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

Reinventing Papert's Constructionism — Boosting Young Children's Writing Skills with e‑Learning Designed for Dyslexics  pp227-234

Karin Tweddell Levinsen

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

Since the consent to the Salamanca Statement on special needs education from 1994, e‑learning developers have focused on tools aimed to support dyslexic learners. The importance of these efforts is on display every year in the Special Aids exhibition area at the BETT‑event in London. ICT and e‑learning is now widely used in the special needs education for dyslexics. However, the Salamanca Statement also inspired the vision of The Spacious School and the idea that children with learning disabilities should be transferred from special classes and included in the ordinary classes in primary schools. In the beginning of this process, the children with special needs were present in the classroom with their compensational aid, e.g. e‑learning, ICT and special teacher support, and they were rarely included in the socially organised learning activities. Consequently, class teachers and subject teachers were not aware of the existence and potentials of the special compensational e‑learning and ICT tools. In recent years in Denmark, ICT has changed from being present in schools to becoming an available, everyday resource. That is, ICT and computers move out of the computer rooms and into every school room. I.e. most pupils use ICT, e‑learning and computers in various contexts whenever it seems convenient. The increasing use of ICT in schools has paved the way for new ways of including the children with special educational needs and while knowledge of dyslexic compensational e‑learning and ICT tools was earlier restricted to the special teachers, teachers in general have now become aware of the existence of these tools. Within the frame of a large scale research project in primary schools in Denmark (Project IT and Learning — PIL), this change of awareness led to teacher‑initiated experiments with the Danish e‑learning special needs‑software CD Ord in first and second grades. The teachers wanted to see whether these tools could inspire normal children as well as children with special educational needs to start writing their own stories. The paper presents the research findings from the empirical studies of experiments in Second grade. The paper concludes that most children in the experiments wrote longer and more complex stories than normally expected from this age‑group. The children with a visual learning style in particular demonstrated a significant progress.

 

Keywords: e-learning, writing skills, reading skills, storytelling, dyslexics, special needs, constructionism

 

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Journal Article

Technology‑Assisted Reading for Improving Reading Skills for young South African Learners  pp245-254

Gerda van Wyk, Arno Louw

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

This paper addresses the controversial issues of improving the reading skills of young learners through technology‑assisted reading programmes. On reporting the results of primary school learners from grade 2 to grade 7 who participated in a computer‑based reading programme for seven months, we try to answer the critical questions of whether computer‑assisted reading programmes should be embraced or avoided. We also have looked at the possible benefits of such an intervention apart from the improvement of reading skills. The poorly developed reading skills of South African learners slowly became evident over the last couple of years as teachers, parents, employers and professionals were confronted with this ongoing crisis. The Department of Education (DoE) stated that the South African youth do not read as well as their foreign counterparts and actions were put in place to address the growing problem. However, despite this acknowledgement, decision makers are still indecisive in effectively addressing the problem. Many theories exist on why children are reading impaired and who should accept responsibility for it. Data of the findings in this paper was collected over a period of seven months and reflects the reading results of learners who followed a combination of a computer‑based reading programme, visual accuracy and visual memory computer exercises as well as the application of specific paper‑based activities. Groups were small, with continuous personal intervention and communication from the facilitator with each learner. This paper also qualitatively reflects on the additional benefits or negative experiences of learners who participated in the electronic reading programme. The qualitative data was accumulated from interviews with learners and teachers involved. The efficacy of the reading programme was evaluated through continuous assessment of learners' performance on different aspects of reading, including reading speed, reading comprehension, spelling and language. The reading results obtained were compared with the initial reading assessment before implementing the programme. The overall experience of learners who participated in this programme provided valuable information in evaluating the reading programme as a whole. Results obtained from this study indicate that improvement in reading speed, comprehension and spelling was unique to every learner individually. The benefits beyond the improvement of reading skills obtained as a result of the programme encompass many areas of the learners' development, such as social learning, collaborative learning, finer perceptual motor skills, confidence and a general improvement in marks in other subjects. This paper attempts to provide insights into the value and challenges of computer‑assisted reading for primary school learners and into the importance of adapting teaching methods in response to a crisis.

