Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56538

Educational and Pedagogical Sciences

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Animated Videos in Learning Economics
In laboratory settings, this study measured and reported the effects of undergraduate students watching animated videos on learning microeconomics as compared with the effectiveness of reading written texts. The study described an experiment on learning microeconomics in higher education using two different types of learning materials. It reported the effectiveness on microeconomics learning of watching animated videos and reading written texts. Undergraduate students in the university were randomly assigned to either a ‘video group’ or a ‘text group’ in the experiment. Previously-validated multiple-choice questions on fundamental concepts of microeconomics were administered. Both groups showed improvement between the pre-test and post-test. The experience of learning using text and video materials was also assessed. After controlling the student characteristics variables, the analyses showed that both types of materials showed comparable level of perceived learning experience. The effect size and statistical significance of these results supported the hypothesis that animated video is an effective alternative to text materials as a learning tool for students. The findings suggest that such animated videos may support teaching microeconomics in higher education.
Predominance of Teaching Models Used by Math Teachers in Secondary Education
This research examines the teaching models used by secondary math teachers when teaching logarithmic, quadratic and exponential functions. For this, descriptive case studies have been carried out on 5 secondary teachers. These teachers have been chosen from 3 scientific-humanistic and technical schools, in Chile. Data have been obtained through non-participant class observation and the application of a questionnaire and a rubric to teachers. According to the results, the didactic model that prevails is the one that starts with an interactive strategy, moves to a more content-based structure, and ends with a reinforcement stage. Nonetheless, there is always influence from teachers, their methods, and the group of students.
Using Focused Free-Writing to Help English to Speakers of Other Languages Students Generate Ideas for Critical, Academic Writing
This paper describes how the method of focused freewriting can be used to help teachers to foster critical thinking through writing. In this study, we used focused freewriting during the pre-writing stage of our writing course to help our English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students to generate ideas and to think critically about the issues they were to write on. In each of the four classes where we applied this technique, we used pictures or videos to stimulate their thinking during the prewriting stage of writing and then asked them to write non-stop for ten minutes about whatever that came to their minds as a result of being presented with these prompts. We then asked them to focus on the themes that emerged from their brief writing. Using observations, in-depth interviews, and an analysis of their brief essays, our study found that focused freewriting helped our students to generate ideas and think critically about the issues they were writing on. We postulate that by using focused freewriting and discussions during the prewriting stage of writing, instructors can help their students to think critically about various issues and facilitate their efforts at organising their arguments for critical, academic essays.
Integrating Sustainable Development Goals in Teaching Mathematics Using Project Based Learning
In the current scenario, education should be realistic and nature-friendly. The earlier definition of education was restricted to the holistic development of the child which help them to increase their capacity and helps in social upliftment. But such definition gives a more individualistic aim of education. Due to that individualistic aim, we have become disconnected from nature. So, a school should be a place which provides students with an area to explore. They should get practical learning or learning from nature which is also propounded by Rousseau in the mid-eighteenth century. Integrating Sustainable development goals in the school curriculum will make it possible to connect the nature with the lives of the children in the classroom. Then, students will be more aware and sensitive towards their social and natural surroundings. The research attempts to examine the efficiency of project-based learning in mathematics to create awareness around sustainable development goals. The major finding of the research was that students are less aware of sustainable development goals, but when given time and an appropriate learning environment, students can be made aware of these goals. In this research, project-based learning was used to make students aware of sustainable development goals. Students were given pre test and post test which helped in analyzing their performance. After the intervention, post test result showed that mathematics projects can create an awareness of sustainable development goals.
Satisfaction of Distance Education University Students with the Use of Audio Media as a Medium of Instruction: The Case of Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda
This study investigates the satisfaction of distance education university students (DEUS) with the use of audio media as a medium of instruction. Studying students’ satisfaction is vital because it shows whether learners are comfortable with a certain instructional strategy or not. Although previous studies have investigated the use of audio media, the satisfaction of students with studies that combine radio teaching and podcasts as an independent instructional strategy has not been fully investigated. In this study, all lectures were delivered through the radio and students had no direct contact with their instructors. No modules or any other material in form of text were given to the students. They instead, revised the taught content by listening to podcasts saved on their mobile electronic gadgets. Prior to data collection, DEUS received orientation through workshops on how to use audio media in distance education. To achieve objectives of the study, a survey, naturalistic observations and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from a sample of 211 undergraduate and graduate students. Findings indicate that there was no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction between male and female students. The results from post hoc analysis show that there is a statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction regarding the use of audio media between Diploma and graduate students. Diploma students are more satisfied compared to their graduate counterparts. T-tests results reveal that there was no statistically significant difference in the general satisfaction with audio media between rural and urban-based students. And ANOVA results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction with the use of audio media across age groups. Furthermore, results from observations and interviews reveal that DEUS found learning using audio media a pleasurable medium of instruction. This is an indication that audio media can be considered as an instructional strategy on its own merit. Generally, from the findings of this study, the conclusion is that apart from educational levels, other students’ characteristics are not critical regarding their satisfaction with audio media in distance teaching.
