ISYS2109 – Business Information System

ISYS2109 – Business Information System

Introduction

Covid-19 disrupted the education system in most countries as schools, and universities were forced to close down for the student’s safety. In Vietnam, most educational institutions have been forced to close down during this crisis time and online learning has been encouraged as an substitude and a strategy to adapt with the hardtime. At Foreign Trade University in Vietnam, online learning has not been effectively implemented therefore, the current educational instituion is in need of a recommended plan for the designing and implementation of online learning platform, which can create room for the activation of online and virtual learning. Indeed, E-learning has turned out to be a popular teaching model where students can remotely attend classes (Velasco, 2020). The growth in technology in terms of online sites and communication gadgets such as laptops and smartphones, has reinforced online education. Through online learning, students have continued undertaking their courses from the comfort of their homes.  The purpose of this report aims twofold. In the first part, it focuses on analyzing of the issues in relation to online learning. In detail, this section starts with defining what is satisfactory learning experience for online learning. It then identifies factors that influence the satisfactory learning experience of learners for online learning, followed by identification of technological tools and their features that could be adopted for online learning. The second purpose is to recommend a simple online learning solution based on the selected technological tools discussed above to provide satisfactory learning experience for learners. In this part, it will also explain how the tools work together to meet learners’ expectations.

 

Analysis

What is satisfactory learning experience for online learning

In many institutions, e-learning has been increasingly used and there have been numerous initiatives introduced to improve and augment the system of e-learning. The recent deployment of e-learning, also known as digital learning, has led to the development of more reliable and flexible modes of communication for learners. Increasingly, colleges and universities are embracing the benefits of e-learning for learning and teaching, with many institutions becoming open e-learning facilities.

Various frameworks describe and measure the satisfaction of the student. Researches in the Community of Inquiry (Wu, 2016) evolved into establishing the participation of culture, perception and instruction as central to student learning and thus to student satisfaction. They find that the LMS method ( learning management system) has a strong effect on group attitudes in conjunction with the survey setting. MOLOTSI (2020) argued in a similar review that teaching presence plays a critical role in determining online learning. Zimmerman and Kulikowich (2016) concluded that students’ preferences impact the creation of successful online teaching technology resources by instructors and are essential for understanding the context of satisfaction. The writers argued that learning ease and the efficacy of e-learning platforms had a significant influence on satisfaction. The six key elements that contribute to the online learning satisfaction of students established by Gratton (2019) which include an enriched learning  environment, well-defined rules of engagements, instructor commitment, reduced ambiguity, an engaging environment, and reduced ambivalence about the value of the course.

Factors that influence the satisfactory learning experience of learners for online learning

The performance of online learning or the satisfactory learning experience of learner depends on multiple factors, according to Hope (2018), in achieving the learning objectives, the interdependence of all partners is crucial. Lecturers need to have a profound knowledge of their material as students need to grasp interactive research learning objectives. Learning targets will be accomplished through the awareness of all involved actors in the education sector. If students grasp the instructional aims of using technology, students may increase their emphasis on online platforms. The effectiveness of online learning relies on the technology used and the success of online instruction, according to Hope (2018). In this Covid-19 time, all students should be able to use the most commonly accessed portals. Teachers have also used platforms such as zoom and school blackboards for approaching students. As these online tools were open, most students took an optimistic approach when they first turned to virtual learning. The effects of virtual learning were also determined by according to Hope (2018) the amount of online content. Through online platforms, lecturers can easily illustrate different subjects through demonstrations and examples. Students can also ask questions from everywhere and obtain direct responses. Furthermore, virtual learning is perfect for the students who attend classes in their preferred time. This motivates them to listen to the instructor to appreciate all the learning materials. It helps to increase the students’ chances of finding the right solution to the assignments through using support tab to get further instruction from the instrucrors. With virtual learning, students are exposed to all the information in the courses. This makes them more understand the entire content of the subjects, making them more capable of following through on assignments. Moreover, these learners take in information easier as it is in the form of lectures and interactive discussion sessions on how to do the assignments. Virtual learning offers online learning support to the students who cannot physically attend to classes at the time. If students receive education through virtual learning support, they are given access to all the learning materials of the courses at the time. Virtual learning allows students to be in touch with the lecturers and professors as well (Hope, 2018)

Yıldız (2020) have observed that the students are pleased with interactive learning through their expectations of technology. Virtual learning has a good effect on students with a favorable view of technology. Assessing the value of interactive lessons is one of the moves in producing the good effects of online learning. Students who interpret simulated courses favorably engage and are content with the learning. In addition, online learning has a huge effect on students with technological know-how in diverse technologies. They are able to grasp the essence of immersive learning through understanding how technology functions. Easier access to technology also affects students ‘ learning, as students are happier with online learning and easier access to the internet, computers and smartphones. Connectivity issues are some of the challenges which decrease virtual class performance. In the event of a network malfunction or hardware malfunction that makes the learning process tougher, the students are adversely affected.

