Journal of Computing in Higher Education

Does one size fit all? Investigating the effect of group size and gamification on learners’ behaviors in higher education

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Gamification—the use of game elements in serious contexts, has been prevalent to enhance users’ motivation and engagement in difficult activities. In the literature related to higher education, the use of gamification has emerged as a new pedagogical approach in order to improve students’ learning behaviors. On the other hand, traditional education research suggested that working in groups can enhance students’ learning behaviors. However, no study has been found in the literature that investigates these two distinct concepts in education domain. Therefore, this research aims to explore the effect of different group sizes and gamification on students’ learning behaviors. For this purpose, the study has explored the comparison between gamification and traditional classroom settings on students’ learning behavior with different group sizes: individual, small group, and large group settings. Further, the comparison of students’ learning behaviors in gamification environment within different group settings over time has also been investigated in this research. The analysis suggests that different group sizes can have varying impacts on students’ perception of the course in gamification environment over time. Moreover, it was observed that group size only affects students’ interest, comparison, and discouragement in gamification environment, but does not affect their effort, perceived choice, perceived competence, tension, or motivation. Also, it was found that gamification does not affect the perceived competence of students in any of the group settings. These results can be useful in future decisions about the optimal classroom size, group activities, and group sizes in other activities in larger classrooms.

Designing supports for promoting self-regulated learning in the flipped classroom

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

The flipped classroom model has gained prominence as advances in technology afford increasing opportunities for ubiquitous access to a variety of online resources. Despite the benefit of the flipped classroom model, flipped classrooms are not equally advantageous to all students due to its self-regulated nature. To address the issues in flipped learning, we explored principles for supporting self-regulated learning in flipped learning by synthesizing suggestions provided in previous research. We also conducted an empirical study to validate the identified principles by implementing a self-regulated learning support that combined a learner dashboard with a reflection interface in a real flipped classroom setting. While the dashboard interface utilized students’ learning traces to support students’ self-monitoring and evaluation, the reflection interface facilitated their follow-up reflection, which contributed to the cyclical process of self-regulated learning. The results indicated that the experimental group that used the support for self-regulated learning exhibited higher levels of self-regulated learning skills, behavioral engagement in pre-class sessions, cognitive engagement in in-class sessions, emotional engagement in both pre- and in-class session, learning performance than the control group. Implications for future research and directions for design and implementation of self-regulated learning supports are described.

Gaining insight from survey data: an analysis of the community of inquiry survey using Rasch measurement techniques

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

This article presents the results of evaluating a dataset collected with the Community of inquiry (CoI) survey (Arbaugh, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 9:1–21, 2008) using Rasch psychometric techniques to evaluate instrument functioning. Data were collected over a two-year period yielding a sample of 704 survey responses from students who were enrolled in a blended online graduate program. The purpose of this article is to present a Rasch analysis of the CoI survey to provide insight into the functioning of the instrument beyond other statistical analyses of the CoI that have been conducted to date. The results of the analysis provide new insights into the functioning of this measurement instrument and demonstrate the usefulness of Rasch techniques. The rationale for using Rasch techniques as well as the implications of this technique when using the CoI survey when conducting research or evaluations of practices in blended online courses are discussed.

The effect of mobile phone usage policy on college students’ learning

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of mobile phone usage policies on college students’ learning. Based on quasi-experimental research, with pretest–posttest nonequivalent group design, two pre-existing groups were randomly assigned treatment conditions, namely the removal of students’ mobile phones (Restricted Phone Access), and the allowance for students’ mobile phone usage (Unrestricted Phone Access) during class lectures. Data were collected from 63 college students, of which 25 were in the Restricted Phone Access group and 38 in the Unrestricted Phone Access group, using pretest and posttest. The results of a mixed analysis of variance test showed that the change in students’ scores from pretest to posttest was significantly greater for the Restricted Phone Access group than the Unrestricted Phone Access group, although there was a statistically significant increase seen in the students’ test scores from pretest to posttest regardless of any policy on mobile phone usage. This study discusses the theoretical and practical implications, and then recommendations were put forward with regards to future studies in this area.

