Owner: Terry Anderson
Group members: 35
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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The rapid advances in information and communication technologies, coupled with increased access to information and the formation of global communities, have resulted in interest among researchers and academics to revise educational practice to move beyond traditional ‘literacy’ skills towards an enhanced set of “multiliteracies” or “new media literacies”. Measuring the literacy of a population, in the light of its linkage to individual and community wealth and wellbeing, is essential to determining the impact of compulsory education. The opportunity now is to develop tools to assess individual and societal attainment of these new literacies. Drawing on the work of Jenkins and colleagues (2006) and notions of a participatory culture, this paper proposes a conceptual framework for how learning analytics can assist in measuring individual achievement of multiliteracies and how this evaluative process can be scaled to provide an institutional perspective of the educational progress in fostering these fundamental skills.
By investigating how educational practitioners participate in activities around open educational practices (OEP), this paper aims at contributing to an understanding of open practices and how these practitioners learn to use OEP. Our research is guided by the following hypothesis: Different social configurations support a variety of social learning activities. The social configuration of OEPs is investigated by an operationalization into the dimensions (1) practice, (2) domain, (3) collective identity, and (4) organization. The results show how practitioners of six different OEPs learn, while acting and collaborating through a combination of offline and online networks. The findings of our study lead to practical implications on how to support participation in OEP, and thereby stimulate learning in (online) networks of OEP.
We studied student learning in the MOOC 8.MReV Mechanics ReView, run on the edX.org open source platform. We studied learning in two ways. We administered 13 conceptual questions both before and after instruction, analyzing the results using standard techniques for pre- and posttesting. We also analyzed each week’s homework and test questions in the MOOC, including the pre- and posttests, using item response theory (IRT). This determined both an average ability and a relative improvement in ability over the course. The pre- and posttesting showed substantial learning: The students had a normalized gain slightly higher than typical values for a traditional course, but significantly lower than typical values for courses using interactive engagement pedagogy. Importantly, both the normalized gain and the IRT analysis of pre- and posttests showed that learning was the same for different cohorts selected on various criteria: level of education, preparation in math and physics, and overall ability in the course. We found a small positive correlation between relative improvement and prior educational attainment. We also compared homework performance of MIT freshmen taking a reformed on-campus course with the 8.MReV students, finding them to be considerably less skillful than the 8.MReV students.
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