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.
Journal of Computing in Higher Education
Exploring how enrolling in an online organic chemistry preparation course relates to students’ self-efficacy
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.
Investigating educational affordances of virtual reality for simulation-based teaching training with graduate teaching assistants
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.
Role of conjecture mapping in applying a game-based strategy towards a case library: a view from educational design research
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.
Using texts generated by STR and CAT to facilitate student comprehension of lecture content in a foreign language
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.
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.
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.
Vertical versus shared e-leadership approach in online project-based learning: a comparison of self-regulated learning skills, motivation and group collaboration processes
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.
Students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes towards technology and user experience before and after use of an ePortfolio
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.
Correction to: Students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes towards technology and user experience before and after use of an ePortfolio
The original published version of this article unfortunately omitted data in Appendices 1 and 2.
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.
Does project focus influence challenges and opportunities of open online education? A sub-group analysis of group-concept mapping data
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.
Online video-recorded lectures have become an increasingly more important means for student learning (e.g., in flipped classrooms). However, getting students to process these lectures sufficiently to come to class well-prepared is a challenge for educators. This paper investigates the effectiveness of open-ended embedded questions for accomplishing that. An experiment compared a video-recorded lecture presented online with and without such questions. No feedback was given on responses to the questions. University students (N = 40) viewed the lecture, responded to a questionnaire on self-efficacy and usability, and completed a knowledge test. User logs revealed that the students engaged significantly more with the embedded questions lecture. Engagement was not related to knowledge test results, however. Uniformly high appraisals were given for self-efficacy, usefulness, ease of use and satisfaction. Mean test scores were significantly higher for the embedded questions condition. It is concluded that open-ended embedded questions without feedback can increase the effectiveness of online video-recorded lectures as learning resources.
Utilizing learning analytics in course design: voices from instructional designers in higher education
Studies in learning analytics (LA) have garnered positive findings on learning improvement and advantages for informing course design. However, little is known about instructional designers’ perception and their current state of LA-related adoption. This qualitative study explores the perception of instructional designers in higher education regarding factors influencing their intent and actual practice of LA approach in course design practice, based on analysis of multiple strategies such as focus group, individual, and email interviews. Most instructional designers admitted LA had great potential, but adoption was limited. Their perception, intention, and the current state of adoption are affected by individual differences, system characteristics, social influence, and facilitating conditions. Findings have imperative implications for promoting effective implementation of LA approach in higher education.