rss_2.0European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning FeedSciendo RSS Feed for European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning Feed effect of digital literacy on student identity and inclusion: insights from the University of Western Macedonia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec> <title style='display:none'>Purpose</title> <p>The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the perils and opportunities that digital literacy presents to students through online education schemes. The challenge for university departments regarding digital literacy is twofold: first, to apply digital methods in order to engage students; and second, to form an equity-based pedagogical programme. The shift towards online university education took place abruptly in most Greek state universities from 2020 onwards, due to the COVID-19 restrictive measures, when conventional universities had to adapt to the need for online educational schemes for &gt;2 years.</p> </sec> <sec> <title style='display:none'>Design/methodology/approach</title> <p>A survey was conducted among 135 undergraduate students from the University of Western Macedonia in the Department of Obstetrics. Students were asked to complete a structured anonymous questionnaire. Reliability and descriptive statistics were used to interpret the questionnaire response.</p> </sec> <sec> <title style='display:none'>Findings</title> <p>First, students are deeply concerned about their functional IT skills, which creates a feeling of uncertainty, during the presentation of their assignments. Second, in spite of the obstacle regarding their functional capabilities, online environments seem to have a positive effect on students in the creation of an inclusive online education environment. Third, they feel free to form their digital identity and promote their individual differences and learning needs.</p> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue factors affecting student satisfaction in a distance learning environment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Student satisfaction plays a crucial role in assessing the effectiveness of distance education programmes. This is very important for the instructional design in higher education institutes and for educational decision-making and policy. The main purpose of the present study was to examine some key processes that affect learning in a distance education environment and how these influence student satisfaction. The study was conducted in the Hellenic Open University (HOU) through quantitative research involving students from three postgraduate programmes. The main variables examined were internet self-efficacy, student–student and student–tutor interaction, self-regulated learning skills of students and the satisfaction that they receive from participating in distance-learning courses. The results indicated that relatively high levels of these variables were observed, with the exemption of student–student interaction. The correlation coefficients amongst variables were all positive and statistically significant, but were small to moderate. Regarding the effect of demographic parameters, learner–tutor interaction is influenced by the number of modules completed by students, and satisfaction varies significantly between unemployed students and those who are full-time employees. Finally, a logistic regression model was developed with satisfaction as the dependent variable. Self-regulated learning and student–tutor interaction were identified as the main predictors of student satisfaction.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and implementation of a smart learning environment for teaching computer networking<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The transition to fully online delivery in the COVID-19 pandemic has added to already existing and significant challenges in subjects and programs that require a component of practicum, on-site experience or hands-on laboratory work. This article presents initial results from a study that responds to challenges arising in moving to a fully online version of an advanced-level computer networking subject within a postgraduate computing degree. Specifically, the study addresses challenges related to a lack of effective teaching approaches combined with a lack of integrated technologies for conducting hands-on laboratory work in online learning environments. The findings presented are from a case study comparison of face-to-face delivery with a newly developed ‘smart learning environment’. Findings indicate that student results and satisfaction levels from the two modes of delivery were comparable. Findings support the purpose-designed instructional strategy, integrated technologies and practical assessments, set within sequenced and scaffolded activities. Further research is being undertaken to confirm the effectiveness of the changes, including case studies of students’ performance data from subsequent offerings of the subject and the inclusion of pre-test post-test protocols and randomised trials.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of students with visual impairment on distance education during the covid-19 pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study investigates the views of students with visual impairments on distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research design of the study is qualitative research. The participants of the study include students with visual impairments. They are studying at different universities where distance education was offered in the fall semester of 2020 in Turkey. We collected the data of the study through a semi-structured interview form. In the analysis of the data collected, content analysis was carried out. According to the results, it has been determined that distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic has both advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of distance education are that the system and course contents used are accessible, the course contents can be listened to again, it is physically easy to listen to the lesson, the evaluations are made in the form of assignment, additional time is given and communication with the instructors is easily facilitated. The disadvantages stated by the students can be as follows: factors related to the distance education system, factors related to the content, aspects concerned with in-term assignments, factors related to exams, psychological and social factors, and communication-related factors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue evaluations of open educational resources designed to support dialogic cultural literacy learning in schools<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For teaching practice to be useful, educational materials must be thoroughly evaluated prior to use. In this study, teachers evaluated open educational resources (OER) created for a European Commission Horizon 2020 project called DIALLS (‘DIalogue and Argumentation for cultural Literacy Learning in Schools’). Considering research on how OER are evaluated, we were interested in learning (1) how teachers perceive their <italic>application, content, design, value</italic> and <italic>sustainability</italic> and (2) what other aspects teachers find important when evaluating OER. After analysing quantitative and qualitative data, we found that aspects facilitating self-regulated use were rated most highly and mentioned most often. Teachers additionally valued <italic>adaptable</italic> materials offering <italic>opportunities to reflect</italic> their teaching practices. Future research may benefit from evaluating OER based on ‘affordance’ aspects — aspects that allow teachers to adapt the materials in a self-regulated way and reflect on their teaching.