27 Matching Results

Search Results

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McLeod, Julie Kiser
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 the following categories: distraction, group experience, motivation, emotion, prior experiences, and time. Results indicated qualitative differences between the two designs related to student communications for learning and self-regulation. Findings were reported for both the a priori and post hoc analysis. Additionally, two major findings are reported as emerging themes. These are presented and discussed as The Expectation Gap and Different Designs, Different Outcomes.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bigenho, Christopher William
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 the factors beyond the teacher’s responsibility and set rules that include the school environment, district expectations, and supported teaching strategies for the schools. the teachers expressed their view that technology is an important support for learning and that they used technology to accomplish many of the tasks related to supporting teaching and learning. As perceived by the teachers, a major component that surfaced as a result of the analysis was children’s technology use was most drastically influenced by the expectations of the instructional leader to develop and the need to foster 21st century learning strategies such as critical thinking skills, ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Royal, Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Relationships Between Faculty Beliefs and Technology Preferences

Description: All too often faculty are asked to implement technology into their teaching without the knowledge necessary to use the technology effectively. Due to the evolution of technology in everyday settings, students have come to expect to be engaged through technological means. This often creates undue stress on faculty members. The purpose of this study is to investigate technology integration by exploring the relationships between a faculty member’s technology preferences and educational beliefs. Through a mixed method, this study attempts to address the question of why faculty use the types of technology they do. More importantly, this study investigates if a faculty member’s educational beliefs have any influence on the technology they choose to use. Thirty-two medical, clinical, and healthcare faculty members participated in the study. They responded to a Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) survey and a Technology Preferences survey with open-ended questions. Data analysis revealed multiple statistically significant findings between different beliefs and different types of technology. The results indicated that personal epistemic beliefs influence the types of technology faculty use. The technology choices faculty make are largely related to tools they are comfortable with and ones they believe effectively fit their teaching materials. The study also found statistically significant differences between age, gender, and reported technology use. It is suggested faculty development programs should consider faculty members’ educational beliefs and personal preferences when supporting faculty with their uses of technologies.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Faulkner, Christopher G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Effectiveness of Curriculum Provided Through Transmedia Books for Increasing Students’ Knowledge and Interest in Science

Description: Transmedia books are new and emerging technologies which are beginning to be used in current classrooms. Transmedia books are a traditional printed book that uses multiple media though the use of Quick Response (QR) codes and augmented reality (AR) triggers to access web-based technology. Using the transmedia book Skills That Engage Me students in kindergarten through second grade engage in curriculum designed to introduce science skills and careers. Using the modified Draw-a-Scientist Test (mDAST), observations and interviews, researchers analyzed pre and post data to describe changes students have about science and scientists. Future study may include the development and validation of a new instrument, Draw a Science Student, and examining the mDAST checklist with the intention of updating the parameters of what is considered positive and negative in relationship with work a scientist conducts.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ponners, Pamela Jones
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 consensus and then develop an overarching game concept, the tension between guided and directed instruction, and the need to foster greater interdependence among students while encouraging them to become more self-directed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Dondlinger, Mary Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

User-Centered Evaluation of the Quality of Blogs

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 exploring and applying the framework developed in this study to build automatic quality blog identification system for the purpose of assisting web users and information specialists to identify quality blogs.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Chuenchom, Sutthinan
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Snowden, Kelly E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Gratch, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Wright, Robert Demmon
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Phenomenology of Fostering Learning: Alternate Reality Games and Transmedia Storytelling

Description: This dissertation presents the essence of the experience of instructional designers and instructors who have used alternate reality games (ARGs) and transmedia storytelling (TS) for teaching and learning. The use of game-like narratives, such as ARGs and TS, is slowly increasing. However, we know little about the lived experiences of those who have implemented such transmedia experiences in formal or informal learning. The data consists of written transcripts from interviews with 11 co-researchers in the United States and Europe. Phenomenology was the guiding methodology. The study begins by reviewing storytelling and the use of games in learning, leading up to exploring the tradition of using ARGs and TS in learning contexts. The analysis was one of reduction leading to codes, summary stories, themes, and the essence of the experience. Co-researchers used many techniques to enlighten their learners including problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, encouragement, disruption, and connection-making. When successful, connection-making facilitates learner agency development by providing learners with the power to act by their own initiative. Action came through the communicated narratives and games that closely tied to real-world problems. In the context of these efforts, this study's co-researchers emerged as educational life-world learning-coaches, "sensei", who were each using strategies and techniques to move students toward meaningful real-world learning and the ability to make a difference in the world. The dissertation closes by exploring implications of this study for instructional designers and instructors interested in using alternate reality games and transmedia storytelling for teaching and learning purposes.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Wakefield, Jenny S
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does an Online Post-baccalaureate Secondary Teacher Certification Program Produce Certified Teachers Who Remain in the Field?

