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Educ. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 74 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Maternal, infant, and young child nutrition is vitally important for immediate and longer-term health, survival, development, and productivity. Knowledgeable, skilled health workers provide quality care, improve health outcomes, and meet global nutrition targets. This paper discusses a multistage process to map an existing curriculum, analyze expected competencies at levels of awareness, generalist, and specialist, and recognize broader factors when developing a competency-focused curriculum in pre-service education applicable to several health disciplines. The authors also provide examples of tools that can be used for review and discussion of curricula and competency at local and national levels and for integration of skills such as communication and counselling into maternal, infant, and young child nutrition services. View this paper
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Article
Validation of the DigCompEdu Check-in Questionnaire through Structural Equations: A Study at a University in Peru
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080574 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 492
Abstract
The technologization of society presents a great challenge for education in the twenty-first century; there is a need to face that challenge to be able to promote quality digital literacy. The use of the teacher’s digital competence in terms of the safe and [...] Read more.
The technologization of society presents a great challenge for education in the twenty-first century; there is a need to face that challenge to be able to promote quality digital literacy. The use of the teacher’s digital competence in terms of the safe and critical use of technologies is one of the key competencies that can guarantee educational success. The present study analyzes the reliability and validity of the DigCompEdu questionnaire for future teachers within the framework of digital competence improvement. This tool is centered on teacher orientation, with respect to their level of competence, through a self-evaluation of their strengths and needs for improvement in digital learning, according to its different dimensions: digital literacy, communication and collaboration with the organization; search and treatment of data, digital socialization; technological creativity and innovation. For its development, the exploratory and confirmatory factorial analysis (EFA and CFA) technique was utilized via structural equation modeling (SEM). A total of 1659 professors, who are employed at a university in Peru, completed the questionnaire. The analyses that were performed corroborated the reliability and validity of the instrument, as well as the different possibilities guaranteed by the validation method via structural equations. We underline the need to offer training for professors in the area of digital competence and endorse methodologies based on competencies that guarantee the use of valid and reliable tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Methodologies and Educative Resources Mediated by Technology)
Systematic Review
Are Veterinary Students Using Technologies and Online Learning Resources for Didactic Training? A Mini-Meta Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080573 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Over the last years, there has been an increase in online educational resources and media device use for educational purposes in veterinary settings. However, an overall analysis of these studies providing measurements of the use of learning resources and media devices could be [...] Read more.
Over the last years, there has been an increase in online educational resources and media device use for educational purposes in veterinary settings. However, an overall analysis of these studies providing measurements of the use of learning resources and media devices could be particularly useful for veterinary teachers. The evolution of technology, coupled with the advent of pandemic-related restrictions in person lessons, has made it imperative that educators consider how students may access educational material, as well as what type of educational material may be available to them. Databases including PubMed, Scopus, CAB Abstracts, and Web of Sciences were searched for relevant studies from January 2012 to June 2022. A mini-meta-analysis for proportions was performed using RStudio. Results highlight a high use of portable media devices with differences among countries, continued good use of traditional textbooks, moderate use of online tools, and low use of research papers. The results suggest that despite living in a technologically advanced world, veterinary students have attitudes towards digital resources that cannot be assumed. Full article
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Article
Creation of Immersive Resources Based on Virtual Reality for Dissemination and Teaching in Chemical Engineering
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080572 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Chemical Engineering is a complex discipline that is mainly applied to the industrial context, which makes it difficult to approach real equipment and systems in the classroom to students. Nevertheless, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are particularly useful to encourage active and autonomous [...] Read more.
Chemical Engineering is a complex discipline that is mainly applied to the industrial context, which makes it difficult to approach real equipment and systems in the classroom to students. Nevertheless, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are particularly useful to encourage active and autonomous learning, normally associated with deeper levels of engagement and understanding of the subjects taught. In this way, several studies have demonstrated that immersion has the potential to increase learning experiences and improve creativity and engagement, Virtual Reality (VR) being a remarkable example. In this context, we created and shared with students two immersive resources based on VR: (a) a laboratory 360° video tour, which was used to disseminate the Chemical Engineering Degree in an Open Door Days organized for high school students; and (b) an experiential learning tool integrated with Moodle, which was available previously to face-to-face practical lessons of the subject Separation Operations. In both cases, the feedback from the participant students was positive. High school students increased their interest in Chemical Engineering Degree after viewing the 360° video, meanwhile undergraduate students found the immersive tool useful in the subsequent performance of real practical activities. From the perspective of professors, creation of these resources required purchase of equipment, time and effort, but they were highly valued as a tool for disseminating and supporting teaching, being an initial starting point for the creation of more enhanced VR-based materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Higher Education and Its Improvement through Virtual Reality)
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Article
Inclusion in Uncertain Times: Changes in Practices, Perceptions, and Attitudes around Accessibility and Inclusive Practice in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080571 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Accessibility, inclusive teaching, and student support are multi-faceted; they are dependent on wider institutional factors, such as leadership, resource, systems, and culture. To be truly inclusive requires a whole institution approach, with voices, perspectives, and stakeholder buy-in sought from across the institution. This [...] Read more.
