Managing interactions in the e-learning environment : technological support for academic staffIslam, N. January 2015 (has links)
Over the last two decades the use of e-learning technology increased to such an extent that the role of the traditional academic has been forced to change. Focusing on academics’ views, this study examines their interactions in the e-learning environment and whether online learning applications have increased academic workload (Eynon, 2005; Olaniran, 2006). This study also identifies how their role has changed and the underlying factors which may cause negativity in their working environment. This understanding then generated the theory behind a prototype application, produced to be an addition to the current tools that academics use, with the intention to reduce academic efforts in creating content for teaching. Based on literature review, twelve interviews with academics and analysis of participant transaction logs suggests that online learning applications have increased workload. For some academics the use of e-learning technology in UK higher education can be a full time occupation. It is evident from the data that the drawbacks to current e-learning technology outweigh the number of benefits. A key concern is the high number of hours which are being spent on e-learning systems by academics. This research states unequivocally that the level of complexity for some academics is daunting, as well as frustrating. This study argues that managing expectations of academic staff is vital to the success of e-learning systems. A web-based prototype application was developed to extend the current functionality of e-learning systems, with a key objective to decrease the time spent by academics on elearning activities; functionality which has not yet been incorporated by other e-learning platforms such as Blackboard or Moodle. The prototype was tested by three academics who agreed that their overall experience was positive, effective and beneficial. Most importantly, they believed that the application would reduce the number of hours they spent on e-learning activities.
Detecting and modelling stress levels in e-learning environment usersLim, Yee Mei January 2017 (has links)
A modern Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) should be sentient of a learner's cognitive and affective states, as a learner’s performance could be affected by motivational and emotional factors. It is important to design a method that supports low-cost, task-independent and unobtrusive sensing of a learner’s cognitive and affective states, to improve a learner's experience in e-learning, as well as to enable personalized learning. Although tremendous related affective computing research were done in this area, there is a lack of empirical research that can automatically measure a learner's stress using objective methods. This research is set to examine how an objective stress measurement model can be developed, to compute a learner’s cognitive and emotional stress automatically using mouse and keystroke dynamics. To ensure the measurement is not affected even if the user switches between tasks, three preliminary research experiments were carried out based on three common tasks during e-learning − search, assessment and typing. A stress measurement model was then built using the datasets collected from the experiments. Three stress classifiers were tested, namely certainty factors, feedforward back-propagation neural network and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system. The best classifier was then integrated into the ITS stress inference engine, which is designed to decide necessary adaptation, and to provide analytical information of learners' performances, which include stress levels and learners’ behaviours when answering questions.
An investigation into digital technology and a consideration of whether it can enhance learning : one school's application of digital teachingColeman, Trudy January 2017 (has links)
The use of digital technology in education is a global concern (Convery, 2009 and Fluck & Dowden, 2011) which touches on many debates: raising attainment (OECD, 2015; and Somekh, et al., 2007); benefits to learning (Andrews & Haythornthwaite, 2007; and Harasim, 2012); effects on children (Beltran, et al., 2008; and Radesky, et al, 2015); mobile technology (Wilshaw, 2012; Bennett, 2015; and Beland & Murphy, 2015); digital native (Prensky, 2001a; 2001b; 2008; 2009; and 2010; and Selwyn, 2009; 2012); digital technology text-books (Mac Mahon, et al., 2016) and student engagement (Wolper-Gawron, 2012; and Gallup, 2013). This study is significant because it considers student and teacher perceptions of digital technology-related practices specifically in relation to a given subject area (Tamim, et al, 2011; and Howard, et al, 2015). This study was conducted within the realist paradigm; a 'deep’ case study approach was used to investigate teachers' and students' perceptions of digital technology influence on teaching and learning, including subject-specific similarities and differences. These perceptions were linked to current and recent debates about new technology. In this study 30 diaries were used to record student and teacher digital technology use during two weeks and 24 interviews were conducted in a Norfolk secondary school. The outcome from this study is that although there is no strong evidence that the availability of digital technology has led to utopian change, it has caused small yet significant grassroots changes. The ‘big claim' digital technologies: interactive whiteboards, visualisers and iPads have not transformed education as claimed or expected. There has however been an on-going steady incremental improvement in technology use. The ‘game changer’ digital technologies have not been the hi-tech technologies but rather the everyday: YouTube, Internet, data projectors, presentation software and word processors. This study contributes to the understanding of the digital technology debate which continues today.
