Frontiers in Education: Digital Learning Innovations

Gamified Mobile Collaborative Location-Based Language Learning

1 day 12 hours ago

As design-based research, this study describes the development and analysis of two location-based augmented reality (AR) serious learning games (SLG) for French second language (FL2) learning. Explorez and VdeUVic are collaborative quest-based SLGs. At different locations on campus, players interact with characters that give them quests including clues or options to further the storyline. These interactions take place in the form of either written text, or audio and video recordings, encouraging students to develop language skills both written and oral. Students choose their own learning path and advance at their own pace. Three cohorts of FL2 university students play-tested the games, with 58 of the 77 students choosing to participate in the study. The design-based research framework for the development of the game iterations and subsequent testing was an iterative process with each stage producing output that became input for the next stage. The evaluation of the AR language tools was implemented by means of a mixed-method case study, collecting data of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, through pre and post-play questionnaires, interviews, and video recordings of student gameplay interactions for analysis. Informed by situated cognition, one of the goals was to provide a contextual and immersive learning experience. Additionally, this research drew on sociocultural theory and the social nature of language learning, emphasizing learner interactions as a principal learning force. This research examined the learners’ perceptions of their learning experience, as well as the ways in which students collaborated to complete the tasks. Employing a situative approach framework informed by social regulation and content processing, student learning patterns were examined. Distinct types of learner interactions amongst teams during gameplay were shown. Patterns in the emergence of learners’ high-level co-regulation during collaborative learning are indicated in the findings. Key elements for the development and implementation of location-based serious games to foster collaborative learning are highlighted.

Application of the Educational Game to Enhance Student Learning

2 days 9 hours ago

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of an educational game to enhance student learning effectiveness. This study consisted of 56 college students majoring in physical education and recreation management (32 men, 24 women, age M = 21 years, SD = 1.72). Students used the educational computer game “PaGamO” to study the motor learning and development course. Students received rewards based on their individual and group “PaGamO” scores. Regression analysis indicated that “PaGamO” score was a significant (p < 0.01) predictor of multiple choice (MC) score in the final examination, there was a medium positive correlation (β = 0.354). The R2 suggests that 12.6% of MC score was explained by “PaGamO” score. Quantitative and qualitative mixed-method approach was used to gain insights into students’ perceptions and experiences of the educational game. The top three statements of a modified questionnaire from Riemer and Schrader (2015) are: (1) “In my opinion, the use of ‘PaGamO’ enables me to better prepare for the final examination” (M = 5.04, SD = 1.41), (2) “In my opinion, the use of ‘PaGamO’ enables me to understand learning contents” (M = 4.8, SD = 1.19), (3) “In my opinion, the use of ‘PaGamO’ allows me to apply knowledge” (M = 4.75, SD = 1.08). The top three motives to play “PaGamO” were “fun,” “self-learning,” and “want to get a higher grade in the final examination.” By using gamification as a tool for learning and studying, students did find “PaGamO” effective for their learning experience. Both intrinsic and extrinsic participation motives are reasons why students play “PaGamO.” Furthermore, due to its convenience, using mobile devices to play “PaGamO” is more popular than using computers and tablet devices. In conclusion, the combination of gamification and traditional learning methods can enhance students’ learning outcomes.

The Design of a Gamified Responsible Use of Social Media

3 days 9 hours ago

Social media is part of almost everyone's daily life. Its networking facilities redefines the way people connect and interact with each other. However, social media is reported being misused in different ways, especially the millennials. There is a need to elevate the teens' level of empowerment on the responsible use of social media. Other technological innovations like augmented reality (AR) and digital gamification provides pedagogical benefits. Digital gamification in the classroom is a teaching strategy that translates content and delivery into a game using digital technology. On the other hand, AR is an emerging technology to enlarge real-life situations in multimedia. Research shows both technologies increase interactivity well as attention span among the learners. Additionally, these technologies, including social media, are among the many useful tools in teaching twenty first century learners once correctly used. With this, a game-based mobile application was developed to advocate responsible use of social media among teens. The learning content was gamified in augmented reality to provide an innovative teaching and learning way at Silliman University. This paper describes the gamification design of the learning trail on the topic of responsible use of social media. Specifically, it presents the publishing process of the augmented reality mobile application about responsible use of social media. Kuhlmann's 3C Model (Challenge, Choices, Consequences) was utilized to formulate the learning content. It also demonstrates the design phases, game mechanics, and the general evaluation of the learning application. Four challenges were developed. These are (a) be familiar with security and privacy policies, (b) do not express concerns about others, even if you think you are anonymous, (c) respond to digital offenders, (d) do not tell the world about an upcoming vacation. These challenges were translated into graphics and animations. The animated material was compiled, programmed, and published to a server of the mobile application. The gamified learning trail on responsible use of social media is accessible through QR codes leading to the augmented reality interface. The design was validated and found to be relevant and engaging.

