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The Evolution of Learning Technologies within the UNC German Consortium 2000-2016: A Hermeneutic Phenomenlogical Analysis of German Faculty Member Experiences

Description: Beginning in 2000 and continuing today, the University of North Carolina (UNC) German Consortium offers online German courses to undergraduate students across sixteen of the seventeen UNC public universities. The delivery of online classes differs per faculty member and little previous research investigated the UNC German Consortium's learning technologies. This dissertation investigates the evolution of learning technologies within the UNC German Consortium over the last sixteen years among German faculty from different UNC public universities. Seven faculty and one administrator shared their experiences through interviews. The methodology for this research was hermeneutic phenomenology. Interviewees shared their experiences with learning technology and teaching in the UNC German Consortium including how learning technologies changed over time. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to deduce themes. Themes included the importance of the North Carolina Research Education Network (NC REN) for teaching German online, an asynchronous versus synchronous debate, how professors taught in synchronous courses, the importance of learning management systems (LMS) systems, the resilient characteristics of UNC German Consortium faculty, and the need for continual learning as an instructor.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Underwood, Zackary Wayne

Mobile Learning in a Mobile World: Understanding the Views of Parents with Mobile Technology in the Singaporean Elementary Classroom

Description: Personal handheld mobile technology represents a growing topic of interest for K-12 educators. Devices such as iPads, tablets, and smartphones, in particular, are becoming more ubiquitous in society and prevalent in classrooms of children of all ages. The ease of access, combined with growing functionality and capacity of these devices creates opportunities that were previously unimaginable. Professional educators are beginning to recognize the value such devices offer for enriching and expanding opportunities for learning both inside and outside of the classroom. The views of educators and students regarding mobile technology have been well documented in existing literature. What is less clear is how parents view personal mobile technology when applied to formal and informal learning opportunities. Using quantitative analysis, this study examines the views of parents when mobile technology is utilized in Singaporean third grade classrooms. This study represents a pioneering effort to better understand the evolving role of parents and serves as a foundation for future research to explore the role of parents as partners when personal mobile technology is used for learning. The constructs identified in this study reveal that parents do believe technology skills are important in the modern age of learning and working.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Riddle, Joseph

The Role Humor Plays in Facilitating Rapport, Engagement, and Motivation in Graduate Online Learning Environments

Description: This study seeks to explore, using an interpretivist phenomenological approach, how humor may impact rapport, engagement, and motivation in graduate online learning environments. Through detailed qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, direct observation, and demographic survey data, emergent themes were identified that support the use of appropriate humor to create a positive online environment in which learning can take place. Evidence indicates that humor, when used purposefully and appropriately, is a valuable tool for promoting rapport and engagement amongst course members through community-building and enhanced interpersonal connections. The results of this study reveal the importance of finding common ground and shared experiences to improve the overall social and communicative culture of an online course. The results also support the idea that online instructors should make a great effort in connecting with students in online courses and must make a greater effort to appropriately engage in their online courses. Appropriate recommendations are made for practical application of humor to support pedagogy, as well as recommendations for future research on humor in educational environments.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Steele, James

Transformative Learning Theory as a Basis for Identifying Barriers to Faculty Confidence in Online Instruction

Description: This study applied the stages of transformative learning to faculty perceptions and application of best practices to online learning. Research questions included: Can transformative learning theory constructs be used to identify potential barriers in faculty development and delivery of online instruction?; How does the stage of transformative learning of online faculty relate to their perceptions about online learning and their application of best practices?; Is there a correlation between stage of transformative learning and the amount of experience with online instruction a faculty member has? Principal component analysis and cluster analysis support a four-component solution. The four constructs equate to Mezirow's four stages of learning: transforming frames of reference through critical reflection of assumptions, validating contested beliefs through discourse, taking action on one's reflective insight, and critically assessing it. Multiple regression analyses were run to predict faculty perceptions on the identified components. Three of these were statistically significant based on years of experience teaching online, the number of professional development workshops taken on online teaching, or both. While the instrument appears to be a valid measurement of transformation of frame of reference, examination of previously contested beliefs, and critical assessment of action, further efforts will be needed before this is a fully validated instrument.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Allen, Julia Elizabeth

A Content Originality Analysis of HRD Focused Dissertations and Published Academic Articles using TurnItIn Plagiarism Detection Software

