Journal of Computing in Higher Education

An examination of postgraduate students’ use of infographic design, metacognitive strategies and academic achievement

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

This study aims to investigate postgraduate students’ academic achievement, the metacognitive strategies they use and their infographic design scores while studying with infographics. The relationships between these variables and students’ views about this process are also examined. A total of 15 postgraduate students were studied from the Computer Education and Instructional Technology Department of a large east Anatolian university in Turkey. Four different data collection instruments were employed. Results showed that students’ metacognitive strategy scores tended to increase as time progressed over a four-week period. However, there was found to be no regular increase in infographic scores. A relationship between all variables was revealed in this study. While each variable had a relationship with academic achievement, there was no relationship between students’ infographic scores and metacognitive strategies. Also, there were significant differences between students’ academic achievements in terms of metacognitive strategies. Students who were above the average in their use of metacognitive strategies showed better academic achievement than the others. Consequently, we conclude from this study that an infographic creation-based training process has a significant effect on academic achievement and metacognitive skills, especially on facilitating the management of the learning process.

A comparison of lecture-based, active, and flipped classroom teaching approaches in higher education

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare community college students’ learning experiences and performance for lecture-based, active learning, and flipped classroom teaching approaches. Participants were second-semester computer programming students (n = 103) at a mid-sized college of applied arts and technology. Garrison’s (2011) Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework informed our analysis of students’ learning experiences within each approach. Overall, active learning resulted in the highest mean scores for teaching, social, and cognitive presence. In particular, students rated teaching presence significantly higher for the active-learning approach than the lecture-based approach. Students rated social presence significantly higher for the active-learning and flipped classroom approaches compared to the lecture-based. There were no significant differences among the three approaches with respect to cognitive presence or learning performance. Student comments indicated that all three approaches had distinct benefits and challenges regarding teaching, social and cognitive presence. Regardless of the teaching approach employed in this study, five desired learning characteristics emerged based on student feedback including clarity, flexibility, opportunities for application, timely guidance and feedback, and cognitive engagement.

Preparing today’s educational software developers: voices from the field

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

Educational software is a growing industry, creating demand for professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop high-quality learning software. This paper explores the perceptions and experiences of professionals who have made a career of developing educational software and suggests educational paths useful for professionals in the field. In-depth interviews (n = 9) and surveys (n = 92) were incorporated in this mixed-methods study. Topics addressed include developers’ backgrounds, perceptions of working in this field, roles played, alignment between educational background and roles, and suggestions for an ideal undergraduate degree for a career in educational software development. Participants’ formal education paths included computing, instructional design, and other backgrounds. Roles played varied based on those backgrounds. When asked for recommendations for an ideal educational program, the most frequent response was a hybrid/dual major. However, those with degrees in computing or instructional design were most likely to recommend a similar degree, and use of on-the-job self-study for other topics. Those without a computing degree frequently indicated that formal education in programming and technology was important, but less so than the ability to think critically. Those with a computing background indicated that a background in education was not necessary, although ideally computing students should gain experience delving into at least one industry so that they would be prepared to interact with specialists and stakeholders in any specialty area in the future. Throughout, participants noted the importance of professional skills, critical thinking, and life-long learning. Implications for educators and researchers are discussed.

Comprehension across mediums: the case of text and video

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

Despite the prevalence of educational videos in today’s schools and classrooms, limited work has examined the strategies students use when comprehending videos. The aim of this study is to compare pre-service teachers’ strategy use when they are presented with information via text vis-à-vis via video. The study used a 2 × 2 experimental design with students assigned either to read or view each of two information sources. The study found strategy use to differ across mediums of information presentation, as determined through both self-report and log data. Additionally, comprehension was found to differ according to medium of information presentation, with text conferring an advantage. At the same time, students were found to have limited integration of multiple sources of information, across mediums of information presentation. Conclusions and implications for instruction and future work are discussed.

