Special Issue "New Research and Trends in 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 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria José Sousa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science and Public Policies, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: public policy; innovation; information and data science; intellectual capital
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Fátima Suleman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Director of the Department of Political Economy, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: employability skills of graduates; job quality of graduates; skill problems and employer engagement with higher education
Prof. Dr. Pere Mercadé Melé
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Tourism Intelligence and Innovation Research Institute (i3t), University of Malaga, Campus of Teatinos, 29071 Malaga, Spain
Interests: education in corporate responsibility and sustainability; business ethics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jesús Molina Gómez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economy and Business Administration, University of Málaga, Campus Univ. El Ejido 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: education in corporate responsibility and sustainability; business ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is growing interest in the field of Higher Education regarding new methodologies, contexts and technologies. In this sense, this Special Issue aims to discuss new research and trends on all dimensions of Higher Education.

It will provide a global forum for the investigation and reporting of diverse issues that affect the learning processes in Higher Education: innovations in learning and new pedagogical methods, and new learning contexts.

Original research contributions are solicited, and authors are invited to contribute with research papers, case studies and demonstrations that present original scientific results, methodological aspects, concepts and educational technologies, on the following topics:

Technological Developments in Higher Education: mobile technology, virtual environments, augmented reality, automation and robotics, and other tools for universal learning, focusing on issues that are not addressed by existing research.

Digital Higher Education: mobile learning, eLearning, Game-based Learning, social media in education, new learning models and technologies and wearable technologies for education.

Case Studies in Higher Education: empirical studies in higher education regarding digital technologies, new methodologies, new evaluation techniques and tools, perceptions of learning processes efficiency and digital learning best practices.

References

Fullan, M. Stratosphere: Integrating technology, pedagogy, and change knowledge. Don Mills, Canada: Pearson. (2013)

Warren, S. J., Dondlinger, M. J., and Barab, S. A. A MUVE towards PBL writing: Effects of a digital learning environment designed to improve elementary student writing. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(1), 113-140. (2008)

Kozma, R. B. Technology and classroom practices: An international study. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(1), 1–14. (2003)

Cheon, J., Lee, S., Crooks, S. M., & Song, J. An investigation of mobile learning readiness in higher education based on the theory of planned behavior. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1054–1064. (2012)

Bocconi, S., Kampylis, P., & Punie, Y. Framing ICT-enabled Innovation for Learning: The case of one-to-one learning initiatives in Europe. European Journal of Education, 48, 113–130. (2013)

Hoskins, B., & Crick, R. D. Competences for learning to learn and active citizenship: Different currencies or two sides of the same coin? European Journal of Education, 45(1), 121–137. (2010)

Dr. Maria José Sousa
Dr. Fátima Suleman
Dr. Pere Mercadé Melé
Dr. Jesús Molina Gómez
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 papers will be 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 1400 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
  • Technological Developments
  • Innovations in learning
  • New pedagogical methods
  • Learning contexts

Published Papers (26 papers)

