EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Research & Blended Learning

Dziuban, C., Graham, C. R., Moskal, P. D., Norberg, A., & Sicilia, N. (2018). Blended learning: the new normal and emerging technologies. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education15(1), 3.

Summary. The purpose of this study was to better understanding the impact blended learning has on teaching and learning for faculty and students within higher education. The authors take care to point out that currently there is not a lot of consistent study or research in this area as there are multiple definitions of what blended learning is, and more specifically how to measure it’s effectiveness and standardize it in a meaningful way. The authors narrow their scope on blended learning by looking a student perceptions and access and how blended learning is becoming the ‘new normal’ in higher education. The results of their study found “blending maintains or increases access for most student cohorts and produces improved success rates for minority and non-minority students alike (Dziuban, et. al., 2018, pg. 11). Despite these results, the authors still take care to state that there is still no definitive evidence that blended learning is the new normal, or that it will be the most effective teaching and learning modality.

Evaluation. This offers a very basic literature review that does not overwhelm the reader with information that is not of high value as some other articles I have read tend to do. This study is strong in its ability to be concise and focused on the problem at hand. An obvious disadvantage of this study is the pool of participants was limited to only students attending the University of Central Florida. This study would have greatly benefited, and perhaps more meaningful data could have been exposed had the researchers increased their population. The data was collected from end-of-course surveys which I thought was an effective collection instrument given the population and the context of the research.

Application. I may not utilize the content of this article in my future research, but I may use the data collection methods and the study itself as a foundation for how I may conduct my own research. The goal of my research for my doctoral program is going to involve collecting quantitative and qualitative data on student and faculty experiences based on the specific topic I am researching.

EDU 800 Annotated Bib

TPAK & Design Thinking

Koh, J. H. L., Chai, C. S., Benjamin, W., & Hong, H. Y. (2015). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and design thinking: A framework to support ICT lesson design for 21st century learning. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher24(3), 535-543.

Summary. The authors of this article define design thinking as “the reasoning process used to manage the various demands underlying acts of creation” (Koh, Chai, Benjamin & Hong, 2015, pg. 535). Using this definition, the authors argue that in order for faculty to achieve twenty-first century learning in their classrooms, they must “construct TPACK using design thinking as a strategy to address the complex factors surrounding information and communication technology (ICT) integrated lesson design (Koh, et. al, 2015, pg. 535). The authors suggest that in order for faculty to use design thinking and TPACK, faculty should make themselves part of the “knowledge-creating culture” to ensure they can develop and grow their ideas and then implement (Koh, Chai, Benjamin & Hong, 2015, pg. 541).

Evaluation.  This article is not a study or literature review, but instead a conceptual paper which contains some bias from the authors in addition to research from studies. The structure of the paper is very compartmentalized in that a read can easily skim through and review headings to read small chunks that may pertain to their own research. The paper itself reads a bit disjointedly in that concepts don’t smoothly transition from one to the next. This paper, like the literature reviews I have discussed in previous posts, may be more better suited to brainstorming and laying foundations for ideas, rather than being explicitly used or cited in an academic paper. This paper lacks any qualitative or quantitative research.

Application. While I would more than likely not use this paper in my writing, it did provide me with a good overview of how design thinking could be paired with TPAK and ICT. The article also provides some broad background knowledge on other common instructional design practices/concepts such as ADDIE and ASSURE which are important for me to keep in mind throughout my doctoral program.

EDU 800 Annotated Bib

What Can Videos Offer in Modern Higher Education?

Laaser, W., & Toloza, E. (2017). The changing role of the educational video in higher distance education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(2).

Summary. This article takes in the consideration of previous works concerning the usefulness and effectiveness of video usage in the classroom, but moves its focus to how videos are used in environments such as a MOOC and how they can create collaborative learning. The authors argue that video has “become the dominant media” in the online classroom environment (Laaser & Toloza, 2017, pg. 264). The authors then go into discussing the history of video use in classrooms followed by an explanation for different types of videos to be used, such as ‘explainer’ videos to show or explain a process/concept (Laaser & Toloza, 2017). By the end of the article the authors argue that in order for videos to be effective in an education setting they must be engaging, short, and often student produced rather than simply mimicking an in-classroom lecture.

Evaluation. The overall organization of the article provides easy skimming for readers and keeps focus.  While this article is very accessible to someone interested in current research on video in online classroom settings, it does not posses any solid research outside of brief literature reviews and historical analysis. This would indicate that this article is a good jumping-off point for more in-depth research but does not provide much else from a research standpoint.

