Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Online Learning Related Abstracts

24 An Online Mastery Learning Method Based on a Dynamic Formative Evaluation

Authors: Seong Baeg Kim, Jeongim Kang, Moon Hee Kim

Abstract:

This paper proposes a novel e-learning model that is based on a dynamic formative evaluation. On evaluating the existing format of e-learning, conditions regarding repetitive learning to achieve mastery, causes issues for learners to lose tension and become neglectful of learning. The dynamic formative evaluation proposed is able to supplement limitation of the existing approaches. Since a repetitive learning method does not provide a perfect feedback, this paper puts an emphasis on the dynamic formative evaluation that is able to maximize learning achievement. Through the dynamic formative evaluation, the instructor is able to refer to the evaluation result when making estimation about the learner. To show the flow chart of learning, based on the dynamic formative evaluation, the model proves its effectiveness and validity.

Keywords: Online Learning, dynamic formative evaluation, mastery learning, repetitive learning method, learning achievement

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23 Transformative Pedagogy and Online Adult Education

Authors: Glenn A. Palmer, Lorenzo Bowman, Juanita Johnson-Bailey

Abstract:

The ubiquitous economic upheaval that has gripped the global environment in the past few years displaced many workers through unemployment or underemployment. Globally, this disruption has caused many adult workers to seek additional education or skills to remain competitive, and acquire the ability and options to find gainful employment. While many learners have availed themselves of some opportunities to be retrained and retooled at locations within their communities, others have explored those options through the online learning environment. This paper examines the empirical research that explores the various strategies that are used in the adult online learning community that could also foster transformative learning.

Keywords: Online Learning, Unemployment, Adult Education, Economic Crisis, transformational learning

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22 Satisfaction on English Language Learning with Online System

Authors: Suwaree Yordchim

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The objective is to study the satisfaction on English with an online learning. Online learning system mainly consists of English lessons, exercises, tests, web boards, and supplementary lessons for language practice. The sample groups are 80 Thai students studying English for Business Communication, majoring in Hotel and Lodging Management. The data are analyzed by mean, standard deviation (S.D.) value from the questionnaires. The results were found that the most average of satisfaction on academic aspects are technological searching tool through E-learning system that support the students’ learning (4.51), knowledge evaluation on prepost learning and teaching (4.45), and change for project selections according to their interest, subject contents including practice in the real situations (4.45), respectively.

Keywords: Online Learning, English language learning, online system, supplementary lessons

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21 Using Technology to Enhance the Student Assessment Experience

Authors: David Smith, Asim Qayyum

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The use of information tools is a common activity for students of any educational stage when they encounter online learning activities. Finding the relevant information for particular learning tasks is the topic of this paper as it investigates the use of information tools for a group of student participants. The paper describes and discusses the results with particular implications for use in higher education, and the findings suggest that improvement in assessment design and subsequent student learning may be achieved by structuring the purposefulness of information tools usage and online reading behaviors of university students.

Keywords: Online Learning, Assessment, information tools, student assessment experience

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20 Open Educational Resource in Online Mathematics Learning

Authors: Haohao Wang

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Technology, multimedia in Open Educational Resources, can contribute positively to student performance in an online instructional environment. Student performance data of past four years were obtained from an online course entitled Applied Calculus (MA139). This paper examined the data to determine whether multimedia (independent variable) had any impact on student performance (dependent variable) in online math learning, and how students felt about the value of the technology. Two groups of student data were analyzed, group 1 (control) from the online applied calculus course that did not use multimedia instructional materials, and group 2 (treatment) of the same online applied calculus course that used multimedia instructional materials. For the MA139 class, results indicate a statistically significant difference (p = .001) between the two groups, where group 1 had a final score mean of 56.36 (out of 100), group 2 of 70.68. Additionally, student testimonials were discussed in which students shared their experience in learning applied calculus online with multimedia instructional materials.

