Education Research International http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Objects, Worlds, and Students: Virtual Interaction in Education Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:04:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/318317/ The main aim of this study is to form a complete taxonomy of the types of interactions that relate to the use of a virtual world for engaging learning experiences, when blended and hybrid learning methods are to be used. In order to investigate this topic more accurately and effectively, we distinguish four dimensions of interactions based on the context in which these occur, and the involved parts: in-world and in-class, user-to-user and user-to-world interactions. In order to conduct investigation into this topic and form a view of the interactions as clear as possible, we observed a cohort of 15 undergraduate Computer Science students while using an OpenSim-based institutionally hosted virtual world. Moreover, we ran a survey where 50 students were asked to indicate their opinion and feelings about their in-world experience. The results of our study highlight that educators and instructors need to plan their in-world learning activities very carefully and with a focus on interactions if engaging activities are what they want to offer their students. Additionally, it seems that student interactions with the content of the virtual world and the in-class student-to-student interactions, have stronger impact on students’ engagement when hybrid methods are used. Athanasios Christopoulos, Marc Conrad, and Mitul Shukla Copyright © 2014 Athanasios Christopoulos et al. All rights reserved. Correlation between Global Rating Scale and Specific Checklist Scores for Professional Behaviour of Physical Therapy Students in Practical Examinations Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:08:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/219512/ The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the specific item checklist (checklist) and global rating scale (GRS) scores are correlated in practical skills examinations (PSEs). Professional behaviour was evaluated using both the checklist and GRS scores for 183 students in three PSEs. Mean, standard deviation, and correlation for checklist and GRS scores were calculated for each station, within each PSE. Pass rate for checklist and GRS was determined for each PSE, as well as for each individual checklist item within each PSE. Overall, pass rate was high for both checklist and GRS evaluations of professional behaviour in all PSEs. Generally, mean scores for the checklist and GRS were high, with low standard deviations, resulting in low data variability. Spearman correlation between total checklist and GRS scores was statistically significant for two out of five stations in PSE 1, five out of six stations in PSE 2, and three out of four stations in PSE 3. The GRS is comparable to the checklist for evaluation of professional behaviour in physical therapy (PT) students. The correlation between the checklist and GRS appears to become stronger in the assessment of more advanced students. Kaitlin Turner, Maegan Bell, Lindsay Bays, Carmen Lau, Clara Lai, Tetyana Kendzerska, Cathy Evans, and Robyn Davies Copyright © 2014 Kaitlin Turner et al. All rights reserved. Three Social Classroom Applications to Improve Student Attitudes Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:55:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/259128/ The paper presents results of a quasiexperiment where the three social classroom applications Post-It, WordCloud, and Categorizer were used in software architecture lectures. Post-It and WordCloud are applications that allow students to brainstorm or give comments related to a given topic. Categorizer is a puzzle game where the students are asked to place a number of terms in one of two correct categories. The three applications are multimodal HTML5 applications that enable students to interact in a classroom using their own digital devices, and the teacher’s laptop is used to display progress and results on the large screen. The focus of this study was to evaluate how the difference of these applications and how their integration into the lecture affected the students’ motivation, engagement, thinking, activity level, social interaction, creativity, enjoyment, attention, and learning. In addition, the study evaluated the usability and the technical quality of the applications. The results of the experiment show that the way such applications are integrated into a lecture highly affects the students’ attitude. The experiment also showed that the game-based application was on average better received among the students and that the students’ attitude was highly sensitive to the difficulty level of the game. Alf Inge Wang, Aleksander Aanesl. Elvemo, and Vegard Gamnes Copyright © 2014 Alf Inge Wang et al. All rights reserved. Doctoral Dissertation Supervision: Identification and Evaluation of Models Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:29:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/790750/ Doctoral research supervision is one of the major avenues for sustaining students’ satisfaction with the programme, preparing students to be independent researchers and effectively initiating students into the academic community. This