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

A Novel Approach to Define Performance Metrics for Students' and Teachers' Evaluation  pp87-102

Pradipta Biswas, S.K. Ghosh

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp87 - 173

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Abstract

Evaluation is an unavoidable feature in any teaching or learning scenario. The evaluation strategy of students differs widely throughout the world. Further, most of the institutes do not use any objective technique to assess the teaching performance of a teacher. The present paper defines performance metrics both for student and teacher evaluation and also discusses the methodology for calculating relevant metrics. In a decision‑making scenario, these metrics may help in providing enough insight into the assimilation capability of students and teaching capability of teachers. Once measured properly for an adequate length of time, these metrics can also be customised to provide other useful information like utility of a course modification, institutional performance etc. The system has been tested for analysing four courses in a premier engineering institute and the outcome found to be encouraging.

 

Keywords: education technology, evaluation system data warehouse, performance metric, ontology

 

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Journal Article

A Nurse Prescribing Programme Incorporating e‑Learning  pp251-260

Joan Burgess

© Aug 2010 Volume 5 Issue 4, e-Learning in Health Care, Editor: Pam Moule, pp251 - 304

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Abstract

In order to become a UK Nurse Prescriber, a First Level Registered Nurse must undergo an approved University based educational programme, which consists of theory, and a period of practice supervised by doctors. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requires nurses undertaking this programme to have some formal university attendance and to be assessed in practice. Successful students are recorded on the national NMC register. Since October 2004, the University of Winchester has used blended learning incorporating e‑learning for the delivery of the Nurse Prescribing Programme using online material developed by Emap Publishing in conjunction with the University of Stirling. This paper discusses the effectiveness of the programme and the evaluation of the initial six cohorts students).

 

Keywords: Nurse prescribing, evaluation, e-learning, designated medical practitioner

 

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Journal Article

Evaluating Online Dialogue on "Security" Using a Novel Instructional Design  pp1-10

Payal Arora

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 75

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Abstract

This paper explores evaluation strategies to gauge the impact of a novel instructional design on international community participation online. This is done by conceptualizing and devising indicators for measuring "engagement" online amongst marginalized adult communities worldwide. In doing so, a review of online evaluation literature is conducted. In comparing dialogue sessions based on an ongoing traditional model to the new instructional approach, various challenges are faced in "measuring" asynchronous discussion. While the initial findings of marginal increase in engagement with the adapted instructional approach is not sufficient to prove that the new model works, this paper demonstrates various strategies challenges in evaluating dialectic engagement.

 

Keywords: online evaluation, instructional design, community participation, international, marginalized, engagement

 

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Journal Article

Pedagogical Approaches and Technical Subject Teaching through Internet Media  pp52-65

Olubodun Olufemi

© Mar 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 75

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Abstract

This is a comparison of Instructivist and constructivist pedagogical approaches and their applications in different situations, which make clear the comparative advantages of both approaches. Instructivist learning, places the teacher in authority while the constructivist shifted authority to no one in particular but shared responsibilities between learner and teacher in such a manner that the teacher no longer assumes the responsibilities of the passage of informationknowledge to the learner but only guides him to discover the 'objective truth' out there and in the attainment of learning objectives. Teaching and Learning process was redefined in the light of 'new' understanding in teaching and learning and practical applications of these pedagogical approaches were considered. I presented a study guide (Appendix 1) as an example of socio‑constructivist pedagogy where emphasis in on learning rather than on teaching.

