Volume 56, Issue 1-2-3-4
11. Laura Shackelford, Wenhao David Huang, Alan Craig, Cameron Merrill & Danying Chen: Relationships between motivational support and game features in a game-based virtual reality learning environment for teaching introductory archaeology
Virtual reality (VR) platforms act as a potentially transformative tool in learning and teaching. The aim of this study was to examine pre-service teachers’ (PST) perceptions about VR, inclusive of their beliefs about its capacity to be used as a teaching and learning tool. A case-study, conducted at an urban university in Australia involved a sample of n = 41. Participants’ positive perceptions of VR in their teaching relate to its potential to engage learners, the immersive potential of the platform and the scope of VR to offer students experiences they might otherwise not have with other learning tools. Concerns expressed by PSTs include their relatively low self-efficacy to use VR in their teaching, monitoring-related matters, financial cost and implementing the technology in a safe and supportive way. There was a significant difference in PSTs’ amount of self-efficacy to teach using VR when compared to their overall confidence to use digital technologies. PSTs typically had greater awareness of the immersive and engagement potential of VR and less awareness about its potential to foster and promote collaborative learning. This paper contributes to an emerging discourse regarding the possible applications of VR in educational environments and particularly in relation teacher-educator contexts.
This research study explores the relationship between the socio-cognitive concept of mindfulness and university educators’ learning design conceptualisations. The multi-method research strategy utilises a concept-mapping exercise to reveal learning designer mental models for comparison with Langer Mindfulness Scale scores and critical event interviews to further illuminate the conceptualisations and factors that impact educators’ thinking when designing online units. Research participants were asked to create a concept map of their learning design and to be mindful of concepts incorporated into a Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Education. The analysis highlights some congruence between educators’ mindfulness dimensions and their learning design conceptual frameworks. The mindfulness scores appear to indicate a propensity to be more mindful in designing curriculum, as indicated by participant concept maps, yet not necessarily towards the adaptive use of technology or learner/activity-based pedagogies. The authors suggest metacognitive strategies to encourage learning design reconceptualisation.
This study examined the effects of two types of Information communication technology and media (ICT/media) use on college access using ICT/media to obtain college information as a mediator paying focused attention to English language learners. The study analyzed the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS) from the US Department of Education, employing a survival analysis with structural equation modeling components. The results demonstrated that the frequent use of a computer for independent learning had significantly positive direct, indirect, and total effects on college entry for both English language learners and native English-speaking students. However, the digital gameplay had significantly negative effects. The study discusses the implications of using ICT/media.
The relationship among bodily movements, cognitive abilities, and academic achievement in children is receiving considerable attention in the research community. The embodied learning approach is based on the idea of an inseparable link between body and mind in learning, aiming for teaching methods that promote children’s active engagement in the classroom. This study implements embodied learning as a part of the classroom curriculum in a real classroom environment using motion-based games. A total of 52 elementary students engaged in embodied learning in-class activities for four months. The data-set included standardized pre-post testing for children’s cognitive and academic performance, general learning analytics from games’ usage, interviews, and observations from the teachers involved. Findings showed significant effects both on children’s cognitive abilities (i.e., short-memory skills) and academic performance (i.e., expressive vocabulary). This article contributes to the educational technology community by providing an example of implementing embodied learning via use of motion-based technologies in a real classroom environment.
The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore (a) how graduate students interpret their experiences with the use of e-books for learning, (b) which reasons influence their preference for e-books or printed books when they learn, (c) how they perceive the impact e-books have on their learning, and (d) how they compare learning experiences between the use of a given printed book and an e-book containing similar content but also offering additional multimedia options. Participants consisted of 20 graduate students from one midsize university in the United States. The major findings of this research were that graduate students generally prefer using e-books to printed texts. When studying and preparing for an exam, however, graduate students will only supersede their familiarity with printed text if a given e-book offers similar content as the printed text and provides additional resources. Research implications and recommendations for future research were also provided.
