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

Implementing Blended Learning at a Developing University: Obstacles in the way  pp101-110

Mswazi Tshabalala et al

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are striving to provide effective learning experiences to address the needs of the digitally‑oriented generation of learners. Blended learning has emerged as a solution to address these needs and has been a dopted by various HEIs. However, not all academic staff members adopt blended learning when it is introduced by their institutions. Although this teaching and learning approach offers various advantages to academic staff, negative perceptions held by acad emic staff may affect its adoption.The purpose of this case study was to investigate the perceptions academic staff have about blended learning and to identify challenges facing academic staff that affected the adoption of blended learning in a Faculty of Education at a developing university in South Africa. The study employed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1993) and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) by Rogers (1983: 246‑250) in a qualitative exploratory research de sign. The investigation made use of focus group interviews with lecturers and individual interviews with heads of academic departments, as well as the dean of the Faculty. Data gathered pointed to various perceptions and practical problems hindering acade mic staff from adopting blended learning. Amongst these were perceptions pertaining to e‑learning or blended learning policy, faculty support by management, computer skills of students and lecturers, as well as inadequate access for students to computers. This research is unique in that it applies known knowledge in the new context of a small South African university, which is a developing community. Lessons learned from this study will make a contribution to knowledge in the field of higher education, an d will help developing universities to benefit from the research.

 

Keywords: Keywords: blended learning, adoption, academic staff, perceptions, challenges, developing university

 

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Journal Article

Hypermedia Reading Materials: Undergraduate Perceptions and Features Affecting their Reading Comprehension  pp116-125

Nurul Adila Hamdan, Maslawati Mohamad, Shahizan Shaharuddin

© May 2017 Volume 15 Issue 2, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp105 - 198

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Abstract

Due to the potential of the Internet and blended learning environment, students, especially L2 learners, are often required to read references available online. A study was conducted to identify the perceptions of L2 learners comprising TESL undergraduates towards TESL‑related hypermedia reading materials and the factors contributing to their reading comprehension. This case study involved eleven third‑year undergraduate TESL students enrolled in a course called ‘Teaching of Reading Skills in an ESL Context’. Data was collected using Think Aloud Protocol, semi‑structured interviews, and reflective notes. The findings of this study revealed various participants’ perceptions regarding hypermedia reading materials. Among the factors that improved their reading comprehension include the design of the hypermedia materials and content in terms of the manner in which information was displayed. The participants highlighted the difficulties associated with reading long hypertexts and expressed preference for texts which come in point‑form format. Other features cited as being helpful in their reading were the inclusion of pictures, tables, diagrams, audio materials, and videos along with the text. Some other features included hyperlinks and glossaries provided by the websites that the students found beneficial in helping them understand the text. Other less favorable aspects of reading hypermedia materials included advertisements on the websites, easy access to social media websites, and poor Internet connection and bandwidth speed. These were reported to affect the reading process in such a way that they distracted the participants’ concentration, and this ultimately affected reading comprehension to a certain degree. It is hoped that these findings could provide insights for course developers in developing or selecting websites to suit their teaching and learning purposes.

 

Keywords: TESL students’ perceptions, hypermedia reading materials, reading comprehension.

 

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Journal Article

Effects of Video Discussion Posts on Social Presence and Course Satisfaction  pp449-459

Ying Xiu, Penny Thompson

© Oct 2020 Volume 18 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl and Bente Meyer, pp373 - 459

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Abstract

Video is a rich medium that conveys more social cues than text. Use of video in an online discussion forum therefore has the potential to increase social presence in online learning environments. This experimental study compared a group using video for a portion of the required discussion posts to a group using only text in an online undergraduate course. While there was a correlation between perceived social presence and satisfaction with the course, there were no significant differences in perceived social presence or course satisfaction between the two groups. Open‑ended comments revealed a mix of positive and negative reactions to the use of video. This study highlights the need for continuing research on the use of video in online discussion forums to assess the benefits of video relative to its possible negative effect on “anytime, anywhere” flexibility

 

Keywords: Video Discussion Posts, Student Perceptions, Social Presence, Course Satisfaction, Online Learning

 

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Journal Article

EFL Learners’ Perspectives on the use of Smartphones in Higher Education Settings in Slovakia  pp537-549

Rastislav Metruk

© Dec 2020 Volume 18 Issue 6, Editor: Heinrich Söbke and Marija Cubric, pp462 - 574

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Abstract

MALL (Mobile assisted language learning) affords new opportunities for EFL (English as a foreign language) learners and teachers. Research on MALL is still in its infancy in Slovakia, and this paper attempts to fill in this gap by examining students’ perception and attitudes towards the use of smartphones for the purposes of learning and practicing English. The target population of this study constituted of the Slovak university EFL learners whose major was Teacher Training of English Language and Literature (n = 77) at a Slovak university. The research method employed to achieve the objectives of this study was a 5‑point Likert scale questionnaire, comprising of two sets of statements: general and out‑of‑the‑classroom statements with a total of 29 items. The research results for both sets of statements imply that the participants display moderately positive attitudes towards smartphones in the context of EFL learning. However, the findings also reveal some issues surrounding the perception and potential use of smartphones such as the inability to plan students’ language learning appropriately and effectively, general underuse of smartphone apps, or problems related to practicing speaking skills. The results further suggest the immediate need to develop and enhance the awareness of smartphones and their potential in the process of teaching and learning English so that the EFL learners can utilize considerable opportunities these smart devices offer. Finally, the limitations of this study are recognized, and it is emphasized that conducting further research in this area is urgently needed.

 

Keywords: EFL learner, mobile learning, smartphone and language learning, attitudes and perceptions, process of learning English

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 2 / May 2017  pp105‑198

Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Karin Levinsen

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Keywords: active learning, higher education, student learning, student engagement, online course design and development, interdisciplinary collaboration, frustrations, TESL students’ perceptions, hypermedia reading materials, reading comprehension, virtual containers, STEAM, Open Educational Resources, content distribution platforms, e-learning platform, foreign languages, multilingualism, idiomatic competence, e-learning; global health education; connectivity; bandwidth management; capacity building; educational technologies, Clicker technology, Facebook, and Wiley Plus, Web-based homework, behavioral intention, cognitive load, germane load, e-learning, instructional design, MOOC, online community, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Communities of Practice (CoPs), nonverbal communication

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 18 Issue 6 / Dec 2020  pp462‑574

Editor: Heinrich Söbke, Marija Cubric

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Keywords: Community of Inquiry, continuing education, distance education, deep learning design, constructivist learning; academic dishonesty, cheating, online education, distance education, plagiarism; ODeL, online learning tools, mobile learning tools, Moya Messenger App WhatsApp, myUnisa’s ODF; Emotions and learning, flipped learning, university, science education; creativity, personality traits, students, virtual courses, gender differences; EFL learner, mobile learning, smartphone and language learning, attitudes and perceptions, process of learning English; Out-of-classroom communication (OCC), flipped classroom, motivation, intervention; ; ICT integration, ICT infrastructure, high school science teaching

 

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