Keywords: Multimedia, Online Learning, Technology, Open Educational Resources

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19 A Design of the Infrastructure and Computer Network for Distance Education, Online Learning via New Media, E-Learning and Blended Learning

Authors: Sumitra Nuanmeesri

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The research focus on study, analyze and design the model of the infrastructure and computer networks for distance education, online learning via new media, e-learning and blended learning. The collected information from study and analyze process that information was evaluated by the index of item objective congruence (IOC) by 9 specialists to design model. The results of evaluate the model with the mean and standard deviation by the sample of 9 specialists value is 3.85. The results showed that the infrastructure and computer networks are designed to be appropriate to a great extent appropriate to a great extent.

Keywords: Online Learning, New Media, Blended Learning, infrastructure and computer network, tele-education

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18 Bridging the Digital Divide in India: Issus and Challenges

Authors: Parveen Kumar

Abstract:

The cope the rapid change of technology and to control the ephemeral rate of information generation, librarians along with their professional colleagues need to equip themselves as per the requirement of the electronic information society. E-learning is purely based on computer and communication technologies. The terminologies like computer based learning. It is the delivery of content via all electronic media through internet, internet, Extranets television broadcast, CD-Rom documents, etc. E-learning poses lot of issues in the transformation of literature or knowledge from the conventional medium to ICT based format and web based services.

Keywords: e-Learning, Digital Libraries, Online Learning, electronic information society

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17 Perceptions of Higher Education Online Learning Faculty in Lebanon

Authors: Noha Hamie Haidar

Abstract:

The purpose of this case study was to explore faculty attitudes toward online learning in a Lebanese Higher Education Institution (HEI). The research problem addressed the disinterest among faculty at the Arts, Sciences, and Technology University of Lebanon (AUL) in enhancing learning using online technology. The research questions for the study examined the attitudes of the faculty toward applying online learning and the extent of the faculty readiness to adopt this technological change. A qualitative case study design was used that employed multiple sources of information including semi-structured interviews and existing literature. The target population was AUL faculty including full-time instructors and administration (n=25). Data analysis was guided by the lens of Kanter’s theoretical approach, which focused on faculty’s awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement model (ADKAR) for adopting change. Key findings indicated negative impressions concerning online learning such as authority (ministry of education, culture, and rules); and change (increased enrollment and different teaching styles). Yet, within AUL’s academic environment, the opportunity for the adoption of online learning was identified; faculty showed positive elements, such as the competitive advantage to first enter the Lebanese Market, and higher student enrollment. These results may encourage AUL’s faculty to adopt online learning and to achieve a positive social change by expanding the ability of students in HEIs to compete globally.

Keywords: Higher Education, Online Learning, Technology, faculty

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16 Effectiveness of Online Language Learning

Authors: Shazi Shah Jabeen, Ajay Jesse Thomas

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The study is aimed at understanding the learning trends of students who opt for online language courses and to assess the effectiveness of the same. Multiple factors including use of the latest available technology and the skills that are trained by these online methods have been assessed. An attempt has been made to answer how each of the various language skills is trained online and how effective the online methods are compared to the classroom methods when students interact with peers and instructor. A mixed method research design was followed for collecting information for the study where a survey by means of a questionnaire and in-depth interviews with a number of respondents were undertaken across the various institutes and study centers located in the United Arab Emirates. The questionnaire contained 19 questions which included 7 sub-questions. The study revealed that the students find learning with an instructor to be a lot more effective than learning alone in an online environment. They prefer classroom environment more than the online setting for language learning.

Keywords: Language, Online Learning, Effectiveness, Skills

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15 Increasing Student Engagement in Online Educational Leadership Courses

Authors: Mark Deschaine, David Whale

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Utilization of online instruction continues to increase at universities, placing more emphasis on the exploration of issues related to adult graduate student engagement. This reflective case study reviews non-traditional student engagement in online courses. The goals of the study are to enhance student focus, attention and interaction. Findings suggest that interactivity seemed to be a key in keeping students involved and achieving, with specific activities routinely favored by students. It is recommended that time spent engaging students is worthwhile and results in greater course satisfaction and academic effort.

