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 Issue
Volume 6 Issue 3 / Oct 2008  pp161‑254

Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz

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Developing Critically Thoughtful, Media‑Rich Lessons in Science: Process and Product  pp161‑170

Philip Balcaen

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Distinguishing the Field of Educational Technology  pp171‑178

Laura Czerniewicz

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

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

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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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Stefanie Hain, Andrea Back

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The eLIDA CAMEL Nomadic Model of Collaborative Partnership for a Community of Practice in Design for Learning  pp197‑206

Jill Jameson

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Digital Literacies in the Lives of Undergraduate Students: Exploring Personal and Curricular Spheres of Practice  pp207‑216

Sylvia Jones, Mary R. Lea

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Navigating the e‑Learning Terrain: Aligning Technology, Pedagogy and Context  pp217‑226

Mandia Mentis

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Reinventing Papert's Constructionism — Boosting Young Children's Writing Skills with e‑Learning Designed for Dyslexics  pp227‑234

Karin Tweddell Levinsen

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A Data Warehouse Model for Micro‑Level Decision Making in Higher Education  pp235‑244

Liezl van Dyk

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

Gerda van Wyk, Arno Louw

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