Owner: Terry Anderson
Group members: 36
The Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) is a research initiative of the Centre for Distance Education, Canada's largest graduate and professional distance education programming provider, at Athabasca University, Canada's Open University.
CIDER sponsors a variety of professional development activities designed to increase the quantity and quality of distance education research. CIDER's professional development scope is broad, ranging from learning and teaching application, issues of finance and access, the strategic use of technology in distance education settings, and other factors that influence distance education in Canada.
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To explore effective learning design for students’ cognitive engagement, a design-based case study was conducted in a quality control course in the Costa Rican National University of Distance Education between the 2011 and 2012 academic years. The course was revised for the 2012 provision in terms of the assignment structure, the number of face-to-face sessions, and facilitation strategies. This study documents how the course redesign impacted the distance learners’ cognitive engagement and learning outcomes. Theories of cognitive engagement and transactional distance informed the design-based investigation. Research findings indicate that the design revisions positively influenced both students’ cognitive engagement and learning outcomes within this distance higher education context; however, the student performance represented by their assessment grades might not always reflect this improvement.
E-learning or electronic learning platforms facilitate delivery of the knowledge spectrum to the learning community through information and communication technologies. The transfer of knowledge takes place from experts to learners, and externalization of the knowledge transfer is significant. In the e-learning environment, the learners seek subject expertise to clarify their subject queries, and a learner query can be routed to an expert for externalization of expert knowledge provided the learner knows the subject expert or the expertise group. However, learners new to e-learning systems are not aware of the expertise group to which the query should be sent, which results in time delays, non-response, inaccurate solutions and loss of knowledge capture. Several models have been proposed to resolve this task, but thus far, these efforts have focused completely on returning the most conversant people as experts on a particular topic to retrieve valuable knowledge. To address this problem, we propose an approach that externalizes the tacit knowledge of a subject expert by creating a dynamic query handling system that automatically transfers a user query to the best subject expert.
This study seeks to understand how to use formal learning activities to effectively support the development of open education literacies among K-12 teachers. Considering pre- and post-surveys from K-12 teachers (n = 80) who participated in a three-day institute, this study considers whether participants entered institutes with false confidence or misconceptions related to open education, whether participant knowledge grew as a result of participation, whether takeaways matched expectations, whether time teaching (i.e., teacher veterancy) impacted participant data, and what specific evaluation items influenced participants’ overall evaluations of the institutes. Results indicated that 1) participants entered the institutes with misconceptions or false confidence in several areas (e.g., copyright, fair use), 2) the institute was effective for helping to improve participant knowledge in open education areas, 3) takeaways did not match expectations, 4) time teaching did not influence participant evaluations, expectations, or knowledge, and 5) three specific evaluation items significantly influenced overall evaluations of the institute: learning activities, instructor, and website / online resources. Researchers conclude that this type of approach is valuable for improving K-12 teacher open education literacies, that various misconceptions must be overcome to support large-scale development of open education literacies in K-12, and that open education advocates should recognize that all teachers, irrespective of time teaching, want to innovate, utilize open resources, and share in an open manner.
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