IEEE ToLT

The Evaluation of a Serious Game to Improve Cross-Cultural Competence

3 weeks 6 days ago
Despite the growth in the use of serious games to train and evaluate cross-cultural competence, few studies have examined the content & dialogue development methods associated with these training systems. This study presents a framework for generating content for serious games targeting culturally appropriate communication and an evaluation of a game designed with the framework showing improved performance. This framework provides a means for game developers to leverage existing Cultural Dimension Theory to target training objectives tailored to specific participant types. A study experiment with 25 participants compares the effects a training system using this framework has on participants' in-game score versus no training. Results show significant differences in game score when controlling for Cultural Intelligence. Additionally, the results show significant differences in variance between the trained group and the control group. These findings contribute to the current understanding of content development methods with respect to Cultural Training Serious Games. These findings warrant further investigation to understand the significance to other cultural training applications.

Systematic Review of Discussion Forums in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

3 weeks 6 days ago
Discussion forums are the primary and most widely used venue for social learning and communication in MOOC context. There has been an interest in the last few years to study the interactions and participation behavior in this environment. This systematic review studied eighty-four papers published between 2013-2017 to provide a state of the art, and suggest future directions in the literature from two perspectives: descriptive analysis and content analysis. The descriptive analysis aggregates the reviewed papers into five dimensions: time of the publication, stakeholders involved in the analysis, objectives, methods, and data sources used in the studies. The content analysis aims to highlight the main issues addressed and the major contributions of the papers covered by the literature review. These contributions can be categorized into three major areas, first, explore the relationship between forums participation and retention or learning outcomes and evaluate ways to increase the participation activity and learning outcomes, second, analyze participants' contribution in the forum and how to organize the content and efficiently monitor them, finally, analyze participants' interactions and how it influences learning. At the end, we offer some suggestions to further advance this area of research.

Reducing Cognitive Load During Closed Concept Map Construction and Consequences on Reading Comprehension and Retention

3 weeks 6 days ago
Computer-assisted concept map building from provided pieces by using Kit-build is an activity which can promote comprehension and retention. However, users are burdened with searching for pieces and organizing the layout, which are believed to increase the overall cognitive load of the activity. In this paper, we describe the Airmap interface, which uses automatic layout management and spatial separation to improve cognitive load during concept map building. Two experiments were done in which participants (N = 60; N = 50) built a map after reading a text. Results show that Airmap is successful in reducing cognitive load without significant differences in immediate reading comprehension. However, there is a significant difference in performance after a two week retention period. Results give new insight into the retention enhancing aspects of building closed concept maps, indicating that the cognitive load reduced by the new interface is of the germane type, affecting how deep in memory users commit the information.

Prediction in MOOCs: A Review and Future Research Directions

3 weeks 6 days ago
This paper surveys the state of the art on prediction in MOOCs through a systematic literature review (SLR). The main objectives are: first, to identify the characteristics of the MOOCs used for prediction, second, to describe the prediction outcomes, third, to classify the prediction features, fourth, to determine the techniques used to predict the variables, and, fifth, to identify the metrics used to evaluate the predictive models. Results show there is strong interest in predicting dropouts in MOOCs. A variety of predictive models are used, though regression and support vector machines stand out. There is also wide variety in the choice of prediction features, but clickstream data about platform use stands out. Future research should focus on developing and applying predictive models that can be used in more heterogeneous contexts (in terms of platforms, thematic areas, and course durations), on predicting new outcomes and making connections among them (e.g., predicting learners' expectancies), on enhancing the predictive power of current models by improving algorithms or adding novel higher-order features (e.g., efficiency, constancy, etc.).

Persuasive Technologies in m-Learning for Training Professionals: How to Keep Learners Engaged With Adaptive Triggering

3 weeks 6 days ago
Global corporations are characterized by a large number of employees and geographically dispersed offices. Moreover, the competitiveness in the global market requires them to invest in their human resources to be able to remain a step ahead of competition. Implementing large scale classical education in such environments is challenging and costly. Mobile e-learning (m-learning) allows users to tailor their professional training and education to their needs and time constraints. However, in self-paced education, it is very hard to keep user retention and engagement. To achieve the latter, we have designed and developed an m-learning platform for corporate environments based on the triggering persuasive technology principle that try to incite users in regularly using the platform. We have evaluated the application in-the-wild in corporate environments of differently sized companies with 300 users. Users were subjected to three different conditions: no triggering, simple regular triggering, and adaptive triggering. The results show that the use of adaptive triggering in m-learning increases user engagement as well as course completion rates more than simple regular triggering and no triggering.

Inquiry-Based Learning With RoboGen: An Open-Source Software and Hardware Platform for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

3 weeks 6 days ago
It has often been found that students appreciate hands-on work, and find that they learn more with courses that include a project than those relying solely on conventional lectures and tests. This type of project driven learning is a key component of “Inquiry-based learning” (IBL), which aims at teaching methodology as well as content by incorporating the student as an actor rather than a spectator. Robotics applications are especially well-suited for IBL due to the value of trial and error experience, the multiple possibilities for students to implement their own ideas, and the importance of programming, problem-solving, and electro-mechanical skills in real world engineering and science jobs. Furthermore, robotics platforms can be useful teaching media and learning tools for a variety of topics. Here, we present RoboGen: an open-source, web-based, software, and hardware platform for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence with a particular focus on Evolutionary Robotics. We describe the platform in detail, compare it to existing alternatives, and present results of its use as a platform for Inquiry-based learning within a master's level course at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