work reports doctoral students’ evaluation of their various supervision models, their satisfaction with these supervision models, and development of research-related skills. The study used a descriptive research design and was guided by three research questions and two hypotheses. A sample of 310 Ph.D. candidates drawn from a federal university in Eastern part of Nigeria was used for this study. The data generated through the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests. Results show that face-to-face interactive model was not only the most frequently used, but also the most widely adopted in doctoral thesis supervision while ICT-based models were rarely used. Students supervised under face-to-face interactive model reported being more satisfied with dissertation supervision than those operating under face-to-face noninteractive model. However, students supervised under these two models did not differ significantly in their perceived development in research-related skills. Ngozi Agu and Christy O. Odimegwu Copyright © 2014 Ngozi Agu and Christy O. Odimegwu. All rights reserved. Check This Word Out! Exploring the Factors That Affect Students’ Vocabulary Learning Using Smartphones via Partial Least Squares Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:12:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/672031/ A rigorous understanding of the use of Smartphones for foreign language vocabulary acquisition is crucial. Employing the technology acceptance model, this study aims to investigate students’ behavioural factors affecting Saudi students’ attitudes towards employing Smartphones for foreign vocabulary acquisition. Two hundred and seventy-three students studying in a preparatory year programme were surveyed. SmartPLS was employed to analyse the data obtained from the study’s sample. The results revealed that perceived usefulness and attitude proved to be significantly and positively related to vocabulary development. In addition, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use proved to be significant predictors of students’ attitudes towards the use of Smartphone for vocabulary learning. However, the study showed that the relationship between perceived ease of use and vocabulary development is not significant. Thus, publishers of dictionaries may find it necessary to take into account the important role played by the design of dictionaries interfaces in facilitating the use of dictionaries in Smartphones. Furthermore, teachers and educators are encouraged to employ creative activities (e.g., word guessing games) that invest students’ use of Smartphones to learn vocabularies. Using Smartphones in learning improves interaction among students and teachers. Discussion and conclusions are also provided. Mohammad Madallh Alhabahba, Omer Hassan Ali Mahfoodh, Ambigapathy Pandian, Yazan Mdala Mohammad, Enas Waleed Ahmed, Ali Albdour, and Hussein Al Bazar Copyright © 2014 Mohammad Madallh Alhabahba et al. All rights reserved. Dilemma of Basic School Pupils in Northern Ghana with respect to Their Learning Context Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:42:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/140737/ Lately, basic school pupils have performed poorly in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as well as in their end of term examinations and this necessitated an enquiry into the phenomenon. The study used the cross-sectional study design. The sample size was 195. The study collected data using a questionnaire. Data analysis involved using descriptive statistics. The study found that largely pupils from academically performing and nonacademically performing schools have similar perceptions about causes of poor academic performance. Again, the combined effect of home and school environmental factors emerged as the major contributor to poor academic performance. The study recommends that providing a conducive home environment for the pupils, tackling pupil and teacher related factors, would help to ensure that poor academic performance is a thing of the past. Hakim Abdallah, Moses Naiim Fuseini, Amadu Musah Abudu, and Yusif Nuhu Copyright © 2014 Hakim Abdallah et al. All rights reserved. Social Media in Nursing Education: The View of the Students Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/929245/ Social media usage in nursing education is limited and the active use of various new developed learning environments are left behind. The purpose of this research was to survey second-year nursing students’ social media usage in studies and in their free time. The research was also interested to know students' interest and skill level in using different social media applications. The research presented a descriptive survey research design. The data was collected from second-year nursing students () through electronic and paper questionnaire in 2012. The questionnaire contained 20 structured questions and was analyzed statistically. The response rate was 61.4%. Students used social media applications more in their free time than in their studies. The most used applications in studies were an e-learning environment. Web video and online community services were the most used applications in their free time. The least used application was online games, in studies and in free time. Students were evaluated as having an excellent