Call for Papers on Game Based Learning closes today!

19 May 2011

eLearning Papers seeks contributions about Game Based Learning in both sections: In-Depth and From the Field. Deadline June 3, 2011

In parallel to the phenomenal rise of the digital game development industry through time, the acceptance of games in other sectors has also been changing. Computer game skills have been increasingly applied in almost all areas of human activity within modern societies. Digital games have now been embraced by the academic research community as a research topic, as well as discovered by the education sector as a highly interactive media that can support and foster learning. As a popular and powerful media, computer games are being considered for use in various education and training settings to motivate learners, to focus their attention, and to help them to construct meaningful and permanent records of their learning.


Games have high presence in informal segments of learning – but in formal education, games are still often seen as an unserious activity and the potentials of games for learning remain undiscovered. However, when evaluating games with their children, 85% of parents believed that computer games contributed to learning as well as providing entertainment.


Beside fantasy and fun elements, games have potential to foster players’ ability to communicate and interact with others during gameplay. Computer games can help players to think critically when they are required to construct connections between virtual and real life. Game-like learning environments can provide motivating interdisciplinary learning settings, creating opportunities that could improve student collaboration skills as well as help them learn new concepts and synthesize new information. Games have also been praised for the potential they offer in learning business leadership and other skills by practicing in a safe environment.


The potential of Game Based Learning (GBL) is still underestimated. It can play a major role in renewing learning as it is perceived by learners in all levels of education and training systems. eLearning Papers seeks contributions about mixed realities, virtual worlds and gaming in both sections: In-Depth and From the Field.


We specifically invite contributions which address one or several of the following issues:

  • Innovative game based learning technologies, applications, tools and environments
  • 3D virtual worlds supporting learning, e.g. in language learning or leadership training
  • Use of mobile games and location-based technology for learning
  • Innovative applications of mixed realities for learning
  • Use of simulations in education, corporate training and military
  • Technology for massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for learning
  • Interactivity design in game based learning applications
  • Player immersion and learning
  • Case studies and best practices in GBL
  • Social and collaborative aspects of GBL
  • Implementation issues associated with GBL
  • Learning design, good gameplay and instructional theory for GBL
  • Use of role plays for learning and training
  • Assessment and evaluation in GBL
  • Gender, age, cultural and ethical issues in GBL
  • Rating of games for learning
  • Accessibility of games for learning


The article submission has been extended to June 3, 2011 The provisional date of publishing is 14 July 2011. For further information and to submit your article, please contact:


Guest editor:

Professor DI Dr. Maja Pivec, University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM in Graz, Austria


The submissions need to comply with the following guidelines:

  • Submission language: English
  • Title: must effectively and creatively communicate the content of the article and may include a subtitle.
  • Executive summary for In-depth section should not exceed 200 words.
  • Executive summary for From the field section should not exceed 50 words.
  • Keywords: up to five relevant keywords need to be included.
  • In-depth full texts: articles should range from 4,000 to 6,000 words.
  • From the field texts: texts should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • Conclusions: special importance is given to the representation of the conclusions, which should be clearly stated both in the summary and at the end of the article.
  • References: All the references must be adequately cited and listed.
  • Author profile: author name, institution, position and e-mail address must accompany each submission.
  • Images: Please send high resolution JPEG files

See the complete guidelines at: Instructions for writers

Mixed realities virtual worlds gaming study best practice simulation

An examination of the lived experience of eleven educators who have implemented open textbooks in their teaching

22 July 2014

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to attempt to understand through interpretation and reflection, the reasoning, and the lived experiences of educators who have implemented open textbooks.

The research was also attempting to understand the conception of open education held by each participant. Despite many initiatives to provide open textbooks to colleges and universities, the implementation of these projects has not been widespread. While there is a growing body of work on open textbooks, there is a gap in the literature about educators describing their own experiences with open textbooks. In order to explore this gap, the study was conducted using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to approach the investigation holistically, with the belief that a person is both embedded and embodied within a wider world. The results of the study indicate there is diversity of opinion regarding open textbooks, that personal learning networks or communities play a large role in the adoption of open textbooks, and there remains confusion or variation in interpretation about what "openness" means.

openness digital textbooks study

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) encourage passive learning among professionals

05 May 2014

The findings of a recent study carried out by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University and Harvard University show that MOOCs encourage passive learning among professionals.