Description: This empirical exploratory study quantitatively analyzed content similarity indices (potential plagiarism) from a corpus consisting of 360 dissertations and 360 published articles. The population was defined using the filtering search criteria human resource development, training and development, organizational development, career development, or HRD. This study described in detail the process of collecting content similarity analysis (CSA) metadata using Turnitin software (www.turnitin.com). This researcher conducted robust descriptive statistics, a Wilcoxon signed-rank statistic between the similarity indices before and after false positives were excluded, and a multinomial logistic regression analysis to predict levels of plagiarism for the dissertations and the published articles. The corpus of dissertations had an adjusted rate of document similarity (potential plagiarism) of M = 9%, (SD = 6%) with 88.1% of the dissertations in the low level of plagiarism, 9.7% in the high and 2.2% in the excessive group. The corpus of published articles had an adjusted rate of document similarity (potential plagiarism) of M = 11%, (SD = 10%) with 79.2% of the published articles in the low level of plagiarism, 12.8% in the high and 8.1% in the excessive group. Most of the difference between the dissertations and published articles were attributed to plagiarism-of-self issues which were absent in the dissertations. Statistics were also conducted which returned a statistically significant justification for employing the investigative process of removing false positives, thereby adjusting the Turnitin results. This study also found two independent variables (reference and word counts) that predicted dissertation membership in the high (.15-.24) and excessive level (.25-1.00) of plagiarism and published article membership in the excessive level (.25-1.00) of plagiarism. I used multinomial logistic regression to establish the optimal prediction model. The multinomial logistic regression results for the dissertations returned a Nagelkerke pseudo R2 of .169 and for the published articles a Nagelkerke pseudo R2 ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Mayes, Robin James

Effects of Student-Created Question Process on Learning Biomedical Statistics in a Specialized Master's in Medical Sciences

Description: This study explored the effectiveness of a student question creation process engaging students actively in self, peer, and instructor interaction in development of affective, cognitive, and meta-cognitive skills. Employing a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design assigning both treatment and control activities sequentially in an alternating pattern over a six week period, students' performance on exams as well as their perceptions of various aspects of the student question creation process were used to evaluate the effectiveness of student-created questions (SCQs) activities as a cognitive strategy and to identify factors contributing to the effectiveness of question creation activities on students' learning. Subjects of this study were high performing and highly motivated graduate students in an 8-week online biomedical statistics course, part of a specialized master's program designed for medical school preparation. Survey findings and focus groups strongly supported the student question creation process as a facilitator of higher order thinking. However, the relatively short study duration, comparison of student question creation with another competing method for facilitating learning (discussion board) and not a pure control group, and availability of a common study guide course with student-created questions on all course topics may have muted assessment of the full impact of the strategy on learning. Although practically difficult in an education environment, further research to assess fully the impact of the student question creation strategy is desirable especially if these confounding factors can be greatly minimized, if not eliminated.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Bashet, Abuzafar

Extending the Apprenticeship through Informal Learning on Facebook: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Lived Experiences of Music Faculty

Description: Facebook studio groups/pages are commonly used by applied music faculty to communicate with current students, recruit new students, share students' activities, and promote faculty members' professional performances and academic endeavors. However, the blurred lines between academic, professional performance, and social activities in the field have led to a wide variety of approaches to Facebook use by music faculty. This dissertation documents the first generation of music faculty social media users and investigates the beliefs, intent, and lived experiences of music faculty who use Facebook studio groups/pages to communicate with their students. Four music faculty were interviewed and a semester's Facebook studio group/page data collected for each faculty member. Interviews and Facebook data were analyzed using Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to identify emergent, and ultimately super-ordinate, themes from the data. The three super-ordinate themes that emerged were: Impact of Social Media on Studio Teaching and Learning, Learning through Enculturation, and Faculty Lived Experiences with Facebook Studio Groups/Pages. Findings of the study included: faculty concerns about personal and professional risk; the observation that teaching and learning are occurring through these Facebook studio groups/pages by way of the process of enculturation, but without evidence of a Virtual Community of Practice; and, a multitude of group/page management practices developed in isolation that suggest a need for discussion/debate and training in the field to determine best practices for using Facebook studio groups/pages as an extension of the physical studio. Recommendations include training for music faculty that situates Facebook studio groups/pages within the enculturation process of students pursuing careers in music, music department development of guidelines for Facebook group/page creation and management based upon their institutions' rules and oversight procedures, and the sharing of exemplar Facebook studio groups/pages by professional music education organizations to encourage discussion of best practices for teaching and learning in informal environments.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Meredith, Tamara

