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Mobile Technology, Gamification and Artificial Intelligence to Improve Sustainability in Education

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

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Editors

Didactics and School Organization, Faculty of Education, National Distance Education University (UNED), 28040, Spain
Interests: ICT in education; school organization and supervision; MOOCs; online and ubiquitous learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Research Methods and Diagnosis in Education, University of Granada, 51001 Ceuta, Spain
Interests: active methodologies; gamification; methodology; teacher training; personal learning environment; active learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

At the World Education Forum 2015, the global community agreed to launch ‘Education 2030: the Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action’, which seeks to ensure access to basic education for all (UNESCO, 2015). That same year, the international community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 global goals and 169 targets, whose unifying thread is the commitment to ending poverty (United Nations, 2015).

Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which expands on the “Education for All” goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals, focuses on the education needs of a sustainable society and exhorts the global community to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (United Nations, 2015).

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is viewed as a critical element that can improve access to education and address issues related to inclusion, equity, and quality. ICT can also play a transformative role by raising public awareness and reducing the cost of extending new services to a wide audience. For the SDG4 targets to be achieved by the year 2030, it is necessary to leverage existing accessible technologies. Concomitantly, it has been predicted that traditional approaches to using technologies will not be adequate for achieving the universal goals by 2030. Therefore, new, holistic approaches to ICT integration are required (UNESCO, 2015, 2016).

These considerations guide the proposal of this monograph, which aims to collect research studies as well as theoretical contributions, which exemplify and inform good educational practices based on ICT for a sustainable future.

Scientific contributions referring to the following four priority areas for the use of ICT towards achieving SDG4 and Education 2030’s goals will be accepted:

  1. Mobile technology for transforming and expanding Secondary Education, Technical and Vocational Education, and Training and Higher Education.
  2. ICT-integrated transformative pedagogies and the use of smart mobile devices to promote collaborative learning and to extend learning spaces beyond traditional classroom contexts.
  3. ICT for enhancing the competencies of girls, women, and vulnerable groups to ensure that no one is left behind.
  4. Digital Transformation and Sustainability: Gamification, Artificial Intelligence, Learning analytics, MOOCs, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), Social Computing, Big data, OER and open solutions, open social networks, and adaptive learning technologies in online learning.

Prof. Esteban Vázquez-Cano
Dr. Eloy López Meneses
Dr. María Elena Parra-González
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 collection 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 2400 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

  • mobile technology
  • digital Transformation
  • Sustainability
  • transformative pedagogies
  • emerging technologies
  • ICT for social inclusion

Published Papers (10 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021, 2020

18 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Understanding College Students’ Engagement in Mobile Reading for Sustainability in Education: A Case Study from China
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032848 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Mobile reading is viewed as a promising pathway to reading with sustainable education goals. At present, there have been many studies on the mobile reading of young readers and their reading comprehension by testing their task-based comprehension, but not much attention has been [...] Read more.
Mobile reading is viewed as a promising pathway to reading with sustainable education goals. At present, there have been many studies on the mobile reading of young readers and their reading comprehension by testing their task-based comprehension, but not much attention has been paid to the mobile reading of college students in China and the factors of reading engagement from readers’ perspectives. With the aim to investigate the factors that affect college students’ engagement in mobile reading, this study used interviews with open-ended questions and followed a qualitative content analysis design with an inductive and exploratory approach. The participants of this study were thirty college students with diverse majors out of three universities in Shanghai, China. They were selected from a pre-questionnaire, and these students (N = 30) were chosen from those who read on mobile devices for less than 2 h on average per day (N = 276). The results revealed that the college students perceived a variety of factors affecting their engagement in mobile reading, including the following: four motivational needs (information needs, academic needs, social needs, emotional needs), reading experience, reading efficacy, and reading strategies. It has been assumed that the most common factor that leads to the engagement of college students in mobile reading is the intention to be entertained. The investigation of this study has different results. Even the students who spent the minimum average time mobile reading used it with diverse needs in mind. Nevertheless, students’ reading experience, reading self-efficacy, and reading strategies indicated that sometimes they had difficulties engaging in mobile reading. These difficulties resulted from an imbalance between their needs and their engagement: whether they obtained what they needed. Considering that mobile reading could be an effective way to assist college students’ independent learning and sustainable development in future, it is necessary to understand the factors of mobile reading and rethink how to avoid difficulties to improve the mobile reading engagement of college students. Full article

