Day two of the ascilite 2008 conference offers a variety of interesting presentations commencing with a keynote presentation from Dr Michelle Selinger.
Please note that morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch are included in the registration fee.
School of Education, Edith Cowan University
Centre for Learning and Teaching, Edith Cowan University
In this paper we address some of the issues surrounding the use of educational technology solutions with first year net generation students in an introductory education studies unit. These issues include the need for more engaging learning experiences, the role of technology in supporting this need, and the possible mismatch between expectations and actual needs. The student usage and access of a low-cost, flexible alternative to face-to-face individual or group-based academic support was the focus of this case study. We describe our rationale and attempt to help students with their assignment requirements in a first year teacher education unit through the development of a small-scale self-directed intervention program, and report on student engagement with the model. Analysis of the data brings to light findings that have implications for policy design and shows a need for timely research to better inform lecturers of their students' digital literacy, acceptance and access, and use of innovative learning designs. This also highlights the requirement for a greater awareness of the technologies that students embrace, the technologies that may pose a challenge and the differing needs of first year students to those of the more experienced learners.
Keywords: self-directed flexible intervention, student engagement, learning design, netgeneration, millennials, generation Y, Blackboard, LAMS, Camtasia
Lou Siragusa and Kathryn C. Dixon
School of Education, Curtin University of Technology
A pilot study was undertaken to collect data from a small group of undergraduate students in a higher education setting to determine their attitudes towards their use and engagement of ICT interactions. The study employed a mixed methods approach with the intention of combining the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative paradigms. The students were asked to complete a questionnaire, individually work though a brief ICT interaction activity and then participate in an informal interview. The questionnaire gathered data on each on the components of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, which is commonly used psychological research, in order to determine the students planned use of ICT. While the collected quantitative data revealed that students believed that interacting with ICT was pleasant, helpful and easy, the qualitative findings showed that some experienced feelings of anxiety and intimidation when working through the ICT interaction. Planned follow up studies will continue to investigate the causalities and relationships between variables to determine likely influences on ICT interaction behaviour.
Keywords: information communication technologies, attitudes, planned behaviour
Centre for Enhancing Learning and Teaching, Charles Sturt University
School of Education, Charles Sturt University
The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the school classroom is becoming increasingly prominent, both because of the need for children to develop skills that will empower them in modern society and because of the potential value of such technologies as tools for learning. One of the challenges facing teacher educators is how to ensure that graduate teachers have the necessary combination of skills and pedagogical knowledge that will enable them to both effectively use today's technologies in the classroom as well as continue to develop and adapt to new technologies that emerge in the future. This study explores first year teacher education student preparedness to use ICTs in the classroom. The primary data source for the study is a set of intensive interviews with eight teacher education students. The results suggest that despite the prevailing view that this generation of University students are 'Digital Natives' (Prensky, 2001), there are a number of barriers to their preparedness to use ICTs in the classroom. In particular the study suggests that as well as looking at the teacher education curriculum and other aspects of the formal preparation of these pre-service teachers, the pre-service teachers' personal preparedness including attitude, motivation, and confidence, along with various social factors are important. The results are discussed in the context of various models of pre-service teacher ICT pedagogical development. As well as being important for teacher educators, the findings are also important in the context of academic staff development associated with the use of ICTs as a learning tool in tertiary education, as well as in the context of other disciplines where similar assumptions about the ICT literacy of first year university students are being made.
Keywords: ICT education; pre-service teacher attitudes; teacher education;
School of Education (ACT), Australian Catholic University
Mark J.W. Lee
School of Education, Charles Sturt University
In the emerging digital landscape of the Web 2.0 era, where social software tools like blogs, wikis and podcasts provide instant connectivity, promises of engagement and community building, there is a need to rethink models for teaching and learning. In this paper, the authors argue that outmoded didactic models, which place emphasis on the delivery of information by an instructor and/or from a textbook, may need to be replaced in order for student-centred learning to come to fruition. Currently, e-learning pedagogies at universities and colleges appear to be fuelled largely by learning management systems (LMS's) that replicate these traditional paradigms in an online setting. They conform to a "student-as-information consumer" model, thereby reinforcing instructor-centred approaches to teaching, learning and knowledge, as opposed to being conducive to constructivist modes of learning that enable a high degree of learner self-direction and personalisation. This paper also explores a range of examples demonstrating productive pedagogical applications of social software tools. A number of recent constructivist theoretical paradigms are presented that have the potential to transform teaching, learning and pedagogy in higher education.