The Art of Tacit Learning in Serious Location-Based Games

1 week ago

Over the past two decades, location-based games have moved from media art fringes to the mass cultural mainstream. Through their locative affordances, these game types enable practices of wayfaring and placemaking, with the capacity to deliver powerful tacit knowledge. These affordances suggest the potential for the development of location-based games in educational contexts. This paper presents three cases studies—TIMeR and Wayfinder Live and Pet Playing four Placemaking—to illustrate how each uses elements of wayfaring and placemaking to bring new opportunities for education through a tacit knowledge approach.

How Online Teams with Diverse Backgrounds Worked to Excel: Findings from an International eTournament

1 week 4 days ago

A tide of changes with technological advances at its center has allowed more efficient and productive synchronous and asynchronous collaborations among dispersed individuals across the globe in recent years. Working effectively in virtual teams of individuals with diverse backgrounds is thus critical for students to succeed in the 21st century. However, relevant training for international collaboration is lacking in the higher education system. The research team examined data from a project aimed to heighten students’ multidisciplinary and multicultural competencies via a team-based, international eTournament organized in 2019 and enhanced and repeated in early 2020 featuring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Students were teamed up according to a mechanism, to ensure diversity in each virtual team and mimic the real practice in many workplaces. A two-stage “strategize-play” approach was deployed with activities carried out entirely online. Team members first got to know each other, built up their teams and formulated their strategies for the next stage. In the second stage, the virtual teams competed with one other on a gamified learning platform called PaGamO by answering questions related to the SDGs. About 240 students (2019) and 420 students (2020) participated. Various sets of quantitative and qualitative data were collected, including student chat histories, focus group interviews, data analytics from PaGamO recording how the students progressed in the game, as well as the pre- and post-game surveys. This article focuses on the chat histories of students from the top-5 and bottom-5 teams of the 2019 and 2020 eTournaments. The results provide evidence that the high performing teams took a different gaming approach from the low performing teams in such areas as team building and game strategy deployment.

“I can Just Get all the Bits That I Need”: Practitioners’ Use of Open-Access Sport Science Podcasts

2 weeks 1 day ago

The aim of the current investigation was to explore practitioners’ attitudes toward and reasons for listening to open-access podcasts. It is well accepted within the literature that sport and exercise practitioners, such as coaches and sport scientists, perceive several barriers to access of scientific and academic research. Open-access podcasts may provide an alternative platform for developing esoteric knowledge. Nine sport and exercise practitioners (including gym owners, nutritionists, and sport coaches) participated in the investigation. A single-semi structured interview was conducted, and data were analyzed using a thematic network analysis approach. Three themes were constructed from the data—flexibility of podcast listening, convenience of podcast listening, practitioners’ need for authentic and novel information.

Technology and Media Use in Preschool Classrooms: Prevalence, Purposes, and Contexts

2 weeks 3 days ago

Although the amount of time that preschoolers spend with screen media at home is continuing to increase, less is known about the types of media experiences children are having in preschool settings. Furthermore, little research has investigated the purposes for which preschool teachers use technology and media in the classroom and the contexts in which such use occurs. The current study addresses that gap by providing a nuanced picture of technology and media use in preschool classrooms. Lead teachers were recruited via email lists of educators who participated in previous studies or expressed interest in receiving communication from our research group. Participants (N = 312, 98.6% female; Mage = 43.9 years) all taught preschool-age children. Participants were first asked to check which of four devices they used with children in their classroom (tablet, smartphone, computer, television). If participants responded that they used each device, they were asked how often. Survey items also assessed (1) Purposes: how often teachers used each device for instructional purposes (e.g., teaching new material, practicing material) and non-instructional purposes (e.g., entertainment, as a reward), and (2) Context: how often teachers used devices for both teacher-supported and non-teacher-supported activities. Results indicated that tablet and computer use were most common, whereas smartphone and television use were less prevalent. Teachers reported most frequently using tablets, computers, and smartphones for instructional purposes. Television was most frequently used for entertainment. Tablets and smartphones were most frequently used in teacher-supported individual contexts, whereas computers were most frequently used in teacher-supported whole group contexts. Latent class analysis showed five classes of classroom technology and media use: tablet and computer users, tablet only users, low technology users, computer for teacher-supported instruction users, and television only users. Finally, we determined that these classes were predicted by program funding (publicly- or privately-funded), teacher experience, and teacher education.

