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

Affordances of Educational Learning Technologies in Higher Education Multicultural Environments Multicultural Learning Environments  pp217-227

Edilson Arenas

© Apr 2015 Volume 13 Issue 4, ECEL 2014, Editor: Kim Long, pp205 - 315

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Abstract

Abstract: A raft of studies have been undertakencluster of research has been conducted in higher education to investigate the action possibilitiesaffordances (action possibilities) and the influence information and communication technologies (ICT) may have onin students learning experiences and outcomes. Such studies have given rise to the implementation of a wide range of educational frameworks with a great deal of empirical evidence on the benefits of using technologies to improve learning. However , these benefits do not appear to have fulfilled higher education expectations for more meaningful and transformative learning experiences. In this paper, I argue that part of the problem is either the content or teacher…centric perspective of these frame works and the need to explore the benefits from a more student…centric perspective. Learning is contextual, with learners having different abilities to learn and varying preferences for educational technologies with greater potential to facilitate their l earning activities. Drawing on an ethnographic study of culturally diverse computing students and teachers within learning environments that blend online and face‑to‑face pedagogies, I argue that, that our understanding of what ICT has to offer for the de sign and implementation of transformative learning activities is a far more complex issue than is often anticipated, particularly in the design and implementation of learning for computer science programs.

 

Keywords: Keywords: academic disciplines, computer science, computing science education, e-learning, ICT affordances, learners preferences, learning styles, learning technologies, media affordances, online learning

 

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Journal Article

Bridging the Gap: A Computer Science Pre‑MOOC for First Semester Students  pp248-260

Bernadette Spieler et al

© Jul 2020 Volume 18 Issue 3, Editor: Lars Elbæk, pp207 - 274

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Abstract

Knowledge in Computer Science (CS) is essential, and companies have increased their demands for CS professionals. Despite this, many jobs remain vacant. Furthermore, computational thinking (CT) skills are required in all contexts of problem solving. A further serious problem arises from the gender disparity in technology related fields. Even if tech companies want to hire women in technology, the number of women who enter these fields is remarkably low. In high schools with no technical focus, most teenagers acquire only low‑level skills in CS. The consequences are misleading preconceptions about the fundamental ideas of CS and stereotype‑based expectations. Consequently, many teenagers exclude computing from their career path. In this paper, two promising concepts to overcome these challenges are presented. In 2018, a voluntary gamified lecture “Design your own app”, held at the University of Graz for students of all degree programs, was introduced. The course attracted over 200 students and received positive evaluations. This led to the second concept. In January 2019, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with the title “Get FIT in Computer Science” was designed and launched in August 2019 on the platform iMooX.at with the goal to provide a basic introduction to different concepts of CS, including programming and the application of game design strategies. The MOOC was accompanied by an offline lecture, following the principles of flipped classroom and inverse blended learning. For evaluation purposes, we collected data at three stages: 1) during the MOOC, 2) during the offline lecture, and 3) two months after the lecture. The results showed that the MOOC framework was a promising approach to support and motivate at least a certain group of first‑semester students, especially those who had no prior knowledge in CS.

 

Keywords: computer science education, digital literacy, technology enhanced learning, MOOC, flipped classroom, Pocket Code

 

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