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Über dieses Buch

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Web-Based Learning, ICWL 2014, held in Tallinn, Estonia, in August 2014. The 18 revised full papers presented together with 9 short papers were carefully reviewed and selected from about 78 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on computer supported collaborative learning, Web 2.0 and social learning environments; personal learning environments; game-based learning; learner modeling and learning analytics; personalized and adaptive learning; design, model and implementation of e-learning platforms and tools; and pedagogical issues, practice and experience sharing.



Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Web 2.0 and Social Learning Environments

Blogging in Obligatory Course: A Bitter Victory

In the course of several years, we employed blogging assignments in an obligatory web design course. The assignment was able to attract interest of few students only, while the majority did not participate, or only very sparsely. It did not help much to make the assignment part of the course evaluation. The course received mixed reviews from the students. The students who were not really interested in the subject, or considered it too much work, complained. In last two years we tried to address this problem by introduction of a tight blogging schedule, and peer-reviews. As we report in this paper, this step radically improved the participation rate, and also learning outcomes were higher, however the student’s opinion of these activities was not amended.
Veronika Bejdová, Martin Homola, Zuzana Kubincová

Relationships between Blogging Activeness and the Characteristics of Participants and Blogs during Teaching Practice and Induction Year

Blog as the representative 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 relationships between blog-use activeness and the characteristics of learners and blogs during teaching practice and induction year. 1,137 blog postings of 192 participants from 13 collective blogs and also their self-reports in pre- and post-questionnaires were analysed. Results showed several relationships which accentuated learner’s age and perceived benefit of blogging as important factors among participants’ characteristics influencing blogging activeness. Among the characteristics of blog most of the correlations emerged between blogging activeness and the strength of social relationships between the participants in the blog and the average number of comments (per new posts). Also mentor’s participation in the blog and giving beginning task for learners in the blog seemed to be important factors supporting more active blog-use.
Piret Luik, Merle Taimalu

Fostering Collaborative Learning with Wikis: Extending MediaWiki with Educational Features

Wikis are increasingly popular Web 2.0 tools in educational settings, being used successfully for collaborative learning. However, since they were not originally conceived as educational tools, they lack some of the functionalities useful in the instructional process (such as learner monitoring, evaluation support, student group management etc.). Therefore in this paper we propose a solution to add these educational support features, as an extension to the popular MediaWiki platform. CoLearn, as it is called, is aimed at increasing the collaboration level between students, investigating also the collaborative versus cooperative learner actions. Its functionalities and pedagogical rationale are presented, together with some technical details. A set of practical guidelines for promoting collaborative learning with wikis is also included.
Elvira Popescu, Cristian Maria, Anca Loredana Udriştoiu

Multifaceted Open Social Learner Modelling

Open social learner modelling (OSLM) approaches are promoted in order to assist learners in self-directed and self-determined learning in a social context. Still, most approaches only focus on visualising learners’ performance, or providing complex tools for social navigation. Our proposal, additionally, emphasises the importance of visualising both learners’ performance and their contribution to a learning community. We seek also to seamlessly integrate OSLM with learning contents, in order for the multifaceted OSLM’s prospect for ubiquity and context-awareness to enrich the adaptive potential of social e-learning systems. This paper thus presents the design of multifaceted OSLM by introducing novel, personalised social interaction features into Topolor, a social personalised adaptive e-learning environment. The umbrella target is to create and study aspects of open social learner models. An experimental study is conducted to analyse the impact of the newly introduced features. The results are finally concluded to suggest future research and further improvements.
Lei Shi, Alexandra I. Cristea, Suncica Hadzidedic

What Psychological Factors Enhance a Language Learning Community? Toward Effective CSCL Design for Language Learning Based on a CoI Framework

The current study investigated the relationship between psychological factors and learning behaviors related to the application of a community of inquiry (CoI) framework for learning English as a foreign language (EFL). An online asynchronous discussion was examined, and data included questionnaires assessing perceived psychological factors and communication logs related to the efficacy of the CoI. Results of a path analysis showed that perceived social presence plays an important role in enhancing perceived cognitive presence, which indirectly increases social interaction and deeper discussions.
Masanori Yamada, Yoshiko Goda, Hideya Matsukawa, Kojiro Hata, Seisuke Yasunami

