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 Issue
Volume 15 Issue 1 / Apr 2017  pp1‑103

Editor: Robert Ramberg

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Editorial for EJEL Volume 15 Issue 1  pp1‑2

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Motivational Gaps and Perceptual Bias of Initial Motivation Additional Indicators of Quality for e‑Learning Courses  pp3‑16

Rosário Cação

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Redefining Practice: Challenging Academic and Institutional Traditions With Clinical Distance Learning  pp17‑32

Laura E Delgaty

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An e‑Learning Team’s Life On and Offline: A Collaborative Self‑Ethnography in Postgraduate Education Development  pp33‑45

Alison Clapp

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Mobile Eye Tracking Methodology in Informal E‑Learning in Social Groups in Technology‑Enhanced Science Centres  pp46‑58

Rikke Magnussen, Maria Zachariassen, Nikita Kharlamov, Birger Larsen

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Moving Outside the Box: Researching e‑Learning in Disruptive Times  pp59‑69

Paula Charbonneau-Gowdy

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Workshops as a Research Methodology  pp70‑81

Rikke Ørngreen, Karin Levinsen

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Identifying Consistent Variables in a Heterogeneous Data Set: Evaluation of a Web‑Based Pre‑Course in Mathematics  pp82‑93

Katja Derr

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The E‑Learning Setting Circle: First Steps Toward Theory Development in E‑Learning Research  pp94‑104

Marco Rüth, Kai Kaspar

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E‑learning projects and related research generate an increasing amount of evidence within and across various disciplines and contexts. The field is very heterogeneous as e‑learning approaches are often characterized by rather unique combinations of situational factors that guide the design and realization of e‑learning in a bottom‑up fashion. Comprehensive theories of e‑learning that allow deductive reasoning and hence a more top‑down strategy are missing so far, but they are highly desirable. In view of the current situation, inductive reasoning is the prevalent way of scientific progress in e‑learning research and the first step toward theory development: individual projects provide the insights necessary to gradually build up comprehensive theories and models. In this context, comparability and generalizability of project results are the keys to success. Here we propose a new model – the E‑Learning Setting Circle – that will promote comparability and generalizability of project results by structuring, standardizing, and guiding e‑learning approaches at the level of a general research methodology. The model comprises three clusters – context setting, structure setting, and content setting – each of which comprises three individual issues that are not necessarily sequential but frequently encountered in e‑learning projects. Two further elements are incorporated: on the one hand, we delineate the central role of objective setting and the assessment of the goal attainment level (guiding element); on the other hand, we highlight the importance of multi‑criteria decision‑making (universal element). Overall, the proposed circular model is a strategic framework intended to foster theory development in the area of e‑learning projects and research. 


Keywords: e-learning research, e-learning projects, research methodology, theory development, major project issues, decision-making, new model


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