Aixia (2011) on the other hand, state that the sources of satisfaction can be regulated by selecting appropriate technology with appropriate learning materials. Doing so, students can feel truly satisfied with their learning and have a good online experience. For instance, making students feel like their personal computer is being used for the coursework, teaching at home, is one of the methods to regulate the satisfaction levels of online students. Thus, increasing technology accessibility will likely to result in the increased acceptance of virtual learning. Digital content, such as videos, audio, and infographics enable learning on multiple devices, including laptops, phones, and tablets, and these tools should be used in conjunction with textbooks and tests. Google Classroom and open educational resources help universities expand the reach of their courses. These types of tools have made online learning more accessible. Farag (2016) concluded that the availability of these tools was positively associated with students’ satisfaction with online learning. This may be related to its broad accessibility. Students prefered to study online because of the flexibilities, their good time control and the ease of use of technology, according to a survey carried out by Song et al . ( 2004). Online courses gave the student the versatility they needed to schedule the right time to learn with their professors. This lead several students who chose to learn at their best time. The versatility of interactive classrooms has expanded student time control. Most of them will plan their time to fulfill their learning needs correctly. In effect, the flexibility of the online courses has a positive influence on students and hence increases academic performance.

            Technological tools and their features that could be adopted for online learning

The theory of digital education is developing by getting knowledge in education by organizing as interactive as possible. The first thing that is needed in digital education is to use internet resources for various purposes. Many universities and educational institutions have come to understand this fact. The first step is to evaluate the existing technologies that are provided in a variety of devices and appliances. The motivation to adopt e-learning system is a key factor for implementing such a digital educational system.

The Canvas web application includes synchronous and asynchronous learning activities and supports the students to earn university level credits. Students can access the learning management website through a normal browser by using the computer’s standard Internet access or the Canvas app (Perveen, 2016). The Canvas Learning Management web application is made up of two major parts; the application and the services. The web application is made up of a main application of the same name and a suite of services that enhance the interface and enhance the usability of the application. The main application of the same name includes various functionalities such as course planning, reading and discussion boards, and assignments and grading system. In addition, there is the possibility to submit coursework on any location of the learning management and track the grade and content of the course work using the grade and content report view, upload images and audio files to add to the coursework, help and support if needed (Friesen and Mazloumi, 2004)

Online Web-based learning through platforms such as WebCT enables self-evaluation, multi-choice assessments and ongoing review, giving students more self-studies opportunities than conventional classroom experiences (TALAN and GÜLSEÇEN, 2018). The online video conferencing tool is just like face to face conference. The computer can work as the equipment that is connected to the user and the videoconferencing system that allows users to put the microphone near them. The WebCT tool will have all the features that allow users to have easy access to more knowledge on their particular online classroom. This great innovation will enhance the success rate of online learning by having the tools that help the users achieve their goals faster and to complete the course material quicker.  Online tutorials and videos also allow students to learn at their own pace.

Recommendation

A simple online learning solution in a web application to be designed for the FTU University is Canvas. The Canvas Learning Management web application boasts over 30 million users in more than 70 countries around the globe (Instructure, Inc., 2020). FTU university students will be among the 40 million users who will have the opportunity to use this web application. As a learning management tool, Canvas will be utilized to connect, by the educational institution that choose to utilize the application to connect students to their instructors and engage them into and facilitate the online learning under the support of internet connection (Pham et al., 2019). A major feature in this online learning solution is the intuitive design of the web application Canvas. Each tab is embedded within the right side of the screen. The dashboard, which is usually located at the bottom of the screen, can be accessed from a drop-down menu. The navigation menu can be completely customized to display relevant information to the user that is likely to be useful while engaging in the online learning activities and activities that are not expected by the faculty of the school of education, both of which will assist in making sure that the desired activities are performed (Fredericksen et al., 2019). On the left side of the screen, there is a navigation menu with tabs for the users such as user accounts, dashboards, courses, calendar, mailbox, support, library, online tutoring and even career resources for each commonly utilized location. The main user interface is browser friendly, giving users the flexibility to choose the preferred method of connection to Canvas from a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Canvas aims at fulfilling professional requirements that a university must meet while it is online. It will improve the teaching methods and enhance the students’ experiences to stay connected to the university in a familiar environment.

