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

ICT and Schools: Identification of Factors Influencing the use of new Media in Vocational Training Schools  pp96-103

Alexandra Totter, Daniela Stütz, Gudela Grote

© Feb 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 111

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Abstract

In this paper, we analysed teachers' characteristics described in the literature on classroom media use to identify those factors, which can explain teachers' use of new media in classrooms with some degree of validity. Using this literature as a basis, in this paper we develop a theoretical model which describes both positive and negative factors, which influence teachers' use of new media in classrooms. These factors include: "constructivist teaching style", "willingness to cooperate", "openness to change", "lack of ICT‑competence", "lack of time" and "lack of ICT confidence". We assessed the validity of the model by testing it using data collected from a survey of fifty‑two Swiss and Austrian teachers, We carried out Pearson correlations to evaluate whether the factors in the model had a positive or a negative influence on teachers' classroom media use. The hypothesized correlations between our variables were all statistically significant. Specifically, all six variables were significantly correlated with the dependent variable "use of new media in classrooms". This result supported our hypothesis concerning positive and negative relationships between variables. In a second, exploratory investigation, we performed OLS regression analysis to investigate, which of the factors in our model are of predictive value with respect to the dependent variable "use of new media in classrooms". Our findings show that the variable "constructivist teaching style" was of particular explanatory value. This suggests that only teachers who adopt a pupil‑oriented, constructivist teaching style are likely to make use of new technology in classrooms. The variable "lack of available time" was identified as a second important factor influencing the "use of new media in classrooms". This suggests that teachers are not able to make full use of new media when they lack the time needed to prepare teaching material using the new media, since time is also needed for teachers to learn new hardware and software computer skills. The results of this study have a series of important, practical implications.

 

Keywords: Media use, Classroom, and teachers' characteristics, Predicting factors

 

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Journal Article

Implementing International Virtual Elementary Classroom Activities for Public School Students in the U.S. and Korea  pp207-218

Eunhee Jung O'Neill

© Dec 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp173 - 250

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Abstract

In today's global society, individuals with an understanding of different cultures that have the ability to apply this understanding to real world problem solving are more likely to become leaders. Preparing students for a global society is becoming a significant part of education. While many international online exchange projects have been conducted at schools to help expose students to the world and experience international collaborations, few studies have focused on both developing intercultural competence for elementary school students and discovering practical ways of implementing a cross‑cultural exchange program into the public elementary school systems as well. This study, International Virtual Elementary Classroom Activities (IVECA), planned to explore how American and Korean students can develop culturally meaningful interactions through asynchronous online communications in a content management system (CMS), Blackboard; and investigate the factors or strategies useful for integrating IVECA into public school curricula. Data were collected using observation and interview methods, and also included reviewing students' journals. The data analysis involved interpretive analytic induction. Findings indicated that IVECA (a) promotes students' intercultural competence; (b) developed their social interaction skills both in the regular classrooms and the virtual classroom; (c) facilitated diverse students' motivations for learning at school; (d) enhanced writing and reading skills; and (e) engaged learning disabled students in the classroom activities. Additional findings from this study indicate that (a) a systematic support system for teachers' technology use and instructional design is necessary, and (b) school administrators' positive perception toward cross‑cultural exchange activities and their coherent connections between state learning standards and IVECA objectives are important. Further considerations are addressed and the different influences of IVECA on the U.S. students and Korean students and its implementation, which takes into consideration such influences, will also be discussed.

 

Keywords: international virtual elementary classroom exchanges, intercultural competence, cultural awareness, online content management system, technology integration strategies, instructional technology support system

 

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Journal Article

Pedagogical Approaches and Technical Subject Teaching through Internet Media  pp52-65

Olubodun Olufemi

© Mar 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 75

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Abstract

This is a comparison of Instructivist and constructivist pedagogical approaches and their applications in different situations, which make clear the comparative advantages of both approaches. Instructivist learning, places the teacher in authority while the constructivist shifted authority to no one in particular but shared responsibilities between learner and teacher in such a manner that the teacher no longer assumes the responsibilities of the passage of informationknowledge to the learner but only guides him to discover the 'objective truth' out there and in the attainment of learning objectives. Teaching and Learning process was redefined in the light of 'new' understanding in teaching and learning and practical applications of these pedagogical approaches were considered. I presented a study guide (Appendix 1) as an example of socio‑constructivist pedagogy where emphasis in on learning rather than on teaching.

