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Instructors' Conceptions of Reflective Learning: A Phenomenographic Study

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-10-02
Abstract: 

Reflective learning has been considered an important learning experience in higher education because of its value for personal and professional self. Despite the potential benefits, there is diverse interpretation of the meaning and process of reflective learning. Theoretical frameworks and models that purport to explain what it entails abound; however, there is a dearth of research that explores conceptions from the perspective of instructors. This study examined university instructors’ conceptions of reflective learning in the context of education courses. Semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data from 32 instructors who consented to participate. The interviews were transcribed, segmented, coded and compared. Our phenomenographic analysis resulted in four qualitatively different conceptions of reflective learning: critical engagement with content, improving professional practice, identity development, and developing critical consciousness. The study has implications for faculty development and research on reflective learning.

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Article
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Exploring Human Action in Counseling Psychology: The Action-Project Research Method

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-04-01
Abstract: 

Qualitative research in counseling psychology in the last 2 decades has been characterized by the introduction and use of a range of methods and corresponding paradigms and conceptual frameworks. The action-project research method, described and updated in this article, is based on an understanding of human action as goal-directed and enacted in context: contextual action theory. We summarize this framework, prior to describing the method’s procedures for conceptualizing research problems and questions, collecting and analyzing data from dyads of participants, and presenting research findings. We also discuss recent adaptations to the procedures and how the method addresses core issues in counseling psychology; that is, methodological integrity, culture, ethics, and power. We proceed to describe how the method relates to other qualitative methods and the kinds of research questions asked by the discipline and how the action-project method connects to professional practice issues.

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Article
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Online Learning Communities in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Social Learning Network Analysis of Twitter During the Shutdown

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-05-28
Abstract: 

This paper presents a social learning network analysis of Twitter during the 2020 global shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research concerning online learning environments is focused on the reproduction of conventional teaching arrangements, whereas social media technologies afford new channels for the dissemination of information and sharing of knowledge and expertise. We examine Twitter feed around the hashtags online learning and online teaching during the global shutdown to examine the spontaneous development of online learning communities. We find relatively small and ephemeral communities on the two topics. Most users make spontaneous contributions to the discussion but do not maintain a presence in the Twitter discourse. Optimizing the social learning network, we find many potential efficiencies to be gained through more proactive efforts to connect knowledge seekers and knowledge disseminators. Considerations and prospects for supporting online informal social learning networks are discussed.

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Article
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Fearing the Robot Apocalypse: Correlates of AI Anxiety

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-20
Abstract: 

This study examines the relationship between individuals’ be-liefs about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and levels of anxiety with respect to their technology readiness level. In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed 65 stu-dents at a southwestern US college. Using partial least squares analysis, we found that technology readiness contributors were significantly and positively related to only one AI anxiety factor: socio-technical illiteracy. In contrast, all four links between technology readiness inhibitors and AI anxiety factors were significant with medium effect sizes. Technology readiness inhibitors are posi-tively related to learning, fears of job replacement, socio-technical illiteracy, and particular AI configurations. Thus, we conclude that AI anxiety runs through a spectrum. It is influenced by real, practical consequences of immedi-ate effects of increased automatization but also by popular representations and discussions of the negative consequences of artificial general intelligence and killer robots and addressing technology readiness is unlikely to mitigate effects of AI anxiety.

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Article
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A Bibliometric Analysis of the Papers Published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education from 2015-2019

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-04-16
Abstract: 

To analyze the current research status and trends of the artificial intelligence in education field, we applied bibliometric methods to examine the articles published in one of the representative journals of the field, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, from 2015 to 2019. We analyzed 135 articles retrieved from the Web of Science database and examined prolific countries, collaboration networks, prolific authors, keywords, and the citations the articles received. Through examining keywords, we found that the authors largely focused on students and learning. Through examining prolific authors and countries, we found active publication of corresponding authors from United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. We found international collaboration among some researchers and institutions, such as strong collaboration network between United States and Canada. We suggest reinforcement in building more widespread international partnership and expanding collaboration network by including diverse institutions. International collaboration and expanded institutional network can improve research by incorporating various perspectives and expertise.

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Article
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Transition to Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-08-01
Abstract: 

Background

With the new pandemic reality that has beset us, teaching and learning activities have been thrust online. While much research has explored student perceptions of online and distance learning, none has had a social laboratory to study the effects of an enforced transition on student perceptions of online learning.

Purpose

We surveyed students about their perceptions of online learning before and after the transition to online learning. As student perceptions are influenced by a range of contextual and institutional factors beyond the classroom, we expected that students would be overall sanguine to the project given that access, technology integration, and family and government support during the pandemic shutdown would mitigate the negative consequences.

