ETR&D

The influence of the conceptual structure of external representations when relearning history content

1 day 18 hours ago
Abstract

How does conceptual structure of external representations contribute to learning? This investigation considered the influence of generative concept sorting and of external structure information moderated by perceived difficulty. In Study 1, undergraduate students completed a perceived difficulty survey and comprehension pretest, then a sorting task, and finally a comprehension posttest. Results showed that both perceived difficulty and comprehension pretest significantly predicted comprehension posttest performance. Learners who perceived that history is difficult attained significantly greater posttest scores and had more expert-like networks. In Study 2, participants completed the same perceived difficulty survey and comprehension pretest, then were randomly assigned to read a text with different external structure support, either an expert network or an equivalent outline of the text, and finally all completed the same sorting task posttest and a comprehension posttest. In Study 2, there was no significant difference for external structure support on posttest comprehension (outline = network), but reading with an outline led to a linear conceptual structure that matched the topic order of the text while reading with a network led to a more expert-like relational structure. As in Study 1, comprehension pretest and perceived difficulty significantly predicted posttest performance, but in contrast to Study 1, learners who perceived that history is easy attained significantly greater posttest scores. Practitioners should consider using generative sorting tasks when relearning history content. For theory building purposes, post-reading mental representations matched the form of the external representation used when reading, thus the conceptual structure of the external representation should be considered in future research.

Technology-scaffolded peer assessment for developing critical thinking in pre-service teacher training: the importance of giving feedback

2 days 18 hours ago
Abstract

Developing critical thinking is becoming increasingly important as is giving and receiving feedback during the learning process. The aim of this work is to study how technology can scaffold peer assessment activities to develop critical thinking among pre-service teachers and study the relevance of giving and receiving feedback. A series of practice and application activities were introduced using technology-scaffolded peer assessment. Technological scaffolding minimized classroom logistics, while at the same time resolved any personal issues between peers as the tasks were assigned at random. Mixed-methods analysis revealed that technology-scaffolded peer assessment with anonymous feedback aided the significant development of critical thinking activities. It also showed that the feedback that was given was a predictor of the success of these activities. The added value of this work is that we show that for pre-service teachers, in a Reading Methods course, we can improve critical thinking skills with technology scaffolded peer assessment, and that giving feedback shows to be more relevant than receiving it.

Impact of using authentic online learning environments on students’ perceived employability

5 days 18 hours ago
Abstract

The digitalization and globalization of society and the corresponding impact on the rules of the labor market is shifting the education sector toward new pedagogical approaches that integrate wholly online methodologies. Sustainable Development Goal 4 advocates for inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities, and, as we have seen during the COVID-19 lockdown, online learning can play a key role. In a context where lifelong learning becomes crucial to maintaining graduates’ employability, the innovative teaching methodologies that promote employable competencies in online environments are especially desirable. With the purpose of improving the employability of students, this article analyses the impact of introducing the Authentic Learning Scenarios (ALS) paradigm in an online environment. We develop a quasi-experimental design. Based on the nine ALS criteria and their application to e-learning, we redesign a course in a business degree program. Data from 135 students were collected, with special focus on achieving general competences. We compare the perception of the competency profile attained between a group of students who took the course before incorporating the ALS paradigm and another group that took it once it had been redesigned. Results show that redesigning the course enables students to perceive the learning process as more authentic, as well as acquiring a more advanced competence profile. Besides this, it has been shown that technology can contribute to building cognitive authenticity in virtual classrooms, without the need for face-to-face internships, which are often not a feasible option for students of online programs.

Learning programming through robots: the effects of educational robotics on pre-service teachers’ programming comprehension and motivation

1 week ago
Abstract

The purpose of this convergent mixed-methods study was to evaluate the effect of educational robotics on pre-service teachers’ programming comprehension and motivation. Computer science is increasingly being integrated into K-8 curricula. However, a shortage of teachers trained to teach basic computer science concepts remains unresolved. This study thus utilized educational robotics as “mindtools” to teach programming concepts to pre-service teachers. Data were obtained through a pre-post comprehension assessment, a pre-post motivation survey, field notes, and individual interviews. The findings of this study indicated that pre-service teachers’ comprehension of programming concepts and motivation related to programming can be improved through educational robotics to statistically significant levels. Design implications on integrating educational robotics into pre-service teacher programming instruction are discussed.

