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

Discovering Student Web Usage Profiles Using Markov Chains  pp63-74

Alice Marques, Orlando Belo

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECEL 2010 special issue, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, pp1 - 114

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Abstract

Nowadays, Web based platforms are quite common in any university, supporting a very diversified set of applications and services. Ranging from personal management to student evaluation processes, Web based platforms are doing a great job providing a very flexible way of working, promote student enrolment, and making access to academic information simple and in an universal way. Students can do their regular tasks anywhere, anytime. Sooner or latter, it was expected that organizations, and universities in particular, begin to think and act towards better educational platforms, more user‑friendly and effective, where students find easily what they search about a specific topic or subject. Profiling is one of the several techniques that we can use to discover what students use to do, by establishing their user navigation patterns on Web based platforms, and knowing better how they explore and search the sites’ pages that they visit. With these profiles Web based platforms administrators can personalize sites according with the preferences and behaviour of the students, promoting easy navigation functionalities and better abilities to response to their needs. In this article we will present the application of Markov chains in the establishment of such profiles for a target eLearning oriented Web site, presenting the system we implemented and its functionalities to do that, as well describing the entire process of discovering student profiles on an eLearning Web based platform.

 

Keywords: web based elearning platforms, web usage profiling, Clickstream analysis, Markov chains, Navigation paths analysis

 

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Journal Article

From Soap Opera to Research Methods Teaching: Developing an Interactive Website/DVD to Teach Research in Health and Social Care  pp98-104

Abigail Sabey, Sue Horrocks

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECEL 2010 special issue, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, pp1 - 114

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Abstract

Research methods modules have become a core component of a range of nursing and allied health professional educational programmes both at pre‑qualifying, undergraduate level and at post‑qualifying and Masters’ level, in keeping with requirements of professional bodies. These courses are offered both on a full time basis and part time for qualified practitioners working in the field accessing continuous professional development (CPD). Evaluation of these courses suggests that some students find research methods challenging to understand and the pace of sessions demanding, and has highlighted a need for additional ways to support learning and teaching. There are a number of existing electronic resources relating to research methods accessible to students via the internet, which could help to support learning and teaching in this area and meet the wide range of learning styles among students. However, many are not specific to health research. In addition, the quality of content can be variable and use/accessibility unpredictable. This, combined with the need for innovative ways to engage interest in research methods, suggested the need for a new electronic resource for health research, for use within the context of a classroom taught course. The process of developing an interactive resource incorporating a narrative element is described. A narrative approach recognises the power of story in capturing interest and transferring information and offers scope for imagination and intrigue within learning. A story of two fictional health practitioner characters working in a local health centre was created to weave around research methods theory. Interactive elements such as question‑and‑answer tasks, audio extracts, games and interactive graphics were added to offer varied and stimulating ways of presenting material to meet a range of learning styles. The resource also incorporates a number of self‑assessment opportunities to reinforce learning. The use of voices heard in realistic scenarios arising in the health centre anchors learning in everyday practice aiming to help students appreciate the need for evidence and the value of research understanding.

 

Keywords: research methods teaching, evidence-based practice, elearning, nurse education, narrative

 

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Journal Article

Using the Artistic Pedagogical Technology of Photovoice to Promote Interaction in the Online Post‑Secondary Classroom: The Students’ Perspective  pp32-43

Margaret Edwards, Beth Perry, Katherine Janzen, Cynthia Menzies

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011, Editor: Philip Balcean, pp1 - 158

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Abstract

This study explores the effect of the artistic pedagogical technology (APT) called photovoice (PV) on interaction in the online post‑secondary classroom. More specifically, this paper focuses on students’ perspectives regarding the effect of PV on student to student and student to instructor interactions in online courses. Artistic pedagogical technologies are teaching strategies based on the arts (Perry & Edwards. 2010). APTs use music, poetry, drama, photography, crafts or other visual media as the basis of teaching activities. Photovoice is the purposeful use of selected visual images and affiliated refection questions as an online teaching strategy. Social Development Theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and Janzen’s Quantum Perspective of Learning (Janzen, Perry & Edwards, 2011) provide the theoretical basis of the study. The convenience sample included 15 graduate students from the Faculty of Health Disciplines at an online university. Participants completed a 4 month master’s course in which PV was used. Data were collected after final course grades were official. Data were gathered using an online questionnaire based on an adaptation (with permission) of Rovai’s (2002) Classroom Cohesion Scale (CSS) and Richardson and Swan’s (2003) Social Presence Scale (SPS). A follow‑up focus group with 6 of the original 15 participants was held. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. This paper focuses on findings from the quantitative data with supportive qualitative comments. Data analysis of the quantitative data takes the form of descriptive statistics. Data analysis of the qualitative data used NVivo software. In sum, the majority of respondents did find that PV had a positive influence on course interactions, but also on their sense of community, comfort in the educational milieu, and on how well they got to know themselves, other learners, and the instructor. Questions for further research are posed.