skill level in using social media, and they felt that the social media application was interesting. The relationship between age and application skill level was statistically significant. Younger students had better skills in using social media applications than older students. Riikka Tuominen, Minna Stolt, and Leena Salminen Copyright © 2014 Riikka Tuominen et al. All rights reserved. Developing “the Wings to Really Fly”: The Experiences of Four Postdoctoral Research Fellows within an Australian University Faculty of Education Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:48:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/217974/ Postdoctoral research fellowships are a recent phenomenon in teacher education and little has been documented about them. This paper presents findings from a study in which the experiences of research fellows in a rural university were investigated. The data were gathered as audio recordings from peer mentoring meetings, notes from these meetings, individual reflective journals, and interviews conducted with six key informants. The analysis highlights that the experience of research fellowships was marked by a need to negotiate four competing, though not necessarily exclusive, demands related to the institute’s research productivity, its research culture and teaching, and personal professional goals. A range of institutional practices and individual characteristics mediated these negotiations. Tuija A. Turunen, Sandie Wong, Laurette Bristol, and Siew Yin Ho Copyright © 2014 Tuija A. Turunen et al. All rights reserved. Advanced Placement Scores for Black Male Students from Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachetts, and Texas Sun, 31 Aug 2014 07:04:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/659212/ Differences in student performance were analyzed for Black males in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, Calculus AB, Biology, and United States History examinations from the 2001 through the 2012 exam years. All analyses included in the comparisons of overall examination scores and U.S. History examination scores were statistically significant. Of the 48 individual examination comparisons, 26 yielded evidence of a statistically significant difference among the Black male students from the selected states. Massachusetts was the state with the highest percentages of Black male students who achieved an AP score of 4 or 5. Conversely, Texas was the state with the highest percentages of Black male students who failed to achieve an AP score of 4 or 5. Implications for policy regarding advanced placement testing as an avenue for preparing students for college and recommendations for future research are discussed. Jeanine L. Wilson, John R. Slate, George W. Moore, and Wally Barnes Copyright © 2014 Jeanine L. Wilson et al. All rights reserved. Beyond Bullying: Consideration of Additional Research for the Assessment and Prevention of Potential Rampage School Violence in the United States Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:26:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/109297/ For approximately 15 years there have been a number of episodes of rampage school violence in elementary/high school and higher education in the United States. Initial responses included implementation of antibullying programs, disciplinary measures, and increased law security measures. As the incidences have continued, it has become apparent that a more collaborative and interdisciplinary approach is needed for prevention. This paper offers a review of research literature as it applies to proposed innovative strategies for collaborative research, prevention, and intervention in the school setting. Evonn Welton, Shernavaz Vakil, and Bridgie Ford Copyright © 2014 Evonn Welton et al. All rights reserved. Rethinking Foreign Language Education in Tunisian Preschools Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:39:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/538437/ Since its institutionalization three decades ago, early childhood educator training in Tunisia has been a considerable tributary of mainstream education. Despite such bearing, this field does not yet seem to reach the expected evolution as evidenced by the lack of a guiding vision. A case in point that attests to this state of clarity is foreign language education which has not expediently addressed the needs of both educators and preschoolers. This paper underscores this overlooked strand of early childhood education. Building on an appraisal of the problems and challenges burdening this area of education, it suggests the awakening-to-languages approach as an alternative project that maps the future course of foreign language education. Possible related benefits will consist in (i) investing in identity building, (ii) fostering critical thinking, and (iii) developing metalinguistic awareness where young learners act according to a pedagogy of discovery and reflection rather than skill-based attainment. Mohamed Ridha Ben Maad Copyright © 2014 Mohamed Ridha Ben Maad. All rights reserved. Experiences of Supervision at Practice Placement Sites Sun, 24 Aug 2014 09:35:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/764519/ Background. Whilst placement supervision and clinical education programmes are of significant value in shaping the behaviours