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Article
First-Year Life Science Students’ Understanding of the Role of Plants in the Ecosystem—A Concept Network Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080369 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 240
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding about undergraduate life science students’ conceptions concerning the role of photosynthesizing plants in the ecosystem, utilizing a network analysis method. Science learning requires the integration and linking of abstract and often counterintuitive concepts [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding about undergraduate life science students’ conceptions concerning the role of photosynthesizing plants in the ecosystem, utilizing a network analysis method. Science learning requires the integration and linking of abstract and often counterintuitive concepts successfully into multifaceted networks. The quality of these networks, together with their abilities to communicate via the language of science, influences students’ success in academic, verbal problem-solving tasks. This study contributes to investigating students’ understanding, utilizing a modern network analysis method in exploring first-year university life science students’ written answers. In this study, a total of 150 first-year life science students answered two open-ended tasks related to the role of photosynthesizing plants in the ecosystem. A network analysis tool was used in exploring the occurrence of different-level science concepts and the interrelatedness between these concepts in students’ verbal outputs. The results showed that the richness of concept networks and students’ use of macro-concepts were remarkably varied between the tasks. Higher communicability measures were connected to the more abundant existence of macro-concepts in the task concerning the role of plants from the food-chain perspective. In the answers for the task concerning the role of plants regarding the atmosphere, the students operated mainly with single facts, and there were only minor interconnections made between the central concepts. On the basis of these results, the need for more all-encompassing biology teaching concerning complex environmental and socio-economic problems became evident. Thus, methodological and pedagogical contributions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Drawing Skills of Candidates for Architectural Studies vs. Learning Outcomes of Graduates. Comparative Research Based on the Example of The Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070339 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Major changes in the organisation of the teaching process at universities in Poland had to be introduced in response to the current pandemic situation and threat of further spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This article presents the results of the research conducted at the [...] Read more.
Major changes in the organisation of the teaching process at universities in Poland had to be introduced in response to the current pandemic situation and threat of further spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This article presents the results of the research conducted at the Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology in view of the pilot, experimental entrance exam that excludes the evaluation of drawing skills of candidates for architectural studies in the 2020/21 recruitment process. The purpose of the research was to find a correlation between the quality of candidates accepted for the BSc (engineer) programme studies, evaluated on the basis of their drawing skills demonstrated during the entrance exam and the learning outcomes of graduates. For that purpose, the authors hereof have carried out an analysis with the use of the Spearman Rank Correlation formula. The comparative analysis has shown that candidates whose drawing skills were evaluated highly during the entrance exam did not necessarily rank as the top grade scoring graduates of the first degree study programme, and thus, it has further been shown that good drawing skills at the beginning of the study programme do not guarantee top learning results at the end of the studies. In effect, the research should become a starting point for a discussion in Poland on whether there are any justified grounds for entrance exams in drawing or whether a portfolio of works may replace it and be an effective recruitment criterion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
STEM Faculty Instructional Data-Use Practices: Informing Teaching Practice and Students’ Reflection on Students’ Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060291 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
This paper explores the affordances and constraints of STEM faculty members’ instructional data-use practices and how they engage students (or not) in reflection around their own learning data. We found faculty used a wide variety of instructional data-use practices. We also found several [...] Read more.
This paper explores the affordances and constraints of STEM faculty members’ instructional data-use practices and how they engage students (or not) in reflection around their own learning data. We found faculty used a wide variety of instructional data-use practices. We also found several constraints that influenced their instructional data-use practices, including perceived lack of time, standardized curriculum and assessments predetermined in scope and sequence, and a perceived lack of confidence and competence in their instructional data-use practices. Novel findings include faculty descriptions of instructional technology that afforded them access to immediate and nuanced instructional data. However, faculty described limited use of instructional data that engaged students in reflecting on their own learning data. We consider implications for faculty’s instructional data-use practices on departmental and institutional policies and procedures, professional development experts, and for faculty themselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Learner-Centred Learning Tasks in Higher Education: A Study on Perception among Students