Saudi Arabian Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes toward Integrating STEM in Teaching before and after Participating in a Professional Development Workshop
The purpose of this study was to analyze Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ attitudes toward integrating STEM in teaching before and after they participated in a professional development workshop focused on STEM integration in a specific middle school science and mathematics unit. The participants were 48 Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers who participated in a three-day workshop held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The research method was a pretest-posttest group design. The primary data source was the instrument for teachers' attitudes toward teaching integrated STEM. The results indicate that Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ perceptions of difficulties decreased due to their participation in the professional development workshop on integrated STEM. Meanwhile, the teachers' self-efficacy improved following their participation in the STEM professional development (PD) workshop. However, no perceived effect was found for the teachers' perceptions of the relevance of or their anxiety about or enjoyment of integrated STEM teaching due to their participation in the three-day PD workshop.
Analyzing the Implementation of Education for Sustainability: Focusing on Leadership Skills in Secondary School in Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire established a National Commission for Sustainable Development with a view to implementing the ESD. This study aims to understand the knowledge, attitude and practice about education for sustainability of teachers, students, principals, and staff in secondary schools in Côte d’Ivoire while exploring the barriers, levers and examines the leadership skills needed to help carrying out ESD. The data collection took place in October and December 2015. Questionnaires were administered to 400 participants, which involved teachers, students, principals and staff in 25 public and private secondary schools in four regional offices of education. 297 questionnaires were collected producing a collection-rate of 74.25%. Descriptive statistics, independent t-test, dependent sample t-test, One way ANOVA, Pearson correlation were used to analyze the data. Thereupon, knowledge, attitudes about education for sustainability of teachers, principals and staff in secondary school are better than students. However, there is little practice of ESD. 68.3% of participants are not familiar with the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. In addition, 92.8% of schools do not have a school Agenda 21. The major barriers that prevent the teaching of education for sustainability are lack of access to technical tools, insufficient funding and lack of information. The main levers are teacher and staff training, financing, awareness of students, and public engagement. Principals do possess good human and technical skills but limited conceptual skills. The study showed that conceptual and human skills are convenient assets which rhyme more with education for sustainability. Thereupon, if schools’ principal need to improve education for sustainability through practice, they need more conceptual skills.
The Problem of the Use of Learning Analytics in Distance Higher Education: An Analytical Study of the Open and Distance University System in Mexico
Learning Analytics (LA) is employed by universities not only as a tool but as a specialized ground to enhance students and professors. However, not all the academic programs apply LA with the same goal and use the same tools. In fact, LA is formed by five main fields of study (academic analytics, action research, educational data mining, recommender systems, and personalized systems). These fields can help not just to inform academic authorities about the situation of the program, but also can detect risk students, professors with needs, or general problems. The highest level applies Artificial Intelligence techniques to support learning practices. LA has adopted different techniques: statistics, ethnography, data visualization, machine learning, natural language process, and data mining. Is expected that any academic program decided what field wants to utilize on the basis of his academic interest but also his capacities related to professors, administrators, systems, logistics, data analyst, and the academic goals. The Open and Distance University System (SUAYED in Spanish) of the University National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM), has been working for forty years as an alternative to traditional programs; one of their main supports has been the employ of new information and communications technologies (ICT). Today, UNAM has one of the largest network higher education programs, twenty-six academic programs in different faculties. This situation means that every faculty works with heterogeneous populations and academic problems. In this sense, every program has developed its own Learning Analytic techniques to improve academic issues. In this context, an investigation was carried out to know the situation of the application of LA in all the academic programs in the different faculties. The premise of the study it was that not all the faculties have utilized advanced LA techniques and it is probable that they do not know what field of study is closer to their program goals. In consequence, not all the programs know about LA but, this does not mean they do not work with LA in a veiled or, less clear sense. It is very important to know the grade of knowledge about LA for two reasons: 1) This allows to appreciate the work of the administration to improve the quality of the teaching and, 2) if it is possible to improve others LA techniques. For this purpose, it was designed three instruments to determinate the experience and knowledge in LA. These were applied to ten faculty coordinators and his personnel; thirty members were consulted (academic secretary, systems manager, or data analyst, and coordinator of the program). The final report allowed to understand that almost all the programs work with basic statistics tools and techniques, this helps the administration only to know what is happening inside de academic program, but they are not ready to move up to the next level, this means applying Artificial Intelligence or Recommender Systems to reach a personalized learning system. This situation is not related to the knowledge of LA, but the clarity of the long-term goals.
The Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Education: Opportunities and Challenges
The remarkable growth and evolution in information and communication technology (ICT) in the past few decades has transformed modern society in almost every aspect of life. The impact and application of ICT have been observed in almost all walks of life including science, arts, business, health, management, engineering, sports, and education. ICT in education is being used extensively for student learning, creativity, interaction, and knowledge sharing and as a valuable source of teaching instrument. Apart from the student’s perspective, it plays a vital role for teacher education, instructional methods and curriculum development. There is a significant difference in growth of ICT enabled education in developing countries compared to developed nations and according to research, this gap is widening. ICT gradually infiltrate in almost every aspect of life. It has a deep and profound impact on our social, economic, health, environment, development, work, learning, and education environments. ICT provides very effective and dominant tools for information and knowledge processing. It is firmly believed that the coming generation should be proficient and confident in the use of ICT to cope with the existing international standards. This is only possible if schools can provide basic ICT infrastructure to students and to develop an ICT-integrated curriculum which covers all aspects of learning and creativity in students. However, there is a digital divide and steps must be taken to reduce this digital divide considerably to have the profound impact of ICT in education all around the globe. This study is based on theoretical approach and an extensive literature review is being conducted to see the successful implementations of ICT integration in education and to identify technologies and models which have been used in education in developed countries. This paper deals with the modern applications of ICT in schools for both teachers and students to uplift the learning and creativity amongst the students. A brief history of technology in education is presented and discussed are some important ICT tools for both student and teacher’s perspective. Basic ICT-based infrastructure for academic institutions is presented. The overall conclusion leads to the positive impact of ICT in education by providing an interactive, collaborative and challenging environment to students and teachers for knowledge sharing, learning and critical thinking.
Improving the Quality of Higher Education for Students with Disability in Universities of Pakistan
In Pakistan, the inclusion of persons with disabilities in higher education institutions has significantly been increased with every passing year and anyone can observe a sizeable number of these students in each faculty. The study executes to conduct a baseline survey for measuring faculty understanding about the special needs, experiences of students with disabilities and support provided by university administration in order to teach these students effectively. The researcher has used mixed methods and the University of Karachi was selected through non-probability-based sampling method. This university is one of the largest universities in Pakistan where more than 40,000 students have been enrolled. Data was gathered through a questionnaire and focused group discussion from three stakeholders including students with disabilities, faculty members and members of the university administration. The key findings show that students with disabilities experience a number of problems related to accommodating their special needs. However, the most encouraging factors identified are the attitude, support, and motivation they received from various faculty members and university administration. On the basis of the findings of the study the researcher has prepared a faculty guidebook and established a ‘Model Learning Assistance Centre for Students with Disabilities’ in the Department of Special Education, University of Karachi. Both these efforts will be helpful for improving the support services for students with disabilities to strengthen the existing laws, policies, and practices in institutions of higher education.
Evaluation of Massive Open Online Course in a Rural Marginalized Area: Case Study of Alice Community, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Online learning has taken another dimension through the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), it has also become an important resource base for teaching and learning. This research aimed at investigating the use of Massive Open Online Course in a rural marginalized area. The survey research design of descriptive nature was adopted to evaluate the awareness and usage of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) in Alice community, Eastern Cape, South Africa. This study also employed quantitative approach by using self-structured questionnaire to evoke information from the respondents. The data collected were analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed amongst others the efficacy of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) in fostering teaching and learning in rural marginalized areas. This study concludes that MOOCs is a veritable medium for busy or less privileged individual to acquire a degree or certification. Therefore, the study recommends MOOCs platform to be fully embraced by people in rural marginalized areas, awareness programs about its usefulness should be propagated across the municipalities nationwide.
Semantic Indexing Improvement for Textual Documents: Contribution of Classification by Fuzzy Association Rules
In the aim of natural language processing applications improvement, such as information retrieval, machine translation, lexical disambiguation, we focus on statistical approach to semantic indexing for multilingual text documents based on conceptual network formalism. We propose to use this formalism as an indexing language to represent the descriptive concepts and their weighting. These concepts represent the content of the document. Our contribution is based on two steps. In the first step, we propose the extraction of index terms using the multilingual lexical resource Euro WordNet (EWN). In the second step, we pass from the representation of index terms to the representation of index concepts through conceptual network formalism. This network is generated using the EWN resource and pass by a classification step based on association rules model (in attempt to discover the non-taxonomic relations or contextual relations between the concepts of a document). These relations are latent relations buried in the text and carried by the semantic context of the co-occurrence of concepts in the document. Our proposed indexing approach can be applied to text documents in various languages because it is based on a linguistic method adapted to the language through a multilingual thesaurus. Next, we apply the same statistical process regardless of the language in order to extract the significant concepts and their associated weights. We prove that the proposed indexing approach provides encouraging results.
Toward Cloud E-learning System Based on Smart Tools
In the face of the growth in the quantity of data produced, several methods and techniques appear to remedy the problems of processing and analyzing large amounts of information mainly in the field of teaching. In this paper, we propose an intelligent cloud-based teaching system for E-learning content services. This system makes easy the manipulation of various educational content forms, including text, images, videos, 3 dimensions objects and scenes of virtual reality and augmented reality. We discuss the integration of institutional and external services to provide personalized assistance to university members in their daily activities. The proposed system provides an intelligent solution for media services that can be accessed from smart devices cloud-based intelligent service environment with a fully integrated system.