Integrative Technology-Enhanced Physical Education: An Exploratory Study with Elementary School Students

Description: Wearable technology has made a positive impact in the consumer industry with its focus on adult fitness. Devices and applications are pervasive, inexpensive and are in high demand. Our nation struggles with obesity and health concerns related to poor fitness. However, the research on such technology has been more focused on adults. Therefore, the need to investigate wearable technology for fitness improvement with children is essential. Children lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles through TV watching, technology-use and a reduction in physical activities. Further, our society is exposed to quick food loaded with calories. These factors contribute to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The need to educate students early, on their ability to monitor their fitness, is the focus of this research. This dissertation investigated the impact of an integrated technology-enhanced physical education model with 127 fifth grade students over an 11-week period. A detailed analysis, looking at theoretical perspectives across multiple data collections was conducted. This study answered the questions, 1. To what extent can students improve their performance with technology-enhanced physical education? 2. To what extent can students learn to self-monitor their performance levels? How do affective components impact teaching and learning with a technology-enhanced physical education model? Results showed that technology-enhanced physical education does improve performance measures, does improve students' ability to self-regulate and positively impacts student and teachers' affective states. However long term results were inconclusive, stimulating multiple, potential opportunities for continued research.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Barbee, Stephanie Sparkman

Personalize Online Learning Labs and Face-to-Face Teaching in First-Year College English Courses

Description: The purpose of this two-phase, explanatory mixed methods study was to understand the benefits of teaching grammar from three different learning methods: face-to-face, online personalized learning lab and a blended learning method. The study obtained quantitative results from a pre and post-tests, a general survey and writing assignment rubrics from three English 1301 classes and then follow-up interviews with focus groups from each class to explore those results in more depth. In the first phase, quantitative research questions addressed the relationship of grammar teaching methods and grammar acquisition with students at a two-year technical and academic college. In the second phase, used focus groups to perform qualitative interviews to better explore the quantitative results.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Sizemore, Mary L

The Status and Challenges of Online Distance Education Programs in Post-Secondary Institutions in Ghana

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify the status and challenges of online distance education programs in post-secondary institutions in Ghana. This study was a replication of a similar study conducted in Kenya in 2009, at the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University. This present study was conducted with an online survey using Google survey assessment. The survey requested responses from six post-secondary institutions in Ghana. Out of a total of 450 projected student responses, 309 responses were received with a 69% participation rate. A total of 14 responses were received for instructors out of a projected 30 resulting in 47% participation rate. And for administrators, 8 responses were received out of a projected 12 resulting in a 67% participation rate. Overall the study revealed that Ghana post-secondary institutions have established and incorporated online distance education into their programs, offering both online and blended courses. Some of these institutions established regional centers across the country and incorporated foreign instructors into their programs. The survey also revealed that students were satisfied with the overall online distance education program in their institutions which included the level of instruction, feedback and evaluation. However, there were still challenges revealed from the study that included the high cost of education, frequent power outages, school stoppages as a result of instructor strikes and the need to restructure courses to include projects.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Adjabeng, Stanley Kafui Kofi

University Faculty and Diverse Students' Self-Reported Attitudes toward Inclusive Teaching Strategies

Description: This dissertation examines a university faculty (n = 41) and diverse students (n = 93) including students with disability (n = 44), students without disability (n = 21), and international students (n = 28) regarding their attitudes toward and actions associated with inclusive instruction based on the universal design for learning (UDL) principles and practices. Two online surveys, the Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory (ITSI) and the Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory-Student (ITSI-S), were administered at a large, public Southwest university (N = 134). The ITSI and ITSI-S contain seven subscales representing the following constructs: (a) accommodations, (b) accessible course materials, (c) course modifications, (d) inclusive lecture strategies, (e) inclusive classroom, (f) inclusive assessment, and (g) disability laws and concepts. A series of multivariate analyses of variances (MANOVAs) measured the overall of attitude subscales and overall action subscales, and an independent-samples test (t-test) compared mean scores on the seven Attitude subscales and seven Action subscales to identify predictors of these attitudes and actions among faculty and students. The main findings were (a) significant differences among diverse students, where students with disability responded negatively on the Action subscales and (b) significant differences between faculty and diverse students where international students had a positive attitude on the Attitude subscales, whereas students with disability had a negative attitude on the Action subscales toward the actual practices of their faculty. Results of the current study respond to the gap in the literature by examining the inclusive instruction environment based on UDL in a university environment. The implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Alamri, Abdulrahman Saleh