Keywords: web 2.0, social software, constructivism, connectivism, navigationism.
Joan Richardson, John Lenarcic and Linda Wilkins
SMS technology in the university sector has been used primarily to push information to students. Trigger offers a more flexible use of the technology, enabling two-way 'push-pull' information access. A restricted vocabulary of requests for information 'on-demand' enables students to receive time-sensitive data such as assessment details, class scheduling and location information updates at minimal cost, irrespective of geographical location. Trigger also has the potential to reduce the need for students to access university or home computer systems at peak usage times during the semester. Piloted at RMIT University in 2006, this SMS application was made available initially to a sample population of 183 students drawn from an information systems subject delivered to all business disciplines at first year undergraduate level. Surveys of uptake and usage of the technology were subsequently investigated via an online survey. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to evaluate Trigger's 'perceived usefulness' (PU) and 'perceived ease of use' (PEOU). This innovative SMS technology extends studies completed at Kingston University and Huang et al's (2005) Kimono information kiosk and phone knowledge sharing system, built and evaluated at the MIT and Nokia research centre. This paper describes the RMIT University implementation experience including increased functionality, selection of system features and tested trigger words to other educational administrators considering implementation of SMS technology.
Keywords: mobile communication; short messaging service; SMS; text messaging, HCI. user interfaces
Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation, Unitec, New Zealand
Today's smartphones are mini multimedia computers, they are generally equipped with: 3G and WiFi internet connectivity, a 2 to 5 megapixel camera, Bluetooth for device interconnectivity, USB2 for computer connectivity and media synchronization. They have digital media storage capacities of 1 to 16GB, will play back most standard audio, image, and video formats, are GPS enabled, are integrated into online media and social networking sites (Flickr, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, Facebook etc…), and are capable of recording (and some can even edit and display on large screen video devices) video between QVGA and VGA quality. These smartphones are promoted by their manufacturers as lifestyle tools to enable sharing experiences and social networking via web2.0 sites, and mobile friendly media portals (e.g. Ovi, iTunes Store). The ubiquitous connection to web2.0 tools and collaborative communication and user generated content creation capabilities of these devices make them ideal tools for facilitating social constructivist learning environments across multiple learning contexts. However, designing good pedagogical environments to integrate the successful use of these tools is essential. This paper reports on the progress of several qualitative action research trials being conducted to investigate the impact of smartphones and mobile web2.0 on teaching and learning in higher education. These trials illustrate a variety of pedagogical designs and the creation and support of mobile learning environments.
Keywords: mobile web2.0 social constructivism.
School of Policing, Charles Sturt University
School of Education, Charles Sturt University
The effective teaching of fire investigation skills presents logistical challenges because of the difficulty of providing students with access to suitable fire damaged buildings so that they can undertake authentic investigation tasks. At Charles Sturt University (CSU), in the subject JST415, Fire Investigation Cause and Origin Determination, the novel approach of providing students with a CD based virtual environment based on the scene of a burned down house, as an alternative to having them undertake investigation of a real fire scene, has been implemented. This paper describes a quantitative and qualitative study exploring the effectiveness of this teaching resource. A key finding from this study was that students felt that the virtual fire investigation task had important advantages over undertaking a real investigation task, even though there were some limitations in the overall degree of realism of the experience. The results also suggested that students found that the visual fidelity and navigation capabilities provided within the environment were quite adequate for carrying out their fire investigation activity. Importantly, students also felt that the ability to revisit the virtual scene as many times as they wanted, at a time convenient to them, gave it advantages over a real investigation task if they were to be provided with only one or the other.