A Simulation Design of Immersive Virtual Reality for Animal Handling Training to Biomedical Sciences Undergraduates

3 weeks 3 days ago

Background: One area of biomedical research concerns is applying new treatments to cure human diseases, moving bench-side research to the bedside practice. While using animal models is crucial in the research process, researchers should strictly adhere to the moral 4R framework to protect animal welfare—replacement, reduction, refinement, and responsibility. Virtual reality (VR) applies computer technology to create a simulated environment, allowing players to immerse and interact with animated 3D contexts. We developed a virtual animal-holding simulator (ViSi) using immersive virtual reality technology for students studying in the undergraduate biomedical sciences programme. The specific objectives of the paper are to 1) describe the development of the VR courseware for animal training and 2) describe the learning experience among students.

Method and Result: An evaluation of the courseware was conducted among Year one and two biomedical sciences students. Students who participated in ViSi responded positively about their involvement in the virtual environment experience and their concentration on the assigned task.

Discussion: ViSi is a reliable simulation technology that can train animal handling skills, which replaces real animals, while learners’ multi-cognition could still be enhanced with simulation training. Thus, the impact of immersive VR technology integrated into skills training is promising, although few technical problems are to be resolved.

Active Learning to Improve Student Learning Experiences in an Online Postgraduate Course

1 month 1 week ago

Post-graduate programs attract older students, who often work part-time or full-time and have child-care responsibilities. In the Information Age, online learning environments can help these students to meet their learning objectives more efficiently and provide a unique opportunity to address individual learning preferences. The aim of this study was to assess the learning experiences of postgraduate students in an online learning environment delivering content in a guided, self-directed way focusing on active learning opportunities. Two-hundred and eighty-seven students participated in the study. A pragmatic descriptive design with purposive sampling was used to examine the impact of a newly developed active online learning environment on student commitment, performance and satisfaction when compared to a passive, pre-recorded lecture. In contrast to our hypothesis that all metrics would improve with subject redevelopment, student performance and commitment did not improve in the active online learning environment; however, student satisfaction increased significantly. These findings might be partly attributed to the increased cognitive load associated to online learning. This study demonstrates how, for postgraduate students choosing online learning, active learning experiences can be used to provide students with a greater sense of satisfaction while acknowledging for the heterogeneity of the cohort and its different learning preferences. However, in the worldwide context of remote learning rapidly and urgently expanding, it also outlines that online learning needs to be carefully scaffolded to ensure deep learning and that the impact of the transition to online learning on performance and commitment should be considered, especially when directed at non-experienced students.

The Impact of Coding Apps to Support Young Children in Computational Thinking and Computational Fluency. A Literature Review

1 month 1 week ago

Data that shows that young children can learn and acquire Computational Thinking (CT) skills has led governments and policymakers internationally to integrate CT into the curriculum, starting in the earliest grades. Researchers support the idea that this introduction must not solely focus on a problem-solving process skill (CT) but instead provide children with new ways to express themselves, supporting their cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development (Computational Fluency-CF). Coupled with the media and government’s rhetoric and an increasing number of apps offering various programming lessons, puzzles, and challenges, educators have been responsible for introducing young children to CT and CF using touchscreen technology. This paper presents a literature review (N = 21) of empirical studies on applying four coding apps to support young children’s learning of CT and CF. The main conclusion is that all apps positively affect the development of children’s CT skills. None of the apps can ultimately support the development of CF, although ScratchJr, with a “sandbox” approach, can better help students express themselves.

Performance Over Enjoyment? Effect of Game-Based Learning on Learning Outcome and Flow Experience

