Empirical evidence that proves a serious game is an educationally effective tool for learning computer programming constructs at the computational thinking levelKazimoglu, Cagin January 2013 (has links)
Owing to their easy engagement and motivational nature, games predominantly in young age groups, have been omnipresent in education since ancient times. More recently, computer video games have become widely used, particularly in secondary and tertiary education, as a method of enhancing the understanding of some subject areas (especially in English language education, geography, history and health) and also used as an aid to attracting and retaining students. Many academics have proposed a number of approaches using video game-based learning (GBL), to impart theoretical and applied knowledge, especially in the Computer Science discipline. Despite several years of considerable effort, the empirical evidence in the GBL literature is still missing, specifically that which identifies what students learn from a serious game regarding programming constructs, and whether or not they acquire additional skills after they have been introduced to a GBL approach. Much of the existing work in this area explores the motivational aspect of video games and does not necessarily focus on what people can learn or which cognitive skills they can acquire that would be beneficial to support their learning in introductory computer programming. Hence, this research is concerned with the design, and determining the educational effectiveness, of a game model focused on the development of computational thinking (CT) skills through the medium of learning introductory programming constructs. The research is aimed at designing, developing and evaluating a serious game through a series of empirical studies in order to identify whether or not this serious game can be an educationally effective tool for learning computer programming at the CT level. The game model and its implementation are created to achieve two main purposes. Firstly, to develop a model that would allow students to practise a series of cognitive abilities that characterise CT, regardless of their programming background. Secondly, to support the learning of applied knowledge in introductory programming by demonstrating how a limited number of key introductory computer programming constructs which introductory programming students often find challenging and/or difficult to understand. In order to measure the impact of the serious game and its underlying game model, a pilot-study and a series of rigorous empirical studies have been designed. The pilot study was conducted as a freeform evaluation to obtain initial feedback on the game’s usability. A group of students following Computer Science and related degree programmes with diverse backgrounds and experience participated in the pilot-study and confirmed that they found the game enjoyable. The feedback obtained also showed that the majority of students believed the game would be beneficial in helping introductory programming students learn computational thinking skills. Having incorporated the feedback into a revised version of the game, a further series of rigorous studies were conducted, analysed and evaluated. In order to accurately measure the effect of the game, the findings of the studies were statistically analysed using parametric or non-parametric measures depending on the distribution of data gathered. Moreover, the correlations between how well students did in the game, the knowledge gain students felt, and the skills they felt they acquired after their game-play are thoroughly investigated. It was found that intrinsic motivation, attitude towards learning through game-play, students’ perception of their programming knowledge, how well students visualise programming constructs and their problem solving abilities were significantly enhanced after playing the game. The correlations of the studies provided evidence that there is no strong and significant relationship between the progress of students in the game and the computational thinking skills they felt they gained from it. It was concluded that students developed their computational thinking skills regardless of whether or not they reached the higher levels in the game. In addition to this, it was found that there are no strong and significant correlations between the key computer programming constructs and the computational thinking skills, which provides strong evidence that learning how introductory computer programming constructs work and developing computational thinking skills, are not directly connected to each other in the game environment. It was also found that students felt that their conditional logic, algorithmic thinking and simulation abilities had significantly developed after playing the game. As a result, this research concludes that the designed serious game is an educationally effective tool for a) learning how key introductory computer programming constructs work and b) developing cognitive skills in computational thinking.
The relationship between technology integration and the development of global citizenship skills and attitudes in a Lebanese contextNicolas, Samira Selwa January 2017 (has links)
Information and communication technologies have seen exponential growth and development in the last few decades, therefore increasing the conditioning force they exert on power, knowledge, and creativity in the 21st century. This research aims to contribute to the discussion of 21st century globalization, from an educational perspective, and from the perspective of a developing country, Lebanon. Notable sociologist Manuel Castells’s theory of the network society provides the conceptual framework within which this thesis is situated. This thesis explores the integration of technology into the teaching process, and further seeks to investigate the relationship between technology integration and the development of students’ global citizenship skills and attitudes in a sample of Lebanese private high schools. Through a mixed methods approach to data gathering, data was gathered from 119 students and 41 teachers through the use of surveys, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inductive emergent theme strategies. Two participant populations (students and teachers) were included to provide a complete context within which to interpret the findings. This research displays originality by suggesting the existence of a relationship between technology use in school and the development in students of the skills and attitudes characteristic of a global citizen. The analysis revealed that most students exhibit the attitude of a global citizen regardless of how technology is being used in their classes. Therefore a strong relationship between technology integration in school and students’ global citizenship attitudes was not apparent. However, a relationship did emerge between a particular technology attitude held by some participants and their global citizenship attitude, leading to a conclusion that increased exposure to technology in school, in various forms, can make students more aware of the importance of digital skills and consequently more globally conscious.
