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

Moving From Analogue to High Definition e‑Tools to Support Empowering Social Learning Approaches  pp225-238

Paula Charbonneau-Gowdyand, Ivana Cechova

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Special ICEL 2009 Issue, Editor: Florin Salajan and Avi Hyman, pp191 - 316

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Abstract

Traditional educational and training settings have dictated that the act of learning is an activity that is motivated by learners, directed by a teacher expert and based on information transfer and data manipulation. In this scenario, it has been assumed that learners more or less acquire knowledge or develop sets of skills as a result of such activity. With this model in place, learning ends when the training activities cease — and implies that repeated doses of similar training are required over time. Various computer technologies, as they have been generally integrated into educational settings, have taken on the role as tools to support such a model. In some cases they are used to replace the teacher in these contexts although not without serious implications for learners and their learning it has been argued. During the last three decades, a growing movement in educational research, based on the theoretical support of Leon Vygtosky and Mikhail Bakhtin, is advocating that the traditional conceptualization of the learning process is misconceived. From the perspective of this movement, learning is understood as a life‑long, social act of constructing knowledge in a dialogic activity with others. Within this model, social interaction is the precursor to higher order thinking rather than the reverse. The challenging question emerging for many educators is how new technologies can support knowledge and skill building in social constructivist‑based learning settings. And a corollary to this question arises: Depending on the particular technology chosen, what are the implications for learning and identity construction? In this paper, we describe the Language Learning Through Conferencing project (LLTC) in which an affordable video‑based web conferencing technology and desktop computers were used to conduct language learning sessions via the Internet. The project description, project content, and the experiences that took place over a sustained period, as well as the potential future for this approach to distance learning in a variety of fields are presented. The aim of the Language Learning Through Conferencing project (LLTC) has been to exploit a particular Web 2.0 technology to connect language learners internationally between Canada and new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and more recently in the public sector in Canada. More specifically, the project was a means to respond to learners who faced challenges in finding opportunities for language learning both in Europe and in Canada. Outcomes from ongoing qualitative and quantitative findings gathered by the respective authors are indicating that these dialogic opportunities are also having a powerful influence on learners' professional, linguistic and personal identities as well as their views of technology and learning.

 

Keywords: Video-based web conferencing, guided social learning, learner agency, identity and knowledge construction

 

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Journal Article

Evaluation as a Powerful Practices in Digital Learning Processes  pp290-300

Birgitte Holm Sørensen, Karin Tweddell Levinsen

© Apr 2015 Volume 13 Issue 4, ECEL 2014, Editor: Kim Long, pp205 - 315

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Abstract

Abstract: The present paper is based on two empirical research studies. The Netbook 1:1 project (2009⠍2012), funded by the municipality of Gentofte and Microsoft Denmark, is complete, while Students⠒ digital production and students as learning desig ners (2013⠍2015), funded by the Danish Ministry of Education, is ongoing. Both projects concern primary and lower secondary school and focus on learning design frameworks that involve students⠒ agency and participation regarding digital production i n different subjects and cross‑disciplinary projects. Within these teacher‑designed frameworks, the students perform as learning designers of learning objects aimed at other students. Netbook 1:1 has shown that digital and multimodal production especially facilitates student‑learning processes and qualifies student‑learning results when executed within a teacher‑designed framework, which provides space for and empowers students⠒ agency as learning designers. Moreover, the positive impact increases when students as learning designers participate in formative evaluation practices. Traditionally, the Danish school has worked hard to teach students to verbalise their own academic competencies. However, as our everyday environment becomes increasingly comple x with digital and multimodal technologies, formative evaluation as a learning practice becomes central, requiring the students to develop a digital and multimodal literacy beyond the traditional, language‑centred type. In order to clarify these practices , we address the various understandings of evaluation and assessment that may blur our arguments. Students⠒ digital production and students as learning designers is a large‑scale project that follows up on the findings of Netbook 1:1. It experiments fur ther with various evaluation practices in a digitalised learning environment that focuses on different phases of the learning processes and includes feed‑forward and feedback processes. Evaluation as a learning practice in a digitalised learning context f ocuses on students as actors, addressing their s

 

Keywords: Keywords: Assessment, evaluation, formative evaluation, summative evaluation, self-evaluation, peer evaluation, teacher evaluation, digital learning processes, multimodality, evaluation design, agency, empowerment, reflection, construction of meaning

 

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Journal Article

Navigational Acts and Discourse: Fostering Learner Agency in Computer‑Assisted Language Learning  pp67-76

Janine Knight, Elena Barbera

© Feb 2018 Volume 16 Issue 1, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

Fostering learner agency is a primary goal of Integrative Computer Assisted Language Learning, a type of CALL (Warschauer, 1996) that encompasses networked learning and multimedia, including hypermedia. Although navigation has been a focus of attention in some more established CALL scenarios such as Intelligent Computer Assisted Language learning (ICALL) systems in second language acquisition (SLA) research, much less focus has been on more emerging CALL scenarios such as augmented reality, amongst others. Therefore, if learner agency is to be fostered, identifying how it manifests is important. This study focuses on ‘directional agency’ (Knight, Barberà and Appel, 2017) which is agency exercised in relation to navigational acts during language learning tasks. Using our own case study data as a starting point (where learners carry out navigation as part of the tasks), the paper draws attention to the somatic acts of navigation while using spoken language as part of the multimodal experiences learners can face. A specific literature review was carried out on other current and emerging CALL scenarios that were considered as cases in order to survey the presence of intentional navigational acts and talk, explore and understand it as a phenomenon in the field and to refine directional agency as a construct. Results suggest that directional agency is present across other CALL scenarios and task types; directional agency can be shared across learners and technological features; there are multiple forms of navigation including embodied navigation and whole or partial human body navigation that can occurr in the same task. Navigational acts can accompany learner‑learner talk and they can also form part of learner‑computer ‘talk’. Learners and computers can act as “semiotic initiators and responders” (Coffin and Donohue, 2014), resembling sequential turn‑taking of talk so that both learners and digital technologies can be understood as potential actors in the task discourse.

 

Keywords: learner agency, Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), task-based language learning, talk, navigational acts

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 1 / Feb 2018  pp1‑79

Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Karin Levinsen

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Editorial

 

Keywords: Information Communication Technology, e-learning, Course Management Systems, Students Perspective, Instructor Perspective, Games, literacy, digital application, design, phonics, iPad, learner agency, Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), task-based language learning, talk, navigational acts

 

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