1 month 2 weeks ago

Competitiveness in serious games and game-based learning contexts, have been suggested to be associated with variations in flow experience pertaining from game experience. Evidence from the game-based learning literature suggested that game-based learning in general enhances learning outcomes, and applicable to learning psychology at the undergraduate level. Yet the magnitude of such effect remains mixed from empirical evidence. The current study examines whether game-based learning, in competitive and non-competitive game format, would lead to differentiated gains on learning outcomes, perceived flow experience from game-based learning, and their interaction. We wish to test whether competitive and non-competitive formats of game-based learning could be characterized with different configurations of game flow experience that encapsulate the game-based learning experience, as well as the extent to which such predominant game flow experience would correlate with observed learning outcomes from featured game-based learning conditions. Effect of game-based learning was tested with an 2 × 2 experimental design. Participating learners (n = 142) were randomly assigned into either one out of four experimental conditions based on a 2 × 2 block design with two independent variables, competitiveness of game-based learning (competitive vs. non-competitive), and format of game-based learning (group vs. individual). Participating Learners in each of the conditions were assessed on learning outcomes related to the subject matters intended for the game-based learning artefacts. Results on learning outcomes revealed a significant main effect of competitiveness of game-based learning was observed, but not for format nor interaction effect. Main effect of format of game-based learning when learning in groups was observed from another two-way ANOVA analysis in a finite set of eGameFlow constructs including feedback, autonomy, goal clarity, and social interaction. Interaction effects between competitiveness of game-based learning and format was observed in autonomy and goal clarity constructs. Results from this study suggested that competitiveness and group format does not necessarily warrant improvement on learning outcomes in the game-based learning context. Main effects on cognitive flow dimensions align with the performance orientation among Asian learners. Further research would shed light on identifying levels of optimal gamified elements while assuring improvement on intended learning outcomes in the Asian tertiary education context.

The Effects of a Digital Articulatory Game on the Ability to Perceive Speech-Sound Contrasts in Another Language

2 months ago

Digital and mobile devices enable easy access to applications for the learning of foreign languages. However, experimental studies on the effectiveness of these applications are scarce. Moreover, it is not understood whether the effects of speech and language training generalize to features that are not trained. To this end, we conducted a four-week intervention that focused on articulatory training and learning of English words in 6–7-year-old Finnish-speaking children who used a digital language-learning game app Pop2talk. An essential part of the app is automatic speech recognition that enables assessing children’s utterances and giving instant feedback to the players. The generalization of the effects of such training in English were explored by using discrimination tasks before and after training (or the same period of time in a control group). The stimuli of the discrimination tasks represented phonetic contrasts from two non-trained languages, including Russian sibilant consonants and Mandarin tones. We found some improvement with the Russian sibilant contrast in the gamers but it was not statistically significant. No improvement was observed for the tone contrast for the gaming group. A control group with no training showed no improvement in either contrast. The pattern of results suggests that the game may have improved the perception of non-trained speech sounds in some but not all individuals, yet the effects of motivation and attention span on their performance could not be excluded with the current methods. Children’s perceptual skills were linked to their word learning in the control group but not in the gaming group where recurrent exposure enabled learning also for children with poorer perceptual skills. Together, the results demonstrate beneficial effects of learning via a digital application, yet raise a need for further research of individual differences in learning.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Passive and Active Screen Time on Young Children’s Phonological Memory

2 months 3 weeks ago

The purpose of this study was to fill this gap by examining the relationship between phonological memory in preschool children and their passive (watching TV) and active screen time with using of Smart Screen Technologies such as tablets and phones with a touch screen interface. Study was conducted in two stages: in Time 1, the association between children’s phonological memory, passive and active screen time and family factors was examined; in Time 2 (1 year later) the impact of passive and active screen time on a child’s individual progress in phonological memory development was evaluated. The study enrolled 122 preschool children aged 5–6 years (M = 5.72, SD = 0.33); boys (54.9%). Information on each child’s average daily passive and active screen time was obtained from a survey with the mother. The survey provided information on how much time each child spent on a typical day with passive (“traditional”) and active (interactive) use of digital devices. For family factors, we included maternal highest educational qualification, family’s financial situation. For children’s characteristics, age, gender and non-verbal fluid intelligence were included. The results indicate that time spent passively with digital devices (watching TV) is negatively related to a child’s ability to process verbal information. In contrast, the interactive time the child spent with Smart Screen Technologies is not significant and does not pose a threat to the development of phonological memory in preschool age. The study also showed that passive and active use of digital devices has no long-term impact on children’s phonological memory development progress over a year. The implications are that use of Smart Screen Technologies, which implies a higher degree of interactivity, is not associated with either short- or long-term negative effects on phonological memory development in preschool age, contrary to passive screen time exposure. The results can be applied in the elaboration of principles and programs on the use of digital devices for the entertainment and education of preschool children.

