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Pannoniana
Journal of Humanities
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Open access
Changing Attitudes with a MOOC on Dementia

Abstract

Introduction Dementia is one of the most significant issues of our time and there are varying prevailing attitudes towards dementia, including negative stigma and perception. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a widely available online learning resource accessed for free which may present an opportunity to address prevailing attitudes.

Methodology We conducted a questionnaire before and after a six-week MOOC where participants learned about dementia. We collected data using a survey instrument and analysed them with statistical testing.

Results and findings Although there was no statistically significant change between pre- and post-MOOC questionnaires, the change was observed in some questions and for particular groups.

Conclusion and recommendations Our findings indicate this MOOC has a greater effect on changing the attitudes of non-healthcare workers, older people and those living in the United Kingdom. We recommend further analysis of MOOC as a change intervention and consideration of their application in other disciplines.

Open access
Designing a History Museum Based Outreach Program with Digital Content

Abstract

This study expands on the concept of outreach programs: museum initiatives that look for ways to reach and share knowledge outside their installations, often to schools. We aim to study approaches for the development of content for a history museum outreach program using digital technologies. The significance of this lies in investigating ways to bring the knowledge of the museum to schools that cannot have easy access to them.

Three different content approaches were developed and tested. The first was an Assemblable walls exhibition, consisting of a modular structure in which three different exhibition methods were presented: object, video and interactive. Second, was a Hands-on interactive exhibition, consisting of a portable system that includes digital and analogue activities in an application developed for a smart projector. Lastly, the third approach was an interactive experience, which incorporated the various approaches tested previously and expanded upon them.

In our conclusions, we stress the significance of this research regarding offering museum content to schools without easy access and offer a list of suggestions based on our findings that museum curators could follow when considering the development of an outreach program with digital content.

Open access
Development of a Scale for Measuring the Learner Autonomy of Distance Education Students

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable psychometric scale to measure the perceived autonomy of postgraduate students in the Hellenic Open University and similar distance education environments. Two dimensions of autonomy, namely personal and educational, were revealed from the literature review and the preliminary study. For the evaluation of each dimension, two subscales were developed. Following two pilot studies, the initial item pool led to the development of a 25-items questionnaire, which was then administered to a sample of 239 postgraduate students. The exploratory factor analysis revealed two factors for the personal autonomy subscale, with 7 items in total, and two factors for the educational autonomy subscale, with 9 items in total. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranged between. 623 and .717. A statistically significant gender difference was found only for the personal autonomy subscale and, more specifically, for the factor ‘managing difficulties’, where female respondents received a lower score than males.

Open access
Factors Affecting Students’ Preferences for Online and Blended Learning: Motivational Vs. Cognitive

Abstract

Today’s educational institutions are expected to create learning opportunities independent of time and place, to offer easily accessible learning environments and interpersonal communication opportunities. Accordingly, higher education institutions develop strategies to meet these expectations through teaching strategies, such as e-learning, blended learning, mobile learning, etc., by using teaching technologies. These new technology-based teaching strategies are mainly shaped by decision-makers in education. This study seeks to analyse the individual factors that affect learners’ mode of teaching and learning delivery preferences. In this study, blended and online learning is considered as preferences of learners’ mode of teaching and learning delivery. The individual factors discussed in this research are cognitive learning strategies, e-learning readiness, and motivation. The data were obtained from the pre-service teachers at the end of the academic semester when they experienced online and blended learning. Data were analysed using optimal scaling analysis. The analysis method provides a two-dimensional centroid graph which shows the correlations between the variable categories. According to study findings, there is a correlation between the preferences of the learning environment, and the constructs of self-efficacy, e-learning motivation, and task value. It can be said that the motivational variables are more effective in the learning environment preference. The students with high task value, e-learning motivation, and self-efficacy preferred studying in blended learning environments. Cognitive strategies, self-directed learning, learner control, and test anxiety factors are independent of the learners’ learning delivery preferences.

Open access
The Grounds for Higher Education Teachers to Engage in MOOC Development Projects

Abstract

The conditions for higher education teachers operating in a technology-enhanced education setting and an open educational context – such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – are different when compared to traditional teaching methods (e.g. in a lecture hall). This study investigates the grounds for 20 teachers at Swedish Higher education institutions to be involved in MOOC development projects. Six categories are found and described; including curiosity, merits, teaching development, flexibility, as well as the possibility to disseminate their research and expand their professional networks. Interviewees believed that the work was a viable way to strengthen their research portfolio, while also making a limited effort for teaching, enhancing the dissemination possibilities and strengthening their research networks.

Open access
How MOOCs Can Develop Teacher Cognition: The Case of in-Service English Language Teachers

Abstract

Research reveals a rapid expansion of Open Educational Resources (OER) supporting global access to higher education for continued professional development (CPD) for in-service teachers. This offers interactive opportunities for participation and reflection to support the development of teacher cognition through a globally-oriented online community.

This paper will indicate whether the OER MOOCs designed for CPD of in-service English language teachers (ELT) have a role in developing teacher cognition. It also examines the in-service teacher experience of MOOC participants and proposes that teacher cognition and evaluation of cognitive change remain central to understanding teachers’ experience of learning on MOOCs.

Brookfield’s (1995) critical incident questionnaire (CIQ) captured the weekly experience of six in-service ELTs undertaking a CPD MOOC over four weeks. Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were applied to CIQ data to examine changes in participant cognition. Teachers reflected on how MOOC developed their own knowledge, their learners’ knowledge, and to a lesser extent, their colleagues’ knowledge. The findings cast new light on the influence of MOOC which primarily shows that in terms of their own knowledge, teachers have a strong tendency to view MOOC participation as a pathway to their own development.

Open access
Inter-Learner Communication and Collaborative Learning as Quality Criteria of Distance Vocational Education and Training

Abstract

Distance web-based VET is nowadays of utmost importance for the EU. But, its special characteristics create doubts, as far as its quality is concerned, so research in this field is essential. According to the theoretical background, teaching methods and specifically, inter-learner communication and collaborative learning, are related to quality assurance. However, they are not always included in quality criteria nor is their use widespread in Greek distance VET. The aim of the research was to compare learner views with EU policy on the inclusion of inter-learner communication and collaborative learning in quality criteria. A qualitative research design was used to investigate EU quality assurance policy and frameworks. According to the findings, inter-learner communication is included in seven EU quality assurance frameworks, while collaborative learning in five of them. Learners have the same opinion about collaborative learning, but inter-learner communication is not as widely accepted as it is by EU organizations. However, from both perspectives, there is a stronger preference for distance inter-learner communication.

Open access
Recent Work in Connectivism

Abstract

Since the introduction of connectivism as a learning theory in 2004 a body of literature has developed both offering criticisms and expanding on applications and empirical validation. This article surveys recent literature on the topic, grouping it into themes, and developing an understanding of current perspectives in connectivism. It surveys current perspectives and criticisms of connectivism, views of connectivism as a pedagogy and as a theory of learning, recent evidence supporting connectivism, and a wider understanding of connectivism as it is developing today.

Open access