Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Higher Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 6280

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Guest Editor
School of Mathematical and Computer Science, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
Interests: computer science; machine learning; knowledge management; big data
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in novel approaches, settings, and technology is growing in the field of Higher Education. This Special Issue aims to cover current issues in all aspects of the Higher Educational process in this context. It will create a worldwide platform for the examination and monitoring of specific educational concerns, such as advances in learning and pedagogies, educational digital technologies, and novel learning settings. Authors are urged to submit original research to the following areas with research papers: case studies and demonstrations, providing novel scientific observations, methodological features, concepts, and digital education technology.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  1. Educational Technological Developments: mobile technology, virtual environments, augmented reality, automation and robots, and other universal learning tools, concentrating on challenges not covered by previous research;
  2. Digital Pedagogies for Higher Education: eLearning, game-based learning, social media education, innovative learning models for higher education;
  3. Educational Case Research: empirical studies in higher education on digital technologies, new methodology, new assessment approaches and tools, learning process efficiency perceptions, and digital learning best practices.

I/We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Maria José Sousa
Dr. Abrar Ullah
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digital higher education
  • online learning
  • E-Learning

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Design and Assessment of an Active Learning-Based Seminar
by Pedro Juan Roig, Salvador Alcaraz, Katja Gilly, Cristina Bernad and Carlos Juiz
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040371 - 04 Apr 2024
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging paradigm, even though it does not receive enough attention in many academic plans. In order to introduce our students to IoT, in this paper we present the overall results of a seminar dedicated to encourage [...] Read more.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging paradigm, even though it does not receive enough attention in many academic plans. In order to introduce our students to IoT, in this paper we present the overall results of a seminar dedicated to encourage them to design basic IoT projects on a software application called Packet Tracer v8.2.1. Such projects were carried out in groups, whereas the evaluation process was performed by means of filling in a peer review construct after the presentation was made by each team. This construct was previously validated by a panel of five experts by applying the Aiken’s V test, where an overall value of 0.907 was obtained. There were nine items within that construct, which were grouped into three dimensions, such as the quality of the prototypes presented, the communication skills during the presentations of the prototypes, and the alignment of the prototypes with SDGs. The average results obtained for all dimensions were all above 8 out of 10, whilst the medians were all 9 and the coefficient of variations were around 0.2. Those results showed high ratings with moderate variation among them. Furthermore, the reliability of the data collected in the evaluation process was assessed by applying the Cronbach’s alpha, accounting for values above 0.9 for each dimension and overall, which means an excellent internal consistency of such data. Likewise, the level of engagement during the activity was also measured by the means of the ISA engagement scale, resulting in an overall value around 6.5, with a median of 7, which proved a high engagement among students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education)
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13 pages, 500 KiB  
Article
Students’ Experience of Online Learning in a Blended Learning Setting: A Qualitative Evaluation
by Mai E. Khalaf, Neamat Hassan Abubakr and Hassan Ziada
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070725 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to evaluate students’ perceptions of their educational experience of online learning in a blended learning dental education. It was also to investigate the online platform in a blended learning setting as an educational mode for future dental education. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to evaluate students’ perceptions of their educational experience of online learning in a blended learning dental education. It was also to investigate the online platform in a blended learning setting as an educational mode for future dental education. Methods: A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to gain insight into the students’ experiences. Fifteen students agreed to participate in three synchronous online focus groups held via WebEx; each group consisted of five students. Results: Thematic analysis was carried out iteratively and inductively, and three themes emerged that interrelated with each other and the research question. Students appreciated the blended learning educational experience, particularly the reduced time and cost of travelling to and from the school and the prospect of combining education with home comforts and commitments. Some students still preferred the face-to-face learning mode, as they believed they could concentrate more than on the online platform. The teachers’ communication skills on the online platform impacted on the students’ views on its suitability and its continuum in future education. Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, students perceived online and blended learning as more convenient, particularly in a busy and expanding dental curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education)
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13 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Ready or Not? A Pilot Study of Graduate Students’ and Instructors’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Online Support Modules for Enhancing Academic Performance
by Amanda L. Townley, Lina B. Soares and Regina Rahimi
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070656 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, graduate studies and the adult students pursuing those studies have drastically changed, creating a new landscape of challenges to success for students and faculty alike. Online learning is fast becoming the norm in graduate studies of [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, graduate studies and the adult students pursuing those studies have drastically changed, creating a new landscape of challenges to success for students and faculty alike. Online learning is fast becoming the norm in graduate studies of education rather than the exception, creating barriers in the form of lost community, looser connections between graduate students and faculty, and a shifting focus on student accountability to enter programs with requisite skills far beyond their counterparts of the past. This study explored the use of online support modules to strengthen deficient skills among graduate students in a fully online Education Specialist program. The use of modules to address issues with academic writing, APA style, locating academic literature, synthesizing studies, and other preparation to write literature reviews proved a valuable and time-efficient tool for managing the remedial needs of students at the graduate level. A survey method was applied to collect data from students and faculty, followed by a thematic analysis of the results. Both students and instructors positively received these support modules. Furthermore, perceptions from both groups highlight the need for further exploration of means to provide modern support for an ever-changing adult student body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education)
22 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
Artificial Intelligence and Business Studies: Study Cycle Differences Regarding the Perceptions of the Key Future Competences
by Polona Tominc and Maja Rožman
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13060580 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1855
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to identify the differences in various aspects of the perception of artificial intelligence by students of economics and business studies at different levels of study and, on this basis, to formulate recommendations both to the higher education [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to identify the differences in various aspects of the perception of artificial intelligence by students of economics and business studies at different levels of study and, on this basis, to formulate recommendations both to the higher education institutions themselves, which educate in the field of economic and business sciences, as well as to curriculum designers. First, we utilized descriptive statistics to analyze the responses for each construct among undergraduate and postgraduate students. In the second part, we employed the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Shapiro-Wilk tests to assess the normality of data distribution. Finally, in the third part, we employed the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test to identify the differences between undergraduate and postgraduate students. The results show that statistically significant differences can be identified especially in how students of both study levels see and understand the importance of AI. Although we did not identify significant differences between students of both levels in how they see their role in the future labor market, which will be (or already is) characterized by artificial intelligence, we must emphasize that students of both levels evaluate their roles modestly in this respect. Therefore, on this basis, we have made recommendations for more active development and integration of AI in the study process; the article presents important suggestions for improving education to prepare students for the business world of artificial intelligence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education)

Review

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11 pages, 254 KiB  
Review
When Video Improves Learning in Higher Education
by Sven Trenholm and Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14030311 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 789
Abstract
The use of video in education has become ubiquitous as technological developments have markedly improved the ability and facility to create, deliver, and view videos. The concomitant pedagogical transformation has created a sense of urgency regarding how video may be used to advance [...] Read more.
The use of video in education has become ubiquitous as technological developments have markedly improved the ability and facility to create, deliver, and view videos. The concomitant pedagogical transformation has created a sense of urgency regarding how video may be used to advance learning. Initial reviews have suggested only limited potential for the use of video in higher education. More recently, a systematic review of studies on the effect of video use on learning in higher education, published in the journal Review of Educational Research, found, overall, effects to be positive. In the present paper, we critique this study. We reveal significant gaps in the study methodology and write-up and use a cognitive processing lens to critically assess and re-analyse study data. We found the results of this study to be only applicable to learning requiring lower-level cognitive processing and conclude, consistent with prior research, that claims of a universal benefit are not yet warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in Digital Higher Education)
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