Journal of Computing in Higher Education

Vertical versus shared e-leadership approach in online project-based learning: a comparison of self-regulated learning skills, motivation and group collaboration processes

5 days 15 hours ago
Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of vertical and shared e-leadership approaches on self-regulated learning skills, motivation and group collaboration processes (group cohesion, group atmosphere, and group transactive memory system) in online project-based learning. The study was carried out according to a factorial experimental design (2 × 2) and mixed methods approach was used. The study was conducted on 41 teacher candidates randomly assigned to vertical and shared e-leadership groups. As a data collection tool; Self-Regulated Learning Scale, Motivation Scale, Transactive Memory Scale, Group Atmosphere Scale, Group Cohesion Scale, and a semi-structured interview form were used. Research findings indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between vertical and shared e-leadership groups in terms of self-regulated learning skills, motivation and group collaboration processes. In other words, both leadership approaches were found to be useful in the management of groups in online project-based learning. The qualitative findings of the research reveal that there are some advantages and disadvantages in both approaches. In this context, the shared e-leadership approach is determined to be useful especially in terms of fostering the sense of belonging to the group by sharing the leadership role within the group, ensuring a fair distribution of responsibility and workload among the group members. The vertical e-leadership approach was found to be useful in providing communication, cooperation and coordination among the group members thanks to the group leader, ensuring the planned progress of the group works.

Investigating educational affordances of virtual reality for simulation-based teaching training with graduate teaching assistants

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

This study investigated the affordances and constraints of a VR-based learning environment for the teaching training of university graduate teaching assistants in relation to the task, goal-based scenarios, and learning support design. Seventeen graduate teaching assistants participated in a multiple-case study with an OpenSimulator-supported, simulation-based teaching training program. The study indicated that the VR-based learning environment fostered participants’ performance of interactive teaching and demonstrative instruction, while training them to notice and attend to students’ actions/reactions during the instruction. On the other hand, there is a competition between physical reality and functional intelligence in the VR environment. We propose the integration of experience, affordance, and learner analyses in planning and designing a VR-supported learning intervention.

Dynamic learner engagement in a wiki-enhanced writing course

1 month 2 weeks ago
Abstract

Despite the importance of preparing students to write successfully in their academic and professional careers, instructors often struggle to sustain student focus on the complex and demanding nature of the writing process. In response, we conducted a pilot project at a university located in urban Los Angeles using a wiki-enhanced and blended writing course designed to sustain appropriate learner engagement. This exploratory project (a) introduced the hybrid writing course, (b) tracked changes in student engagement levels (i.e., behavioral, affective, and cognitive) over the period of the wiki-enhanced writing course, and (c) measured the impact of engagement on writing performance. Multiple data sources (i.e., wiki log data, student surveys, and writing performance scores) collected from 56 students in three sections of the writing course were used to examine student experiences in the wiki-enhanced writing course. The findings showed that wiki-based online discussion improved behavioral, affective, and cognitive engagement. The relationships between the learner engagement domains were reciprocal, temporal, and changeable. Based on the findings of this study and our review of the literature, we proposed a theoretical model to describe possible relationships between behavioral, affective, and cognitive engagement and academic achievement.

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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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

2 months 2 weeks ago
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.

Exploring how enrolling in an online organic chemistry preparation course relates to students’ self-efficacy

2 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

Self-efficacy has a strong influence on the learning and motivation of science students at the postsecondary level, especially in upper division science classes, which are key to student success in science majors. This empirical mixed methods research study (N = 205) examines the associations between students’ participation in an online preparation course and student self-efficacy in organic chemistry. Qualitative content analysis indicated that students benefited from the online preparatory course in the subsequent organic chemistry course series. The analysis of students’ clickstream data indicated that students with self-efficacy ratings in the top 10th percentile exhibited more frequent and consistent engagement with relevant course materials compared to students in the bottom 10th percentile. Notably, linear regression models indicated that participation in the online preparatory course was associated with higher long-term self-efficacy for first-generation college students. These results suggest that online preparatory courses may benefit some students’ self-efficacy in demanding science courses.

