Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: course content

13 Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care

Authors: Inna R. Edara, Haw-Lin Wu

Abstract:

Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Keywords: Hope, optimism, positive automatic thoughts, satisfaction with life, spirituality, well-being.

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12 Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course

Authors: Vesna Vulić

Abstract:

Croatia has made large steps forward in the development of higher education over the past 10 years. Purposes and objectives of the tertiary education system are focused on the personal development of young people so that they obtain competences for employment on a flexible labour market. The most frequent tensions between the tertiary institutions and employers are complaints that the current tertiary education system still supplies students with an abundance of theoretical knowledge and not enough practical skills. Polytechnics and schools of professional higher education should deliver professional education and training that will satisfy the needs of their local communities. The 21st century sets demand on undergraduates as well as their lecturers to strive for the highest standards. The skills students acquire during their studies should serve the needs of their future professional careers. In this context, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) presents an enormous challenge for teachers. They have to cope with teaching the language in classes with a large number of students, limitations of time, inadequate equipment and teaching material; most frequently, this leads to focusing on specialist vocabulary neglecting the development of skills and competences required for future employment. Globalization has transformed the labour market and set new standards a perspective employee should meet. When knowledge of languages is considered, new generic skills and competences are required. Not only skillful written and oral communication is needed, but also information, media, and technology literacy, learning skills which include critical and creative thinking, collaborating and communicating, as well as social skills. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the needs of two groups of ESP first year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students taking ESP as a mandatory course: 47 first-year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students, 21 first-year employed part-time Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students and 30 graduates with a degree in Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study with various amounts of work experience. The survey adopted a quantitative approach with the aim to determine the differences between the groups in their perception of the four language skills and different areas of law, as well as getting the insight into students' satisfaction with the current course and their motivation for studying ESP. Their perceptions will be compared to the results of the questionnaire conducted among sector professionals in order to examine how they perceive the same elements of the ESP course content and to what extent it fits into their working environment. The results of the survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between acquiring work experience and the level of importance given to particular areas of law studied in an ESP course which is in line with our initial hypothesis. In conclusion, the results of the survey should help lecturers in re-evaluating and updating their ESP course syllabi.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, ESP, language skills, motivation, needs analysis.

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11 A Textual Analysis of Prospective Teachers’ Social Justice Identity Development and LGBTQ Advocacy

Authors: Mi Ok Kang

Abstract:

This study examined the influences of including LGBTQ-related content in a multicultural teacher education course on the development of prospective teachers’ social justice identities. Appling a content analysis to 53 reflection texts written by participating prospective teachers in response to the relevant course content, this study deduced the stages of social justice identity development (naïve, acceptance, resistance, redefinition, and internalization) that participants reached during the course. The analysis demonstrated that the participants reached various stages in the social identity development model and none of the participants remained at the naïve stage during/after class. The majority (53%) of the participants reached the internalization stage during the coursework and became conscious about the heterosexual privileges they have had and aware of possible impacts of such privilege on their future LGBTQ students. Also the participants had begun to develop pedagogic action plans and devised applicable teaching strategies for their future students based on the new understanding of heteronormativity. We expect this study will benefit teacher educators and educational administrators who want to address LGBTQ-related issues in their multicultural education programs and/or revisit the goals, directions, and implications of their approach.

Keywords: LGBTQ, heteronormativity, social justice identity, teacher education, multicultural education, content analysis.

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10 An Augmented-Reality Interactive Card Game for Teaching Elementary School Students

Authors: YuLung Wu, YuTien Wu, ShuMey Yu

Abstract:

Game-based learning can enhance the learning motivation of students and provide a means for them to learn through playing games. This study used augmented reality technology to develop an interactive card game as a game-based teaching aid for delivering elementary school science course content with the aim of enhancing student learning processes and outcomes. Through playing the proposed card game, students can familiarize themselves with appearance, features, and foraging behaviors of insects. The system records the actions of students, enabling teachers to determine their students’ learning progress. In this study, 37 students participated in an assessment experiment and provided feedback through questionnaires. Their responses indicated that they were significantly more motivated to learn after playing the game, and their feedback was mostly positive.

Keywords: Game-based learning, learning motivation, teaching aid, augmented reality.