Keywords: fire investigation, virtual environment, Quicktime VR
Teaching and Learning Centre, Southern Cross University
Department of Natural and Complementary Medicine, Southern Cross University
Students of natural medicine at Southern Cross University undertake a program of learning that encompasses both scientific and holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. Case based presentations in two inter-related units – Clinical Diagnosis I and Clinical Diagnosis II allow students to develop their skills in patient history taking, problem solving, differential diagnosis and treatment. This paper describes the progression of innovations in teaching these two units from fully face-to-face, to paper-based and CDROM structured case based activities, to an online version that is currently in place. Student feedback on both the CDROM and online versions is discussed and a statistical evaluation of student performance is presented to compare the impact of the two innovations in delivery.
Keywords: clinical diagnosis, authentic assessment, case based, online learning, reflection.
Janet Saw and Matthew Butler
Berwick School of Information Technology, Monash University
Simulations are capable of replicating complex systems using a set of determined rules and variables. However, many people are still unable to understand the results from scientific computer simulations, as they can be quite abstract. Current use of 3D graphics in games and virtual environments can facilitate new innovations and perceived affordances for interacting with simulations, therefore user interfaces could be upgraded with these functionalities to create interfaces with a high level of usability for users with or without expertise in the simulated content, particularly in education of traditionally complex areas. A proposed artefact with a new user interface for scientific simulations was developed to explore its possible acceptance and benefits to users. The new user interface was user evaluated against a control that was built to mimic the most common features of a traditional simulation interface. Analyses of the evaluations indicate that the modern approach was successful. Users felt the modern interface was more engaging, more efficient and was aesthetically preferred compared to the traditional user interface. This was mainly due to the extensive use of the direct manipulation idiom in the modern interface which improved ease of use and allowed direct interaction with the output display. With additional research into the area of direct manipulation, further interactions and user interfaces can possibly be developed to improve the usability and user experience of scientific simulations.
Keywords: simulation, graphical user interface
Gráinne Conole, Juliette Culver, Perry Williams, Simon Cross, Paul Clark and Andrew Brasher
The Open University, UK
Why do some social networking services work and others fail? Can we apply the best of Web 2.0 principles to an educational context? More specifically can we use this as a means of
shifting teaching practice to a culture of sharing learning ideas and designs? Can we harness the potential of technologies to create more engaging learning experiences for students? These are the key questions this paper addresses. We describe how we are using the concept of 'object-orientated social networking' to underpin the creation of a social networking tool, Cloudworks, for sharing learning ideas and designs.
Keywords: learning design, social objects, social networking, Cloudworks
Alan Farley, Ameeta Jain and Dianne Thomson
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University
Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University
The introduction of a social software blog space called "The Trading Room" in an undergraduate Finance unit for an assessment task generated a great deal of activity to support student learning. A subsequent evaluation of this pilot demonstrated that students perceived high value in the opportunity it provided for them to reaffirm theories, obtain individualized feedback and benchmark their work against others. Whilst assessment is generally seen as both the carrot and the stick of learning, and certification; students in the study reported that they would still participate in reading and posting to the "Trading Room" blog even if there was no assessment requirement! Additionally they did not see any value in the environment as a purely social space, reporting that they saw it primarily as a professional educational community. It would appear that just as there are different communities in the real world social space, there are also different types of communities in the online space. Context, structure and activity design, perhaps are the most important facets of online interaction for learning.
Key words: social software, student engagement and learning, weblogs
Bibiana Lim Chiu Yiong
Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Hong Kian Sam and Tan Kock Wah
Faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Sarawak, Malaysia
Distance learning and e-learning are rapidly becoming popular modes of studies among students and working adults worldwide. This trend is also visible in Malaysia, with the emergence of several higher education distance learning institutions using e-learning to support its learning activities such as the Open University of Malaysia and the Wawasan University. However, an important point of concern to both educators and researchers are the distance learners' acceptance of e-learning. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the acceptance of e-learning among distance learners at the Open University of Malaysia in Malaysia. This cross-sectional survey used questionnaires to obtain the necessary data. The questionnaires used to measure distance learners' acceptance of e-learning were adapted from the research instruments used by Poon, Low and Yong (2004). A total of 112 students from the Open University branch campus in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia responded to the questionnaires. Most of the students surveyed reported moderate levels of e-learning acceptance. The findings of this study indicated that institutions offering distance learning via e-learning should provide some non-credit courses to improve students' acceptance of elearning.
