Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012 / Oct 2012 pp360‑440
Keywords: Multi-disciplinary Learning, Teamwork, Database Application Development, blended-learning, asynchronous online discussion, voice board, discussion forum, participation, Wimba Voice Board, first person point of view, learning in the first person, paramedic science, paramedic science skills, skill acquisition, experiential learning, video learning materials,
Students’ use of Asynchronous Voice Discussion in a Blended‑Learning Environment: A study of two undergraduate classes pp360‑367
Contemporary discussions of education in blended‑learning environments increasingly emphasize the social nature of learning which emphasizes interactions among students, or among students and instructors. These interactions can occur asynchronously using a text based discussion forum. A text‑based discussion forum, however, may not work well for all participants as some find it difficult to explain complex concepts in words, while others complain of being misunderstood due to the absence of verbal cues. In this study, we investigated the use of a Wimba Voice Board to support asynchronous voice discussion. A quasi‑experiment research design involving two classes of undergraduate students was conducted. One of the classes (n = 24 students) used the Wimba Voice Board while the other (n = 18 students) used a text discussion forum in BlackBoard. The results of an independent t‑test analysis suggested that there was no significant difference in the students’ degree of participation in the two classes, asynchronous voice discuss class (M = 2.92, SD = 1.586) and text discussion class (M = 2.78, SD = 1.353), (t = 0.299, df = 40, p = 0.767) at the 0.05 level of significance. However, the online discussion appeared to be more sustained in the asynchronous voice discussion group. Analyses of the students’ reflection data suggested that asynchronous voice discussion have several advantages over text forums. Specifically, an asynchronous voice discussion: enables students to understand one another’s messages better, allows students, who prefer speaking to writing, or students who are not proficient in written English, to participate in the discussion, promotes originality of students’ ideas, and helps to foster a sense of online community.
Keywords: blended-learning, asynchronous online discussion, voice board, discussion forum, participation, Wimba Voice Board
Review of Use of Animation as a Supplementary Learning Material of Physiology Content in Four Academic Years pp368‑377
Dynamic concepts are difficult to explain in traditional media such as still slides. Animations seem to offer the advantage of delivering better representations of these concepts. Compared with static images and text, animations can present procedural information (e.g. biochemical reaction steps, physiological activities) more explicitly as they show the steps in an orderly manner. Quite a few empirical studies showed promising results animations have on learning (e.g. Trevisan, Oki and Senger, 2009; Hays, 1996). There are, however, also limitations. Designing and developing quality animations for teaching and learning can be challenging sometimes (Morrison, Tversky and Betrancourt, 2000). Kesner and Linzey (2005) even found no improvement on students’ learning in using animations in their study. It thus occurs to the researchers that there are factors that govern successful use of animation in teaching and learning. Our study explored such factors in the context of physiology teaching. 913 students in twelve different classes (collected in two stages, four years in total) in the same physiology course learned complicated microscopic mechanisms with assistance from animations provided as supplementary materials primarily for self‑study. Surveys and group interviews were conducted that provided both qualitative and quantitative feedback. Results were mostly positive ‑ animations surely explain contents more explicitly to students (especially for the explanation of dynamic and complicated biological processes), make students more interested in the subjects taught; and there is a greater demand for similar learning tools from the students. It is strongly believed that animations are good supplementary learning materials for students particularly for learning complicated concepts. Important success factors we found included the detailed explanation of content, a good balance between clear presentation and beautiful interface, the speed of running/ loading of the animations, and the provision of more references, etc.