Students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes towards technology and user experience before and after use of an ePortfolio

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

EPortfolio use meets institutional reporting requirements and provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate learning, showcase their strengths to future employers, and develop lifelong reflective practice. At the same time, ePortfolio use offers students repeated opportunities to develop the skills necessary for academic progress and participation in contemporary online professional environments. To ensure that any ePortfolio implementation is making a positive impact across these areas it is important to be informed about the users’ attitudes, conceptual understanding and achievements when using this pedagogical and professional tool. We report student ePortfolio use at an Australian regional university. The paper compares students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes towards technology and user experience before and after use of an ePortfolio. It provides an overview of pertinent literature, outlines the research context and methodology, followed by the comparison results. Its contribution to ePortfolio research and practice, and implications for educators and institutional decision makers are also discussed. These results highlight the importance of adopting innovative ways to reinforce the value of ePortfolio for students through external motivation until they adopt their career persona and become intrinsically motivated to embrace strategies and tools that facilitate their progression.

International students’ reading digital texts on tablets: experiences and strategies

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

This multiple case study investigated four university-level international students’ reading of digital texts on tablets. The study describes these students’ experiences with and strategies for mobile reading. The participants were four international students in the United States, and their first language (L1) was not English. The data were collected through observations, verbal reports, interviews, and field notes. The findings showed that participants had both positive and negative experiences using tablets for reading and that mobile reading facilitated their learning about their lives, language, culture, and technology. The study shows that the participants used six reading strategies: (a) setting up the purpose, (b) deciding what to read, (c) accessing a digital text, (d) dialoguing, (e) making a connection, and (f) using applications and digital literacy skills. The article discusses mobile reading, with a focus on strategies, affordances and processes, as well as cultural learning and empowerment.

Using texts generated by STR and CAT to facilitate student comprehension of lecture content in a foreign language

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

In this study, we applied a combination of speech-to-text recognition (STR) and computer-aided translation (CAT) technologies during lectures in English as a foreign language to facilitate student comprehension of the lecture content. The instructor lectured in English, the STR system generated texts from the voice input, and the CAT system then simultaneously translated the STR texts into the students’ native language. We aimed to test the feasibility of applying combined STR and CAT technologies to facilitate student comprehension of lecture content in a foreign language. To this end, we designed an experiment. Three groups with twenty students each were formed. All students attended the same lectures: (a) students in the control group attended lectures without any support, (b) students in experimental group 1 attended lectures with STR support (i.e., they were presented with texts in English generated from the instructor’s speech by STR), and (c) students in experimental group 2 attended lectures with STR and CAT support (i.e., they were presented with texts in their native language that were translated from English by STR and CAT). We compared the posttest results of the students in the three groups. We also explored the effects of our approach with respect to different levels of foreign language ability. Finally, we surveyed the perceptions of students in experimental group 2 about the usefulness of the translated texts for their learning. Our results showed that applying STR and CAT technologies together was a useful approach: the translated texts helped significantly improve student learning performance compared to that of the students in the control condition. Translated texts were beneficial for students, as the students were able (a) to confirm some words that were not clearly spoken by the instructor or to find the meaning of some words with which the students were not familiar and (b) to complement spoken lecture content with translated content to help information processing and enhance comprehension. When comparing students with different language abilities, we found that students with low language abilities benefited from the translated texts the most. The students’ language ability was significantly lower than that of the high-ability students before the experiment; however, the low-ability students’ learning performance showed no significant difference from the high-ability students after the experiment. Finally, most students perceived translated texts as useful for their learning, and they intended to use the texts in the future for learning purposes.

Design review of MOOCs: application of e-learning design principles

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the pedagogical design of massive open online courses (MOOCs) using evidence-based e-learning principles. MOOCs have become an important part of discourse in higher education. However, there has been shared concern on the quality of MOOCs as learning systems for engaging learners as well as fulfilling their needs. The researchers conducted a design review of 40 computer science MOOCs from two major MOOC providers. The findings indicate a relatively low application of the principles in general, with the exception of those related to the organization and presentation of content. MOOC platforms and the difficulty level of MOOCs used the application of e-learning principles and guidelines differently. Implications for future research and design of MOOCs are discussed.