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9 Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered

Authors: A. Knezović

Abstract:

21st century has transformed the labor market landscape in a way of posing new and different demands on university graduates as well as university lecturers, which means that the knowledge and academic skills students acquire in the course of their studies should be applicable and transferable from the higher education context to their future professional careers. Given the context of the Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) classroom, the teachers’ objective is not only to teach the language itself, but also to prepare students to use that language as a medium to develop generic skills and competences. These include media and information literacy, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills, effective written and oral communication, as well as collaborative work and social skills, all of which are necessary to make university graduates more competitive in everyday professional environments. On the other hand, due to limitations of time and large numbers of students in classes, the frequently topic-centered syllabus of LSP courses places considerable focus on acquiring the subject matter and specialist vocabulary instead of sufficient development of skills and competences required by students’ prospective employers. This paper intends to explore some of those issues as viewed both by LSP lecturers and by business professionals in their respective surveys. The surveys were conducted among more than 50 LSP lecturers at higher education institutions in Croatia, more than 40 HR professionals and more than 60 university graduates with degrees in economics and/or business working in management positions in mainly large and medium-sized companies in Croatia. Various elements of LSP course content have been taken into consideration in this research, including reading and listening comprehension of specialist texts, acquisition of specialist vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as presentation and negotiation skills. The ability to hold meetings, conduct business correspondence, write reports, academic texts, case studies and take part in debates were also taken into consideration, as well as informal business communication, business etiquette and core courses delivered in a foreign language. The results of the surveys conducted among LSP lecturers will be analyzed with reference to what extent those elements are included in their courses and how consistently and thoroughly they are evaluated according to their course requirements. Their opinions will be compared to the results of the surveys conducted among professionals from a range of industries in Croatia so as to examine how useful and important they perceive the same elements of the LSP course content in their working environments. Such comparative analysis will thus show to what extent the syllabi of LSP courses meet the demands of the employment market when it comes to the students’ language skills and competences, as well as transferable skills. Finally, the findings will also be compared to the observations based on practical teaching experience and the relevant sources that have been used in this research. In conclusion, the ideas and observations in this paper are merely open-ended questions that do not have conclusive answers, but might prompt LSP lecturers to re-evaluate the content and objectives of their course syllabi.

Keywords: Languages for specific purposes (LSP), language skills, topic-centered syllabus, transferable skills.

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8 An Expert System for Assessment of Learning Outcomes for ABET Accreditation

Authors: M. H. Imam, Imran A. Tasadduq, Abdul-Rahim Ahmad, Fahd M. Aldosari

Abstract:

Learning outcomes of a course (CLOs) and the abilities at the time of graduation referred to as Student Outcomes (SOs) are required to be assessed for ABET accreditation. A question in an assessment must target a CLO as well as an SO and must represent a required level of competence. This paper presents the idea of an Expert System (ES) to select a proper question to satisfy ABET accreditation requirements. For ES implementation, seven attributes of a question are considered including the learning outcomes and Bloom’s Taxonomy level. A database contains all the data about a course including course content topics, course learning outcomes and the CLO-SO relationship matrix. The knowledge base of the presented ES contains a pool of questions each with tags of the specified attributes. Questions and the attributes represent expert opinions. With implicit rule base the inference engine finds the best possible question satisfying the required attributes. It is shown that the novel idea of such an ES can be implemented and applied to a course with success. An application example is presented to demonstrate the working of the proposed ES.

Keywords: Expert system, student outcomes, course learning outcomes, question attributes.

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7 The Effect of e-learning on the Promotion of Optoelectronics Technology and Daily Livings Literacy among Students in Universities of Technology

Authors: Chin-Pin Chen, David W.S. Tai, Wen-Jong Chen, Hui-Min Lai

Abstract:

This study aims to analyze the effect of e-learning on photonics technology and daily livings among college students. The course contents of photonics technology and daily livings are first drafted based on research discussions and expert interviews. Having expert questionnaires with Delphi Technique for three times, the knowledge units and items for the course of photonics technology and daily livings are established. The e-learning materials and the drafts of instructional strategies, academic achievement, and learning attitude scales are then developed. With expert inspection, reliability and validity test, and experimental instructions, the scales and the material are further revised. Finally, the formal instructions are implemented to test the effect of different instructional methods on the academic achievement of photonics technology and daily livings among students in universities of technology. The research results show that e-learning could effectively promote academic achievement and learning attitude, and the students with e-learning obviously outperform the ones with trandition instructions.

Keywords: E-learning, Photonics Technology and Daily Livings, Academic Achievement

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6 Cloud Computing-s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Delivery Model Benefits Technical Courses in Higher Education

Authors: Janet L. Kourik, Jiangping Wang

Abstract:

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing that relieves the user of the burden of hardware and software installation and management. SaaS can be used at the course level to enhance curricula and student experience. When cloud computing and SaaS are included in educational literature, the focus is typically on implementing administrative functions. Yet, SaaS can make more immediate and substantial contributions to the technical course content in educational offerings. This paper explores cloud computing and SaaS, provides examples, reports on experiences using SaaS to offer specialized software in courses, and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of using SaaS at the course level. The paper contributes to the literature in higher education by analyzing the major technical concepts, potential, and constraints for using SaaS to deliver specialized software at the course level. Further it may enable more educators and students to benefit from this emerging technology.

Keywords: Cloud computing, software-as-a-service, e-service, higher education.

