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International Journal of Learning Technology (4 papers in press)
E-learning design issues for high-order learning An application and empirical study in the knowledge domain of digital marketing by Luiz Vaz Abstract: In disciplines requiring high technological intensity the success of e-learning can be hampered by a lack of pedagogical support for the intended outcomes. The design of learning activities through mediating tools (MTs) moderates this difficulty, allowing to adapt instructional designs in order to become pedagogically appropriate to the learning outcomes. Nevertheless, the provision of methods and empirical results to help design activities and properly organise them in MTs remains a challenge. In this paper, we propose a pattern of alignment among learning outcomes, learning activities and MTs that facilitate the instructional design, using pedagogical principles based on Blooms taxonomy and problem-based learning (PBL). A framework is provided to classify, model and implement teacher-centred content into organised student-centred activities that are clustered in MTs with higher-order learning capabilities. This approach develops a consistent instructional design, which is susceptible to evaluation, thus making it possible to test further alignments among the obtained results, the intended design characteristics and the pedagogical principles. The results confirm that high levels of Blooms taxonomy are achieved, particularly with respect to requirements of learning model centricity and collaborative learning. Keywords: learning design; e-learning; pedagogy; mediating tools; instructional design; digital marketing.
Perceived effectiveness of students programming indigenous symbols in Ghanaian context by Ebenezer Anohah Abstract: There has been minimal investigation into students programming their indigenous projects in relation to blocks of code and mainstream languages in computing education. This study examines high school students experiences of programming non-Western symbols using visual and text-based learning technologies. The high school students were exposed to a contextualized teaching strategy whereby cultural symbols were created using a web-based platform and an integrated development environment. In the end, 30 (N=30) students responded to the questionnaires. The quantitative data revealed three key findings that were preferred to learning environments: (1) students realizations of computers and perceived usefulness in cultural contexts, (2) students motivations to succeed in computing education; and (3) students gradual assimilations of basic programming concepts. These findings seem to suggest that cultural referents stimulate students interests to create indigenous projects in computing education that are also worthwhile outside the school walls. Keywords: Computer attitudes; cultural symbols; two mode courses; computing education; block of codes; general-purpose language.
The use of using social networking sites (SNSs) in teaching and learning among educators and learners by Ardatul Hayat Adnan Abstract: This study aims to explore how learners and educators use social networking sites (SNSs) for education-related activities and identify the factors that influence their usage. The study was conducted at a private institute for higher learning (IHL) in central Malaysia involving learners at different levels of study (diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate) and educators from various positions (professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers and teaching assistants). A total of 200 respondents consisting of 100 learners and 100 educators participated in the self-administered questionnaire. Chi-square and regression analyses were used to determine the significance of demographic factors (education and gender) and other factors such as perceived privacy (PP), perceived security (PS), perceived trust (PT), web experience (WE), computer anxiety (CA), social norms (SN), enjoyment (ET), desire to give information (GV) and desire to get information (GT) towards their intention to use SNSs. The findings illustrate that demographic factors influence the use of SNSs for both learners and educators. Out of nine factors, only four factors significantly influence the use of social networking sites (SNSs) among learners. These are perceived security (PS), enjoyment (ET) and social norms (SN). For the educators, there are five factors that significantly influence the use of social networking sites (SNSs), namely perceived security (PS), perceived trust (PT), web experience (WE), computer anxiety (CA) and enjoyment (ET). Keywords: Social media; social networking sites; teaching; learning; private institute for higher learning.
Saudi Academic Perceptions of e-Learning Systems by Stephen Thorpe Abstract: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen a growing interest in the uptake of cloud-based educational technologies in the university sector in recent years. The majority of delivery models are currently structured on a client-server-based provision, and typically utilize Blackboard or Moodle, with some choosing a Learning Management System (LMS) designed for Arab countries (Al-Dali et al., 2013). Many universities are interested in leveraging the potential benefits offered by cloud computing and are exploring the potential to migrate their e-Learning service provision into the cloud. A cloud computing architecture for e-Learning would see a university move from maintaining the hardware and licensed software resources needed for e-Learning systems onsite to an outsourced set of IT services provided over the Internet on a shared and scalable infrastructure. In order to better understand the potential of cloud-based opportunities, it was considered important to first investigate the experiences of academic staff in their current use of e-Learning systems. This article aims to contribute to a broader understanding of the academic perceptions of e-Learning systems in higher education, in particular within the Saudi Arabian context. A survey was undertaken to explore whether current e-Learning systems were serving tertiary learning requirements as articulated by those academics teaching and providing the e-Learning services in Saudi Arabian universities. The online survey collected 55 responses. Categorical data was tabulated, and themes were identified in the open questions using open coding. Findings contrast with earlier studies critical of the countrys e-Learning provision (Al-Draiby, 2010; Al-Harbi, 2011) and suggest that Saudi Arabian universities may now have a sounder e-Learning infrastructure in place. Shifting e-Learning services into the cloud was identified as a new opportunity that may allow academics to leverage the benefits of cloud technologies and to address some of the challenges they face. Keywords: e-Learning; cloud computing; learning systems; Saudi Arabia; educational technologies.