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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2021) – 58 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The study investigated the main issues, challenges, worries, and concerns experienced by secondary students in Cyprus during their abrupt transition from face-to-face to emergency remote teaching, and their perceptions regarding the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process that followed during this period. The study also elicited students’ suggestions, based on their experiences from the lockdown period, on improving instruction in the case of further lockdown(s) and in the post-COVID-19 era. The valuable insights gained from this study illustrate how important it is for educators and educational policymakers to give voice to students and develop plans and policies that incorporate their feedback. View this paper
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Review
Escape Rooms in STEM Teaching and Learning—Prospective Field or Declining Trend? A Literature Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060308 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
In the last decade, game-based learning has received growing attention in educational contexts in general and science education in particular. A recent game trend, which has also found its way into STEM classrooms, is escape rooms. In this type of game, players have [...] Read more.
In the last decade, game-based learning has received growing attention in educational contexts in general and science education in particular. A recent game trend, which has also found its way into STEM classrooms, is escape rooms. In this type of game, players have to work through several puzzles to achieve a specific goal (mostly to escape from an actual room). We conducted a systematic literature review to find out whether the “market” for such games is already saturated or if there is still potential for further development. After searching the common databases (ERIC, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, as well as the German database FIS Bildung), we analyzed 93 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers in English and German from the following domains: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, computer science, general science (interdisciplinary), environmental science, and medicine. We selected the ones that targeted a specific educational level (primary, secondary or tertiary education) and were designed for formal educational settings. It transpired that there is a need for more easily adaptable escape rooms as well as for more empirical evidence on their actual effects. Full article
Article
GIS in Architectural Teaching and Research: Planning and Heritage
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060307 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Geographical Information Systems (GISs) in architecture were initially limited to regional and urban development applications. Over recent years its potential has been recognized and its use has evolved to address urban planning and architectural heritage management subjects. Nevertheless, evidence shows that its use [...] Read more.
Geographical Information Systems (GISs) in architecture were initially limited to regional and urban development applications. Over recent years its potential has been recognized and its use has evolved to address urban planning and architectural heritage management subjects. Nevertheless, evidence shows that its use in architecture teaching is scarce and uneven. Directive 2007/2/EC, establishing the infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community (EU), is, in this way, an opportunity to develop a greater knowledge and application of GIS in the framework of higher education. In architecture, this can be achieved by problem solving based on real case scenarios, which can benefit from GIS-based techniques and analysis capabilities. In this paper, the authors aim to present a review of the use of GIS in teaching and research in architecture to assess its level in different European programmes. Experiences from three European universities (University of Seville, Spain, University of Beira Interior, Portugal, and Technical University of Crete, Greece), which are among the few in their respective countries that promote the inclusion of GIS in architectural education, particularly in the fields of urban and regional planning and architectural heritage, are compared and framed within the European scenario. The paper concludes with a reflection on the three universities’ practice compared to the leading European architecture programmes listed in the main international university rankings. Main trends of future evolution on the use of GIS in architecture teaching are also presented. Full article
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Article
Finnish and Portuguese Parents’ Perspectives on the Role of Teachers in Parent-Teacher Partnerships and Parental Engagement
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060306 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The current educational reforms in Finland and Portugal require a holistic engagement of parents with learning, bringing parents and teachers together as partners. This qualitative study, which interviewed Finnish (N = 10) and Portuguese (N = 9) parents, aimed to explore parents’ views [...] Read more.
The current educational reforms in Finland and Portugal require a holistic engagement of parents with learning, bringing parents and teachers together as partners. This qualitative study, which interviewed Finnish (N = 10) and Portuguese (N = 9) parents, aimed to explore parents’ views on the role of teachers in supporting parent–teacher partnerships and parental engagement with the school. Inductive content analysis was performed to analyze the interviews. From a general standpoint, three patterns were found in the parents’ narratives about the role of teachers in supporting partnership and engagement: communication, professionalism, and invitations to active parental participation. From a cross-cultural standpoint, Finnish parents evidenced partnerships and engagement grounded in little face-to-face contact but consistent online communication with the teacher, as well as trust in their professionalism and independent work. The Portuguese parents revealed rather frequent active participation within the school premises, more recurrent face-to-face communication with the teacher, and appreciation for teachers’ timely responses and support. Recommendations for a holistic approach of engagement and partnerships were brought forward within the context of teacher education, such as the need to maintain simple but regular communication with parents and the relevance of reconsidering the frequency of parental activities in the school. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Teacher Education: A Global Perspective)
Article
Assessment Tests in the Mathematics Teaching Guides in Spain. Analysis of the Content Blocks and the Treatment of Arithmetic Word Problems
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060305 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
The teaching guides that complement textbooks have key importance in the assessment of competence in problem solving, because these materials contain the assessment tools that teachers frequently use to quantify the achievements of their students. In this paper, we set two aims: to [...] Read more.
