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

Exploring Students use of ICT and Expectations of Learning Methods  pp13-20

Allison Littlejohn, Anoush Margaryan, Gabriele Vojt

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

This study investigates changing patterns in students use of electronic tools over a four year period, mapping changes in social communications with expectations in formal learning. The data, collected from 2001 to 2004, reflect the views of 2215 university entrants, the majority of whom were aged between 17 and 20 years across a range of disciplines (Business, Science and Engineering) on their first day at university. Although the data was collected prior to the emergence of the contemporary social technologies, it tests an underlying assertion that students expectations of learning are strongly influenced by their prior experiences. Results show no correlation between the extent of university entrants use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and their expectations of how they will learn. Despite a dramatic increase in students use of ubiquitous technologies over a four‑year period, their expectation of how they might learn at university remained relatively static over the same timeframe.

 

Keywords: ICT use, digital literacy, technology-enhanced learning, e-learning, students expectations of technology use, higher education

 

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Journal Article

"Digital Futures in Teacher Education": Exploring Open Approaches towards Digital Literacy  pp193-206

Anna Gruszczynska, Guy Merchant, Richard Pountney

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a project "Digital Futures in Teacher Education" (DeFT) undertaken as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2012, 2013) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy (Burnett and Merchant, 2011; Davies and Merchant, 2009). A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio‑cultural models of digital practice (Merchant, 2011), that has the potential to re‑imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning and which, at the same time, address the 'why' as well as the 'how' of digital literacy. This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio‑cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OERs are explored and the potential for digital literac(ies) for openness is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by project participants. The effectiveness of a methodology that prizes reflexivity and participation is examined including a range of voices, including children's voices, in the meaning‑making process and recommendations on the basis of the findings are made. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the paper highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.

 

Keywords: Keywords: digital literacy, reflexivity, ICT curriculum, pedagogy, open educational resources

 

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Journal Article

Student experiences and perceptions of digital literacy skills development: engaging learners by design?  pp207-225

Marion Hall, Ingrid Nix, Kirsty Baker

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a project "Digital Futures in Teacher Education" (DeFT) undertaken as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2012, 2013) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy (Burnett and Merchant, 2011; Davies and Merchant, 2009). A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio‑cultural models of digital practice (Merchant, 2011), that has the potential to re‑imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning and which, at the same time, address the 'why' as well as the 'how' of digital literacy. This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio‑cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OERs are explored and the potential for digital literac(ies) for openness is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by project participants. The effectiveness of a methodology that prizes reflexivity and participation is examined including a range of voices, including children's voices, in the meaning‑making process and recommendations on the basis of the findings are made. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the paper highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.

 

Keywords: Keywords: digital literacy, reflexivity, ICT curriculum, pedagogy, open educational resources

 

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Journal Article

Telling Tales: Towards a new Model of Literacy Development Using e‑Readers in Teacher Education in Chile  pp84-96

Paula Charbonneau-Gowdy

© Feb 2015 Volume 13 Issue 2, ICEL2014, Editor: Paul Griffiths, pp57 - 148

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Abstract

Abstract: Current debates on quality standards in education often look to the levels of an increasingly diverse array of literacies as a measure of that standard. At the same time, while mobile technologies are profoundly changing the way we live, communi cate and learn in our everyday lives, relatively little seems to be known about their potential to influence even basic literacy in formal education sites. Examining the use of practical and affordable emerging technologies in many countries worldwide whe re literacy rates are an issue, seems as yet to have been overlooked. Considering the implication of multiple literacy and communication skills to economic and cultural development and stability in emerging countries and increasingly in developed ones as well, finding immediate answers to challenges in this area is critical. This paper reports on a longitudinal study that examined the power of e‑readers to support change in the literacy habits and ultimately the learning cultures of a group of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers‑in‑training in Chile. The aim of the study was to determine if access to low‑cost mobile readers and a social‑learning driven, technology‑supported, guided reading program, could reverse their literacy challenges. The s tudy is based on social‑cultural theory in which learner agency, access to funds of knowledge and social interaction are imperative ingredients for developing engaged, life‑long learners and readers. Participatory Action Research (PAR) is used to condu ct the inquiry. Working within a qualitative research paradigm, ethnographic tools and numerical data from pre‑ and post‑test results, helped to uncover how the use of technology influenced both the literacy practices and identities of the teachers‑in‑tra ining. The findings have led to the proposal of a new 21st century model for literacy education for such challenging contexts. This model could have important implications for Chile as well as learners, educators and policy makers elsewhere.

