Challenges for Sustainable Management and Organization in Online Education

This research area investigates the development of strategies and organizational infrastructures as a means to improve on-line education programs. Research issues such as successful leadership, the impact of online learning on institutional policies, cost-benefits analysis, the ROI of distance education programs and educational innovation will be the focus of analysis.

The primary research goal is to analyze the main challenges that leadership, planning and administration factors pose on distance education when trying to improve the management of online organizations, as well as to explore methods and obtain data to measure the economic efficiency of online education.

The main areas of research include (but are not limited to): 1) The role of leadership of distance learning administrators; 2) Critical design and administrative issues for online program success; 3) The adoption of innovation in online organizations; 4) Strategic planning to improve learner performance and to reduce cost; 5) The role of learning communities and informal networks in online educational administration.

Thesis Proposals

Researchers

Research Group

Educational Uses of ICTs and their impact on higher education institutions

Universities and other kinds of higher education institutions have adopted ICT for academic and organizational purposes. There are different adoption models for educational uses: bended, hybrid, online, etc. There are also different possibilities for organizational uses: accessibility, virtual libraries, and technical support for online teaching and learning materials, etc. We analyse in this research area the institutional impact of the technology uses and how this adoption affects mainly in three areas: teaching and learning processes (educational model), the students' role and profile, and organizational changes (organizational model). We focus our research, quantitative or qualitative, on the institutional impact, and we analyse the impact of the educational uses of ICT on institutional educational models, institutional organizational models and the role and profile of the students in these institutions. We also analyse institutional cases, higher education systems and work on comparative analyses.

Dr Josep M. Duart

 

Habits and motivations in the uses of the digital environment for collaborative learning

This line of research studies behaviours and decisions in relation to the use of the digital environment in learning processes. It aims to discover behaviours and motivations in regard to the acceptance or refusal of digital information resources (such as applications, services or devices) in learning processes as well as the modes of use and access to these resources. The possible contexts of learning are considered in the broadest sense, whether formal learning in an academic context (teaching and research), informal learning in a personal or organizational context, or a combination of these. The paradigm of digital visitors and residents is used as a key reference to characterize these behaviours, as well as existing literature on knowledge management and information behaviour. The theses proposals may include qualitative or quantitative methods, or a combination of the two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Agustí Canals
Coordinator

Dr Josep Cobarsí 

Dr Amalia Creus 

Dr Eva Ortoll 

Dr Montserrat Garcia-Alsina

KIMO Research Group

Impact of social capital and social networking behavior on students' learning process in e-learning

This line of research studies the structure and use of students’ social networks in an online learning environment, in an attempt to relate networks’ structure and use with students’ learning process. Advanced statistical techniques will be applied to relate the structure of social networks with the learning process of students. Semi-structured interviews and other qualitative techniques will be applied to determine how students use their personal social networks. A thesis proposal can be based on quantitative methodologies, qualitative methodologies, or a combination of the two. The proposals will take into account the existing literature and theory on social networks and on informational behaviour, so as to customize its application in the specific context of e-learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Agustí Canals
Coordinator

Dr Josep Cobarsí 

Dr Amalia Creus 

Dr Eva Ortoll 

Dr Alex López-Borrull

Dr Montserrat Garcia-Alsina

KIMO Research Group

Strategic integration of ICTs to prevent and overcome poverty in learning processes

The aim of this proposal is to examine, in culturally and socio-economically deprived educational contexts, the effects of strategic integration of ICTs (including, among other things, infrastructures, competencies and use) with regard to improvement in students' competencies and academic performance. Faced with inconclusive evidence regarding the impact of ICTs on education in developing countries – evidence obtained to date from exclusively quantitative or qualitative studies – the proposal advocates for the need to use mixed methods that allow for a multidimensional approach to the topic.

 

 

Dr Sergi Fàbregues

 

Learning, Media and Entertainment

The GAME research group is interested in studying the transformations of contemporary communication practices, approaching the analysis of new literacies that are specific to the knowledge society in all levels of education and in the context of formal and non-formal curriculums:

  • The role of digital games and literacy (ludoliteracy).
  • The analysis of emergent digital, audiovisual and journalism literacy patterns and needs.
  • The learning process in the big data era.

 

 

 

 

Dr Jordi Sánchez-Navarro

Dr Daniel Aranda

Dr Pablo Lara

Dr Silvia Martínez

Dr Mireia Montaña

GAME