The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
For publication in December 2016: Special issue on Research Methodologies in e-Learning. See the Call for Papers for further details
Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the current European Conference on e-Learning is available here

For infomation on the International Conference on eLearning, click here

For infomation on the European Conference on Games Based Learning clickhere

 

Journal Article

Cultural Impact on Online Education Quality Perception  pp161-172

Manuela Milani

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp99 - 182

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Numerous stakeholders in the field of education have been working on the development and extent of the use of ICT in different learning communities (higher education, vocational training) and in different multicultural contexts thanks also to EU funding opportunities. In this framework, they have participated in the building of various cross‑national teaching and learning models. The strategies which supported the development of such educational projects introducing online teaching and learning activities in the framework of European projects generally rely on the basic premise of the homogeneity of the educational systems likely to be used, and according to similar methods, the resources and training devices with ICT. This can lead to the negation of potential discrepancies, particularly cultural ones, in educational systems. The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of "quality in online education within European Online Academic Education's context", how this concept takes shape and how it becomes — or not — part of teaching and learning practices. We decided to focus our attention on the concept of "quality" to understand the eventual impact of the cultural factor on the developing scenario of virtual education because this concept seems to be particularly revealing if we take into consideration its "open nature". The increasing number of virtual campuses reveals how common the development of teaching modules are nowadays together with complete degrees based on inter‑university and transnational collaborations with the aim of transferring learning objects from one educational context to another. Virtual mobility is thus becoming a reality for a greater number of students. However, the multicultural dimension of these new environments has not been investigated yet and in particular the notion of "online teaching quality" is still under‑exploited. This paper intends to provide a review of current works on Online Education Quality Measurement in general focusing on the investigation of Cultural Impact on Quality issues. At the same time this paper intends to shift the attention from students' to teachers' perception of quality and consequently on the possible different evaluation frameworks used within the same context: European Online Education. The paper is part of a PhD research aimed at exploring the impact of cultural dimensions on the design of online courses offered by universities from different European areas. The research notably aims to reveal differences between online courses' models, in order to uncover which one of them can be connected to the cultural dimension they belong to.

 

Keywords: cultural impact, cultural differences, quality, online education, virtual campus, virtual mobility

 

Share |

Journal Article

A Framework for Supporting Postsecondary Learners with Psychiatric Disabilities in Online Environments  pp101-110

Scott Grabinger

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Elena has a psychiatric disability: bipolar (manicdepressive) disorder. Daniele suffers from depression. Both are serious cognitive disorders that have significant effects on learning, especially learning online. One of the problems students with psychiatric disabilities encounter is finding support in online environments, especially when 10, 50, 100, or even 6000 kilometers from the originating university. Students with disabilities represent a growing number of students in postsecondary education. As the opportunities for online education continue to grow exponentially, so does the number of students with cognitive disabilities, like Elena and Daniele. Unfortunately, this is often a forgotten group because of ignorance and fear in society. Taking online courses is an important option for all students. As we will see, at the same time an online course can be difficult for students with disabilities; it also has advantages. Access to online instruction needs to be made available to students with cognitive disabilities just as it is for students with learning, mobility, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury disorders. The fundamental question, then, of this paper is "what can be done to improve access, retention, and success for the 14% of postsecondary students with cognitive impairments taking online classes?" Targeting specific types of impairments are not an efficient option, given that even the same kinds of impairments often present themselves in different ways. Rather, this paper develops a conceptual framework around work done by the Center of Applied Special Technology in the application of recognition, strategic, and affective brain networks to improve instruction related to cognitive impairments including attention and memory, language, executive function, problem solving, and social interaction. Additionally, I recommend turning the locus of support for students with cognitive impairments 180°, addressing support for students at the instructional level instead of the institutional level, which usually takes the learner out of the classroom. This has the negative effect of making the students feel as if they are not part of the class, and it delays support until the disabilities office has time to help the learners. This just‑in‑time approach based on instructional strategies personalizes instruction, minimizes frustration, and encourages persistence„leading to better learning and success. [Caveat: Statistics and the nature of the problems here describe the situation in the United States of America and are not meant to make assumptions of the postsecondary situation in Western Europe.]

