Preventing failure in distance learning: the use of Spector tool

Abstract

In 2011 and 2012, University of Warsaw conducted a two-stage research which goals were: (1) to verify whether students’ access to information showing the characteristics of their learning organization is connected with a sense of efficacy, level of motivation, preferred learning forms and perceived teacher presence; (2) to examine the relations between organizational learning styles and the usage of Spector module. One of the means used in the project was introduction of a mechanism for teaching and learning management in an e-learning setting – Spector. This way, a support for prevention, diagnosis and learning failure therapy was introduced. The mechanism was implemented as a Moodle LMS extension. Its goal was to process activity reports gathered by Moodle and present them in an user-friendly way to both students and teachers. The first-stage research results did not confirm the correlation between mentioned variables, although the majority of students taking part in the research pointed out Spector’s importance to improving their motivation and planning their learning activities. Resolving of all the doubts set in the project required a further, more complex study (including organizational learning styles). The second stage of the research proved that students’ opinion about the usage of Spector is related to their current studies programme (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral).

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