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    Towards a Blended Strategy for Quality Distance Education Life-Long Learning Courses – The Patras Model
    (Academic Conferences International Limited, ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Berki, Eleni; Valtanen, Juri-Petri; Amanatides, Eleftherios; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός
    Τμήμα Χημικών Μηχανικών (Δημοσ. Π.Π. σε συνέδρια)
    The utilization of Technology Enhanced Learning and more specifically of Distance Education for Life-Long Learning and Continuous Professional Development are at the epicenter/focus of European policies for the improvement of the delivery of Vocational Education and Training. In this context, one of the important challenges is the design of versatile quality assurance strategies for training; providers that can guide the development of eLearning programs that achieve real impact in the participants’ lives. The University of Patras has launched a project for the provision of short, accessible, certified distance life-long learning programmes. The main pillars of this project are Excellence, Specialized Personalized Training at cutting edge subjects, Quality, Deep Learning and Innovation. Quality is perceived as a vibrant, dynamic process that is evaluated in the eye of the beholder (learner). Deep Learning goes beyond (superficial) knowledge increase: it aims at the development of transformative knowledge, meaning and metacognitive skills. In this study we identify, propose and evaluate preconditions, criteria and strategies to achieve high quality blended learning online courses based on the relevant experience of the University of Patras’ Educational Centre for Life-Long Learning (KEDIVIM). We present the methods used to assess the quality of the eLearning programmes, key findings of the evaluation process as well as early results of a research study on the quality of learning. The formative evaluation process was conducted by external assessors based on Context, Input, Process, Product approach. The evaluation instruments were online questionnaires, structured and semi-structured observation. The research study on quality was conducted by using an online questionnaire and aims at estimating the level of participants satisfaction using interactive learning methods such as collaborative learning. Early results of the study suggest that the project lead to the rapid provision of eLearning programmes that used successfully active learning methods to achieve high learner satisfaction and address training needs and skills gaps.
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    The case of literacy motivation : playful 3D immersive learning environments and problem-focused education for blended digital storytelling
    (IGI Global, ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Berki, Eleni; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός
    Δημοσιεύσεις σε Περιοδικά - ΒΚΠ
    The University of Patras' Library Services designed and offered to primary and secondary schools the pilot educational program “From the Ancient to the Modern Tablets”, featuring immersive multimedia learning experiences about the book history. The pilot program consisted of three stages: a playful library tour, followed by an interactive game-based digital storytelling activity with game elements, and a collaborative creative reflective hands-on activity. Utilizing the avatar psychology power, the visualization and simulation affordances of 3D immersive learning environments and the appeal of storytelling and game-based learning, the “gamified” blended narrative on the book evolution enabled learning as problem-focused, embedded and context-generated. An additional research study was conducted to investigate teachers opinions regarding the effectiveness of the 3D Virtual Immersive Environment(s); this focused on students' learning and thinking skills in the socio-cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain. This work exposes the pedagogical design, presents the socio-technical development and reflects on the initial research findings.
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    Participative design of qMOOCs with deep learning and 3d virtual immersive environments : the case of MOOCAgora
    (European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning (EA-TEL), ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Berki, Eleni; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός
    Δημοσιεύσεις σε Συνέδρια/Ημερίδες - ΒΚΠ
    The recommendation of the Digital Agenda Assembly 2012 to address the development of suitable socio-technical skills and expertise through open education and MOOCs in order to decrease unemployment in Europe faces three challenges: a) increase MOOC quantity, b) speed-up MOOC delivery and c) improve MOOC quality. The paper argues that a crowd-sourced open education ecosystem, called MOOCAgora, can address the first two challenges by implementing an 8-stage MOOC for a realistic employment business circle. Furthermore the authors propose a new, quality-centered format of MOOCs, the qMOOC, in order to address challenge c, above, as well as qualification and web skills needs. qMOOCs can use a modified version of the MOOC canvas framework for qualifications and competences that can be achieved through three educational components/paradigms: deep learning experiences, problem-focused education and 3d virtual immersive environments.
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    Designing and implementing a big open online course by using a 3d virtual immersive environment : lessons learned
    (IATED, ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Berki, Eleni; Valtanen, Juri-Petri; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός
    Δημοσιεύσεις σε Συνέδρια/Ημερίδες - ΒΚΠ
    Open Education (OE) is a distance learning approach that was strategically chosen by the European Commission (EC) to encourage cost-effective training, upskilling and reskilling of large population groups and workforce with speed and flexibility. Institutions and businesses design and offer Open Online Courses (OOCs) to address skill gaps, organizational and societal needs. OOCs and especially Massive OOCs (MOOCs) are suffering from high rates of attrition, which is attributed to various factors such as learner isolation and lack of motivation to complete the course. Recommendations to address the retention gap in MOOCs include adopting a participation-driven approach, using game design techniques in the courses’ pedagogical design and supplementing the predominant asynchronous learning paradigm in MOOCs with synchronous learning activities and virtual meetings. The University of Patras (South Greece) organized an innovative, motivation-enhanced Big Open Online Course (BOOC), the first of its kind in Greece, with title “Open Workshop on Information Literacy”. During the course, over three hundred (300) participants acquired information literacy skills using available open learning environments and the three-dimensional virtual immersive learning environment Second Life. In this paper, the authors describe the instructional approach based on Problem-Focused Education (PFE) and Game-Based Learning (GBL), the participants’ results and the course outcomes, and the necessary pre-requisites for successful outcomes. Further, the participants’ feedback, evaluation outcomes and lessons learned are discussed. In summary, the participants achieved their set learning goals, experienced a community of practice atmosphere and appreciated the variety of active learning modes. The open publication mode of most learning activities facilitated social agency that lead to additional motivation. Finally, the course demonstrated that the effective use of virtual immersive learning environments for rich, synchronous learning, both formal and informal, can enhance OOCs.