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Journal Article

The relationship between an Online Synchronous Learning Environment and Knowledge Acquisition Skills and Traits: The Blackboard Collaborate Experience  pp204-222

John Politis, Denis Politis

© Jul 2016 Volume 14 Issue 3, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp150 - 232

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Abstract

Abstract: Online learning is becoming more attractive to perspective students because it offers them greater accessibility, convenience and flexibility to study at a reduced cost. While these benefits may attract prospective learners to embark on an onlin e learning environment there remains little empirical evidence relating the skills and traits of knowledge acquisition with a synchronous online environment supported by Blackboard Collaborate. Without understanding this relationship colleges and universi ties cannot assess if their programs offered through educational communication technologies, such as Blackboard, enhance learner⠒s skills and traits that are essential for knowledge acquisition. The purpose of this paper is to (i) examine the relatio nship between an online learning environment, which is supported by Blackboard Collaborate, and the skills and traits of knowledge acquisition, (ii) assess the influence of online learners motivation on knowledge acquisition skills and traits, and (iii ) propose alternative Blackboard Collaborate layout and structure derived from the process of a critical reflection. Data was collected from 84 learners who studied online courses in a Higher Education Institution in the United Arab Emirates. The Analys is of Moment Structures (AMOS) was employed to perform the path analysis and SPSS was used to determine the factor structure of the examined variables. The study revealed three major findings. First, easy access of the Blackboard Collaborate and an effe ctively designed structure enhanced learners⠒ problem understanding and communication. It also improved the personal traits of conceptualisation, tolerance and amiability that are essential for knowledge acquisition. Second, the readiness of the online learners with educational communication technologies had a positive influence on their liberal arts knowledge. Third, learners⠒ attested motivation to embark on synchronous online classes enhanced their knowledge acquisition skills and traits. Finally, alternative Blackboard Collaborate layouts and struc

 

Keywords: Keywords: Blackboard collaborate, e-learners, online learning, knowledge acquisition, synchronous

 

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Journal Article

The Forms and Functions of Teaching and Learning Innovations on Blackboard; Substantial or Superficial?  pp257-265

Vuyisile Nkonki, Siyanda Ntlabathi

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 4, Editor: Guest Editors, Rozhan M. Idrus and Nurkhamimi Zainuddin, pp233 - 290

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Abstract

This study is an Information and Computer Technology evaluation of the Blackboard Learning Management System into teaching and learning at an institution of higher education in South Africa. In view of the institution’s objective of developing a context‑driven, transformative, and innovative teaching and learning practices involving the integration of technology, the study sought to classify and evaluate the form and function of teaching and learning innovations on Blackboard. Using a case study research design and a purposive sampling strategy, lecturers making an extensive use of Blackboard in the delivery of their courses were sampled. Blackboard start‑up documents as well as open‑ended questionnaires for lecturers provided qualitative data. Content analysis and the extraction of themes were employed. The functional pedagogical framework and SAMR models were used as interpretive lenses for the findings. The study concludes that the nature of Blackboard innovations tended to be more superficial at the levels of substitution and augmentation. Limited transformation evidenced by modification and redefinition spelled lack of substantial changes in curriculum design and delivery. With respect to the functions served by Blackboard, the conclusion drawn is that the integration is to a large extent driven by management and efficiency concerns and less by interaction, collaboration and personalisation functions. The study signals non‑realisation of the educational functions spelt in the Blackboard start‑up documents. The study recommends a differentiated approach to Blackboard training by a multi‑disciplinary team.

 

Keywords: ICT integration, innovation, transformation, Blackboard, Learning Management Systems, transformational learning, pedagogical innovations

 

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Journal Article

Editorial for EJEL Volume 14 issue 4  pp233-234

Rozhan Mohammed Idrus

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 4, Editor: Guest Editors, Rozhan M. Idrus and Nurkhamimi Zainuddin, pp233 - 290

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Abstract

Editorial

 

Keywords: problem-based learning, infusion of technology, new pedagogies, learner centred, PBL, moodle, blackboard

 

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