Analysis of Citation Rate and Data Reuse for Openly Accessible Biodiversity Datasets on Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Making research data openly accessible has been mandated by most funders over the last 5 years as it promotes reproducibility in science and reduces duplication of effort to collect the same data. There are evidence that articles that publicly share research data have higher citation rates in biological and social sciences. However, how and whether shared data is being reused is not always intuitive as such information is not easily accessible from the majority of research data repositories. This study aims to understand the practice of data citation and how data is being reused over the years focusing on biodiversity since research data is frequently reused in this field. Metadata of 38,878 datasets including citation counts were collected through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) API for this purpose. GBIF was used as a data source since it provides citation count for datasets, not a commonly available feature for most repositories. Analysis of dataset types, citation counts, creation and update time of datasets suggests that citation rate varies for different types of datasets, where occurrence datasets that have more granular information have higher citation rates than checklist and metadata-only datasets. Another finding is that biodiversity datasets on GBIF are frequently updated, which is unique to this field. Majority of the datasets from the earliest year of 2007 were updated after 11 years, with no dataset that was not updated since creation. For each year between 2007 and 2017, we compared the correlations between update time and citation rate of four different types of datasets. While recent datasets do not show any correlations, 3 to 4 years old datasets show weak correlation where datasets that were updated more recently received high citations. The results are suggestive that it takes several years to cumulate citations for research datasets. However, this investigation found that when searched on Google Scholar or Scopus databases for the same datasets, the number of citations is often not the same as GBIF. Hence future aim is to further explore the citation count system adopted by GBIF to evaluate its reliability and whether it can be applicable to other fields of studies as well.
KUCERIA: A Media to Increase Students’ Reading Interest and Nutrition Knowledge
The preferred habit nowadays is to watch television or listen to the radio rather than reading a newspaper or magazine. The low interest in reading is the reason to the Indonesian government passed a regulation to foster interest in reading early in schoolchildren through literacy programs. Literacy programs are held for the first 10 - 15 minutes before classes begin and children are asked to read books other than textbooks such as storybooks or magazines. In addition, elementary school children have a tendency to buy less healthy snacks around the school and do not know the nutrition fact from the food purchased. Whereas snacks contribute greatly in the fulfillment of energy and nutrients of children every day. The purpose of this study was to increase reading interest as well as knowledge of nutrition and health for elementary school students. This study used quantitative method with experimental study design for four months with twice intervention per week and deepened by qualitative method in the form of interview. The participants were 130 students consisting of 3rd and 4th graders in selected elementary school in Depok City. The Interventions given using KUCERIA (Child Storybook) which were storybooks with pictures consisting of 12 series about nutrition and health given at school literacy hours. There were five questions given by using the crossword method to find out the students' understanding of the story content in each series. To maximize the understanding and absorption of information, two students were asked to retell the story in front of the class and one student to fill the crossword on the board for each series. In addition, interviews were conducted by asking questions about students' interest in reading books. Intervention involved not only students but also teachers and parents in order to optimize students' reading habits. Analysis showed > 80% of student could answer 3 of 5 questions correctly in each series, which showed they had an interest in what they read. Research data on nutrition and health knowledge were analyzed using Wilcoxon and Chi-Square Test to see the relationship. However, only 46% of students completed 12 series and the rest lost to follow up due to school schedule incompatibility with the program. The results showed that there was a significant increase of knowledge (p = 0.000) between before intervention with 66,53 score and after intervention with 81,47 score. Retention of knowledge was conducted one month after the last intervention was administered and the analysis result showed no significant decrease of knowledge (p = 0,000) from 79,17 score to 75,48 score. There is also no relationship between sex and class with knowledge. Hence, an increased interest in reading of elementary school students and nutritional knowledge interventions using KUCERIA was proved successful. These interventions may be replicated in other schools or learning communities.
Motivation for Higher Education: An Exploration of Lived Experiences of Students with Disabilities in a Ghanaian University
The social construction of disability in a Ghanaian society has created a restriction on the development of the academic potentials of persons with disabilities. Ghanaian societal perceptions position persons with disabilities as needy, evil, feeble and 'abnormal' that a person with disability cannot contribute anything meaningful to their own development, society, and the nation as well. Almost all Ghanaian cultures believe the Gods visit evil people with disability as such they erect barriers that limit them to select and enroll in education. The few people with disabilities who gain admission to schools drop out due to these barriers erected by the society and institutions. However, there are very few of these students who are able to pursue their education at the higher education level despite these challenges. This qualitative study explores the motivation of students with disabilities to select and enroll in a Ghanaian university. The study used semi-structured interview to solicit information from students with disabilities in a Ghanaian university. Although the quality of students with disabilities experience was affected by culture, discrimination, marginalisation, and lack of support, the prospect of using themselves as role models, employment opportunities and family impingement were among others that pushed them to embark on their educational journey. The findings of this study have implications for societal and institutional levels for restructuring and refining societal perception and institutional policies on disabilities.
Equity and Accessibility for Inclusion: A Study of the Lived Experiences of Students with Disabilities in a Ghanaian University
The education of people with disabilities remains one of the major concern of policymakers, advocacy groups and researchers. In Ghana, as in many other countries, there is a policy commitment for the educational inclusion of people with disabilities, including in the context of higher education. This qualitative research investigates how students with disabilities experience equity and accessibility in a Ghanaian university. The study also investigates factors that influence equity and accessibility in a Ghanaian university. The study draws on the views of students with disabilities, on lecturer insight and organisational and national policy documents. The findings specifies that the quality of students with disabilities lived experiences are affected by the physical environment, infrastructure facilities and lack of academic and non-academic information. The study highlights the need for the university to ensure equity in making the university accessible for all students in order to ensure retention and participation of students with disabilities; failure to make the university accessible for students with disabilities compromises the ability of this group of students to realise their academic potentials.