Toward A Contemplative Technopedagogy Framework: A Discourse Analysis

3 months ago

Digital technology features prominently in the higher education ecosystem, affecting the ways in which educators think, communicate, and teach. This research applies discourse analysis to articles published within The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) to understand: (1) The ways in which conceptions of digital technology in higher education pedagogy have changed and the ways in which they have remained consistent from 1993 to 2016 and (2) The extent to which CHE articles addressed attributes of contemplation with regard to technopedagogy. Research findings indicate that during the previous 23 years digital technology was portrayed as an overwhelmingly positive addition to higher education pedagogy. Less than half of articles analyzed contained attributes of contemplation. Non-contemplative technopedagogical approaches can lead to uncritical adoption or knee-jerk dismissal of digital technology – either of which can have substantial and long-lasting consequences within teaching-learning environments. Contemporary pedagogies need to pay closer attention to digital technologies, but must do so in a purposeful and engaged manner. This historical and discursive research inductively led to the development of the Contemplative Technopedagogy Framework, which provides an approachable introduction to using attributes of contemplation when making pedagogical decisions about digital technology in higher education.

Translating Scientific Articles to the Non-scientific Public Using the Wikipedia Encyclopedia

3 months ago

The multilingual, web-based Wikipedia free Encyclopedia is used worldwide by people from different audience. It is openly editable, allowing quick updates. We used these properties as an educational tool in University classrooms, where students' assignment was to rephrase scientific articles for the public. We share here our teaching experience with an Earth Sciences class, based on class assessments and students evaluations. During the 2017 Fall semester, a 1 ECTS MSc level reading seminar on the broad topic of Heat and Mass Transfers in Magmatology was taught for 6 weeks at ETH Zürich. Three first semester and six third semester M.Sc. students have attended the course. All students had a B.Sc. degree in Earth Sciences, among which seven had their main specialisation in Mineralogy and Geochemistry and two had their major in Geophysics. By groups of two, students have read a scientific article, presented it orally to classmates and answered questions from their peers. During the last two classes, students have edited and created Wikipedia Encyclopedia pages in relation to their article's topic. Students really enjoyed creating a Wikipedia page, even if they didn't use it before or didn't trust the Wikipedia content. They had little experience with communication to a non-scientific audience and considered this exercise was challenging. Evaluations show that writing about a scientific paper in a Wikipedia page is a less efficient learning technique than reading a scientific article, presenting it orally or listening to such a presentation. However, it certainly contributes to better memorise important information, it is an efficient way to practice writing and public and scientific communication skills and it encourages students to work collaboratively on real-time projects. The teachers can use those combined effects as a multi-channel learning technique. It is also highly motivating for the students and the teacher to have a class exercise using modern media techniques with the potential to reach a wide international community. With this article, we wish to encourage colleagues to teach students how to communicate science, to scientific peers and to the non-scientific public. This promotes high-quality education and helps reducing inequality, two sustainable development global goals.

Interdisciplinary Working Methods: Reflections Based on Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL)

3 months ago

In this paper, we discuss the nature of interdisciplinarity and, in particular, the ways that interdisciplinary working is enacted in TEL Research. Following a design-based research approach, a common TEL methodological approach, we identified how interdisciplinarity facilitated the research team to address a wicked problem, fostered dialogue between researchers in different disciplines and stakeholders in the research through the lifetime of the project and facilitated the creation of new meanings. Focusing on the Personal Inquiry Project (PI) team, interdisciplinary working methods are explored through examining two boundary objects namely the PI octagon and the concept of scenario, that provide windows of how interdisciplinary understanding evolves through time and among different stakeholders. These boundary objects, even though they had different importance within the project, illustrate the team's emergent and shared understanding while maintaining flexibility through a rapid iterative process. We discuss how a shared understanding was facilitated through active involvement of different disciplinary teams and consensus was built and refined in the light of emerging findings. Interviews with researchers on the project and the Advisory Board and on our own reflections on work practices illustrate key themes, i.e., the salience of boundary objects in the design process, the development of a common language, and the importance of a shared vision. We conclude with a set of requirements for progress in interdisciplinary working and comment on our view of good practice in fostering interdisciplinarity along with an outline of what we see as the remaining challenges.

Schooling Beyond COVID-19: An Unevenly Distributed Future

3 months ago

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has had a major impact on how schooling is done. With schools closed, teaching, and learning continue dependent on information and communication technologies (ICT). To the degree that this has been a success, there is the possibility that post-pandemic societies might choose to de-school, switching to online teaching and learning only. In this perspective piece, I describe two major risks if that future were to be embraced; that is, lack of equitable access and dehumanization. My argument is that these futures already exist in pockets around the globe and we can use those experiences to evaluate those options. I suggest instead that the post-pandemic period gives us an opportunity to re-imagine what schools and schooling are for and advocate for a re-schooled society in which our investment in schools builds and develops society.