 

Keywords: computer-assisted reading programmes, improvement of reading skills, evaluation, assessment, primary school learners, reading comprehension, mastering of reading skills

 

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Journal Article

Efficacy of Teaching Clinical Clerks and Residents how to Fill out the Form 1 of the Mental Health Act Using an e‑Learning Module  pp239-246

Sarah Garside, Anthony Levinson, Sophie Kuziora, Michael Bay, Geoffrey

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

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Abstract

Background: Every physician in Ontario needs to know how to fill out a Form 1 in order to legally hold a person against their will for a psychiatric assessment. These forms are frequently inaccurately filled out, which could constitute wrongful confinement and, in extreme circumstances, could lead to fines as large as $25,000. Training people to fill out a Form 1 accurately is a large task, and e‑learning (Internet‑based training) provides a potentially efficient model for health human resources training on the Form 1. Objective: In this study, we looked at the efficacy of an e‑learning module on the Form 1 by comparing baseline knowledge and skills with posttest performance. Methods: 7 medical students and 15 resident physicians were recruited for this study from within an academic health sciences setting in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (McMaster University). The intervention took place over 1 hour in an educational computing lab and included a pretest (with tests of factual knowledge, clinical reasoning, and demonstration of skill filling out a Form 1), the e‑learning module intervention, and a posttest. The primary outcome was the change between pre‑ and posttest performance. A scoring system for grading the accuracy of the Form 1 was developed and two blinded raters marked forms independently. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two sequences of assessments (A then B vs B then A), with a balanced design determining which test the participants received as either the pretest or posttest. Inter‑rater reliability was determined using the Intraclass Correlation. Repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted. Results: The Intraclass Correlation (ICC) as the measure for inter‑rater reliability was 0.98. For all outcome measures of knowledge, clinical reasoning, and skill at filling out the Form 1 there was a statistically significant improvement between pretest and posttest performance (knowledge, F(1,21) 54.5, p<0.001; clinical reasoning, F(1,21) 9.39, p=0.006; Form 1 skill, F(1,21) 15.7, p=0.001). Further analysis showed no significant differences or interactions with other variables such as between raters, the order of assessment, or trainee type. Conclusions: Under laboratory conditions, this e‑learning module demonstrated substantial efficacy for training medical students and residents on the theory and practice of filling out the Form 1 of the Mental Health Act. E‑learning may prove to be an efficient and cost‑effective medium for training physicians on this important medico‑legal aspect of care. Further research is required to look at the longer‑term impact of training and broader implementation strategies across the province for medical trainees and practicing physicians.

 

Keywords: medicine, skills, training, healthcare, education, psychiatry

 

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Journal Article

Science, Sport and Technology ‑ a Contribution to Educational Challenges  pp87-97

Kelly O’Hara, Paula Reis, Dulce Esteves, Rui Brás, Luísa Branco

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECEL 2010 special issue, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, pp1 - 114

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Abstract

Improve students' ability to link knowledge with real life practice, through enhancing children or teenagers' ability to think critically by way of making observations, posing questions, drawing up hypotheses, planning and carrying out investigations, analysing data and therefore improve their decision making is an educational challenge. Learning through sports can be effective for developing life skills because sport has a potential to contribute over a wide range and is a discipline that most children like. The constructions of real situations or “Problems” must achieve and incorporate certain aspects such as (a) encourage curiosity, (b) be perceived by students as relevant to their personal goals, (c) represent a motivated challenge, (d) stimulate group collaboration for older students, (e) technological equipment as a way of support, to motivate the learning process, and (f) demonstrate how simple scientific concepts can improve everyday activities. The aim of this paper is to present and evaluate the usefulness of the representative tasks created by a systematic integration of approaches (electronic and non‑electronic devices) with interactive situations. Four tasks were applied to 140 children between 6‑10 years old at elementary school level. The tasks were constructed considering the follow proposals: (1) promote the benefit of physical activity and (2) explore some science concepts using sport. To evaluate the process effectiveness, two groups were formed, group A was submitted to a more theoretical explanation of the concepts and group B was exposed to problem solving through sport situations. Data were analysed by using quantitative methods. Results show that when children participate in an active way they are more motivated, and the use of their own movement or body to resolve a problem (with electronic devices) contributes for knowledge acquisition by adapting their actions and looking for the best window of possibilities to solve the task situation. Further and longitudinal studies are recommended to consolidate the results.