Silverstone, Benjamin M.
The benefits and drawbacks of email have been widely researched using a number of approaches in a variety of contexts. Whilst there has been a general consensus regarding these there has been no unified approach to tackling the issues presented. Methodological limitations, contextual differences and focus on recipient behaviour have limited toe tools that have been presented to users to enhance use. A mode was proposed to overcome these limitations and provide a basis upon which email use can be enhanced and the effectiveness maximised. A large scale study was undertaken in the Welsh Further Education sector which included all institutions both pre and post-merger. A total of 1198 survey responses were received with 1010 used for analysis. A follow up exercise comprised of fifteen in depth interviews to build upon the survey responses. Descriptive and content analysis was undertaken along with Chi Square, ANOVA and Bivariate Correlation tests. Results have demonstrated that role culture has a significant part to play in the use email. This analysis has also used email to demonstrate the divide between managers and non-managers. Usage statistics have shown an upward trend in the volume of email use and the extent to which it exceeds perceived manageability, an indicator of overload. The importance of working relationships has been investigated and linked to email behaviour. The future perceptions of email have been explored to show how users perceive unsustainable increases to be likely and that behavioural modification is necessarily. Finally, the proposed conceptual framework has been refined and justified along with recommendations for the development of appropriate and robust training to replace current training which is poorly engaged with.
The adoption of a virtual learning environment in a teacher education institution : the processes and tensionsBenn, Patricia J. A. January 2016 (has links)
The study investigates the processes by which a teacher education institution in Antigua and Barbuda learns to use Moodle, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as a tool to offer courses online. Also under investigation were the tensions inherent in this change process. The research employs elements of the Activity Theory framework proposed by Engeström, (1999) namely, the principle of multi-voicedness which gives voice to the multiple perspectives of the participants and contradictions or tensions which are inherent disturbances to understand the social system under investigation. In this qualitative research, the data were generated from multiple sources, including multiple interviews with participants, personal journal entries, and workshop evaluations. Most of the data presentation and analysis took place concurrently. The process of learning to use Moodle took place over a three year period and involved 4 main training events. The study points to the critical role of leadership in articulating a clear direction of where the institution wants to go and providing the technological and psychological support to propel the adoption. Other tensions arose as a result of the multiple initiatives to which the participants were adjusting at that time. Tensions also arose when some participants’ desire to be professional converged with limited typing and computer skills, unreliable internet service and the additional time required for designing courses for online/blended delivery. Several recommendations are made including, the need for a) clearly articulated vision, b) policies related to mandatory adoption, c) budgetary allocation, and d) assessment of the readiness of the institution to embark on the initiative.
Manières d'apprendre en contexte d'évolution technologique : puissance et pouvoirs d'agir d'étudiants à l'Université / Ways of learning in the context of technological change : strength and power to act for students at the UniversityDanquigny, Thierry 13 January 2015 (has links)
Une des problématiques de l’enseignement supérieur est de rendre attractives ses possibilités d’accueil et d’enseignement. Etre en phase avec son environnement et plus particulièrement avec les nouvelles générations nées avec les technologies numériques est un des enjeux. S’adapter à de nouveaux publics, c’est aussi comprendre et anticiper un monde qui vient. Dans cette recherche, il s’agit d’évaluer et comprendre en quoi les technologies numériques transforment les manières d’apprendre des étudiants. A l’Université Lille1, dans un contexte de transformations techniques de l’environnement, cette recherche étudie périodiquement comment, pour mener à bien leurs études, des étudiants utilisent les moyens technologiques disponibles dans l’environnement. Cette analyse périodique est définie pour évaluer un écart entre la réalité et les idées que nous pouvons avoir sur les nouvelles générations d’étudiants dits « digital natives ». Dans le champ des sciences de l’éducation, sur la base d’une grille de lecture philosophique, anthropologique et sociologique, cette recherche réalise un diagnostic sur ce que peut l’étudiant en situation d’études dans les moments de prise de notes et de révision. Les perspectives de cette recherche ouvrent sur les possibles éducatifs et le développement des capacités des étudiants à mettre en place un milieu propice à l’apprentissage. Les principaux apports de cette thèse nuancent l’idée de nouvelle génération tout en ne réduisant pas son intérêt et en insistant sur le potentiel de la dynamique hommes-technologies. / One of the problematics of higher education is to make its provisioning and teaching capacities attractive. In accordance with one's environment and more particularly with the new generations, born along with digital technologies, is on of the issues. Adapting to new audiences is also to understand and anticipate a forthcoming world.The purpose of this research is to assess and understand how digital technologies have been changing the way students learn. At LilleI University, in a context of technical transformations of the environment, this research regularly observe how students use the technological means available in their environment to handle their scholarship positively.This recurring analysis has been elaborated to estimate the gap between reality and the biased ideas we may have about the new student generations so called as "digital natives". Consequently, in science and education fields, on the grounds of a philosophic, anthropologic and sociologic reading grid, this research is aimed at establishing an appraisal on what a learning student can do while taking notes and revising. The perspectives of this research lead onto all the Education Possibilities and the development of students' capacities to set up an environment suitable to learning. The main contribution of this thesis is to balance the idea of a new generation while not narrowing the interest of its existence and focusing on the potential of the "Men and Technologies" dynamics.
