Owner: Terry Anderson
Group members: 45
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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.
This paper determines which instructional roles and outputs are important in the 21st century from the perspective of students in asynchronous learning environments. This research work uses a literature review, in-depth interviews with experts, and a pilot study with students to define the instructors’ outputs. Following this, roles are determined by using a quantitative methodology (in a sample of 925 students). To our knowledge, the remaining research works on this topic identify the online instructors' roles by a qualitative analysis. The findings suggest that a new role, the life skill promoter, has emerged. Furthermore, analysis of the remaining roles (pedagogical, designer, social, technical and managerial) showed that: (i) online instructors are, first and foremost, pedagogues; (ii) the design of the particular online program influences the pedagogical and designer roles and; (iii) the managerial role has declined in importance over the years due to the development of more intuitive and transparent online scenarios from the beginning of the course onward.
The article argues that the ongoing usage of audio visual media is falling behind in terms of educational quality compared to prior achievements in the history of distance education. After reviewing some important steps and experiences of audio visual digital media development, we analyse predominant presentation formats on the Web. Special focus is put on recent development of new ways to generate graphics and to create animation sequences, as well as on the video presentation formats used in MOOCs. We conclude that the "new" features are in no way disruptive innovations in distance education and that the potential of video has not been sufficiently exploited. Adequate incentives to use these media for collaborative learning have not been provided and student-generated video content is at present just starting to be considered useful in instructional design.
This paper reports the findings of a comparative analysis of online learner behavioral interactions, time-on-task, attendance, and performance at different points throughout a semester (beginning, during, and end) based on two online courses: one course offering authentic discussion-based learning activities and the other course offering authentic design/development-based learning activities. Web log data were collected to determine the number of learner behavioral interactions with the Moodle learning management system (LMS), the number of behavioral interactions with peers, the time-on-task for weekly tasks, and the recorded attendance. Student performance on weekly tasks was also collected from the course data. Behavioral interactions with the Moodle LMS included resource viewing activities and uploading/downloading file activities. Behavioral interactions with peers included discussion postings, discussion responses, and discussion viewing activities. A series of Mann-Whitney tests were conducted to compare the two types of behavioral interactions between the two courses. Additionally, each student's behavioral interactions were visually presented to show the pattern of their interactions. The results indicated that, at the beginning of the semester, students who were involved in authentic design/development-based learning activities showed a significantly higher number of behavioral interactions with the Moodle LMS than did students involved in authentic discussion-based learning activities. However, in the middle of the semester, students engaged in authentic discussion-based learning activities showed a significantly higher number of behavioral interactions with peers than did students involved in authentic design/development-based learning activities. Additionally, students who were given authentic design/development-based learning activities received higher performance scores both during the semester and at the end of the semester and they showed overall higher performance scores than students who were given authentic discussion-based learning activities. No differences were found between the two groups with respect to time-on-task or attendance.
Partnership is one of the mechanisms of scientific development, and scientific collaboration or co-authorship is considered a key element in the progress of science. This study is a survey with a scientometric approach focusing on the field of e-learning products over 10 years. In an Advanced Search of the Web of Science, the following search formula was used: TS=("m-learning" OR "mlearning" OR "mobile learning" OR "online learning" OR "virtual learning" OR "distance learning" OR "electronic learning"). The study was limited to 2005-2014, and the document type was limited to paper. A total of 4292 documents were found, to which 12362 authors contributed. The articles were evaluated individually and their information was entered into Microsoft Office Excel 2007 for analysis using the collaborative coefficient formula. In the Computers and Education journal, articles with two authors are the most frequent. The United States, with the highest production of articles in the field of e-learning, tends to produce articles with two authors. In 2014, the most productive year, articles with three authors were more frequent. The highest collaborative coefficient is in 2005 and 2014. Our findings show that despite the need for research activities as a team, the authors in the field of e-learning tend to publish their papers alone or in a team of two.
This study aims to identify the priority of the roles and competencies of tutors working in the e-learning environments where the tutors are experiencing the changes brought by reforming traditional TV and broadcasting university to open universities. The mixed methods, DACUM, non-participatory observation, and questionnaires were used to identify the priority of the roles and competencies of tutors. The findings suggested that the priority of the roles and competencies has significantly changed accompanied to the shift of pedagogy from cognitive behaviorist to social-constructivist and connectivist. Changes in the roles of the instructional designer and instructor were highlighted. Significant differences in perceptions of the importance of the roles and competencies corresponding to learning management and technology use also merit further attention.
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