Special Issue "Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos

Department of Computer and Informatics Engineering, University of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, Ag. Loukas 65404, Kavala, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mobile learning; augmented reality; web based distance learning; virtual learning environments; asynchronous distance education; intelligent tutoring systems; student modelling; internet applications of AI

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current Special Issue provides a focal point for presenting authoritative references, academically rigorous research, and case studies in both theoretical and applied research.

Its purpose is to discuss the effective management in state-of-the-art innovative distance learning.

In detail, this issue intends to disseminate research and studies in the emerging innovative distance learning environments, including emerging innovative learning technologies, discussing the effective interaction between users and innovative distance learning environments, presenting practical experiences on the design of innovative distance learning environments, and applications of the innovative technologies to distance learning system development in institutions (primary, secondary and higher education).

Subject coverage of this Special Issue includes, but is not limited to:

  • Innovative distance learning environments;
  • Innovative distance learning applications;
  • Application of innovative distance learning systems in learning institutions;
  • Mobile games for learning;
  • Mobile collaborative distance learning;
  • Augmented Reality and Distance Learning environment;
  • Critical success factors for innovative distance learning diffusion;
  • Knowledge management and distance learning strategies in education;
  • Role of distance learning in training and practice;
  • Studies of innovative distance learning in practice;
  • Big Data and Distance Learning.

Prof. Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • distance learning
  • mobile learning
  • augmented reality
  • technology enhanced learning
  • MOOCs
  • big data

