International Science Index

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Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
2391
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Second Language Development with an Intercultural Approach: A Pilot Program Applied to Higher Education Students from a Escuela Normal in Atequiza, Mexico
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The importance of developing multi-language abilities in our global society is noteworthy. However, the necessity, interest, and consciousness of the significance that the development of another language represents, apart from the mother tongue, is not always the same in all contexts as it is in multicultural communities, especially in rural higher education institutions immersed in small communities. Leading opportunities for digital interaction among learners from Mexico and abroad partners represents scaffolding towards, not only language skills development but also intercultural communicative competences (ICC). This study leads us to consider what should be the best approach to work while applying a program of ICC integrated into the practice of EFL. While analyzing the roots of the language, it is possible to obtain the main objective of learning another language, to communicate with a functional purpose, as well as attaching social practices to the learning process, giving a result of functionality and significance to the target language. Hence, the collateral impact that collaborative learning leads to, aims to contribute to a better global understanding as well as a means of self and other cultural awareness through intercultural communication. While communicating through the target language by online collaboration among students in platforms of long-distance communication, language is used as a tool of interaction to broaden students’ perspectives reaching a substantial improvement with the help of their differences. This process should consider the application of the target language in the inquiry of sociocultural information, expecting the learners to integrate communicative skills to handle cultural differentiation at the same time they apply the knowledge of their target language in a real scenario of communication, despite being through virtual resources.

Paper Detail
34
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Prevalence, Associated Factors, and Help-Seeking Behavior of Psychological Distress among International Students at the National University of Malaysia
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Depression, anxiety, and stress are associated with decreased role functioning, productivity, and quality of life. International students are more prone to psychological distress as they face many stressors while studying abroad. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence and associated factors of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students, their help-seeking behavior, and their awareness of the available on-campus mental support services. A cross-sectional study with a purposive sampling method was performed on 280 international students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) between the age of 18 and 35 years. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) questionnaire was used anonymously to assess the mental health of students. Socio-demographic, help-seeking behavior, and awareness data were obtained. Independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA test, and multiple linear regression were used to explore associated factors. The overall prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students were 58.9%, 71.8%, and 53.9%, respectively. Age was significantly associated with depression and anxiety. Ethnicity showed a significant association with depression and stress. No other factors were found to be significantly associated with psychological distress. Only 9.6% of the international students had sought help from on-campus mental support services. Students who were aware of the presence of such services were only 21.4% of the participants. In conclusion, this study addressed the gap in the literature on the mental health of international students and provided data that could be used in intervention programs to improve the mental health of the increasing number of international students in Malaysia.

Paper Detail
26
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10011512
An Exploratory Study of the Student’s Learning Experience by Applying Different Tools for e-Learning and e-Teaching
Abstract:
E-learning is becoming more and more common every day. For online, hybrid or traditional face-to-face programs, there are some e-teaching platforms like Google classroom, Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas, and there are platforms for full e-learning like Coursera, edX or Udemy. These tools are changing the way students acquire knowledge at schools; however, in today’s changing world that is not enough. As students’ needs and skills change and become more complex, new tools will need to be added to keep them engaged and potentialize their learning. This is especially important in the current global situation that is changing everything: the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Covid-19, education had to make an unexpected switch from face-to-face courses to digital courses. In this study, the students’ learning experience is analyzed by applying different e-tools and following the Tec21 Model and a flexible and digital model, both developed by the Tecnologico de Monterrey University. The evaluation of the students’ learning experience has been made by the quantitative PrEmo method of emotions. Findings suggest that the quantity of e-tools used during a course does not affect the students’ learning experience as much as how a teacher links every available tool and makes them work as one in order to keep the student engaged and motivated.
Paper Detail
9
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10011519
Private Monetary Rates of Return to Humanities and Education Programs in Public Universities in Osun State, Nigeria
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This study estimates the private cost of Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state, Nigeria, as well as the private monetary returns to Humanities and Education programs in public universities in the state. It also estimates the private rates of return to Humanities and Education programmes in public universities in Osun state; with the view of providing information on the relative profitability of investments in Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The population for the study consisted of all Humanities and Education students from public universities in Osun State and all Humanities and Education graduates who are workers in Osun state establishments. The sample was made up of 600 students and 120 workers. The students were selected through simple random sampling technique from the two public universities in the state while the workers were purposively selected from Osun state establishments. These workers were graduates of Humanities and Education programs. The selected programs included Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in English, B.A. in Religious Studies, B.Ed. in Religious Studies, B.A. in Yoruba and B.Ed. in Yoruba. Two research instruments were used, namely: Private Costs of University Education Questionnaire (PCUEQ) and Age Education Earnings of Workers Questionnaire (AEEWQ). The data were analyzed using compounding and discount cash flow techniques. The results showed that the private costs of Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state were N855,935.59 and N694,269.34 respectively. The private monetary returns to Humanities and Education programs in public universities in the State were N9,052,859.28 and N9,052,859.28, respectively. The private rates of return to Humanities and Education programmes in public universities in Osun state were 27.36% and 34.40% respectively. The study concluded that it was more profitable to invest in Education programs than in Humanities programs at public universities in Osun state, Nigeria.

