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Journal Article

A Roadmap to Cope with Common Problems in E‑Learning Research Designs  pp336-349

Javier Sarsa, Tomás Escudero

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: E‑learning research is plenty of difficulties, as also research in education is. Usually, the high number of features involved in e‑learning processes complicates and masks the identification and isolation of the factors which cause the expected benefits, when they exist. At the same time, a bunch of threats are ready to weaken the validity of the research, for example, disregard of previous research, use of small samples, absence of randomization in the assignment to groups, ineffective designs, lack of objectivity in the measuring process, poor descriptions of the research in publications (which implies few possibilities of replication), wrong statistical procedures, inappropriate inference of results, etc. All of these obstacles accumulate and are carried along the whole research, resulting in low quality studies or irrelevant ones. This theoretical paper suggests a roadmap in order to face the most common problems in e‑learning research. The roadmap informs about some cautions which must be considered at each stage of the research and recommendations to increase the validity and reproducibility of results. The roadmap and conclusions included in this paper have been obtained from our experience in educational and e‑learning research, also from our long path as reviewers in key journals of these fields, and from readings of significant research handbooks. This is not a strict guide but a set of milestones on which it is necessary to stop and reflect.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-Learning research, educational technology, research designs, e-learning effectiveness, methodology, validity.

 

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Journal Article

The E‑Learning Setting Circle: First Steps Toward Theory Development in E‑Learning Research  pp94-103

Marco Rüth, Kai Kaspar

© Apr 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp1 - 103

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Abstract

E‑learning projects and related research generate an increasing amount of evidence within and across various disciplines and contexts. The field is very heterogeneous as e‑learning approaches are often characterized by rather unique combinations of situational factors that guide the design and realization of e‑learning in a bottom‑up fashion. Comprehensive theories of e‑learning that allow deductive reasoning and hence a more top‑down strategy are missing so far, but they are highly desirable. In view of the current situation, inductive reasoning is the prevalent way of scientific progress in e‑learning research and the first step toward theory development: individual projects provide the insights necessary to gradually build up comprehensive theories and models. In this context, comparability and generalizability of project results are the keys to success. Here we propose a new model – the E‑Learning Setting Circle – that will promote comparability and generalizability of project results by structuring, standardizing, and guiding e‑learning approaches at the level of a general research methodology. The model comprises three clusters – context setting, structure setting, and content setting – each of which comprises three individual issues that are not necessarily sequential but frequently encountered in e‑learning projects. Two further elements are incorporated: on the one hand, we delineate the central role of objective setting and the assessment of the goal attainment level (guiding element); on the other hand, we highlight the importance of multi‑criteria decision‑making (universal element). Overall, the proposed circular model is a strategic framework intended to foster theory development in the area of e‑learning projects and research.

 

Keywords: e-learning research, e-learning projects, research methodology, theory development, major project issues, decision-making, new model

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 5 / Dec 2016  pp291‑349

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Editorial

Guest Editors


Ramberg Robert Robert Ramberg earned his PhD in cognitive psychology at the department of psychology, Stockholm University and holds a position as professor at the department of computer‑ and systems sciences, Stockholm University (Technology enhanced learning and collaboration). Ramberg also holds a position as research director at the Swedish air force simulation center (FLSC), Swedish Defense Research Agency. Broadly conceptualized, his research focuses the design and evaluation of representations and representational artefacts to support learning, training and collaboration. Of particular interest to his research are socio‑cultural perspectives on learning and cognition, pedagogy and how these theories must be adapted when designing and evaluating technology enhanced learning and training environments. And more specifically how artifacts of various kinds (information technology and other tools) mediate human action, collaboration and learning. 

 

Keywords: Higher Education, Action Research, Digital Competencies, Mixed methods research, Technology enhanced learning, Staff development, HEIs , Technology acceptance, Power, Culture, Foucault, Ofsted, Autonetnography, ANG, Autoethnography, Meta-ethnography, eLearning, Networked learning, Reflexivity, eResearch methodology, Online learner and teacher scholarship, Online professional development, e-Learning research, Educational technology, Research designs, e-Learning effectiveness, Methodology, Validity

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 1 / Apr 2017  pp1‑103

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Keywords: academic staff, attitudes, clinical education, communication, communities, competencies, courses, critical theory, decision-making, Distance learning, e-learning, e-learning projects, e-learning research, E-Learning team, ethical issues, ethnography, expectations, formative e-assessment, Foucault, gaps, health promotion, learning analytics, major project issues, mathematics, Mobile eye tracking methods, motivation, motivation to learn, motivational gap, new model, online distance learning, pedagogy, perception bias, power, pre-course, qualitative research, quality, quality indicators, quality of e-learning, research methodology, satisfaction, service, socio-cultural contexts, staff development, STEM, technology, theory development, training management, training motivation, visitor studies, visual ethnography

 

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