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6. Issue

Eine Ebene höher
Sixth Issue - July 2010

Editorial

Dear readers,

let me take this first issue in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the 5th anniversary of this journal. Without the commitment of many volunteers to help acquire outstanding contributions, review submissions, copyedit accepted papers, maintain the IT infrastructure and much more, the journal would not have made to the age of 5. We gratefully acknowledge their services. Three persons in the editorial team deserve special thanks here because they invest an exceptional amount of their time and do all this silently in the back-office: Manfred Postel, who is also responsible for the non-reviewed community contributions of each issue, our library specialist Martin Roos, who is the driver behind our information services, and Stefan Neveling, who copyedits each article and manages the underlying IT infrastructure.

This anniversary is also a good opportunity to thank two supporting institutions: the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, for the seed money that brought this journal to life and FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany, that provides financial support since the initial project funding ended. The latter was particularly important for the sustainability of our services because it is well known that viable business models for open access journals are difficult to find. The ones we confronted our users with like author-pays, reader-pays, and advertisement were not appreciated. Others like reader-sponsors-pay (e.g., university libraries) or author-sponsors-pay (e.g., foundations, research funding institutions, governments) are not easy to get. Even if such options are offered, as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) does by asking funding recipients to publish their results primarily in open access repositories and by providing financial support for this, immediately a debate is raised that authors were bossed around and limited in their freedom to select a publisher of their choice. So, we are lucky that FernUniversität pays for all. Thank you.

Occasionally, long reaction times of the journal server may have annoyed some of you. This server, which is not maintained by us, publishes an increasing number of open access journal and seems to gradually reach its limits. The good news is that a new server has been established recently and some journals already migrated to that server. So the situation can only improve.

With the last issue we introduced a new community service in the form of a dissertation section, which provides key information about doctoral theses in the field of e-learning, including thesis candidate, reviewers, abstract and a link or reference to the full version of the thesis. As you can see from the current issue, this new section was well received and we are proud to present new findings of promising junior scientists.

During the last few months we have developed an open source literature database that serves to sustainably maintain bibliographic data of eleed-specific primary and secondary literature, i.e., all eleed articles and all bibliographic references in these articles, respectively. Based on this information we envision future community services and systematic evaluations, such as the extraction of citation networks, profiling of authors and institutes, or content-related ontologies. To begin with, the bibliographic data gathered would be exported and published on the eleed site as HTML pages, which can be sorted alphabetically by author names and title. A search function will be provided in the next development step.

To increase the usability of the literature database, we are highly interested in your feedback on services you like to see on top of it. We want to collect your feedback through a Wiki or forum. The URL for it will be soon arranged and published by eleed.

Again, we were able to collect a number of book and online publication descriptions and reviews, project reports, dissertation abstract, and, of course, peer-reviewed scientific papers and practice reports. The latter cover quite different topics ranging von educational TV to software design for e-learning.

Although in FernUniversität’s distance education system television broadcasting is not typical channel to convey study content to our students, educational television still plays a significant role in other contexts, in particular, at the school level. Misra’s paper entitled “Educational Television Broadcasting in Germany: Prevailing Practices, Existing Challenges and Adoptable Policies” investigates the current situation in Germany and reveals some potential for further improvement.

Running a website with supplementary material to a class-room or distance teaching course is nothing new and many of us offer it to our students. But only few of us spent deeper thoughts on methodological foundations and intended effects. In their German article “E-Learning-Webseite als facettenreiches Werkzeug in Forschung und Lehre“ Rey and Beck report on experiences with a website that both provides supplementary study materials and serves as a tool to perform empirical research with student involvement in the e-learning domain.

Until now, the added value of e-learning at campus universities has rarely been investigated systematically. Steffens and Reiss try to close this gap with their study “Performance of Blended Learning in University Teaching: Determinants and Challenges“. This work examines the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning based on the responses of 200 educators at polytechnics and universities in Germany and other countries.

In their article “The E-learning Circle - a holistic software design tool for e-learning” Kolås and Staupe introduce E-learning Circle as a tool to improve the quality of software design processes of e-learning systems. The research method, which relies on Grounded Theory, is described detailed enough to be adopted by others. Different types of uses of the circle model are discussed.

If you find this and earlier issues of eleed interesting and inspiring, please point it out to friends and colleagues who missed it so far.

Bernd Krämer
Editor-in-Chief, eleed

Articles / Beiträge
  1. Educational Television Broadcasting in Germany: Prevailing Practices, Existing Challenges and Adoptable Policies
  2. E-Learning-Webseite als facettenreiches Werkzeug in Forschung und Lehre
  3. The E-learning Circle – a holistic software design tool for e-learning
  4. Performance of Blended Learning in University Teaching: Determinants and Challenges
Project reports / Projektberichte
  1. MultiStaR
  2. Evaluation der Lernumgebung APOSDLE in der Bibliothek der FernUniversität in Hagen
Book descriptions / Buchbeschreibungen
  1. Entwicklung und Förderung von selbst gesteuertem Lernen in Blended-Learning-Umgebungen
  2. Betreuungskonzepte beim Blended Learning
  3. E-Learning 2009
  4. E-Learning: Theorien, Gestaltungsempfehlungen und Forschung
  5. Is There a Net Gener in the House? Dispelling a Mystification
Dissertations / Dissertationen
  1. Navigation Support for Learners in Informal Learning Networks
  2. Contextual support of social engagement and reflection on the Web
  3. Supporting the tutor in the design and support of adaptive e-learning
  4. Tags and self-organisation: a metadata ecology for learning resources in a multilingual context
  5. Placement Support for Learners in Learning Networks
  6. Design and Implementation Strategies for IMS Learning Design