The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
For general enquiries email administrator@ejel.org
Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the current European Conference on e-Learning is available here

For infomation on the International Conference on eLearning, click here

For infomation on the European Conference on Games Based Learning clickhere

 

Journal Article

The Impact of Learner Characteristics on Learning Performance in Hybrid Courses among Japanese Students  pp195-206

Minoru Nakayama, Hiroh Yamamoto, Rowena Santiago

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

To improve the management of hybrid courses, the relationship between learner characteristics and learning performance was analyzed in two regular university courses. Undergraduate and graduate students participated in two 15‑week hybrid courses which consisted of face‑to‑face lectures (Information Industrial issues), and the corresponding modules with online test. Subjects included 36 freshmen and 48 graduate students. Learner characteristics, consisting of motivation, personality, thinking styles and learners? impression of their e‑Learning experiences were measured at the beginning and end of the term. Additional data was collected from the number of days attended, the number of modules completed, test scores and final grades for the course. Final assessment grades for the class were also analyzed. There was no significant difference in learner characteristics between bachelors and masters students who completed the course. There was no significant difference in learner characteristics between bachelor and master students, but there were some differences in conscientiousness scores between masters and bachelor students and between those who received a final grade of A and B. Scores on "learning strategy" as a factor to indicate learning experience were in favour of master students. Master students? evaluation of their e‑Learning experience increased significantly throughout the course. Conscientiousness (one of the five factors in the personality construct) correlated positively with the number of e‑ Learning modules completed by master students (r=0.35). They seem to understand better the benefits of e‑Learning experience and being the more motivated students, they applied what they have learned from previous e‑Learning experiences more effectively. Students with high grades evaluated their e‑Learning experience positively and had significantly higher conscientiousness scores than master students who received lower grades (p<0.05). For bachelor students, the number of modules completed correlates with both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Other learner characteristics did not affect learning performance. The reason may be that bachelor students have yet to understand well the benefits of e‑Learning and still lack the learning strategies needed for university coursework. The causal analysis was conducted using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) technique, and the result indicated that learner characteristics had an effect on learning experience and learning performance. These results suggest that understanding the benefits of e‑Learning and learner characteristics, as well as knowing how to learn with e‑Learning content could provide important key for promoting student success in online learning.

 

Keywords: learner characteristics, blended learning, learning practice, learning performance, path analysis

 

Share |

Journal Article

A Novel Approach to Define Performance Metrics for Students' and Teachers' Evaluation  pp87-102

Pradipta Biswas, S.K. Ghosh

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp87 - 173

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Evaluation is an unavoidable feature in any teaching or learning scenario. The evaluation strategy of students differs widely throughout the world. Further, most of the institutes do not use any objective technique to assess the teaching performance of a teacher. The present paper defines performance metrics both for student and teacher evaluation and also discusses the methodology for calculating relevant metrics. In a decision‑making scenario, these metrics may help in providing enough insight into the assimilation capability of students and teaching capability of teachers. Once measured properly for an adequate length of time, these metrics can also be customised to provide other useful information like utility of a course modification, institutional performance etc. The system has been tested for analysing four courses in a premier engineering institute and the outcome found to be encouraging.

 

Keywords: education technology, evaluation system data warehouse, performance metric, ontology

 

Share |

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

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

 

Share |

Journal Article

Eating Your Lectures and Having Them too: is Online Lecture Availability Especially Helpful in "Skills‑Based" Courses?  pp281-288

Steve Joordens, Ada Le, Raymond Grinnell, Sophie Chrysostomou

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

At the University of Toronto at Scarborough, we provide enhanced flexibility to our students using a blended learning approach (i.e., the webOption) whereby classes are videotaped as they are offered in a traditional manner, then posted online for subsequent student access. Students can attend lectures live, watch them online at their convenience, or both. Previous research examining the webOption in the context of Introductory Psychology revealed that (a) students were satisfied with the webOption in general, (b) students used and appreciated the pause and seek features afforded by the webOption interface, and (c) those who used the pause and seek features performed slightly better on exams (Bassili & Joordens, 2008). The current research examines similar issues in the context of two mathematics courses. These courses differ from the lecture‑based Introductory Psychology class in their emphasis on the teaching of mathematical proofs; cognitive skills that, like any other skill, are enhanced with practice (Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977). Access to online lectures allows students to re‑experience the professor as they teach these skills. Given this, the webOption might be especially potent in these learning contexts. Surprisingly, the results we report here do not confirm that prediction. Students do use and appreciate the features of the webOption as was the case in our previous work, but those students who augmented their class attendance with online viewing, and those who used the lecture‑ control features the most, were actually the students who performed most poorly. Said another way, those students who had the most trouble with the course did indeed use the webOption as a way of understanding the material better but, interestingly, doing so did not result in better performance. Several possible reasons for this surprising result are considered.