Keywords: Online Learning, Technology, Student Engagement, Student Achievement

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14 Conceptual Model for Massive Open Online Blended Courses Based on Disciplines’ Concepts Capitalization and Obstacles’ Detection

Authors: N. Hammid, F. Bouarab-Dahmani, T. Berkane

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Since its appearance, the MOOC (massive open online course) is gaining more and more intention of the educational communities over the world. Apart from the current MOOCs design and purposes, the creators of MOOC focused on the importance of the connection and knowledge exchange between individuals in learning. In this paper, we present a conceptual model for massive open online blended courses where teachers over the world can collaborate and exchange their experience to get a common efficient content designed as a MOOC opened to their students to live a better learning experience. This model is based on disciplines’ concepts capitalization and the detection of the obstacles met by their students when faced with problem situations (exercises, projects, case studies, etc.). This detection is possible by analyzing the frequently of semantic errors committed by the students. The participation of teachers in the design of the course and the attendance by their students can guarantee an efficient and extensive participation (an important number of participants) in the course, the learners’ motivation and the evaluation issues, in the way that the teachers designing the course assess their students. Thus, the teachers review, together with their knowledge, offer a better assessment and efficient connections to their students.

Keywords: e-Learning, Online Learning, mooc, massive open online course

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13 Transformative Leadership and Learning Management Systems Implementation: Leadership Practices in Instructional Design for Online Learning

Authors: Felix Brito

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With the growth of online learning, several higher education institutions have attempted to incorporate technology in their curriculum. Successful technology implementation projects really on technology infrastructure and on the acceptance of education professionals towards innovation. This research study is aimed at illustrating the relevance of the human component in technology implementation projects in higher education by describing the Learning Management System implementation project executed by instructional designers working for a higher education institution in the southeast region of the United States. An analysis of the Transformative Leadership Theory, the Technology Acceptance Model, and the Diffusion of Innovation Process provide the support for a solid understanding of this issue and address recommendations for future technology implementation projects in higher education institutions.

Keywords: Leadership, Instructional Design, Online Learning, Learning Management Systems, technology acceptance model, diffusion of innovation process, transformative leadership theory

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12 Evaluating and Supporting Student Engagement in Online Learning

Authors: Maria Hopkins

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Research on student engagement is founded on a desire to improve the quality of online instruction in both course design and delivery. A high level of student engagement is associated with a wide range of educational practices including purposeful student-faculty contact, peer to peer contact, active and collaborative learning, and positive factors such as student satisfaction, persistence, achievement, and learning. By encouraging student engagement, institutions of higher education can have a positive impact on student success that leads to retention and degree completion. The current research presents the results of an online student engagement survey which support faculty teaching practices to maximize the learning experience for online students. The ‘Indicators of Engaged Learning Online’ provide a framework that measures level of student engagement. Social constructivism and collaborative learning form the theoretical basis of the framework. Social constructivist pedagogy acknowledges the social nature of knowledge and its creation in the minds of individual learners. Some important themes that flow from social constructivism involve the importance of collaboration among instructors and students, active learning vs passive consumption of information, a learning environment that is learner and learning centered, which promotes multiple perspectives, and the use of social tools in the online environment to construct knowledge. The results of the survey indicated themes that emphasized the importance of: Interaction among peers and faculty (collaboration); Timely feedback on assignment/assessments; Faculty participation and visibility; Relevance and real-world application (in terms of assignments, activities, and assessments); and Motivation/interest (the need for faculty to motivate students especially those that may not have an interest in the coursework per se). The qualitative aspect of this student engagement study revealed what instructors did well that made students feel engaged in the course, but also what instructors did not do well, which could inform recommendations to faculty when expectations for teaching a course are reviewed. Furthermore, this research provides evidence for the connection between higher student engagement and persistence and retention in online programs, which supports our rationale for encouraging student engagement, especially in the online environment because attrition rates are higher than in the face-to-face environment.

