Revie­w of pedagogical models and their use in e-learning

This paper provides a review of pedagogical models and frameworks, focusing on those that are being used most extensively in an e-learning context. The introductory section outlines the purpose of the report, the main sources of data and the key definitions used in the report. An overview is also provided of learning theories and the range of ‘Mediating Artefacts’ that are used in learning and teaching, of which pedagogical models and frameworks form a sub-category.

Learning theories are grouped into three categories:
Associative (learning as activity through structured tasks),
Cognitive (learning through understanding)
Situative (learning as social practice).


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The Online Classroom: A Thorough Depiction of Distance Learning

This study investigated the online higher education learning space of a doctoral program offered at a distance. It explored the learning space, the stakeholders, utilization, and creators of the space. Developing a successful online classroom experience that incorporates an engaging environment and dynamic community setting conducive to learning is essential in maintaining distance-student enrollment and expanding online education. Students and faculty were surveyed and responses were coded for the emergence of themes. The expanse of distance education and progression of technology has supported instructors in developing classrooms that emphasize students and incorporate both online interactive spaces and the physical space learners inhabit. Both faculty and students contribute to this classroom, and it is utilized primarily as a space where learners engage.


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Examining motivation in online distance learning environments

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Strategies for Building Community among Learners in Online Courses

Building relationships and community in online courses can be challenging, particularly if those courses are also limited by tight time constraints. In this brief commentary, I share some of the strategies that helped me to build relationships with students over distance and within a limited timeframe, including organization, communication, and use of social media. I provide examples from my teaching to illuminate the specifics and effectiveness of each strategy

Community, while inherent in assumptions about online education, rarely materializes as an integral component of the experience. Misconceptions and misguided motivations can derail participation and engagement in the online setting. Creating a successful online community is dependent on knowing what works in the face-to-face environment and implementing effective parallels online. We will discuss best practices for building community in online information literacy courses and leveraging motivators to keep students and instructors engaged. While this paper focuses on online information literacy courses, many of these strategies can be applied to online workshops, embedded librarianship, and other instructional initiatives.


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Elevating Engagement and Community in Online Courses

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Identifying factors that influence adolescents’ online communication and relationship building

This study utilized social network analysis to examine the communication strategies of 54 high school students (2, 916 relationships) within a private online group. Communication strategies were identified through interviews with adolescent Facebook users (N = 12), and coding Facebook data (N = 271 comments/posts). Three themes emerged from the data regarding tactics adolescents applied concerning effective online communication strategies: 1) level of relevancy (the extent to which the post related to their personal lives), 2) use of dialogical questions (the extent to which participants utilized engaging questions to solicit a response), and 3) social media savviness (the extent to which participants utilized images to convey information). Random permutation regression analysis indicated that those who demonstrated high performance levels in social media savviness were more central within the online community. Additionally, participants who applied dialogic questions held significantly higher scores in network betweenness. Implications for programing will be discussed.


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Designing for Collective Intelligence and Community Resilience on Social Networks

The popularity and ubiquity of social networks has enabled a new form of decentralised online collaboration: groups of users gathering around a central theme and working together to solve problems, complete tasks and develop social connections. Groups that display such ‘organic collaboration’ have been shown to solve tasks quicker and more accurately than other methods of crowdsourcing. They can also enable community action and resilience in response to different events, from casual requests to emergency response and crisis management. However, engaging such groups through formal agencies risks disconnect and disengagement by destabilising motivational structures. This paper explores case studies of this phenomenon, reviews models of motivation that can help design systems to harness these groups and proposes a framework for lightweight engagement using existing platforms and social networks.


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Can Online College Education Make Students Smarter and More Moral?

Higher education institutions have been tasked with the responsibility of scaffolding the moral development of students. Although empirical evidence suggests that attending colleges and universities can foster students’ moral development and reasoning, the effect of online higher education remains mainly unknown. The current study has examined the effect of two online psychology courses, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods Lab, and their respective assignments on students’ moral competence. The findings revealed that students’ moral competence in both courses was improved; this improvement was partly attributed to online group discussions in the Developmental psychology course. No other assignments were found to be significant contributors of students’ moral competence. Limitations and implications of the findings were discussed.


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What’s the harm in Zoom schooling or contact tracing?

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digitalization at schools, in health care and other social interaction. Some say the rapid change was unimaginable just a few years ago. Is it a threat to our online privacy?

This public health emergency has been a rude awakening for people opposed to a full — some may say invasive — digital society. Others say it’s the wake-up call that sectors such as education and primary care have long needed.


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Artificial intelligence, or the end of the world as we know it

How dangerous is AI’s exponential growth? Is any job immune to automation? DW spoke to technologists and historians to better understand some of the technological and societal upheavals humanity is facing.

Does technology favor tyranny? That’s one of the surprising — and unsettling — questions Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari asks in his much-quoted new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Whereas 20th-century technology favored democracies as they were able to distribute power to make decisions among many people and institutions, according to Harari, artificial intelligence (AI) might make centralized systems that concentrate all information and power far more efficient as machine learning works better with more information to analyze.


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Surveillance-tech – privacy rights vs health concers

Privacy issues loom. Civil liberties advocates fear that virus tracking efforts could open the door to the kind of ubiquitous government surveillance efforts they have fought for decades. Some are alarmed by the potential role of spyware firms, arguing their involvement could undermine the public trust governments need to restrain the spread of the virus.

“This public health crisis needs a public health solution – not the interjection of tech surveillance”


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Tracing COVID-19

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Studying a course online? Tips to get yourself tech ready

Engaging students in online content is easier said than done. Research shows results can improve with the use of techniques such as shortening content and making it more focused, and establishing rapport between the lecturer and students.

Students’ views on online learning can be mixed. Some research shows they can find online simulations such as in physics and engineering to be efficient, but say completing many online modules takes too long.


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Universities need to train lecturers in online delivery, or they risk students dropping out

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