Improving the Interaction and Communication through the LMS Open eClass in Blended Learning
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Learning Management Systems (LMSs), in a blended learning educational environment, support face to face education and enable enhanced communication and interaction among instructors and students as well as among students. However, Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL), which improves the learning process, does not come without challenges. The aim of this research is double fold. Firstly, it aims to explore users’ –instructors and students- perceptions on how the LMS Open eClass, in TEI of Athens Greece, supports and facilitates their communication and interaction. Secondly, based on users’ needs and desires, the study aims to formulate suggestions for improving communication and interaction through the platform. The study adopts an interpretivist stance and is built upon an inductive qualitative approach. Firstly, users’ perceptions are solicited through semi-structured interviews and the collected data are analyzed through the thematic analysis method. Subsequently, the study adopts Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to capture the complexity of the situation, derived from the different worldviews of instructors and students in their association with Open eClass and emerge suggestions for improvements. The results indicate that Open eClass is used to facilitate instructors convey material and information to students, while neither meaningful communication and interaction nor collaboration is performed adequately through the platform. However, the users have expressed a positive disposition towards utilizing these capabilities of the platform, as they recognize their fundamental importance to learning, especially during an economic crisis which constraints the physical presence of many students in classes. Therefore, the study proposes three, accommodating to all, systemically desirable and culturally feasible changes that could improve the situation, mainly based on pedagogy. Overall, this research contributes to existing knowledge about the usage of LMS regarding interaction and communication in a blended learning environment by providing a holistic view on users’ perceptions and identifying changes capable to bring about improvements.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 113 p.
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Blended Learning, Learning Management System (LMS), Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL), Learning Theories, Interaction, Communication, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), Open eClass, Greece
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45286OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-45286DiVA: diva2:839293
Subject / course
Master Programme in Information Systems, 120 credits
2015-06-16, B3037, 15:45 (English)
Mörtberg, Christina, Professor