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Journal Article

Becoming Chemists through Game‑based Inquiry Learning: The Case of Legends of Alkhimia  pp185-198

Yam San Chee, Kim Chwee Daniel Tan

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of provenŽ facts. The y fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a human and social endeavor. Consequently, there can be alternative and conflicting views and theories. To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, Legends of Alk himia was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14‑year‑olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area networ k. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in‑game virtual chemistry lab. The game lev els take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. Legends of Alkhimia, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that con structs learning through the lens of performance theory. Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog. The learning process follows a developmental trajectory of becoming a chemist. Enacting performance pedagogy in the classroom requires a shift in traditional classroom culture toward that of a professional practice community. We report on an empirical study of a game‑based learning classroom intervention where students in the Alkhimia learning program participated in an 8‑week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. We compared pre‑ and posttest survey responses from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum. We also compared learning outcomes of students in the said intervention class with a control class of 38 students w ho learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. All students in our study were 13‑year‑olds from a typical government secondary school. We noted significant shifts in intervention students perceptions of their identity, their epistemologi cal beliefs, their dispositions toward science inquiry, and of classroom culture. Students understanding of chemistry was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to whic h effective separation was achieved in the students proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspec tive, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game‑based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of a pproaching game‑based learning in terms of performance.

 

Keywords: performance, play, dialog, inquiry, chemistry, identity, epistemological beliefs, classroom culture

 

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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

The effectiveness of instructor personalized and formative feedback provided by instructor in an online setting: some unresolved issues  pp196-203

Dolors Plana-Erta, Soledad Moya, Pep Simo

© Jul 2016 Volume 14 Issue 3, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp150 - 232

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Abstract

Abstract: Formative feedback has great potential for teaching and learning in online undergraduate programmes. There is a large number of courses where the main source of feedback is provided by the instructor. This is particularly seen in subjects whe re assessments are designed based on specific activities which are the same for all students, and where the assessment is performed by the instructor, not by a peer. Additionally, in introductory or basically procedural courses, there is often a need for instructor feedback, as opposed to peer‑feedback, as it demands high quality feedback both in the content and in the process in order not to mislead students. Therefore personalized feedback provided by instructor is an academic demand in the current educ ational models that have positioned the student at the center of the learning process. However in the present context of high student‑staff ratio, it is not easy to extend the use of individual comments delivered by instructors among the academic communit y. This article focuses on the virtual higher education environment given its present and future potential as well as the amount of queries currently surrounding it. Literature on formative feedback in higher education has been reviewed for the period 200 0 to 2014, in order to find answers as to which aspects are relevant to efficiently implement personalized feedback prepared by the teacher.Findings show that effective personalized feedback in an virtual environment requires a three‑dimensional analysis: from the student perspective, from the instructor one and from the media perspective (written text, video recording or audio recording) , in order to find shared aspects that contribute to the enhancement in the use of personalized feedback performed by faculty.

 

Keywords: Keywords: formative feedback, effective feedback, online feedback, student-professor dialogue

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue / Jul 2012  pp159‑256

Editor: Dimitris Gouscos

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Keywords: activity theory, alternative approaches, budget constraints, chemistry, classroom culture, collaboration, communities of practice, complex systems, connectivism, constructionist and inquiry-based learning, context, dialog, digital educational games, digital games, emotion, epistemological beliefs, formal learning, game development, game experience, game-based learning, games, half-baked microworlds, identity, inquiry, leadership, MMOGs, MMORPGs, modelling, motivation, non-invasive assessment, pedagogical issues, performance, play, problem representation, self-organization, serious games, situated play, sustainability, teacher’s role, theory, virtual teams,

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL / Feb 2013  pp1‑79

Editor: Patrick Felicia

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Editorial

Special ECGBL 2012 issue of EJEL

 

The papers in this special issue of The Electronic Journal of eLearning have been selected from the papers presented at The 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, Cork, Ireland 4‑5th October 2012.

 

This special issue has been edited by Patrick Felicia, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.

 

patrick_felicia 

 

Keywords: blended game-based learning, physically interactive digital games, hero's journey, innovation and change management training, teaching game-based learning, citizenship education, game-based learning, dialogic pedagogy, new media, learning outcomes, social media technology, social business gaming, digital game-based learning (DGBL), information systems (IS), information systems security (ISS) and student assessment and learning, language learning, game-based learning, design for preschool learning, expertise-reversal effect, redundancy effect, fading, adaptable, serious game, fine-tuning system, problem-based learning, scaffolding, ZPD, peer-tutoring, game technology model, platform independent game technology model, serious games engineering, model driven engineering, games based learning, model driven serious games development

 

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