Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Transversal Competencies for Employability: From Higher Education to the Labour Market
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12040255 - 03 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Aligning learning goals with the needs of the labour market is a difficult task for universities, especially in the present day. Although organisations seek professionals with flexible and varied skills, universities often underestimate the importance of cross-curricular skills. Thus, this article aims to [...] Read more.
Aligning learning goals with the needs of the labour market is a difficult task for universities, especially in the present day. Although organisations seek professionals with flexible and varied skills, universities often underestimate the importance of cross-curricular skills. Thus, this article aims to identify the perception of recent graduates as to the importance of the transversal skills that they acquired and developed at university and the ways in which they are now applied in the work environment. In this exploratory study, we sent a questionnaire to recent graduates that allowed us to analyse the development and applicability of these competencies in organisations. The results are further discussed within the broader framework of how universities adapt to the strong socio-economic challenges that characterise current times and the integration of recent graduates into the labour market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transversal Competencies, Higher Education and Employment)
Article
Teaching Innovation in STEM Education Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030224 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has increased in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. This means there is a growing need to integrate UAV training into STEM education. This study aimed to develop and evaluate a UAV education module [...] Read more.
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has increased in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. This means there is a growing need to integrate UAV training into STEM education. This study aimed to develop and evaluate a UAV education module and laboratory exercise for natural resource science students. The study used a series of reusable learning objects (RLOs) to assess students’ prior knowledge of remote sensing and UAVs. Students were taught the steps of UAV data acquisition and processing through lectures and UAV simulation videos. Students applied this knowledge by completing a laboratory exercise that used previously collected UAV data. Student knowledge retention and understanding were evaluated using an online quiz to determine the effectiveness of the education module. The average quiz score was 92%, indicating that the UAV laboratory exercise effectively taught students about UAV data acquisition and processing for natural resource research. Overall, students expressed positive opinions about the UAV education module. Student feedback indicated that the laboratory exercise was engaging, but some students would have preferred a hands-on experience for some parts of the exercise. However, in-person UAV instruction may not be accessible for all educators because of UAV cost or lack of instructor training. This study provides educators with crucial recommendations for designing UAV exercises to improve access to UAV-related educational content. This study indicates that online training can effectively introduce students to UAVs. Given the wide range of UAV uses across STEM fields, students in many STEM disciplines would benefit from UAV education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Technologies for STEM Curriculum)
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Article
Online Teaching in COVID-19 Pandemic: Secondary School Teachers’ Beliefs on Teaching Presence and School Support
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030216 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1714
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, with the consecutive lockdowns, has led schools around the world to transition suddenly from face-to-face education to online teaching. The purpose of this paper was to investigate secondary school teachers’ beliefs on online teaching presence and school support for online [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, with the consecutive lockdowns, has led schools around the world to transition suddenly from face-to-face education to online teaching. The purpose of this paper was to investigate secondary school teachers’ beliefs on online teaching presence and school support for online learning during the pandemic. The sample was 238 teachers in Greece who are interested in e-learning and received some preparation to teach online courses. An online questionnaire was administered and three factors were revealed: instruction and organization, facilitation and cognitive activation, and school support. Teachers’ perceived online teaching presence was strong (over 63% expressed agreement), and the highest percentages of agreement were linked to clear instruction, communication of time frames and course topics, and facilitation and encouragement that could help students learn. On the other hand, perceived school support for online learning was weak (over 50% expressed disagreement and neutral views), and the highest percentages of disagreement regarded the existence of a professional development strategy and of clear objectives/vision towards online learning. Gender, years of teaching experience, and experience with online teaching had a small effect on teachers’ beliefs. Implications for teacher professional development, educational policy, and the design of educational technology applications are discussed. Full article
Article
Access to Baccalaureate School in Switzerland: Regional Variance of Institutional Conditions and Its Consequences for Educational Inequalities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030213 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
In Switzerland, baccalaureate school is still considered to be the royal road to a university education and the elite path for the social reproduction of the upper class. However, cantonal enrollment to baccalaureate school varies widely due to Swiss federalism. There is a [...] Read more.
In Switzerland, baccalaureate school is still considered to be the royal road to a university education and the elite path for the social reproduction of the upper class. However, cantonal enrollment to baccalaureate school varies widely due to Swiss federalism. There is a recurring debate on whether access to baccalaureate school is fair and equal among pupils who live in different cantons and who are of different social origin. This paper aims to analyze how the institutional conditions of cantons and municipalities impact a pupil’s probability of entering baccalaureate school and how the cantonal provisioning of places in baccalaureate school affects social inequality of access. For our theoretical foundation, we combine concepts of neo-institutionalism with mechanisms of social reproduction in education. Empirically, we analyze national longitudinal register data to model educational transitions from compulsory to baccalaureate school by using logistic regression models. Our results show that institutional structures at the cantonal and municipal levels influence the probability of transition beyond individual pupils’ characteristics. The degree of inequality varies between cantons, depending on the supply of baccalaureate school places. Inequality first increases with an increasing number of places (the scissors effect) and decreases only after the demand of more privileged families for places at baccalaureate school is saturated. Full article
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Article
ICT Motivation in Sixth-Grade Students in Pandemic Times—The Influence of Gender and Age
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030183 - 06 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Information and communication technology (ICT) is being immersed in people’s daily lives at an increasingly younger age. It has been key for adolescents to pursue distance education, and their use and mastery of technological means and tools with Internet access has increased. In [...] Read more.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is being immersed in people’s daily lives at an increasingly younger age. It has been key for adolescents to pursue distance education, and their use and mastery of technological means and tools with Internet access has increased. In this study, the motivation, specifically in the interest, digital competence, autonomy, and social interaction, generated by ICTs in the daily lives of adolescents during the pandemic caused by COVID-19 was analyzed. In the study, the objective was to study the motivation, use and commitment generated by ICTs in these students in relation to their gender and age after their confinement to the classroom caused by the first wave of incoming students. An experimental method of descriptive and correlative design was used along with a quantitative method to analyze the data. The data were obtained in the year 2020 through a validated questionnaire committed to the ICT scale used by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). A total of 924 students from the sixth grade of primary education in the autonomous city of Ceuta (Spain), aged between 10 and 13, participated in the sample. The results reveal that the motivation and commitment to ICT in these age groups were medium in relation to the total mean of results on a Likert-5 scale. Boys scored higher in all the variables analyzed, and both age and gender show correlations, in addition to the factor of prediction. In conclusion, students in the sixth year of primary education, after the confinement period, were medium-high in their use and engagement of ICT. In addition, gender and age affected ICT use and engagement. Full article
Article
Teacher Agency and Futures Thinking
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030177 - 03 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Problems encountered in top-down school reforms have repeatedly highlighted the significance of teachers’ agency in educational change. At the same time, temporality has been identified as a key element in teachers’ agency, with teachers’ beliefs about the future and experiences of the past [...] Read more.
Problems encountered in top-down school reforms have repeatedly highlighted the significance of teachers’ agency in educational change. At the same time, temporality has been identified as a key element in teachers’ agency, with teachers’ beliefs about the future and experiences of the past shaping their agentic orientations. However, research on teachers’ future orientations is typically limited to short-term trajectories, as opposed to long-term visions of education. To address this, we draw on a futures studies perspective to give more explicit attention to teachers’ long-term visions of their work. We argue that the method of future narratives, already well-established in the field of futures studies, is a fruitful methodological framework for studying these long-term visions. In this paper, we first show that the futures studies approach is theoretically compatible with the ecological model of teacher agency. We then outline the method of future narratives to point out the possibilities it offers. Finally, we illustrate our approach with an exploratory analysis of a small set of future narratives where teachers imagine a future workday. Our analysis reveals that the narratives offer a rich view of teachers’ longer-term visions of education, including instances of reflecting on the role of education in relation to broader societal developments. Our study suggests that this novel approach can provide tools for research on teacher agency as well as practical development of teacher education, addressing long-term educational issues and policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies in Teacher Identity and Professional Development)
Article
Similarities in Procedures Used to Solve Mathematical Problems and Video Games
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030172 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1057
Abstract
Video game use is widespread among all age groups, from young children to older adults. The wide variety of video game genres, which are adapted to all tastes and needs, is one of the factors that makes them so attractive. In many cases, [...] Read more.