This mixed-methods research was conducted to understand the impact of learning and player growth in a League of Legends summer camp. Eighteen adolescents engaged in a three-day sleep-over summer camp with various team building activities. Data collected included API metadata from pre- and post-camp as well as semi-structured interview data with youth who attended the camp. Exposing the participants to teamwork methods had a significant impact on changing how players approached competitive game play and engagement in digital environments. In particular, we find that participation in the summer camp led to significant changes in vision score, the most team-focused aspect of the game for which statistics were available. Furthermore, as demonstrated by the qualitative data, evidence suggests youth have an understanding for how teamwork can positively influence peer interactions within digital environments. These findings are important as they demonstrate that teaching team-focused activities can have a significant impact on the players of competitive esports games, and it also implies that the role of teamwork within various digital platforms needs deeper study. Findings indicate that a transfer of learning occurs between physical and digital spaces and that youth recognize the importance of teamwork and team-building activities in digital learning spaces.
The purpose of this multiple case study was to understand how the beliefs of college of education faculty members about their students and teaching online influenced their online teaching. The study focused specifically on beliefs regarding student digital literacy and preparedness. The study used the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework as a lens for looking at online teaching. Results indicate that participants’ beliefs about students did in fact influence their online teaching in a variety of ways and with differing teaching outcomes. The results of this study have implications for those who teach online as well as those who support them.
In October 2015, Korea launched its first massive open online course (MOOC) program entitled K-MOOC. This study analyzes the K-MOOC learner data provided by the National Lifelong Learning Agency. The data include the 272 courses implemented between 26 October 2015, and 31 August 2017 and the participants who took the said courses. The number of participants in the K-MOOC courses in the same period stands at 289,163. The average completion rate of K-MOOC was 9.3%. It is not far below the average completion rate of MOOCs in general, which is known to be 10% or lower. A comparison between Korea’s K-MOOC and the United States’ edX, which consists of similar courses to the former, shows that the most visible difference between the two lies in the average number of participants per course. An average K-MOOC course is taken by 1,063.1 participants, whereas an average edX course serves 15,341.5 participants. Moreover, there were 91% of participants who accessed the K-MOOC courses from their host country, whereas it was 29% for edX.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the role of online communities and the impact of educational social media on 14 Saudi female college students who were studying in the United States. The findings revealed that social media was important to the participants for maintaining relationships and seeking out information from others. Social media was also an important way for participants to remain close to their communities and keep in contact with Saudi friends and family; however, the use of social media to interact with their communities was often shaped by Saudi cultural expectations. Most of the participants enjoyed online education and interacting with others in an online educational setting because it promotes collaborative learning and cultural interaction. Overall, social media used for educational purposes was mostly seen by the participants as a positive and beneficial part of their educational experiences.
Narratives have a unique ability to grant listeners emotional and cognitive space in a way that encourages them to choose how they will make sense of a story. This effect, called narrative distance, also has the potential to help create transformative learning experiences. This article is a qualitative research study of experts who regularly design for narrative distance. Six experts from a variety of fields were interviewed about the principles and practices of designing for narrative distance with the purpose of discovering ways that instructional designers can better facilitate transformative learning experiences. A variety of principles and practices on how to create narrative distance are categorized under four themes: cognitive space, emotional space, invite change, and meaningful content. General comments are also given on the application of these insights to instructional design along with further suggestions for research.
Laura Shackelford, Wenhao David Huang, Alan Craig, Cameron Merrill & Danying Chen: Relationships between motivational support and game features in a game-based virtual reality learning environment for teaching introductory archaeology
Virtual reality (VR) and game-based learning strategies have rarely been investigated together with a keen focus on motivational processing. This lack of understanding on motivational support of VR game-based learning has hindered the design of such environments to effectively and efficiently support intended learning processes. The study revealed relationships between learners’ motivational processing and perceived game features in a VR learning environment for delivering introductory archaeology content to college students. The first part of the study adopted the complementary concurrent mixed-method design, which applied qualitative results to clarify quantitative findings to delineate motivational support perceived by 40 participants. The second part employed quantitative survey data only from the same sample to reveal perceived game features and relationships between motivational support and game features. Findings suggest that learners’ motivational processing was supported by the Confidence and Satisfaction components of the ARCS motivational design model. Additionally, not all motivational components were supported by perceived game features according to multiple regression analyses. The discussion of the findings is focused on in what areas and to what extent multimedia-rich VR elements might compete with game-based learning in the same learning environment for learners’ limited cognitive and behavioral learning capacities.
