Research in Learning Technology https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt Association for Learning Technology en-US Research in Learning Technology 2156-7069 <p>Authors contributing to <a href="https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Research in Learning Technology</em></a> 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" rel="noopener">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></p> The impact of online learning technology on self-regulation and student success https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2802 <p>The research purpose is to analyse the self-regulation of students who use the massive open online course (MOOC) technology to learn the exact sciences. The sample included 252 students: females were 47%, and males were 53%. The average age of students was 20.08 ± 0.72. The students were divided into two groups: group 1 consisted of students who learnt the Digital singular (nano) optics course online using the MicrosoftTeams platform with teacher’s support; group 2 consisted of students who learnt the MOOC course individually. The relationships between self-regulation and academic success were also analysed. The research found that the overall level of self-regulation of students using MOOCs was 40% higher. In students who learnt online using the MicrosoftTeams, the level of self-regulation was average and amounted to 24.96 ± 1.32. In students who learnt the course based on the MOOC technology, the level of self-regulation was high and amounted to 35.02 ± 1.44 (<em>p</em>&nbsp;&lt; 0.05). The research of self-regulation shows higher results among the students who learnt using MOOCs platforms: flexibility – 46%, planning – 23% and results assessment – 15%; modelling and programming were no different. The average success score of students after learning the course on the MicrosoftTeams platform was 3.83 ± 0.36, and in the MOOC group, it was 4.43 ± 1.89.</p> Kira Makhno Natalia Kireeva Viktor Shurygin Copyright (c) 2022 Kira Makhno, Natalia Kireeva, Viktor Shurygin http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-11 2022-08-11 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2802 Playing the game: a realist approach to evaluating online student access, retention, progression and attainment initiatives https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2782 <p>This study presents an evaluation of an online game-based student access, retention, progression and attainment (ARPA) initiative at the University of Kent. The initiative, a narrative-based simulation of a condensed student journey from pre-enrolment to graduation, is designed to prepare and support students in their transition to and participation in Higher Education. Student retention continues to be a perennial issue across the Higher Education sector, and studies have indicated that the more knowledgeable and informed students are about their university environment, the less likely they are to leave before completing their studies. Many institutions have developed interventions with the express purpose of addressing these concerns. Recognising the contextualised and subjective nature of such interventions, a realist evaluative framework was adopted to better understand the initiative under scrutiny, asking what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Participant interviews were utilised to assess the efficacy of the initiative in supporting students and in helping them to navigate often unfamiliar institutional cultures, practices and expectations. A revised programme theory is presented, enabling deeper insight into the merit of the initiative and its overall worth as a mechanism for change within the ARPA paradigm.</p> Daniel Clark Copyright (c) 2022 Daniel Clark http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2782 Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020–2021 academic year at Fianarantsoa University: the use of Facebook as a mode to switch to online learning https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2673 <p>This study analyses the impacts of the COVID-19 on teaching and learning at Fianarantsoa University (FU) in Madagascar. Interview questionnaires with 50 participants were carried out at the university concerned. Results demonstrate that FU took care of its students during the lockdown by introducing various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the university. Distance learning via Gmail and Facebook, where teachers send course files to the mail group, was only found in certain parts of the colleges. Gmail was implemented to complete unfinished exams to avoid the White year. Controversial arguments were uncovered due to the complete cessation of teaching at the end of the distance exams without introducing alternatives to continue academic activities, though there are still three unfinished academic years. This study recommends the regular use of ‘Facebook’ as a device to shift to online teaching and learning, mainly if incidents occur that lead to academic disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, national epidemic, natural catastrophe or others. Facebook is the most used platform in Madagascar, with 3.05 million users in early 2022.</p> Jocelyne Zafitsara Njaratiana Mario Arthur Velo Copyright (c) 2022 Jocelyne Zafitsara, Njaratiana Mario Arthur Velo http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2673 Integrating MOOCs into traditional higher education modules: a MOOC-based blend framework https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2702 <p>Online learning platforms, such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), continue to expand, and some academics are taking advantage of these resources by integrating them into their teaching. The literature shows that there are many different ways that MOOCS are being blended into on-campus university teaching, and it would be helpful to have a framework that demonstrates the relationship between the in-person and MOOC curricula content, and the Blended Learning models used in practice. This study investigated how some UK academics are blending MOOCs into their in-person teaching and whether the blends used had any impact on course design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants with MOOC blending experience, and data were analysed using an inductive approach to Thematic Analysis. Results from this study generated an understanding of (1) what parts of MOOCs lecturers are using and how these resources are being blended into their in-person courses, (2) what kind of impact a MOOC-based blend can have on a course design and (3) the MOOC-based blend framework – a framework to assess the extent to which readily available MOOCs are integrated into lecture-based university modules in terms of curricular alignment and types of blend.</p> Karla K. de Lima Guedes Hugh C. Davis John Schulz Copyright (c) 2022 Karla K. de Lima Guedes, Hugh C. Davis, John Schulz http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2702 Augmented sociomateriality: implications of artificial intelligence for the field of learning technology https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2642 <p>There has been a conscious effort in the past decade to produce a more theoretical account of the use of technology for learning. At the same time, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are being rapidly incorporated into learning technologies, significantly changing their affordances for teaching and learning. In this article I address the question of whether introduction of AI and associated features such as machine learning is a novel development from a theoretical perspective, and if so, how? I draw on the existing perspective of sociomateriality for learning and argue that the use of AI is indeed different because AI transforms sociomateriality by allowing materiality to take on characteristics previously associated primarily with a human agent, thereby shifting the nature of the sociomaterial assemblage. In this&nbsp;<em>data and algorithm</em>-driven AI-based sociomateriality, affordances for&nbsp;<em>representation and agency</em>&nbsp;change, thereby modifying&nbsp;<em>representational and relational practices</em>&nbsp;that are essential for cognition. The dualities of data/algorithm, representational/agentic augmentation, and relational/participatory practices act in tandem within this new sociomaterial assemblage. If left unchecked, this new assemblage is prone to perpetuate the biases programmed within the technology itself. Therefore, it is important to take ethical and moral implications of using AI-driven learning technologies into account before their use.</p> Aditya Johri Copyright (c) 2022 Aditya Johri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-05-19 2022-05-19 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2642 Providing dementia education with augmented reality: a health sciences and medicine feasibility pilot study https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2668 <p>Understanding the key physiology and anatomy of the brain, and the mechanisms underlying dementia, represents essential components within a medical curriculum. This study assessed the implementation feasibility of an augmented reality (AR) three-dimensional (3D) brain visualisation learning mode and the knowledge improvements in medical students when compared to a text-based pamphlet. The pamphlet group learnt from a double-sided information pamphlet, while the AR group used an AR app. In AR, participants held a cube in front of the camera on the tablet, rendered on-screen as a 3D brain model, and received a narrated lesson containing the same information as the pamphlet verbatim. Both resources were also evaluated for perceived usefulness via pre-post tests and written survey. A total of 24 students participated in the study. A significant overall difference in knowledge scores (<em>p</em>&nbsp;&lt; 0.001) was found for all participants but without significant differences between groups. Prior education was a significant covariate for pre-post change (<em>p</em>&nbsp;= 0.016) across all participants but had no impact on group outcomes. Positive feedback was received on both resources where the majority perceived them as easy to use, enjoyable, and helped develop their knowledge of dementia. Both the text-based pamphlet and AR delivery modes improved knowledge, although neither was significantly superior to the other. However, the AR lesson was perceived highly for learning, and has the potential for implementation within a medical programme.</p> Cindy Jones Daniel Khalil Karanjot Mander Alexandra Yeoh Christian Moro Copyright (c) 2022 Cindy Jones, Daniel Khalil, Karanjot Mander, Alexandra Yeoh, Christian Moro http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-05-02 2022-05-02 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2668 Online submission, feedback and grading of assessment: what do academic staff really think? https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2458 <p>The move to institution-wide adoption of online submission, feedback and grading is increasing significantly within the Higher Education sector. This transition is predominantly driven by the need to improve the student assessment experience, but some institutions now also cite the need to improve the staff assessment experience. Existing studies, however, provide seemingly contradictory evidence surrounding this online marking experience. This article adopts a mixed methods approach to explore academic staff preferences of the assessment experience within a UK-based institution following adoption of online submission, feedback and grading during 2017–2018. It finds that although the majority of colleagues prefer to mark and provide feedback online, the process of marking electronically is highly individual. Online marking is not just a single practice but a set of varied, rich approaches, influenced by individual marker perceptions, preferences and previous experiences, and is often highly emotive. Changes to existing marking practices are seen simultaneously as both challenging and liberating by cohorts of markers. Drawing on the results of a detailed staff survey, this article identifies seven themes that are influential to that experience. These findings have significant implications for how institutions manage change to large-scale adoption of online marking.