In , Wikipedia contained more than 4 million entries in English; it is available in other languages. Authorship of new entries, review, fact checking, and content editing are provided primarily by volunteers, supported by a surprisingly small number of expert editors. YouTube offers a platform for amateurs to develop free learning apps and other resources. Many ventures, such as Khan Academy, which was created by Sal Khan to tutor his young cousin in mathematics, first developed out of altruism or simply as a way to share an interest with others but have evolved into successful companies or nonprofit organizations.
Research on the impact of such innovations on learning is still needed, but it is not yet clear how data that would allow for an assessment of their impact can be collected in an environment where the producing and using communities emerge over time with little control and coordination.
Makers are people who engage in building and creating. They use their hands to assemble, build, mold, or modify a physical object. In universities, making is ingrained in the teaching of engineering, and many institutions have invested significant resources in creating makerspaces to support making activities. Makerspaces are physical spaces e. Makerspaces may, for example, have tools and machines for use in welding, fabricating, crafting, three-dimensional printing, laser cutting, molding, casting, and sculpting Barrett et al. Making is a form of active learning because it is experiential and engages students in developing their own understanding of a domain through doing.
Active learning strategies are generally understood to be student-centered, inquiry-based instructional approaches Kuh, Although research on making and educational outcomes has only just begun Jordan and Lande, , the results to date point to the benefits of active, inquiry-based experi-. Digital versions of making are beginning to flourish.
Informally, computer clubhouses are places for students to meet after school to develop computer programs using easy-to-learn computer languages such as Scratch. Other popular digital-making activities include developing wearables, such as jewelry or t-shirts with flashing messages. Digital making is also finding its way into schools. For example, at Design Tech High School in San Mateo, California, students engage in projects in which they identify a problem such as lighting a campsite at night and then use Raspberry Pi software and simple peripherals to design and prototype a solution.
Wearable technology projects use Flora microcontrollers, conductive materials, sensors, and actuators in designs that respond to student-generated problems. Another new area of active research, embodied cognition , has become closely intertwined with digital technology advances. SMALLab is an example of a technological application of embodied cognition that was designed as a mixed-reality 2 environment for student-centered learning.
A series of studies conducted using SMALLab in high school classrooms showed positive results for learning about geological layers, chemical titration, and disease transmission, in comparison to instruction without this approach Birchfield and Johnson-Glenberg, The military and corporate sectors have invested resources to develop and test sophisticated embodied-cognition digital technologies not available in typical K and college environments.
For example, graphics or other digital components are projected on a floor or wall and are merged with real-world tangible objects such as trackable handheld wands. Immersive environments also have been developed to train soldiers on equipment maintenance, troubleshooting and repair, and other tasks that require reasoning and more thoughtful deliberation. The technologies have included mixed-reality environments with conversational agents and avatars for the learning of language, social interactions, and collaborations that are culturally appropriate Johnson and Valente, ; Swartout et al.
TLCTS is among the few systems that have been. The impact of most embodied-cognition digital technologies is difficult to assess because the results typically are not reported outside the business and military environments where they are used. Another new technology that can stimulate active learning is the computerized conversational agent.
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The design allows students to engage in a three-way conversation known as a trialogue that includes two computer agents and the student, taking on different roles e. Figure shows two agents on the screen interacting with a human in a trialogue. The results of this particular test of trialogue with conversational agents showed deeper,. Research suggests that agent technologies can stimulate active learning by means of several features. A single agent can serve as a tutor such as AutoTutor; see Graesser, or as a peer of the learner-player.
An ensemble of agents can set up a variety of social situations, which may, for example, a model desired behavior and social interaction, b stage arguments that invoke reasoning, or c pull the learner-player into active contributions through actions and social communication Graesser et al. Computerized agent technologies can implement pedagogical approaches with a degree of fidelity that may be difficult or impossible with human agents who are not experts in the pedagogical approach.
Researchers have explored ways educators might recruit the vast bodies of informal knowledge learners acquire from their cultural contexts and self-directed learning to help achieve formal learning objectives in schools and workplaces. Since the publication of HPL I , the role of technology in informal learning—and the potential for linking it to formal learning—have only become more salient, as daily life is increasingly mediated by digital and Internet technology. A survey conducted in found that 88 percent of U.
Text messages have become a central part of social communication. In this survey, the average teenager reported sending and receiving 30 texts a day. Playing video games online or on their phones was reported by 84 percent of teenage boys and 59 percent of teenage girls. Educators have explored approaches to capitalize on this pervasive access to these technologies Bull et al. Department of Education, One approach has been to extend the time for academic learning through mechanisms such as putting WiFi on school buses so that students with long rides can do their homework online.
