The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Collaborative Language Learning for Professional Adults  pp161-172

Linda Joy Mesh

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

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Abstract

Institutions of higher education realise the importance of the role of learning organisations in terms of providing personnel training and updating. Yet further consideration should be given to flexible and accessible means for meeting the growing request for continuous learning. Jason Hughes describes an organization's capability to learn how to learn as a fundamental change in the outlook towards learning, not only by providing training for short‑term skill gaps, but by engaging in an ongoing approach for the development of learning opportunities which encourage innovation and enable a more proactive outlook by organizations. Sustainable support for educational development using new technologies in education depends on having a basic roadmap that links current demands for developmental support to a plan for ways in which longer term needs will be recognized and met. The growing demand for continued learning of a second language is evident within the workplace where new technologies offer flexible solutions. In order to meet the special needs of professional adults the University of Siena Language Center (CLA) has developed a multiple‑level series of blended English courses from beginner to intermediate levels for life‑long learners including the hospital staff of the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese (AOUS), the employees of a local bank and university technical‑administrative personnel. The pedagogical approach takes into consideration both the needs of adults who are working full‑time and the aims of the curriculum, which are to develop the four linguistic abilities of reading, writing, listening and speaking up to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level B1. Taking into consideration a constructive use of teaching hours, classrooms and, above all, the limited time available to adult learners, a blended approach was chosen. This paper will present conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the blended approach for continuous learning of a second language (L2) by adult learners. Through a primarily qualitative analysis of formative and summative course evaluation data we illustrate that communicative language learning online in collaborative activities fosters improvement in second‑language writing and reading comprehension skills, while face‑to‑face (f2f) lessons were found to be useful for the development of conversation and listening comprehension. This paper also demonstrates that online collaborative learning activities in English for specific purposes (ESP) can increase communicative ability, stimulate motivation and provide a flexible context for language learning which adults view as a definite advantage for structuring study time when and where it is most convenient.

 

Keywords: continuous learning, connectedness, blended learning, CMC, second language

 

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Journal Article

The use of templates to manage on‑line discussion forums  pp12-19

Shafqat Ali, Graeme Salter

© Jan 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1, Special Issue for ECEL 2003, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 239

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Abstract

 

Keywords: Collaboration, Discussion Forum, CMC, Asynchronous Communication, e-Learning, Higher Education, Templates, Collaborative Learning

 

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Journal Article

Teaching Scientific/Academic Writing in the Digital Age  pp43-54

Arna Peretz

© Jan 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 81

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Abstract

This paper describes a graduate‑level scientific/academic writing course for non‑native speakers (NNS) of English at Ben‑Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel, which is taught in a technology‑enhanced or blended learning environment. The use and integration of electronic discourses, such as email and Powerpoint, on‑screen marking techniques, and submission of written assignments and writing consultancies by email, and asynchronous online discussion forums are described. Features of the HighLearn course‑supporting WEB site, which enable the integration of discussion forums into the writing course, are explained. Results of teacher‑initiated student evaluations and advantages and dilemmas of teaching scientific/academic writing in the digital age are discussed. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research and suggestions for the further integration of ICT in the scientific/academic writing course.

 

Keywords: scientificacademic writing, technology-enhanced learning, CMC/ICT, e-learning, asynchronous discussion forums, EFL

 

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Journal Article

Community in Online Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities  pp188-198

Lily A. Arasaratnam-Smith, Maria Northcote

© May 2017 Volume 15 Issue 2, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp105 - 198

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Abstract

Exploring the challenges and opportunities associated with the concepts of community and communication in online higher education, this paper reconsiders the intention to replicate face‑to‑face learning and teaching strategies in online learning environments. Rather than beginning with the assumption that face‑to‑face education is the prototype for quality, the authors appraise the online learning environment as a unique medium which, by its nature, necessitates unique communication, community‑building, teaching and learning strategies. This paper proposes an in‑depth analysis of the potential unique affordances associated with online learning contexts as existing in their own right. The concepts of community and communication are explored in relation to online Communities of Practice (CoPs). The nature of face‑to‑face and online learning contexts are considered, especially in the light of the possibility of redefining “face‑to‑face” within the online realm, in addition to physical learning contexts. The paper identifies unique ways in which online communication (in the context of learning) is different from face‑to‑face communication, and consequently four ways in which this can be an advantage for students; namely, there is a measure of social egalitarianism, emphasis on verbal/written proficiency, time for reasoned response, and social agency. The paper provides grounding for further research into strategies that forge rich online learning experiences and suggests an empirical study as a next step.

 

Keywords: online community, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Communities of Practice (CoPs), nonverbal communication

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 2 / May 2017  pp105‑198

Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Karin Levinsen

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Keywords: active learning, higher education, student learning, student engagement, online course design and development, interdisciplinary collaboration, frustrations, TESL students’ perceptions, hypermedia reading materials, reading comprehension, virtual containers, STEAM, Open Educational Resources, content distribution platforms, e-learning platform, foreign languages, multilingualism, idiomatic competence, e-learning; global health education; connectivity; bandwidth management; capacity building; educational technologies, Clicker technology, Facebook, and Wiley Plus, Web-based homework, behavioral intention, cognitive load, germane load, e-learning, instructional design, MOOC, online community, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Communities of Practice (CoPs), nonverbal communication

 

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