The teaching guides that complement textbooks have key importance in the assessment of competence in problem solving, because these materials contain the assessment tools that teachers frequently use to quantify the achievements of their students. In this paper, we set two aims: to analyze which curriculum contents are given priority in the assessment tests of the teaching guides; and to check to what extent these tests assess the steps of the mathematical problem solving process. For this, an analysis of the initial and final assessment tests of six Spanish publishers was conducted. The results show that the distribution of mathematical tasks by type of content does not fully conform to the theoretical framework proposed by TIMSS. In addition, only one of the six publishers considered the problem-solving process as evaluable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Article
Are Inclusive Education or Special Education Programs More Likely to Result in Inclusion Post-School?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060304 - 19 Jun 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The main goal of both special education and inclusive education for young people with learning or behavioral difficulties is their maximum inclusion in the community as adults. The question of which of these two approaches is more likely to achieve this goal is [...] Read more.
The main goal of both special education and inclusive education for young people with learning or behavioral difficulties is their maximum inclusion in the community as adults. The question of which of these two approaches is more likely to achieve this goal is addressed by considering the findings of three outcome studies of young people with moderate to severe levels of learning or behavioral difficulties who experienced either option, or some combination of the two. The overall findings indicate that students who left school from a special education setting had better outcomes than those who completed their education in mainstream schools. This is considered to be due to the vocational curriculum and work experience they gained in their final years of special education, which those in mainstream schools did not receive. This suggests that a policy of full inclusion, with the closure of special classes and special schools, will result in less inclusion in their communities post-school for young people with moderate to severe levels of learning or behavioral difficulties. Full article
Article
Exploring Latent Topics and International Research Trends in Competency-Based Education Using Topic Modeling
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060303 - 19 Jun 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Recently, there has been growing educational interest in competency. Global organizations, such as the United Nations (UN) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which are leading the discourse on education reform, are undertaking the lead in spreading awareness regarding competency education. [...] Read more.
Recently, there has been growing educational interest in competency. Global organizations, such as the United Nations (UN) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which are leading the discourse on education reform, are undertaking the lead in spreading awareness regarding competency education. Since 2015, the number of published articles on competency education has been rapidly increasing. This paper aims to provide significant implications for creating a sustainable future of competency education. A topic modeling method was used to empirically analyze latent topics and international research trends in 26,532 articles published on competency-based education (CBE). As a result of the analysis, 15 topics were derived, including “approach to competency development.” In addition, five topics including “learning skills” and “teacher training” were found to be hot topics with the increasing article publication. The rapidly changing modern society is calling for a transformation in education. We hope that the results of this study paves the way for further research exploring new directions for education, such as competency education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Article
Parental Involvement during Pandemic Times: Challenges and Opportunities
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060302 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Due to COVID-19, many countries implemented emergency plans, such as lockdown and school closures. This new situation has significantly affected families, namely, the involvement required to support children’s learning at home. The current study aimed to analyze Portuguese parents’ perceptions of their home-based [...] Read more.
Due to COVID-19, many countries implemented emergency plans, such as lockdown and school closures. This new situation has significantly affected families, namely, the involvement required to support children’s learning at home. The current study aimed to analyze Portuguese parents’ perceptions of their home-based parental involvement in their children’s learning during the lockdown and school closures in 2020 due to COVID-19. An online survey, using a closed-ended questionnaire, was employed. Variables included parents’ sociodemographic and COVID-19 related characteristics; students’ sociodemographic characteristics; distance learning context; parental involvement; and students’ autonomy. Data were collected from a sample of 21,333 parents with children from elementary school to secondary education, and statistical data analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Findings revealed that Portuguese parents supported their children during the pandemic mainly through the monitoring of attention in classes and task realization. However, several variables appear to significantly determine parental involvement time, which is higher when students attend public schools, when they are less autonomous and younger, when parents’ level of education is lower, when the child is a boy (except in secondary education where gender is not relevant), and when the online school time is higher. Findings highlight the need for a significant investment of time from parents, particularly of primary school children, making it difficult to cohere work or telework with school activities. Implications for policies, schools, families are discussed in order to promote children’s learning and success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
Implementation of a Single-Tooth Pre-Doctoral CAD/CAM Dentistry Curriculum at UIC: History, Description, SWOT Analysis, and Quantitative Evaluation
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060301 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 349
Abstract
A comprehensive CAD/CAM dentistry curriculum that includes broad aspects of single tooth restoration has been implemented at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry (COD) since 2010. The purpose of the program is to promote an educational environment that utilizes current technology to [...] Read more.