Paper Detail
11
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10011401
The Price of Knowledge in the Times of Commodification of Higher Education: A Case Study on the Changing Face of Education
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Current developments in the Western economies have turned some universities into corporate institutions driven by practices of production and commodity. Academia is increasingly becoming integrated into national economies as a result of students paying fees and is consequently using business practices in student retention and engagement. With these changes, pedagogy status as a priority within the institution has been changing in light of these new demands. New strategies have blurred the boundaries that separate a student from a client. This led to a change of the dynamic, disrupting the traditional idea of the knowledge market, and emphasizing the corporate aspect of universities. In some cases, where students are seen primarily as a customer, the purpose of academia is no longer to educate but sell a commodity and retain fee-paying students. This paper considers opposing viewpoints on the commodification of higher education, reflecting on the reality of maintaining a pedagogic grounding in an increasingly commercialized sector. By analysing a case study of the Student Success Festival, an event that involved academic and marketing teams, the differences are considered between the respective visions of the pedagogic arm of the university and the corporate. This study argues that the initial concept of the event, based on the principles of gamification, independent learning, and cognitive criticality, was more clearly linked to a grounded pedagogic approach. However, when liaising with the marketing team in a crucial step in the creative process, it became apparent that these principles were not considered a priority in terms of their remit. While the study acknowledges in the power of pedagogy, the findings show that a pact of concord is necessary between different stakeholders in order for students to benefit fully from their learning experience. Nevertheless, while issues of power prevail and whenever power is unevenly distributed, reaching a consensus becomes increasingly challenging and further research should closely monitor the developments in pedagogy in the UK higher education.

Paper Detail
58
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A Quantitative Study Identifying the Prevalence of Anxiety in Dyslexic Students in Higher Education
Abstract:
Adult students with dyslexia in higher education can receive support for their cognitive needs but may also experience negative emotion such as anxiety due to their dyslexia in connection with their studies. This paper aims to test the hypothesis that adult dyslexic learners have a higher prevalence of academic and social anxiety than their non-dyslexic peers. A quantitative approach was used to measure differences in academic and social anxiety between 102 students with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia compared to 72 students with no history of learning difficulties. Academic and social anxiety was measured in a questionnaire based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Findings showed that dyslexic students showed statistically significant higher levels of academic, but not social anxiety in comparison to the non-dyslexic sample. Dyslexic students in higher education show academic anxiety levels that are well above what is shown by students without dyslexia. The implications of this for the dyslexia practitioner is that delivery of strategies to deal with anxiety should be seen equally as important, if not more so, than interventions to deal with cognitive difficulties.
Paper Detail
92
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10011416
Matching on Bipartite Graphs with Applications to School Course Registration Systems
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Nowadays, most universities use the course enrollment system considering students’ registration orders. However, the students’ preference level to certain courses is also one important factor to consider. In this research, the possibility of applying a preference-first system has been discussed and analyzed compared to the order-first system. A bipartite graph is applied to resemble the relationship between students and courses they tend to register. With the graph set up, we apply Ford-Fulkerson (F.F.) Algorithm to maximize parings between two sets of nodes, in our case, students and courses. Two models are proposed in this paper: the one considered students’ order first, and the one considered students’ preference first. By comparing and contrasting the two models, we highlight the usability of models which potentially leads to better designs for school course registration systems.

Paper Detail
58
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Influence and Dissemination of Solecism among Moroccan High School and University Students
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Mass media seem to provide a rich content for language acquisition. Exposure to television, the Internet, the mobile phone and other technological gadgets and devices helps enrich the student’s lexicon positively as well as negatively. The difficulties encountered by students while learning and acquiring second languages in addition to their eagerness to comprehend the content of a particular program prompt them to diversify their methods so as to achieve their targets. The present study highlights the significance of certain media channels and their involvement in language acquisition with the employment of the Natural Approach to further grasp whether students, especially secondary and high school students, learn and acquire errors through watching subtitled television programs. The chief objective is investigating the deductive and inductive relevance of certain programs beside the involvement of peripheral learning while acquiring mistakes.