Video game use is widespread among all age groups, from young children to older adults. The wide variety of video game genres, which are adapted to all tastes and needs, is one of the factors that makes them so attractive. In many cases, video games function as an outlet for stress associated with everyday life by providing an escape from reality. We took advantage of this recreational aspect of video games when investigating whether there are similarities between the procedures used to pass a video game level and those used to solve a mathematical problem. Moreover, we also questioned whether the use of video games can reduce the negative emotions generated by mathematical problems and logical–mathematical knowledge in general. To verify this, we used the Portal 2 video game as a research method or tool. This video game features concepts from the spatial–geometric field that the students must identify and relate in order to carry out the procedures required to solve challenges in each level. The procedures were recorded in a questionnaire that was separated into two blocks of content in order to compare them with the procedures used to solve mathematical problems. The first block pertains to the procedures employed and the second block to the emotions that the students experienced when playing the video game and when solving a mathematical problem. The results reveal that the recreational aspect of video games is more important than the educational aspect. However, the students were not aware of using the problem-solving procedures they learned at school to solve different challenges in the video games. Furthermore, overcoming video game challenges stimulates positive emotions as opposed to the negative emotions generated when solving mathematical problems. Full article
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Article
Problem Solving and Digital Transformation: Acquiring Skills through Pretend Play in Kindergarten
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12020092 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1515
Abstract
One of the crucial 21st-century digital skills, in the context of digital transformation, is problem solving—equally so in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In the context of kindergarten, learning through play is central; therefore, pretend play, and particularly guided [...] Read more.
One of the crucial 21st-century digital skills, in the context of digital transformation, is problem solving—equally so in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In the context of kindergarten, learning through play is central; therefore, pretend play, and particularly guided pretend play, is suggested as an innovative way to foster skills for digital problem solving. As yet, the potential of pretend play for children’s learning about digital transformation and digital problem-solving processes has hardly been researched. The paper examines how children solve digital problems in guided pretend play. In an explorative intervention study “We play the future”, an information technology center (IT center) is introduced as one of the play corners for pretend play in kindergartens, together with other inputs such as a smart home corner (Internet of Things) or autonomous vehicles. Children’s play was video recorded. From the 15 participating kindergartens, 13 h of sequences involving the IT center were analyzed using content analysis. The findings indicate that children identify problems in a play situation and solve them using problem-solving strategies, such as devising new applications and installing software. Furthermore, the findings show that the kindergarten teacher’s participation in the pretend play is important for enabling longer and more complex problem-solving processes. Consequences for further teacher training to foster problem-solving skills during guided pretend play are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM in Early Childhood Education)
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Article
Undergraduate Disabled Students as Knowledge Producers Including Researchers: Perspectives of Disabled Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12020077 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Knowledge influences policy development and policies impact disabled people. Scientific and technological advancements, including neuro-advancements and their governance, have social implications for disabled people. However, knowledge is missing on this topic. Although efforts are underway to increase the number of disabled academics, the [...] Read more.
Knowledge influences policy development and policies impact disabled people. Scientific and technological advancements, including neuro-advancements and their governance, have social implications for disabled people. However, knowledge is missing on this topic. Although efforts are underway to increase the number of disabled academics, the numbers remain low. Engaging undergraduate disabled students in knowledge production, especially research, could decrease the knowledge deficit and increase the pool of disabled students considering an academic career. We performed 10 semi-structured interviews of disabled students to understand the reality of undergraduate disabled students as knowledge producers, including researchers. Using a directed thematic content analysis, we found that participants felt that undergraduate disabled students were insufficiently exposed to and supported in the identity of being knowledge producers including researchers. Participants identified ethical, legal, and social implications of science and technology and argued that undergraduate disabled students and disabled people have a role to play in the discussions of these. Exposing disabled students at the undergraduate and high school level to knowledge production including researcher identity could increase the numbers of undergraduate disabled researchers, disabled academics, and disabled students doing research in the community after graduation and decrease the knowledge gaps around the social situation of disabled people. Full article
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Article
An Evidence-Based Study on Teaching Computer Aided Design in Higher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010029 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
The pandemic has had a major effect on engineering education, transforming both current and future teaching practice. The physical meetings between student and teacher have during the pandemic been replaced by online contact and recordings of lectures and demonstrations. In this paper, the [...] Read more.
The pandemic has had a major effect on engineering education, transforming both current and future teaching practice. The physical meetings between student and teacher have during the pandemic been replaced by online contact and recordings of lectures and demonstrations. In this paper, the focus is on computer aided design (CAD) teaching for first-year engineering students. CAD is a topic usually characterized by a close contact by student and teacher, with hands-on instruction at the computer using the CAD software. In the paper, the experiences and learnings from the rapid shift to on-line teaching in CAD are summarized and discussed, and learnings and takeaways for a redesign of future CAD teaching are discussed. Both the students’ learning and their mental wellbeing are evaluated. It is found that on a general level, the students were satisfied with the online teaching and rated it as better or equal to traditional teaching. However, there is still room for improvement, since some students found the situation stressful and pointed out the difficulty to ask questions online. The findings are based on a student survey, existing literature, and the authors own teaching practices during the pandemic. Full article
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Article
Critical Thinking and Effective Personality in the Framework of Education for Sustainable Development
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010028 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
According to UNESCO, critical thinking (CT) is a strategic skill for the 21st century, as it is associated with attitudes of personal and social change and improvement. Based on this, the objectives of this study were (1) to find out the possible relationships [...] Read more.
According to UNESCO, critical thinking (CT) is a strategic skill for the 21st century, as it is associated with attitudes of personal and social change and improvement. Based on this, the objectives of this study were (1) to find out the possible relationships between CT and effective personality (EP) and (2) to determine the extent to which EP predicts the development of CT in children and adolescents. The research approach was quantitative, correlational and predictive. The sample consisted of 562 Spanish students. The measurement instruments were: (1) the Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory and (2) the Efficacy Personality Questionnaire. The main findings showed that there is a positive relationship between EP and CT, with the traits “being enthusiastic”, “developing positive self-esteem” and “having self-confidence” correlating most strongly with CT. The regression analysis shows that EP influences the development of students’ CT. There were no significant differences according to sex, and Primary Education students obtained higher CT scores. It is concluded that the better the promotion of EP, the greater the CT development will be. This suggests the need to design educational programmes for the improvement of EP, especially in adolescents. Full article
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Article
Higher Education during the Pandemic: The Predictive Factors of Learning Effectiveness in COVID-19 Online Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080446 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5357
Abstract
The global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak forced a shift from face-to-face education to online learning in higher education settings around the world. From the outset, COVID-19 online learning (CoOL) has differed from conventional online learning due to the limited time that students, instructors, [...] Read more.
