Exchanging E-Learning Materials, Modules, and Students

Exchanging E-Learning Materials, Modules, and Students

Samuel Leung (University of Southampton, UK), David Martin (University of Southampton, UK), Richard Treves (University of Southampton, UK) and Oliver Duke-Williams (University of Leeds, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-980-9.ch002
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In contrast to other Web-based resources, e-learning materials are not always exchangeable and shareable. Although transferring electronic documents between networked computers has become almost effortless, the materials may often require careful design and a great deal of adaptation before they can be reused in a meaningful manner. This process involves consideration of pedagogic issues such as course curricula, learning outcomes, and intended audience, as well as technological factors including local institutional virtual learning environments (VLE) and any relevant learning technology standards. This chapter illustrates how these issues have been addressed resulting in the successful exchange of e-learning resources at three levels: (1) at content level, where learning nuggets are created and packaged in a standards-compliant format to guarantee interoperability; (2) at the user level, whereby learners or tutors, rather than the resources, are transferred between VLEs; (3) at a higher system level, where the emerging Web Single Sign-On technology of federated access management is being used to enable truly cross-institutional authentication allowing learners to roam freely in different learning environments.
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Shareable Geography Learning And Teaching

The DialogPLUS project was originally set up in the expectation that the four collaborating institutions would develop and share innovative approaches in the learning and teaching of geography (Martin & Treves, 2007). The first phase of the project saw the geography teaching staff at each institution comparing common areas within their existing curricula and identifying elements that could potentially be shared and reused. This was undertaken in a face-to-face project meeting, facilitated by spreadsheet-based summaries of the characteristics of potential materials from each institution. To enable a meaningful curriculum mapping and avoid the distraction of the learning object debate, it was decided the project team would equate a discrete and self-contained learning activity with a “learning nugget,” as discussed more fully in the Preface of this book and in Davis and Fill (2007). Readers who are interested in the origins of and controversy surrounding learning objects should refer to the work of Downes (2000), Wiley (2000), and Friesen (2003).

For the purposes of the current chapter, a DialogPLUS learning nugget in its simplest form must consist of the three core components: a learning objective, activity instructions, and supporting resources. Some nuggets might also include an assessment element, which can be either formative or summative. The cross-curricular mapping exercise provided the teaching staff with an opportunity to revisit and, if necessary, redesign their teaching practice and resources. The process was greatly assisted by the adoption of the DialogPLUS Toolkit, which was developed by project collaborators from education and computer sciences in order to support the design of learning nuggets. The toolkit maintained a nugget database, which embeds schema and metadata comparable with the emerging learning technology standards proposed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium (Bailey et al., 2006). Through the Toolkit, existing and new learning nuggets were arranged in terms of the three core and an optional assessment components. Learning nuggets were then matched and compared between institutions, based on examination of the actual learning activities rather than at the level of similarly titled materials. From the learning technology perspective, the process helped in populating metadata fields that in turn prepared each nugget to be more searchable and shareable.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Lou McGill
Chapter 1
Philip Rees, Louise Mackay, David Martin, Gráinne Conole, Hugh Davis
Technologies offer a range of tantalizing potentials for education—in terms of providing access to media- rich context and for students to visualize... Sample PDF
Developing E-Learning in Geography
Chapter 2
Samuel Leung, David Martin, Richard Treves, Oliver Duke-Williams
In contrast to other Web-based resources, e-learning materials are not always exchangeable and shareable. Although transferring electronic documents... Sample PDF
Exchanging E-Learning Materials, Modules, and Students
Chapter 3
Helen Durham, Katherine Arrell, David DiBiase
Collaborative learning activity design (CLAD) is a multi-institution approach to the creation of e-learning material from the design phase through... Sample PDF
Collaborative Learning Activity Design: Learning about the Global Positioning System
Chapter 4
David Martin, Philip Rees, Helen Durham, Stephen A. Matthews
This chapter presents the development of a series of shared learning materials prepared to facilitate teaching in human geography. The principal... Sample PDF
Census and Population Analysis
Chapter 5
Stephen Darby, Sally J. Priest, Karen Fill, Samuel Leung
In this chapter we outline the issues involved in developing, delivering, and evaluating a Level 2 undergraduate module in fluvial geomorphology.... Sample PDF
Using Digital Libraries to Support Undergraduate Learning in Geomorphology
Chapter 6
Jim Wright, Michael J. Clark, Sally J. Priest, Rizwan Nawaz
There is an inherent antithesis between environmental management as professional practice and as concept or philosophy. Not only does this... Sample PDF
Engaging with Environmental Management: The Use of E-Learning for Motivation and Skills Enhancement
Chapter 7
Louise Mackay, Samuel Leung, E. J. Milton
In our experience of earth observation (EO) online learning we highlight the usefulness of the World Wide Web in terms of its software... Sample PDF
Earth Observation: Conveying the Principles to Physical Geography Students
Chapter 8
Helen Durham, Samuel Leung, David DiBiase
Academic integrity (AI) is of relevance across all academic disciplines, both from the perspective of the educator and the student. From the former... Sample PDF
Generic Learning Materials: Developing Academic Integrity in Your Students
Chapter 9
Karen Fill, Gráinne Conole, Chris Bailey
The DialogPLUS Toolkit is a web-based application that guides the design of learning activities. Developed to support the project’s geographers, it... Sample PDF
A Toolkit to Guide the Design of Effective Learning Activities
Chapter 10
David DiBiase, Mark Gahegan
This chapter investigates the problem of connecting advanced domain knowledge (from geography educators in this instance) with the strong pedagogic... Sample PDF
Concept Mapping to Design, Organize, and Explore Digital Learning Objects
Chapter 11
Terence R. Smith, Marcia Lei Zeng
We describe a digital learning environment (DLE) organized around sets of concepts that represent a specific domain of knowledge. A prototype DLE... Sample PDF
Semantic Tools to Support the Construction and Use of Concept-Based Learning Spaces
Chapter 12
Richard Treves
Teaching geography at university level involves students in study of complex diagrams and maps. These can be made easier to understand if split into... Sample PDF
Simple Geography-Related Multimedia
Chapter 13
Karen Fill, Louise Mackay
This chapter is concerned with the evaluation of learning materials and activities developed as part of the DialogPLUS project. A range of... Sample PDF
Evaluating the Geography E-Learning Materials and Activities: Student and Staff Perspectives
Chapter 14
Louise Mackay, David Martin, Philip Rees, Helen Durham
In this book we have illustrated the materials, software, and experience of developing and delivering geography e-learning courses and learning... Sample PDF
Reflections, Lessons Learnt, and Conclusions
Chapter 15
Sally Priest
This chapter discusses the design, technical development, delivery, and evaluation of two online learning activities in environmental geography. A... Sample PDF
Online Learning Activities in Second Year Environmental Geography
Chapter 16
Dion Hoe-Lian Goh
With the rapid growth of digital information, there is increasing recognition that digital libraries (DL) will play important roles in education... Sample PDF
Learning Geography with the G-Portal Digital Library
Chapter 17
Shivanand Balram
This chapter describes the origins, boundaries, and structures of collaborative geographic information systems (CGIS). A working definition is... Sample PDF
Collaborative Geographic Information Systems: Origins, Boundaries, and Structures
Glossary of Terms
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