Journal of Computing in Higher Education

Understanding Chinese teachers’ informal online learning continuance in a mobile learning community: an intrinsic–extrinsic motivation perspective

1 day 10 hours ago
Abstract

While extensive studies on informal online learning have been well documented to afford teachers’ collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, little is still known about their motivational factors regarding the continuance intention of informal online learning. To this end, an extended expectation confirmation model (ECM) was proposed including intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The proposed research model and several hypotheses were empirically evaluated using questionnaire surveys with the valid data collected from 231 Chinese in-service teachers in the shared mobile learning community. The results consolidate the appropriateness of the extended ECM to explain teachers’ informal online learning continuance. Specifically, satisfaction is the major determinant of continuance intention, followed by perceived usefulness and intrinsic motivation. In addition, extrinsic motivation positively predicts perceived usefulness and confirmation. The results of this study provide some theoretical and practical implications into in-service teachers’ continuance intention of informal online learning.

Adoption of open educational resources in the global south

3 days 10 hours ago
Abstract

Open Education Resources (OER) may support students in the Global South, who experience high cost of educational materials. This research aims to understand how students from the Global South adopt OER using the lens of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) with the concept of playfulness. In addition, we also explored the effect of cultural factors, such as long-term orientation (LTO) and indulgence versus restraint (IVR) on OER adoption intention. 1527 students from 27 higher education institutions in eight countries in the Global South participated in the study. Multilevel linear modeling was used to test the individual-level and cross-level hypotheses. The results suggested that perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), and playfulness had a significant impact on students’ intention to adopt OER. Furthermore, playfulness also strengthened the relationship between PU and the intention to adopt OER. Although the two cultural factors did not have a direct impact on students’ intention to adopt OER, IVR moderated the relationship between PU and students’ intention to adopt OER. Our research contributes to the theory of technology adoption and culture as well as the practice of OER in the Global South. institutions in eight countries in the Global South participated in the study. Multilevel linear modeling was used to test the individual-level and cross-level hypotheses. The results suggested that perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), and playfulness had a significant impact on students’ intention to adopt OER. Furthermore, playfulness also strengthened the relationship between PU and the intention to adopt OER. Although the two cultural factors did not have a direct impact on students’ intention to adopt OER, IVR moderated the relationship between PU and students’ intention to adopt OER. Our research contributes to the theory of technology adoption and culture as well as the practice of OER in the Global South.

Fostering autonomous motivation: a deeper evaluation of gamified learning

5 days 10 hours ago
Abstract

Research in gamified learning is still needed to expound how gamification may be employed to realistically yield positive effects on learning motivation. It is essential to evaluate whether gamification can foster autonomous forms of motivation, such as intrinsic motivation, which has been related to learning persistence and performance quality, instead of non-autonomous extrinsic motivation, that has been shown to be unsustainable or at worse, harmful to learning. To explore this, the current study investigated how gamified learning affected various motivational dimensions such as the sense of competence, autonomy, valuation, intrinsic motivation, identified regulation and external regulation to provide a clearer picture of the motivational influence of gamification. This study involved a learning activity that was gamified in a long-term context. The findings showed that gamifying a non-graded learning activity increased the sense of autonomy and intrinsic motivation. Interestingly, the findings showed that gamification reduced non-autonomous motivation in an examination-oriented course. Nevertheless, gamified learning did not yield significant effects on the sense of competence and valuation. The relationships between the various motivational dimensions were discussed in this paper.

Learning analytics as data ecology: a tentative proposal

1 week 5 days ago
Abstract

Central to the institutionalization of learning analytics is the need to understand and improve student learning. Frameworks guiding the implementation of learning analytics flow from and perpetuate specific understandings of learning. Crucially, they also provide insights into how learning analytics acknowledges and positions itself as entangled in institutional data ecosystems, and (increasingly) as part of a data ecology driven by a variety of data interests. The success of learning analytics should therefore be understood in terms of data flows and data interests informing the emerging and mutually constitutive interrelationships and interdependencies between different stakeholders, interests and power relations. This article analyses several selected frameworks to determine the extent to which learning analytics understands itself as a data ecosystem with dynamic interdependencies and interrelationships (human and non-human). Secondly, as learning analytics increasingly becomes part of broader data ecologies, we examine the extent to which learning analytics takes cognizance of the reality, the potential and the risks of being part of a broader data ecology. Finally, this article examines the different data interests vested in learning analytics and critically considers implications for student data sovereignty. The research found that most of the analyzed frameworks understand learning analytics as a data ecosystem, with very little evidence of a broader data ecological understanding. The vast majority of analyzed frameworks consider student data as valuable resource without considering student data ownership and their data rights for self-determination.