Keywords: dynamic physiology process, supplementary use of animation, advantage of animation in teaching, successful factors of using animation, animation for student revision, learning with animation
An innovative research on the usage of facebook in the higher education context of Hong Kong pp378‑386
Teaching and learning is undergoing a dramatic change due to the advancement in telecommunication and IT. Increasingly, Online learning platform is playing an important role higher education. The maturity of Internet and emergence of various cloud services catalyse the development of these platforms and student learning behaviour. An example is Facebook, online social network sites, which changes the interaction, communication and interrelation of students and their daily life. There is a growing trend that people participate in Facebook. Given there is discussion forum provided by online learning platforms, students get used to communicate on Facebook. The phenomenon enables teachers to think whether Facebook can be incorporated in teaching so as to facilitate student learning. Past research on online social network sites evidence that there are a number of benefits including the improved student participation, social relationship, interaction, communication and facilitation. However, seldom studies try to consolidate these benefits and examine simultaneously against the overall learning motivation. This study attempts to develop a model of student motivation in learning with four Face book benefits : (1) Interaction , (2) Communication , (3) Social relationship , (4) Participation. The students of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCS), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), studying Hi‑Diploma Programme, are invited to participate in this study. A survey was conducted to examine how these Facebook benefits relate to student motivation in learning. The results revealed that Interrelationship, Communication, Social relationship, and Participation influence significantly on student learning motivation. The results show teachers how Facebook benefits improve student learning motivation. The study also tries to explore some demographic trend in related to student Facebook usage.
More and more teachers are facing the decision whether they should allow or promote students the use of technology in the classroom. The decision is difficult as there are apparently both advantages and disadvantages in doing either way. In terms of positive impacts, research revealed that the use of digital devices in the classroom setting was capable of facilitating faculty‑student interactions and in‑class participation, which in turn enhanced engagement and active learning (Fitch, 2004; Partee, 1996; Stephens, 2005). On the contrary, evidence was also identified to show a relationship between notebook use and distraction in class. The pilot study investigated the desirability of allowing digital devices in class in our local context, and to explore the factors that influence the success of the practice. Two studies were conducted with students in teacher‑training programmes at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the first study, students were allowed to use computers in the lessons (free use) in the whole semester and then they were asked to reflect upon the learning benefits, if any. In the second study, the future teachers were asked to comment openly on the use of digital devices for more guided purposes such as student response system and e‑textbook. Results in general revealed that it is indeed a very controversial and complicated issue. On the one hand, many positive learning benefits relating to using digital devices in class are acknowledged. On the other hand, distraction is a major concern as students may use the technology for irrelevant purposes in class. Participants thus were also very conservative about channeling the use of computers in classroom to other academic contexts. The answer to the question whether computers be allowed in class thus is not a simple yes or no but is a series of suggestions concerning when and how to do it more appropriate.
Paramedic students need to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic as well as complex clinical skills, to ensure patient safety, and to manage sophisticated equipment. Time and resource pressures on students, teaching staff and institutions have led health professional educators to develop and embrace alternative opportunities such as simulation and multimedia in order to develop a student’s clinical expertise in preparation for clinical placement. Paramedic education laboratories are equipped with simulation equipment to facilitate the acquisition of the psychomotor skills required by paramedics, and are the main spaces where students can practice essential paramedic skills in a non‑threatening environment. However, often the learning environment is encumbered by ‘noise’ or obstacles such as the educator’s body, or ambient noise from other students, staff or equipment, all which inhibit a clear and precise view of the intricate details of skills to be learned. This study addressed the crowded laboratory and ‘noise’ issues through the use of video learning resources. Though using video as a learning resource is not new, there are three facets to learning that make this project innovative and beneficial to the learner; one, learning from a video composed from a first person point of view (1st PPOV); two, the viewing of the video learning materials using a mobile device such as a smart phone; and three, the use of QR codes to access the online videos. Six 1st PPOV video vignettes were produced for this study. Each video was less than two minutes and length, clear and instructional on selected psychomotor clinjcal skills required for acute care provision . The research findings show that the 1st PPOV videos positively impacted students’ (n=87) learning of the six skills, and gave them a more comprehensive view and understanding of the skill in context. The findings also indicated that accessing the videos on a mobile phone was a bonus. The participants requested additional 1st PPOV skills to be included in the blended learning design across all areas of their Paramedic Science program.