2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021, 2020

14 pages, 967 KiB  
Article
Structural Determinants of Mobile Learning Acceptance among Undergraduates in Higher Educational Institutions
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113934 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Mobile learning has become a critical aspect of online learning in the post-pandemic era. As a result, practitioners and policymakers have paid increasing attention to mobile learning acceptance among various stakeholders. However, there is a vacuity of literature on mobile learning acceptance in [...] Read more.
Mobile learning has become a critical aspect of online learning in the post-pandemic era. As a result, practitioners and policymakers have paid increasing attention to mobile learning acceptance among various stakeholders. However, there is a vacuity of literature on mobile learning acceptance in developing countries, particularly in the African context. This study sought to examine the determinants of mobile learning acceptance among undergraduates in higher educational institutions using a structural equation modelling approach. Data were collected through a web survey distributed to 415 undergraduate students in Namibia. The majority of the UTAUT relationships were confirmed, although some were not supported. The results revealed a strong positive relationship between performance expectancy and hedonic motivation. Hence, hedonic motivation mediates the relationship between performance expectancy and behavioural intention to use mobile learning in Namibia. The results of this study may help to inform mobile learning implementation efforts, particularly in the post-pandemic period. Full article
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27 pages, 2479 KiB  
Article
Introductory Engineering Mathematics Students’ Weighted Score Predictions Utilising a Novel Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline Model
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 11070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141711070 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
Introductory Engineering Mathematics (a skill builder for engineers) involves developing problem-solving attributes throughout the teaching period. Therefore, the prediction of students’ final course grades with continuous assessment marks is a useful toolkit for degree program educators. Predictive models are practical tools used to [...] Read more.
Introductory Engineering Mathematics (a skill builder for engineers) involves developing problem-solving attributes throughout the teaching period. Therefore, the prediction of students’ final course grades with continuous assessment marks is a useful toolkit for degree program educators. Predictive models are practical tools used to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching as well as assessing the students’ progression and implementing interventions for the best learning outcomes. This study develops a novel multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) model to predict the weighted score WS (i.e., the course grade). To construct the proposed MARS model, Introductory Engineering Mathematics performance data over five years from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, were used to design predictive models using input predictors of online quizzes, written assignments, and examination scores. About 60% of randomised predictor grade data were applied to train the model (with 25% of the training set used for validation) and 40% to test the model. Based on the cross-correlation of inputs vs. the WS, 12 distinct combinations with single (i.e., M1–M5) and multiple (M6–M12) features were created to assess the influence of each on the WS with results bench-marked via a decision tree regression (DTR), kernel ridge regression (KRR), and a k-nearest neighbour (KNN) model. The influence of each predictor on WS clearly showed that online quizzes provide the least contribution. However, the MARS model improved dramatically by including written assignments and examination scores. The research demonstrates the merits of the proposed MARS model in uncovering relationships among continuous learning variables, which also provides a distinct advantage to educators in developing early intervention and moderating their teaching by predicting the performance of students ahead of final outcome for a course. The findings and future application have significant practical implications in teaching and learning interventions or planning aimed to improve graduate outcomes in undergraduate engineering program cohorts. Full article
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20 pages, 9463 KiB  
Article
A Longitudinal Study on Students’ Foreign Language Anxiety and Cognitive Load in Gamified Classes of Higher Education
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710905 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
Using gamification as an instructional intervention to manage students’ learning emotions has become a trending topic. Meanwhile, the cognitive load resulting from gamified learning environments may impact learning emotions negatively. In order to clarify students’ foreign language anxiety and cognitive load in a [...] Read more.
Using gamification as an instructional intervention to manage students’ learning emotions has become a trending topic. Meanwhile, the cognitive load resulting from gamified learning environments may impact learning emotions negatively. In order to clarify students’ foreign language anxiety and cognitive load in a gamified English as a foreign language class, this study designed a gamified flipped learning context in a Chinese university and conducted five surveys, three semi-structured interviews, and consecutive in-class observation in 15 sessions. This study has the following findings: First, neither the foreign language anxiety nor the cognitive load of the students changed significantly through the entire course; second, the game elements produced contradictory effects on the students’ multiple-sourced foreign language anxiety (communication apprehension, fear of negative evaluation, and lack of self-confidence); third, the introduction of games had transient effects on extraneous cognitive load, and the immersion in games indirectly influenced the intrinsic and germane cognitive load; in addition, foreign language anxiety and cognitive load correlated in a complicated and dynamic manner as a result of diverse gamification factors. These findings are expected to provide useful insights for researchers into the significance of utilizing gamification in emotion management while taking cognitive dimensions into account from both the collective and the individual perspectives. Full article
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20 pages, 3613 KiB  
Article
Using Bayesian Networks to Provide Educational Implications: Mobile Learning and Ethnomathematics to Improve Sustainability in Mathematics Education
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5897; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105897 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2563
Abstract
There are many Western apps that help students strengthen their mathematics skills through learning and game apps. A research project was designed to create an IOS Math App to provide Grade 6 Emirati students with the opportunity to explore mathematics, then, using Bayesian [...] Read more.
There are many Western apps that help students strengthen their mathematics skills through learning and game apps. A research project was designed to create an IOS Math App to provide Grade 6 Emirati students with the opportunity to explore mathematics, then, using Bayesian Networks, to examine the educational implications. The learning app was developed using ethnomathematics modules based on the Emirati culture. Students were required to navigate through several modules to examine various mathematical concepts in algebra and geometry. The survey was written for Grade 6 English language learners. Based on the Bayesian Networks, the findings suggested that if students are allowed to explore mathematics based on familiar cultural norms and practices, students with grades A and C would get higher grades. However, if students are not allowed to explore mathematics in line with their local culture, more students would receive an F grade, while some students with an A grade would get lower grades. Additionally, the findings showed that incorporating cultural elements had a positive change in students’ liking and learning mathematics, even without a mobile device. However, not allowing a mobile device and not allowing culture had an increased negative impact on students’ liking and learning mathematics. The last finding suggested that students valued ethnomathematics examples over a mobile device to learn mathematics. The research findings could help to improve sustainability in mathematics education by promoting ethnomathematics and mobile learning. Full article
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17 pages, 3041 KiB  
Article
Can Gamification Influence the Academic Performance of Students?
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5115; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095115 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6006
Abstract
Gamification along with a whole range of other active methodologies are being incorporated into university classrooms due to their potential benefits for student learning. The aim of this paper was to analyse how a multimodal learning environment based on gamification could affect the [...] Read more.
Gamification along with a whole range of other active methodologies are being incorporated into university classrooms due to their potential benefits for student learning. The aim of this paper was to analyse how a multimodal learning environment based on gamification could affect the final grades of university students in a subject taught at the Faculty of Education in a spanish university. The research was made up of 133 Spanish university students (Mage = 19.60; SDage = 0.43 years old). A quasi-experimental post-test design with a control group was used. The control group and the intervention group consisted of 66 and 67 students respectively. A multimodal gamified learning environment was set up for the intervention group, in contrast to traditional teaching methods which were reserved for the control group. Each one was implemented throughout an academic year. The results revealed statistically significant differences in the final average grade (p < 0.001), with students from the intervention group obtaining higher overall scores. The same occurred in the voluntary learning tasks, with students from the intervention group earning more Health Points (p = 0.006), more Experience Points (p = 0.005), a higher Total Score (p = 0.002) and a higher Level Achieved (p = 0.002). These findings point to the fact that a multimodal gamified learning environment can influence the academic performance of students. However, more scientific research has to be carried out in order to support these findings. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2020