ICT efficacy and response to different needs in university classrooms: effects on attitudes and active behaviour towards technology

2 weeks ago
Abstract

Digital competence is considered to be a crucial learning outcome in education in the 21st century. In this context, research highlights the fact that the perceptions that instructors manifest about different aspects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) condition these professionals’ behaviour towards these learning resources. In the same line, this study aims to analyse the effects that exist between a series of dimensions related to the perception of university teaching staff on the capacity of ICTs to respond to different needs of students, on perceived efficacy and attitudes towards these tools and, lastly, on active behaviour towards their use. To do so, 345 university instructors from the Spanish educational system filled in an online questionnaire. The application of a Structural Equation Model underscores the fact that the ability of ICTs to respond to the different needs of students in the university classroom and their perceived efficacy in the teaching–learning process both exert a positive effect on attitudes in favour of their incorporation into the classroom. In turn, these attitudes also have a significant effect on active behaviour with ICT resources. In addition, various mediating effects are seen to influence an active behaviour. All this gives rise to a discussion on the implications of these results to encourage the training of university teaching staff in the knowledge and management of ICTs. Increasing confidence in ICTs as effective tools to respond to different needs could significantly favour positive attitudes and behaviour so that these resources are actively integrated into the classroom.

Non-traditional students’ preferences for learning technologies and impacts on academic self-efficacy

2 weeks ago
Abstract

Blended Learning (BL) as a pedagogical approach has increased in significance during the COVID-19 pandemic, with blended and online learning environments becoming the new digital norm for higher educational institutions around the globe. While BL has been discussed in the literature for thirty years, a common approach has been to categorise learner cohorts to support educators in better understanding students’ relationships with learning technologies. This approach, largely unsupported by empirical evidence, has failed to adequately address the challenges of integrating learning technologies to fit with non-traditional students’ preferences, their BL self-efficacy and the associated pedagogical implications. Focusing on student preference, our study presents findings from a pre-COVID survey of undergraduate students across four campuses of an Australian regional university where students shared their learning technology preferences and the self-regulated learning that influenced their academic self-efficacy in a BL context. Findings show students want consistency, relevance, and effectiveness with the use of BL tools, with a preference for lecture recordings and video resources to support their learning, while email and Facebook Messenger were preferred for communicating with peers and academic staff. Our study suggests a quality BL environment facilitates self-regulated learning using fit-for-purpose technological applications. Academic self-efficacy for BL can increase when students perceive the educational technologies used by their institution are sufficient for their learning needs.

Wild brooms and learning analytics

2 weeks ago
Abstract

In this commentary we present an analogy between Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s classic poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and institutional learning analytics. In doing so, we hope to provoke institutions with a simple heuristic when considering their learning analytics initiatives. They might ask themselves, “Are we behaving like the sorcerer’s apprentice?” This would be characterized by initiatives lacking faculty involvement, and we argue that when initiatives fit this pattern, they also lack consideration of their potential hazards, and are likely to fail. We join others in advocating for institutions to, instead, create ecosystems that enable faculty leadership in institutional learning analytics efforts.

Design and effects of the teacher-student interaction model in the online learning spaces

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

The interaction between teachers and students is vital for promoting teaching quality. Online learning spaces have various features that can support teacher-student interaction in online learning contexts. In this study, a preliminary model was developed by analyzing the principles underlying the interaction between teachers and students and the support features of online learning spaces. Then, the interaction model was refined and validated in three rounds of teaching practice involving 31 college students. A real-time dynamic artificial intelligence analysis system was used to analyze the teacher-student interaction during three rounds of design-based research. The results showed that the model significantly fostered students’ engagement during the interaction. Moreover, students significantly improved their final exam scores and their innovative problem-solving ability after the intervention.

Investigating what learners value in marketing MOOCs: a content analysis

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate learners’ experiences in marketing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The comments of 255 learners, collected from three top-rated marketing MOOCs, were analyzed with MAXQDA, a content analysis software. The analysis of the 517 meanings (unit of analysis) that emerged from these comments produced five themes and 16 associated categories valued by learners, each comprising several categories as follows: (a) topic and its categories: value, content, difficulty level, knowledge gain, insight increase, and cost effectiveness; (b) instructor and its categories: characteristics, content delivery, and communication; (c) peers and its categories: interaction and evaluation; (d) instructional design and its categories: workload, structuredness, and assessment; and (e) learning resources and its categories: quality and diversity. Among the 517 meanings, 448 were positive and 69 were negative, suggesting that the learners approved of the current practices of teaching and learning in the three marketing MOOCs. Further analyses showed that content delivery in the instructor theme and content and value in the topic theme were of considerable importance from the learners’ perspectives with regard to positive experiences; however, peer evaluation in the peers theme and assessment in the instructional design theme were negatively viewed by the learners. Discussion is provided to interpret the findings.

