International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments (4 papers in press)
Design for Blended Synchronous Learning Using Video Conferencing: A Design-based Research
by Qiyun Wang, Choon Lang Quek
Abstract: In this study, a blended synchronous learning environment was created for a group of Master students to take a course. Most of the students came to the classroom to take lessons every week. Meanwhile, a few students were allowed to join the classroom instructional process by using video conferencing at homes or workplaces. The purpose of this study was to find out what challenges the remote students and the instructor met in the blended synchronous learning sessions and what strategies could be effectively used to address the challenges. Results showed that the engagement level of the remote students was low, and they had difficulties in communicating with the classroom students and asking questions. Some activities happening in the classroom were also difficult for them to observe and participate. Nevertheless, some students liked the way of attending lessons as it could save them much travel time. Also, it was hard for the instructor to pay attention to the remote students, and the instructor needed to adjust presentation slides so that important information would not be covered by streaming videos. Some useful strategies included partnership, regularly monitoring the understanding of remote students, using two cameras and two mics, and sound control and coordination.
Keywords: Blended learning, video conferencing, design-based research, synchronous learning
Meeting the Challenges of the New Business Universe through Virtual Collaborative Learning
by Owen Hall Jr.
Abstract: The world of virtual collaborative learning is now becoming the new norm throughout higher education in general, and at schools of business in particular. Under growing pressure from the business universe, business educators are in the process of radically altering the content and delivery of management education. Today, the business community is looking for web-savvy, problem-solving graduates who can immediately contribute upon joining the firm. To meet these and related financial issues, many schools of business are increasingly turning to the web as a vehicle for enhancing student learning opportunities and outcomes. Faculty engagement in this new learning zeitgeist is essential. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how virtual collaborative learning can be used to prepare students to meet the challenges of an uncertain job market and to outline strategies for implementing this revolutionary learning process throughout the management education community of practice.
Keywords: Virtual collaborative learning, social media, management education, implementation strategies, Web 2.0+, Haptics, Heutagogy
SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AND ITS IMPACT ON READING HABITS: A STUDY OF KOFORIDUA POLYTECHNIC STUDENTS
by Micheal Owusu -Acheaw
Abstract: The study investigates the use of social media by students of Koforidua Polytechnic and its impact on their reading habits. Questionnaire was administered on a sample of the students to gather data and information. The data was quantitatively analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Out of a total of 1,050 questionnaires administered, 852 responses were retrieved representing 80.98%. The study revealed that 92.72% of respondents visit social media sites every day and spent between 30 minutes to 3 hours, while 66.78% respondents indicated that the use of social media affected their reading habits. In addition, 81.92% of the respondents indicated they had not read novels or fiction within the last two semesters. The study revealed that there is a relationship between time spent on social media and reading habits and that constant use of social media leads to low reading habits. The study recommended that faculty staff should encourage students to spend less time on the social media sites and rather should be encouraged to channel more of their time and energies towards educational purposes. The study further recommended that Students should read a minimum of two novels or fiction during a semester as well as introduction of communication skills to 200/300level students.
Keywords: Social Networks, Tertiary Institution, Reading Style, Reading Interest, Information Literacy. rn
Investigating the barriers to technology integration in Singaporean Junior Colleges
by Kim Chun Kuang
Abstract: This survey examines the perceptions of 27 teachers on the barriers to technology integration (pedagogical beliefs, technology beliefs, school level, and system level factors) to support the implementation of interactive-constructive learning activities within constructivist pedagogical approaches to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics in the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level course. Several barriers were identified and their possible relationships are discussed with implications to strategies which can help foster an environment that supports teachers decisions to integrate technology. Further research directions are discussed together with the findings and limitations of the study.
Keywords: Singapore; junior colleges; mathematics; technology integration; barriers; ICAP framework