 

Keywords: technology, sport, task design, skills acquisition

 

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Journal Article

Learning Paramedic Science Skills From a First Person Point of View  pp396-406

Kathy Lynch, Nigel Barr, Florin Oprescu

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

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Abstract

Paramedic students need to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic as well as complex clinical skills, to ensure patient safety, and to manage sophisticated equipment. Time and resource pressures on students, teaching staff and institutions have led health professional educators to develop and embrace alternative opportunities such as simulation and multimedia in order to develop a student’s clinical expertise in preparation for clinical placement. Paramedic education laboratories are equipped with simulation equipment to facilitate the acquisition of the psychomotor skills required by paramedics, and are the main spaces where students can practice essential paramedic skills in a non‑threatening environment. However, often the learning environment is encumbered by ‘noise’ or obstacles such as the educator’s body, or ambient noise from other students, staff or equipment, all which inhibit a clear and precise view of the intricate details of skills to be learned. This study addressed the crowded laboratory and ‘noise’ issues through the use of video learning resources. Though using video as a learning resource is not new, there are three facets to learning that make this project innovative and beneficial to the learner; one, learning from a video composed from a first person point of view (1st PPOV); two, the viewing of the video learning materials using a mobile device such as a smart phone; and three, the use of QR codes to access the online videos. Six 1st PPOV video vignettes were produced for this study. Each video was less than two minutes and length, clear and instructional on selected psychomotor clinjcal skills required for acute care provision . The research findings show that the 1st PPOV videos positively impacted students’ (n=87) learning of the six skills, and gave them a more comprehensive view and understanding of the skill in context. The findings also indicated that accessing the videos on a mobile phone was a bonus. The participants requested additional 1st PPOV skills to be included in the blended learning design across all areas of their Paramedic Science program.

 

Keywords: Keywords: first person point of view, learning in the first person, paramedic science, paramedic science skills, skill acquisition, experiential learning, video learning materials

 

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Journal Article

It Takes a Community to Develop a Teacher: Testing a New Teacher Education Model for Promoting ICT in Classroom Teaching Practices in Chile  pp237-249

Paula Charbonneau-Gowdy

© Apr 2015 Volume 13 Issue 4, ECEL 2014, Editor: Kim Long, pp205 - 315

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper is intended to adds to the emerging dialogue on best practices in teacher education for preparing future teachers to use technology to promote grounded theory‑based practices in their classrooms. In it, I report on an evolving model f or such training that resulted from a a longitudinal case study examiningning how changes to teacher trainees identities, learning and teaching practices changed when they are exposed to the use of a variety of social networking technologies for languag e learning in the context of their teacher preparation program in a private university in Chile. . The 12‑month classroom‑based case study was conducted at a private university in Chile, using a variety of ethnographic tools .… observation, interviews, an d online conversation analysis. I investigated how the integration of certain ICTstechnology into their content courses, as opposed to more traditional stand‑alone courses on technology use, mattered both in terms of the way the participants. The approach to technology used mattered both in terms of making a difference in the ways that these pre‑service teachers viewed themselves as learners and as future teachers of language, as well as of their evolving perspectives on the use of technology for learning and teaching. My aim in conducting the study was twofold: 1) to determine was twofold. First, I examined whether innovative technology‑ infused (TI) courses would serve to enable the beginning teacher participants to shed their traditional, passive, rather narrow cultural mindset as individuals and learners that are contrary to the identities of effective, 21st century teachers; and 2). Secondly, I sought to determine to see whether opportunities for these individuals to use a variety of innovative technologies for their own learning would have an influence on the pedagogies these individualsy themselves employed in their teaching practices. Would technology‑infused courses lead to teaching with technology? While the longitudinal study provided enc ouraging signs on both accounts within the teacher preparation program, questions remained about whether the model would be supported where it mattered … in real classroom teaching. In this article, I report on follow‑up acknowledging the challenges wit hin classroom‑based research and the complexities involved in social science‑based qualitative and numbers‑based findings that suggest that, generally, the positive changes were not sustained. These findings provide strong support for the need for teacher education models to be tested in real practice. Importantly, they also uncover the essential ingredient for promoting future teachers uptake of effective use of ICTs … collective support from the Teacher Education stakeholder community research para digms in drawing generalizable conclusions, the data analysis clearly confirms that there were encouraging signs for both aims for this particular group of pre‑service teachers. This study should be of interest to all stakeholders in education, most espe cially those whose responsibility it is and who may struggle with practical strategies to ensure that pre‑service teachers have the identities, skills and tools necessary for providing quality 21st century education programs.

