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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Owner: Terry Anderson

Group members: 38


JOIN US for a live CIDER Session, "Learning to Learn Online: A MOOC with a difference for novice online learners", October 7, 2015 at 11am MT. More information.

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.

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CIDER receives support from Athabasca University and UNESCO.


Most recent CIDER Session

The aim of this mixed method study is to identify evaluation criteria for interactive e-books. To find answers for the research questions of the study, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a four-round Delphi study with a panel consisting of 30 experts. After that, a total of 20 interactive e-books were examined with heuristic inquiry methodology. In the final phase, the results of the Delphi technique and the heuristic inquiry results were integrated. As a result, four themes, 15 dimensions, and 37 criteria were developed for interactive e-books. Lastly, the results and their implications are discussed in this paper and suggestions for further research are presented.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015

The concept of the massive, open, online course (MOOC) is not new, but high-profile initiatives have moved MOOCs into the forefront of higher education news over the past few years. Members of institutions of higher education have mixed feelings about MOOCs, ranging from those who want to offer college credit for the successful completion of MOOCs to those who fear MOOCs are the end of the university as we know it. We set forth to investigate the quality of MOOCs by using the Quality Matters quality control framework. In this article, we present the results of our inquiry, with a specific focus on the implications the results have on day-to-day practice of designing online courses.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015

Canada’s important areas of expertise in open educational resources (OER) are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly in all education and training sectors. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in OER initiatives and open higher education in general in Canada, providing insights into what is happening nationally and provincially. There are growing examples of OER initiatives from several Canadian institutions offering free courses to Canadians and international learners. National open education initiatives include the federal government's Open Data pilot project and the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada (CMEC) support for the Open Educational Resource Paris Declaration, as well as Creative Commons Canada. Regionally, the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta are supporting OER as part of major open education initiatives.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015

Conducted in conjunction with an institute on open textbook adaptation, this study compares textbook evaluations from practicing K-12 classroom teachers (n = 30) on three different types of textbooks utilized in their contexts: copyright-restricted, open, and open/adapted. Copyright-restricted textbooks consisted of those textbooks already in use by the teachers in their classrooms prior to the institute, open textbooks included alternatives from CK-12 and OpenStax, and open/adapted consisted of open textbooks that the teachers devoted time to adapting to their individual needs. Results indicate that open/adapted textbooks were evaluated as having the highest quality, and that open textbooks were of higher quality than copyright-restricted textbooks. Though some factors of quality might be influenced by cost differences (e.g., timeliness and the ability to adopt updated textbooks), results reveal that open and open/adapted textbooks may do a better job of meeting the needs of K-12 teachers in a variety of ways that may not be captured through traditional approaches to quality assurance. This study marks an early step in exploring the quality of K-12 open educational resources (OER) and the use of practicing teachers as authentic evaluators of textbooks for their local contexts.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) came to prominence with Open Educational Resources Movement (OERM). It was based upon the idea of libre in removal of some permission barriers and gratis in removing the price barrier (Suber, 2008) in learning resources. In line with the theoretical underpinnings of OERM, MOOCs embody primary characteristics of connectivist pedagogy which are autonomy, diversity, openness, and community participation. However, in time, moving away from its original philosophical and pedagogical values, new variations of MOOCs have emerged and new MOOCs have become more market oriented and are aligned with instructivist, cognitive, and behaviourist pedagogy. In an attempt to empirically examine the change in underlying values of the MOOCs, a survey method was employed by using a Connectivist Learning Environment Assessment Tool which was developed in the scope of this research. The tool could be useful for formulating and justifying a conceptual framework that enables us to reify the connectivist pedagogy and assess connectivist underpinnings of a learning environment including MOOCs. This research aims to contribute to MOOC studies against the background of previous knowledge from the Open Education and Connectivist fields.
Tue, 29 Sep 2015

Next Session: Oct 7

Who Are Today’s College Students? Those who imagine today’s students as recent high school graduates, attending college full-time at a 4-year university have an outdated picture in mind. The majority of students today are more racially and ethnically diverse than ever before. They’re more likely to include second-career retirees, part-time distance learners, GED completers, certificate seekers, […]
2 hours ago
This paper explores the concept of Web accessibility and how technologies, guidelines and policies have evolved since the turn of the twenty-first century in order to address the ideals of equitable access to online content for all people. The paper discusses the high availability of assistive technologies built into consumer devices and the associated accessibility […]
2 hours ago
This study examined the use of one online social networking tool, NING™, in teacher education, highlighting preservice teachers’ engagement and perceptions of the tool. Data obtained from 91 preservice teachers suggest that they found the multimodal platform useful as a tool to build pedagogic and content knowledge. Responses to surveys and online forums indicated potential […]
2 hours ago
This paper reports on a case study of a group of six non-native English speaking migrant women’s experiences learning English vocabulary in a mobile assisted language learning (MALL) environment at a small community centre in Western Australia. A sociocultural approach to learning vocabulary was adopted in designing the MALL lessons that the women undertook. The […]
2 hours ago

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