 

Keywords: online education, eLearning, artistic pedagogical technologies, photovoice, social development theory, quantum perspective of learning

 

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Journal Article

Integrating eLearning to Support Medical Education at the New University of Botswana School of Medicine  pp43-51

Masego B. Kebaetse, Oathokwa Nkomazana, Cecil Haverkamp

© Feb 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, ICEL2013, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: Since the enrolment of its first cohort of students in 2009, the University of Botswana School of Medicine (UB SoM) has employed elearning as a key element to support and strengthen its model of decentralised medical education. Significant inv estments have been made in setting up the physical infrastructure, and in acquiring relevant expertise to develop and implement an elearning agenda in a context with practical challenges associated with medical education in decentralised setup. Following the enrolment of its first cohorts of medical students, and residents in Paediatrics and Internal Medicine between 2009 and 2010, the School also launched a Family Medicine training programme in 2011 at two rural sites. With the expectation of contributin g to a positive teaching and learning environment for faculty, residents, and medical students in these remote areas, elearning is also seen as important for their retention, and thus for improved access to quality health care in rural Botswana. In this p aper, the authors critically reflect on the strategies used to implement elearning at UB SoM over the past 18 months, and highlight challenges experienced while implementing elearning in a new medical school situated within an older university context. St rong relationships with partners were identified as a critical foundation for the long‑term sustainability beyond the initial procurement and installation infrastructure. While confirming the obvious technical challenges in a setting like Botswana, the au thors emphasise the need not to underestimate associated broader challenges in engaging a diverse range of users, partners and stakeholders; not to lose sight of the pedagogical goals that are meant to drive the choice and use of technology (rather than vice versa); and to ensure that the expected benefits of the technology can and will be shared and sustained by a range of partners in the long run.

 

Keywords: Keywords: elearning, medical education, technology integration, mlearning, mhealth, tablets, ICT, sustainability

 

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Journal Article

Electronic Assessment and feedback tool in Supervision of Nursing Students During Clinical Training  pp42-56

Sari Mettiäinen

© Jan 2015 Volume 13 Issue 1, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp1 - 56

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Abstract

Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine nursing teachers and students attitudes to and experiences of using an electronic assessment and feedback tool in supervision of clinical training. The tool was called eTaitava, and it was developed in Fi nland. During the pilot project, the software was used by 12 nursing teacher and 430 nursing students. Nine of the teachers participated in the interviews and survey, and 112 students responded to the survey. The data were mainly analysed with qualitativ e methods.In the eTaitava web‑based user interface, the teacher constructs questions to map the students learning process, and sets them to be sent on a daily basis. According to the findings, four‑fifths of the students responded to the questions almost daily. They thought the software was easy to use and answering the questions took about 5 minutes a day. Based on the students and teachers experiences, the use of the electronic assessment and feedback tool supported supervision of clinical training. It supported the students target‑oriented learning, supervised the students daily work, and made it visible for the teachers. Responding to the software questions inspired the students cognitive learning, and based on the responses, the teachers notice d which students needed more support and could consequently allocate them more supervision time. Responding also supported the students continuous self‑evaluation, and considering the responses structured the students and teachers final assessment disc ussion. By means of the electronic assessment and feedback tool, it is possible to promote learning during clinical training by challenging students to reflect on their learning experiences. Students professional development process can be supported thr ough pedagogically planned conceptual supervision which is integrated into experiential learning during clinical training.The findings of the pilot study were encouraging, indicating that the method is worth further development and potentially useful in s upervision in all fields of education.

 

Keywords: Keywords: eLearning, mobile application, nursing, clinical training, supervision, reflection

 

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Journal Article

An exploration of autonetnography as an eResearch methodology to examine learning and teaching scholarship in Networked Learning  pp322-335