Designing a Learning Table and Game Cards for Preschoolers for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on Earthquake
Children are among the most vulnerable at the occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes. Most of the management and measures which are considered for both before and during an earthquake are neither suitable nor efficient for this age group and cannot be applied. On the other hand, due to their age, it is hard to educate and train children to learn and understand the concept of earthquake risk mitigation as matters like earthquake prevention and safe places during an earthquake are not easily perceived. To our knowledge, children’s awareness of such concepts via their own world with the help of games is the best training method in this case. In this article, the researcher has tried to consider the child an active element before and during the earthquake. With training, provided by adults before the incidence of an earthquake, the child has the ability to learn disaster risk reduction (DRR). The focus of this research is on learning risk reduction behavior and regarding children as an individual element. The information of this article has been gathered from library resources, observations and the drawings of 10 children aged 5 whose subject was their conceptual definition of an earthquake who were asked to illustrate their conceptual definition of an earthquake; the results of 20 questionnaires filled in by preschoolers along with information gathered by interviewing them. The design of the suitable educational game, appropriate for the needs of this age group, has been made based on the theory of design with help of the user and the priority of children’s learning needs. The final result is a package of a game which is comprised of a learning table and matching cards showing sign marks for safe and unsafe places which introduce the safe behaviors and safe locations before and during the earthquake. These educational games can be used both in group contexts in kindergartens and on an individual basis at home, and they help in earthquake risk reduction.
Incorporating Polya’s Problem Solving Process: A Polytechnic Mathematics Module Case Study
School of Mathematics and Science of Singapore Polytechnic offers a Basic Mathematics module to students who did not pass GCE O-Level Additional Mathematics. These students are weaker in Mathematics. In particular, they struggle with word problems and tend to leave them blank in tests and examinations. In order to improve students’ problem-solving skills, the school redesigned the Basic Mathematics module to incorporate Polya’s problem-solving methodology. During tutorial lessons, students have to work through learning activities designed to raise their metacognitive awareness by following Polya’s problem-solving process. To assess the effectiveness of the redesign, students’ working for a challenging word problem in the mid-semester test were analyzed. Sixty-five percent of students attempted to understand the problem by making sketches. Twenty-eight percent of students went on to devise a plan and implement it. Only five percent of the students still left the question blank. These preliminary results suggest that with regular exposure to an explicit and systematic problem-solving approach, weak students’ problem-solving skills can potentially be improved.
Potential Contribution of Blue Oceans for Growth of Universities: Case of Faculties of Agriculture in Public Universities in Zimbabwe
As new public universities are being applauded for being promulgated in Zimbabwe, there is need for comprehensive plan for ensuring sustainable competitive advantages in their niche mandated areas. Unhealthy competition between university faculties for enrolment hinders growth of the newly established universities faculties, especially in the agricultural sciences related disciplines. Blue ocean metaphor is based on creation of competitor-free market unlike 'red oceans', which are well explored and crowded with competitors. This study seeks to explore the potential contribution of blue oceans strategy (BOS) for growth of universities with bias towards faculties of agriculture in public universities in Zimbabwe. Case studies with agricultural sciences related disciplines were selected across three universities for interviewing. Data was collected through 10 open ended questions on academics in different management positions within university faculties of agriculture. Summative analysis was thereafter used during coding and interpretation of the data. Study findings show that there are several important elements for making offerings more comprehendible towards fostering faculty growth and performance with bias towards student enrolment. The results points towards BOS form of value innovations with various elements to consider in faculty offerings. To create valued innovation beyond the red oceans, the cases in this study have to be modelled to foster changes in enrolment, modes of delivery, certification, being research oriented with excellence in teaching, ethics, service to the community and entrepreneurship. There is, therefore, need to rethink strategy towards reshaping inclusive enrolment, industry relevance, affiliations, lifelong learning, sustainable student welfare, ubuntu, exchange programmes, research excellence, alumni support and entrepreneurship. Innovative strategic collaborations and partnerships, anchored on technology boost the strategic offerings henceforth leveraging on various offerings in this study. Areas of further study include the amplitude of blue oceans shown in the university faculty offerings and implementation strategies of BOS.
Critical Reading Achievement of Rural Migrant Children in China: The Roles of Educational Expectation
Rural migrant children have become a fast-growing population in China as a consequence of the large-scale population flow from rural to urban areas in the context of urbanization. In China, the socioeconomic status of migrant children is relatively low in comparison to non-migrant children. Parents of migrant children often work in occupations with long working hours, high labor intensity, and low pay due to their poor academic qualifications. Most migrant children's parents have not received higher education and have no time to read with their children. The family of migrant children usually does not have a good collection of books either, which leads to these children’s insufficient reading and low reading levels. Moreover, migrant children frequently relocate with their parents, and their needs for knowledge and reading are often neglected by schools, which puts migrant children at risk of academic failure in China. Therefore, the academic achievement of rural migrant children has become a focus of education in China. This study explores the relationship between the educational expectation of rural migrant children and their critical reading competence in general and the moderating effect of the difference between parental educational expectation to their children and the children’s own educational expectation. The responses to a survey from 5113 seventh-grade children in a district of the capital city in China revealed that children who moved to cities in grades 4-6 of primary school performed the best in critical reading, and children who moved to cities after middle school showed the worst performance in critical reading. In addition, parents’ educational expectations of their children and their own educational expectations were both significant predictors of rural migrant children’s reading competence. The higher a child's expectations of a degree and the smaller the gap between parents' expectations of a child's education and the child's own education expectations, the better the child's performance in critical reading.
