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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Owner: Terry Anderson

Group members: 41


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.


The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the psychological variables and online behavioral patterns of students, collected through a Learning Management System (LMS). Test was attempted of a structural equation model representing the relationships among Time and Study Environment Management (TSEM), one of the sub-constructs of MSLQ, influencing a set of time-related online log variables: login frequency, login regularity, and total login time. Data were collected from 188 college students in a Korean university. Employing structural equation modeling, a hypothesized model was tested for measuring the model fit. The results presented a criterion validity of online log variables to estimate their time management.  The structural model including TSEM, online variable, and final score with a moderate fit indicated that learners’ time related online behavior mediates their psychological functions and their learning outcome. Based on the results, the final discussion includes the recommendations for further study and the meaningfulness in regard to the expantion of  Learning Analtyics for Performance and Action (LAPA) model.
Tue, 02 Feb 2016

Use of mobile technology are widespread, particularly among the younger generation. There is a huge potential for utilizing such technology, particularly in lecture sessions with large number of students, serving as an interaction tool between the students and lecturer. The challenge is to identify adoption factors to ensure effective adoption of the technology to promote interactivity between students and lecturer in the classroom. This paper aims to examine factors supporting use of mobile wireless technology during lectures to promote interactivity between students and lecturers in Malaysia’s higher education institutions. Survey involving higher education students in Malaysia was conducted with a sample size of 302. Factor analysis results identified five factors: independent variables System Usefulness (SU), User System Perception (USP), User Uncertainty Avoidance (UUA), System and Information Quality (SIQ), and dependent variable Mobile Wireless Technology Adoption for Interactive Lectures (MWT_AIL). All independent variables are positively associated to MWT_AIL, with UUA and SIQ having higher level of significance compared to SU and USP. Respondents were selected from higher learning institutions from urban areas in Malaysia. Therefore results obtained are not representative of the entire higher education landscape in Malaysia and future studies are warranted to include higher learning institutions located in rural areas. It is hoped that findings from this study will serve as a catalyst for future researches to be conducted in this area, particularly among higher education researchers seeking ways to utilize technology effectively to enhance the learning experiences of the students in the classroom.

Tue, 02 Feb 2016

The Effective Classroom Interactions (ECI) online courses were designed to provide an engaging, effective and scalable approach to enhancing early childhood teachers’ use of classroom practices that impact children’s school readiness. The created courses included several versions aimed at testing whether or not certain design aspects could increase participation and subsequent learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which early childhood teachers accessed the courses and varied in their a) participation in the core course content and b) optional discussion board as a result of the course experience they were assigned to as well as individual characteristics that may be associated with participation. Findings indicated that early childhood teachers accessed the course often on nights and weekends and reported high levels of satisfaction with their experience. Both persistence in the ECI courses and overall completion of activities were higher than those reported in other studies of online learning. Whether or not the participant was in the course that had regular interactions with the instructor, comfort with technology and took the course for credit consistently predicted participation, but not always in expected ways. Implications for exploring online learning as a feasible option for early childhood educators are discussed.

Tue, 02 Feb 2016
This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of two different teaching methods on learning effectiveness. OpenCourseWare was integrated into the flipped classroom model (experimental group) and distance learning (control group). Learning effectiveness encompassed learning achievement, teacher-student interactions, and learning satisfaction. The experimental method was supplemented with qualitative interviews. Overall, 181 freshmen taking a course on physics were allowed to choose their own class based on their preferred teaching method (experimental or control group). The findings indicated that learners in the experimental group scored higher for learning achievement. When selecting a teaching method, if sufficient resources are available, it is suggested that teachers provide learners with the combination of OCW and flipped classroom. Although there was no significant between-group difference in terms of teacher-student interactions and learning satisfaction, the interactions in the flipped classroom had positive effect on students’ learning achievement. The use of the flipped classroom model allows for adequate teacher-student interactions, as teachers can provide guidance and assistance to students in person, while there are greater opportunities for collaborative learning among learners. In addition, since the flipped classroom model emphasizes the process of learning rather than its outcomes, information technology tools should be used to keep detailed records and follow the learning process in order to assess various aspects of the learners’ growth. The results of this study can serve as a reference for future studies on the flipped classroom model and OpenCourseWare, as well as for teachers and researchers in related fields.
Tue, 02 Feb 2016


On the one hand, a growing amount of research discusses support for improving online collaborative learning quality, and many indicators are focused to assess its success. On the other hand, thinkLets for designing reputable and valuable collaborative processes have been developed for more than ten years. However, few studies try to apply thinkLets to online collaborative learning. This paper introduces thinkLets to online collaborative learning and experimentally tests its effectiveness with participants responces on their satisfaction. Yield Shift Theory (YST), a causal theory explaining inner satisfaction, is adopted. In the experiment, 113 students from Universities in Beijing, China are chosen as a sample. They were divided into two groups, collaborating online in a simulated class. Then, YST in student groups under online collaborative learning is validated, comparison study of online collaborative learning with and without thinkLets is implemented and satisfaction response of participants are analyzed. As a result of this comparison, YST is proved applicable in this context, and satisfaction is higher in online collaborative learning with thinkLets.


Tue, 02 Feb 2016


A recent report shows the potential for learning analytics in higher education, says Jisc chief executive Paul Feldman Times Higher Education
18 hours ago
AU’s Master of Arts – Integrated Studies (MA-IS) is pleased to announce the opening of a brand new focus area called “Canada, the North, and the Globe,” which examines the north and the near-north as it pertains to indigenous peoples, northern ecologies, and Canada. Athabasca University
19 hours ago
Posthumanism and the Massive Open Online Course critiques the problematic reliance on humanism that pervades online education and the MOOC, and explores theoretical frameworks that look beyond these limitations. While MOOCs (massive open online courses) have attracted significant academic and media attention, critical analyses of their development have been rare. Following an overview of MOOCs and […]
19 hours ago
Social media and online social networks are expected to transform academia and the scholarly process. However, intense emotions permeate scholars’ online practices and an increasing number of academics are finding themselves in trouble in networked spaces. In reality, the evidence describing scholars’ experiences in online social networks and social media is fragmented. As a result, […]
19 hours ago

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