United States. The data included a survey, online interviews, as well as a case study that took a close look at the experiences of a female student from China. Findings of the study demonstrated that international students that come from diverse native academic backgrounds and cultures may necessitate a close relationship with peers they meet in the US courses. Peers become invaluable mediators of knowledge for international students who seek peer assistance to compensate for the lack of culture-specific knowledge and skills and to satisfy their interest in the host culture. The study suggests that course developers and facilitators should be proactive when assigning group projects and activities so as to enable close peer-to-peer interaction and opportunities for building personal relationships with other class members.
Discussions are commonly used in online teaching and have been shown to foster student learning and collaboration. This case study uses content analysis to explore the interaction patterns of student online discussions during a semester-long teacher preparation course using concepts from sociometry. Findings suggest that interaction patterns were influenced by the content of student posts. Online discussions in this case were found to be an equitable form of collaborative learning, enabling each student to have a voice. There were, however, indications that gendered ways of knowing may play a role in the content of interaction, if not in the patterns themselves.
Despite the rapid use of e-Learning in higher education, the beliefs of instructors about and their practices during online instruction have been seldom addressed. This study explores the role perceptions of e-instructors in higher education. In total, 106 instructors from 20 Taiwanese universities filled out a questionnaire. Analytical results indicate that “content expertise” and “instructional designer” are perceived by university faculty as the key components in e-instruction in higher education. A gap exists between ideal and practical roles of e-instructors in higher education. Role perceptions and role-based practices of e-instructors in higher education differ significantly in terms of gender and teaching experience. This study also provides suggestions for e-instructor training.
The evolution of the media and the Internet in education today is an unquestionable reality. At the university level, the use of Web 2.0 tools has become increasingly visible in the new resources that professors have been incorporating both into the classroom and into their research, reinforcing the methodological renewal that the implementation of the EHEA has demanded. The aim of this article is to introduce DIPRO 2.0, an educational social network for university professors to develop their training in the area of personal learning environments through collaborative learning and production of knowledge.
This study examined factors that contributed to the success of online learners in an online professional development course. Research instruments included an online survey and learners’ activity logs in an online professional development course for 512 in-service teachers. The findings showed that there were several factors affecting online learners’ success in online professional development. In addition, there were also significant differences between successful and unsuccessful online learners in terms of course login frequency and learning activities viewed.
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the key factors that could affect mobile learning continuance intention (MLCI), and examine the moderating effect of perceived flexibility advantages (PFA) on the relationship between key mobile learning elements and continuance intention. Five hundred undergraduate students who had previously adopted mobile devices to learn English took part in this study. Partial least squares (PLS) analysis was utilized to test the hypotheses in this study. It has been found that the perceived usefulness of mobile technology, subjective norm, and self-management of learning could be closely linked to mobile learning continuance intention. With particular respect to the moderating role of perceived flexibility advantages, it has been demonstrated that PFA could moderate the relationship between perceived usefulness of mobile technology and mobile learning continuance intention, as well as the association between subjective norm and mobile learning continuance intention, whereas PFA did not moderate the link between self-management of learning and mobile learning continuance intention.This report has further added to the body of knowledge in the field of mobile learning through empirical examination.
In an era witnessing the rapid development of information technology, mobile devices have brought revolutionary changes to learning. A single conventional media platform is not enough for the various mobile devices. Technology-enriched educational environments supported by different devices are important research issues nowadays. To capture the rapid growth of mobile users in Chinese societies, OpenCourseWare (OCW) needs to move their learning models toward the mobile sphere. Therefore, this study reports the three years of empirical experience in implementing the upgraded National Tsing Hua University OCW platform and analyzes how users access the platform with various devices. The results indicate a responsive web design and cloud-computing provide great accessibility to meet the diversity of various mobile devices from Chinese users throughout the world, including 466,429 visits with 264 different mobile devices from 146 territories. Moreover, the proposed solutions make the workflow of OCW production more efficient. The study further discussed the importance of both tablets and smartphones. Moreover, to expand the reach of open educational resources (OER) in Chinese societies, the critical issues of fair use and sustainability of OER should be of concern. The findings of the study provide valuable references for web engineers and educators to explore cross-device online learning using PCs and mobile devices.
Outside an academic setting, telecommuting has become fairly popular in recent years. However, research on telecommuting practices within a higher education environment is fairly sparse, especially within the higher distance education sphere. Drawing on existing literature on telecommuting and the outcome of a valuation study on the success of an experimental telecommuting programme at the largest distance education institution in South Africa, this article presents discerning findings on telecommuting practices. In fact, the research builds on evolutionary telecommuting assessment methods of the direct or indirect effect (work based) and affective impact (emotional) on multiple stakeholder groups. This holistic approach allowed for comparative analysis between telecommuting and nontelecommuting academics with regard to the impact of telecommuting practices. The research reveals high levels of support for telecommuting practices that are associated with high levels of work productivity and satisfaction, lower levels of emotional and physical fatigue, and reduced work stress, frustration, and overload. The study also reveals higher levels of student satisfaction with academic support from telecommuters than nontelecommuters. Overall, the critique presents insightful findings on telecommuting practices within an academic setting, which clearly signal a potential for a shift in the office culture of higher distance education institutions in the years to come. The study makes a significant contribution to a limited collection of empirical research on telecommuting practices within the higher distance education sector and guides institutions in refining and/or redefining future telecommuting strategies or programmes.