Comparing badges and learning goals in low- and high-stakes learning contexts

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

Digital badges (i.e., digital credentials for achievements) have been suggested as a useful and scalable implementation of gamification. Digital badges (hereafter “badges”) provide two potential supports for learning: (1) badges provide support for motivation by rewarding achievement and (2) badges provide implicit learning goals. The present paper describes two experiments in which we investigated whether badges can support self-regulated learning by comparing their impact on learning with students given explicit goals for student learning, a key factor in self-regulated learning. Specifically, we compared the effects of badges and goal setting in a low-stakes learning context (Experiment 1; online extra credit unit) and a high-stakes learning context (Experiment 2; introductory Educational Psychology courses). In these two quasi-experiments, participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: badge only, goal only, badge + goal, or control (i.e., no badge, no goal). Learning was measured by comparing performance on topics related to Turkish Culture (Experiment 1) or Educational Psychology (Experiment 2) at pre-test and post-test. Somewhat surprisingly, the results from both studies demonstrated no significant improvement in learning between groups. The discussion suggests that caution should be taken when incorporating badges in learning contexts and provides guidance on the conditions under which badges may be most effective for supporting learning.

The role of graduate programs in fostering IDT identities: reflections on an emerging profession

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

How do people come to think of themselves as instructional designers? This is partly a matter of acquiring expertise, e.g., the knowledge and skill sets found in professional standards, e.g., those of IBSTPI or AECT. But identity also involves adoption of new professional roles and affiliation and active engagement with professional communities. IDT academic programs facilitate and sport student in their induction into the field, but not always in a systematic, intentional way. Indeed in today’s world, IDT professionals may identify with different fields and roles depending on situation and context. This article explores these issues and provides a conceptual framework for understanding how people take on new IDT identities and the role played by academic programs in that process. The framework consists of a set of guiding principles and processes, A set of recommendations is then offered for IDT academic programs to begin seeing professional identity as a learning outcome and supporting students along that important journey.

Coordinating collaborative writing in an online environment

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

This study investigated how university students (n = 28) coordinated their collaborative online writing and what kinds of coordination profiles were found among the students. Further, the study examined the quality of the essays produced by groups of students varying in their combinations of coordination profiles. Students’ written comments on their writing processes (n = 583) were divided into episodes focusing on coordination. Eight different categories of collaborative activities during online collaboration were found. The students’ joint essays (n = 9) were evaluated as high, moderate and low according to the number of topics, key concepts, and integration of Internet sources in the essays. Coordination profiles were identified by K-means cluster analysis. The students mainly coordinated their collaborative writing through text-related activities, task-related activities as well as social activities. Four distinct coordination profiles were found, showing that the students coordinated their collaborative writing process in different ways. Technical problems seemed to have a negative effect on essay quality.

Technological barriers and incentives to learning analytics adoption in higher education: insights from users

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

Learning analytics (LA) tools promise to improve student learning and retention. However, adoption and use of LA tools in higher education is often uneven. In this case study, part of a larger exploratory research project, we interviewed and observed 32 faculty and advisors at a public research university to understand the technological incentives and barriers related to LA tool adoption and use. Findings indicate that lack of a trustworthy technological infrastructure, misalignment between LA tool capabilities and user needs, and the existence of ethical concerns about the data, visualizations, and algorithms that underlie LA tools created barriers to adoption. Improving tool integration, clarity, and accuracy, soliciting the technological needs and perspectives of LA tool users, and providing data context may encourage inclusion of these tools into teaching and advising practice.