Accessibility, inclusive teaching, and student support are multi-faceted; they are dependent on wider institutional factors, such as leadership, resource, systems, and culture. To be truly inclusive requires a whole institution approach, with voices, perspectives, and stakeholder buy-in sought from across the institution. This can be extremely challenging because these can be sensitive to myriad institutional, sector, and societal changes that can influence working practices, resource management, and capacity. In this paper, we analyse responses from three iterations of a biennial staff survey conducted in 2017, 2019, and 2021 at the Open University (OU), capturing views on accessibility and inclusion before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenging circumstances. These responses, from tutors, module and programme teams, educational technologists, library staff, and student support teams, reveal crucial insight into the (in)accessibility of support and practice across the institution, as well as insight into staff skills, attitudes, and knowledge around accessibility, and the fitness for purpose of the systems and structures in place. In this analysis, we explore how staff practices and perceptions change over time; identify the themes that remain constant over time, despite global circumstances; and explore how these themes can inform a whole-institution approach to accessibility and inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
Article
The Effects of a Modeling and Computational Thinking Professional Development Program on STEM Educators’ Perceptions toward Teaching Science and Engineering Practices
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080570 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Teachers’ integration of the Next Generation Science Standards and corresponding Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) illustrate current science education reform in the United States. Effective teacher professional development (PD) on SEPs is essential for reform success. In this study, we evaluated the Nebraska [...] Read more.
Teachers’ integration of the Next Generation Science Standards and corresponding Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) illustrate current science education reform in the United States. Effective teacher professional development (PD) on SEPs is essential for reform success. In this study, we evaluated the Nebraska STEM Education Conference, a PD program for middle school, high school, and first- and second-year post-secondary STEM teachers. This SEP-oriented PD program focused predominantly on the SEPs ‘developing and using models’ and ‘using mathematics and computational thinking.’ An electronic survey was used to measure participants’ (n = 45) prior integration of SEPs, influential factors and barriers to using SEPs, and changes to interest and confidence in using SEPs as a result of attending the PD program. Our results showed that teachers had limited prior use of SEPs in their teaching. Student interest and learning outcomes were the factors found to be most influential to teachers’ use of SEPs, while limited knowledge, confidence, and resources were the most commonly identified barriers. As a result of attending the PD program, participants significantly improved their confidence and interest to incorporate SEPs. We recommend continued SEP-oriented PD to foster successful NGSS integration and to advance reforms in science education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practices in Science and Engineering Education)
Systematic Review
Artificial Intelligence and Learning Analytics in Teacher Education: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080569 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning analytics (LA) have been introduced into the field of education, where their use has great potential to enhance the teaching and learning processes. Researchers have focused on applying these technologies to teacher education, as they [...] Read more.
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning analytics (LA) have been introduced into the field of education, where their use has great potential to enhance the teaching and learning processes. Researchers have focused on applying these technologies to teacher education, as they see the value of technology for educating. Therefore, a systematic review of the literature on AI and LA in teacher education is necessary to understand their impact in the field. Our methodology follows the PRISMA guidelines, and 30 studies related to teacher education were identified. This review analyzes and discusses the several ways in which AI and LA are being integrated in teacher education based on the studies’ goals, participants, data sources, and the tools used to enhance teaching and learning activities. The findings indicate that (a) there is a focus on studying the behaviors, perceptions, and digital competence of pre- and in-service teachers regarding the use of AI and LA in their teaching practices; (b) the main data sources are behavioral data, discourse data, and statistical data; (c) machine learning algorithms are employed in most of the studies; and (d) the ethical clearance is mentioned by few studies. The implications will be valuable for teachers and educational authorities, informing their decisions regarding the effective use of AI and LA technologies to support teacher education. Full article
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Article
Hybrid E-Service Learning Practice during COVID-19: Promoting Dog Adoption in Philosophy of Life Course in Taiwan
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080568 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 342
Abstract
There are several models for e-service learning, from traditional (without any online content) to extreme online service learning (without any actual interactive elements) which suggested by L. S. Waldner. In Type III, (hybrid) e-service learning, the instruction or service can be offered partially [...] Read more.