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050230 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Universities face the challenge of constantly improving the quality of higher education and changing the learning behaviour of students, from passive reactive learning to active self-regulated learning. Learner-centred, constructively designed learning tasks offer a great opportunity here. This paper investigates to what extent [...] Read more.
Universities face the challenge of constantly improving the quality of higher education and changing the learning behaviour of students, from passive reactive learning to active self-regulated learning. Learner-centred, constructively designed learning tasks offer a great opportunity here. This paper investigates to what extent the learning process is challenged by these learning tasks, and how these tasks are perceived by the students, using a before and after survey of students studying at bachelor level in business courses at a German university. The paper starts with a short description of constructivism in the context of task design and the main characteristics of learner-centred, constructivist-orientated learning tasks: openness to problems, situation orientation, openness to solution paths, and degree of difficulty. Then the research method used is outlined before the findings are presented. The before and after survey shows that despite an increased complexity and workload, the motivation to deal with topics on the subject remained stable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Does Postsecondary Education Attainment Matter in Community Service Engagement? Evidence from Across 18 OECD Countries
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030096 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
This study is concerned with the central issues of community service engagement (CSE) in 21st century democratic societies around the world. To examine the factors influencing postsecondary education attainment’s relationship to CSE, this study utilized data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and [...] Read more.
This study is concerned with the central issues of community service engagement (CSE) in 21st century democratic societies around the world. To examine the factors influencing postsecondary education attainment’s relationship to CSE, this study utilized data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries using ordinary least square (OLS) and two-level hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) methods, including various factors for each country’s individual and country levels. The results show that attainment in postsecondary education at the individual level and investment and enrollments in tertiary education both have an influence on increasing CSE in 18 OECD countries. The present study is expected to contribute to an understanding of the relationship between postsecondary education and CSE across the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Cyber-Archaeometry: Novel Research and Learning Subject Overview
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020086 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
The cyber archaeometry concerns a new virtual ontology in the environment of cultural heritage and archaeology. The present study concerns a first pivot endeavor of a virtual polarized light microscopy (VPLM) for archaeometric learning, made from digital tools, tackling the theory of mineral [...] Read more.
The cyber archaeometry concerns a new virtual ontology in the environment of cultural heritage and archaeology. The present study concerns a first pivot endeavor of a virtual polarized light microscopy (VPLM) for archaeometric learning, made from digital tools, tackling the theory of mineral identification in archaeological materials, an important aspect in characterization, provenance, and ancient technology. This endeavor introduces the range of IT computational methods and instrumentation techniques available to the study of cultural heritage and archaeology of apprentices, educators, and specialists. Use is made of virtual and immersive reality, 3D, virtual environment, massively multiplayer online processes, and gamification. The VPLM simulation is made with the use of Avatar in the time-space frame of the laboratory with navigation, exploration, control the learning outcomes in connection to the archaeometric multisystem work. The students evidently learned to operate the VPLM following operations made via visual and home-made scripting, gaining experience in synergy, teamwork, and understanding. The resulting meaningful effects of the cyber-archaeometry with virtual operations and virtual hands, texts, and video equip students especially for e-learning with the required basic knowledge of mineralogical examination, which help to understand and evaluate mineral identification from material culture and provides readiness and capacity, which may be refined in a real polarized light microscopy (PLM) environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Using Peer Review for Student Performance Enhancement: Experiences in a Multidisciplinary Higher Education Setting
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020071 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Nowadays one of the main focuses of the Spanish University system is achieving the active learning paradigm in the context of its integration into the European Higher Education Area. This goal is being addressed by means of the application of novel teaching mechanisms. [...] Read more.
Nowadays one of the main focuses of the Spanish University system is achieving the active learning paradigm in the context of its integration into the European Higher Education Area. This goal is being addressed by means of the application of novel teaching mechanisms. Among a wide variety of learning approaches, the present work focuses on peer review, understood as a collaborative learning technique where students assess other student’s work and provide their own feedback. In this way, peer review has the overarching goal of improving the student learning during this process. Peer review has been successfully applied and analyzed in the literature. Indeed, many authors also recommend improving the design and implementation of self and peer review, which has been our main goal. This paper presents an empirical study based on the application of peer review assessment in different higher education BSc and MSc courses. In this way, six courses from different studies at the University of Malaga in Spain are subject to the application of peer review strategies to promote student learning and develop cross-wise skills such as critical thinking, autonomy and responsibility. Based on these experiences, a deep analysis of the results is performed, showing that a proper application of the peer review methodology provides reliable reviews (with close scores to the ones from the teacher) as well as an improvement in the students’ performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Development and Psychometric Properties of a Scale to Measure Resilience among Portuguese University Students: Resilience Scale-10