Keywords: Keywords: first person point of view, learning in the first person, paramedic science, paramedic science skills, skill acquisition, experiential learning, video learning materials
‘As a student, I do think that the learning effectiveness of electronic portfolios depends, to quite a large extent, on the attitude of students!’ pp407‑416
Lynch and Purnawarman (2004:50) point out that ‘a solid electronic portfolio can show reflection, evolution of thought and overall professional development’. Research shows that electronic portfolio assessment, if implemented thoughtfully, can successfully engage learners in critical thinking and problem solving, promote lifelong education, encourage self evaluation and allow learners to have a higher degree of control over the learning process (Pierson and Kumari, 2000; Mason, Pegler, and Weller, 2004). Given the value of electronic portfolios, there has been growing interest in using electronic portfolio assessment to support teacher education (Lynch and Purnawarman, 2004). In this paper, we discuss on‑going efforts at the University of Hong Kong to design assessment tasks for a language awareness course entitled ‘Pedagogical Content Knowledge’. The final‑year student teachers taking the course are required to compile an electronic portfolio based on their reflections on the relevance and applicability of the issues relating to dealing with the content of learning in pedagogical practice discussed in the course. This paper sets out to describe and analyze issues relating to the design and implementation of the assessment, focusing specifically on the challenges that the research team faces. In our paper, we draw on a range of data, including student teachers’ feedback on the assessment and in‑depth reflections of two student teachers after the assessment to critically evaluate the extent to which the assessment has achieved the intended learning outcomes. The reflective study shows that apart from technical support, methodological and psychological preparation designed to help students to take on a more active role in the learning and assessment process are also needed to help students to perform effectively in the computer‑supported assessment. Implications are drawn for those who plan to conduct electronic portfolio assessment in higher education.
Keywords: Keywords: electronic portfolio assessment, psychological preparation, methodological preparation, assessment innovation, teacher education
Abstract: Recently, there are many good examples of how multi‑disciplinary learning can support students to learn collaboratively and not solely focus on a single professional sector. During the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters, we have attempted to gather students studying different professional domains together. Students from the Department of Computing (COMP) and the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) are involved as partners and team members to work on joint student projects. One group of SHTM students is planning a conference event in 2012 with over 300 guests. These students act as the clients who require a banquet management system as well as a delegates managing application. Another group of SHTM students is to manage the development projects with the support of IT consultants who are in fact the COMP students. During the Fall semester, different communication channels have been set up to facilitate the inter‑group and intra‑group communications with the support offered by an e‑learning system, Blackboard. Furthermore, there are classroom presentations given by the SHTM students and prototype demonstrations prepared by the COMP students. Pre‑project and post‑project questionnaires have been given to all participating students in order to assess their gain in professional and business knowledge in 2 different areas, namely database application development and conference management. During the Spring semester, another group of COMP students continued the development and made the 2 systems available on the Web. The two systems were used in a real conference and have received many positive feedbacks. In this paper, we would like to report the group dynamics of our students, achievement and difficulties encountered in this multi‑disciplinary project.
A Framework for Measuring Student Learning Gains and Engagement in an Introductory Computing Course: A Preliminary Report of Findings pp428‑440
This paper describes a framework for measuring student learning gains and engagement in a Computer Science 1 (CS 1) / Information Systems 1 (IS 1) course. The framework is designed for a CS1/IS1 course as it has been traditionally taught over the years as well as when it is taught using a new pedagogical approach with Web services. It enables the new approach to be compared with the traditional way of teaching the courses in terms of student self‑assessment of learning gains, student assessment of their engagement with the subject matter, and researcher assessment of student learning gains as measured by performance on a researcher‑designed examination. The framework includes a comprehensive pre‑test and post‑test for students in the control and treatment sections to complete, a common assessment exam module for all students to take, and a faculty survey for the instructors to complete. This enables the researchers to answer many questions regarding the effectiveness of the Web service approach, including “Do students using the Web service approach perform better in the common assessment exam module?” and “Do students and faculty members find the Web service approach more engaging?” Results from the first semester of a 3‑year multi‑university study are discussed.