Paper Detail
60
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Exploring the Potential of Chatbots in Higher Education: A Preliminary Study
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We report upon a study introducing a chatbot to develop learning communities at a London University, with a largely international student base. The focus of the chatbot was twofold; to ease the transition for students into their first year of university study, and to increase study engagement. Four learning communities were created using the chatbot; level 3 foundation, level 4 undergraduate, level 6 undergraduate and level 7 post-graduate. Students and programme leaders were provided with access to the chat bot via mobile app prior to their study induction and throughout the autumn term of 2019. At the end of the term, data were collected via questionnaires and focus groups with students and teaching staff to allow for identification of benefits and challenges. Findings indicated a positive correlation between study engagement and engagement with peers. Students reported that the chatbot enabled them to obtain support and connect to their programme leader. Both staff and students also made recommendation on how engagement could be further enhanced using the bot in terms of; clearly specified purpose, integration with existing university systems, leading by example and connectivity. Extending upon these recommendations, a second pilot study is planned for September 2020, for which the focus will be upon improving attendance rates, student satisfaction and module pass rates.

Paper Detail
72
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University Curriculum Policy Processes in Chile: A Case Study
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Located within the context of accelerating globalization in the 21st-century knowledge society, this paper focuses on one selected university in Chile at which radical curriculum policy changes have been taking place, diverging from the traditional curriculum in Chile at the undergraduate level as a section of a larger investigation. Using a ‘policy trajectory’ framework, and guided by the interpretivist approach to research, interview transcripts and institutional documents were analyzed in relation to the meso (university administration) and the micro (academics) level. Inside the case study, participants from the university administration and academic levels were selected both via snow-ball technique and purposive selection, thus they had different levels of seniority, with some participating actively in the curriculum reform processes. Guided by an interpretivist approach to research, documents and interview transcripts were analyzed to reveal major themes emerging from the data. A further ‘bigger picture’ analysis guided by critical theory was then undertaken, involving interrogation of underlying ideologies and how political and economic interests influence the cultural production of policy. The case-study university was selected because it represents a traditional and old case of university setting in the country, undergoing curriculum changes based on international trends such as the competency model and the liberal arts. Also, it is representative of a particular socioeconomic sector of the country. Access to the university was gained through email contact. Qualitative research methods were used, namely interviews and analysis of institutional documents. In all, 18 people were interviewed. The number was defined by when the saturation criterion was met. Semi-structured interview schedules were based on the four research questions about influences, policy texts, policy enactment and longer-term outcomes. Triangulation of information was used for the analysis. While there was no intention to generalize the specific findings of the case study, the results of the research were used as a focus for engagement with broader themes, often evident in global higher education policy developments. The research results were organized around major themes in three of the four contexts of the ‘policy trajectory’. Regarding the context of influences and the context of policy text production, themes relate to hegemony exercised by first world countries’ universities in the higher education field, its associated neoliberal ideology, with accountability and the discourse of continuous improvement, the local responses to those pressures, and the value of interdisciplinarity. Finally, regarding the context of policy practices and effects (enactment), themes emerged around the impacts of the curriculum changes on university staff, students, and resistance amongst academics. The research concluded with a few recommendations that potentially provide ‘food for thought’ beyond the localized settings of this study, as well as possibilities for further research.

Paper Detail
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Realistic Simulation Methodology in Brazil’s New Medical Education Curriculum: Potentialities
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Introduction: Brazil’s new national curriculum guidelines (NCG) for medical education were published in 2014, presenting active learning methodologies as a cornerstone. Simulation was initially applied for aviation pilots’ training and is currently applied in health sciences. The high-fidelity simulator replicates human body anatomy in detail, also reproducing physiological functions and its use is increasing in medical schools. Realistic Simulation (RS) has pedagogical aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s NCG teaching concepts. The main objective of this study is to carry on a narrative review on RS’s aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s new NCG teaching concepts. Methodology: A narrative review was conducted, with search in three databases (PubMed, Embase and BVS) of studies published between 2010 and 2020. Results: After systematized search, 49 studies were selected and divided into four thematic groups. RS is aligned with new Brazilian medical curriculum as it is an active learning methodology, providing greater patient safety, uniform teaching, and student's emotional skills enhancement. RS is based on reflective learning, a teaching concept developed for adult’s education. Conclusion: RS is a methodology aligned with NCG teaching concepts and has potential to assist in the implementation of new Brazilian medical school’s curriculum. It is an immersive and interactive methodology, which provides reflective learning in a safe environment for students and patients.