Curriculum Transformation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on ‘Decolonisation’ and ‘Africanisation’ of the Curriculum in South Africa’s Higher Education
The years of 2015-2017 witnessed a huge campaign, and in some instances, violent protests in South Africa by students and some groups of academics advocating the decolonisation of the curriculum of universities. These protests have forced through high expectations for universities to teach a curriculum relevant to the country, and the continent as well as enabled South Africa to participate in the globalised world. To realise this purpose, most universities are currently undertaking steps to transform and decolonise their curriculum. However, the transformation process is challenged and delayed by lack of a collective understanding of the concepts ‘decolonisation’ and ‘africanisation’ that should guide its application. Even more challenging is lack of a contextual understanding of these concepts across different university disciplines. Against this background, and underpinned in a qualitative research paradigm, the perspectives of these concepts as applied by different university disciplines were examined in order to understand and establish their implementation in the curriculum transformation agenda. Data were collected by reviewing the teaching and learning plans of 8 faculties of an institution of higher learning in South Africa and analysed through content and textual analysis. The findings revealed varied understanding and use of these concepts in the transformation of the curriculum across faculties. Decolonisation, according to the faculties of Law and Humanities, is perceived as the eradication of the Eurocentric positioning in curriculum content and the constitutive rules and norms that control thinking. This is not done by ignoring other knowledge traditions but does call for an affirmation and validation of African views of the world and systems of thought, mixing it with current knowledge. For the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, decolonisation is seen as making the content of the curriculum relevant to students, fulfilling the needs of industry and equipping students for job opportunities. This means the use of teaching strategies and methods that are inclusive of students from diverse cultures, and to structure the learning experience in ways that are not alien to the cultures of the students. For the Health Sciences, decolonisation of the curriculum refers to the need for a shift in Western thinking towards being more sensitive to all cultural beliefs and thoughts. Collectively, decolonisation of education thus entails that a nation must become independent with regard to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Based on the findings, for universities to successfully transform their curriculum and integrate the concepts of decolonisation and Africanisation, there is a need to contextually determine the meaning of the concepts generally and narrow them down to what they should mean to specific disciplines. Universities should refrain from considering an umbrella approach to these concepts. Decolonisation should be seen as a means and not an end. A decolonised curriculum should equally be developed based on the finest knowledge skills, values, beliefs and habits around the world and not limited to one country or continent.
Disrupting Certainties: Reimagined History Curriculum as Critical Pedagogy in Secondary Teacher Education
How might history education support teachers and students to see the past as a provocation, be open to possible futures, and act differently? As teacher educators in an age of diversity and uncertainty, we need to question history’s curriculum nature, pedagogy, and policy intent. The cultural politics of history’s identity in the senior secondary curriculum influences educational socialization (disciplinary, professional, research) and engagement with curriculum decision-making. This paper reflects on curriculum disturbance that shaped a critical pedagogy stance to problematize school history’s certainties. The context is situated in an Aotearoa New Zealand university-based initial teacher education programme. A pedagogic innovation was activated whereby problematized history pedagogy [PHP] was conceptualized as the phenomenon and method of inquiry and storied in doctoral work. The PHP was a reciprocal research process involving history class’ participants and the teacher as researcher, in fashioning teaching identities, identifying with, and thinking critically about history pedagogy. PHP findings revealed evocative discourses of embodiment, nostalgia, and connectedness about living ‘inside the past’. Participants expressed certainty about their abilities as teachers living ‘outside the past’ to interpret historical perspectives. However, discomfort was evident in relation to ‘difficult knowledge’ or unfamiliar contexts of the past that exposed exclusion, powerlessness, or silenced voices. Participants identified history programmes as strongly masculine and conflict-focused. A normalized inquiry-transmission approach to history pedagogy was identified and critiqued. Individuals’ reflexive accounts of PHP implemented whilst on practicum indicate possibilities of history pedagogy as; inclusive and democratic, social and ethical reconstruction, and as a critical project. The PHP sought to reimagine history curriculum and identify spaces of possibility in secondary postgraduate teacher education.