The global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak forced a shift from face-to-face education to online learning in higher education settings around the world. From the outset, COVID-19 online learning (CoOL) has differed from conventional online learning due to the limited time that students, instructors, and institutions had to adapt to the online learning platform. Such a rapid transition of learning modes may have affected learning effectiveness, which is yet to be investigated. Thus, identifying the predictive factors of learning effectiveness is crucial for the improvement of CoOL. In this study, we assess the significance of university support, student–student dialogue, instructor–student dialogue, and course design for learning effectiveness, measured by perceived learning outcomes, student initiative, and satisfaction. A total of 409 university students completed our survey. Our findings indicated that student–student dialogue and course design were predictive factors of perceived learning outcomes whereas instructor–student dialogue was a determinant of student initiative. University support had no significant relationship with either perceived learning outcomes or student initiative. In terms of learning effectiveness, both perceived learning outcomes and student initiative determined student satisfaction. The results identified that student–student dialogue, course design, and instructor–student dialogue were the key predictive factors of CoOL learning effectiveness, which may determine the ultimate success of CoOL. Full article
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Article
Higher Education Students’ Perceptions of Online Learning during COVID-19—A Comparative Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080403 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 6744
Abstract
The pandemic and subsequent ‘lockdowns’ dramatically changed the educational landscape of higher education institutions. Before-COVID-19, traditional universities had choices in pedagogical practice, which included a variety of teaching delivery modes. Overnight, a single mode of delivery became the only option for traditional higher [...] Read more.
The pandemic and subsequent ‘lockdowns’ dramatically changed the educational landscape of higher education institutions. Before-COVID-19, traditional universities had choices in pedagogical practice, which included a variety of teaching delivery modes. Overnight, a single mode of delivery became the only option for traditional higher education institutions. All services migrated to digital platforms, leading to a period of “emergency eLearning”. The full impact of this sudden shift to digital platforms on all cohorts of students is still unclear. A measure of disruption to the normal student learning experience, especially for those attending traditional universities, was inevitable. Moreover, this disruption was varied depending on the University’s country and the country’s lockdown logistics. This international, comparative, quantitative research project investigated and explored higher education students’ perceptions of emergency eLearning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiences of students at universities in three countries were evaluated in terms of four dimensions: (1) home learning environment, (2) engagement, (3) participation preference, and (4) impact on learning skills. The research revealed significant differences between the participating universities students’ experiences. The most important differences were in the ‘home learning environment’, followed by ‘engagement’ and the perception of ‘impact on learning skills’. The differences in the ‘home learning environment’ can be attributed to the differing economic and digital development of the surveyed countries: South Africa, Wales, and Hungary. Finally, different cultural backgrounds suggest a noticeable difference in student engagement, participation, and learning skills. Full article
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Article
Learning, Student Digital Capabilities and Academic Performance over the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070361 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 10678
Abstract
During the time of COVID-19 lockdown over spring 2020, universities shifted teaching from on-campus blended learning to an emergency remote fully online approach. The aim of this study was to compare Psychology and Veterinary Science undergraduate students’ academic performance with their responses on [...] Read more.
During the time of COVID-19 lockdown over spring 2020, universities shifted teaching from on-campus blended learning to an emergency remote fully online approach. The aim of this study was to compare Psychology and Veterinary Science undergraduate students’ academic performance with their responses on a self-reported questionnaire regarding their digital capabilities, individual’s characteristics, and the role of environment on their independent learning process over the first COVID-19 lockdown period. Social-Cognitive Theory was adopted to conceptualise students’ behaviour, individuals’ characteristics, and learning environment with their academic performance to a learning framework. A total of 303 students from both disciplines (133 Psychology and 170 Veterinary Science undergraduate students) participated in this study by completing an online questionnaire after following the teaching shift from blended learning to full remote online approach at a UK University during the 2019–2020 academic year. Differences between students’ responses were identified due to their discipline’s curricular structure, students’ study behaviours (i.e., being exposed to unrelated learning activities), and students’ cognitive effort to think critically in the search, evaluation and managing of digital information. Students with high level of self-regulation and digital capabilities were able to keep focused and engaged during the lockdown. Although universities and teachers were “forced” to shift their teaching approach due to the unfortunate disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, most students have coped with the changed teaching delivery mode relatively easy with minimum guidance. However, teachers should further consider how digital technologies could enhance students’ learning flexibility promoting critical thinking. Full article
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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
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2069
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
Using PLS-SEM Model to Explore the Influencing Factors of Learning Satisfaction in Blended Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050249 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
This research explores the influencing factors of learning satisfaction in blended learning. Three dimensions are proposed: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and learning motivation. It studied how these variables affect students’ learning satisfaction. The research hypotheses are: (1) Perceived ease of use [...] Read more.
This research explores the influencing factors of learning satisfaction in blended learning. Three dimensions are proposed: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and learning motivation. It studied how these variables affect students’ learning satisfaction. The research hypotheses are: (1) Perceived ease of use positively affects perceived usefulness; (2) Perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use will have a positive effect on learning motivation; (3) Learning motivation positively affects learning satisfaction; (4) Perceived usefulness has a positive intermediary effect on the relationship between perceived ease of use and learning motivation. Participants included 173 freshmen who took the first-year interactive game design course at Ling Tung University in Taichung, Taiwan. The questionnaire survey method is applied in this research to analyze the relationship between the variables and verify the hypothesis based on the collected 173 valid questionnaires. The partial least square method structural equation model (PLS-SEM) is used to carry out structural equation modeling to study the relationship between latent variables. It explains that the perceived ease of use affects the perceived usefulness. Perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use have a positive impact on learning motivation. Learning motivation has a positive impact on learning satisfaction. Perceived usefulness as an intermediary factor of perceived ease of use has an indirect impact on learning motivation. The contribution of this research is to provide empirical evidence and explain what factors may affect learning satisfaction. Some other related factors that may affect learning satisfaction should be taken as the factors that teachers should pay attention to when implementing blended learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparing Classroom and Online Learning)
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Teachers’ Beliefs about the Role of Digital Educational Resources in Educational Practice: A Qualitative Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050239 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Educational Resources have undergone a rapid evolution and have been swiftly introduced into educational contexts. Teachers play a key role in integrating these technological resources into the classroom. The objective of the present study was to determine [...] Read more.
Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Educational Resources have undergone a rapid evolution and have been swiftly introduced into educational contexts. Teachers play a key role in integrating these technological resources into the classroom. The objective of the present study was to determine the value that teachers attribute to digital resources in their educational practice. Based on a qualitative methodology, the necessary information was obtained via an open-ended interview, in which a Spanish school’s Early Childhood and Primary Education teachers participated. The results revealed that teachers value the integration of digital resources into the classroom, though no consensus was reached as to the suitable level of integration. Use satisfaction was mainly related to student motivation. Certain problems or limitations also came to light, however, linked to students’ digital training. An important conclusion according to the perception of teachers is that the integration of digital resources in their educational practice was significant and improved the quality of the educational process. Full article
Article
Exploring Feelings of Worry and Sources of Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic among Parents of Children with Disability: A Sample from Arab Countries
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050216 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
The study sought to explore feelings of worry and sources of stress-affected parents of children with disabilities, as well as describing the negative feelings and how resources helped them overcome stress due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Furthermore, we sought to assess [...] Read more.
The study sought to explore feelings of worry and sources of stress-affected parents of children with disabilities, as well as describing the negative feelings and how resources helped them overcome stress due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Furthermore, we sought to assess the level of general satisfaction with the services they have obtained remotely. Methodology: A sample of 623 parents of children with disabilities filled out an electronic self-report questionnaire during the period June 4th to June 20th, 2020. Results: The parents reported a high level of worry regarding the possibility of their child getting infected. Parents continue to worry about losing their child’s care and treatment. Parents who hold a bachelor’s degree feel the sources of stress at a higher level compared to parents with lower than high school education. A proportion of 59% of parents reported not receiving services from special education centers during the pandemic, and 41% of parents were satisfied with the services provided by the center of special education. Parents with a bachelor’s degree or higher were less satisfied with the center’s services. Parents with a higher qualification than secondary school use several sources to overcome the pressure associated with educating a child with a disability. Conclusion: Mental health fears were associated with pandemic restrictions. The study recommends special education centers implement strategies that support parents with special education children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Education Policy and Politics)
Article
Application of Virtual Reality in Computer Science Education: A Systemic Review Based on Bibliometric and Content Analysis Methods
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030142 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3234
Abstract
This study investigated the role of virtual reality (VR) in computer science (CS) education over the last 10 years by conducting a bibliometric and content analysis of articles related to the use of VR in CS education. A total of 971 articles published [...] Read more.