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020061 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
Higher education students lack skills to deal in a positive way with the crises inherent to the developmental phase in which they find themselves. However, the complexity of the current global context adds an urgent need for them to be resilient. For this [...] Read more.
Higher education students lack skills to deal in a positive way with the crises inherent to the developmental phase in which they find themselves. However, the complexity of the current global context adds an urgent need for them to be resilient. For this purpose, it is necessary to evaluate their capacity for resilience, which requires the use of instruments that are easy to access, useful, simple, and fast. In this sense, this study aimed to develop and validate a scale to assess students’ resilience in the face of adversity. The scale was administered to a sample of 2030 Portuguese higher education students. The results obtained pointed towards a factorial structure composed of two factors named “self-determination” and “adaptability”, which showed good internal consistency. Therefore, this scale proved to be a valid measure to assess resilience among the university population. Future studies may consider this variable as an intervention target since it can be a predictor of success in phases of change and crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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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
Viewed by 659
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
Higher Education and Employability Skills: Barriers and Facilitators of Employer Engagement at Local Level
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020051 - 30 Jan 2021
Viewed by 905
Abstract
This research examines the barriers and facilitators to employers’ engagement with higher education institutions. The data were collected through interviews with a set of employers (n = 19) in the Northern region of Portugal, V.N.de Famalicão, in 2019. We begin by exploring [...] Read more.
This research examines the barriers and facilitators to employers’ engagement with higher education institutions. The data were collected through interviews with a set of employers (n = 19) in the Northern region of Portugal, V.N.de Famalicão, in 2019. We begin by exploring employers’ engagement activities as a potential solution to address local-level skill problems. Empirical evidence suggests that the engagement activities are mostly passive as firms use higher education largely as a recruitment channel. The differences in organizational goals and culture are the most cited barriers to the lack of more active engagement. Some efforts have recently been made to strengthen the ties between higher education and employers, notably through a local multi-stakeholder partnership as a potential broker. However, it will take time for this to bear fruit and contribute to reducing skill gaps and shortages. The data show that despite employers’ apparent willingness, more effort must be made to encourage active engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
Article
Mechatronics: Experiential Learning and the Stimulation of Thinking Skills
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020046 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
The development of experiential learning methodologies is gaining attention, due to its contributions to enhancing education quality. It focuses on developing competencies, and build-up added values, such as creative and critical thinking skills, with the aim of improving the quality of learning. The [...] Read more.
The development of experiential learning methodologies is gaining attention, due to its contributions to enhancing education quality. It focuses on developing competencies, and build-up added values, such as creative and critical thinking skills, with the aim of improving the quality of learning. The interdisciplinary mechatronics field accommodates a coherent interactive concurrent design process that facilitates innovation and develops the desired skills by adopting experiential learning approaches. This educational learning process is motivated by implementation, assessment, and reflections. This requires synergizing cognition, perception, and behavior with experience sharing and evaluation. Furthermore, it is supported by knowledge accumulation. The learning process with active student’s engagement (participation and investigation) is integrated with experimental systems that are developed to facilitate experiential learning supported by properly designed lectures, laboratory experiments, and integrated with course projects. This paper aims to enhance education, learning quality, and contribute to the learning process, while stimulating creative and critical thinking skills. The paper has adopted a student-centered learning approach and focuses on developing training tools to improve the hands-on experience and integrate it with project-based learning. The developed experimental systems have their learning indicators where students acquire knowledge and learn the target skills through involvement in the process. This is inspired by collaborative knowledge sharing, brainstorming, and interactive discussions. The learning outcomes from lectures and laboratory experiments are synergized with the project-based learning approach to yield the desired promising results and exhibit the value of learning. The effectiveness of the developed experimental systems along with the adopted project-based learning approach is demonstrated and evaluated during laboratory sessions supporting different courses at Sanyo-Onoda City University, Yamaguchi, Japan, and at the American University in Cairo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Student Burnout: A Case Study about a Portuguese Public University
