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Article
Publication date: 19 May 2021

Daniela Perbandt, Marie-Sophie Heinelt, Paula Bacelar-Nicolau, Mahsa Mapar and Sandra Sofia Caeiro

Distance universities are of great importance for establishing sustainability literacy, as they operate as multipliers for thousands of students. However, despite several…

Abstract

Purpose

Distance universities are of great importance for establishing sustainability literacy, as they operate as multipliers for thousands of students. However, despite several advantages of e-learning environments compared to traditional class-teaching, there are still challenges regarding suitable e-learning tools and didactical models. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of several e-learning tools on students’ knowledge and skills growth and to compare two learning paths, synchronous vs asynchronous, exploring how each affects the level of students’ knowledge achievement and skills acquisition.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis is based on an online course “Participatory processes in environmental politics”. International MSc and PhD students who enrolled in the course were from FernUniversität in Hagen (Germany) and Aberta University (Portugal). The course was designed as the flipped classroom, applying different e-learning tools and activities, some synchronous and others asynchronous. A pre- and post-evaluation questionnaire was applied to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills. Descriptive statistical analyses were carried out on this data.

Findings

Results showed that in the synchronous group, knowledge about theoretical approaches to citizen participation and sustainable environmental governance improved to a greater extent, whereas the asynchronous group showed greater improvement in nearly all skills related to intercultural communication and e-learning. Also, in the synchronous path, students enhanced their knowledge on “research application” to a greater extent.

Originality/value

Evaluating the effectiveness of different e-learning tools on students’ sustainability knowledge and information and communication technologies skills is a fundamental issue. The study discusses these issues, contributing to enhancing the use of adequate and grounded e-learning models on sustainable development in higher education.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Dan Bouhnik, Yahel Giat and Yafit Sanderovitch

The purpose of this study is to characterize learning from asynchronous sources among research and development (R&D) personnel. It aims to examine four aspects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to characterize learning from asynchronous sources among research and development (R&D) personnel. It aims to examine four aspects of asynchronous source learning: employee preferences regarding self‐learning; extent of source usage; employee satisfaction with these sources and the effect of the sources on the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 120 R&D employees of a high‐tech firm were administered questionnaires consisting of open‐ended and close‐ended questions regarding different features of asynchronous learning.

Findings

The study finds that a synchronous sources are highly utilized by employees and are used both for general‐purpose learning and solving specific problems. Despite the high usage and satisfaction from these sources, we do not find evidence to support the creation of an expert community of practice.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to a single, albeit large, firm. Possibly, in different organizational, cultural or geographical settings, expert communities of knowledge may be created in a more pronounced manner.

Practical implications

Managers should: consult with employees as to what they need most to complement the asynchronous sources; put more emphasize on measuring satisfaction from asynchronous sources to predict the value of these sources to the organization; and encourage and ensure the creation of an expert community of practice and support and maintain it thereafter.

Originality/value

Empirical research about the implications of asynchronous sources on the workplace is scarce. This paper complements previous research and provides new insight into understanding these effects.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Thomas R. Kochtanek and Karen K. Hein

The introduction of Web‐based course instruction into an existing degree programme offers the opportunity to re‐examine models supporting learning and the transfer of…

Abstract

The introduction of Web‐based course instruction into an existing degree programme offers the opportunity to re‐examine models supporting learning and the transfer of knowledge among students enrolled in such courses. By removing the barriers of time and place, instructors can create and sustain student learning communities supported by interactive communication tools grounded in asynchronous learning models. The instructor’s role moves to that of a facilitator who seeks to stimulate interactions between students and between students and the instructor, in the pursuit of improved learning and knowledge base construction.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 April 2021

Peter Serdyukov

With the rapid transition of education from the traditional, classroom- or campus-based to the online format, there grows a need for not only taking advantage of online…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid transition of education from the traditional, classroom- or campus-based to the online format, there grows a need for not only taking advantage of online technology but also assessing actual and potential effects it can make on the learners, learning, education, and society. One of the risks inherent in online learning is its growing formalization both in the organization of the learning and in its process, which may gravely affect students’ learning, health, cognition, behavior and quality of the learning outcomes. It can also produce serious implications for the society. This article investigates the origins of formalization, its forms and stages, and discusses asynchronous, precision, and automated learning formats from this perspective. Among many issues, the impact of formalization on the learner's development and socialization is considered. The author offers a pragmatic solution for deformalization of online learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative analysis of contemporary research literature, educational trends and practices.

