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

Implementing Blended Learning at a Developing University: Obstacles in the way  pp101-110

Mswazi Tshabalala et al

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are striving to provide effective learning experiences to address the needs of the digitally‑oriented generation of learners. Blended learning has emerged as a solution to address these needs and has been a dopted by various HEIs. However, not all academic staff members adopt blended learning when it is introduced by their institutions. Although this teaching and learning approach offers various advantages to academic staff, negative perceptions held by acad emic staff may affect its adoption.The purpose of this case study was to investigate the perceptions academic staff have about blended learning and to identify challenges facing academic staff that affected the adoption of blended learning in a Faculty of Education at a developing university in South Africa. The study employed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1993) and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) by Rogers (1983: 246‑250) in a qualitative exploratory research de sign. The investigation made use of focus group interviews with lecturers and individual interviews with heads of academic departments, as well as the dean of the Faculty. Data gathered pointed to various perceptions and practical problems hindering acade mic staff from adopting blended learning. Amongst these were perceptions pertaining to e‑learning or blended learning policy, faculty support by management, computer skills of students and lecturers, as well as inadequate access for students to computers. This research is unique in that it applies known knowledge in the new context of a small South African university, which is a developing community. Lessons learned from this study will make a contribution to knowledge in the field of higher education, an d will help developing universities to benefit from the research.

 

Keywords: Keywords: blended learning, adoption, academic staff, perceptions, challenges, developing university

 

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Journal Article

Educational Games in Practice: The challenges involved in conducting a game‑based curriculum  pp122-135

Björn Berg Marklund, Anna-Sofia Alklind Taylor

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

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Abstract

Abstract: The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historicall y, research on digital game‑based learning has focused heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games function in their int ended educational contexts and how they impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game‑based learning activities, the foci of past research is problematic as it obfuscates some of the pressing realities that highly affect games viability as tools for teaching and learning. This paper aims to highlight the demands that the implementation and use of an educational game in formal educational settings puts on te achers working processes and skillsets. The paper is based on two case studies in which a researcher collaborated with K‑12 teachers to use MinecraftEdu (TeacherGaming LLC, 2012) as a classroom activity over a five‑month long period. By documenting bot h the working processes involved in implementing the game into the classroom environment, as well as the execution of the actual game‑based classroom activities, the studies identified a wide variety roles that a teacher needs to take on if they are to ma ke games a central part of a school curriculum. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game‑based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games viability as educational tools.

 

Keywords: Keywords: computers in classroom, distraction, gaming literacy, student diversity, teacher roles, challenges of game-based learning

 

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