Special Issue "Learning Technologies and Interactive Designs"


A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 June 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Brett E. Shelton
Educational Technology Department,Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725, USA
Website: http://itls.usu.edu/htm/profile&brett-shelton
E-Mail: brett.e.shelton@gmail.com
Phone: +1 (208) 426-4008
Fax: +1 (208) 426-1451
Interests: instructional games and simulations; immersive learning environments; vision and cognition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For learners to become competent in any key subject, it is necessary to design appropriate instructional learning experiences. Strategies to encourage the enhancement of subject-specific skills that relate to technology--and interactions with and through technology--include:

• Hands-on, involving students in “doing” – experimenting first-hand with physical objects in the environment and having concrete experiences before learning abstract and complex concepts.
• Minds-on, focusing on core concepts and critical thinking processes needed for learners to create and re-create concepts and relationships in their own minds.
• Authentic, allowing learners to explore, discover, discuss, and meaningfully construct concepts and relationships in contexts that involve real-world problems and projects that are relevant and interesting.

A variety of technologies can provide unique learning experiences. Mobile devices can be used for hands-on activities because they are hand-held and virtual objects can be manipulated and experimented with and by the student. Web-based tools are capable of supporting text, images, audio, and video but also provide tutoring and automated assessments. Games and virtual worlds can support data representation that can potentially scaffold a student’s ideas and understanding of concepts for critical thinking. Multiple forms of delivery coupled together can be used to portray information in a way to student that can help with the learning of new concepts. Portability aspects of some technologies allow students to perform or participate in activities in different sites for authentic learning experiences. With interactive learning technologies, students can participate in instructive activities while learning with their environment and the world around them.

This special issue aims to address innovative technologies, and innovative uses of technology, for learning experiences with a focus on design. Preference will be given to empirically-driven articles that provide evidence and assessments of learning.

Prof. Dr. Brett E. Shelton
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (3 papers)

Educ. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 314-325; doi:10.3390/educsci3030314
Received: 31 January 2013; in revised form: 7 June 2013 / Accepted: 11 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
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Educ. Sci. 2013, 3(2), 172-192; doi:10.3390/educsci3020172
Received: 22 January 2013; in revised form: 2 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 May 2013 / Published: 30 May 2013
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Educ. Sci. 2013, 3(2), 136-146; doi:10.3390/educsci3020136
Received: 29 January 2013; in revised form: 1 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 April 2013 / Published: 15 May 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type: Article
Title: Learning in Social Networks: Rationale and Ideas for Its Implementation in Higher Education
Authors: Ibis Alvarez 1 and Marialexa Olivera-Smith 2
Affiliation: 1 Department of Psychology and Education, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona, Spain
2 Department of Language & Linguistics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK; E-Mails: ialvarezv@uoc.edu; lexa@trelex.co.uk
Abstract: The internet has fast become a prevalent medium for collaboration between people, and social networks in specific have gained vast popularity and relevance over the past few years.Within this framework, our paper will analyse the role played by social networks in current teaching practices.Specifically, we will focus on the principles guiding the design of study activities which use social networks and we will relate concrete experiences which will show how they contribute to improving teaching and learning within a university environment.

Type: Article
Title: Improving Science Assessments by Situating Them in a Virtual Environment
Author: Brian C. Nelson
Affiliation: School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Brickyard Engineering (BYENG) 553, 699 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ85281, USA; E-Mail: Brian.Nelson@asu.edu
Abstract: Current science assessments typically present a series of isolated fact-based questions, poorly representing the complexity of how science is constructed. The National Research Council asserts that this needs to change. We suggest that good science assessments need to consist of several key factors: integration of science content with scientific inquiry, contextualization of questions, efficiency of grading, and statistical validity and reliability. Through our Situated Assessment using Virtual Environments for Science Content and inquiry (SAVE Science) research project, we have developed an immersive virtual environment to assess middle school children’s understanding of science content and processes that they have previously been taught through typical classroom instruction. In the virtual environment, participants complete a problem-based assessment by exploring a game world, interacting with computer-based characters and objects, collecting and analyzing possible clues to the assessment problem. Students can solve the problems situated in the virtual environment in multiple ways; many of these are equally correct while others uncover misconceptions held by the student. In this paper, we discuss our design strategies, and implementation results. We conclude that immersive virtual environments do offer potential for creating good science assessments based on our framework, and that we need to consider engagement as part of the framework.

Type: Article
Title: Google It! The Collective Accomplishment of Googling as a Social Practice in Kindergarten Classrooms
Author: Christine Edwards-Groves
Affiliation: School of Education, Charles Sturt University, Boorooma St. Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650, Australia; E-Mail: cgroves@csu.edu.au
Abstract: This paper examines the mediated collaborative work of two six year old children as they utilise ‘Google’ to investigate whether guinea pigs burrow, to inform a broader classroom writing task. In particular, the paper focuses on how the accomplishment of this task requires shifts in turns in the interactions between themselves, between them and the teacher, and between them and the computer (as human-computer interaction HCI, whereby humans’ interactions with computers are characterised as “conversational turns”; after Suchman, 1990). In this vein, the paper firstly presents a conversation analysis of the talk-in-interaction encountered in the classroom – as a naturally occurring interaction - whereby the role of the mediator shifts between the students and the teacher, with the computer forming a conversational triad. These shifts in turn occurred moment-by-moment within the single interaction, and each shift was procedurally relevant to the ongoing interaction and the overall accomplishment of the task. Secondly, the paper will draw more widely on data collected from interviewing young children about Googling as a learning practice. Analysis reveals how the affordances of ‘Googling’ enabled these participants to collectively acquire information as they simultaneously learnt to Google, and as they mediate each other’s turns, be mediated by the teacher and be mediated by the Google search results.

Last update: 16 December 2013

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