There are several models for e-service learning, from traditional (without any online content) to extreme online service learning (without any actual interactive elements) which suggested by L. S. Waldner. In Type III, (hybrid) e-service learning, the instruction or service can be offered partially onsite and partially online. Waldner cites four successful case studies to prove such a model can work. Teachers should prepare students to participate in service learning during other disasters that may occur anytime, and offer servification dimensions for teaching. Using the Waldner Type III model, this paper aims to promote and stimulate service learning in shelters, as well as onsite and online, for the adoption of animals. Considering this paper is the leading research on the project’s application, we employ a qualitative research method, observing the students’ reflection work to clarify the basic proposition, and to describe what happened when we changed the model of hybrid e-service learning from Type III to Type I during the epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Pedagogy)
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Article
Digital Brick: Enhancing the Student Experience Using Blockchain, Open Badges and Recommendations
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080567 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 348
Abstract
The main purpose of this work is to describe the process of design and implementation of a novel e-Learning platform, named Digital Brick, intended to enhance the students’ experience in obtaining formal certifications of their competencies. The research method we followed starts form [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this work is to describe the process of design and implementation of a novel e-Learning platform, named Digital Brick, intended to enhance the students’ experience in obtaining formal certifications of their competencies. The research method we followed starts form a deep study of the state of the art that showed us the need to invest more research effort on delivering open and flexible online environments to enable students in finding and passing courses with final formal certifications of learning. To reach this goal, we (i) designed a complete system architecture around a standard (SCORM compliant) learning management system in order the approach should be reusable as much as possible. We (ii) introduced specific modules to separate responsibilities on the definition and issuing of formal certifications using digital badges according to the IMS Open Badges standard. We (iii) exploited blockchain technology to make the sharing of badges among actors more secure, transparent and open. Finally, we (iv) introduced a new recommendation algorithm based on machine learning techniques to give advice to students about study materials and learning paths. We spent a significant part of our effort carrying out both a functional and quantitative validation of our proposal. The obtained results are presented through a laboratory case study that involves all the components of the architecture, and the outcomes are discussed providing numerical performance indicators. In conclusion, the resulting platform introduces digital badges and blockchain as tools to share recognized achievements among earners and issuers, and machine learning algorithms to provide students with recommendations on the learning material, learning objects, courses and learning paths more suitable for their learning styles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning)
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Article
Debunking Climate Myths Is Easy—Is It Really? An Explorative Case Study with Pre-Service Physics Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080566 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Climate change is a complex topic and hence makes teaching climate change a demanding task. This is especially because climate change still represents a (socially) controversial topic and students may be confronted with misrepresentations and misinformation about climate change in their daily lives. [...] Read more.
Climate change is a complex topic and hence makes teaching climate change a demanding task. This is especially because climate change still represents a (socially) controversial topic and students may be confronted with misrepresentations and misinformation about climate change in their daily lives. Therefore, it is important that science teachers are equipped with skills to properly respond to or “debunk” climate change misinformation, and to train their students on how to identify and respond to misinformation. To address this, we developed an intervention based on inoculation theory and known debunking techniques to foster physics pre-service teachers’ debunking skills as well as their self-efficacy to confront climate misinformation. Through the intervention, we showed that the participants increased their debunking skills and they showed more accurate assessments of their own skills. We conclude that this approach is promising to foster pre-service teachers’ perceived competence to teach the demanding topic of climate change. Finally, our approach generally shows potential in preparing future teachers to teach other controversial topics where misinformation is abundant. Full article
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Article
Pursuing Social Justice in Educational Robotics
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080565 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 374
Abstract
In educational systems that make their first attempt to incorporate STEAM concepts in their teaching, educational robotics is typically the place to start; robotics kits are purchased, and a small group of pupils is typically selected to develop a project and perhaps to [...] Read more.
In educational systems that make their first attempt to incorporate STEAM concepts in their teaching, educational robotics is typically the place to start; robotics kits are purchased, and a small group of pupils is typically selected to develop a project and perhaps to also take part in some local or national robotics competition. Whilst this can be a very stimulating and rewarding experience for the participating pupils, it does little to introduce STEAM to the rest of the pupils in the school. In this article, we present our work towards a more fair and socially just approach to educational robotics. Compared with the conventional approach to educational robotics, our work introduces the following novelties: (A) shorter educational programs so that equipment can be re-used, (B) out-of-school implementation so that the programs are accessible to pupils from all schools, even from those schools that do not have teachers willing to be involved in STEAM programs and (C) scaling via the training of teachers who then act as multipliers of our action. The approach was applied, before being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a specially developed innovation hub, and the initial results are reported herein. Based on those findings, the potential of our approach to achieve a broader societal impact is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robot Programming in Early Childhood and Primary Education)
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Article
New Digital Era. Challenge of Government Proposals for the Inclusion of Indigenous Communities in the Northern Macrozone of Chile
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080564 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 292
Abstract
The objective of this diagnostic research was to identify the perceptions of indigenous communities regarding the digital divide and government proposals for their inclusion in formative processes. For this purpose, the Indigenous Leadership School was developed at the University of Atacama in 18 [...] Read more.
The objective of this diagnostic research was to identify the perceptions of indigenous communities regarding the digital divide and government proposals for their inclusion in formative processes. For this purpose, the Indigenous Leadership School was developed at the University of Atacama in 18 months. The hierarchical segmentation, classification and regression (CART) method was applied to identify and select the determining variables of ICT management, and once the variables were selected, the associations between them were determined with the multivariate method of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Binary logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the probability of presenting poor ICT management according to the variable selected as the most determinant of this characteristic, which corresponded to age, dichotomized into those under 46 and those over 45 years of age. Finally, univariate analysis of descriptive statistics of quantitative and categorical variables, centralization, dispersion, histogram and bar graph statistics were estimated. One of the strong conclusions indicates that those older than 45 years of age are about three times more likely to show poor ICT skills than those younger than 46 years of age. Full article
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Article
Enhancing Home Education in Italian Context: Teachers’ Perception of a Hybrid Inclusive Classroom
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080563 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Homebound Education in Italy is based on one-to-one teaching conducted by teachers who visit the sick student at home. This modality does not include interactions between homebound students and classmates, thus inhibiting the educational aspect of peer relationships. With the outbreak of the [...] Read more.
