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Special Issue "Advanced Research and Innovation on Technology-Enhanced and Online Learning: Sustainable Education and Learning for All"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 15620

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Christian M. Stracke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Online Learning and Instruction, Open University, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherland
Interests: open education; technology-enhanced learning; digital competences and media literacy; learning innovations and quality; online learning and collaboration; open science; educational policies and societal impact
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Daniel Burgos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED), Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), 26006 Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
Interests: adaptive and informal eLearning; educational technology; learning analytics; open education; open science; educational games; serious games; gamification; elearning specifications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jon Mason
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Education, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia
Interests: open educational practices; inquiry-based learning; sense making; scaffolding student questioning; Education 4.0; global competency frameworks; international standardization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Cleo Sgouropoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Informatics and Computer Engineering, University of West Attica, 12244 Egaleo, Greece
Interests: e-learning; open educational resources (OER); learning outcomes; competence and skill modeling for strengthening LLL; mobility and training to employment pathways; open data and analytics for e-research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jin Gon Shon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, Korean National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
Interests: mobile learning; eLearning; grid computing; technology-enhanced learning; online education; eLearning in higher education; ICT in education; distance learning; computer communications (networks); distributed systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The year 2020 represents a time of change like no other. COVID-19, fake news and national closures are threatening not only educational systems but also global communities and societies. How we respond will likely have a dramatic impact on our future. This Special Issue is concerned with how the Education Sciences and technology-enhanced learning (TEL) can together inform a sustainable future in which global agendas can still be realized, such as United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal #4 on ‘quality education for all’. Indeed, do we know what can be sustained or what is most important to sustain? What emerging TEL innovations are positioned as part of a recalibrated digital infrastructure supporting education?

Such a scope therefore welcomes scientific papers presenting results from advanced research and innovation on technology-enhanced and online learning: That includes historical and systematic reviews with a future outlook; analyses of evidence-based research and innovation; developments in curricula, practice and policies; localised case-studies; and guidance on good practice for educators making the transition into technology-enabled learning. Urgent challenges that need to be addressed include growing skepticism against scientific research, the proliferation of misinformation, fake news and conspiracy theories. How might open science principles in research on technology-enhanced learning best respond?

We welcome papers on the following research topics (not exhaustive list):

  • UN SDG 4: Education for all
  • Inclusive and equitable quality education
  • Learning theories and design
  • Pedagogical frameworks and methodologies
  • Open learning and education
  • Online teaching strategies supported by ICT
  • Digital and media literacies
  • Social media and learning environments
  • Online collaboration and communities
  • Competences and skills for the 21st century
  • Open educational resources, practices and policies
  • Informal and formal learning scenarios, integrated
  • Hybrid, blended learning settings
  • Open science
  • Open competence frameworks

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Education Sciences.

Dr. Christian M. Stracke
Prof. Dr. Daniel Burgos
Dr. Jon Mason
Prof. Dr. Cleo Sgouropoulou
Prof. Dr. Jin Gon Shon
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 single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • technology-enhanced learning
  • learning design
  • instructional design
  • digital and online education
  • hybrid learning
  • open educational practices
  • open education
  • open science