A comprehensive CAD/CAM dentistry curriculum that includes broad aspects of single tooth restoration has been implemented at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry (COD) since 2010. The purpose of the program is to promote an educational environment that utilizes current technology to enhance the quality and efficiency of single-tooth dental treatment offered to patients, while also preparing graduating students to apply recent and future clinical advances. This article describes the history, organization, rationale, and objectives of the tooth-supported restorative aspects of our comprehensive pre-clinical and clinical CAD/CAM curriculum and presents the educational and clinical outcomes of this program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Article
Are Decision-Making Styles, Locus of Control, and Average Grades in Exams Correlated with Procrastination in University Students?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060300 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 381
Abstract
In this paper decision-making styles, locus of control, and average grades in exams are examined as correlates of procrastination in a sample of 185 university students (mainly female students) recruited from mandatory courses for degrees in psychology and pedagogy at the University of [...] Read more.
In this paper decision-making styles, locus of control, and average grades in exams are examined as correlates of procrastination in a sample of 185 university students (mainly female students) recruited from mandatory courses for degrees in psychology and pedagogy at the University of Catania (Italy). Method: We used the Decisional Procrastination Scale (Ferrari, Johnson, & McCown, 1995), consisting of five Likert-type items useful for analyzing the procrastination; the Decision-Making Styles (Di Nuovo & Magnano, 2013), chosen for measuring the doubtfulness, delay, proxy, and no problem styles with 15 Likert-type items; the Locus of Control of Behavior Scale (Craig, Franklin, & Andrews, 1984) used to evaluate internal and external loci of control. The data were gathered through an online anonymous questionnaire and were analyzed using the multiple linear regression model to assess how styles of decision-making, locus of control, and average grades in exams affect the decision to procrastinate in university students. The main findings of this study indicate that doubtfulness and delay decision-making styles correlate with high decisional procrastination together with low average grades at university exams. Locus of control is excluded by the proposed model. Conclusions: These findings suggest pursuing a deeper investigation of the various types of procrastination and the measures used for analyzing the academic achievement in university students. Full article
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Article
Mid-Career Teachers: A Mixed Methods Scoping Study of Professional Development, Career Progression and Retention
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060299 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Globally, there are ongoing problems with teacher retention, leading to a loss of experience and expertise. In policy and research, the emphasis is often on the professional development and retention of early career teachers, whereas teachers in later stages of their career are [...] Read more.
Globally, there are ongoing problems with teacher retention, leading to a loss of experience and expertise. In policy and research, the emphasis is often on the professional development and retention of early career teachers, whereas teachers in later stages of their career are relatively under-represented. This article addresses this imbalance, reporting on a mixed methods scoping study that explores definitions of mid-career teachers in England and their retention and development, via a literature review, primary data collection and secondary analysis of data from the OECD’s TALIS 2018 survey. We found that there is no agreed definition of mid-career teacher, relating to time in teaching, role and wider life circumstances and self-definition. Whatever definition is used, mid-career teachers are a heterogenous group, with varying needs, career plans and commitment to the profession. Whilst typically confident in their practice, their learning needs vary and are often experienced as unmet, especially for those looking for progression routes outside leadership and those with family commitments. This indicates that their potential for career development to benefit the profession may not be reached. The article concludes with suggestions for further study, policy and practice to improve understanding of this under-researched group. Full article
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Article
The Use of Monologue Speaking Tasks to Improve First-Year Students’ English-Speaking Skills
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060298 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
A significant number of studies are devoted to the psychological and social adaptation of students to the educational process at university. This research contributes to the solution of the problem of first-year students’ academic performance in the framework of studying a foreign language [...] Read more.