Funded by the Gates Foundation, the study explored the role of MOOCs in supporting and enabling professional learning, or learning for work.


The study recommends that MOOC designers should focus on utilising the diversity of MOOC participants, and encourage professionals to link learning to their everyday work practices. Findings also show that MOOCs often miss the opportunity to exploit the knowledge and expertise that diverse groups of professionals can bring to courses.


You can read more about the findings and recommendation of the study by clicking here.

open educational practices study health care practical learning

Grant application deadline extended to May 1 for UOC Doctoral Programme in Education and ICT

08 April 2014

The Universidad Obera de Catalunya (UOC) is offering three grants for following the Education and ICT (e-Learning) Doctoral Programme for the first time in 2015 edition. The extended deadline for applications is 1 May, 2014. 


The call for the Doctoral Programme in Education and ICT (e-learning) is open for the 2014/2015 academic year. The UOC Doctoral Theses Grants Programme requires full-time dedication from the student and being physically present in the university’s facilities.


The maximum duration of the grants is four years. Grants require annual renewal. Renewal is contingent on the students benefitting from such grants achieving the training and research objectives established in each case. One of these objectives is to complete the organised research period within a maximum of three years. Another is to carry out research papers derived from the doctoral thesis.


The centre has three main lines of research: 

  • Learning processes mediated by information and communication technologies;
  • Organization, management and policies in the field of e‑learning;
  • Educational uses of technological developments for e-learning.


The programme will offer the possibility to develop Industrial Doctorates, with grants for the best applicants with agreements with companies. Doctoral students undertaking an industrial doctorate will have a university supervisor and a tutor at the company.


Prospective applicants can find information on the application procedure, and the content and organization of the doctoral programme on the website. The deadline for applications is 1 May, 2014.

doctorate study grant university

Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning

26 March 2014

IDEAL aims to study the impact of distance education on the participation of adult learners in European higher education by analysing: the current offer of distance education in Europe, and who it is designed for and the social profile and needs of current and potential distance education students.

Increasing attainment levels of adult learners in higher education is an important objective of lifelong learning. EU Member States agreed to raise the benchmark for adult participation in lifelong learning to 15% by 2020. However there is still a long way to go. As data from the Labour Force Survey demonstrate, the average rate has fallen since 2005 to only 8.9% in 2011. The IDEAL consortium believes Open and Distance Learning (ODL) can contribute significantly to making higher education more accessible to adults, and ultimately to many.


ODL is one the fastest growing and wide-spread phenomena. For adults unable to participate in on-campus education, it offers flexible learning paths that greatly enhance accessibility to higher education. Despite its considerable impact on adult education, however, it is not systematically included in analysis. This is the main goal of IDEAL: to analyse the overall potential of ODL in Europe, identify future problem areas and stimulate relevant stakeholders to focus on areas for growth. It is therefore crucial that the offer meets the objectives of adult learners, not least for feedback to providers and to policy-makers.

The consortium partners are well equipped for the task, combining vast network and expertise of both ICDE and the renowned UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, together with StudyPortals, benefitting from the DistanceLearningPortal where target groups of this project meet.

Impact distance education study adult learning higher education

ICDE sets out to research the global impact of online and distance education

14 January 2014

Although the growth of online and distance education is well-documented, there is a lack of reliable and comprehensive data on its global impact. To address this issue, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and its partners are launching the Global Online Higher Education Report (GlobalOHER). 

The initiative will start with a global survey of the members of the partner institutions, and in a second phase include all global higher education institutions. The methodology of the survey will be similar to that of the U.S. Higher Education reports. Once the initial survey is conducted (in 2014), the GlobalOHER will be published semi-annually. The report will be released under a Creative Commons license and accompanied by a website.