In this project I explore two teachers’ experiences, as ‘key informants’, of educational technology in a UK inner-city comprehensive school. I examine the meditational role of technology in these teachers’ activities and suggest that such an examination can improve what we understand about educational technology at the school. I discuss how technology is socially shaped and therefore not neutral, and of technologically mediated change being ecological change (Postman, 1992). I examine discourses of ‘techno-romanticism’ which locate technology as a transformational panacea for educational challenges - discourses which seemingly ascribe technology its own agency. This thesis challenges such viewpoints, and the technological hegemony they support, by examining technology not as state-of-that-art but as the ‘state-of-the-actual’ (Selwyn, 2010a). The project was an in-depth examination of the experiences of two key informants using a case study, ethnographic research design, with interview and observational methodologies generating qualitative data. I have positioned the project as both critical in its examination of technology, and sociocultural in its epistemology – in particular drawing on Sociocultural psychology (Wertsch 1991) and Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as the theoretical framework, and ‘activity theory’ (Engeström, 1987b, 1999a) as the analytical lens. The analysis has two stages – the first being a ‘grounded theory’ (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) coding and categorisation of contextual data; the second the modelling of activity systems, and the identification of contradictions and conflicts in those systems. My analysis is of the key informants’ experiences, provides a reading of how technology mediates not just the ‘what’ of these teachers’ activities, but also the ‘how’ and ‘why’. I challenge the dominant discourses and assumptions of the inevitability of technological improvement. In doing so, I call for the educational technology research community to be both sympathetic toward what technology means for these teachers’ professional identities, and critical of overly technocentric school environments.
Yong, Su Ting
This research explores how mathematics pedagogy can be improved by looking at how children are engaged in computer games. Two approaches were considered: (a) the use of computer games, either educational or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games, and (b) the use of embodied learning principles of computer games. The feasibility of these approaches was explored by examining the perceptions of students, mathematics teachers and parents along four major themes - mathematics education, technological experience, gaming experience and the use of computer games to learn mathematics. A mixed methods approach was employed in which qualitative interviews [six teachers, eight students and eight parents] and quantitative surveys [total students, n=175] were administered concurrently at two government secondary schools in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. Both quantitative and qualitative data were analysed independently and combined in the final interpretation to provide a holistic and consolidated finding. Data collected from teachers revealed that they gave most attention to the exams, syllabus completion, practice, and would only consider using educational computer games built on drill-and-practice. However, the students described the games as being monotonous and lack complexities. The students claimed that they enjoyed playing COTS games and reported learning of metacognitive skills through the games. Unfortunately, most teachers and parents disregarded COTS games as educational. In addition to that, the lack of infrastructural facilities, low level of computer literacy amongst school teachers as well as the time constraint to complete syllabus suggested the use of educational or COTS games to teach mathematics was deemed to be impractical in schools. All the respondents would still prefer to have teachers teaching in a classroom. Hence, an alternative option was considered - the use of embodied learning principles of computer games. Identification of good practice in computer games could be used in the mathematics classroom for improvement. Mathematics pedagogy can be improved in three major aspects: (1) mathematics problems should be challenging, enable trial and error, work on bottom-up basic skills, provide instant feedback, and enable learning transfer; (2) classroom activities such as story-telling, role-playing, competition, collaboration and the use of visual aids should be fostered; (3) learning attitude should be changed where mistakes should be seen as opportunities to learn. Here, a more practical mathematics pedagogy is drawn out without overcommitting teachers and it fosters active learning. In this study, the benefits of employing embodied learning principles of computer games in mathematics pedagogy have been seen to be more comprehensive and sustainable in the long-term because it eliminates the possible culture shock, resistance, waste of resources and risk to students’ examination performance from using an unproven technology.
