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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Athanassios Jimoyiannis and Panagiotis Tsiotakis

The purpose of this paper is to present an integrated framework for designing and investigating students’ engagement patterns and learning presence in educational blogs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an integrated framework for designing and investigating students’ engagement patterns and learning presence in educational blogs. The framework was grounded on the ideas of self-directed and reflective learning, and was applied to analyse students’ blogging activities in the context of an undergraduate course.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed research framework was organized along three dimensions: content artefacts, blogging processes and community building. With regard to the methodological tools used, this study integrates content analysis of students’ posts using the framework of community of inquiry, the representation of learning mapping and social network analysis methods.

Findings

The results have revealed important information about the different ways of students’ engagement and learning presence within the blogging groups, the contribution and the influence each student had, as well as the structure and the cohesion of the learning community developed around the blogging project.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study are limited by the blended course features, the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research needs to consider and analyse students’ lurking or invisible presence in educational blogging communities.

Practical implications

This study has yielded promising results with regard to the design of educational blogs in higher education that aim to enhance students’ engagement, reflection, collaboration and self-directed learning.

Originality/value

The originality concerns the proposed conceptual framework which can guide the design, monitoring and analysis of blogging processes in order to reveal students’ learning presence within self-directed communities of blogging.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Athanassios Jimoyiannis and Dimitrios Roussinos

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study investigating students’ patterns of collaborative content creation in a wiki project that was designed to promote…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study investigating students’ patterns of collaborative content creation in a wiki project that was designed to promote self-directed and collaborative learning in the context of a university course. In addition, it proposes a new organizational and analysis framework of students’ constructive and collaborative activities in wiki-authoring projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The key notion, around which the present conceptual and research framework was built, is that a wiki integrates a content space and a social (discussion) space both considered in collaborative manner. The analysis of student contributions to their wiki was organized along two dimensions: interaction and refection posts were analyzed using the framework of Community of Inquiry; content contributions to the wiki pages were classified into five categories: creating a new page, content expansion, content reorganization, content enrichment (with video, images or hyperlinks) and editing and grammatical corrections.

Findings

The analysis of the research data revealed important information that could help to depict an overall representation of individual interactions and contributions, students’ collaborative performance within wiki groups as well as the overall evolution of the wiki content. The findings showed that properly designed wiki projects can be effectively introduced in higher education with the aim to support students to improve their authoring and collaborative skills through critical thinking, peer interaction and reflection.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study are limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research will be directed to various educational contexts and to include in the analysis students’ experiences and learning outcomes of wiki-authoring activities.

Practical implications

The results provided supportive evidence that successful wiki-based projects in higher education depend on the way students’ individual and collaborative authoring contributions are interwoven. Effective wiki-based interventions should consider students’ learning as the outcome of both, individual and collaborative work, determined by self and peer reflection in wiki groups.

Originality/value

The originality and the significance of the present study are justified by the conceptual framework proposed which can guide both aspects of students’ learning presence within self-directed wiki-authoring projects, i.e. research and educational practice (design and monitoring).

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Nikolaos Koukis and Athanassios Jimoyiannis

This paper aims to report on a study concerning a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to support Greek-language teachers in secondary-education schools in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a study concerning a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to support Greek-language teachers in secondary-education schools in implementing collaborative writing activities with Google Docs (GDs) in their classrooms. Data recorded from a post-survey were used to investigate teachers’ views and perceptions about MOOC design features, their personal achievements and the overall outcomes for their professional work and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The design framework of the particular teacher professional development MOOC was determined by the connectivist principles and addressed three main dimensions of teachers’ active participation: a) individual engagement; b) peer interaction and mutual support; and c) collaborative creation of educational scenarios and artefacts. The analysis used a mixed method that combines data from teachers’ active engagement through the MOOC platform records and quantitative and qualitative data from their responses to a post-survey questionnaire.

Findings

The analysis of the research data provided supportive evidence that the design framework was effective towards promoting teachers’ active engagement, peer interaction and support and development of learning design abilities to integrate collaborative writing with GDs in their classrooms. The findings showed that the majority of participants conceptualized this MOOC as an efficient environment to enhance their pedagogical knowledge and classroom practices and to support continuous professional development.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study may be limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research is expected to critically analyse existing results in combination with qualitative data from detailed interviews of participants in this teacher professional development MOOC.

Practical implications

The results provided supportive evidence that successful MOOCs for teacher professional development are determined by four key design features: a) connecting course content and teacher learning practices to the educational reality of the classroom; b) defining concrete learning objectives of the course; c) promoting teachers’ collaborative learning; and d) creating a learning community among peers.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic analysis of teachers’ engagement in a teacher professional development MOOC, designed to support collaborative and self-directed learning. The results are expected to be significant and valuable for wider educational contexts, as MOOCs for teacher professional development is a new, ambitious topic for both research and educational policies.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Athanassios Jimoyiannis, Panagiotis Tsiotakis and Dimitrios Roussinos

The purpose of this paper is to report on an investigation of university students' participation and learning presence in a blogging activity, designed to support…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on an investigation of university students' participation and learning presence in a blogging activity, designed to support collaborative learning. There are three main reasons justifying the current research: to better understand the structure and the dynamics of students' blogging subgroups; to reveal students' patterns of engagement and their roles within the blogging community; and to evaluate the applicability of social network analysis (SNA) in studying students' performance and learning presence in educational blogs.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of students' blogging activities was rooted on the ideas of authentic learning and followed a project‐based learning philosophy. Data analysis used methods of SNA to reveal collaborative aspects of students' engagement, the different roles undertaken by the students and the structure of the community within group blogs.

Findings

SNA shed light into the different patterns of students' participation and the dynamics of students' learning presence within the community of group blogs. Research findings, both quantitative and qualitative, indicated that the majority of the students in the sample were generally active and exhibited learning presence actions within their group blog. Differences between students in the various groups were also recorded.

Research limitations/implications

The study reported here is limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research will be directed towards applying the Community of Inquiry schema, in a way complimentary to SNA, to further analyse students' learning and cognitive presence in the community of the whole blogging project.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper concerns both the educational design of the blog‐based project activities and the use of SNA to reveal the different patterns of students' participation in educational blogging activities. Results could be of value for both educators and researchers in the field.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

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