With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.
The challenging task in educational institutions is to maximize the high performance of students and minimize the failure rate of poor-performing students. An effective method to leverage this task is to know student learning patterns with highly influencing factors and get an early prediction of student learning outcomes at the timely stage for setting up policies for improvement. Educational data mining (EDM) is an emerging disciplinary field of data mining, statistics, and machine learning concerned with extracting useful knowledge and information for the sake of improvement and development in the education environment. The study is of this work is to propose techniques in EDM and integrate it into a web-based system for predicting poor-performing students. A comparative study of prediction models is conducted. Subsequently, high performing models are developed to get higher performance. The hybrid random forest (Hybrid RF) produces the most successful classification. For the context of intervention and improving the learning outcomes, a feature selection method MICHI, which is the combination of mutual information (MI) and chi-square (CHI) algorithms based on the ranked feature scores, is introduced to select a dominant feature set that improves the performance of prediction and uses the obtained dominant set as information for intervention. By using the proposed techniques of EDM, an academic performance prediction system (APPS) is subsequently developed for educational stockholders to get an early prediction of student learning outcomes for timely intervention. Experimental outcomes and evaluation surveys report the effectiveness and usefulness of the developed system. The system is used to help educational stakeholders and related individuals for intervening and improving student performance.
Over the past 20 years, internet has seen continual advancement and with the advent of online technology, various types of web-based games have been developed. Games are frequently being used among different age groups from baby boomers to generation Z. Games are not only used for entertainment but also utilized as a learning approach transmitting education to a level that is more interesting and effective for students. One of the popular web-based education games is Kahoot with growing popularity and usage, which is being used in different fields of studies. However, little knowledge is available on university students’ perception of Kahoot environment and application for learning subjects. Hence, the objective of the current study is to investigate students’ perceptions of Kahoot application and environment as a learning tool. The study employed a survey approach by distributing Google Forms –created questionnaire, with high level of reliability index, to 62 students (11 males and 51 females). The findings show that students have positive attitudes towards Kahoot application and its environment for learning. Regarding Kahoot application, it was indicated that activities created using Kahoot are more interesting for students, Kahoot is useful for collaborative learning, and Kahoot enhances interest in learning lesson. In terms of Kahoot environment, it was found that using this application through mobile is easy for students, its design is simple and useful, Kahoot-created activities can easily be shared, and the application can easily be used on any platform. The findings of the study have implications for instructors, policymakers and curriculum developers.
Thanks to the development of online technology and social networks, people are able to communicate as well as learn. WhatsApp is a popular social network which is growingly gaining popularity. This app can be used for communication as well as education. It can be used for instructor-learner, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions; however, very little knowledge is available on these potentials of WhatsApp. The current study was undertaken to investigate university students’ perceptions of WhatsApp used as a tool for instructor-learner dialogue, learner-content dialogue, and learner-learner dialogue. The study adopted a survey approach and distributed the questionnaire developed by Google Forms to 54 (11 males and 43 females) university students. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. The result of data analysis indicates that students have positive attitudes towards WhatsApp as a tool for Instructor-Learner Dialogue: it easy to reach the lecturer (4.07), the instructor gives me valuable feedback on my assignment (4.02), the instructor is supportive during course discussion and offers continuous support with the class (4.00). Learner-Content Dialogue: WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with lecturers anytime, anywhere (4.00), it helps to send graphics such as pictures or charts directly to the students (3.98), it also provides out of class, extra learning materials and homework (3.96), and Learner-Learner Dialogue: WhatsApp is a good tool for sharing knowledge with others (4.09), WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with peers anytime, anywhere (4.07), and we can interact with others through the use of group discussion (4.02). It was also found that there are significant positive correlations between students’ perceptions of Instructor-Learner Dialogue (ILD), Learner-Content Dialogue (LCD), Learner-Learner Dialogue (LLD) and WhatsApp Application in classroom. The findings of the study have implications for lectures, policy makers and curriculum developers.