Overcoming Reading Barriers in an Inclusive Mathematics Classroom with Linguistic and Visual Support
The importance of written language in a democratic society is non-controversial. Students with physical, learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities often have difficulties in understanding information which is presented in written language only. These students suffer from obstacles in diverse domains. In order to reduce such barriers in educational as well as in out-of-school areas, access to written information must be facilitated. Readability can be enhanced by linguistic simplifications like the application of easy-to-read language. Easy-to-read language shall help people with disabilities to participate socially and politically in society. The authors state, for example, that only short simple words should be used, whereas the occurrence of complex sentences should be avoided. So far, these guidelines were not empirically proved. Another way to reduce reading barriers is the use of visual support, for example, symbols. A symbol conveys, in contrast to a photo, a single idea or concept. Little empirical data about the use of symbols to foster the readability of texts exist. Nevertheless, a positive influence can be assumed, e.g., because of the multimedia principle. It indicates that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. A qualitative Interview and Eye-Tracking-Study, which was conducted by the authors, gives cause for the assumption that besides the illustration of single words, the visualization of complete sentences may be helpful. Thus, the effect of photos, which illustrate the content of complete sentences, is also investigated in this study. This leads us to the main research question which was focused on: Does the use of easy-to-read language and/or enriching text with symbols or photos facilitate pupils’ comprehension of learning tasks? The sample consisted of students with learning difficulties (N = 144) and students without SEN (N = 159). The students worked on the tasks, which dealt with introducing fractions, individually. While experimental group 1 received a linguistically simplified version of the tasks, experimental group 2 worked with a variation which was linguistically simplified and furthermore, the keywords of the tasks were visualized by symbols. Experimental group 3 worked on exercises which were simplified by easy-to-read-language and the content of the whole sentences was illustrated by photos. Experimental group 4 received a not simplified version. The participants’ reading ability and their IQ was elevated beforehand to build four comparable groups. There is a significant effect of the different setting on the students’ results F(3,140) = 2,932; p = 0,036*. A post-hoc-analyses with multiple comparisons shows that this significance results from the difference between experimental group 3 and 4. The students in the group easy-to-read language plus photos worked on the exercises significantly more successfully than the students who worked in the group with no simplifications. Further results which refer, among others, to the influence of the students reading ability will be presented at the ICERI 2018.
Representational Issues in Learning Solution Chemistry at Secondary School
Students’ conceptual understandings of chemistry concepts/phenomena involve capability to coordinate across the three levels of Johnston’s triangle model. This triplet model is based on reasoning about chemical phenomena across macro, sub-micro and symbolic levels. In chemistry education, there is a need for further examining inquiry-based approaches that enhance students’ conceptual learning and problem solving skills. This research adopted a directed inquiry pedagogy based on students constructing and coordinating representations, to investigate senior school students’ capabilities to flexibly move across Johnston’ levels when learning dilution and molar concentration concepts. The participants comprise 50 grade 11 and 20 grade 10 students and 4 chemistry teachers who were selected from 4 secondary schools located in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria. This research into classroom practices used ethnographic methodology, involved teachers working collaboratively with the research team to develop representational activities and lesson sequences in the instruction of a unit on solution chemistry. The representational activities included challenges (Representational Challenges-RCs) that used ‘representational tools’ to assist students to move across Johnson’s three levels for dilution phenomena. In this report, the ‘representational tool’ called ‘cross and portion’ model was developed and used in teaching and learning the molar concentration concept. Students’ conceptual understanding and problem solving skills when learning with this model are analysed through group case studies of year 10 and 11 chemistry students. In learning dilution concepts, students in both group case studies actively conducted a practical experiment, used their own language and visualisation skills to represent dilution phenomena at macroscopic level (RC1). At the sub-microscopic level, students generated and negotiated representations of the chemical interactions between solute and solvent underpinning the dilution process. At the symbolic level, students demonstrated their understandings about dilution concepts by drawing chemical structures and performing mathematical calculations. When learning molar concentration with a ‘cross and portion’ model (RC2), students coordinated across visual and symbolic representational forms and Johnson’s levels to construct representations. The analysis showed that in RC1, Year 10 students needed more ‘scaffolding’ in inducing to representations to explicit the form and function of sub-microscopic representations. In RC2, Year 11 students showed clarity in using visual representations (drawings) to link to mathematics to solve representational challenges about molar concentration. In contrast, year 10 students struggled to get match up the two systems, symbolic system of mole per litre (‘cross and portion’) and visual representation (drawing). These conceptual problems do not lie in the students’ mathematical calculation capability but rather in students’ capability to align visual representations with the symbolic mathematical formulations. This research also found that students in both group case studies were able to coordinate representations when probed about the use of ‘cross and portion’ model (in RC2) to demonstrate molar concentration of diluted solutions (in RC1). Students mostly succeeded in constructing ‘cross and portion’ models to represent the reduction of molar concentration of the concentration gradients. In conclusion, this research demonstrated how the strategic introduction and coordination of chemical representations across modes and across the macro, sub-micro and symbolic levels, supported student reasoning and problem solving in chemistry.
