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eLearning Certificate's List: e-Learning in Canada

  • Week 1

    Introduction to e-Learning | e-Learning in Canada

  • e-Learning in Canada

    This course provides an overview of e-learning in Canada within the field of educational technology research, theory and practice. This course has been designed to evaluate current and future e-learning trends in various work sectors (K-12, post-secondary, corporate and government training, and adult/workplace learning). Several topics will frame inquiry into e-learning environments, such as: instructional and institutional leadership, accessibility of education and training, learner and instructor readiness, learner and instructor supports, transformation of educational contexts, technological infrastructure, policy and quality assurance, and social and ethical considerations.

  • Apr 25, 14

    This is the the sixth and most recent edition of the State of the Nation: K -12 Online Learning in Canada report.The report has become a key benchmark for the expanding use of technology-supported blended and online learning in Canada.

    Barbour, M.K. (2013). State of the nation study: K-12 online learning in Canada. Victoria, BC: Open School BC.

  • Nov 01, 11

    This article examines the problem of defining a broad conceptual theory for the applications of the advanced technologies in educational settings, most particularly in higher education. The article starts with discussing the multiple and confusing meanings of e-learning in the relevant literature; it proceeds to examine the problem of putting the learners in the center of the study process and exaggerating their self-directed abilities; it identifies noticeable gaps in the e-learning research; and it concludes with an analysis of some inherent challenges embedded in both conducting meaningful research on the advanced technologies in learning/teaching settings and in their actual implementation.

    Grui-Rosenblit, S. & Gros, G. (2011). E-Learning: Confusing Terminology, Research Gaps and Inherent Challenges. <i>The Journal of Distance Education, 25</i>(1).

  • Nov 02, 11

    CCL's State of E-Learning in Canada was written to improve Canadians' understanding of e-learning-particularly of its challenges, limitations and benefits-so that Canada may move forward in appropriate and relevant ways.

    Canadian Council on Learning, (2009). State of E-learning in Canada.

  • Apr 28, 14

    The eleventh annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. The survey is designed, administered and analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group, with data collection conducted in partnership with the College Board. Using responses from more than 2,800 colleges and universities, this study is aimed at answering fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education.

    Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2014) Grade Change: Tracking Online Learning in the United States Wellesley MA: Babson College/Sloan Foundation

  • Week 2

    e-Learners and the e-Learner experience | Beyond Learning Management Systems

  • Nov 03, 11

    This qualitative study examined a Canadian virtual school learning experience for students and the kinds of support and assistance most frequently used and valued by students learning in a virtual environment. Students were interviewed and observed during their virtual school classes. In-school teachers were also interviewed and online teachers were also observed. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Findings indicated that during their scheduled asynchronous class time students were often assigned seatwork or provided time to work on assignments, however, students rarely used this time to complete virtual schoolwork. It was during their synchronous class time that both the students and the online teachers were most productive. Students sought assistance from local classmates before turning to their online teacher or in-school teachers, and did not use the other support systems provided by the virtual school.

    Barbour, M. & Hill, J. (2011). What are They Doing and How are They Doing It? Rural Student Experiences in Virtual Schooling. The Journal of Distance Education, 25(1).

  • Nov 04, 11

    While web-based courses have had a growing presence in Canadian secondary schools since the mid-1990s, there has been very little study of the transition of high school distance e-learners to further study at the postsecondary level. To address this area of deficit in distance education research this article reports on a study designed to examine high school distance e-learners' participation in postsecondary education as well as their perceptions of online learning following high school graduation. A short follow-up survey as well as in-depth interviews of students from the class of 2008, which included students who participated in distance e-learning courses in high school and others who did not, suggested that high school distance e-learners had a preference for university studies. While high school distance e-learners did not appear to be more likely to participate in online learning at the postsecondary level, they described a number of ways in which their distance e-learning experiences in high school had helped them to prepare for postsecondary studies. Some of the implications for online learning at the secondary school level are discussed.

    Kirby, D., Sharpe, D., Bourgeois, M., & Greene, M. (2010). Graduates of the new learning environment - A Follow-Up Study of High School Distance e-Learners. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 11(3), 161-173.

  • Apr 26, 14

    This study builds on this author’s 2011 article in which the author reflects on the pedagogical challenges and resultant changes made while teaching two fully online foreign language papers over a four-year period. Drawing on current literature, the present study surveyed learners (n = 46) in an attempt to investigate the difficulties that confronted them and the ways they had adapted to fully online learning.

    Sun, S. H. (2014). Learner perspectives on fully online language learning. Distance Education, 35(1), 18-42.

  • Apr 04, 13

    Fully online courses are becoming progressively more popular because of their"anytime anywhere" learning flexibility. One of the ways students interact with each other and with the instructors within fully online learning environments is via asynchronous discussion forums. However, student engagement in online discussion forums does not always take place automatically and there is a lack of clarity about the ideal role of the instructors in them. In this article, we report on our research on the quality of discussion in fully online courses through analysis of discussion forum activities. We have conducted our research on two large fully online subjects for computing students over two consecutive semesters and used a grounded theoretic approach for data analysis. Our results reveal what students and instructors consider as quality interaction in fully online courses. We also propose two frameworks based on our findings that can be used to ensure effective online interaction.

