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

Using an Online Games‑Based Learning Approach to Teach Database Design Concepts  pp104-111

Thomas M Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Evelyn McLellan

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

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Abstract

The study of database systems is typically core in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes related to computer science and information systems. However, one component of this curriculum that many learners have diffi‑ culty with is database analysis and design, an area that is critical to the development of modern information systems. This paper proposes a set of principles for the design of a games‑based learning environment to help the learner develop the skills necessary to understand and perform database analysis and design effectively. The paper also presents some preliminary results on the use of this environment.

 

Keywords: Collaborative e-learning innovative teaching and learning technologies for web-based education e- pedagogy design and development of online courseware

 

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Journal Article

Determining Areas of Weakness in Introductory Programming as a Foundation for Reusable Learning Objects  pp21-30

Eileen Costelloe, Elizabeth Sherry, Patricia Magee

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

Teaching programming to novices has proved challenging for both learner and lecturer due to the abstraction and complexity of the subject matter. The work described in this paper is part of an EU funded Minerva project called TUPULO (Teaching Undergraduate Programming Using Learning Objects) which aims to address the challenges faced by novice programmers by providing them with an innovative learning tool. This learning tool that is currently under development and rollout incorporates a set of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) based on sound pedagogical principles and encapsulated in a Constructivist Learning Environment (CLE), which includes a meta‑cognitive interface. The subject matter experts and instructional designers in the local academic partner institutions designed these learning objects. The outputs and findings of the TUPULO project will not only benefit learners in the partner institutions involved, but by being disseminated to the wider educational community, they will also help learners in the domain on a broader scale. This paper describes the preparatory work undertaken in order to establish a set of potential LOs for development based on the student's main areas of weakness. When attempting to build learning objects for use in any domain the primary consideration should always be the needs and abilities of the learners. This paper describes the work done by the authors in conducting a user needs analysis in order to establish the key problem areas facing learners of introductory programming. A methodology for user needs capture and analysis was produced based on the set of user groups available at the Institutions and the needs of the users were captured and analysed. The methodology was devised to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the information available to us regarding students. Exam scripts and corresponding results together with focus group discussions were used in order to ascertain perceptions regarding the course content, delivery, level of difficulty and areas of difficulty in programming. Additional institutional information such as students' leaving certificate points and Maths grade together with students' overall performance in other subject areas were used to investigate possible correlations. The analysis of this data provided some preliminary information on the ways in which students interpret various questions and their conceptual difficulties in understanding certain topics. This analysis leads to the final selection of programming topics for potential development as reusable learning objects.

 

Keywords: novice programmers, learning objects, programming pedagogy, meta-cognitive support

 

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Journal Article

Watch out — the Power Users are Coming  pp79-86

Karin Tweddell Levinsen

© May 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

This paper analyses and discusses the future challenges that tertiary educational institutions may expect to face when the traditional organisational forms and norms of the industrial society meet the first generation of natural born ICT using students who have lived their whole life with ICT and the ever changing norms and demands of the unfolding information society. In order to analyse the premise for these challenges the paper applies a long‑term perspective on the generations and organisations affected by the transmission. A key to gain insight to the future students and the nature of the encounter is research aimed at the present primary school. Additionally a key to the organisational perspective is identification of organisations' readiness for change and the potential barriers for adaptation to the information society and the ´ power users´. Based on the analysis, the paper comprises an outline of institutional obstacles inhibiting a successful encounter and argues the necessity of integrating top‑down and bottom‑up initiatives in future organisations. Thus, the process of change demands awareness and support from both the authorities empowered to make grants and from the management of the educational organisations, and the paper explicitly focuses on collaborating teaching staffs as a tool for improving both individual and organisational adaptability.

 

Keywords: ICT, Power users, game generation, university pedagogy, collaborative teaching staff, adaptability to change, information society

 

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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

Effective Game Based Citizenship Education in the Age of new Media  pp16-28

Yam San Chee, Swati Mehrotra, Qiang Liu

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

Educational systems worldwide are being challenged to respond effectively to the digital revolution and its implications for learning in the 21st century. In the present new media age, educational reforms are desperately needed to support more open and flexible structures of on‑demand learning that equip students with competencies required in a globalized and multicultural world. Game‑based learning represents one pathway to educational reform through its emphasis on performance. In this paper we describe the Statecraft X game‑based learning program that blends performative game‑based learning with dialogic pedagogy in the context of citizenship education. The Statecraft X curriculum was designed with the understanding that a digital game on its own does not necessarily lead to meaningful student learning. Rather, it is the students together with their peers and aided by their teacher who must work together to make meaning of their in‑game experiences and connect these experiences to real‑world events and issues through thoughtful reflection. With a view to addressing widespread shortcomings of citizenship education that reduce the curriculum to learning about citizenship, the Statecraft X game, played on Apple iPhones, provides students with a first person experience of governance by allowing them to take on the role of governors and thus to enact governance. Central to the SCX program is its dialogic pedagogy where teachers facilitate meaningful conversations among students and advance their understanding of citizenship and governance. In this paper, we report an implementation of the Statecraft X curriculum in a Social Studies class attended by 42 15‑year‑olds attending a secondary school in Singapore. Students’ understanding of governance and citizenship was assessed by means of an essay that students attempted at the end of the program. Students’ performance in the essay was compared with a comparable control group taught the same topic by traditional method. The results indicate that students of the intervention class outperformed the control class students. Our findings suggest that the Statecraft X curriculum has efficacy in achieving the desired curricular learning outcomes. These findings have implications for school leaders, teachers, and students with respect to introducing and integrating game‑based learning in regular classrooms.

 

Keywords: citizenship education, game-based learning, dialogic pedagogy, new media, learning outcomes

 

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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

Leapfrogging Pedagogy: A Design Approach To Making Change In Challenging Contexts  pp3-13

Susan Crichton

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

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Abstract

Abstract: At a time of substantial change, globalization, and ubiquitous access to information, educators struggle to change even the most basic aspects of their classrooms. This is especially true for those in challenging contexts where many perpetuate the mind numbingŽ practice of rote instruction. This paper describes a collaborative partnership among academics in Canada and East Africa as they develop Innovative Learning Centres (ILC) in their respective institutions to leapfrog pedagogy in imagin ative ways, drawing on experiential learning and the Maker Movement in a studio based learning environment.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Transformative pedagogy, Maker Movement, design thinking, studio based learning, challenging contexts

 

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