Background: An outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred in December 2019 after students of a Senior High School in Accra were served with kenkey and fish during their dinner. An investigation was conducted to characterize the affected people, the source of contamination, the etiologic food and agent. Methods: An epidemiological study was conducted with cases selected from the student population who were ill. Controls were selected from among students who also ate from the school canteen during dinner but were not ill. Food history of each case and control was taken to assess their exposure status. Epi Info 7 was used to analyze the data obtained from the outbreak. Attack rates and odds ratios were calculated to determine the risk of foodborne infection for each of the foods consumed by the population. The source of contamination of the foods was ascertained by conducting an environmental risk assessment at the school. Results: Data were obtained from 126 students, out of which 57 (45.2%) were cases and 69 (54.8%) were controls. The cases presented with symptoms such as diarrhea (85.96%), abdominal cramps (66.67%), vomiting (50.88%), headache (21.05%), fever (17.86%) and nausea (3.51%). The peak incubation period was 18 hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of 6 and 50 hours respectively. From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, non-typhoidal salmonellosis was suspected. Multivariate analysis indicated that the illness was associated with the consumption of the fried fish served, however this was statistically insignificant (AOR 3.1.00, P = 0.159). No stool, blood or food samples were available for organism isolation and confirmation of suspected etiologic agent. The environmental risk assessment indicated poor hand washing practices on the part of both the food handlers and students. Conclusion: The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of the fried fish that might have been contaminated with Salmonella sp. as a result of poor hand washing practices in the school.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of using motion graphics as a learning medium on training hearing aids maintenance skills to hearing-impaired children. The statistical population of this study consisted of all children with hearing loss in Ahvaz city, at age 4 to 7 years old. As the sample, 60, whom were selected by multistage random sampling, were randomly assigned to two groups; experimental (30 children) and control (30 children) groups. The research method was experimental and the design was pretest-posttest with the control group. The intervention consisted of a 2-minute motion graphics clip to train hearing aids maintenance skills. Data were collected using a 9-question researcher-made questionnaire. The data were analyzed by using one-way analysis of covariance. Results showed that the training of hearing aids maintenance skills with motion graphics was significantly effective for those children. The results of this study can be used by educators, teachers, professionals, and parents to train children with disabilities or normal students.
Class attendance is key at all levels of education. At tertiary level many students develop a tendency of not attending all classes without being aware of the repercussions of not attending all classes. It is important for all students to attend all classes as they can receive first-hand information and they can benefit more. The student who attends classes is likely to perform better academically than the student who does not. The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between class attendance and academic performance of industrial engineering students. The data for this study were collected through the attendance register of students and the other data were accessed from the Integrated Tertiary Software and the Higher Education Data Analyzer Portal. Data analysis was conducted on a sample of 93 students. The results revealed that students with medium predicate scores (OR = 3.8; p = 0.027) and students with low predicate scores (OR = 21.4, p < 0.001) were significantly likely to attend less than 80% of the classes as compared to students with high predicate scores. Students with examination performance of less than 50% were likely to attend less than 80% of classes than students with examination performance of 50% and above, but the differences were not statistically significant (OR = 1.3; p = 0.750).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy that originated in the medical field and has also been used extensively in other knowledge disciplines with recognized advantages and limitations. PBL has been used in various undergraduate engineering programs with mixed outcomes. The current fourth industrial revolution (digital era or Industry 4.0) has made it essential for many science and engineering students to receive effective training in advanced courses such as industrial automation and robotics. This paper presents a case study at Assumption University of Thailand, where a PBL-like approach was used to teach some aspects of automation and robotics to selected groups of undergraduate engineering students. These students were given some basic level training in automation prior to participating in a subsequent training session in order to solve technical problems with increased complexity. The participating students’ evaluation of the training sessions in terms of learning effectiveness, skills enhancement, and incremental knowledge following the problem-solving session was captured through a follow-up survey consisting of 14 questions and a 5-point scoring system. From the most recent training event, an overall 70% of the respondents indicated that their skill levels were enhanced to a much greater level than they had had before the training, whereas 60.4% of the respondents from the same event indicated that their incremental knowledge following the session was much greater than what they had prior to the training. The instructor-facilitator involved in the training events suggested that this method of learning was more suitable for senior/advanced level students than those at the freshmen level as certain skills to effectively participate in such problem-solving sessions are acquired over a period of time, and not instantly.
This research aimed to measure the impact of the use of a mobile learning (iTunes U) app for the development of metacognition skills delivered in the enrichment program offered to gifted students at the secondary level in Jeddah. The author targeted a group of students on an experimental scale to evaluate the achievement. The research sample consisted of a group of 38 gifted female students. The scale of evaluation of the metacognition skills used to measure the performance of students in the enrichment program was as follows: Satisfaction scale for the assessment of the technique used and the final product form after completion of the program. Appropriate statistical treatment used includes Paired Samples T-Test Cronbach’s alpha formula and eta squared formula. It was concluded in the results the difference of α≤ 0.05, which means the performance of students in the skills of metacognition in favor of using iTunes U. In light of the conclusion of the experiment, a number of recommendations and suggestions were present; the most important benefit of mobile learning applications is to provide enrichment programs for gifted students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as conducting further research on mobile learning and gifted student teaching.
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of video clips to enhance students' achievement and motivation towards learning and facilitating of history. We use narrative literature studies to illustrate the current state of the two art and science in focused areas of inquiry. We used experimental method. The experimental method is a systematic scientific research method in which the researchers manipulate one or more variables to control and measure any changes in other variables. For this purpose, two experimental groups have been designed: one experimental and one groups consisting of 30 lower secondary students. The session is given to the first batch using a computer presentation program that uses video clips to be considered as experimental group, while the second group is assigned as the same class using traditional methods using dialogue and discussion techniques that are considered a control group. Both groups are subject to pre and post-trial in matters that are handled by the class. The findings show that the results of the pre-test analysis did not show statistically significant differences, which in turn proved the equality of the two groups. Meanwhile, post-test analysis results show that there was a statistically significant difference between the experimental group and the control group at an importance level of 0.05 for the benefit of the experimental group.
