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

Online Communities of Practice Enhancing Statistics Instruction: The European Project EarlyStatistics  pp113-122

Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris, Efstathios Mavrotheris

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

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Abstract

Acknowledging the fact that teachers are at the heart of any educational reform effort, the European Union funded project EarlyStatistics aims to enrich European children's learning of statistics by offering their mathematics teachers a high‑quality online professional development program. A central conviction underlying the design of the program is that learning as part of a community of practitioners can provide a useful model for teacher professional development. Teachers participating in the program will form a virtual community of practice, which will support best practices and innovation in statistics education by providing access to a wide array of colleagues, discussions, and resources eluding teachers in their workplaces.

 

Keywords: community of practice, professional development, statistics, distance education

 

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Journal Article

Mitigating the Mathematical Knowledge gap Between High School and First Year University Chemical Engineering Mathematics Course  pp68-83

Moses Basitere, Eunice Ivala

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports on a study carried out at a University of Technology, South Africa, aimed at identifying the existence of the mathematical knowledge gap and evaluating the intervention designed to bridge the knowledge gap amongst students stu dying first year mathematics at the Chemical Engineering Extended Curriculum Program (ECP). In this study, a pre‑test was used as a diagnostic test to test incoming Chemical Engineering students, with the aim of identifying the mathematical knowledge ga p, and to provide students with support in their starting level of mathematical knowledge and skills. After the diagnostic test, an intervention called the autumn school was organized to provide support to bridge the mathematical knowledge gap identified. A closed Facebook group served as a platform for providing student support after school hours. After the autumn school, a post‑test was administered to measure whether there was an improvement in the knowledge gap. Both quantitative and qualitative metho ds of collecting data were used in this study. A pre‑test was used to identify the mathematical knowledge gap, while a post‑test was employed to measure whether there was a decrease in the knowledge gap after the intervention. Focus group interviews were carried out with the students to elicit their opinions on whether the intervention was of any help for them. Students participation on Facebook in terms of student post, post comments and likes and an evaluation of students academic performance in comp arison to their Facebook individual participation was also conducted. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative data was analysed using inductive strategy. Results showed that all the students in this study had the mat hematical knowledge gap as no student in the class scored 50% on the overall pre‑test. Findings further revealed that the intervention played a major role in alleviating the mathematical knowledge gap from some of the students (with 1/3 of the students s coring 50% and above in the post‑test) and no positive correlation between students academic performance on the post‑test and students participation in the Facebook group was noted. We hope that insights generated in this study will be of help to other institutions looking into designing interventions for bridging the knowledge gap. Reasons for lack of improvement in the knowledge gap of 2/3 of the students in this class will be highlighted.

 

Keywords: Keywords: knowledge gap, extended curriculum program, descriptive statistics, inductive strategy, diagnostic test, autumn school, Facebook closed group

 

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Journal Article

How Reproducible Research Leads to Non‑Rote Learning Within Socially Constructivist Statistics Education  pp173-182

Patrick Wessa

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp85 - 190

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Abstract

This paper discusses the implementation of a new e‑learning environment that supports non‑rote learning of exploratory and inductive statistics within the pedagogical paradigm of social constructivism. The e‑ learning system is based on a new computational framework that allows us to create an electronic research environment where students are empowered to interact with reproducible computations from peers and the educator. The underlying technology effectively supports social interaction (communication), knowledge construction, collaboration, and scientific experimentation even if the student population is very large. In addition, the system allows us to measure important aspects of the actual learning process which are otherwise unobservable. With this new information it is possible to explore (and investigate) the effectiveness of e‑based learning, the impact of software usability, and the importance of knowledge construction through various feedback and communication mechanisms. Based on a preliminary empirical analysis from two courses (with large student populations) it is shown that there are strong relationships between actual constructivist learning activities and scores on objective examinations, in which the questions assess conceptual understanding. It is also explained that non‑rote learning is supported by the fact that the system allows users to reproduce results and reuse them in derived research that can be easily communicated.

 

Keywords: statistics education, reproducible research, reproducible computing, social constructivism, non-rote learning

 

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Journal Issue

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

Editor: Shirley Williams

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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

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 2 / Jun 2007  pp87‑173

Editor: Shirley Williams

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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

 

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