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

Impact of Communication Patterns, Network Positions and Social Dynamics Factors on Learning among Students in a CSCL Environment  pp72-85

Binod Sundararajan

© May 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 85

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Abstract

At present, it is difficult to assess the quality of learning in Computer‑Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environments, because standard pretest and posttest measures do not capture the differences in the learner's ability to engage in the material, pose interesting new questions, engage others in learning and work collaboratively. This research investigates the impact of communication patterns, network positions and social dynamics factors on students' self‑perception of learning in a CSCL environment. The study involved a combination of methodologies combining questionnaires, and archiving of communication logs for data collection. Social network analysis tools were used to analyze relational data, map emergent student communication patterns and calculate centrality scores based on the electronic and face‑to‑face communication patterns among class members in the CSCL environment. Structural equation modeling was then performed on the hypotheses model to determine the impact of these centrality measures and the social factors on students' perceptions of knowledge gained and their satisfaction with their performance in the course.

 

Keywords: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, CSCL, distance learning, social network analysis, social dynamics, respect, influence, structural equation modelling, path analysis, interaction, participation, motivation to participate and learn, satisfaction with performance, gaining new and conceptual knowledge

 

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Journal Article

Weblogs in Higher Education — why do Students (not) Blog?  pp203-214

Monika Andergassen, Reinhold Behringer, Janet Finlay, Andrea Gorra, David Moore

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Special ICEL 2009 Issue, Editor: Florin Salajan and Avi Hyman, pp191 - 316

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Abstract

Positive impacts on learning through blogging, such as active knowledge construction and reflective writing, have been reported. However, not many students use weblogs in informal contexts, even when appropriate facilities are offered by their universities. While motivations for blogging have been subject to empirical studies, little research has addressed the issue of why students choose not to blog. This paper presents an empirical study undertaken to gain insights into the decision making process of students when deciding whether to keep a blog or not. A better understanding of students' motivations for (not) blogging may help decision makers at universities in the process of selecting, introducing, and maintaining similar services. As informal learning gains increased recognition, results of this study can help to advance appropriate designs of informal learning contexts in Higher Education. The method of ethnographic decision tree modelling was applied in an empirical study conducted at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Since 2004, the university has been offering free weblog accounts for all students and staff members upon entering school, not bound to any course or exam. Qualitative, open interviews were held with 3 active bloggers, 3 former bloggers, and 3 non‑ bloggers to elicit their decision criteria. Decision tree models were developed out of the interviews. It turned out that the modelling worked best when splitting the decision process into two parts: one model representing decisions on whether to start a weblog at all, and a second model representing criteria on whether to continue with a weblog once it was set up. The models were tested for their validity through questionnaires developed out of the decision tree models. 30 questionnaires have been distributed to bloggers, former bloggers and non‑ bloggers. Results show that the main reasons for students not to keep a weblog include a preference for direct (online) communication, and concerns about the loss of privacy through blogging. Furthermore, the results indicate that intrinsic motivation factors keep students blogging, whereas stopping a weblog is mostly attributable to external factors.

 

Keywords: weblog, blog, higher education, informal learning, ethnographic decision tree modelling, motivation research

 

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Journal Article

Inferring a Learner´s Cognitive, Motivational and Emotional State in a Digital Educational Game  pp172-184

Michael Bedek, Paul Seitlinger, Simone Kopeinik, Dietrich Albert

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

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Abstract

Digital educational games (DEGs) possess the potential of providing an appealing and intrinsically motivating learning context. Usually this potential is either taken for granted or examined through questionnaires or interviews in the course of evaluat ion studies. However, an adaptive game would increase the probability of a DEG being actually motivating and emotionally appealing. In order to adapt the game to the learner´s motivational and emotional state while engaged with a particular game scenario, an ongoing assessment of these states is required. An explicit assessment, e.g. by questionnaires occurring repeatedly in short time intervals on the screen would probably destroy the learner´s flow experience. Thus, it is necessary to apply an approach that assesses the learner´s current states in a non‑invasive way. In the course of this paper we describe such a non‑invasive, implicit assessment procedure which is based on the interpretation of behavioral indicators. A set of behavioral indicators has been elaborated whereby some of them are derived from the theory of information foraging (Pirolli and Card, 1999). Values for each behavioral indicator (e.g. amount, frequency, seconds, etc.) are gathered after equally long lasting time slices. After each time slice, these values serve as weighted predictors to multiple regression equations for the dimensions of a motivation model, an emotion model and a construct called clearness. The motivation model is based on the two dimensions of approach and av oidance motivation. The emotion model encompasses the dimensions valence and activation. Clearness is defined as appropriate problem representation. A comparison of the resulting values on these dimensions between the current and previous time slices cove rs fluctuations of the learner`s states over time. The assessment of such changes forms the prerequisite for providing in‑game adaptations which aim to enhance the learner`s state, targeting towards a full exploitation of DEGs pedagogical potential.

 

Keywords: digital educational games, motivation, emotion, problem representation, non-invasive assessment.

 

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Journal Article

An innovative research on the usage of facebook in the higher education context of Hong Kong  pp378-386

Louis Lam

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012, Editor: Paul Lam, pp360 - 440

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Abstract

Teaching and learning is undergoing a dramatic change due to the advancement in telecommunication and IT. Increasingly, Online learning platform is playing an important role higher education. The maturity of Internet and emergence of various cloud services catalyse the development of these platforms and student learning behaviour. An example is Facebook, online social network sites, which changes the interaction, communication and interrelation of students and their daily life. There is a growing trend that people participate in Facebook. Given there is discussion forum provided by online learning platforms, students get used to communicate on Facebook. The phenomenon enables teachers to think whether Facebook can be incorporated in teaching so as to facilitate student learning. Past research on online social network sites evidence that there are a number of benefits including the improved student participation, social relationship, interaction, communication and facilitation. However, seldom studies try to consolidate these benefits and examine simultaneously against the overall learning motivation. This study attempts to develop a model of student motivation in learning with four Face book benefits : (1) Interaction , (2) Communication , (3) Social relationship , (4) Participation. The students of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCS), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), studying Hi‑Diploma Programme, are invited to participate in this study. A survey was conducted to examine how these Facebook benefits relate to student motivation in learning. The results revealed that Interrelationship, Communication, Social relationship, and Participation influence significantly on student learning motivation. The results show teachers how Facebook benefits improve student learning motivation. The study also tries to explore some demographic trend in related to student Facebook usage.

 

Keywords: student motivation, online social network site, Facebook, online learning platform

 

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Journal Article

Learner‑Centred Teaching Contributes in Promising Results in Improving Learner Understanding and Motivation: A Case Study at Malaysia Tertiary Education  pp266-281

Wei-Li Yap, Mai Neo, Tse-Kian Neo

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 4, Editor: Guest Editors, Rozhan M. Idrus and Nurkhamimi Zainuddin, pp233 - 290

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Abstract

In Malaysia, traditional teaching is still a common approach among many lecturers. There have been many studies reported its limitations and many lecturers have started to adopt more learner‑centred teaching approach to promote better learner understanding and learner motivation. Throughout this effort, it is noticed there are lecturers who could not be assured and felt uncertain about this transition because they went through traditional teaching environment during their studies. Due to this, the effort in shifting from traditional teaching to a more learner‑centred teaching has been challenging and hard‑hitting. Nevertheless, educational and multimedia technology has played an important role in creating a more interesting and engaging learning environments for our digital natives in this 21st century. In this research, a framework is to be proposed based on Weimer’s Learner‑Centred Teaching model and through the incorporation of educational technology and multimedia technology in the learning environments. This proposed framework describes how this learner‑centred teaching environment could promote better learner experiences by increasing retention rate and improving learner motivation. This proposed framework is recommended through the triangulation results from pre‑test/ post‑test, learning environments surveys and students’ written comments, which in turn serves as a guideline for lecturers to identify how they could progressively shift to learner‑centred teaching environment.

 

Keywords: learner-centred teaching, interactive multimedia learning, learner motivation, learner understanding

 

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Journal Article

Motivational Gaps and Perceptual Bias of Initial Motivation Additional Indicators of Quality for e‑Learning Courses  pp3-16

Rosário Cação

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

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Abstract

We describe a study on the motivation of trainees in e‑learning‑based professional training and on the effect of their motivation upon the perceptions they build about the quality of the courses. We propose the concepts of perceived motivational gap and real motivational gap as indicators of e‑learning quality, which reflect changes in both perceived and real students' motivation. These indicators help evaluate the changes in the trainees' motivation, as well as the bias that occurs in the perceptions about initial motivation. In the sample analyzed, the real motivational gap was more negative when the perceived motivational gap was negative and not so positive when the perceived motivational gap was positive. We found that there is a perceptual bias on initial motivation when the perceived motivational gap is not null. This means that, for the sample analyzed, the trainees may have “adjusted” their perception regarding the initial motivation as a function of their final motivation, bringing it closer to the latter and supporting their final status. We also show that these gaps help explain how the trainees' perception of quality is affected: the gaps were minimized at higher levels of perceptions of quality and when they were positive, the perception of quality was higher than average. The two proposed conceptual gaps are useful to measure quality in e‑learning and implement specific actions to improve it. The results of our study are useful as they create insights on perceptions of quality in an indirect way, i.e., without asking the trainees to think about what they believe quality is, so that they can quantify it. They also enable training companies to create additional and complementary indicators of quality of e‑learning courses that can help explain changes in perceptions of quality.

 

Keywords: attitudes, courses, expectations, e-learning, gaps, motivational gap, motivation, motivation to learn, perception bias, quality, quality indicators, quality of e-learning, satisfaction, service, training management, training motivation

 

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Journal Article

Enhancing the Impact of Formative Feedback on Student Learning Through an Online Feedback System  pp111-122

Thanos Hatziapostolou, Iraklis Paraskakis

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

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Abstract

Formative feedback is instrumental in the learning experience of a student. It can be effective in promoting learning if it is timely, personal, manageable, motivational, and in direct relation with assessment criteria. Despite its importance, however, research suggests that students are discouraged from engaging in the feedback process primarily for reasons that relate to lack of motivation and difficulty in relating to and reflecting on the feedback comments. In this paper we present Online FEdback System (OFES), an e‑learning tool that effectively supports the provision of formative feedback. Our aims are to enhance feedback reception and to strengthen the quality of feedback through the way feedback is communicated to the students. We propose that an effective feedback communication mechanism should be integrated into a student's online learning space and it is anticipated that this provision will motivate students to engage with feedback. Empirical evidence suggests that the developed system successfully addressed the issues of student engagement and motivation and achieved its objectives. The results of using the system for two years indicate a positive perception of the students which, in turn, encourage us to further explore its effectiveness by extending its functionality and integrating it into a an open source learning management system.

 

Keywords: formative feedback, online feedback, student engagement, student motivation

 

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Journal Article

An initial evaluation of student withdrawals within an e‑Learning environment: The case of e‑College Wales  pp106-113

Paul Jones, Gary Packham, Christopher Miller, Amanda Jones

© Jan 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1, Special Issue for ECEL 2003, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 239

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Abstract

 

Keywords: e-Learning, retention, withdrawal, student motivation

 

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