Forthcoming articles


International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments


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International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments (16 papers in press)


Regular Issues


  • Notebooks, blogs and commercial video games as evocative objects in classrooms   Order a copy of this article
    by Pilar Lacasa, Rut Martinez-Borda, Sara Cortes 
    Abstract: From the theoretical perspective offered by socio-cultural psychology and the concept of evocative objects, the main goal of this paper is to explore what happened in a primary education classroom where digital objects (commercial video games and blogs) coexisted with more traditional objects such as notebooks. Adopting an ethnographic and action research point of view, we explored the conversations and practices that took place during the school year, when three consecutive workshops were organized around three commercial video games. We focus on one-second year elementary school group and their teacher. Three main results were obtained. First, the number of references to notebooks, the Internet and video games made by the participants differed depending on the role they played in the workshop. Second, mediated by evocative objects the children, the teacher and the researchers created several innovative scenarios in which specific abilities emerged in relation to particular video games. Finally, evocative objects were mediators in the collaborative situations arising in the classroom.
    Keywords: Evocative objects, collaboration, classroom, multimedia, games, blogs
  • A Literature Review on Mobile Learning   Order a copy of this article
    by Harun Bin Sinen 
    Abstract: Mobile learning has been increasingly used in the educational context. This article reviews the literature on mobile learning published in the recent five years and summarizes its definition, benefits and limitations, and additional concerns with the adoption of mobile learning. The definition of mobile learning is closely related to the mobility of technology, mobility of learners, and mobility of learning. The benefits of mobile learning include extending learning beyond the classroom; supporting situated, collaborative, and personalized learning; and also improving interactions. Limitations of mobile learning include small size of mobile devices, difficulty in inputting text, and high variability and low accessibility. Additional concerns involve social, cultural and organizational factors, advancement and cost of technology, readiness of faculty and students, and professional development of faculty.
    Keywords: Mobile learning, mobile technology, mobility, collaborative learning, interaction
  • Cognitive Load Theory meets the real world: Worked examples on a popular homework help forum   Order a copy of this article
    by Carla van de Sande 
    Abstract: Open online help forums connect students with volunteer helpers who provide assistance with specific problems from coursework. Cramster, the most popular existing mathematics help forum, is an advocate of Cognitive Load Theory and promotes the provision of worked solutions as the best way to help students. The intent is that students can use these worked solutions as problem-solving models and learn from them. This project investigated this possibility by analyzing 194 responses from the Algebra thru Pre-Calculus archives from two perspectives: First, student ratings of solution helpfulness were examined. Second, a rubric based on the accuracy and construction of the solutions was developed, applied, and compared with student ratings. The results indicate that Cramster helpers provided students with worked solutions that contain steps and sometimes goals, as opposed to final answers only. However, there were also many responses containing errors, and students did not show much discernment in their ratings.
    Keywords: Community question answering, cognitive load theory, homework help forums, mathematics help, quality of online homework help, student ratings, tutoring, worked solutions
    by Ratu Ilma 
    Abstract: The purposes of this paper are (1) to share the process of designing a Learning Environment (LE) of two dimensional geometric shapes on Television (TV) for learning and teaching using Realistic Mathematics Education (RME), and (2) to describe how a learning mathematics environment on television was used by the teacher in a classroom. Design Research approach was used in this study. The participants of this research were 20 primary school students. The data were collected from video recordings of classroom events. In this research, a sequence of instructional activities was designed and developed. Result shows that using education programs on TV can improve education in Indonesia and the dissemination of the Indonesian version of Realistic Mathematics Education (PMRI) in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Television (TV), PMRI, Two dimensional geometric shapes, Learning environment (LE), Design Research
  • Asynchronous Online Discussion Activities to Support University Students Self-directed Learning: Opportunities and Challenges Identified   Order a copy of this article
    by Wing Sum Cheung, Khe Foon Hew 
    Abstract: Singapore has identified self-directed learning (SDL) as one of the key learning outcomes for her Information Technology in Education Master plan 3. However, teachers may not know how to design activities that could cater for student SDL, and students themselves may face difficulties in using this approach in their learning. We believe that the use of a particular social media tool, the asynchronous online discussion forum, could support students' SDL. The purpose of this paper is to share how we planned and implemented the use of an asynchronous online discussion forum along with the specific pedagogical activities. We will explain why this particular approach was able to foster students' self-direction in learning based on the empirical findings collected from 20 participants at the National Institute of Education (Singapore). We also discuss the opportunities and challenges of using this particular approach and suggest several relevant areas for future research.
    Keywords: Self-directed learning, Asynchronous online discussion forum, pedagogical activities.

