2016

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Volume 53

Issue 4

Renira Rampazzo Gambarato & Lilit Dabagian: Transmedia dynamics in education: the case of Robot Heart Stories

Noelene Callaghan: Investigating the role of Minecraft in educational learning environments

Christian Dalsgaard: Students’ educational use of Facebook groups

Eva L. Ragnemalm & Marcus Samuelsson: Simulating variation in order to learn classroom management

Matthew Duvall: Evaluating learning technology content with discourse analysis

Imitoro E. John, Nsikak-Abasi Udofia, Nsisong A. Udoh & Mercy A. Anagbogu: Development of e-career guidance programme for secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State

Harika Hamzaoğlu & Zeynep Koçoğlu: The application of podcasting as an instructional tool to improve Turkish EFL learners’ speaking anxiety


Renira Rampazzo Gambarato & Lilit Dabagian: Transmedia dynamics in education: the case of Robot Heart Stories

This article discusses the potentiality and risks of applying transmedia storytelling strategies in the realm of education. The empirical approach is used to analyze the experiential education project Robot Heart Stories, developed in 2011 in Canada and the United States. The theoretical framework focuses on the conceptualization of transmedia storytelling in the scope of education and the examination of the implications of gamification in this scenario. The methodological approach of the case study is based on the transmedia project design analytical model and applied to Robot Heart Stories to depict how the project was developed and demonstrate how transmedia strategies can potentially enhance education. The research findings point out that the transmedia strategies in the project placed the students in the center of the learning process and motivated them to learn. As the students were actual characters in the story, they had the opportunity to experience it, instead of just listening or reading it. The project nurtured skills, such as multimodal literacy, critical literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, and game literacy, in addition to interpersonal communication skills and experiential learning.

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Noelene Callaghan: Investigating the role of Minecraft in educational learning environments

This research paper identifies the way in which Minecraft Edu can be used to contribute to the teaching and learning of secondary students via a multiple case research study. Minecraft Edu is recognised as a gamification tool that enables its users to create and evaluate project-based learning activities within a classroom context. Learning through edugames was found to enhance learning as well as allow students to attain overall learning outcomes. This permitted an enhancement of engagement, collaboration, the creation of authentic learning activities as well as the attainment of learning outcomes. The role of the teacher was also found to play a considerable role in students attaining these twenty-first-century teaching and learning capabilities.

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Christian Dalsgaard: Students’ educational use of Facebook groups

The aim of the article is to explore educational use of student-managed Facebook groups in upper secondary education (in Denmark). Much research on educational potentials of Facebook has studied groups managed by teachers. However, there is a lack of in-depth research on Facebook groups managed by students and without participation from teachers. As this study shows, students’ use of student-managed groups differs from their use of teacher-managed tools such as learning management systems (LMSs). The article presents an empirical study based partly on a content analysis of 3139 posts and 15,018 replies within five Facebook groups, and partly on a questionnaire answered by 1463 students and 148 teachers. The results of the study show that whereas LMSs were seen by students primarily as institutional systems of the teacher, Facebook groups have an educational potential to be used by students for peer-to-peer learning.

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Eva L. Ragnemalm & Marcus Samuelsson: Simulating variation in order to learn classroom management

Classroom management is an important part of learning to be a teacher. The variation theory of learning provides the insight that it is important to vary the critical aspects of any task or subject that is to be learned. Simulation technology is useful in order to provide a controlled environment for that variation, and text as a medium gives the opportunity to control exactly what aspects are presented to the learner. This study shows that text-based simulation has the potential to help the learner discern critical aspects of classroom management.

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Matthew Duvall: Evaluating learning technology content with discourse analysis

The researcher combined qualitative media analysis with tools for discourse analysis to review Blackboard Collaborate™, a tool often used in online education. Technology design references Discourses which dictate how and why these tools should be used. The analysis showed Collaborate™ uses sign systems and knowledge, along with politics, to reinforce a traditional educational Discourse. Educators should be aware of embedded Discourses to effectively incorporate technology into their practice, and designers should consider such Discourses during development. This paper describes discourse analysis as one approach to evaluating technology with regards to affordances for, and constraints to, teaching and learning.

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Imitoro E. John, Nsikak-Abasi Udofia, Nsisong A. Udoh & Mercy A. Anagbogu: Development of e-career guidance programme for secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State

This study developed and field tested an electronic career guidance package for secondary schools, the e-Career Guidance System. The study was an educational research and development study and thus utilised the instrumentation research design. The formative evaluation of the developed programme was carried out using the pretest–posttest control-group quasi-experimental methodology. The researchers used the Students Career Awareness Questionnaire in collecting data for the experiment. The questionnaire was standardised, with a reliability index of .87. Sixty senior secondary two (SS 2) students were selected for the quasi-experiment using the purposive sampling technique. Thirty students were randomly assigned to the control group and the other thirty to the intervention group. The pretest and posttest data collected were analysed and used in testing the four null hypotheses in the study using analysis of covariance statistics. The results obtained showed that the e-Career Guidance System developed in this study produced a significant difference in the vocational self-awareness and career awareness of the sample in the experimental group in contrast to the sample in the control group. It was further observed from the analysis that gender did not interfere with the gains from the e-Career Guidance System. Based on these outcomes, the researchers concluded that the developed e-Career Guidance System has validity and could be used in the career guidance of male and female secondary school students in Akwa Ibom State and beyond.

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Harika Hamzaoğlu & Zeynep Koçoğlu: The application of podcasting as an instructional tool to improve Turkish EFL learners’ speaking anxiety

The present study was designed to investigate: (a) the effect of podcasts in EFL students’ oral performance, (b) the effect of podcasts in EFL students’ speaking anxiety, (c) the relationship between speaking anxiety and oral performance, and (d) EFL students’ perceptions of using podcasts. This study was conducted in a high school in Istanbul, Turkey. The students in two ninth-grade classes in the subject school were given the anxiety questionnaire, consisting of 24 items related to general foreign language class anxiety and in-class activities. A total of 30 students with the highest anxiety levels were chosen among these students. The oral performances of these students were evaluated through the Test of Spoken English and the students were also interviewed about their speaking anxiety and their oral performances. For 12 weeks, the control group followed the course book and did the speaking activities in it, while the experimental group created podcasts in addition to those activities. At the end of 12 weeks, the participants were given the anxiety post-test, the post-interview, and the oral performance post-test. The perceptions of the students in the experimental group of podcasts were examined through three interviews during the study. The results of the study showed that students who used podcasts had higher oral performance and lower speaking anxiety levels than the students who didn’t use podcast; and there was a negative relationship between the participants’ oral performances and speaking. The analysis of the interviews on podcasts revealed that the students believed podcasts helped them feel not or less anxious, and more confident; improve their oral performances and pronunciation; and expand their vocabulary.

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