Keywords: Instructional Design, Online Learning, Student Engagement, learning effectiveness

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11 The Effectiveness of Online Learning in the Wisconsin Technical College System

Authors: Julie Furst-Bowe

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Over the past decade, there has been significant growth in online courses and programs at all levels of education in the United States. This study explores the growth of online and blended (or hybrid) programs offered by the sixteen technical colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The WTCS provides education and training programs to more than 300,000 students each year in career clusters including agriculture, business, energy, information technology, healthcare, human services, manufacturing, and transportation. These programs range from short-term training programs that may lead to a certificate to two-year programs that lead to an associate degree. Students vary in age from high school students who are exploring career interests to employees who are seeking to gain additional skills or enter a new career. Because there is currently a shortage of skilled workers in nearly all sectors in the state of Wisconsin, it is critical that the WTCS is providing fully educated and trained graduates to fill workforce needs in a timely manner. For this study, information on online and blended programs for the past five years was collected from the WTCS, including types of programs, course and program enrollments, course completion rates, program completion rates, time to completion and graduate employment rates. The results of this study indicate that the number of online and blended courses and programs is continuing to increase each year. Online and blended programs are most commonly found in the business, human services, and information technology areas, and they are less commonly found in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation programs. Overall, course and program completion rates were higher for blended programs when compared to fully online programs. Students preferred the blended programs over the fully online programs. Overall, graduates were placed into related jobs at a rate of approximately 90 percent, although there was some variation in graduate placement rates by programs and by colleges. Differences in graduate employment rate appeared to be based on geography and sector as employers did not distinguish between graduates who had completed their programs via traditional, blended or fully online instruction. Recommendations include further exploration as to the reasons that blended courses and programs appear to be more effective than fully online courses and programs. It is also recommended that those program areas that are not using blended or online delivery methods, including agriculture, health, manufacturing and transportation, explore the use of these methods to make their courses and programs more accessible to students, particularly working adults. In some instances, colleges were partnering with specific companies to ensure that groups of employees were completing online coursework leading to a certificate or a degree. Those partnerships are to be encouraged in order for the state to continue to improve the skills of its workforce. Finally, it is recommended that specific colleges specialize in the delivery of specific programs using online technology since it is not bound by geographic considerations. This approach would take advantage of the strengths of the individual colleges and avoid unnecessary duplication.

Keywords: Online Learning, skills shortage, career and technical education, technical colleges

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10 Survey Study of Key Motivations and Drivers for Students to Enroll in Online Programs of Study

Authors: Tina Stavredes

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Increasingly borderless learning opportunities including online learning are expanding. Singapore University of Social Science (SUSS) conducted research in February of 2017 to determine the level of consumer interest in undertaking a completely online distance learning degree program across three countries in the Asian Pacific region. The target audience was potential bachelor degree and post-degree students from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The results gathered were used to assess the market size and ascertain the business potential of online degree programs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Secondly, the results were used to determine the most receptive markets to prioritise entry and identify the most receptive student segments. In order to achieve the key outcomes, the key points of understanding were as follows: -Motivations for higher education & factors that influence the choice of institution, -Interest in online learning, -Interest in online learning from a Singapore university relative to other foreign institutions, -Key drivers and barriers of interest in online learning. An online survey was conducted from from 7th Feb 2017 to 27th Feb 2017 amongst n=600 respondents aged 21yo-45yo, who have a basic command of English, A-level qualifications and above, and who have an intent to further their education in the next 12 months. Key findings from the study regarding enrolling in an online program include the need for a marriage between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors and the flexibility and support offered in an online program. Overall, there was a high interest for online learning. Survey participants stated they are intrinsically motivated to learn because of their interest in the program of study and the need for extrinsic rewards including opportunities for employment or salary increment in their current job. Seven out of ten survey participants reported they are motivated to further their education and expand their knowledge to become more employable. Eight in ten claims that the feasibility of furthering their education depends on cost and maintaining a work-life balance. The top 2 programs of interest are business and information and communication technology. They describe their choice of university as a marriage of both motivational and feasibility factors including cost, choice, quality of support facilities, and the reputation of the institution. Survey participants reported flexibility as important and stated that appropriate support assures and grows their intent to enrol in an online program. Respondents also reported the importance of being able to work while studying as the main perceived advantage of online learning. Factors related to the choice of an online university emphasized the quality of support services. Despite concerns, overall there was a high interest for online learning. One in two expressed strong intent to enrol in an online programme of study. However, unfamiliarity with online learning is a concern including the concern with the lack of face-to-face interactions. Overall, the findings demonstrated an interest in online learning. A main driver was the ability to earn a recognised degree while still being able to be with the family and the ability to achieve a ‘better’ early career growth.