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11010031 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1359
Abstract
Burnout is increasingly present in organizations and in the most diverse professions, namely, in university students. Burnout can have negative repercussions on their well-being and can even lead them to abandon their studies. The objective of the study focuses on academic burnout and [...] Read more.
Burnout is increasingly present in organizations and in the most diverse professions, namely, in university students. Burnout can have negative repercussions on their well-being and can even lead them to abandon their studies. The objective of the study focuses on academic burnout and taking medication as a consequence of the requirements of the academic path of students at a Portuguese public university. To achieve this goal, a quantitative methodology was used, consisting of the distribution of a questionnaire to a sample of students from the analyzed university. The first study questionnaire obtained 207 responses, all valid. To perform the analysis of the quantitative data, the program IBM SPSS Statistics, version 25 was used. Inferential statistics were used, namely, Student t-test and one-way ANOVA (parametric tests), Spearman’s correlation coefficient, and the Chi-square test, to test the previously defined research hypotheses. Among the variables for which statistically significant relationships with burnout were found, the following stand out: the arithmetic mean (course average); the professional situation; participation in extracurricular activities; the practice and frequency of physical exercise; the choice and expectations regarding the course; the uncertainty felt about the professional future; the evaluation of the relationship with colleagues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
A Study of the Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits of University Finance Students
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11010025 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Studies on financial behavior indicate that emotional intelligence (EI) and personality traits (PTs) explain much of the bias in financial activity. This study aims to identify in which dimensions of theEI and PTs of university students in finance further training is needed to [...] Read more.
Studies on financial behavior indicate that emotional intelligence (EI) and personality traits (PTs) explain much of the bias in financial activity. This study aims to identify in which dimensions of theEI and PTs of university students in finance further training is needed to avoid financial behavior bias. To this end, the EI and PT levels of a sample of university finance students and financial industry professionals were compared using the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) and Big Five Inventory questionnaire. Subsequently, the dimensions of EI and PTs in which students have a deficit compared to professionals were identified, and the impacts that this deficit causes on the financial behavior of students were determined. The results indicate that students are deficient in the EI competencies related to empathy, emotion regulation, self-motivation, stress management, optimism, and self-esteem. Furthermore, PTs are related to kindness, awareness, openness, and extraversion. This deficit makes students more likely to have financial behavior biases such as risk tolerance, endowment, optimism, self-control, and loss aversion. These findings suggest that universities should be aware of providing financial students with full training in EI and PTs to help them successfully address their professional future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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 5 | Viewed by 1214
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
The Unbearable Lightness of Academic Fraud: Portuguese Higher Education Students’ Perceptions
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120351 - 25 Nov 2020
Viewed by 756
Abstract
The perception that academic fraud is widespread in higher education affects the credibility of higher education schools, giving rise to doubts concerning the quality of learning and the students’ preparation for their professional life. Academic misconduct is presently a common research area. However, [...] Read more.
The perception that academic fraud is widespread in higher education affects the credibility of higher education schools, giving rise to doubts concerning the quality of learning and the students’ preparation for their professional life. Academic misconduct is presently a common research area. However, higher education schools still seem unable to contain academic fraud, given its prevalence and scope. Therefore, understanding students’ perceptions and attitudes remains critical for schools to define effective policies in promoting and defending academic integrity. Towards that aim, the results from a set of focus groups of students from a higher education school are presented. Students do not link academic fraud with unethical professional behaviour, propose more sanctions for those who commit academic fraud, and consider that certain evaluation methods favour unethical behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Upgrading a Learning Context: Evaluation of Sintra’s Educational Project
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110344 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The changes observed in the school context demand new practices and impose new challenges to the operational assistants that, due to their relevant role in the educational environment, must be prepared and endowed with knowledge and skills to conduct their profession in a [...] Read more.
