Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Model of Strategic E-Learning: Understanding and Evaluating Student E-Learning from Metacognitive Perspectives

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Model of Strategic E-Learning: Understanding and Evaluating Student E-Learning from Metacognitive Perspectives

Article excerpt

Background

During the past decade, researchers, schools and governments around the world have advocated enhancing student learning by using digital tools, i.e. the e-learning. The biggest advantage of e-learning is that it gives students active learning opportunities. Students are believed to be able to gain greater control over their own learning in e-learning compared to traditional learning. Growing numbers of online instructional systems have been developed during the recent years; however, studies of online instructions provided in these systems did not exhibit consistent results in terms of improving or supporting student learning. This may be related to student learning strategies used for Internet-based learning (McCormack & Jones, 1998). When students shift their learning from traditional to online learning environments, they are challenged by different learning and interaction methods. If students adopt effective and efficient approaches for e-learning, they can enhance both their e-learning achievement and their e-learning motivation.

Previous researches have noticed the role of learning strategies in Internet- based learning. It has been observed that student learning strategy is one of the factors impacting student online learning achievement (Shih, Ingevritsen, Pleasants, Flickinger & Brown, 1998). Wallace (2000) and his colleagues indicate that online information seeking is a complex and difficult process for students and developing students' understanding of content through use of the Internet is a challenge for students and teachers. Tsai and Tsai (2003) further report that student Internet self- efficacy and metacognitive strategies play important roles in student online inquiry learning. Ligorio (2001) considers that the various communication styles integrated into online learning activities are valued only when students are aware of the technologies and tools associated with each communication style. For example, Frank and his colleagues (2003) examined the process of online learning via e-mail for elementary students and concluded that students encountered technological problems and social problems. Technological problems included anxiety regarding using computers for learning, difficulties in using email and the Internet to complete homework, and the difficulty of solving problems when computer systems are down. Regarding social problems, the most significant social problems related to feelings of isolation resulting from online learning. Most elementary students still needed parental help to finish their homework. Lee (2001) examined the styles of learners accustomed to online learning environments and further found that students who recognized online learning may have poor online learning achievement. These literatures imply that online learners are challenged by new problems which they may have never encountered before in traditional learning environments; for example, how to handle the feelings of isolation and how to solve online technological problems by themselves. Recent research explore online inquiry- based learning and claim that higher-level cognitive strategies facilitate student knowledge construction (Salovaara, 2005) and further develop scaffoldings to enhance the development of student metacognitive strategies (Kramarski & Gutman, 2006; Quintana, Zhang & Krajcik, 2005). These researches reveal that new approaches and cognitive strategies may need to be developed particularly for online learning circumstances. Furthermore, positive attitude towards online learning is revealed not sufficient for successful online learning. This suggests that, in addition to affective variables, online learning may be simultaneously influenced by cognitive and behavioral variables. According to the above, students may be required for new learning strategies and skills so that they can become effective and successful online learners.

Features of Internet-based learning environments require online learners for new approaches to achieve their goals or requirements of online learning; however, research literature regarding online learning strategies remains extremely limited. …

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