Findings

It was found that formalism permeates online education in many ways. It is present in asynchronous, precise and automated learning and may produce significant impact on students, their learning, and society.

Research limitations/implications

This is a qualitative research based on the analysis of current research literature and teaching practices.

Practical implications

While formalism in education is an unavoidable evil, its impact must be diminished. Critical analysis and practical recommendations offered may help improve online teaching and learning.

Social implications

Formalism affects both students' socialization in the online learning environment, and patterns of socialization in the society. It also impacts students’ cognition and behaviors. So, counteracting formalism may benefit the society's well-being.

Originality/value

The authors could not find any publications on this topic. So this is an original material which may contribute to improving online teaching and learning.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Yung-Ming Cheng

The purpose of this paper is to propose a hybrid model based on the expectation-confirmation model (ECM), flow theory, and updated DeLone and McLean information system…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a hybrid model based on the expectation-confirmation model (ECM), flow theory, and updated DeLone and McLean information system (IS) success model to examine whether quality factors as the antecedents to nurse beliefs affected nurses’ intention to continue using the blended electronic learning (e-learning) system.

Design/methodology/approach

Sample data for this study were collected from nurses at five hospitals in Taiwan. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed, 396 (79.2 percent) questionnaires were returned. Consequently, 378 usable questionnaires were analyzed in this study, with a usable response rate of 75.6 percent. Collected data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Information quality, system quality, support service quality, and instructor quality contribute significantly to perceived usefulness (PU), confirmation, and flow, which together explain nurses’ satisfaction with the usage of the blended e-learning system, and this in turn leads to their continued system usage intention.

Originality/value

First, the application of the ECM with the view of updated DeLone and McLean IS success model reveals deep insights into quality evaluation (including information quality, system quality, and support service quality) in the field of nurses’ e-learning continuance intention. Especially, this study additionally contributes to the identification of instructor quality that may lead to nurses’ continued blended e-learning usage intention. Next, the empirical evidence on capturing both extrinsic motivator (i.e. PU) and intrinsic motivator (i.e. flow) for completely explaining quality antecedents of nurses’ blended e-learning continuance intention is well documented.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Steven D'Agustino

The current literature examining the design of effective online learning opportunities recommends an array of best practices but no agreed upon and unifying model. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The current literature examining the design of effective online learning opportunities recommends an array of best practices but no agreed upon and unifying model. The purpose of this paper is to survey the existing research of effective design models for online learning in an attempt to identify best practices and present a new model.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a comprehensive review of the literature, the paper identifies obstacles to developing an effective course design model for asynchronous distance education. Based upon this review, best practices are identified and a design model is recommended.

Findings

The research identifies the key components of successful course design methods and ultimately recommends a process that has eight steps which occur in three phases. The first phase, the identification phase, encourages the instructor and/or course design team to identify strategies, objectives, assessments and resources. In the second phase, design, instructors select, organize, adapt and reflect. The final phase is implementation, during which the course is taught.

Practical implications

The recommended design model has implications for practice by providing a clear structure for design activities which are aligned with the best practices identified in the research. Instructors and/or instructional designers creating online learning opportunities now have a coherent model supported by a review of the literature.

Originality/value

While a number of online course design models exist, no one model has emerged as pre‐eminent or most effective and efficient. The model recommended by this paper offers a unified model of courses design that synthesizes the most effective aspects of the extant models.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Monaliz Amirkhanpour, Hans Ruediger Kaufmann and Ana Garcia-Gallego

The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic view on e-learning-related concepts as a basis for an e-learning strategy. Furthermore, it aims to shed light on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic view on e-learning-related concepts as a basis for an e-learning strategy. Furthermore, it aims to shed light on the level of application of existing open-source learning management systems (LMS) by the public and private universities of Cyprus. Due to a currently existing information gap in the field, the study should rather be seen as an exploratory descriptive snapshot to create initial awareness based on which further hypotheses can be derived for future studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research has been conducted in this study with an online questionnaire distributed to all the public and private universities in Cyprus.

Findings

The conducted research analysis results clearly illustrate the comparisons among different features and services of an e-learning platform. Additionally, the analysis results highlighted the tendency of the participants toward a social learning environment which was considerably high in using social networks and other collaboration platforms, as students were more attracted to those e-learning platforms that integrate social learning elements such as various social media tools.