of undergraduate healthcare students, appropriate provisions which are efficacious to the learner are somewhat lacking, particularly for students studying on UK MPharm programmes. Objectives. To explore and explain the value of placement supervision to the personal development and employability of undergraduate pharmacy students. Methods. Students participated in a week long community pharmacy pilot programme, a result of a collaborative effort between the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and a small consortium of community pharmacies. Students and stakeholders were asked to evaluate their experiences via separate questionnaires which had been developed to elicit views and attitudes. Key Findings. Feedback from students and stakeholders towards the experience was overwhelmingly positive with multiple benefits being reported. Of particular prominence was the emphasis in student feedback on the value of placement supervision to their professional and personal development. Findings were indicative of a development in clinical practice proficiencies, core skills, and improvement in decision-making practice. Conclusions. The benefits of clinical supervision to the professional and personal development of MPharm students are well documented, although attracting professional pharmacy supervisors is proving a problematic task for educational providers in the UK. Lesley Diack, Kathrine Gibson, Kim Munro, and Alison Strath Copyright © 2014 Lesley Diack et al. All rights reserved. A Framework for Designing Training Programs to Foster Self-Regulated Learning and Text Analysis Skills Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:47:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/510342/ The study’s aim was to develop an intervention program and to evaluate its contribution to students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) and text analysis skills. In a student-focused training approach, the students themselves acquired the training strategies, whereas in the teacher-focused training, the teachers were enabled to explicitly impart these strategies to their students. In order to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention in terms of transfer benefits on SRL and text analysis skills, 274 lower secondary students were examined in a pretest-training-posttest design. Based on two different training approaches, a distinction was made between four groups: student training (singleST), teacher training (singleTT), combination of student and teacher training (ComT), and control group (CG). Substantially more transfer was revealed in all training conditions as compared to the control group. Specifically, the singleST group showed the highest learning gains for all variables. Conversely, a combination of both approaches (ComT) did not result in synergetic effects, but rather in reciprocal interferences. Daniela Wagner, Sandra Dörrenbächer, and Franziska Perels Copyright © 2014 Daniela Wagner et al. All rights reserved. Thou Shalt Not Think: Editors’ Voice in an English Textbook to Propagate Vested Agendas Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/806320/ Textbooks, particularly in developing countries, are used as a tool to propagate the agendas of state and other groups in power. This paper informs the reader on the issue of how a tertiary level English textbook used editors’ voice to form the opinion of its readers by shaping facts and perspectives depicted in the texts. The editors of the textbook not only censored the information to block autonomous learning, but also attempted to misrepresent the themes of various texts to meet the censorship guidelines set by the textbook-board and/or the state. The paper aims to raise the question of learner autonomy and learners’ right to access information in its original form to be interpreted independently in the schematic background of each individual. By pointing out the issue and initiating the discussion, the paper hopes to bring awareness in the less explored area of the use of language power in the Pakistani educational context. Jabreel Asghar Copyright © 2014 Jabreel Asghar. All rights reserved. Self-Transcendence Values, Relationships, and Participatory Practice in Early Childhood Education Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:48:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/371831/ This study seeks to reveal the circumstances that encourage versus those that block children’s participation in the context of daily teacher-children encounters in preschools in Israel. Six cases were selected for analysis—three in which children’s participation was enabled and three in which children’s participation was blocked by teachers or student-teachers. Participants in the study were five student-teachers doing fieldwork as part of their professional preparation as well as two teachers. Analysis yielded the following conclusions: meaningful participation takes place in the context of a personal, caring relationship with an educator. For challenging situations that require decisions about enabling or denying children’s participation, self-transcendence values need to be activated by student-teachers or teachers. Activation of these values is the outcome of personal mental struggle, which is strengthened by having clear, articulated goals to include children in guided and