Publication

Factors influencing teachers’ utilisation of ICT: the role of in-service training courses and access

RLT Journal - 26/06/20

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the influencing factors of ICT integration at secondary schools of Isfahan province. In order to obtain a realistic view of the factors especially among those teachers who attended ICT training courses, a total sample of 180 secondary school teachers were recruited randomly and a survey was completed. A researcher-approved questionnaire was developed to measure participants’ access rate to ICT resources, ICT skills and their ICT integration practices. The content validity method was used for estimating the validity of the questionnaire and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was calculated to verify its reliability. The results were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics methods. Based on the results, teachers have adequate access to hardware at home and school. However, the access rate to software is not of a desirable level. In spite of attending ICT training courses, secondary teachers were not proficient in using ICT tools and their technology usage in education, research and communication domains is less than the desired level. Results indicate that though there is a tendency to get computers and use the Internet, still using them in different areas remains an unsolved problem. The findings address implications for teacher educators and professional development programme providers.

Categories: ALT, Publication

‘This is two different worlds, you have the asylum world and you have the study world’: an exploration of refugee participation in online Irish higher education

RLT Journal - 01/06/20

This qualitative study explores the transition experiences of refugees to study online in Dublin City University (DCU). Asylum seekers face financial, structural, cultural and digital equity barriers to access higher education (HE). In response to these barriers to access, DCU became a ‘University of Sanctuary’ in 2017, offering scholarships to refugees. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews. Four themes were constructed in the data-led thematic analysis: asylum world, belonging to the DCU community, the personal impact of studying and study world. Overall, this study strengthens the idea that access programmes such as the University of Sanctuary scholarships can facilitate participation in HE for refugees, provided that the necessary support to address the financial, structural, cultural and digital equity barriers is in place.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Peer-graded individualised student homework in a single-instructor undergraduate engineering course

RLT Journal - 15/05/20

This article reports on the implementation of a programme of individualised, peer-graded homework assignments in a large-scale engineering course, with minimal resources. Participation in the programme allows students to receive grades for problem-solving work in a setting more conducive to learning than the traditional final examination. The homework programme was designed to support the ordinary course work and examination preparation of students along the semester, rather than an expansion of the curriculum. The implementation is carried out using a series of scripts on a local computer, for speed of deployment, portability and privacy protection. Data relevant to instructors are provided, showing that the programme integrates well within an existing grading system, at a relatively low time cost for the instructor, resulting in a relatively large enhancement in the students’ learning experience.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Co-creation of knowledge using mobile technologies and digital media as pedagogical devices in undergraduate STEM education

RLT Journal - 12/05/20

Digital media assignments are a widely used method of assessing student learning in higher education. Despite their common use, the literature on digital media assignments has many gaps regarding theoretical frameworks to guide their design, implementation and evaluation. This research paper focuses on student attitudes towards the use of mobile technology and digital media assignments in undergraduate STEM education. The study used a set of novel theoretical frameworks to identify training needs in digital media production, development of assessment weightings, marking rubrics and student training and resources. Longitudinal data were captured over a period of 4 years (n = 1724) using a mixed-methods approach. Validated questionnaires measured student attitudes to digital media support and attitudes to technology, understanding of the assignment, knowledge construction and digital media for learning and career development. Open-ended questions helped gather suggestions from students for improving the assessment task. Questionnaire data were analysed by using descriptive statistics and qualitative data with thematic analysis. The results suggested that students enjoyed group work, found learning with digital media to be engaging and developed critical thinking and digital media skills. In conclusion, STEM students had a positive learning experience repurposing mobile technology as pedagogical devices that present knowledge by using a multi-modal approach mediated by digital media.

Categories: ALT, Publication

EDITORIAL: Special collection on mobile mixed reality 2019 update

RLT Journal - 11/05/20

This special collection of Research in Learning Technology explores the development of the state of the art of Mobile Mixed Reality (MMR) in education. The special collection was established in 2018 to provide research-informed exploration of this emergent and rapidly developing arena of educational technology through the lens of Scholarship Of Technology Enhanced Learning (SOTEL). The special collection update for 2019 includes four articles that cover self-efficacy and motivation of MMR users, analysis of student experiences of MMR, and a selection of case studies on designing and implementing MMR in educational contexts. The range of articles illustrates the further development of MMR as a platform for designing authentic learning environments in both formal and informal learning situations. The articles also highlight attempts to address the issue identified in the 2018 collection of a general lack of engagement with new learning theories and models in the use of MMR to design transformative learning experiences.

