About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3851-3860
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1834

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DISENTANGLING LEARNING PROCESSES: HOW TO DESCRIBE THE E-LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR DISADVANTAGED TARGET GROUPS

G. Agrusti1, V. Damiani2

1LUMSA University (ITALY)
2Roma Tre University (ITALY)
MOOCs and more in general the provision of e-learning courses are advocate by many as the way for equalising educational opportunities, independently from gender, nationality, socio-economic status. Moreover, their strength is clear in bridging divides, at least in theory, with more than 25 million people enrolled in a MOOC from 2012 and 2015, nearly 40% of which from developing countries. Still the retention or completion rates are not so encouraging and seem to discriminate particularly specific groups. Even though it is argued that completion rate is not a proper measure of a course success as it could reflect an intentional “cherry-pick” approach to MOOCs and OERs (Clark D. 2013, Ho A. et al, 2014; Hayes, 2015), still it is a signal to be taken into account when it concerns learners from developed countries (Kizilcec et al. 2015). Several interventions were made to verify on an experimental basis possible social identity threats during courses (Kizilcec et al. 2017) and they resulted to be successful, but more research is needed to understand which elements in a course advantage or impede learning within a cultural responsive pedagogy (Wlodkowski, et al. 1995). What happens during the e-learning experience with weaker groups of learners, such as those who lack of basic e-skills? Which are the major obstacles in the process to a completion of the course?

In this framework, the Advenus project (Developing online resources for adult refugees, ref. 2016-1-NO01-KA204-022090) aims at developing high quality and open access e-learning resources for adult refugees aged 18-40 in order to enhance the basic skills for a positive integration in the European countries. The research group, led by Lillehammer University College (Norway, consortium leader), includes LUMSA University (Italy), Porto University (Portugal) and CDI (Community Development Institute, Macedonia).

This contribution is focused on the second phase of the Advenus project. LUMSA University is in charge of organising, monitoring and evaluating the trials of the different learning units (LUs) produced in three different European cultural areas (Italy, Norway and Portugal). Those LUs are devoted, among the others, to help young refugees to write curriculum vitae, to use the Internet to look for an occupation, to enhance basic numeracy skills and to apply successfully problem-solving skills in technology rich environments. In detail, this paper intends to offer a different perspective from the traditional e-performance observation approach, based on the accuracy of recorded tracking of the actions of the learner in the e-platform, given that “the massive databases of MOOCs hold immense analytic potential but are ripe for misuse and misinterpretation” (DeBoer et al., 2014). It is clear that, with disadvantaged target group, critical success factors for learners are beyond the course itself, being centred on valid feedback, dialogue and interaction with tutors. Therefore, according to Whitworth (2004), there is the need to learn about the variation of learners’ experience (phenomenography) (Haythornthwaite et al. 2007), in order to examine it in not exclusively for its outcome but, more importantly, for quantity and quality of learning processes activated. Results include the validation of the integrated “e-observation” in a mediated e-learning experience, analysing and discussing its pros and cons.
@InProceedings{AGRUSTI2017DIS,
author = {Agrusti, G. and Damiani, V.},
title = {DISENTANGLING LEARNING PROCESSES: HOW TO DESCRIBE THE E-LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR DISADVANTAGED TARGET GROUPS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1834},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1834},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3851-3860}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Agrusti AU - V. Damiani
TI - DISENTANGLING LEARNING PROCESSES: HOW TO DESCRIBE THE E-LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR DISADVANTAGED TARGET GROUPS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1834
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3851
EP - 3860
ER -
G. Agrusti, V. Damiani (2017) DISENTANGLING LEARNING PROCESSES: HOW TO DESCRIBE THE E-LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR DISADVANTAGED TARGET GROUPS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3851-3860.
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