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Wednesday, June 18 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
PSD.10 – Transforming Distance Learning into a Learning Presence, Every Tuesday Night, with Graduate Students from Across Canada

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E-learning is the realization of a world where distance education enables access to high quality education to those students who would not normally have it for several reasons, including geographical problems or scheduling challenges. Whereas technologies can provide accessibility to knowledge, ensuring the competence of professors and the motivation of students (Villar et al., 2006) is yet to be achieved.  In order to solve this problem, some argue that programmers, technicians and instructors using e-learning should put less emphasis on the technologies than on the content, in order to meet student’s needs by focusing on the educational curriculum (The Information Revolution, 2003). Maintaining student interest and attention can also be a challenge: studies have identified that low motivation among students may arise from lacking a sense of belongingness to a community of learners.  Online icebreakers (Dixon, 2006) and technologies that create 3D learning spaces to mimic the dynamics of a classroom (IsaBelle et al., 2006) can help students feel like they belong and increase student motivation.

The aim of this session is to explore the benefits and weaknesses of the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education. Discussion will be mainly based on theoretical studies on some of the consequences of the use of ICT, such as accessibility, interest of students and ICT professional development offered to professors, as well as on a case study based on issues in Military and Veteran Health Research, a webinar taught every fall term by more than 15 different lecturers to graduate students from across Canada. The effectiveness of a multimedia approach to distance learning incorporated in the webinars will be shared based on a student questionnaire measuring their motivation and perception of the usefulness of tools used during the semester.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
A241/A242 Duncan McArthur Hall

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