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Abstract

Digital Badge design and practice at a national level is a relatively new field of scrutiny and this study reports on a sector-wide initiative for building digital capacity with the design, and implementation of an ecosystem of 15 open courses in teaching and learning with digital badges to recognise the professional development of teachers in Irish higher education. Each course is provided in three delivery modes and mapped to Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework for teachers. This enables multiple access points for teachers to engage in professional development via the Framework and recognize their engagement through peer triads and a digital badge ecosystem. The paper critically discusses and reflects on the study of the complex phenomena of the application of the open courses within professional contexts. A novel dimension is the implementation of a peer triad system for recognition of PD. Implementing the open courses digital badges ecosystem was challenging as this different form of assessment required a clear understanding of all stakeholder expectations, the language of recognition and how the learning outcomes could be met and validated using a peer triad assessment. This paper concludes with sectoral learning on nationally recognized open course development, including success factors for building digital capacity, challenges encountered and transferability to other contexts.

Abstract

Considerable effort has been invested in innovative learning practices in English Foreign Language courses (EFL) in universities. Flipped classroom model transforms passive listeners into active learners in school and home activities pace. Flipped classroom model and the foreign language teaching methods are student-centred learning environments in which students should have a certain level of self-regulated learning skills. The study suggest a model for flipped classroom implementations with regard to self-regulated learning strategies in order to keep students more active in the EFL courses. Students were allowed to apply goal setting and planning, rehearsing, help seeking, monitoring, testing, time management, organising, regulating and note taking strategies within the model in online and face to face sessions. We hope the suggested model can contribute to improve listening, reading, writing and speaking skills of students in EFL courses.

Abstract

E-authentication is one of the key topics in the field of online education and e-assessment. This study was aimed at investigating the user experiences of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) while developing the accessible e-authentication system for higher education institutions. Altogether, 15 students tested the system (including instruments for face recognition, voice recognition, keystroke dynamics, text style analysis and anti-plagiarism), developed as part of the TeSLA project. Students also completed pre-questionnaires and post-questionnaires and attended individual interviews. The findings reveal positive expectations and experiences of e-authentication. Students believed that the e-authentication system increased trust and, thus, diversified their possibilities for studying online. Students found some challenges and emphasized that the e-authentication system should be reliable and easy to use. The possibility to use different kinds of instruments was perceived as an important feature. Students’ willingness to use these instruments and share their personal data for e-authentication varied due to their disabilities or individual preferences. The results suggest that students should have options for what kind of e-authentication they use.

Abstract

This article presents a survey census study performed in a small, remotely located municipality with four rural schools in the north of Sweden. The study is part of a larger project, Remote Consulting in special needs education between special educators and class teachers, the aim of which is to increase the equivalence between the municipality’s schools by giving more class teachers improved access to special needs education (SNE) consultations provided by special educators via remote consulting.

Prior to the start of the project, a questionnaire was sent out to all the class teachers in the participating schools. All the teachers approached answered the questionnaire. One of the aims of the survey was to gain increased knowledge about the teachers’ self-efficacy in their use of ICT. The most intriguing result was that three of the five 50-59 year-old teachers estimated their knowledge about ICT to be above average compared to that of their colleagues. A similar pattern was identified in the teachers’ use of ICT in their teaching. Of those who used ICT every day, three were 30-39 years old, three were 50-59 years old and one was 40-49 years old, while all of those who used ICT less than once a week were younger than 39. The results of the study indicate that the teachers in this study are adequately equipped to proceed from physical counselling to remote consulting in special needs education.

Abstract

The development of technology and the widespread application of digital tools, such as teleconference (or videoconference), has led researchers to reflect on traditional theories and models of learning concerning Distance Education, as well as the formulation of new ones. The aim of this study is to propose the introduction of the concept tele-mathesis in Distance Learning, in order to describe the learning process by videoconferencing in Distance Education, which has features of an “embodied” and “integrated” way of learning. This is a theoretical study based on Illeris’ Theory of “Integrated” Learning that has been adopted in Distance Learning, using elements of the Theory of Tele-proximity concerning learning by videoconferencing in Distance Education. According to the developed argumentation the importance of the senses, emotions and “techniques of the body” is revealed in both the educational and learning process by videoconferencing, in order to reduce the transactional distance between the teacher and the learner, as well as, to lead to a positive distance educational experience. Thus, the cognitive, emotional and social factors involved in “tele-mathesis”, turn videoconferencing into an “embodied” and “integrated” way of learning. At the same time, it is showed that the empowerment of “tele-mathesis” requires appropriate planning and specific management methods. It is therefore proposed to introduce the term telemathesis in Distance Education so as to fully attribute this specific learning process of Distance Education.

Abstract

Transcripts and captions make videos more accessible to everyone. However, the time and resources required for manual transcription are a known barrier in creating accessible videos. This paper presents a small study where students (283) and tutors (27) reported their views on automatic transcriptions for recorded webinar videos. Despite not having perfect transcription accuracy, many students who have used the automatic transcripts found them to be useful. Students were also asked how they used transcripts and this included: to find specific information in a video, as a learning aid, as an accessibility aid, to compensate for the speaker’s accent and pace, to study on the go, to compensate for poor audio and/or connectivity and as an aid for non-native English speakers.

Abstract

After a discussion about the possibilities and status of augmented reality in education, a good practice example of an augmented reality application is presented. This case study examines the use of an augmented reality app in higher education to support abstract STEM content, such as vectors. Based on this example, the implementation of such apps in didactic concepts and self-directed learning will be discussed. Furthermore, aspects of integration into digital learning and teaching will be addressed.