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 for Quality: The Understanding Dementia MOOC  pp161-171

Carolyn King, Jo-Anne Kelder, Kathleen Doherty et al

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

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Abstract

Abstract: The introduction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a vehicle for education delivery presents opportunities and challenges. In the context of the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre (Wicking Centre), the driver to develop a MOOC was the promise of addressing the international deficit in evidence‑based dementia education, as well as the lack of research into international perspectives on dementia. The Wicking Centres activity integrates research and education, framed by the concept of quality of life across the trajectory of dementia. With dementia emerging as the public health issue of the 21st century, lack of dementia education at multiple levels, professional and non‑professional, is of increasing concern. The disrupt ive character of MOOCs, with associated risks and uncertainties, warranted the application of a research‑oriented project management approach to development. This included investing resources in gathering and analysing data to underpin each phase of decis ion‑making. We used a design‑based research approach incorporating the concept of life‑cycle of an e‑learning design (Phillips et al. 2012). Data collection and analysis focused on three dynamically interacting components: 1) expertise in dementia kn owledge and dementia education; 2) a cohort‑centric approach to design and delivery, and 3) models and designs for MOOCs currently promoted, discussed and reported in the higher education discipline. Laurillards Conversational Framework, relating types of learning, teaching‑learning activities and the digital technologies that support them (2012), informed the selection of digital technology elements for massive‑scale engagement of our identified cohort. The paper describes the initial design process and the outcomes of the limited release pilot that informed the first full offering of the MOOC.

 

Keywords: Keywords: MOOC, Open Education Resources, Dementia, Education, Online Learning, Design

 

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Journal Article

The Role of Open Access and Open Educational Resources: A Distance Learning Perspective  pp97-105

Stylianos Hatzipanagos, Jon Gregson

© Feb 2015 Volume 13 Issue 2, ICEL2014, Editor: Paul Griffiths, pp57 - 148

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Abstract

Abstract: The paper explores the role of Open Access (in licensing, publishing and sharing research data) and Open Educational Resources within Distance Education, with a focus on the context of the University of London International Programmes. We repo rt on a case study where data were gathered from librarians and programme directors relating to existing practice around Open Access; the major constraints in using Open Educational Resources and the main resource implications, when adopting Open Educatio nal Resources, were also investigated. Our aim was to (a) raise awareness and understanding of what is possible to achieve in higher education by embracing the Open Access movement (b) identify next steps and actions that could be taken to improve ins titutional use of Open Access materials, including Open Educational Resources, (c) examine the implications of such actions for Open Distance Learning and generally the higher education sector. Our investigation highlighted some opportunities and the fi ndings resulted into some clear recommendations that emerged from our investigation both for practitioners and for students in this area. There seems to be a clear synergy between the different but related movements of Open access and OERs as both have to address issues of ease of access, quality and visibility in order to become accepted in higher education.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Education, open and distance learning, Open Access publishing and licensing, digital scholarship

 

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Journal Article

Bringing Open Educational Practice to a Research‑Intensive University: Prospects and Challenges  pp31-42

Elizabeth Masterman

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This article describes a small‑scale study that explored the relationship between the pedagogical practices characterised as openŽ and the existing model of undergraduate teaching and learning at a large research‑intensive university (RIU). T he aim was to determine the factors that might enable (conversely impede) the greater uptake of open educational resources (OER) in universities of this type. The research was informed by two theoretical frameworks. The first was derived from the lite rature on open educational practice and served as the basis for an interview schedule. The second was derived from the literature on RIUs and provided a structure for reflecting on the data in three areas of activity: pedagogy, outreach and governance. Th e researchers conducted semi‑structured interviews with 14 academics, selected either for their involvement in open practices or for the recognition they had received for excellence in their teaching. The interview schedule was derived from a literature s urvey focusing on open pedagogic models. Topics discussed with interviewees included the flatteningŽ of the teacher‑student relationship, students assumption of responsibility for their own learning, learning as (or in) a community and the possible in fluence of open practices in research on teaching. Findings suggest that open educational approaches can be accommodated in a universitys prevailing pedagogic model without compromising its integrity. However, openness can enhance the specifics of that p edagogy; for example, through aligning research‑informed teaching with emergent open practices in research and equipping students with the skills necessary for living and working in an open world. There is a closer alignment between releasing OER and an R IUs strategic mission for outreach. Nevertheless, the spread of open practices in both pedagogy and outreach hinges on issues of governance, which in RIUs is characterised by considerable emphasis on the autonomy of individual academics.

 

Keywords: Keywords: open education, OER, research-informed teaching, higher education, pedagogy, digital scholarship

 

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Journal Article

Open Teaching: a New Way on E‑learning?  pp370-384

Andres Chiappe, Linda L. Lee

© Oct 2017 Volume 15 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp367 - 466

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Abstract

Open Teaching is currently considered an ambiguous and polysemic concept but has nevertheless become a growing global trend in ICT‑based education. To identify key issues on the subject, this article presents a study on Open teaching that combines meta‑synthesis and content analysis of research published over the last twenty years in major peer‑reviewed databases. Six main analytical categories emerge from data, conforming six groups of findings. Those findings show that Open Teaching has been associated with various concepts over the years and that there is no consensus on its meaning in the academic community. The current understanding of Open Teaching, that it is merely related to distance education, thwarts important practical and conceptual possibilities by prioritizing access as its main feature and ignoring important “openness” attributes, such as adaptation, sharing, remixing or collaboration. Moreover, the findings note that the most common means to implement Open Teaching as an ICT‑based practice are derived from the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which represents not only a major challenge for active educational practitioners but a new way of conceiving and implementing e‑learning in higher education.