This editorial is part of the special collection ‘Mobile Mixed Reality-Enhanced Learning’ edited by Thomas Cochrane, Vickel Narayan, James Birt, Helen Farley and Fiona Smart. Read all articles from this collection here.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Holographic teaching presence: participant experiences of interactive synchronous seminars delivered via holographic videoconferencing

RLT Journal - 04/05/20

This study seeks to identify potential advantages of using holographic videoconferencing to deliver seminars within higher education as compared to the use of alternative non-holographic videoconferencing. Holographic videoconferencing offers opportunities to enhance attendees’ experience of remotely delivered seminars but has not been widely researched. Data were collected from 127 attendees attending one of three seminars, each of which featured a combination of physically present presenters and remote presenters participating via holographic videoconferencing. In this study, the holographic representations were three-dimensional and life-size. Monitors and holographic images were calibrated in a manner such that the remote presenters were able to point to and achieve eye-contact with members of the audience. Results indicate that the use of holographic videoconferencing can enhance the teaching presence of remote presenters, the engagement between participants and attendees’ enjoyment of a seminar. Almost all participants reported this to be their first experience of a holographic event and the positive results are partly explained by a sense of novelty. This suggests that the benefits of holographic videoconferencing may reduce over time. However, we argue that some benefit, resulting from an enhanced degree of teaching presence, will be sustained. The relative impact on learning gain is not explored in the current study. We believe that this would likely require a more controlled experiment in future research.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Learner skills in open virtual mobility

RLT Journal - 19/03/20

Internationalisation has been a key theme in higher education (HE) for decades. Multiple initiatives across the world have contributed to creating offerings of high-quality online education, with collaborations across national borders. Two of the concepts that have proved to be influential are Virtual Mobility (VM) and Open Education (OE). Virtual mobility refers to study activities that students enrolled in HE in one country undertake online in other countries without physically moving. Such activities are certified and mutually acknowledged by participating institutions. Open education covers global initiatives increasing access to free online quality education, without or with alternative forms of certification.

The research presented in this article identifies the learner skills and competences that are supported by Open Virtual Mobility (OpenVM), a new trend in online education that builds upon these two concepts. A group concept mapping study based on the contributions of experts in both VM and OE resulted in defining seven learner skills and competence areas including: intercultural skills and attitudes; networked learning; active self-regulated learner skills; media and digital literacy; autonomy-driven learning, interactive and collaborative learning in an authentic international environment and open-mindedness. The study provided input for further conceptualising of OpenVM as a bridge between VM and OE.

Categories: ALT, Publication

The seven principles of online learning: Feedback from faculty and alumni on its importance for teaching and learning

RLT Journal - 17/03/20

Effective online teaching and learning requires a carefully designed classroom that promotes student engagement with faculty, peers and course content. This research included an investigation of the importance of faculty–student communication and collaborationstudent–student communication and collaborationactive learning techniquesprompt feedbackappropriate time for taskshigh performance expectations; and respect for diverse learning styles (preferences) (Chickering and Ehrmann 1996) to faculty in their online teaching and to alumni in their online learning. The participants were 14 college faculty and 111 alumni, from the same graduate program. A 45-item Likert survey and two open-ended questions were presented to the participants to explore the important factors contributing to their online teaching and learning. The results demonstrated that holding students to high standards of performance, academic honesty and professional conduct was the most important factor to both faculty in their online teaching and alumni in their online learning. Additionally, alumni valued engagement with their faculty more than engagement with other students or course content. Students need an online instructor who is organised and communicative in the online classroom, and faculty need a solidly designed online classroom, with engaged students who are timely in their work. An analysis of the findings with specific application to online teaching and learning is presented in this article.

Categories: ALT, Publication
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