A significant number of studies are devoted to the psychological and social adaptation of students to the educational process at university. This research contributes to the solution of the problem of first-year students’ academic performance in the framework of studying a foreign language by working with monologue speaking tasks. The study offers an analysis of the improvement of academic performance in this particular type of language activity. The study took place at Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia, and involved 274 first-year students enrolled in undergraduate programs. Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to collect and analyse data for the study. The research included the qualitative content analysis of monologue speaking tasks. Results of the study make it possible to conclude that the use of monologue speaking tasks paired with peer interaction and peer assessment can improve first-year students’ English-speaking skills. Full article
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Article
Student Surveys: Measuring the Relationship between Satisfaction and Engagement
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060297 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between satisfaction and engagement survey items through an institutionally based survey, drawing on the two largest higher education student experience surveys in the world. The UK-based National Student Survey (NSS) was designed to inform student choice and drive [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between satisfaction and engagement survey items through an institutionally based survey, drawing on the two largest higher education student experience surveys in the world. The UK-based National Student Survey (NSS) was designed to inform student choice and drive competition and the US-based National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) was developed to provide actionable data for institutional enhancement. Comparing these surveys leads to a critical review of how such data can be used for policy decisions and institutional enhancement. The Institutional Experience Survey thus draws on findings from a survey of 1480 non-final year undergraduate students in a research-intensive UK university. Those who reported higher levels of engagement, measured across 17 engagement benchmarks, also reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction. Results are used to discuss the application of engagement-based surveys in the UK, compared to satisfaction-based surveys, and the benefits and challenges of both approaches. Conclusions are made about the usefulness of nationally standardised experience surveys, the different outcome goals of engagement and satisfaction, such as responsibility for learning and change, audience and results and lessons for other countries looking to measure the student experience. The paper highlights the need for a shift in perspective in relation to the role of student surveys in determining national and institutional policy from a student-as-customer approach to one that sees students and institutions as co-responsible for learning and engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
Perspective
Digital Health in Pharmacy Education: Preparedness and Responsiveness of Pharmacy Programmes
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060296 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 541
Abstract
To ensure the sustainability of pharmacy practice and provide health for all, pharmacy as a profession must embrace the digital transformation that has been changing healthcare at a rapid pace. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has conducted a global study on digital health [...] Read more.
To ensure the sustainability of pharmacy practice and provide health for all, pharmacy as a profession must embrace the digital transformation that has been changing healthcare at a rapid pace. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has conducted a global study on digital health in pharmacy education to describe the readiness, adaptability, and responsiveness of pharmacy education programmes to train the current and future pharmaceutical workforce on digital health and to identify the knowledge and skill gaps of the existing pharmaceutical workforce with regard to digital health. An online survey was distributed to collect feedback from academics, pharmacy schools, pharmacists, and pharmacy students. The findings showed that a large proportion of pharmacy schools do not offer any digital health education, and the skillsets and knowledge of how to apply digital health technologies to solve existing clinical problems and improve care have been identified as a gap. The future of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences is digital and exciting. A digitally enabled and agile pharmaceutical workforce will capitalise on the benefits of digital health to serve the higher purpose of providing good health and wellbeing for all, leaving no one behind. Therefore, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education should act now. Full article
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Article
Transforming Workplace Learning: A Qualitative Inquiry into Adopting Massive Open Online Courses into Corporate Learning and Development
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060295 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Despite the wide acknowledgement of the knowledge-based economy, the need for life-long learning and quickly growing open online resources, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are not common means of corporate learning and development programs. The aim of this study is to identify key [...] Read more.
Despite the wide acknowledgement of the knowledge-based economy, the need for life-long learning and quickly growing open online resources, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are not common means of corporate learning and development programs. The aim of this study is to identify key factors determining the adoption of MOOCs in corporate workplace learning programs. In this exploratory research, the authors employ empirical data from 36 in-depth interviews with corporate managers directly responsible for learning and development practices. Findings provide potential explanations for the mismatch between a generally positive attitude towards MOOCs and their still low adoption rate by identifying expectations towards MOOCs, as well as major reservations. We find that while corporations recognize the opportunities MOOCs can introduce into workplace learning, elevated expectations, negative first-time experiences and objective barriers inhibit MOOC adoption in corporate learning and development programs. It is among the first to expose the perspective of organizations at an early stage of adopting MOOCs. The findings provide a novel contribution to both workplace learning scholarship as well as practical recommendations which can inform HR managers’ decisions in regard to adopting digital means in workplace learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Review
First-Generation College Students and Family Support: A Critical Review of Empirical Research Literature
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060294 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 549
Abstract
The majority of empirical literature on first generation college students (FGCSs) in the U.S. asserts that because their parents did not attend college, FGCSs are lacking important resources to be successful in college. However, this results in a deficit-based approach to the study [...] Read more.
