Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
How teachers integrate a math computer game: Professional development use, teaching practices, and student achievement
As more attention is placed on designing digital educational games to align with schools' academic aims (e.g., Common Core), questions arise regarding how professional development (PD) may support teachers' using games for instruction and how such integration might impact students' achievement. This study seeks to (a) understand how teachers use PD resources (e.g., technology personnel and game-use workshops) for integration; (b) determine how teachers integrate games into their instruction; and (c) examine how those teaching practices are associated with student achievement. This mixed method study used survey and interview responses from elementary school teachers (n = 863) with access to PD resources for implementing a math game intervention and standardized math-test scores from their second- through sixth-grade students (n = 10,715). Findings showed few teachers sought PD assistance for integration, but many desired such support. Some reported using integrative practices (i.e., referencing game and using game-generated progress reports) to identify struggling students, whereas several found integration challenging. Teachers' reordering of game objectives to align with lessons and viewing of game-based PD videos were associated with increased student math achievement in our OLS-analysis. However, this result was no longer statistically significant within a school fixed-effects model, suggesting school differences may influence how strongly teachers' practices are associated with student achievement.
An analysis of collaborative problem-solving activities mediated by individual-based and collaborative computer simulations
Researchers have indicated that the collaborative problem-solving space afforded by the collaborative systems significantly impact the problem-solving process. However, recent investigations into collaborative simulations, which allow a group of students to jointly manipulate a problem in a shared problem space, have yielded divergent results regarding their effects on collaborative learning. Hence, this study analysed how students solved a physics problem using individual-based and collaborative simulations to understand their effects on science learning. Multiple data sources including group discourse, problem-solving activities, learning test scores, and questionnaire feedback were analysed. Lag sequential analysis on the data found that students using the two simulations collaborated with peers to solve the problem in significantly different patterns. The students using the collaborative simulations demonstrated active engagement in the collaborative activity; however, they did not transform discussions into workable problem-solving activities. The students using the individual-based simulation showed a lower level of collaboration engagement, starting with individual exploration of the problem with the simulation, followed by group reflection. The two groups also showed significant differences in their learning test scores. The findings and pedagogical suggestions are discussed in the hope of addressing critical activity design issues in using computer simulations for facilitating collaborative learning.
Recognizing value of educational collaboration between high schools and universities facilitated by modern ICT
In this paper, we address the problem of an educational gap existing between high schools and universities: many students consider their choice of field of study as inappropriate, mostly due to insufficient information regarding the discipline and the university educational process. To solve this problem, we define an innovative, information and communication technology-supported educational process enabling various ways of collaboration between high schools and universities. The goal of that process is to increase the knowledge of prospective students regarding the next level of their education. We propose an environment for the implementation of the educational process. The concepts have been verified in practise as part of the Małopolska Educational Cloud project across several disciplines. We discuss the achievements of the pilot phase of the project as well as its reception by educators and students. Based on evaluation reports and opinions from both educators and students, we claim that the proposed model for information and communication technology-supported collaboration between high schools and universities can effectively reduce the educational gap.
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of anonymity in encouraging college students to be more cognitively engaged in lectures. Kinesiology majors from three universities were asked to respond to questions during two consecutive lectures using response methods of opposing degrees of anonymity, one using ‘clickers’ and the other using hand-raising. Participation and comprehension rates were statistically significantly different following the use of the different response methods (*p = 0.000 and *p < 0.001, respectively). Participant survey responses revealed insight into student perceptions regarding the role of anonymity in encouraging their cognitive engagement during each of the lectures. From participant comments, four major dimensions emerged suggesting the anonymity of using clickers (a) increased participation; (b) influenced cognitive engagement; (c) allowed for normative comparisons and (d) allowed for more processing time.