Adult Learning: Evaluation of Preferences for Technology and Learning Sources for Workplace Learning

Description: The purpose of this research was to provide an initial investigation of the preferences for both technology and learning sources that are available today in the modern workplace at a large financial institution with a national presence in the USA. In addition to the preferences of the participants, the research includes insights about the culture of the learning organization by using the Dimension of Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) and two preference surveys. The research methods used in this study are categorized as mixed methods and include both quantitative and qualitative methods. This study is nonpositivist and descriptive. It is based on a triangulation design method which is comprised of analysis from data obtained from the DLOQ and preference surveys, as well as semi-structured interviews with several survey participants. The results of the studies provide the foundational information for an extended quantitative analysis.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kaiser, Robert Cresswell

Associations between Collaborative Learning and Personality/Cognitive Style among Online Community College Students

Description: This research study investigated associations between online community college students' personal characteristics and experiences in online courses (n = 123). Specifically, students' personalities and cognitive styles were examined alongside the perceived quality and outcomes of collaboration. Negative correlations were found between the conscientiousness personality style and both the quality of collaboration (p = .09) and the outcome of collaboration (p = .05). This finding indicates that conscientious students who, according to the literature tend to have higher academic achievement than other students, perceive negative experiences in online collaborative environments. Conversely, a positive correlation was discovered between the extraversion personality type and the perceived outcomes of collaboration (p = .01). Thus, students with a strongly extraverted personality tend to perceive that they benefits from collaborative learning. Approximately 11% of the variance in the collaborative experience was explained by the combined personal characteristics. The reported frequency of collaboration was positively correlated with both the quality (p < .01) and the outcomes of collaboration (p < .01). While not generalizable, these results suggest that not all students perceive benefits from online collaborative learning. It may be worthwhile to teach students traits associated with the extraversion type like flexibility which is important for collaborative learning. Also, teaching students to adopt traits associated with conscientiousness that improve academic achievement like self-regulation may help improve perceptions of collaborative experiences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Sheffield, Anneliese

Effect of Makerspace Professional Development Activities on Elementary and Middle School Educator Perceptions of Integrating Technologies with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Description: This study investigated a Makerspace professional development program, the Makers' Guild, provided to teachers within north Texas over the course of a semester. The research employed a constructionist approach delivered via 2D and 3D technologies during STEM instructional activities within a creative space. Participants reported statistically significant increases in self-reported competence in technology integration, confidence levels toward integrating World Wide Web, Emerging Technologies for Student Learning, Teacher Professional Development, and attitudes toward math, technology, science, and STEM careers.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Jennifer R

Examining the Impact of the Community of Inquiry and Student Learning Process on Participants' Academic Achievement

Description: This dissertation presents an empirical investigation of learning from online courses. The current dissertation examined student participation, using Arbaugh et al.'s Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument and Biggs et al.'s revised version of the Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) to determine CoI influences on learning from the students' perspective. This study is in response to Rourke and Kanuka's call to provide further empirical evidence about CoI conceptual framework connections to deep and meaningful learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the elements of CoI, cognitive, social, and teaching presences and students' learning approaches to students' perceived learning. Students enrolled in traditional, online, and, blended courses during the 2016 spring semester at a southwestern university participated in a web-based survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the indirect effects between the elements of CoI, learning approaches, and perceived learning. Student's deep approach to learning was found to have an indirect effect between cognitive presence and perceived learning. However, this study's findings, when the CoI framework was viewed in its entirety, failed to provide evidence to simulate deep and meaningful learning.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Pacleb, Selverio V.

The Impact on Achievement from Student and Parent Attitudes towards Using Smartphones in School

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine what type of correlations existed between student and parent attitudes towards using smartphones in school and the resulting impact on achievement, specifically for low-achieving students. Participants in the study were third-grade students and their parents from a primary school in Singapore. The study employed a quantitative analysis to understand the correlations among the different participant groups. The instruments used were Likert-based surveys, along with scores from mid-year and end-of-year achievement exams in English and science. The three most relevant major findings showed that (a) low-achieving students show a positive attitude toward completing science activities, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; (b) the parents of low-achieving students appear to provide their children with autonomy in using their smartphones, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; and (c) having a smartphone and using the smartphone to complete school work is important to low-achieving students and their parents.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gordesky, Joshua

STEM Professional Volunteers in K-12 Competition Programs: Educator Practices and Impact on Pedagogy

Description: This mixed methods dissertation study explored how secondary school educators in specific K-12 competition programs recruited and deployed STEM professional volunteers. The study explored which practices were viewed as most important, and how practices related to constructivist pedagogy, all from the viewpoint of educators. The non-positivist approach sought new knowledge without pursuing generalized results. Review of the literature uncovered extensive anecdotal information about current practices, and suggested that large investments are made in engaging volunteers. One National Science Foundation-sponsored study was identified, and its recommendations for a sustained research agenda were advanced. Three study phases were performed, one to explore practices and operationalize definitions, a second to rate practice's importance and their relation to pedagogy, and a third to seek explanations. Educators preferred recruiting local, meaning recruiting parents and former students, versus from industry or other employers. Most educators preferred volunteers with mentoring skills, and placing them in direct contact with students, versus deploying volunteers to help with behind-the-scenes tasks supporting the educator. Relationships were identified between the highest-rated practices and constructivism in programs. In STEM professional volunteers, educators see affordances, in the same way a classroom tool opens affordances. A model is proposed which shows educators considering practicality, pedagogy, knowledge and skills, and rapport when accessing the affordances opened by STEM professional volunteers. Benefits are maximized when programs align with strong industry clusters in the community.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Zintgraff, Alfred Clifton

Using Situated Learning, Community of Practice, and Guided Online Discourse in Healthcare Education for Learning Effective Interprofessional Communication

Description: The problem exists that there are no education initiatives focused on teaching and taking into practice the skills of effective interprofessional discourse in this online, asynchronous, professional environment. The purpose of this study was to examine whether it is possible for students in the health professions to learn to practice effective interprofesssional online discourse in an electronic health record. This was a mixed methods study that included both quantitative ad qualitative inquiry underpinned by post positivism and used a method triangulation research design model. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed from an educational intervention and simulated electronic health record exercise. The students' perceptions of their practice in an electronic health record did not necessarily match their knowledge and skills in this group of students. Emergent themes from the study pointed in the possible direction of perceived value of the exercise, prior experience in an electronic health record, and logistical barriers to the activity. Perceived time constraints was a particularly strong concern of the students. The emergent themes might be valuable considerations for other interprofessional programs looking to implement similar activities concerning the electronic health record.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Krumwiede, Kimberly A.H.

2D and 3D Fabrication Devices: Can They Improve Spatial Reasoning Skills in Children?

Description: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential benefit of two hours of activities involving 2D and 3D fabricators on the spatial reasoning skills of children in Grades 4 and 5, ages 9 to 10, from a private school in Southeast Texas. Can the introduction to hands-on activities with products created with these devices and learning about how these devices operate improve spatial reasoning skills? The research also evaluates the use of the Shapes Test as a valid measure of the spatial reasoning skills of children. The Cube Design and Spatial Memory subtests of the UNIT (Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Tests) were used for evaluating the spatial reasoning skills of the participants, based on their respected validity, along with a Shapes Test that is in development. Discussion regarding gender, language, and experiential theories of spatial reasoning skill development are included in the literature review.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Zimmerman, Ellen L

Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Description: The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Ed Tech Future Ready program has encouraged the use of open informal learning communities as professional learning opportunities for educators. This study categorizes 46 state Twitter chats by their moderation techniques and design. A purposive sample of Twitter chat designers participated in this phenomenological exploration that demonstrates how the designs of these informal learning spaces are aligned with the designers' pedagogical philosophies. Recommendations for supporting, growing, and sustaining similar learning communities are included.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Kilgore, Whitney Kay