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’ emotional intelligence and learning engagement of online students<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study explored how online students perceived their instructors’ emotional intelligence (EI) and its impact on their learning engagement. Using eight EI behaviours of online instructors and a learning engagement instrument, 100 online university students were surveyed regarding their observation of those EI behaviours and their learning engagement. Regression analysis indicated that 27.2% of the variance in learning engagement could be attributed to four dimensions of EI behaviours (R<sup>2</sup> = 0.272, F (4, 95) = 8.873, p &lt; 0.001). Instructors providing individual support, demonstrating concern for the students’ situations, adapting their resources to online delivery, and being honest about their situation and challenges were associated with higher student learning engagement.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue 2030: Renewed visions and empowered choices for European university leaders<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This conceptual and descriptive study examines the critical issues, challenges and priorities for European higher education (HE) leaders, drawing upon the theory, practice and experience of leaders inside and outside the open and distance learning (ODL) field. Focussing on the emerging vantage points of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), global trends and the post-pandemic HE landscape, the article discusses their impact on organisational architecture and the emerging leadership roles for driving organisational values, change and sustainability. The authors argue that to maintain institutional stability and agility, leaders must interpret the current zeitgeist to set priorities, build decision-action packages and embrace a new organisational architecture: one characterised by flexible structures, a clear vision of the desired future, a culture of trust and openness, a comprehensive and deep understanding and optimum application of employee skill and talent, and the effective implementation of digital tools and curriculum structures in pedagogically meaningful ways. Leaders must be adaptable, agile and innovative, with the capacity to understand, identify and support the forms of leadership appropriate to their strategic objectives and institutional culture. The paper concludes by targeting critical priorities and actions that leaders must navigate to create innovative and dynamic futures for their institutions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue linings: rethinking assessment pedagogy under the pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the higher education sector, in the United Kingdom and internationally, transitioned to online assessment, at a speed and scale which might have been unimaginable under normal circumstances. The priority in the sector was to ensure that fundamental principles of assessment, including integrity, were supported in the implementation of changes and no student was disadvantaged in accessing digital learning opportunities, when they were assessed. The paper focuses on a project that evaluated this transition and provided the opportunity to understand emergent approaches to assessment. It explores the transition from the perspective of the experience of the stakeholders that have been affected, primarily students and staff. It identifies processes and formats of assessment that worked efficiently and examines the implications for future practice in distance learning environments and for the sector.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the practice of teaching doctoral students<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article presents the teaching methods implemented in the course ‘Modern methods and techniques of teaching in higher education institutions’ for doctoral students of exact sciences in the Doctoral School of Maria Curie Sklodowska University who were not taught classes before and who originally were not very interested in another course. The e-learning mode entails many challenges. In this particular case, the greatest challenge was to convince doctoral students to participate actively in classes and to become genuinely interested in the course. The article describes the topics of the classes and the methods used to reach PhD students of science (the author is a representative of social sciences). After the classes, a questionnaire was conducted online, which was aimed to identify students’ satisfaction. The survey was aimed at examining the interest of doctoral students in e-learning, their assessment of the usefulness of distance learning and preparation for the implementation of teaching applications during the coronavirus pandemic. The use of a number of didactic applications; setting new challenges, research problems to be solved and changing roles; and conducting classes for students of media sciences gave positive results. The classes show that a teacher from the social scientific discipline can introduce a completely different view of teaching in exact sciences, especially in a remote form. During the exercises, didactic applications and methods were introduced during joint classes with teachers from the University of Mons (Belgium), which were conducted initially remotely and then stationary. The article is based on the results of research conducted under the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA)—project ‘E-learning and ICT in education in Poland and Belgium. Comparative study’ (Poland-Wallonia Bilateral Exchange Program).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of e-learning curriculum in higher education<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As some researchers predicted, online education is taking precedence over higher education worldwide. This work deals with this situation using three frameworks appropriate for the three concepts involved (i.e. technology, teacher and students). The literature was reviewed in the context of good-quality education and its relation to three distance-education frameworks. Some approaches and strategies indicate improvement in achieving electronic media-based learning (e-Learning) recognition for better outreach. This manuscript also shows that the most critical aspect of this outreach is thinking about the learning benefits that learners might gain from it and how they might assess those benefits using various tools, not only by direct comparison with old pedagogies or methods.