Research in Learning Technology https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt Association for Learning Technology en-US Research in Learning Technology 2156-7069 Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank">http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/</a>) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that <span style="text-decoration: underline;">appropriate credit</span> is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you <span style="text-decoration: underline;">indicate if changes were made</span>. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.<br /><br /><br /> Smart learning environment: Teacher’s role in assessing classroom attention https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2072 <p>The main purpose of this article is to investigate the impact of teacher’s position on students’ performance in higher education. A new pedagogical approach based on collaborative learning is used due to the design of a smart learning environment (SLE). This workspace uses, respectively, information and communication technologies (ICT) and radio frequency identification (RFID)-based indoor positioning system in order to examine students’ perceptions and the involvement of groups into this smart classroom. The merge of interactive multimedia system, ubiquitous computing and several handheld devices should lead to a successful active learning process. Firstly, we provide a detailed description of the proposed collaborative environment using mainly new technologies and indoor location system serving as a platform for evaluating attention. The research provides an obvious consensus on the teacher’s role in assessing classroom attention. We discuss our preliminary results on how teacher’s position influences essentially students’ participation. Our first experiments show that the integration of novel technologies in the area of higher education is extremely promoting the traditional way of teaching. The smart classroom model has been recommended to support this evolution. As a result, the found results indicate that the teacher’s position increases the learner’s motivation, engagement and effective learning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Rawia Bdiwi Cyril de Runz Sami Faiz Arab Ali Cherif ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-01-04 2019-01-04 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2072 Use of the game-based learning platform KAHOOT! to facilitate learner engagement in Animal Science students https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2225 <p>Gamification of instructional activities is a useful approach that educators can use to promote more effective learning environments by increasing problem-solving, critical thinking and competence in the classroom. ‘KAHOOT!’ is an online multi-player real-time quiz game that allows students to measure learning in an engaging, immediate and entertaining manner. Lecturers can measure how well students absorb information and tailor their teaching to the next step or re-teach a concept after poor uptake by students. Seventy-two students participated in a 20-question survey about their experiences with ‘KAHOOT!’. Engagement scores were correlated with assessment grades to measure if ‘KAHOOT!’ affected student learning and achievement. The survey was deemed statistically sound in reliability and validity testing, and a principal components analysis (PCA) revealed that the attributes were strongly linked. There was no relationship between engagement score and assessment grade, indicating that ‘KAHOOT’!’ did not directly increase achievement. However, assessment of individual responses identified that students found it to be a positive social learning technology as it provided a fun, competitive and immersive end to a class. The benefits of fostering engagement, enjoyment and immersion within adult learning are especially important for maintaining a level of achievement within education to ensure that students are better equipped to deal with challenges and can turn a potential failure into an opportunity to improve their scholarship. The challenge provided by this study is to identify now how to measure the value of ‘fun’ activities in the tertiary classroom as a reinforcer for engagement, participation and learning.</p> Kristie E. Cameron Lewis A. Bizo ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-05-15 2019-05-15 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2225 Beacons: A tool for 21st Century teaching and learning? https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2127 <p>Beacon technology was developed by Apple in 2013, and its initial use in secondary education has generated much enthusiastic descriptive and web-based claims of its potential. However, not only is there a paucity of academic study on its use in the classroom, but none of these claims have been critiqued. Additionally, if teachers are to use the technology in their pedagogy, they should know how to do so, theoretically and practically. This paper reports on research that was jointly conducted with a Year 10 Science teacher in an independent secondary school in the UK. Using an action research methodology, the research employed qualitative methods, such as observations, interviews and focus groups, to assess, from both the teacher’s and pupils’ perspectives, what affordances beacons have for pedagogy and what limitations constrain their use in practice. The results illustrated that beacons have several affordances for both teachers and pupils that, collectively, support constructivist approaches to learning. However, they also revealed technological and user limitations that affect both the use and efficacy of beacons in practice. Further research is needed to quantify the effect of beacons on pupils’ learning. Longitudinal research is needed to verify these findings over time and with a larger sample.