Faculty Experiences with Collaborative Learning in the Online Classroom

Description: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify the perceptions and experiences that instructors in higher education have toward providing collaborative learning activities and opportunities in their online classroom. Through semi-structured interviews, the experiences of four higher education instructors from two universities were collected concerning their provision of collaborative learning opportunities in their online classrooms. A multi-phase coding process was used to analyze the information, including the constant comparative coding method for theme and category development. Three themes emerged from the study: online communication approaches matter, there are challenges and supports for online collaborative learning, and care is at the core of online learner support. The findings are discussed and recommendations are provided for the development and design of meaningful online collaborative learning.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Robinson, Heather A

The Impact of a Paired Grouping Pre-Service Technology Integration Course on Student Participant Attitudes, Proficiency, and Technological Knowledge Toward Technology

Description: The purpose of this case study with supporting quantitative data was to investigate the influence of paired grouping on student participants' perceived attitudes toward technology, perceived proficiency with technology, and perceived technological knowledge after completing a required educational technology course. Additionally, student participants' perceptions regarding the use of paired grouping on their attitudes, proficiency, and technological knowledge with regard to technology was also investigated. To measure the difference between perceived attitudes toward technology, perceived proficiency with technology, and perceived technological knowledge after completing a required educational technology course, 83 student participants enrolled in a required educational technology course at a suburban midsized Gulf Coast University in the southern United States, completed the Attitude Toward Technology Scale (ATTS), Technology Proficiency Self-Assessment for 21st Century Learning (TPSA C21), and Technological Knowledge Tool (TK). Additionally, 24 student participants participated in semi-structured interviews.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Giles, Linda M

The Impact of Digital Games on High School Students' Academic Achievement in Mathematics Education: A Meta-Analytic Investigation

Description: The focus of this study was to conduct a meta-analytic investigation to combine the results obtained in independent studies aimed at determining the effectiveness of using digital games, as opposed to traditional methods, as a strategy for improving students' performance in high school mathematics. The major question of this study is: "Does the research on the use of games in high school mathematics support the use of games as a teaching strategy for improving student achievement?" To answer this question, meta-analysis was employed. Meta-analysis synthesizes and analyzes the quantitative data collected in independent and multiple empirical studies carried out on similar topics, situations, and hypotheses in order to reach a general judgment regarding the results of these studies. To determine which studies to use, specific criteria including articles published in refereed journals, thesis, and dissertation studies with experimental and control groups, research with effect size, sample size, standard deviation, and means. Based on these criteria, it was decided to include six experimental studies in the meta-analysis. The result showed that there was no significant differences between the use of digital games and traditional methods to teach mathematics in high school. The weighting factor of the two variables, standard deviation and number of participants, may account for the lack of support for gaming over traditional method of instruction.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Okeke, Godwin Nnaemeka

The Implications of Social Media: Secondary Teachers' use of Social Media for Personal, Professional, and Instructional Purposes

Description: Social media has the potential to be a critical force in creating connected educators. The collaborative nature of social media encourages personal connection, professional enrichment, and learning through co-creation of meaning. Secondary teachers are in a place that would permit them to harness these affordances, not only in their personal and professional environments, but also in their classrooms. This qualitative phenomenographic study aimed to uncover how secondary teachers used social media for personal, professional, and instructional purposes. Further, this study sought to understand secondary teachers' attitudes and beliefs toward social media. Their current state of social media use was also of interest, as were the types of relations secondary teachers had with social media. To better understand the stories and experiences realized by these educators, ten secondary teachers were engaged using a semi-structured interview process. These teachers presented with varying backgrounds, education, and teaching focus. The interviews provided a textual representation of their social media stories. Interview transcripts were transposed into thick rich accounts describing their experiences, thoughts, ideas, and how they understood social media in their personal, professional, and instructional lives. It was found that the current state of social media use by secondary teachers was primarily limited to personal and professional purposes. Teachers used it to connect with family and friends. They used it to connect with like-minded educators and personal learning networks to locate teaching resources. Many expressed that they could see a benefit of students interacting and learning from others through social media. In the end, however, they did not use social media for instructional purposes. The majority voiced concerns about student privacy, a feeling of not being able to control what students were doing on social media, a lack of training for themselves and students, possible inappropriate behavior, and the inability to access social media ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Quintanilla, Brenda U