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If you see me, I will learn: A qualitative study of how to facilitate motivation and collaboration in online learning environments
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

E-learning offers many ways to partake in distance studies by overcoming obstacles such as physical localization or breaking existing social bonds. Having a higher education also gives greater opportunities both when it comes to employment as well as self-fulfillment. At the same time, e-learning comes with its own challenges both from the viewpoint of instructor as well as learner. Challenges that may be the reason for higher dropout rates compared to campus studies. Even though technology itself is crucial, actually making use of it in an efficient and suitable way as well as planning courses with e-learning in mind is even more important. In this thesis, motivation, communication and collaboration are used as the foundation for researching how e-learning can be facilitated. Theory presented states that there are several dimensions that needs to be kept in mind if learning is to be facilitated. Any course must be set up in such a way that all learners, no matter physical localization, are involved. This included both during lectures as well as any kind of examination. The learner also needs to have proper technology available, technology that both supports communication as well as collaboration. Through these tools, communities can be built in which learning can be enhanced. To investigate this, a qualitative method, consisting of interviews with distance students, were conducted. The results shows that technology were used extensively, both for planning as well as exchanging information. Having proper and clear instructions, both written and orally, was needed. Being able to participate was seen as one of the more crucial factors, both for learning and forming communities. It was also showed that the informants used the tools available not only to increase learning between each other, but also to form bonds over a longer period of time. Non-task communication enhanced the feeling of being part of something greater. Something which in turn increased collaboration and the perceived learning. Social media was the most used tool for planning and executing tasks within a course. It is concluded that to facilitate learning in an e-learning environment, there needs to be more than just proper instructions. There needs to be relevant information given in such a way to uphold the learners’ attention. There also needs to be a focus on collaboration over time, involving both instructors and learners. Beyond this, there needs to be tools available for the learners to form bonds, communities, between each other to facilitate learning and motivation. Through this, a true community of inquiry might be possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
E-learning, CSCW, CSCWL, motivation, social presence
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-64960OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-64960DiVA: diva2:1106666
Subject / course
Informatics
Educational program
Master Programme in Information Systems, 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-08 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2017-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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