Homebound Education in Italy is based on one-to-one teaching conducted by teachers who visit the sick student at home. This modality does not include interactions between homebound students and classmates, thus inhibiting the educational aspect of peer relationships. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent dispositions of the Ministry of Education regarding remote education and integrated digital didactic (DID), new opportunities became available for homebound students. In this research, we applied and tested in the context of homebound education a model of hybrid inclusive classroom developed in a previous project ((TRIS), addressing homebound students that could not permanently attend school and followed lessons remotely. The present study involved two homebound students affected by chronic and acute diseases. During the 2020/21 school year, the model was proposed to the two school councils (22 teachers in all) and the trial monitored; at the end of the school year, semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and transcriptions analyzed using a deductive approach based on the model. Results confirm some findings of the TRIS project, while new aspects emerged linked to the specific context. Overall, the implemented hybrid classroom seems to have positively affected both the learnings and students’ inclusion. Full article
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Digital Transformation of the University as a Means of Framing Eco-Environment for Creativity and Creative Activities to Attract and Develop Talented and Skilled Persons
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080562 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 287
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to present the results of the ongoing study of the University digital transformation on the basis of a comprehensive theoretical model. The article describes a conceptual model of the University digital transformation formed based on the comprehensive [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to present the results of the ongoing study of the University digital transformation on the basis of a comprehensive theoretical model. The article describes a conceptual model of the University digital transformation formed based on the comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of potential ecosystem participants in line with the requirements of changing external conditions. The authors list the current results of the transformation and strategic plans considering any achievements adjustment. The National University of Science and Technology “MISiS” (NUST MISiS) has been used as an experimental basis for the research. The key achievement of NUST MISiS such as a digital ecosystem is described in this article. The digital environment of NUST MISiS considers the needs of the University staff and students and contributes to achieving the strategic goals. Full article
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Article
Undergraduate Student Performance in a Structural Analysis Course: Continuous Assessment before and after the COVID-19 Outbreak
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080561 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 348
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic situation in 2020 forced educational institutions worldwide to fully adopt online learning for both teaching and assessment. However, this change may lead to less satisfactory learning outcomes, if the online technologies used have not been adequately applied. This study compares [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic situation in 2020 forced educational institutions worldwide to fully adopt online learning for both teaching and assessment. However, this change may lead to less satisfactory learning outcomes, if the online technologies used have not been adequately applied. This study compares student engagement and performance through online continuous assessment in a one-semester structural analysis course for undergraduate architecture students before and after the pandemic outbreak. Online continuous assessment assignments had already been deployed and validated in the course evaluation system before the outbreak, and they were further leveraged during the online course. These assignments consisted of three weekly Moodle questionnaires throughout each of the fifteen course weeks, which determined the continuous assessment score. More than 200 students participated in each period. The results showed that shifting to online education affected continuous assessment outcomes very little in terms of participation rates and student performance. The possible underlying causes for the slight differences found between the two academic years are also discussed. The results highlight the robustness of the continuous assessment method used and emphasize the importance of having developed and validated online learning procedures to broach learning activities if contingency situations are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Teaching English to First-year Students in Russia: Addressing the Challenges of Distance Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080560 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 297
Abstract
(1) The aim of this study is to investigate the psychological climate in first-year students’ academic groups in Russia after they experienced the period of distance learning at the initial stage of university studies (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and to find out [...] Read more.
(1) The aim of this study is to investigate the psychological climate in first-year students’ academic groups in Russia after they experienced the period of distance learning at the initial stage of university studies (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and to find out how different it is compared with the academic groups of first-year students whose university studies were not influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. (2) Methods: Mixed quantitative and qualitative methods were applied to collect data using A. N. Lutoshkin’s questionnaire with closed-ended questions. The questionnaire determines the psychological climate in students’ academic groups. (3) Results: The results of the study reveal considerable differences in the psychological climate of the investigated groups. The findings suggest that the students whose university studies were not influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic considered their academic groups to have more mutual understanding, a greater desire to cooperate with other teams, a better mood in the team, a greater desire to participate in the joint affairs, etc., in comparison with the students who experienced a period of distance learning at the initial stage of their studies. (4) Conclusions: The transition to distance learning allows students to continue their studies under epidemiological restrictions. However, the factors affecting the speed of the adaptation of first-year students in distance learning and the determination of the degree of their influence on the socio-psychological state of the students remain insufficiently studied. This study contributes to the field by defining the peculiarities of the psychological climate in first-year students’ academic groups after they experienced a period of distance learning at the initial stage of university studies. It also specifies how the psychological climate is different from the academic groups of first-year students who were taught in a traditional format. As psychological climate plays a crucial role for EFL instruction, measures must be taken to ease the first-year students’ adaptation process while studying online. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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Digital Storytelling in Education: A Transmedia Integration Approach for the Non-Developers
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080559 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The present paper focuses on digital storytelling in education, emphasizing the teachers’ needs for familiarization with the new technological conditions. A transmedia integration approach is deployed to make productive, blended learning values while utilizing the availability of tools and reusable media assets in [...] Read more.