Description: Given issues in education concerning teacher shortages, the omnipresence of alternative certification programs and the growth of online programs in higher education, this study investigated teacher retention for 77 secondary education teachers who completed an online teacher preparation program in Texas. Teacher retention was examined from 2003-2013 and investigated the influence of factors such personal characteristics, working conditions and school setting characteristics on teacher retention. Data was collected electronically utilizing a survey instrument designed by two teacher education experts and I. A total of 21 variables and two open-ended questions were investigated using the survey instrument. Exploratory factor and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify a multi-factor model for teacher retention utilizing the participants' survey responses. These analyses yielded evidence of the program's effectiveness in preparing teachers for long careers. Specifically, the areas of program support, field experience, and classroom management were statistically significant factors that contributed positively to teacher retention. Additionally, variables outside the program, were examined. These factors included personal characteristics, working conditions, and school setting factors. The predictor model accounted for 56% of the variance; F (17, 54) = 3.015; p = < 0.001. In particular, working conditions contributed to 41% of the variance associated with the teacher retention model. A qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions was used to further examine decisions to remain in teaching. Support of administration, colleagues, staff, and parents was shown to influence teacher retention.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Brooks, Kanini Wanjira Ward
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Dual-natured Impact of Digital Technology on Student-classroom Engagement in a Texas Public High School

Description: The past decade has become rife with an eagerness to integrate new digital technology into teaching. While there have been decades of research done on the importance of curriculum and pedagogy on student engagement, findings of actual technology integration are scarce. Moreover, what does it take to engage students in classroom activities and lessons when technology is introduced? The purpose of this study was to explore how digital technology, when integrated into classroom teaching and activities, impacted the students-classroom engagement based on the interim-cognitive, meta-cognitive, motivational, and behavioral markers. This was explored in a Texas public high school across the four core classes (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Data was collected in the form of observational field notes, transcripts of recorded lessons, and Likert-scaled surveys. Thematic analysis was used in analyzing qualitative data, Pearson’s correlation of those components found by factor analysis verified three of the five themes identified from the thematic analysis with statistical significance. The findings suggest that mere use of technology does not have a profound impact on student engagement. Instead, technology tends to amplify the existing classroom culture and social norms agreed upon between the teacher and their students. Texas teachers and students are also redefining the meaning of curriculum to include technology as a result of the attempted integration. This research finds that students’ hands-on activities under teachers’ guidance with the use of technology excel when teachers are molding digital work.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ayers, Joseph J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Retention: Course Completion Rates in Online Distance Learning

Description: Online courses in higher education have a reputation for having a lower course completion or retention rate than face-to-face courses. Much of this reputation is based upon anecdotal evidence, is outdated, or is on a small scale, such as a comparison of individual courses or programs of instruction. A causal-comparative analysis was conducted among 11 large, high research public universities. The universities were compared to each other to determine if differences existed between online and face-to-face course completion; undergraduate and graduation online course completion was analyzed for differences as well. The findings suggested the magnitude of the differences between online and face-to-face completions rates was small or negligible. The area which showed a higher magnitude of difference was in the comparison between undergraduate and graduate online course completion; the practical significance could be worth considering for educational purposes.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Phillips, Alana S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding 3-D Spaces Through Game-based Learning: a Case Study of Knowledge Acquisition Through Problem-based Learning in Minecraft