Towards a new paradigm: the development and validation of a scale to explore technology-enhanced feedback literacy among primary and secondary school teachers

2 weeks ago
Abstract

The new paradigm approaches to technology-enhanced feedback (TEF) have piqued the interest of educators seeking to shift away from feedback monologic processing and toward feedback dialogic exchange. The way teachers demonstrate constructive TEF behaviours for their students is essential to the development of students’ feedback literacy. However, there is a general lack of multidimensional theoretical conceptualisation for understanding, and instrumentation for measuring teacher TEF literacy. To fill this gap in the literature, this study designed and empirically validated a teacher TEF literacy scale (TTLS) using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis on two distinct samples of teacher participants chosen at random. A total of 632 school teachers from throughout most of China, with a variety of subject backgrounds, participated in this study. The results show that the TTLS’ three-factor structure is valid and reliable. To provide supplementary evidence of structural validity, the status quo of TEF literacy among primary and secondary school teachers in China was tested, and a discipline variation in teacher TEF literacy was identified, as hypothesised.

Students’ acceptance of online learning in developing nations: scale development and validation

3 weeks 6 days ago
Abstract

Most education systems were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, learning shifted from face-to-face to online in higher education institutions. This unprecedented shift in the learning environment caused substantial challenges for students. The situation was more severe in developing nations such as Bangladesh, which lacked available resources and knowledge of online education to support their students. Recent studies suggest that students resisted online learning in various developing nations. To support online learning in developing nations, this study develops the Acceptance of Online Learning (AOL) scale comprised of both institutional and student-related factors. To validate the AOL scale, the study collected data from 441 students across 30 higher education institutions in Bangladesh to determine the factors explaining students’ acceptance of online learning using AOL measurements. The results showed that institutional factors, such as technological sufficiency, instructor efficiency, and technical assistance play significant roles in students’ acceptance of online learning in developing nations. These findings will help education policymakers and administrators in developing nations to assess the needs of students with respect to online learning, and the AOL scale will assist in the evaluation of students’ acceptance of online learning in these nations.

Examining the use of digital technology in schools with a school-wide approach to personalized learning

3 weeks 6 days ago
Abstract

A growing number of schools have recently been changing their culture of teaching and learning towards personalized learning. Our study investigates how schools use digital technology to facilitate and promote personalized practices. Based on the answers of a student questionnaire from 31 lower-secondary schools with a personalized learning policy in Switzerland, we selected the three cases with the most frequent use of digital technology in the classroom. Using key categories of digital technology implementation to frame the analysis, we examined the differences and similarities regarding the contribution of digital technology to fostering personalized learning. A systematization of our analyses resulted in three different types in terms of how schools integrate digital tools into their daily practices: 1. selective use of digital technology according to individual teacher preference; 2. selective use of digital technology according to individual student preference; and 3. structural use of digital technology in accordance with a school-wide strategy. The findings provide indications for future research and practice with respect to an implementation of personalized learning that takes full advantage of digital technology.

Reflection as a social phenomenon: a conceptual framework toward group reflection research

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Reflection has been emphasized as crucial for learning and development. Yet, the social dimension of reflection is under-researched. Thus, this article proposes a conceptual framework to shed light on the social aspect of reflection and promote consistent and coherent research on group reflection. The authors first revisited reflection to recognize and justify the importance of group reflection as an explicit form of reflective practice in social contexts. Next, we conducted a 10-year (2010–2020) systematic review to examine the recent research on group reflection and identify gaps for future investigation. Based on the review findings, group composition and guidance on the practice were identified as two critical features in examining how individuals reflect at the interpersonal level to construct shared understanding within the group. Considering individuals’ attributes as the source for various group compositions, we propose a three-dimensional framework to direct research on group reflection, including dimensions of (a) personal attributes, (b) group diversity, and (c) guidance on group reflection. This conceptual framework includes key attributes of group composition and four categories of guidance that may influence group reflection. Furthermore, we illustrate the application of the conceptual framework in three main research areas with specific examples of research questions. Last, we discuss the implications for future research beyond the conceptual framework.