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and collaboration in Lithuanian schools during COVID-19 pandemic distance learning<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Interaction and collaboration are essential pillars of successful learning.. The study aimed to find out how school communities collaborated during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the importance of collaboration in addressing the challenges faced. The selection of eight schools was made in a targeted way, considering that the participating schools would have chosen different virtual learning environments or technologies used for distance learning; and that schools would be of different types and sizes, and from different regions of Lithuania.. Three methods were used in this qualitative study: analysis of scientific literature, expert interviews, and focus group discussions. The results of our study confirmed that the focus of distance learning is on technological solutions, but not on the methodologies and strategies used to organise learning in virtual learning environments. Moving ‘traditional’ teaching to virtual space has become a key strategy for organising learning in virtual learning environments. The transfer of ‘traditional’ teaching strategies to distance learning not only limits the impactful interaction in virtual learning environments but also encourages ‘academic dishonesty’ among students. The success of distance learning strongly depends on students’ motivation, as well as their ability to organise their learning, solve problems in teams and critically evaluate the information provided.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue analysis of team projects outcomes from student and instructor perspectives in online computing degrees<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the core aims of higher education degrees is to provide an environment for students to acquire essential skills that will help them in the workplace. Team working is one of those essential skill and it is also one that experience and research show is regularly resisted by students. This resistance can become even more amplified when the degree is delivered online, although some have pointed out that a good team provides much-needed community spirit and support in such environments. The purpose of this study is to review the delivery of a team assessment format that has been specifically designed for the online environment. The results presented provide insight into the student’s perspective on the delivery as well as the reflections of the instructors involved in the delivery. The overall outcome is positive for both parties and provides further guidance on implementation to ensure the pedagogical design continues to be viable. This includes insights into team composition, instructor involvement, and peer review scoring formats.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue usage versus preferences for online study materials among business-majored undergraduates<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As online learning becomes a recurrent component of higher education, there have been growing interests in the interaction between students and educational resources within digital environments so as to understand and facilitate students’ initiative in managing those resources. The present study is an explorative inquiry into the relationships between students’ self-reported preferences of study materials, their actual usage of those materials and their learning performances in online learning. It focuses on analysing the learning management system’s log files, test results and students’ responses to an evaluative survey of a bachelor business course at a large Belgian university, which was a blended course turned fully online due to the pandemic circumstance. The first research question concerns how preferences relate to the usage of materials. A cluster analysis was conducted to classify students based on their perceived interest and actual access to learning resources. The results show three clusters of students with different preferences and levels of usage towards the four types of study materials provided in the course. However, the majority showed strong favour for multimedia online learning, with Web lectures being prioritised both in perception and access behaviour, while discussion boards receive mixed opinions and the lowest actual participation. The second question follows these up by linking the preference–usage patterns with academic performances. A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to compare the learning performances of students with different preference–usage patterns. The results show no significant differences, which means the students’ preferences and/or usage of study materials has little to no impact on their learning performances in the online course.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in virtual team communication in the context of virtual exchange experience<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As technology has enabled people across the world to collaborate and create virtual communities, the ability to interact in computer-mediated, cross-cultural environments in a meaningful way has become a necessity. This is particularly true for younger adults who operate in virtual teams during their studies, for instance in virtual exchange projects, and later in their professional life. In this qualitative study, we examined the features and functionality of cross-cultural communication in virtual exchange teams. By analysing three datasets produced by Finnish university and American community college students (n=38) who participated in a virtual exchange, we examined what kinds of challenges emerge in the communication of virtual teams and how students use theories of computer-mediated communication when trying to make sense of those challenges. The results of the reflexive thematic analysis indicated that the challenges in communication of virtual teams stem from cultural and motivational differences. These challenges could be alleviated by increasing the shared work time allocated for social information sharing and for constructing appropriate, team-specific ways to express online social presence and propinquity. The findings highlight the meaningfulness and relationality of virtual team communication and provide insight into motivational factors and the sense of belonging when communication challenges arise.