 

Keywords: online lectures, webOption, calculus, performance, surface versus deep learning

 

Share |

Journal Article

The Role of Essay Tests Assessment in e‑Learning: A Japanese Case Study  pp173-178

Minoru Nakayama, Hiroh Yamamoto

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

e‑Learning has some restrictions on how learning performance is assessed. Online testing is usually in the form of multiple‑choice questions, without any essay type of learning assessment. Major reasons for employing multiple‑choice tasks in e‑learning include ease of implementation and ease of managing learner's responses. To address this limitation in online assessment of learning, this study investigated an automatic assessment system as a natural language processing tool for conducting essay‑type tests in online learning. The study also examined the relationship between learner characteristics and learner performance in essay‑testing. Furthermore, the use of evaluation software for scoring Japanese essays was compared with experts' assessment and scoring of essay tests. Students were enrolled in two‑unit courses which were taught by the same professor as follows: hybrid learning course at bachelor's level, fully online course at bachelor's level, and hybrid learning course at masters level. All students took part in the final test which included two essay‑tests at the end of course, and received the appropriate credit units. Learner characteristics were measured using five constructs: motivation, personality, thinking styles, information literacy and self‑assessment of online learning experience. The essay‑tests were assessed by two outside experts. They found the two essay‑tests to be sufficient for course completion. Another score, which was generated using assessment software, consisted of three factors: rhetoric, logical structure and content fitness. Results show that experts' assessment significantly correlates with the factor of logical structure on the essay for all courses. This suggests that expert evaluation of the essay is focused on logical structure rather than other factors. When comparing the score of experts' assessment between hybrid learning and fully online courses at the bachelor's level, no significant differences were found. This indicates that in fully online learning, as well as in hybrid learning, learning performance can be measured using essay tests without the need for a face‑to‑face session to conduct this type of assessment.

 

Keywords: online learning, essay-testing, learner characteristics, learning performance

 

Share |

Journal Article

Becoming Chemists through Game‑based Inquiry Learning: The Case of Legends of Alkhimia  pp185-198

Yam San Chee, Kim Chwee Daniel Tan

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of provenŽ facts. The y fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a human and social endeavor. Consequently, there can be alternative and conflicting views and theories. To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, Legends of Alk himia was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14‑year‑olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area networ k. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in‑game virtual chemistry lab. The game lev els take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. Legends of Alkhimia, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that con structs learning through the lens of performance theory. Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog. The learning process follows a developmental trajectory of becoming a chemist. Enacting performance pedagogy in the classroom requires a shift in traditional classroom culture toward that of a professional practice community. We report on an empirical study of a game‑based learning classroom intervention where students in the Alkhimia learning program participated in an 8‑week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. We compared pre‑ and posttest survey responses from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum. We also compared learning outcomes of students in the said intervention class with a control class of 38 students w ho learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. All students in our study were 13‑year‑olds from a typical government secondary school. We noted significant shifts in intervention students perceptions of their identity, their epistemologi cal beliefs, their dispositions toward science inquiry, and of classroom culture. Students understanding of chemistry was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to whic h effective separation was achieved in the students proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspec tive, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game‑based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of a pproaching game‑based learning in terms of performance.

 

Keywords: performance, play, dialog, inquiry, chemistry, identity, epistemological beliefs, classroom culture

 

Share |

Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007 / Nov 2007  pp173‑250

Editor: Shirley Williams

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Editorial

The second International Conference on e‑Learning was held in New York during late June 2007. From the wealth of high quality papers submitted some 60 were selected for presentation at the conference. It was a very difficult task to select from these a group for inclusion in the journal, so it was decided that in this edition we would reflect the international nature of the conference and the diversity of learner groups and technologies addressed.

Recently a number of people from around the world have highlighted that children coming through the school system have different learning needs to previous generations, cultural and linguistic backgrounds are also cited as impacting on learning. However it is important that e‑Learning does not concentrate on a single demographic group and the papers in this edition present e‑Learning from different perspectives, including engaging with school‑aged children (O’Neill; Van de Sande and Leinhardt) and their teachers (Balcaen and Hirtz), through to the acceptance of e‑Learning by business (Leyking, Chikova and Loos). Nakayama, Yamamoto and Santiago have investigated the learning characteristics of university students from Japan and this on‑going work provides a useful insight for course developers, while Stoltenberg and Pforte look at the more technical aspects of e‑Learning and describe a prototype system developed for recording presentations.

 

Keywords: affective communication, affective states, assessment, community of practice, computing education, data warehouse, disaffection, distance education, education technology, eigenfaces, eigenvectors, evaluation system, data warehouse, face recognition, faculty development, focus group, higher education, image normalisation, impoverished learning, internet courses, junior faculty, novel program, ontology, ontology, pedagogical framework , performance metric, performance metric, policy document, post compulsory education, principal component analysis, professional development, quality evaluation, satisfaction, short-term module, staff development, statistics, teacher training, teaching practice, virtual entities, virtual environments, virtual learning environment, vocational students, web-based PBL, web-based SRL

 

Share |

Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 2 / Jun 2007  pp87‑173

Editor: Shirley Williams

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Editorial

eLearning continues to develop and it is important that as there are developments the opportunity is taken to reflect on the impact of technology on enhancements to learning. In this issue we have included a number of papers that evaluate the use of eLearning from both the point of view of the learners and teachers.

Following best practice the format of the journal is now single column, this will make online reading easier than the old double column format.

 

Keywords: affective communication, affective states, assessment, community of practice, computing education, data warehouse, disaffection, distance education, education technology, eigenfaces, eigenvectors, evaluation system, data warehouse, face recognition, faculty development, focus group, higher education, image normalisation, impoverished learning, internet courses, junior faculty, novel program, ontology, ontology, pedagogical framework , performance metric, performance metric, policy document, post compulsory education, principal component analysis, professional development, quality evaluation, satisfaction, short-term module, staff development, statistics, teacher training, teaching practice, virtual entities, virtual environments, virtual learning environment, vocational students, web-based PBL, web-based SRL

 

Share |