An investigation of under-represented MOOC populations: motivation, self-regulation and grit among 2-year college students in Korea

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Educators have raised concerns that massive open online courses (MOOCs) mainly serve the interests of advantaged groups. In response, this study examined underrepresented MOOC learners; namely, 2-year college students in South Korea in terms of their perceptions of MOOCs and learning readiness for MOOCs. A total of 119 Korean 2-year college students participated in the survey and their responses were analyzed. Research findings revealed that approximately 90% of participants were unaware of MOOCs, and few students had previously taken a MOOC. These results indicate that it is necessary to advertise MOOCs effectively to underrepresented learners. Importantly, most participants were optimistic about the effects of MOOCs for individual development. Some learners, however, were concerned about their lack of commitment or low self-regulation to complete MOOCs. In terms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, grit, and self-regulation, the learning readiness of 2-year college students for MOOCs was moderate. Additionally, 2-year college students preferred MOOCs with practical content offered in short study periods, and they emphasized extrinsic motivators over intrinsic ones.

Providing students with agency to self-scaffold in a computational science and engineering course

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

This study implements a design-based research approach to design and evaluate different scaffolding strategies for supporting student learning as well as promoting student agency within a computational science course. The course introduces computational methods and tools in the context of disciplinary problems for materials science and engineering students. Initial course offerings suggested that students were overwhelmed by the interdisciplinary nature of the course. Therefore, the research team evaluated different scaffolding strategies for supporting students’ learning, and how those may have provided students with agency to self-scaffold when needed. Three rounds of data collection included 17 students who participated in individual semi-structured interviews to explore how they used (or not) different scaffolds. Five of the participants were recruited for the first iteration; six of them were recruited in the second iteration, and six more in the third one. The iterative process allowed us to adapt the scaffolding procedures for the third iteration from the data collected in iterations 1 and 2. The purpose of this study is to understand how students used different scaffolds, and what implementation strategies were effective according to student uses of these scaffolds in the context of computational science. The results suggest that students developed agency to self-scaffold when needed, as they benefited from multiple scaffolds at different steps of the problem-solving process. Moreover, providing worked examples without engaging students in their active exploration can be ineffective, but this engagement can be achieved using written explanations. Additional support may be needed at an early stage of skill development, so students have an idea of how to validate their model.

Exploring the effects of corpus-based business English writing instruction on EFL learners’ writing proficiency and perception

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

This exploratory research presents the implementation and evaluation of the effects of integrating corpus consultation with business English writing instruction. The subjects consisted of English as a foreign language (EFL) learners enrolled in two undergraduate business English writing classes. Two groups of EFL students were randomly assigned, one group (n = 49) receiving corpus-based writing instruction constructed on a Moodle course management system (CMS), while the other group (n = 58) was given traditional lecture-based instruction. A mixed methods design combining qualitative and quantitative approaches has been chosen to investigate the overall effect of the corpus-based intervention on the improvement of business letter writing performance in aspects of lexical and syntactic complexity, as well as learners’ perceptions. The comparison of the pre- and post-tests of writing revealed a significant difference between the experimental and control groups after the instruction. Significant differences in students’ lexical and syntactic complexity were found between the pre- and post-test of the experimental group. Further, in response to a questionnaire survey and interview, the students stated they improved their writing skills regarding vocabulary, syntactic structure and content in general, and their writing confidence and linguistics awareness were also enhanced. The results suggest that the corpus provides useful resources to supplement existing materials.