 

Keywords: Study guide, e-learning, pedagogy, socio-constructivism, test, evaluation, LMS, virtual classroom, asynchronous, instructivism, construction technique

 

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Journal Article

IT Worked for Us: Online Strategies to Facilitate Learning in Large (Undergraduate) Classes  pp179-188

F. Greyling, M. Kara, A. Makka, S. van Niekerk

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

Higher education institutions are compelled to accommodate growing class sizes as student numbers have increased over time, especially at undergraduate level. Good teaching principles are relevant to all class sizes. For example, teachers of all classes are required to create safe learning environments, motivate and engage students, interact with students, provide stimulating assessment tasks and give prompt feedback. However, meeting these requirements in the context of large classes is more challenging. As a result, traditional large class teaching methods are often characterised by the passive absorption of material, which is not ideal. What constitutes a large class? Class sizes of 60 or more have been considered large. In this paper, we report on online teaching, learning and assessment strategies for classes made up of approximately 600 first year students in Business Management 1 offered at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of this ongoing research project is to integrate educational technologies in the classroom and study the impact of these classroom changes on the students' learning experience. The programme, which blends face‑to‑face teaching, paper‑based teaching materials and online learning by means of WebCTBlackboard tools, is now in its second cycle of implementation. This teaching strategy aims at greater lecturer‑student interaction, engaging students with the course materials on a regular basis and eliciting feedback from students, which is used to re‑teach concepts that the students find particularly difficult. The blended learning strategy resulted in enhanced student perceptions of the quality of teaching and learning, and a significant improvement in student throughput. The findings and recommendations reported in the paper are based on student feedback, gleaned through online surveys, online artefacts created by students and lecturers' classroom experiences. Although the authors report on online teaching, learning and assessment practices that proved to be effective in large classes, many conclusions may be of relevance to smaller classes.

 

Keywords: large classes, e-Learning, assessment, evaluation, social presence, action research

 

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Journal Article

Technology‑Assisted Reading for Improving Reading Skills for young South African Learners  pp245-254

Gerda van Wyk, Arno Louw

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

This paper addresses the controversial issues of improving the reading skills of young learners through technology‑assisted reading programmes. On reporting the results of primary school learners from grade 2 to grade 7 who participated in a computer‑based reading programme for seven months, we try to answer the critical questions of whether computer‑assisted reading programmes should be embraced or avoided. We also have looked at the possible benefits of such an intervention apart from the improvement of reading skills. The poorly developed reading skills of South African learners slowly became evident over the last couple of years as teachers, parents, employers and professionals were confronted with this ongoing crisis. The Department of Education (DoE) stated that the South African youth do not read as well as their foreign counterparts and actions were put in place to address the growing problem. However, despite this acknowledgement, decision makers are still indecisive in effectively addressing the problem. Many theories exist on why children are reading impaired and who should accept responsibility for it. Data of the findings in this paper was collected over a period of seven months and reflects the reading results of learners who followed a combination of a computer‑based reading programme, visual accuracy and visual memory computer exercises as well as the application of specific paper‑based activities. Groups were small, with continuous personal intervention and communication from the facilitator with each learner. This paper also qualitatively reflects on the additional benefits or negative experiences of learners who participated in the electronic reading programme. The qualitative data was accumulated from interviews with learners and teachers involved. The efficacy of the reading programme was evaluated through continuous assessment of learners' performance on different aspects of reading, including reading speed, reading comprehension, spelling and language. The reading results obtained were compared with the initial reading assessment before implementing the programme. The overall experience of learners who participated in this programme provided valuable information in evaluating the reading programme as a whole. Results obtained from this study indicate that improvement in reading speed, comprehension and spelling was unique to every learner individually. The benefits beyond the improvement of reading skills obtained as a result of the programme encompass many areas of the learners' development, such as social learning, collaborative learning, finer perceptual motor skills, confidence and a general improvement in marks in other subjects. This paper attempts to provide insights into the value and challenges of computer‑assisted reading for primary school learners and into the importance of adapting teaching methods in response to a crisis.

