Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: digital learning

7 Developing Creative and Critically Reflective Digital Learning Communities

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

Abstract:

This paper is a qualitative case study analysis of the development of a fully online learning community of graduate students through arts-based community building activities. With increasing numbers and types of online learning spaces, it is incumbent upon educators to continue to push the edge of what best practices look like in digital learning environments. In digital learning spaces, instructors can no longer be seen as purveyors of content knowledge to be examined at the end of a set course by a final test or exam. The rapid and fluid dissemination of information via Web 3.0 demands that we reshape our approach to teaching and learning, from one that is content-focused to one that is process-driven. Rather than having instructors as formal leaders, today’s digital learning environments require us to share expertise, as it is the collective experiences and knowledge of all students together with the instructors that help to create a very different kind of learning community. This paper focuses on innovations pursued in a 36 hour 12 week graduate course in higher education entitled “Critical and Reflective Practice”. The authors chronicle their journey to developing a fully online learning community (FOLC) by emphasizing the elements of social, cognitive, emotional and digital spaces that form a moving interplay through the community. In this way, students embrace anywhere anytime learning and often take the learning, as well as the relationships they build and skills they acquire, beyond the digital class into real world situations. We argue that in order to increase student online engagement, pedagogical approaches need to stem from two primary elements, both creativity and critical reflection, that are essential pillars upon which instructors can co-design learning environments with students. The theoretical framework for the paper is based on the interaction and interdependence of Creativity, Intuition, Critical Reflection, Social Constructivism and FOLCs. By leveraging students’ embedded familiarity with a wide variety of technologies, this case study of a graduate level course on critical reflection in education, examines how relationships, quality of work produced, and student engagement can improve by using creative and imaginative pedagogical strategies. The authors examine their professional pedagogical strategies through the lens that the teacher acts as facilitator, guide and co-designer. In a world where students can easily search for and organize information as self-directed processes, creativity and connection can at times be lost in the digitized course environment. The paper concludes by posing further questions as to how institutions of higher education may be challenged to restructure their credit granting courses into more flexible modules, and how students need to be considered an important part of assessment and evaluation strategies. By introducing creativity and critical reflection as central features of the digital learning spaces, notions of best practices in digital teaching and learning emerge.

Keywords: Online, pedagogy, learning, communities.

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6 Developing Digital Competencies in Aboriginal Students through University-College Partnerships

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

Abstract:

This paper reports on a pilot project to develop a collaborative partnership between a community college in rural northern Ontario, Canada, and an urban university in the greater Toronto area in Oshawa, Canada. Partner institutions will collaborate to address learning needs of university applicants whose goals are to attain an undergraduate university BA in Educational Studies and Digital Technology degree, but who may not live in a geographical location that would facilitate this pathways process. The UOIT BA degree is attained through a 2+2 program, where students with a 2 year college diploma or equivalent can attain a four year undergraduate degree. The goals reported on the project are as: 1. Our aim is to expand the BA program to include an additional stream which includes serious educational games, simulations and virtual environments, 2. Develop fully (using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies) online learning modules for use by university applicants who otherwise are not geographically located close to a physical university site, 3. Assess the digital competencies of all students, including members of local, distance and Indigenous communities using a validated tool developed and tested by UOIT across numerous populations. This tool, the General Technical Competency Use and Scale (GTCU) will provide the collaborating institutions with data that will allow for analyzing how well students are prepared to succeed in fully online learning communities. Philosophically, the UOIT BA program is based on a fully online learning communities model (FOLC) that can be accessed from anywhere in the world through digital learning environments via audio video conferencing tools such as Adobe Connect. It also follows models of adult learning and mobile learning, and makes a university degree accessible to the increasing demographic of adult learners who may use mobile devices to learn anywhere anytime. The program is based on key principles of Problem Based Learning, allowing students to build their own understandings through the co-design of the learning environment in collaboration with the instructors and their peers. In this way, this degree allows students to personalize and individualize the learning based on their own culture, background and professional/personal experiences. Using modified flipped classroom strategies, students are able to interrogate video modules on their own time in preparation for one hour discussions occurring in video conferencing sessions. As a consequence of the program flexibility, students may continue to work full or part time. All of the partner institutions will co-develop four new modules, administer the GTCU and share data, while creating a new stream of the UOIT BA degree. This will increase accessibility for students to bridge from community colleges to university through a fully digital environment. We aim to work collaboratively with Indigenous elders, community members and distance education instructors to increase opportunities for more students to attain a university education.

Keywords: Aboriginal, college, competencies, digital, universities.

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5 The Learning Impact of a 4-Dimensional Digital Construction Learning Environment

Authors: Chris Landorf, Stephen Ward

Abstract:

This paper addresses a virtual environment approach to work integrated learning for students in construction-related disciplines. The virtual approach provides a safe and pedagogically rigorous environment where students can apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated real-world context. The paper describes the development of a 4-dimensional digital construction environment and associated learning activities funded by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The environment was trialled with over 1,300 students and evaluated through questionnaires, observational studies and coursework analysis. Results demonstrate a positive impact on students’ technical learning and collaboration skills, but there is need for further research in relation to critical thinking skills and work-readiness.