Teachers’ role in digitalizing education: an umbrella review

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

As teachers are central to digitalizing education, we summarize 40 years of research on their role in that process within a systematic umbrella review that includes 23 systematic reviews with a total of 1062 primary studies focusing technology integration and aspects of digital literacy. Our findings highlight the international acceptance of the TPACK framework as well as the need for a clear concept of digital literacy. It is unique that we identify and discuss parallels in developing teachers’ digital literacy and integrating digital technologies in the teaching profession as well as barriers to those goals. We conclude by suggesting future directions for research and describing the implications for schools, teacher education, and institutions providing professional development to in-service teachers.<?oxy_aq_start?>Kindly check and confirm whether the corresponding author is correctly identified.<?oxy_aq_end?><?oxy_aqreply_start?>Olivia Wohlfart is correctly identified as corresponding author.<?oxy_aqreply_end?>

Funding the online teaching and learning in developing countries: insights from Zimbabwe

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

While the outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019 threatened educational activities in Higher Education globally, it renewed the interest in online learning and teaching in developing countries. To frame our understanding, we employed the Technological Readiness Index lens to investigate the institutional needs necessitated by the sudden uptake of online teaching and how these needs could be funded in one of the developing countries in Africa.15 Heads of Departments (HODs), working in different universities across Zimbabwe, participated in the in-depth interviews and WhatsApp discussions to generate data. Findings replicate that while HODs noted the indispensability of online teaching to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), universities were confronted with trenchant institutional needs, for example, the absence of well-trained personnel, poor digital infrastructure and cyber security of which most of them emanated from inadequate funding. Considering this, the study proposes that rather than depending on traditional donor and stakeholder quota funding, governments of developing countries must liberalise internet trade markets through legal frameworks to de-monopolise the provision of internet services to reduce costs of erecting digital infrastructures and provision of services. This study, provides insights and extends scholarship on other funding strategies available for the digitalization of education in higher education.

Design, development, and evaluation of a virtual reality game-based application to support computational thinking

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Computational thinking (CT) has become an essential skill nowadays. For young students, CT competency is required to prepare them for future jobs. This competency can facilitate students’ understanding of programming knowledge which has been a challenge for many novices pursuing a computer science degree. This study focuses on designing and implementing a virtual reality (VR) game-based application (iThinkSmart) to support CT knowledge. The study followed the design science research methodology to design, implement, and evaluate the first prototype of the VR application. An initial evaluation of the prototype was conducted with 47 computer science students from a Nigerian university who voluntarily participated in an experimental process. To determine what works and what needs to be improved in the iThinkSmart VR game-based application, two groups were randomly formed, consisting of the experimental (n = 21) and the control (n = 26) groups respectively. Our findings suggest that VR increases motivation and therefore increase students’ CT skills, which contribute to knowledge regarding the affordances of VR in education and particularly provide evidence on the use of visualization of CT concepts to facilitate programming education. Furthermore, the study revealed that immersion, interaction, and engagement in a VR educational application can promote students’ CT competency in higher education institutions (HEI). In addition, it was shown that students who played the iThinkSmart VR game-based application gained higher cognitive benefits, increased interest and attitude to learning CT concepts. Although further investigation is required in order to gain more insights into students learning process, this study made significant contributions in positioning CT in the HEI context and provides empirical evidence regarding the use of educational VR mini games to support students learning achievements.

The impact of 360° videos on basic Chinese writing: a preliminary exploration

1 month 1 week ago
Abstract

Using a smartphone is a very convenient way to learn languages in modern life. To understand the impact of the immersive environment created by a smartphone on essay writing in Chinese for second language learners, a study was conducted on 36 Vietnamese students in their first year at a university in Taiwan. This study adopted an experimental research design that lasted for 4 weeks. The participants were randomly divided into control and experimental groups. Two essay writing activities were conducted. All of the research elements, including the teacher, teaching process, learning duration, and writing topics (except in the prewriting stage) were identical in the two groups. Writing ideas were collected within 20 min, and the control group looked at pictures before writing, while the experimental group used the Google Cardboard device with a smartphone to watch 360° videos before writing. After the prewriting stage, both groups wrote an essay about a topic based on what they had planned during the prewriting stage. The results indicated that the experimental group had significantly higher composition scores than the control group. Interview results also suggested that most students were glad to have tried using Google Cardboard to watch 360° videos, and were also highly willing to continue using it in future writing classes.