</p> Emma Mayhew Vicki Holmes Madeline Davies Yota Dimitriadi Copyright (c) 2022 Emma Mayhew, Vicki Holmes, Madeline Davies, Yota Dimitriadi http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2458 Students’ experiences of synchronous online tuition in health and social care https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2713 <p>This article considers the online tutorial experiences of 10 female undergraduate students studying a health and social care module at a large UK-based university that specialises in distance learning. The research uses the Community of Inquiry as a theoretical framework and takes an experience-centred narrative approach, using Voice-Centred Relational Method to analyse diaries and interviews. The analysis uncovers how tutorial experiences are embedded in the social and cultural contexts of students’ lives and are fitted around their caring roles. These students experience variation in tutorial design and in the tutors’ characteristics. They value friendly, empathetic tutors who enable students’ contributions and respond encouragingly. Students avoid using microphones in tutorials for multiple reasons but enjoy taking an active part via other tools. They appreciate hearing peers’ perspectives and prefer small group sizes. A sense of community is missing, particularly for students with fewer supportive friends, colleagues, or family members. They long to see people’s faces and build relationships. An awareness of students’ contexts and preferences can help educators to enable positive tutorial experiences.</p> Kathy Chandler Copyright (c) 2022 Kathy Chandler http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-04-06 2022-04-06 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2713 Online microlearning and student engagement in computer games higher education https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2680 <p>Microlearning, in which lecture recordings are segmented into parts, saw renewed focus as a means of maintaining student engagement amid the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many institutions shifted to remote provision with segmented lecture recordings, there is a lack of consensus about the length that these segments should be in order to best maintain engagement. Using a self-reported system of Likert-based diagnostics, 135 videos in use at Solent University’s computer games area were analysed. Ninety-four students were asked to agree or disagree with statements in the format ‘I understand X’, each tailored to the subject material of the video in question. Repeated questions before and after the video allowed for a change in confidence to be measured, as an indicator of engagement. The resulting 4198 responses showed an optimum range of 5–8 min overall. However, the year of study emerged as a significant factor in this regard – with an optimum range for first years at 6–12 min, and for second and third years at under 8 min. There is a need for institutional-level change in this area, as many institutions currently recommend use of lecture video segments far longer than either figure.</p> Connor McKee Konstantinos Ntokos Copyright (c) 2022 Connor McKee, Konstantinos Ntokos http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-03-09 2022-03-09 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2680 Smartphones as digital instructional interface devices: the teacher’s perspective https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2639 <p>Globally, many nations have put in place policies on technology enhanced teaching and learning in an effort to keep abreast with the rapid advancement in technology. However, the use of technology in education has been slow in many third world countries, inclusive of Zimbabwe. COVID-19 restrictions inadvertently accelerated the adoption of digital instructional interface devices (DIIDs). Smartphones are preferred DIIDs because of their popularity amongst children as well as teachers. However, their successful penetration as DIIDs is largely dependent on teachers’ dispositions as key agents of curriculum implementation. Zimbabwe is known to have a 52% smartphone penetration rate for all citizens. The study was therefore carried out to determine the penetration rate of smartphones in science teachers, and also to probe teachers’ views on learners being allowed unlimited access to smartphones. The study adopted descriptive survey design from a quantitative research approach. Data was collected from 179 science teachers through a self-developed electronic questionnaire that was administered through the Kobo Toolbox online survey application. Results show that the smartphone penetration rate in science teachers is 87%. Multitasking and indecent exposure are the main forms of learner deviance that make teachers more reluctant to accept smartphones as DIIDs. In the presence of school-wide and classroom policies that cater for both merits of smartphone use and ease of policy enforcement, Zimbabwe science teachers are however ready to fully embrace smartphones as useful DIIDs.</p> Terrence Manyeredzi Vongai Mpofu Copyright (c) 2022 Terrence Manyeredzi, Vongai Mpofu http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-01-11 2022-01-11 30 10.25304/rlt.v30.2639