 

Keywords: Study guide, e-learning, pedagogy, socio-constructivism, test, evaluation, LMS, virtual classroom, asynchronous, instructivism, construction technique

 

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Journal Article

Becoming Chemists through Game‑based Inquiry Learning: The Case of Legends of Alkhimia  pp185-198

Yam San Chee, Kim Chwee Daniel Tan

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of provenŽ facts. The y fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a human and social endeavor. Consequently, there can be alternative and conflicting views and theories. To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, Legends of Alk himia was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14‑year‑olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area networ k. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in‑game virtual chemistry lab. The game lev els take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. Legends of Alkhimia, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that con structs learning through the lens of performance theory. Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog. The learning process follows a developmental trajectory of becoming a chemist. Enacting performance pedagogy in the classroom requires a shift in traditional classroom culture toward that of a professional practice community. We report on an empirical study of a game‑based learning classroom intervention where students in the Alkhimia learning program participated in an 8‑week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. We compared pre‑ and posttest survey responses from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum. We also compared learning outcomes of students in the said intervention class with a control class of 38 students w ho learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. All students in our study were 13‑year‑olds from a typical government secondary school. We noted significant shifts in intervention students perceptions of their identity, their epistemologi cal beliefs, their dispositions toward science inquiry, and of classroom culture. Students understanding of chemistry was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to whic h effective separation was achieved in the students proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspec tive, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game‑based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of a pproaching game‑based learning in terms of performance.

 

Keywords: performance, play, dialog, inquiry, chemistry, identity, epistemological beliefs, classroom culture

 

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Journal Article

Cognitive communication 2.0 in Higher Education: to tweet or not to tweet?  pp264-276

António Andrade, Cornélia Castro, Sérgio André Ferreira

© Aug 2012 Volume 10 Issue 3, Special ECEL issue, Editor: Sue Greener and Asher Rospigliosi, pp257 - 379

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Abstract

Abstract: Research has been fertile in producing studies on pedagogical change and innovation through technology in Higher Education Institutions, namely the integration of the social media in pedagogical practice. However, there is a lack of studies on t he integration of the social media in the particular field of lectures. In this context, commonly practiced, the teacher faces a wide audience and feels the need to activate mechanisms of direct instruction, for reasons of economy of time and because it i s the most dominant pedagogical model. As a result there is a communication paradigm 1.0 (one‑way communication, one‑to‑many, low or non‑existent interaction). In this study, exploratory and quantitative in nature, an approach to the thematic of the exp loration of the social media in order to upgrade the cognitive communication from 1.0 to 2.0 (many‑to‑many, interaction between all the participants) in lectures was made. On the approach to the problem, we explored a PowerPoint presentation with the in tegration of the micro blogging tool Twitter, as a basis for addressing the characteristics of cognitive communication 2.0. For data collection a questionnaire was designed, based on literature, and intended to evaluate several dimensions of the resource used, namely: i) pedagogical issues, ii) technological aspects, iii) cognitive learning; iv) interactions in the classroom; v) positive behavior in the classroom and vi) negative behaviour in the classroom. The results indicate that students recogni ze the potential of this tool in the dimensions assessed. Twitter integration in PowerPoint allowed the teacher and the students to read each others views and each had the opportunity to contribute to the debate. It also allowed the release of multiple c hoice questions to the audience, with answers via Twitter and projection of results via PowerPoint. This way, a true cognitive communication 2.0 took place.

