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

Exploring Media Literacy and Computational Thinking: A Game Maker Curriculum Study  pp111-121

Jennifer Jenson, Milena Droumeva

© Jan 2016 Volume 14 Issue 2, ECGBL 2015, Editor: Robin Munkvold, pp81 - 149

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Abstract

Abstract: While advances in game‑based learning are already transforming educative practices globally, with tech giants like Microsoft, Apple and Google taking notice and investing in educational game initiatives, there is a concurrent and critically impo rtant development that focuses on â game construction⠒ pedagogy as a vehicle for enhancing computational literacy in middle and high school students. Essentially, game construction‑based curriculum takes the central question ⠜do children learn from p laying games⠀ to the next stage by asking ⠜(what) can children learn from constructing games?⠀ Founded on Seymour Papert⠒s constructionist learning model, and developed over nearly two decades, there is compelling evidence that game construction can increase student confidence and build their capacity towards ongoing computing science involvement and other STEM subjects. Our study adds to the growing body of literature on school‑based game construction through comprehensive empirical methodology and evidence‑based guidelines for curriculum design. There is still debate as to the utility of different software tools for game construction, models of scaffolding knowledge, and evaluation of learning outcomes and knowledge transfer. In this paper, we present a study we conducted in a classroom environment with three groups of grade 6 students (60+ students) using Game Maker to construct their own games. Based on a quantitative analysis and a qualitative discussion we organize results around several core themes that speak to the field of inquiry: levels of computational literacy based on pre‑ and post‑tests; gender‑based attitutdes to computing science and programming based on a pre‑ and post‑survey; and the relationship between existing media liter acy and performance in programming as part of the game construction curriculum. Significant results include some gender differences in attitudes towards computers and programming with boys demonstrating slightly higher confidence and performance. We discu ss the complex reasons potentially contributing

 

Keywords: Keywords: game making, STEM, coding, Game Maker, digital literacy

 

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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

A Novel Approach to Define Performance Metrics for Students' and Teachers' Evaluation  pp87-102

Pradipta Biswas, S.K. Ghosh

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

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Abstract

Evaluation is an unavoidable feature in any teaching or learning scenario. The evaluation strategy of students differs widely throughout the world. Further, most of the institutes do not use any objective technique to assess the teaching performance of a teacher. The present paper defines performance metrics both for student and teacher evaluation and also discusses the methodology for calculating relevant metrics. In a decision‑making scenario, these metrics may help in providing enough insight into the assimilation capability of students and teaching capability of teachers. Once measured properly for an adequate length of time, these metrics can also be customised to provide other useful information like utility of a course modification, institutional performance etc. The system has been tested for analysing four courses in a premier engineering institute and the outcome found to be encouraging.

 

Keywords: education technology, evaluation system data warehouse, performance metric, ontology

 

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Journal Article

Agent‑based Collaborative Affective e‑Learning Framework  pp123-134

Mahmoud Neji, Mohamed Ben Ammar

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

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Abstract

Based on facial expression (FE), this paper explores the possible use of the affective communication in virtual environments (VEs). The attention of affective communication is examined and some research ideas for developing affective communication in virtual environments are proposed. We place an emphasis on communication between virtual entities, which make use of other data apart from the information being communicated. In particular, we explore the capacity of VEs to communicate affective states, i.e. those aspects of communication concerned with emotional response, and discover how agents within VEs can model and use affective states to enhance the realism of the VEs. Moreover, we discuss the social intelligence that renders affective behaviours of software agents and its application to a collaborative learning system. We argue that socially appropriate affective behaviours would provide a new dimension for collaborative e‑learning systems.