Exploring the relationship between African American adult learners’ computer, Internet, and academic self-efficacy, and attitude variables in technology-supported environments

1 week 4 days hence
Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between African American adult students’ computer, Internet, and academic self-efficacy, and their attitudes toward computers, in technology-supported environments. The study examined whether computer and Internet self-efficacy differed between students with high and low levels of user attitude and computer anxiety. Correlations between academic self-efficacy and computer and Internet self-efficacy were also explored. Participants included adult students who were enrolled in face-to-face and online courses at a university in the southern United States. Quantitative approaches (i.e., MANOVA, correlation, and regression) were used to analyze the collected data. Results indicated that adult students showed a higher level of confidence in performing basic computer or software skills and Internet browsing actions in comparison to advanced computer skills or Internet tasks (e.g., tasks related to encrypting/decrypting and system manipulation). Computer and Internet self-efficacy significantly differed between learners with high and low levels of attitudes toward computers. Positive correlations were found between computer self-efficacy, Internet self-efficacy, and academic self-efficacy. Both computer self-efficacy and Internet self-efficacy were significant predictors of academic self-efficacy.

Factors affecting student dropout in MOOCs: a cause and effect decision‐making model

1 month ago
Abstract

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are among the latest e-learning initiative that have gained a wide popularity among many universities. Student dropout in MOOCs is a major concern in the higher education and policy-making communities. Most student dropout is caused by factors outside the institution’s control. In this study, a multiple-criteria decision-making method was used to identify the core factors and possible causal relationships responsible for the high dropout rate in MOOCs. Twelve factors, distributed across four dimensions, related to students’ dropout from online courses were identified from the literature. Then, a total of 17 experienced instructors in MOOCs from different higher education institutions were invited to assess the level of influence of these factors on each other. The results identified six core factors that directly influenced student dropout in MOOCs, these were: academic skills and abilities, prior experience, course design, feedback, social presence, and social support. Other factors such as interaction, course difficulty and time, commitment, motivation, and family/work circumstances were found to play a secondary role in relation to student dropout in MOOCs. The causal relationships between the primary and secondary factors were mapped and described. Outcomes from this study can offer the necessary insights for educators and decision makers to understand the cause–effect relationships between the factors influencing MOOC student dropout, thus providing relevant interventions in order to reduce the high dropout rate.

Using digital badges as goal-setting facilitators: a multiple case study

1 month ago
Abstract

Students’ goal-setting skills are highly related to their academic learning performance and level of motivation. A review of the literature demonstrated limited research on both applicable goal-setting strategies in higher education and the support of technology in facilitating goal-setting processes. Addressing these two gaps, this study explored the use of digital badges as an innovative approach to facilitate student goal-setting. The digital badge is a digital technology that serves as both a micro-credential and a micro-learning platform. A digital badge is a clickable badge image that represents an accomplished skill or knowledge and includes a variety of metadata such as learning requirements, instructional materials, endorsement information, issue data and institution, which allows the badges to be created, acquired and shared in an online space. In higher education, digital badges have the potential for assisting students by promoting strategic management of the learning process, encouraging persistence and devoted behavior to learning tasks, and improving learning performance. A qualitative multiple case study design (n = 4) was used to answer the research question: how did the undergraduate student participants in this study use digital badges to facilitate their goal-setting process throughout a 16-week hybrid course? Results from this study contribute to understanding how to effectively integrate digital badges to meaningfully improve self-regulated learning in higher education.

What can completion time of quizzes tell us about students’ motivations and learning strategies?

1 month ago
Abstract

Learning management systems (LMS) offer quiz tools that help students prepare for examinations. The purpose of this study is to investigate quiz tracking variables typically reported by LMS in relation to student achievement, motivation and learning strategies. The data from 143 undergraduate students comprised quiz tracking variables (number of attempts, completion time, and score), exam scores and responses to the Need for Cognition Scale (NfC), and selected components from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire and the Achievement Goal Questionnaire. We hypothesized students retrieving information from memory while taking a quiz would complete the quiz in less time than students who searched for answers in the textbook, and consequently, quiz completion time would correlate with exam performance and key motivational and self-regulatory factors. We found quiz completion time correlated positively with performance-avoidance goal orientation. It correlated negatively with exam performance, NfC, self-efficacy, and effort regulation. The results indicated completion time of low stakes quizzes is associated with achievement-related motivations and reliably predicts achievement on summative exams. We attribute these links to the use of retrieval practice by students who successfully regulate their effort and learning strategies.