Application. This article could be utilized as a foundation from which to find similar articles that contain quantitative and qualitative research regarding video use in online classrooms. I can also use this article as a means to brainstorm best practices for utilizing video in my own classroom or creating instructions for faculty on best practices for creating videos. There also seems to be a good bit of information on what not to do with videos in online classrooms, and this could be explored further in my own research.

EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Designed Videos as a Means for Storytelling?

Schwartz, D. L., & Hartman, K. (2007). It is not television anymore: Designing digital video for learning and assessment. In Goldman, R., Pea, R., Barron, B., & Derry, S.J. (Eds.), Video research in learning science (pp. 349-366). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrance Erlbaum Associates.

Summary.  The authors of this chapter look to explore the effectiveness of designed videos for assessment in classroom learning. The authors define a designed video as a video “where the author of the video decides on its components and features beforehand,” and then the video is used as means of assessment (Schwartz & Hartman, 2007, pg. 2). They then provide a framework that can be used to map various uses of designed video in the classroom. The authors also point out their frustrations of the limited amount of research that has been conducted on video for learning or designed videos. The authors urge educators to put careful consideration on learning outcomes when decided what type of video to design for assessment and learning.

Evaluation. A strong and obvious disadvantage for this chapter is a lack of research in the area of designed videos being used for assessment and learning, and this is a weakness even the authors acknowledge. Another weakness of this paper is that is was more or less a literature review, and the authors never performed a study. The authors mention that the chapter “would have been much more effective if [they] had used video in an interactive multimedia context” during their research (Schwartz & Hartman, 2007, pg. 23). A major benefit of this chapter are the high quality figures that were created by the researcher, particularly, Figure 1, which is a map of sorts to help readers see different types of videos that can be used and the skills or purposes desired when using those types of videos. This figure serves as the framework from which the rest of the chapter is focused on.

Application. This article is applicable to my research, particularly in creating media for online courses with Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in mind. More specifically, the Native American Culture is a culture that puts a high amount of value in oral communication and storytelling – a designed video may be a means of recreating traditional storytelling methods in an online environment. Perhaps I can design videos or create instructions for faculty on designing videos using the framework set-forth by Schwartz and Hartman (2007) while still utilizing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.

EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Digital Literacy in Higher Ed: A Gateway Towards Technology Acceptance?

Tang, C. M., & Chaw, L. Y. (2016). Digital Literacy: A Prerequisite for Effective Learning in a Blended Learning Environment?. Electronic Journal of E-learning14(1), 54-65.

Summary. This article looks carefully at the relationship between effective learning through the use technology and digital literacy within blended learning environments in higher education. The study was performed by surveying students who were currently enrolled in blended classrooms at university. The authors define a blended learning environment as one which has all resources and tools for the course housed within an LMS to allow for online collaboration, but faculty and students also meeting in face-to-face classrooms (Tang & Chaw, 2016).  There study found that “for blended learning to be successful, there is a need for students to be digitally literate,” primarily because it allows students to easily adapt to a variety of tools and learning environments (Tang & Chaw, 2016, pg. 62). The authors then go on to argue that digital literacy can be broken into three constructs: underpinnings experiential learning, and searching, which are all needed in a blended-learning environment (Tang & Chaw, 2016). In order for students to be successful in a blended-learning environment, faculty need to gauge the digital literacy of their students in order to evolve their assessments and tools used to meet students competency levels, according to Tang & Chaw, this is necessary for students to be effective in the classroom.

Evaluation. While this study revealed some interesting data, the pool of participants was small, only 176 students responded to the survey, and only 161 ended up being considered valid responses. Another issue with the study was that many students surveyed found blended-learning environments to be negatively impacting their learning experience, however, they also were students coming straight from high school,  traditionally face-to-face environment. By having students who were more used to face-to-face environments, this could have greatly impacted the results of the survey. The article itself is very accessible and well written in that it would not require a lot of background knowledge to understand it’s contents. While that data pool is small, it is still intriguing data that should not be ignored completely.

Application. This article makes the argument that students need to have digital literacy in order to adapt to classroom technology and online learning environments, and thus this somehow leads to effective learning. If this is the case, this article is interesting jumping off point for asking questions related to digital literacy within Native American communities, and comparing them to non-Native American communities to see if there is some form of correlation. As many Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU’s) do not have online programs, it is an area I am interested in exploring:

  • Why is there a hesitation towards online learning?
  • Could this hesitation be linked to a lack in digital literacy skills?
  • In what ways can this gap in digital literacy be bridged for the Native American community in a way that is culturally responsible?
EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Researching Educational Technology: Stop Beating a Dead Horse, and Narrow the Scope.