Learning experience design of an mHealth self-management intervention for adolescents with type 1 diabetes

1 month 2 weeks ago
Abstract

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a lifelong and chronic condition that can cause severely compromised health. The T1D treatment regimen is complex, and is a particular challenge for adolescents, who frequently experience a number of treatment adherence barriers (e.g., forgetfulness, planning and organizational challenges, stress). Diabetes Journey is a gamified mHealth program designed to improve T1D self-management through a specific focus on decreasing adherence barriers and improving executive functioning skills for adolescents. Grounded in situativity theory and guided by a sociotechnical-pedagogical usability framework, Diabetes Journey was designed, developed, and evaluated using a learning experience design approach. This approach applied design thinking methods within a Successive Approximation Model design process. Iterative design and formative evaluation were conducted across three design phases, and improvements were implemented following each phase. Findings from the user testing phase indicate Diabetes Journey is a user-friendly mHealth program with high usability that holds promise for enhancing adolescents' T1D self-management. Implications for future designers and researchers are discussed regarding the social dimension of the sociotechnical-pedagogical usability framework. An extension to the framework is proposed to extend the social dimension to include socio-cultural and contextual considerations when designing mHealth applications. Consideration of the pedagogical and sociocultural dimensions of learning is imperative when developing psychoeducational interventions.

Impact of a virtual environment on the learning effectiveness, motivation, cognitive load, and group self-efficacy of elementary school students in collaborative learning

1 month 3 weeks ago
Abstract

Collaborative learning helps to construct a learning situation in which students solve problems together, and their learning effectiveness is promoted. However, collaborative learning often has the problem of unequal participation of learners. Therefore, this study combines the collaborative learning mode of the virtual environment of digital games and applies it to an elementary school art course, in the hope of solving the problems in collaborative learning. Using a quasi-experimental research design, students were divided into a virtual group and a real group to compare whether the different styles of collaborative learning would affect their learning. Participants in this study were 83 fourth-grade students from an elementary school. This study found that the learning effectiveness and motivation of the students in the virtual group were significantly higher than those of the students in the real group. The reason is that the virtual group learned in an active virtual environment in which the students’ shared solutions with their partners, and could even manipulate their virtual avatar to give peer guidance, triggering learning motivation to promote inter-group interaction. However, students in the real group were worried about making the classroom dirty, and had to invest more effort. They gave priority to their favorite specific colors, and completed the mixed-color questions independently, with less collaboration and communication, making it difficult for them to correctly answer the questions that their peers solved independently during the learning process. It is suggested that virtual avatars can be introduced in actual teaching to improve student interaction and attention.

Exploring the use of technology among newly arrived children in Hong Kong: from an e-sports and cultural capital perspective

2 months ago
Abstract

Based on Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory, our study examined the engagement of newly arrived children (NAC) with ICT and e-sports both at home and in school in the context of Hong Kong. Our in-depth case study of a Hong Kong secondary school revealed that the selected NAC typically came from disadvantaged school and immigrant family backgrounds. They had limited access to technology and little parental mediation at home. The results also showed that as these NAC excessively used ICT at home for multiplayer online games, they became active e-sports players with good ICT skills. These students created an e-sports culture in the school, which was supported by their teachers and the principal. Contrary to their parents’ conservative and negative attitude towards a career in e-sports or the ICT industry, the principal and teachers viewed e-sports as an alternative way for their students to accumulate capital and provide them with opportunities for upward social mobility. The findings demonstrate the importance of education in bridging the digital divide of NAC and helping them accumulate the digital dimension of cultural capital.

Exploring collaborative caption editing to augment video-based learning

2 months ago
Abstract

Captions play a major role in making educational videos accessible to all and are known to benefit a wide range of learners. However, many educational videos either do not have captions or have inaccurate captions. Prior work has shown the benefits of using crowdsourcing to obtain accurate captions in a cost-efficient way, though there is a lack of understanding of how learners edit captions of educational videos either individually or collaboratively. In this work, we conducted a user study where 58 learners (in a course of 387 learners) participated in the editing of captions in 89 lecture videos that were generated by Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technologies. For each video, different learners conducted two rounds of editing. Based on editing logs, we created a taxonomy of errors in educational video captions (e.g., Discipline-Specific, General, Equations). From the interviews, we identified individual and collaborative error editing strategies. We then further demonstrated the feasibility of applying machine learning models to assist learners in editing. Our work provides practical implications for advancing video-based learning and for educational video caption editing.

