Abstract: Designing and implementing successful online learning has been at the forefront of institutional agendas since digital learning increased in market demand over the last decade. However there is still ongoing debate as to the “how” of this arduous task. The Community of Inquiry (CoI) is one learning design method that has seen potential in the field, but practical implementation of designing for the important components of Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence have yet to be fully realised. This paper researches an e-learning design strategy called E-tivities as a suggested possible method for designing for CoI components. The research explored recent online blog posts of experienced learning designers’ and educators’ experience in designing successful online learning using E-tivities. Results suggest the E-tivities do have the potential to cater for all Presences of CoI. Specifically when using E-tivities to design online learning Affective Expression was the highest reported Social Presence design factor. All four components of Cognitive Presence appeared to be present in E-tivities design. The most important component for adequate Teaching Presence factors was the initial Design and Organisation of the course. E-tivities and the 5-Stage Model provides a solid framework for this to occur.
Abstract: While there have been very limited studies of the educational computing literature to analyze the research trends since the early emergence of educational computing technologies, the authors argue that it is important for both researchers and educators to understand the major, historical educational computing trends in order to inform understandings of current and future eLearning trends. This study provides the findings of an analysis of 2,694 journal articles published between 1977 and 2005 in four major, international educational computing journals. It provides the platform for a subsequent analysis for the period 2006–2014 and beyond, as future educational computing research is published. The journal articles analyzed were categorized according to their research themes. Subsequently, clustering analysis, multi-dimension scale analysis, and research diversity analysis were performed on the categorized results to explore the research trends. The research literature analysis confirmed that there were identifiable evolutionary trends dating from 1977, and, importantly, the analysis highlighted that each key breakthrough in technology was accompanied by increased educational research about those technologies to inform educational practices. Importantly, two major driving forces of the historical trends identified were technologies and pedagogical approaches. The paper concludes with explanations of how these trends from 1977–2005 have shaped the current focus on Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) needed for effective current and future eLearning.
Abstract: The value of the duration of participation in a small spacecraft program has not previously been sufficiently characterized. This work seeks to determine whether most relevant benefits are received by participants quickly (suggesting that participant education would be best achieved by shorter duration exposure to multiple domains) or accrues over time (suggesting that prolonged work on a single project would be most beneficial). The experiences of the student participants in the OpenOrbiter Small Spacecraft Development Initiative at the University of North Dakota are analyzed in an attempt to answer this question. To this end, correlation between the duration of program participation and the level of benefit received (across five categories) is assessed herein.
Abstract: This mixed methods study examined the effectiveness of a virtual world curriculum for teaching elementary students complex science concepts and skills. Data were collected using pre- and post-content tests and a student survey of engaged learning, An additional survey collected teacher observations of 21st century competencies conducive to learning. The study involved a five-day intervention of fifteen 4th grade students in a small Midwestern school using a virtual science computer game from Arizona State University. Thirty elementary teachers from Australia, England, and the United States were surveyed on classroom observations of their elementary students working in the virtual world environment. Research questions guiding the virtual learning study were: (1) do pre- and post-content tests show significant learning in the virtual environment; (2) are students academically engaged during the learning process; and (3) are students actively demonstrating relevant 21st century competencies. The study supports prior research in game-based learning showing measureable learning results, highly engaged, motivated students, and observations of student behaviors conducive to learning science in school, namely collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking/inquiry, global awareness, and technology use.
Educ. Sci.2014, 4(1), 108-121; doi:10.3390/educsci4010108 - published online 24 February 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article considers the potential of 3D printing as an eLearning tool for design education and the role of eMaking in bringing together the virtual and the physical in the design studio. eLearning has matured from the basics of lecture capture into sophisticated, interactive learning activities for students. At the same time, laptops and internet enabled phones have made computer-based learning mobile, invading classroom learning, changing communication between students, enabling on the spot research, and making the recording of ideas and activities easier. The barriers between online and offline are becoming blurred in a combined digital and physical learning environment. Three-dimensional printing is part of this unification and can be an empowering learning tool for students, changing their relationship with the virtual and the physical, allowing them to take ideas and thinking from screen to reality and back again in an iterative, connected process, however, from an eLearning point of view it is, more importantly, a transformative technology with the potential to change the relationship of the learner to their learning and the scope and nature of their work. Examples from Griffith Product Design student learning illustrate the potential of eMaking to enhance combined learning in a digital age.