Research limitations/implications

The only data collection method used was the online questionnaire. Even though it provided the researchers with sound and useful outcomes in a considerably short time, the validity of the results was not properly justified. The findings cannot claim to be representative. The main reason of selecting only one type of data collection method, i.e. questionnaire was the limited time of completing the research. Another significant limitation was the very low co-operation level of some of the universities under study which resulted in having less reliable results, as the response rates of some universities were merely 1 per cent.

Originality/value

This research study provides a comprehensive body of knowledge about LMS and e-learning, in general, within the public and private universities in Cyprus. In other terms, the results of this study enhance the existing knowledge about the e-learning features as well as demonstrating the tendency of the students toward social learning within an LMS.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Pramila Rao

The primary purpose of this research paper is to understand the role of national cultural dimensions on e‐learning practices in India. India is considered a major player…

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this research paper is to understand the role of national cultural dimensions on e‐learning practices in India. India is considered a major player in the world economy today. US multinationals are significantly increasing their presence in India and understanding cultural preferences will help global companies transition better.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper uses the national cultural dimensions of the global leadership and organizational behavior effectiveness project, which is identified as the most topical theoretical framework on culture. The national cultural scores are used to develop hypotheses for specific cultural dimensions. Examples from the literature are also used to strengthen the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

This research proposes that national cultural dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, in‐group collectivism, and future‐orientation influence e‐learning practices. This study distinguishes between synchronous and asynchronous methods of e‐learning and the role of culture on the same. Future research can definitely empirically test the hypotheses proposed.

Practical implications

This study provides strategic implications for multinationals with a guide sheet identifying the role of the various cultural dimensions on e‐learning. The suggested strategies can be implemented by multinationals in other countries with similar national cultural dimensions also.

Originality/value

This research also proposes a theoretical e‐learning model identifying the impact of national cultural dimensions on e‐learning practices. This research also provides practitioners a strategic implications model that could be implemented for e‐learning initiatives in multinationals.

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2014

Jaimie Hoffman and Jill Leafstedt

In this chapter, we argue that if online education moves toward a dynamic, collaborative, and humanized experience, inquiry-based learning can result almost naturally. We…

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue that if online education moves toward a dynamic, collaborative, and humanized experience, inquiry-based learning can result almost naturally. We begin by briefly tracing the history and growth of online education and discussing the real, and often negative, perceptions about online education. The readers are then asked to consider their assumptions about student’s learning experiences in the face-to-face environment before making decisions about strengths and limitations of online education. The chapter then provides an overview of how online education and technology-enhanced classes create natural linkages to inquiry-based learning while meeting the unique needs of diverse learners; general examples of technology as a modality for inquiry-based learning are provided. The chapter culminates with four case studies that demonstrate how inquiry-based learning can be facilitated outside of the classroom walls and effectively integrated with technology. The case studies are drawn from education, chemistry, and business providing an example of how to investigate facts through collaborative presentations, develop informed opinions through asynchronous discussion, and make sense of concepts through curation.

Details

Inquiry-based Learning for Faculty and Institutional Development: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-235-7

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Xiaofeng Li and Yawen Yu

This paper aims to investigate the following questions: What are the types of discussion prompts in a fully online graduate course? What are the key characteristics of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the following questions: What are the types of discussion prompts in a fully online graduate course? What are the key characteristics of students’ discussion initial posts and replies in a fully online graduate course? In what ways, if any, do discussion prompts influence the types of initial posts and replies in discussion threads?

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative approach to explore the dynamics of students’ knowledge construction through using asynchronous discussion boards. A total of 20 discussion prompts and 115 discussion threads from nine archival discussion boards in a fully online library science course were collected and analyzed.

Findings

The findings identified open-ended, explanatory and reflective prompts in discussion boards. Students engaged in simply stating, paraphrasing, elaborating, extending, reflecting, socializing and sharing emotions in discussion posts. These findings highlighted the interconnectedness of reflection and socio-emotional interactions in a community of inquiry and pointed out their important roles to support richer and deeper online discussions. The study further observed linkages between the types of discussion prompts and the types of discussion posts.

Originality/value

This study addressed an urgent need to understand the use of online discussion boards in an emergency remote teaching condition in a pandemic. The findings of this study offered educators insights into evidence-based design recommendations for prompts to support students’ knowledge construction and deep learning through using discussion boards.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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