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
The Effects of Flipped Learning Approaches in Anatomy Class
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413724 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Pedagogical innovations applying flipped learning models are being applied in nursing education. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of the flipped learning approach in an anatomy class among undergraduate nursing students. This was a non-randomized controlled study. Of 154 [...] Read more.
Pedagogical innovations applying flipped learning models are being applied in nursing education. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of the flipped learning approach in an anatomy class among undergraduate nursing students. This was a non-randomized controlled study. Of 154 nursing students enrolled in an anatomy class in South Korea, 79 were in the lecture-based group and 75 were in the flipped learning group. Data were collected using structured questionnaires. Problem solving ability and self-leadership improved significantly in the flipped learning group after the intervention but decreased in the lecture-based group. There was no difference in critical thinking between the flipped learning and control groups. The participants in the flipped learning group were more satisfied with the class than those in the lecture-based group. Flipped learning facilitates interactive activities that support the needs of advanced learners and provide more opportunities to develop problem-solving abilities and self-leadership. Full article
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Article
The Online Education System: COVID-19 Demands, Trends, Implications, Challenges, Lessons, Insights, Opportunities, Outlooks, and Directions in the Work from Home
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12197; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112197 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
The aim of this exploratory research is to identify how working from home and the consequent social isolation interfered in teachers’ work and students’ learning and to identify the challenges, difficulties, advantages, opportunities, demands, trends, implications, outlooks, lessons, directions, and feelings of students [...] Read more.
The aim of this exploratory research is to identify how working from home and the consequent social isolation interfered in teachers’ work and students’ learning and to identify the challenges, difficulties, advantages, opportunities, demands, trends, implications, outlooks, lessons, directions, and feelings of students and teachers in the teaching processes during the COVID-19 pandemic period. To reach its aim, the authors of this paper developed searches and scientific databases and they also sent an email questionnaire to Rio de Janeiro city schools. The descriptive analyses were made by descriptive statistics (proportions, rates, minimum, maximum, mean, median, standard deviation, coefficient of variation—CV). The results show that working from home and the consequent social isolation interfered in the students’ and teachers’ feelings and sensations and highlight the words “frustration”, “hope”, and “strangeness”. From the sample, 96.4% of the teachers affirmed that working from home and the social isolation interfered in their work and 97.4% of the teachers affirmed that working from home and the consequent social isolation interfered in the students’ learning. This research is the starting point to boost discussions on the subjects of COVID-19, working from home, social isolation, and education. This paper will support researchers in the development of future studies related to the subjects. Full article
Article
Thinking about Inclusion: Designing a Digital App Catalog for People with Motor Disability
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910989 - 03 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
Some apps serve as assistive technologies or digital therapeutic tools that can be used by rehabilitation professionals in the motor disability context, bringing benefits to therapists and people with disabilities. However, websites or catalogs do not provide reliable information, easy search, and intuitive [...] Read more.
Some apps serve as assistive technologies or digital therapeutic tools that can be used by rehabilitation professionals in the motor disability context, bringing benefits to therapists and people with disabilities. However, websites or catalogs do not provide reliable information, easy search, and intuitive access to these apps, causing access information difficulties. Therefore, this work proposes to develop a digital catalog of software focused on motor disability. This work performed a systematic search of websites and catalogs related to motor disability, a systematic search of the apps that the digital catalog would show, and a quality evaluation of selected apps using the Mobile Application Rating Scale tool. The digital catalog was developed with the information obtained in the previous phases combining the Prototyping and User Experience criteria, then assessed by final users, software testers, and a web accessibility evaluation tool. The catalog obtained a satisfactory quality score based on the end-users’ and therapists’ satisfaction when finding technological resources to use in their professional and health-care activities. This research aims to contribute to those interested in developing software for people with disabilities and encouraging them to create and design their implementations based on this study. Full article
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Article
Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of, and Experiences with, Technology-Enhanced Transformative Learning towards Education for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810443 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Teacher education for sustainable development (ESD) is faced with continuing unsustainability trends, which require deep and enduring social transformation. Transformative learning is a possible solution to facilitating reflection on the cognitive and socio-emotional processes underpinning students’ learning towards sustainability. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Teacher education for sustainable development (ESD) is faced with continuing unsustainability trends, which require deep and enduring social transformation. Transformative learning is a possible solution to facilitating reflection on the cognitive and socio-emotional processes underpinning students’ learning towards sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to investigate students’ perceptions of, and experiences with, technology-enhanced self-directed learning and design thinking as possible moderators of transformative learning in order to advance the concept and practice of teacher ESD. These perceptions and experiences are represented by 225 pedagogical and non-pedagogical students from the University of Ljubljana, asked to respond anonymously to three online questionnaires in May and June 2021. Findings indicate that strengthening the transformative aspect of ESD in pre-service teachers requires the consideration of critical reflection, self-awareness, risk propensity, holistic view and openness to diversity, and social support. Moreover, self-directed learning was found to be a moderator for transformative learning among pre-service science teachers, while design thinking was evenly developed among transformative learning for both low- and high-ability students, no matter the study programme. The conditioning factors and explanatory arguments for these results are also discussed. Full article
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Article
Factors Associated with the Equivalence of the Scores of Computer-Based Test and Paper-and-Pencil Test: Presentation Type, Item Difficulty and Administration Order
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9548; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179548 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Since schools cannot use face-to-face tests to evaluate students’ learning effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools implement computer-based tests (CBT) for this evaluation. From the perspective of Sustainable Development Goal 4, whether this type of test conversion affects students’ performance in answering [...] Read more.
Since schools cannot use face-to-face tests to evaluate students’ learning effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools implement computer-based tests (CBT) for this evaluation. From the perspective of Sustainable Development Goal 4, whether this type of test conversion affects students’ performance in answering questions is an issue worthy of attention. However, studies have not yielded consistent findings on the equivalence of the scores of examinees’ answering performance on computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-and-pencil tests (PPT) when taking the same multiple-choice tests. Some studies have revealed no significant differences, whereas others have exhibited significant differences between the two formats. This study adopted a counterbalanced experimental design to investigate the effects of test format, computerised presentation type, difficulty of item group, and administration order of item groups of different difficulty levels on examinees’ answering performance. In this study, 381 primary school fifth graders in northern Taiwan completed an achievement test on the topic of Structure and Functions of Plants, which is part of the primary school Natural Science course. The achievement test included 16 multiple-choice items. After data collection and analysis, no significant differences in the answering performance of examinees were identified among the PPT, CBT with single-item presentation, and CBT with multiple-item presentation. However, after further analysis, the results indicated that the difficulty of item group and the administration order of item groups of different difficulty levels had significant influences on answering performance. The findings suggest that compared with a PPT, examinees exhibit better answering performance when taking multiple-choice tests in a CBT with multiple-item presentation. Full article
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Article
Factors Affecting Learners’ Academic Success in Online Liberal Arts Courses Offered by a Traditional Korean University
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169175 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
This study aimed to empirically examine the factors affecting full-time undergraduate students’ satisfaction and academic performance measured by grades using an existing large administrative dataset. The sample consisted of 21,662 undergraduate students who took online liberal arts courses offered by a large traditional [...] Read more.
This study aimed to empirically examine the factors affecting full-time undergraduate students’ satisfaction and academic performance measured by grades using an existing large administrative dataset. The sample consisted of 21,662 undergraduate students who took online liberal arts courses offered by a large traditional Korean university in the spring semester of 2020. The theoretical framework of this study was formulated by selectively adopting and slightly modifying some of the factors from Choi’s conceptual model for adult dropout from online degree programs. The findings indicated that gender, previous GPA, campus, type of online course, the relevance of the course, adequacy of assignments and assessments, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-content interaction significantly affect students’ degree of satisfaction with online liberal arts courses. This study also found that students who considered the course less relevant to their goals or interests, had a low previous GPA, had frequent learner-instructor interactions, few learner-content interactions, and a low level of course satisfaction are more likely to earn a grade of B, C, or lower than to receive an A in online liberal arts courses. Full article
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Article
Coping with English for Academic Purposes Provision during COVID-19
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8642; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158642 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
COVID-19 and the shift to online teaching necessitated a change in approach for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teachers in preparing their students for university studies. This study explored how EAP instructors coped with and adapted their provision for emergency remote teaching. The [...] Read more.