Paper Detail
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Design and Māori Values: A Rebrand Project for the Social Enterprise Sector
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This paper details a rebrand design project developed for a non-profitable organization called Te Roopu Waiora (TRW), which is currently located in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. This social enterprise is dedicated to supporting the Māori community living with sensorial, physical and intellectual disabilities (whānau hauā). As part of a year three bachelor design brief, the rebrand project enabled students to reflect on Kaupapa Māori principles and appropriately address the values of the organisation. As such, the methodology used a pragmatic paradigm approach and mixed methods design practices involving a human-centred design to problem solving. As result, the student project culminated in the development in a range of cohesive design artefacts, aiming to improve the rentability and perception of the brand with the audience and stakeholders.

Paper Detail
35
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The Mechanism Underlying Empathy-Related Helping Behavior: An Investigation of Empathy-Attitude- Action Model
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Empathy has been an important issue in psychology, education, as well as cognitive neuroscience. Empathy has two major components: cognitive and emotional. Cognitive component refers to the ability to understand others’ perspectives, thoughts, and actions, whereas emotional component refers to understand how others feel. Empathy can be induced, attitude can then be changed, and with enough attitude change, helping behavior can occur. This finding leads us to two questions: is attitude change really necessary for prosocial behavior? And, what roles cognitive and affective empathy play? For the second question, participants with different psychopathic personality (PP) traits are critical because high PP people were found to suffer only affective empathy deficit. Their cognitive empathy shows no significant difference from the control group. 132 college students voluntarily participated in the current three-stage study. Stage 1 was to collect basic information including Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R), Attitude Scale, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and demographic data. Stage two was for empathy induction with three controversial scenarios, namely domestic violence, depression with a suicide attempt, and an ex-offender. Participants read all three stories and then rewrite the stories by one of two perspectives (empathetic vs. objective). They would then complete the VAS and Attitude Scale one more time for their post-attitude and emotional status. Three IVs were introduced for data analysis: PP (High vs. Low), Responsibility (whether or not the character is responsible for what happened), and Perspective-taking (Empathic vs. Objective). Stage 3 was for the action. Participants were instructed to freely use the 17 tokens they received as donations. They were debriefed and interviewed at the end of the experiment. The major findings were people with higher empathy tend to take more action in helping. Attitude change is not necessary for prosocial behavior. The controversy of the scenarios and how familiar participants are towards target groups play very important roles. Finally, people with high PP tend to show more public prosocial behavior due to their affective empathy deficit. Pre-existing value and belief as well as recent dramatic social events seem to have a big impact and possibly reduce the effect of the independent variables (IV) in our paradigm.

Paper Detail
35
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A Surrealist Play of Associations: Neoliberalism, Critical Pedagogy and Surrealism in Secondary English Language Arts
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This project utilizes principles derived from the Surrealist movement to prioritize creative and critical thinking in secondary English Language Arts (ELA). The implementation of Surrealist-style pedagogies within an ELA classroom will be rooted in critical, radical pedagogy, which addresses the injustices caused by economic-oriented educational systems. The use of critical pedagogy will enable the subversive artistic and political aims of Surrealism to be transmitted to a classroom context. Through aesthetic reading strategies, appreciative questioning and dialogue, students will actively critique the power dynamics which structure (and often restrict) their lives. Within the ELA domain, cost-effective approaches often replace the actual “arts” of ELA. This research will therefore explore how Surrealist-oriented pedagogies could restore imaginative freedom and deconstruct conceptual barriers (normative standards, curricular constraints, and status quo power relations) in secondary ELA. This research will also examine how Surrealism can be used as a political and pedagogical model to treat societal problems mirrored in ELA classrooms. The stakeholders are teachers, as they experience constant pressure within their practices. Similarly, students encounter rigorous, results-based pressures. These dynamics contribute to feelings of powerlessness, thus reinforcing a formulaic model of ELA. The ELA curriculum has potential to create laboratories for critical discussion and active movement towards social change. This proposed research strategy of Surrealist-oriented pedagogies could enable students to experiment with social issues and develop senses of agency and voice that reflect awareness of contemporary society while simultaneously building their ELA skills.