Personal Learning Environments

Open Badges: Challenges and Opportunities

The paper looks at the increasingly popular concept of Open Badges (OBs) and the technology that supports it, and provides several insights that might help researchers and practitioners decide on how to make the best use of OBs in specific educational settings. In spite of the current big hype around OBs among practitioners, academic literature on them is still scarce. There is a number of challenges that developers and the wider educational community face when it comes to developing and enacting an OB system – from pedagogical and motivational ones, to technological, to those related to institutional policies and to validity and credibility of badges. By discussing these challenges, the paper offers a critical overview and a reality check of practical opportunities for using OBs, thus indicating several avenues to inspire further research.
Jelena Jovanovic, Vladan Devedzic

Developing Language Learning Strategies in a Personal Learning Environment: Pilot Study

English is indisputably the lingua franca of today’s globalizing world. Despite Estonians’ high proficiency in English, methods used in the teaching process have not supported the active use of language and have probably hindered communication. Advanced language learning strategies (LLS) have been found to be connected with higher language proficiency. The aim of the current study is to develop assignments within personal learning environments (PLE) for an English course promoting advanced LLS. The developed assignments were carried out by 28 first-year students studying Tourism English. Data was collected through pre- and post-testing. Additional data about the students’ learning experiences was collected with focus group interviews. The results of the study showed a significant improvement in compensation and social strategies. A significant relationship was found between compensation strategies and content knowledge. Further research should focus on reinforcing the assignments, especially regarding advancing the cognitive and metacognitive strategies.
Katrin Saks, Äli Leijen

The Potential of e-portfolio in Transition from Estonian Higher Education to Working Life

The paper explores the potential of using the e-portfolio as a transition tool from academic institutions to professional institutions. The main aim is to investigate what are current practices and attitudes of using e-portfolios and investigate if the employers are ready to use the e-portfolio as an alternative to the traditional recruitment approaches like resumes. Study was the first phase of the larger design research, which aims to develop the competence-based portfolio for ICT sector. The survey was distributed among teachers, HR managers and students in ICT field for evaluating their knowledge and experiences of the e-portfolios and their perception about using the e-portfolio in recruitment process. Additionally semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers and HR managers for exploring the current practices with the e-portfolio and recruitment processes. Study revealed that in Estonian settings mainly teachers are using e-portfolios with the professional purposes. Also under certain circumstances the e-portfolio could be potential tool in recruitment.
Kairit Tammets, Mart Laanpere

Game-Based Learning

A Multi-server Approach for Large Scale Collaborative Game-Based Learning

E-learning through online games, where users play collaboratively to gain knowledge, has great potential to significantly change the way we learn. As the number of participants is no longer limited by the classroom, the learning process could potentially involve tens of thousands of learners. However, hosting massive users playing in a shared game world is nontrivial, as the underlying servers may get overloaded by the constantly changing workload due to user activity. In this work, we adapt a multi-server approach with dynamic load balancing to enable large scale collaborative game-based learning. Through simulation, we thoroughly evaluate its performance and identify the optimal settings of the key load balancing parameters under different scenarios. Results imply that the multi-server approach can support tens of thousands of users learning together, through combining the power of multiple servers each of which only can handle hundreds of users.
Yunhua Deng, Zhe Huang

The Effects of Prior Knowledge for Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition on Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game

The affordances of MMORPGs provide authentic contexts for vocabulary acquisition. This study conducted incidental vocabulary learning on an MMORPG and investigated the effects of prior knowledge. The prior knowledge in the study was including English proficiency and gaming experience. To evaluate the learning effectiveness, 12 target words were appeared in task dialogues and flashcards on the MMORPG. An experiment was conducted for 52 fifth-grade students. The results show that the learners with medium gaming experience level had significant learning effectiveness for the vocabulary positioned in task dialogues. On the contrary, except high gaming experience learners, the learning effects of flashcard were more influenced by English academic level. In other words, the vocabulary in gaming requirement condition were more noticed by medium gaming experience learners, and the vocabulary in non-requirement condition were more perceived by higher English proficiency learners.
Ben-Gao Huang, Jie Chi Yang

