Light Polarization has many technological applications, and its discovery was crucial to reveal the transverse nature of the electromagnetic waves. However, despite its fundamental and practical importance, in high school, this property of light is often neglected. This is a pity not only for its conceptual relevance, but also because polarization gives the possibility to perform many brilliant experiments with low cost materials. Moreover, the treatment of this matter lends very well to an interdisciplinary approach between art, biology and technology, which usually makes things more interesting to students. For these reasons, we have developed, and in this work, we introduce a laboratory on light polarization for high school and undergraduate students. They can see beautiful pictures when birefringent materials are set between two crossed polarizing filters. Pupils are very fascinated and drawn into by what they observe. The colourful images remind them of those ones of abstract painting or alien landscapes. With this multidisciplinary teaching method, students are more engaged and participative, and also, the learning process of the respective physics concepts is more effective.
Having moved into the 21st century, it is way past being arguable that innovative technology needs to be incorporated into conventional classroom teaching. Though the Western world has found presumable success in achieving this, it is still a concept under battle in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. Reaching the acme of implementing interactive virtual learning within classrooms is a struggling idealistic fascination within the island. In order to overcome this problem, this study is set to reveal facts that limit the implementation of virtual, interactive learning within the school classrooms and provide hacks that could prove the augmented use of the Virtual World to enhance teaching and learning experiences. As each classroom moves along with the usage of technology to fulfill its functionalities, a few intense hacks provided will build the administrative onuses on a virtual system. These hacks may divulge barriers based on social conventions, financial boundaries, digital literacy, intellectual capacity of the staff, and highlight the impediments in introducing students to an interactive virtual learning environment and thereby provide the necessary actions or changes to be made to succeed and march along in creating an intellectual society built on virtual learning and lifestyle. This digital learning environment will be composed of multimedia presentations, trivia and pop quizzes conducted on a GUI, assessments conducted via a virtual system, records maintained on a database, etc. The ultimate objective of this study could enhance every child's basic learning environment; hence, diminishing the digital divide that exists in certain communities.
As the term indicates, reverse-mentoring flips the classical roles of mentoring: In school, students take over the role of mentors for adults, i.e. teachers or parents. Originally reverse-mentoring stems from US enterprises, which implemented this innovative method in order to benefit from the resources of skilled younger employees for the enhancement of IT competences of senior colleagues. However, reverse-mentoring in schools worldwide is rare. Based on empirical studies and theoretical approaches, in this article an implementation model for reverse-mentoring is developed in order to bring the significant potential reverse-mentoring has for education into practice.
Social networks play an important role in the lives of children and young people. Along with the high penetration of mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets among the younger generation, there is an increasing use of social networks already in elementary school. The paper presents the results of research, which was realized at schools in the Hradec Králové region. In this research, the authors focused on issues related to communications on social networks for children, teenagers and young people in the Czech Republic. This research was conducted at selected elementary, secondary and high schools using anonymous questionnaires. The results are evaluated and compared with the results of the research, which has been realized in 2008. The authors focused on the possibilities of using social networks in education. The paper presents the possibility of using the most popular social networks in education, with emphasis on increasing motivation for learning. The paper presents comparative analysis of social networks, with regard to the possibility of using in education as well.
This case study responds to the current trends in ICT. Mobile Touch iPads can provide very good assistance to disabled seniors. The intuitive tablet environment, the possibility of the formation environment and its portability, has a very positive effect on the use of particular communication. For comparison, using a conventional PC/notebook, word processor, keyboard and computer mouse compared to the iPad and selected applications. The results of this case study show that the use of mobile touch devices iPad for seniors with mental retardation is a great benefit. These devices do not require high demands on graphomotorics like a standard PC devices.
