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

Topic Maps e‑Learning Portal Development  pp60-67

Kamila Olsevicova

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

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Abstract

Topic Maps, ISOIEC 13250 standard, are designed to facilitate the organization and navigation of large collections of information objects by creating meta‑level perspectives of their underlying concepts and relationships. The underlying structure of concepts and relations is expressed by domain ontologies. The Topics Maps technology can become the core of an e‑learning portal that will integrate different kinds of information and knowledge resources, available in the educational institution — this idea was explored in the Ph.D. dissertation of the author. The offered portal solution promises to bring advantages both for content consumers (students) and content providers (teachers, administrative staff), but numerous problems hinder the practical implementation of this portal and therefore it requires certain changes in the functioning of the educational institution and asks teachers, teaching assistants and e‑courses designers to change their routines and to develop new skills. In the paper we offer a new methodology for development and maintenance of the Topic Maps e‑learning portal and we briefly present a pilot application.

 

Keywords: e-Learning portal, Ontology engineering, Knowledge methodology, Topic Maps, Omnigator

 

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Journal Article

Implications of the Social Web Environment for User Story Education  pp44-59

Terrill Fancott, Pankaj Kamthan, Nazlie Shahmir

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011, Editor: Philip Balcean, pp1 - 158

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Abstract

In recent years, user stories have emerged in academia, as well as industry, as a notable approach for expressing user requirements of interactive software systems that are developed using agile methodologies. There are social aspects inherent to software development, in general, and user stories, in particular. This paper presents directions and means for incorporating the Social Web environment in user story education. In doing so, it proposes a methodology, SW4USE, for such integration. SW4USE consists of a user story process model, USPM, and Social Web technologies/applications that can contribute to the execution of the steps of USPM. A collection of scenarios of use, for both teachers in their classroom lectures and students in their team‑based course projects, are presented, and potential learning outcomes are given. The ephemeral and essential challenges in the realization of SW4USE, particularly those related to quality, are highlighted.

 

Keywords: agile methodology, collaboration, dissemination, process model, user requirement, Web 2.0

 

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Journal Article

Use of Adaptive Study Material in Education in E‑learning Environment  pp172-182

Kateřina Kostolányová, Jana Šarmanová

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Personalised education is a topical matter today and the impact of ICT on education has been covered extensively. The adaptation of education to various types of student is an issue of a vast number of papers presented at diverse conferences. Th e topic incorporates the fields of information technologies and eLearning, but in no small part also the field of pedagogy. By interconnecting eLearning with the requirement for personalized education, we obtain a new term … automatic adaptive learning. W e asked ourselves a question if the process of automatic adaptive learning (i.e. going through the electronic study course which suits students preferences and learning style) can be modeled. The optimal adaptive process will respect students differen ces based on determined learning styles and with regard to their knowledge and skills as changed during the course. On the basis of identification of their personal characteristics and qualities, students will be presented with a study material which suit s them the most. One of the basic building blocks of adaptive education is the storage of study materials. In order to be able to prepare tailored education for every type of student, study material must be prepared in many different variants, in differen t form. This form should be different from the classic form of text‑books. This article presents the issues connected with the creation of study materials suitable for adaptive education in more detail; the basis for this is the pedagogical analysis of th e starting prerequisites applicable in eLearning. In conclusion, a particular way of use of such created study material in electronic adaptive education will be outlined.