Technology-enhanced teaching has been in the limelight since the 90s when educators started investigating and experimenting with using computers in the classroom as a means of building 21st. century skills and motivating students. The concept of technology-enhanced strategies in education is kaleidoscopic! It has meant different things to different educators. For the purpose of this paper, however, it will be used to refer to the diverse technology-based strategies used to support and enrich the flipped learning process, in the classroom and outside. The paper will investigate how technology is put in the service of teaching and learning to improve the students’ learning experience as manifested in students’ attendance and engagement, achievement rates and finally, students’ projects at the end of the semester. The results will be supported by a student survey about relevant specific aspects of their learning experience in the modules in the study.
In order to explore the key factors affecting the robot program learning intention of school students, this study takes the technology acceptance model as the theoretical basis and invites 167 students from Jiading District of Shanghai as the research subjects. In the robot course, the model of school students on their learning behavior is constructed. By verifying the causal path relationship between variables, it is concluded that teachers can enhance students’ perceptual usefulness to robotics courses by enhancing subjective norms, entertainment perception, and reducing technical anxiety, such as focusing on the gradual progress of programming and analyzing learner characteristics. Students can improve perceived ease of use by enhancing self-efficacy. At the same time, robot hardware designers can optimize in terms of entertainment and interactivity, which will directly or indirectly increase the learning intention of the robot course. By changing these factors, the learning behavior of primary and secondary school students can be more sustainable.
The article describes methods of preparation of future teachers that includes the entire diversity of traditional and computer-oriented methodological approaches. The authors reveal how, in the specific educational environment, a teacher can choose the most effective combination of educational technologies based on the nature of the learning task. The key conditions that determine such a choice are that the methodological approach corresponds to the specificity of the problem being solved and that it is also responsive to the individual characteristics of the students. The article refers to the training of students in the proper use of mathematical electronic tools for educational purposes. The preparation of future mathematics teachers should be a step-by-step process, building on specific examples. At the first stage, students optimally solve problems aided by electronic means of teaching. At the second stage, the main emphasis is on modeling lessons. At the third stage, students develop and implement strategies in the study of one of the topics within a school mathematics curriculum. The article also recommended the implementation of this strategy in preparation of future teachers and stated the possible benefits.
This study investigates the satisfaction of distance education university students (DEUS) with the use of audio media as a medium of instruction. Studying students’ satisfaction is vital because it shows whether learners are comfortable with a certain instructional strategy or not. Although previous studies have investigated the use of audio media, the satisfaction of students with an instructional strategy that combines radio teaching and podcasts as an independent teaching strategy has not been fully investigated. In this study, all lectures were delivered through the radio and students had no direct contact with their instructors. No modules or any other material in form of text were given to the students. They instead, revised the taught content by listening to podcasts saved on their mobile electronic gadgets. Prior to data collection, DEUS received orientation through workshops on how to use audio media in distance education. To achieve objectives of the study, a survey, naturalistic observations and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from a sample of 211 undergraduate and graduate students. Findings indicate that there was no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction between male and female students. The results from post hoc analysis show that there is a statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction regarding the use of audio media between diploma and graduate students. Diploma students are more satisfied compared to their graduate counterparts. T-test results reveal that there was no statistically significant difference in the general satisfaction with audio media between rural and urban-based students. And ANOVA results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction with the use of audio media across age groups. Furthermore, results from observations and interviews reveal that DEUS found learning using audio media a pleasurable medium of instruction. This is an indication that audio media can be considered as an instructional strategy on its own merit.
In this research study, postsecondary students completed an information learning task in an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment. Three factors were of interest in relation to learning; 1) the influence of collaborative vs. independent conditions, 2) the influence of the spatial arrangement of the virtual environment (linear, random and clustered), and 3) the relationship of individual differences such as spatial skill, general computer experience and video game experience to learning. Students completed pretest measures of prior computer experience and prior spatial skill. Following the premeasure administration, students were given instruction to move through the virtual environment and study all the material within 10 information stations. In the collaborative condition, students proceeded in randomly assigned pairs, while in the independent condition they proceeded alone. After this learning phase, all students individually completed a multiple choice test to determine information retention. The overall results indicated that students in pairs did not perform any better or worse than independent students. As far as individual differences, only spatial ability predicted the performance of students. General computer experience and video game experience did not. Taking a closer look at the pairs and spatial ability, comparisons were made on pairs high/matched spatial ability, pairs low/matched spatial ability and pairs that were mismatched on spatial ability. The results showed that both high/matched pairs and mismatched pairs outperformed low/matched pairs. That is, if a pair had even one individual with strong spatial ability they would perform better than pairs with only low spatial ability individuals. This suggests that, in virtual environments, the specific individuals that are paired together are important for performance outcomes. The paper also includes a discussion of trends within the data that have implications for virtual environment education.