nonguided social encounters. This study suggests that a teacher’s espousal of self-transcendence values is among the attributes that have an impact on teachers’ representations of relationships, their interactions with children, and the children’s participation in daily, preschool social encounters, whose quality may in turn affect the relationships with children. Documentation and critical reflection need to be incorporated into educational practice so that decision-making in challenging situations will be the product of thorough deliberation. Clodie Tal Copyright © 2014 Clodie Tal. All rights reserved. Implementation of Cooperative Learning in Science: A Developmental-cum-Experimental Study Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:54:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/431542/ This research paper is designed to set forth ideas on how to implement cooperative learning and examine its effect on social and cooperative skills while imparting science education at the Secondary Level. The strategy used is Jigsaw Technique making heterogeneous groups based on intelligence and gender. Instructional material and observation schedule were constructed by researchers. The cooperative skills of the students were found improving during the experimental period, and they developed positive interdependence, face-to-face interaction skills, and feeling of individual accountability, as compared by Mann Whitney U test. The students developed the feeling of working in a group in the classroom of science, and it also improved performance, as the discussion always leads to a considerable degree of clarity of concepts. Sonam Mehta and A. K. Kulshrestha Copyright © 2014 Sonam Mehta and A. K. Kulshrestha. All rights reserved. Is Innovation Being Addressed in Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Programs? An Exploratory Study Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:31:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/839505/ Entrepreneurial programs have experienced a phenomenal growth in the past two decades. In this exploratory study the authors survey undergraduate entrepreneurship programs to identify courses that are being offered by these programs with the objective of determining if innovation is being addressed in the programs. The study explores innovation from both startup and corporate perspectives to see if industry needs are being met by academia. Findings suggest that entrepreneurship programs focus on functional knowledge and an opportunity exists to include courses that address innovation, design, intellectual property, and social media. Further research is needed to align market needs with academic offerings in entrepreneurship programs. Robert I. Berry, Anil Kumar, and James P. Scott Copyright © 2014 Robert I. Berry et al. All rights reserved. A Structural Equation Modeling on Factors of How Experienced Teachers Affect the Students’ Science and Mathematics Achievements Tue, 24 Jun 2014 06:54:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/490371/ The main purpose of this study was to propose a model for how elementary school students’ science and mathematics achievements in their schools and in Level Determination Exam (SBS) depend on the number of teachers and expert teachers in their schools. The sample of the study was 5672 elementary students for the purpose of the study, the number of teachers and expert teachers who worked in sample schools has been defined as independent variables, and students’ science and mathematics achievements in their schools and in SBS exam have been defined as dependent variables. The data obtained from school administrations were analyzed using structural equation modeling to analyze relations among students’ science and mathematics grades in their schools and science and mathematics achievements in SBS exam and the number of teachers and expert teachers in their school. As a result of the analysis, it has been observed that established model has acceptable fit indices and an increasing number of teachers and expert teachers have positive effects on students' science and mathematics achievements. Serhat Kocakaya and Ferit Kocakaya Copyright © 2014 Serhat Kocakaya and Ferit Kocakaya. All rights reserved. The Effects of Knowledge Maps on Acquisition and Retention of Visual Arts Concepts in Teacher Education Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:16:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/902810/ This study examined the use of knowledge maps as a tool for teacher education students to increase knowledge acquisition and retention of concepts related to the visual arts design elements: line, color, and shape. Participants were randomly assigned to either the no map or knowledge map group. Three instruments—Student Autobiography, Elements of Design Tests (EDT), and Knowledge Map Questionnaire—were used to collect data. Results revealed significantly higher means on the immediately administered posttest for the elements line and color and the delayed posttest for line map group. Questionnaire responses indicated positive attitudes toward knowledge map use as a study strategy. Specifically, endorsement was reported toward maps’ clarity, effectiveness for learning concepts, and enjoyment of use. Paige Vitulli, Rebecca M. Giles, and Edward L. Shaw Jr. Copyright © 2014 Paige Vitulli