</p> Charles Atherton ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-04-11 2019-04-11 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2127 Using a handwriting app leads to improvement in manual dexterity in kindergarten children https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2135 <p>This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of using electronic handwriting applications (apps) in addition to a traditional method of teaching handwriting on kindergarten children’s manual dexterity (MD) and handwriting skills. Testing was done with 125 children in two groups: control (<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 67) and experimental (<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 58). Both groups used worksheets, but the experimental group also used an app with a stylus for their practice time. A 2 (group) × 2 (time) analysis indicated a significant interaction for MD (<em>p</em>&nbsp;&lt; 0.03), with a significant improvement in the experimental group. Significant differences emerged for legibility, showing that both groups improved at handwriting over time. Study results demonstrated that using apps in the kindergarten classroom can enhance handwriting as well as a traditional handwriting teaching method. Apps also have the advantage of improving MD, which is a building block for several fine motor skills.</p> Christi Butler Ricardo Pimenta Jodi Tommerdahl Chadwick T. Fuchs Priscila Caçola ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-04-02 2019-04-02 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2135 Animating student engagement: The impacts of cartoon instructional videos on learning experience https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2124 <p>In the modern age of education, students increasingly demand engaging, customized multimedia content. Animation constitutes a powerful pedagogical tool by combining audio messages with tailored visual cues and graphics, to serve the dual functions of explaining complex concepts and engaging student interest in the learning process. This study explores the use of a series of animated videos to teach advanced accounting at an Australian university. Based on survey responses from 254 undergraduate students over two semesters, we provide evidence of the specific avenues through which animated instructional videos enhance students’ learning experience, including increased engagement and interest, improved understanding and greater flexibility in self-directed learning. Additionally, character design, voice acting and dialogues in animated videos are found vital to improving student engagement. Further, this study offers novel insights into how students from various demographic groups can derive different benefits from the animations. These findings deepen our existing understanding of the pedagogical advantages of animated instructional videos and offer valuable guidance to enable future educators to harness the power of animation technologies to produce effective teaching resources.</p> Chelsea Liu Philip Elms ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-04-01 2019-04-01 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2124 Construction and evaluation of a web application for the educational process on Normal Distribution considering the science of data and machine learning https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2085 <p>This mixed research aims at the planning, construction and implementation of a web application to facilitate the educational process on the Normal Distribution through the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model. This study proposes the use of the PHP programming language (technological knowledge), the topics of Normal Distribution (content knowledge) and computer simulation (pedagogical knowledge) to create the Web Application on the Educational Process of Statistics (WAEPS). The sample consists of 61 students who took the subject Statistical Instrumentation for Business during the 2018 school year. The results of the linear regression (machine learning with 50% and 70% of training) indicate that the WAEPS facilitates the educational process on statistics. In fact, the WAEPS promotes the active role in the student, develops mathematical skills and facilitates the assimilation of knowledge about the calculation of upper and lower limits in the Normal Distribution by means of data simulation, interactivity and navigation. Even students consider that this web application is innovative and useful for the educational field. In addition, data science (decision tree technique) identifies various predictive models on the impact of the WAEPS in the educational process. Finally, the TPACK model is an ideal frame of reference to innovate the teaching–learning process through technological, pedagogical and content knowledge.</p> Ricardo-Adán Salas-Rueda ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2085 A comparative study on the traditional and intensive delivery of an online course: design and facilitation recommendations https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2196 <p>In this paper, we present findings from a comparative study on a fully online postgraduate course offered in traditional (i.e. 13-week academic session) and intensive (i.e. 6-week academic session) delivery formats. Keeping the course curriculum, structure and quality consistent in both delivery modes, the study investigated student participation and academic performance given different facilitation techniques applied to the discussion forums. Using data from the learning management system and students’ final marks, we conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis and found no difference in the academic performance of students in both courses; however, there was a statistically significant relationship between student participation and academic performance in the intensive delivery format but not in the traditional delivery format. We also found differences in the type of interactions in the different delivery formats. Two key takeaways emerge from our study. Firstly, intensive online courses can be as effective as traditional courses in terms of achievement of learning outcomes with variations in learning design, in this case, the facilitation approach used. Secondly, considering the level and nature of interactions, student-centred discussion forums that allow students to assume different roles work well in the intensive delivery format especially in open discussions. These are important findings for academics and practitioners who wish to offer intensive courses without compromising on course quality and student success.</p> Panos Vlachopoulos Shazia K. Jan Lori Lockyer ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-03-07 2019-03-07 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2196 Maximising motivators for technology-enhanced learning for further education teachers: moving beyond the early adopters in a time of austerity https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2032 <p>Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) has become a prominent issue in further education (FE) since the publication of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) report in 2014, but many initiatives have concentrated on digital competence without investigating the role of staff attitudes and motivation in extending their use of new technologies. This research explored the views and experiences of FE staff using technology to support learning and the impact of these on their motivation to develop a technology-enhanced curriculum in their subject. The aim was to identify any common themes or factors linked to positive engagement with TEL which could inform institutional efforts to increase the extent and effectiveness of TEL use. This research used a mixed-methods approach to attempt to provide a broader and more reliable view of attitudes and also considered the similarities and differences between the experiences of further and higher education teachers through comparison with Bennett’s (2014) Digital Practitioner Framework and the particular barriers found in the resource-constrained environment of FE. It summarises the key factors identified as likely to influence staff engagement with TEL, and recommends how such motivating factors could be maximised and how potential barriers could be addressed.</p> Emily J. Armstrong ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-28 2019-02-28 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2032 A causal loop approach to uncover interrelationship of student online interaction and engagement and their contributing factors https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2058 <p>Advances in technology reinforce the imperative to obtain further insight into the factors that impact online interaction in online environments. Even though past researchers have extracted factors impacting student online interaction and engagement, there is a lack of research that uncovers the dynamics of these relationships and investigates the impact of a comprehensive set of factors on student online interaction at the same time. Thus, this paper seeks to fill this gap by employing a causal loop approach to uncover the interrelationships of these factors that contribute to a positive impact on students’ learning outcomes, and to evaluate satisfaction and engagement in online courses by focussing on students’ online interaction. To this end, a rich qualitative data set was obtained from an online focus group consisting of students from a large online course, and a thematic analysis was conducted resulting in identifying different factors that played a role in the topic under study. More importantly, causal loop modelling was used to model these factors and their causal interrelationships.</p> Afrooz Purarjomandlangrudi David Chen ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-25 2019-02-25 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2058 The role of crossing boundaries in collaborative open learning in cross-institutional academic development https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2111 <p>This paper reports findings relating to boundary-crossing experiences from a phenomenographic study which explored collaborative open learning in two cross-institutional academic development courses. Four of the 11 categories of description and their qualitatively different variations emerged through the analysis and provide new insights into how learners experienced boundary crossing, through modes of participation; time, places and space; culture and language; and diverse professional contexts. Implications and opportunities for academic development linked to boundary crossing are highlighted in this paper, which might also be of use, and relevant to, in other professional areas and disciplines in higher education.</p> Chrissi Nerantzi ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-20 2019-02-20 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2111 Understanding learner engagement on a blended course including a MOOC https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2097 <p>The use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in blended learning contexts is becoming increasingly common, but relatively little is known about the experiences of on-campus learners taking MOOCs. This article reports research that explored the experiences of on-campus learners taking a blended course which included a MOOC. Use of the UK Engagement Survey provided a focus on engagement and permitted comparisons with a wider cohort of on-campus learners. Findings show that there were no differences between learners on the blended course and the wider cohort of on-campus learners for some aspects of engagement. However, learners on the blended course were more engaged than on-campus learners on specific aspects measured by the UKES survey including those which appear related to social learning. Evidence from a small number of interviews is used to explore issues raised, and informed by the Community of Inquiry framework, factors which influence blended learners’ engagement with the MOOC are discussed. Some of the findings support the call for amendments to the community of inquiry framework for MOOC contexts and provide evidence of issues related to social and teaching presence that may need additional consideration.