While learning has always expanded beyond the walls of the classroom, the proliferation of devices and applications, which have greatly expanded when, where and how information can be accessed and stored, brings this issue to the fore. How have such devices had an impact in learning, and what role may they play in the future? This issue hopes to showcase practical examples and generate serious reflection on an emerging topic.
Today’s youth are growing up in a world very different from the world their teachers or parents knew when they were young. Where and how they learn is changing as mobile learning and social networking become part of their every day life. Ubiquitous access to social media, tools and knowledge resources is taken for granted, while passive teacher-directed work dominates life at school.
Open, social and participatory media have significant potential to transform learning and teaching. They offer numerous ways to communicate, collaborate and connect with peers. The range of free educational resources and tools is rapidly increasing. Cloud computing has enabled free or inexpensive access to applications that were once available only to those who were willing to pay premium license fees.
The gap between the potential and actual use of technology in education is a paradox. eLearning Papers seeks to facilitate the sharing of innovative and creative uses of technology to support learning among its readers. The upcoming 32nd issue focuses on mobile technology applications and their potential to enhance learning within the broad spectrum of education and training. Papers are welcome on any aspects related to the use of open, social and participatory media, cloud computing or mobile learning. Some suggested focus areas are listed below.
- How do mobile devices enhance learning and creativity?
- Mobile learning and creative classrooms
- OER for mobile learning
- Mobile learning management models and strategies
- Learning design for mobile learning
- Mobile learning platforms, devices and operating systems
- Authoring tools and technologies for mobile learning
- Content design and development for mobile learning
- Platform specific applications for learning
- Augmented reality in education
- Mixed reality and mobile devices supporting learning
- Mobile devices and schoolwork, in classrooms and beyond
- Mobile devices supporting performance and learning at work
- Low-tech mobile learning, e.g. the power of SMS
The article submission deadline is November 19th, 2012. The provisional date of publication is December, 2012. For further information and to submit your article, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest editor: Prof. Dr. Martin Wolpers, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Pierre Dillenbourg, Professor of Computer Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), is co-author of the article MOOCs are More Social than You Believe, included in issue number 33 of eLearning Papers.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are indeed changing the educational landscape, says Mr Dillenbourg in a podcast interview with eLearningEuropa.info, but “in terms or technology and the kind of pedagogy involved, there is not a major revolution compared to what was done before.” The major changes, he points out, are on the social dimension.
“My goal is to show there is much more into the MOOCs than what we see”, he says. For instance, it is already being acknowledged by university teachers that on-campus students who follow MOOCs are better prepared when they take their exercises, “because they have time to digest” the information. This single fact, he says, justifies all the energy put into the design of these courses, as “being better prepared for an exercise is a key factor” for educators.
Professor Dillenbourg also stresses that “you need to be quite self motivated to follow a MOOC”, as these are usually tough and contents are highly demanding. This is for example something valuable that potential employers might want to know, and students should start adding MOOCs in their CVs because “they are an indicator of motivation.”
Researchers on learning technologies should analyse in-depth “the innovative practices that come around what seems a traditional medium”, he recommends.
Patrick McAndrew, professor at the UK’s Open University and author of the article “Learning from Open Design: Running a Learning Design MOOC”, published in the latest issue of eLearning Papers, talks to us about his experience with Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Strongly involved in Open Education (OE) for the last 10 years, professor McAndrew believes MOOCs “are only a part of what's happening” in this field and there are still “lots of interesting developments to see”. He also points out that universities are currently feeling the pressure “to change”, but there is no doubt that they are also being “innovators”, trying to find new ways to “help learners and engage with people.”
Regarding the OLDS-MOOC (Open Learning Design Studio-MOOC) project which he introduces in his paper published in eLearning Papers 33, professor McAndrew says it has been a “rather stressful” but “rather exciting” nine-week rich experience, and invites the OE community to explore the material used to run this initiative, available online under a Creative Commons license.