The changes observed in the school context demand new practices and impose new challenges to the operational assistants that, due to their relevant role in the educational environment, must be prepared and endowed with knowledge and skills to conduct their profession in a fully useful way. This is only possible through the promotion of their training and capacitation in a real work context. Through the European project entitled “Innovative Plans to Combat School Failure” which was implemented in Portugal, we assess the impacts of a training-capacitation action directed to operational assistants and explore the dynamics and influences underlying the learning process put in practice in the schools of the county of Sintra. This assessment conducted by a higher education institution (Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon) mobilized a mixed methodology-survey and focus groups with operational assistants and interviews conducted to school directors. We verified that a training activity conducted in the real working context potentiates the performance of these professionals, namely in terms of autonomy and adaptation to different contexts and duties, conflict management and cooperation, whose effects reflected on the organizational dynamics of the school institutions of the county of Sintra. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Student-Centered and ICT-Enabled Learning Models in Veterinarian Programs: What Changed with COVID-19?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110343 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
COVID-19 highlighted higher education’s resistance to implementing the student-centered and ICT (information and communication technology)-enabled learning practices as incentivized by the Bologna Declaration. ICTs were crucial to keep the students in educational programs during the outbreak; however, some students were left out, increasing [...] Read more.
COVID-19 highlighted higher education’s resistance to implementing the student-centered and ICT (information and communication technology)-enabled learning practices as incentivized by the Bologna Declaration. ICTs were crucial to keep the students in educational programs during the outbreak; however, some students were left out, increasing socioeconomic differences, and many teachers needed the training to provide online lectures effectively. Despite those barriers, the current context could be an opportunity to invest in new teaching and learning practices. The main goal of this research is to analyze how teachers and students from veterinary programs in Portugal adapted to the digital environment, and perceive whether this change imposed by COVID-19 could provide teachers and higher institutions with new solutions to implement effective student-centered and ICT-enabled learning models. Results show that veterinary programs are based on student-centered practices by nature, but that the use of ICTs is still incipient. Teachers, students, and members from the Professional Order claim that the worst change brought by COVID-19 was the cancellation of hands-on sessions, impoverishing the students’ education during the time of mandatory confinement. Actors say that it is important to invest in innovative teaching and learning practices enabled by ICTs in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
The Interaction between Higher Education Institutions and Professional Bodies in the Context of Digital Transformation: The Case of Brazilian Accountants
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110321 - 05 Nov 2020
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The business economy experienced major changes during the last three decades. The social and economic globalization associated with the fourth revolution put the accounting profession under great pressure toward harmonization and convergence. Still, the route to become a qualified professional accountant varies from [...] Read more.
The business economy experienced major changes during the last three decades. The social and economic globalization associated with the fourth revolution put the accounting profession under great pressure toward harmonization and convergence. Still, the route to become a qualified professional accountant varies from country to country all over the world. This paper seeks to understand the evolution of the accounting profession in Brazil and focus on the interaction between higher education institutions (HEIs) and professional bodies, in the context of digital transformation. It is an exploratory study. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data about the perception of the directors of first-degree programs regarding the autonomy of HEIs in defining the curricular contents intended to qualify accounting professionals. The findings show that HEIs are highly influenced by the professional order and Ministry of Education. The limitation associated with this research is that it focusses on one particular professional group in one country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
A Learning Analytics Theoretical Framework for STEM Education Virtual Reality Applications
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110317 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
While virtual reality has attracted educators’ interest by providing new opportunities to the learning process and assessment in different science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, the results from previous studies indicate that there is still much work to be done when large [...] Read more.
While virtual reality has attracted educators’ interest by providing new opportunities to the learning process and assessment in different science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, the results from previous studies indicate that there is still much work to be done when large data collection and analysis is considered. At the same time, learning analytics emerged with the promise to revolutionise the traditional practices by introducing new ways to systematically assess and improve the effectiveness of instruction. However, the collection of ‘big’ educational data is mostly associated with web-based platforms (i.e., learning management systems) as they offer direct access to students’ data with minimal effort. Thence, in the context of this work, we present a four-dimensional theoretical framework for virtual reality-supported instruction and propose a set of structural elements that can be utilised in conjunction with a learning analytics prototype system. The outcomes of this work are expected to support practitioners on how to maximise the potential of their interventions and provide further inspiration for the development of new ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Transversal Competences in Engineering Degrees: Integrating Content and Foreign Language Teaching
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10110296 - 22 Oct 2020
Viewed by 525
Abstract