Gamification of Higher Education by the Example of Course of Research Methods

The course of Research Methods is one of the most important subjects in the university curriculum. It provides essential guidelines for conducting the surveys needed for finishing the school. Unfortunately the subject is perceived as dry and boring by most of the students. Can gamification of the course make it more engaging and enjoyable? To find out how the students accept game elements in the non-gaming context a course of Research Methods was designed as a game and feedback information was collected. In general students found the gamified course engaging but some of them was worried because the focus shifted too much from course content to gameplay.
Martin Sillaots

Contextual Gamification of Social Interaction – Towards Increasing Motivation in Social E-learning

In current e-learning studies, one of the main challenges is to keep learners motivated in performing desirable learning behaviours and achieving learning goals. Towards tackling this challenge, social e-learning contributes favourably, but it requires solutions that can reduce side effects, such as abusing social interaction tools for ‘chitchat’, and further enhance learner motivation. In this paper, we propose a set of contextual gamification strategies, which apply flow and self-determination theory for increasing intrinsic motivation in social e-learning environments. This paper also presents a social e-learning environment that applies these strategies, followed by a user case study, which indicates increased learners’ perceived intrinsic motivation.
Lei Shi, Alexandra I. Cristea, Suncica Hadzidedic, Naida Dervishalidovic

Learner Modeling and Learning Analytics

A Flexible and Extendable Learning Analytics Infrastructure

Currently architectures for learning analytics infrastructures are being developed in different contexts. While some approaches are designed for specific types of learning environments like learning management systems (LMS) or are restricted to specific analysis tasks, general solutions for learning analytics infrastructures are still underrepresented in current research. This paper describes the design of a flexible and extendable architecture for a learning analytics infrastructure which incorporates different analytics aspects such as data storage, feedback mechanisms, and analysis algorithms. The described infrastructure relies on loosely coupled software agents that can perform different analytics task independently. Hence, it is possible to extend the analytic functionality by just adding new agent components. Furthermore, it is possible for existing analytics systems to access data and use infrastructure components as a service. As a case study, this paper describes the application of the proposed infrastructure as part of the learning analytics services in a large scale web-based platform for inquiry-based learning with online laboratories.
Tobias Hecking, Sven Manske, Lars Bollen, Sten Govaerts, Andrii Vozniuk, H. Ulrich Hoppe

A Learning Analytics Approach to Career Readiness Development in Higher Education

There are increasing demands to improve the quality of higher education to facilitate the development of 21st Century professional competencies such as lifelong learning, critical thinking and creativity. Learning analytics is an emerging approach that can provide educators with the necessary information to understand learners then assist them to develop such skills. In this paper, we introduce career dispositions as a 6-dimesional model comprises core skills that engender professional actions, and influence the ability to manage career growth. We then present the process to develop and validate a new scale to evaluate career readiness along these dimensions. The developed scale is a self-report instrument that consists of 22 items and six subscales was validated using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). EFA results demonstrated discreet item loadings into the six factors ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 representing an acceptable level of convergent validity. The developed instrument can be integrated into a career readiness platform and used as analytical tool to identify and analyze the complexity and diversity of student’s learning behaviors and skills that may impact their future career readiness and professional performance.
Eman Abu Khousa, Yacine Atif

Prediction of Students’ Grades Based on Free-Style Comments Data

In this paper we propose a new approach based on text mining technique to predict student’s performance using LSA (latent semantic analysis) and K-means clustering method. The present study uses free style comments written by students after each lesson. Since the potentials of these comments can reflect students’ learning attitudes, understanding and difficulties to the lessons, they enable teachers to grasp the tendencies of students’ learning activities.To improve this basic approach, overlap method and similarity measuring technique are proposed. We conducted experiments to validate our proposed methods. The experimental results illustrated that prediction accuracy was 73.6% after applying the overlap method and that was 78.5% by adding the similarity measuring.
Shaymaa E. Sorour, Tsunenori Mine, Kazumasa Goda, Sachio Hirokawa

Personalized and Adaptive Learning

Integration of Theory, ICT Tooling and Practical Wisdom of Teacher: A Case of Adaptive Learning