The effects of a game-enhanced learning intervention on foreign language learning

2 months ago
Abstract

The rich multimedia-enhanced language content offered by modern commercial off-the-shelf games and students’ interest in playing such games has motivated efforts for seeking effective means to integrate them into the curriculum to enrich and enhance foreign language learning. Despite the general interest and appeal of game-enhanced learning in foreign language learning, there is a need for strategies for effective curriculum integration and empirical studies to test the effects of such interventions systematically. This study aims to contribute to this need by investigating the effectiveness of a ten-week-long game-enhanced language learning intervention on English foreign language learning. The study employed an embedded mixed methods design, including a controlled experiment and semi-structured interviews. The experiment group (n = 38) participated in a game-enhanced language learning program that was designed based on the Play Curricular activity Reflection Discussion (PCaRD) framework, whereas the control group (n = 38) received conventional instruction. Students took the TOEFL-ITP and L2 motivational self-system questionnaire before and after the intervention, whereas qualitative data were gathered via semi-structured interviews. The results indicated that both groups had significantly improved their scores, yet no significant differences were found in their post-test scores. The motivation questionnaire revealed a significant difference in cultural interest and attitudes to target community dimensions in favor of the game-enhanced condition. Moreover, the interview results indicated that participants had positive attitudes towards integrating commercial games into their language classrooms. Although the experimental group did not significantly outperform the control group, the game-enhanced intervention provided an equally effective learning experience with improved motivational attributes.

Evaluation of the level of problem solving skills of Turkish higher education graduates in technology-rich environments

2 months ago
Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the level of Turkish higher education graduates’ problem-solving skills (PSSs) in technology-rich environments (TREs) at work and daily life as information and communication technologies are increasingly used in economic and social structure. It also investigates the effects of socio-demographic factors including gender, age, the field of study, and higher education attainment level on their PSSs in TREs. In this context, the data concerning Turkish higher education graduates’ PSSs released by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) in 2016 was used. With regard to methodology, we employed descriptive and logistic regression analyses to investigate the data. The descriptive statistics results indicated that the participants use computer at a basic level in TREs and work in small and medium enterprises where technology is not highly demanded at moderate and advanced levels. The logistic regression analysis results revealed that gender and higher education level have significant impacts on their level of PSSs in TREs as opposed to age and the field of study variables. The significant differences are in favor of the female participants and associate and bachelor degree levels. These findings accounted for nearly 4% of their level of problem solving skills. Based on the study findings and the changing expectations of labor market, the policy proposals were discussed to increase the level of Turkish higher education students’ PSSs in TREs. The study can contribute to the literature, thereby assisting the development of new practices or policies in Turkey to advance higher education graduates' PSSs in order to meet the needs of TREs at both work and in daily life.

Assistive technology for the inclusion of students with disabilities: a systematic review

2 months ago
Abstract

The commitment to increase the inclusion of students with disabilities has ensured that the concept of Assistive Technology (AT) has become increasingly widespread in education. The main objective of this paper focuses on conducting a systematic review of studies regarding the impact of Assistive Technology for the inclusion of students with disabilities. In order to achieve the above, a review of relevant empirical studies published between 2009 and 2020 in four databases (Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, ERIC and PsycINFO) was carried out. The sample consists of 31 articles that met the inclusion criteria of this review, out of a total of 216 identified. Findings of this study include that the use of Assistive Technologies is successful in increasing the inclusion and accessibility of students with disabilities, although barriers such as teacher education, lack of information or accessibility are found.

Immersive virtual reality in STEM: is IVR an effective learning medium and does adding self-explanation after a lesson improve learning outcomes?

2 months ago
Abstract

The goal of the current study was to investigate the effects of an immersive virtual reality (IVR) science simulation on learning in a higher educational setting, and to assess whether using self-explanation has benefits for knowledge gain. A sample of 79 undergraduate biology students (40 females, 37 males, 2 non-binary) learned about next-generation sequencing using an IVR simulation that lasted approximately 45 min. Students were randomly assigned to one of two instructional conditions: self-explanation (n = 41) or control (n = 38). The self-explanation group engaged in a 10 min written self-explanation task after the IVR biology lesson, while the control group rested. The results revealed that the IVR simulation led to a significant increase in knowledge from the pre- to post-test (ßPosterior = 3.29). There were no differences between the self-explanation and control groups on knowledge gain, procedural, or conceptual transfer. Finally, the results indicate that the self-explanation group reported significantly higher intrinsic cognitive load (ßPosterior = .35), and extraneous cognitive load (ßPosterior = .37), and significantly lower germane load (ßPosterior =  − .38) than the control group. The results suggest that the IVR lesson was effective for learning, but adding a written self-explanation task did not increase learning after a long IVR lesson.