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Title: Exploring the affordances of e-learning for teaching and learning: A case study in higher education with special education teachers in Singapore
Authors: Wettasinghe, Cyraine Marissa
Pratima Majal
Keywords: Affordances of e-learning
Singapore teachers
Online social interactions
Issue Date: Jan-2012
Citation: Paper presented at the 10th Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii, 5-8 January 2012
Abstract: The advantage of e-learning environments is that it allows for enhanced interaction amongst learners and educator. While we are aware of the advantages of this technology, more research can be done in this field of technology to add to current body of knowledge of pedagogical strategies in an effort to create engaging and meaningful learning environments for special educators. The objective of this study is to begin to examine the affordances of elearning as part of a blended delivery model for a group of in-service special educators to supplement traditional face to face classroom sessions and to consider strategies of integrating it into teaching and learning. This study utilized the Blackboard Learning Management System at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. The research objective for this study was : what evidence is there that e-learning promotes social interactions to support learning processes? Data collection was done via the analysis of the archives of e-learning sessions and an online survey conducted to gather students and lecturers feedback on their perceptions of e-learning. The outcomes explored how e-learning benefitted learners in terms of enhanced interaction patterns, motivation, and collaborative learning (Bates, 2005) and how a sense of togetherness and shared experience or camaraderie helped offset the danger of attrition where students study both remotely and individually.
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