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

Designing educational games for computer programming: A holistic framework  pp281-298

Christos Malliarakis, Maya Satratzemi, Stelios Xinogalos

© Jun 2014 Volume 12 Issue 3, Special Edition for ECGBL 2013, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho and Paula Escudeiro, pp227 - 311

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Abstract

Abstract: Computer science is continuously evolving during the past decades. This has also brought forth new knowledge that should be incorporated and new learning strategies must be adopted for the successful teaching of all sub‑domains. For example, com puter programming is a vital knowledge area within computer science with constantly changing curriculum and its teaching remains a difficult endeavour. On the other hand, students start from a very early age to interact with computers through games and ot her entertaining multimedia software. Therefore, they seem to be keen on environments with impressive special effects and graphical interfaces where they interact with the environments elements. In response, teachers are trying to connect computer progra mming learning with computer operations that students are familiar with, which does not include textual editors for programming lines of code with no other interaction. Educational games used in computer programming courses are considered to benefit learn ing, because they motivate students towards actively participating and interacting with the games activities. Thus, we have developed an educational multiplayer game that aims to further enhance computer programming education by addressing occurring prob lems. This process, however, requires proper planning during the design of educational games, and thus the availability of adequate guidelines that include all characteristics that should be incorporated in such games. This paper aims to introduce and ela borate on a holistic framework that has been constructed as a guide towards the development of this game. To this end, we study existing frameworks that have been proposed for the design of educational games and document features currently supported by ed ucational games that teach computer programming. We conclusively propose the framework we have constructed for the design of our game. This framework can be used for the design of other computer programming‑specific educational games and extended for othe r educational domains.

 

Keywords: Keywords: computer programming, educational programming environments, educational games, holistic framework, learning process

 

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Journal Article

Improving Virtual Collaborative Learning through Canonical Action Research  pp326-338

Peter Weber, Christian Lehr, Martin Gersch

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, Editor: Dr Rikke Ørngreen and Dr Karin Tweddell Levinsen, pp313 - 410

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Abstract

Abstract: Virtual collaboration continues to gain in significance and is attracting attention also as virtual collaborative learning (VCL) in education. This paper addresses aspects of VCL that we identified as critical in a series of courses named Net Economy: (1) technical infrastructure, (2) motivation and collaboration, and (3) assessment and evaluation. Net Economy is an international online setting, focusing on the business impact of new technologies and is highly notable for the divergent educational and cultural backgrounds of its participants. Having been subject to research from the onset in 2008, in which approximately 10 students were analysed and evaluated, the course has continued to gain significant success as a learning tool, wit h over 150 students currently enrolled throughout the various course cycles. In this paper we focus on how we implemented changes with regard to the above mentioned critical elements as part of canonical action research between the last course cycles. We outline the general learning scenario behind our VCL‑courses, describe problems that we identified with the help of evaluation results and explain solution approaches and the impact of their implementation. The paper aims to provide a comprehensive exampl e for virtual collaborative learning as well as explaining and exemplifying a systematic approach of improving complex e‑learning settings through a series of steps, developed to ease the transition between each stage.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Social Networking Services, Virtual Collaborative Learning, Virtual Team Work, Web 2.0, International Cooperation, Community of Inquiry Framework, CoI

 

