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

Using an Online Games‑Based Learning Approach to Teach Database Design Concepts  pp104-111

Thomas M Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Evelyn McLellan

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

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Abstract

The study of database systems is typically core in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes related to computer science and information systems. However, one component of this curriculum that many learners have diffi‑ culty with is database analysis and design, an area that is critical to the development of modern information systems. This paper proposes a set of principles for the design of a games‑based learning environment to help the learner develop the skills necessary to understand and perform database analysis and design effectively. The paper also presents some preliminary results on the use of this environment.

 

Keywords: Collaborative e-learning innovative teaching and learning technologies for web-based education e- pedagogy design and development of online courseware

 

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Journal Article

e‑Learning System Overview based on Semantic Web  pp111-118

Yas A. Alsultanny

© Jan 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp111 - 148

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Abstract

The challenge of the semantic web is the provision of distributed information with well‑defined meaning, understandable for different parties. e‑Learning is efficient task relevant and just‑in‑time learning grown from the learning requirements of the new dynamically changing, distributed business world. In this paper we design an e‑Learning system by using a semantic web and show how the semantic web resource description formats can be utilised for automatic generation of hypertext structures from distributed metadata. It is primarily based on ontology‑based descriptions of content, context and structure of the learning materials and thus provides flexible and personalised access to these learning materials.

 

Keywords: e-Learning, semantic web, ontology, education hypermedia

 

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Journal Article

A Web Based Intelligent Training System for SMEs  pp39-48

Roisin Mullins, Yanqing Duan

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that employees in small business suffer from a lack of knowledge and skills. This lack of skills means that small companies will miss out on new business opportunities. This is even more evident with respect to the adoption of Internet marketing in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This paper reports a pilot research project TRIMAR, which aims to develop a web‑based intelligent training system to aid small business employees in their learning and decision‑making regarding the use of the Internet as a new marketing medium. TRIMAR attempts to contribute to the wider debate on the content and style of training most suitable to small businesses. It aims to identify the training needs of small businesses for Internet marketing at a pan‑European level and to seek the most effective ways to address training and support needs with web‑based systems. Based on training needs analysis carried out within five European countries: UK, Germany, Poland, Slovak Republic and Portugal, a web based system for gaining Internet marketing knowledge and skills was constructed. The system consists of three major subsystems: Self Assessment Tool (SAT), Training Modules (TM), and a Case Retrieval System (CRS). Various users through an online questionnaire tested the system. The initial feedback revealed that the case base training approach delivered on the Internet provided a highly appropriate training medium for SMEs.

 

Keywords: intelligent web-based training, Internet marketing, SMEs, training needs analysis, case based reasoning

 

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Journal Article

Applying Web‑Enabled Problem‑Based Learning and Self‑Regulated Learning to Enhance Computing Skills of Taiwan's Vocational Students: a Quasi‑Experimental Study of a Short‑Term Module  pp148-157

Pei-Di Shen Tsang-Hsiung Lee, Chia-Wen Tsai

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

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Abstract

Contrary to conventional expectations, the reality of computing education in Taiwan's vocational schools is not so practically oriented, and thus reveals much room for improvement. In this context, we conducted a quasi‑experiment to examine the effects of applying web‑based problem‑based learning (PBL), web‑based self‑ regulated learning (SRL), and their combination to enhance students' computing skills in a short‑term module of deploying Microsoft Word. Two classes of 106 first‑year students were divided into 2 (PBL vs. non‑PBL) × 2 (SRL vs. non‑SRL) experimental groups. Results were generally positive. This study thus provided a significant illustration of a promising design and implementation of chosen web‑based pedagogies for a short‑term module. With limitations in mind, we hope that the lesson learned is also useful for those teachers engaged in e‑learning, specifically, in vocational schools.

 

Keywords: web-based PBL, web-based srl, e-learning, vocational students, computing education, short-term module

 

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Journal Article

Towards a Fusion of Formal and Informal Learning Environments: the Impact of the ReadWrite Web  pp29-40