Paper Detail
58
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Implementing Education 4.0 Trends in Language Learning
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The fourth industrial revolution is changing the role of education substantially and, therefore, the role of instructors and learners at all levels. Education 4.0 is an imminent response to the needs of a globalized world where humans and technology are being aligned to enable endless possibilities, among them the need for students, as digital natives, to communicate effectively in at least one language besides their mother tongue, and also the requirement of developing theirs. This is an exploratory study in which a control group (N = 21), all of the students of Spanish as a foreign language at the university level, after taking a Spanish class, responded to an online questionnaire about the engagement, atmosphere, and environment in which their course was delivered. These aspects considered in the survey were relative to the instructor’s teaching style, including: (a) active, hands-on learning; (b) flexibility for in-class activities, easily switching between small group work, individual work, and whole-class discussion; and (c) integrating technology into the classroom. Strongly believing in these principles, the instructor deliberately taught the course in a SCALE-UP room, as it could facilitate such a positive and encouraging learning environment. These aspects are trends related to Education 4.0 and have become integral to the instructor’s pedagogical stance that calls for a constructive-affective role, instead of a transmissive one. As expected, with a learning environment that (a) fosters student engagement and (b) improves student outcomes, the subjects were highly engaged, which was partially due to the learning environment. An overwhelming majority (all but one) of students agreed or strongly agreed that the atmosphere and the environment were ideal. Outcomes of this study are relevant and indicate that it is about time for teachers to build up a meaningful correlation between humans and technology. We should see the trends of Education 4.0 not as a threat but as practices that should be in the hands of critical and creative instructors whose pedagogical stance responds to the needs of the learners in the 21st century.

Paper Detail
63
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Effects of School Facilities’ Mechanical and Plumbing Characteristics and Conditions on Student Attendance, Academic Performance and Health
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School districts throughout the United States are constantly seeking measures to improve test scores, reduce school absenteeism and improve indoor environmental quality. It is imperative to identify key building investments which will provide the largest benefits to schools in terms of improving the aforementioned factors. This study uses Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests to statistically evaluate the impact of a school building’s mechanical and plumbing characteristics on a child’s educational performance. The educational performance is measured via three indicators, i.e. test scores, suspensions, and absenteeism. The study investigated 125 New York City school facilities to determine the potential correlations between 50 mechanical and plumbing variables and the performance indicators. Key findings from the tests revealed that elementary schools with pneumatic systems in “good” condition have 48.8% lower percentages of students scoring at the minimum English Language Arts (ELA) competency level compared with those with no pneumatic system. Additionally, elementary schools with “unit heaters/cabinet heaters” in “good to fair” conditions have 1.1% higher attendance rates compared to schools with no “unit heaters/cabinet heaters” or those in inferior condition. Furthermore, elementary schools with air conditioning have 0.6% higher attendance rates compared to schools with no air conditioning, and those with interior floor drains in “good” condition have 1.8% higher attendance rates compared to schools with interior drains in inferior condition.

Paper Detail
102
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Intercultural Competence among Jewish and Arab Students Studying Together in an Academic Institution in Israel
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Since the establishment of the state of Israel, and as a result of various events that led to it, Jewish citizens and Arab citizens of the state have been in constant conflict, which finds its expression in most levels of life. Therefore, the attitude of one group member to the other group members is mostly tense, loaded, and saturated with mutual suspicion. Within this reality, in many higher education institutions in Israel, Jews and Arabs meet with each other intensively and for several years. For some students, this is their first opportunity for a meaningful cross-cultural encounter. These intercultural encounters, which allow positive interactions between members of different cultural groups, may contribute to the formation of "intercultural competence" which means long-term change in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior towards 'the other culture'. The current study examined the concept of the ‘other’ among Jewish and Arab students studying together and their "intercultural competence". The study also examined whether there is a difference in the perception of the ‘other’ between students studying in different academic programs, and between students taking academic courses on multiculturalism. This quantitative study was conducted among 274 Arab and Jewish students studying together, for bachelors or master's degree, in various academic programs at the Israel Academic College of Ramat-Gan. The background data of the participants are varied, in terms of religion, origin, religiosity, employment status, living area, and marital status. The main hypothesis is that academic, social, and intercultural encounters between Jewish and Arab students, who attend college together, will be a significant factor in building "intercultural competence". Additionally, the existence of "intercultural competence" has been linked to demographic characteristics of the students, as well as the nature of intercultural encounters between Jews and Arabs in a higher education institution. The dependent variables were measured by a self-report questionnaire, using the components of '"intercultural competence"' among students, which are: 1. Cognitive knowledge of the ‘others’, 2. Feelings towards the ‘others’, 3. Change in attitudes towards the 'others', and 4. Change in behavior towards the ‘others’. The findings indicate a higher "intercultural competence" among Arab students than Jews; it was also found higher level of "intercultural competence" among Educational Counseling students than the other respondents. The importance of this research lies in finding the means to develop "intercultural competence" among Jewish and Arab students, which may reduce prejudice and stereotypes towards the other culture and may even prevent occurrences of alienation and violence in cross-cultural encounters in Israel.

