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 VLE as a Trojan Mouse: Policy, Politics and Pragmatism  pp63-72

Mark Brown, Shelley Paewai, Gordon Suddaby

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

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Abstract

This paper argues that selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) is a strategic decision about the future direction of your institution. However, the development of a robust methodology for the selection of a new LMS is particularly challenging given the fluidity of the elearning environment. This is especially so when both quantitative and qualitative factors are overlaid by institutional requirements involving political considerations. Selecting the technology is only part of the process and the least problematic aspect. The real challenges are embedded in institutional culture. The paper reflects on the tactics, strategies and approval process involved in the decision to adopt Moodle to replace a proprietary system for the delivery of learning in New Zealand's largest university‑level distance education provider. Critical to the process was the explication of guiding principles, pedagogical criteria and identification of institutional requirements, along with politically astute alliances and allegiances to inform and endorse the selection process. Those centrally involved in the decision process draw on their experiences and reflect on the type of questions that senior managers need to ask when considering new strategic initiatives in open and distance learning.

 

Keywords: Moodle, learning management system, policy, leadership, institutional culture

 

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Journal Article

Leadership in MMOGs: A Field of Research on Virtual Teams  pp223-234

Sofia Mysirlaki, Fotini Paraskeva

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

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Abstract

As our need for collaboration constantly grows, new tools have emerged to connect us in social networks, supporting the development of online communities, such as online games and virtual worlds. MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) and MMORPGs ( Massively Multiplayer Online Role‑Playing Games) are complex systems, in which players are self‑organized and collaborate in guilds; constantly improve to remain competitive, visioning the enemys and guilds reaction. Nevertheless, these are considered to be important leadership skills for the real world, revealing multiple similarities that link the gaming world and the real world. However, despite the significant amount of educational research and the growing interest of the scientific community in MM OGs, there is a lack of empirical research considering the cognitive and social aspects of these games. This paper outlines the theoretical rationale behind a doctoral research project which is currently in progress and examines the leadership skills that can be developed in a self‑organized community of MMOGs. The main questions that this project attempts to address are: What characteristics related to the social nature of MMOGs activate leadership skills? What MMOGs can teach us about the design of succ essful online social spaces and activities for teaching leadership skills in virtual teams? In order to address these issues, this paper presents a theoretical framework for analyzing the social interactions in multiplayer games, within the context of com munity of practice, connectivism, self‑organization and activity theory. This framework aims at examining the creation of communities and the development of leadership skills in MMOGs, in order to explore the role of leadership in these virtual teams. The study of the social structures of a group and the leadership skills that can be developed in a MMOG should result to specific design principles that could be used as design methods for developing effective collaborative environments for virtual teams.

 

Keywords: MMOGs, MMORPGs, leadership, virtual teams, activity theory, connectivism, self-organization, communities of practice

 

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Journal Article

“What my Guidance Councillor Should Have Told me”: The Importance of Universal Access and Exposure to Executive‑Level Advice  pp239-252

Catherine Elliott, Joanne Leck, Brittany Rockwell, Michael Luthy

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: Often, knowledge and quality education is reserved for the elite, where there are systemic obstacles to gaining access to today’s leaders. Gender and racial inequities in executive‑level positions across North America have been a long‑standing debate amongst scholars and policy makers. Research has consistently documented that women are disproportionately represented in upper management and in positions of power and still continue to dominate traditionally “female” occupations, such as administrative support and service workers. Though gender inequalities are evidently present, there is also a clear under‑representation of visible minorities holding executive‑level positions as well. In order to reverse these trends, governments across North‑America have enforced employment equity legislation and many organizations have voluntarily committed to similar initiatives. Perceived educational and career‑related barriers to opportunity, choice, and information within these segregated groups are shaped early on. For this reason, many researchers champion early interventional programs in order to prevent such perceived barriers from developing. In this paper, there will be a discussion of social networks and how certain groups are denied access to sources of social capital, thus hindering their ability to seek out prospective jobs or entering certain career streams. In this study, Women in the Lead, a database published in 2009, is a national directory of women whose professional expertise and experience recommend them as candidates for positions of senior level responsibility and as members on corporate boards. The Women in the Lead database was comprised entirely of professional women who had voluntarily subscribed as members. Of the 630 women asked to participate, 210 responded to the survey. The 210 women who responded were from 14 different industries in Canada and the United States. The next generation was described as soon to be graduates of high school. A summary of this advice is reported in this paper, with the objective of providing guidance to the next generation looking to enter the workforce, regardless of their gender, location, and race. We also explore the potential of the internet in levelling these barriers and opening up new possibilities for e‑mentoring youth and building social capital.

 

Keywords: Keywords: social capital, gender, visible minorities, leadership, career planning, management, e-mentoring

 

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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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