The debate around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is much more focused on the social, institutional, technological and economical aspects than on the need for development of new pedagogical approaches that provide consistent guidance on how to design for this emergent educational scenario.
A new understanding of knowledge production and learning challenges the core of learning design, demanding innovative and appropriate approaches to teaching and learning. We present a set of learning design principles drawn from the learner’s perspective. They focus on empowering learners in networked environments for fostering critical thinking and collaboration, developing competence based outcomes, encouraging peer assistance and assessment through social appraisal, providing strategies and tools for self-regulation, and finally using a variety of media and ICTs to create and publish learning resources and outputs.
Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) give an opportunity for providing access to subjects of mass interest but also allow more niche subjects (Beavon, Commas- Quinn, de los Arcos & Hauck, 2013) to reach a larger audience than the more usual context of small-scale post-graduate courses.
The OLDS-MOOC (Open Learning Design Studio-MOOC) is an example of such a course. Developed with funding from Jisc, in January 2013 a collaborative team from several universities presented a nine-week online course. The subject matter is learning design as an organised approach to online learning. This report considers the way in which the course was structured around as a project-based “pMOOC” in its approach to learning design, while also including alternative lighter routes. The impact it had on the team involved in developing and presenting the course is also briefly reviewed.
Open content for elearning: Cross-institutional collaboration for education and training in a digital environment
This article was originally published on the International Journal of Education and Development using ICT, Volume 8, issue 3.
The University of the West Indies Open Campus and Athabasca University conducted a pilot workshop to see if open educational resources (OER) could be used to construct curricula. UWIOC was interested in increasing distance education offerings and Athabasca University was interested in expanding programming to offer an online graduate program in Instructional Design. A workshop brought a team together to: come to a consensus on the format of module specifications, select appropriate resources, and to report on the feasibility of the approach. The team produced course outlines and specifications for modules using OER. The following were noted: Use of OER sped the aggregation of content; OER are not available for every topic; OER differ from the desired scope and academic level; they vary in media and content quality; and OER that lack clarity of authorship and copyright are difficult to include in courses.
The European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) is a unique opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to address current challenges and advances in the field. Through EC-TEL, established and emerging researchers as well as practitioners, entrepreneurs, and technology developers explore new collaborations, strengthen networks, and complement their core experience. This year's theme is "Scaling Up Learning for Sustained Impact". We invite contributions for demonstrations, workshops and project meetings, as well as original research papers. A doctoral consortium will also be organized concurrently with the workshops. Please find all details at the EC-TEL 2013 website.
The 32nd issue of eLearning Papers focuses on mobile technology applications and their potential to enhance learning within the broad-spectrum of education and training. The articles clearly demonstrate that mobile learning is moving beyond its early infancy.
This latest expansion is accelerated by the increasing penetration of smart phones and the ecosystems that they have enabled. In this environment, the student population has become more diffuse, but also more connected.
The issue features a wide range of topics, describing research ranging from eportfolios, serious games and OER for mobile learning scenarios. Furthermore, articles discuss the vendor’s perspective and describe two studies for developing and using mobile devices in advanced learning scenarios.
eLearning Papers 32 that has been guest edited by Prof. Dr. Martin Wolpers, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT and Tapio Koskinen, www.elearningpapers.eu, Director of the Editorial Board, includes the following articles:
Gráinne Conole's book argues that in today’s technologically rich context, where content and services are increasingly free, we need to rethink approaches to the design of learning activities and content.
She introduces the concept of ‘open design’ and argues that making the design process more explicit and shareable will enable teachers to develop more effective learning contexts for learners and help make the intended design more explicit and shareable with other teachers and learners. It will help learners to make more sense of their educational provision and associated learning pathways.
Conole provides a number of illustrations of adopting an ‘open design’ approach, from a set of design representations through to the use of open, social and participatory media for sharing and discussing designs. She draws on the areas of learning design, pedagogical patterns and OER (Open Educational Resources) research to explore the creation, sharing and discussion of learning and teaching ideas and designs.