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Etiquette Learning and Public Speaking: Early Etiquette Learning and Its Impact on Higher Education and Working Professionals
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The purpose of this paper is to call education professionals to implement etiquette and public speaking skills for preschoolers, primary, middle and higher school students. In this paper the author aims to present importance of etiquette learning and public speaking curriculum for preschoolers, reflect on experiences from implementation of the curriculum and discuss the effect of the said implementation on higher education/global job market. Author’s aim to introduce this curriculum was to provide children with innovative learning and all around development. This training of soft skills at kindergarten level can have a long term effect on their social behaviors which in turn can contribute to professional success once they are ready for campus recruitment/global job markets. Additionally, if preschoolers learn polite, appropriate behavior at early age, it will enable them to become more socially attentive and display good manners as an adult. It is easier to nurture these skills in a child rather than changing bad manners at adulthood. Preschool/Kindergarten education can provide the platform for children to learn these crucial soft skills irrespective of the ethnicity, economic or social background they come from. These skills developed at such early years can go a long way to shape them into better and confident individuals. Unfortunately, accessibility of the etiquette learning and public speaking skill education is not standardized in pre-primary or primary level and most of the time embedding into the kindergarten curriculum is next to nil. All young children should be provided with equal opportunity to learn these soft skills which are essential for finding their place in job market.

Paper Detail
86
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Modeling Engagement with Multimodal Multisensor Data: The Continuous Performance Test as an Objective Tool to Track Flow
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Engagement is one of the most important factors in determining successful outcomes and deep learning in students. Existing approaches to detect student engagement involve periodic human observations that are subject to inter-rater reliability. Our solution uses real-time multimodal multisensor data labeled by objective performance outcomes to infer the engagement of students. The study involves four students with a combined diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a learning disability who took part in a 3-month trial over 59 sessions. Multimodal multisensor data were collected while they participated in a continuous performance test. Eye gaze, electroencephalogram, body pose, and interaction data were used to create a model of student engagement through objective labeling from the continuous performance test outcomes. In order to achieve this, a type of continuous performance test is introduced, the Seek-X type. Nine features were extracted including high-level handpicked compound features. Using leave-one-out cross-validation, a series of different machine learning approaches were evaluated. Overall, the random forest classification approach achieved the best classification results. Using random forest, 93.3% classification for engagement and 42.9% accuracy for disengagement were achieved. We compared these results to outcomes from different models: AdaBoost, decision tree, k-Nearest Neighbor, naïve Bayes, neural network, and support vector machine. We showed that using a multisensor approach achieved higher accuracy than using features from any reduced set of sensors. We found that using high-level handpicked features can improve the classification accuracy in every sensor mode. Our approach is robust to both sensor fallout and occlusions. The single most important sensor feature to the classification of engagement and distraction was shown to be eye gaze. It has been shown that we can accurately predict the level of engagement of students with learning disabilities in a real-time approach that is not subject to inter-rater reliability, human observation or reliant on a single mode of sensor input. This will help teachers design interventions for a heterogeneous group of students, where teachers cannot possibly attend to each of their individual needs. Our approach can be used to identify those with the greatest learning challenges so that all students are supported to reach their full potential.