Keywords: distance learning, e-learning, acceptance of e-learning
School of Accounting and Finance, University of Wollongong
Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources, University of Wollongong
This paper reports on the development of a scaffolded learning assignment with blended components in a cross-disciplinary setting. The assignment has been developed in a sociocultural context, based on a Vygotskian approach and this paper details the design and development of the assignment. The five stages of the assignment have been carefully scaffolded and include elements of individual and group tasks, finishing with an individual reflection on the process. Formative assessment and associated feedback are important elements of the scaffolding and suggestions for further applications for the learning design of the assignment are suggested.
Keywords: Scaffolding, blended learning, authentic learning task, formative assessment
Department of Aviation
University of New South Wales
The graduate attributes of critical thinking and creativity sought by prospective employers are not easily achieved through passive observation of subject content, and its replay in assessment tasks that encourage rote learning. Simulations allow active learning to play a constructive role in student outcomes, providing opportunities to test, reflect on, and adapt the subject content. Where the simulation and assessment tasks are aligned with the desired learning outcomes students will be more engaged with their learning and are more likely to develop career relevant attributes. This paper addresses the introduction of a web-based airline business simulation to a 3rd year undergraduate aviation course.
Keywords: simulations, experiential learning, aviation, graduate attributes.
This study explores speech behaviour when non-native speakers of Japanese (NNSJ) and native speakers of Japanese (NSJ) exchange cultural information, specifically using text-based synchronous computer-mediated communication. This experimental study uses a scaffolding technique in which a Japanese language teacher is less present and NNSJ are left to communicate with NSJ within a restricted timeframe. This study demands their intercultural engagement, thus suggesting an outcome of intercultural relationship building. While the study examined participants' speech behaviours – specifically, the key speech act of requesting – observed to be important for realising smooth intercultural relationships, it also highlighted attributes of available technologies useful in facilitating intercultural engagement.
Since people from different cultural backgrounds have different perceptions of politeness reflected in their behaviour and language use, understanding how request strategies are used by NSJ could give NNSJ intercultural insights and skills in Japanese language and socio-cultural behaviour. CMC has been utilised in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), with students able to learn languages through a real-world context and access native speakers of the target language, beyond the classroom. CMC has been found to be an effective adopted 'third place' (Kramsch 1993) located at the intersection of the cultures the learner grew up with, and the cultures to which they are introduced. In the case of language use, technology allows NNSJ to record their conversations, and reflect on the language being used, thus gaining intercultural insights and skills; these could be transferable to other communication modes, whether computer-driven technology or face-to-face. It is intended that the findings of this study might shed light on the innovative enhancement of non-native Japanese speakers' intercultural and socio-cultural competence through the use of text-based CMC.
Keywords: computer-mediated communication, Japanese, politeness, inter-cultural communication
Zaidatun Tasir, Norah Md Noor, Jamalludin Harun, and Nurul Syazwani Ismail
Faculty of Education, University of Technology Malaysia
This paper reports on a research project that investigated the pedagogical and/or andragogical orientation preferred by pre-service teachers in Malaysia for online learning. To gather the data, questionnaires were distributed among 433 pre-service teachers in three educational institutions in Malaysia and descriptive analyses have been conducted. The findings showed that majority of the pre-service teachers in this study stay under Stage 2 in the four stages of learning development. This means that the respondents had high preference for pedagogical as well as andragogical learning orientations. The findings have implications for educators involved in designing online learning applications. They have to consider such student preference when planning teaching and learning activities.