COVID-19 and the shift to online teaching necessitated a change in approach for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teachers in preparing their students for university studies. This study explored how EAP instructors coped with and adapted their provision for emergency remote teaching. The study was conducted at an English-medium university in Hong Kong and a qualitative case study approach was adopted. The results revealed two overarching themes of opportunity and challenge. While the sudden shift to online teaching forced innovation and fostered collaborative learning and feedback, teachers experienced difficulties in communicating with students and monitoring their learning. The study voices teacher perspectives in delivering EAP courses online and highlights important implications for the successful delivery of future online EAP provisions. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Disciplinary Composition on Virtual Learning Group Process Dynamics: Students’ Perspectives
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158493 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
This research was conducted as a collaborative project between the West University of Timișoara (Romania) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) to develop a transnational learning activity. The students learned in virtual collaborative study groups; developed project-based teams; shared experiences, [...] Read more.
This research was conducted as a collaborative project between the West University of Timișoara (Romania) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) to develop a transnational learning activity. The students learned in virtual collaborative study groups; developed project-based teams; shared experiences, skills, and professional competencies; and collaborated directly with their teachers, the researchers, and the labor force. Three virtual learning groups of undergraduate students (N = 131), presenting comparable course descriptors and disciplinary group compositions, participated in the study. This study aimed to determine the effects of disciplinary composition on virtual learning group process dynamics from the students’ perspectives. This study applied a quasi-experimental between-subjects study design: quantitative methods were used to validate a research instrument and to determine statistical differences in the group process dynamic between the three groups; a qualitative method was applied to identify an in-depth understanding of the students’ perception about the group learning experience. By analyzing the group dynamics in the three settings—mono-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and cross-cultural—the research results show the advantages of each virtual learning composition in the group dynamic and learning outcomes in terms of group skill acquisitions. The conclusions can help teachers design virtual team compositions, a crucial stage in ensuring the achievement of desired learning outcomes. Full article
Article
Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Emotions and Self-Regulatory Learning in Emergency Remote Learning
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7111; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137111 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
This study explored emotions and self-regulatory learning in postgraduate students, forced to transition to emergency remote teaching, at a Hong Kong university after the start of the academic semester. Self-regulation is a critical factor for successful online learning, and emotions are important antecedents [...] Read more.
This study explored emotions and self-regulatory learning in postgraduate students, forced to transition to emergency remote teaching, at a Hong Kong university after the start of the academic semester. Self-regulation is a critical factor for successful online learning, and emotions are important antecedents of self-regulated learning. The study adopted a two-phase research design, with an initial online questionnaire (n = 52) followed by semi-structured interviews (n = 16) to gain a rich and holistic understanding of students’ experiences. Our findings indicate that: (1) locating a suitable location to attend online classes and sharing problems with classmates were the two most frequently self-regulatory learning strategies employed by students; (2) students experienced some enjoyment attending online classes but experienced increased pressure and time commitment to complete assigned work; (3) students found online learning to lack a sense of community, making it challenging to interact with classmates. The findings suggest teachers need to incorporate various synchronous and asynchronous collaborative activities, and they need to increase their own and students’ presence online to motivate and facilitate effective teaching and learning. Full article
Article
Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic in Small Schools
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7086; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137086 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of distance education in primary schools has become a much-discussed topic. It is therefore no surprise that the issues related to it have come to the forefront of many researchers. There is, however, at least one [...] Read more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of distance education in primary schools has become a much-discussed topic. It is therefore no surprise that the issues related to it have come to the forefront of many researchers. There is, however, at least one group that has stayed relatively unnoticed, and it is so-called small schools. Thus, we conducted a qualitative study based on the phenomenological approach, searching for answers to our research question: What has been the experience of the directors of small schools with distance education during the pandemic? Our findings offer an in-depth insight into the life of six schools through the eyes of their directors. Semi-structural interviews with school directors helped us reveal three key factors that, in our opinion, had the greatest influence on the form of distance education. These are (1) the factor of ICT competence of all actors, (2) the factor of organization of educational settings, and (3) the factor of the teaching methods and forms used in education. Furthermore, we conclude the result section with a subchapter that captures the positive aspects of distance education as perceived by the addressed school directors. Full article
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