Richard Hall

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

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Abstract

The readwrite web, or Web 2.0, offers ways for users to personalise their online existence, and to develop their own critical identities though their control of a range of tools. Exerting control enables those users to forge new contexts, profiles and content through which to represent themselves, based upon the user‑centred, participative, social networking affordances of specific technologies. In turn these technologies enable learners to integrate their own contexts, profiles and content, in order to develop informal associations or communities of inquiry. Within educational contexts these tools enable spaces for learners to extend their own formal learning into more informal places though the fusion of web‑based tools into a task‑oriented personal learning environment. Where students are empowered to make decisions about the tools that support their personal approaches to learning, they are able develop further control over their learning experiences and move towards their own subject‑based mastery. Critically, they are able to define with whom to share their personal approaches, and how they can best connect the informal learning that occurs across their life to their formal, academic work. The personal definition or fusion of tools and tasks is afforded through individual control over the learning environment. The flowering of personal learning aims, mediated by technologies and rules of engagement, occurs within task‑specific loops where learners can interpret and process epistemological signals. In turn, where those loops are located within broader, personalised environments students can make contextual sense of their learning and extend their own educational opportunities. Moreover, they can extend their own academic decision‑making through application in other contexts, and as a result manage their own academic uncertainties. This is evidenced through a thematic study of the voices of both learners and tutors, which highlights how the readwrite web can be used proactively by educators, using specific tasks to enable learners to fuse their informal and formal learning spaces, and thereby enhance their decision‑making confidence. The structuring of learning spaces that enable users and social networks to manage their educational processes is enhanced by readwrite web approaches and tools, and in this paper is defined through a Fused Learner Integration model.

 

Keywords: learner personal learning environment formal learning informal learning readwrite web Web 2.0 thematic analysis

 

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Journal Article

Mobile City and Language Guides — New Links Between Formal and Informal Learning Environments  pp85-92

Mads Bo-Kristensen, Niels Ole Ankerstjerne, Chresteria Neutzsky-Wulff, Herluf Schelde

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

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Abstract

One of the major challenges in second and foreign language education, is to create links between formal and informal learning environments. Mobile City and Language Guides present examples of theoretical and practical reflections on such links. This paper presents and discusses the first considerations of Mobile City and Language Guides in language centres, upper secondary schools and universities. The core concept of Mobile City and Language Guides is geotagging. Geographical locations can be geotagged either through GPS or by marking positions directly in, e.g., Google Earth or Google Maps. Students or teachers can add various kinds of information to geotags: Photos, audio, text, movies, links, vocabulary and various language tasks. This allows the student, in self‑defined learning contexts, to down‑ and upload location‑based materials with his or her mobile phone, for immediate or later processing. More and more students are able to afford mobile phones with multimedia and broadband Internet. The potentials of user‑generated mobile‑ and web‑based content are increasing. In these years, the internet is moving from the so‑called Web 1.0 to the more user‑centered Web 2.0, i.e. Weblogs, YouTube, Google Maps, MySpace, FlickR, etc. In an educational context, Web 2.0 represents an interesting development of the relatively monologue Web 1.0, where traditional homepages often only allow minimal interaction with the site content. This paper investigates the opportunities that Mobile City and Language Guides seem to give second and foreign language students to learn from informal, location‑based, experience‑based and authentic materials; and discusses how language centres, upper secondary education and universities can involve informal learning contexts through student use of mobiles with broadband and Internet technology supporting second and foreign learning. Mobile City and Language Guides is only of several possible mobile and Internet‑based language educational scenarios. The challenge for the future, therefore, is to develop and implement new, meaningful and exciting scenarios that strengthen the linkages between formal and informal learning environments.

 

Keywords: second and foreign language education, formal and informal learning, broadband mobile technology, web 2.0, geotagging

 

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Journal Article

Adoption of Web 2.0 Technologies in Education for Health Professionals in the UK: Where are we and why?  pp165-172

Rod Ward, Pam Moule, Lesley Lockyer

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

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Abstract

This paper describes the findings about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the education of health professionals in the United Kingdom (UK). The work is part of a wider study scoping the use of e‑learning. Its objectives were to: Explore issues influencing implementation and use by both early and late adopters; Identify barriers to implementation and good practice; Review the employment of e‑learning within curricula representing a range of teaching models. In phase one, a postal survey obtained data from 25 higher education institutions relating to their uptake and development in this field. A second phase identified four case studies, two from early and two late adopters, reflecting the features identified from phase one. In the case studies, interviews and focus groups with students and staff were conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the issues which were significant to them. The main findings suggested e‑learning development and use varies, with a spectrum of employment across the sector. The predominant engagement is with instructivist learning approaches managed through a Virtual Learning Environment with only limited experimentation in interactive learning online. This paper will discuss the findings from the study where they relate to the limited use of Web 2.0 technologies. It will include a discussion on the moral, legal and ethical implications of current and future developments.

 

Keywords: Web 2.0, survey, case study, e-learning, web based learning

 

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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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