Faculty and Student Perceptions of Academic Integrity in Technology-Assisted Learning and Testing

3 months ago

The recent COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to faculty (Fac) and students (Stu) to uphold academic integrity when many classes transitioned from traditional to remote. This study compared Fac and Stu perceptions surrounding academic integrity when using technology assisted proctoring in online testing.

Methods: College Fac (N = 150) and Stu (N = 78) completed a survey about perceptions of academic integrity and use of proctoring software for online testing. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to determine if there were differences in the distribution of agreement between students and faculty.

Results: Fac and Stu agreed maintaining academic integrity was a priority (93 vs. 94%), and that it is easier to cheat in online tests (81 vs. 83%). Responses differed on whether online proctoring software was effective at preventing academic dishonesty (23% of Fac vs. 42% of Stu disagreed). 53% of Fac and 70% of Stu perceived that online proctoring was an invasion of privacy. Only 7% of Stu and 49% of Fac perceived importance in having a policy about proctoring online tests, whether cheating in an academic setting is likely associated with cheating in a work setting (78 vs. 51%), and if given a choice, 46% of Fac and only 2% of Stu would choose to use proctoring software. Answers to open-ended questions identified feelings of stress and anxiety by Stu and concerns about privacy by Fac.

Conclusion: Fac and Stu had similar perceptions of the importance of academic integrity and ease of cheating in online tests. They differed in perception of proctoring software’s effectiveness in deterring cheating, choosing to give or take a proctored online test, and having a policy in place. Policies on technology-assisted online testing should be developed with faculty and student input to address student concerns of privacy, anxiety, and stress and uphold academic integrity.

Supporting Flipped and Gamified Learning With Augmented Reality in Higher Education

3 months 1 week ago

Chemistry education is challenging when many students cannot see the relevance and interest between what they learn at school and their everyday life outside the curriculum. Due to the prevalence of chemicals in real life, students lose interest in those not-so-novel Chemistry problems as they are satisfied with their rudimentary grasp of knowledge. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to draw students’ attention to those day-to-day Chemistry concepts, a task in which augmented reality (AR) can be a competent pedagogical facilitator. Despite its popularity due to the development of smart devices, educators are still averse to adopting AR in teaching because of the doubts about its pedagogical effectiveness and difficulties in implementation. This paper will demonstrate an AR app developed by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) for a year four undergraduate Chemistry course under two UGC’s project funds and CityU’s Teaching Development Grant that aligns with the university’s Discovery and Innovation-enriched Curriculum. The learning theories and technology stack of development and deployment will be shared in this paper. The consideration during preparation, production, and publishing will also be documented. A pilot survey about students’ perception of the AR showed positive feedback for the AR app in terms of enhancing awareness, learning, understanding, and engagement, which addresses the concerns of retaining students’ engagement during teaching and learning real-life Chemistry. We hope that educators who are interested in adopting AR can gain insights from this AR development experience. This research can act as a foundation for further exploration of applying AR in secondary and tertiary Chemistry education.

L2 Vocabulary Teaching by Social Robots: The Role of Gestures and On-Screen Cues as Scaffolds

3 months 2 weeks ago

Social robots are receiving an ever-increasing interest in popular media and scientific literature. Yet, empirical evaluation of the educational use of social robots remains limited. In the current paper, we focus on how different scaffolds (co-speech hand gestures vs. visual cues presented on the screen) influence the effectiveness of a robot second language (L2) tutor. In two studies, Turkish-speaking 5-year-olds (n = 72) learned English measurement terms (e.g., big, wide) either from a robot or a human tutor. We asked whether (1) the robot tutor can be as effective as the human tutor when they follow the same protocol, (2) the scaffolds differ in how they support L2 vocabulary learning, and (3) the types of hand gestures affect the effectiveness of teaching. In all conditions, children learned new L2 words equally successfully from the robot tutor and the human tutor. However, the tutors were more effective when teaching was supported by the on-screen cues that directed children's attention to the referents of target words, compared to when the tutor performed co-speech hand gestures representing the target words (i.e., iconic gestures) or pointing at the referents (i.e., deictic gestures). The types of gestures did not significantly influence learning. These findings support the potential of social robots as a supplementary tool to help young children learn language but suggest that the specifics of implementation need to be carefully considered to maximize learning gains. Broader theoretical and practical issues regarding the use of educational robots are also discussed.