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

Supporting staff using WebCT at the University of Birmingham in the UK  pp1-10

Tracy Kent

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

At the University of Birmingham, Information Services, together with the Staff Development Unit and the Learning Development Unit have been working together to set up a number of initiatives to support staff to use WebCT to underpin its learning and teaching strategy within a flexible framework. The framework seeks to invest in developing appropriate skills and training for University staff to ensure that the quality of the content and the communication tools within the WebCT environment are fully exploited to enhance the student learning experience. Developments include the establishment of an e‑Learning module, team based projects from the Learning Development Unit and a WebCT training and support pathway.

 

Keywords: WebCT, Academic and support staff training, e-Learning in higher education, University of Birmingham

 

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Journal Article

Interactive Technology Impact on Quality Distance Education  pp35-44

Samer Hijazi

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study to determine if existing technology is adequate for the delivery of quality distance education. The survey sample was 392 respondents from a non‑traditional graduate level. The study included 15 descriptive questions on course assessment and satisfaction. The three hypotheses used Chi‑square to find relationships between interactivity and three other variables: progress, communication mode, and the desire to take another course. Responses showed that taking a distance education course was worthwhile. Findings, recommendations and conclusion are included.

 

Keywords: Distance Education, Quality, Interactive, Technology Assessments, E-learning, Interactivity

 

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Journal Article

Integrating Distributed Learning with just‑in‑context Knowledge Management  pp45-50

Roy. Williams

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

This paper addresses some key design issues in e‑learning, and its integration with knowledge management. The underlying premise is that the purpose of e‑learning is useful knowledge, and that the design of e‑learning should therefore be integrated with the design of related knowledge management — particularly personal knowledge management. e‑learning will be explored using the notion of "distributed learning". Knowledge management will be explored using the notion of "just‑in‑context knowledge", emphasising both the contextual underpinning of knowledge, and its strategic value — that is to say its applied value, and its embeddedness in decision making processes. The potential for distributed learning to optimise shared resources is also explored.

 

Keywords: Distributed learning, e-learning, knowledge management, just-in-context knowledge management, digital learning, blended learning

 

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Journal Article

Using Software Testing Techniques for Efficient Handling of Programming Exercises in an e‑Learning Platform  pp88-95

Joachim Schwieren, Gottfried Vossen, Peter Westerkamp

© Feb 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 111

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Abstract

e‑Learning has become a major field of interest in recent years, and multiple approaches and solutions have been developed. A typical form of e‑learning application comprises exercise submission and assessment systems that allow students to work on assignments whenever and where they want (i.e., dislocated, asynchronous work). In basic computer science courses, programming exercises are widely used and courses usually have a very large number of participants. However, there is still no efficient way for supporting tutors to correct these exercises, as experience has shown that correction (and, beyond that, automatic grading) are difficult and time consuming. In this paper we present an enhancement of the xLx platform developed at the University of Muenster to efficiently support tutors in handling Java programming exercises electronically. The new component is based on concepts of automatic static and dynamic testing approaches, well known from software engineering, and provides an automatic pre‑ correction of submitted solutions. In addition, a tutor is able to annotate solutions manually, by adding comments that are associated with the source code of the solution in an intelligent way. Static tests are based on a compilation of the sources to find syntactical errors, while dynamic tests use test cases defined by tutors during the creation of the exercises and have to be executed correctly on the solutions in order to receive credits for the exercises.

 

Keywords: Programming exercises, Automatic pre-correction, e-Learning, Blended learning

 

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Journal Article

Using an Online Games‑Based Learning Approach to Teach Database Design Concepts  pp104-111

Thomas M Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Evelyn McLellan

© Mar 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 111

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Abstract

The study of database systems is typically core in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes related to computer science and information systems. However, one component of this curriculum that many learners have diffi‑ culty with is database analysis and design, an area that is critical to the development of modern information systems. This paper proposes a set of principles for the design of a games‑based learning environment to help the learner develop the skills necessary to understand and perform database analysis and design effectively. The paper also presents some preliminary results on the use of this environment.

 

Keywords: Collaborative e-learning innovative teaching and learning technologies for web-based education e- pedagogy design and development of online courseware

 

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Journal Article

Benefits of e‑Learning Benchmarks: Australian Case Studies  pp11-20

Sarojni Choy

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

In 2004 the Australian Flexible Learning Framework developed a suite of quantitative and qualitative indicators on the uptake, use and impact of e‑learning in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. These indicators were used to design items for a survey to gather quantitative data for benchmarking. A series of four surveys gathered data from VET providers, teachers, students and their employers. The data formed baseline indicators that were used to establish organisational goals and benchmarks for e‑learning. These indicators were the first known set for benchmarking e‑learning in Australia. The case studies in this paper illustrate ways in which VET providers have approached e‑learning benchmarking, the benefits achieved and the lessons that they learned. The cases exemplify how VET providers have adapted the baseline indicators, how the indicators informed organisational plans and e‑learning outcomes. The benefits of benchmarking are categorised under three purposes: reporting, performance management, and service improvement. A set of practical strategies is derived from the cases for consideration by other organisations interested in benchmarking e‑learning services.

 

Keywords: e-learning indicators, e-learning uptake and outcomes, benchmarks, planning for e-learning benchmarking, case studies

 

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Journal Article

Piloting a Process Maturity Model as an e‑Learning Benchmarking Method  pp49-58

Jim Petch, Gayle Calverley, Hilary Dexter, Tim Cappelli

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

As part of a national e‑learning benchmarking initiative of the UK Higher Education Academy, the University of Manchester is carrying out a pilot study of a method to benchmark e‑learning in an institution. The pilot was designed to evaluate the operational viability of a method based on the e‑Learning Maturity Model developed at the University of Wellington, New Zealand, which, in turn was derived from Carnegie Mellon's widely accepted Capability Maturity Model. The method is based on gathering evidence about the many and interdependent processes in the e‑learning and student lifecycles and takes a holistic view of maturity, addressing multiple aspects. This paper deals with the rationale for the selected method and explains the adoption of a process based approach. It describes the iterative refinement of the questionnaire used to elicit evidence for measures of five aspects of maturity in a range of e‑learning processes, in five process areas. The pilot study will produce a map of evidence of e‑learning practice across the processes matrix and a measure of the degree of embedding in a sample of faculties within the institution expressed as capability and maturity. To provide a useful measure of where an organisation is with respect to a particular aspect of e‑learning, it needs to be able to act on that measure, finding any new activities required or modifying current activities to improve its processes. The pilot study aims to evaluate the potential for improvement inherent in the capability maturity model and to examine the resource implications of obtaining useful evidence. A successful benchmarking effort should be able to inform an institution's planning and resourcing processes and the outcomes of this pilot should lead to an informed decision about a method for benchmarking the embedding of e‑learning, both for the particular institution and for the sector, which in turn can lead to operational suggestions for improvement.

 

Keywords: embedding, e-learning, process, maturity, benchmarking

 

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Journal Article

Interactive Nonlinear Learning Environments  pp59-68

Ronald Robberecht

© Aug 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

E‑learning materials often have a linear design where all learners are forced into a single‑mode pedagogy, which is contrary to the interaction that occurs in face‑to‑face learning. Ideally, e‑learning materials should be nonlinear, interactive, contain context‑sensitive and active learning elements, and accommodate various learning levels and styles. This paper presents an educator's perspective on approaches to designing such e‑learning materials, which are essential to enhancing the education of future generations of students.

 

Keywords: Interactive, nonlinear, e-learning environments, active learning

 

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