Special Issue on: "Flipped Classrooms with Technology,"

  • College students perception of the flipped classroom: A phenomenographical study   Order a copy of this article
    by Christopher Seitz, Muhsin Orsini 
    Abstract: The flipped classroom has become popular among educators; however, research on the topic has been relatively sparse, especially in terms of qualitative research. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore student perceptions of the flipped classroom. Undergraduate students who enrolled in a flipped public health course were invited to participate in the study. Thirteen students participated in semi-structured interviews to discuss their thoughts and experiences regarding the flipped classroom. Students viewed the flipped classroom according to out-of-class and in-class activities. Students felt that out-of-class activities were convenient, accommodated different learning styles, and were important for being prepared for class time. In terms of in-class activities, students enjoyed interactive activities (e.g., hands-on activities, class discussions), but some viewed the activities as anxiety provoking. Students also viewed in-class activities as useful for building student-instructor rapport. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
    Keywords: Flipped; inverted; classroom; college; university; higher education; interactive; rapport; WNQ
  • Flipping a high school classroom as a response-to-learner intervention   Order a copy of this article
    by Lenie George, TJ Kopcha 
    Abstract: This study examines a flipped, high school classroom that used instructional videos as a performance intervention over the course of one academic year. Seventy-five high school students in an urban setting used a flipped model of instruction to support their mastery of mathematics benchmarks. Survey data and benchmark assessment results were collected to determine whether students preferred having access to online course material, how students interact with online course material outside of the classroom, and if the online course material adequately prepared students to pass benchmark assessments. This study suggests that transferring course material online to flip instruction can promote student responsibility, control, satisfaction, and success.
    Keywords: blended learning; differentiated instruction; flipped; flipped classrooms; inverted; inverted classrooms; mathematics; student responsibility; remediation; technology integration; urban

Special Issue on: "Using Social Media for Collaborative Learning"