Increasingly, universities are embedding reflective activities into the curriculum. With the growth in online tertiary education, how effectively is reflection being promoted or used in online learning spaces? Based on the notion that teachers’ beliefs will influence their approaches to teaching, this research sought to understand how a group of distance tutors at the UK Open University conceptualised reflection. It was hoped that these findings would illuminate their approaches to promoting reflection as part of their online pedagogies. Phenomenographic analysis indicated that these tutors conceptualised reflection in four qualitatively different ways. Furthermore, the data suggested that these educators held a combination of two conceptions: one that understood the origin of being reflective and one that understood the purpose of reflection. Analysis of structural aspects of these conceptions offered insight into tutors’ own perspectives for what is needed to make online learning environments fertile territory for reflective learning.
This mixed method research examined instructors’ use of video feedback and its impact on instructor social presence in 12 blended sections of three preservice educational technology courses. An independent samples t-test was conducted and found no significant difference in perceptions of instructor social presence between students who received video feedback (M = 5.77, SD = 0.85) and those who received text (M = 5.62, SD = 0.75); t(178) = 1.23, p = 0.22. The analysis of 22 student and nine teacher interviews found that participants generally viewed video feedback to be more effective at establishing instructor social presence because instructors could better speak with emotions, talk in a conversational manner, and create a sense of closeness with students. Students also explained that the blended learning format lessened the impact of video feedback on instructor social presence, which may help to explain why statistical differences were not found.
This article reports on the pedagogical value of Web 2.0 tools at Unisa (i.e., whether these tools can improve teaching and learning). A quantitative approach was used to conduct the study, with a questionnaire as a data collection instrument. The sample size was 301 lecturers drawn using stratified sampling, with proportional allocation drawn from all Unisa colleges. Descriptive statistics were employed to analyse and interpret the data. The results show that Web 2.0 tools are playing a pivotal role when it comes to opening avenues and collapsing the transactional distance in an ODL institution. A combination of web technology and the trend of constructivism can transform the learning process. This article therefore recommends that Unisa sensitise its lecturers to the adoption of Web 2.0 tools as an innovative way to improve teaching and learning.
The main objective of this research is to investigate efficiency of use of supplementary video content in multimedia teaching. Integrating video clips in multimedia lecture presentations may increase students’ perception of important information and motivation for learning. Because of that, students can better understand and remember key points of a lecture. Those improvements represent some important learning outcomes. This research showed that segmentation of teaching materials with supplementary video clips may improve lecture organization and presentation in order to achieve effective teaching and learning. The context of the video content and the position of supplementary video clips in teaching material are important influences on factors for motivation and efficiency of learning. This research presents the effects of the use of supplementary videos with different context of content (entertainment and educational) as well as the effects of their position within the teaching material. The experimental results showed that the most efficient method of use of supplementary video is integration with educational video content in the middle of a lecture. This position of video insertion provides the best results. The context of video content influences efficiency of learning also. Entertainment video was not as efficient as educational, but it can be used to engage and motivate students for learning. The given results have been confirmed with a subjective assessment of students’ quality of experience with different methods of embedding video clips.
This study explored the impact of role-playing on the quality of peer feedback and learners’ perception of this strategy in a case-based learning activity with VoiceThread in an online course. The findings revealed potential positive impact of role-playing on learners’ generation of constructive feedback as role-playing was associated with higher frequency of problem identification in the peer comments. Sixty percent of learners perceived the role-play strategy useful in assisting them to compose and provide meaningful feedback. Multiple motivations drove learners in making decisions on role choice when responding to their peers, mostly for peer benefits. Finally, 90% of learners reported the peer feedback useful or somewhat useful. Based on the findings of this study, we discussed educational and instructional design implications and future directions to further the line of research using role-play strategy to enhance peer feedback activity.
The teach-learn-assess cycle in education is broken in a typical massive open online course (MOOC). Without formative assessment and feedback, MOOCs amount to information dump or broadcasting shows, not educational experiences. A number of remedies have been attempted to bring formative assessment back into MOOCs, each with its own limits and problems. The most widely applicable approach for all MOOCs to date is to use peer assessment to provide the necessary feedback. However, unmoderated peer assessment results suffer from a lack of credibility. Several methods are available today to improve on the accuracy of peer assessment results. Some combination of these methods may be necessary to make peer assessment results sufficiently accurate to be useful for formative assessment. Such results can also help to facilitate peer learning, online discussion forums, and may possibly augment summative evaluation for credentialing.
Notes From Leadership in Open and Distance Learning
This paper reviews a pilot mobile learning project for English as a Second Language implemented by a unimodal distance education institution to present an argument favouring the use of a distributed leadership approach for sustainability of the project. The authors’ position is grounded in the literature which suggests that distributed leadership in mobile and distance learning can provide a framework for sustainability of this project.
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