How lecturers neutralize resistance to the implementation of learning management systems in higher education

1 month 2 weeks ago
Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate neutralisation techniques used by lecturers to justify their resistance behaviours during the implementation of learning management systems (LMS) in higher educational institutions (HEIs). Moreover, we explored why lecturers employed such neutralisation techniques to justify their resistance behaviours. A number of studies identified resistance as a barrier to successful implementation of technology in HEIs. However, there is a dearth of literature on the choice of neutralisation techniques employed by lecturers to justify such resistance behaviours. Understanding the logic behind the choice of neutralisation techniques could ensure effective management strategies towards user resistance, which could further assist to improve technology uptake in HEIs. The study draws from Bourdieu’s theory of practice (ToP) as a lens to investigate the logic behind the use of certain neutralisation techniques to justify user resistance. The research used cross-sectional data from semi-structured interviews and participant observations of a single in-depth case setting. The most common neutralisation technique used by lecturers was condemn the condemners followed by denial of responsibility, denial of injury, and appeal to higher loyalties. Findings suggest that the habitus and capital of lecturers significantly influence the choice of techniques to justify resistance. Lecturers tended to neutralise before they resisted, such that they prepared themselves to justify any deviance well in advance in case they got caught. Integration of ToP and Neutralisation theory enriches theorisation of user resistance, enabling development of mechanisms that could effectively manage lecturer resistance behaviours to improve uptake of LMS in HEIs.

Assessing prior knowledge of statistics in students attending an online university

2 months 1 week ago
Abstract

This study analyzes the relationship between the entry path to a degree and the prior statistical competence of students taking a Statistics and Probability course at an online university. We assessed students’ prior knowledge by administering a pretest of the information covered in the course analyzed. The sample includes 108 students from different schools of an online university. According to the statistical analysis, students have certain difficulty understanding some concepts related to Probability and Descriptive Statistics, and the entry path affects the students’ understanding of these concepts.

Virtual interactive consulting agent to support freshman students in transition to higher education

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

The virtual interactive consulting agent system is an online virtual career center that supports freshman students in transition to higher education. This virtual counseling system, based on accumulative empirical knowledge for working students and knowledge about effective career intervention, aims to guide first-year university students in combining study and work effectively. Three main aspects of career interventions are supplied by this virtual interactive consulting agent system: personal assessment, information, and personal encouragement and relatedness. The virtual interactive consulting agent is based on the SimCoach system. The current research includes two studies that examine acceptability and satisfaction from two perspectives: that of the counselors (the experts) and of the consultees (the target consumers). Both studies included 87 participants divided into two research groups: 45 counselors and 42 counseled freshman students. The data were collected through four data collection tools: acceptability and satisfaction questionnaire, an open-ended question, Google Docs, and screen recording applications. The participants’ answers were analyzed using quantitative software. The results show that the majority of the counselors were satisfied with the usability of the system but not with the process of counseling through the virtual agent, with some expressing concern about the impact on the profession. In contrast, most of the consultees were satisfied with the counseling process and some stated that the virtual agent helped them to determine how to integrate work and study more effectively.

Special issue on the current trends in E-learning Assessment

3 months 1 week ago
Abstract

In this full review paper, the recent emerging trends in E-learning Assessment have been reviewed and explored to address the recent topics and contributions in the era of Distance Education. This includes a set of rigorously reviewed world-class manuscripts addressing and detailing state-of-the-art, frameworks and techniques research projects in the area of E-learning Assessment, using different approaches such as Blockchain, Gamification, Process Mining, among others. Based on this systematic review, we have put some recommendations and suggestions for researchers, practitioners and scholars to improve their research quality in this area.