Exploring associated factors and dynamic relationships between lecturers and their engagement with Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)Jepson, Jennifer January 2016 (has links)
Background: Much has been written about the way in which technology enhanced learning enables an improved student learning experience by facilitating engagement with greater flexibility and accessibility. For today’s health care graduates, technology enhanced learning can also foster a skill-set to meet the changing face of healthcare delivery. Implementing changes in delivery requires lecturers to be cognisant of constructive pedagogy. However, the dynamics of lecturers’ engagement with technology enhanced learning, in the United Kingdom, remain largely unexplored. Aim: The purpose of this research was to conduct a survey to explore relationships and associated factors which impact on lecturers’ engagement with technology enhanced learning in the delivery of health related education. Methodology: An online questionnaire was developed and extensively piloted. Questions were framed within five dimensions: demography and background information; preferred face to face teaching method; perceptions of the online environment; organisational culture; motivation and learning style. Following the pilot study, an amended version was sent out to 74 universities, of which 49 responded, giving a response rate of 66%. Results: Data were collected over an eight-month timeframe to include 227 lecturers in the final analysis. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The analysis revealed that whilst lecturers have varying levels of engagement, there has been an overall increase of ‘early adopters’ utilisation of web 2.0 technologies (Rogers, 2003). The survey instrument also revealed significant barriers in transferring between enquiry based learning as the preferred face to face teaching style, use of web 2.0 technologies including wikis, blogs and podcasts, as well as the difficulty experienced and technical ability required, over and above general computer skills already in place. Conclusions: In summary, questions within the survey instrument, including those which measure computer skills, use, and teaching style preference, reveal predictors which impact on engagement with technology enhanced learning. Given the predictive value of the survey instrument, health service education providers, universities, and professional bodies might consider it useful as a means of determining engagement, benchmarking professional development activities, and evidence of progression towards teaching excellence.
Semantic rule-based approach for supporting personalised adaptive e-learningYarandi, Maryam January 2013 (has links)
Instructional designers are under increasing pressure to enhance the pedagogical quality and technical richness of their learning content offerings, while the task of authoring for such complex educational frameworks is expensive and time consuming. Personalisation and reusability of learning contents are two main factors which can be used to enhance the pedagogical impact of e-learning experiences while also optimising resources, such as the overall cost and time of designing materials for different e-learning systems. However, personalisation services require continuous fine tuning for the different features that should be used, and e-learning systems need sufficient flexibility to offer these continuously required changes. The semantic modelling of adaptable learning components can highly influence the personalisation of the learning experience and enables the reusability, adaptability and maintainability of these components. Through the discrete modelling of these components, the flexibility and extensibility of e-learning systems will be improved as learning contents can be separated from the adaptation logic which results in the learning content being no longer specific to any given adaptation rule, or instructional plan. This thesis proposes an innovative semantic rule-based approach to dynamically generate personalised learning content utilising reusable pieces of learning content. It describes an ontology-based engine that composes, at runtime, adapted learning experiences according to learner’s interaction with the system and learner’s characteristics. Additionally, enriching ontologies with semantic rules increases the reasoning power and helps to represent adaptation decisions. This novel approach aims to improve flexibility, extensibility and reusability of systems, while offering a pedagogically effective and satisfactory learning experience for learners. This thesis offers the theoretical models, design and implementation of an adaptive e-learning system in accordance with this approach. It also describes the evaluation of developed personalised adaptive e-learning system (Rule-PAdel) from pedagogical and technical perspectives.
