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

The eLIDA CAMEL Nomadic Model of Collaborative Partnership for a Community of Practice in Design for Learning  pp197-206

Jill Jameson

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

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Abstract

A nomadic collaborative partnership model for a community of practice (CoP) in Design for Learning (D4L) can facilitate successful innovation and continuing appraisals of effective professional practice, stimulated by a 'critical friend' assigned to the project. This paper reports on e‑learning case studies collected by the UK JISC eLIDA CAMEL Design for Learning project, which implemented and evaluated learning design (LD) tools in higher and further education as part of the 2006‑07 JISC Design for Learning pedagogic e‑learning programme. Project partners carried out user evaluations on innovative tools with a learning design function, collecting D4L case studies and LD sequences in post‑16HE contexts using LAMS and Moodle. The project brought together learning activity sequences from post‑16HE partners into a collaborative e‑learning community of professional practice based on the CAMEL (Collaborative Approaches to the Management of e‑Learning) model, contributing to international D4L developments. This paper briefly provides an overview of key project output contributions to e‑learning innovations, including results from teacher and student evaluations using online surveys. The paper explores intentionality in the development of a community of practice in design for learning, reporting on trials of learning design and social software that bridged some of the tensions between formalised intra‑institutional e‑learning relationships and inter‑institutional project team dynamic D4L practitioner development. Following a brief report of practitioner D4L e‑learning case studies and student feedback, the catalytic role of the 'critical friend' is highlighted and recommended as a key ingredient in the successful development of a nomadic model of communities of practice in the management of professional e‑learning projects. eLIDA CAMEL Partners included the Association of Learning Technology (ALT), JISC infoNet, three universities and five FESixth Form Colleges. Results reported to the UK JISC Experts' Pedagogy Group demonstrated e‑learning innovations by practitioners in D4L case studies, illuminated by the role of the 'critical friend', Professor Mark Stiles of Staffordshire University. The project also benefited from case study evaluations by Dr Liz Masterman of Oxford University Learning Technologies Group and the leading work of ALT and JISC infoNet in the development of the CAMEL model.

 

Keywords: e-learning, communities of practice, collaboration, design for learning, JISC, case study

 

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Journal Article

A Framework for Supporting Postsecondary Learners with Psychiatric Disabilities in Online Environments  pp101-110

Scott Grabinger

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

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Abstract

Elena has a psychiatric disability: bipolar (manicdepressive) disorder. Daniele suffers from depression. Both are serious cognitive disorders that have significant effects on learning, especially learning online. One of the problems students with psychiatric disabilities encounter is finding support in online environments, especially when 10, 50, 100, or even 6000 kilometers from the originating university. Students with disabilities represent a growing number of students in postsecondary education. As the opportunities for online education continue to grow exponentially, so does the number of students with cognitive disabilities, like Elena and Daniele. Unfortunately, this is often a forgotten group because of ignorance and fear in society. Taking online courses is an important option for all students. As we will see, at the same time an online course can be difficult for students with disabilities; it also has advantages. Access to online instruction needs to be made available to students with cognitive disabilities just as it is for students with learning, mobility, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury disorders. The fundamental question, then, of this paper is "what can be done to improve access, retention, and success for the 14% of postsecondary students with cognitive impairments taking online classes?" Targeting specific types of impairments are not an efficient option, given that even the same kinds of impairments often present themselves in different ways. Rather, this paper develops a conceptual framework around work done by the Center of Applied Special Technology in the application of recognition, strategic, and affective brain networks to improve instruction related to cognitive impairments including attention and memory, language, executive function, problem solving, and social interaction. Additionally, I recommend turning the locus of support for students with cognitive impairments 180°, addressing support for students at the instructional level instead of the institutional level, which usually takes the learner out of the classroom. This has the negative effect of making the students feel as if they are not part of the class, and it delays support until the disabilities office has time to help the learners. This just‑in‑time approach based on instructional strategies personalizes instruction, minimizes frustration, and encourages persistence„leading to better learning and success. [Caveat: Statistics and the nature of the problems here describe the situation in the United States of America and are not meant to make assumptions of the postsecondary situation in Western Europe.]

 

Keywords: cognitive impairments online education, universal design for learning

 

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