Abstract: This study sought to identify the most effective elements required in online professional development to enable teachers to improve their use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in their classrooms. Four schools in Queensland were involved, with twelve classroom teachers participating in a year-long online professional development program over the school year supported by an online mentor. The online professional development program did not provide course based or sequential learning activities. Rather it was design to enable individual learning pathways and draw on the many professional learning opportunities available through web 2.0 tools and Internet resources. The focus was to explore the process of online ICT professional development to contribute to the conceptualization of how teachers learn in the 21st Century. Findings indicate that teachers need to engage in three elements: investigation, reflection, and constructive dialogue; build a sense of group and individual online presence; and be supported by mentorship that responds to the various cognitive and affective demands of autonomous learners.
Abstract: This study focused on learning equity in colleges and universities where teaching and learning depends heavily on computer technologies. The study used the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to investigate gender and racial/ethnic heterogeneity in the use of a computer based course management system (CMS). Two latent variables (CMS usage and scholastic aptitudes)—with two moderation covariates (gender and ethnicity)—were used to explore their associational relationships with students’ final grades. More than 990 students’ CMS data were collected from courses at a Midwest public university in the United States. The final model indicated that there was gender and racial/ethnic invariance in the use of the CMS. Additionally, CMS use was significantly positively associated with students’ academic achievement. These findings have policy and practical implications for understanding the correlation between technology use and academic achievement in colleges and universities. This study also pointed out future research directions for technology use in higher education.
Abstract: This paper reports on a number of blended learning activities conducted in two subjects of a Master of Architecture degree at a major Australian university. The subjects were related to “professional practice” and as such represent a little researched area of architectural curriculum. The research provides some insight into the student perceptions of learning opportunity and engagement associated with on-line delivery modes. Students from these two subjects were surveyed for their perceptions about the opportunity for learning afforded by the on-line components, and also for their perceived level of engagement. Responses to these perceptions of traditional and on-line modes of delivery are compared and analysed for significant differences. While students were generally positive in response to the learning experiences, analysis of the results shows that students found the traditional modes to assist in their learning significantly more than on-line modes. Students were neutral regarding the opportunity for engagement that on-line modes provided. Analysis of the students’ gender, age and hours of paid work was also conducted to ascertain any relationship with attitudes to the flexibility of on-line delivery; no significant relationship was detected. This study has shown that students were generally resistant to on-line engagement opportunities and their ability to support learning.
Abstract: Scientific undergraduate research in higher education often yields positive outcomes for student and faculty member participants alike, with underrepresented students often showing even more substantial gains (academic, professional, and personal) as a result of the experience. Significant success can be realized when involving deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/hh) undergraduate students, who are also vastly underrepresented in the sciences, in interdisciplinary research projects. Even d/hh Associate degree level students and those in the first two years of their postsecondary careers can contribute to, and benefit from, the research process when faculty mentors properly plan/design projects. We discuss strategies, including the dissemination/communication of research results, for involving these students in research groups with different communication dynamics and share both findings of our research program and examples of successful chemical and biological research projects that have involved d/hh undergraduate students. We hope to stimulate a renewed interest in encouraging diversity and involving students with disabilities into higher education research experiences globally and across multiple scientific disciplines, thus strengthening the education and career pipeline of these students.
Abstract: A typical preservice teacher will experience demanding teaching situations during practicum. In such situations, interpersonal support from fellow students may be an important factor if experiences gained during teaching practice are to make a constructive contribution to personal growth for the teacher. Human support from other preservice teachers can bridge a gap that can be filled only to a limited extent by practice supervisors, who also have a role in assessing the students’ practice periods. The phenomenon of preservice teachers helping their co-students—even though, strictly speaking, they have no formal responsibility in this area—is called citizenship behavior here. Structural equation modeling of questionnaire data collected among Norwegian preservice teachers shows that performance approach motivation is the factor most strongly associated with citizenship behavior. Intrinsic motivation is also a significant factor, both as a direct and an indirect effect, via study absorption. The self-efficacy of preservice teachers in teaching situations also has a robust association with citizenship behavior, while experiences involving pupil engagement problems in teaching situations have a negative effect on self-efficacy. Pupil engagement problems also have an adverse impact on absorption.
Abstract: The paper demonstrates and evaluates the effectiveness of a blended learning approach to create a meaningful learning environment. We use the term blended learning approach in this paper to refer to the use of multiple or hybrid instructional methods that emphasize the role of learners as contributors to the learning process rather than recipients of learning. Contribution to learning is attained by using in class gaming as pathways that ensure active involvement of learners. Using a blended learning approach is important in order to be able to address different learning styles of the target group. The approach was also important in order to be able to demonstrate different types of challenges, issues and competences needed in project management. Student evaluations of the course confirmed that the use of multiple learning methods and, in particular, in class gaming was beneficial and contributed to a meaningful learning experience.