</p> Sarah Cornelius Colin Calder Peter Mtika ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-13 2019-02-13 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2097 Folk pedagogies and pseudo-theories: how lecturers rationalise their digital teaching https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2094 <p>The gap in knowledge about how learning theories relate to everyday digital teaching practices in universities inhibits scholarly and practical developments in this area. This article reports on part of a qualitative research project which identified patterns across teaching modes, descriptions and accompanying rationales. It found that learning theories played a minor role in educators’ rationales, even though many of their teaching practices could be described as pedagogically ‘sound’. Although social constructivist approaches were strongly represented in the data, the most widespread rationales for technology uses were folk pedagogies and pseudo-educational theories. This contradicts much of what scholarship and ‘edtech’ culture espouses as pedagogically led technology use. Such educational technology orthodoxies hinder the progress of theory use in this area and fail to address the realities of how lecturers use digital technologies. While it may come as no surprise that educators did not articulate their practices referencing learning theories, the dominance of pseudo-theories in this research represents a threat to the criticality of scholarship and practice in this area. This article recommends that critical and scholarly approaches to digital teaching are encouraged, and that folk and pseudo-theories are acknowledged and leveraged in the support and development of digital teaching.</p> Louise Drumm ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-13 2019-02-13 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2094 The E-Design Assessment Tool: an evidence-informed approach towards a consistent terminology for quantifying online distance learning activities https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2106 <p>Online distance learning (ODL) continues to expand rapidly, despite persistent concerns that student experience is poorer and retention lower than for face-to-face courses. Various factors affect ODL quality, but the impact of recommended learning activities, such as student interaction activities and those involving feedback, have proven difficult to assess because of challenges in definition and measurement. Although learning design frameworks and learning analytics have been used to evaluate learning designs, their use is hampered by this lack of an agreed terminology. This study addresses these challenges by initially identifying key ODL activities that are associated with higher quality learning designs. The learning activity terminology was tested using independent raters, who categorised the learning activities in four ODL courses as ‘interaction’, ‘feedback’ or ‘other’, with inter-rater reliability near or above recommended levels. Whilst challenges remain for consistent categorisation, the analysis suggests that increased clarity in the learning activity will aid categorisation. As a result of this analysis, the E-Design Assessment Tool (eDAT) has been developed to incorporate this key terminology and enable improved quantification of learning designs. This can be used with learning analytics, particularly retention and attainment data, thus providing an effective feedback loop on the learning design.</p> Helen Walmsley-Smith Lynn Machin Geoff Walton ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-08 2019-02-08 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2106 Technology-enhanced learning in physiotherapy education: Student satisfaction and knowledge acquisition of entry-level students in the United Kingdom https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2073 <p>Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) can engage students with learning and offer benefits in knowledge acquisition due to the flexibility of learning it provides. There is difficulty ascertaining best practice for the implementation of TEL in physiotherapy education. This study aims to address this through a case study with pre-registration students using a virtual learning environment (VLE) to supplement their learning. Seventy-nine students were enrolled onto a Movement &amp; Exercise module and had access to the VLE resources. Data were captured by online survey, student focus groups, learning analytics data and comparison of examination results with a previous cohort who did not have access to all the resources. Survey data demonstrated that most students were satisfied with the resources and that they facilitated knowledge acquisition. Thematic analysis from the focus groups resulted in five higher order themes: (1) Content quality, (2) Interaction and accessibility, (3) Learning goal alignment, (4) Satisfaction with resources and (5) Suggestions for the future. Learning analytics data revealed students accessed the resources predominantly before examination periods. There were statistically significant improvements in mean examination marks compared to the previous cohort. In conclusion, satisfaction with the TEL resources was high, and there may be some positive effect on knowledge acquisition.