Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

lifelong learning Related Abstracts

8 Teachers’ Awareness of the Significance of Lifelong Learning: A Case Study of Secondary School Teachers of Batna - Algeria

Authors: Bahloul Amel

Abstract:

This study is an attempt to raise the awareness of the stakeholders and the authorities on the sensitivity of Algerian secondary school teachers of English as a Foreign Language about the students’ loss of English language skills learned during formal schooling with effort and at expense and the supposed measures to arrest that loss. Data was collected from secondary school teachers of EFL and analyzed quantitatively using a questionnaire containing open-ended and close-ended questions. The results advocate a consensus about the need for actions to be adopted to make assessment techniques outcome-oriented. Most of the participants were in favor of including curricular activities involving contextualized learning, problem-solving learning critical self-awareness, self and peer-assisted learning, use of computers and internet so as to make learners autonomous.

Keywords: lifelong learning, Algeria, EFL, contextualized learning

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7 The Usefulness and Usability of a Linkedin Group for the Maintenance of a Community of Practice among Hand Surgeons Worldwide

Authors: Vaikunthan Rajaratnam

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Maintaining continuous professional development among clinicians has been a challenge. Hand surgery is a unique speciality with the coming together of orthopaedics, plastics and trauma surgeons. The requirements for a team-based approach to care with the inclusion of other experts such as occupational, physiotherapist and orthotic and prosthetist provide the impetus for the creation of communities of practice. This study analysed the community of practice in hand surgery that was created through a social networking website for professionals. The main objectives were to discover the usefulness of this community of practice created in the platform of the group function of LinkedIn. The second objective was to determine the usability of this platform for the purposes of continuing professional development among members of this community of practice. The methodology used was one of mixed methods which included a quantitative analysis on the usefulness of the social network website as a community of practice, using the analytics provided by the LinkedIn platform. Further qualitative analysis was performed on the various postings that were generated by the community of practice within the social network website. This was augmented by a respondent driven survey conducted online to assess the usefulness of the platform for continuous professional development. A total of 31 respondents were involved in this study. This study has shown that it is possible to create an engaging and interactive community of practice among hand surgeons using the group function of this professional social networking website LinkedIn. Over three years the group has grown significantly with members from multiple regions and has produced engaging and interactive conversations online. From the results of the respondents’ survey, it can be concluded that there was satisfaction of the functionality and that it was an excellent platform for discussions and collaboration in the community of practice with a 69 % of satisfaction. Case-based discussions were the most useful functions of the community of practice. This platform usability was graded as excellent using the validated usability tool. This study has shown that the social networking site LinkedIn’s group function can be easily used as a community of practice effectively and provides convenience to professionals and has made an impact on their practice and better care for patients. It has also shown that this platform was easy to use and has a high level of usability for the average healthcare professional. This platform provided the improved connectivity among professionals involved in hand surgery care which allowed for the community to grow and with proper support and contribution of relevant material by members allowed for a safe environment for the exchange of knowledge and sharing of experience that is the foundation of a community practice.

Keywords: Social Media, lifelong learning, Online Community, Hand surgery, community of practice, LinkedIn, continuing professional development

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6 Lifelong Learning in Applied Fields (LLAF) Tempus Funded Project: Assessing Constructivist Learning Features in Higher Education Settings

Authors: Dorit Alt, Nirit Raichel

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Educational practice is continually subjected to renewal needs, due mainly to the growing proportion of information communication technology, globalization of education, and the pursuit of quality. These types of renewal needs require developing updated instructional and assessment practices that put a premium on adaptability to the emerging requirements of present society. However, university instruction is criticized for not coping with these new challenges while continuing to exemplify the traditional instruction. In order to overcome this critical inadequacy between current educational goals and instructional methods, the LLAF consortium (including 16 members from 8 countries) is collaborating to create a curricular reform for lifelong learning (LLL) in teachers' education, health care and other applied fields. This project aims to achieve its objectives by developing, and piloting models for training students in LLL and promoting meaningful learning activities that could integrate knowledge with the personal transferable skills. LLAF has created a practical guide for teachers containing updated pedagogical strategies and assessment tools based on the constructivist approach for learning. This presentation will be limited to teachers' education only and to the contribution of a pre-pilot research aimed at providing a scale designed to measure constructivist activities in higher education learning environments. A mix-method approach was implemented in two phases to construct the scale: The first phase included a qualitative content analysis involving both deductive and inductive category applications of students' observations. The results foregrounded eight categories: knowledge construction, authenticity, multiple perspectives, prior knowledge, in-depth learning, teacher- student interaction, social interaction and cooperative dialogue. The students' descriptions of their classes were formulated as 36 items. The second phase employed structural equation modeling (SEM). The scale was submitted to 597 undergraduate students. The goodness of fit of the data to the structural model yielded sufficient fit results. This research elaborates the body of literature by adding a category of in-depth learning which emerged from the content analysis. Moreover, the theoretical category of social activity has been extended to include two distinctive factors: cooperative dialogue and social interaction. Implications of these findings for the LLAF project are discussed.