There has been a constant advance of the labour markets and permanent reorientation towards digital Industry 4.0. Yet, the environments for learning remain unchallenged when it comes to the provision of new professionals across the globe. Therefore, this has created a gap in [...] Read more.
There has been a constant advance of the labour markets and permanent reorientation towards digital Industry 4.0. Yet, the environments for learning remain unchallenged when it comes to the provision of new professionals across the globe. Therefore, this has created a gap in transversal competences, which has compelled students of higher learning institutions to pursue them. The majority of higher learning institutions have emphasised transversal skills among learners and developed curriculums to accomplish these demands. The primary focus of the study was to attain integration and fusion of transversal skills into the development of specialised curriculum training for foreign language proficiency. The study applied mixed methodology techniques, which combined qualitative and quantitative methods in the study. To guarantee cohesion of the study, four research and monitoring techniques such as course dossiers, needs analysis, task-based activities and adapted competences scales were used. The outcome of the research shows findings provided by the piloting stage of the teaching experience and emphasises the need for student-based skill training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Measuring the Degree of Academic Satisfaction: The Case of a Brazilian National Institute
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10100266 - 27 Sep 2020
Viewed by 722
Abstract
The Brazilian National Institutes are strategic elements for the growth and development of Brazilian society since they have the purpose of meeting social and economic demands. However, for this purpose to be materialized, it is essential to develop strategies and mechanisms that consider [...] Read more.
The Brazilian National Institutes are strategic elements for the growth and development of Brazilian society since they have the purpose of meeting social and economic demands. However, for this purpose to be materialized, it is essential to develop strategies and mechanisms that consider the current educational context, marked in large part by the transformation of education into a product and the increased awareness of students who expect to have their own needs met in terms of achievement and satisfaction. Based on this premise, this research aims to present an indicator for measuring student satisfaction of students from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Piauí-Campus Oeiras (FIEPI-Campus Oeiras), in order to provide evidence of how satisfaction has presented itself in relation to the different educational profiles present in the institution. The study was conducted with a sample of 290 students from FIEPI-Campus Oeiras. The instrument used for data collection was a questionnaire structured in two sections, in which the first was intended to obtain information to characterize the sample and the second section, composed of 14 items, aimed at measuring students’ satisfaction with the institution. Descriptive, exploratory, and inferential statistical techniques were used for the data treatment and for the validation of the results. The results indicate that the students are slightly satisfied with the institution and that the average satisfaction is different in relation to the courses and technological axes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
Article
Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence of Future Leaders: Challenges for Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10070178 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
The study was focused on understanding emotional and spiritual intelligence, and leadership linkages. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between emotional and spiritual intelligence and self-leadership skills of university students in the fields of management, as potential future leaders. [...] Read more.
The study was focused on understanding emotional and spiritual intelligence, and leadership linkages. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between emotional and spiritual intelligence and self-leadership skills of university students in the fields of management, as potential future leaders. The data were collected using three scales: Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS), Spiritual Intelligence Inventory (SISRI-24), and Self-Leadership questionnaire. The study was conducted among 190 university students. The results obtained show that there are connections between emotional and spiritual intelligence and self-leadership. The study may be a good starting point for further research in this field and lead to reflection about spiritual knowledge on the leadership education program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Spanish Adaptation of Motivational Climate in Education Scale with University Students
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060157 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the dimensionality of the Spanish adaptation of two correlated subscales to assess motivational climate in the university education context: Mastery motivational climate and performance motivational climate. Two different [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the dimensionality of the Spanish adaptation of two correlated subscales to assess motivational climate in the university education context: Mastery motivational climate and performance motivational climate. Two different studies with cross-sectional design and different samples of university students were used to accomplish this research (Study 1: 181 students, mean age = 20.83, SD = 1.76; Study 2: 354 students, mean age = 21.84; SD = 1.98). In Study 1, Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and reliability analysis of the scale were conducted. In Study 2, CFA, reliability analysis, discriminant validity, temporal stability, factorial invariance across gender, and nomological validity were managed through a regression model measuring the relationships between democratic and autocratic behavior, mastery climate, and performance climate. The final version of the Motivational Climate in Education Scale showed acceptable goodness of fit and values of discriminant validity, reliability, temporal stability, and invariance across gender. According to its nomological validity, democratic behavior was shown to be a statistically significant predictor of mastery climate, and the teacher’s autocratic behavior was shown to be a statistically significant predictor of performance climate. This scale is a valid and reliable instrument to assess mastery climate and performance climate in the Spanish university educational context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Using Reflexive, Introspective and Storytelling Tools: Towards Becoming More Autoethnographic in Academia
