Articles in Periodicals & Books
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PublicationEditorial: Technology and Pedagogy for Learning and Capacity Building( 2023-03-20)In any technology-enabled learning formulation, it is important to consider the pedagogic affordances of technology, and how to develop the required level of competency and concomitant capacity building to undertake teaching-learning and training activities of high quality. There are a variety of frameworks and guidelines available on TEL, and we, as teachers, trainers and researchers, need to consider reviewing the research literature, analysing the effective blending of pedagogy and technology, developing appropriate learning resources (and/or considering existing Open Educational Resources and MOOCs), understanding the challenges faced especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and appropriating the quality assurance frameworks and parameters, among others. The present issue of the Journal, comprising one invited paper, five research papers, two case studies, and two book reviews, addresses the above issues and concerns.
PublicationBook Review: Handbook of Distance Education( 2019-11-19)The self-identified purpose of the Handbook of Distance Education, (4th ed.) is the same as that of the three earlier editions, i.e., to provide access to a broad selection of the scholarly and research literature, organized in a way that will enable students and practitioners to identify sources relevant to their particular needs, as the first step leading to their personal, in-depth, follow-up literature research. The first edition was produced in 2003 and this fourth edition was produced six years after the third edition. Readers of earlier editions will note a similar thematic structure, but in this edition the sections on learning and teaching have been combined. In many chapters, authors reference earlier versions, briefly summarising how they have built upon the previous work to include more recent research, and in some cases referring readers to specific aspects of previous reviews which they do not repeat.
PublicationRecognising Achievement with Badges and Blockchain in a Connectivist MOOC( 2019-11-19)While previous work has recognized the potential for open badges and blockchain to play a role in online courses, this potential has yet to be realized in a fully decentralized cMOOC. This paper describes the design objectives of an application that integrates open badges and blockchain with a cMOOC. The work described was undertaken during the offering on an online course, and thus development took place in an actual course context with interaction with course participants. The full workflow from course content to storage on the blockchain is described, and some concluding comments are offered on the results of this course, and the potential for future applications.
PublicationHow Directing Formal Students to Institutionally-Delivered OER Supports their Success( 2019-11-19)The OpenLearn platform was launched in 2006 with the aim of delivering excerpts of the Open University’s (UK) (OU) curriculum as open educational resources (OER). Now reaching over 8.5m learners a year, the platform delivers free courses, educational interactives, videos and articles across a broad range of subjects reflecting what is delivered formally to students and through topical, engaging content. The OU is the UK’s largest university for undergraduate education with around 170,000 enrolled students primarily engaged in online, distance education. // Whilst previous studies on OpenLearn had revealed the demographics of learners using the platform (Law et al., 2013; Perryman et al., 2013; Law & Jelfs, 2016), platform-derived analytics showed that a high proportion of OU students were also using OpenLearn, despite it not performing any formally directed role in the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. // This paper discusses research undertaken with OU students in 2017 to examine their experience and motivations for using OpenLearn and the potential impact on their learning. Surveys were issued to 10,000 students with the resulting data informing university strategy around the function of OER as a means to motivate, prepare and retain students. // Data showed that students are using OpenLearn for module choice, as a taster of OU study before signing up, for study preparedness, time-management planning, confidence-building, assessment support and professional development. In addition, OU students who use OpenLearn are more likely to be retained and to progress to their next course. // This paper will also discusses recommendations and actions taken from this research that were realised in 2018 and early results from this, ostensibly the impact of a project to integrate OER into the student induction process. // The data revealed in this paper will be of interest to the wider academic community, HE policy-makers, those involved in delivering non-accredited learning and the impact of OER.
PublicationGetting to Open at a Closed Institution: A Case Study of Evolving and Sustaining Open Education Practices( 2019-11-19)This study examined a Canadian post-secondary institution in the period between 2010 and 2014, with a follow-up assessment in 2018 in order to understand its evolution with open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP). In the first timeline, the study looked at drivers that contributed to the uptake of OER in relation to the type of OER and factors contributing to the diffusion of OER. In the second timeline, the study looked at whether OEPs are being sustained and how they evolved at the institution. Results show that within the institution there are both benefits and tensions to being open, and an institutional approach that considers openness on a case-by-case basis is appropriate. In looking at these two time periods, the study fills a gap in OER research by providing a more longitudinal view of an institutional shift towards initiating and sustaining openness.