This study investigated the role of virtual reality (VR) in computer science (CS) education over the last 10 years by conducting a bibliometric and content analysis of articles related to the use of VR in CS education. A total of 971 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and conferences were collected from Web of Science and Scopus databases to conduct the bibliometric analysis. Furthermore, content analysis was conducted on 39 articles that met the inclusion criteria. This study demonstrates that VR research for CS education was faring well around 2011 but witnessed low production output between the years 2013 and 2016. However, scholars have increased their contribution in this field recently, starting from the year 2017. This study also revealed prolific scholars contributing to the field. It provides insightful information regarding research hotspots in VR that have emerged recently, which can be further explored to enhance CS education. In addition, the quantitative method remains the most preferred research method, while the questionnaire was the most used data collection technique. Moreover, descriptive analysis was primarily used in studies on VR in CS education. The study concludes that even though scholars are leveraging VR to advance CS education, more effort needs to be made by stakeholders across countries and institutions. In addition, a more rigorous methodological approach needs to be employed in future studies to provide more evidence-based research output. Our future study would investigate the pedagogy, content, and context of studies on VR in CS education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Game-Based Learning)
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Incidence of Gender in the Digital Competence of Higher Education Teachers in Research Work: Analysis with Descriptive and Comparative Methods
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030098 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1321
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to analyse and compare the level of digital competence of higher education teaching staff in research work through the use of ICT resources. For this purpose, an ex post facto design was employed together with an instrument [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to analyse and compare the level of digital competence of higher education teaching staff in research work through the use of ICT resources. For this purpose, an ex post facto design was employed together with an instrument composed of 30 items classified into seven dimensions: digital skills, digital ethics, digital flow, anxiety towards ICT, quality of ICT resources, intention to use ICT, and ICT integration. The sample consisted of a total of 1704 higher education teachers from all over Spain. The results showed that, overall, there were no significant differences in the level of digital competence of teaching staff between the two genders. However, significant differences were found in the following dimensions: digital skills, digital ethics, ICT anxiety, quality of ICT resources, and intention to use ICT. These findings highlight the urgent need for university institutions to propose training plans to improve the digital competences of their teaching and research staff in those dimensions that have been found to be deficient. Full article
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Challenges and Experiences of Online Evaluation in Courses of Civil Engineering during the Lockdown Learning Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020059 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 7520
Abstract
As a consequence of the global health emergency in early 2020, universities had to tackle a sudden shift in their teaching–learning strategies so that the preset competences could be fulfilled. This study presents the learning outcomes of the implemented tasks, student experiences, and [...] Read more.
As a consequence of the global health emergency in early 2020, universities had to tackle a sudden shift in their teaching–learning strategies so that the preset competences could be fulfilled. This study presents the learning outcomes of the implemented tasks, student experiences, and feedback, as well as some reflections from the instructors with a holistic perspective of the courses due to the adopted measures and adaptations. Six courses taught at civil engineering degrees of three universities, two from Spain and one from Peru, were analyzed. The teaching and evaluation strategies are described, and some reflections are made by comparing the student’s performance with the previous course. Though the shift to online learning had to be made from day to day, with no time for preparation, the experience has proved that online learning can be beneficial in some aspects and has probably come to stay, although some other aspects are difficult to replace with respect to face-to-face learning, especially students’ engagement and motivation. The significance of this study relies on a description of the challenges that arose due to the global public health and an assessment of the results of the implemented strategies to account for both teaching and evaluation in modules of civil engineering. After the acquired experience, new questions have arisen, e.g., what type of content is (and what is not) adequate or suitable for online exams? What features have come to stay? Has higher education taken a step forward to tomorrow’s education? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
Teaching Sentiment in Emergency Online Learning—A Conceptual Model
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020053 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions with a face-to-face model have found themselves in the contingency of migrating to online learning. This study explores the perspective of all the lecturers at a Portuguese private higher education institution who were invited to [...] Read more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions with a face-to-face model have found themselves in the contingency of migrating to online learning. This study explores the perspective of all the lecturers at a Portuguese private higher education institution who were invited to participate, regardless of their research area, in this questionnaire. It aims to propose and test a conceptual model that combines attitudes, preferred activities, and technological experience with the sentiment about the impact of this experience on students’ learning process, on their teaching activity, and on the strategy of higher education institutions. An online questionnaire was conducted to 65 lecturers engaging in emergency online lecturing. The obtained results showed that lecturers reveal a positive attitude towards online lecturing, tend to prefer activities in which they feel most comfortable in face-to-face lecturing, and consider having technological experience useful for online activities. Lecturers have a positive sentiment about the impact of online learning on students’ learning, their faculty career, and the strategy of higher education institutions. The proposed conceptual model test shows that the model has well-fitting conditions. The results confirm the hypotheses formulated: namely, the predictive effect of attitude, preferred activities, and technological experience on sentiment. Faculty engagement in emergency online lecturing shows that the members are available to participate in the changing process, and the proposed conceptual model can be used to assess this readiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Emergency Online Learning in Low-Resource Settings: Effective Student Engagement Strategies
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11010024 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 7431
Abstract
We aim to identify the engagement strategies that higher education students, engaging in emergency online learning in low-resource settings, perceive to be effective. We conducted a sequential mixed-methods study based on Moore’s interaction framework for distance education. We administered a questionnaire to 313 [...] Read more.
We aim to identify the engagement strategies that higher education students, engaging in emergency online learning in low-resource settings, perceive to be effective. We conducted a sequential mixed-methods study based on Moore’s interaction framework for distance education. We administered a questionnaire to 313 students engaging in emergency online learning in low-resource settings to examine their perceptions of different engagement strategies. Our results showed that student–content engagement strategies, e.g., screen sharing, summaries, and class recordings, are perceived as the most effective, closely followed by student–teacher strategies, e.g., Q and A sessions and reminders. Student–student strategies, e.g., group chat and collaborative work, are perceived as the least effective. The perceived effectiveness of engagement strategies varies based on the students’ gender and technology access. To support instructors, instructional designers, and researchers, we propose a 10-level guide for engaging students during emergency online classes in low-resource settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
The Continuous Intention to Use E-Learning, from Two Different Perspectives
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11010006 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3976
Abstract
During the recent vast growth of digitalization, e-learning methods have become the most influential phenomenon at higher educational institutions. E-learning adoption has proved able to shift educational circumstances from the traditional face-to-face teaching environment to a flexible and sharable type of education. An [...] Read more.
During the recent vast growth of digitalization, e-learning methods have become the most influential phenomenon at higher educational institutions. E-learning adoption has proved able to shift educational circumstances from the traditional face-to-face teaching environment to a flexible and sharable type of education. An online survey was conducted, consisting of 30 teachers and 342 students in one of the universities in the United Arab Emirates. The results show that teachers’ and students’ perceived technology self-efficacy (TSE), ease of use (PEOU), and usefulness (PU) are the main factors directly affecting the continuous intention to use technology. Instructors’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) and perceived organizational support (POS) positively affect the intention to use the technology, whereas students’ controlled motivation (CTRLM) has a greater influence on their intention to use the technology, due to the type of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that they have and which they can develop throughout the process of learning. The findings support the given hypotheses. In addition, they provide empirical evidence of a relationship between perceived organizational support and perceived pedagogical content knowledge. In fact, they are considered the key factors that support the use of technology continuously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
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Article
Fostering Critical Reflection in Primary Education through STEAM Approaches
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120384 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2691
Abstract
This paper describes a quantitative study that explores teaching practices in primary education to sustain the hypothesis that students’ critical thinking may be activated through individual and group reflection. The study examines the quality of the reflections from primary school students during group [...] Read more.