Does project focus influence challenges and opportunities of open online education? A sub-group analysis of group-concept mapping data

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Openness in education is not a consistent term or value since “open” is used to describe various things and often means different things to different individuals. In a research context, it is important to identify the many interpretation(s) and perspectives of openness being investigated, especially since the underlying ideas behind these different interpretations and contexts can yield different results. Not much empirical research on the implementation aspects of open education exists, especially comparing open educational resources (OER) and open online education (OOE). This empirical study addresses this gap, exploring identification and prioritization of organizational challenges and opportunities of two subgroups of projects (i.e. OER focused or OOE focused) within various higher education institutions in The Netherlands. The main research question in this study is: Does the project character (OER focus vs. OOE focus) of innovation projects lead to perceived differences by actors involved in their implementation? Findings indicate that there are differences in conceptual as well as practical representation between the two groups. These findings imply that higher education institutions need to internally adapt to the needs of various manifestations of “openness” to be able to fully benefit from opportunities and overcome challenges.

Partial versus full captioning mode to improve L2 vocabulary acquisition in a mobile-assisted language learning setting: words pronunciation domain

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Video captioning has been investigated extensively in the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) literature to aid second language vocabulary acquisition. However, a little is known about how video captioning could foster learners’ pronunciation, which is a component of second language vocabulary acquisition proposed by Nation (Nation, Learning vocabulary in another language, Cambridge University Press, 2001), when attending to video captioning. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of two types of video captioning, namely, full versus partial captioning, on mastery of word pronunciation. Furthermore, we tested the magnitude of the cognitive load imposed by video captioning types using NASA TLX. A total of 55 Arab English as a Foreign Language learners watched videos with full, partial or no captioning. Their perceptions about learning with captioning were also surveyed. Results of the pre–post-tests indicated that the captioning groups’ performance in the pronunciation tests outscored the no captioning group. In turn, the partial captioning group’s scores were slightly higher than those of the full captioning group. However, this difference was statistically insignificant. Cognitive load was found higher in full captioning and no captioning than that in the partial captioning mode. The participants showed highly positive attitudes towards learning with captions.

Scaffolding problem solving with learners’ own self explanations of subgoals

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Procedural problem solving is an important skill in most technical domains, like programming, but many students reach problem solving impasses and flounder. In most formal learning environments, instructors help students to overcome problem solving impasses by scaffolding initial problem solving. Relying on this type of personalized interaction, however, limits the scale of formal instruction in technical domains, or it limits the efficacy of learning environments without it, like many scalable online learning environments. The present experimental study explored whether learners’ self-explanations of worked examples could be used to provide personalized but non-adaptive scaffolding during initial problem solving to improve later performance. Participants who received their own self-explanations as scaffolding for practice problems performed better on a later problem-solving test than participants who did not receive scaffolding or who received expert’s explanations as scaffolding. These instructional materials were not adaptive, making them easy to distribute at scale, but the use of the learner’s own explanations as scaffolding made them effective.

Gamification in education: a mixed-methods study of gender on computer science students’ academic performance and identity development

1 week 1 day hence
Abstract

Underrepresentation of women in computer science (CS) increasingly demands the necessity to find and enhance current learning engagement approaches to bring more women into computing fields. Some researchers have been exploring the influence of gamification on female students as one of these possible learning engagement strategies. Gamification refers to the introduction of video game elements into non-game activities to enhance engagement and motivation. Previous studies have reported mixed results of the impact of gamification on women. In this study, we introduce SEP-CyLE (Software Engineering and Programming Cyberlearning Environment), an online gamified tool that was designed to provide supplemental computing content to students. This paper presents a convergent mixed-methods study guided by social identity theory and self-efficacy to understand women's experiences with this gamified tool. More specifically, this study explores virtual points' and leaderboards' effects on CS identity development, self-efficacy, and performance. The results show that virtual points and the leaderboard contributed to improved performance for students of all genders, suggesting that gamification is a gender-neutral learning engagement strategy that improves female students' performance as much as male students. Regardless of improved performance, most women did not actively enjoy or were motivated by the virtual points or leaderboard in SEP-CyLE. Additionally, gamification had no significant impact on CS identity development or self-efficacy constructs and had little to no impact on women's interest and engagement in the field of computing.