Paper Detail
213
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A Methodology to Virtualize Technical Engineering Laboratories: MastrLAB-VR
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Due to the importance given today to innovation, the education sector is evolving thanks digital technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) can be a potential teaching tool offering many advantages in the field of training and education, as it allows to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills using an immersive experience in less time than the traditional educational process. These assumptions allow to lay the foundations for a new educational environment, involving and stimulating for students. Starting from the objective of strengthening the innovative teaching offer and the learning processes, the case study of the research concerns the digitalization of MastrLAB, High Quality Laboratory (HQL) belonging to the Department of Structural, Building and Geotechnical Engineering (DISEG) of the Polytechnic of Turin, a center specialized in experimental mechanical tests on traditional and innovative building materials and on the structures made with them. The MastrLAB-VR has been developed, a revolutionary innovative training tool designed with the aim of educating the class in total safety on the techniques of use of machinery, thus reducing the dangers arising from the performance of potentially dangerous activities. The virtual laboratory, dedicated to the students of the Building and Civil Engineering Courses of the Polytechnic of Turin, has been projected to simulate in an absolutely realistic way the experimental approach to the structural tests foreseen in their courses of study: from the tensile tests to the relaxation tests, from the steel qualification tests to the resilience tests on elements at environmental conditions or at characterizing temperatures. The research work proposes a methodology for the virtualization of technical laboratories through the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), starting from the creation of a digital model. The process includes the creation of an independent application, which with Oculus Rift technology will allow the user to explore the environment and interact with objects through the use of joypads. The application has been tested in prototype way on volunteers, obtaining results related to the acquisition of the educational notions exposed in the experience through a virtual quiz with multiple answers, achieving an overall evaluation report. The results have shown that MastrLAB-VR is suitable for both beginners and experts and will be adopted experimentally for other laboratories of the University departments.

Paper Detail
162
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Impact of Preksha Meditation on Academic Anxiety of Female Teenagers
Abstract:

The pressure of scoring higher marks to be able to get admission in a higher ranked institution has become a social stigma for school students. It leads to various social and academic pressures on them, causing psychological anxiety. This undue stress on students sometimes may even steer to aggressive behavior or suicidal tendencies. Human mind is always surrounded by the some desires, emotions and passions, which usually disturbs our mental peace. In such a scenario, we look for a solution that helps in removing all the obstacles of mind and make us mentally peaceful and strong enough to be able to deal with all kind of pressure. Preksha meditation is one such technique which aims at bringing the positive changes for overall transformation of personality. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the impact of Preksha Meditation on the academic anxiety on female teenagers. The study was conducted on 120 high school students from the capital city of India. All students were in the age group of 13-15 years. They also belonged to similar social as well as economic status. The sample was equally divided into two groups i.e. experimental group (N = 60) and control group (N = 60). Subjects of the experimental group were given the intervention of Preksha Meditation practice by the trained instructor for one hour per day, six days a week, for three months for the first experimental stage and another three months for the second experimental stage. The subjects of the control group were not assigned any specific type of activity rather they continued doing their normal official activities as usual. The Academic Anxiety Scale was used to collect data during multi-level stages i.e. pre-experimental stage, post-experimental stage phase-I, and post-experimental stage phase-II. The data were statistically analyzed by computing the two-tailed-‘t’ test for inter group comparison and Sandler’s ‘A’ test with alpha = or p < 0.05 for intra-group comparisons. The study concluded that the practice for longer duration of Preksha Meditation practice brings about very significant and beneficial changes in the pattern of academic anxiety.

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Impact of VARK Learning Model at Tertiary Level Education
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Individuals are generally associated with different learning styles, which have been explored extensively in recent past. The learning styles refer to the potential of an individual by which s/he can easily comprehend and retain information. Among various learning style models, VARK is the most accepted model which categorizes the learners with respect to their sensory characteristics. Based on the number of preferred learning modes, the learners can be categorized as uni-modal, bi-modal, tri-modal, or quad/multi-modal. Although there is a prevalent belief in the learning styles, however, the model is not being frequently and effectively utilized in the higher education. This research describes the identification model to validate teacher’s didactic practice and student’s performance linkage with the learning styles. The identification model is recommended to check the effective application and evaluation of the various learning styles. The proposed model is a guideline to effectively implement learning styles inventory in order to ensure that it will validate performance linkage with learning styles. If performance is linked with learning styles, this may help eradicate the distrust on learning style theory. For this purpose, a comprehensive study was conducted to compare and understand how VARK inventory model is being used to identify learning preferences and their correlation with learner’s performance. A comparative analysis of the findings of these studies is presented to understand the learning styles of tertiary students in various disciplines. It is concluded with confidence that the learning styles of students cannot be associated with any specific discipline. Furthermore, there is not enough empirical proof to link performance with learning styles.