The majority of empirical literature on first generation college students (FGCSs) in the U.S. asserts that because their parents did not attend college, FGCSs are lacking important resources to be successful in college. However, this results in a deficit-based approach to the study of FGCSs that tends to highlight the differences between first-generation and continuing-education students. However, FGCSs possess a wealth of resources from parents and families that make them successful, and that are often ignored in research. Asset-based approaches to the study of FGCSs are becoming more frequent in the form of books, book chapters, and white papers; however, published empirical research has yet to adopt this approach. As a result, a deeper understanding of FGCSs’ experiences is essential to advancing diversity and equity in higher education. To begin to address this gap, a systematic literature review of empirical studies following the PRISMA framework was conducted on first generation college students and family support; the literature was critically reviewed and future directions for the field were identified. Applying a critical, cultural, and familial lens to the study of first-generation college students will contribute to reframing the research narrative towards an asset-based narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
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Article
Face-to-Face vs. E-Learning Models in the COVID-19 Era: Survey Research in a Spanish University
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060293 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
This study shows the results of an autobiographical questionnaire of Spanish university students regarding two different educational models caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: face-to-face and e-learning. The aim is to discover their perceptions and opinions about their experiences during the learning process and [...] Read more.
This study shows the results of an autobiographical questionnaire of Spanish university students regarding two different educational models caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: face-to-face and e-learning. The aim is to discover their perceptions and opinions about their experiences during the learning process and what they have experienced during this global emergency and period of home confinement. The sample is made up of 100 students from the Primary Education Degree programme and the research was carried out through a qualitative study of the questionnaire. The results, divided into categories of each educational model, show the interpretation that the students make of the current reality and their own learning process. The most important aspect of the face-to-face learning model, according to 75% of the students, is direct communication with the teacher, and for 88% of them this model was effective. For the e-learning model, the flexible schedule, the economic savings and explanatory videos are the relevant ideas that the students express, with 68% stating that it was an effective model. The main conclusion is that the students prefer to continue with the face-to-face learning process (49%) rather than online teaching (7%) or, failing that, mixed or blended learning (44%), where the theoretical classes could be online and the practical classes could be face-to-face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
Evaluating Learning Space Designs for Flipped and Collaborative Learning: A Transactional Distance Approach
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060292 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Problem-based learning is the latest name for a teaching philosophy that is as old as Ancient Greece. Whether you call it Socratic Inquiry, case-based teaching, problem-based learning, interactive group learning, or “flipped” learning, the essential concept is to encourage the student to collaborate [...] Read more.
Problem-based learning is the latest name for a teaching philosophy that is as old as Ancient Greece. Whether you call it Socratic Inquiry, case-based teaching, problem-based learning, interactive group learning, or “flipped” learning, the essential concept is to encourage the student to collaborate in applying their gained knowledge to solve a problem. As traditional lecture-based teaching has been challenged, the design of classrooms has been called into question. A flat or tiered room is not seen as an ideal setting for collaborative work. In our own College of Business, several traditional classrooms were converted to problem-based learning classrooms at considerable expense. This paper evaluates, using measures based on Michael G. Moore’s theory of transactional distance, whether moving flipped classes into these high-tech classrooms improves the collaborative learning experience. Transactional distance can be defined as the barriers that exist to a student’s engagement with their learning experience. These barriers arise due to the interaction between students and the teacher, other students, the subject matter content, and instructional technology being used. Our results suggest that, from a student engagement and outcome standpoint, the investment in costly high-tech classrooms is not warranted—a welcome result in times when university budgets are stretched to the limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
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Article
STEM Faculty Instructional Data-Use Practices: Informing Teaching Practice and Students’ Reflection on Students’ Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060291 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
This paper explores the affordances and constraints of STEM faculty members’ instructional data-use practices and how they engage students (or not) in reflection around their own learning data. We found faculty used a wide variety of instructional data-use practices. We also found several [...] Read more.
This paper explores the affordances and constraints of STEM faculty members’ instructional data-use practices and how they engage students (or not) in reflection around their own learning data. We found faculty used a wide variety of instructional data-use practices. We also found several constraints that influenced their instructional data-use practices, including perceived lack of time, standardized curriculum and assessments predetermined in scope and sequence, and a perceived lack of confidence and competence in their instructional data-use practices. Novel findings include faculty descriptions of instructional technology that afforded them access to immediate and nuanced instructional data. However, faculty described limited use of instructional data that engaged students in reflecting on their own learning data. We consider implications for faculty’s instructional data-use practices on departmental and institutional policies and procedures, professional development experts, and for faculty themselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Using Videos in Blended E-Learning for a Structural Steel Design Course
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060290 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Conventional methods of teaching structural engineering topics focus on face-to-face delivery of course materials. This study shows that using video-based e-learning in delivering an undergraduate Structural Steel Design course satisfactorily achieved most of the course learning outcomes. Video-based e-learning with animations and simulations [...] Read more.