    Nandi, D., Hamilton, M., & Harland, J. (2012). Evaluating the quality of interaction in asynchronous discussion forums in fully online courses. <i>Distance Education, 33</i>(1), 5-30.

  • May 31, 13

    This article provides qualitative insights into the ways that faculty can impact retention rates of online students. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted at random with 16 faculty who teach online courses at a community college in the Northeast. Faculty were asked to describe behaviors of online students that made them feel concerned, conversations with these students, and whether or not they referred these students to the college's student support services. Qualitative analysis using grounded theory methodology revealed that few faculty referred online students that they were concerned about to any of the student support services available at the college. Faculty who did not refer online students to student support services discussed a lack of knowledge about student support services, or did not believe in using these services. College administrators need to educate and encourage online faculty about using the wide variety of student support services that are available to community college students. Under-utilization of student support services can contribute to a low retention rate found in online courses.

    Russo-Gleicher, R. J. (2013). Qualitative insights into faculty use of student support services with online students at risk: Implications for student retention. Journal of Educators Online, 10(1), 1-32.

  • Apr 29, 14

    With the development of interactive technologies, and related connectivism learning theories, interaction theory has expanded to include interactions not only with human actors, but also with machines and digital artifacts. This paper explores the characteristics and principles of connectivist learning in an increasingly open and connected age. A theory building methodology is used to create a new theoretical model which we hope can be used by researchers and practitioners to examine and support multiple types of effective educational interactions.

    Wang, Z., Chen, L., & Anderson, T. (2014). A framework for interaction and cognitive engagement in connectivist learning contexts. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 15(2). Retrieved from

  • Week 3

    Designing e-Learning Experiences | e-Learning Environments

  • Apr 26, 14

    Advances in technology offer a vast array of opportunities for facilitating elearning. However, difficulties may arise if elearning research and design, including the use of emerging technologies, are based primarily on past practices, fads, or political agendas. This article describes refinements made to a framework for designing and sequencing elearning interactions originally published in 2002 based on insights gained from a decade of application across settings. The updated framework adds neurobiological research on human learning as a theoretical foundation, and further distinguishes the relationship between learning theories, instructional strategies, planned elearning interactions, and emerging technologies to guide future distance education research and practice.

    Hirumi, A. (2013). THREE LEVELS OF PLANNED ELEARNING INTERACTIONS A Framework for Grounding Research and the Design of eLearning Programs. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 14(1), 1-16.

  • Nov 03, 11

    If research and development in the field of learning design is to have a serious and sustained impact on education, then technological innovation needs to be accompanied - and probably guided - by good empirical studies of the design practices and design thinking of those who develop these innovations. This article synthesizes two related lines of research into teachers' design thinking. We draw attention to the importance of context in working on the solution of design problems and introduce the idea that some pedagogical knowledge can best be understood as 'knowledge in pieces', rather than as a coherent system of pedagogical beliefs.

    Kali, Y., Goodyear, P. & Marauskaite, L. (2011). Researching design practices and design cognition: contexts, experiences and pedagogical knowledge‐in‐pieces. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 129-149.

  • Apr 27, 14

    This is a postscript to an article about the evolution of the massive open online course (MOOC). In the brief space of time between the previous article’s completion and publication, attitudes to the MOOC appear to be changing rapidly. The current follow-up discusses the rejection of key MOOC principles by Harvard University and its replacement by small private online courses, not obviously different from the online education offered by distance education institutions since the mid-90s. The article also presents evidence suggesting that the previous widespread acceptance of MOOCs has been more myth than reality.

    Baggaley, J. (2014). MOOC postscript. Distance Education, 35(1), 126-132. doi:10.1080/01587919.2013.876142

  • May 24, 13

    Learning analytics offers higher education valuable insights that can inform strategic decision-making regarding
    resource allocation for educational excellence. Research demonstrates that learning management systems
    (LMSs) can increase student sense of community, support learning communities and enhance student
    engagement and success, and LMSs have therefore become core enterprise component in many universities. We
    were invited to undertake a current state analysis of enterprise LMS use in a large research-intensive university,
    to provide data to inform and guide an LMS review and strategic planning process. Using a new e-learning
    analytics platform, combined with data visualization and participant observation, we prepared a detailed
    snapshot of current LMS use patterns and trends and their relationship to student learning outcomes. This paper
    presents selected data from this "current state analysis" and comments on what it reveals about the comparative
    effectiveness of this institution's LMS integration in the service of learning and teaching. More critically, it
    discusses the reality that the institutional planning process was nonetheless dominated by technical concerns,
    and made little use of the intelligence revealed by the analytics process. To explain this phenomenon we
    consider theories of change management and resistance to innovation, and argue that to have meaningful impact,
    learning analytics proponents must also delve into the socio-technical sphere to ensure that learning analytics
    data are presented to those involved in strategic institutional planning in ways that have the power to motivate
    organizational adoption and cultural change.