The present paper focuses on digital storytelling in education, emphasizing the teachers’ needs for familiarization with the new technological conditions. A transmedia integration approach is deployed to make productive, blended learning values while utilizing the availability of tools and reusable media assets in a component-based software engineering kind of framework. The topic is inspired by social studies and humanities, which seem to be marginalized, usually failing to make effective technological facilities, benefits, and contemporary findings. It is, therefore, necessary to modernize the approach to literary things and integrate digital means into the educational process, even in cases where a sole educator on humanities and social studies lacks multidisciplinary support in multimedia authoring and software engineering. This modernization can be made possible by introducing user-friendly tools into the process, representing not just a fashion of the time but mostly a renewal trend, aiming at revitalizing the course to attract and engage learners. Undoubtedly, today’s pupils have grown up with technological means, becoming familiar with their use so their implication causes undiminished interest in most daily activities, including schooling. In this high-tech generation, it is absurd to address the transmission of knowledge and values in outdated ways. Apart from adapting to the timely students’ needs, lesson plans on transmedia storytelling practices can also satisfy tutors, triggering their inspiration and co-creation potentials. Overall, the project aims to attract the trainees’ interest with the help of digital tools, which will be embodied in the educational processes by teachers without technical know-how, while continuously adapting to the audience’s needs. Research hypothesis and questions are formed as part of the deployed human-centered interactive design, aiming at modeling best practices for teaching classical topics, such as the “Odyssey”. Full article
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Economically Disadvantaged, Incoming Readiness and School Achievement: Implications for Building High-Performing and Effective Schools
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080558 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 284
Abstract
As a result of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, North Carolina, like many other states, has created standards and yearly student assessments for K-12 students. Student and school yearly assessments are reported via the North Carolina School Report Cards. Based on [...] Read more.
As a result of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, North Carolina, like many other states, has created standards and yearly student assessments for K-12 students. Student and school yearly assessments are reported via the North Carolina School Report Cards. Based on the North Carolina School Report Cards, there are several low-performing and failing schools at all levels; schools designated by the State of North Carolina as D or F in the Report Card. This study centered on two research questions: (a) Is there a relationship between incoming readiness and school performance in NC public middle schools? (b) Is there a relationship between economically disadvantaged students and school performance in NC public middle schools? Data was collected from the North Carolina School Report Cards (SRC) datasets (NCDPI, 2019). SRCs are offered for each public school in NC. NC public schools get a report card with their individual school performance score, in addition to other pertinent information, such as teacher and student characteristics. The analysis sample contains two years of data, namely for 2018 and 2017. The dataset includes 850 observations for 425 middle schools. The analysis and results are presented as follows: First, the frequencies of particular performance grades earned by NC middle schools are presented. Second, descriptive statistics are provided and data visuals for the variables associated with the specific research questions a and b, followed by the hypotheses. Third, the hypotheses are tested with the results from the linear regression and ordered logit. Analysis showed evidence of a relationship between incoming student readiness and school performance in NC public middle schools. Larger shares of incoming students considered ready significantly predicts school performance. It is possible to find evidence of a relationship between economically disadvantaged students and school performance in NC public middle schools. Having larger shares of economically disadvantaged students significantly predicts school performance. Based on these findings, a recommendation would be that teachers and schools work to get students ready for middle school in order to improve student performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
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Feasibility of a Vertically Integrated Teaching Strategy during a Surgical Clerkship Event—Learning Methods Matter
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080557 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Sound foundational knowledge improves disease conceptualization and clinical diagnosis. Vertical integration (VI) is an appealing educational strategy to refresh relevant pre-clinical information during clinical rotations. However, an optimal learning approach for this has not yet been established. We hypothesized that a small group [...] Read more.
Sound foundational knowledge improves disease conceptualization and clinical diagnosis. Vertical integration (VI) is an appealing educational strategy to refresh relevant pre-clinical information during clinical rotations. However, an optimal learning approach for this has not yet been established. We hypothesized that a small group collaborative discussion format might serve as an appealing learning method to deliver integrated material and increase retention. During AYs 2018/2019 and 2019/2020, our multidisciplinary team utilized a Colorectal Cancer workshop incorporating pre-clinical material for Y3 students on Surgical Clerkship. In search of an optimized way to deliver vertically integrated content, we alternately presented the workshop material either in a small group (SG) case-based collaborative format or as a standard-sized group (StdG) exercise. We achieved this by testing immediate and late (4-week post-event) recall and assessing student satisfaction with the VI strategy in both physical settings (StdG and SG). A total of 93% of participants considered VI-based training worthwhile, 96% reported an increased knowledge base and 93% would welcome similar VI events in the curriculum. Significantly more SG students than StdG (52% vs. 31%, p = 0.014) enthusiastically endorsed their event and would prefer to have future VI events delivered in the format they experienced (88% for SG vs. 42% for StdG) (p < 0.0001). Combined (immediate + late) recall scores were significantly better in SG versus StdG (p = 0.007), while the rate of attrition at 4 weeks did not differ significantly (p = 0.81). VI strategy successfully reactivated pre-clinical concepts, achieving both high content retention and learner satisfaction during this workshop. Students endorsed future VI events, especially when delivered in a case-based, interactive SG setting. Although resource intensive, a VI strategy employing a small-group collaborative learning method may be considered for broader curricular use in undergraduate medical education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Professions Education & Integrated Learning)
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Implementing an Empowerment Framework: The Significance for Children’s Play Environments and Reflective Practice
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080556 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 598
Abstract
This paper examines implementing a unique way of observing children’s play through an empowerment framework; considering children’s choices, decisions, and interactions through an empowerment lens. The study considers the different ways children are empowered through their play environments using participation, voice, and ownership [...] Read more.