Conventional methods of teaching structural engineering topics focus on face-to-face delivery of course materials. This study shows that using video-based e-learning in delivering an undergraduate Structural Steel Design course satisfactorily achieved most of the course learning outcomes. Video-based e-learning with animations and simulations gives students a profound understanding of the course intricate design materials. To gauge the effectiveness of video-based e-learning of the course, an online evaluation was conducted by sixty-eight undergraduate students at the United Arab Emirates University using Blackboard. The evaluation consisted of an online survey that was accessible by students who took the structural steel design course in the academic year 2019 using instructional videos provided to them as Quick Response (QR)-codes. The structural steel design course has six learning outcomes (CLOs), and the performance of students in the six CLOs was compared with that of students who took the same course in the academic year 2018 using the traditional face-to-face lecturing method. The survey data was statistically analyzed, and the results revealed that students’ performance improved, and most of the CLOs were attained. Video-based e-learning with animations resulted in better learning outcomes compared to face-to-face lecturing. Accessing the course instruction videos anytime and anywhere is one of the remarkable benefits to the students studying through the e-learning approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Mathematical Thinking Styles—The Advantage of Analytic Thinkers When Learning Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060289 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
School is a space where learning mathematics should be accompanied by the student’s preferences; however, its valuation in the classroom is not necessarily the same. From a quantitative approach, we ask from the mathematical thinking styles (MTS) theory about the correlations between preferences [...] Read more.
School is a space where learning mathematics should be accompanied by the student’s preferences; however, its valuation in the classroom is not necessarily the same. From a quantitative approach, we ask from the mathematical thinking styles (MTS) theory about the correlations between preferences of certain MTS and mathematical performance. For this, a valid test instrument and a sample of 275 16-year-old Chilean students were used to gain insight into their preferences, beliefs and emotions when solving mathematical tasks and when learning mathematics. The results show, among other things, a clear positive correlation between mathematical performance and analytical thinking style, and also evidence the correlation between self-efficacy, analytical thinking and grades. It is concluded that students who prefer the analytical style are more advantageous in school, since the evaluation processes have a higher valuation of analytic mathematical thinking. Full article
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Article
Student and Tutor Satisfaction with Problem-Based Learning in Azerbaijan
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060288 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 559
Abstract
This article examines tutors’ and students’ satisfaction with the implementation of problem-based learning (PBL) at the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction. A total of 28 pilot academic staff members and their students participated in PBL during one semester and received a questionnaire [...] Read more.
This article examines tutors’ and students’ satisfaction with the implementation of problem-based learning (PBL) at the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction. A total of 28 pilot academic staff members and their students participated in PBL during one semester and received a questionnaire about their experiences at the end of the semester. In total, 649 students were involved in the intervention. Descriptive statistics and factor analyses were used to analyze the data. In total, the response rate among students was 61.7%, and 82.1% among tutors. More than 83% of the students thought that the PBL should be kept as part of the module. A total of 91.3% of tutors agreed that PBL is a great tool for student learning. According to the factor analysis, tutors believed that PBL can develop students’ ability for group/team work. Tutors also identified some barriers in applying PBL. For example, they mentioned a lack of relevant skills to apply PBL in higher education. Both students and tutors found the PBL to be a suitable learning tool for their curriculum. Full article
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Article
Learning Course: Application of Gamification in Teaching Construction and Building Materials Subjects
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060287 - 09 Jun 2021
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Abstract
This paper presents the experience of a group of Construction and Building Materials lecturers following the introduction of a new contest-based gamification activity aimed at improving interest and learning outcomes in the course. Students’ motivation is of key importance in utilizing educational activities [...] Read more.
This paper presents the experience of a group of Construction and Building Materials lecturers following the introduction of a new contest-based gamification activity aimed at improving interest and learning outcomes in the course. Students’ motivation is of key importance in utilizing educational activities for study and learning in the subject. Evaluation is essential and, therefore, the proposed action makes it possible to earn an extra point in the continuous evaluation that contributes to passing the subject. The outcomes obtained in the first academic year in which this learning contest was implemented allow us to conclude that the activity had positive effects on motivation and the learning process, as well as on the number of students passing the subject. The students’ opinion about the activity was very positive. Full article
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Article
An Observational Narrative of Student Reaction to Video Hooks
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060286 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Digital video has become a dominant form of student learning in and beyond the classroom, and thus its pervasive nature in contemporary learning environments commands scholarly inquiry. In this paper we explore a participatory design-based research approach to the integration of video hook [...] Read more.
