Journal of Computing in Higher Education

Web gamification with problem simulators for teaching engineering

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

Problem-solving is one of the biggest challenges that students can find in an Engineering degree. Information and communication technologies are of great use in this regard, providing learners with tools that complement their study and facilitate skills acquisition. A good strategy to enhance student motivation towards problem-solving is to use engaging and interactive gamification techniques. To achieve this, we developed a web board game with six categories of problems for the Industrial Systems Optimization Techniques subject, which is part of the Industrial Organization Engineering curriculum at Madrid Open University. The game relies on case-study simulators for six categories of problems in such way that the cases presented to the students are always different. Students receive instant feedback about the accurateness of their response as well as the correct solution. The results of the experience, based on data obtained and surveys carried out, indicate that the board game is dynamic and motivational as well as academically encouraging.

Special issue on the current trends in E-learning Assessment

3 days 11 hours 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.

Reviewing and exploring innovative ubiquitous learning tools in higher education

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

In the higher education sector, a new era has begun with the advent of ubiquitous learning environments. Ubiquitous learning tools allow improving context-aware as well as learning experiences by offering seamless availability regardless of location all the time. They also help in establishing effortless interaction between authentic and digital learning resources and at the same time offering personalised learning opportunities as well. There are numerous available ubiquitous e-learning tools that can be employed in higher education. E-learning tools also offer training and higher education to many students that have different higher educational levels and come from diverse cultural backgrounds. However, if the capabilities of e-learning are underestimated, these may not be successful in higher education. Some of the people lack understanding about the limitations and weaknesses of e-learning, while some may have superfluous expectations. In this paper, various e-learning tools like Wikipedia, MOODLE, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and Blackboard have been evaluated. We also comment on key aims regarding each tool and investigate the disadvantages and advantages. Based on this analysis, a global view regarding the current as well as future tendencies pertaining to ubiquitous e-learning tools is obtained and thus possible key comments are provided for employing e-learning tools like MOODLE, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 in the classroom. Based on our teaching experience, MOODLE was found to be efficient in the development of e-learning. MOODLE was favoured by a majority of authors and practitioners rather than Blackboard. However, MOODLE cannot be considered a fully pure social software since it does not include social networks. In this review, the scope of employing ubiquitous learning environments has been presented in higher education contexts. However, it increases the requirement for transparent research that shows practical implications to generalise future development processes. Moreover, it was shown that e-learning 3.0 is one amongst the key trends employing Web 3.0 tools for social learning. Also, on the Internet, quick incorporation of new services into existing applications like integrating Wiki with Web 3.0 can be done easily. The primary risk here would be the fact that lecturers and students are not fully aware that these web services are not controlled by their universities. Since these servers have been installed in many different countries, the principles and privacy laws vary from country to country.

A supervised learning framework: using assessment to identify students at risk of dropping out of a MOOC

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

Both educational data mining and learning analytics aim to understand learners and optimise learning processes of educational settings like Moodle, a learning management system (LMS). Analytics in an LMS covers many different aspects: finding students at risk of abandoning a course or identifying students with difficulties before the assessments. Thus, there are multiple prediction models that can be explored. The prediction models can target at the course also. For instance, will this activity assessment engage learners? To ease the evaluation and usage of prediction models in Moodle, we abstract out the most relevant elements of prediction models and develop an analytics framework for Moodle. Apart from the software framework, we also present a case study model which uses variables based on assessments to predict students at risk of dropping out of a massive open online course that has been offered eight times from 2013 to 2018, including a total of 46,895 students. A neural network is trained with data from past courses and the framework generates insights about students at risk in ongoing courses. Predictions are then generated after the first, the second, and the third quarters of the course. The average accuracy that we achieve is 88.81% with a 0.9337 F1 score and a 73.12% of the area under the ROC curve.

