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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Owner: Terry Anderson

Group members: 59




Our new site at includes an archive of our past sessions and the most up-to-date details on CIDER.

The Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) is a research initiative of the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and Centre for Distance Education (CDE), Canada's largest graduate and professional distance education programming provider, at Athabasca University, Canada's Open University.

CIDER sponsors a variety of professional development activities designed to increase the quantity and quality of distance education research. CIDER's professional development scope is broad, ranging from learning and teaching application, issues of finance and access, the strategic use of technology in distance education settings, and other factors that influence distance education in Canada.

  » CIDER Sessions
  » CIDER Sessions archive
  » About CIDER and contact information
  » International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning

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CIDER receives support from Athabasca University and UNESCO.


Ethical education practices require that all students have access to quality learning resources, necessary learning supports, diverse learning strategies, and deep learning opportunities. When it comes to learning strategies and opportunities, collaborative learning practices foster deep learning through socio-cultural interactions, asserting that individual learning is limited compared to what can be learned as a community. Education systems have an ethical obligation to ensure that what is advocated for in curricula can be achieved and will be supported. Although K–12 curricula are typically rooted in collaborative approaches, many asynchronous secondary online learning courses continue to be associated with individual learning approaches. This research used insights gleaned from 35 survey responses and 18 semi-structured interviews with secondary asynchronous distance learning teachers to analyze how collaborative learning is actualized and examine barriers to its implementation. Collaborative online learning opportunities were increasingly prevalent when communities outside of the school were leveraged for experiential learning and when students were paced as a cohort. The data indicated that an increase in collaborative learning was not likely to occur unless the learning ecosystem valued online learning as equitably as face-to-face learning in terms of investment in research-based pedagogy, student support, teacher support, and teaching and learning resources. Until such time, distance learning students will be disadvantaged concerning building collaborative competence that can lead to deeper learning opportunities.

Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Due notably to the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs), stakeholders in online education have amassed extensive databases on learners throughout the past decade. Administrators of online course platforms, for instance, possess a broad spectrum of information about their users. This information spans from users’ areas of interest to their learning habits, all of which is deduced from diverse analytics. Such circumstances have sparked intense discussions over the ethical implications and potential risks that databases present. In this article, we delve into an analysis of a survey distributed across three MOOCs with the intention to gain a deeper understanding of learners’ viewpoints on the use of their data. We first explore the perception of features and mechanisms of recommendation systems. Subsequently, we examine the issue of data transmission to third parties, particularly potential recruiters interested in applicants’ performance records on course platforms. Our findings reveal that younger generations demonstrate less resistance towards the exploitation of their data.

Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Most educators’ inability to provide learning contents that suit different learning styles has caused a lot of problems in terms of performance. Thus, to cater to students’ preferences in terms of access to learning contents, the distance learning regulatory body in Nigeria emphasized that course materials should be developed in mixed-media formats. This study was carried out to compare the effects of printed, video, and Moodle-based courseware on educational technology students’ achievement, retention, and satisfaction in a distance learning course. A quasi-experimental design was employed for the study involving 108 participants from three experimental groups. The learning content and instruments, subjected to validation and reliability tests, where values of 0.78 and 0.86 were obtained using the Pearson product moment correlation and Cronbach’s alpha for achievement and satisfaction inventory, respectively, were administered within a four-week period. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings indicated that the printed, video, and Moodle-based courseware formats improved students’ achievement with mean gain scores of 47.92, 40.89, and 43.03, respectively. A significant difference was observed in the achievement (F (2,104) = 8.67, p < 0.05), retention (F (2,104) = 29.406, p < 0.05), and satisfaction scores (F(2,104) = 5.662, p < 0.05) of the three groups. Open and distance learning administrators in Nigeria are recommended to produce and deploy printed, video, and Moodle-based formats of courseware to meet different students’ learning preferences.

Tue, 05 Dec 2023

The integration of open educational resources (OER) in the educational curricula of universities and educational organizations has gained tremendous popularity. However, there is a gap in research on teachers’ attitudes toward OER in many developing countries. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study explored the use of OER by online and face-to-face teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) in Iran. A total of 62 teachers (31 online teachers and 31 face-to-face teachers) participated in the study. Survey and interview results indicated that there were significant differences between online and face-to-face teachers’ attitudes toward OER. Online teachers had a more positive attitude toward OER than face-to-face teachers. The perceived benefits of OER included developing the flexibility of curricula, encouraging personalized learning, and offering pedagogical options for teachers. There were several perceived OER-based challenges in the educational context of Iran as well. The challenges included teachers’ uncertainty about copyright issues, the low quality of OER, teachers’ low levels of digital literacy, teachers’ unawareness of the existence of OER, the lack of quality control over OER, the lack of credibility of OER content, and the lack of up-to-dateness of OER. There were also significant differences between participants’ perspectives on the types and frequency of using OER. More specifically, online teachers used OER for teaching practices more frequently than face-to-face teachers. Participants perceived that they needed various types of training for the appropriate use of OER. This study proposes several implications for renewing and improving teacher training/education programs and material development projects.

Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Table of Contents Farhad Saba, Ph. D. (c) All rights reserved ERTI’s Exceptional Team ERTI unit managers, radio and television producers, graphic artists and set designers, educational technologists, educational evaluators, researchers and the many broadcast engineers and technicians who made ERTI possible were creative, energetic, enthusiastic and forward-looking young women and men. They embodied the […]

The post Educational Broadcasting in Iran in the 1960s and 1970s (2) first appeared on
February 8, 2022 - 1:54pm

Educational Broadcasting in Iran in the 1960s and 1970s (1) INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND RESLUTS AND CONSEQUENCES REFERENCES KEYWORDS Educational Broadcasting in Iran in the 1960s and 1970s (2) ERTI’S EXCEPTIONAL TEAM HIGH-LEVEL SUPPORT OF NIRT LEADERSHIP FOR ERTI

The post Table of Contents: Educational Broadcasting Iran in the 1960s and 1970s first appeared on
February 8, 2022 - 1:46pm

Table of Contents FARHAD SABA, Ph. D. (C) All rights reserved INTRODUCTION THE 1960s and the 1970s were exciting, effervescent, and consequential times for Iran. After decades of disenchantment because of overt foreign intervention and domestic turmoil there was relative calm in political conditions. This period of tranquility promised a new beginning for the country. […]

The post Educational Broadcasting in Iran in the 1960s and 1970s first appeared on
February 2, 2022 - 4:38pm

Post-Pandemic Future: Implications for Privacy The time has come for privacy to expand beyond compliance to include determinations about what should be protected and consideration of ethical implications, balancing institutional priorities with the rights of individuals. The intersection of issues including COVID-19, student success, and the emergence of the chief privacy officer (CPO) role highlights […]

The post Download Reports: Post-Pandemic Future: Implications for Privacy first appeared on
February 21, 2021 - 1:24pm

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