Collaborative problem-based learning PBL) in online environments has become one of the important areas for research with the rapid growth of online learning and the need for innovation in instruction. Although current literature provides interesting and useful insights, it does not provide practical guidelines for designing and implementing collaborative PBL in online environments. Thus, this study sought to provide a first step in creating a more comprehensive and useful knowledge base to guide practitioners, such as instructors and instructional designers, who design online PBL courses or use the PBL approach in online courses. Utilizing the formative research methodology, which is a kind of qualitative case study, and the grounded theory methodology with multiple case studies, this research examined three graduate-level online courses that utilize collaborative PBL: 1) “Technology: Use and Assessment,” 2) “Introduction to Reference,” and 3) “Advanced Problems in Librarianship: Collection Development.” From each case, two kinds of data were collected: descriptive and evaluative. These data were collected from multiple sources, including interviews, observations, and document review. The data collection began at the start of the Fall 2005 semester and ended about two weeks after the end of the semester. Data analysis was intertwined with data collection. Qualitative data from each case were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Beyond describing what happened in each case, this study identified what worked and did not work well in the collaborative PBL and explored how the collaborative PBL could be improved. Based on cross-case analyses, this study proposed a series of guidelines for designing and implementing collaborative PBL in online environments. They provide practical tips for diverse stages of the design and implementation of online PBL. Researchers are encouraged to test the guidelines in diverse situations to revise and refine them and to develop more comprehensive and practical guidelines for online collaborative PBL.
Tag Archive: Technologyof
Collaborative problem-based learning in online environments (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )
Evaluating the effectiveness of a learning system for technical calculus (Education Papers posted on March 25th, 2013 )
Scope and method of study. Scope and method of study. The purpose of this qualitative and quantitative study was to describe the perceptions and experiences of participants that attended discussion sessions and/or used the Technical Calculus Learning Supplement TCLS). This study also investigated the D-F-W rate, class attendance, and pre and post-algebra assessment scores between the participants and non-participants. Each participant completed a questionnaire over the TCLS, a questionnaire over the discussion sessions, pre/post algebra assessment, and a long interview with the researcher. In addition, the researcher recorded daily hits to each of the TCLS components using website counters. Findings and conclusion. Students used the learning assessment measures LAMS) the most out of any of the six components of the TCLS； followed by the how to study mathematics； quick algebra review QAR)； quick trigonometry review QTR)； how to use the TI-83 calculator； and the applications from engineering technology components. Students revealed six different reasons why they used the TCLS website and revealed various reasons why they used each of the six components of the TCLS. Furthermore, participants and non-participants expressed nine different reasons why they did not use the TCLS during the semester. Other participants and non-participants stated three reasons why they used the TCLS in a more limited way. Participants earn a significantly higher mean course grade than did nonparticipants. For those students that did not withdraw or quit coming to class, participants missed significantly fewer days in class than did non-participants. The results of this research showed that there was no significant difference in the pre-algebra assessment scores for participants and non-participants, nor was there any significant difference in the gain from the pre to post-algebra assessment scores for participants and non-participants. The students revealed ten reasons why they attended the discussion sessions during the semester. Other students stated seven reasons why they did not attend the discussion sessions. Students attributed much of their success in the course to the three step method that was used in the discussion sessions and stated that the discussion sessions helped them be more actively involved in their own learning. The students stated six different ways in which the discussion sessions helped them in the course.