 

Keywords: cognitive impairments online education, universal design for learning

 

Share |

Journal Article

Pilot Program of Online Learning in Three Small High Schools: Considerations of Learning Styles  pp353-366

Abigail Garthwait

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, Editor: Dr Rikke Ørngreen and Dr Karin Tweddell Levinsen, pp313 - 410

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Abstract: This case study was conducted in three schools in Maine, United States. The goal of this qualitative research was two‑fold: to describe the process used by a small educational consortium as it initiated formal online education, and to view this experience through the lens of students' preferred learning styles. The United States does not have a national curriculum. While the government of Maine offers some state‑level support for schools, many educational issues and initiatives are controlled a t the local level. Additionally, Maine is one of the most rural states in the country and the isolated nature of these schools adds to the dearth of curricular opportunities for students ages 14‑18. Data was collected using the Felder & Solomon (1993) Learning Styles Questionnaire and semi‑structured, bi‑semester interviews with ten students. Open and axial coding was used to identify themes, which were subsequently triangulated with a document review and the two sets of interviews with the three adul t coordinators. Findings fell within two groupings: data that substantiated prior research, and data that offer contradictory conclusions. Learning styles have an important place in online learning. However transactional distance, teacher response time, group work, and school filtering issues also emerged as critical. Conclusions carry implications for online educators, school administrators, and policy makers

 

Keywords: Keywords: online education, secondary education, learning styles, case study, transactional distance

 

Share |

Journal Article

Exploring the Current Theoretical Background About Adoption Until Institutionalization of Online Education in Universities: Needs for Further Research  pp73-84

Ines Casanovas

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Online education in institutional contexts means new organizational problems. The fact that universities need to change to accommodate the impact of technology on learning is already known and accepted. Coping with changes from adoption until institutionalization of online education represents a formidable management challenge for universities. Online education, under the umbrella of e‑learning was perceived by several early researchers as an innovation per‑se, "established and embedded" in educational institutions. Nevertheless, the Department for Education and Skills of UK insists that e‑learning is not embedded at any stage of education. The focus was strongly set on technological, practical and pedagogical aspects but there are relevant reports about failures in embedding innovations in educational institutions. The institutional lack of strategies to cope with international students and new technologies as well as supporting for future online developments clearly appeared in recent studies. Competition in the market of Higher Education has pushed universities towards the adoption of sophisticated organizational practices to ensure effectiveness. These new institutional models require changing traditional functions and roles, as online education does not usually fit into the existing university structure. The transition from on‑campus to online education evolves in new roles, either in the pedagogical or in the administration domains. Organizational factors, more than teachers and students attitudes or technological features seem to mark the differences in the general perception about technology‑mediated education getting successfully embedded in institutional new programs, roles, procedures, culture and structures. The aim of this paper is to revisit the existing theoretical background about the process from adoption until institutionalization of online education and explore the needs for further research. The overall purpose is to encourage researchers to fill the gaps of knowledge helping university managers to address a more clear understanding of the individual and organizational interactions that influence the development of strategies and institutionalization of emergent online educational initiatives. Exploring the current theoretical background it could be found that IT‑innovation adoption models describe very extensively organizational issues, but they mainly take into account educational innovation take‑up, adoption and implementation as isolated stages. They focus on factors and prescribed practices, but not on the human interactions during the transition from individual adoption until institutionalization. The disconnection between individual and organizational IT adoption research was remarked by the Diffusion Interest Group in Information Technology (DIGIT) in their 2004 conference. Since then, several authors have claimed for a better understanding of this linkage. The lack of clearness about the phenomena and a description of how individual and group‑level processes enable andor hinder the development of organizational routines, were reported as a still under‑developed topic and according to the findings of this review it seems to be still an ongoing theme. Consequently, under the circumstance of the transformation that universities are undergoing, the need for a systematic study analyzing the implementation of emergent IT innovations in education appears as significant. Particularly, the process from its adoption at individual level until its institutionalization and the linkage between individual and organizational purposes need to be addressed.

 

Keywords: online education, adoption, organizational factors, institutionalization, universities

 

Share |

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

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

 

Share |