 

Keywords: Keywords: study material, adaptation, learning style, creation of methodology, e-learning, personalization of education, theory of adaptive e-learning

 

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Journal Article

The development of language for implementing IT within a learning organisation  pp210-219

Adrian Small, Petia Sice

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

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Abstract

 

Keywords: The learning organisation, language information technology, systems development, soft systems methodology, customer complaints management

 

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Journal Article

An exploration of autonetnography as an eResearch methodology to examine learning and teaching scholarship in Networked Learning  pp322-335

Lyz Howard

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: As an experienced face‑to‑face teacher, working in a small Crown Dependency with no Higher Education Institute (HEI) to call its own, the subsequent geographical and professional isolation in the context of Networked Learning (NL), as a sub‑set of eLearning, calls for innovative ways in which to develop self‑reliant methods of professional development. Jones and De Laat (2016, p.43) claim that NL is different from other eLearning sub‑sets, for example, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Computer‑Supported‑Collaborative‑Learning (CSCL) because of its “focus on pedagogy and understanding how social relationships (and networked practices) influence learning rather than having a predominantly technical agenda for change in education”. NL, rather than TEL or CSL, therefore, locates the context for this paper. My intent was to develop a bespoke professional development framework to facilitate independent and self‑directed NL teaching development. To scaffold my professional development autonetnography (ANG) was chosen to facilitate my learning. The concept of ANG was introduced by Kozinets & Kedzior (2009) as an autobiographical extension to the ethnographic genre Netnography defined by Kozinets (2006) as an interpretive research methodology to examine online observations and interactions. Whilst recent researchers of digital learning claim that has potential to add to a growing body of knowledge that accepts the post‑modern use of self as an insider researcher (Ferreira, 2012; Persdotter, 2013; Mkono, Ruhanen & Markwell, 2015) none have explained how to undertake ANG. There appears here, to be a theory‑practice gap (Kessels and Korthagen, 1996) and the problem lies within the argument that there is no current theory upon which to practice ANG. This opportunity to examine more closely the subjective and reflexive insider researcher perspective of being an online scholar (as a learner or teacher) would respond to this gap in current eResearch knowledge. This paper uses meta‑ethnography (Noblit & Hare, 1988) as a method to systematically examine methodology relating to autoethnography, with the purpose of working towards developing a framework for undertaking ANG as an emerging eResearch methodology. Seven phases of meta‑ethnography formed the method for synthesising autoethnographic methodological data and translating these into ANG methodological data. Findings from this synthesis are reported through the autoethnographic tripartite scheme of mimesis, poiesis and kinesis (Holman‑Jones, Adams, & Ellis, 2013a). From this synthesis, the autonetnographic “I” framework was developed and forms a methodological basis for future ANG studies to examine teaching and/or learning scholarship in NL and the potential for considering adaptation of ANG for use in eLearning more generally.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Autonetnography; ANG; autoethnography; meta-ethnography; eLearning; networked learning; reflexivity; eResearch methodology; online learner and teacher scholarship; online professional development

 

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Journal Article

A Roadmap to Cope with Common Problems in E‑Learning Research Designs  pp336-349

Javier Sarsa, Tomás Escudero

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: E‑learning research is plenty of difficulties, as also research in education is. Usually, the high number of features involved in e‑learning processes complicates and masks the identification and isolation of the factors which cause the expected benefits, when they exist. At the same time, a bunch of threats are ready to weaken the validity of the research, for example, disregard of previous research, use of small samples, absence of randomization in the assignment to groups, ineffective designs, lack of objectivity in the measuring process, poor descriptions of the research in publications (which implies few possibilities of replication), wrong statistical procedures, inappropriate inference of results, etc. All of these obstacles accumulate and are carried along the whole research, resulting in low quality studies or irrelevant ones. This theoretical paper suggests a roadmap in order to face the most common problems in e‑learning research. The roadmap informs about some cautions which must be considered at each stage of the research and recommendations to increase the validity and reproducibility of results. The roadmap and conclusions included in this paper have been obtained from our experience in educational and e‑learning research, also from our long path as reviewers in key journals of these fields, and from readings of significant research handbooks. This is not a strict guide but a set of milestones on which it is necessary to stop and reflect.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-Learning research, educational technology, research designs, e-learning effectiveness, methodology, validity.