Keywords: Architectural education, construction industry, digital learning environments, immersive learning.

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4 Hacking the Spatial Limitations in Bridging Virtual and Traditional Teaching Methodologies in Sri Lanka

Authors: Manuela Nayantara Jeyaraj

Abstract:

Having moved into the 21st century, it is way past being arguable that innovative technology needs to be incorporated into conventional classroom teaching. Though the Western world has found presumable success in achieving this, it is still a concept under battle in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. Reaching the acme of implementing interactive virtual learning within classrooms is a struggling idealistic fascination within the island. In order to overcome this problem, this study is set to reveal facts that limit the implementation of virtual, interactive learning within the school classrooms and provide hacks that could prove the augmented use of the Virtual World to enhance teaching and learning experiences. As each classroom moves along with the usage of technology to fulfill its functionalities, a few intense hacks provided will build the administrative onuses on a virtual system. These hacks may divulge barriers based on social conventions, financial boundaries, digital literacy, intellectual capacity of the staff, and highlight the impediments in introducing students to an interactive virtual learning environment and thereby provide the necessary actions or changes to be made to succeed and march along in creating an intellectual society built on virtual learning and lifestyle. This digital learning environment will be composed of multimedia presentations, trivia and pop quizzes conducted on a GUI, assessments conducted via a virtual system, records maintained on a database, etc. The ultimate objective of this study could enhance every child's basic learning environment; hence, diminishing the digital divide that exists in certain communities.

Keywords: Digital divide, digital learning, digitization, Sri Lanka, teaching methodologies.

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3 Clustering Methods Applied to the Tracking of user Traces Interacting with an e-Learning System

Authors: Larbi Omar, Elberrichi Zakaria

Abstract:

Many research works are carried out on the analysis of traces in a digital learning environment. These studies produce large volumes of usage tracks from the various actions performed by a user. However, to exploit these data, compare and improve performance, several issues are raised. To remedy this, several works deal with this problem seen recently. This research studied a series of questions about format and description of the data to be shared. Our goal is to share thoughts on these issues by presenting our experience in the analysis of trace-based log files, comparing several approaches used in automatic classification applied to e-learning platforms. Finally, the obtained results are discussed.

Keywords: Classification, , e-learning platform, log file, Trace.

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2 Digital Learning Environments for Joint Master in Science Programmes in Building and Construction in Europe: Experimenting with Tools and Technologies

Authors: E. Dado, R. Beheshti

Abstract:

Recent developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) have created excellent conditions for profoundly enhancing the traditional learning and teaching practices. New modes of teaching in higher education subjects can profoundly enhance ones ability to proactively constructing his or her personal learning universe. These developments have contributed to digital learning environments becoming widely available and accessible. In addition, there is a trend towards enlargement and specialization in higher education in Europe. With as a result that existing Master of Science (MSc) programmes are merged or new programmes have been established that are offered as joint MSc programmes to students. In these joint MSc programmes, the need for (common) digital learning environments capable of surmounting the barriers of time and location has become evident. This paper discusses the past and ongoing efforts to establish such common digital learning environments in two joint MSc programmes in Europe and discusses the way technology-based learning environments affect the traditional way of learning.

Keywords: education, engineering, learning environments, ICT.

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1 Component Based Framework for Authoring and Multimedia Training in Mathematics

Authors: Ion Smeureanu, Marian Dardala, Adriana Reveiu

Abstract:

The new programming technologies allow for the creation of components which can be automatically or manually assembled to reach a new experience in knowledge understanding and mastering or in getting skills for a specific knowledge area. The project proposes an interactive framework that permits the creation, combination and utilization of components that are specific to mathematical training in high schools. The main framework-s objectives are: • authoring lessons by the teacher or the students; all they need are simple operating skills for Equation Editor (or something similar, or Latex); the rest are just drag & drop operations, inserting data into a grid, or navigating through menus • allowing sonorous presentations of mathematical texts and solving hints (easier understood by the students) • offering graphical representations of a mathematical function edited in Equation • storing of learning objects in a database • storing of predefined lessons (efficient for expressions and commands, the rest being calculations; allows a high compression) • viewing and/or modifying predefined lessons, according to the curricula The whole thing is focused on a mathematical expressions minicompiler, storing the code that will be later used for different purposes (tables, graphics, and optimisations). Programming technologies used. A Visual C# .NET implementation is proposed. New and innovative digital learning objects for mathematics will be developed; they are capable to interpret, contextualize and react depending on the architecture where they are assembled.

Keywords: Adaptor, automatic assembly learning component and user control.

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