Alzahrani, Nouf Matar
The purpose of this research was to develop a collaborative e-Learning framework using summarised videos as learning media to provide a more efficient learning experience where participants' engagement and motivations are enhanced. The research aims to increase participants' overall learning level, understanding level; motivation and communication skills. For this research, a collaborative environment has been built where students participate in a video sharing system allowing them to create their own summarized Videos from existing course video material. Students can then share these videos with other system participants with the ability to view, rate and comment on videos. Instructors upload the core video footage, which the students are able to edit and summarize. Two experiments were run with live modules within the Department of Informatics; a pilot study and full experiment. Feedback from the pilot study was used to develop the framework for the full study. The experiments involved pre and post participation surveys to measure satisfaction and awareness effects. Also, system participation data was used for analysis of engagement and other factors defining the outcomes of this experiment. The findings showed a considerable increase in student satisfaction regarding their understanding and motivation with video summarization tool used in the experiments. The results of [the] collaboration aspect of the experiment showed a slight increase in their satisfaction on their learning level, however, it had minimal effect on students' motivation and engagement as no significant difference was noted after using the system.
Martin, Christopher James
This thesis describes research into supporting the creation of engaging learning experiences with programming. A review of relevant research that could contribute to the design of engaging learning experiences informed the construction of four pieces of fieldwork. These fieldwork studies were conducted to explore the framing of learning programming in tasks that motivate and are of value to the learner. Findings resulted in the design of a set of eight Learning Dimensions. These Learning Dimensions are proposed to address three key areas: (1) design and delivery of learning task, (2) rhythm or tempo of the learning experience and (3) practicalities. The Learning Dimensions provide educators with insights to support key design decisions for the creation of engaging programming learning experiences. Finally, a web-based tool was designed to make the Learning Dimensions accessible to educators. This tool has been used to evaluate one further workshop. This thesis consolidates several threads of research into a learner-centred approach to learning to program. The Learning Dimensions identify important areas of decision-making to be considered when designing a learning experience. They support the assertion that factors outwith the content can significantly affect success in programming. The complex interplay between different skills associated with computer programming will remain a challenge to learners. When placed in a rich context that fits the learner well and supports the learning aims, many of these difficulties can be overcome. The Learning Dimensions draw together positive features of a learning experience that are key to ensuring learners have the best possible opportunity to engage with and succeed with computer programming.
Teachers' and students' 'relationships with knowledge' : an exploration of the organisation of knowledge within disciplinary and educational contextsBaldwin, Sinead January 2010 (has links)
This largely conceptual thesis explores the epistemological nature of students' engagement with disciplinary knowledge, primarily in further education contexts. The disciplinary nature of students' engagement is frequently obscured by concerns relating to their engagement with educational processes. A model which distinguishes between different forms of knowledge and which places disciplinary knowledge at the centre of the educational context is proposed. This model serves as an organising idea throughout the thesis. Approaches to theorising educational knowledge, including social realist, sociocultural and situated theories of learning as well as Bernstein's work, are analysed, critiqued and in some cases adapted. A case study of the school science curriculum and scientific literacy explores the principles of recontextualisation of disciplinary knowledge and a key debate concerning the nature of 'authentic learning' is identified. It is argued that while Bernsteinian and social realist theories are useful in elaborating the role of forms of knowledge within the curriculum, these theories tend to neglect social relations to knowledge in different epistemic contexts. An alternative view which recognises the function of mythological disciplinary narratives is proposed. This conceptualisation acknowledges that disciplinary discourses are only fully meaningful in their authentic contexts and emphasises the role of pedagogy in bridging the meaning that is made between agential participants in the different contexts. The fully elaborated model for forms of knowledge within the educational context locates a realist theory of knowledge within sociocultural theory and provides an epistemological account of students' relationships with disciplinary knowledge. It provides a theoretical tool for practitioners and those engaged in curriculum development for thinking about students' engagement with disciplinary knowledge. Implications for aspects of policy and practice are discussed, as are opportunities for further research.
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