International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

Current impact factor: 0.69

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ISSN 1492-3831

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Athabasca University Press

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    • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 2.5 or 3.0 License
    • International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning follows a Creative Commons Attribution License
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using in-class questions is an efficient instructional strategy to keep abreast of the state of student learning in a class. Some studies have found that discussing in-class questions in synchronous learning is helpful. These studies demonstrated that synchronous questions not only provide students with timely feedback, but also allow teachers to change the pedagogy adaptively. However, some studies have also shown negative results of synchronous questions in that students may resist being questioned because of anxiety. Therefore, this paper proposes an idea of showing students funny images in order to reward them for providing correct answers. The effect of connecting questions with funny image rewards was examined by collecting data on student test scores, on facial expressions and on electroencephalogram (EEG) responses elicited using this strategy. The data on students' facial expressions indicated that being presented with funny images for correct answers consistently helps to arouse positive emotions in participants. Also, the data on the EEG responses showed that the participants receiving the rewarded questions demonstrated a trend toward increasing levels of attention and relaxation. However, the results also revealed that significant improvements in test scores were not apparent regardless of whether or not amusing visual stimuli were used. The findings imply that showing funny images as a stimulus enhances students' affective states in student-teacher interactions during online learning activities.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: In order for higher education institutions, which implements blended and/or online learning to remain competitive and innovative it needs to keep up with the cutting edge technological and educational advances. This task is usually very difficult, keeping in mind the budget constraints that many institutions have. This usually implies that existing open source solutions have to be used and adapted to individual needs of each institution. Keeping up with the current technological advances often brings not only financial challenges, but also transitional challenges that may put at risk learning quality and reputation of the institution, as well as performance of students. This work describes the features of the system, results and challenges of transitioning to e-learning system that displays learning materials through sequence of reusable learning objects (LOs) from the system that does not have these capabilities. The goal of such system is to increase reusability of learning content, and moreover, to increase online interactivity and communication between the instructor and students. Findings of this work reveal advantages, disadvantages and potential obstacle of implementation e-learning system with LOs and give an overview of suggestions for implementation improvements. These suggestions are given based on evaluation of implementation of new e-learning system with LOs, after the transition from the traditional e-learning system. Furthermore, based on the research of existing methodologies in the field of information systems, and the results of this research, this work proposes methodology for transferring into e-learning system with LOs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: Use of mobile technology are widespread, particularly among the younger generation. There is a huge potential for utilizing such technology, particularly in lecture sessions with large number of students, serving as an interaction tool between the students and lecturer. The challenge is to identify adoption factors to ensure effective adoption of the technology to promote interactivity between students and lecturer in the classroom. This paper aims to examine factors supporting use of mobile wireless technology during lectures to promote interactivity between students and lecturers in Malaysia’s higher education institutions. Survey involving higher education students in Malaysia was conducted with a sample size of 302. Factor analysis results identified five factors: independent variables System Usefulness (SU), User System Perception (USP), User Uncertainty Avoidance (UUA), System and Information Quality (SIQ), and dependent variable Mobile Wireless Technology Adoption for Interactive Lectures (MWT_AIL). All independent variables are positively associated to MWT_AIL, with UUA and SIQ having higher level of significance compared to SU and USP. Respondents were selected from higher learning institutions from urban areas in Malaysia. Therefore results obtained are not representative of the entire higher education landscape in Malaysia and future studies are warranted to include higher learning institutions located in rural areas. It is hoped that findings from this study will serve as a catalyst for future researches to be conducted in this area, particularly among higher education researchers seeking ways to utilize technology effectively to enhance the learning experiences of the students in the classroom.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: The Effective Classroom Interactions (ECI) online courses were designed to provide an engaging, effective and scalable approach to enhancing early childhood teachers’ use of classroom practices that impact children’s school readiness. The created courses included several versions aimed at testing whether or not certain design aspects could increase participation and subsequent learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which early childhood teachers accessed the courses and varied in their a) participation in the core course content and b) optional discussion board as a result of the course experience they were assigned to as well as individual characteristics that may be associated with participation. Findings indicated that early childhood teachers accessed the course often on nights and weekends and reported high levels of satisfaction with their experience. Both persistence in the ECI courses and overall completion of activities were higher than those reported in other studies of online learning. Whether or not the participant was in the course that had regular interactions with the instructor, comfort with technology and took the course for credit consistently predicted participation, but not always in expected ways. Implications for exploring online learning as a feasible option for early childhood educators are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: On the one hand, a growing amount of research discusses support for improving online collaborative learning quality, and many indicators are focused to assess its success. On the other hand, thinkLets for designing reputable and valuable collaborative processes have been developed for more than ten years. However, few studies try to apply thinkLets to online collaborative learning. This paper introduces thinkLets to online collaborative learning and experimentally tests its effectiveness with participants responces on their satisfaction. Yield Shift Theory (YST), a causal theory explaining inner satisfaction, is adopted. In the experiment, 113 students from Universities in Beijing, China are chosen as a sample. They were divided into two groups, collaborating online in a simulated class. Then, YST in student groups under online collaborative learning is validated, comparison study of online collaborative learning with and without thinkLets is implemented and satisfaction response of participants are analyzed. As a result of this comparison, YST is proved applicable in this context, and satisfaction is higher in online collaborative learning with thinkLets.