Digitally Curious: A Qualitative Case Study of Students’ Demonstrations of Curiosity in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment

Digitally Curious: A Qualitative Case Study of Students’ Demonstrations of Curiosity in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment

Date: August 2011
Creator: McLeod, Julie Kiser
Description: Curiosity is an important construct for educators as it is connected with knowledge and higher-order thinking, goal-oriented behavior, motivation, and persistence. It is also negatively correlated with boredom and anxiety. While research documents this strong connection between learning and curiosity, no studies existed exploring curiosity in a technology-rich learning environment. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine whether students demonstrate curiosity in a sixth grade mathematics classroom with technology-integrated learning and if so, how and why. Technology-rich work was designed for students and included in the study to examine students’ demonstrations of curiosity while learning mathematical procedural knowledge, conceptual knowledge and problem solving knowledge. A case study methodology was used with 13 students purposefully selected from a Title I sixth grade class to participate. Data were collected from interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol and triangulated with observations and students’ reflective writings. Interviews were transcribed and coded. A total of 60 codes and four categories were identified. Three themes emerged: 1) digital play; 2) welcome and unwelcome scaffolds; and 3) action is power; power follows ideas. These themes identified ways in which students demonstrated curiosity in the sixth grade mathematics classroom and thus can inform educators.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Student reflections as artifacts of self-regulatory behaviors for learning: A tale of two courses.

Student reflections as artifacts of self-regulatory behaviors for learning: A tale of two courses.

Date: December 2011
Creator: Bigenho, Christopher William
Description: The rapid growth of online and blended learning environments in both higher education and K-12, along with the development of innovative game based, narrative driven, problem-based learning (PBL) systems known as Alternate Reality Games (AltRG), has led to the need to understand student’s abilities to self-regulate their learning behaviors and practices in these novel environments. This study examines student reflections and e-mails related to self-regulatory practices for learning across two different course designs for an Internet-based course in computer applications. Both designs leverage PBL but apply different levels of abstraction related to content and the need to self-regulate. The study looked specifically at how students communicated about learning across these environments, what student communications indicated about student readiness for university online learning and how instructional design and methods of instruction shaped student expressions of learning and self-regulation. The research design follows an ethnographic and case study approach as two designs and four sections are examined. Data was collected from student blog posts, email messages and semi-structured interviews. Atlas.TI was used to code the data using constant comparative analysis. A sequential analysis was applied using an a priori structure for self-regulation and post hoc analysis for emergent codes that resulted in ...
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Are They Ready? a Multi-case Study of Traditional and Innovative Texas Teacher’s Perceptions of 21St Century Skills in Teaching and Learning

Are They Ready? a Multi-case Study of Traditional and Innovative Texas Teacher’s Perceptions of 21St Century Skills in Teaching and Learning

Date: May 2012
Creator: Royal, Joy
Description: The 21st century is now in the second decade and the need for 21st century skills is discussed at all levels of education as necessary for student success in the future. Federal, state, and districts are addressing this need and have written technology plans to address 21st century skills needed. the purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge of 21st century educational technology. the data includes seven recorded interviews from two separate research projects covering two models of education as teachers discuss teaching, learning, and technology. the data studied determines how educational technology perceived in the school environments has been integrated into the classrooms. the initial scripting of video interviews from two research projects began the analysis of data. Particular themes emerged in response to questions established by the two separate research projects focused on classroom, school, and district environmental arrangements that examined; teaching responsibilities and practices; student learning opportunities; and how technology is woven throughout instruction. Further exploration of themes stemmed from analysis conducted with the qualitative software program, NVivo 9. the themes discussed in this paper relate to instructor perceptions of teaching, learning, classroom procedures, and the role technology plays in each. Also noted are ...
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Students' Attitudes Towards Rapport-building Traits and Practices in Online Learning Environments

Students' Attitudes Towards Rapport-building Traits and Practices in Online Learning Environments

Date: December 2012
Creator: Wright, Robert Demmon
Description: This research was a triangulated study of student attitudes towards instructors' rapport-building traits and their preferences amongst instructors' rapport-building practices in online learning environments. Participants were undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses within an educational technology program at a central Texas university. The study employed a mixed-methods approach involving the Likert-item assessment of learners' attitudes, the identification and prioritization of learner preferences through pairwise comparisons, and semi-structured interviews that provided richer, more detailed information. Findings indicated a strong preference for instructor-based traits and practices over pedagogically-based ones. These traits and practices loaded into the components of social presence, enjoyable interaction, and personal connection.
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Teacher Perception of Project-Based Learning in a Technology-infused Secondary School Culture: a Critical Ciné-ethnographic Study

Teacher Perception of Project-Based Learning in a Technology-infused Secondary School Culture: a Critical Ciné-ethnographic Study

Date: December 2012
Creator: Gratch, Jonathan
Description: Project-based learning has long been used in the educational realm as it emphasis a student-centered strategy which promotes meaning, enriched learning that enhances inquiry and problem-solving skills in a rich, authentic environment. The relevance and authentic design of projects may further be enhanced by the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is rapidly changing the face of American education in ways that were barely thinkable as little as five years before and provides the possibility for student to collaborate and complete complex project-based tasks with further level of authenticity which connects to the students preferred method of learning and productivity outside the classroom. At New Tech high school in Coppell, Texas, the entire curriculum is based around this project-based learning in a technology-infused classroom. This qualitative, case-based study is designed to explore and examine the teachers' perceptions of the use of project-based learning, technology in this non-traditional environment. The study also investigates the teacher perceptions of students' response to project-based learning and the technology available to them in their project-based tasks. Finally the study discusses the finding and their possible implications for traditional educational environments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Global Village Playground: A qualitative case study of designing an ARG as a capstone learning experience.