Teachers adapt their lessons with or without the use of technology - but in a traditional class setting they target the imaginary “average student”. This paper discusses how the teacher’s “wisdom of practice” can intervene and inform the Technology Enhanced Learning process. Our methodology is developed and enacted upon two theories: a domain-specific learning design theory in mathematics and a generic model derived from curriculum studies. The products of the intervention are: an adaptive learning strategy and an adaptive e-course in the domain of mathematics. Also, a roadmap is proposed concerning the stakeholders’ involvement, especially the active role of the teacher in the design process. It is based on conceptual mappings between the design-based research steps and the theories used to orientate the research.
Anna Mavroudi, Thanasis Hadzilacos, Panagiota Panteli, Anna Aristodemou

Personalized Learning and Assessment

The paper deals with the research in the field of learning styles and assessment held on the Faculty of Informatics and Management (FIM), University of Hradec Kralove (UHK), Czech Republic. The main research objective was to discover whether tailoring the ICT-supported process of instruction to learner´s preferences results in the increase in learner´s knowledge. The method of pedagogical experiment was applied comparing learners´ performance before and after the process of instruction. The process of instruction was held in three versions of online course reflecting (1) individual student´s style of learning, (2) teacher´s style of instruction and (3) providing learners with all types of study materials allowing them to choose the most appropriate ones. The results did not prove statistically significant differences in learner´s knowledge. Then, the research focus shifted on the field of assessment. The theoretical background having been defined, a proposal of research design is provided.
Ivana Simonova, Petra Poulova

Personalized Course Generation Based on Layered Recommendation Systems

Personalized learning aims at providing services that fit the needs, goals, capabilities and interests of the learners. Recommender systems have recently begun to investigate into helping teachers to improve e-learning. In this paper, we propose a personalized course generation system based on a layered recommender system. The aim of this system is to recommend personalized leaning content for online learners based on the personal characteristics of learners, such as the prior knowledge level, learning abilities and learning goals. The recommender algorithm generates a knowledge domain and learning objects in three layers. The generated courses consider both the teaching plan of teachers and the learners’ personal characteristics of the knowledge.
Xiaohong Tan, Ruimin Shen

Analysis of Sharable Learning Processes and Action Patterns for Adaptive Learning Support

In this study, we focus on the deep analysis of the learning behavior patterns in the task-oriented learning process, which aims to extract and describe the sharable learning processes for adaptive learning support. The LA-Patterns are extracted to represent an individual’s learning behavior patterns. Three categories, named Regular Patterns, Successive Patterns, and Frequent Patterns, are classified to describe users’ learning patterns with different features, which can be utilized to recommend users with the adaptive learning process as the learning guidance. The experiment and analysis results in a learning management system are discussed finally.
Xiaokang Zhou, Qun Jin

Design, Model and Implementation of E-Learning Platforms and Tools

Towards Pedagogy-Driven Learning Design: A Case Study of Problem-Based Learning Design

Existing learning design languages are pedagogy-neutral. They provide insufficient support to explicitly represent pedagogy-specific approaches such as problem-based learning (PBL). As the first step towards pedagogy-driven learning design, we developed a PBL design language and an associated authoring tool by adopting a domain-specific language (DSL) approach. The language and the tool provide means for teachers to think and represent their own PBL designs in vocabularies that the teacher daily uses to describe their PBL approaches. This paper presents a case study to investigate whether the language and the tool can facilitate the design of a PBL course plan. Although participants had minimal knowledge of PBL and were not skilled in process modeling, after a short training they were able to prepare their own PBL course plans using the PBL authoring tool. They reported that the vocabularies in the PBL design language were easy to understand. Some thought that the tool provides flexibility and others did not think so. Nevertheless, some found the process somewhat difficult to represent the narrative into a course plan. In addition, most participants found that the tool is user-friendly and easy to learn.
Yongwu Miao, Mohamed Ally, Mohammed Samaka, Avgoustos A. Tsinakos