 

Keywords: Keywords: classroom, cognitive communication, learning, micro blogging, Twitter, web 2.0

 

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Journal Article

Digital Devices in Classroom – Hesitations of Teachers‑to‑be  pp387-395

Paul Lam, Aiden Tong

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012, Editor: Paul Lam, pp360 - 440

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Abstract

More and more teachers are facing the decision whether they should allow or promote students the use of technology in the classroom. The decision is difficult as there are apparently both advantages and disadvantages in doing either way. In terms of positive impacts, research revealed that the use of digital devices in the classroom setting was capable of facilitating faculty‑student interactions and in‑class participation, which in turn enhanced engagement and active learning (Fitch, 2004; Partee, 1996; Stephens, 2005). On the contrary, evidence was also identified to show a relationship between notebook use and distraction in class. The pilot study investigated the desirability of allowing digital devices in class in our local context, and to explore the factors that influence the success of the practice. Two studies were conducted with students in teacher‑training programmes at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the first study, students were allowed to use computers in the lessons (free use) in the whole semester and then they were asked to reflect upon the learning benefits, if any. In the second study, the future teachers were asked to comment openly on the use of digital devices for more guided purposes such as student response system and e‑textbook. Results in general revealed that it is indeed a very controversial and complicated issue. On the one hand, many positive learning benefits relating to using digital devices in class are acknowledged. On the other hand, distraction is a major concern as students may use the technology for irrelevant purposes in class. Participants thus were also very conservative about channeling the use of computers in classroom to other academic contexts. The answer to the question whether computers be allowed in class thus is not a simple yes or no but is a series of suggestions concerning when and how to do it more appropriate.

 

Keywords: computers in classroom, distraction

 

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Journal Article

A Case Study on the Adoption and use of Synchronous Virtual Classrooms  pp124-138

Florence Martin, Michele Parker, Beth Allred Oyarzun

© Jun 2013 Volume 11 Issue 2, Editor: Roy Williams, pp80 - 167

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Abstract

This is a case study of faculty adoption and use of Horizon Wimba Virtual Classroom in online courses at a Southeastern University in the United States.. The purpose of this case study was to explore faculty adoption and use of Horizon Wimba in their online courses. This inquiry is based on Yen et al. (2010) adoption factors (organizational, social, personal and technological) and the features of the virtual classroom. The research questions are 1) What factors and features influence faculty adoption of the Wimba Virtual Classroom? 2) How do faculty rate the Wimba Virtual Classroom using the characteristics of innovation? 3) How do faculty classify themselves using Roger’s model of diffusion of innovation? 4) How do faculty use the Wimba Virtual Classroom in their teaching? Roger’s diffusion of innovation was used as the theoretical framework for faculty adoption of virtual classroom. In the Fall of 2010, faculty were surveyed and interviewed about their decision to adopt and use Wimba. This case study provides meaningful information for administrators interested in promoting technology enhanced learning on their campuses and for faculty considering adoption.

 

Keywords: virtual classroom, synchronous, online learning, technology adoption

 

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Journal Article

The Global Classroom Model Simultaneous campus‑ and home‑based education using videoconferencing  pp215-226

Charlotte Lærke Weitze, Rikke Ørngreen

© May 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEL, Editor: Mélanie Ciussi, pp126 - 226

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents and discusses findings about how students, teachers, and the organization experience a start‑up‑project applying videoconferences between campus and home. This is new territory for adult learning centers. The research is base d on the Global Classroom Model as it is implemented and used at an adult learning center in Denmark, named VUC Storstrøm. . After a couple of years of campus‑to‑campus video streaming, VUC Storstrøm started a fulltime day program in 2011 with the support of a hybrid campus and videoconference model. In this model the teachers and some of the students are present on campus in the classroom, while other students are participating simultaneously from their home using laptops. In this paper, the case and con text of VUC Storstrøm, the research design chosen, and the literature that already exists in this area constitutes the backdrop for the analysis and discussion of the first activities in this long‑term project. The research is based on interviews, on utte rances in feedback sessions, and on the observed interaction taking place in the first sixths month of 2013 (i.e. 1½ year after the first program commenced). Evaluations show that the students are happy with the flexibility this model provides in their everyday life. However, findings also show several obstacles: Technical issues are at play, but also the learning design of the lessons, as well as general organizational and cultural issues. In this paper we focus on the students and teachers experiences and on the organizational issues related to the transition to the Global Classroom Model as well as provide outlines to the consequences these findings may have, for example in relation to the continued development of the teachers educational designs.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Global Classroom, videoconferences, hybrid campus- and home-based education, adult education, competence development, teacher education

 

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