et al. All rights reserved. Students’ Digital Photography Behaviors during a Multiday Environmental Science Field Trip and Their Recollections of Photographed Science Content Mon, 02 Jun 2014 06:17:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/736791/ Taking photographs to document the experiences of an educational field trip is becoming a common activity for teachers and students alike. Considering the regular creation of photographic artifacts, our goal in this paper is to explore students’ picture taking behavior and their recollections of science content associated with their photographs. In this study, we partnered with a class of fifth-grade students in the United States and provided each student with a digital camera to document their experiences during an environmental science field trip at a national park. We report the frequency of photography behaviors according to which activities were most often documented by the students and specifically that students tended to document more of their experiences when they were in outdoor, natural spaces rather than inside of visitor centers or museums. Also, through an analysis of students’ comments about the science content captured in their photographs we observe that students’ comments about photographs of the outdoors tended to show greater depth and complexity than those that were taken in indoor, museum-like spaces. Victor R. Lee Copyright © 2014 Victor R. Lee. All rights reserved. Collaborative Concept Mapping: Connecting with Research Team Capacities Sun, 01 Jun 2014 12:33:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/836068/ Concept mapping has generally been used as a means to increase the depth and breadth of understanding within a particular knowledge domain or discipline. In this paper we trace the deployment of collaborative concept mapping by a research team in higher education and analyse its effectiveness using the crime metaphor of motive, means, and opportunity. This case study exemplifies two iterations of the research team’s collaborative concept map and shows how the process of the construction of such maps enabled the opportunity for team dialogue and coconstruction that was focused, hands-on, and visual. The concept mapping process provided the team with a meaning-making mechanism through which to share understandings and explore the team’s potential capacities. Linda De George-Walker and Mark A. Tyler Copyright © 2014 Linda De George-Walker and Mark A. Tyler. All rights reserved. Effectiveness of Using Online Discussion Forum for Case Study Analysis Mon, 26 May 2014 13:14:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/589860/ Business schools are exploring new pedagogical approaches to learning in order to deal with challenges such as increased class sizes, limited funding support, and difficulties in facilitating and encouraging active participation and learning among a diverse cohort of students. This paper reports on a study of the effectiveness of a pedagogical approach that blends online discussion board and case study. Analysing quantity and quality of online postings and comparing accounting students’ performance with previous cohort, this study observes a significant improvement in student learning. Appropriate design and delivery strategies and clear assessment criteria for assessment and use have provided an effective learning vehicle for students, helped them overcome their own language related barriers, and encouraged them to participate in a nonthreatening environment. This approach further complemented the benefits of peer-to-peer learning and case study pedagogy. Reported increase in workload for students and marking load for academics and measuring the value of learning, however, are some of the challenges that need further attention by researchers. Ravi Seethamraju Copyright © 2014 Ravi Seethamraju. All rights reserved. Design and Implementation of a Capstone Course to Satisfy the Industry Needs of Virtual Product Development and ABET Engineering Criteria Sun, 25 May 2014 09:24:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/578148/ Over the past two decades, computer aided engineering (CAE) processes and procedures became an integral part of the product development cycle. Virtual product development (VPD) refers to procedures that integrate the CAE tools in a unified approach that spans all the product development phases. Current industrial trends utilize VPD tools and procedures to reduce the product development time without jeopardizing the product quality. These trends led to an increasing demand for engineers with computer skills, multidisciplinary engineering knowledge, and acquaintance with VPD tools. ABET program outcomes emphasize providing courses with an accumulated background of curricular components to solve realistic open-ended engineering problems. Capstone design project (CDP) course has been regarded as important learning activity that could be designed to provide senior engineering student an opportunity to solve such problems. A major objective of the CDP course is to simulate industrial setting and allow students to experience real-life engineering practice. This paper presents an implementation of the VPD procedures in a mechanical engineering CDP course. This integration simulates the industrial environment through multidisciplinary teams working