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

Evaluating Virtual Learning Environments: what are we measuring?  pp11-20

Mary Dyson, Silvio Barreto Campello

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

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Abstract

A basic framework is proposed to distinguish between the many ways in which Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) can be evaluated. This includes the purpose of the evaluation, the type of methods that might be used and the measures employed. The framework is not intended to cover all applications but offers one means of structuring a review of past studies or may provide guidance on the type of study to conduct. A pilot study is introduced which compares an online course using different platforms which aims to measure engagement, participation and achievement of goals.

 

Keywords: purpose, methods, measures, usability, learning

 

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Journal Article

Cognitive Style and Attitudes Towards Using Online Learning and Assessment Methods  pp21-28

Martin Graff

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

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Abstract

The studies described in this paper sought to investigate several forms of online learning and assessment methods in terms their efficacy in facilitating student learning. The studies also sought to investigate how participants rated each method. Attitudes toward computer‑assisted learning were not related to performance on each of the online methods employed, whereas some relationships were noted between cognitive styles and online learning and assessment. Finally, evaluation feedback from participants indicated that each online task was rated positively. Implications of the findings for further implementation of online instructional methods are discussed.

 

Keywords: Cognitive style, literature search, online discussion, online assessment

 

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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

Customer‑Driven Development for Rapid Production of Assessment Learning Objects  pp1-6

Andrew Adams, Shirley Williams

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

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Abstract

Customer‑Driven Development is a technique from the software development method called extreme Programming (XP) where customers (most importantly including end users of all levels) are closely involved in the software design and redesign process. This method of producing software suitable for customers has been adapted to help in the production of e‑learning material, in particular, Assessment Learning Objects (ALOs) consisting of multiple‑ choice questions. Asking undergraduate students to produce multiple‑choice questions as part of their formal assessment processes facilitated this. The outcome shows two distinct benefits to this process. Firstly, the students who took part in this project benefited from the encouragement to participate in reflective learning, both on the specific topic on which they chose to produce a multiple choice question, and in the methods and purposes of multiple choice questions (which form a significant part of their self‑assessment regime and summative assessment exam). Secondly, of the questions produced by students a significant number of them were of suitable quality to be used for future cohorts and to be made available to the wider community. This gives two important benefits to staff: developing a wide range of questions is difficult and time consuming; student insight into misunderstandings of material can often be greater than that of staff. Resources for the development of ALOs are scarce and given that students benefit directly from being asked to develop their own questions, the year‑on‑year expansion of a question set produced by students can be a very useful resource.

 

Keywords: Learning Objects, Multiple Choice questions, Extreme Programming, Computer Aided Assessment

 

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Journal Article

MyGfL: A Lifelong Learning Platform for Malaysian Society  pp7-14

Zailan Arabee Abdul Salam, Azmi Mansur

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

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Abstract

MyGfL which stands for Malaysian Grid for Learning is a One‑Stop‑Center for quality assured online learning content, tools and services with the aim to promote and support the lifelong learning agenda in Malaysia. It is a platform that enables anyone to learn, unlearn and relearn from anywhere at anytime through any web browser so as to accelerate the growth of K‑Society. The main objectives of MyGfL are to enhance discoverability of e‑learning content from heterogeneous sources through the use of metadata, to develop e‑learning standards to ensure conformance and adoption of best practices in e‑learning content and systems, to provide e‑Learning systems and tools to enable and support e‑Learning activities and processes for the purpose of lifelong learning, and also to encourage the sharing and development of localindigenous content. Pilot programs have been conducted at different levels of the Malaysian society where processes and factors involved in implementing e‑learning to the community and observations of societal acceptance of e‑learning were noted. Utilization of MyGfL by the pilot groups has furnished vital information regarding acceptanceperception of use, current standards of computer literacy and skills. This case study will depict the impact of MyGfL with regards to its objectives and public perception towards MyGfL as a platform for lifelong learning.

 

Keywords: e-Learning, Lifelong Learning, Malaysian Grid for Learning, MyGfL, Learning Content

 

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Journal Article

Providing Fine‑grained Feedback Within an On‑line Learning System — Identifying the Workers from the Lurkers and the Shirkers  pp15-26

Colin Egan, Amanda Jefferies, Jason Johal

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

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Abstract

This paper describes a mechanism developed by the authors to gather student feedback from formative revision Multiple Choice Questionnaires (MCQs) within an on‑line learning system. The MCQs provided first year Computer Science students with instant formative feedback, while data was also gathered about student responses, such as the percentage opting for each answer and the time taken to answer the question. We measured how students were using our on‑line learning system; whether they were in fact 'workers' who provided answers to the MCQs, were 'lurkers' who did not provide answers but asked for solutions or 'shirkers', who did not access the site at all! The data indicates that the time taken to answer a harder question was less than that of an easier question suggesting that the workers turned into lurkers strategically when they thought they could not answer successfully. It was not however clear whether the lurker suddenly finding an easier question would change back into a worker. Future work to encourage the shirkers to participate is also discussed.

 

Keywords: VLE, Formative MCQs, Summative MCQs, On-line teaching, On-line learning

 

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