Mentoring is provided by professionals with a higher level of experience and competence as part of the professional development of a university faculty. This paper explores the characteristics of the mentoring provided by those teachers participating in the development of an active methodology program run at the University of the Basque Country: to examine and to analyze mentors’ performance with the aim of providing empirical evidence regarding its value as a lifelong learning strategy for teaching staff. A total of 183 teachers were trained during the first three programs. The analysis method uses a coding technique and is based on flexible, systematic guidelines for gathering and analyzing qualitative data. The results have confirmed the conception of mentoring as a methodological innovation in higher education. In short, university teachers in general assessed the mentoring they received positively, considering it to be a valid, useful strategy in their professional development. They highlighted the methodological expertise of their mentor and underscored how they monitored the learning process of the active method and provided guidance and advice when necessary. Finally, they also drew attention to traits such as availability, personal commitment and flexibility in. However, a minority critique is pointed to some aspects of the performance of some mentors.
This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.
Higher Education system reforms, especially Finnish system of Universities of Applied Sciences in 2014 are discussed. The new steering model is based on major legislative changes, output-oriented funding and open information. The governmental steering reform, especially the financial model and the resulting institutional level responses, such as a curriculum reforms are discussed, focusing especially in engineering programs. The paper is motivated by management need to establish objective steering-related performance indicators and to apply them consistently across all educational programs. The close relationship to governmental steering and funding model imply that internally derived indicators can be directly applied. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) as a case institution is briefly introduced, focusing on engineering education in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and its related programs. The reform forced consolidation of previously separate smaller programs into fewer units of student application. New curriculum ICT students have a common first year before they apply for a Major. A framework of parallel and longitudinal comparisons is introduced and used across Majors in two campuses. The new externally introduced performance criteria are applied internally on ICT Majors using data ex-ante and ex-post of program merger. A comparative performance of the Majors after completion of joint first year is established, focusing on previously omitted Majors for completeness of analysis. Some new research questions resulting from transfer of Majors between campuses and quota setting are discussed. Practical orientation identifies best practices to share or targets needing most attention for improvement. This level of analysis is directly applicable at student group and teaching team level, where corrective actions are possible, when identified. The analysis is quantitative and the nature of the corrective actions are not discussed. Causal relationships and factor analysis are omitted, because campuses, their staff and various pedagogical implementation details contain still too many undetermined factors for our limited data. Such qualitative analysis is left for further research. Further study must, however, be guided by the relevance of the observations.
Nowadays, mobile touch technologies, such as tablets, are an integral part of teaching and learning in many special elementary schools. Many special education teachers tend to choose an iPad tablet with iOS. The reason is simple; the iPad has a function for pupils with special educational needs. If we decide to use tablets in teaching, in general, first we should try to stimulate the cognitive abilities of the pupil at the highest level, while holding the pupil’s attention on the task, when working with the device. This paper will describe how student attention can be increased by eliminating the working environment of selected applications, while using iPads with pupils in a special elementary school. Assisted function approach is highly effective at eliminating unwanted touching by a pupil when working on the desktop iPad, thus actively increasing the pupil´s attention while working on specific educational applications. During the various stages of the action, the research was conducted via data collection and interpretation. After a phase of gaining results and ideas for practice and actions, we carried out the check measurement, this time using the tool-assisted approach. In both cases, the pupils worked in the Math Board application and the resulting differences were evident.
Teachers and university lecturers face an unsolved problem, which is students’ multitasking behaviors during class time, such as texting or playing a game. It is important to examine the most powerful predictor that can result in students’ educational performances. Meta-analysis was used to analyze the research articles, which were published with the keywords, multitasking, class performance, and texting. We selected 14 research articles published during 2008-2013 from online databases, and four articles met the predetermined inclusion criteria. Effect size of each pair of variables was used as the dependent variable. The findings revealed that the students’ expectancy and value on SNSs usages is the best significant predictor of their educational performances, followed by their motivation and ability in using SNSs, prior educational performances, usage behaviors of SNSs in class, and their personal characteristics, respectively. Future study should conduct a longitudinal design to better understand the effect of multitasking in the classroom.