together in subsystems to produce one product using standard commercial VPD tools. This course implementation is demonstrated using a case study of teams working to design and build a solar car. Mohamed A. Omar Copyright © 2014 Mohamed A. Omar. All rights reserved. Interactive Whiteboards in Mathematics Teaching: A Literature Review Thu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/401315/ An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a relatively new tool that provides interesting affordances in the classroom environment, such as multiple visualization and multimedia presentation and ability for movement and animation. These affordances make IWBs an innovative tool with high potential for mathematics instructional environments. IWBs can be used to focus on the development of specific mathematical concepts and to improve mathematical knowledge and understanding. The aim of this paper is to review the existing literature upon the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in mathematics classrooms. The reviewed studies offer a wide view of IWBs’ affordances, of the more interesting didactic practices, and of the difficulties of embedding this new technology in the classroom. The capabilities of IWBs to enhance the quality of interaction, and, consequently, to improve conceptual mathematical understanding are broadly recognized. Despite these capabilities, evidence from the studies points to a certain inertia on the part of many teachers to do anything else than use IWBs as large-scale visual blackboards or presentation tools. The emerging view of how to attempt to overcome these obstacles is that there is need for greater attention to the pedagogy associated with IWB use and, more specifically, to stimulate the design of new kinds of learning environments. Mauro De Vita, Lieven Verschaffel, and Jan Elen Copyright © 2014 Mauro De Vita et al. All rights reserved. Estimating Students’ Satisfaction with Web Based Learning System in Blended Learning Environment Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:39:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/731720/ Blended learning became the most popular educational model that universities apply for teaching and learning. This model combines online and face-to-face learning environments, in order to enhance learning with implementation of new web technologies and tools in learning process. In this paper principles of DeLone and Mclean success model for information system are applied to Kano two-dimensional model, for categorizing quality attributes related to satisfaction of students with web based learning system used in blended learning model. Survey results are obtained among the students at “Mediterranean” University in Montenegro. The (dys)functional dimensions of Kano model, including Kano basic matrix for assessment of the degree of students’ satisfaction level, have been considered in some more detail through corresponding numerical, graphical, and statistical analysis. Sanja Bauk, Snežana Šćepanović, and Michael Kopp Copyright © 2014 Sanja Bauk et al. All rights reserved. Motivational Processes in Online Learning: The Role of Tutorship for Laboratory Activities through the Semistructured Self-Evaluation Tests Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/242417/ This contribution highlights the role of  affective processes in multimedia learning conducted by e-learning platform used in the General Psychology online laboratory activities, based on semistructured self-evaluation tests following the model proposed by Domenici (2005). These tests include items with a closed- and open-ended structure requiring the student to answer within space restrictions and, in some cases, within context simulations. This enables scorers to give generally univocal and objective scores thereby assuring high test validity and reliability. The focus is on the psychological aspects of the online tutor’s role and its effects on learning levels. Students who completed the online laboratory activities through the semistructured self-evaluation tests () obtained an average score of 27.7 in the objective examination; students who did not complete the activities or who never even started them () obtained an average score of 25.7. These differences are statistically significant (; ). The advantages of online learning are highlighted: developing an active attitude towards learning, enabling the individualisation of learning, and strengthening motivation with regard to knowledge, self-assertiveness, and sociality. This motivational activation reinforces convergent and divergent cognitive skills, owing to the semistructured tests, which facilitate knowledge and study method acquisition. Valeria Biasi and Gaetano Domenici Copyright © 2014 Valeria Biasi and Gaetano Domenici. All rights reserved. The Effect of Feedback from Pupil to Teacher on Assessment for Leaning and Visible Learning: An Ethnographic Case Study in a Community School in England and the Outcome in a State High School in Queensland, Australia Thu, 27 Feb 2014 07:21:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/526438/ This study shows that there is positive regulatory effect of feedback from pupils to teachers on Assessment for Learning (AfL), classroom proactiveness, and on visible and progressive learning but not on behaviour. This research finding