The Global Village Playground: A qualitative case study of designing an ARG as a capstone learning experience.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Dondlinger, Mary Jo
Description: The Global Village Playground (GVP) was a capstone learning experience designed to address institutional assessment needs while providing an integrated, contextualized, and authentic learning experience for students. In the GVP, students work on simulated and real-world problems as a design team tasked with developing an alternate reality game that makes an impact on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the design of the GVP as a capstone experience. The research design follows a qualitative case study approach to gather and analyze data collected from the instructors and students participating in the pilot implementation of the GVP. Results of the study show predominantly favorable reactions to various aspects of the course and its design. Students reported to have learned the most through interactions with peers and through applying and integrating knowledge in developing the alternate reality game that was the central problem scenario for the course. What students demonstrated to have learned included knowledge construction, social responsibility, open-mindedness, big picture thinking, and an understanding of their relationship to the larger society and world in which they live. Challenges that resulted from the design included the amount of necessary to build ...
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User-Centered Evaluation of the Quality of Blogs

User-Centered Evaluation of the Quality of Blogs

Date: August 2011
Creator: Chuenchom, Sutthinan
Description: Blogs serve multiple purposes, resulting in several types of blogs that vary greatly in terms of quality and content. It is important to evaluate the quality of blogs, which requires appropriate evaluation criteria. Unfortunately, there are minimal studies on framework and the specific criteria and indicators for evaluating the quality of blogs. Moreover, quality is related to user perception, and should therefore be evaluated by the receivers. This dissertation examines the criteria and indicators that blog users consider important for evaluating the quality of blogs, and develops a user-centered framework for evaluating quality by conducting user surveys and post-survey email interviews. The personal characteristics that affect the users’ choices of criteria to evaluate the quality of blogs are examined as well. The study’s findings include 1) the criteria that users consider important when evaluating the quality of blogs are content quality, usability, authority, and blog credibility; 2) the indicators that blog users consider most important for evaluating the quality of blogs are understandability, accuracy, believability, currency, ease of use, and navigation; and 3) gender, education level, age, profession, purpose of use, and specific interests affect the user’s choices of criteria for evaluating the quality of blogs. Future research may involve ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures

Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures

Date: August 2012
Creator: Snowden, Kelly E.
Description: Advancements in media technologies have resulted in increased student usage causing teachers to struggle to be able to engage and hold student’s interest in a typical classroom. As students’ needs change, the field of education changes. One strategy that is gaining in popularity among teachers is the implementation of the “flipped classroom” also known as the “inverted classroom” or “reverse instruction” - a method incorporates technology to “flip” or “reverse” what is typically done in class with what is typically done as homework. Through teacher interviews of eight core teachers, this study attempts to discover teacher perceptions of the use of this method. Results of the study reveal that perceptions of the method are more positive among teachers who typically use lecture as a primary mode of information dissemination.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Affordances of external representations in instructional design: The effect of narrative and imagery in learning.

Affordances of external representations in instructional design: The effect of narrative and imagery in learning.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Wu, Yan
Description: Consisting of both theoretical and empirical inquires, this study examines the primary functions of narrative and the relationship between narrative and mental imagery. The study proposes a new framework to interpret semiotic resources. Combining this with the linguistic functional theory of Halliday (1978), a functional method to empirically investigate semiotic representations was also developed. In the empirical inquiry, the study developed a latent construct method to empirically test the effects of narrative in a real learning situation. This study is the first to investigate the functional relationship between narrative and mental imagery, and among the first to suggest a theory and empirically investigate representations of a multimodal nature. The study is also among the first to use latent constructs to investigate the learning experience in a real educational setting. Data were collected from 190 library professionals who enrolled in three sections (two in narrative and one in plain text) of an online course administered through Vista 4.0 and who completed the course and responded to several instruments. Essay data (n = 82 x 2) were analyzed using content analysis based on the narrative analysis framework developed. Quantitative data analysis methods include univariate data analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling ...
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Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment

Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment

Date: May 2012
Creator: D’ Alba, Adriana
Description: The main purpose of this mixed methods research was to explore and analyze visitors’ overall experience while they attended a museum exhibition, and examine how this experience was affected by previously using a virtual 3dimensional representation of the museum itself. The research measured knowledge acquisition in a virtual museum, and compared this knowledge acquired between a virtual museum versus a real one, employing a series of questionnaires, unobtrusive observations, surveys, personal and group interviews related to the exhibition and the artist. A group of twenty-seven undergraduate students in their first semester at the College of Architecture and Design of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico participated in the research, and were divided in two groups, one of which used a 3D virtual representation previous to the museum visit. Results show that participants who experienced the virtual museum concurred that using it was a positive experience that prepared them to go to the real museum because they knew already what they were going to find. Most of the participants who experienced the virtual museum exhibited an increased activity during their museum visit, either agreeing, being more participative, concurring and showing acceptance, asking questions, or even giving their opinion and ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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