How Teachers Make Dashboard Information Actionable

3 weeks 6 days ago
This study investigates how teachers use dashboards in primary school classrooms. While learners practice on a tablet real-time data indicating learner progress and performance is displayed on teacher dashboards. This study examines how teachers use the dashboards, applying Verberts' learning analytics process model. Teacher dashboard consultations and resulting pedagogical actions were observed in 38 mathematics lessons. In stimulated recall interviews, the 38 teachers were asked to elaborate on how they reflect on and make sense of the information on the dashboard. The results showed that teachers consulted the dashboard on average 8.3 times per lesson. Teachers activated existing knowledge about students and the class to interpret dashboard information. Task and process feedback were the pedagogical actions most often used following dashboard consultation. Additionally, teachers who consulted the dashboard more often activated more and more diverse pedagogical knowledge to interpret the data and, consequently, gave more and more diverse feedback. These results indicated that teacher dashboards were indeed influencing teachers' pedagogical actions in their daily classroom activities. This study provided the first evidence that dashboards progressively impact teaching practice and initiate more profound behavioral changes as teachers become more proficient in using them.

Exploring Student Interactions With Preparation Activities in a Flipped Classroom Experience

3 weeks 6 days ago
The success of the flipped classroom (FC) is effectively reliant on the level of student engagement with the preparatory activities prior to attending face-to-face teaching sessions. Information about the nature and level of student engagement with these activities can help instructors make informed decisions regarding how to best support student learning. Despite the comprehensive data collection enabled by the increasing presence of education technologies, few studies have used these data to investigate the range of strategies students employ in FC models. This study addresses this deficit by proposing an analytical approach that allows for exploring, first, the strategies students use to interact with online preparation activities; and, second, evolution of those strategies over the duration of a course delivered with a FC pedagogy. The proposed approach identified eight learning strategies and six trajectories of strategy change over the duration of the course, with statistically significant effects of strategy change trajectories on academic performance.

Collaborative Educational Environments Incorporating Mixed Reality Technologies: A Systematic Mapping Study

3 weeks 6 days ago
In this paper, we report findings from a systematic mapping study, conducted to review the existing literature on collaborative educational environments incorporating mixed reality technologies. There is increasing interest in mixed reality technologies in education, especially with the introduction of new over head mounted displays (OHMDs), such as HoloLens, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. with the consideration of areas, such as education, dynamic technology, and complex environments, a research area is identified. We carried out an extensive review of the literature from 2007 to 2017 and conducted an analysis of the works on mixed reality technologies and its subcategories applied to collaborative education environments. Results highlighted the lack of research across the mixed reality spectrum, especially in the augmented virtuality subcategory, as well as technical limitations such as response time in the development of mixed reality technologies for collaborative environments. Furthermore, the difficulty of teaching professionals to replicate mixed reality experiments in real environments, due to the technical skills required, was identified. The main contribution of this paper is the discussion of the current works with visualization of the present state of the area, which is aimed to encourage educators to develop mixed reality artefacts and conduct further research to support collaborative educational environments.

Approaching Sustainability Learning Via Digital Serious Games

3 weeks 6 days ago
Finding proper ways to address learning about sustainability is a relevant issue. Sustainability learning has to face some inherent complexities, due to two main factors: the interdisciplinary domains related to sustainability issues, such as ecology, economics, politics, and culture, and the involvement of several social structures, such as individuals, families, and communities. One recent research proposal is to exploit serious games to foster learning in this area. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of approaches discussed in the literature over the last few years. Notwithstanding this growing scenario, sustainability serious games still lack a reasoned evaluation, in order to clarify their possible applications and to define effective design strategies to approach them. To this end, in this paper, we investigate the current state of the art of serious games for sustainability, identifying, and discussing the most common applications. The research process included both scientific publications and unpublished materials. References were searched according to guiding questions, which helped focus the extraction of information, and through recursive browsing of their citations. Based on the research results, we propose a taxonomy for sustainability serious games and a classification of reviewed works according to this taxonomy. We also analyze design strategies, drawn from the literature, expressly conceived for the development of effective sustainability serious games. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and present possible areas of research in this field.

An Investigation of the Effects of Measuring Authentic Contexts on Geometry Learning Achievement

3 weeks 6 days ago
Geometry students have few opportunities to apply geometric concepts and solve geometry problems in authentic contexts. We developed a Ubiquitous Geometry (UG) system to teach geometry to elementary students by using it to measure common objects in authentic contexts. The instant study investigates the effects of UG on student geometry estimation ability, geometry learning achievement, spatial ability, and learning geometric concepts and explores the correlations. Participants were 82 fifth grade students divided into the experiment group (EG), the ruler measurement group (RG), and the control group (CG). The results revealed that the EG students performed significantly better than the others in geometry estimation ability, geometry learning achievement, spatial ability, and understanding geometric concepts. We found that geometry estimation ability is significantly related to spatial ability and geometry learning achievement, which means fostering estimation ability through measuring authentic objects could help students to learn geometry. Finally, students perceived that UG engaged them more in geometry and improved their interest in learning because the activity designs related more to their daily life, thereby enhancing their sense of confidence and satisfaction. Conclusions include that UG effectively enhances student geometry estimation ability, geometry learning achievement, spatial ability, and understanding of geometric concepts.