• 100 Collaborative Products and their Uses

      Baggaley, Jon; Depow, Jim; Klaas, Jim; Wark, Norine (AU Press, 2003-10-01)
    • A bibliometric mapping of open educational resources

      Zancanaro, Airton; Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; Todesco, José Leomar; Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; Ramos, Fernando; Universidade de Aveiro (AU Press, 2015-01-20)
      Open educational resources (OER) is a topic that has aroused increasing interest by researchers as a powerful contribution to improve the educational system quality and openness, both in face to face and distance education. The goal of this research is to map publications related to OER, dating from 2002 to 2013, and available through the Web of Science and Scopus scientific databases as well as in the OER Knowledge Cloud open repository. Data were used to explore relevant aspects related to the scientific production in OER, such as: (i) number of publications per year; (ii) most cited publications; (iii) authors with higher number of publications; (iv) institutions and countries with more publications and (v) most referenced bibliography by the authors. The analysis has included 544 papers, written by 843 authors, from 338 institutions, from 61 different countries. Moreover, the analysis has included the publications referenced and the author’s keywords, considering 6,355 different publications and 929 different keywords. Besides presenting a bibliographic mapping of the research on OER, this paper also intends to contribute to consolidate the idea that OER is a promising field for researchers, in line with the spreading of the Open movement.
    • A Bridge over Troubled Waters: Learning Technologies in the Middle East

      Eshet-Alkalai, Yoram; The Open University of Israel; Aydin, Cengiz Hakan; Andolu University (AU Press, 2009-04-29)
    • A Case Study in Planning Online Interaction

      Murphy, L. A. (AU Press, 2001-07-01)
    • A case study of an international e-learning training division: Meeting objectives

      Commonwealth of Learning; McGreal, Rory; Athabasca University (AU Press, 2009-12-01)
      This paper presents an evaluation of the work of the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) eLearning with International Organisations (eLIO) section. Participants in the investigation included a representative sample of the learners (N = 15), their supervisors (N = 5), and the COL staff, including all of the eLIO staff (N = 10). The methodology consisted of an examination of all relevant documents, interviews that formed a learning history, and a sample survey. The investigation concluded that the eLIO achieved its goal of developing a distance learning model, and it met or exceeded identified objectives, with a high degree of satisfaction expressed by all participants. This included teaching +2000 satisfied learners; partnering with eight international organizations; achieving a 62% female participation rate and a high completion rate (75%) in the courses provided; testing, piloting, and delivering two new elearning courses; conducting needs analyses; recruiting/training highly qualified tutors; monitoring; and using appropriate technologies. Shortcomings of the programmes include the lack of pre- and post-tests, little analysis of pricing structures, some unclear instructions (a need for plain English), unclear copyright licensing, only very limited use of available OER software, and the absence of a succession plan for the manager. Based on the high level of satisfaction among all participants, it was recommended that the section maintain its present work and address these shortcomings.
    • A case study of integrating Interwise: Interaction, internet self-efficacy, and satisfaction in synchronous online learning environments

      Kuo, Yu-Chun; Jackson State University; Walker, Andrew E.; Utah State University; Belland, Brian R.; Utah State University; Schroder, Kerstin E. E.; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Kuo, Yu-Tung; National Chiao Tung University (AU Press, 2014-01-15)
      This paper reports research on the implementation of a web-based videoconferencing tool (Interwise) for synchronous learning sessions on an industrial technology course offered through a university in northern Taiwan. The participants included undergraduate students from the same course offered in two different semesters. We investigated students' perceptions of interactions with the instructor and fellow students, their confidence in utilizing the Internet (Internet self-efficacy), and the satisfaction level that students perceived throughout the learning process with Interwise. We also examined the effect of interactions and Internet self-efficacy on student satisfaction. Data collected through paper-based and online surveys were analyzed using correlation and multiple regression. The results revealed that overall, learners perceived Interwise as a tool that was moderately easy to use for synchronous learning. Learners seemed to prefer using the Interwise features, such as emotion icons, talk, or raise hand, to interact with their instructor. Learners had high confidence in gathering data or getting support through the Internet, but low confidence in resolving Internet related problems. Both learner-learner and learner-instructor interactions were significant predictors of student satisfaction, while Internet self-efficacy did not significantly contribute to satisfaction. Learner-instructor interaction was found to be the strongest predictor of student satisfaction.
    • A Case Study on Mobile-Blended Collaborative Learning in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Context