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Distance Learning—Predictions and Possibilities
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010035
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Education systems, educational institutions and educational professions, including those of distance learning, can often be inward-looking, backward-looking and self-referential, meaning that they are often fixated on their own concerns, values and processes. In many respects, this is necessary and valuable but the topic
[...] Read more.
Education systems, educational institutions and educational professions, including those of distance learning, can often be inward-looking, backward-looking and self-referential, meaning that they are often fixated on their own concerns, values and processes. In many respects, this is necessary and valuable but the topic of challenges and future trends in distance learning is an opportunity to explore the place of distance learning in a wider world where cultures and ideologies clash, where education and employment are no longer stable and secure, where universities and colleges are under unprecedented pressures, where the technologies and trends of educational technology represent a crowded and chaotic space and where a critical examination of distance learning is necessary to underpin its methods and its mission. This paper addresses in essence three questions, firstly, is the distance learning community clear about the definition and purpose of its work, secondly, what are global political, economic and technological pressures on the institutions of higher education delivering distance learning, and thirdly, what do typical innovations and trends in educational technology signify for distance learning? These are linked questions and the answers constitute challenging predictions and possibilities. The nature of these questions means there are no simple answers only a more complete understanding of a fluid, partial and complex environment within which education, including distance learning, cannot operate in ignorance or isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
Open AccessArticle The Flipped MOOC: Using Gamification and Learning Analytics in MOOC Design—A Conceptual Approach
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010025
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
PDF Full-text (495 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recently, research has highlighted the potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for education, as well as their drawbacks, which are well known. Several studies state that the main limitations of the MOOCs are low completion and high dropout rates of participants. However,
[...] Read more.
Recently, research has highlighted the potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for education, as well as their drawbacks, which are well known. Several studies state that the main limitations of the MOOCs are low completion and high dropout rates of participants. However, MOOCs suffer also from the lack of participant engagement, personalization, and despite the fact that several formats and types of MOOCs are reported in the literature, the majority of them contain a considerable amount of content that is mainly presented in a video format. This is in contrast to the results reported in other educational settings, where engagement and active participation are identified as success factors. We present the results of a study that involved educational experts and learning scientists giving new and interesting insights towards the conceptualization of a new design approach, the flipped MOOC, applying the flipped classroom approach to the MOOCs’ design and making use of gamification and learning analytics. We found important indications, applicable to the concept of a flipped MOOC, which entails turning MOOCs from mainly content-oriented delivery machines into personalized, interactive, and engaging learning environments. Our findings support the idea that MOOCs can be enriched by the orchestration of a flipped classroom approach in combination with the support of gamification and learning analytics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
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Open AccessArticle Distance Learning and Assistance Using Smart Glasses
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010021
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the everyday growth of technology, new possibilities arise to support activities of everyday life. In education and training, more and more digital learning materials are emerging, but there is still room for improvement. This research study describes the implementation of a smart
[...] Read more.
With the everyday growth of technology, new possibilities arise to support activities of everyday life. In education and training, more and more digital learning materials are emerging, but there is still room for improvement. This research study describes the implementation of a smart glasses app and infrastructure to support distance learning with WebRTC. The instructor is connected to the learner by a video streaming session and gets the live video stream from the learner’s smart glasses from the learner’s point of view. Additionally, the instructor can draw on the video to add context-aware information. The drawings are immediately sent to the learner to support him to solve a task. The prototype has been qualitatively evaluated by a test user who performed a fine-motor-skills task and a maintenance task under assistance of the remote instructor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Systematic Design and Rapid Development of Motion-Based Touchless Games for Enhancing Students’ Thinking Skills
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010018
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
PDF Full-text (5035 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the last few years, there has been a growing interest in students getting engaged in digital game-making activities so as to enhance their thinking skills. The findings of studies that have examined the impact of such initiatives are quite positive, especially concerning
[...] Read more.
During the last few years, there has been a growing interest in students getting engaged in digital game-making activities so as to enhance their thinking skills. The findings of studies that have examined the impact of such initiatives are quite positive, especially concerning the promotion of 21st century skills; however, many students seem to face difficulties in getting a deeper understanding of the game development life cycle. Additionally, students often have difficulties in meaningfully reusing and applying the concepts from various subjects, mainly mathematics and physics, into their game-making tasks or in understanding advanced programming commands while creating their games. The present study presents an innovative game-making teaching approach that suggests a series of steps for the systematic design and rapid development of motion-based touchless games, i.e., games that are based on natural user interaction technologies, like the Microsoft Kinect camera. Findings from evaluation studies in two (2) secondary schools indicate that this approach can increase student motivation, strengthen their computational thinking, enhance their understanding of geometric principles and improve their social skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
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Open AccessArticle ARTutor—An Augmented Reality Platform for Interactive Distance Learning
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010006
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Augmented Reality (AR) has been used in various contexts in recent years in order to enhance user experiences in mobile and wearable devices. Various studies have shown the utility of AR, especially in the field of education, where it has been observed that
[...] Read more.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been used in various contexts in recent years in order to enhance user experiences in mobile and wearable devices. Various studies have shown the utility of AR, especially in the field of education, where it has been observed that learning results are improved. However, such applications require specialized teams of software developers to create and maintain them. In an attempt to solve this problem and enable educators to easily create AR content for existing textbooks, the ARTutor platform was developed. It consists of a web-based application that acts as an AR authoring tool, and an accompanying mobile application that is used to access and interact with the educational AR content. In addition, the ARTutor application allows students to ask questions verbally and receive answers based on the contents of the book. This means that the system is suitable for distance learning and promotes self-study and independent learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
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Open AccessArticle Curriculum Integration in Distance Learning at Primary and Secondary Educational Levels on the Example of eTwinning Projects
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010001
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Curriculum integration is one of the concepts which has been discussed for years. Telecollaborative projects, which employ elements of distance learning, provide opportunities for putting the idea into practice. Analysis of eTwinning projects undertaken in Polish schools aims at demonstrating the integrative role
[...] Read more.
Curriculum integration is one of the concepts which has been discussed for years. Telecollaborative projects, which employ elements of distance learning, provide opportunities for putting the idea into practice. Analysis of eTwinning projects undertaken in Polish schools aims at demonstrating the integrative role of distance learning approaches and their contribution to integration of various themes in educational context. As the eTwinning framework is very flexible, allowing for teacher and students autonomy the projects may vary in the topics, age and number of participants, duration scope within curriculum etc. The study shows various levels and perspectives of curriculum integration which take place in eTwinning projects. It also discusses the role of distance learning at primary and secondary educational levels. The challenge is to transform international collaboration of selected schools an everyday practice for all learners and teachers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of Distance Learning)
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