 

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Journal Article

The E‑Learning Setting Circle: First Steps Toward Theory Development in E‑Learning Research  pp94-103

Marco Rüth, Kai Kaspar

© Apr 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp1 - 103

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Abstract

E‑learning projects and related research generate an increasing amount of evidence within and across various disciplines and contexts. The field is very heterogeneous as e‑learning approaches are often characterized by rather unique combinations of situational factors that guide the design and realization of e‑learning in a bottom‑up fashion. Comprehensive theories of e‑learning that allow deductive reasoning and hence a more top‑down strategy are missing so far, but they are highly desirable. In view of the current situation, inductive reasoning is the prevalent way of scientific progress in e‑learning research and the first step toward theory development: individual projects provide the insights necessary to gradually build up comprehensive theories and models. In this context, comparability and generalizability of project results are the keys to success. Here we propose a new model – the E‑Learning Setting Circle – that will promote comparability and generalizability of project results by structuring, standardizing, and guiding e‑learning approaches at the level of a general research methodology. The model comprises three clusters – context setting, structure setting, and content setting – each of which comprises three individual issues that are not necessarily sequential but frequently encountered in e‑learning projects. Two further elements are incorporated: on the one hand, we delineate the central role of objective setting and the assessment of the goal attainment level (guiding element); on the other hand, we highlight the importance of multi‑criteria decision‑making (universal element). Overall, the proposed circular model is a strategic framework intended to foster theory development in the area of e‑learning projects and research.

 

Keywords: e-learning research, e-learning projects, research methodology, theory development, major project issues, decision-making, new model

 

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Journal Article

Measuring Success in e‑Learning — A Multi‑Dimensional Approach  pp99-110

Malcolm Bell, Stephen Farrier

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp99 - 182

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Abstract

In 1999 Northumbria University published a strategy document entitled "Towards the web‑enabled University". This prefaced an assessment of need and of available platforms for developing online teaching and learning which, in turn, led in 2001 to the roll out and institution‑wide adoption of the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) now referred to as our eLearning Platform or eLP. Within a very few years we had over 90% take‑up by academic staff and the eLP had become integral to the learning of virtually all our students. What has always been relatively easy to measure has been the number of users, frequency of use, number of courses, levels of technological infrastructure, etc. However, with the publication of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) e learning strategy in 2005 it became apparent that such quantitative data was not particularly helpful in measuring how the university matched onto the 10‑year aspirations of that document and its measures of success. Consequently an on‑going exploration was embarked upon to try to measure where we were and what we should prioritise in order to embed e‑learning, as envisaged within the HEFCE strategy. This involved a number of key approaches: The measures were broken down into manageable sizes, creating sixteen measures in all with descriptors for "full achievement" through to "no progress to date" with suggested sources of information which would support the description. A series of interviews with key staff were set up in which they were asked to rank where they felt the university stood against each measure and what evidence would support their views. An academic staff survey was developed on‑line which invited staff to explore a number of statements based around the HEFCE criteria and express degrees of agreement. This was followed up by a range of face‑to‑face interviews. An online student survey was developed and students were asked to express degrees of agreement with these. Student responses were followed up with an independent student focus group exploring issues in greater depth. The outcomes of the three approaches were then combined and an interim report prepared which identified strengths and areas for further development. Some of the latter are already being addressed. Subsequently, the university joined phase 2 of a national benchmarking e‑learning in Higher Education exercise, running from May to December 2007, supported by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). During this exercise we engaged in a deeper exploration against a wider set of criteria, based upon the "Pick & Mix" (Bacsich, 2007) methodology. Pick&Mix comprises 20 core criteria and the option of a number of supplementary criteria. Through these approaches we will be able to set a baseline for where we currently are and it will allow us to revisit criteria later to measure our progress in those areas we identify for development. This paper shares methodologies used, identifies key outcomes and reflects upon those outcomes from both an institutional and sectoral perspective.

 

Keywords: measuring, benchmarking, methodology

 

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