  • Twitter's Capacity to Support Collaborative Learning   Order a copy of this article
    by Jeffrey Carpenter 
    Abstract: Like other social media, the microblogging service Twitter appears to offer affordances for collaborative learning. This study investigated the required use of Twitter as a part of a face-to-face, undergraduate teacher education class. Data included student and instructor Twitter activities, an end-of-semester survey of students perspectives on their use of Twitter, and a focus group. Participants noted several benefits to Twitter use in the course, including enabling communication and interaction within the class and with the professional education community. Twitter facilitated connectedness and resource sharing that were collaborative in nature, and functioned as one of several tools students utilized for collaboration. Recommendations are given regarding the use of microblogging in education and future research.
    Keywords: Twitter; microblogging; collaboration; collaborative learning; social media; social networking; connectedness; teacher education; technology affordances
  • Learning through collaboration: video game wikis   Order a copy of this article
    by Matthew Barr 
    Abstract: The wiki, wherein community-spirited players meticulously document their gaming experiences for the benefit of others, from simple guides to complex theories and strategies, has become the de facto online reference medium for video game players. The work here sought to examine how players learn from one another about the systems that underpin their favourite games and how they engaged with social media wikis, in particular to facilitate this collaborative learning. It is argued that in collating, synthesizing and disseminating the often complex behaviours observed in a modern video game, the wiki author is displaying academic proficiency in a non-academic field. Drawing on a series of interviews with gaming wiki contributors and users, the practices of those engaged in using gaming wikis are discussed, together with an account of the research methods used. In undertaking such research, a number of challenges and concerns were encountered: these, too, are described.
    Keywords: video games; wikis; collaborative learning; game-based learning; social media; learning environments; research methods; video game research; dark souls; meta-game;
  • Collaborative learning via Web2.0 tools in adult education: Predicting learner satisfaction by off-task interaction and social feedback   Order a copy of this article
    by Nicole Krämer, Tina Ganster, Nicole Sträfling, Sophia Grundnig 
    Abstract: Learner interaction is a crucial prerequisite for successful learning with Web2.0. Active participation and learner-centered approaches represent a paradigm shift from instructional learning to explorative learning, allowing for social and group dynamics that affect learner satisfaction. In the present paper we compare the content of learner interaction between two runs of the same course (in which learners collaborated via Web2.0 tools) that were evaluated differently in terms of learner satisfaction. Textual content generated within the courses was subjected to discourse analysis. Analysis categories were tone and topic of the interaction, use of emoticons and different forms of social feedback. In the more satisfying course, the interaction was more positive, more focused on off-task interaction and there was more social feedback between learners, suggesting these aspects might be important predictors for learner satisfaction. Implications for teachers of Web2.0 courses as well as for future research are discussed.
    Keywords: Web2.0 learning; CSCL; learner satisfaction; sociability; explorative learning; adult education; discourse analysis; social feedback; off-task interaction
  • A comparison of engagement and interaction among University distance learning students   Order a copy of this article
    by Samantha Tackett, Kelly Torres 
    Abstract: When facilitating instruction in distance learning environments, educators are presented with challenges in student motivation and with building an interactive community among students who may never see each other face-to-face (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, 2003). A common disadvantage for some students in distance learning courses is the feeling of decreased interaction and exchange with their peers (Evans & Nation, 2003; Moore, 1997; Palloff & Pratt, 2007). We used a mixed-method approach to analyse the interaction patterns and quality of discussion among distance learning students who used two different course tools to complete assignments during their enrolment at a large, public institution of higher education. Six patterns of discussion emerged from the posts: agreement, disagreement, countering, belief, statement, and re-state. Using a 5-point scale a second analysis was implemented to assess the quality of students posts. The student posts from VoiceThread (VT) assignments had higher quality scores and higher frequency of countering and belief statements. Whereas, the student posts from Discussion Board (DB) assignments had lower quality scores and a higher frequency of re-statement and agree statements. Student feedback regarding the use of the VT tool was positive. Students expressed that through this tool they were able to see and hear their classmates for the first time after taking numerous prior online courses together. Additional analysis of using the VT tool with different types of assignments and in other online courses (e.g., exam reviews among students; self-introductions to classmates) is necessary. Although we identified significant patterns among student interactions in these courses, ultimately these findings resulted in new research directions and implications for designing discussion assignments within online courses.
    Keywords: asynchronous; distance learning; interaction pattern; online discussion; online presence; peer interaction; student engagement; text-based interaction; VoiceThread™; Web 2.0 tools
  • Creating Virtual Communities of Practice with the Visual Social Media Platform Pinterest   Order a copy of this article
    by Julie Delello, Rochell McWhorter 
    Abstract: This paper reports results of a mixed methods study on the use of the visual social media platform Pinterest in the higher education classroom. Research methods included data collection of Pre-Experience and Post-Experience student surveys from two disciplines, Education and Business, regarding students experiences in using Pinterest for learning. A total of 227 students (189 undergraduate and 38 graduate students) participated in the study. Findings included student perceptions regarding the usability of Pinterest in the classroom setting, student learning and development, and ways Pinterest facilitated the development of a virtual community of practice. Recommendations for future use is given.
    Keywords: Case studies; career development; communities of practice; Pinterest; social media; usability; visual technologies; visual literacy; Web 2.0; visual network
  • Establishing wiki design principles to advance wiki-based learning: An eyetracking study   Order a copy of this article
    by Haijun Kang 
    Abstract: A review of research studies on the integration of wiki into curriculum indicates the necessity of establishing wiki design principles if to capitalize on the learning opportunity wiki technology offers. Utilizing eye-tracking technology, this study explores wiki design principles by examining students reading patterns when they study a learning topic presented in wiki format. Over twenty-one hours of eye movement data were collected, analyzed and compared. Post-experiment interviews were conducted to obtain demographic and background information. Based on the data analysis, three wiki design principles were developed. This study concludes by calling for more attention on the development of scientific-research-based wiki design principles to help students capitalize on wiki-based learning opportunity.
    Keywords: Wiki; design principles; learning; eye tracking; perceived usefulness; self-efficacy.
  • If You Cant Beat Them, Join Them: Using Social Media as an Active Learning Tool   Order a copy of this article
    by Sharmin Attaran, Stefanie Boyer, Christine Mitchell 
    Abstract: This article addresses the common concerns faculty face in the classroom--students are addicted to technology and social media. Rather than banning social media from the classroom, instructors can implement its use as an active learning tool to increase engagement related to the course content in learning communities of peers, experts and organizations. This article provides an example of how to use social media in a sustainability marketing university course offering and explores how social media impacts attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge related to course content. Sustainability knowledge and behaviors significantly increased (p < .000; p = .003) after social media was implemented in the course offering. In addition, students attitudes toward practicing sustainability, reducing consumption, and being ecofriendly significantly increased (p = .013; p < .000; p = .002) based on pre and post class measures.
    Keywords: Social Media, Engagement, Cognitive Dissonance, Collaborative Learning, Microblogs, Sustainability Marketing
  • YELLing for collaborative learning in teacher education: Users voices in the social platform LearnWeb2.0   Order a copy of this article
    by Maria Bortoluzzi, Ivana Marenzi 
    Abstract: The community platform YELL/TELL (Young English Language Learners and Teen English Language Learners) was developed to respond to the needs of collaboration and sharing among trainee teachers, school teachers, teacher trainers and researchers in the field of language learning, for English as Second Language (L2) and English as Foreign Language (EFL). The social community YELL/TELL, supported by the LearnWeb2.0 platform, has the aim to encourage professional collaboration among trainees, teachers of different schools and teacher educators in pre-service and in-service training. Lifelong learning is promoted on the basis of sharing resources, commenting and reflecting on them in the spirit of open educational practices and free resources, offering support, ideas, and competences for teaching English as L2. Within the framework of reflexive socio-constructivism and multiliteracies, the paper discusses the YELL case study as a peer-training and open professional community.
    Keywords: social platform; social community; YELL/TELL; LearnWeb2.0; social searching; resource sharing; peer-teacher education; Open Educational Resources (OER); co-constructed knowledge; teacher training; collaboration; multiliteracies; lifelong learning.teacher training, collaboration, multiliteracies
  • Research of the Blog Platform-assisted Collaborative Learning Model in the Teaching of "Micro-controller Principles and Applications"   Order a copy of this article
    by Tong Yanrong 
    Abstract: "Micro-controller Principles and Applications" is a significantly important course to be taken by an Optoelectronic Information Science and Engineering major. The course is both comprehensive and practical. The main aim of the course is to enhance students learning initiative and their ability to apply a micro-controller. This article discusses the new methodology found in the curriculums design, implementation and evaluation. The new teaching method employs a collaborative learning model assisted by a blog platform, which is not only conducive to strengthening the teachers leading role and promoting the ability of students to self-teach, but this method also encourages and develops the students spirit of teamwork and improves their overall ability to learn.
    Keywords: Blog; collaborative learning; curriculum design; curriculum evaluation.