Results

Students overall reported positive academic outcomes. However, students reported increased stress and anxiety and difficulties concentrating, suggesting that the obstacles to fully online learning were not only technological and instructional challenges but also social and affective challenges of isolation and social distancing.

Conclusion

Our analysis shows that the specific context of the pandemic disrupted more than normal teaching and learning activities. Whereas students generally responded positively to the transition, their reluctance to continue learning online and the added stress and workload show the limits of this large scale social experiment. In addition to the technical and pedagogical dimensions, successfully supporting students in online learning environments will require that teachers and educational technologists attend to the social and affective dimensions of online learning as well.

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Article
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Exploring the Role of Testing in Student Outcomes: Evidence from a Mechanics Course

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-04-17
Abstract: 

Assessments have become increasingly prevalent in education. While many affordances of assessments are offered in the literature, there is mixed evidence on how assessments affect students’ learning and performance. Moreover, a testing effect has been identified in lab-based studies where more testing is associated with better performance; however, less is known about the effects of testing on performance in situ. The present study employs data from two Mechanics courses to analyze the effects of testing on performance. We compare two sections—experimental condition with testing (N = 36) and control condition with homework (N = 38)—of the Mechanics course, to examine the relative importance of testing. We find a strong effect for regular testing on student mid-term and final exam performance. The findings have broad implications for the growing testing effect literature.

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Article
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The Effects of Testing on Pre-University Science Students’ Academic Outcomes in an Electricity and Magnetism Course

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06-15
Abstract: 

Testing can influence student learning outcomes by influencing their approach to study and to learning. It is important tounderstand the influence of testing on students’ learning outcomes to optimize instruction. We examine the role that testing playedin a science course, to examine the effect of testing on retention and performance on a standardized final exam. This studycompared two sections—experimental condition with testing (N = 35) and comparison condition with homework (N = 39)—of anElectricity and Magnetism course in a pre-university program to explore the role of the testing effect, that is, whether taking a testaids subsequent learning and retention. Results indicated that the students in the experimental group had a higher final examaverage and greatest achievement gains. Our findings corroborate previous research and suggest that the traditional homework-based instructional strategy is a less effective approach for science learning or later retention compared to an instructionalapproach incorporating regular testing. Implications of these findings and the importance of testing in science instruction are alsodiscussed.

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Article
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Class Size and Teacher Work: Research Provided to the BCTF in their Struggle to Negotiate Teacher Working Conditions

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-05-31
Abstract: 

This paper presents an update of a 2010-literature review on class size research completed as background in preparation of an affidavit on class size provided by the lead author in the case of British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v. British Columbia, argued before the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2010, appealed ultimately to the Supreme Court of Canada and ruled on November 10, 2016.  We find that smaller classes can improve teacher-student interactions and individualized instruction, decreasing time spent on discipline issues, leading to better student behaviour, attitude, and efforts. Smaller classes generally have greater advantages for younger students, and effects are more observable in class sizes of less than 20. Small classes may shrink achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, and increase high school graduation rates, and appear to enhance academic outcomes, particularly for marginalized groups. Researchers have detected class size effects many years later. Small classes have been found to boost teachers’ morale and job satisfaction. While some studies have found effects at the secondary and post-secondary level, results are generally inconclusive at this level. Finally, some researchers have argued that class size reductions are an inefficient use of funds which might be better spent elsewhere in the system. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on the process of providing this research for Supreme Court case.

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Article
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Achieving Holistic Care for Refugees: the Experiences of Educators and Other Stakeholders in Surrey and Greater Vancouver, Canada

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-05-14
Abstract: 

In 2020, the global number of refugees reached record levels, pressuring asylum countries to determine more effective methods for facilitating integration.  This paper explores an array of stakeholder practices towards refugees in Surrey and Greater Vancouver, Canada.  It is based on questionnaires and interviews that elicit the perceptions and struggles of 40 settlement workers, health and mental health professionals, members of parliament, educators, librarians, scholars and grassroots organizations, who work with refugees. The findings show that stakeholders often feel isolated, ‘working in silos’ and wasting time and money due to uncoordinated services and a lack of interagency communication.  They feel it is also unreasonable to expect Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) to learn English and complete job training in preparation for independent living within one year of support.  Both refugee adults and children suffer from high levels of trauma, often compounded by interrupted or no schooling.  Since education is essential to refugee success, I argue that teachers play a role in filling the gap, often uniquely positioned to form ongoing, safe and trusting relationships with refugee students, and their families.  For many teachers, it is an ethos of care, compassion and social justice acquired in teacher education programmes that increases refugee resilience, sense of belonging and wellbeing.  This paper identifies what new collaborations between teachers and other stakeholders might accomplish, including communication back to government policymakers.  Recommendations encompass initiating online registries of services and low-cost housing in neighbourhoods where community schools and services are interlinked, possibly achieving holistic care for all refugees.

 

Document type: 
Article