Towards a trust model in e-learningWongse-Ek, Woraluck January 2016 (has links)
When a student is faced with uncertainty in the trustworthiness of a learning activity to meet their intended learning goals, it may cause anxiety and a lack of confidence in the learning. A student’s trust in the learning activity is needed to reduce this uncertainty. This work develops a conceptual trust model for e-learning activities. The proposed student’s trust model is the Learning Outcome-based Trust (LOT) model. The antecedents of trust are represented based on the intended learning outcome (ILO) structures and are used to estimate the trustworthiness values of the learning activity. Once values based on the antecedents of trust are known, these values are used to assess how much the student can trust the learning activity. The LOT model was evaluate in two real learning situation: (1) where information about the trustworthiness of the learning activity was ambiguous, and (2) where information about the trustworthiness of the learning activity was clear. Students’ trust mainly related to their propensity to trust and their prior knowledge when the trustworthiness of the learning activity was ambiguous. In contrast, students’ trust mainly related to their perceived trustworthiness of the learning activity when the trustworthiness of the learning activity was clear. The LOT model showed significant prediction of student’s trust. In addition, when the student learning path was used, trust was predicted significantly better than when the learning path was not given. The LOT model may have useful application in recommendation systems or intelligent tutoring systems.
An artificial intelligence framework for feedback and assessment mechanisms in educational Simulations and Serious GamesStallwood, James January 2015 (has links)
Simulations and Serious Games are powerful e-learning tools that can be designed to provide learning opportunities that stimulate their participants. To achieve this goal, the design of Simulations and Serious Games will often include some balance of three factors: motivation, engagement, and flow. Whilst many frameworks and approaches for Simulation and Serious Game design do provide the means for addressing a combination of these factors to some degree, few address how those factors might be affected by the presence of an out-of-game tutor. It is the position of some researchers that the presence of real-world tutors in a Simulation or Serious Game experience can be shown to have a detrimental effect on motivation, engagement, and flow as a continuously changing state for the participant from in-game to out-of-game breaks immersion. The focus of this study was to develop a framework for the design of Simulations and Serious Games that could provide the means to mitigate some of these identified negative effects of real world tutor. The framework itself, referred to as the Wrongness Framework, uses artificial intelligence techniques and practices to provide internal feedback and assessment to the participant as a foundation for the creation of a rudimentary in-game tutor. To achieve this goal it was necessary to develop the Wrongness Framework to include not only the findings of other scholars and researchers on the topic of feedback and assessment but also to introduce original refinements to existing artificial intelligence mechanisms. To test the abilities of the Wrongness Framework it was applied to two unique case studies each with a different purpose and scope. The first, the AdQuest case study, was a graphic design Serious Game scenario testing the ability of the Wrongness Framework's assessment mechanisms by having 102 postgraduate design students submit graphics for a luxury brand advertisement. These graphics were then assessed by the Wrongness Framework against expectations found in the Wrongness Framework's Intelligent System Knowledge Bank. The students were then surveyed for their responses to their assessments and individual rating scores for each design were taken. The second case study, Promasim, explored the possibilities of feedback tone and efficacy for non-player characters in a project management simulation. This was achieved with the use of expert interviews by both academics and working professionals to provide the information of experienced project managers to develop experiential interaction events for the Simulation. Despite the results of these case studies a full case for the success of the Wrongness Framework could not be made. However, many of the identified challenges for the Wrongness Framework were met and, as such, a case can be made that an adequate foundation for the framework has been successful and has provided the case for further refinement.
Creating understandings of relationships through video interaction guidance : an exploration of resilienceOcock, Victoria Elizabeth January 2016 (has links)
This thesis explores resilience in an educational context and is comprised of three chapters: a systematic literature review, a bridging document and a piece of empirical research. The systematic literature review examines the views of children and teachers about the role of relationships in developing resilience in children and young people (CYP) through a meta-ethnography. The findings suggest interactions between individuals are the foundations of relationships between CYP and teachers as well as family members. These relationships and the support they provide effect how the individual child or young person makes sense of the world; how they perceive challenges and think about themselves. A model was created from these findings. The bridging document discusses my theoretical underpinnings, ontological and epistemological stance and ethical considerations of the empirical research. The bridging document aims to link the meta-ethnography and the empirical research project. The empirical research explored everyday resilience through the use of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG). It aimed to examine the following two research questions: 1. In the context of VIG, what understandings do parents, teachers and children construct about their relationships with one another? 2. What can these understandings tell us about resilience? Conceptualisation of everyday resilience through a relational lens led to an exploration of whether VIG could be used with children, parents and teachers to create a new understanding of resilience. A multiple case-study design was adopted with two triads of participants. The interviews with the participants and a selection of shared reviews from the VIG cycles were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The model created through the meta-ethnography was used to guide the creation of important themes in the empirical research but new themes were also created from the data itself. The Resilience Pyramid was then created from three aspects of their relationships that stood out as being useful in thinking about everyday resilience from a relational viewpoint. The Resilience Pyramid suggests three aspects of relationships interconnect to create a new understanding of resilience. This paper concludes that it is possible to use VIG to explore teachers’, parents’ and children’s understandings of their relationships with one another and use these understandings to create a new, relational, understanding of resilience.