Blockchain-based approach to create a model of trust in open and ubiquitous higher education

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

Currently, the training of the future work force presents challenging problems to higher education. This training, in the form of practical and theoretical knowledge can come from multiple platforms, channels and means, both formal and informal. In addition, it is quite difficult to assess the knowledge skill level that a student has acquired to optimize their chances for future employability. This, together with the need to still manage academic curricula on paper, the problems of confidence when validating these documents and contrasting them with real knowledge, etc., means that management in higher education requires revolutionary new tools. This work evaluates the benefits of the blockchain (or distributed ledger) technology and advocates a decentralised model of confidence for transactions based on an academic crypto currency. In this approach blockchain is used to manage transactions of content, teaching and competencies, assessed by consensus by students, trainers and employers, to eliminate once and for all the “gap” between the academic world and the working world. This paper aims to address the current challenges of an increasingly dispersed, open and ubiquitous higher education. The proposed model can be implemented in any training institution to adapt its teaching to the specific needs of professional profiles validated by employers in the sector. This model has been validated by means of a prototype with more than acceptable results.

E-learning assessment for tourism education LISREL assisted intercultural tourism perception and data integrated satisfaction perspectives

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

With the intensification of global integration, education internationalization has become one of the important indicators for evaluating the level of higher education development in a country. From the total income of tourism in recent years and its contribution to China’s GNP, it can be seen that the tourism industry has a strong development momentum. Tourism culture has become a mobile culture of which essence is cross-cultural tourism. Therefore, studying tourism from an intercultural perspective is an inevitable trend under the globalization of international tourism. Meanwhile, the contribution of tourism education talents is an important guarantee for the sustainable development of tourism. The dominant growth of the tourism industry has undoubtedly promoted the in-depth development of tourism education. Therefore, the development of tourism education and tourism industry should be a dynamic development pattern which promotes each other. This article regards the relationship between perception and satisfaction as the starting point and introduces the LISREL model into cross-cultural tourism research. This paper constructs a cross-cultural tourism research model and studies the relationship between perception and satisfaction, which can also be used to study other aspects of cross-cultural tourism.

Process mining for self-regulated learning assessment in e-learning

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

Content assessment has broadly improved in e-learning scenarios in recent decades. However, the e-Learning process can give rise to a spatial and temporal gap that poses interesting challenges for assessment of not only content, but also students’ acquisition of core skills such as self-regulated learning. Our objective was to discover students’ self-regulated learning processes during an e-Learning course by using Process Mining Techniques. We applied a new algorithm in the educational domain called Inductive Miner over the interaction traces from 101 university students in a course given over one semester on the Moodle 2.0 platform. Data was extracted from the platform’s event logs with 21,629 traces in order to discover students’ self-regulation models that contribute to improving the instructional process. The Inductive Miner algorithm discovered optimal models in terms of fitness for both Pass and Fail students in this dataset, as well as models at a certain level of granularity that can be interpreted in educational terms, which are the most important achievement in model discovery. We can conclude that although students who passed did not follow the instructors’ suggestions exactly, they did follow the logic of a successful self-regulated learning process as opposed to their failing classmates. The Process Mining models also allow us to examine which specific actions the students performed, and it was particularly interesting to see a high presence of actions related to forum-supported collaborative learning in the Pass group and an absence of those in the Fail group.

Effects of user perceptions of SAP ERP system on user learning and skills

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

This study examines the effects of playfulness and anxiety as perceived by users in relation to SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on users’ learning of business processes and users’ skills to use the system. Data was collected from a survey of college students who took a course on business process integration with ERP system where students used SAP ERP system to complete course works on business processes. System playfulness is found to have a small positive effect on user learning and skills without any control but the positive effect disappears after controlling for gender and prior experiences. System anxiety is found to have a large negative effect on both user learning and skills. These results suggest that enhancing the playfulness of SAP ERP system can help improve the user’s learning of business processes and the user's skills to use the system, but that reducing the anxiety of the system is far more important in improving the user’s learning of business processes and the user’s skills to use the system.

Assessing prior knowledge of statistics in students attending an online university

3 days 11 hours 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.