    Macfadyen, L. P., & Dawson, S. (2012). Numbers Are Not Enough. Why e-Learning Analytics Failed to Inform an Institutional
    Strategic Plan. <i>Educational Technology & Society, 15</i> (3), 149-163.

  • Nov 02, 11

    To be truly effective, online learning must provide opportunities for students to engage in the social process of learning. This article describes the use of Twitter-a Web 2.0 microblogging tool-to enhance social presence in online courses by providing a mechanism for persistent social interactions.

    Dunlap, J. & Lowenthal, P. (2009). Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to enhance social presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 129-135.

  • Nov 02, 11

    The adoption level of emerging web technologies is on the rise in academic settings. However, a major obstacle
    in the practice of web-based instruction is the limited understanding of learners' characteristics and perceptions
    about technology use. Thus there is a need to understand the relationship between students' learning styles and
    their preferences for instructional strategies, including the use of emerging web technologies. Since learning
    styles provide information about individual differences in learning preferences they can suggest how instruction
    can be best designed to support the learning preferences. In this paper, a research framework has been proposed
    to incorporate emerging web technologies into higher education based on students' learning styles and
    technology preferences and a case study has been carried out to validate the proposed framework. An action
    research methodology has been adopted to carry out the study, which comprises of conducting a survey about
    students' learning styles and technology preferences; incorporating a combination of emerging web technologies
    based on the survey findings; and analyzing key achievements and shortcomings of the study to redefine
    research objectives. The study provides support for the proposed framework by highlighting the significant
    relationships among students' learning styles and technology preferences and their impact on academic

    Saeed, N., Yang, Y., & Sinnappan, S. (2009). Emerging Web Technologies in Higher Education: A Case of Incorporating Blogs,
    Podcasts and Social Bookmarks in a Web Programming Course based on Students' Learning Styles and Technology Preferences.
    Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 98-109.

  • Apr 26, 14

    Social networking tools offer opportunities for innovative, participative pedagogical practice within traditional institutional frameworks. However, tensions continue to develop within this space: between creativity and security, personal and professional identity, privacy and openness. We argue that iSchools are uniquely positioned to create proactive, adaptive policies guiding the pedagogical use of social media and offer initial recommendations toward the crafting of such policies. If we expect information school graduates to be proficient and critical users of perpetually evolving social media technologies, we need to create learning environments that support the ethical, reflective and effective use of these tools. As an initial step in that direction, we report on three explorations we conducted to identify the challenges and opportunities that are part of today's educational social media landscape. Informed by these investigations we put forward initial guidelines for developing a "Social Media & the iSchool Classroom" policy for other schools to appropriate, modify and enhance.

    Nathan, L. P., MacGougan, A., & Shaffer, E. (2014). If Not Us, Who? Social Media Policy and the iSchool Classroom. Journal Of Education For Library & Information Science, 55(2), 112-132.

  • Week 4

    The e-Learning Teacher Experience | Professional Development for e-Learning Teachers

  • Nov 07, 11

    The article discusses challenges faced by K-12 online teachers in the U.S. According to a survey, the most common concerns of teachers in K-12 online teaching environment are the amount of time spent teaching online, the control of course content, and student-related issues. Many online teachers complain that there are students who are not suited for online education.

    Archambault, L. (2010). Identifying and Addressing Teaching Challenges in K-12 Online Environments. Distance Learning, 7(2), 13-17.

  • Apr 18, 13

    Many open universities and distance education institutions have shifted from a predominantly print-based mode of delivery to an online mode characterized by the use of virtual learning environments and various web technologies. This paper describes the impact of the shift to open and distance e-learning (ODeL), as this trend might be called, on the course design practices of faculty members at a small single-mode distance education university in the Philippines. Specifically, the paper presents and analyses the faculty's perspectives on how their course design practices have changed and issues and challenges arising from these changes. The findings suggest that faculty training programs in ODeL should aim to develop a comprehensive range of ODeL competencies in a systematic and coherent way.

    Arinto, P. (2013). A framework for developing competencies in open and distance e-learning. <i>The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 14</i>(1), 167-185. Retrieved from

  • Apr 09, 13

    This study examined the nature of thirty virtual educators' action research questions during a yearlong action research professional development experience within a large, state-funded virtual school. Virtual educators included instructional personnel (i.e., individuals responsible for teaching virtual courses) and non-instructional personnel (i.e., individuals responsible for other roles in the virtual school such as administration or course design.) Action research questions emerge from the intersection of educators' professional contexts and their real-world challenges or passions and analyzing the nature of these questions provided a glimpse into the priorities and practices of the participating instructional and non instructional virtual educators. Studying completion rates and personalizing the curriculum were trends within questions posed by instructional personnel whereas non instructional personnel primarily focused on macrolevel issues within the virtual schools, such as communication. Future research directions and implications for action research professional development within virtual schools are discussed.

    Dawson, K. , Dana, N. , Wolkenhauer, R. & Krell, D. (2013). Identifying the Priorities and Practices of Virtual School Educators Using Action Research. <i>American Journal of Distance Education (27)</i>1, 29-39.

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