The development of e-learning in a Lebanese higher education contextBaroud, Fawzi January 2011 (has links)
This thesis examines the experience of faculty members, academic administrators and students at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), Lebanon in the development process of e-leaming implementation for encouraging intellectual activity in teaching and learning. The research methodology consisted of an in-depth single-case study which was adopted to drill down into the e-leaming implementation process centering on analyzing the attitudes and views of faculty members and academic administrators. In addition, students' learning styles and preferences together with their views on how their teachers use technology in teaching were examined. The total sample of the study was 203 faculty members, 18 academic administrators, and 259 students. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data gathering were employed including two questionnaires administered to faculty members, interviews with academic administrators, interviews conducted with faculty members, and a questionnaire administered to students. Document analysis of meeting minutes and strategic planning was conducted to complement interviews and questionnaire data obtained from faculty members and academic administrators. Main results showed that institutional processes involved several steps for implementing e-leaming. Change in leadership resulted in change in the direction of e-leaming implementation, indicating the role of the culture of the institution in the context of change. The most important element in the process of implementing e-leaming was the transition from one phase to another through training and faculty members' participation in the e-leaming implementation process suggesting the significance of these factors in the change process. A key theme that arose from the research findings was the need to create a culture of engagement in the process of change. Other key factors which have facilitated the process of implementing e-leaming were analyzed. Initiatives to implement e-leaming were partly offset by the lack of written policies that will determine the use of e-leaming in the educational process. Faculty members revealed the concern that training should take into consideration how to use technology in teaching. Moreover, academic administrators emphasized the need to develop e-leaming policies. The study showed that the methods of teaching and students' learning styles are two distant areas and drawing links between the two needs adaptation and further inquiry. Contributions to knowledge and the limitations of the study are discussed. Recommendations for implementing e-leaming and carrying out future research are provided.
Gaining insight into educators' understanding of digital technologies : three models for the analysis of multi-dimensional concept mapsPreston, Christina January 2011 (has links)
The thesis explores the hypothesis that an analysis of a Multi-dimensional Concept Map (MDCM) provides educators and researchers with different and possibly richer and broader insights into understanding of an issue — in this case that of digital technologies in education - than written responses alone. 'Multi-dimensionality' refers to the characteristics of multimodal hand-drawn or digitally produced concept maps, namely multi-layering and (remote) multi-authoring. Forty-eight pairs of concept maps were collected, in three case studies based in England and South Africa, all focusing on gaining insights into educators' understanding of the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning. The three groups of educators were undertaking one-year courses about using computers in classrooms, underpinned by three different perspectives on learning. information transmission, constructivism and social interaction. This study of pre- and post-course concept maps aims to answer the Research Question: How does multimodal concept mapping provide insights into educators' understanding about digital technologies? Both benefits and challenges were evident in the use of the three different methods of analysis that were used. Given the relatively low numbers, a qualitative analysis of scores is revealing whereas a quantitative analysis is unreliable; 'words', where they are used, provide a useful insight; a more encompassing semiotic analysis revealed some underlying 'positions' that surprised even the map makers themselves. A key methodological finding was that in social interaction contexts, concept maps are most valuable used as scaffolds for conversations between participants within `communities of practice' to promote shared insights into professional understanding of digital technologies. The findings were influenced by the four different roles assumed by the researcher: as an objective judge of data; as a community mentor; as an active community member; and as a researcher and community member inviting other members of that community to be co-researchers. The researcher learnt, as the project progressed, that the danger of becoming too close to the 'subjects' to be objective about the data was outweighed by the richness of the insights when the map makers engaged with the researcher and with trusted colleagues in analyzing the meaning of their pairs of concept maps.
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