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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Articles released by The Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL)

I hope you would like to read these three interesting articles released by The Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL)

EJEL Editor Roy Williams writes, "The articles in this issue demonstrate the widening range of possibilities for elearning". 

The technologies continue to develop and change, and issues of adoption and innovation persist. Like any other technologies, e-learning hardware and software is best used when it is introduced to solve a real problem which has been carefully thought through. The articles show that there is tremendous promise and opportunity, but there are no quick fixes, and no one-size-fits all solutions.

Using Action Research to Investigate Social Networking Technologies   
University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, Centre for Construction Innovation,
Salford, UK

This article outlines the first cycle of an Action Research (AR) investigation into why professional learners are not using the Social Networking Technologies (SNTs) of their bespoke website. 
It presents the rationale of how this study came about, the ontological and epistemological stance of the authors and how this led to the particular choice of contextual based AR enquiry. This article includes reference to some of the most salient literature on AR and discusses the ethical and practical constraints that surround this type of research. The first cycle of AR findings are presented and identify a number of key areas where the website is failing; including a lack of speed in responding to learner queries, negative user perceptions of not ‘owning’ the website, a lack of synchronous private chat rooms, user time constraints, negative user experiences of not being online simultaneously and of a broader failure in unifying school and university websites to promote wider social networking opportunities. In response to these findings, this article puts forward a table which includes an identification of the issues and themes, the methods utilised and how the findings were derived, reflections upon what they indicate, and an action strategy for implementation alongside questions for future research. 
This article concludes by stating that the action plan will be implemented and assessed in the next cycle of AR which is viewed by the authors as being part of a contextually valid, lifelong AR spiral process.

A Case Study on the Adoption and use of Synchronous Virtual Classrooms 
Watson School of Education, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina

This is a case study of faculty adoption and use of Horizon Wimba Virtual Classroom in online courses at a Southeastern University in the United States.. 
The purpose of this case study was to explore faculty adoption and use of Horizon Wimba in their online courses. This inquiry is based on Yen et al. (2010) adoption factors (organizational, social, personal and technological) and the features of the virtual classroom. The research questions are 1) What factors and features influence faculty adoption of the Wimba Virtual Classroom? 2) How do faculty rate the Wimba Virtual Classroom using the characteristics of innovation? 3) How do faculty classify themselves using Roger’s model of diffusion of innovation? 4) How do faculty use the Wimba Virtual Classroom in their teaching? Roger’s diffusion of innovation was used as the theoretical framework for faculty adoption of virtual classroom. In the Fall of 2010, faculty were surveyed and interviewed about their decision to adopt and use Wimba. 
This case study provides meaningful information for administrators interested in promoting technology enhanced learning on their campuses and for faculty considering adoption.

The Evolution of e‑Learning in the Context of 3D Virtual Worlds 
Theodore Kotsilieris1 and Nikoletta Dimopoulou2
1Department of Health & Welfare Units Administration, Technological Educational
Institute of Kalamata, Kalamata, Greece
2West-Attiki Region, Athens, Greece

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offer new approaches towards knowledge acquisition and collaboration through distance learning processes. Web-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) have transformed the way that education is conducted nowadays. 
At the same time, the adoption of Virtual Worlds in the educational process is of great importance, not only for the researchers in the field of Web-based Education, but also for the educational community that is interested in applying ICT in education. The main motivation for studying the potential of Virtual Worlds applications in education stems from the capabilities they offer to create a cyberspace where users can interact with other participants (through their avatars) or objects, creating new experiences that are not often feasible in the real world.
Within this context, the fundamentals of learning theories have to be analyzed, in order to study their impact on e-learning and Virtual Learning Environments design. 
The currently available Virtual-World platforms are being presented and qualitatively assessed. Subsequently we focus on Sloodle, which bridges the characteristics of the Moodle LMS with the Open Simulator 3D virtual world functionality. 

Enjoy Your Reading!

Source:The Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL) 

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