Keywords: Higher Education, lifelong learning, Constructivist Learning, mix-methodology

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5 'Marching into the Classroom' a Second Career in Education for Ex-Military Personnel

Authors: Mira Karnieli, Shosh Veitzman

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In recent years, due to transitions in teacher education, professional identities are changing. In many countries, the education system is absorbing ex-military personnel. The aim of this research is to investigate the phenomenon of retired officers in Israel who choose education as a second career and the training provided. The phenomenon of retired military permanent-service officers pursuing a career in education is not unique to Israel. In the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, government-supported accelerated programs (Troops to Teachers) are run for ex-military personnel (soldiers and officers) with a view to their entry into the education system. These programs direct the ex-military personnel to teacher education and training courses to obtain teaching certification. The present study, however, focused specifically on senior officers who have a full academic education, most of the participants hold second degrees in a variety of fields. They all retired from a rich military career, including roles in command, counseling, training, guidance, and management. The research included 80 participants' men and women. Data was drowning from in-depth interviews and questioner. The conceptual framework which guided this study was mixed methods. The qualitative-phenomenological methodology, using in-depth interviews, and a questioner. The study attempted to understand the motives and personal perceptions behind the choice of teaching. Were they able to identify prior skills that they had accumulated throughout their years of service? What were these skills? In addition, which (if any) would stand them in good stead for a career in teaching? In addition, they were asked how they perceived the training program’s contribution to their professionalization and integration in the education system. The data was independently coded by the researchers. Subsequently, the data was discussed by both researchers, codes were developed, and conceptual categories were formed. Analysis of the data shows this population to be characterized by the high motivation for studying, professionalization, contribution to society and a deep sense of commitment to education. All of them had a profession which they acquired in the past which is not related to education. However, their motives for choosing to teach are related to their wish to give expression to their leadership experience and ability, the desire to have an influence and to bring about change. This is derived from personal commitment, as well as from a worldview and value system that are supportive of education. In other words, they feel committed and act out of a sense of vocation. In conclusion, it will emphasize that all the research participants began working in education immediately upon completing the training program. They perceived this path as a way of realizing a mission despite the low status of the teaching profession in Israel and low teacher salaries.

Keywords: lifelong learning, cross-boundary skills, professional identities, teaching as a second career, training program

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4 Lifelong Learning and Digital Literacies in Language Learning

Authors: Selma Karabinar

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Lifelong learning can be described as a system where learning takes place for a person over the course of a lifespan and comprises formal, non-formal and informal learning to achieve the maximum possible improvement in personal, social, and vocational life. 21st century is marked with the digital technologies and people need to learn and adapt to new literacies as part of their lifelong learning. Our current knowledge gap brings to mind several questions: Do people with digital mindsets have different assumptions about affordances of digital technologies? How do digital mindsets lead language learners use digital technologies within and beyond classrooms? Does digital literacies have different significance for the learners? The presentation is based on a study attempted to answer these questions and show the relationship between lifelong learning and digital literacies. The study was conducted with learners of English language at a state university in Istanbul. The quantitative data in terms of participants' lifelong learning perception was collected through a lifelong learning scale from 150 students. Then 5 students with high and 5 with low lifelong learning perception were interviewed. They were questioned about their personal sense of agency in lifelong learning and how they use digital technologies in their language learning. Therefore, the qualitative data was analyzed in terms of their knowledge about digital literacies and actual use of it in their personal and educational life. The results of the study suggest why teaching new literacies are important for lifelong learning and also suggests implications for language teachers' education and language pedagogy.