 

Keywords: Keywords: ICT in technology-based learning practices, Tteacher Eeducation, 21st century 21st century teaching/ learning skills, teacher identity, ICT-based Teacher Education model, ICT in practice teaching, community-supported teacher training, Teacher Ed ucation reform in Chile

 

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Journal Article

Technology‑Capable Teachers Transitioning to Technology‑Challenged Schools  pp269-280

Faiza Derbel

© Jun 2017 Volume 15 Issue 3, Editor: Jarmila Novotná and Antonín Jančařík, pp199 - 280

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Abstract

Developing countries lacking capabilities, funds and human resources are compelled to improve the digital literacy rates of their task force through educational initiatives. This is the case of Tunisia where a stand‑alone in‑service teacher education (Ted) initiative was implemented in 2014 and 2015. The aim of this project, the Tech Age Teacher Project (TATP), was to equip teachers in Tunisia with the technology skills for teaching so that they can dispense teaching of a 21st‑century education quality. Five English language teachers, who benefitted from this initiative, are the focus of this study. The aim was to explore whether and how they are making the transition into the technologically‑challenged schools. Analysis of the TATP documents, data is collected through a short teacher questionnaire and a semi‑structured interview during which teachers give their personal accounts as TAT trainees and their attempts to apply the ideas in real school settings. Results indicated that teachers showed great dedication toward implementing the ideas/skills received in the training and that they strove, as technology‑capable teachers, to integrate technology in their day‑to‑day practice despite the constraints they faced in the schools. Their accounts reveal their rationale and motives for using technology with their students and the strategies they employ to circumvent obstacles, but also show that their success in integrating technology remains restricted by issues of infrastructure, barred access to a technology space, learners' "playful" attitudes, etc. The findings highlight these teachers' resourcefulness and sense of mission as to transforming their learners' learning experience and changing their attitudes towards technology use and to fostering 21st‑century education learning goals. The paper concludes with recommendations for future initiatives to (re)design and (re)orient the goals of the initiative towards supporting these teachers' learning processes as they make the transition as technology‑capable teachers into the technology‑challenged schools. Recommendations are made for the emerging professional community of technology‑capable teachers to build a networked community of practice likely to foster these teachers' reconstruction of their professional knowledge and skills and to facilitate the dissemination of ideas on the integration of technology in education.

 

Keywords: teacher technological pedagogical knowledge, 21st-century skills, low-technology context, teacher transition to e-learning, technology integration, professional networks, Tunisia

 

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Journal Article

'I am not a Person with a Creative Mind': Facilitating Creativity in the Undergraduate Curriculum Through a Design‑Based Research Approach  pp111-125

Denise Wood, Carolyn Bilsborow

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: Today's graduates need the skills to enable them to 'persevere in the face of complexity and unresolvability' (McWilliam and Haukka 2008: 660), and to respond creatively in work environments that are increasingly dependent on digital technolog ies (Cunningham 2006). However, although many higher education institutions (HEIs) acknowledge the importance of creativity within the curriculum (McWilliam 2007a), it is argued that universities are failing to equip graduates with the creative skil ls they require to be effective in the workplace. Design‑based learning (also referred to as learning by design) is ideally suited to facilitating the development of creative problem solving (CPS) skills by engaging students in complex learning activi ties involving the active construction of knowledge through a series of iterative cycles of experimentation and refinement of concepts (Naidu 2004). Similarly, design‑based research (DBR) involves a series of iterative steps to design and develop lear ning environments and theories the design, while also informing the development of practical guidelines (Reeves, Herrington and Oliver, 2005). This paper reports on findings from a project funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teac hing, which aimed to develop a CPS framework and supporting online system to scaffold teachers and students through a creative problem solving approach founded on the principles of DBR. The study employed a mixed‑methods DBR approach involving multiple it erations to design, develop, trial and implement the framework and tool, as well as the development of principles and practical guidelines for application in the classroom. The findings reported in this paper focus on the DBR process and the experience tr ialling the CPS tool in a first‑year undergraduate course offered in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. The paper reports on the implications of the findings from the project and the bene fits of DBR as a methodology informing the design, development

 

Keywords: Keywords: Creativity, Creative Problem Solving, Design-Based Research, Higher Education, Graduate Attributes, Generic Skills

 

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