 

Keywords: computer-assisted reading programmes, improvement of reading skills, evaluation, assessment, primary school learners, reading comprehension, mastering of reading skills

 

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Journal Article

e‑Learning Indicators: a Multi‑Dimensional Model for Planning and Evaluating e‑Learning Software Solutions  pp1-28

Bekim Fetaji, Majlinda Fetaji

© May 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 85

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Abstract

As a number of recent studies suggest applications of networked computers in education have very inconsistent results ranging from success stories to complete failures. Literally, thousands of e‑learning projects have been carried out that greatly differ in their outcomes. Until now, however, there is no systematic or a standardized way of planning, comparing and evaluating e‑learning projects, their outcomes, and their effectiveness. Therefore, the main objective of this research was an investigation of possible approaches to systematic planning, development and evaluation of e‑learning initiatives and their corresponding e‑learning projects. The result of this work is a multidimensional model of e‑learning Indicators that are defined as the important concepts and factors that are used to communicate information about the level of e‑learning and used to make management decisions when planning e‑learning strategy. The lack of knowledge of the learner audience as well as of the factors influencing that audience and e‑learning projects overall results in failing to provide satisfactory support in the decision making process. In order to address this issue, an approach dealing with e‑learning indicators is proposed. Having a standardised guide of e‑learning indicators accepted by the scientific community enables comparison and evaluation of different initiatives regarding e‑learning in a standardised manner. The proposed E‑learning Indicators Methodology enables successful planning, comparison and evaluation of different e‑learning projects. It represents an empirical methodology that gives concrete results expressed through numbers that could be analysed and later used to compare and conclude its e‑learning efficiency. A practical value of this approach was analyzed in the realized comparative analyses of two different institutions using different LMS tools: Angel and Moodle focusing on comparison and evaluation of e‑learning indicators of these two e‑learning projects. With the application of this methodology in e‑learning projects it is more likely to achieve better results and higher efficiency as well as higher Return on Investment‑ROI.

 

Keywords: e-learning indicators, evaluation of effectiveness, learning outcomes

 

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Journal Article

Learning Objects and Virtual Learning Environments Technical Evaluation Criteria  pp127-136

Eugenijus Kurilovas, Valentina Dagiene

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp85 - 190

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Abstract

The main scientific problems investigated in this article deal with technical evaluation of quality attributes of the main components of e‑Learning systems (referred here as DLEs — Digital Libraries of Educational Resources and Services), i.e., Learning Objects (LOs) and Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The main research object of the work is the effectiveness of methods of DLE components quality evaluation. The aim of the article is to analyse popular existing LO and VLE technical evaluation tools, and to formulate new more complex tools for technical quality evaluation of LOs and VLEs based on requirements for flexible DLE, as well as to evaluate most popular open source VLEs against new more complex criteria. Complex tools have been created for the evaluation of DLE components, based on a flexible approach. The authors have analysed existing tools for technical evaluation of LOs, and it was investigated that these tools have a number of limitations. Some of these tools do not examine different LO life cycle stages, and other insufficiently examine technical evaluation criteria before LO inclusion in the repository. All these tools insufficiently examine LOs reusability criteria. Therefore more complex LO technical evaluation tool is needed. It was investigated that this new more complex LO technical evaluation tool should include LO technical evaluation criteria suitable for different LO life cycle stages, including criteria before, during and after LO inclusion in the repository as well as LO reusability criteria. The authors have also examined several VLE technical evaluation tools suitable for flexible DLE, and it was investigated that these tools have a number of limitations. Several tools practically do not examine VLE adaptation capabilities criteria, and the other insufficiently examines general technical criteria. More complex VLE technical evaluation tool is needed. Therefore the authors have proposed an original more complex set of VLE technical evaluation criteria combining (1) General (Overall architecture and implementation; Interoperability; Internationalisation and Localisation; Accessibility) and (2) Adaptation (Adaptability; Personalisation; Extensibility and Adaptivity) VLE technical evaluation criteria. The authors have also selected and proposed to use the universal, clear and convenient DLE components' evaluation rating tool, and have evaluated three most popular open source VLEs against technical (both general and adaptation) criteria in conformity with this rating tool.

 

Keywords: managing quality in e-learning, technical evaluation, virtual learning environments, learning objects, repositories

 

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