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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Owner: Terry Anderson

Group members: 45

Description:


OPEN CALL: If you have research that may be of interest to our CIDER audience and would like to join our growing list of CIDER Session presenters, please contact the Sessions host at dwilton@athabascau.ca. Download our full call.


The Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) is a research initiative of the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and Centre for Distance Education (CDE), 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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CIDER receives support from Athabasca University and UNESCO.

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OPEN CALL: Presenters

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have changed the way in which OER (Open Educational Resources) are bundled by teachers and consumed by learners. MOOCs represent an evolution towards the production and offering of structured quality OER. Many institutions that were initially reluctant to providing OER have, however, joined the MOOC wave. Nevertheless, MOOCs detractors strongly criticize their high dropout rates. The dropout rate is a commonly accepted metric of success for traditional education, but it may not be as suitable when dealing with OER, in general, and with MOOCs, in particular, since learners’ motivations to take a course are very diverse, and certain self-regulated learning strategies are required to tackle the lack of personalized tutoring and keep pace in the course. This paper presents an empirical study on the motivation and learning strategies of MOOC learners. Six thousand three hundred and thirty-five learners from 160 countries answered a self-report 7-point Likert-type questionnaire based on the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) as part of a MOOC titled Introduction to Programming with Java. Results indicate that learners were highly motivated and confident to do well in the course. Learning strategies, however, can be improved, especially regarding time management.

Fri, 12 May 2017

Since it was first introduced in 2008, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been attracting a lot of interest. Since then, MOOCs have emerged as powerful platforms for teaching and learning academic writing. However, there has been no detailed investigation of academic writing MOOCs. As a result, much uncertainty still exists about the differences of writing MOOCs compared with traditional types of writing instruction in the classroom. Drawing on historical emphases in writing instruction, five approaches are illustrated: skills, creative writing, process, social practice, and a socio-cultural perspective. This study uses data from six academic writing MOOCs to examine what approaches are revealed within their writing instructions. Focusing on a group of six academic writing MOOCs at college level, attributes and features of writing MOOCs were explored by analyzing syllabi, video lectures, and assignments. Overall, the study found that these academic writing MOOCs stick to a traditional model of teaching writing, “writing as skills.” These findings suggest that instructors who teach academic writing through online platforms showed that their immediate concerns were not a social practice or socio-cultural context. Rather, teaching and learning of grammatical accuracy and surface features of texts at college level appear to be best purpose of academic writing MOOCs.

Fri, 12 May 2017

A study of academics and professional staff engaged in the emerging field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) reveal three areas of significant difference in reference to perspectives about TEL. These differences rest on the following individual characteristics: 1) research areas and competencies, 2) academic level, and 3) attitudes towards teaching. While the number of respondents is small, the data set is rich due to a diverse group of respondents. Leadership strategy that rests on appreciative inquiry to draw these perspectives together could begin with implementation of five ways of working collaboratively: acknowledge unique skills different from one’s own, understand driving forces from different vantage points, learn enough about other views to show respect, identify common goals and incentives for all, and include people from all relevant groups.

Fri, 12 May 2017

In this study, a blended synchronous learning environment (BSLE) was created to support a group of graduate students when they were taking a course. Instruction was delivered to both face-to-face (F2F) and online students simultaneously. The purpose of this paper is to present how this BSLE was gradually designed, implemented, and improved by following the educational design research approach. Results showed that the BSLE environment had the capability to support online and classroom students at the same time and provide equivalent learning experiences for them, but challenges emerged in the process. Design principles were summarized to guide researchers or teachers when they design similar learning environments.

Fri, 12 May 2017

The war for talent remains a challenge that many organisations face but more so for distance education institutions to deliver on its mandate to provide effective online academic offerings. The question that remains is: How can intellectual capital be managed effectively in order to recruit and retain talent that is necessary for success?  This study was conducted at a mega open and distance learning institution, and this institution has identified talent management as one of the key strategic initiatives to ensure institutional strategic goal attainment and adopted an inclusive/developable talent approach as its framework. The aim of this article is to report on the perceptions of senior line managers regarding their experience with implementing the talent management strategy in their operational areas at the institution. This study adopted a qualitative approach and purposive sampling was used to select interviewees. The population group included chairpersons of 26 talent committees who are senior line managers and 11 of them were interviewed. Participants were of the opinion that policies and strategies do not always support the implementation of talent management in their respective environments. The findings show that although the university embraces the inclusive/developable talent approach in its strategy, the impact thereof is inhibited by a lack of methodological implementation, a lack of integration of supporting Human Resources policies with talent management, and insular line manager discernment.

Fri, 12 May 2017

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