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Journal Article

Developing and Testing a Mobile Learning Games Framework  pp151-166

Carsten Busch, Sabine Claßnitz, André Selmanagić, Martin Steinicke

© Mar 2015 Volume 13 Issue 3, ECGBL 2014, Editor: Busch-Steinicke, pp149 - 206

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Abstract

Abstract: In 2010 1.1 million pupils took private lessons in Germany, with 25% of all German children by the age of 17 having attended paid private lessons at some point in their school career (Klemm & Klemm, 2010). The high demand for support for learn ing curricular content led us to consider an integrated solution that speeds up both the design of mobile learning games as well as their implementation and adaption. This paper describes the iterative development of a game development framework for touch ‑based mobile learning games. The framework focuses on touch‑controlled interaction due to the fact that in 2014 more than 87% of German teenagers possess a smart phone with touch input (Feierabend, Plankenhorn, Rathgeb, 2014) as well as the possibility to engage in short bursts of learning experiences during their idle time, e.g. when commuting. The framework consists of a conceptual component that specifies five different game modes for casual mobile learning games. The technical part of the framework builds on the Unity game engine and offers an architecture that mirrors the game modes and objects from the conceptual part as well as a layer of service building blocks that cover generic functionality like logging, high score management or social media integration. The development of the framework is iterative and cyclic in that each produced game enriches the framework, which in turn accelerates the prototyping and development of further games. Additionally the games themselves are developed and teste d iteratively … both concerning usability/user‑experience and transfer, which is described in this paper. developed game prototype as well as the results of our usability tests.

 

Keywords: Keywords: mobile learning games, touch interfaces, private lessons, usability, software framework, transfer

 

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Journal Article

i‑SERF: An Integrated Self‑Evaluated and Regulated Framework for Deploying Web 2.0 Technologies in the Educational Process  pp320-332

Theodoros Karvounidis, Konstantinos Himos, Sotirios Bersimis, Christos Douligeris

© Oct 2015 Volume 13 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp317 - 445

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Abstract

Abstract: In this paper we propose i‑SERF (integrated‑Self Evaluated and Regulated Framework) an integrated self‑evaluated and regulated framework, which facilitates synchronous and asynchronous education, focusing on teaching and learning in higher education. The i‑SERF framework is a two‑layered framework that takes into account various elements of existing frameworks, introducing though as a new element the means of a self‑evaluation, self‑feeding and regulation mechanism. This mechanism is based on the performance of students, on the students’ answers to appropriately structured questionnaires and on the online monitoring of the supporting platform’s parameters. The outcome derived from a “self‑evaluation” process is then feeding i‑SERF in order to obtain self‑regulation, for the next deployment. In this way, i‑SERF remains alive and progressing. The proposed framework aims to offer the needed background for designing Web 2.0 educational platforms that may exhibit continuous improvement functions, providing in that way considerable benefits to both students and tutors in various fields. A pilot implementation, using an education‑oriented suite with enriched interactive elements supporting a variety of terminal devices, combined with a thorough assessment that utilizes advanced statistical tools has revealed the potentials of the platform to successfully deploy the principles of the i‑SERF framework to yield powerful learning experiences and high quality interactions between students and teachers.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Education, Learning, Framework, Self-evaluation mechanism, Web 2.0

 

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Journal Article

Initial Evaluation and Analysis of Post Graduate Trainees' Use of a Virtual Learning Environment in Initial Teacher Training  pp103-112

Alison Hramiak

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp87 - 173

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Abstract

This paper describes the initial findings of a longitudinal case study that investigates the use of a virtual learning environment to enhance the placement experience for full time postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) students. Geographically separated trainees can feel very isolated on placement. The purpose of the VLE was to try to alleviate this by offering a way for trainees to maintain contact and offer mutual support while on placement. A preliminary analysis of the results is used to offer some insight into how this type of support might be improved for future students, by the construction of minimum pedagogical framework for initial teacher training.

 

Keywords: Teacher training, Virtual learning environment, pedagogical framework

 

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Journal Article

Bring Your Own Device to Secondary School: The Perceptions of Teachers, Students and Parents  pp66-80

David Parsons, Janak Adhikari

© Apr 2016 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECEL 2015, Editor: Amanda Jefferies and Marija Cubric, pp1 - 80

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports on the first two years of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative in a New Zealand secondary school, using data derived from a series of surveys of teachers, parents and students, who are the main stakeholders in the trans formation to a BYOD school. In this paper we analyse data gathered from these surveys, which consists primarily of qualitative data from free text questions, but also includes some quantitative data from structured questions, giving insights into the chal lenges faced by teachers, students and parents in moving to a BYOD classroom, and the potential benefits for teaching and learning, and preparing students for a digital world. We frame our analysis from a sociocultural perspective that takes account of st ructures, agency and cultural practices and the interactions between these domains. Thematic analysis was performed by considering these domains from the responses of the three stakeholder groups. We found that there were some tensions in these domain rel ationships, with contexts and practices having to be renegotiated as the BYOD classroom and the structures within which it operates have evolved. On the surface, it appears that many of the changes to cultural practice are substitution or augmentation of previous activities, for example using one‑to‑one devices for researching and presenting material. However, when we look deeper, it is evident that apparently straightforward adoption of digital media is having a more profound impact on structure and agen cy within the classroom. While the structural impact of digital infrastructures does raise some concerns from all stakeholders, it is clear that it is the curricular structure that is the most contentious area of debate, given its impact on both agency an d cultural practice. While the majority of respondents reported positive changes in classroom management and learning, there were nevertheless some concerns about the radical nature of the change to BYOD, though very rarely from teachers. If there is an a rea where agency may be most problematic, it i

 

Keywords: Keywords: BYOD, secondary school, survey, sociocultural framework

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007 / Nov 2007  pp173‑250

Editor: Shirley Williams

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Editorial

The second International Conference on e‑Learning was held in New York during late June 2007. From the wealth of high quality papers submitted some 60 were selected for presentation at the conference. It was a very difficult task to select from these a group for inclusion in the journal, so it was decided that in this edition we would reflect the international nature of the conference and the diversity of learner groups and technologies addressed.

Recently a number of people from around the world have highlighted that children coming through the school system have different learning needs to previous generations, cultural and linguistic backgrounds are also cited as impacting on learning. However it is important that e‑Learning does not concentrate on a single demographic group and the papers in this edition present e‑Learning from different perspectives, including engaging with school‑aged children (O’Neill; Van de Sande and Leinhardt) and their teachers (Balcaen and Hirtz), through to the acceptance of e‑Learning by business (Leyking, Chikova and Loos). Nakayama, Yamamoto and Santiago have investigated the learning characteristics of university students from Japan and this on‑going work provides a useful insight for course developers, while Stoltenberg and Pforte look at the more technical aspects of e‑Learning and describe a prototype system developed for recording presentations.

 

Keywords: affective communication, affective states, assessment, community of practice, computing education, data warehouse, disaffection, distance education, education technology, eigenfaces, eigenvectors, evaluation system, data warehouse, face recognition, faculty development, focus group, higher education, image normalisation, impoverished learning, internet courses, junior faculty, novel program, ontology, ontology, pedagogical framework , performance metric, performance metric, policy document, post compulsory education, principal component analysis, professional development, quality evaluation, satisfaction, short-term module, staff development, statistics, teacher training, teaching practice, virtual entities, virtual environments, virtual learning environment, vocational students, web-based PBL, web-based SRL

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 2 / Jun 2007  pp87‑173

Editor: Shirley Williams

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Editorial

eLearning continues to develop and it is important that as there are developments the opportunity is taken to reflect on the impact of technology on enhancements to learning. In this issue we have included a number of papers that evaluate the use of eLearning from both the point of view of the learners and teachers.

Following best practice the format of the journal is now single column, this will make online reading easier than the old double column format.

 

Keywords: affective communication, affective states, assessment, community of practice, computing education, data warehouse, disaffection, distance education, education technology, eigenfaces, eigenvectors, evaluation system, data warehouse, face recognition, faculty development, focus group, higher education, image normalisation, impoverished learning, internet courses, junior faculty, novel program, ontology, ontology, pedagogical framework , performance metric, performance metric, policy document, post compulsory education, principal component analysis, professional development, quality evaluation, satisfaction, short-term module, staff development, statistics, teacher training, teaching practice, virtual entities, virtual environments, virtual learning environment, vocational students, web-based PBL, web-based SRL

 

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