Ross, S. M., Morrison, G. R., & Lowther, D. L. (2010). Educational technology research past and present: Balancing rigor and relevance to impact school learning. Contemporary Educational Technology1(1), 17-35.

Summary. The purpose of the study discussed in this article was to take a more focused look on technology usage in a K-12 environment with special emphasis on the following: effective uses of technology in schools “as  topic for research,” “historical trends in research on educational technology,” and “alternative research designs for balancing internal (rigor) and external (relevance) validity,” as well as “suggested directions for areas of inquiry and research approaches” (pg. 18). The authors found that educational technology is a challenging subject to study as those researching must try to sift through the mass of past research, and focus on conducting research that is relevant and addresses contemporary issues. The first step that a contemporary researcher needs to make is identifying topics to investigate that are meaningful and can hopefully apply to the next decade of educational technology. The authors end their article with the recommendation that future researchers should “reduce efforts to prove the ‘effectiveness’ of technology, while focusing on conducting rigorous and relevant mixed-methods studies to explicate which technology applications work to facilitate learning, in what ways, in which contexts, for whom, and why” (pg. 31).

Evaluation. This article, and the literature review study that was conducted was high quality and very accessible in terms of readability and understanding. The authors clearly defined the questions they were going to explore within the study and defended their choices behind their research approach(es). The authors clearly conducted a very detailed literature review and qualitative study, which I believe is often they most effective approach when discussing educational technology.

Application. While I typically review articles that are not part of my assigned reading for my EDU 800 course, this particular piece was very impactful in terms of how I will start to steer my own research. Prior to reading this article, I had focused heavily on the effectiveness of technology, and really I need to be honing in on a specific technology solving a specific problem for a specific audience. We know, as individuals working in higher education and K-12, that technology does have an effect on learning, that is no longer a debate – now we need to focus on more specific technology and how it is being used in a narrower environment. For my own areas of interest, I brainstormed how i would apply the recommendation in this paper, to my own approach to research within this course and my program. For example, I could focus on how certain technologies can allow for storytelling within online classes and how that impacts Native American students in terms of information retention and future application.

Additional Reading
Alismail, H. A. (2015). Integrate Digital Storytelling in Education. Journal of Education and Practice6(9), 126-129.

EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Exploring Ecology in Educational Technology: The Role of Instructional Desingers

Hokanson, B. (2017). A New Ecology for Education: Refocusing Educational Technology Beyond Content. In New Ecology for Education—Communication X Learning (pp. 1-6). Springer, Singapore.

Summary. Bran Hokanson’s (2017) paper makes the argument that current education and educational research focuses on students retaining content/information, and while this is useful information, researchers should begin to widen their scope and review more cognitive traits. Hokanson likens this new approach to research and learning to instructional design, in that designers focus on “finding” and “redefining” problems: “curiosity applied and formalized” (pg. 2). A designer, similar to students, in solving problems, doesn’t simply need to know content, but needs to also know how to use the content (Hokanson, 2017).  However, Hokanson then points out that even instructional designers have a bit of disconnect from really looking at content in a meaningful way, because they are forced to separate the learning experience from the content but a subject matter expert (Hokanson, 2017). Hokanson proposes that instructional designers should instead begin to focus on developing “instructional methods for persistence and grit, fairness, and curiosity,” rather than just focusing on content retention (Hokanson 2017, pg. 6). In order to ensure continued innovation of education, Hokanson ends by calling out to all instructional designers to develop “an ecology of learning” rather than concepts, practices, and pedagogies that are only focused on content.

Evaluation. This paper is very short, concise, and accessible to any level of academic reader which makes it ideal for an introduction for further research on new ecologies of learning and the role of instructional designers. The paper was published for the HKAECT-AECT Summer International Research Symposium and so it is meant to be reasonably short, but it does read similarly to a literature review with a shorter list of references. With literature reviews there is not any research or raw data included to further show gaps or needs presented by the author, and so the reader has to take the calls-to-action at face value.

Application. This paper is very different from the previous two that I have read and reviewed, in that it does not focus on culture, diversity, or inclusion. However, I believe, as an aspiring instructional designer in a doctoral program, this provides me with the opportunity to brainstorm how instructional designers can utilize the concept of learning ecology and apply it to research on the various cultural contexts that can impact student learning. Learning ecology can be defined as “the set of contexts found in physical or virtual spaces that provide opportunities for learning” (Barron, 2006, 195). What types or sets of contexts do students of color have that are different from their Caucasian peers and how does the effect their educational experience? And in turn, how can instruction designers address these differences in a meaningful way, using educational technology, to innovate and improve the learner’s experience?

Reference
Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecologies perspectiveHuman Development, 49, 193-224.