Tag Archive: Technologyof

Trust in e-Mentoring Relationships (Education Papers posted on April 12th, 2014 )

The role of trust in traditional face-to-face mentoring has already been investigated in several research studies. However, to our knowledge, very few studies have examined how trust is established in electronic-mentoring relationships. The purpose of the current study is to examine by means of the Mayer et al. (1995) model how e-mentees perceive a prospective e-mentor’s trustworthiness and how these perceptions influence the decision to be mentored by a particular e-mentor. A sample comprised of 253 undergraduate and graduate students from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa participated as potential mentees by completing a survey after having reviewed the selected e-mentor’s profile. The survey employed quantitative and qualitative measurements to assess the mentee’s perception of the prospective e-mentor’s level of trustworthiness. In the quantitative section, both the Behavioural Trust Inventory (Gillespie, 2003) and the Factors of Perceived Trustworthiness (Mayer et al., 1999) were measured. The Behavioural Trust Inventory was designed to measure the extent to which a mentee is willing to be vulnerable in e-mentoring relationships. The Factors of Perceived Trustworthiness (ability, benevolence and integrity) were designed to measure these three attributes’ contributions to the extent to which the mentees perceived the e-mentor as being trustworthy. The factorial structure (confirmatory factor analysis) and internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) of the constructs were examined. Structural equation modeling was conducted to test the fit of the models (Behavioural Trust Inventory and Mayer et al.) to an e-mentoring context. In the qualitative section, the indicators of trustworthiness were collected by means of an open-ended question and were analyzed by means of content analysis. The results of the quantitative analysis revealed that the models (the Behavioural Trust Inventory and the Factors of Perceived Trustworthiness) have an adequate fit with the e-mentoring model after accounting for some correlated error terms. The results of the qualitative analysis identified some other attributes (apart from ability, benevolence and integrity groups) have an influence on the extent to which the mentees perceived the e-mentor as being trustworthy. The main finding is that the Mayer et al. (1995) model appears to be a suitable device for the measurement of trust in e-mentoring relationships at the initiation phase.

Beyond installation: Effective use of interactive whiteboards in Yukon classrooms (Education Papers posted on April 11th, 2014 )

This study employed a mixed model approach to investigate the use of interactive white boards among a group of teachers in a small, northern public school system. Interactive whiteboards were new to these schools and little was known about the effects this technology had upon the teachers’ pedagogies and teaching strategies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate those effects by determining the frequencies, levels, and types of interactive whiteboard utilization. The participants were also asked to identify the professional development supports that would assist them to improve the effectiveness of their use of interactive whiteboards. Following the analyses of the quantitative and qualitative data, the combined results of the study were used to prepare a description of the pioneers’ utilization of interactive whiteboards and identify professional development recommendations to facilitate the integration of whiteboards in this school system.

Simulation to Build Empathy in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders: a Video Modeling Study (Education Papers posted on April 11th, 2014 )

Since a deficit in empathy is not only characteristic among individuals with autism spectrum disorder ASD) but categorically used in defining ASD, IT is of utmost importance to explore educational avenues to build prosocial skills among this group. This study sought to explore the primary research question: What impact does the implementation of an empathy-focused video modeling intervention have on frequency of empathic behaviour among adolescents with ASD? The secondary research questions examined were: In what ways does employing a video modeling simulation intervention using the Model Me Kids Friendship program impact the ability of adolescents with ASD to demonstrate empathic behaviour? How do adolescents with ASD express or speak about their empathic behaviour following participation in a simulation intervention using Model Me Kids Friendship? How do the Educational Resource Facilitators teaching assistants) perceive the same individuals’ empathic behaviour following participation in a simulation intervention using Model Me Kids Friendship MMF)? This mixed methods study explores 1 particular video modeling simulation program as a focused approach to building empathic behaviour among adolescents with ASD. The theoretical framework presented blends theory of mind, simulation theory, and psychological theories of empathic behaviour including the inherent motor, cognitive, and emotional components. Individuals with ASD may not learn empathic behaviours solely through observation as typically developing children do, but findings suggest that through video simulation, practice may, in fact, lead to increased empathic behaviour. The quantitative findings were not significant but did show increase in motor empathy behaviour ratings among intervention group participants. Support for video modeling as a vehicle to teach empathic behaviour was provided by qualitative data collected over the course of 4 months contextualizing specific examples of empathic behaviour exhibited by participating teens with ASD. There is a link made between high levels of systematizing among teens on the spectrum the drive to analyze and build a system) and video modeling as a means to foster empathic behaviour, thereby supporting an increased use of video simulation strategies to teach Social skills among this group.

Collaborative problem-based learning in online environments (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

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.

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.

E(2): Efficient and effective e-learning (Education Papers posted on March 17th, 2013 )

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.