[publication] An Introduction to Open Educational Resources and Their Implementation in Higher Education Worldwide #OER #OpenEducation #tugraz #research

We are thrilled to announce that our article about “An Introduction to Open Educational Resources and Their Implementation in Higher Education Worldwide” was published in the Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society.

Abstract:
The digitization of (higher) education has exposed copyright infringement issues, as the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials has become more visible. This article explores the importance of open educational resources (OER) in higher education, focusing on their development, how they are understood, and the opportunities they offer. OER are defined as learning materials released under open licenses, allowing no-cost access, reuse, adaptation, and redistribution. The article discusses the OER movement, its milestones, and its integration into educational practice. It also presents arguments for OER: they enable free access to education, improve teaching practice, diminish legal issues, and foster open science. In addition, it highlights criticisms, including resistance from traditional publishers and concerns about marketing influence. The article concludes by examining current OER implementation in higher education and its promise of innovation. While OER are increasingly adopted, proprietary resources still dominate. The article emphasizes the need for educators to use open licenses meaningfully and innovatively and presents research on OER acceptance and usage. The monitoring of OER development in higher education is essential, but approaches may vary across countries.

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Atenas, J., Ebner, M., Ehlers, U.-D., Nascimbeni, F., & Schön, S. (2024). An Introduction to Open Educational Resources and Their Implementation in Higher Education Worldwide. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society4(4). https://doi.org/10.34669/wi.wjds/4.4.3

[publication] Handpose Estimation Based Learning Academy for Improving Typing Efficiency by Using Mobile Technologies #tugraz #research

Mathias did his master thesis about an innovative and new idea – using neural networks to estimate the hand pose while learning typing. Now we published his research in the International Journal of Interactive Mobile technologies.

Abstract:
This paper focuses on enhancing touch-typing skills through state-of-the-art deep learning technologies. It has been demonstrated that writing posture can be assessed using integrated keyboard detection and hand pose estimation in real-time browser environments. A unique dataset was created for training the object detection model to recognize individual keyboards. The object detection models were trained using various architectures and then assessed for both inference time and accuracy. In addition, a hand pose estimation was implemented to precisely recognize 21 knuckle points of the hand and compute their exact positions. In order to implement object detection and hand pose estimation, a stream transmission of the keyboard and hand scene is required. For this purpose, server-client communication via a QR code connection is implemented to transfer the stream between two mobile devices. Based on these deep learning technologies, a mobile web app was developed that offers 170 learning courses for touch-typing training. With the help of the Typing Learning Academy prototype, a study was conducted as part of this paper to evaluate the usability and utility of the learning app. This research demonstrates the potential for enhancing the development of writing skills through touch typing through the utilization of advanced deep learning technologies.

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Mattersberger, M., Wachtler, J., & Ebner, M. (2024). Handpose Estimation Based Learning Academy for Improving Typing Efficiency by Using Mobile Technologies. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM)18(10), pp. 59–70. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v18i10.49037

[publication] Supporting Sustainable and User-Oriented Educational Technology Innovation with the University Innovation Canvas #tugraz #digitaltransformation #research

Our contribution titled “Supporting Sustainable and User-Oriented Educational Technology Innovation with the University Innovation Canvas” was published in the newest issue of Education Sciences.

Abstract:
Innovating higher education teaching and learning is challenging due to structural, cultural, and resource-related reasons, and research indicates that university innovation benefits from a bottom-up approach as well as strategic alignment with university objectives. In this paper, we investigate such bottom-up innovation processes within higher education as supported by a specific tool: the University Innovation Canvas (UIC). Adapted from the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas, the UIC is designed to promote educational technology innovation and foster alignment of the innovation process with strategic objectives of the university: namely, sustainability and user orientation. An evaluation of the UIC based on interview and questionnaire data shows that its usage differs between innovation teams (on paper vs. digital, individual vs. collaborative, co-located vs. remotely, and synchronous vs. asynchronous). UIC usability is linked with these differences and with teams’ experience in realizing innovations. Overall, the UIC is perceived to be useful by (particularly, less-experienced) innovation teams and is successful at supporting sustainable and user-oriented innovations, as 14/15 innovations are still in use after up to four years since completion. To maximize its potential, more effort needs to be devoted to improving understanding of the UIC and supporting different workflows of innovation teams in the future.

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Bangerl, M.; Dennerlein, S.; Maitz, K.; Nitschke, M.; Ebner, M.; Pammer-Schindler, V. Supporting Sustainable and User-Oriented Educational Technology Innovation with the University Innovation Canvas. Educ. Sci. 202414, 528. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14050528

[publication] Analysis of Learners’ Emotions in E-Learning Environments Based on Cognitive Sciences #research

Our article about “Analysis of Learners’ Emotions in E-Learning Environments Based on Cognitive Sciences” got published in the International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM):