 

Keywords: Open Teaching; Open Educational Practices; Open Educational Resources; MOOC; Information and Communication Technologies; Open Education; E-learning

 

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Journal Article

"Digital Futures in Teacher Education": Exploring Open Approaches towards Digital Literacy  pp193-206

Anna Gruszczynska, Guy Merchant, Richard Pountney

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a project "Digital Futures in Teacher Education" (DeFT) undertaken as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2012, 2013) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy (Burnett and Merchant, 2011; Davies and Merchant, 2009). A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio‑cultural models of digital practice (Merchant, 2011), that has the potential to re‑imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning and which, at the same time, address the 'why' as well as the 'how' of digital literacy. This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio‑cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OERs are explored and the potential for digital literac(ies) for openness is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by project participants. The effectiveness of a methodology that prizes reflexivity and participation is examined including a range of voices, including children's voices, in the meaning‑making process and recommendations on the basis of the findings are made. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the paper highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.

 

Keywords: Keywords: digital literacy, reflexivity, ICT curriculum, pedagogy, open educational resources

 

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Journal Article

Student experiences and perceptions of digital literacy skills development: engaging learners by design?  pp207-225

Marion Hall, Ingrid Nix, Kirsty Baker

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a project "Digital Futures in Teacher Education" (DeFT) undertaken as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2012, 2013) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy (Burnett and Merchant, 2011; Davies and Merchant, 2009). A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio‑cultural models of digital practice (Merchant, 2011), that has the potential to re‑imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning and which, at the same time, address the 'why' as well as the 'how' of digital literacy. This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio‑cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OERs are explored and the potential for digital literac(ies) for openness is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by project participants. The effectiveness of a methodology that prizes reflexivity and participation is examined including a range of voices, including children's voices, in the meaning‑making process and recommendations on the basis of the findings are made. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the paper highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.

 

Keywords: Keywords: digital literacy, reflexivity, ICT curriculum, pedagogy, open educational resources

 

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Journal Article

JiFUNzeni: A Blended Learning Approach for Sustainable Teachers Professional Development  pp77-88

Brown Bully Onguko

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: JiFUNzeni blended learning approach is a sustainable approach to provision of professional development (PD) for those in challenging educational contexts. JiFUNzeni approach emphasizes training regional experts to create blended learning conte nt, working with appropriate technology while building content repositories. JiFUNzeni approach was field‑tested though a design‑based research intervention conducted in rural western Kenya. The field test included design, development and implementation o f a blended learning course for teachers professional development utilizing appropriate technologies including tablets powered by solar energy, open educational resources and open source software. One year after the intervention, follow‑up interviews wer e conducted with eight of the ten teachers and two professional development tutors (PDTs) who participated in the research. The findings from the follow‑up interviews shared in this paper revealed that: teachers still used cooperative learning and activ ity‑based learning strategies in their teaching. The PDTs on the other hand designed, developed and implemented one other jiFUNzeni blended learning course for twelve teachers in one school in Korogocho slum in Nairobi city. Implementation by PDTs of jiFU Nzeni approach confirmed that they had learned through a sustainable way of delivering professional development in challenging educational contexts. The PDTs utilized the instructional design approaches learned through their participation in the research in designing blended learning content, while they also innovated new ways of developing self‑study content as an important creative addition to what they had previously learned. Two teenage children participated in digital content development by advising the PDTs on some appropriate ways of applying technology thus, attesting to the fact that digital natives are important reciprocal supporters to digital immigrants and vice versa.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Appropriate technology, blended learning, challenging educational context, jiFUNzeni approach, offline web content, open educational resources

 

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Journal Article

Open Distribution of Virtual Containers as a Key Framework for Open Educational Resources and STEAM Subjects  pp126-136

Alberto Corbi, Daniel Burgos

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

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Abstract

This paper presents how virtual containers enhance the implementation of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) subjects as Open Educational Resources (OER). The publication initially summarizes the limitations of delivering open rich learning contents and corresponding assignments to students in college level STEAM areas. The role that virtual containers can play in current distant education is then discussed, starting by reviewing related teaching efforts around the use of legacy virtual machines. We then focus on the superseding container technology and how it can bridge the gap between online students, humble computing resources, teachers and IT specificities. As a practical example, we present an experience carried out at the online School of Engineering & Technology at Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR). Within the context of a subject about Physics for Computing Engineers, we describe the satisfactory evolution from using conventional software distribution methods towards the transition to virtual containers. Thanks to this virtualization approach, the necessary student activities can be implemented, the required software tools can be easily distributed, and the accompanying documentation can be seamlessly presented. The results show how student engagement and satisfaction increased over time, partly because of the easiness introduced by the container technology. Our experience proves that combining containerized educational resources and free and open distribution channels can be one of the cornerstones of a new OER approach in STEAM subjects.

 

Keywords: virtual containers, STEAM, Open Educational Resources, content distribution platforms

 

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