Lyz Howard

© Dec 2016 Volume 14 Issue 5, Editor: Robert Ramberg, pp291 - 349

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Abstract

Abstract: As an experienced face‑to‑face teacher, working in a small Crown Dependency with no Higher Education Institute (HEI) to call its own, the subsequent geographical and professional isolation in the context of Networked Learning (NL), as a sub‑set of eLearning, calls for innovative ways in which to develop self‑reliant methods of professional development. Jones and De Laat (2016, p.43) claim that NL is different from other eLearning sub‑sets, for example, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Computer‑Supported‑Collaborative‑Learning (CSCL) because of its “focus on pedagogy and understanding how social relationships (and networked practices) influence learning rather than having a predominantly technical agenda for change in education”. NL, rather than TEL or CSL, therefore, locates the context for this paper. My intent was to develop a bespoke professional development framework to facilitate independent and self‑directed NL teaching development. To scaffold my professional development autonetnography (ANG) was chosen to facilitate my learning. The concept of ANG was introduced by Kozinets & Kedzior (2009) as an autobiographical extension to the ethnographic genre Netnography defined by Kozinets (2006) as an interpretive research methodology to examine online observations and interactions. Whilst recent researchers of digital learning claim that has potential to add to a growing body of knowledge that accepts the post‑modern use of self as an insider researcher (Ferreira, 2012; Persdotter, 2013; Mkono, Ruhanen & Markwell, 2015) none have explained how to undertake ANG. There appears here, to be a theory‑practice gap (Kessels and Korthagen, 1996) and the problem lies within the argument that there is no current theory upon which to practice ANG. This opportunity to examine more closely the subjective and reflexive insider researcher perspective of being an online scholar (as a learner or teacher) would respond to this gap in current eResearch knowledge. This paper uses meta‑ethnography (Noblit & Hare, 1988) as a method to systematically examine methodology relating to autoethnography, with the purpose of working towards developing a framework for undertaking ANG as an emerging eResearch methodology. Seven phases of meta‑ethnography formed the method for synthesising autoethnographic methodological data and translating these into ANG methodological data. Findings from this synthesis are reported through the autoethnographic tripartite scheme of mimesis, poiesis and kinesis (Holman‑Jones, Adams, & Ellis, 2013a). From this synthesis, the autonetnographic “I” framework was developed and forms a methodological basis for future ANG studies to examine teaching and/or learning scholarship in NL and the potential for considering adaptation of ANG for use in eLearning more generally.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Autonetnography; ANG; autoethnography; meta-ethnography; eLearning; networked learning; reflexivity; eResearch methodology; online learner and teacher scholarship; online professional development

 

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Journal Article

Fluidity in the Networked Society ‑ Self‑initiated learning as a Digital Literacy Competence  pp52-62

Karin Tweddell Levinsen

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECEL 2010 special issue, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, pp1 - 114

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Abstract

In the globalized economies e‑permeation has become a basic condition in our everyday lives. ICT can no longer be understood solely as artefacts and tools and computer‑related literacy are no longer restricted to the ability to operate digital tools for specific purposes. The network society, and therefore also eLearning are characterized by fluidity and the key competence for social actors in this ever changing e‑permeated environment is the ability to cope with change ‑ or Castells’ conceptualisation self‑programming. Castells’ theory has influenced international definitions of future key competencies. Both lifelong learning and digital literacy understood as "bildung" have emerged as central for the definitions of and standards for future key competencies. However, definitions and standards only tell us about the desired destination and outcome of digital competence building. They tell us nothing about how we may get there. In the educational system ICT and e‑learning are becoming an everyday condition and the basic challenge for the educational system is twofold: 1) The actually making of digital literate and self‑programming social actors – students and teachers; and 2) How to develop adequate designs for teaching and learning for that purpose. We need research that aims to describe the phenomenology of acquiring digital literacy and self‑programming in order to be able to identify relevant learning objectives and scaffolding. Findings from such studies are expected to be relevant for eLearning scenarios as well as for ICT and designs for learning in general. This paper presents a case study that aimed to explore the phenomenological appearance of self‑programming as agency and learning among postgraduate students who participated in a specially designed eLearning workshop in the autumn 2009. The findings relate to both the individual and collaborative barriers and proactive strategies that come into play among the students. Drawing on the findings, it is argued that the presented workshop design contributes to the networked society’s design for ICT, teaching and learning, as the design – at least for this small group of students – have proved to support the development of digital self‑programming as a sustainable competence. In the autumn 2010 the study will be expanded to a larger group of students.

 

Keywords: self-programming, lifelong learning, networked society, design for teaching and learning, eLearning

 

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Journal Article

A Different Vision in eLearning: Metaphors  pp105-114

Nazime Tuncay, Ioana Andreea Stanescu, Mustafa Tuncay

© Apr 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECEL 2010 special issue, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, pp1 - 114

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Abstract

Metaphors are figures of speech in which a word or phrase that denotes a certain object or idea is applied to another word or phrase to imply some similarity between them. Due to their ability to make speaking and writing more lively and interesting, metaphors have always been popular among students. While metaphors provide significant enhancement of contexts and build upon the sense of community, they can limit the boundaries of the communication between students and teachers. In order to carry out student oriented courses, teachers ought to consider the metaphors students use. In an effort to understand and fill in this communication gap, the authors of this paper have initiated a study that aimed to drive out the e‑education students’ metaphors in order to suggest a vision for future e‑courses. The authors have designed the “E‑Education Metaphor Analysis Survey” that comprised 35 items and captured data about e‑education students’ metaphors. The questionnaire was posted on Surveymonkey.com and was distributed to e‑education students in two countries: Turkey and Cyprus. 352 students filled the questionnaire. The answers revealed that the metaphors students use are influenced by their way of life, their personal characteristics, their educational background and their feelings. Internet was the most common metaphor used for e‑education. A very interesting fact was that 47% of the students considered E‑Student to be equivalent to “rich students’ education” and that the term recalled them the metaphor “richness”. Although there were many research studies on common metaphors and their impact on e‑education, there were no studies in the literature about eLearning metaphors. This paper presents an innovative approach that focuses on 7 key research questions and represents a first step of a more detailed future project undertaken by the authors.

 

Keywords: eLearning, metaphors, students, SurveyMonkey

 

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