Submission of Thesis

I have not posted in a while as I have been busy finishing up my thesis. I have just submitted so will catch up with some blog posts over the next few days as it has been a busy few weeks. Below is the abstract for my thesis. If you are interested in reading the thesis (undergoing review now) then email me and I will gladly send you a copy.

Thesis Abstract: Supporting Seamless Learning: Students’ Use of Multiple Devices in Open and Distance Learning Universities

The widespread access to mobile and personal technologies, together with internet services, has created the potential for the continuity of learning experiences across different technologies, contexts and settings. These digital technologies include both fixed (desktops and laptops) and handheld technologies (tablets and smartphones). The use of emerging technologies in education is associated with emerging educational practices. Educators need to be aware of not only what their students learn, but how and why as well. However, there is a lack of awareness of how students use their different devices for learning and how Open and Distance Learning (ODL) universities can effectively support them to do so. The purpose of this exploratory study is to understand the learning habits and behaviours of students using different devices for learning. This is to determine how students move between technologies, locations and learning activities and the types of support they require. The research uses the concept of seamless learning as a theoretical framework, where students can continue their learning experiences across different contexts. A case study approach was followed. Two ODL universities were explored, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain and the University of South Africa in South Africa. A mixed methods design was used with a sequential explanatory strategy. Quantitative data (online surveys) was first collected from undergraduate students in each case to identify the significant variables and relationships. This data was analysed using descriptive, correlation and regression analyses. This was followed by the collection of qualitative data (semi-structured interviews) to build on the quantitative data and to explain the relationships. This data was analysed using a grounded theory approach. The results indicate the students are using multiple devices in multiple locations to perform different learning activities. Although students make use of technologies in different ways (according to their needs), some patterns emerged. Access to devices is no longer an issue as the majority of students have access to three or four digital devices for learning. Students use their devices in a variety of public and private locations, yet home is still the preferred location for study. The more portable a device, the more places it is used.  Fixed devices are seen as central devices for study purposes and used for almost all learning activities. However, handheld devices are seen as supplementary devices and are used for fewer, more specific, learning activities. The results also indicate that students use their devices together to be more efficient and productive. The use of devices together can be classified as sequential (moving from one device to another) or simultaneous (using two or more devices at the same time). The movement between devices is facilitated by cloud services that enable automatic synchronisation. However, internet access is still an issue for some students. The use of multiple devices, together with the associated software and services, are affecting study habits. Conversely, most educators do not take students’ use of multiple devices into account in the design, facilitation or support of learning experiences. Students using multiple devices require both academic and technological support to succeed. The findings have been synthesised to propose a framework for student use of multi-devices for learning to assist educators to design better learning experiences or offer improved support to students. The main influencers of how frequently a device is used for learning are: i) the learning activity or goal; ii) the location or environment; and iii) the devices the student accesses and uses for learning. However, the frequency is also influenced, to a lesser extent, by the time available, the perceived importance of the device to academic success, the level of digital expertise and the device affordances. The majority of students are able to move between devices and contexts and continue their learning experiences seamlessly. However, this does mean there is a minority of students who cannot yet learn seamlessly. These students may require additional levels of support. These findings indicate that ODL universities need to refine their learning design and support services to better meet the needs of students using multiple devices.

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eLearning and ODL Journal Rankings 2016

The ISI Web of Science JCR (by Thomson Reuters) and SCImago (by SCOPUS) journal rankings for 2016 have recently been released. I have gone through the Education categories and listed the journals that are relevant for research in e-learning and open and distance learning. The list is organised by quartile and each journal shows the impact factor or journal ranking and whether it is an open access journal.

2016 Journal Citation Rankings (Category: Education and Educational Research)

  • Q1: Internet and Higher Education – 4.24
  • Q1: Computers and Education – 3.82
  • Q1: International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning – 3.47
  • Q1: British Journal of Educational Technology – 2.41
  • Q1: IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies – 2.27
  • Q1: Learning, Media and Technology – 2.04
  • Q1: International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning – 1.73 (Open Access)
  • Q1: Interactive Learning Environments – 1.67
  • Q1: Distance Education – 1.59
  • Q2: Educational Technology and Society – 1.58 (Open Access)
  • Q2: Journal of Computing in Higher Education – 1.44
  • Q2: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning – 1.25
  • Q3: Technology Pedagogy and Education – 1.07
  • Q3: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology – 0.85 (Open Access)
  • Q3: Educational Technology Research and Development – 0.73
  • Q3: Journal of Educational Computing Research – 0.68

2016 SCImago Journal Rank (Category: Education)

Quartile 1

  • Internet and Higher Education – 2.83
  • Computers and Education – 2.61
  • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL) – 1.65
  • International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning – 1.47
  • Journal of Research on Technology in Education – 1.44
  • Learning, Media and Technology – 1.39
  • British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET) – 1.33
  • Educational Technology Research and Development (ETRD) – 1.31
  • Educational Technology and Society (ETS) – 1.10
  • Journal of Computing in Higher Education – 1.10
  • International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) – 1.03
  • Distance Education – 1.00
  • IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies – 0.93
  • Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) – 0.85
  • Interactive Learning Environments – 0.85
  • Technology, Pedagogy and Education – 0.84
  • Research in Learning Technology – 0.84
  • International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning – 0.80

