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Tenth Issue - December 2014


In 2004 eleed was launched as part of an open access initiative funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and its first issue was published in February of 2005. The current issue no. 10 marks eleed’s 10th anniversary. From the very beginning, eleed is supported by the state-funded HBZ running its publication infrastructure and – after eleed’s initial state funding ended – by the FernUniversität in Hagen supporting its editorial staff and software development.

eleed publishes a mix of current research results, experience and practice reports on e-learning and education, and community information on e-learning dissertations, new e-learning books, tools, and projects. The focus is typically on works that combine technology and education and provide insight into how effective e-learning scenarios can be implemented. Readership is continuously rising. More than 6.000 monthly readers from all over the world is an impressive number, given the relatively small number of people involved in e-learning research and development. This proves that an open access journal, given the necessary support from public sources, can successfully provide a platform for open communication of research and practice knowledge! The editorial board expresses its gratitude to all supporters, who made this development possible.

To improve its communication and information function, eleed launched a new and enhanced web presence in May 2014. New services include improved search and exploration of meta-data and relationships between articles (see the “context of this contribution” section within an article). To further aid its readership, in 2015 new services will be deployed. They will facilitate readers in exploring eleed content, saving exploration results, and re-executing complex searches, both, individually and collaboratively. Thus, eleed will gradually evolve from a publication venue into a collaboration space for readers and authors sharing e-learning related interests.

With the shift from isolated learning platforms and scenarios to more open, learner-centered and adaptive learning scenarios and systems, the challenges of finding and combining appropriate learning objects and services into a usable learning environment become increasingly important, especially as changing societal expectations and new technologies emerge. Consequently, the articles in this anniversary issue approach e-learning and education from different perspectives:

Lessons-learnt perspective

Gerd Kortemeyer presents experiences from 20 years of blended and online courses in his article “Over two decades of blended and online physics courses at Michigan State University”. He found that some online-only courses led to better exam results than traditional on-campus lectures. This was especially true for courses with assessment embedded into the online material. He reasons that this may be due to not taking advantage of face-to-face presence in respective traditional lectures.

In their article “Advertising Psychology – The Blog Seminar”, Björn Badura, Joseph Greve, and Annette Kluge focus on a specific didactical seminar setting. They present the didactical design and experiences with three iterations of a blog-based distributed seminar. They show that learners subjectively assessed positively aspects such as enjoyment, usefulness and difficulty as well as learning success and attitude towards the seminar.

The book description of Luka Peters‘ “Methodik für Wirtschaftswissenschaftler” presents an overview of didactical methods applicable to electronic media.

Organizational perspective

Three articles analyze the impact of a changing environment (i.e., governmental expectations, education for free, new ICT technology) on the organization of e-learning. Rob Koper presents an analysis of changing demands and their impact on the learning organization of a distance teaching university. Taking the example of the OUNL, his article “Towards a more effective model for distance education” shows the change process and resulting redesign of the educational model used by the OUNL, which is being changed from traditional guided self-study to active online learning.

Rolf Schulmeister analyzes the development of “The Position of xMOOCs in educational systems” and highlights the changing aim (from providing free education for the masses to fee-based continued education), problems and possible solutions for fitting xMOOCs into teaching organizations. The book description of his new book “MOOCs –Massive Open Online Courses” provides further details on the historical development of and experiences with MOOCs.

Christoph Igel presents in his article “(Lifelong) learning in your pocket?” an overview of how technology changed teaching and learning in learning institutions, and what developments are to be expected, based on current trends in ICT and user behavior.

Two further book descriptions provide more information on books taking an organizational perspective: “Learning Innovations and Quality: The Future of Digital Resources” by Christian M. Stracke and “E-Learning: Bildung 2.0?” by Christiane Spary.

Technological perspective

Two articles focus on technology and how (in terms of development process and architectures) it may be used to create successful e-learning platforms. Ingolf Waßmann et al. present the learning hub approach to implement the connectionist learning platform Wiki-Learnia, which is used to support junior studies of pupils at the University of Rostock.

Jörg Hafer, Alexander Kiy, and Ulrike Lucke introduce in their article “Moodle & Co. auf dem Weg zur Personal Learning Environment” an iterative development process and integration architecture for the creation of an integrated Personalized Learning Environment (PLE). This process was successfully used for developing a PLE at the University of Potsdam, and seems transferrable to other cases.

All six project descriptions in this issue address technological issues: “myTU - Neue Ideen und Konzepte” by Georg Heyne, Konrad Froitzheim, and Frank Gommlich presents a personal learning platform for smartphones on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept. “Job Intelligence-Services für Hochschulen“ by Frank Bensberg and Daniel Vogel describes a process and platform for analyzing job offers and making them available for designing qualification programs. “Student2Student als Organisationsmodell für die Entwicklung von E-Learning-Ressourcen“ by Frank Bensberg presents a process and respective platform for developing e-learning resources by students for students. The project description of “DiepRuR” by Matthias Orlowski and Michael Koschinski provides some insight into the construction of a federated service offering for inter-organizational use of services based on SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language). The “Plattform Musikalische Bildung” by André Stärk describes a platform for networked learning and teaching in the music domain. Finally, the project description “Generisches Framework Studi-App” by Richard Huber presents the idea of an adaptable framework for developing student-apps.

Two dissertations complete the contributions to the technology perspective: “Autorenwerkzeuge für digitale, multimediale und interaktive Lernbausteine im Web 2.0” by Michael Hielscher deals with authoring systems for learning objects in Web 2.0, while “Constructing a user experience user experience-based mobile learning environment” by Ruimin Shen describes the development of a learning environment focusing on mobile learners.

Research methodology perspective

Mohamed Amine Chatti et al. present in their article “Learning Analytics: Challenges and Future Research Directions” a systematic overview on learning analytics and its key concepts through a reference model based on four dimensions (what is analyzed, why is it analyzed, how is it analyzed, and who is targeted by the analysis). In addition, they identify for each dimension various challenges and research opportunities, leading to a road map for further research.

The book description “Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda” of Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Terry Anderson’s latest book provides some insight into the current research topics and methods on macro-, meso-, and micro-level.

Finally, the dissertation “Action Research and Learning Analytics in Higher Education” by Anna Lea Dyckhoff focusses on methodological issues of action research and learning analytics methods in higher education.

Joerg M. Haake
Editor-in-Chief, eleed

Articles / Beiträge
  1. “Advertising Psychology – The Blog Seminar”.
  2. Towards a more effective model for distance education
  3. Over two decades of blended and online physics courses at Michigan State University
  4. Learning Analytics: Challenges and Future Research Directions
  5. Learning through life
  6. The Position of xMOOCs in Educational Systems
  7. (Lifelong) learning in your pocket?
  8. Moodle & Co. auf dem Weg zur Personal Learning Environment
Project reports / Projektberichte
  1. myTU - Neue Ideen und Konzepte
  2. Job Intelligence-Services für Hochschulen
  3. Student2Student als Organisationsmodell für die Entwicklung von E-Learning-Ressourcen
  4. DiepRuR
  5. Plattform Musikalische Bildung
  6. Generisches Framework Studi-App
Book descriptions / Buchbeschreibungen
  1. MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses
  2. Methodik für Wirtschaftswissenschaftler
  3. Learning Innovations and Quality: „The Future of Digital Resources“
  4. E-Learning: Bildung 2.0?
  5. Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda
Dissertations / Dissertationen
  1. Autorenwerkzeuge für digitale, multimediale und interaktive Lernbausteine im Web 2.0
  2. Constructing a user experience user experience-based mobile learning environment
  3. Action Research and Learning Analytics in Higher Education