Web-based homework systems give students adaptive practice outside of school hours. Some teachers are experimenting with flipped classrooms by having students watch video. Early research suggested that membership in study groups can be helpful in a challenging course Treisman, More recently, study groups have met online, and the formation and functioning of such groups among people taking massively open online courses MOOCs has become a focus of research Gasevic et al. Other programs are creating in-person study groups for learners taking courses online. For such programs in public libraries, library staff assist with technical difficulties and scaffold student behaviors intended to help with deeper learning U.
Technology can support learning outside of school in other ways as well—for example, by providing opportunities for sustained intellectual engagement. Afterschool clubs, youth organizations, museums, and arts programs are examples of settings where technology-supported activities combine learning with entertainment National Research Council, Adults can support this type of learning not only by acting as models of technology fluency but also by helping to connect interested children and adolescents with learning-rich out-of-school activities Barron, A number of organizations e. Executing such instructional approaches with classes of students is a challenge when students vary markedly in their prior experiences, interests, motivation, and knowledge.
Technology can help educators. Educators may use technology in their personal lives but not be comfortable with integrating it into their teaching Bakia et al. The committee identified three levels at which technology can be integrated into instruction. At a basic level, the educator uses technology to present content or has students use technological tools designed to engage their interest. At the second level, students can use technology to support their individual learning in ways that they, rather than their teachers, direct. At the third level, digital tools allow learners to collaborate with individuals and organizations outside the classroom; these applications require that each participant or group have a network-enabled and connected device.
New technology places additional new demands on teachers, and this in turn places demands on both preservice training and in-service professional development programs. Teacher education programs can model effective integration. Moreover, although the characteristics of effective teacher professional development for technology integration have not been systematically established Lawless and Pellegrino, , the challenge clearly suggests the importance of devoting considerable training time to that integration, rather than attempting to cover it in a few lectures or a single course.
Educators and researchers have long recognized that the knowledge transmission model exemplified by lecture-based teaching is less than ideal for many learners and many kinds of learning. Even when teachers pepper their lectures with questions, the number of students who respond tends to be small.
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Instructors have limited information to help them identify whether the class is following their explanations, taking notes without thinking, or merely putting on an attentive face. Such concerns, which are particularly strong in college courses that enroll hundreds of students, has inspired the development of technologies that allow each student to respond to a question in a multiple-choice format presented on a small screen or handheld device.
Student responses are sent to the instructor, who can then display aggregated responses as histograms bar charts for the whole class to see Abrahamson, ; Kay and LeSage, ; Mazur, Early evidence on the use of this technology showed improvements in student engagement and learning outcomes Mazur, The results were attributed to the opportunity for the instructor to identify and address the sources of conceptual confusions common among students in introductory physics. More recent work has shown positive results with similar approaches Deslauriers et al.
These systems are most heavily used at the postsecondary level, but their use has begun to spread to secondary schools and even elementary school classrooms Smith et al.
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Another example of the classroom communication concept is Group Scribbles, a network technology designed to support collaborative learning. Group Scribbles works like the student-response systems described above except that students can share notes, sketches, and images, not just numerical responses or selections among multiple-choice response options. Student contributions are displayed anonymously on an electronic whiteboard.
Group Scribbles has been used in the United States to help students understand fractions, in Spanish primary classrooms Prieto et al. Software systems for writing instruction and for giving students feedback on their writing are another technological support for classroom communication. These systems can be used to distribute writing assignments and learning resources, provide immediate feedback to students, provide feedback on plagiarism, and allow students to submit their writing to the teacher or to peers for evaluation and feedback.
For example, Summary Street, a program that analyzes the coherence of sentences and statements within a summary, has shown positive outcomes, such as increases in time spent revising and in depth of content, for elementary school students Wade-Stein and Kintsch, Writing Pal or W-Pal is a strategy-based training system for middle school ages through adulthood that has game components for improving skills in writing argumentative essays, which are required in some high-stakes assessments Allen et al.
With this digital system, the student generates a thesis statement, supporting statements, and then a conclusion. The Writing Pal system was based on studies of writing interventions that showed strategy instruction to be a successful form of writing instruction Graham and Perin, There is some evidence that teachers may not view such systems as a substitute for teacher-generated feedback.
Recent technological advances in several areas have yielded both opportunities and challenges. In this section, the committee reviews the issues associated with digital dashboards, distance learning, universal design, mobile devices, and features of technologies that may be addressed through further application of principles from the science of learning. Digital dashboards allow a learner to monitor his own progress through the learning environment. Open learning environments Bull and Kay, allow learners to observe their own performance scores on lessons and skills over time, which can be motivating and help develop metacognitive skills.
