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

Establishing Effective e‑Learning Communities within the Teaching Profession: Comparing Two Projects to Discover the Necessary Ingredients.  pp119-126

Ros Evansand Eileen Bellett

© Jan 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp111 - 148

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Abstract

This article sets out to compare and contrast two different projects, aimed to get primary teachers collaborating online, with respect to advice from research on how to engage participants. The first project tried to encourage teachers in small rural schools to share ideas for the implementation of the National Numeracy Strategy. The second was intended to provide a platform for teachers to develop materials for the teaching of religious education in the classroom. There appears to be four 'necessary ingredients' for the successful establishment of e‑learning communities within practising teachers. These include: face‑to‑face meetings; high quality IT support; outcomes, which are of real benefit to participants; adequate funding. The outcome of the comparison is felt to add to the knowledge of how to encourage participation in online forums within a context outside those normally researched. As such it should help those trying to design similar projects in the future.

 

Keywords: Online collaboration, online forums, face to face meetings, project ownership, Religious Education, National Numeracy Strategy, mixed age classes

 

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Journal Article

Help! Active Student Learning and Error Remediation in an Online Calculus e‑Help Community  pp227-238

Carla van de Sande, Gaea Leinhardt

© Apr 2010 Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp173 - 250

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Abstract

Free, open, online homework help sites appear to be extremely popular and exist for many school subjects. Students can anonymously post problems at their convenience and receive responses from forum members. This mode of tutoring may be especially critical for school subjects such as calculus that are intrinsically challenging and have high attrition rates. However, educational research has focused on tutoring sessions that instruct students on a pre‑determined set of material or topics, and there has been no systematic research on these dynamic, free, open, online tutoring communities. In order to distinguish the student‑initiated e‑help episodes from traditional tutoring sessions, we refer to them as "tutorettes." Each tutorette was assigned a participation code that contained information on the number of contributions by each participant, the sequence of contributions, and the number of different participants. Student problem solving activity, defined by mathematical contributions and efforts, was measured for initial postings and for subsequent contributions. Finally, each tutorette was examined for evidence of mathematical errors and these were classified according to type: pre‑calculus, operational, and conceptual. A tutorette on the limit concept is provided to demonstrate how mathematical queries are resolved in an SOH e‑help community. Participation and problem solving attempts provided evidence of active student learning. Instead of simply using the tutors to do their homework, many students made initial attempts at solutions, queried tutor responses, and applied the help they received to make progress on solving problems. This behaviour appeared to be influenced by the actions of the tutor: Providing solution sketches accompanied by asking direct questions encouraged dialogue, whereas providing quasi‑complete worked solutions seemed to have the opposite effect. In contrast to classroom instruction, students in this e‑help community appeared comfortable in presenting incorrect work and tutors were open and forthright in their commentaries, evaluations, and explanations. In addition, tutors modulated their responses according to the type of error. Pre‑calculus errors and operational (calculus) errors were not accorded the same depth of explanation as conceptual misunderstandings.

 

Keywords: tutoring, e-help communities, discussion forums, calculus tutoring

 

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Journal Article

Teaching Scientific/Academic Writing in the Digital Age  pp43-54

Arna Peretz

© Jan 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 81

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Abstract

This paper describes a graduate‑level scientific/academic writing course for non‑native speakers (NNS) of English at Ben‑Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel, which is taught in a technology‑enhanced or blended learning environment. The use and integration of electronic discourses, such as email and Powerpoint, on‑screen marking techniques, and submission of written assignments and writing consultancies by email, and asynchronous online discussion forums are described. Features of the HighLearn course‑supporting WEB site, which enable the integration of discussion forums into the writing course, are explained. Results of teacher‑initiated student evaluations and advantages and dilemmas of teaching scientific/academic writing in the digital age are discussed. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research and suggestions for the further integration of ICT in the scientific/academic writing course.

 

Keywords: scientificacademic writing, technology-enhanced learning, CMC/ICT, e-learning, asynchronous discussion forums, EFL

 

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Journal Article

Analysis of Social Worker and Educator's Areas of Intervention Through Multimedia Concept Maps And Online Discussion Forums In Higher Education  pp333-346

Esteban Vázquez-Cano, Eloy López Meneses, José Luis Sarasola Sánchez-Serrano

© Oct 2015 Volume 13 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp317 - 445

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Abstract

Abstract: This diachronic study describes an innovative university experience consisting of the development of multimedia concept maps (MCM) in relation to social educators and social workers main intervention areas and an active discussion in online fo rums about the results obtained. These MCMs were prepared by students who attended the Information Technologies and Communication course as part of the Degree in Social Education and dual Degree in Social Education and Work during the academic years 2010‑ 13 at Pablo Olavide University (Seville‑Spain). Following a methodological framework based on virtual, collaborative action‑research, a qualitative analysis is implemented to analyze 213 MCMs created by students and their interventions in ad hoc online discussion forums with a twofold methodological approach: firstly a qualitative analysis of word frequencies in MCM through the use of Atlas‑Ti software and secondly a forum discussion categorization through a reticular, category based social network anal ysis using UCINET and yED Graph Editor. Among the most relevant conclusions, we can highlight that a combination of MCMs and discussion forums are highly interactive and collaborative digital resources and are especially beneficial when applied to social studies. Students were able to identify and categorize key areas of social and educational intervention, including: seniors, children, teens and drug dependence, people with disabilities, adults, mental health, socio‑community care, and immigrants.

 

Keywords: Keywords: social educator, social worker, multimedia concept maps, forums, online discussion, Higher Education

 

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