Keywords: Language Learning, lifelong learning, digital mindsets, new literacies

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3 Social Semantic Web-Based Analytics Approach to Support Lifelong Learning

Authors: Khaled Halimi, Hassina Seridi-Bouchelaghem

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The purpose of this paper is to describe how learning analytics approaches based on social semantic web techniques can be applied to enhance the lifelong learning experiences in a connectivist perspective. For this reason, a prototype of a system called SoLearn (Social Learning Environment) that supports this approach. We observed and studied literature related to lifelong learning systems, social semantic web and ontologies, connectivism theory, learning analytics approaches and reviewed implemented systems based on these fields to extract and draw conclusions about necessary features for enhancing the lifelong learning process. The semantic analytics of learning can be used for viewing, studying and analysing the massive data generated by learners, which helps them to understand through recommendations, charts and figures their learning and behaviour, and to detect where they have weaknesses or limitations. This paper emphasises that implementing a learning analytics approach based on social semantic web representations can enhance the learning process. From one hand, the analysis process leverages the meaning expressed by semantics presented in the ontology (relationships between concepts). From the other hand, the analysis process exploits the discovery of new knowledge by means of inferring mechanism of the semantic web.

Keywords: lifelong learning, Social Semantic Web, Learning Analytics, connectivism

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2 Reinventing Business Education: Filling the Knowledge Gap on the Verge of the 4th Industrial Revolution

Authors: Elena Perepelova

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As the world approaches the 4th industrial revolution, income inequality has become one of the major societal concerns. Displacement of workers by technology becomes a reality, and in return, new skills and competencies are required. More important than ever, education needs to help individuals understand the wider world around them and make global connections. The author argues for the necessity to incorporate business, economics and finance studies as a part of primary education and offer access to business education to the general population with the primary objective to understand how the world functions. The paper offers a fresh look at existing business theory through an innovative program called 'Usefulnomics'. Realizing that the subject of Economics, Finance and Business are perceived as overwhelming for a large part of the population, the author has taken a holistic approach and created a program that simplifies the definitions of the existing concepts and shifts from the traditional breakdown into subjects and specialties to a teaching method that is based exclusively on real-life example case studies and group debates, in order to better grasp the concepts and put them into context. The paper findings are the result of a two-year project and experimental work with students from UK, USA, Malaysia, Russia, and Spain. The author conducted extensive research through on-line and in-person classes and workshops as well as in-depth interviews of primary and secondary grade students to assess their understanding of what is a business, how businesses operate and the role businesses play in their communities. The findings clearly indicate that students of all ages often understood business concepts and processes only in an intuitive way, which resulted in misconceptions and gaps in knowledge. While knowledge gaps were easier to identify and correct in primary school students, as students’ age increased, the learning process became distorted by career choices, political views, and the students’ actual (or perceived) economic status. While secondary school students recognized more concepts, their real understanding was often on par with upper primary school age students. The research has also shown that lack of correct vocabulary created a strong barrier to communication and real-life application or further learning. Based on these findings, each key business concept was practiced and put into context with small groups of students in order to design the content and format which would be well accepted and understood by the target group. As a result, the final learning program package was based on case studies from daily modern life and used a wide range of examples: from popular brands and well-known companies to basic commodities. In the final stage, the content and format were put into practice in larger classrooms. The author would like to share the key findings from the research, the resulting learning program as well as present new ideas on how the program could be further enriched and adapted so schools and organizations can deliver it.

Keywords: Economics, Business, Finance, lifelong learning, XXI century skills

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1 Lifelong Distance Learning and Skills Development: A Case Study Analysis in Greece

Authors: Eleni Giouli

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Distance learning provides a flexible approach to education, enabling busy learners to complete their coursework at their own pace, on their own schedule, and from a convenient location. This flexibility combined with a series of other issues; make the benefits of lifelong distance learning numerous. The purpose of the paper is to investigate whether distance education can contribute to the improvement of adult skills in Greece, highlighting in this way the necessity of the lifelong distance learning. To investigate this goal, a questionnaire is constructed and analyzed based on responses from 3,016 attendees of lifelong distance learning programs in the e-learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. In order to do so, a series of relationships is examined including the effects of a) the gender, b) the previous educational level, c) the current employment status, and d) the method used in the distance learning program, on the development of new general, technical, administrative, social, cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills. The basic conclusions that emerge after using a binary logistic framework are that the following factors are critical in order to develop new skills: the gender, the education level and the educational method used in the lifelong distance learning program. The skills more significantly affected by those factors are the acquiring new skills in general, as well as acquiring general, language and cultural, entrepreneurial and green skills, while for technical and social skills only gender and educational method play a crucial role. Moreover, routine skills and social skills are not affected by the four factors included in the analysis.

Keywords: Education, Distance Learning, lifelong learning, adult skills

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