This paper examines implementing a unique way of observing children’s play through an empowerment framework; considering children’s choices, decisions, and interactions through an empowerment lens. The study considers the different ways children are empowered through their play environments using participation, voice, and ownership as three guiding themes and the challenges of recording children’s empowerment for practitioners. Five nested case studies in two different UK-based childcare environments form the basis of the research. Thematic analysis scrutinised the data that were generated from observations of children’s play, interviews with practitioners and a focus group with both settings. A phenomenological theoretical framing allowed a layered picture of empowerment to emerge. Practitioners made subjective yet informed judgements about children’s empowerment in their observations, drawing on knowledge and understanding of children’s personalities. Empowering experiences were recorded under prompt questions focusing on the way in which and the influences of how children were experiencing empowering moments. Observing through an empowerment framework has changed practice and the way practitioners think about the opportunities provided for children in their play environment. The main challenges for practitioners relate to anxiety around moving away from outcome-based observations and time limitations on producing meaningful narratives around children’s empowerment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Space and Environment of Early Childhood Education)
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Article
AR4FSM: Mobile Augmented Reality Application in Engineering Education for Finite-State Machine Understanding
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080555 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Students in the twenty-first century are accustomed to using technology in all aspects of their lives and have never known a world without it; the classroom is no exception. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that bridges the virtual and physical worlds to [...] Read more.
Students in the twenty-first century are accustomed to using technology in all aspects of their lives and have never known a world without it; the classroom is no exception. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that bridges the virtual and physical worlds to make learning more engaging and enjoyable. In this paper, we present a mobile application aimed at novice learners that makes use of technology for the teaching and learning of computer system engineering concepts. Currently, students typically learn about finite-state machine (FSM) concepts from lectures, tutorials, and practical hands-on experience combined with commercial timing simulation tools. We aimed to enhance these traditional, lecture-based instruction and information delivery methods. We developed an AR-based FSM visualization tool called AR4FSM to help students more easily grasp concepts through immersion and natural interaction with an FSM. We used a blend of multimedia information, such as text, images, sound, and animations superimposed on real-world-state machine diagrams, presenting the information in an interactive and compelling way. An experiment with 60 students showed that the app was perceived positively by the students and helped to deliver FSM-related concepts in a way that was easier to understand than traditional, lecture-based teaching methods. This instruction methodology not only engaged the students but also motivated them to learn the material. The findings of this study have inspired us to use this application to teach FSM topics in the classroom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Article
Virtual Laboratories in Tertiary Education: Case Study Analysis by Learning Theories
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080554 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 448
Abstract
This paper examines and evaluates Virtual Laboratories (VLabs) in consideration of technology design, educational pedagogy, and outcome in tertiary education context for ICT courses. There is a growing demand for VLabs in tertiary education to support remote, flexible, and equitable learning. Most of [...] Read more.
This paper examines and evaluates Virtual Laboratories (VLabs) in consideration of technology design, educational pedagogy, and outcome in tertiary education context for ICT courses. There is a growing demand for VLabs in tertiary education to support remote, flexible, and equitable learning. Most of the universities in Australia offer distance education to students who do not attend on-campus classes. On-line labs allowing access via an internet connection can offer learners the required infrastructure to complete their lab tasks without attending physical lab facilities. The onset of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 has seen further spike in demand for VLabs as accessing online lab facilities to undertake hands on activities from anywhere and anytime was imperative during lockdown periods. Despite their benefits, it is complex to choose an appropriate VLab design or type that ensures effective and improved learning process. This paper presents two case studies using commercial and custom-made VLabs that are analyzed through the lens of learning theories. The outcome of the analysis informs the readers that the teachers’ support (human mediator) and VLabs (teaching tool) are interlinked together in a dialectical way which is an important consideration to achieve successful learning outcome. This study will help educators to make an informed decision in choosing an appropriate VLab design for their teaching content to ensure effective learning outcome. Full article
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Article
Gender-Related Differences for Subject Interest and Academic Emotions for STEM Subjects among Swedish Upper Secondary School Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080553 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 285
Abstract
It is hard to attract young persons to engineering and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of education in Sweden. Factors, such as interest and ability, are affecting the educational orientation of students, and many studies suggest that there are gender [...] Read more.
It is hard to attract young persons to engineering and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of education in Sweden. Factors, such as interest and ability, are affecting the educational orientation of students, and many studies suggest that there are gender related differences in students’ perceptions regarding different subject areas. Nevertheless, it is not fully evident why students’ make their educational choices. In this paper, Swedish upper secondary school students’ perceptions of interest and self-efficacy are studied in the form of a questionnaire survey to gain deeper understanding on the choices that are made. Open-ended questions regarding subject interest, as well as questions connecting STEM-related situations with perceived emotions were included, in addition to direct questions regarding interest and self-efficacy. Differences were seen both with respect to educational orientation and to gender, which confirms previous studies. Male students were interested in subjects that are accurate, logical, and scientific, while the female students emphasized the analytical and challenging aspects, in the sense that the subjects forced them to think. Interest and future opportunities affected the choice of program, while the student’s own perceived ability seemed less important. Results with respect to emotions showed that the female students in this study felt insecure and scared in STEM-related situations to higher degree than male students did. Students on the social science program were bored and uninterested, while natural science and technology program students were more interested and confident in STEM-related scenarios. These findings help us to understand how students approach STEM situations, and how to take necessary measures to equalize these situations using a norm-critical approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM Practices and Student Engagement)
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Article
Local School Desegregation Practices in Sweden
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080552 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 255
Abstract
The focus of this paper is to examine the desegregation of hyper-segregated schools in Sweden. In this paper, our focus is on the practice(s) of desegregation in four Swedish municipalities. This study is based on interviews with municipal school politicians, school headmasters, and [...] Read more.