      Avci, Hulya; Beykent University; Adiguzel, Tufan; Bahcesehir University (AU Press, 2017-11-29)
      As learning a foreign language poses a number of challenges for the students, it has become indispensable to search for “optimal” conditions to enhance opportunities of engaging in the target language. Within this context, the Mobile-Blended Collaborative Learning model has been integrated in and out of the classroom learning in order to enable language learners to practice English by means of collaborative, authentic language activities based on project-based learning approach. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of using mobile instant messaging application, WhatsApp on the language proficiency of EFL students.  Participants (N = 85) were enrolled in five upper-intermediate prep classes at a foundation university in Istanbul and took part in a seven-week Project Work. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions, self- and peer evaluations of group work, a rubric for assessing project work, and log files of WhatsApp conversations. Results revealed practicing English in an authentic setting where the students used the target language for a real purpose facilitated their language learning, improved their communication skills and vocabulary knowledge, and made them recognize colloquial English. Additionally, instant messaging in an informal platform for educational purposes had positive effects on their performance and the quality of their work.
    • A Co-Design Process Microanalysis: Stages and Facilitators of an Inquiry-Based and Technology-Enhanced Learning Scenario

      Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (EDU2012-37537); Barbera, Elena; Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Garcia, Iolanda; Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Fuertes-Alpiste, Marc; Universitat de Barcelona (AU Press, 2017-09-25)
      This paper presents a case study of the co-design process for an online course on Sustainable Development (Degree in Tourism) involving the teacher, two students, and the project researchers. The co-design process was founded on an inquiry-based and technology-enhanced model that takes shape in a set of design principles. The research had two main objectives. Firstly, to identify the moments of change that occur during the co-design process and secondly, to describe the causes and agents that motivate them. This study applied design-based research methodology and used a qualitative approach to collect, analyse, and interpret data. The results show that the co-design methodology led to moderate changes consisting of the progressive construction and refinement of the activities, seeking a sense of continuum throughout by including students’ collaboration. The findings also reveal the main role of each of the actors involved. Thus, the teacher focused on basic instructional design related aspects while students focused on improving the use of resources and learning aids. Researchers helped them to embody and achieve the proposed changes and also acted as mediators of pedagogical concepts and vocabulary. CompendiumLD software was a helpful tool to graphically represent and share the prototyping of the activities and to help analyse the design process.
    • A Cognitive Style Perspective to Handheld Devices: Customization vs. Personalization

      Hsieh, Chen-Wei; Chen, Sherry Y.; Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central Univeristy (AU Press, 2016-02-02)
      Handheld devices are widely applied to support open and distributed learning, where students are diverse. On the other hand, customization and personalization can be applied to accommodate students’ diversities. However, paucity of research compares the effects of customization and personalization in the context of handheld devices. To this end, we developed a customized digital learning system (CDLS) and personalized digital learning system (PDLS), which were implemented on the handheld devices and tailored to the needs of students with diverse cognitive styles. Furthermore, we conducted two empirical studies to examine the effects of cognitive styles on the use of the CDLS and PDLS. More specifically, Study 1 identified the preferences of each cognitive style group, which were employed to develop the PDLS in Study 2, which investigated how students with different cognitive styles react to the CDLS and the PDLS.  The results from these two studies showed that student in the CDLS and those in the PDLS obtained similar task scores and post-test scores. However, Serialists with the PDLS could more efficiently complete the tasks than those with CDLS. Additionally, Holists more positively perceived the PDLS than Serialists.
    • A Collaborative Approach to OER Policy and Guidelines Development in the Commonwealth: The Case of Botswana, Cameroon, and Sri Lanka