Teachers can use the dashboards in learning management systems such as Desire to Learn or Blackboard, which provide a quick glimpse of the lessons, how each student is doing on each lesson, and which students need help Dede and Richards, The dashboard has options that allow instructors to explore this information in greater detail. For example, they may identify which questions on an assignment were problematic for a student or the extent to which a student is mastering specific areas of skill and knowledge. The dashboard also can provide more general information about a student based on multiple lessons, such as: What percentages of lessons is she completing?
How much time is she devoting to the course? How often does the student get stuck and need help? How often does she use digital help facilities? One example is the ASSISTments system, 5 which allows teachers to create materials for mathematics as well as other topics, to see how well students perform, and to interact with researchers on possible improvements based on the science of learning Heffernan and Heffernan, The Teacher view shows performance of each student on particular lessons. The Student view guides the student in completing tasks and viewing feedback on performance.
In , ASSISTments was used by more than teachers in 43 states and 12 countries, with students completing more than 10 million problems. Digital dashboards are most likely to perform as intended when they are not optional and when users have the time and resources needed to integrate these tools into instruction. Providing the professional development necessary for instructors to use these digital dashboards effectively is a challenge. Many teachers do not yet use digital platforms frequently and systematically in their classrooms.
Very simple computer-teacher interfaces may be ignored or quickly abandoned after the novelty of the technology fades Moeller and Reitzes, For example, instructors may need a systematic curriculum to facilitate access, use, and monitoring of the digital dashboard interface as a routine part of their courses. It does not necessarily require technology, but digital technologies such as e-learning, online learning, or Web-based learning provide many advantages for distance learning Siemens et al.
Digital technology can support synchronous communication between instructors and students, such as participating in a live Webinar, using technology-based instruction in the classroom, or corresponding in a course chatroom instructor and learners spatially separated but interacting in real time.
It can also support asynchronous learning, in which the interactions between a human instructor and students are separated in time and typically also by space , as when the instructor posts a video lecture or lesson on a course learning management system or Website. Technology can also support communication, whether synchronous or asynchronous, such as between the learner and a computer-based teaching agent or with intelligent tutoring systems like those described earlier in this chapter. For example, an instructor could use a learning management system to deliver course material, videos, tests, quizzes, and grades but would periodically interact with students face-to-face Siemens et al.
Educators have traditionally been cynical about the effectiveness of distance learning approaches compared to traditional face-to-face synchronous learning Thompson, , and indeed the early research findings were mixed. The available evidence indicates that modern, technology-rich approaches to distance learning can be as effective as traditional approaches, more effective, or less effective Bernard et al.
Efficacy depends on the quality of the interactions among the students, the content to be learned, and the instructor. Technology that encourages students to actively engage with course material and with other students can positively affect cognitive outcomes. In a meta-analysis, blended online and in-person instruction produced better learning outcomes, on average, than conventional face-to-face instruction, but the blended learning conditions in the studies assessed for this analysis also incorporated other changes such as additional learning resources or more time for learning Means et al.
Based on analyses of the academic progress of students taking fully online courses, a number of researchers have raised concerns about the suitability of fully online learning for less motivated, lower achieving, or less mature learners Miron et al.
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Although many students learn successfully with fully online courses, a blend of online and in-person instruction is generally recommended for lower achieving and younger learners Means et al. Social communication has become a ubiquitous feature of modern digital platforms in which instructors, students, and sometimes parents can communicate with each other through chat, email, and discussion boards.
Most learning management systems include social communication media even in traditional classrooms. However, usage is currently low, with only about 7 percent of the students using it, according to one estimate Siemens et al. Social communication may be used more in the future as learning environments become more digitally supported, self-regulated, and socially connected. The use of mobile technologies for learning has exploded in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue Hirsh-Pasek et al. Although mobile technologies share some features with other electronic learning tools, their relatively flexible platforms are unique.
Small and. This flexibility offers several advantages over standard e-learning. Mobile applications can be adapted for different learning contexts inside and outside of school. For example, learners who were surveyed reported positive attitudes toward mobile technologies with respect to the amount of effort it takes to use the devices, social norms related to using mobile technologies, perceived playfulness of the devices i. The researchers who conducted the survey reported some gender and age differences in social norms associated with use of mobile devices; their results are consistent with other research on differences in general acceptance of mobile technologies Magsamen-Conrad et al.
Despite indications of the potential benefits of mobile devices for learning, systematic research on their effectiveness is limited, and the research that exists often comes from the application developers themselves Chiong and Shuler, Downsides also have been reported. Adherence to guidelines for the use of mobile devices may help to promote learning in different educational contexts for an example of guidelines, see Hirsch-Pasek et al.