This paper describes a quantitative study that explores teaching practices in primary education to sustain the hypothesis that students’ critical thinking may be activated through individual and group reflection. The study examines the quality of the reflections from primary school students during group processing when participating in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) instructional approaches. The project’s core methodology lies in scientific (physics) and artistic (dance) instructional activities which were executed in a continuous reflective and cooperative learning environment. The educational approach was refined by analyzing the reflective discussions from focus groups where descriptive, argumentative, reflective and critical reflective knowledge about acquired knowledge, competences, beliefs, attitudes and emotions were considered. While the educational intervention proved that 1st-year (K-7) students essentially reflected at the level of description, 3rd-year (K-9) and 5th-year (K-11) students, however, attained higher levels of individual critical reflection development than initially anticipated. The STEAM approaches were found to produce significant use and understanding of both science and artistic concepts and to increase a sense of competence readiness and a perception of modes of cooperation such as individual responsibility and promotive interaction. Full article
Article
Distance Learning Perceptions from Higher Education Students—The Case of Portugal
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120374 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3351
Abstract
This research study examines the attitudes of Portuguese higher education students regarding compulsory digital and distance learning university courses during the second semester of the academic year 2019–2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The methodology was quantitative, being the undergraduate and postgraduate students surveyed [...] Read more.
This research study examines the attitudes of Portuguese higher education students regarding compulsory digital and distance learning university courses during the second semester of the academic year 2019–2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The methodology was quantitative, being the undergraduate and postgraduate students surveyed to find their perceptions about distance and online education in Portugal. The findings of the study highlighted the relationship between distance and online learning. The key concern of the respondents is related to the formal and contextual dimensions of the online class regime. The values examined, taken as a whole, allow us to conclude that with this teaching regime, in terms of awareness, there is acceptance and benefit. The sense of ambiguity in which this transformation took place, as well as the climate surrounding this phase, are worth noting. The teaching and evaluation methodologies used have been embraced and show a very wide range of choices on the part of the teaching teams and the students’ various interests, just as in the teaching regime of the classroom. The fact that students feel the need for face-to-face classes, however, is of great importance for practical and laboratory classes. This reality, which is a challenge to face in the future, is hard to overcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
Article
Challenges and Opportunities for Russian Higher Education amid COVID-19: Teachers’ Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120368 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 85 | Viewed by 9354
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously affected higher education systems in Russia and all over the world, forcing to transform curriculum into an online format, which is a challenge for all the educational process participants. The current study discusses the implementation of online learning [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously affected higher education systems in Russia and all over the world, forcing to transform curriculum into an online format, which is a challenge for all the educational process participants. The current study discusses the implementation of online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Russian higher education context and investigates the challenges experienced by university teachers during this period to define their readiness for online education. To address the above-mentioned issues, a study was conducted in Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. A variety of methods of scientific and pedagogical research were used including systematic structural analysis, synthesis, work with research papers, the generalization of experience and experimental work, observation, surveys, etc., with 87 university teachers asked to respond to several sets of questions describing their online teaching experience after the launch of online education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis of the participants’ answers helped to identify the following main challenges experienced by university teachers: computer literacy level, the university electronic environment and support, academic staff readiness and students’ readiness for online learning, the last two being the most important hindering the implementation of the efficient online education process. It was also underlined by most respondents that methodological work of a teacher in a digital educational environment differs from conventional teaching methods. Thus, psychological, technological, methodological support and teachers’ professional development programs are of vital importance to minimize the negative impact of the rapid changes of the educational process and to ensure efficient online education. Full article
Article
University Students’ Readiness for Using Digital Media and Online Learning—Comparison between Germany and the USA
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110313 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3825
Abstract
The year 2020 brought many changes to our everyday life but also our education system. Universities needed to change their teaching practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Words like “digital media”, “online teaching” and “online learning” were present in all of the discussions. [...] Read more.
The year 2020 brought many changes to our everyday life but also our education system. Universities needed to change their teaching practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Words like “digital media”, “online teaching” and “online learning” were present in all of the discussions. The main issues here were the technical infrastructure of students and universities all over the world. However, to have good technical infrastructure does not mean that everybody is also ready to use it. Thus, the present study focused on the issue of university students’ readiness for online learning. The quantitative research goal was to evaluate German university students’ readiness for using digital media and online learning in their tertiary education and compare them with students from the United States. Overall, 72 students from the researchers’ university in Germany and 176 students from multiple universities in the United States completed the Student Readiness of Online Learning (SROL) questionnaire. Results show substantial differences between the two groups of students, with U.S. students being more ready for online learning. The results and limitations were discussed, and practical implications and further ideas were provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Compassionate Flexibility and Self-Discipline: Student Adaptation to Emergency Remote Teaching in an Integrated Engineering Energy Course during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110304 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 92 | Viewed by 9269
Abstract
The global pandemic of COVID-19 brought about the transition to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) at higher education institutions across the United States, prompting both students and the faculty to rapidly adjust to a different modality of teaching and learning. Other crises have induced [...] Read more.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 brought about the transition to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) at higher education institutions across the United States, prompting both students and the faculty to rapidly adjust to a different modality of teaching and learning. Other crises have induced disruptions to academic continuity (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes), but not to the same extent as COVID-19, which has affected universities on a global scale. In this paper, we describe a qualitative case study where we interviewed 11 second-year Integrated Engineering students during the Spring 2020 semester to explore how they adapted to the transition to remote learning. Our results revealed several student challenges, how they used self-discipline strategies to overcome them, and how the faculty supported students in the classroom through a compassionate and flexible pedagogy. Faculty members showed compassion and flexibility by adjusting the curriculum and assessment and effectively communicating with students. This was especially important for the women participants in this study, who more frequently expressed utilizing pass/fail grading and the personal and gendered challenges they faced due to the pandemic. During this unprecedented crisis, we found that a key element for supporting students’ well-being and success is the faculty members communicating care and incorporating flexibility into their courses. Full article
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Article
Online Delivery and Assessment during COVID-19: Safeguarding Academic Integrity
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110301 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 7906
Abstract
Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily despite strict measures being adopted by many countries. Consequently, universities closed down to minimise the face-to-face contacts, and the majority of the universities are now conducting degree programmes through online delivery. Remote online [...] Read more.
Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily despite strict measures being adopted by many countries. Consequently, universities closed down to minimise the face-to-face contacts, and the majority of the universities are now conducting degree programmes through online delivery. Remote online delivery and assessment are novel experiences for many universities, which presents many challenges, particularly when safeguarding academic integrity. For example, invigilated assessments, often considered as more secure, are not an option given the current situation and detecting any cheating would be significantly challenging. This paper reviews assessment security in the digital domain and critically evaluates the practices from different universities in safeguarding academic integrity, including associated challenges. Full article
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Article
Digital Escape Room, Using Genial.Ly and A Breakout to Learn Algebra at Secondary Education Level in Spain
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10100271 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3678
Abstract
One of the main objectives in mathematics education is to motivate students due to the fact that their interest in this area is often very low. The use of different technologies, as well as gamification in the classroom, can help us to meet [...] Read more.