      The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, USA; Abeywardena, Ishan Sudeera; Commonwealth of Learning (COL); Karunanayaka, Shironica P.; The Open University of Sri Lanka; Nkwenti, Michael N.; The University of Yaounde I; Tladi, Lekopanye; Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (AU Press, 2018-05-01)
      Access to relevant learning resources is an important aspect in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all as outlined in the sustainable development goal 4 (SDG4). The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has identified the development of open educational resources (OER) as a potential answer to these challenges. A total of 29 provincial/regional OER policies and guidelines were developed in Sri Lanka, Botswana, and Cameroon closely involving 608 provincial/regional policymakers from the general education system. The innovation of this project lies in the collaborative approach adopted for OER policy/guideline development where a maximum number of policymakers at the provincial/regional level have been included in the policy development process. Key applications of the approach are mass-sensitization of policymakers, identification of champions in each province or region to drive the OER agenda forward, and the development of policies/guidelines tailored to the specific needs of a particular jurisdiction. The paper will also highlight the success factors, challenges, and the follow-up activities of the project.
    • A Comparative Study of Dropout Rates and Causes for Two Different Distance Education Courses

      Pierrakeas, Christos; Xeno, Michalis; Panagiotakopoulos, Christos; Vergidis, Dimitris (AU Press, 2004-08-01)
      This paper reports the results of a survey conducted to examine the root causes leading to student dropout at a Greek distance education university. Data was gathered from two different courses – an undergraduate course leading to a Bachelors degree in Informatics (characterized by high dropout rates), and a postgraduate course leading to a Masters degree in education (characterized by low dropout rates). A comparative analysis of these two different courses revealed important similarities in dropout percentages and the reasons cited by students for dropping out. Our analysis also revealed important differences as well. This paper presents the results of a survey designed to investigate the relationship between dropout with intrinsic (student-related) factors such as sickness, work/ school conflict etc., and extrinsic (institutional-related) factors such as study methods and materials, educational approach, and tutor influence.
    • A comparison of learner intent and behaviour in live and archived MOOCs

      MOOC Research Initiative; Open UToronto, University of Toronto; Campbell, Jennifer; University of Toronto; Gibbs, Alison L; University of Toronto; Najafi, Hedieh; University of Toronto; Severinski, Cody; University of Toronto (AU Press, 2014-10-06)
      The advent of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has created opportunities for learning that are clearly in high demand, but the direction in which MOOCs should evolve to best meet the interests and needs of learners is less apparent. Motivated by our interest in whether there are potential and purpose for archived MOOCs to be used as learning resources beyond and between instructor-led live-sessions, we examined the use of a statistics MOOC and a computer science MOOC, both of which were made available as archived-courses after a live-session and for which enrolment continued to grow while archived. Using data collected from surveys of learner demographics and intent, the course database of major learner activity, and the detailed clickstream of all learner actions, we compared the demographics, intent, and behaviour of live- and archived-learners. We found that archived-learners were interested in the live-MOOC and that their patterns of use of course materials, such as the number and sequence of videos they watched, the number of assessments they completed, their demonstration of self-regulatory behaviour, and their rate of participation in the discussion forums, were similar to the live-learners. In addition, we found evidence of learners drawing on an archived-MOOC for use as reference material. Anticipated areas of impact of this work include implications for the future development of MOOCs as resources for self-study and professional development, and in support of learner success in other courses.
    • A Computational Method for Enabling Teaching-Learning Process in Huge Online Courses and Communities

      Spanish Ministry of Education and Competitiveness; Mora, Higinio; University of Alicante; Ferrández, Antonio; University of Alicante; Gil, David; University of Alicante; Peral, Jesús; University of Alicante (AU Press, 2017-02-28)
      Massive Open Online Courses and e-learning represent the future of the teaching-learning processes through the development of Information and Communication Technologies. They are the response to the new education needs of society. However, this future also presents many challenges such as the processing of online forums when a huge number of messages are generated. These forums provide an excellent platform for learning and connecting students of the subject, but the difficulties in following and searching the vast volume of information that they generate may produce the opposite effect. In this paper, we propose a computational method for enabling the educational process in huge online learning communities. This method analyses the forum information through Natural Language Processing techniques and extract the main topics discussed. The results generated improves the management of the forums, increases the effectiveness of the teachers’ explanations and reduces the time spent by students to follow the course. The proposal has been complemented with a real case study that shows promising results.
    • A Construct Revalidation of the Community of Inquiry Survey: Empirical Evidence for a General Factor Under a Bifactor Structure