13 pages, 1038 KiB  
Article
Towards Accessibility and Inclusion of Native Mobile Applications Available for Ecuador in Google Play Store
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011237 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
This article aims to evaluate the level of compliance with the accessibility requirements of the most popular native Android mobile applications, for which a sample of 50 Google Play Store applications available in Ecuador was taken. A five-phase method using the Accessibility Scanner [...] Read more.
This article aims to evaluate the level of compliance with the accessibility requirements of the most popular native Android mobile applications, for which a sample of 50 Google Play Store applications available in Ecuador was taken. A five-phase method using the Accessibility Scanner tool was used to evaluate the apps. The results revealed that 47.5% are related to problems with tactile orientation, followed by the labeling of elements with 28.2%, and text contrast with 9.2%. The highest number of barriers found in the evaluation of mobile applications corresponds to the principle of operability with 53.9%. This study reveals that, although social networks are widely used, they have 28.7% of accessibility problems. Basing accessibility analysis exclusively on an automatic tool is very limited since it neither detects all errors nor are the errors they detect accurate. However, we suggest complementing the automatic review evaluations with a manual method based on heuristics to ensure an adequate level of accessibility in mobile apps. In addition, we recommend using this study as a starting point to create a software tool using WCAG 2.1 based on artificial intelligence algorithms to help developers evaluate accessibility in mobile apps. Full article
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17 pages, 3735 KiB  
Article
Introducing Sustainable Development Topics into Computer Science Education: Design and Evaluation of the Eco JSity Game
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084244 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3155
Abstract
With increasing awareness of the advantages of game-based learning, there is a growing number of studies showing its application to both computer science education and sustainable development education. In this paper, we describe, with the example of the Eco JSity application, how both [...] Read more.
With increasing awareness of the advantages of game-based learning, there is a growing number of studies showing its application to both computer science education and sustainable development education. In this paper, we describe, with the example of the Eco JSity application, how both of these areas can be combined into a single tool. The presented evaluation results showed that despite incorporating the sustainable development topics into both the theme and mechanics of the educational game, both the usefulness and ease-of-use of the application were still assessed positively by students. We also identified three clusters of students depending on their attitude towards combining education on computer science and sustainable development. We concluded that game-based learning provided a capable means of incorporating sustainable development topics into teaching of unrelated technical skills. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