Description: The primary purpose in this case study was to explore the use of three-dimensional virtual spaces via the use of the game Minecraft as a teaching tool. The case study examined the effectiveness, self-efficacy, and social interaction of students when using such a tool in the teaching and learning process. The research analyzed knowledge acquisition through various deliverables such as benchmark pre and post exams, student discourse, and tangible objects created from the lessons by the students. Students were enrolled and participated in a summer camp offered from Arts and Technology Institute in North Texas. The camp utilized Minecraft to teach architecture types. Students learned about pyramids (Egyptian and Aztec), Roman/Greek architecture, Gothic architecture, and Post-Modern Architecture. Each day students were exposed to a different them of architecture and were tasked with building a world that was in the theme of an assigned type of architecture. Fifty-nine school age students ranging in ages from eight to twelve years old participated fully in the study. The students were not grouped by age, but instead self-selected partners with which to work during the course of their creations. Results show that students who participated in the Minecraft driven course were highly engaged and reported a positive experience during the course of learning. Participants worked cohesively to achieve common goals and problem solve during the course of project completion. Participants freely participated in discourse that was on the topic of the lesson, as well as, offered suggestions for improvement and solicited ideas from other participants. Pre and posttest results yielded an improvement in knowledge acquisition regarding general knowledge of architecture types. Many students frequently used the word “Fun” to describe their learning experience as cited in their daily blog entries. The research strived to show that using Minecraft as a teaching tool can create ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Roberts-Woychesin, Jami
Partner: UNT Libraries

An investigation of the use of instructional simulations in the classroom as a methodology for promoting transfer, engagement and motivation.

Description: Innovative educators seek technologies to facilitate or enhance the learning experience while taking nothing away from the message of instruction. Simulations have been shown to meet this requirement. While simulations cannot replace the teacher or the message of instruction, they can provide a deeper and more cognitively engaging learning experience. Classroom use of simulations has been ongoing since the 1960's. However, substantive research on their efficacy remains limited. What research has been conducted indicates that simulations possess great potential as aids to instruction. The author of this dissertation pursued this question focusing on whether simulations contribute to instruction by facilitating transfer, improved motivation and increased engagement. This dissertation documents a study in which instructional simulations were used in undergraduate science courses to promote engagement, transfer and knowledge-seeking behavior. The study took place at Midwestern State University (MSU), a public university located in north-central Texas with a student population of approximately 5,500. The study ran during the fall 2006 and spring 2007 terms. Samples consisted of students enrolled in GNSC 1104 Life / Earth Science during the fall term and GNSC 1204 Physical Science during the spring term. Both courses were offered through the Department of Science and Mathematics at MSU. Both courses were taught by the same professor and are part of the core curriculum for undergraduates in the West College of Education at MSU. GNSC 1104 and GNSC 1204 yielded samples of n = 68 and n = 78 respectively. A simulation focusing on earthquakes was incorporated into the curriculum in GNSC 1104 while a simulation which presented concepts from wave propagation was included in GNSC 1204. Statistical results from this study were mixed. Nevertheless, studies of this type are warranted to gain a more complete understanding of how students are impacted by their interactions with simulations as well ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Lunce, Leslie Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning.

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 that tests the proposed model and verifies the relationships between the latent variables. Overall, the findings support the hypotheses about the functional effects of narrative identified, and narrative is found to provide a favorable and positive learning context which is tested by the proposed model of learning experience measured by several latent constructs (X2 = 31.67, df = 47, p = .9577, RMSEA = .00, SRMR = .047, NNFI = 1.05, CFI = 1.00, and GFI = .94). The results indicate that participants who enrolled in the narrative sections of the course gained higher creative scores and showed better results ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Wu, Yan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Faculty Attitudes Towards Institutional Repositories

Description: The purpose of the study was to explore faculty attitudes towards institutional repositories in order to better understand their research habits and preferences. A better understanding of faculty needs and attitudes will enable academic libraries to improve institutional repository services and policies. A phenomenological approach was used to interview fourteen participants and conduct eight observations to determine how tenure-track faculty want to disseminate their research as well as their attitudes towards sharing research data. Interviews were transcribed and coded into emerging themes. Participants reported that they want their research to be read, used, and to have an impact. While almost all faculty see institutional repositories as something that would be useful for increasing the impact and accessibility of their research, they would consider publishers’ rights before depositing work in a repository. Researchers with quantitative data, and researchers in the humanities are more likely to share data than with qualitative or mixed data, which is more open to interpretation and inference. Senior faculty members are more likely than junior faculty members to be concerned about the context of their research data. Junior faculty members’ perception’ of requirements for tenure will inhibit their inclination to publish in open access journals, or share data. The study used a novel approach to provide an understanding of faculty attitudes and the structural functionalism of scholarly communication.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Hall, Nathan F
Partner: UNT Libraries