 

Keywords: Keywords: education in Chile, multi-literacies, teacher education, mobile learning, e-books, literacy in challenging contexts

 

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Journal Article

Educational Games in Practice: The challenges involved in conducting a game‑based curriculum  pp122-135

Björn Berg Marklund, Anna-Sofia Alklind Taylor

© Jan 2016 Volume 14 Issue 2, ECGBL 2015, Editor: Robin Munkvold, pp81 - 149

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Abstract

Abstract: The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historicall y, research on digital game‑based learning has focused heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games function in their int ended educational contexts and how they impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game‑based learning activities, the foci of past research is problematic as it obfuscates some of the pressing realities that highly affect games viability as tools for teaching and learning. This paper aims to highlight the demands that the implementation and use of an educational game in formal educational settings puts on te achers working processes and skillsets. The paper is based on two case studies in which a researcher collaborated with K‑12 teachers to use MinecraftEdu (TeacherGaming LLC, 2012) as a classroom activity over a five‑month long period. By documenting bot h the working processes involved in implementing the game into the classroom environment, as well as the execution of the actual game‑based classroom activities, the studies identified a wide variety roles that a teacher needs to take on if they are to ma ke games a central part of a school curriculum. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game‑based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games viability as educational tools.

 

Keywords: Keywords: computers in classroom, distraction, gaming literacy, student diversity, teacher roles, challenges of game-based learning

 

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Journal Article

Going on Safari: The Design and Development of an Early Years Literacy iPad Application to Support Letter‑Sound Learning  pp16-29

Sophie McKenzie, Aaron Spence, Maria Nicholas

© Feb 2018 Volume 16 Issue 1, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

This paper explores the design, development and evaluation of an early childhood literacy iPad application, focusing on the English Alphabet, called ‘A to Z Safari’ trialled in Australian classrooms. A to Z Safari was designed to assist students in the early years of schooling with learning the alphabet and building on their knowledge of letter‑sounds. This paper details the process that led to the design and development of A to Z Safari and evaluates the success of the application (also known as 'app'), using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), from a classroom trial in 2015. Quantitative data from the app statistics gathered on student use, and qualitative interviews with classroom teachers explores how students and teachers received A to Z Safari. It was found that the design of A to Z Safari exhibited ease of use and usefulness for the target cohort in regards to gameplay and teacher support, however a number of updates need to be made to the app’s functionality to satisfy future, larger scale use. Suggestions for those designing similar apps for use in classroom environments have been provided.

 

Keywords: Games, literacy, digital application, design, phonics, iPad

 

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Journal Article

Contextualisation of the Information Literacy Environment in the South African Education Sector  pp57-68

Oluwole O. Durodolu, Samuel Maredi Mojapelo

© Jan 2020 Volume 18 Issue 1, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Heinrich Söbke, pp1 - 115

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Abstract

This study embarked on an in‑depth content analysis of the information literacy environment in the South African education sector. The review of literature encompasses a comprehensive critical analysis of available appropriate and contemporary literature, which further expounds the research problem. This research adopted the qualitative method of data collection; hence, policy documents, conference proceedings and journal articles about the subject matter were analytically evaluated to identify whether there is a research gap that may have remained unanswered in previous studies. The study emphasises various ICT tools and techniques that will promote e‑learning in South African educational sector; this was done in recognition of its essential role. South Africa struggles with challenges associated with the digital divide, a result of the inability of many to access ICT tools capable of enhancing their performance, particularly in a racially divided country such as South Africa, where a separate educational development policy was pursued during the apartheid era, in favour of the white minority. The trends in information literacy and essential issues regarding information literacy skills in South Africa are highlighted. The challenges associated with information literacy in South Africa are presented, and different opportunities in information literacy are also discussed. The paper concludes with the gaps and options in information literacy in South Africa. Finally, this paper offers a comprehensive review of the information literacy development in the South African education sector, which constitutes an essential perspective in the understanding of the global information literacy development

 

Keywords: Information literacy, ICT4D, information access, contextualisation, education sector

 

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Journal Article

Bridging the Gap: A Computer Science Pre‑MOOC for First Semester Students  pp248-260

Bernadette Spieler et al

© Jul 2020 Volume 18 Issue 3, Editor: Lars Elbæk, pp207 - 274

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Abstract

Knowledge in Computer Science (CS) is essential, and companies have increased their demands for CS professionals. Despite this, many jobs remain vacant. Furthermore, computational thinking (CT) skills are required in all contexts of problem solving. A further serious problem arises from the gender disparity in technology related fields. Even if tech companies want to hire women in technology, the number of women who enter these fields is remarkably low. In high schools with no technical focus, most teenagers acquire only low‑level skills in CS. The consequences are misleading preconceptions about the fundamental ideas of CS and stereotype‑based expectations. Consequently, many teenagers exclude computing from their career path. In this paper, two promising concepts to overcome these challenges are presented. In 2018, a voluntary gamified lecture “Design your own app”, held at the University of Graz for students of all degree programs, was introduced. The course attracted over 200 students and received positive evaluations. This led to the second concept. In January 2019, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with the title “Get FIT in Computer Science” was designed and launched in August 2019 on the platform iMooX.at with the goal to provide a basic introduction to different concepts of CS, including programming and the application of game design strategies. The MOOC was accompanied by an offline lecture, following the principles of flipped classroom and inverse blended learning. For evaluation purposes, we collected data at three stages: 1) during the MOOC, 2) during the offline lecture, and 3) two months after the lecture. The results showed that the MOOC framework was a promising approach to support and motivate at least a certain group of first‑semester students, especially those who had no prior knowledge in CS.

 

Keywords: computer science education, digital literacy, technology enhanced learning, MOOC, flipped classroom, Pocket Code

 

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