The development and utilization of an online instrument to assess the quality of K–12 elementary school libraries (Education Papers posted on March 25th, 2013 )
The 1997 School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines for Texas defines five Components for a model school library program: 1) Learning Environment； 2) Curriculum Integration； 3) Resources； 4) Program Management； and 5) Facilities. In 2000, the Texas Library Standards Online Assessment Instrument LSOAI) was developed as a multi-user web-based instrument for assessing K–12 school library programs. The developers promoted the online instrument as a way in which librarians, and other stakeholders, could easily access library evaluation data on the Texas school library programs. The purpose of this study is to assess the quality of Texas elementary library programs by examining librarians ratings on the LSOAI for 2001–2002. This study also investigates how these ratings relate to student achievement as demonstrated by a) student Texas Assessment of Academic Skills TARS) reading scores, b) school Academic Excellence Indicator System AEIS) ratings, and c) school demographics. Furthermore, an analysis of the reliability and validity of the LSOAI is carried out in order to determine the usability of the LSOAI as an instrument for assessing K–12 libraries. The present study is based upon a secondary data analysis of a convenience sample of 256 Texas elementary librarians who completed the LSOAI in 2001–2002. The results indicate that the LSOAI is both a reliable and valid instrument for accessing school library programs. The findings also reveal that Exemplary rated libraries have lower student-teacher ratios, lower percentages of economically disadvantaged and LEP populations, smaller budgets for instruction and instructional leadership, and greater access to the Internet and its resources than lower rated libraries. Internet access has a high, positive association with the five Components of the 1997 Standards. The study concludes with suggestions relating to the development of a future school library program assessment instrument including the need for educating librarians on the purpose and use of an instrument； involving stakeholders in library assessment； collecting relevant data； and identifying funding sources for development.
Development of Spanish L2 competence in a synchronous CMC (chat room) environment: The role of visually-enhanced recasts in fostering grammatical knowledge and changes in communicative language use (Education Papers posted on March 24th, 2013 )
Taking into consideration some gaps observed in SLA research—noticing, recasts, input enhancement IE),…—and in CALL/CMC research, a study was conducted among 12 advanced FL Spanish learners to assess whether and how, by communicating with a Spanish native speaker in 5 written chat-room sessions, their language competence would develop in the following areas: 1) communication strategies； 2) communicative acts； and 3) grammatical knowledge of verb tense-aspect-mood TAM) assignation. Subjects were assigned to a specific feedback condition/group A: ＋recast, -enhancement； B: ＋recast, ＋enhancement； and C: no feedback) under which their TAM errors were treated in the sessions. Few research studies have concentrated on the effectiveness of recasts for grammatical acquisition； rather, they tend to focus on conversational aspects e.g. Lyster & Ranta, 1997； Ohta, 2000) while the scarce grammar-based recast research has yielded positive results e.g. Doughty, & Varela, 1998； Ishida, 2004； Mackey, & Philp, 1998). On the other hand, IE, typically an enhancement of the perceptual salience of input in applying the “input flooding” technique Francis, 2003), has yielded mixed results, but some studies have found a facilitative effect for IE cf. e.g. Doughty, 1991； Francis, 2003； Jourdenais et al., 1995； & Shook, 1994). Because of their relatively ineffective, rather implicit nature when used in isolation, in this study recasts were combined with IE assuming that IE—a tool not traditionally used in SLA as an additional measure of feedback—might strengthen the recast and render it more effective for uptake of the linguistic forms. Based on the properties of the resulting combined feedback group B: enhanced recast), it was anticipated that enhanced recasts would be a more powerful tool, and, as a result, the following sequence of gain in grammatical knowledge would be found: group B enhanced) ＞ group A non-enhanced) ＞ group C no feedback). The findings reveal that groups B and C had the highest overall gains in verb TAM assignation and group B was superior in most grammatical contexts. In the case of communication strategy and communicative act use, the sequence of gain was: group A ＞ group B ＞ group C.