An investigation of self-regulated learning in a novel MOOC platform

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Despite the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and the impressive levels of enrolment they attract, many participants do not complete these courses. High drop-out has been identified as one of the major problems with existing MOOC formats. Our work addresses two factors relating to non-completion. Firstly, MOOCs require a high degree of self-regulated learning (SRL) skills but most do not adequately develop such skills, thus making them inaccessible in practice to many. Related to this is the inflexibility and passivity of many current MOOC formats, preventing individuals from setting their own learning objectives and directing their own learning. This paper presents preliminary findings from an investigation into MOOC learners’ SRL skills and the relationship to how participants learn. Following a design science methodology, we have developed a novel MOOC platform to support learner choice and to assist participants in defining learning goals and developing individual study paths. This paper describes the architecture of the system and presents findings from a pilot MOOC developed on the platform. Our results indicate that there is a high demand for more flexible, self-directed learning but that MOOC learners exhibit deficiencies in specific SRL skills including help seeking and task strategies. The contextualised nature of SRL skills means that even learners with a strong background of formal education may not deploy the best strategies for MOOC learning. This work is of significance to MOOC development in general as it highlights the need for targeted strategies to encourage SRL in MOOC platforms and innovation.

Using learning analytics to explore the multifaceted engagement in collaborative learning

1 month 3 weeks ago
Abstract

Engagement is critical in learning, including computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Previous studies have mainly measured engagement using students’ self-reports which usually do not capture the learning process or the interactions between group members. Therefore, researchers advocated developing new and innovative engagement measurements to address these issues through employing learning analytics and educational data mining (e.g., Azevedo in Educ Psychol 50(1):84–94, 2015; Henrie in Comput Educ 90:36–53, 2015). This study responded to this call by developing learning analytics to study the multifaceted aspects of engagement (i.e., group behavioral, social, cognitive, and metacognitive engagement) and its impact on collaborative learning. The results show that group behavioral engagement and group cognitive engagement have a significantly positive effect on group problem-solving performance; group social engagement has a significantly negative effect; the impact of group metacognitive engagement is not significant. Furthermore, group problem-solving performance has a significant positive effect on individual cognitive understanding, which partially mediates the impact of group behavioral engagement and fully mediates the impact of group social engagement on individual cognitive understanding. The findings have important implications for developing domain-specific learning analytics to measure students’ sub-constructs of engagement in CSCL.

Adjusting sails for changing winds: exploring Reddit use for professional purposes in higher education

2 months ago
Abstract

Emerging practices of social media for professional purposes in higher education merit further attention. Reddit, a social media platform, is under-studied despite its significant presence. This study explores participation patterns on Reddit for two summer periods during 2019–2020, before and during COVID-19. We collected a total of 82,494 contributions from two subreddits, r/highereducation and r/Professors. Results show changes in contributions and interactions, with more consistent growth in r/Professors. Major topics discussed in both subreddits during summer 2020 had shifted from 2019, largely related to COVID-19. Findings are discussed with a community of practice lens, noting changes in participation and adjustment to the crisis. Additionally, we present implications for supporting and sustaining higher education professionals through Reddit during and after massive disruptions like those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examining the effect of a genetic algorithm-enabled grouping method on collaborative performances, processes, and perceptions

2 months ago
Abstract

Group formation is a critical factor which influences collaborative processes and performances in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Automatic grouping has been widely used to generate groups with heterogeneous attributes and to maximize the diversity of students’ characteristics within a group. But there are two dominant challenges that automatic grouping methods need to address, namely the barriers of uneven group size problem, and the inaccessibility of student characteristics. This research proposes an optimized, genetic algorithm-based grouping method that includes a conceptual model and an algorithm module to address these challenges. Through a quasi-experiment research, we compare collaborative groups’ performance, processes, and perceptions in China’s higher education. The results indicate that the experimental groups outperform the traditional grouping methods (i.e., random groups and student-formed groups) in terms of final performances, collaborative processes, and student perceptions. Based on the results, we propose implications for implementation of automatic grouping methods, and the use of collaborative analytics methods in CSCL.