The purpose of this review is to weigh the evidence of the effectiveness of tablet-assisted instructions (TAIs) at improving academic outcomes of students with disabilities. An extensive search process with inclusion and exclusion criteria yielded a total of 17 studies to be included in the present study: three group design studies and 14 single-subject design studies. The quality indicators proposed by Gersten et al. () and Horner et al. () were applied to evaluate the methodological rigour of TAI studies and their feasibility to be considered evidence-based. Results revealed that (a) most group design studies provided little information about the intervention agent and equivalence of groups across conditions, (b) the social validity of using tablets for students with disabilities was strongly established across all single-subject design studies and (c) procedural fidelity in assessment and intervention implementation was inadequately addressed in group design studies. Although this review suggests that TAI used in single-subject design studies can be a potentially evidence-based practice for students with disabilities, there still remains to be established whether the group design studies can be considered evidence-based, because of the lack of methodological rigour in group design studies. Finally, implications for future directions and practical ideas are discussed.
Intellectually disabled (ID) students in secondary education are often taught in an individual setting where video instruction is used. Especially, when the instruction is about complex assignments, many students may forget parts of it. In this study, we tried to find out if prompting ID students to explain video instruction would help them to improve their performance. Research with regular students indicated that explaining instructional materials can be effective (Roy & Chi, 2005).
In a first experiment with 41 ID students in Dutch secondary education, we varied the complexity of assignments and compared students who first watched and then explained video instruction of assignments (n=21) with students who watched twice but were not required to explain (n=20). It turned out that only for complex assignments, explaining to another person was more effective for students' task performance than just watch video instruction.
In the second experiment with 58 ID students, we repeated the study with complex assignments. The students in the experimental group (n=29) improved more after explaining video instructions than the students who only watched videos (n=29). The experimental group also had a more complete mental representation of an assignment and could better assess how well they had performed it.
This experimental study investigates the effect on the examination performance of a cohort of first-year undergraduate learners undertaking a Unified Modelling Language (UML) course using an adaptive learning system against a control group of learners undertaking the same UML course through a traditional lecturing environment. The adaptive learning system uses two components for the creation of suitable content for individual learners: a content analyser that automatically generates metadata describing cognitive resources within instructional content and a selection model that utilizes a genetic algorithm to select and construct a course suited to the cognitive ability and pedagogic preference of an individual learner, defined by a digital profile. Using the Kruskal–Wallis H test, it was determined that there was a statistically significant difference between the control group of learners and the learners that participated in the UML course using the adaptive learning system following an examination once the UML course concluded, with p = 0.005, scoring on average 15.71% higher using the adaptive system. However, this observed statistically significant difference observed a small effect size of 20%.
This study aimed to explore whether integrating augmented reality (AR) techniques could support a software editing course and to examine the different learning effects for students using online-based and AR-based blended learning strategies. The researcher adopted a comparative research approach with a total of 103 college students participating in the study. The experimental group (E.G.) learned with the AR-based contents, while the control group (C.G.) learned with the online-based support. The findings demonstrated the potential of AR techniques for supporting students' learning motivation and peer learning interaction, and the AR-based contents could be used as scaffolding to better support blended learning strategies. The AR-based learning interaction could also be a trigger arousing learners' interest in becoming active learners and the students presented great learning involvement after the AR-based supports were removed, while the learners in the C.G. were passive once the supports had been removed. Moreover, it was found that (1) their lack of experience with AR interaction and applications, (2) the slow speed of the Internet in the school, (3) the affordances of each learner's mobile learning devices, (4) the screen size of the learning interface and (5) the overloading of the learning information from the AR contents and teacher lectures might be the reasons why the learners were still more used to the online-based support. It was therefore concluded that when integrating AR applications into a course, technology educational researchers should take into careful consideration the target learning content design, the amount of information displayed on the mobile screen and the affordances of the learning equipment and classroom environment so as to achieve a suitable learning scenario.
This study sought to understand generational and role differences in web usage of teachers, teacher candidates and K–12 students in a state in the USA (n = 2261). The researchers employed unique methods, which included using a custom-built persistent web browser to track user behaviours free of self-report, self-selection and perception bias. Results revealed that all three groups utilized a variety of resources daily, but with some noticeable differences. For instance, (1) teachers and teacher candidates used the Internet on school devices much more than students; (2) they accessed general, multimedia, search, entertainment, shopping and social resources at a higher rate than students; (3) students visited a higher proportion of educational websites than their teachers; and (4) teachers visited a higher proportion of search pages than teacher candidates. Results may be useful for researchers (1) to better understand generational differences between groups; (2) to expand educational technology research to better include non-pedagogical support tools for educators; and (3) to serve as a counterpoint for self-report data on web resource frequency of use, which may provide different results.