One of the main objectives in mathematics education is to motivate students due to the fact that their interest in this area is often very low. The use of different technologies, as well as gamification in the classroom, can help us to meet this goal. In this case, it is presented the use of two techniques, which are a digital escape room, using Genial.ly and a breakout, for learning algebra in the third course of secondary education. To carry out the experience, a comparison of the course 2018/2019 and the course 2019/2020 is made. Students of both courses completed an exam of algebraic fractions and then an equations exam; the exams were done in the course 2019/2020 taken after having used the techniques. The results show that there are low significant differences between both courses in the algebraic fractions exam qualifications, but those of the equations exam were significant, with a difference of almost two points, which led us to conclude that the use of this techniques improved the qualifications of students. Finally, the perception that students had of the experience was very positive, as shown by the data obtained and allowed them to improve their knowledge as well as their motivation and teamwork. Full article
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Article
Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG): What Is Wrong with ESDGs, and What Can We Do Better?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10100261 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3222
Abstract
This article will discuss social, environmental, and ecological justice in education for sustainable development (ESD) and Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG). The concept of sustainable development and, by extension, the ESD, places heavy emphasis on the economic and social aspects of sustainability. [...] Read more.
This article will discuss social, environmental, and ecological justice in education for sustainable development (ESD) and Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG). The concept of sustainable development and, by extension, the ESD, places heavy emphasis on the economic and social aspects of sustainability. However, the ESD falls short of recognizing ecological justice, or recognition that nonhumans also have a right to exist and flourish. An intervention in the form of an undergraduate course titled Politics, Business, and Environment (PBE) will be discussed. As part of this course, students were asked to reflect on the three pillars of sustainable development: society, economy, and environment, linking these to the fourth concept, ecological justice or biospheric egalitarianism. Biospheric egalitarianism is characterized by the recognition of intrinsic value in the environment and is defined as concern about justice for the environment. Some of the resulting exam answers are analyzed, demonstrating students’ ability to recognize the moral and pragmatic limitations of the anthropocentric approach to justice. This analysis presents ways forward in thinking about the role of “ecological justice” as the ultimate bottom line upon which both society and economy are based. Full article
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Article
Inclusion and Special Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090238 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 10481
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to trace the historical trajectory of special education and how societal perspectives influenced the special education movement. It aims to answer if special education and inclusion have achieved their goals for all individuals, especially those with disabilities. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to trace the historical trajectory of special education and how societal perspectives influenced the special education movement. It aims to answer if special education and inclusion have achieved their goals for all individuals, especially those with disabilities. A review of historical trends, special education laws, and key constructs showed that there were both positives and negatives aspects. It also revealed that the absence of a clear definition, standards, and objectives for inclusion and least restrictive environment is just one of the roots of the problem. Moreover, the lack of empirical studies on the effectiveness of inclusion and the lack of knowledge and awareness of the provisions of special education laws by stakeholders contribute to the issues surrounding inclusion implementation. Recommendations include that all stakeholders should have historical awareness and discriminative ability, in-depth comprehension of special education laws, and adapting the same definition, standards and clear objectives in implementing inclusion programs. Full article
Article
COVID-19 Outbreak: Insights about Teaching Tasks in a Chemical Engineering Laboratory
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090226 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2741
Abstract
Apart from the evident tragedy that the COVID-19 outbreak has meant regarding both personal and economic costs, the normal functioning of the academic year has been drastically altered at all educational levels. Regarding Spain, the state of alert implemented by the government from [...] Read more.
Apart from the evident tragedy that the COVID-19 outbreak has meant regarding both personal and economic costs, the normal functioning of the academic year has been drastically altered at all educational levels. Regarding Spain, the state of alert implemented by the government from mid-March to June has affected traditional face-to-face sessions at universities, as they were forbidden and replaced by online lessons. The aim of this work was to explain our own experience during the COVID-19 outbreak in a chemical engineering laboratory at the University of Extremadura, concerning the university teaching and the final degree project follow-up, whose method of teaching was active and participatory, based on constructivism and focused on the student as the center of the learning process. Thus, the confinement affected both the teachers and students differently, depending on the degree of completion of their main tasks and their previous skills with computing and virtual tools, among other factors. The existence of an operating virtual campus and an online library has made the transition to total e-learning and telework easier for teachers and students. Full article
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From Theory to Practice of Promoting Student Engagement in Business and Law-Related Disciplines: The Case of Undergraduate Economics Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10080205 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Higher education is experiencing a paradigm shift from passive learning towards active learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has further presented an opportunity for education providers to enhance teaching that includes non-campus modes. However, concerns regarding student engagement lie at the heart of the transition [...] Read more.
Higher education is experiencing a paradigm shift from passive learning towards active learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has further presented an opportunity for education providers to enhance teaching that includes non-campus modes. However, concerns regarding student engagement lie at the heart of the transition to active learning environments in the context of the increased demand for online education. Therefore, promoting student engagement has become an educational priority since greater student engagement translates into valued student experiences, higher academic performance, and increased retention rates. This paper semi-systematically reviews the literature on student engagement in undergraduate economics education. Close emphasis is also paid to the relationships between the direct measures of disengagement such as absenteeism on student performance in economics. The student engagement framework developed by Frederiks, Blumenfeld, and Paris (2004) is used to classify the dimensions of student engagement and the factors that influence the different dimensions of engagement. The literature reviewed is predominately occupied with behavioral aspects of engagement with little attention towards capturing the cognitive and emotional aspects of student engagement. Three key recommendations are noted from the study in order for business school educators and higher education policy makers to promote student engagement in economics education. Future research on student engagement in undergraduate business education should focus more on capturing the cognitive and emotional aspects of student engagement to inform policymaking in promoting student engagement. Full article
Article
COVID-19 and the Digital Transformation of Education: What Are We Learning on 4IR in South Africa?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10070180 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 102 | Viewed by 24156
Abstract
The study sought to assess the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in motivating digital transformation in the education sector in South Africa. The study was premised on the fact that learning in South Africa and the rest of the world came to a [...] Read more.
The study sought to assess the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in motivating digital transformation in the education sector in South Africa. The study was premised on the fact that learning in South Africa and the rest of the world came to a standstill due to the lockdown necessitated by COVID-19. To assess the impact, the study tracked the rate at which the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) tools were used by various institutions during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data were obtained from secondary sources. The findings are that, in South Africa, during the lockdown, a variety of 4IR tools were unleashed from primary education to higher and tertiary education where educational activities switched to remote (online) learning. These observations reflect that South Africa generally has some pockets of excellence to drive the education sector into the 4IR, which has the potential to increase access. Access to education, particularly at a higher education level, has always been a challenge due to a limited number of spaces available. Much as this pandemic has brought with it massive human suffering across the globe, it has presented an opportunity to assess successes and failures of deployed technologies, costs associated with them, and scaling these technologies to improve access. Full article
Article
COVID-19 School Closure-Related Changes to the Professional Life of a K–12 Teacher
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060165 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 111 | Viewed by 21653
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced K–12 school closures in spring 2020 to protect the well-being of society. The unplanned and unprecedented disruption to education changed the work of many teachers suddenly, and in many aspects. This case study examines the COVID-19 school closure-related changes [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced K–12 school closures in spring 2020 to protect the well-being of society. The unplanned and unprecedented disruption to education changed the work of many teachers suddenly, and in many aspects. This case study examines the COVID-19 school closure-related changes to the professional life of a secondary school teacher in rural Alaska (United States), who had to teach his students online. A descriptive and explanatory single case study methodology was used to describe subsequent impacts on instructional practices and workload. Qualitative and quantitative data sources include participant observations, semi-structured interviews, artifacts (e.g., lesson plans, schedules, online time), and open-ended conversations. The results of this study demonstrate an increase and change in workload for the teacher and that online education can support learning for many students but needs to be carefully designed and individualized to not deepen inequality and social divides. The forced move to online learning may have been the catalyst to create a new, more effective hybrid model of educating students in the future. Not one single model for online learning will provide equitable educational opportunities for all and virtual learning cannot be seen as a cheap fix for the ongoing financial crisis in funding education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Article
Children’s Augmented Storying in, with and for Nature
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060149 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was [...] Read more.
