Technology-infused teams-games-tournaments in English language class: a mixed method study on students’ achievement and perception

RLT Journal - 21/06/24

Technology in language instruction has become a new norm due to its effectiveness, and one example is the Teams-Games-Tournaments (TGT) method. The purpose of this study is to measure students’ achievement in English language classes by using technology-infused TGT and ask the students to evaluate their learning experience with this method. This research involved 30 students as the control group and 30 students as the experimental group from two sections of the same general English course at a Thailand university. Pre- and post-tests of the control and the experimental group were conducted to assess the success of the method. At the end of the term, a questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended questions was used to record the students’ perceptions. The findings showed that the experimental group’s scores were higher suggesting the success of the method in improving students’ achievement. The experimental group’s perceptions as expressed in the questionnaire under cooperation, motivation, achievement, and satisfaction were highly positive as students gave, on average, ratings of more than 4.0 to all categories. The implication of these findings was the effective application of this method in English classes.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Personal branding strategies in online hashtag communities: the case of #AcademicTwitter

RLT Journal - 29/05/24

Several studies have explored the uses and benefits of social media hashtag communities in higher education… Yet, more research is needed to examine communication structures and strategies for personal branding in educational social media hashtag communities. In otherwords, to understand the dynamics, characteristics, and strategies for faculty, university staff, and graduate students need to brand themselves professionally in social media hashtag communities. This research aims to explore social network structures, dynamics, influencer characteristics, and personal branding strategies of the #AcademicTwitter online community. X (formerly known as Twitter) data on #AcademicTwitter from 2021 were retrieved and analysed using social network and quantitative content analysis. Our study found that most of the recurrent users in the community were scholars (faculty and researchers) predominantly from the STEM field. However, the most influential users were media/fan pages (a profile account created for different purposes such as sharing tips in academia, publishers, etc.) and other professionals (freelancers or university staff). Our research sheds light on the current practice of disclosing specific teaching and research interests or expertise in social media bio profiles for personal branding, especially among scholars. Unique communication contexts such as social media hashtag communities still bring challenges to the dissemination of information, relationship building, and personal branding strategies. Our results also provide recommendations for scholars (faculty and researchers), graduate students, university staff, and practitioners to improve communication practices and personal branding strategies on social media hashtag communities.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Impact and implementation of UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Educational Resources in academic libraries: SPARC Europe Case Study

RLT Journal - 23/05/24

This paper analyses the role of libraries in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) and, more specifically, the impact and level of implementation of UNESCO’s (2019) OER Recommendation in Higher Education libraries. This study, the result of a joint undertaking between a national R&D project and SPARC Europe, is based on an online survey, disseminated amongst the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) and uses a descriptive research methodology. The results highlight the implementation actions being taken by university libraries (n = 136) in each of the five areas of action of UNESCO’s Recommendation. We find that the main contributions are being made in the areas of capacity building and Open Education policies, but that considerable work has yet to be done in terms of promoting inclusiveness and the sustainability of OER. Thus, the full implementation of UNESCO’s recommendation requires a greater commitment on the part of librarians to joint actions undertaken via international networks and projects, as well as greater institutional commitment and the building of interdepartmental alliances.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Students’ perspectives of a study support (Studiosity) service at a University

RLT Journal - 21/05/24

Supporting students’ success and achievement is a key mission of WP (Widening Participation) institutions such as the University of Bedfordshire. An essential step in ensuring students succeed is the development of academic writing skills – these are vital during students’ studies and when students leave university study and undertake further study or enter graduate-level employment. During the 2021–2022 academic year, the University of Bedfordshire implemented a study support service called Studiosity, a service designed to provide students with formative feedback on drafts of their assessment tasks. This study utilises a survey instrument exploring Studiosity’s Writing Feedback (WF) service and addresses a gap in the literature where there is very little understanding of the details of students’ engagement with the system. The survey’s results indicate a mismatch between students’ assumptions about formative feedback provided by Studiosity. However, when students utilise Studiosity’s WF service, the personalised and specific feedback raises students’ confidence in their ability to write academically.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Improving marking effectiveness and feedback provision in an OSCE assessment using Microsoft Forms: A pilot study in Sport and Exercise Therapy

RLT Journal - 23/04/24

An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) has been recognised as a reliable but workload-intensive assessment method across health sciences studies. Though a variety of digital marking tools have been employed to improve marking and feedback provision for OSCEs, many of these require specialist software or maintenance. This pilot study examines the development and trialling of Microsoft Forms as a marking and feedback instrument for an OSCE within a Sport and Exercise Therapy module. This study aims to assess whether the use of a non-specialist digital tool, such as Microsoft Forms, might be able overcome limitations in current assessment procedures and ultimately provide a more effective method for marking and feedback provision for an OSCE. Results from OSCE examiners (N = 8) and students (N = 30) who participated in the pilot indicate that Microsoft Forms does have the potential to provide a more effective experience for examiners and ultimately improve upon feedback provision for students when compared with a paper-based marking tool. However, concerns around the form’s ease-of-use may ultimately influence its adoption as a marking instrument above current paper-based methods.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Results of integrating short VR exercises into traditional CBTs

RLT Journal - 15/04/24

The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of short virtual reality (VR) exercises on knowledge retention for adult learners at a contractor safety training organisation supporting the energy industry who took computer-based training (CBT) courses. The intent was to simulate a delay period similar to that experienced by contractors who support work in the energy industry to determine if traditional CBT can be made more effective for stimulating greater transfer of learning with the addition of VR exercises. The experimental group was exposed to CBTs augmented by VR exercises that reinforced the CBT course learning objectives. The control group for this research took the same CBT course without short VR exercises. A quantitative analysis was performed on data collected from a course exam provided immediately after the course delivery and from a separate follow-up quiz delivered 3 days after the course(s) completion. Data from these testing instruments were analysed to determine the participant’s likelihood of remembering content from the CBT courses and if there was greater knowledge retention of the course learning objectives and procedures within the experimental group than within the control group. The results found a non-statistically significant relationship between the two groups; however, trends between the groups show that there are benefits for transfer of learning when using short VR exercises compared to those groups without short VR exercises.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Students satisfaction, self-efficacy and achievement in an emergency online learning course

RLT Journal - 04/04/24

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of an emergency online learning course on students’ satisfaction, self-efficacy and achievement. This study used a convergent mixed methods approach with an action research design to explore students’ experiences and outcomes in an emergency online science course. This study involved 25 voluntary participants from a private college in Manila, Philippines, who were enrolled in the Science, Technology and Society online course during the 2019–2020 academic year. Data were collected using a variety of instruments, including questionnaires, reflective journals and semi-structured interviews. The results showed that the developed emergency online learning course positively impacted students’ satisfaction, efficacy and achievement. Students were satisfied with their interactions with classmates and teachers and the course content. They also expressed confidence in their ability to perform online tasks independently and master the subject through pre-recorded videos. This study suggests that effective student-teacher interaction, peer relationships, relevant and relatable course content, well-designed lesson materials, clear assessment tasks, differentiated tasks to meet individual learning preferences and teacher creativity are essential factors for student satisfaction, efficacy and achievement in emergency online learning courses.

Categories: ALT, Publication
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