The focus of this paper is to examine the desegregation of hyper-segregated schools in Sweden. In this paper, our focus is on the practice(s) of desegregation in four Swedish municipalities. This study is based on interviews with municipal school politicians, school headmasters, and municipal school officials. Theoretically, the study departs from the theory of steering. This study shows that the municipalities use a strong belief in the peer effect to legitimise their decisions to desegregate hyper-segregated schools. Their decisions ignore a substantial research body that could lead to the development of different types of pedagogies that are relevant for these types of schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Integration in Schools: Policies and Practices)
Review
Current Interventions for the Digital Onboarding of First-Year Students in Higher Education Institutions: A Scoping Review
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080551 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Every year, students around the globe embark upon their higher education journey, making the onboarding of these students a critical task for colleges and universities. Combined with the growth in distance learning and the rapid development in technologies, the onboarding process occurs increasingly [...] Read more.
Every year, students around the globe embark upon their higher education journey, making the onboarding of these students a critical task for colleges and universities. Combined with the growth in distance learning and the rapid development in technologies, the onboarding process occurs increasingly in the digital setting. For this reason, the objective of this scoping review was to report and map interventions, which are used in digital onboarding of first-year students in higher education institutions and explore the digital settings that characterized these interventions. The PRISMA-ScR Guidelines and the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis guided this investigation, which included researching four databases and screening the resulting titles and abstracts to identify the 17 sources of evidence included in the final analysis. According to our results, digital and virtual onboarding interventions were categorized into four onboarding dimensions: information interventions, socialization interventions, counseling interventions, and self-study interventions. Examples of the purposes and outcomes of these onboarding interventions included the transfer of information and the socialization of incoming students. Of the five onboarding settings that were also identified in the categorization, telecommunication software and virtual environments predominated. An independently developed onboarding tool could combine the identified onboarding settings and dimensions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Educational Technology)
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Article
The Effect of Message Framing on Preschoolers’ Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions: Influences of Age, Issue Involvement, and Delivery Method
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080550 - 14 Aug 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Many previous studies have revealed that people’s decision-making may differ depending on message framing—whether the same content is presented with an emphasis on gain or loss. However, almost nothing is known about preschooler responses according to message framing. This study aimed to identify [...] Read more.
Many previous studies have revealed that people’s decision-making may differ depending on message framing—whether the same content is presented with an emphasis on gain or loss. However, almost nothing is known about preschooler responses according to message framing. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of the message framing effect in preschoolers and to examine the influence of age, issue involvement, and delivery method on this effect. A total of 180 participants ranging from 3–5 years of age were randomly assigned to one of four conditions with different combinations of frame types and delivery methods. The attitudes and behavioral intentions of the children toward the messages were measured via questionnaire. The results showed that the effect of persuasive messages increased with age (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.14) and was higher when the messages were more relevant to children (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.15). Furthermore, loss-framed messages were more effective than gain-framed messages for issues delivered verbally with pictures, while the opposite was true for issues delivered only verbally (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.06). These results enable developmental and theoretical discussions of the framing effect in children and provide practical data for improving the persuasion efficacy of message delivery in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Education and Psychology)
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Article
Understanding Teacher Educators’ Perceptions and Practices about ICT Integration in Teacher Education Program
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080549 - 13 Aug 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
This study explored the perceptions and practices of teacher educators in integrating information and communication Technology (ICT) in teacher education programs. The study adopted a phenomenological design under the qualitative research approach that included eighteen selected participants from a teacher education university college. [...] Read more.
This study explored the perceptions and practices of teacher educators in integrating information and communication Technology (ICT) in teacher education programs. The study adopted a phenomenological design under the qualitative research approach that included eighteen selected participants from a teacher education university college. Data collection employed semi-structured interviews, observations, and documentary reviews. The authors adopted the Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis model for data analysis. The findings showed that while young and inexperienced teachers showed readiness to use ICT, some teacher educators do not understand the logic behind using technology and hence question the rationale for applying it to their teaching. At the same time, equipment challenges, large teaching burdens, and time limits were the critical barriers to integration. Again, the findings revealed that teacher educators use different software and learning platforms, use social media, gather online information, and access learning materials through journal subscriptions to enhance preservice teachers’ learning. Thus, integrating ICT during teacher training is paramount, and teacher educators should be assisted and encouraged to develop positive attitudes in learning and to apply ICT in their teaching practices. Concomitantly, equipping preservice teachers with ICT-based pedagogical skills, not only through specialized ICT courses, but also through observing how teacher educators use it, has a significant impact on transforming teaching practices in their future classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education Technology and Literacies: State of the Art)
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Article
Enhancing Learning in Tourism Education by Combining Learning by Doing and Team Coaching
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080548 - 13 Aug 2022
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Learning by doing (LBD) and team coaching are experiential learning methods that can be used to enhance the depth of learning, motivation, and engagement in tourism education. This study explores the combined use of the two methodologies and reports on the experience of [...] Read more.