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Design for Classroom Units: A Collaborative Multicultural Studio Development with Chinese Students
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In this paper, we present the main results achieved during a five-week international workshop on Interactive Furniture for the Classroom, with 22 Chinese design students, in Jiangmen city (Guangdong province, China), and five teachers from Portugal, France, Iran, Macao SAR, and China. The main goal was to engage design students from China with new skills and practice methodologies towards interactive design research for furniture and product design for the classroom. The final results demonstrate students' concerns on improving Chinese furniture design for the classrooms, including solutions related to collaborative learning and human-interaction design for interactive furniture products. The findings of the research led students to the fabrication of five original prototypes: two for kindergartens ('Candy' and 'Tilt-tilt'), two for primary schools ('Closer' and 'Eks(x)'), and one for art/creative schools ('Wave'). From the findings, it was also clear that collaboration, personalization, and project-based teaching are still neglected when designing furniture products for the classroom in China. Students focused on these issues and came up with creative solutions that could transform this educational field in China.

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Blended Learning through Google Classroom
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This paper discusses that good learning involves all academic groups in the school. Blended learning is learning outside the classroom. Google Classroom is a free service learning app for schools, non-profit organizations and anyone with a personal Google account. Facilities accessed through computers and mobile phones are very useful for school teachers and students. Blended learning classrooms using both traditional and technology-based methods for teaching have become the norm for many educators. Using Google Classroom gives students access to online learning. Even if the teacher is not in the classroom, the teacher can provide learning. This is the supervision of the form of the teacher when the student is outside the school.

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Challenges and Professional Perspectives for Pedagogy Undergraduates with Specific Learning Disability: A Greek Case Study
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Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.

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Container Chaos: The Impact of a Casual Game on Learning and Behavior
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This paper explores the impact that playing a casual game can have on a player's learning and subsequent behavior. A casual mobile game, Container Chaos, was created to teach undergraduate students about the carbon footprint of various disposable beverage containers. Learning was tested with a short quiz, and behavior was tested by observing which beverage containers players choose when offered a drink and a snack. The game was tested multiple times, under a variety of different circumstances. Findings of these tests indicate that, with extended play over time, players can learn new information and sometimes even change their behavior as a result. This has implications for how other casual games can be used to teach concepts and possibly modify behavior.

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Investigation of the Physical Computing in Computational Thinking Practices, Computer Programming Concepts and Self-Efficacy for Crosscutting Ideas in STEM Content Environments
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Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.

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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Electronic Response Systems in Technology-Oriented Classes
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Electronic Response Systems such as Kahoot, Poll Everywhere, and Google Classroom are gaining a lot of popularity when surveying audiences in events, meetings, and classroom. The reason is mainly because of the ease of use and the convenience these tools bring since they provide mobile applications with a simple user interface. In this paper, we present a case study on the effectiveness of using Electronic Response Systems on student participation and learning experience in a classroom. We use a polling application for class exercises in two different technology-oriented classes. We evaluate the effectiveness of the usage of the polling applications through statistical analysis of the students performance in these two classes and compare them to the performances of students who took the same classes without using the polling application for class participation. Our results show an increase in the performances of the students who used the Electronic Response System when compared to those who did not by an average of 11%.
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Effective Teaching Pyramid and Its Impact on Enhancing the Participation of Students in Swimming Classes
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Instructional or teaching procedures and their proper sequence are essential for high-quality learning outcomes. These actions are the path that the teacher takes during the learning process after setting the learning objectives. Teachers and specialists in the education field should include teaching procedures with putting in place an effective mechanism for the procedure’s implementation to achieve a logical sequence with the desired output of overall education process. Determining the sequence of these actions may be a strategic process outlined by a strategic educational plan or drawn by teachers with a high level of experience, enabling them to determine those logical procedures. While specific actions may be necessary for a specific form, many Physical Education (PE) teachers can work out on various sports disciplines. This study was conducted to investigate the impact of using the teaching sequence of the teaching pyramid in raising the level of enjoyment in swimming classes. Four months later of teaching swimming skills to the control and experimental groups of the study, we figured that using the tools shown in the teaching pyramid with the experimental group led to statistically significant differences in the positive tendencies of students to participate in the swimming classes by using the traditional procedures of teaching and using of successive procedures in the teaching pyramid, and in favor of the teaching pyramid, The students are influenced by enhancing their tendency to participate in swimming classes when the teaching procedures followed are sensitive to individual differences and are based on the element of pleasure in learning, and less positive levels of the tendency of students when using traditional teaching procedures, by getting the level of skills' requirements higher and more difficult to perform. The level of positive tendencies of students when using successive procedures in the teaching pyramid was increased, by getting the level of skills' requirements higher and more difficult to perform, because of the high level of motivation and the desire to challenge the self-provided by the teaching pyramid.

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