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Project-Based 6E Learning Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research aims to determine the effectiveness of the Project-based 6E (engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, extension and evaluation) Learning Model. The researchers created the model by combining the basic features of project-based learning with an understanding of the learning cycle. The pre-test/post-test semi-experimental design, in which no control group is included, was used in the study. The study group in the research consisted of junior students studying at the Turkish Teaching and English Language Teaching departments of the Faculty of Education, Düzce University, in the fall semester of the academic year 2020–2021. The experimental process was structured according to the Project-based 6E Learning Model. Two different types of data, namely, qualitative and quantitative, were collected to determine the effectiveness of the experimental process. It was concluded that the students found the model efficient, effective and attractive. The model positively changed students’ perceptions of values and values education. It was also seen that the model enables students to realise their values, review and question the values, reinforce them, complete their deficiencies and gain new values. Due to the effect of the learning model, students positively experienced significant changes in their teaching perception.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue virtual reality and the associated gender stereotypes in a university environment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Avatar-based virtual reality (VR) is becoming more prevalent in industry and educational settings. There is, however, limited research on the extent to which gender stereotypes are present in this environment. The university laboratory study presented in this paper was conducted in a VR environment with participants who were randomly assigned to male or female avatars and instructed to negotiate the role of a manager or member of staff. The results reveal differences in satisfaction regarding their roles and gender. Participants who embodied a female avatar were less happy when they were subordinates interacting with a male avatar, compared to participants embodying a male avatar in the staff role (interacting with a female avatar). Male avatars with staff roles were also more content with their avatar than male avatars with manager roles and also reported being more comfortable in the VR experience. Relevant for diversity management when integrating VR in education and business, the results are discussed in regard to self-similarity and social identity dynamics and provide insight into understanding the extent to which gender stereotypes may be present in avatar-based VR.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Device Free Lunch Break program: An experiment to promote a balanced used of electronic devices in Middle Secondary International schools.<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since the introduction of a Bring Your Own iPad scheme in the Middle Years section of a large International School, concerns have been raised from school community members regarding students’ overuse of their devices, especially during lunch breaks. Hence, the device free lunch break (DFLB) programme was introduced with the aim of reinforcing existing guidance for students about achieving and maintaining a balanced approach to their use of devices. The DFLB programme was planned based on market research strategies and included all the school community members including students, parents/guardians and staff. The findings from statistical analysis of the data showed significant similarities between staff and parents/guardians’ perceptions of student device use in terms of the student overuse of electronic devices. However, analysis showed that the opinions of parent/guardians and staff contrasted those expressed by students. The data also showed evidence that the introduction of the DFLB programme resulted in increased student recognition of the importance of making face-to-face social contacts with their classmates during their lunch break.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue development of student feedback literacy through peer feedback in the online learning environment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Feedback is an important element of learning, and peer feedback is now being increasingly used by more educators. Researchers acknowledge that students’ ability to read, interpret and use feedback can be developed, and more research is needed on how to achieve it. This study attempted to find out whether peer feedback helps foster student feedback literacy in an online learning environment. In this article, we attempt to showcase how students’ feedback literacy changed at the end of a 14-week process involving predominantly asynchronous peer interactions. This work was carried out as a mixed method study in a group of second-year undergraduate students from a state university. Study data were collected using two different questionnaires and one assessment rubric. The results showed that in an online learning environment, peer feedback can be a way to support the improvement of student feedback literacy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and opportunities of using a cooperative digital educational plan. Evaluation of the implementation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The virtual school board (VSB) offers teachers a browser-based platform to support a multilevel, evidence-based educational plan. The present study examines teachers’ use of the VSB. Based on technology acceptance model (TAM), 17 teachers from nine schools were interviewed about their use of the VSB. The evaluation was based on qualitative content analysis (QCA). For seven categories the intercoder reliabilities were acceptable. After 24 months, the users said that they used the VSB for support planning, diagnostics, discussions with parents and other documentation. They rated the overview gained and the interdisciplinary exchange as beneficial. However, a lack of technical expertise within the staff, the technical equipment and the user interface hindered teachers, such that almost a fifth never used the software completely. The challenges are complex. Needless to say, missing, little or old technical hardware is likely to decrease the usage of a digital tool; the implementation also faces the challenges of recontextualisation, and additionally faces the resource-labelling dilemma. Therefore, these challenges must be dealt with in the mutual interaction between school practice, educational research and professional information and communication technology (ICT) development.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue academicians’ COVID-19 anxiety and digitalisation in terms of different variables<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study examines academicians’ COVID-19 anxiety and digitalisation regarding different variables. The sample of this study consists of 103 academicians from various universities. A survey model was used. The data collection tools were the “Coronavirus Anxiety Scale” to measure anxiety caused by COVID-19 and the “Academicians Digitalisation Scale” to determine academicians’ digitalisation. Results indicated that while there was a significant difference in academicians’ COVID-19 anxiety and digitalisation regarding different variables, there was no relationship between their COVID-19 anxiety and digitalisation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue