International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning (12 papers in press)
A Systemic Approach to Leveraging Student Engagement in Collaborative Learning to Improve Online Engineering Education
by Robin G. Qiu
Abstract: Online higher education is transformative and quite different from residential college education. Lacking effective and consistent pedagogical engagement has been criticized for a high drop-out rate in the online education in general. This study aims to find a solution to facilitate learning engagement in an online engineering education setting. By relying on the known knowledge in the pedagogies of engagement in college education, this paper proposes a systemic framework for promoting positive online students learning engagement. Different from empirical studies of conducting hypothesis tests, we show a practical and model-driven approach to assessing and enhancing problem-based collaborative teaching/learning practices. The proposed framework is explored through both a pilot test and a confirming test. Rules of thumb are identified and generalized, which could be used to help students/instructors retune their collaborative practices in a proactive manner for retaining positive and effective learning engagement in an online engineering education setting.
Keywords: online engineering education; collaborative learning; pedagogy of engagement; professional education.
The Use of TAM to Investigate University Students Acceptance of the Formal Use of Smartphones for Learning: A Qualitative Approach
by Al-Mothana Gasaymeh, Dima Waswas
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate, through the lens of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), university students acceptance of the formal use of smartphones for their learning. A survey research approach was followed. Sixteen students participated in four focus-group interviews. Each group had four participants. Most participants expressed positive attitudes toward the use of smartphones for their learning. In line with the TAM model, the students reported the reasons for their positive attitudes toward the formal use of smartphones in learning. These reasons were strongly related to their perceptions of ease of use and the usefulness of smartphones for their daily life tasks and for informal learning.
Keywords: smartphone; Technology Acceptance Model (TAM); smartphone in education; university student.
Does ICT affect the understanding of ellipsoids, cylinders and cones among students from University of Applied Sciences?
by Nicholas Zaranis, George M. Exarchakos
Abstract: Our research compares the improvement of the students stereometry competence of ellipsoids, cylinders, and cones using two teaching approaches. The first one employs our ICT oriented learning method specifically targeting the van Hiele model for stereometry concepts. The second method is based on the traditional approach of teaching university students. The study deals with second-year undergraduate students from the Department of Civil Engineering at Piraeus University of Applied Sciences. The sample was divided into two groups (experimental and control). The results showed that the teaching approaches of our intervention, with the additional use of ICT using the background of the Van Hiele model, contribute significantly more to the development of university students stereometry competence as compared to other traditional methods.
Keywords: ICT; ellipsoids; cylinders; cones; higher education.
Evaluation at Scale: An Approach to Evaluate Technology for Informal Workplace Learning Across Contexts
by Stefan Thalmann, Tobias Ley, Ronald Maier, Tamsin Treasure-Jones, Christina Christina SARIGIANNI, Markus Manhart
Abstract: Technology for informal learning at the workplace is designed to support work processes and the learning that can occur within these processes anytime and anywhere. The implicit, spontaneous and hidden nature of informal learning in addition to the large and less predictable number of application scenarios challenge the evaluation of learning technology. Therefore, we require cross-case comparisons to draw conclusions beyond the immediate context of informal learning in a single case. A further challenge for evaluation is added if a user-centered design method had been employed that already had involved users in large numbers and has led to a high level of expectations regarding the potential of the tool to fulfil their needs. In this article, we suggest a participatory approach for the evaluation of technology for informal learning at the workplace across sectoral and country borders in order to address these evaluation challenges. The proposed evaluation approach is based on the ideas of active involvement of stakeholders, an iterative planning process, a continuous, open and collaborative interpretation of the data collected on the basis of representations shared across cases plus a pluralism of methods for evaluating learning technology, and is particularly intended for large scale evaluations in workplace settings. We present a case, in which we applied the proposed evaluation approach in the context of a large scale European research project on technology supported informal learning across professional, sectoral and country borders. Finally, we reflect on our lessons learned and provide recommendations.
Keywords: Participatory evaluation; informal learning; workplace learning; participatory design.
The digital divide: Implications for the eSafety of children and adolescents
by Zilka Gila
Abstract: The digital divide is the gap between those who are digitally literate and those who are not, between those who do and do not have access to digital environments. The implications of the divide for the eSafety of children and adolescents are the topic of this paper. Three hundred forty-five Israeli children and adolescents participated in this mixed-method study. Safe browsing was found to be affected by the digital divide. Children and adolescents who have digital equipment at home displayed higher eSafety skills and computer literacy than did children who have no digital equipment or those who have only few such devices. Lack or limited access to a digital environment results in absence of eSafety skills and lower computer literacy. As a result, these children are at higher risk of being cyberbullied than are children with access to digital environments and those who have better eSafety skills.
Keywords: eSafety; cyberbullying; digital divide; children; adolescents; disadvantaged populations; e-readiness.
Technology, Attitude and Mathematics: A Descriptive Examination of the Literature Spanning Three Decades
by Jacqueline Huscroft-D'Angelo, Kristina Higgins, Lindy Crawford
Abstract: An extensive literature base exists on the use of technology in mathematics and its effect on student learning; however, no comprehensive reviews have been published on how affective characteristics specifically attitude might factor into these results. This review presents a thorough descriptive examination of the literature on attitude and achievement of elementary and middle school students when using technology in mathematics. The literature was examined from 1983-2013 to synthesise (a) populations, (b) settings, (c) types of technology used, (d) operational definitions of attitude, (e) assessment of attitude and mathematical content domains, (f) research designs used, and (g) length of interventions. Twenty-five datasets, representing 25 published manuscripts, were included in the review. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Keywords: technology; mathematics; affective characteristics; attitude; elementary; middle.
Methodological proposal of financial modelling using dynamic scenarios from multivariable data tables
by J.D. González-Ruiz, Eduardo Duque, Alejandro Peña, Jovani Jiménez, Héctor Alejandro Patiño
Abstract: This paper aims at proposing a methodological strategy for teaching the modelling of dynamic scenarios from Multivariable Data Tables using Microsoft Excel as a technological tool. It provides a step-by-step guide for improving the teaching-learning method on the development of financial models, which could also be used in other areas. The methodology allows identifying the most important aspects of developing financial models so students-professors could be guided towards a more pedagogical approach promoting the incorporation of technological tools in the classroom. This work plays a pivotal role in financial modelling teaching since it provides relevant elements leading to the development of systematic thinking among university students based on cognitive activities. Also, various contributions to research on the teaching-learning process in modelling are discussed. For validating the proposal, an airport's financial valuation was used as a case study. As a result, this paper contributes to increasing the role of computational tools and students-professors involvement in the development of systemic thinking and cognitive skills.
Keywords: financial modelling; learning-teaching; Excel; cognitive skills; project finance; dynamic scenarios.
An agent-based approach for personalised and adaptive learning
by Smain Nasr-Eddine Bouzenada, Olivier Boissier, Nacer Eddine Zarour
Abstract: Most of learning systems deliver the same learning materials when targeting the same learning unit. It turned out that the learning process could significantly be improved if learning content could be specifically personalised and adapted to individual learners' domain knowledge and capabilities. Few learning systems introduce teaching strategies to satisfy individual learners' requirements. In an attempt to overcome these limitations, we propose a multi-agent system, which is based on learning styles for its adaptability and on domain knowledge for its personalisation. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of this multi-agent based learning system. In particular we discuss the learning resources collecting process, the personalised process and the adaptive process. The system has been tested through several functional experiments, and the analysis of the simulation study indicates that the approach is able to handle personalised and adaptive learning.
Keywords: multi-agent; e-learning; learning styles; teaching styles; learner's profile; adaptive learning; personalised learning.
User interface preferences of young Jordanians using tablet devices
by Ahmed Al-Sa'di, Dave Parry, Philip D. Carter
Abstract: We aimed to establish Arabic user interface (UI) guidelines for tablet PCs (tablets). This paper presents the findings of two studies with 21 Arabic-speaking Jordanian students to gauge their preferences. Initial UI design guidelines were formulated for font type, size, colour, text alignment, menu and button type. Gender differences were found in font type preferences as well as the desire to customise the application's appearance. Sensibilities around religious symbols were also discovered. The use of coaching and think-aloud in the usability approach assisted in allowing the research to be appropriately sensitive to the beliefs and culture of the subjects. It is anticipated that the research findings will help software companies in Jordan and other Arabic-speaking nations to enhance UI for Arabic mobile and tablet applications.
Keywords: user interface; Arabic users; usability; tablet PCs; gender; educational application.
Influence of online retailers' social media marketing strategies on students' perceptions towards e-shopping: a qualitative study
by Marcos Komodromos, Tap Papaioannou, Mohammed Alhaji Adamu
Abstract: The usage of the internet-based technologies, particularly social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as business platforms can be a critical strategy in enhancing an online retail outlet's reach and operational efficiency. This study employs a qualitative study with 20 in-depth interviews to explore the factors/strategies that influence students' acceptance of e-shopping. The objectives of the study were to examine students' perceptions of e-shopping via the social media fan pages of Konga and Jumia online stores and their perceptions about the difference in the influence of the online marketing strategies on acceptance of e-shopping between Konga and Jumia online stores. The results highlight students' perceptions of e-shopping via the social pages and they find e-shopping experience very interesting and fun. The most important motivating factor which influenced the online shopping in Konga and Jumia online stores are the marketing strategies that companies use and convenience followed by time saving and price for consumers.
Keywords: e-shopping; social media; Facebook; Twitter; online retail shops; consumers; engagement.
Using blogs to promote reflective dialogue in vocational education
by María Concepción Bort Albarracín, Manoli Pifarré
Abstract: This paper investigates how blogs can be used to support reflective dialogue in vocational education and how such dialogue can be characterised. This paper claims that a dialogic approach, where reflection is conceived as a voice immersed in a social interaction dialogue, is necessary when using blogs. Based on literature review, this study defined key higher-order thinking skills that indicate the presence of reflective dialogue on students' blog contributions. The current study states that these thinking skills can shed some light on patterns of behaviour in order to engage vocational students in reflective dialogue. The thinking skills have been clustered in four dimensions or dialogues attending to their function among the bloggers interaction: caring, critical, regulatory and creative thinking skills. These thinking skills were embedded in a blog learning project, implemented in two real classrooms settings and evaluated in two studies. Our experimental data support the claim that blogs' affordances play a key role in reflective dialogue development.
Keywords: blogs; reflexive dialogue; thinking skills; educational project.
An analysis of the permeability of Moroccan higher education to e-learning and simulation based e-learning
by El Hassan Laaziz, Elmustapha Elkhouzai
Abstract: The integration of e-learning into the educational and training landscape of developed and emerging countries has become an important issue since the beginning of the millennium. The sophistication of associated information technologies tends to replicate all the virtues formerly associated with the face-to-face. Recent advances in interfacing and integration between Learning Management Systems (LMS) and simulators are an example. In Morocco, e-learning is still in a basic level of both practice by practitioners and the place granted to it by governments. Accordingly, the degree of penetration of e-learning is fairly basic both in sophisticated devices and in the sophisticated content that can be able to change the situation. The aim of this article is to study the permeability of Moroccan higher education to e-learning devices and interactive content in particular. The degree of penetration of e-learning and interactive and simulation-based content will be analysed, benchmarked and discussed.
Keywords: e-learning; distance learning; information technologies; higher education; simulation; moodle; e-learning standards; learning management systems; Morocco.