What do participants think of today’s MOOCs: an updated look at the benefits and challenges of MOOCs designed for working professionals

3 months 1 week ago
Abstract

Literature on MOOCs has shown that understanding learners’ perspectives in taking MOOCs is critical if a MOOC needs to be successful. Now that MOOCs have been in wide use, in this study we took an updated look at learners’ perspective of taking MOOCs designed for working professionals and course aspects that these MOOC participants found beneficial. General interest in the topic, personal growth and enrichment, relevance to job, and career change were the top reasons for working professionals to enroll in MOOCs. First-time MOOC takers were more likely to seek a certificate, while MOOC veterans may complete most assignments but did not seek for a certificate. Quality materials from a reputable provider remains an important reason for working professionals to enroll in a MOOC. Offering meaningful ways for MOOC participants to interact with instructors and with each other calls for innovative designs than the current discussion forums in a learning management system can offer. This remains to be a big challenge for MOOC designers.

Student-to-student connectedness in higher education: a systematic literature review

3 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

Student-to-student connectedness is promoted by active, student-centered learning processes. It is a socio-psychological result of interpersonal communication and behavior in the classroom, which emulates belonging, cohesiveness, and supportiveness among peers. Currently, two survey instruments exist—Dwyer et al.’s (Commun Res Rep 21(3):264–272, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090409359988) Connected Classroom Climate Inventory and Johnson’s (Commun Res Rep 26(2):146–157, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090902861622) amendment thereof, which have been used for nearly two decades to gain insight into instructional processes in face-to-face environments. However, research on student-to-student connectedness is relatively limited in the context of modern, technology-mediated learning environments. Arguably, where student-to-student connectedness is most urgently needed because of the decrease in face-to-face contact time between students and their instructors within online and hybrid learning environments. This study is a systematic literature review that presents a synthesis of twenty-four peer-reviewed journal articles, which empirically investigate student-to-student connectedness within face-to-face, hybrid, and online environments. The documentation of data is organized in accordance to the six aspects of activity theory (subjects, objects, mediating artifacts, rules, community, division of labor) to provide a basis for understanding the dynamics of each research report, as well as to assist identifying the trends and gaps in the literature, thereby expediting future research on this topic.

Learning engagement via promoting situational interest in a blended learning environment

3 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

In educational psychology, the theories of interest and self-determination have been well studied to find the relationships between learning attitudes and learning outcomes. However, the instructional design and the learning behaviors are the two missing elements which have not been fully investigated in the learning process. Therefore, we conducted two studies longitudinally with 2 years data from a 13-week engineering course at the City University of Hong Kong in a blended learning environment to verify the criticalness of these elements in these studies. With engagement records being collected from the learning management system in the second year, we further correlated the relationship from situational interest to engaged learning and finally the academic performance. Our findings make theoretical contributions by combining these two theories and link the model with behavior and achievement of students. It also demonstrates the importance of these theories on the instructional design.

Evaluation of mobile learning for the clinical practicum in nursing education: application of the FRAME model

3 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

This paper presents an evaluation of mobile learning practice for the clinical practicum in nursing education. Nursing students need to practise nursing skills and follow specific clinical procedures in wards. In this study, they were provided with a mobile device for learning purposes, with mobile apps preinstalled for watching nursing videos and conducting clinical assessments. The evaluation was conducted following the Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME). It included a questionnaire survey involving 265 nursing students and focus group interviews with 20 nursing students, the course coordinator of the clinical practicum and the instructional designer of the mobile apps. The participants shared their views, perceptions and experiences of mobile learning for studying nursing skills and conducting clinical assessment in the practicum context. The results showed the participants’ overall satisfaction with the mobile learning practice. They gave positive feedback on the use of the mobile apps in terms of enabling ubiquitous access to materials for situated learning in wards, and offering effective support for teachers to keep track of students’ learning progress. They also suggested areas for improvements, which emphasised the hardware capacity of devices, training on the use of apps and institutional support for the maintenance of devices. The results of factor analysis showed a composition of underlying factors different from that of the original FRAME model, which suggests contextual variation in the application of the model.