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Journal Article

A Cross‑Modal Analysis of Learning Experience from a Learners Perspective  pp195-205

Bernard Nkuyubwatsi

© May 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEL, Editor: Mélanie Ciussi, pp126 - 226

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Abstract

Abstract: Learning experience has been one of the most debated aspects of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Various perceptions on learning experience offered by MOOCs have led to many claims about the quality of these courses and their potential imp act on higher education in both developed and developing countries. This paper discusses, from a learners perspective, learning experience across four modes of learning: face‑to‑face, self‑guided/radio, online and MOOCs. My own educational experience exp anded across the first three mode of learning. To gain similar first‑hand experience in MOOCs, I enrolled in one cMOOC and twelve xMOOCs and studied these courses alongside other engaged learners. I conducted a cross‑case analysis of the four modes of lea rning and identified strengths and limitations of each mode. Then I organised recurring patterns across the four learning modes into five themes: openness, availability, diversity, flexibility and interactivity. I found that each of these learning modes c an help learners achieve a significant milestone in learning, and accomplishment in one mode can bridge across to a different learning mode. I argue that a combination of learning modes, where applicable, can lead to better learning experience than an exc lusive use of a single mode. I also argue that each of these modes can contribute enormously to learners educational, socio‑economic, and cross‑cultural migration as well as to their geographical mobility. Each of these modes can also contribute to bridg ing an educational divide if stakeholders in education capitalize on the target learners strengths, on existing access to media and on openness in terms of content, assessment and accreditation. This paper is likely to benefit educational stakeholders wh o want to open up access to education and to reach learners in underprivileged settings, and those who are interested in cross‑cultural education development.

 

Keywords: in cross-cultural education development.Keywords: learning experience, face-to-face learning, self-guided/radio learning, online learning, learning from MOOCs, cross-cultural education

 

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Journal Article

Cognitive communication 2.0 in Higher Education: to tweet or not to tweet?  pp264-276

António Andrade, Cornélia Castro, Sérgio André Ferreira

© Aug 2012 Volume 10 Issue 3, Special ECEL issue, Editor: Sue Greener and Asher Rospigliosi, pp257 - 379

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Abstract

Abstract: Research has been fertile in producing studies on pedagogical change and innovation through technology in Higher Education Institutions, namely the integration of the social media in pedagogical practice. However, there is a lack of studies on t he integration of the social media in the particular field of lectures. In this context, commonly practiced, the teacher faces a wide audience and feels the need to activate mechanisms of direct instruction, for reasons of economy of time and because it i s the most dominant pedagogical model. As a result there is a communication paradigm 1.0 (one‑way communication, one‑to‑many, low or non‑existent interaction). In this study, exploratory and quantitative in nature, an approach to the thematic of the exp loration of the social media in order to upgrade the cognitive communication from 1.0 to 2.0 (many‑to‑many, interaction between all the participants) in lectures was made. On the approach to the problem, we explored a PowerPoint presentation with the in tegration of the micro blogging tool Twitter, as a basis for addressing the characteristics of cognitive communication 2.0. For data collection a questionnaire was designed, based on literature, and intended to evaluate several dimensions of the resource used, namely: i) pedagogical issues, ii) technological aspects, iii) cognitive learning; iv) interactions in the classroom; v) positive behavior in the classroom and vi) negative behaviour in the classroom. The results indicate that students recogni ze the potential of this tool in the dimensions assessed. Twitter integration in PowerPoint allowed the teacher and the students to read each others views and each had the opportunity to contribute to the debate. It also allowed the release of multiple c hoice questions to the audience, with answers via Twitter and projection of results via PowerPoint. This way, a true cognitive communication 2.0 took place.