Interdependence of Vocational Skills and Employability Skills: Example of an Industrial Training Centre in Central India
Vocational education includes all kind of education which can help students to acquire skills related to a certain profession, art, or activity so that they are able to exercise that profession, art or activity after acquiring such qualification. However, in this global economy of the modern world, job seekers are expected to have certain soft skills over and above the technical knowledge and skills acquired in their areas of expertise. These soft skills include but not limited to interpersonal communication, understanding, personal attributes, problem-solving, working in team, quick adaptability to the workplace environment, and other. Not only the hands-on, job-related skills, and competencies are now being sought by the employers, but also a complex of attitudinal dispositions and affective traits are being looked by them in their prospective employees. This study was performed to identify the employability skills of technical students from an Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in central India. It also aimed to convey a message to the students currently on the role, that for them to remain relevant in the job market, they would need to constantly adapt to changes and evolving requirements in the work environment, including the use of updated technologies. Five hypotheses were formulated and tested on the employability skills of students as a function of gender, trade, work experience, personal attributes, and IT skills. Data were gathered with the help of center’s training officers who approached 200 recently graduated students from the center and administered the instrument to students. All 200 respondents returned the completed instrument. The instrument used for the study consisted of 2 sections; demographic details and employability skills. To measure the employability skills of the trainees, the instrument was developed by referring to the several instruments developed by the past researchers for similar studies. The 1st section of the instrument of demographic details recorded age, gender, trade, year of passing, interviews faced, and employment status of the respondents. The 2nd section of the instrument on employability skills was categorized into seven specific skills: basic vocational skills; personal attributes; imagination skills; optimal management of resources; information-technology skills; interpersonal skills; adapting to new technologies. The reliability and validity of the instrument were checked. The findings revealed valuable information on the relationship and interdependence of vocational education and employability skills of students in the central Indian scenario. The findings revealed a valuable information on supplementing the existing vocational education programs with few soft skills and competencies so as to develop a superior workforce much better equipped to face the job market. The findings of the study can be used as an example by the management of government and private industrial training centers operating in the other parts of the Asian region. Future research can be undertaken on a greater population base from different geographical regions and backgrounds for an enhanced outcome.
A Conversation about Inclusive Education: Revelations from Namibian Primary School Teachers
Inclusive education stems from a philosophy and vision, which argues that all children should learn together at school. It is not only about treating all pupils in the same way. It is also about allowing all children to attend school without any restrictions. Ten primary school teachers in a circuit in Namibia volunteered to participate in face-to-face interviews about inclusive education. The teachers responded to three questions about their (i) understanding of inclusive education; (ii) whether inclusive education was implemented in primary schools; and (iii) whether they were able to work with learners with special needs. Findings indicated that teachers understood what inclusive education entailed; felt that inclusive education was not implemented in their primary schools, and they were unable to work with learners with special needs in their classrooms. Further, the teachers identified training and resources as important components of inclusive education. It is recommended that education authorities should perhaps verify the findings reported here as well as ensure that the concerns raised by the teachers are addressed.
Effect of Cooperative Learning Strategy on Mathematics Achievement and Retention of Senior Secondary School Students of Different Ability Levels in Taraba State, Nigeria
The study investigated the effect of cooperative learning strategy on mathematics achievement and retention among senior secondary school students of different abilities in Taraba State Nigeria. Cooperative learning strategy could hopefully contribute to students’ achievement which will spur the teachers to develop strategies for better learning. The quasi-experimental of pretest, posttest and control group design was adopted in this study. A sample of one hundred and sixty-four (164) Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students were selected from a population of twelve thousand, eight hundred and seventy-three (12,873) SS2 Students in Taraba State. Two schools with equivalent mean scores in the pre-test were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group students were stratified according to ability levels of low, medium and high. The experimental group was guided by the research assistants using the cooperative learning instructional package. After six weeks post-test was administered to the two groups while the retention test was administered two weeks after the post-test. The researcher developed a 50-item Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) which was validated by experts obtaining the reliability coefficient of 0.87. Mean scores and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions while the Analysis of Co-variance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. Major findings from the statistical analysis showed that cooperative learning strategy has a significant effect on the mean achievement of students as well as retention among students of high, medium and low ability in mathematics. However, cooperative learning strategy has no effect on the interaction of ability level and retention. Based on the results obtained, it was therefore recommended that the adoption of the use of cooperative learning strategy in the teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools be initiated, maintained and sustained for the benefit of senior secondary school students in Taraba State. Periodic Government sponsored in-service training in form of long vacation training programme, workshops, conferences and seminars on the nature, scope, and use of cooperative learning strategy should be organized for senior secondary school mathematics teachers in Taraba state.
Methodology for Developing an Intelligent Tutoring System Based on Marzano’s Taxonomy
The Mexican educational system faces diverse challenges related with the quality and coverage of education. The development of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) may help to solve some of them by helping teachers to customize their classes according to the performance of the students in online courses. In this work, we propose the adaptation of a functional ITS based on Bloom’s taxonomy called Sistema de Apoyo Generalizado para la Enseñanza Individualizada (SAGE), to measure student’s metacognition and their emotional response based on Marzano’s taxonomy. The students and the system will share the control over the advance in the course, so they can improve their metacognitive skills. The system will not allow students to get access to subjects not mastered yet. The interaction between the system and the student will be implemented through Natural Language Processing techniques, thus avoiding the use of sensors to evaluate student’s response. The teacher will evaluate student’s knowledge utilization, which is equivalent to the last cognitive level in Marzano’s taxonomy.
Exploratory Study of Contemporary Models of Leadership
Leadership is acknowledged internationally as fundamental to school efficiency and school enhancement nevertheless there are various understandings of what leadership is and how it is realised in practice. There are a number of educational leadership models that are considered important. However, the present study uses a systematic review method to examine and compare five models of the most well-known contemporary models of leadership as well as introduces the dimension of each model. Our results reveal that recently the distributed leadership has grown in popularity within the field of education. The study concludes by suggesting future directions in leadership development and education research.