Educational technologies are replete with features that can facilitate learning in controlled settings but can also serve as a distraction to many students Gurung and Daniel, For example, e-textbook developers highlight possibilities for making information available in side-boxes or through embedded links as desirable features that allow students to click out of the reading to pursue learning about certain topics.
Yet students may rarely choose to interrupt their reading to do this Woody et al. Similarly, text comprehension and metacognition can decrease when readers switch from print to an e-reading format Ackerman and Goldsmith, There are ways both teachers and designers can help students benefit from technology. One is to provide adequate instructions for interacting with the technology. Instructions are sometimes poorly presented, such as on a cluttered computer screen, and users often skip them.
Design that prioritizes easy engagement for the user and productivity with respect to the intended pedagogical goal is important. Achieving this objective requires substantial testing with users to ensure that the learner is guided to use the technology as intended. Designers can also rely on evidence-based principles supported by decades of research from the fields of human-computer interaction, human factors, and educational technology.
Mayer , identified 12 empirically supported principles to guide learning from multimedia see Box These principles are best viewed as guidelines for the design or selection of a learning technology, rather than as universal rules that apply to all multimedia. Universal Design for Learning refers to a framework for drawing on relevant research to design educational experiences that are optimal for all learners, including those with specific learning challenges.
Removing obstacles to interacting with technology has been a key objective of Universal Design Burgstahler, ; Meyer et al. The findings of both data sets are discussed below. Analysis of the quantitative survey data from both ILDC and ICTPEd events indicated that a very high proportion of both sets of participants responded favourably to the tool. I am really impressed. It seems to be easy to use and I think it opens a lot of possibilities for teachers.
ILDC and ICTPEd participants both emphasised the value of the tool in supporting their pedagogy during the design process, and for reflecting on the pedagogy of existing learning designs or lesson plans: A very intuitive tool that helped me a great deal to understand the pedagogy of how learning activities are structured. FP It also enables teachers to understand how to structure the activities.
ILDC survey It also helped me to reflect about the planned teaching and learning activities for me to determine whether or not my design is supporting the type of learning experience I have in mind. This is a very good tool for all the teachers to use and share their work with their colleagues, as well as getting feedback to help us—as teachers—improve or modify our plans. The fact that the tool was perceived by the participants to have value in supporting teachers to express and reflect on their pedagogy is an important first step towards building a teacher community around the tool, which the next section will explore.
We evaluated the viability of building a community of teacher designers, using both quantitative and qualitative data. The Learning Designer website tracked use of the tool. There were 48 reviews of learning designs completed in ILDC, showing that peer review is feasible for practising teachers. With further development and promotion, it should be feasible to expand to a large international community, across all sectors, in the longer term.
Bloggers during the ILDC posted that they would like more opportunity to collaborate and communicate with others during such events, appreciating the opportunity such exchanges provided: to look into the work of others and to get the views of others on our work. As a new designer … I will certainly print and save many of these reviews to use as a resource. Some bloggers used the ILDC to communicate with other participants independently, collaborating on Google Docs, holding their own Google Hangouts, and offering email contact.
I can see using this Learning Designer consistently. It is a great tool for teachers to share. I plan to use it this summer and share this site with colleagues. Figure 5 shows that ILDC participants rated the process of providing a peer review as highly as creating their own. Participants who did receive a review indicated why they valued this kind of collaborative experience highly: … getting constructive feedback from others on my design. The feedback reminded me of what I had forgot [sic] to include in the design and got me to think of another possible learning activity.
ILDC survey 9. Great feeling that it was evaluated high. It is always good to have feedback on experimental ideas in a supportive environment. Many bloggers offered critical reflections on the process of peer review and were able to articulate more fully the value of the activity for their personal development as teachers. Several reflected on how they had learnt from the criteria about what constituted a good learning design: So in reviewing a design I would be looking for how the student is explicitly supported through teacher engagement in teaching and learning activities TLA and in assessment, how students are guided and encouraged to think critically about what they are learning and how they are learning it, and how students are encouraged and supported to engage with each other.
This indicates that the process of putting the review criteria into practice was considered an important learning experience itself. Some reviewers used both the blog and other forms of communication to maintain a dialogue with the designer whom they had reviewed. I felt I had done a good job and this was a worthwhile aspect of this challenge. The advanced prototype has little functionality to support peer review within the tool itself.
Participants commented that they would like to communicate more seamlessly within the Learning Designer itself, and to be able to collaborate with others on a design in the tool. The research indicates therefore that peer review has great potential but the tool itself is not currently able to support it sufficiently.