 

Keywords: affective communication, virtual environments, virtual entities, affective states, e-learning systems

 

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Journal Article

A Data Warehouse Model for Micro‑Level Decision Making in Higher Education  pp235-244

Liezl van Dyk

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

An abundance of research, by educational researchers and scholars of teaching and learning alike, can be found on the use of ICT to plan design and deliver learning activities and assessment activities. The first steps of the instructional design process are covered quite thoroughly by this. However, the use of ICT and quantitative methods to close the instructional design cycle by supporting sustainable decision making with respect to the evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching processes hold much unleashed potential. In this paper a business intelligence approach is followed in an attempt to take advantage ICT to enable the evaluation of the effectiveness of the process of facilitating learning. The focus is on micro‑level decision support based on data drawn from the Learning Management System (LMS). Three quantifiable measures of online behaviour and three quantifiable measures of teaching effectiveness are identified from literature to arrive at a 3x3 matrix according to which 9 measures of e‑teaching effectiveness can be derived by means of pair‑wise correlation. The value and significance of information are increased within context of other information. In this paper it is shown how the value of LMS tracking data increases within context of data from other modules or others years and that useful information is created when this tracking data is correlated with measures of teaching effectives such as results, learning styles and student satisfaction. This information context can only be created when a deliberate business intelligence approach if followed. In this paper a data warehouse model is proposed to accomplish exactly this.

 

Keywords: learning management system, data warehouse, student tracking, decision support, student feedback, learning styles

 

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Journal Article

e‑Learning Success Model: an Information Systems Perspective  pp62-71

Anita Lee-Post

© May 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 85

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Abstract

This paper reports the observations made and experience gained from developing and delivering an online quantitative methods course for Business undergraduates. Inspired by issues and challenges experienced in developing the online course, a model is advanced to address the question of how to guide the design, development, and delivery of successful e‑learning initiatives based on theories of a user‑centered information systems development paradigm. The benefits of using the proposed model for e‑learning success assessment is demonstrated through four cycles of action research after two action research cycles of pilot study. Findings from our empirical study confirm the value of an action research methodology for promoting e‑learning success. The paper concludes with a discussion on the merits of the proposed model in furthering our understanding of how to define, assess, and promote e‑learning success.

 

Keywords: e-learning success, e-learning assessment, action research, information systems success model

 

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Journal Article

Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Students in a Global Context  pp51-62

Yongmei Bentley, Anjali Shegunshi, Mike Scannell

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the distance learning support systems of a UK University's overseas MBA programme. This programme is provided to several countries around the world in alliance with the overseas' local higher educational institutions (HEIs), and is delivered primarily via online courses, but also with periods of face‑to‑face teaching by both UK and local staff. The aim of the research was to evaluate the learning support mechanisms that are used to deliver this programme overseas, and to determine their impact on the learning experience of the MBA students. The primary research method was questionnaire surveys which were conducted over two periods: April — July 2008, and January — March 2009. The first survey showed a high level of satisfaction with the MBA programme as delivered, but also indicated areas that could see further improvement. The impacts of programme changes were examined in the second survey which revealed students' improved satisfaction with the programme after the implementation of the changes in the programme support systems. The outcomes of this research have not only helped improve the learning support systems and enhanced the quality of this particular programme, but could also help provide guidelines for other HEIs that offer, or intend to offer, blended learning courses globally.

 

Keywords: distance learning, support systems, MBA, questionnaire survey, learning experience

 

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Journal Article

The VLE as a Trojan Mouse: Policy, Politics and Pragmatism  pp63-72

Mark Brown, Shelley Paewai, Gordon Suddaby

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

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Abstract

This paper argues that selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) is a strategic decision about the future direction of your institution. However, the development of a robust methodology for the selection of a new LMS is particularly challenging given the fluidity of the elearning environment. This is especially so when both quantitative and qualitative factors are overlaid by institutional requirements involving political considerations. Selecting the technology is only part of the process and the least problematic aspect. The real challenges are embedded in institutional culture. The paper reflects on the tactics, strategies and approval process involved in the decision to adopt Moodle to replace a proprietary system for the delivery of learning in New Zealand's largest university‑level distance education provider. Critical to the process was the explication of guiding principles, pedagogical criteria and identification of institutional requirements, along with politically astute alliances and allegiances to inform and endorse the selection process. Those centrally involved in the decision process draw on their experiences and reflect on the type of questions that senior managers need to ask when considering new strategic initiatives in open and distance learning.

 

Keywords: Moodle, learning management system, policy, leadership, institutional culture

 

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