The 7TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON E-LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION held on 20-23 September 2018 was organized by the National Distance Education Centre in Bulgaria with the financial support of project TeSLA “An Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning”, No 688520 under the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Union (H2020-ICT-2015 / H2020-ICT-2015). Two of the TeSLA project partners – Sofia University and Technical University – Sofia were the main organizers of the event.
7th National Conference on e-Learning: The opening
This scientific forum is established as the largest national event in the field of e-learning and distance learning. This year’s event brought together over 100 researchers, experts, lecturers and PhD students from more than 15 universities across the country. They presented their research results and practical experience in designing and conducting e-learning and distance education.
Keynote speakers at the conference were representatives of 4 of the partner universities and 2 of the quality assurance agencies in the TeSLA consortium: Ana Elena Guerrero Roldán and Elena Rodríguez (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain); Chris Edwards (Open University, UK); Abdulkadir Karadeniz (Anadolu University, Turkey); Tarja Ladonlahti (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) – Roger Roca (AQU Catalunya) and Anaïs Gourdin (ENQA).
Abdulkadir Karadeniz (AU)
From left to right: Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth (SU), Roger Roca (AQU), Anais Gourdin (ENQA) – presenter
Ana Elena Guerrero Roldan (UOC)
The event was opened by Prof Dr Boris Galabov – Honorary Chair of the National Distance Education Centre, Prof. Dr Reneta Bozhankova – Deputy Rector of the Sofia University, Prof. Dr Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth – Director of the National Distance Education Centre and TeSLA Pilot Manager, and Assoc. Prof. Dr Anna Rozeva – Pilot leader of the Technical University – Sofia. They all welcomed the participants at the conference.
From left to right: Prof. Dr Bozhankova, Prof. Dr Galabov, Assoc. Prof. Dr Rozeva, Prof. Dr Forsyth
Prof. Dr Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth started the plenary session with her presentation “Ensuring The Learners’ Authentication and Authorship as a Mechanism for Enhancing the Quality of Online Learning”. She introduced the capability of the innovative TeSLA system and its instruments for authenticating distance students and preventing plagiarism – one of the serious issues of the online assessment nowadays. She presented statistical data on the successfully completed three TeSLA pilots within the total of 620 courses with nearly 20,000 students from variety of study fields in the 7 partner universities in Europe.
Prof. Dr. Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth
The point of greatest interest in the conference were the keynote speakers’ presentations. They presented the distance learning models in their universities in the context of the TESLA system. The keynote speakers have provided valuable recommendations for preparing and implementing effective distance learning based on the long-standing practical experience of their open (distance) universities.
Roger Roca (AQU)
Chis Edwards (OUUK)
Tarja Ladonlahti (JYU)
Representatives of the host universities also presented their pilots’ results. Dr Tsvetan Hristov from the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Sofia University reported on the experiment that was conducted in the frame of TeSLA (An Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning) project to explore existing problems and to offer new solutions in continuous e-assessment in teaching mathematics. He presented an innovative model for e-assessment in the course “Differential equations and applications” in the bachelor program “Software engineering” at Sofia University. The students’ perspectives on TeSLA authentication software used were presented and analysed.
Prof. Dr Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth, Dr Lyubka Aleksieva and Dr Blagovesna Yovkova presented their paper „The Impact of Technology on Cheating and Plagiarism in the Assessment – the Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives“. This paper investigates the impact of technology on cheating and plagiarism in TeSLA context from the perspective of teachers and students from Sofia University (Bulgaria) related to both aspects of facilitation and prevention/control of such behaviour. The study is based on two online surveys with 100 academic staff and 239 bachelor and master degree students from Sofia University.
Dr Lyubka Aleksieva
The papers of Dr Hristov and Prof. Forsyth will be published in the American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings (https://aip.scitation.org/journal/apc) indexed in leading Web databases of Science, Scopus.
Prof. Sijka Chavdarova-Kostova from Faculty of Education, SU presented results from an enquiry of students in education in connection with provided access to electronic resources on two compulsory subjects that they learn and possibilities for assessment of their knowledge through electronic platform applying instruments of TeSLA project.
Assoc. Prof. Еlena Varbanova and Desislav Ivanov from Technical university – Sofia presented their paper: „On the Synergy between Computer Mathematics and Virtual Learning Environment in the Process of e-Assessment“. The necessity of implementation of the authentication and authorship TeSLA checking system in order to increase the trust level in e-assessment is highlighted in their study. In their paper they analysed the data obtained from the pilot testing of Face Recognition and Keystroke Dynamics instruments in the course “Mathematical analysis”.
The papers of Prof. Sijka Chavdarova-Kostova and Assoc. Prof. Еlena Varbanova will be published in Conference proceedings of the 7th National conference on e-learning in higher education.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the scientific forum incited in-depth scientific debates among the participants on various methodological, theoretical, practical, regulatory and technological aspects of e-learning.
From left to right: Ana Rozeva (TUS), Abdulkadir Karadeniz (AU), Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth (SU), Ana Guerrero (UOC), Chris Edwards (OUUK), Lyubka Aleksieva (SU), Elena Rodriguez (UOC), Tarja Ladonlahti (JYU)
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