This second Open Praxis issue in 2020 includes nine research papers, authored by 32 researchers from nine different countries: Turkey, USA, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Spain and China.
In the first paper (Development and validation of a scale to measure volition for learning), John M. Keller from the USA and Hasan Ucar and Alper Tolga Kumtepe from Turkey, present a new valid and reliable scale for measuring volition for learning, including two factors: volition planning and volition control, of online and face to face learners.
The next three papers, all of them from Turkey, present similar quantitative studies that have used different scales for data collection, and correlation, linear regression and/or structural equation modelling for data analysis. They examine different theoretical models to explain learners’ engagement, achievement or satisfaction in e-learning environments. The three studies include e-learning readiness, conceptualized in different ways, as an independent variable.
In the first paper (Exploring the Predictive Role of E-Learning Readiness and E-Learning Style on Student Engagement), Esin Ergün and Fatma Betül Kurnaz Adıbatmaz from Karabuk University, use multiple regression analysis to explore the relation between two variables and the students’ engagement during the learning process.
In the second paper (Online Distance Learning in Higher Education: E-learning Readiness as a Predictor of Academic Achievement), Emel Dikbas Torun from Pamukkale University, focuses on the relation between e-readiness and achievement, understood as the average of the midterm and final grades of an English as a Foreing Learning course.
In the third paper (Examining e-Learners’ Preferences and Readiness Satisfaction: A Holistic Modelling Approach), Hale Ilgaz and Yasemin Gülbahar from Ankara University, test the validity of a theoretical model that relates learning preferences, e-readiness and satisfaction at the end of the semester in an e-learning environment.
Following these quantitative research studies, Isa Bingol, Engin Kursun and Halil Kayaduman (Factors for Success and Course Completion in Massive Open Online Courses through the Lens of Participant Types), from Turkey, use a qualitative approach to explore the factors that lead to completing (finishing) a MOOC and to succeeding (completing a MOOC successfully). Through interviews with learners with different level of involvement in MOOCs, they explore personal, technical, instructional, course design and affordability related dimensions that affect course completion and success in MOOCs.
The next four papers relate, specifically, to resources that can be used in open and distance education; the first three papers refer to open educational resources (OER), going from an international comparative perspective to a specific course case study.
A large international team led by Victoria I. Marín and linked to the Center for Open Education Research (COER) at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany), presents A Comparative Study of National Infrastructures for Digital (Open) Educational Resources in Higher Education. The paper reports about the situation in 10 countries, providing a comparative overview and covering topics such as national policies for OER and quality assurance of open educational resources in higher education.
In the next paper (Effective Pedagogical Strategies for STEM Education from Instructors’ Perspective: OER for Educators), Meina Zhu, from the USA, uses 15 MIT OCW Courses from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as inputs to explore and identify the pedagogical strategies, the assessment methods and the challenges the instructors of the courses present in the documents available at the MIT OCW site (‘instructor insights’). The findings compile a set of strategies from a pioneer institution in relation to OER that provide insight to researchers and practitioners.
Caitlin Finlayson (Opening World Regional Geography: A Case Study), from the USA, undertakes a survey-based case study that shows the positive benefits of the shift from a traditional textbook to an open one in a specific course. She highlights students’ perceptions and explains how this textbook change facilitated the whole course redesign, having a clear impact on the teaching practices.
Finally (The usability of augmented reality in open and distance learning systems: A qualitative Delphi study), Hakan Altınpulluk, Mehmet Kesim and Gulsun Kurubacak, from Turkey, present a qualitative study based on universal design principles to examine the usability of augmented reality in open and distance learning environments. The Delphi study leads to the identification of 92 themes to consider in the use of augmented reality in education, that are presented in a complete table in the paper.
Special thanks from Open Praxis to the authors and reviewers who have contributed to this issue. We wish the different contributions, that provide useful resources, models and recommendations, will foster reflection, discussion and good practice in open and distance education.