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the psychological variables and online behavioral patterns of students, collected through a Learning Management System (LMS). Test was attempted of a structural equation model representing the relationships among Time and Study Environment Management (TSEM), one of the sub-constructs of MSLQ, influencing a set of time-related online log variables: login frequency, login regularity, and total login time. Data were collected from 188 college students in a Korean university. Employing structural equation modeling, a hypothesized model was tested for measuring the model fit. The results presented a criterion validity of online log variables to estimate their time management. The structural model including TSEM, online variable, and final score with a moderate fit indicated that learners’ time related online behavior mediates their psychological functions and their learning outcome. Based on the results, the final discussion includes the recommendations for further study and the meaningfulness in regard to the expantion of Learning Analtyics for Performance and Action (LAPA) model.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of two different teaching methods on learning effectiveness. OpenCourseWare was integrated into the flipped classroom model (experimental group) and distance learning (control group). Learning effectiveness encompassed learning achievement, teacher-student interactions, and learning satisfaction. The experimental method was supplemented with qualitative interviews. Overall, 181 freshmen taking a course on physics were allowed to choose their own class based on their preferred teaching method (experimental or control group). The findings indicated that learners in the experimental group scored higher for learning achievement. When selecting a teaching method, if sufficient resources are available, it is suggested that teachers provide learners with the combination of OCW and flipped classroom. Although there was no significant between-group difference in terms of teacher-student interactions and learning satisfaction, the interactions in the flipped classroom had positive effect on students’ learning achievement. The use of the flipped classroom model allows for adequate teacher-student interactions, as teachers can provide guidance and assistance to students in person, while there are greater opportunities for collaborative learning among learners. In addition, since the flipped classroom model emphasizes the process of learning rather than its outcomes, information technology tools should be used to keep detailed records and follow the learning process in order to assess various aspects of the learners’ growth. The results of this study can serve as a reference for future studies on the flipped classroom model and OpenCourseWare, as well as for teachers and researchers in related fields.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: Handheld devices are widely applied to support open and distributed learning, where students are diverse. On the other hand, customization and personalization can be applied to accommodate students’ diversities. However, paucity of research compares the effects of customization and personalization in the context of handheld devices. To this end, we developed a customized digital learning system (CDLS) and personalized digital learning system (PDLS), which were implemented on the handheld devices and tailored to the needs of students with diverse cognitive styles. Furthermore, we conducted two empirical studies to examine the effects of cognitive styles on the use of the CDLS and PDLS. More specifically, Study 1 identified the preferences of each cognitive style group, which were employed to develop the PDLS in Study 2, which investigated how students with different cognitive styles react to the CDLS and the PDLS. The results from these two studies showed that student in the CDLS and those in the PDLS obtained similar task scores and post-test scores. However, Serialists with the PDLS could more efficiently complete the tasks than those with CDLS. Additionally, Holists more positively perceived the PDLS than Serialists.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: The blog as a type of social software has been used in education for several years, and its positive effect in the field has been asserted in many studies. This study presents the factors of participants and blogs that predict blogging activeness during teaching practice and induction year. During the teaching practice and induction year all participants could use a blog to share experiences, ask questions, receive support and so on. The blogs were supported by the tutors and all blogs were collective blogs, but they were organised differently and used differently. The data collected included 1,137 blog posts from 192 participants using 13 collective blogs along with their self-reports via pre- and post-period questionnaires. Correlation analysis as the first stage and regression analysis as the second stage was used in this study. The results showed several relationships and the regression analysis indicated that the most influential positive factor predicting participant activeness on the blog was the strength of social relationships between the participants.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated interactive effects of navigation and offline comprehension skill on digital reading performance. As indicators of navigation, relevant page selection and irrelevant page selection were considered. In 533 Spanish high school students aged 11-17 positive effects of offline comprehension skill and relevant page selection on digital reading performance were found, while irrelevant page selection had a negative effect. In addition, an interaction between relevant page selection and offline comprehension skill was found. While the effect of relevant page selection was strong in good offline comprehenders, it was significantly reduced in weak offline comprehenders. The effect of offline comprehension skill was strong in students showing high rates of relevant page selection, while it was weak and insignificant in students showing low rates of relevant page selection.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the paper is to provide a framework for understanding the pedagogical opportunities of openness in education. The paper will argue that openness in education should not only be viewed as opening existing resources and courses to a broader audience. Openness is also a matter of providing insight and enable communication and collaboration across traditional barriers – such as distance and accessibility. From this perspective, openness is the removal of barriers for interaction and exchange – and not only a matter of providing access to resources or courses. Rather, the objective is to open education to the outside world, which entails an interaction between educational institutions and society. The key point of the paper is that to do this, educational activities need to change and move beyond the course as the main unit of openness. Openness is not only a matter of opening up the existing, but to develop new educational practices that interact with the world. The paper outlines three different dimensions of openness that describe different types of interaction between institutions and society: transparency, communication and engagement. To exemplify the dimensions, the paper presents a case study that demonstrates the three dimensions of openness in an university programme. The paper concludes in a discussion of educational technologies for the different dimensions of openness.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning