Research in Learning Technology https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt en-US 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 /> enquiries@alt.ac.uk (ALT journal team) emma.csemiczky@openacademia.net (Open Academia) Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:08:41 +0000 OJS 3.1.1.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Social media and professional development: a systematic review https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2286 <p>The great popularisation of social media at the beginning of the 21st century has led to the production of many empirical studies in an attempt to explore the opportunities these platforms provide for different activities, such as learning and updating for professionals. This study aims to identify and summarise the main characteristics of research into social media and professional development published between 2013 and 2017. We analysed the years, journals, conceptual background, research methodologies, data collection tools, professional disciplines, educational contexts, types of social media and characteristics of social media that can generate learning opportunities. A total of 44 articles were selected and analysed from peer-reviewed journals. Findings revealed that (1) an upward trend with respect to research on social media and professional development; (2) surveys were the main research method for collecting data about social media; (3) health and education sciences are the most studied fields of knowledge; (4) there is a special interest in the study of social media in informal learning contexts; (5) Twitter is the most studied social media platform and (6) social media seems to be a sustainable support for professional development due to its open, social and flexible nature. Implications of findings for future research are also discussed.</p> Carles Bruguera, Montse Guitert, Teresa Romeu ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2286 Tue, 12 Nov 2019 13:42:28 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2072 Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:08:38 +0000 The effect of writing modality on recollection in children and adolescents https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2239 <p>We set out to assess the extent to which writing modality affects recollection in children and adolescents. We examined 10- to 11-year-old children’s (<em>N</em>&nbsp;= 63) and 16-year-old adolescents’ (<em>N</em>&nbsp;= 43) handwriting, keyboarding with a laptop computer and keyboarding with a touchscreen tablet computer or mobile phone in a within-subjects experimental design. Participants were instructed to write down stories dictated to them in the three writing modalities. Recollection of the stories was assessed using free recall of details in the stories. The results indicate that the writing modality affects recollection, handwriting leading to better recollection. However, currently, digital writing tools are inundating classrooms and workplaces around the globe, making their competent use a necessity in today’s world. For example, in Finland, students are obligated to use a laptop in upper secondary education and in the national final examination. In light of the results, we highlight the importance of balancing the instruction and practice of different writing modalities. Given the limitations of this study, we suggest conducting a larger-scale study and further research on the educational and cognitive implications of using and learning to write using multiple writing modalities.</p> Satu-Maarit Frangou, Jan Wikgren, Sara Sintonen, Leila Kairaluoma, Pekka Vasari ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2239 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 09:53:53 +0000 Swords and sorcery: a structural gamification framework for higher education using role-playing game elements https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2272 <p>Students attend the first sessions of your units and then disappear, some of them forever, and some of them have no clue what is going on or they work for other units’ assessments. When it comes to providing them with formative assessment, it is not always well received as it is perceived as extra work. The purpose of this article is to define a gamification framework based on structural gamification that focuses on that weak part of your cohorts that do not engage as much, and it does that in a great way, as it embeds video game rules and role-playing into the curriculum. This is achieved through implementing game elements to the entire second-year cohort (<em>N</em>&nbsp;= 34) of computer game development students, in the unit ‘Engineering Software Systems’. The goal is to motivate and engage the at-risk students of the cohort with lower activity, attendance and involvement in the unit.</p> Konstantinos Ntokos ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2272 Thu, 03 Oct 2019 15:00:37 +0000 Living under occupation: Palestinian teachers’ experiences and their digital responses https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2263 <p>Unlike most neighbouring countries in the world, teachers in the occupied territories of Palestine face extraordinary conditions and challenges. These are due to the continued Israeli occupation. This article reports on a large-scale survey of Palestinian teachers. It explores the impact of the occupation on the professional lives of the teachers around Nablus, and indirectly on their students and communities, and on their digital responses. Follow-up focus groups explore their feelings, experiences and reactions, providing greater insights into this complex and troubling situation. The article underpins further work on appropriate digital literacy. It does however also provide an insight into the challenges to rigorous fieldwork outside the mainstream of the developed North and specifically in a region of conflict and occupation.