 

Keywords: Keywords: classroom, cognitive communication, learning, micro blogging, Twitter, web 2.0

 

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Journal Article

Multi‑disciplinary Learning through a Database Development Project  pp417-427

Vincent Ng, Chloe Lau, Pearl Shum

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Recently, there are many good examples of how multi‑disciplinary learning can support students to learn collaboratively and not solely focus on a single professional sector. During the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters, we have attempted to gather students studying different professional domains together. Students from the Department of Computing (COMP) and the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) are involved as partners and team members to work on joint student projects. One group of SHTM students is planning a conference event in 2012 with over 300 guests. These students act as the clients who require a banquet management system as well as a delegates managing application. Another group of SHTM students is to manage the development projects with the support of IT consultants who are in fact the COMP students. During the Fall semester, different communication channels have been set up to facilitate the inter‑group and intra‑group communications with the support offered by an e‑learning system, Blackboard. Furthermore, there are classroom presentations given by the SHTM students and prototype demonstrations prepared by the COMP students. Pre‑project and post‑project questionnaires have been given to all participating students in order to assess their gain in professional and business knowledge in 2 different areas, namely database application development and conference management. During the Spring semester, another group of COMP students continued the development and made the 2 systems available on the Web. The two systems were used in a real conference and have received many positive feedbacks. In this paper, we would like to report the group dynamics of our students, achievement and difficulties encountered in this multi‑disciplinary project.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Multi-disciplinary Learning, Teamwork, Database Application Development

 

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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

‘As a student, I do think that the learning effectiveness of electronic portfolios depends, to quite a large extent, on the attitude of students!’  pp407-416

Jane Mok

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

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Abstract

Lynch and Purnawarman (2004:50) point out that ‘a solid electronic portfolio can show reflection, evolution of thought and overall professional development’. Research shows that electronic portfolio assessment, if implemented thoughtfully, can successfully engage learners in critical thinking and problem solving, promote lifelong education, encourage self evaluation and allow learners to have a higher degree of control over the learning process (Pierson and Kumari, 2000; Mason, Pegler, and Weller, 2004). Given the value of electronic portfolios, there has been growing interest in using electronic portfolio assessment to support teacher education (Lynch and Purnawarman, 2004). In this paper, we discuss on‑going efforts at the University of Hong Kong to design assessment tasks for a language awareness course entitled ‘Pedagogical Content Knowledge’. The final‑year student teachers taking the course are required to compile an electronic portfolio based on their reflections on the relevance and applicability of the issues relating to dealing with the content of learning in pedagogical practice discussed in the course. This paper sets out to describe and analyze issues relating to the design and implementation of the assessment, focusing specifically on the challenges that the research team faces. In our paper, we draw on a range of data, including student teachers’ feedback on the assessment and in‑depth reflections of two student teachers after the assessment to critically evaluate the extent to which the assessment has achieved the intended learning outcomes. The reflective study shows that apart from technical support, methodological and psychological preparation designed to help students to take on a more active role in the learning and assessment process are also needed to help students to perform effectively in the computer‑supported assessment. Implications are drawn for those who plan to conduct electronic portfolio assessment in higher education.

 

Keywords: Keywords: electronic portfolio assessment, psychological preparation, methodological preparation, assessment innovation, teacher education

 

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Journal Article

Experiences with use of Various Pedagogical Methods Utilizing a Student Response System – Motivation and Learning Outcome  pp169-181

Ketil Arnesen, Guri Sivertsen Korpås, Jon Eirik Hennissen, John Birger Stav

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper describes use of an online Student Response System (SRS) in a pre‑qualification course for engineering studies in Norway. The SRS in use, where students answer quizzes using handheld mobile devices like Smartphones, PADs, iPods etc., has been developed at Sør‑Trøndelag University College. The development of the SRS was co‑funded by the Lifelong Learning Program KA3‑ICT in 2009‑2010. SRS has been designed to help teachers effortlessly i) break the monotony of a lecture and allow the students to actively take part in the lecture, ii) increase teacher‑student interaction, and iii) give teacher and students immediate anonymous feedback on learning outcome. The response system was used in mathematics in two groups with different lecturers during two semesters in 2009‑2010. The pedagogical methods in use will be referred to as “Peer Instruction” and “Classic”. In each method the students will answer a multiple choice quiz using their mobile devices. In both cases the result of the quiz will immediately appear as a histogram on a screen in the classroom. The closing parts will also be identical. The lecturer then highlights the correct option in the histogram and explains why this option actually is the correct one. In the Peer Instruction method there will be an additional element. The first poll will be followed by a discussion in student groups, where the students are urged to defend their choice and convince their fellow students that their chosen option is the correct one. The discussion is then followed by a new individual voting session before the final results are shown and the closing part takes place. The paper will compare this method with the peer instruction method as described in existing literature. The learning outcome will be discussed according to interviews with students and the lecturers’ experiences from the classroom. In addition we will analyze students’ grades and test results in mathematics with respect to their expected level, based on previous achievements. We will present results showing that when students are arguing their point of view, they will have a stronger tendency to convince their fellow students when they themselves already have found the correct option in the quiz. Finally we will suggest pedagogical improvements for future use of response systems in mathematics. Input from lecturers and from students has already been used in the process of developing a new version of SRS, finished in January 2013.