Learning and development roles and competency domains in higher education: a content analysis of job announcements

2 days 22 hours ago
Abstract

Learning and Development (L&D) roles are important to organizations for improving employee’s knowledge and skills. This study examined various roles and competency domains required of learning and development professionals in higher education. Ten different roles of L&D professionals were examined for 20 competency domains through a qualitative coding process. We extracted and analyzed 294 unique postings from the job board, higheredjobs.com. Results indicated that designers and directors are the most advertised L&D postings. The top five competency domains required of L&D professionals were collaboration, communication, content development, project management, and assessment and evaluation. Communication and collaboration skills were required for most of the roles. Leadership and people management were ranked highest for executives and directors. In addition, competency domains aggregated by roles are provided. Implications are provided for employees, L&D graduate programs and professionals, and researchers.

Improve teaching with modalities and collaborative groups in an LMS: an analysis of monitoring using visualisation techniques

1 week 3 days ago
Abstract

Monitoring students in Learning Management Systems (LMS) throughout the teaching–learning process has been shown to be a very effective technique for detecting students at risk. Likewise, the teaching style in the LMS conditions, the type of student behaviours on the platform and the learning outcomes. The main objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of three teaching modalities (all using Online Project-based Learning -OPBL- and Flipped Classroom experiences and differing in the use of virtual laboratories and Intelligent Personal Assistant -IPA-) on Moodle behaviour and student performance taking into account the covariate "collaborative group". Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. With regard to the quantitative analysis, differences were found in student behaviour in Moodle and in learning outcomes, with respect to teaching modalities that included virtual laboratories. Similarly, the qualitative study also analysed the behaviour patterns found in each collaborative group in the three teaching modalities studied. The results indicate that the collaborative group homogenises the learning outcomes, but not the behaviour pattern of each member. Future research will address the analysis of collaborative behaviour in LMSs according to different variables (motivation and metacognitive strategies in students, number of members, interactions between students and teacher in the LMS, etc.).

The design and development of an open educational resources intervention in a college course that manifests in open educational practices: a design-based research study

1 week 4 days ago
Abstract

Shifting from open educational resources (OER) to open educational practices (OEP) is the next stage in the OER movement, but there have been few attempts to understand how the next phase in this movement will be achieved. Addressing this question can uncover the potential benefits of OER besides cost reduction. The current study represents the Enactment Phase (design and development) of a larger design-based research study that sought to design an integrative OER intervention in a college course to promote OEP. The Enactment Phase resulted in developing the design principles that describe the integration of OER use and creation into a college course; the development of the components of the OER intervention prototype; and designing the OER intervention prototype in a college course at a mid-Atlantic research university. The significant results that emerged from this Enactment Phase reside in that OER should be integrated into a course using learner-centered pedagogical models with constructivist approaches to teaching, and it should be integrated as an integral part of the syllabus of the course. The main idea for integrating the 5Rs into the Advanced Instructional Design was threading across assignments to make a connection between knowledge and skills students have learned throughout the course.

Grappling with professional ethics in instructional technology by participating in an online service-learning course

2 weeks 3 days ago
Abstract

In this qualitative study, we engaged in a narrative inquiry to examine what graduate students in an online service-learning course grappled with while learning about professional ethics in instructional technology. This study took place in a service-learning partnership between community partners, students, and the course instructor. Students in the course worked collaboratively to address a design problem identified by community partners. Our research question was: In an online graduate-level instructional technology service-learning course, what do participants grapple with when learning about professional ethics through shared experiences? Eighteen students volunteered to participate in this study from three iterations of the course. Data included student narratives shared in synchronous and asynchronous discussions as well as written reflections. Narrative data was analyzed with the constant comparative method (Charmaz in Constructing grounded theory, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2014; Corbin & Strauss in Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2014) using NVivo 12, a qualitative research data analysis tool. The findings from this study indicated that, while engaging in authentic ethical problem-solving within the context of an online service-learning course, participants grappled with ethical challenges, leadership, reflecting on experiences, legal issues, and social responsibility.