Digital video has become a dominant form of student learning in and beyond the classroom, and thus its pervasive nature in contemporary learning environments commands scholarly inquiry. In this paper we explore a participatory design-based research approach to the integration of video hook technology in the post-primary science classroom (students aged 12–15). Video hooks were designed with the intention of engaging students and augmenting their interest in science. Teachers across ten schools voluntarily agreed to implement the video hooks, and with their students (N = 128) engage in a qualitative, observational methodology to ascertain their effect. Triangulated data was collected through teacher interviews (N = 10), structured lesson observation and researcher journal documentation. Results reveal that student reaction was instant and impactful with evidence of both triggered and maintained student interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Technologies for STEM Curriculum)
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Article
Domain-Specific Stimulation of Executive Functioning in Low-Performing Students with a Roma Background: Cognitive Potential of Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060285 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
The current study investigated whether a domain-specific intervention of ExeFun-Mat targeting math and executive functions in primary school children with a Roma background would be effective in improving their scholastic performance and executive functioning. ExeFun-Mat is based on the principles of the reciprocal [...] Read more.
The current study investigated whether a domain-specific intervention of ExeFun-Mat targeting math and executive functions in primary school children with a Roma background would be effective in improving their scholastic performance and executive functioning. ExeFun-Mat is based on the principles of the reciprocal teaching approach, scaffolding and self-questioning. The domain-specific content was divided into modules. Each module consisted of a set of graded tasks. The criteria for the grading and hierarchical organization of the tasks were based on the level of cognitive difficulty and the type of representation. In total, 122 students attending grade four of elementary school took part in the project. The study concerned a pretest-intervention-posttest experimental design with three conditions: the experimental condition, an active, and a passive control group. To assess the children’s level of EF, the Delis–Kaplan executive function system test battery was used; to assess children’s mathematical achievement, the cognitive abilities test (the numeracy battery), and ZAREKI—a neuropsychological test battery for numerical processing and calculation—were used. The results suggested that both math performance and executive functions improved over time, with no significant differences between the three conditions. An additional correlational analysis indicated that pretest performance was not related to posttest performance for the children in the experimental and active control group. Full article
Article
Students’ Word Associations with Different Terms Related to the Wadden Sea: Does the Place of Residence (Coast or Inland) Have an Influence?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060284 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 668
Abstract
This paper presents students’ word associations with terms regarding the Wadden Sea. A continuous free word-association method was used in which the students from secondary schools (n = 3119, average age: 13.54 years) reported their associations with the stimulus words Wadden Sea [...] Read more.
This paper presents students’ word associations with terms regarding the Wadden Sea. A continuous free word-association method was used in which the students from secondary schools (n = 3119, average age: 13.54 years) reported their associations with the stimulus words Wadden Sea, mudflat hiking tour, and tides in written form. Data were collected from students living close to the Wadden Sea and from students living inland. We performed a quantitative content analysis including the corresponding formation of categories. In addition, students’ school, out-of-school with the class, and private experiences the Wadden Sea ecosystem were recorded. The study shows that not only subject-related concepts should be considered at different levels, but non-subject-related aspects as well. The associations of the inland and non-inland students are statistically significantly different. The Wadden Sea and its biome were found to be completely unknown to some students. Students’ school, out-of-school with the class, and private experiences of the wetlands are also very mixed, regarding their Wadden Sea visitation frequency, and surprisingly cannot be directly derived from their place of residence. This research makes an important contribution towards the design of future biology didactic studies on the Wadden Sea. Full article
Article
Impacts on Head Start Dual Language Learning Children’s Early Science Outcomes
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060283 - 07 Jun 2021
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Abstract
The present study examined the roles that language of assessment, language dominance, and teacher language use during instruction play in Dual Language Learner (DLL) science scores. A total of 255 Head Start DLL children were assessed on equated science assessments in English and [...] Read more.
The present study examined the roles that language of assessment, language dominance, and teacher language use during instruction play in Dual Language Learner (DLL) science scores. A total of 255 Head Start DLL children were assessed on equated science assessments in English and Spanish. First overall differences between the two languages were examined, then associations between performance on science assessments were compared and related to children’s language dominance, teacher quantity of English and Spanish, and teachers’ academic science language. When examined as a homogeneous group, DLLs did not perform differently on English or Spanish science assessments. However, when examined heterogeneously, Spanish-dominant DLLs performed better on Spanish science assessments. The percentage of English and Spanish used by teachers did not affect children’s science scores. Teachers’ use of Spanish academic science language impacted children’s performance on science assessments, but English did not. The results have implications for the assessment of DLLs and teacher language use during instruction. Full article
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Article
Experiences from COVID-19 and Emergency Remote Teaching for Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering Programmes
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060282 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Education systems and institutions, often historically considered to be resolute, slow-moving entities transformed virtually overnight during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating nimbleness in adversity. This paper describes the first-hand experiences of teaching staff and students from a UK university which [...] Read more.