</p> James Alexander Sarah McLachlan Massimo Barcellona Catherine Sackley ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-02-06 2019-02-06 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2073 Research into effective gamification features to inform e-learning design https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2093 <p>Game-based learning is one of the main trends currently in e-learning, and while opinion is still divided on its merits a number of studies have been published that highlight its benefits in enhancing learning and increasing motivation. This paper aims to analyse existing research to identify some of the key approaches and pedagogical factors that make learning through games effective and engaging (considering adult learners in particular), with the purpose of creating a list of features that can be used to inform the inclusion of gamification elements into e-learning activities. Forty-one case studies of serious games, game-based learning and gamification in learning from the last 10 years were reviewed in order to identify the elements that contributed to their success. From this analysis a list of suggested features was produced that may be of use to those wishing to embed gamification elements when designing e-learning activities.</p> Indrel Doney ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-01-31 2019-01-31 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2093 Mobile augmented reality learning objects in higher education https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2133 <p>Teachers and learners in all sectors of education continue to have access to a growing number of mobile augmented reality (AR) applications for the creation and implementation of mobile AR experiences and learning objects (LOs). In this study, affordances of mobile AR and LOs for higher education are investigated through the mobile AR platform&nbsp;<em>HP Reveal</em>. Digital trace data from publicly shared and published AR users’ LOs were examined to investigate affordances of AR technology in educational organisations and institutions and their potential implications in areas of higher education. For this purpose, a quantitative comparative analysis of system data and content from 632 AR LOs was conducted at two instances over a 2-year interval period. Each LO was thematically coded to determine multimodal functionalities and characteristics. Further thematic coding and categorisation revealed four emergent categories for affordances in higher education:&nbsp;<em>learner interaction, collaboration, cultural exploration</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>digital storytelling</em>. Results also revealed increases over time in the use of recorded and online video content and the use of three-dimensional (3D) characters for educational purposes. An examination of the affordances offered by the AR platform revealed opportunities for educators to explore further interactive and collaborative uses of AR with their learners for pedagogical purposes in higher education.</p> <p><em>This paper is part of the special collection Mobile Mixed Reality Enhanced Learning, edited by Thom</em><br><em>Cochrane, Fiona Smart, Helen Farley and Vickel Narayan. More papers from this collection can be</em><br><em>found <a href="https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/mmr">here</a>.</em></p> Faith Marcel ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-01-24 2019-01-24 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2133 Embedding educational technologies in early years education https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2033 <p>This survey of 335 practitioners builds on research which challenged the view that educational technologies are rarely used in early years settings. Previous research tends to focus on individual devices. This research looks at the range of devices being used and, instead of investigating how often they are used, considers how they support pedagogical practice. Findings support the view that early years practitioners are accessing a wider range of technologies and that these technologies are being used in more pedagogically appropriate ways than has previously been reported. Educational technologies appear to be increasingly embedded within early years education. Overall, attitudes towards educational technology are positive. Beliefs, however, are more likely to be linked to the social rationale, that children need access to technology because they are surrounded by it in everyday life, than the pedagogical rationale, that technology enhances learning. It may be necessary to review documentation to ensure that policy and practice focus more specifically on learning and teaching.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Christine Jack Steve Higgins ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-01-22 2019-01-22 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2033 Students’ perceptions of the educational value of Twitter: a mixed-methods investigation https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2139 <p>It has been suggested that Twitter can be used in healthcare education to enhance active engagement and access to information. However, there is limited information regarding students’ perceptions of this platform as a pedagogical tool. This study explored the perceptions of final-year undergraduate physiotherapy students in relation to a dedicated Twitter feed that was used to support learning throughout the academic year. A mixed-methods design was utilised. A total of 33 students participating in pre- and post-surveys and two focus groups (super users and novice users) provided rich data regarding value perceptions. The results indicate that the Twitter feed was a positive addition to teaching/education and provided insights in three themes: digital literacy, educational experience and professional identity. Twitter appeared to add value to the students’ educational experience via peer-assisted learning, collaboration and connectivity. Professional identity awareness can impact students’ Twitter activity; therefore, consideration regarding the enhancement of self-confidence and active engagement within this platform is recommended.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Amanda Deaves Emily Grant Kate Trainor Kathryn Jarvis ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2019-01-14 2019-01-14 27 10.25304/rlt.v27.2139