14 pages, 1541 KiB  
Review
Impact of the Information and Communication Technologies on Students with Disabilities. A Systematic Review 2009–2019
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8603; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208603 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3858
Abstract
This article provides a bibliographic review of studies undertaken between 2009–2019 regarding the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support the learning of students with disabilities, included in the following databases: Web of Science (WoS,) Scopus, ERIC, SciELO, and Google Scholar. [...] Read more.
This article provides a bibliographic review of studies undertaken between 2009–2019 regarding the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support the learning of students with disabilities, included in the following databases: Web of Science (WoS,) Scopus, ERIC, SciELO, and Google Scholar. Through a descriptive and quantitative methodology, and using bibliometric maps, the most significant data are presented according to their citation and repercussion index. The results show that ICTs are decisive for student with disabilities but there is evidence of a lack of training by teachers. In this regard, findings show that both the quantity of articles published in the different databases and the citations they receive have a medium-low impact index, as well as a low application of them. Full article
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20 pages, 1507 KiB  
Article
Higher Education Students’ Assessments towards Gamification and Sustainability: A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8513; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208513 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4583
Abstract
Some academics are pushing for teaching staff to implement didactical practices to obtain sustainable behavior. Moreover, a fundamental element of gamification in all educational stages is the noteworthy effect it has on student motivation. In our study, we examined higher education students’ assessments [...] Read more.
Some academics are pushing for teaching staff to implement didactical practices to obtain sustainable behavior. Moreover, a fundamental element of gamification in all educational stages is the noteworthy effect it has on student motivation. In our study, we examined higher education students’ assessments in the University of Malaga on the design of educational gamification and the teaching criteria that relate to gamification, and its effect on student’s motivation, the applications of gamification, and the attitude towards sustainability. A questionnaire was administered to students studying for degrees in education from the University of Malaga. A total of 187 valid surveys were obtained. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was computed for these data based on an exploratory–confirmatory model and using SmartPLS version 3.3.2. A positive relationship between assessment of students’ motivation and sustainability attitude was found. We found that the opinions of the students about the role of their training and teaching design material in education would affect students’ motivation and the sustainability behavior, although the power of this last construct is moderate. Full article
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