Keywords: Distance Education, Online Learning, student motivations, online student needs

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9 An Online Adaptive Thresholding Method to Classify Google Trends Data Anomalies for Investor Sentiment Analysis

Authors: Duygu Dere, Mert Ergeneci, Kaan Gokcesu

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Google Trends data has gained increasing popularity in the applications of behavioral finance, decision science and risk management. Because of Google’s wide range of use, the Trends statistics provide significant information about the investor sentiment and intention, which can be used as decisive factors for corporate and risk management fields. However, an anomaly, a significant increase or decrease, in a certain query cannot be detected by the state of the art applications of computation due to the random baseline noise of the Trends data, which is modelled as an Additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). Since through time, the baseline noise power shows a gradual change an adaptive thresholding method is required to track and learn the baseline noise for a correct classification. To this end, we introduce an online method to classify meaningful deviations in Google Trends data. Through extensive experiments, we demonstrate that our method can successfully classify various anomalies for plenty of different data.

Keywords: Online Learning, Behavioral finance, Convex optimization, adaptive data processing, soft minimum thresholding

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8 Evaluation of Massive Open Online Course in a Rural Marginalized Area: Case Study of Alice Community, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Authors: Dare Ebenezer Fatumo, Olusesan Emmanuel Adelabu

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Online learning has taken another dimension through the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), it has also become an important resource base for teaching and learning. This research aimed at investigating the use of Massive Open Online Course in a rural marginalized area. The survey research design of descriptive nature was adopted to evaluate the awareness and usage of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) in Alice community, Eastern Cape, South Africa. This study also employed quantitative approach by using self-structured questionnaire to evoke information from the respondents. The data collected were analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed amongst others the efficacy of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) in fostering teaching and learning in rural marginalized areas. This study concludes that MOOCs is a veritable medium for busy or less privileged individual to acquire a degree or certification. Therefore, the study recommends MOOCs platform to be fully embraced by people in rural marginalized areas, awareness programs about its usefulness should be propagated across the municipalities nationwide.

Keywords: Online Learning, Distance Learning, Information and Communication Technology, Teaching and Learning, massive open online course

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7 An Investigation into the Views of Distant Science Education Students Regarding Teaching Laboratory Work Online

Authors: Abraham Motlhabane

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This research analysed the written views of science education students regarding the teaching of laboratory work using the online mode. The research adopted the qualitative methodology. The qualitative research was aimed at investigating small and distinct groups normally regarded as a single-site study. Qualitative research was used to describe and analyze the phenomena from the student’s perspective. This means the research began with assumptions of the world view that use theoretical lenses of research problems inquiring into the meaning of individual students. The research was conducted with three groups of students studying for Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Bachelor of Education and honors Bachelor of Education respectively. In each of the study programmes, the science education module is compulsory. Five science education students from each study programme were purposively selected to participate in this research. Therefore, 15 students participated in the research. In order to analysis the data, the data were first printed and hard copies were used in the analysis. The data was read several times and key concepts and ideas were highlighted. Themes and patterns were identified to describe the data. Coding as a process of organising and sorting data was used. The findings of the study are very diverse; some students are in favour of online laboratory whereas other students argue that science can only be learnt through hands-on experimentation.