Education systems and institutions, often historically considered to be resolute, slow-moving entities transformed virtually overnight during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating nimbleness in adversity. This paper describes the first-hand experiences of teaching staff and students from a UK university which pivoted to emergency remote teaching for a core second-year module in engineering, focused on entrepreneurship. A range of methods are used including self-reflection, summative, formative, and focus-group student feedback. The paper provides an insight for readers who may be interested in the practical challenges associated with moving from an academic module typically delivered in a face-to-face learning environment accommodating a large student cohort (n = 177), to one that exists entirely in the digital domain. Our results show learning outcomes were fully met despite stark differences in quality of learning environments amongst students. Students reported benefits to remote learning because it offers a blended approach of both asynchronous content and synchronous sessions, with the latter enhancing engagement and providing structure to working weeks. Issues of presence emerged amongst group work: whilst it might be easier to confront some individuals for lack of contribution, it is also easier for those individuals to disengage. There was widespread support for the Microsoft Teams platform amongst students and staff but the former group reported this lacked a social environment in which relationships amongst team members could be nurtured informally, such as was experienced via social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
Lessons from the Past and Challenges for the Future: Inclusive Education for Students with Unique Needs
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060281 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
The school-age population of students is becoming increasingly more culturally and linguistically diverse. There is mounting recognition that English Learners (EL) represent a unique group of students who have special educational and linguistic needs. This article considered the needs of learners with diverse [...] Read more.
The school-age population of students is becoming increasingly more culturally and linguistically diverse. There is mounting recognition that English Learners (EL) represent a unique group of students who have special educational and linguistic needs. This article considered the needs of learners with diverse special needs such as (a) learning and behavior challenges and (b) English Learners identified as students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). We highlighted some potential lessons to be learned from past-to-present efforts to serve students with behavior problems. Selected evidence-based practices were featured that are applicable to learners with special needs, thereby supporting the development of effective inclusive education, especially for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Full article
Article
Child-Centred Teaching: Helping Each Child to Reach Their Full Potential
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060280 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Research has shown that schoolteachers often prepare children for success in standardized reading assessments by ‘teaching to the test.’ Concurrently, research exploring children’s emergent literacies and ‘school readiness’ has shown that early childhood teachers often feel pressured to ‘prepare’ children for school and [...] Read more.
Research has shown that schoolteachers often prepare children for success in standardized reading assessments by ‘teaching to the test.’ Concurrently, research exploring children’s emergent literacies and ‘school readiness’ has shown that early childhood teachers often feel pressured to ‘prepare’ children for school and may do so by focusing on print-related literacies, to the detriment of earlier stages of the oral-to-print continuum. This raises the concern that teaching children as a group, preparing them for the next ‘stage of education,’ will disadvantage children who are working below or above expected levels of development. Our study explores the teaching approaches used with a group of foundation-year children who achieved more advanced reading outcomes than children from four adjacent classrooms in their first year of schooling. We collected the reading and letter-identification outcomes of 16 children in the teacher’s foundation-year class and interviewed her about her practices. Findings showed that the teacher used her knowledge of what the children should achieve in standardized assessments as a minimum expectation and moved beyond the content of such assessments when warranted, as determined by informal assessments. As a result, every child in the class met, and many exceeded, minimum reading standards by year’s end. We conclude that using an individualized, child-centred pedagogy, informed by a combination of standardized and informal assessments, allowed the teacher to support her students to develop a range of reading abilities and to reach their full potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity)
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Article
Interactive Feedback for Learning Mathematics in a Digital Learning Environment
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060279 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced a need for tools and methodologies to support students’ autonomous learning and the formative assessment practices in distance education contexts, especially for students from challenging backgrounds. This paper proposes a conceptualization of Interactive Feedback (IF) for Mathematics, which [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced a need for tools and methodologies to support students’ autonomous learning and the formative assessment practices in distance education contexts, especially for students from challenging backgrounds. This paper proposes a conceptualization of Interactive Feedback (IF) for Mathematics, which is a step-by-step interactive process that guides the learner in the resolution of a task after one or more autonomous tentative. This conceptualization is grounded on theories and models of automatic assessment, formative assessment, and feedback. We discuss the effectiveness of the IF for engaging students from low socio-economic contexts in closing the gap between current and reference performance through a didactic experimentation involving 299 Italian students in grade 8. Using quantitative analyses on data from the automatic assessment, we compared the results of the first and last attempts in activities with and without IF, based on algorithmic parameters so that the task changes at every attempt. We found that IF was more effective than other kinds of activities to engage learners in actions aimed at improving their results, and the effects are stronger in low socio-economic contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Assessing Mathematics in a Digital World)
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