For these professions, three significant features make this possible: shared problems across the system, small tests of small changes, and multiple sources of innovation. Teachers could do the same, but in education they would be refining and adapting learning designs to work in multiple settings. Our project succeeded in building a digital tool to support such a process, and demonstrated its feasibility and acceptability to hundreds of teachers, in schools, colleges and universities, across the world.
However, the tool is not complete. Our road map for the next phase of development will therefore respond to user comments and help to develop features that could more effectively support a crowd sourcing approach to jointly constructed knowledge projects. This approach promises an online, international system that draws on the insights and experiments of teachers testing innovations in multiple local contexts—thereby ensuring their generalised effectiveness. The tool alone is not enough; it must be part of a larger system, but as Ardichvili observed, the technology can exert influence on the character of the community formed around it.
To grow further, the Learning Designer community needs to engage actively in design science by conducting multiple small tests of teaching ideas, using the tool to represent those ideas as learning designs, and drawing on the community of peers to review the designs.
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Teacher evaluations indicated that they were prepared to use the tool and valued the way it helped them reflect on their pedagogy. We are on the way to creating a tool to reconceptualise teaching as a design science. Faced with this new reality, a completely different approach is necessary Siemens, In turn, these members provide feedback with additional information generated within the same network.
The process ends when this information, which may come from different nodes, transforms and alters the knowledge base, and generates new learning for individuals. For Chiecher and Donolo , MOOCs have broken curricular rigidity, questioning the ability of traditional teaching to meet training needs in changing conditions. This has given rise to critical reflection on the perception of learners — and is something that demands a paradigm shift. For the educational community, it is a reality that the use of technology in teaching practices has led to the emergence of modern social structures and organizational forms, in which the traditional space and time referents are no longer valid Garrido, Given the lack of space and the growing demand for admission to educational institutions, online education is renowned for offering opportunities to expand the educational range and coverage.
For Moore , distance education is a psychological construct that depends on macro factors such as dialogue, structure and autonomy. In relation to their pedagogical design and to the learning expectations of students, MOOCs imply a change of instructional schemes. They point out that the design of technology-based strategies that seek to strengthen access to quality education poses significant challenges to educational researchers yet offers attractive advantages that could encourage their adoption.
Bernal et al. The fact that they are massive, open and online calls for greater rigor in their quality in order to overcome dissimilar profiles and a lack of monitoring of results and objective attainment. For Barbera, Gros, and Kirschner , time is a critical factor that has also been used as a quality measure, since it is related to the amount and the sequence in which people learn through the accumulation of experiences. The objectives of this research can be addressed via different methodologies. Given the object of study, a quasi-experimental design was adopted.
Cross claims that educational research into MOOCs generates large methodological and interpretive challenges, as it poses new dynamics in the teaching-learning process. Strengthening its design involves considering the relationship between research and educational innovation. For Schmelkes , research into an educational innovation may have a quasi-experimental design that does not require evaluation of a random sample. Regarding quality indicators to strengthen the design of a course of this nature, a set of indicators was selected from studies by Arias , Barbera et al.
A group of experts reviewed and validated these indicators using the Delphi method. This method involves selecting a group of experts, who are asked their opinion on issues relating to the future, implementing consecutive anonymous rounds to ensure the autonomy of participants. The predictive power of this method is based on the systematic use of intuitive judgment by all experts Astigarraga, For the analysis, the indicators were classified into 15 subcategories related to Pedagogical, Functional, Technological and Time factors Table 1.
This instrument was applied to a group of 55 experts involved in the design, development and delivery of MOOCs, as well as in distance education courses and open learning resources offered by the institution. This group was formed by 14 lecturers responsible for design and content generation, and a total of 41 tutors, instructional designers, graphic designers, programmers and audiovisual producers. Aligned with the objectives of this research, the analysis of two different issues is presented.
The results of the Delphi method show that while experts rated the indicators related to the Time factor higher, they also recognized that the quality of a MOOC must take the other factors into account Figure 1. It is worth noting that the indicator for the time to Take exams was rated the highest.
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When analyzing the results by subcategory Table 1 , the experts considered the pedagogical quality of the content of a MOOC to be a relevant factor. They also recommended a review of the pedagogical approach, the provision of tutorials and the specification of the evaluation process of educational activities. For Moore , the content or topic of study determines the dialogue between teachers and learners; it also constitutes one of the main characteristics of open educational resources. Regarding the subcategories of functional factors, experts believe that Ease of use is an important factor, followed by Autonomy and user control , and Functionality of the documentation.
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