 

Keywords: Keywords: student response systems, mobile learning, smartphones, peer instruction and learning, peer learning assessment systems, learning outcome

 

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Journal Article

A Semantic Rule‑based Framework for Efficient Retrieval of Educational Materials  pp182-192

Maryam Tayefeh Mahmoudi Fattaneh Taghiyareh, Kambiz Badie

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: Retrieving resources in an appropriate manner has a promising role in increasing the performance of educational support systems. A variety of works have been done to organize materials for educational purposes using tagging techniques. Despite the effectiveness of these techniques within certain domains, organizing resources in a way being adequately reusable for support purposes is still in the offing. In this paper a semantic approach is proposed to increase performance of retrieving educational materials based on using frames. Here, frames are used to represent the very knowledge necessary for realizing the similarity/ relevance between query and supportive materials. Owing to the complexity in semantic handling of the entire text, the suggested frame‑based approach is applied only to the titles or sub‑titles, or in general the main headings, in the material. To make these frames comprehensive, we have made use of two attributes called “Major Characteristics” and “Basic Constituents”, which are responsible respectively for “the goal behind a conceptual entity (Why/ for What a conceptual entity is being used)” and “the basic elements supporting a conceptual entity (How / in What way a conceptual entity is realized)”. Conceptual entities here stand for the entire ideas belonging to headings (titles or subtitles) in a material. These attributes seem to have enough potential for representing the knowledge of titles and sub‑titles in a way reflecting the content of the paragraphs in a reasonable way. To evaluate the capability of the proposed approach, retrieving materials within the domain of Multi‑Agent Systems (a subject of high concern in Artificial Intelligence) was picked out as the benchmark problem. According to this benchmark, materials are retrieved based on the user’s desire. Taking this point into account, we made a dataset for the subject of Multi‑Agent Systems as an educational resource in academia, within which a number of users’ desires from different groups were considered as possible queries, and the corresponding materials were then retrieved using the proposed approach. Computer experiments show acceptable precision and recall values for these queries with a quite good balance between them which is represented in terms of F‑measure. . The findings lead us to the fact that "Major Characteristics" and "Basic Constituents" have the ability to increase the status of re‑usability for the stored materials. Moreover, the fact that materials can be reused efficiently, leads us to the point that our proposed representation scheme can be useful for educational support issues in the situations where user’s desire is complex enough to the extent that several materials ought to be merged together to yield the requested material.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Semantic retrieval, material retrieval/ reuse, educational materials, frame-based representation, frame attribute, major characteristics, basic constituents

 

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Journal Article

"Digital Futures in Teacher Education": Exploring Open Approaches towards Digital Literacy  pp193-206

Anna Gruszczynska, Guy Merchant, Richard Pountney

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a project "Digital Futures in Teacher Education" (DeFT) undertaken as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2012, 2013) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy (Burnett and Merchant, 2011; Davies and Merchant, 2009). A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio‑cultural models of digital practice (Merchant, 2011), that has the potential to re‑imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning and which, at the same time, address the 'why' as well as the 'how' of digital literacy. This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio‑cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OERs are explored and the potential for digital literac(ies) for openness is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by project participants. The effectiveness of a methodology that prizes reflexivity and participation is examined including a range of voices, including children's voices, in the meaning‑making process and recommendations on the basis of the findings are made. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the paper highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.

 

Keywords: Keywords: digital literacy, reflexivity, ICT curriculum, pedagogy, open educational resources

 

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