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040120 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2244
Abstract
The aim of this article is to show how autoethnography is a useful and revealing research methodology that should be encouraged in academia, especially in higher education. With objectivity, autoethnography, which is a relatively new approach, may be a path toward deeper cultural [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to show how autoethnography is a useful and revealing research methodology that should be encouraged in academia, especially in higher education. With objectivity, autoethnography, which is a relatively new approach, may be a path toward deeper cultural discussions that are so important in everyday life. Moreover, autoethnography leads to important reflexive and critical observations made by students. Autoethnography is a readily accessible, low-cost methodology and thus very appealing to students and younger researchers. With this article, the author exemplifies autoethnographic accounts and narrates three different stories that occurred while trekking with three different trekking guides in Patagonia (El Chaltén), Argentina. Argentinian culture, in South America, is the focus. Researchers need to be careful of misleading statements in the literature, such as that in Argentina modesty is apparently not tolerated. We found that two of our guides and leaders – Mariano and Liz – both had modest (and pleasant) demeanors. Hence, we conclude that it is important to maintain an open mind and resist categorizing people. This is a vital point of cultural studies that is often not taken seriously. Cultures are made up of individuals and thus many differences can be found in the midst of an attempted standardization, and the desire to put everyone in the same “basket”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
The Social Responsibility among Higher Education Students
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10030066 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1747
Abstract
The aim of this research is to emphasize the importance of education for the philanthropic responsibilities of students. The basic term of the explanatory research is corporate social responsibility, adapted for higher education institutions—the philanthropic responsibilities of students, their implication on charity organization [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to emphasize the importance of education for the philanthropic responsibilities of students. The basic term of the explanatory research is corporate social responsibility, adapted for higher education institutions—the philanthropic responsibilities of students, their implication on charity organization memberships or volunteering activities, and their motivation to help others. Special attention was given to the following questions: Are students involved in charity organization activities or voluntary work? Are there any differences between state and private universities regarding the philanthropic activities of students? How frequently, where, and why are they involved in volunteering? What is the latent structure of students‘ motivations? The quantitative international survey dates were collected by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development from Debrecen University, Hungary, and the present examination focuses on the sample from Romania. Using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) statistical software, first, through a longitudinal perspective, Romanian students’ implications from state and private institutions were compared. Second, the paper analyzes the characteristics of volunteering and student’s motivations. The conclusions present significant differences between state and private institutions. Students traditional motivations, i.e., to help others, were very common and connected with relational and self-development intentions. This mixed motivational factor was different from the global motivational factor (to learn new languages and to discover new cultures). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Review
The Soft Skills of Special Education Teachers: Evidence from the Literature
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030125 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 821
Abstract
The special education teacher is a key element in the development of the process of inclusive education. In this setting, soft skills have proven to be determinant in teachers’ educational action. However, those that best qualify their profile have not yet been identified. [...] Read more.
The special education teacher is a key element in the development of the process of inclusive education. In this setting, soft skills have proven to be determinant in teachers’ educational action. However, those that best qualify their profile have not yet been identified. Therefore, this study aims to carry out a review of scientific production between the years 2010 and 2020. To this end, articles were selected using the following databases: ERIC, Scopus, Web of Science, and PsycINFO. Studies have been included in the review that point out as soft skills: resilience, reflexibility, empathy, collaborative work, self-efficacy, creativity, and effective communication. Only studies that presented such criteria were included in the analysis. After the application of the eligibility criteria, seven articles were considered. From the analysis, it emerges that effective communication, collaborative work, and reflexibility stand out. There are gaps in this area in the specialized training of these teachers. Thus, it is suggested that there should be investment in this area in the training programs of the schools that certify them; and that, at the research level, instruments should be developed to evaluate the model emerging from this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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