In the last few years, engaging students to create digital games has been a pole of attraction for many teachers and researchers, resulting in highly positive learning experiences and promoting their thinking skills, e.g., programming and computational thinking (CT) skills. Researchers have already stated about the need for further research not only around the evaluation techniques and tools of the quality of these complex educational interventions, but mainly about ways to ease the assessment of students’ performance from multiple perspectives with authenticity. This paper contributes to proposing a multifaceted assessment framework of the degree of students’ acquisition of multiple skills, when they get involved in digital motion-based touchless game-making course-projects with the MIT Scratch tool. The results of its implementation during a pilot study with computer science undergraduate students, which are presented, highlight the positive effects of combining and extending various assessment techniques and tools to draw holistic conclusions about students’ higher skills including computational and spatial thinking skills.
The growing practice of students as partners (SaP) has sparked numerous conversations in higher education about the roles students do and should play in shaping the future. SaP scholars contend that by engaging with students in meaningful partnership, underpinned by values such reciprocity, students can have deeper and more meaningful learning experiences. Similar in this goal, the field of learning analytics also strives to create deeper and more meaningful learning experiences for students, however, the current approach differs. Students and other stakeholders such as teachers are rarely part of the process in learning analytics, and this divide, and lack of communication, between designers and users, has led to several critical issues in the area. Therefore, this paper will discuss three ongoing issues within learning analytics and draw on SaP values and guiding principles, such as reciprocity, emphasis on the process, and shared responsibility to question the current way learning analytics perceives students. By arguing for a change in perspective and the adoption of SaP in learning analytics, we will further add on growing literature about the importance of universities to become transparent and collaborative communities.
Connected learning is claimed to support children to connect their formal learning with wider social network and media tools in an interest-driven and inquiry-oriented manner. In a formal context there are few successful implementations of connected learning. This study explores how a kindergarten community of 8 adults and 42 children, equipped with digital media tools, organized connected learning as sociocultural phenomena and inquiry learning. With an ethnographic approach, unstructured interviews and multimedia portfolios provided data for deductive content analysis. The results indicate that meaningful objects of inquiry were found though the children’s own discoveries with media tools used in forest trips. The social capital and the children’s own funds of knowledge were harnessed with iPads and a trail camera, installed to capture wildlife. Precisely, the trail camera use and the resulting images mediated connections with parents and grandparents, outside experts, and peers. Children were actively naming, classifying, and categorizing the trail camera data, and also searching, evaluating, and applying new information. Children were also creating, sharing, and openly publishing their own insights that drew on a unique mix of meaning-making resources and media tools. The results can be used in the learning design of early-childhood education and care.
The purpose of this review is to investigate the trends in the body of research on machine learning in educational technologies, published between 2007 and 2017. The criteria for article selection were as follows: (1) study on machine learning in educational/learning technologies, (2) published between 2007–2017, (3) published in a peer-reviewed outlet, and (4) an empirical study, literature review, or meta-analysis. Eighty-nine articles were chosen, after the first round of the article selection process. Through a second look at the articles, fifteen articles that did not match the criteria were eliminated. After the close examination of the seventy-four articles, certain demographical and thematic trends emerged. The top contributors to the body of research were Taiwan and the United States while the most productive year was 2017. The most utilized machine learning methods were vectors and decision trees. Commonly researched areas, on the other hand, were automation, cognitive process assessment, prediction, intelligent tutoring systems, and opportunities and challenges in the use of big data & learning analytics. Recommendations for future research focus on expanding geographical diversity, incorporating Bayesian and fuzzy logic methods more in educational machine learning work.