This paper reviews 12 research-based principles for how to design computer-based multimedia instructional materials to promote academic learning, starting with the multimedia principle (yielding a median effect size of d = 1.67 based on five experimental comparisons), which holds that people learn better from computer-based instruction containing words and graphics rather than words alone. Principles aimed at reducing extraneous processing (i.e., cognitive processing that is unrelated to the instructional objective) include coherence (d = 0.70), signalling (d = 0.46), redundancy (d = 0.87), spatial contiguity (d = 0.79) and temporal contiguity (d = 1.30). Principles for managing essential processing (i.e., mentally representing the essential material) include segmenting (d = 0.70), pre-training (d = 0.46) and modality (d = 0.72). Principles for fostering generative processing (i.e., cognitive processing aimed at making sense of the material) include personalization (d = 0.79), voice (d = 0.74) and embodiment (d = 0.36). Some principles have boundary conditions, such as being stronger for low- rather than high-knowledge learners.
While it is clear that the use of computer simulations has a beneficial effect on learning when compared to instruction without computer simulations, there is still room for improvement to fully realize their benefits for learning. Haptic technologies can fulfill the educational potential of computer simulations by adding the sense of touch. Visuohaptic simulations may not only help students visualize these concepts, but they may also have the capability of enriching the learning experience and enhancing retention. To provide additional insights about how students conceptualize abstract and difficult concepts in science, this study proposes a sequencing approach. The research questions are: (1) what are undergraduate students' ways of conceptualizing electric fields through haptic feedback? And (2) what are undergraduate students' perceptions of using visuohaptic simulations for their learning of electric force concepts? Participants included nine undergraduate students who participated in a think aloud procedure. Data were analysed qualitatively using open coding followed by axial coding. The results suggest that students' conceptualized electric force concepts through embodied haptic experiences by inferring force–distance relationship, sign inference, shape of field and indirectly inferring the concept of electric potential. Students also perceived the value of using visual plus haptic simulations to help them understand and retain concepts.
The use of new technology encouraged exploration of the effectiveness and difference of collaborative learning in blended learning environments. This study investigated the social interactive network of students, level of knowledge building and perception level on usefulness in online and mobile collaborative learning environments in higher education. WeChat, which is a mobile synchronous communication tool, and modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment (Moodle) were used as mobile and online collaborative learning settings. Seventy-eight college students majoring in information engineering participated in the experiment. The following findings were revealed by combining methods of social network analysis, content analysis and questionnaire survey: (1) the collaborative social networks generated in this study showed that students had tighter interaction relationships in Moodle than in WeChat; (2) deeper level of knowledge building in collaboration and interaction through Moodle than WeChat was observed; and (3) Moodle got higher perception level than WeChat because of its usefulness for collaboration.
This article presents a summary analysis of a 5-year study on the implementation of a technology-supported distance firefighter training programme in Sweden, focused on the firefighter students' learning processes regarding challenges, contradictions and changes that occurred during the implementation period. With activity theory as the theoretical basis, three data collections were carried out. The analysis, based on interviews with firefighter students and instructors as well as observation logbooks and educational documents, identified two phases, an implementation phase and a dissemination phase. The implementation phase is characterized by the distance students developing a self-directed and goal-oriented learning, supported by the revised and technology-supported training design. During the dissemination phase, when many technology-inexperienced instructors become involved in the distance programme, a number of challenges and contradictions are identified, which, however, turn out to be a driving force for the students to develop alternative learning strategies. Finally, vocational distance training is discussed in terms of potential opportunities for developing vocational students' learning processes.
This study used eye movement modeling examples (EMME) to support students' integrative processing of verbal and graphical information during the reading of an illustrated text. EMME consists of a replay of eye movements of a model superimposed onto the materials that are processed for accomplishing the task. Specifically, the study investigated the effects of modeling the temporal sequence of text and picture processing as shown in various replays of a model's gazes. Eighty-four 7th graders were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions: text-first processing sequence (text-first EMME), picture-first processing sequence (picture-first EMME), picture-last processing sequence (picture-last EMME) and no-EMME (control). Online and offline measures were used.