Investigation and analysis of online reading strategies (Education Papers posted on March 18th, 2013 )
Scope and method of study. This study represents a two-part, sequential order mixed-methods project which identified and comparatively analyzed the reading strategies of high school seniors. In order to determine the use of online reading strategies, students were surveyed regarding their use of online reading strategies, print reading strategies, and internet use habits. Standardized reading comprehension scores were also used in the analysis. It was hypothesized that readers who were highly strategic when reading print texts would also be highly strategic when reading online texts and that students who spent more time per week online and who scored higher on measures of reading comprehension would be more strategic and utilize more strategies while reading online texts. A subset of students was selected to participate in think-aloud protocols, giving voice to both strategy and thought as they navigated and read online texts. These verbal reports were qualitatively analyzed and compared to the framework of during reading strategies identified by Pressley & Afflerbach 1995). Findings and conclusions. Data indicated that students were more strategic readers of online texts than print texts, and the difference in strategy use was statistically significant. However, with this set of student participants, neither reading comprehension nor internet use affected strategy use with online texts. Students used a number of the strategies included in the framework, which indicated that many of the strategies from print texts can also be useful with online texts. However, students used many strategies that were unique to online texts and indicate differences in the environments that affect reading, including tracking their place online with the cursor, making connections to other media texts, and searching for items which caught their attention and interest. The think-aloud data also demonstrated that students were inconsistent in their ability to self-report on strategy use. Overall, this study indicates that students have a very incomplete set of skills and strategies in their arsenal of tools when engaged with online texts. Students may be in need of direct and explicit monitoring and self-regulatory strategies and skills for improving their comprehension and retention of information when reading online texts.
Exploring changes to reading comprehension on the Internet: Paradoxes and possibilities for diverse adolescent readers (Education Papers posted on March 17th, 2013 )
The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to investigate the extent to which new online reading proficiencies (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro & Cammack, 2004) may be required to comprehend information on the Internet. It also sought to explore the nature of online reading comprehension among three adolescent readers who read online at different levels of proficiency. First, 109 seventh-graders were selected from a stratified random sample of diverse middle school students in Connecticut and asked to complete a measure of online reading comprehension ability called Online Reading Comprehension Assessment Scenario I (ORCA-Scenario I). Standardized reading comprehension scores were also collected. Sixteen weeks later, students completed a survey of topic-specific prior knowledge and a second, parallel measure of online reading comprehension ability (ORCA-Scenario II). Results of a hierarchical regression analysis indicated performance on one measure of online reading comprehension ability accounted for a significant amount of variance in performance on a second measure of online reading comprehension ability over and above offline reading comprehension ability and a measure of topic-specific knowledge. Furthermore, there was an interaction between prior knowledge and online reading comprehension ability, such that higher levels of online reading comprehension skills may help compensate for lower levels of topic- and task-specific prior knowledge when adolescents complete online reading tasks requiring them to locate, critically evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information using the Internet. Retrospective think-aloud protocol data were also obtained from three purposefully selected focal students after they completed the second online reading session. A diachronic (Gutierrez & Stone, 2000), developmental, contrastive case study analysis of these protocols revealed two major findings. First, a developmental progression of online reading skills and strategies appeared to distinguish the three readers’ performance within six observed phases of online reading. Second, developmental differences among the three readers appeared to be affected in important ways by five key dimensions of offline and online reading comprehension ability. Findings from this study may open new possibilities for theory, research, and practice to support efforts that address the needs of diverse adolescent readers in new Internet reading contexts.
Computer-based training (CBT) can be effective and efficient (cost effective) used as a strategy to deliver training that teaches critical skills that must transfer to performance on the job. When learning and performance is critical to the welfare of clients and fellow workers, employers must be confident that real learning has occurred. The practice of Universal Precautions is important in residential child care when guarding against bloodborne pathogens. It is imperative that all staff who come in contact with clients know how to deal with potentially infectious material. Studies have been done that maintain that computer-based training is at least as effective as face-to-face training. Few studies were found that have tested the retention of that training and transfer to the job. The question investigated here is about how effectively CBT transfers learning of skills to the performance of those skills. Twenty-six participants completed a computer-based training that required both knowledge-based and performance-based testing of the material. They were tested immediately after the training. The tests were repeated after a one-to-three-month interval. The cost of training is important, especially to non-profits who must spend every public dollar wisely. This study contrasts cost of delivery of this CBT with the cost of face-to-face classroom training and synchronous distant learning. A return on investment and benefit-cost ratio is also demonstrated. The training was evaluated on four levels, student reaction, learning, behavior, and results. Findings from this study support the use of computer-based training as part of the array of delivery strategies available to employers as they prepare their employees for the workplace.