What should learning designers learn?

3 weeks 2 days ago
Abstract

There is widespread interest in employing designers who focus on learning, performance and education technology in many industries at a global level. In Australia, learning designers are in demand in Education, Corporate Training, Finance, Charity, Non-Government Sectors, and also in Start-Ups and Entrepreneurial arenas. This demand is despite the fact that the role of the Learning Designer is incredibly varied, contextually-based, and also unclear to many employers – and students! This suggests that there is currently an opportunity for learning designers and academics who deliver learning design content to define what it means to be a learning designer. This paper presents an Australian case study which uses design-based research methods in a pre-production mode to identify the key principles that informed the development of a course of study (what others may refer to as a program). How those principles were operationalised within the course design and more are discussed in an effort to reposition understandings of knowledge, skills and abilities for this field.

Personalized training model for organizing blended and lifelong distance learning courses and its effectiveness in Higher Education

1 month ago
Abstract

The main goal of this research is to improve the personification of learning in higher education. The proposed flexible model for organizing blended and distance learning in higher education involves the creation of an individual learning path through testing students before the start of training. Based on the learning outcomes, the student is credited to the learning path. The training path consists of mandatory and additional modules for training; additional modules can be skipped after successfully passing the test, without studying these modules. The paper examines the composition of intelligent learning systems: student model, learning model and interface model. A student model is described, which contains the level of their knowledge, skills and abilities, the ability to learn, the ability to complete tasks (whether they know how to use the information received or not), personal characteristics (type, orientation) and other factors. The student’s model is described by a mathematical formula. Thus, being described using logical rules, which have formed the basis for the software implementation of mixed and distance learning rules for lifelong learning courses. There is an interface model presented in the paper, and the results of the course of the proposed flexible model for the organization of mixed and distance learning “Digital Skills of a Modern Teacher in the Context of Distance Learning”, as well as the face-to-face course “Digital Learning for Everyone” before the start of the pandemic which is close in its content to the course under study. Based on the results of the analysis, we introduced criteria for the effectiveness of the training course, proposed the weighting coefficients for evaluating the training course, carried out the assessment and drew conclusions.

The effects of the regulated learning-supported flipped classroom on student performance

1 month ago
Abstract

Flipped classrooms have been growing in popularity in higher education for their potential to promote students’ active engagement in learning. Ironically, the key to the success of flipped classrooms is the agency of students to actively participate in learning. The flipped classroom approach requires students’ responsibility for their learning and a high level of self-regulation in completing individual and collaborative learning tasks. However, many college students tend to be more comfortable with a traditional, passive form of lecture-based course and are not yet prepared for an active form of learning. In this study, we developed a regulated learning-supported flipped classroom framework grounded in self-regulation and social regulation research. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the regulated learning-supported flipped classroom on student engagement and performance. Our results showed that the flipped classroom with regulation guidance had a significant influence on students’ use of higher-order cognitive skills. The implications of this study are further discussed based on the findings.

Adopting a framework to support the process of critical reflection and understanding of online engagement

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Extensive literature within the learning sciences addresses the phenomenon of online engagement and strategies that support online learning. However, for academics, there is limited guidance to support them in the processes of reflecting on efforts to facilitate online learner engagement and, ultimately, to use those reflections to redesign approaches to teaching and learning. This paper reports on findings from an international case study that involved a group of interdisciplinary academics engaged in a process of critical reflection, which aimed to increase their understanding of the ways in which online engagement is supported in higher education. Findings from the current study suggested that reference to an online engagement framework heightens the effectiveness of critical reflection by elucidating an awareness of learning about ways of supporting student learning and online engagement to improve student success. The paper offers implications related to reflection on and of practice.