Abstract: The introduction of the new tuition fee regime in the UK academic session 2012–2013 has resulted in concerns in the Higher Education (HE) community that students’ expectations may become unmanageable. Previous research has explored the expectations and experiences of undergraduate psychology students; the current study extended this by considering whether the increased tuition fees have changed the experiences of academic staff in HE. To achieve this, five semi-structured interviews with psychology staff in two post-92 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) were undertaken. Results suggested staff perceptions have undergone minimal change in their day-to-day experiences. However, perceptions of the wider HE issues, such as meeting targets and fulfilling requirements of the role, appear to be enhanced following the contextual changes of HE. Finally, the results reported here suggest generally good staff satisfaction, regardless of these changing times within the sector. Future research and the need for more widespread, large scale studies are discussed.
Abstract: Clean drinking water, our most important resource, needs comprehensive protection. Due to its ubiquitous availability, the awareness of the importance of clean drinking water has partially vanished. Therefore, sensitizing within this context and improving individual ecological behavior has become an important issue in science curricula. We developed a student-centered guided-learning module based on nine workstations, with the themes: occurrence rates, purification methods, cleaning guidelines, distribution patterns, use and consumption, pollution, problems, types of drinking water and virtual water. One hundred and seventy four ninth to eleventh graders participated in our outreach intervention. All tasks presented via workstations were completed before participants inspected a nearby reed sewage treatment plant and completed hands-on experiments. For empirical analyses, we collected the newly acquired knowledge in three dimensions: system-knowledge, action-related knowledge and effectiveness knowledge, which together are assumed to provide a sufficient basis for conservation behavior. System knowledge directly affects action-related and effectiveness knowledge and these two types of knowledge, in turn, affect directly the ecological behavior. At all three test schedules, the three dimensions of knowledge correlated with each other, especially in both follow-up tests. The relevance of these results for schools is discussed.
Abstract: In a globalised knowledge economy, enabled by an increasingly pervasive digital, networked world, eLearning possibilities are being explored by educational institutions. Learning and teaching is now able to be designed to enable learning anywhere and at anytime. This opens up exciting possibilities as well as challenges. Consequently, this special issue aimed to provide evidence-based guidance through conceptual and research papers on eLearning and digital futures in the 21st century. [...]
Abstract: With a large-scale online K-12 teacher professional development course as the research context, this study examined the effects of facilitating feedback on online learners’ cognitive engagement using quasi-experiment method. A total of 1,540 discussion messages from 110 learners (65 in the experimental group and 45 in the control group) were both quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. Results revealed that facilitating feedback significantly impacted learners’ cognitive engagement: (1) the level of cognitive engagement presented in treatment group was significantly higher than that of control group; (2) cognitive engagement levels of original postings increased overtime in the treatment group, while decreased in the control group; (3) the difference in discussion quantities between two groups was not significant. Effective feedback strategies and the importance of facilitating feedback in creating quality online instruction were discussed.
Abstract: Designing and implementing successful online learning has been at the forefront of institutional agendas since digital learning increased in market demand over the last decade. However there is still ongoing debate as to the “how” of this arduous task. The Community of Inquiry (CoI) is one learning design method that has seen potential in the field, but practical implementation of designing for the important components of Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence have yet to be fully realised. This paper researches an e-learning design strategy called E-tivities as a suggested possible method for designing for CoI components. The research explored recent online blog posts of experienced learning designers’ and educators’ experience in designing successful online learning using E-tivities. Results suggest the E-tivities do have the potential to cater for all Presences of CoI. Specifically when using E-tivities to design online learning Affective Expression was the highest reported Social Presence design factor. All four components of Cognitive Presence appeared to be present in E-tivities design. The most important component for adequate Teaching Presence factors was the initial Design and Organisation of the course. E-tivities and the 5-Stage Model provides a solid framework for this to occur.
Abstract: While there have been very limited studies of the educational computing literature to analyze the research trends since the early emergence of educational computing technologies, the authors argue that it is important for both researchers and educators to understand the major, historical educational computing trends in order to inform understandings of current and future eLearning trends. This study provides the findings of an analysis of 2,694 journal articles published between 1977 and 2005 in four major, international educational computing journals. It provides the platform for a subsequent analysis for the period 2006–2014 and beyond, as future educational computing research is published. The journal articles analyzed were categorized according to their research themes. Subsequently, clustering analysis, multi-dimension scale analysis, and research diversity analysis were performed on the categorized results to explore the research trends. The research literature analysis confirmed that there were identifiable evolutionary trends dating from 1977, and, importantly, the analysis highlighted that each key breakthrough in technology was accompanied by increased educational research about those technologies to inform educational practices. Importantly, two major driving forces of the historical trends identified were technologies and pedagogical approaches. The paper concludes with explanations of how these trends from 1977–2005 have shaped the current focus on Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) needed for effective current and future eLearning.