International Handbook of E-Learning Volume 1

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Theoretical Perspectives and Research

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Edited by By Badrul H. Khan and Mohamed Ally.

The International Handbook of e-Learning, Volume 1 provides a comprehensive compendium of research and theory in all aspects of e-learning, one of the most significant ongoing global developments in the entire field of education. Covering history, design models, instructional strategies, best practices, competencies, evaluation, assessment, and more, these twenty-seven contributions tackle the tremendous potential and flexibility inherent to this rapidly growing new paradigm. Past and present empirical research frames each chapter, while future research needs are discussed in relation to both confirmed practice and recent changes in the field. The book will be of interest to anyone seeking to create and sustain meaningful, supportive learning environments within today’s anytime, anywhere framework, from teachers, administrators, and policy makers to corporate and government trainers.

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Publisher: Routledge
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Restless Ideas

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Contemporary Social Theory in an Anxious Age

by Tony Simmons

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How do we make sense of the rise of political strongmen like Trump and Erdoğan, or the increase in hate crimes and terrorism? How can we understand Brexit and xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiments and policies? More importantly, what can we do to make it all stop?

In Restless Ideas, Tony Simmons illustrates how social theory provides us with the skills for more informed observation, analysis and empathic understanding of social behaviour and social interaction. Social theory deepens our understanding of the world around us by empowering us to become practical theorists in our own lives.

Simmons traces the roots of contemporary social theory back to the works of the early structural functionalists, systems theorists, conflict theorists, symbolic interactionists, and ethnomethodologists, and incorporates contemporary social thinkers theorizing from the margins who are redefining the canon. Later chapters focus on the current influence of structuration theory, feminist and queer theory, Indigenous theory, third wave critical theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism, and liquid and late modernity theories and globalization theories.

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Publisher: Fernwood Publishing
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About the Author

Tony Simmons is an Associate Professor, Sociology in the Centre for Social Sciences. Visit Tony's faculty page.


Revitalizing the Classics

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What Past Social Theorists Can Teach Us Today

by Tony Simmons

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Revitalizing the Classics is a lively introductory text that relates classical social theories to contemporary social events. This updated definition of “the classics” avoids the Eurocentrism and androcentrism of many textbooks of social theory by including both non-European and women social thinkers. Besides highlighting the work of Ibn Khaldun and first wave feminist scholars, this book utilizes interactive figures, original source sidebars and current illustrative examples to provide a critical alternative to the standard texts in the field. In the process, Tony Simmons shows just how relevant classical social theories are in our present world, offering us analysis and clarification of a range of issues, from war, poverty and environmental destruction, to the sensory overload experienced in the digital age and even our personal relationships and interactions. Social theories are helpful – even necessary – to help us understand and, most importantly, be critical of the issues, systems and institutions in our world today.

Revitalizing the Classics introduces students to a wide range of classical theorists and applies their theories to present-day examples: thus Durkheim’s ideas are invoked to explore “anomie” in the digital world as well as the “altruistic” elements of suicide bombings in contemporary combat zones. Similarly, Ibn Khaldun’s concept of “asabiyya” is used to explain the tribal code of the Taliban; Marx is summoned to explain the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor in Canada and around the world; and Pareto is enlisted to describe the “circulation of elites” in post-communist and post-colonial societies. Other sections explore and analyze the global war on terrorism and the Arab Spring. The book also includes a glossary of key concepts, giving readers an instant explanation of major terms and ideas used in each chapter. The combination of accessible writing and contemporary analysis provides a text that will empower readers to theorize and analyze many current events for themselves.

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Publisher: Fernwood Publishing
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About the Author

Tony Simmons is an Associate Professor, Sociology in the Centre for Social Sciences. Visit Tony's faculty page.


The Medium Is the Monster

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Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology

by Mark McCutcheon

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Technology, a word that emerged historically first to denote the study of any art or technique, has come, in modernity, to describe advanced machines, industrial systems, and media. McCutcheon argues that it is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein that effectively reinvented the meaning of the word for modern English. It was then Marshall McLuhan’s media theory and its adaptations in Canadian popular culture that popularized, even globalized, a Frankensteinian sense of technology. The Medium Is the Monster shows how we cannot talk about technology—that human-made monstrosity—today without conjuring Frankenstein, thanks in large part to its Canadian adaptations by pop culture icons such as David Cronenberg, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, and Deadmau5. In the unexpected connections illustrated by The Medium Is the Monster, McCutcheon brings a fresh approach to studying adaptations, popular culture, and technology.

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Publisher: Athabasca University Press
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About the Author

Mark McCutcheon is Professor of Literary Studies with Athabasca University's Centre for Humanities and the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies program. Visit Mark's faculty page.


Theorizing Outdoor Recreation and Ecology

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by Sean Ryan

footprints on a sand dune

Deciding what user impacts are natural or unnatural has inspired much debate. Biophysically, moose cause similar kinds of soil and vegetation impacts as hikers. Yet moose are the sign of nature while hikers are the sign of damage. The field of outdoor recreation is beset with paradoxes, and this book presents a unique, alternative framework to address these dilemmas.

Examining outdoor recreation through the lens of ecological theory, Ryan draws from theorists such as Foucault, Derrida and Latour. The book explores minimum impact strategies designed to protect and enhance ecological integrity, but that also require a disturbing amount of policing of users, which runs counter to the freedom users seek. Recent ecological theory suggests that outdoor recreation's view of nature as balanced when impacts are removed is outdated and incorrect. What is needed, and indeed Ryan presents, is a paradoxical and ecological view of humans as neither natural nor unnatural, a view that embraces some traces in nature.

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Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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About the Author

Sean Ryan is an Individualized Study Tutor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. View Ryan's faculty page.


Timing Canada

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The Shifting Politics of Time in Canadian Literary Culture

by Paul Huebener

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From punch clocks to prison sentences, from immigration waiting periods to controversial time-zone boundaries, from Indigenous grave markers that count time in centuries rather than years, to the fact that free time is shrinking faster for women than for men - time shapes the fabric of Canadian society every day, but in ways that are not always visible or logical.

In Timing Canada, Paul Huebener draws from cultural history, time-use surveys, political statements, literature, and visual art to craft a detailed understanding of how time operates as a form of power in Canada. Time enables everything we do - as Margaret Atwood writes, "without it we can't live." However, time also disempowers us, divides us, and escapes our control. Huebener transforms our understanding of temporal power and possibility by using examples from Canadian and Indigenous authors - including Jeannette Armstrong, Joseph Boyden, Dionne Brand, Timothy Findley, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Gabrielle Roy, and many others - who witness, question, dismantle, and reconstruct the functioning of time in their works.

As the first comprehensive study of the cultural politics of time in Canada, Timing Canada develops foundational principles of critical time studies and everyday temporal literacy, and demonstrates how time functions broadly as a tool of power, privilege, and imagination within a multicultural and multi-temporal nation.

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Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
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About the Author

Paul Huebener is an Associate Professor of English in the Centre for Humanities. View Paul's faculty web page.