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was utilized as a digital storytelling tool for children (n = 62, aged 7–9), allowing them to explore, interact, and imagine in nature and to create/share their stories. The data corpus consists of their narrations of their augmented stories in nature, their augmented story artefacts, and video/observational data from their construction of such stories in nature. Narrative analysis reveals how the children’s augmented storying in nature was performed through playful, affective, and sensuous, identity, cultural, and critical literacies, which were imaginatively constructed into being at the nexus of their sensed reality and fantasy. These literacies make visible human–material–spatial–temporal assemblages during which the children played with/through the augmented character Julle, felt and sensed with/through Julle, and re-storied their experiences, cultural knowledge, and identities with/through Julle. They also engaged in critical thinking with/through Julle. The study contributes to knowledge on the meaning of materiality in children’s storying in, with, and for nature and the educational possibilities of augmented storying for children’s (eco)literacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Article
A Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive, Affective, and Interpersonal Outcomes of Flipped Classrooms in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040115 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3018
Abstract
This paper aims to quantify the effects of flipped classrooms in higher education by reviewing 43 empirical studies of students’ cognitive, affective, and interpersonal outcomes. The innovative pedagogy of a flipped classroom in higher education fosters a sustainable, interactive, and student-centered learning environment [...] Read more.
This paper aims to quantify the effects of flipped classrooms in higher education by reviewing 43 empirical studies of students’ cognitive, affective, and interpersonal outcomes. The innovative pedagogy of a flipped classroom in higher education fosters a sustainable, interactive, and student-centered learning environment (as opposed to the traditional lecture style, in which there is little room for interaction). This study’s results show the positive effects of flipped classrooms and highlight the improvement in students’ educational outcomes between 2012 and 2017. Overall, effect sizes were medium—effect size (ES) = 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.24 to 0.47—across three outcome domains using a random effects model. In the outcomes, affective (ES = 0.59), interpersonal (ES = 0.53), and cognitive (ES = 0.24) domains were of a higher order than the effect sizes. However, the results indicated that flipped classrooms benefitted students studying chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics less than they did students studying other subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Uncovering Types of Knowledge in Concept Maps
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020131 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 6112
Abstract
Concept maps have been shown to have a positive impact on the quality of student learning in a variety of disciplinary contexts and educational levels from primary school to university by helping students to connect ideas and develop a productive knowledge structure to [...] Read more.
Concept maps have been shown to have a positive impact on the quality of student learning in a variety of disciplinary contexts and educational levels from primary school to university by helping students to connect ideas and develop a productive knowledge structure to support future learning. However, the evaluation of concept maps has always been a contentious issue. Some authors focus on the quantitative assessment of maps, while others prefer a more descriptive determination of map quality. To our knowledge, no previous consideration of concept maps has evaluated the different types of knowledge (e.g., procedural and conceptual) embedded within a concept map, or the ways in which they may interact. In this paper we consider maps using the lens provided by the Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) to analyze concept maps in terms of semantic gravity and semantic density. Weaving between these qualitatively, different knowledges are considered necessary to achieve professional knowledge or expert understanding. Exemplar maps are used as illustrations of the way in which students may navigate their learning towards expertise and how this is manifested in their concept maps. Implications for curriculum design and teaching evaluation are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concept Mapping and Education)
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Developing and Piloting a Pedagogy for Teaching Innovation, Collaboration, and Co-Creation in Secondary Education Based on Design Thinking, Digital Transformation, and Entrepreneurship
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020113 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5969
Abstract
In Secondary Education, students need innovative skills and competences that the current education system does not sufficiently offer. Also, educators need pedagogical support to develop teaching to respond to 21st century skills requirements. In order to achieve these goals, an experimental culture of [...] Read more.
In Secondary Education, students need innovative skills and competences that the current education system does not sufficiently offer. Also, educators need pedagogical support to develop teaching to respond to 21st century skills requirements. In order to achieve these goals, an experimental culture of learning needs to be implemented in practice. The aim of this paper is to introduce and pilot a pedagogy for teaching innovation, collaboration, and co-creation in secondary education. The proposed pedagogy is based on a designerly way of thinking, digital competences, and entrepreneurial spirit, together with an experimental culture of creating, making, and collaborating in order to improve students’ innovative, co-creative and collaborative way of thinking and making. The main finding is that the proposed pedagogy enhanced innovative, collaborative and co-creative student competences. Moreover, digital and entrepreneurial skills gave the ability to the students to create new valuable products and services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Methods in Teaching in Secondary Education)
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Article
Educational Robotics in the Stage of Secondary Education: Empirical Study on Motivation and STEM Skills
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020073 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 4569
Abstract
Educational robotics (ER) is increasingly present in secondary education classrooms and has acquired greater projection, especially with the appearance of championships, such as FIRST® LEGO® League. These competitions are based on a globalizing focus of the different areas of the curriculum, [...] Read more.
Educational robotics (ER) is increasingly present in secondary education classrooms and has acquired greater projection, especially with the appearance of championships, such as FIRST® LEGO® League. These competitions are based on a globalizing focus of the different areas of the curriculum, therefore, we consider that it directly links with the achievement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) skills. We present a research study that provides objective data based on the opinions of teachers and students that participated in this championship during the course 2017/2018 about its impact in the learning process. To this end, Spanish students and teachers answered questionnaires to collect their perceptions and assessments just after their participation. The results obtained allow us to conclude that both teachers and students believe this project promotes interest and scientific curiosity, as well as social skills through teamwork. Full article
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Article
Student Assessment of the Use of Kahoot in the Learning Process of Science and Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010055 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7414
Abstract
One of the main objectives in education is to increase the motivation of the students to achieve meaningful learning. The use of technologies in classrooms which students are familiarized with such as the smartphone or the tablet, is a way to achieve this [...] Read more.
One of the main objectives in education is to increase the motivation of the students to achieve meaningful learning. The use of technologies in classrooms which students are familiarized with such as the smartphone or the tablet, is a way to achieve this goal. On the other hand, it has been proven that the inclusion of scenarios supported by games and competition enhance the active participation of students. Therefore, in this work we present the results of a study based on of the application Kahoot with students of secondary education, in the subjects of mathematics, biology & geology and physics & chemistry, during the academic year 2017/2018. This tool allows students to answer to on-line questionnaires created by the teacher, through mobile devices, and check their results in a few seconds as well as those of their classmates. The results obtained on the assessment of the tool by students, in terms of the benefits in the learning process, have been very positive and help us to examine the potential of the use of on-line questionnaires in the classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in STEM Education)
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Article
Project Management Competences by Teaching and Research Staff for the Sustained Success of Engineering Education
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010044 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3145
Abstract
Projects have become an essential instrument for the success of universities. In a context of globalization and increasing complexity, they must sharpen their resourcefulness to face these challenges and adapt to this changing environment. To reach these objectives, they undertake a series of [...] Read more.
Projects have become an essential instrument for the success of universities. In a context of globalization and increasing complexity, they must sharpen their resourcefulness to face these challenges and adapt to this changing environment. To reach these objectives, they undertake a series of activities of a unique, concrete and temporary nature, not always technical but managerial ones. If universities work with people on projects in the production, transmission and dissemination of knowledge, then they link with society to solve its problems. For this reason, teaching and research staff (TRS) should promote a range of professional project management (PM) competences in different areas for the proper management of the projects in which they take part. Through a Delphi technique, a panel of twenty-four accredited teaching experts who are carrying out significant research and holding directive roles, measured the importance of acquiring and/or improving professional PM competences by their TRS. Consensus and stability reached after two rounds of consultation confirmed there are a series of crucial competences for the practice of relevant teaching and pioneer research. Results obtained are the basis for a gap plan that allows the TRS to participate in and/or lead university projects with greater self-confidence and personal motivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering Education and Technological / Professional Learning)
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Article
Visualizing the Greenhouse Effect: Restructuring Mental Models of Climate Change Through a Guided Online Simulation
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010014 - 13 Jan 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4278
Abstract
The purpose of this design based research study was to better understand and build from students’ perceptual experiences of visual representations of the greenhouse effect. Twenty undergraduate students were interviewed as they engaged with an online visualization for the learning of the greenhouse [...] Read more.