Abstract:
The present study aimed to examine students’ emotions in e-learning classes through facial expressions and investigate the influence of different instructional methods on students’ emotional responses. In this study, we examined the facial expressions of 17 undergraduate students using three different methods of presenting educational content (PowerPoint, video, and Kahoot) in online classes and analyzed the data with face reader software. The findings demonstrated that students experienced various positive and negative emotions with different methods of content delivery. Furthermore, comparing the three methods revealed that the Kahoot method elicited the highest average of positive emotions among students compared to the other two methods. This difference can be attributed to the visual attractiveness and interactive nature of the Kahoot environment. Additionally, this study highlights that simply incorporating multimedia materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and videos, is not sufficient to enhance effectiveness and cultivate positive emotions in e-learning. While multimedia materials serve as supportive tools and enhance visualization, interaction at various levels (content, teacher, peers, etc.) is necessary. Nevertheless, the significance of this research lies in the innovative application of a tool for analyzing emotions in online learning classrooms, thereby enhancing the measurement of genuine and objective emotional responses in e-learning environments.

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Sahraie, F., Rezvanfar, A., Movahedmohammadi, S. H., Ebner, M., Alambeigi, A., & Farrokhnia, M. (2024). Analysis of Learners’ Emotions in E-Learning Environments Based on Cognitive Sciences. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM)18(07), pp. 34–52. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v18i07.48471

[publication] Evolving Digital Skills of first-year students: A Pre- and Post-Covid Analysis #zfhe #research

I am very happy that together with my colleagues we contribute to the newest issue of the “Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung” about Digital Skills. Therefore we present our latest results concerning the skills of our beginners at Graz University of Technology:

Digital skills are necessary for first-year students at Austrian universities. This paper unveils results from two surveys among first-year students at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz): Pre-Covid-19 data (n=921) is derived from a larger study on digital literacy among first-year students in Styria (Janschitz et al., 2021, N=4,676). The same questions were posed in the 2021 ‘Welcome Days’ survey after the Covid-19 distance learning phases (n=1,207). Surprisingly, the only significant change is a noticeable increase of skills concerning the digital signature. This article additionally presents the development of a lecture on digital skills that was implemented at TU Graz as a massive open online course (MOOC).

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Ebner, M., Mair, B., Nagler, W., Schön, S., & Edelsbrunner, S. (2024). Evolving Digital Skills of first-year students: A Pre- and Post-Covid Analysis. Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung19(1), 45–65. https://doi.org/10.21240/zfhe/19-01/03

[publication] Online-Lernort iMooX.at: Neun Jahre Onlinekurse auf der nationalen österreichischen MOOC-Plattform #imoox

Wir haben alle Fragebögen die auf iMooX.at ausgefüllt worden sind und entsprechend vergleichbar waren zusammengeführt – seit Beginn 2014 sind dies immerhin stolze 30.000 Stück gewesen. Die Auswertung ist jetzt in einem kurzen Beitrag veröffentlicht worden und hier einmal das Fazit:

Die vorgestellten Daten aus rund 30.000 Fragebögen von MOOC-Teilnehmerinnen machen deutlich, dass MOOCs auf iMooX.at zumindest für diejenigen, die die Kurse auch abgeschlossen haben, sehr positiv erlebt werden und in hohem Maße auch empfohlen werden. Betrachtet man die Daten zu den Nutzerinnen, fällt auf, dass die MOOC-Teilnehmer*innen häufig hohe Bildungsabschlüsse haben und oft auf Grund von Berufstätigkeit, ihres Wohnorts, aufgrund von Betreuungspflichten und fast zehn Prozent auch wegen eines körperlichen Handicaps Online-Kurse nutzen. MOOCs bzw. die MOOC-Plattform iMooX.at erscheinen vor diesem Hintergrund nicht primär als weitere Mitbewerberinnen auf dem Markt der Weiterbildungsanbieter, sondern v.a. als komplementäres Bildungsangebot für viele Personen, für die herkömmliche Weiterbildungsangebote in Präsenz vor Ort nur schwer oder nicht erreichbar sind. Es ist anzumerken, dass die Kursteilnahme bei iMooX.at kostenfrei ist. Da es keine entsprechende Frage im Fragebogen gibt, wissen wir nicht, inwieweit dies ein relevantes Kriterium bei der Wahl des Weiterbildungsangebots darstellt.

Eine interessante Grafik ist u.a. die Verteilung der Lernenden mit dem Ergebnis, dass iMooX.at auch den ländlichen Raum hervorragend abdecken kann:

Hier geht es zum Vollbeitrag:
[Beitrag bei der Zeitschrift “die österreichische Volkshochschule”]
[Beitrag bei ResearchGate]

Referenz: Schön, Sandra/Ebner, Martin/ Mair, Bettina & Edelsbrunner, Sarah (2024): Online-Lernort iMooX.at: neun Jahre Onlinekurse auf der nationalen österreichischen MOOC-Plattform. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule. Magazin für Erwachsenenbildung. Winter 2023/24, Heft 281/74. Jg., Wien. Druck-Version: Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Wien

[publication] Exploring the Utilization of Online Resources and Experiences in Language Learning: A Study of Indonesian Students Learning German as a Foreign Language #languagelearning #TEL

Our research about “Exploring the Utilization of Online Resources and Experiences in Language Learning: A Study of Indonesian Students Learning German as a Foreign Language” is now online available.