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5 Reflections of Prospective Teachers Toward a Critical Thinking-Based Pedagogical Course: A Case Study

Authors: Ahmet Ok, Banu Yücel Toy

Abstract:

Promoting critical thinking (CT) in an educational setting has been appraised in order to enhance learning and intellectual skills. In this study, a pedagogical course in a vocational teacher education program in Turkey was designed by integrating CT skill-based strategies/activities into the course content and CT skills were means leading to intended course objectives. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the importance of the course objectives, the attainment of the objectives, and the effectiveness of teachinglearning strategies/activities from prospective teachers- points of view. The results revealed that although the students mostly considered the course objectives important, they did not feel competent in the attainment of all objectives especially in those related to the main topic of Learning and those requiring higher order thinking skills. On the other hand, the students considered the course activities effective for learning and for the development of thinking skills, especially, in interpreting, comparing, questioning, contrasting, and forming relationships.

Keywords: Critical thinking, critical thinking-based instruction, higher order thinking skills, teacher education

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4 Building a Personalized Multidimensional Intelligent Learning System

Authors: Lun-Ping Hung, Nan-Chen Hsieh, Chia-Ling Ho, Chien-Liang Chen

Abstract:

Currently, most of distance learning courses can only deliver standard material to students. Students receive course content passively which leads to the neglect of the goal of education – “to suit the teaching to the ability of students". Providing appropriate course content according to students- ability is the main goal of this paper. Except offering a series of conventional learning services, abundant information available, and instant message delivery, a complete online learning environment should be able to distinguish between students- ability and provide learning courses that best suit their ability. However, if a distance learning site contains well-designed course content and design but fails to provide adaptive courses, students will gradually loss their interests and confidence in learning and result in ineffective learning or discontinued learning. In this paper, an intelligent tutoring system is proposed and it consists of several modules working cooperatively in order to build an adaptive learning environment for distance education. The operation of the system is based on the result of Self-Organizing Map (SOM) to divide students into different groups according to their learning ability and learning interests and then provide them with suitable course content. Accordingly, the problem of information overload and internet traffic problem can be solved because the amount of traffic accessing the same content is reduced.

Keywords: Distance Learning, Intelligent Tutoring System(ITS), Self-Organizing Map (SOM)

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3 Design and Development of an MPH Program for Distance Education Delivery

Authors: Steven R. Hawks

Abstract:

The Master-s of Public Health (MPH) degree is growing in popularity among a number of higher education institutions throughout the world as a distance education graduate program. This paper offers an overview of program design and development strategies that promote successful distance delivery of MPH programs. Design and development challenges are discussed in terms of type of distance delivery, accreditation, student demand, faculty development, user needs, course content, and marketing strategies. The ongoing development of a distance education MPH program at Utah State University will be used to highlight and consider various aspects of this important but challenging process.

Keywords: Public health, course content, distance education, higher education, graduate students.

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2 Knowledge Mining in Web-based Learning Environments

Authors: Nittaya Kerdprasop, Kittisak Kerdprasop

Abstract:

The state of the art in instructional design for computer-assisted learning has been strongly influenced by advances in information technology, Internet and Web-based systems. The emphasis of educational systems has shifted from training to learning. The course delivered has also been changed from large inflexible content to sequential small chunks of learning objects. The concepts of learning objects together with the advanced technologies of Web and communications support the reusability, interoperability, and accessibility design criteria currently exploited by most learning systems. These concepts enable just-in-time learning. We propose to extend theses design criteria further to include the learnability concept that will help adapting content to the needs of learners. The learnability concept offers a better personalization leading to the creation and delivery of course content more appropriate to performance and interest of each learner. In this paper we present a new framework of learning environments containing knowledge discovery as a tool to automatically learn patterns of learning behavior from learners' profiles and history.

Keywords: Knowledge mining, Web-based learning, Learning environments.

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1 Virtual Reality Classrooms Strategies for Creating a Social Presence

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, M.H.N. Tabrizi, Mary A. Farwell, Karl L. Wuensch

Abstract:

Delivering course material via a virtual environment is beneficial to today-s students because it offers the interactivity, real-time interaction and social presence that students of all ages have come to accept in our gaming rich community. It is essential that the Net Generation also known as Generation Why, have exposure to learning communities that encompass interactivity to form social and educational connections. As student and professor become interconnected through collaboration and interaction in a virtual learning space, relationships develop and students begin to take on an individual identity. With this in mind the research project was developed to investigate the use of virtual environments on student satisfaction and the effectiveness of course delivery. Furthermore, the project was designed to integrate both interactive (real-time) classes conducted in the Virtual Reality (VR) environment while also creating archived VR sessions for student use in retaining and reviewing course content.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Social Presence, Virtual Environments, Course Delivery Methods.

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