further articulates feedback from pupil to teacher as a paradigm shift from the classical paradigm of feedback from teacher to pupil. Here, the emphasis is geared towards pupils understanding of objectives built from previous knowledge. These are then feedback onto the teachers by the pupils in the form of discrete loops of cues and questions, where they are with their learning. This therefore enables them to move to the next level of understanding, and thus acquired independence, which in turn is reflected by their success in both formative and summative assessments. This study therefore shows that when feedback from pupil to teacher is used in combination with teacher to pupil feedback, AfL is ameliorated and hence, visible and accelerated learning occurs in a gender, nor subject non-dependent manner. Daniel Ndisang and Alan Benson Copyright © 2014 Daniel Ndisang and Alan Benson. All rights reserved. The Assessment of Critical Thinking Critically Assessed in Higher Education: A Validation Study of the CCTT and the HCTA Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:48:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2013/198920/ Although critical thinking (CT) is generally acknowledged as an important aim of higher education, no validated instrument to assess CT in Dutch is available. Moreover, most instruments are validated on a broad sample with people of diverse educational backgrounds. This possibly hampers the reliability of assessing effects of instructional interventions within educational programmes, where diversity is less. This study investigates the psychometric quality of a translation of the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT) and the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (HCTA) in a sample of Dutch speaking freshmen majoring in educational sciences. Results show a higher content validity and preference by students for the HCTA. The CCTT, however, takes less time to administer and score, which makes it easier to use the CCTT on a larger scale. Neither of the two tests shows a high overall reliability. The strength of the correlations between the constructed-response items and the forced-choice items of the HCTA with the CCTT calls for further research on the precise relation between CT skills and dispositions and the ability of the HCTA to assess both independently. An Verburgh, Sigrid François, Jan Elen, and Rianne Janssen Copyright © 2013 An Verburgh et al. All rights reserved. School Accountability and Youth Obesity: Can Physical Education Mandates Make a Difference? Thu, 24 Oct 2013 13:46:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2013/431979/ This paper explores the effect of accountability laws under No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on obesity rates among school-aged children in the United States. Our results show that pressures due to school closures for poor performance, rewards for good performance, and assistance to schools that lag behind lead to lower levels of vigorous physical activity. This effect is significant for high school children only. We find no significant impact of school accountability laws on children in grades 3 through 8 after state characteristics such as state obesity rate are taken into account. We also find that state physical education mandates increase physical activity for children in grades 3 through 8 and mitigate the negative effect of accountability pressures on physical activity at the high school level where accountability pressures are most effective at decreasing physical activity and increasing obesity. The study shows that physical education mandates play an important role in promoting physical activity for all grades in our sample. Helen Schneider and Ning Zhang Copyright © 2013 Helen Schneider and Ning Zhang. All rights reserved. Challenges of Parental Involvement Within a Health Promoting School Framework in New Zealand Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:33:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2013/131636/ The study sought to identify key issues regarding parental involvement within a health promoting school (HPS) approach directed at addressing children’s nutrition and physical activity. A case study research design was used, involving six primary schools in Auckland, New Zealand. Data were collected via six individual interviews with principals, six group interviews with a total of 26 teachers, 13 focus groups with a total of 92 children, and a survey of 229 parents. The study found that while schools agreed on the importance of schools and parents promoting the same healthy behaviours, there was a lack of agreement on the role of school staff in educating parents. School principals identified issues around managing the food brought from home and the extent to which they should regulate types of food. Parents stressed the importance of modelling healthy food and exercise practices in the home environment but identified factors that often made this difficult, a scenario that did not go unnoticed by their children. It is recommended that parental involvement be encouraged and supported so that schools and families can achieve consistency in health promotion practices across both school and home environments. Tracy Clelland, Penni Cushman, and Jacinta Hawkins Copyright © 2013 Tracy Clelland et al. All rights reserved.