Psychological impact of e-learning on social network sites: online students’ attitudes and their satisfaction with life

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study pertaining to the psychological impact of e-learning on social network sites. The findings have resulted by means of a correlational analysis between attitude towards e-learning on social network sites and satisfaction with life of students experienced with e-learning experiences. It was based on an online survey of 607 valid responses with e-learning experiences gathered from 896 online respondents. The gender profile was balanced (males 50.7% and females 49.3% respectively). The analysis found that students who had experience of e-learning on social network sites also had a positive score on the Satisfaction with Life Scale (females 4.40 out of 6, SD = 0.91 and males 4.38 out of 6, SD = 0.9). The attitudes towards e-learning were also positive (female 4.34 out of 6, SD = 1.0 and male 4.12 out of 6, SD = 1.2). The relationship between e-learning attitudes and satisfaction with life was investigated using the Spearman Rank Order Correlation (rho) statistic. The research data shows a significant positive association between attitudes towards e-learning and satisfaction with life by females and males.

Investigating variation in learning processes in a FutureLearn MOOC

3 days 11 hours ago
Abstract

Studies on engagement and learning design in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have laid the groundwork for understanding how people learn in this relatively new type of informal learning environment. To advance our understanding of how people learn in MOOCs, we investigate the intersection between learning design and the temporal process of engagement in the course. This study investigates the detailed processes of engagement using educational process mining in a FutureLearn science course (N = 2086 learners) and applying an established taxonomy of learning design to classify learning activities. The analyses were performed on three groups of learners categorised based upon their clicking behaviour. The process-mining results show at least one dominant pathway in each of the three groups, though multiple popular additional pathways were identified within each group. All three groups remained interested and engaged in the various learning and assessment activities. The findings from this study suggest that in the analysis of voluminous MOOC data there is value in first clustering learners and then investigating detailed progressions within each cluster that take the order and type of learning activities into account. The approach is promising because it provides insight into variation in behavioural sequences based on learners’ intentions for earning a course certificate. These insights can inform the targeting of analytics-based interventions to support learners and inform MOOC designers about adapting learning activities to different groups of learners based on their goals.

An exploration of factors influencing the decision-making process and selection of academic help sources

4 weeks ago
Abstract

This study identifies factors that influence undergraduate students’ selection of a source of help. Learners engage in intentional decisions to seek help from human and non-human sources to resolve gaps in knowledge. Previous research in academic help-seeking assumed learners sought only human sources of assistance, resulting in a narrow understanding of how learners resolve knowledge gaps. Methodological trends in help-seeking research consistently favor quantitative, survey-based tools with pre-defined options. As a result, the factors that influence the selection of a source in a real-world setting with both human and online sources remain unexplored. The findings support including online sources in help-seeking models. Furthermore, the findings demonstrate the importance of relationships and underscore the need for an integrated framework of help-seeking. A new theory of source selection emerged which integrates academic help-seeking and information-searching behavior.

Role of conjecture mapping in applying a game-based strategy towards a case library: a view from educational design research

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Despite the prevalence of case-based reasoning in systems design, many of the established design principles are based on theory rather than empirical studies. This study describes the evolution of a case library learning environment and its transition to a game-based learning approach using educational design research (EDR). We discuss our iterative processes of design and development and situate these processes within the broader framework of educational design research. We discuss how the earlier versions of the problem-based learning environment were based on design principles extracted from case-based reasoning theory. Subsequent studies caused us to rethink the intersection of theory and design, along with its impact on learning outcomes. Using a variety of data collections (e.g. analytics, causal maps) and EDR strategies (e.g. conjecture maps), we identify the following new design principles based on CBR theory: emergent design principles that focused on optimal case length, mechanisms to prompt case retrieval and decision-making, and visual presentation. Implications for problem-based reasoning, case-based theory, and interface design are discussed.

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

1 month 2 weeks 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

2 months 3 weeks 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

3 months 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.