      Yang, Ph.D., Hongwei; Su, Ph.D., Jian (Athabasca University Press, 2021-11-22)
      The study revisited the community of inquiry (CoI) instrument for construct revalidation. To that end, the study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to examine four competing models (unidimensional, correlated-factor, second-order factor, and bifactor models) on model fit statistics computed using parameter estimates from a statistical estimator for ordinal categorical data. The CFA identified as the optimal structure the bifactor model where all items loaded on their intended domains and the existence of the general factor was supported, essentially evidence of construct validity for the instrument. The study further examined the bifactor model using mostly model-based reliability measures. The findings confirmed the contributions of the general factor to the reliability of instrument scores. The study concluded with validity and reliability evidence for the bifactor model, supported the model as a valid and reliable representation of the CoI instrument and a fuller representation of the CoI theoretical framework, and recommended its use in CoI-related research and practice in online education.
    • A Contribution to the Hellenic Open University: Evaluation of the pedagogical practices and the use of ICT on distance education

      Koustourakis, Gerasimos; University of Patras; Panagiotakopoulos, Chris; University of Patras; Vergidis, Dimitris; University of Patras (AU Press, 2008-02-20)
      This study examines a) the methods used to structure the pedagogy necessary to underpin distance education delivery used by the Hellenic Open University (HOU); b) the adoption of pedagogical and epistemological conceptual systems HOU uses for the development of its pedagogical practices; and c) the role of information and communication technology (ICT), and the degree of ICTs incorporation into distance education delivery at HOU. This study shows that: a) in terms of providing rigorous course contents, strong framing exists between HOU’s various learning modules; b) in terms of pedagogical practices, there is a strong hierarchical relationship and framing between HOU’s academic staff and tutors, while conversely, framing is weaker between its tutors and students; c) in terms of ICT usage HOU, in general, uses technology for administration, while conversely, and depending on the program of study, it currently only has limited use for student learning.
    • A Critical Look at a Blended English Language Teacher Education Program with an Emphasis on the Practicum

      Koç, Ebru Melek; Izmir Institute of Technology, Academic Writing Centre (AU Press, 2016-07-08)
      The aim of the present study was to explore what types of difficulties student teachers enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Language Teacher Education program offered in a blended format and their cooperating teachers encountered during the student teacher practicum. The participants were 21 fourth grade student teachers and 12 cooperating teachers. Semi-structured interview questions were used to collect data. The interviews were tape-recorded and then transcribed to be analyzed. According to the findings, the problems student teachers faced were grouped into four areas: assessment systems, computer–assisted communication, challenges with mentors, and psychological issues. Cooperating teachers’ problems were categorized as problems associated with the program and problems associated with the student teachers. The results of this study contribute to an increased understanding of the problems that student teachers and their cooperating teachers face during field experience at an English language teacher education program offered in a distance format. This study provides suggestions for establishing more effective mentorship during the field experience.
    • A cultural-historical activity theory investigation of contradictions in open and distance higher education among alienated adult learners in Korea National Open University

      Youngin Kim, Korea National Open University, Department of Youth Education; Joo, K. P.; The Pennsylvania State University (AU Press, 2014-01-15)
      Drawing upon cultural-historical activity theory, this research analyzed the structural contradictions existing in a variety of educational activities among a group of alienated adult students in Korea National Open University (KNOU). Despite KNOU’s quantitative development in student enrollment, the contradictions shed light on how the institution’s top-down, bureaucratic pedagogical system collided with individual expectations and needs. In particular, the participants’ critical viewpoints demonstrate the incompatible social roles that the open and distance higher education institution plays in Korean society. For example, while KNOU contributes to extending higher education opportunities for those who have unmet educational needs, the value of the KNOU degree has not been socially acknowledged since there is little, if any, competition in the entrance process. This study also documents how these contradictions were culturally and historically embedded in the participants’ distance higher education activities. Given the persistent contradictions, the research findings illuminate that KNOU’s efficiency-oriented model has not effectively facilitated the students’ learning as its distance higher education system is inevitably based on a compromise between a competitive, quality curriculum and the efficient extension of audiences.