Learning by doing (LBD) and team coaching are experiential learning methods that can be used to enhance the depth of learning, motivation, and engagement in tourism education. This study explores the combined use of the two methodologies and reports on the experience of 42 students who participated in a practical case dealing with the strategic planning for sustainable tourism in a small town in Spain as a part of their undergraduate tourism education. The results obtained after the project evaluation confirm that LBD combined with team coaching is considered a valuable strategy for enhancing learning. Regarding the LBD method, students especially valued the opportunity to work within professional realities and exchange ideas with their classmates. Participants perceived team coaching as a valuable tool for enhancing team performance, communication, self-awareness (and that of others), conflict management, and problem-solving during project development. Professors and agents from public institutions involved in the project reported that students’ proposals were highly applicable and close to reality, and they agreed that the combination of LBD and team coaching improved the quality of the course assignments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Higher Education: Improvements for a Better System)
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Article
Global Citizenship Competencies of Filipino Students: Using Machine Learning to Explore the Structure of Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Competencies in the 2019 Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080547 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 513
Abstract
While the Philippines is still building its global citizenship curriculum, there are global citizenship competencies already articulated in existing curriculum guides. Using data from a nationally representative sample of Grade 5 students in the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) assessment, we explored [...] Read more.
While the Philippines is still building its global citizenship curriculum, there are global citizenship competencies already articulated in existing curriculum guides. Using data from a nationally representative sample of Grade 5 students in the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) assessment, we explored Filipino learners’ current global competencies. We used machine learning approaches to determine the best models to predict the six SEA-PLM global competency indices; models generated by Multilayer Perceptrons performed better than other techniques. Shapley Additive Explanations approach was applied to identify variables that had the most impact on the model of each global competency index. Some variables were important predictors across the indices: concern about pollution, feeling connected to people from other countries, beliefs about the importance of learning about other countries, how countries relate to each other, and how natural disasters in other countries affect the Philippines are variables that were associated with global competency indices. Willingness to participate in classroom debates also positively predicted the indices but willingness to participate in classroom elections negatively predicted indices related to knowledge and behavior intention indices. We discuss how patterns in Filipino students’ emerging global competencies can guide curriculum development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Article
Evaluating Differences in Mathematical Competencies in Middle School Students during Pandemic Conditions through Preparatec Platform
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080546 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
This research proposes to evaluate the difference in essential mathematical competencies of middle school students transitioning to high school level under pandemic conditions (COVID-19) using the PreparaTec platform and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released items as an evaluation instrument. The study [...] Read more.
This research proposes to evaluate the difference in essential mathematical competencies of middle school students transitioning to high school level under pandemic conditions (COVID-19) using the PreparaTec platform and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released items as an evaluation instrument. The study was conducted with 84 students from first semester high school at Prepa Tec (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca) aged 14 and 15. The students were divided into three experimental groups and a control group. Three levels of mathematical competencies: reproduction, definitions, and calculations (level 1), connections and integration to solve problems (level 2), and reflection (level 3) were evaluated. We applied a pre-test at the beginning of the semester and a post-test at the end after using the PreparaTec platform. Both tests were written and applied in a face-to-face format. The study presents the findings regarding the impact of using the PreparaTec platform during the first semester in the three levels of mathematical competencies mentioned. The results obtained are presented in two analyses. The first analysis involves the results obtained per experimental group and according to the number of correct answers per group. The second analysis represents a comparison between the percentage of correct answers and the level of difficulty per question per student regarding the percentage, determined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Spain in the format presented by PISA. The pre-test and post-test consisted of 23 questions from items released from PISA, which contemplated measuring the three levels of mathematical competence. The results showed an improvement of 57% in level 1 proficiency questions, 63.6% in level 2 proficiency, and 100% in level 3 proficiency. The findings indicate that new teaching strategies based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and more meaningful assessment forms further develop students’ mathematical competencies. Full article
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Article
The Correlation between Budgets and Matriculation Exams: The Case of Jewish and Arab Schools in Israel
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080545 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Standardized testing in the Israeli education system presents a cavernous achievement gap between the dominant Jewish and Arab student populaces. This paper assesses the role of one major factor contributing to this discrepancy in test scores: budget allocation. Specifically, we evaluate the relationship [...] Read more.
Standardized testing in the Israeli education system presents a cavernous achievement gap between the dominant Jewish and Arab student populaces. This paper assesses the role of one major factor contributing to this discrepancy in test scores: budget allocation. Specifically, we evaluate the relationship between test scores and budget in Israel proper while controlling for Arab and Jewish school systems. The findings from the 2008 to 2018 data demonstrate the increased allocation of budgets and higher test scores in Arab schools. The statistical analysis confirmed a positive correlation between budgets and test scores. Overall, budget factors were found to have a much higher impact on Arab schools than Jewish schools. This was even more significant in Druze schools, which received the higher increase in budget and achieved the most significant improvements in Bagrut scores. As a result, this research challenges previous findings within the educational literature, identifies significant implications as byproducts of this variable relationship, and proposes future policy adjustments and research expansion. Full article
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