The Load-Based Learner Profile for Incidental Word Learning Task Generation

In recent years, the popularity and prosperity of mobile technologies and e-learning applications offer brand-new learning ways for people. English, as the most widely used language and the essential communication skill for people in the ‘earth village’ nowadays, has been widely learned by speakers of other languages. The importance of word knowledge in learning a second language is broadly acknowledged in the second language research literature. However, comparing with incidental word learning, the intentional learning method has the shortages of motivating reduction, simple acquisition and contextual deficiency. To address these problems, in this paper, we therefore proposed an incidental word learning model for e-learning. In particular, we measure the load of various incidental word learning tasks from the perspective of involvement load hypothesis so as to construct load-based learner profiles. To increase the effectiveness of various word learning activities and motivate learners better, a task generation method is developed based on the load-based learner profile. Moreover, we conduct experiments on real participants, and empirical results of which have further verified the effectiveness of the task generation method and the enjoyment of word learning.
Di Zou, Haoran Xie, Qing Li, Fu Lee Wang, Wei Chen

Multilingual E-learning System for Information Security Education with Users’ Consciousness

In an advance information society, the information security related issues are very important subject to be handled in any types of companies or organizations. Some companies introduce a technology based security system in order to solve these problems, however most of information related problems many organization have been facing are caused by humans. There are many risks of becoming perpetrators as well as victims. Therefore the education on information security is very important not only for business person but also for ordinary people live in the highly information oriented society. Some Universities or Colleges have lectures on information security or ethics. However, these lectures are tend to uniform and do not address characteristics of individuals, and seemed not to be effective especially if he/she grew up in legal and social environment different from Japan. We try to construct a multilingual e-learning system for complementing such problems by reflecting individual’s consciousness cultivated in their countries’ environment.
Yutaka Kigawa, Kiyoshi Nagata, Tomoko Aoki

Visual Analysis Based on Dominator Trees with Application to Personalized eLearning

The visualization of large graphs in interactive applications, specifically on small devices, can make harder to understand and analyze the displayed information. We show as simple topological properties of the graph can provide an efficient automatic computation of properties which improves the “readability” of a large graph by a proper selection of the displayed information. We show an approach to the visualization of a learning activity based on connectivity and related concepts as effective tools for visual analysis by learners, and by administrator of a repository.
Luigi Laura, Umberto Nanni, Marco Temperini

MaVeriC – A Constraint-Based System for Web-Based Learning

We present a constraint-based system for web-based learning. Its constraint engine has a concise and elegant embedding in the Prolog programming language, and it offers an easy-to-read and easy-to-write constraint language. We use its glass-box design as a formal playground to investigate the nature of constraint-based tutoring.
Claus Zinn

Pedagogical Issues, Practice and Experience Sharing

How a Flipped Learning Environment Affects Learning in a Course on Theoretical Computer Science

This paper reports initial experiences with flipping the classroom in an undergraduate computer science course as part of an overall attempt to enhance the pedagogical support for student learning. Our findings indicate that, just as the flipped classroom implies, a shift of focus in the learning context influences the way students engage with the course and their learning strategies.
Dorina Gnaur, Hans Hüttel

Bringing a New Culture of Learning into Higher Education

Accelerated social, economical, technological and cultural change largely driven by global digitalisation and networking invites us to scrutinise and reconsider the theoretical assumptions underpinning our contemporary teaching approaches in higher education. This paper explicates the authors’ rationale and its underlying assumptions for designing and implementing interventions into current teaching and studying practices to foster the emergence of a “new culture of learning” in formal higher education. It discusses the role of conversational tools and procedures for coaching students in this context and the personal barriers the authors’ have experienced in a series of intervention studies in the field.
Terje Väljataga, Sebastian H. D. Fiedler

Didactic Support of Diversity of Learning Styles? Potential Analysis of Three Collaborative Learning Methods within e-Business Education

Media-supported learning scenarios achieve varying successful learning results and consequently students evaluate them differently. The impact on learning success that gender, occupation, graduation level and especially learning styles of students may have is subject to this study. 555 students participated in a transnational cooperation between two universities by applying collaborative media in different e-business-courses since 2010. Thereby three different media-supported learning scenarios were compared: virtual case study, game-based simulation (Beer Game) and online peer review. The results of the accompanying study made clear that different learning settings benefit different learning types. Thus the major goal of the long-term study is to evaluate how specific learning patterns or the different learning types can be supported more specifically by the use of different learning methods. Such approach includes the potential of a better didactic support regarding the diversity of students.
Elisabeth Katzlinger, Michael A. Herzog


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