The course management system (CMS) reinforces the status quo and hinders substantial teaching and learning innovation in higher education. It does so by imposing artificial time limits on learner access to course content and other learners, privileging the role of the instructor at the expense of the learner, and limiting the power of the network effect in the learning process. The open learning network (OLN)—a hybrid of the CMS and the personal learning environment (PLE)—is proposed as an alternative learning technology environment with the potential to leverage the affordances of the Web to dramatically improve learning.
In the past, centralised technology departments had major influence over the choices of learning applications in higher education. With the emergence of freely available Web 2.0 and open access tools, instructors and designers have been given greater ability to customize e-learning. This paper examines the historical roots of the impacts of authority from centralised technology units to an emerging user-centric control over learning environment design in higher education. A case study is used to illustrate the potentials and pitfalls in this more decentralised configuration for both learning and organization.
A weblog, or blog, presents an intriguing way to create a collaborative space within a traditional classroom structure. Well-constructed blog assignments may provide a safe environment and encourage a collaborative learning culture. This study explores the use of blog-based assignments on student participation in a high school biology course. Data collected from field notes, surveys, student interviews, and quiz scores provided evidence that the blog assignments had a positive impact on in-class participation rate, self-directed research, achievement, and classroom environment.
Classroom management (CM) research suggests prospective teachers customarily view CM skill acquisition as a fundamental component of pedagogical knowledge development (Emmer & Stough, 2001; Merrett & Wheldall, 1993). Dissemination of critical concepts has traditionally occurred in face-to-face classrooms supported by school-based field experiences. However, circumstances have fueled student demand for flexible scheduling and convenient online courses (Ellis, 2009; Fink, 2003). Professors are challenged to deliver CM instruction virtually; utilizing multiple tools for online delivery to emulate traditional and educational training experiences. This qualitative study explored emergence of reflective skills in blogs, wikis, and scaffolded assignments in an online CM course.
Cyber-bullying increasingly is becoming a problem for students, educators and policy makers. In this paper, we consider cyber-bullying as a form of relational aggression; that is, behaviour designed to damage, harm or disrupt friendship or inter-personal relationships through covert means. We draw on the findings from a study of students in grades 6 through 9, conducted in five schools, in a large ethnically diverse metropolitan region of British Columbia, Canada, to demonstrate the inter-connection between cyber-bullying and relational aggression. Consistent with the relational aggression framework, girls were found more likely than boys to participate in these behaviours. We conclude that intervention strategies should consider gender differences and also aim at changing the trajectory of relational aggression to providing relational support and care.