Numerical Methods is a course that can be conducted using workshops and group discussion. This study has been implemented on undergraduate students of level two at the Faculty of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia. The Numerical Method course has been delivered to two Sections 1 and 2 with 44 and 22 students in each section, respectively. Systematic steps have been followed to apply the student centered learning approach in teaching Numerical Method course. Initially, the instructor has chosen the topic which was Euler’s Method to solve Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) to be learned. The students were then divided into groups with five members in each group. Initial instructions have been given to the group members to prepare their subtopics before meeting members from other groups to discuss the subtopics in an expert group inside the classroom. For the time assigned for the classroom discussion, the setting of the classroom was rearranged to accommodate the student centered learning approach. Teacher strength was by monitoring the process of learning inside and outside the class. The students have been assessed during the migrating to the expert groups, recording of a video explanation outside the classroom and during the final examination. Euler’s Method to solve the ODE was set as part of Question 3(b) in the final exam. It is observed that none of the students from both sections obtained a zero grade in Q3(b), compared to Q3(a) and Q3(c). Also, for Section 1(44 students), 29 students obtained the full mark of 7/7, while only 10 obtained 7/7 for Q3(a) and no students obtained 6/6 for Q3(c). Finally, we can recommend that the Numerical Method course be moved toward more student-centered Learning classrooms where the students will be engaged in group discussion rather than having a teacher one man show.
This study explores the interactions between primary school parents-teachers in Malaysia. Schools in the country are organized to promote participation between parents and teachers. Exchanges of dialogue are most valued between parents and teachers because teachers are in daily contact with pupils’ and the first line of communication with parents. Teachers are considered by parents as the most important connection to improve children learning and well-being. Without a good communication, interaction or involvement between parent-teacher might tarnish a pupils’ performance in school. This study tries to find out multiple emotions among primary school parents-teachers, either estranged or cordial, when they communicate in a multi-cultured society in Malaysia. Important issues related to parent-teacher interactions are discussed further. Parents’ involvement in an effort to boost better education in school is significantly more effective with parents’ involvement. Lastly, this article proposes some suggestions for parents and teachers to build a positive relationship with effective communication and establish more democratic open door policy.
Mobile learning is a new learning landscape that offers opportunity for collaborative, personal, informal, and students’ centered learning environment. In implementing any learning system such as a mobile learning environment, learners’ expectations should be taken into consideration. However, there is a lack of studies on this aspect, particularly in the context of Kuwait higher education (HE) institutions. This study focused on how students perceive the use of mobile devices in learning. Although m-learning is considered as an effective educational tool in developed countries, it is not yet fully utilized in Kuwait. The study reports on the results of a survey conducted on 623 HE students in Kuwait to a better understand students' perceptions and opinions about the effectiveness of using mobile learning systems. An analysis of quantitative survey data is presented. The findings indicated that Kuwait HE students are very familiar with mobile devices and its applications. The results also reveal that students have positive perceptions of m-learning, and believe that video-based social media applications enhance the teaching and learning process.
A Cartesian graph, as a mathematical object, becomes a tool for configuration of change. Its best comprehension is done through everyday life problem-solving associated with its representation. Despite this, the current educational framework favors general graphs, without consideration of their argumentation. Students are required to find the mathematical function without associating it to the development of graphical language. This research describes the use made by students of configurations made prior to Cartesian graphs with regards to an everyday life problem related to a time and distance variation phenomenon. The theoretical framework describes the function conditions of study and their modeling. This is a qualitative, descriptive study involving six undergraduate case studies that were carried out during the first term in 2016 at University of Los Lagos. The research problem concerned the graphic modeling of a real person’s movement phenomenon, and two levels of analysis were identified. The first level aims to identify local and global graph interpretations; a second level describes the iconicity and referentiality degree of an image. According to the results, students were able to draw no figures before the Cartesian graph, highlighting the need for students to represent the context and the movement of which causes the phenomenon change. From this, they managed Cartesian graphs representing changes in position, therefore, achieved an overall view of the graph. However, the local view only indicates specific events in the problem situation, using graphic and verbal expressions to represent movement. This view does not enable us to identify what happens on the graph when the movement characteristics change based on possible paths in the person’s walking speed.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of multisensory elements in enhancing and facilitating foreign language acquisition among adult students in a language classroom. The use of multisensory elements enables the creation of a student-centered classroom, where the focus is on individual learner’s language learning process, perceptions and motivation. Multisensory language learning is a pedagogical approach where the language learner uses all the senses more effectively than in a traditional in-class environment. Language learning is facilitated due to multisensory stimuli which increase the number of cognitive connections in the learner and take into consideration different types of learners. A living lab called Multisensory Space creates a relaxed and receptive state in the learners through various multisensory stimuli, and thus promotes their natural foreign language acquisition. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected in two questionnaire inquiries among the Finnish students of a higher education institute at the end of their basic French courses in December 2014 and 2016. The inquiries discussed the effects of multisensory elements on the students’ motivation to study French as well as their learning outcomes. The results show that the French classes in the Multisensory Space provide the students with an encouraging and pleasant learning environment, which has a positive impact on their motivation to study the foreign language as well as their language learning outcomes.