</p> John Traxler, Zuheir Khaif, Alan Nevill, Saida Affouneh, Soheil Salha, Ali Zuhd, Fuad Trayek ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2263 Fri, 27 Sep 2019 14:01:37 +0000 Affordances of music composing software for learning mathematics at primary schools https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2259 <p>Music composing is associated with various positive learning outcomes, but in several countries, such as Finland, it is not part of the primary school music curriculum. There are several issues as to why music composing is not taught at schools, such as beliefs that composing requires extensive knowledge of music theory, lack of teachers’ confidence, lack of evidence on the method’s effectiveness and difficulty of assessment. Composing software has the potential of solving some of these issues, as they are connected to mathematics via music theory and technology, and with practical opportunities arising from adopting phenomenon-based learning at schools, the affordances of music composing technologies for learning mathematics are investigated in this study. For this purpose, 57 music composing software were categorised and reviewed. Our analysis identified eight types of music visualisations and five types of note input methods. The music visualisations were compared to the mathematics content in the Finnish primary school curriculum and the note input methods were evaluated based on their relationship to the music visualisations. The coordinate grid-based&nbsp;<em>piano roll</em>&nbsp;was the most common visualisation and the&nbsp;<em>tracker visualisation</em>&nbsp;had the most affordances for learning primary school math. Music composing software were found to have affordances for teaching mathematical concepts, notations and basic calculus skills, among others. Composing methods involving direct interaction with visualisations support the experiential learning of music theory, and consequently, the learning of mathematics. Based on the findings of this study, we concluded that music composing is a promising activity through which mathematics and music theory can be learned at primary schools.</p> Samuli Laato, Teemu Laine, Erkki Sutinen ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2259 Fri, 06 Sep 2019 13:08:27 +0000 Digital divide: addressing Internet skills. Educational implications in the validation of a scale https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2155 <p>Recent studies indicate that Internet skills have a positive impact on academic achievement. This article presents a national study that seeks to validate an Internet skills scale that was already tested in other EU countries (the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) to understand the competence level of the population as a whole as well as across population sectors. The scale questionnaire was completed by a sample of the Italian population stratified by gender, age and geographical area. The result is globally consistent at the empirical level as well as at the cross-national level. All the five scales showed excellent internal consistency.</p> Alessio Surian, Andrea Sciandra ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2155 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:05:26 +0000 The impact of innovative learning environments on social competences of youth https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2214 <p>The exponential development of learning environments supported by information and communication technology (ICT), coupled with new insights from the fields of cognitive and neuroscience and artificial intelligence (AI), is a huge challenge for both the educational system and youths and their social competences. This article defines the impact of an effective use of contemporary education technologies on young people’s engagement and their interest in collaborating with their peers and teachers on the level of interpersonal relationships. It investigates the teachers’ and parents’ perspective on youth and their cooperation when using ICT in the pedagogical process. The study confirms that innovative didactic approaches to teaching, supported by ICT, exert a positive influence on the collaboration between students, as well as between students and their teachers, and that youths, teachers and parents are all equally aware of that. Parents and teachers have a unified position in support of the idea that an effective use of ICT makes a positive contribution to collaboration between students, and thereby directly affects an increase in their social competences. ICT is becoming one of the important variables that affect the development of young people’s social competences. The 2-year study was conducted in the framework of a national project.</p> Andrej Flogie, Boris Aberšek, Igor Pesek ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2214 Wed, 14 Aug 2019 17:39:41 +0000 Supporting seamless learners: exploring patterns of multiple device use in an open and distance learning context https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2215 <p>Educators need to be aware of not just what their students are learning, but how and why as well. This study investigates how Open and Distance Learning (ODL) students make use of multiple devices for learning, particularly how students use their devices together. This study is situated in the context of ‘seamless learning’, where ODL students learn at different times, in different locations and with the use of different technologies. Understanding the needs and learning practices of students can help to improve the design of learning experiences and support offered to students. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews at two ODL universities, one in Spain and one in South Africa. The results show that while students mainly use one digital device at a time, they sometimes make use of two or more devices together. This usage can be characterised as sequential (moving from one device to another) or simultaneous (using two or more devices together at a time). This article describes the study patterns associated with sequential and simultaneous use of multiple devices, facilitated by the use of different devices and synchronisation tools. A continuum of seamless learners is proposed that can be used to help identify levels of support required by ODL students.</p> Greig Krull, Josep M. Duart ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2215 Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0000 The Community of Inquiry framework as learning design model: a case study in postgraduate online education https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2240 <p>Interaction within online educational environments has long been advocated as conducive to learning, whether interaction between the learner and their teacher, the learner and online resources or the learner and their peers. The relationship among these three types of interaction is also receiving increasing attention, with the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework providing a method of interpreting this relationship in terms of the interplay of teaching presence, cognitive presence and social presence. This case study investigates the use of the CoI framework as a learning design model, showing how it was used to address specific issues in a postgraduate online module. Specifically, the framework informed decisions to strongly link together interaction with the video content, activity on discussion boards and release of new learning materials. Using discussion board posts and video analytics as the primary evidence of learner engagement, the findings show how learner activity significantly increased in both ‘social’ contexts and ‘cognitive’ contexts. More importantly, analysis also revealed strong correlations among participation in discussions, video viewing and module completion. The study suggests that the CoI framework is a robust model for learning design in online environments.</p> Candace R. Nolan-Grant ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2240 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:10:06 +0000 Learner experiences of a blended course incorporating a MOOC on Haskell functional programming https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2248 <p>There is an increasing move in higher education to blend university courses to include a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This article reports on the learner experiences of such a course, which incorporated a purposely designed MOOC as part of the blend, to teach Haskell functional programming. A survey revealed that students most valued the programming exercises, quizzes and instructional videos, while the follow-up focus group highlighted the flexibility of the MOOC, usefulness of the videos, drop-in sessions and programming exercises. The overall mix of activities was regarded as particularly useful. While discussions were not rated as highly in the survey, students in the focus group commented on their value, particularly for getting support from external learners. The perceived lack of face-to-face contact was the biggest issue; however, this reflected a lack of awareness of lab sessions which could have been better signposted. There was perceived to be a gap between the MOOC and the rest of the course in terms of level of difficulty and authenticity of learning tasks. These issues were positively addressed in subsequent runs of the course. The outcomes of this study are relevant to educators seeking to incorporate MOOCs into blended courses.</p> Vicki H.M. Dale, Jeremy Singer ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2248 Wed, 10 Jul 2019 15:09:55 +0000 Developing and evaluating virtual anatomy resources for teaching allied health disciplines https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2125 <p>Allied health professionals require an understanding of anatomy for purposes such as planning radiotherapy, or treating muscle imbalance. In practice, they will rarely see the structure they are treating, but seeing it during their education is invaluable. To reveal deep structures in the human body, neighbouring structures are unavoidably removed as a donated human body is dissected. Academic and clinical staff approached the challenge for students’ understanding of the male reproductive and urinary system, which is indeed disrupted by dissection. An existing radiotherapy planning instrument Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training was used to create videos of real patients’ internal structures. Structures difficult to see in dissection, models and images were transformed from magnetic resonance and computerised tomography scans into videos that appeared three-dimensional, for use by students learning anatomy. Qualitative evaluation of these anatomy videos suggested that they can be accessed at students’ convenience and can be customised with captions, pauses or quizzes. Quantitative evaluation suggested that offering assessment-related incentives may not result in all students choosing to access the videos, but that those who did performed better on both labelling and short answer explanations of related content on immediate and short-term testing.</p> Nicola Massy-Westropp, Eileen Giles, Rachaelle Dantu, Harsha Wechalekar, Arjun Burlakoti ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2125 Tue, 18 Jun 2019 13:33:27 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2225 Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2127 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 19:04:34 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2135 Tue, 02 Apr 2019 14:59:53 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2124 Mon, 01 Apr 2019 10:36:22 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2085 Fri, 29 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2196 Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:31:15 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2032 Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:01:58 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2058 Mon, 25 Feb 2019 15:56:15 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2111 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:35:48 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2097 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 13:15:29 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2094 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:28:06 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2106 Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2073 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2093 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2133 Thu, 24 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2033 Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:43:40 +0000 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 https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2139 Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:39:02 +0000