The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between the problems of practice teachers encounter and social media use. In this study seven teacher bloggers were interviewed about their professional use of blogs and Twitter. Data from the interviews were compared with data from teachers’ blogs and Twitter networks. Results indicated that each participant saw being able to choose which problem of practice on which they would work, as well as with whom they would work on these problems, as benefits of virtual networks.
Several studies have been undertaken to develop instruments to measure English teachers’ TPACK, but few studies have measured English teachers’ TPACK to develop meaningful relationships among technology, content, and pedagogy in the context whereby literacy should be associated with a range of semiotic modes beyond the written language. The interactions with a wider range of texts across modes, media and contexts point to the need for an instrument that can measure English teachers’ TPACK in the context of teaching multimodal literacies. In this study, we investigated what factors and items were necessary for examining pre-service teachers’ TPACK in multimodal literacy teaching. The proposed TPACK instrument was validated with 220 pre-service teachers across three institutions in Indonesia, China, and Australia. The study shows that the proposed eight-factor instrument generally expressed acceptable validity and reliability and was appropriate for assessing pre-service teachers’ TPACK for multimodal literacies. Implications and further research are discussed with the aim of equipping pre-service teachers with the capabilities to integrate content, pedagogy, technology and understand the complex interdependence of contextually bound factors that influence their classroom readiness in teaching multimodal literacies.
Research on educational podcasts’ impacts on learning has steadily increased in recent years. Within this research, several issues related to methodology in educational podcast research have been cited. These include lack of detail, lack of reporting reliability, and questionable validity of testing instruments. However, one the theoretical frameworks that guide podcast development processes have received minimal attention. To address the lack of attention to theoretical frameworks within the educational podcasting literature, this paper utilized a conceptual analysis to examine key theoretical frameworks that have been used in empirical studies of educational podcasts. By examining theoretical frameworks used within relevant research, this paper introduces the value of using applicable learning theories to guide podcast development. Three theoretical frameworks are discussed: (a) the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, (b) adult learning theories (e.g., andragogy theory), and (c) a combination of the two. The paper shows both the versatility of educational podcasts and the need for further examination of how different theoretical frameworks may underpin the development of podcasts across unique learning environments.
Mathematics educators are engaging in an online community referred to as the Math Twitter Blogosphere (MTBoS) to support their practices. Although studies indicate that educators who participate in professional online communities engage primarily in sharing and consuming resources, and in some cases also in building and maintaining professional relationships, it is unclear how they interpret these opportunities. This study explores the community building activities mathematics educators refer to when speaking about their engagement in the MTBoS and unpacks ways in which they value and establish value in the activities they refer to. Findings indicate that members of the MTBoS community refer to identifying and selecting resources frequently, that they value resources that are inspiring, relevant, and reliable, and that they establish values through identifying resources with attributes of specificity, like-mindedness, credibility, and through repeated exposure over time.
The adoption and integration of ePortfolios into third level teaching and learning provide many benefits as well as challenges. In this article, we capture the perspectives of nine academics from across seven departments within a small Higher Education Institute (HEI) who integrated ePortfolios into their teaching. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, we gained insight into the experiences of academics as they implemented various ePortfolio technologies. What is particularly notable about these participants is that the use of ePortfolios had occurred in an organic manner, often with little or no “official” support. Although, many of these organic initiatives may herald an initial flurry of positive feedback coupled with enthusiasm; the study indicates that without adequate management and support of the planning and implementation of ePortfolios there can be negative outcomes. The major conclusion drawn is that without a comprehensive and appropriate policy framework the implementation of ePortfolios is likely to run into a series of challenges. These are: fear and resistance to ePortfolios; challenges faced by students using ePortfolios; and difficulties with the integration of the technology into teaching & learning strategies.