Quartile 2

  • Technology, Knowledge and Learning – 0.64
  • International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation – 0.64
  • Journal of Educational Computing Research – 0.61
  • American Journal of Distance Education – 0.52
  • Education and Information Technologies – 0.49
  • International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education – 0.43
  • Electronic Journal of e-Learning – 0.42
  • Open Learning – 0.38
  • Digital Education Review – 0.36
  • E-Learning and Digital Media – 0.34
  • Journal of Interactive Online Learning – 0.33
  • International Journal of Information and Learning Technology – 0.32

Quartile 3

  • International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning – 0.30
  • Knowledge Management and E-Learning – 0.30
  • Journal of Educators Online – 0.29
  • Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (now = Online Learning) – – 0.26
  • International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning – 0.23
  • Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education – 0.22
  • International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments – 0.22
  • International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning – 0.22
  • Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – 0.22
  • International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education –  0.19
  • Journal of Information Technology Education:Research – 0.19

Quartile 4

  • Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society (JeLKS) – 0.18
  • Ubiquitous Learning – 0.17
  • International Journal of Learning Technology – 0.16
  • International Journal of Distance Education Technologies – 0.16
  • International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies – 0.15
  • International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development – 0.13
  • International Journal of Technologies in Learning – 0.13
  • Interactive Technology and Smart Education – 0.13
  • Journal of Technology Education – 0.12
  • Computers in Education Journal – 0.11

Presentation: Distance Students Usage of Multiple Devices for Learning

My presentation at the eLearning Update Conference, at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg on 7 September 2016. The presentation shares the initial results from a survey of UOC students regarding their learning behaviours using multiple devices.

eLearning and ODL Journal Rankings 2015

The ISI Web of Science JCR (by Thomson Reuters) and SCImago (by SCOPUS) journal rankings for 2015 have recently been released. I have gone through the Education categories and listed the journals that are relevant for research in e-learning and open and distance learning. The list is organised by quartile and each journal shows the impact factor or journal ranking and whether it is an open access journal.

2015 Journal Citation Rankings (Category: Education and Educational Research)

  • Q1: Computers and Education – 2.88
  • Q1: Internet and Higher Education – 2.72
  • Q1: International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning – 2.20
  • Q1: Distance Education – 2.02
  • Q1: Learning, Media and Technology – 1.70
  • Q1: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning – 1.68
  • Q1: British Journal of Educational Technology – 1.63
  • Q2: International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning – 1.24 (Open Access)
  • Q2: Interactive Learning Environments – 1.18
  • Q2: Educational Technology Research and Development – 1.17
  • Q2: IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies – 1.13
  • Q2: Educational Technology and Society – 1.10 (Open Access)
  • Q2: Technology Pedagogy and Education – 0.98
  • Q3: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology – 0.80 (Open Access)
  • Q3: Journal of Educational Computing Research – 0.64
  • Q4: Journal of Computing in Higher Education – 0.50

2015 SCImago Journal Rank (Category: Education)

Quartile 1

  • Internet and Higher Education – 3.56
  • Computers and Education – 3.14
  • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning – 2.39
  • Educational Technology Research and Development – 1.82
  • International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning – 1.64
  • British Journal of Educational Technology – 1.61
  • Learning, Media and Technology – 1.40
  • International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning – 1.35 (Open Access)
  • Australasian Journal of Educational Technology – 1.33 (Open Access)
  • Educational Technology and Society – 1.33 (Open Access)
  • Distance Education – 1.33
  • Research in Learning Technology – 1.32 (Open Access)
  • Technology, Pedagogy and Education – 0.90
  • Interactive Learning Environments – 0.85
  • Journal of Research on Technology in Education – 0.81
  • International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning – 0.80
  • IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies 0.73

Quartile 2

  • Journal of Interactive Online Learning – 0.66 (Open Access)
  • Online Learning – 0.58 (Open Access)
  • Journal of Educational Computing Research – 0.55
  • Journal of Information Technology Education:Research – 0.54 (Open Access)
  • Education and Information Technologies – 0.53 (Open Access)
  • Electronic Journal of e-Learning – 0.52 (Open Access)
  • International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation – 0.45
  • American Journal of Distance Education – 0.40
  • Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – 0.38 (Open Access)
  • International Journal of Information and Learning Technology – 0.38
  • Journal of Computing in Higher Education – 0.36

Quartile 3

  • Journal of Technology Education – 0.32 (Open Access)
  • Open Learning – 0.32
  • Journal of Educators Online (Open Access) – 0.30
  • International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development – 0.30
  • Knowledge Management and E-Learning – 0.29 (Open Access)
  • International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning – 0.27
  • Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education – 0.26 (Open Access)
  • E-Learning and Digital Media – 0.25
  • International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning – 0.21 (Open Access)
  • Digital Education Review (Open Access) – 0.21
  • International Journal of Learning Technology – 0.20
  • RUSC Universities and Knowledge Society Journal – 0.18 (Open Access)
  • International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education – 0.18

Quartile 4

  • International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments – 0.18
  • Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society – 0.17 (Open Access)
  • Computers in Education Journal – 0.15
  • International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies – 0.15
  • International Journal of Distance Education Technologies – 0.14
  • Ubiquitous Learning – 0.11
  • Interactive Technology and Smart Education – 0.11