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How do students perceive their own and their peers' progress in e-learning?

Sibel Somyürek (Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies, Gazi Üniversitesi, Ankara, Turkey)
Peter Brusilovsky (School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Ayça Çebi (Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies, Trabzon University, Trabzon, Turkey)
Kamil Akhüseyinoğlu (School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Tolga Güyer (Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies, Gazi Üniversitesi, Ankara, Turkey)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 4 November 2020

Issue publication date: 30 December 2020

538

Abstract

Purpose

Interest is currently growing in open social learner modeling (OSLM), which means making peer models and a learner's own model visible to encourage users in e-learning. The purpose of this study is to examine students' views about the OSLM in an e-learning system.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study was conducted with 40 undergraduate students enrolled in advanced programming and database management system courses. A Likert-type questionnaire and open-ended questions were used to obtain the students' views. System usage data were also analyzed to ensure the richness and diversity of the overall data set.

Findings

The quantitative data of the students' views were analyzed with descriptive statistics; the results are presented as graphics. The qualitative data of the students' views were examined by content analysis to derive themes. These themes are organized into four subtopics: the students' positive views, their negative views, their improvement suggestions and their preferences about using similar OSLM visualizations in other e-learning systems. The students' subjective views are discussed in the context of their recorded interactions with the system.

Research limitations/implications

Competition due to seeing peer models was considered by participants both as positive and negative features of the learning system. So, this study revealed that, the ways to combine peer learner models to e-learning systems that promote positive competition without resulting social pressure, still need to be explored.

Practical implications

By combining open learner models with open peer models, OSLM enhances the learning process in three different ways: it supports self-regulation, encourages competition and empowers self-evaluation. To take advantage of these positive contributions, practitioners should consider enhancing e-learning systems with both own learner and peer model features.

Originality/value

Despite increasing interest in OSLM studies, several limitations and problems must be addressed such as sparsity of data and lack of study of different contexts and cultures. To date, no published study in this area exists in Turkey. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by examining OSLM features in an e-learning system from the perspectives of Turkish students by using both their system interaction data and their subjective views.

Keywords

Citation

Somyürek, S., Brusilovsky, P., Çebi, A., Akhüseyinoğlu, K. and Güyer, T. (2021), "How do students perceive their own and their peers' progress in e-learning?", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 49-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-05-2020-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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