Post-secondary online learning in the U.S.: an integrative review of the literature on undergraduate student characteristics

2 months ago
Abstract

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning had become a fundamental part of post-secondary education. At the same time, empirical evidence from the last decade documents higher dropout online in comparison to face-to-face courses for some students. Thus, while online learning may provide students access to post-secondary education, concerns about academic momentum and degree attainment dominate the higher education online learning landscape. Because course completion is often used as a measure of effectiveness, there is a strong need for institutions to be able to predict the potential persistence of online students to direct efforts towards ameliorating dropout. Yet currently, a widely tested and validated archetypical predictive model of retention and success does not exist for undergraduate online learning. This integrative review of the literature examines evidence gathered over the last decade, organizing and summarizing major findings, to help identify potential undergraduate student characteristics for inclusion in such a model. The body of literature collected in this review suggests ten factors for consideration.

A synthesis of surveys examining the impacts of COVID-19 and emergency remote learning on students in Canada

2 months ago
Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic numerous institutions around the world have surveyed students to gain an understanding of their experiences. While these surveys are valuable at a local institutional level, it is unclear as to which findings from individual surveys reflect the broader higher education environment, and which patterns may be consistent across student surveys. It is worthwhile to synthesize survey findings in order to explore patterns and potentially new understandings that may arise from such analysis. In this paper, we reviewed and synthesized 21 surveys examining the impacts of COVID-19 and emergency remote learning on approximately 155,000 student respondents in Canada. Findings reveal that the impacts of COVID-19 and emergency remote learning on students centered around (1) educational experiences, (2) mental health and wellbeing, (3) financial concerns, (4) impact on future plans, and (5) recommendations for future practice.

Instructors’ educational ICT use in higher education in developing countries: evidence from three Ethiopian Universities

2 months ago
Abstract

Developing countries exert much effort to improve the quality of their higher education. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) may address some of the quality problems in higher education in these countries. Previous studies on this topic stressed the impact of ICT use on learning, the status of ICT integration in education, and the factors associated with ICT integration with minimal attention to how instructors in higher education in developing countries use ICT. This study employed a qualitative approach, collecting data from twenty-one by then active instructors in three public universities in Ethiopia through focus group discussion to explore the educational use of ICT. The data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically using ATLAS.ti software. The results show that instructors in the selected Ethiopian universities use ICT for course facilitation, course materials preparation, professional development, assessment, and information and resource exchange purposes. However, these findings do not reveal a transformative use of ICT in education, which may imply that ICT is not used in a manner that alters existing teacher-centered approaches. This study suggests that future studies may focus on why instructors rarely use ICT in a transformative way and developing a tailor-made and efficient model that informs practice.

Enhancing students’ beliefs regarding programming self-efficacy and intrinsic value of an online distributed Programming Environment

2 months ago
Abstract

Several studies have explored the factors that influence self-efficacy as well as its contribution to academic development in online learning environments in recent years. However, little research has investigated the effect of a web-based learning environment on enhancing students’ beliefs about self-efficacy for learning. This is especially noticeable in the field of online distributed programming. We need to design online learning environments for programming education that foster both students’ self-efficacy for programming learning and the added value that students perceive of the tool as a successful learning environment. To that end, we conducted a quantitative analysis to collect and analyze data of students using an online Distributed Systems Laboratory (DSLab) in an authentic, long-term online educational experience. The results indicate that (1) our distributed programming learning tool provides an environment that increases students’ belief of programming self-efficacy; (2) the students’ experience with the tool strengthens their belief in the intrinsic value of the tool; however (3) the relationship between students’ belief in the tool intrinsic value and their self-efficacy is inconclusive. This study provides relevant implications for online distributed (or general) programming course teachers who seek to increase students’ engagement, learning and performance in this field.

Lessons learned from designing a curriculum analytics tool for improving student learning and program quality

2 months ago
Abstract

Curriculum Analytics (CA) emerged as a sub-field of Learning Analytics, aiming to use large amounts of educational data to drive curriculum decision-making and program improvement. However, it is still an open question how the use of CA tools impacts student learning and program quality. To advance this field, this paper describes the lessons learned from having designed and implemented a CA tool to help managers and teaching staff reflect on curriculum and teaching practices. This CA tool was developed under a design-based research approach called The Integrative Learning Design Framework. We implemented a two-cycle building-testing structure to evaluate the perceived usefulness and usability of this tool. The first cycle consisted of designing a first version of the tool and evaluating its use throughout a case study involving 5 managers and 124 teaching staff members who participated in a 3-year continuous improvement process in one Latin American university. The second cycle consisted of redesigning the tool according to the lessons learned during the first cycle and evaluating its use throughout workshops with 16 managers and 9 teaching staff members in two Latin American universities. Findings indicate that the CA tool helped teachers collect a greater number and variety of evidence regarding students’ attainment of competencies, allowing staff to be more aware of the learning situation of their students when redesigning course assessment methods and course sequences. Currently, this CA tool is being used by 20 Latin American universities, guiding curriculum renewal strategies beyond the current global pandemic.