Abstract: This study examines the frequency of online resource utilization among German language students at Universitas Negeri Malang (Indonesia) who are at the B1 level. The aim of the research is to investigate the usage of websites and applications during German language studies. Standardized questions were administered to a sample of 54 students to gather information regarding their engagement with online resources throughout their coursework. Additionally, feedback on selected online resources was collected and assessed. The findings reveal that Indonesian students demonstrate a preference for using videos featuring interviews with native German speakers, alongside the inclusion of supportive subtitles to enhance comprehension. However, a significant challenge arises due to the lack of materials specifically tailored for Indonesian learners, which also clearly indicate the intended language proficiency level.

[preprint @ ResearchGate]
[publication @ publisher’s homepage]

Reference: Ebner, M., Schön, S., Hidayat, E. & Ardiyani, D.K. (2023). Exploring the Utilization of Online Resources and Experiences in Language Learning: A Study of Indonesian Students Learning German as a Foreign Language. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning (pp. 1085-1090). Vienna, Austria: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 17, 2023 from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/222623/.

[publication] Analysis of Students’ Behavior Watching iMooX Courses with Interactive Elements #mooc

We published an article about “Analysis of Students’ Behavior Watching iMooX Courses with Interactive Elements” in the iJET-Journal:

Abstract:
Digital learning technologies are becoming increasingly important for our modern educational system. In addition to teaching methods that incorporate interactivity, these approaches benefit students’ overall learning experience and success by enhancing their attention and fostering a positive attitude towards the learning content being presented. Interactivity comes in various forms, and while a combination of distinct activities is beneficial, some are more effective at engaging students. Using digital technologies in an educational environment opens up new possibilities for students, teachers, and researchers. It provides new insights into learning behavior and enables the collection of interaction information. This data could, for example, show how often a video was paused or at what point students lost interest and left, but gaining such knowledge requires further processing. The use of visualizations that depict behavior, such as the change of attention over time, can be an effective way to present extracted information. Therefore, our research focuses on developing an application that enables us to generate various visualizations from the collected data. A single command-line input will be sufficient to create them. Furthermore, a video course was created from which we collected behavioral data. Our results aim to showcase the benefits of interactivity, and that the created figures can be used for data evaluation verifies the versatility of the generated visualizations

[full article @ journal’s homepage]
[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Dohr, D., Wachtler, J., & Ebner, M. (2023). Analysis of Students’ Behavior Watching iMooX Courses with Interactive Elements. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 18(24), pp. 4–18. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v18i24.46455

[publication] Impact Assessment of a MOOC Platform Considerations, Development, and Results #imoox #emoocs

Our contribution on “Impact Assessment of a MOOC Platform Considerations, Development, and Results” was published at EMOOCs 2023 conference.

Abstract:
In 2020, the project “iMooX-The MOOC Platform as a Service for all Austrian Universities” was launched. It is co-financed by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research. After half of the funding period, the project management wants to assess and share results and outcomes but also address (potential) additional “impacts” of the MOOC platform. Building upon work on OER impact assessment, this contribution describes in detail how the specific iMooX.at approach of impact measurement was developed. Literature review, stakeholder analysis, and problem-based interviews were the base for developing a questionnaire addressing the defined key stakeholder “MOOC creators”. The article also presents the survey results in English for the first time but focuses more on the development, strengths, and weaknesses of the selected methods. The article is seen as a contribution to the further development of impact assessment for MOOC platforms.

[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Ebner, M., Edelsbrunner, S., Hohla-Sejkora, K., Mair, B., Schön. S., Lipp, S., Steinkellner, I., Stojcevic, I. & Zwiauer, C. (2023) Impact Assessment of a MOOC Platform Considerations, Development, and Results. EMOOCs 2023, 171-186 [.pdf]

[publication] A Metastandard for the International Exchange of MOOCs – The MOOChub as First Prototype #imoox #moochub #emoocs

Our contribution about “A Metastandard for the International Exchange of MOOCs – The MOOChub as First Prototype” for the EMOOCs 2023 was published.

Abstract:
The MOOChub is a joined web-based catalog of all relevant German and Austrian MOOC platforms that lists well over 750 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Automatically building such a catalog requires that all partners describe and publicly offer the metadata of their courses in the same way. The paper at hand presents the genesis of the idea to establish a common metadata standard and the story of its subsequent development. The result of this effort is, first, an open-licensed de-facto-standard, which is based on existing commonly used standards and second, a first prototypical platform that is using this standard: the MOOChub, which lists all courses of the involved partners. This catalog is searchable and provides a more comprehensive overview of basically all MOOCs that are offered by German and Austrian MOOC platforms. Finally, the upcoming developments to further optimize the catalog and the metadata standard are reported.

[full article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Staubitz, T., Serth, S., Max, T., Ebner, M., Koschutnig-Ebner, M., Rampelt, F., von Stellen, A. & Wittke, A. (2023) A Metastandard for the International Exchange of MOOCs – The MOOChub as First Prototype. EMOOCs 2023, 147-161 [.pdf]