Educational institutions are under pressure from their competitors. Regulators and community groups need educational institutions to adopt appropriate business and organizational practices. Globally, educational institutions are now using e-learning as the best teaching and learning approach. E-learning is becoming the center of attention to the learning institutions, educational systems and software inventors. North-West University (NWU) is currently using eFundi, a Learning Management System (LMS). LMS are all information systems and procedures that adds value to students learning and support the learning material in text or any multimedia files. With various e-learning tools, students would be able to access all the materials related to the course in electronic copies. The study was tasked with identifying the e-learning components at the NWU, Mafikeng campus. Quantitative research methodology was considered in data collection and descriptive statistics for data analysis. The Activity Theory (AT) was used as a theory to guide the study. AT outlines the limitations amongst e-learning at the macro-organizational level (plan, guiding principle, campus-wide solutions) and micro-organization (daily functioning practice, collaborative transformation, specific adaptation). On a technological environment, AT gives people an opportunity to change from concentrating on computers as an area of concern but also understand that technology is part of human activities. The findings have identified the university’s current IT tools and knowledge on e-learning elements. It was recommended that university should consider buying computer resources that consumes less power and practice e-learning effectively.
In recent years, e-learning recommender systems has attracted great attention as a solution towards addressing the problem of information overload in e-learning environments and providing relevant recommendations to online learners. E-learning recommenders continue to play an increasing educational role in aiding learners to find appropriate learning materials to support the achievement of their learning goals. Although general recommender systems have recorded significant success in solving the problem of information overload in e-commerce domains and providing accurate recommendations, e-learning recommender systems on the other hand still face some issues arising from differences in learner characteristics such as learning style, skill level and study level. Conventional recommendation techniques such as collaborative filtering and content-based deal with only two types of entities namely users and items with their ratings. These conventional recommender systems do not take into account the learner characteristics in their recommendation process. Therefore, conventional recommendation techniques cannot make accurate and personalized recommendations in e-learning environment. In this paper, we propose a recommendation technique combining collaborative filtering and ontology to recommend personalized learning materials to online learners. Ontology is used to incorporate the learner characteristics into the recommendation process alongside the ratings while collaborate filtering predicts ratings and generate recommendations. Furthermore, ontological knowledge is used by the recommender system at the initial stages in the absence of ratings to alleviate the cold-start problem. Evaluation results show that our proposed recommendation technique outperforms collaborative filtering on its own in terms of personalization and recommendation accuracy.
The teaching of physics in Brazilian public schools emphasizes strongly the theoretical aspects of this science, showing its philosophical and mathematical basis, but neglecting its experimental character. Perhaps the lack of science laboratories explains this practice. In this work, we present a method of teaching physics using the computer. As alternatives to real experiments, we have the trials through simulators, many of which are free software available on the internet. In order to develop a study on the use of simulators in teaching, knowing the impossibility of simulations on all topics in a given subject, we combined these programs with phenomenological and/or experimental texts in order to mitigate this limitation. This study proposes the use of simulators and the debate using phenomenological/experimental texts on electrostatic theme in groups of the 3rd year of EJA (Adult and Youth Education) in order to verify the advantages of this methodology. Some benefits of the hybridization of the traditional method with the tools used were: Greater motivation of the students in learning, development of experimental notions, proactive socialization to learning, greater easiness to understand some concepts and the creation of collaborative activities that can reduce timidity of part of the students.