Keywords: Online Learning, perceptions, views, laboratory work

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6 Using Q Methodology to Capture Attitudes about Academic Resilience in an Online Postgraduate Psychology Course

Authors: Eleanor F. Willard

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The attrition rate on distance learning courses can be high. This research examines how online students often react when faced with poor results. Using q methodology, it was found that the emotional response level and the type of social support sought by students were key influences on their attitude to failure. As educational and psychological researchers, we are adept at measuring learning and achievement, but examining attitudes towards barriers to learning are not so well researched. The distance learning student has differing needs from onsite learners and, as the attrition rate is notoriously high in the online student population, examining learners’ attitude towards adversity and barriers is important. Self-report measures such as questionnaires are useful in terms of ascertaining levels of constructs such as resilience and academic confidence. Interviewing, too, can gain in depth detail of the opinions of such a population, but only in individuals. The aim of this research was to ascertain what the feelings and attitudes of online students were when faced with a setback. This was achieved using q methodology due to its use of both quantitative and qualitative methodology and its suitability for exploratory research. The emphasis with this methodology is the attitudes, not the individuals. The work was focused upon a population of distance learning students who attended a school on site for one week as part of their studies. They were engaged in a psychology masters conversion course and, as such, were graduate students. The Q sort had 30 items taken from the Academic Resilience Scale (ARS-30). The scale items represent three constructs; perseverance, reflecting (including adaptive help-seeking) and negative affect. These are widely acknowledged as being relevant concepts underpinning psychological resilience. The q sort was conducted with 19 students in total. This is done by participants arranging statement cards regarding how similar to themselves they believe each statement to be. This was done after reading a vignette describing an experience of academic failure. Commonalities and differences between the sorts from all participants are then analyzed in terms of correlations and response patterns. Following data collection, the participants' responses were initially analyzed and the key perspectives (factors) to emerge were labelled ‘persevering individuals’ and ‘emotional networkers’. The differences between the two perspectives centre around the level of emotion felt when faced with barriers and the extent that students enlist the help of others inside and outside of the university. The dominant factor to emerge from the sorts of ‘persevering individuals’ demonstrated that many distance learners are tenacious. However, for other students, the level of emotional and social support is pivotal in helping them complete their studies when facing adversity. This was demonstrated by the ‘emotional networkers’ perspective. This research forms a starting point for further work on engaging and retaining online students at university and can potentially provide insight into how universities can lower attrition rates on distance learning courses.

Keywords: Online Learning, Distance Learning, Q methodology, academic resilience

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5 Developing a Moodle Course for Translation Theory and Methodology: The Importance of Theory in Translation Studies and Its Application

Authors: Antonia Tsaknaki

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There are many and divergent views on how the science of translation should be taught in academic institutions or colleges, meaning as an independent study area or as part of Linguistics, Literature or Foreign Languages Departments. A much more debated issue refers to the question of whether translation theory should be included in syllabuses and study programs or the focus should be solely on practicing the profession, that is translating texts. This dissertation examines prevailing views on the significance of translation theory in translation studies in order to design an open course on moodle. Taking into account that there is a remarkable percentage of translation professionals who are self-taught without having any specific studies, the course aims at helping either translation students or professional translators familiarize with concepts, methods and problem-solving strategies that are considered necessary during the process. It is organized in four modules where the learner is guided through a series of topics (register, equivalence, decision-making, level of naturalness, Skopos theory etc); after completing these topics, they are given assignments (further reading) and texts to work on in order to practice the skills obtained. The course does not focus on a specific language pair and therefore is suitable for every individual who needs a theoretical background to boost their performance or for institutions seeking to save classroom time but not at the expense of learners’ skills.

Keywords: Online Learning, Translation, Moodle, translation theory, MOOCs, open courses

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4 Challenges Faced by the Teachers Regarding Student Assessment at Distant and Online Learning Mode

Authors: Muhammad Saeed, Ameema Mahroof

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Purpose: The paper aimed to explore the problems faced by the faculty in a distant and online learning environment. It proposes the remedies of the problems faced by the teachers. In distant and online learning mode, the methods of student assessment are different than traditional learning mode. In this paper, the assessment strategies of these learning modes are identified, and the challenges faced by the teachers regarding these assessment methods are explored. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study is qualitative and opted for an exploratory study, including eight interviews with faculty of distant and online universities. The data for this small scale study was gathered using semi-structured interviews. Findings: Findings of the study revealed that assignment and tests are the most effective way of assessment in these modes. It further showed that less student-teacher interaction, plagiarized assignments, passive students, less time for marking are the main challenges faced by the teachers in these modes. Research Limitations: Because of the chosen research approach, the study might not be able to provide generalizable results. That’s why it is recommended to do further studies on this topic. Practical Implications: The paper includes implications for the better assessment system in online and distant learning mode. Originality/Value: This paper fulfills an identified need to study the challenges and problems faced by the teachers regarding student assessment.