The purpose of this design based research study was to better understand and build from students’ perceptual experiences of visual representations of the greenhouse effect. Twenty undergraduate students were interviewed as they engaged with an online visualization for the learning of the greenhouse effect. We found that, even though all students agreed that climate change is happening, a majority initially held a misconception about how it works. Upon engaging with the visualization, students made perceptual inferences and formulated causal rules that culminated in an improved description of how climate change works. This trajectory was supported with prompts from the interviewer to make predictions, observe specific interactions in the visualization and revise their causal inferences based on these observations. A case study is presented to illustrate a typical learning trajectory. Full article
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Article
Education in Sustainable Development Goals Using the Spatial Data Infrastructures and the TPACK Model
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040171 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2956
Abstract
Education in Sustainable Development Goals is a basic step in attaining its objectives, and, therefore, it has been undertaken by broad sectors of the teaching community. Nevertheless, the “sustainability curriculum” derived from the Sustainable Development Goals, in this case based on the data [...] Read more.
Education in Sustainable Development Goals is a basic step in attaining its objectives, and, therefore, it has been undertaken by broad sectors of the teaching community. Nevertheless, the “sustainability curriculum” derived from the Sustainable Development Goals, in this case based on the data of the Spatial Data Infrastructures, in spite of its teaching and research potential, is something with which the teaching body is not yet familiar. The results of the fieldwork carried out (questionnaires and Delphi technique) prove this to be the case. For this reason, in order to educate geographically in reflection and collaboration with the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals, the viewing, in a GIS on the Cloud (WebGIS) of indicators of interest is proposed for the Sustainable Development Goals taken from the Spatial Data Infrastructures within the framework of the TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) model. To facilitate all these learning objectives, a proposal for good practices in the classrooms of secondary schools and another proposal for university lectures have been designed, and the results applied and analyzed. These examples demonstrate empirically that, with adequate pedagogical tools, an education in geography for global understanding by integrating Sustainable Development Goals and Spatial Data Infrastructures can be achieved, which is what the TPACK model pursues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 1)
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Article
The Study of Flipped-Classroom for Pre-Service Science Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040163 - 02 Oct 2018
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 3338
Abstract
The relatively new methodology, flipped-classroom, is one of blended learning instruction methodologies in which the traditional-classroom is inverted. This methodology asserts that students can participate and engage more successfully in their class and can attain better learning when their classroom is flipped. This [...] Read more.
The relatively new methodology, flipped-classroom, is one of blended learning instruction methodologies in which the traditional-classroom is inverted. This methodology asserts that students can participate and engage more successfully in their class and can attain better learning when their classroom is flipped. This work presents a two-year study to measure the effects of the flipped-classroom model on the performance, perceptions, and emotions for teacher training students in science education. Particularly, this research was carried out during two courses, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016, in a general science subject. With a post-task questionnaire, we obtained the information to assess their performance, perceptions, and emotions, toward the class. The results confirmed that a statistically significant difference was found on all assessments with the flipped-classroom students, performing higher on average, showing favorable perceptions, and demonstrating positive emotions about the flipped-classroom model. Thus, the students were ready to take more courses pursuing a flipped-classroom model. The results achieved in this study show a promising inclination about the performance, perceptions, and emotions of students toward the flipped-classroom methodology, and will provide an entirely a new impetus for this relatively new instruction methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Flipped Classroom in Higher Education: Research and Practice)
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Article
Critical Theoretical Frameworks in Engineering Education: An Anti-Deficit and Liberative Approach
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040158 - 22 Sep 2018
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 4869
Abstract
The field of engineering education has adapted different theoretical frameworks from a wide range of disciplines to explore issues of education, diversity, and inclusion among others. The number of theoretical frameworks that explore these issues using a critical perspective has been increasing in [...] Read more.
The field of engineering education has adapted different theoretical frameworks from a wide range of disciplines to explore issues of education, diversity, and inclusion among others. The number of theoretical frameworks that explore these issues using a critical perspective has been increasing in the past few years. In this review of the literature, we present an analysis that draws from Freire’s principles of critical andragogy and pedagogy. Using a set of inclusion criteria, we selected 33 research articles that used critical theoretical frameworks as part of our systematic review of the literature. We argue that critical theoretical frameworks are necessary to develop anti-deficit approaches to engineering education research. We show how engineering education research could frame questions and guide research designs using critical theoretical frameworks for the purpose of liberation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Excellence in Engineering Education)
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Article
A Virtual Resource for Enhancing the Spatial Comprehension of Crystal Lattices
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040153 - 21 Sep 2018
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5542
Abstract
Students commonly exhibit serious spatial comprehension difficulties when they come to learning crystal systems. To solve this problem, an active methodology based on the use of a Didactic Virtual Tool (DVT)—developed by the authors—is presented in this paper. The students’ opinion was obtained [...] Read more.
Students commonly exhibit serious spatial comprehension difficulties when they come to learning crystal systems. To solve this problem, an active methodology based on the use of a Didactic Virtual Tool (DVT)—developed by the authors—is presented in this paper. The students’ opinion was obtained from a survey carried out on 40 mechanical engineering students. The analysis of the obtained results reveals that, by using this DVT, students achieve a better understanding of the contents where spatial difficulties often arise during conventional teaching. Several DVT features were highly valued by the students, e.g., didactic use was rated 9.5 out of 10 and the methodology using the DVT in the classroom was rated 8.5 out of 10. In addition, the results revealed two factors that the students considered essential for using a DVT, both related to the tool design: (i) the modern aspect, i.e., it is necessary to keep a DVT updated to avoid obsolescence; and (ii) the DVT must be appealing in order to attract the students’ attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Excellence in Engineering Education)
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Article
Development, Uptake, and Wider Applicability of the Yo-yo Strategy in Biology Education Research: A Reappraisal
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8030129 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3034
Abstract
Heredity is a biological phenomenon that manifests itself on different levels of biological organization. The yo-yo learning and teaching strategy, which draws on the hierarchy of life, has been developed to tackle the macro-micro problem and to foster coherent understanding of genetic phenomena. [...] Read more.
Heredity is a biological phenomenon that manifests itself on different levels of biological organization. The yo-yo learning and teaching strategy, which draws on the hierarchy of life, has been developed to tackle the macro-micro problem and to foster coherent understanding of genetic phenomena. Its wider applicability was suggested and since then yo-yo learning seems to be noticed in the biology education research community. The aim of this paper is to reappraise yo-yo thinking in biology education research based on its uptake and any well-considered adaptations by other researchers in the past fifteen years. Based on a literature search we identified research that explicitly and substantially build on the characteristics of yo-yo thinking. Seven questions guided the analysis of chosen cases focussing on how key concepts are matched to levels of biological organization, interrelated, and embedded in a pattern of explanatory reasoning. The analysis revealed that yo-yo thinking as a heuristic of systems thinking has been an inspiring idea to promote coherent conceptual understanding of various biological phenomena. Although, selective use has been made of the yo-yo strategy, the strategy was also further elaborated to include the molecular level. Its functioning as a meta-cognitive tool requires more specification, and teachers’ perceptions and experiences regarding yo-yo thinking should be addressed in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology Education)
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