The GlobalOHER will provide:

  • Information on enrolments and programmes offered online
  • Information on the role of MOOCs around the world
  • Information on the adoption of Open Education Resources, OER
  • Perspectives on the importance of online learning in institutional strategies
  • The challenges institutions face in delivering high quality programs and services
  • A framework of the policy issues that institutions believe need to be addressed


The initiative will be carried out in partnership with UNESCO, the European Commission, the International Association of Universities, the Sloan Consortium, Study Portals and Babson Survey Research Group. Many other international and national stakeholders have expressed their support for the project.


More information about the GlobalOHER and sponsorship opportunities is available on the ICDE website. 

survey study online learning distance education

Book Enhanced Publications: Linking Publications and Research Data in Digital Repositories

23 May 2013

“Enhanced Publications: Linking Publications and Research Data in Digital Repositories” provides a contemporary overview of the structural elements of an enhanced publication.

Published in 2009 by Amsterdam University Press and Surf Foundation, one of the main conclusions of the report is that Long Term Preservation (LTP) archives should have a policy in which they describe which preservation actions they will undertake in case risks are identified that might affect their archived digital objects.


As for Enhanced Publications (EPs), tuning the preservation policies of the different LTP archives that take care of parts of the EP and have a shared responsibility is even more important, as different approaches might lead to inaccessible EPs and loss of authenticity. 

research open source study

Creating enhanced publications

23 May 2013
research study collaborative learning open source e-resources

Broadcast Yourself! Internet and playful media practices

22 May 2013

The paper “Broadcast Yourself! Internet and playful media practices” (2007) presents a work- in-progress research about video self production on the Internet that is part of a broader research project which explores the ways current media practices convey a 'playful' relationship with digital technologies in popular culture.

The increasing relevance of video on the Internet as a cultural phenomenon can be traced through a set of related practices around viewing, searching, producing, mixing, sharing and distributing short video productions - generally of low technical quality through web sites of enormous popularity like YouTube, Revver or Blip TV.


These practices allow us to understand media consumption from a transformative point of view that, allegedly, breaks down the division between production and consumption of cultural products redefining the role of the audience.


The research of Gemma San Cornelio, Ruth Pagès, Elisenda Ardèvol and Antoni Roig, from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), tries to demonstrate that in many of these self productions, play has a crucial role in shaping the relationship between its producers, their audiovisual products and their expected audiences.


study media Internet of the future internet

TEL-Map project survey about technology supported, innovative learning practices

08 May 2013

The TEL-Map European project, funded by the European Commission, has launched a survey about technology supported, innovative learning practices.

TEL-Map is a Coordination and Support Action focussing on roadmapping activities for innovative forms of learning. A roadmap can be understood as a ‘strategic lens’, through which future developments in a domain or an organisation are analysed for the purpose of channelling available resources wisely.


The aim of this new survey is to collect the views of teaching professionals to inform future roadmapping activities by probing certain statements with regards to their likelihood, desirability and – when it comes to policy measures – their feasibility.


There is no need to be an expert in all areas addressed to answer the survey, as the objective of TEL-Map is to get feedback from people with as diverse backgrounds as possible.


Question blocks have been created for each of the following innovative practices:

  • Gamification: using game mechanics and elements of game design in non-game contexts in order to motivate learning. Controversial issues evolve around 'hunting for points as a distraction of learning', neglect of demographic particularities, availability of gamification strategies.
  • Free Massive Open Online Course: bringing existing courses to an extended audience by driving technological and economical innovation. Controversial issues evolve around funding models, accreditation, high attrition rates and possible ways of highly automated learner support.  
  • Flipped classroom: inverting classroom situations so that the lecture part is moved from school to home and the exercise part takes place at school. Controversial issues evolve around managing differences between learners being more or less successful doing their homework, which requires fundamentally new types of in-class activities.
  • Seamless Learning (Ubiquitous Learning): obliterating borders between different technologies and learning formats such as formal and informal learning or individual and social learning. Controversial issues evolve around the ownership of learning tools and data generated by learners' activities, or the potentially invasive character of learning technologies to the detriment of a balanced life style.
expert survey study teaching MOOCs change in higher education