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Model for stimulation and evaluation of design of e-learning materials (courseware) and the use of elearning systems


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Odak, Marko. (2016). Model for stimulation and evaluation of design of e-learning materials (courseware) and the use of elearning systems. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Information Science.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti) [mentor Boras, Damir and Lazić, Nikolaj].

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The multi-year practice of different e-learning models allows their comparison and evaluation. The planning of e-learning and evaluation of the development of e-materials, as an integral part of the education system, has an impact on the success and results in higher education. In Croatian universities and many foreign universities, changes that are based on the principles and objectives of the Bologna Declaration have been initiated. Issues regarding the importance of students' and teachers' ICT education, as one of the needs of the modern society, have been explored. The analysis of existing experiences, models of e-learning and systems for e-learning, as well as the model for simulating those experiences for the development of one's own systems and strategies, allows us to plan the process and build the quality and sustainable e-learning system. So far, research has shown that the use of ICT technologies and e-learning should be linked and coordinated with the established educational goals. What has not been dealt with up to now, however, is the evaluation of the design of e-materials as a source of information and knowledge. The quality of e-learning materials and evaluation of these materials is important for education in general. In higher education, the promotion of teachers / scientists is related to prescribed conditions of the promotion that are unable to follow the rapid changes taking place in the educational environment. Currently, there is no agreed standard for the evaluation of e-materials, although individual universities have committees for the evaluation of such materials which is then taken into consideration for promotion of teachers. But, such standard is still not integrated in the rules and regulations of higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia. For this reason, our interest in exploring existing procedures, strategies, models, methodologies and standards related to the evaluation of e-learning materials emerged as a proposal for the development of this doctoral thesis. The problem that prompted reflection on how to make use of the research results and examples of good practice, as well as the results of this thesis related to the implementation of e-learning and evaluation of e-learning materials for our college and university, was initiated by professional and scientific interests. The reflection about the subject prompted the discussion about e-systems, evaluation of e-learning materials and motivation for their use and design. We knew that our university will have to face the same issues in a near future, and therefore we came up with a proposal to perform the analysis and prepare the strategy and development of a model for the evaluation of each new contribution to the advancement of knowledge, finances and planning in order to introduce and use ICT in education. Thus, this work should contribute to the above explained subject matter. One of the purposes for the evaluation of e-learning systems is testing the way in which ICT use supports learning and teaching. For the development and management of complex systems, such as information-communication system of the university, it is necessary to conceive a single information strategy. In this segment, we were interested in investigating the evaluation of teaching materials and standards that are built into the criteria for promotion of teachers. The productivity of teachers in the development of e-learning materials needs to be evaluated. Our hypothesis is that without the evaluation of e-learning materials one cannot expect the productivity and that criteria need to be standardized and based on the criteria that are applied to other scientific production. In order to achieve the systematic and efficient implementation of e-learning systems in higher education, the system of evaluation of production materials as well as the accessible system of technical and pedagogical support need to be established. The thesis is based on the past experiences of Croatian universities where it was shown that a single positive example of effective implementation of e-learning includes the preparation and development of e-materials, which means developing a strategic plan for the design and evaluation of e-materials for the establishment of quality and sustainable e- learning system. Therefore, this thesis will offer a model for the evaluation of design of e-materials and the use of e-learning systems. In order to develop a model, we will use comparative and descriptive methods in the analysis of questionnaires, interviews, existing practices and world experiences. The monitoring of e-learning systems and e-learning itself started with the research of different e-learning platforms. After analyzing the literature and systems, the Moodle open-source platform was chosen for the further work. The same platform was used to build the distance learning system in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb that was tested within the project "Organization of information and knowledge in the electronic learning environment" led by Jadranka Lasic-Lazic, full professor with tenure from the University of Zagreb. Therefore, we considered it to be the best applicable for our further research. The monitoring and research of the above mentioned system and its results is supposed to provide the results that will be used for the development of the model for evaluation of e-materials and the development of a model applicable at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Mostar. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb is one of the largest institutions of higher education and research in the Croatian education system, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Mostar largely relies on assistance from the University of Zagreb regarding programs and teaching. Therefore, the study of the first decade of e-learning systems in higher education institutions represented a challenge for the analysis that can offer the elements to create a model for stimulation and evaluation of design of e-materials and the use of e-learning systems. The creation of a model for stimulation and evaluation of design of e-materials and the use of e-learning systems is not an end in itself, but is carried by changing perceptions of incentives and evaluation of the teaching work through the role of universities and new pedagogical paradigm. In this PhD thesis, the quantitative and qualitative research approach allows the investigation of attitudes of students and teachers from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb regarding the idea and implementation of e-learning system and regarding opportunities for the development of such system, through the evaluation and development of teaching materials. The interpretive analysis of case studies and conclusions combines a number of details from various project reports and doctoral theses that dealt with a similar subject, in an effort to review the key determinants of e-learning systems and faculty positions regarding open-source systems and evaluation of teaching in the context of preparation and development of e-materials. In the introductory part of the thesis, we describe the research context, define basic terms and describe approaches to the subject, starting with the definition of the research problem and description of the relevant literature resources written by foreign and domestic authors, which represent the basis for the detailed theoretical point of view. In the second chapter of the dissertation, we describe the subject of the research and the purpose, set up research questions and hypotheses and determine the practical applicability and scientific contributions. In the third chapter, we define the environment in which e-learning, as a concept of the information society, takes place. A number of strategies (ISO standards, ISO 9001: 2000 quality management standard, ISO / IEC 19796.1 standard of quality for learning, education and training) have been developed, as well as concepts of quality e-learning and different competencies that are needed for their use by the participants in the process. The competences are one of the most important factors affecting the degree of implementation of models and concepts of e-learning quality development at a university. The basic support to the implementation of e-learning systems are the quality standards for learning, education and training of both teachers and students. In this context, research raised the question of what happens to institutions that always had a supporting role in education and which changes take place in education and evaluation of the teaching process. In particular, we have covered the concept of the network society and knowledge sharing. The chapter ends with a discussion of the most important issues in knowledge sharing and network society as well as the role of libraries in the educational process and in particular its role in e-learning. The fourth chapter provides an overview of the information society policies and directions of education development as well as a discussion about the quality of e-materials in the teaching process. We give an overview of issues of strategic planning in the information society, beginning with types of planning with a description of phases, steps, methods, models and techniques of strategic business planning. The purpose of the chapter is clarified in the context of the research topic. We also clarify the difference between IT strategy, information strategy, strategy of information and knowledge management as well as the need for the development of library's digitization strategy or educational material digitization strategy. A special part of the thesis is the discussion about new sources of information and knowledge. ICT is treated as an added value to the education system, to the flow of information and knowledge. The chapter ends with a discussion on the most important issues arising from the complexity of the information society, management, business processes, information, academic requirements in education and implementation of the Bologna process. The fifth chapter gives the overview of e-learning systems, analyzing the characteristics of the individual systems to single out the ones that we think should be used in education. We review in detail the system for e-learning in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, because we believe that the analysis of that system will provide a good "training ground" to build on the future organizational model. Faculty, as an organization, usually does not have subject specific guidelines which provide a description of the evaluation process for e-materials, but there are a number of successful examples (such as the one that will be described in this thesis - the example of the Commission for the evaluation of e-materials) that prove that it is possible to use standards and recommendations of the evaluation. In the sixth chapter, we discuss and analyze the significance of e-materials in the contemporary educational process. The issue of quality and models of evaluation is discussed. We review and interpret the research results. Furthermore, based on the research results, we suggest a model of evaluation that confirms our hypothesis that the evaluation of e-materials with the aim of teachers' promotion contributes to both its quality and quantity. We single out and represent the most important answers that confirm the research question and hypotheses and, finally, indicate directions for improvement and recommendations for the placement of the model in the system. In the seventh chapter, methodology of the work is described and illustrated, which includes the definition of the research sample, draft and methodology of the survey as well as a description of the sources used. The questionnaire as a measuring instrument is described in detail, as well as the research objectives and research methods that were used for data collection and processing. The chapter ends with the detailed analysis of the hypotheses and results, the draft of the model and graphical representation of the design process of the model. The final considerations and conclusions summarize the answers to all research questions. This last chapter presents a synthesis of the work, processed data and recommendations that emerged from the research. Our detailed descriptive analysis of the research results reveals attitudes and opinions of teachers that participated in the survey together with their responses to each of the survey questions. In Conclusion, we clearly present the breadth, comprehensiveness and thoroughness of the conducted scientific research. We end this chapter with an overview of the theoretical aspect of the research and give conclusions that were (partially) constructed in the previous chapter. The chapter ends up pointing to the key influences on the perceptions of teachers and management, the proposal of developing the strategy and the implementation of strategic planning as well as the introduction of e-learning systems and evaluation of e-materials.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: E-learning, E-learning systems, E-learning materials, Open software
Subjects: Information sciences > Social-humanistic informatics
Departments: Department of Information Science
Supervisor: Boras, Damir and Lazić, Nikolaj
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 12:46
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:46

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