The user account supports the user to supply to their classmates, or learners in the case of a lecturer, the contact details, the name, the courses in which he or she currently has enrolled, the links that the user would like to send, his / her profile and even a photograph, if he / she wishes. The account function also gives the user the possibility to change their configuration, class alerts and save related information. The dashboard and the course tab make it easy to navigate their courses they are currently activating. After the user has selected the class, a second set of navigation links appears (Alqurashi, 2018). This helps the student to browse effortlessly, be it scores, debates, quizzes, projects, announcements, assignments, instruction or course house. Links to related content are also provided, such as a bookstore and individuals, often include a list of the individuals enrolled in the same course. This list helps targeted students to view the profile of any of their classmates quickly and conveniently, whether they want to know more about them or browse their contact details. At the bottom of the screen, there is a left navigation menu on the right side of the screen which includes Recent tab. By accessing the “Recent” tab on the left side of the screen, one can see the previous learning assignments assigned to the user by the university and the option to enroll in any online learning resource by which the user may learn. The “From your dashboard” tabs feature a mapping of every feature of the online learning resource (instructional module, coursework, lesson plans, text with quizzes, learning styles, etc.) on a map. A unique feature of this application is the ability to add a discussion board. Once a user posts on any discussion board page, others can view the discussion board. One cannot do this on other educational software systems. This feature allows students to share their learning experiences and get assistance from other students in the same course.

The left navigation pane is white text with gray background, while the remaining pane is in black text with the regular white background, which make the left navigation pane separated from the rest of the screen.  All links on the second course navigation menu are displayed in blue, as is typical with hyperlinks. A student can read the language on all pages, it is easy to understand; for example, if the student wishes to see the score he receives, he or she clicks on the grade point, while if students want to know what their next assignment will be, he or she needs to click the assignments links. The Canvas design is thus exceptionally readable and navigable.

The proposed e-learning solution also involve the WebCT and a video conferencing tool for online teaching and learning on the Canvas Design web application. This tool will not only give the information necessary to the students but also have feedback from the instructors as well as those who are absent during online learning classes can go back and review the lessons and learning contents on their own time. The WebCT tool will be designed with many features that allow the users to receive training through various presentations and information posted by instructors on this tool (Lowenthal, Dunlap and Snelson, 2017). The WebCT tool can allow flexible management of time and concentration in online learning. Another great function of the WebCT tool will be video conferencing to allow online voice discussion. The WebCT tool will also be connected to the Canvas Design Group Online site. Therefore, the Canvas Design Group has everything a school or community needs to create or improve their online education programs. Canvas Design Group has developed the tools to allow them to easily create and display WebCT test resources and give a college or university students have the skills that will enable them to be successful in the future with their careers or education.

The environment will be asynchronous for the WebCT tool and synchronous for the video conferencing. The WebCT allows individuals to work at their pace and time. This will give the students time to reflect on the information, learning materials or take assessments at their level and time. WebCT also allows for a time during online learning when students can ask questions when he or she is confused of the knowledge. Therefore, the instructors can pause and explain and deliver feedback. Video conferencing tool works in a synchronous environment where each students or groups of students are connected through an Internet connection that allows them to talk and discuss of the learning contents, group project at the same time from distance and without being in the same place. Both tools work best for educational institutions in general and FTU university in specific because students will have up-to-date information whenever possible and join class for learning without travelling to physical classroom setting. With the WebCT, different communication services can be combined to meet a user’s individual learning needs. WebCT will integrate easy form factor that people around the world can use. Some people prefer traditional e-learning material which consist of pages and files on a computer. The e-learning material of Canvas Design will be in a format that can be used in a variety of computer devices. This will make an easy access for people who are not always at a computer to their e-learning material. Through this user interface, a user can easily scan and find what they want by looking under the appropriate tab. Canvas supports a variety of operating systems such as Mac OS, Linux, Windows, Android and Apple iOS (Instructure, Inc., 2000). The lightweight design of this web application supports a highly interactive user experience which maximizes the learning capabilities of any personal device, such as personal computers or mobile devices.

 

These technical online learning tools also have the benefits of being able to view various interactive learning activities and get information from different classes. These tools also help students in various ways that they cannot do when they are together in the classroom setting. They can add new contents that they will learn when they are apart, create and share student lists, write assignments for assignments and collaborate in shared and collaborative documents. A high level of information confidentiality is assured in the system as students can post all information regarding class and their grades as a way to challenge themselves. I would recommend these tools for FTU university and other educational institutes because this could help improve the learning outcomes and the learning experience of students.

 

Conclusion

In summary, through this report, an online learning solution has been designed to support for the students of FTU university in time of covid. The purpose of this proposed e-learning platform is to increase engagement of students in online learning mode through a variety of learning tools. It can also be achieved by developing fun-based exercises, information, and solutions for a variety of educational needs. A variety of learning materials should be designed, and shared through the recommended official virtual learning portals so that students can choose the modules that they need, can even customize their own learning with the help of multimedia elements, such as images and animations. The students find it easy to integrate new technologies with their learning style and approach. Engaging students in virtual classes is the key to success for virtual learning. If students are engaged, they feel happy about the classes and they perform better.

 

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