Online Learning and Fun is a large-scale research project whose aims is to examine learners’ views about fun in learning supported by technologies in Higher Education. Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, many schools and universities have adapted their curriculum to promote online learning. Consequently, understanding factors that influence learners’ engagement and enjoyment with online studies has been foregrounded for many educators, and their students, for the first time. In this new context, being responsive to students’ views about their learning and fun is an important part of developing online pedagogies that might support learner well-being. (Okada, 2020). Objectives OLAF project has three objectives:
to refine a self-reflective instrument for generating a large database;
to cocreate a set of recommendations for innovating pedagogical practices;
to increase the number of research studies about fun in learning for promoting changes in the educational curriculum, practices and policies.
It is coordinated by Dr. Okada (PI) and Prof. Sheehy (Co-I)
This mixed method study will refine a self-reflective instrument about fun and online learning on both contexts: formal education and non-formal education, which will be useful for developing institutional, inter-institutional and cross-national studies during the pandemic. This instrument was designed to increase students’ awareness about their epistemic beliefs, engagement with online learning, and views about fun in distance education.
Our findings will be used to provide recommendations to teaching staff, curriculum designers and project teams to support students’ enjoyment with learning enhanced by technologies. Our purpose is also to create opportunities for research groups to investigate new strategies to enrich online learning experiences in various contexts supported by innovative pedagogies, such as gamification, virtual and augmented reality, 360-annotation, story-animation, datification, inquiry mapping and open schooling projects.
We are using a self-reflective instrument to generate data with:
informal learners from OpenLearn
various universities in Brazil.
Our study was approved by The Open University’s Human Research Ethics Committee and the project approval ID is HREC/3463.
This instrument was previously applied to a study within an Open University module with 4500 students; 630 participants; 551 respondents. Findings indicated that 91% of participants valued fun in online learning; highlighting well-being, motivation and performance. However, 17% believed that fun within learning could take the focus off their studies and result in distraction.
The Open University