Eye movement indices indicate that only readers in the picture-first EMME condition spent significantly longer processing the picture and showed stronger integrative processing of verbal and graphical information than students in the no-EMME condition. Moreover, readers in all EMME conditions outperformed those in the control condition for recall. However, for learning and transfer, only readers in the picture-first EMME condition were significantly superior to readers of the control condition. Furthermore, both the frequency and duration of integrative processing of verbal and graphical information mediated the effect of condition on learning outcomes.
This article is a review of literature on online formative assessment (OFA). It includes a narrative summary that synthesizes the research on the diverse delivery methods of OFA, as well as the empirical literature regarding the strong psychological benefits and limitations. Online formative assessment can be delivered using many traditional assessment methods. These assessments can be delivered using a variety of programs and software. The benefits of using OFAs include both gains in achievement scores and the development of essential complex cognitive processes, such as self-regulation. While attention is paid to both K–12 and higher education settings, this article highlights how OFA has been used distinctly in each. This paper has high utility for both academics and practitioners.
Eye tracking has helped to understand the process of reading a word or a sentence, and this research has been very fruitful over the past decades. However, everyday real-world reading dramatically differs from this scenario: we read a newspaper on the bus, surf the Internet for movie reviews or browse folders at work to fill in forms. Therefore, we propose to structure eye-tracking research in reading into three levels of reading: level 1 research on reading to investigate single words or sentences, level 2 research on reading and comprehending a whole text and level 3 research on reading and processing involving several text documents. The present Special Section includes three articles investigating real-world reading on levels 2 and 3. These articles show how real-world reading can be investigated by means of eye tracking and complementary methods, to understand how we read, comprehend and integrate texts in realistic, everyday scenarios. Such new research lines broaden our knowledge of reading itself.
Educational video games can impose high cognitive demands on its users. Two studies were conducted to examine the cognitive process involved in playing an educational digital game. Study 1 examined the effects of users' working memory capacity and gaming expertise on attention and comprehension of the educational messages. The results showed that gaming experts seem to benefit more from having a higher working memory capacity when processing information from the game. However, gaming experts' available working memory did not predict better comprehension. Instead, non-experts' available working memory predicted better comprehension. Study 2 further examined whether these results were caused by insufficient working memory allocation or different attention focus between gaming experts and non-experts. The findings suggest that gaming experts approach the game differently from non-experts, focusing on familiar features and overlooking unfamiliar (educational) information.
The purpose of this study is to develop a multi-dimensional scale to measure students' awareness of key competencies for M-learning and to test its reliability and validity. The Key Competencies of Mobile Learning Scale (KCMLS) was determined via confirmatory factor analysis to have four dimensions: team collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication. The research subjects are 815 students from the elementary school that participate in M-learning programme in Taiwan. The research results show that students have better self-awareness in team collaboration and creative thinking, but have worse self-awareness in critical thinking and problem solving. This study also found that there was no significant difference between genders in the KCMLS, but students who study in the schools that committed in M-learning longer have higher awareness in all dimensions than students who study in the schools that committed to M-learning in fewer years.
Concepts from the Australian mathematics curriculum on fractions were used as core elements to design three computer games. In each game, the concepts were presented in the form of tangible puzzles, customized to a difficulty level based on student capability. The games were integrated into a single virtual game world, and a fantasy story was used to help build a compelling experience. Five Year 6 classes were used to evaluate the game over four weeks. Three of the classes were provided with the games, and two served as a control. Both the intervention and control groups also covered fractions in class as part of the regular teaching program, consisting of instructor led content combined with access to online resources and activities. Participants completed a diagnostic test before the trial, and again at the end, designed to assess competence in the fractions concepts targeted by the game. Results show that on average students who had access to the game in addition to the regular teaching scored higher than control group students. In particular, looking at just students who started with a lower level of fractions skills, greater improvement was seen in those that had access to the game.