The machine in the making: Examining the collaboration effect between artist and technology (Education Papers posted on March 16th, 2013 )
Artistic technologies have evolved to the point where machines can engage in artistic practice separately from human artists, disrupting traditional ideas about what it means to make art and transforming the relationship between artist and technology. While the discourse surrounding these technologies represents them as either the loss of the artists control over the art-making process or as a corruption of the technology itself, artists describe their relationship with their technology as one of collaboration, almost as if the technology possessed a consciousness of its own. The research presented herein examines this “collaborative effect” that occurs between artist and technology by first reviewing the automations of three artists who constructed machines that act independently of their creators to make art, and then by analyzing the resulting discourse. The collaborative effect is subsequently used as a guide for understanding the artists relationship to current technologies and exploring ways in which such greater understanding can be fostered in the instruction of art and technology.
Comparative impacts of Web-based GIS on student content knowledge, geography skills, and self-efficacy in introductory human geography (Education Papers posted on March 15th, 2013 )
This dissertation compares the impacts on student learning outcomes: self-efficacy, content knowledge, and geography skills, when Web-based GIS is used to teach introductory human geography. While GIS has been used at all levels of education, there exists a shortage of empirical data related to the effectiveness of GIS education on student learning. Two instructional strategies for problem-solving and data exploration are compared: the use of paper maps and the use of Web-based GIS. Analyses of students learning outcomes show no significant difference between instructional strategies in regards to pre-test or post-test scores or the performance skills assessment. The research findings indicate that Web-based GIS is an effective alternative to using paper maps to teach introductory human geography. However, while students who used Web-based GIS demonstrated learning gains comparable to those achieved by students who used paper maps, exposure to GIS technology within the introductory geography course had concomitant benefits. Students who used Web-based GIS saw value in the technology and reported that it was more engaging than using paper maps. Students learned geography while at the same time being introduced to a powerful technology for problem-solving and analysis. In addition, Web-based GIS may encourage students to develop a more empirical approach to problem-solving. Comparisons of the geography skills performance assessments suggest that students who used Web-based GIS are more likely to include data-tables or data values to support their findings. Tangential to the principal focus of this research, analysis of the self-efficacy assessments revealed two important relationships. Both the pre- and the post-test self-efficacy surveys were positively correlated with the pre- and the post-test geography content knowledge scores. In addition, data analysis revealed gender-based differences in pre-test self-efficacy surveys. Male students rated their self-efficacy higher than did female students. At the end of the 10-week class, female students showed significantly higher gains in self-efficacy than did male students, which equalized the gender-based differences in post-test self-efficacy.
Measuring the effect of e-learning on job performance (Education Papers posted on March 15th, 2013 )
E-learning is becoming a leading delivery method in workplace-learning settings across organizations of various sectors and of varying sizes. The ultimate goal is to drive business results. Managers need to provide evidence of a positive impact on corporate strategy and investment objectives. If the business goal cannot be identified, there should be a query on why it is there in the first place. Transfer of the knowledge learned in the training session to the work situation is not built into most skills training delivery, especially those provided through e-learning. The outcomes and the effects of training on job performance are not measured because no method currently exists for credible evaluation. This problem exists across the Information Technology IT) industry. Constant IT innovation makes technical competencies a fundamental requirement and continuous IT skills training a necessity. The trainee may have acquired the appropriate new skill, but the work environment to which the employee returns may make practicing what was learned counterproductive. The goal of the dissertation was to produce a valid and reliable instrument to measure the alignment of IT e-learning with corporate and departmental strategies. The instrument will be valuable to industries with IT departments. The methodology for this study followed the Kirkpatrick Model, specifically Level 3, an evaluation that measures behavioral change on the job. The evaluation included specific application of the special knowledge or skills learned in the training. IT employees were surveyed after the completion of an online training class. The results indicated the frequency and effectiveness of the on-the-job application. In addition, open-ended questions provided feedback on the survey instrument and the training. Utilized by corporations, the balanced scorecard approach was followed to track the alignment of online training with organizational goals. This approach includes a method to develop a measure such as strategy maps that depict overall organization strategic themes to improve the link between training and corporate strategy.