Keywords: Online Learning, distant learning, student assessment, assignments

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3 Investigating Factors Influencing Online Formal and Informal Learning Satisfaction of College Students

Authors: Lei Zhang, Li Ji

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Formal learning and informal learning represent two distinct learning styles: one is systematic and organized, another is causal and unstructured. Although there are many factors influencing online learning satisfaction, including self-regulation, self-efficacy, and interaction, factors influencing online formal learning and informal learning satisfaction may differ from each other. This paper investigated and compared influential factors of online formal and informal learning. Two questionnaires were created based on previous studies to explore factors influencing online formal learning and online informal learning satisfaction, respectively. A sample of 105 college students from different departments in a university located in the eastern part of China was selected to participate in this study. They all had an online learning experience and agreed to fill out questionnaires. Correlation analysis, variance analysis, and regression analysis were employed in this study. In addition, five participants were chosen for interviews. The study found that student-content, interaction, self-regulation, and self-efficacy related positively to both online formal learning and informal learning satisfaction. In addition, compared to online formal learning, student-content interaction in informal learning was the most influential factor for online learning satisfaction, perhaps that online informal learning was more goal-oriented and learners paid attention to the quality of content. In addition, results also revealed that interactions among students or teachers had little impact on online informal learning satisfaction. This study compared influential factors in online formal and informal learning satisfaction helped to add discussions to online learning satisfaction and contributed to further practices of online learning.

Keywords: Online Learning, Informal learning, learning satisfaction, formal learning

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2 The Impact of Using Microlearning to Enhance Students' Programming Skills and Learning Motivation

Authors: Ali Alqarni

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This study aims to explore the impact of microlearning on the development of the programming skills as well as on the motivation for learning of first-year high schoolers in Jeddah. The sample consists of 78 students, distributed as 40 students in the control group, and 38 students in the treatment group. The quasi-experimental method, which is a type of quantitative method, was used in this study. In addition to the technological tools used to create and deliver the digital content, the study utilized two tools to collect the data: first, an observation card containing a list of programming skills, and second, a tool to measure the student's motivation for learning. The findings indicate that microlearning positively impacts programming skills and learning motivation for students. The study, then, recommends implementing and expanding the use of microlearning in educational contexts both in the general education level and the higher education level.

Keywords: Educational Technology, Online Learning, Teaching Strategies, microlearning

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1 The Reality of the Digital Inequality and Its Negative Impact on Virtual Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The South African Perspective

Authors: Jacob Medupe

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Life as we know it has changed since the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and business as usual will not continue. The human impact of the COVID-19 crisis is already immeasurable. Moreover, COVID-19 has already negatively impacted economies, livelihoods and disrupted food systems around the world. The disruptive nature of the Corona virus has affected every sphere of life including the culture and teaching and learning. Right now the majority of education research is based around classroom management techniques that are no longer necessary with digital delivery. Instead there is a great need for new data about how to make the best use of the one-on-one attention that is now becoming possible (Diamandis & Kotler, 2014). The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an environment where the South African learners are focused to adhere to social distancing in order to minimise the wild spread of the Corona virus. This arrangement forces the student to utilise the online classroom technologies to continue with the lessons. The historical reality is that the country has not made much strides on the closing of the digital divide and this is particularly a common status quo in the deep rural areas. This will prove to be a toll order for most of the learners affected by the Corona Virus to be able to have a seamless access to the online learning facilities. The paper will seek to look deeply into this reality and how the Corona virus has brought us to the reality that South Africa remains a deeply unequal society in every sphere of life. The study will also explore the state of readiness for education system around the online classroom environment.

Keywords: e-Learning, pedagogy, Distance Education, Online Learning, Virtual learning, Blended Learning, Virtual Classroom, Self-regulated learning, digital literacy, COVID-19, Corona virus, internet connectivity

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