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Journal Article

Learning Objects and Virtual Learning Environments Technical Evaluation Criteria  pp127-136

Eugenijus Kurilovas, Valentina Dagiene

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

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Abstract

The main scientific problems investigated in this article deal with technical evaluation of quality attributes of the main components of e‑Learning systems (referred here as DLEs — Digital Libraries of Educational Resources and Services), i.e., Learning Objects (LOs) and Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The main research object of the work is the effectiveness of methods of DLE components quality evaluation. The aim of the article is to analyse popular existing LO and VLE technical evaluation tools, and to formulate new more complex tools for technical quality evaluation of LOs and VLEs based on requirements for flexible DLE, as well as to evaluate most popular open source VLEs against new more complex criteria. Complex tools have been created for the evaluation of DLE components, based on a flexible approach. The authors have analysed existing tools for technical evaluation of LOs, and it was investigated that these tools have a number of limitations. Some of these tools do not examine different LO life cycle stages, and other insufficiently examine technical evaluation criteria before LO inclusion in the repository. All these tools insufficiently examine LOs reusability criteria. Therefore more complex LO technical evaluation tool is needed. It was investigated that this new more complex LO technical evaluation tool should include LO technical evaluation criteria suitable for different LO life cycle stages, including criteria before, during and after LO inclusion in the repository as well as LO reusability criteria. The authors have also examined several VLE technical evaluation tools suitable for flexible DLE, and it was investigated that these tools have a number of limitations. Several tools practically do not examine VLE adaptation capabilities criteria, and the other insufficiently examines general technical criteria. More complex VLE technical evaluation tool is needed. Therefore the authors have proposed an original more complex set of VLE technical evaluation criteria combining (1) General (Overall architecture and implementation; Interoperability; Internationalisation and Localisation; Accessibility) and (2) Adaptation (Adaptability; Personalisation; Extensibility and Adaptivity) VLE technical evaluation criteria. The authors have also selected and proposed to use the universal, clear and convenient DLE components' evaluation rating tool, and have evaluated three most popular open source VLEs against technical (both general and adaptation) criteria in conformity with this rating tool.

 

Keywords: managing quality in e-learning, technical evaluation, virtual learning environments, learning objects, repositories

 

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Journal Article

Multiple Criteria Evaluation of Quality and Optimisation of e‑Learning System Components  pp141-150

Eugenijus Kurilovas, Valentina Dagiene

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

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Abstract

The main research object of the paper is investigation and proposal of the comprehensive Learning Object Repositories (LORs) quality evaluation tool suitable for their multiple criteria decision analysis, evaluation and optimisation. Both LORs 'internal quality' and 'quality in use' evaluation (decision making) criteria are analysed in the paper. The authors have analysed several well‑known LORs quality evaluation tools. In their opinion, the comprehensive multiple criteria LOR quality evaluation tool should include both general software 'internal quality' evaluation criteria and 'quality in use' evaluation criteria suitable for the particular project or user. In the authors' opinion, the proposed LOR 'Architecture' group criteria are general 'internal quality' evaluation criteria, and 'Metadata', 'Storage', 'Graphical user interface' and 'Other' are 'customisable' 'quality in use' evaluation criteria. The authors have also presented their comprehensive Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) quality evaluation tool combining both 'internal quality' (i.e., 'General Architecture') and 'quality in use' (i.e., 'Adaptation') technological evaluation criteria. The authors have proposed to use the quality evaluation rating tool while evaluating LORs and VLEs. The authors have analysed that if we want to optimise LORs and VLEs (or the other learning software packages) for the individual learner needs, i.e., to personalise hisher learning process in the best way according to their prerequisites, preferred learning speed and methods etc., we should use the experts' additive utility function including the proposed LORs and VLEs expert evaluation criteria ratings together with the experts preferred weights of evaluation criteria. In this case we have the multiple criteria optimisation task using criteria ratings, and their weights. Quality evaluation criteria of the main e‑Learning system components, i.e., LORs and VLEs are further investigated as the possible learning software packages optimisation parameters. Scalarization method is explored in the paper to be applied to optimise the learning software packages according to the individualised learners needs. Several open source VLEs evaluation results are also presented in the paper.

 

Keywords: managing quality in e-learning, multiple criteria evaluation, learning object repositories, virtual learning environments, optimisation

 

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Journal Article

Differences in Intention to Use Educational RSS Feeds Between Lebanese and British Students: A Multi‑Group Analysis Based on the Technology Acceptance Model  pp14-29

Dr. Ali Tarhini, Dr. Michael James Scott, Dr. Sujeet Kumar Sharma, Dr. Muhammad Sharif Abbasi

© Jan 2015 Volume 13 Issue 1, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp1 - 56

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Abstract

Abstract: Really Simple Syndication (RSS) offers a means for university students to receive timely updates from virtual learning environments. However, despite its utility, only 21% of home students surveyed at a university in Lebanon claim to have ever used the technology. To investigate whether national culture could be an influence on intention to use RSS, the survey was extended to British students in the UK. Using the Technology Adoption Model (TAM) as a research framework, 437 students responded to a questionnaire containing four constructs: behavioural intention to use; attitude towards benefit; perceived usefulness; and perceived ease of use. Principle components analysis and structural equation modelling were used to explore the psychometric qualities and utility of TAM in both contexts. The results show that adoption was significantly higher, but also modest, in the British context at 36%. Configural and metric invariance were fully supported, while scalar and factorial invariance were parti ally supported. Further analysis shows significant differences between perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use across the two contexts studied. Therefore, it is recommended that faculty demonstrate to students how educational RSS feeds can be used effectively to increase awareness and emphasise usefulness in both contexts.

 

Keywords: Keywords: cross-cultural, technology adoption model, developing countries, RSS, virtual learning environments, engagement

 

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Journal Article

Visualisation and Gamification of e‑Learning and Programming Education  pp452-465

Marie Olsson, Peter Mozelius, Jonas Collin

© Dec 2015 Volume 13 Issue 6, ICEL 2015, Editor: Pandora Johnson, pp429 - 474

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Abstract

Abstract: Courses in virtual learning environments can leave recently enrolled participants in a state of loneliness, confusion and boredom. . What course content is essential in the course, where can more information be found and which assignments are ma ndatory? Research has stated that learner control and motivation are crucial issues for successful online education. This paper presents and discusses visualisation as a channel to improve learners control and understanding of programming concepts and ga mification as a way to increase study motivation in virtual learning environments. Data has been collected by evaluation questionnaires and group discussions in two courses partly given in the Moodle virtual learning environment. One course is on Game bas ed learning for Bachelors programmes, the other is a course on e‑learning for university teachers. Both the courses have used progress bars to visualise students study paths and digital badges for gamification. Results have also been discussed with teac hers and pedagogues at a department for computer and systems sciences. Furthermore, two visualisation prototypes have been designed, developed and evaluated in programming lectures. Findings indicate that visualisation by progress bars is a good way to im prove course participants overview in online environments with rich and multifaceted content. To what degree the visualisation facilitates the course completion is hard to estimate, and like students have different learning styles, they also seem to have different visualisation needs. Gamification by digital badges seems to have various motivational impacts in different study groups and in traditional university programmes the traditional grades seem to be the main carrots. Finally, it seems that softwar e visualisation might be a promising path to enhance programming education in the 21st century.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Visualisation, Gamification, Programming education, Virtual learning environments, E-learning

 

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