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Journal Article

Becoming Chemists through Game‑based Inquiry Learning: The Case of Legends of Alkhimia  pp185-198

Yam San Chee, Kim Chwee Daniel Tan

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of provenŽ facts. The y fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a human and social endeavor. Consequently, there can be alternative and conflicting views and theories. To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, Legends of Alk himia was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14‑year‑olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area networ k. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in‑game virtual chemistry lab. The game lev els take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. Legends of Alkhimia, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that con structs learning through the lens of performance theory. Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog. The learning process follows a developmental trajectory of becoming a chemist. Enacting performance pedagogy in the classroom requires a shift in traditional classroom culture toward that of a professional practice community. We report on an empirical study of a game‑based learning classroom intervention where students in the Alkhimia learning program participated in an 8‑week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. We compared pre‑ and posttest survey responses from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum. We also compared learning outcomes of students in the said intervention class with a control class of 38 students w ho learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. All students in our study were 13‑year‑olds from a typical government secondary school. We noted significant shifts in intervention students perceptions of their identity, their epistemologi cal beliefs, their dispositions toward science inquiry, and of classroom culture. Students understanding of chemistry was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to whic h effective separation was achieved in the students proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspec tive, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game‑based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of a pproaching game‑based learning in terms of performance.

 

Keywords: performance, play, dialog, inquiry, chemistry, identity, epistemological beliefs, classroom culture

 

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Journal Article

Students Constructionist Game Modelling Activities as Part of Inquiry Learning Processes  pp235-248

Zacharoula Smyrnaiou, Moustaki Foteini, Chronis Kynigos

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Learning science requires the understanding of concepts and formal relationships, processes that ‑in themselves‑ have been proved to be difficult for students as they seem to encounter substantial problems with most of the inquiry‑learning processes in wh ich they engage. Models in inquiry‑based learning have been considered as powerful tools that may help students in enhancing their reasoning activity and improving their understanding of scientific concepts. Modelling, however, in the form of exploring, designing and building computer models of complex scientific phenomena has also been embedded in the constructionist learning approach. Working collaboratively with constructionist game microworlds that by design invite students to explore the fallible m odel underpinning the game and change it so as to create a new game, may provide students opportunities to bring into the foreground their conceptual understandings related to motion in a Newtonian space and put them into test making them at the same time objects of discussion and reflection among the members of the group. Apart from the meaning generation, we also study in this paper, the students' group learning processes i.e. the construction of emergent activity maps to either plan their actions as th ey engage in game modelling activities or to report on the outcomes generated when these actions are implemented. The connections between the students activities as they work with a constructionist medium and the inquiry‑based learning activities from wh ich the students are considered to pass when engaging in scientific inquiry also constitute one of the main issues this paper attempts to study.

 

Keywords: modelling, games, half-baked microworlds, constructionist and inquiry-based learning.

 

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Journal Article

Blending the Community of Inquiry Framework with Learning by Design: Towards a Synthesis for Blended Learning in Teacher Training  pp183-194

Katerina Makri, Kyparisia Papanikolaou, Athanasia Tsakiri et al

© May 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEL, Editor: Mélanie Ciussi, pp126 - 226

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Abstract

Abstract: As e‑learning is evolving into a mainstream, widespread practice, adopted by higher education institutions worldwide, much effort is geared towards the articulation of models and strategies for implementing e‑learning in formal education setting s. In the field of pre‑service teacher education, a rising challenge is to equip the ⠜21st century teacher⠀ with the necessary toolset of skills and competencies to grapple with the idiosyncrasies of the new generation of ⠜millenials⠀. To this pur pose, what still remains an open issue is the degree of innovation afforded by specific e‑learning designs, in a field where traditional teacher training pedagogies co‑exist with e‑learning‑specific ones. This article proposes a synthesis of two models, t he Community of Inquiry (COI) model, based on the Practical Inquiry model introduced by Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2000) and the Learning by Design framework (LbyD), based on the conceptualization of â New Learning⠒, articulated by Kalantzis & Cope (2012). Both models were invented with new learning styles and circumstances in mind. The proposed synthesis guided the design of the six‑month introductory course in Technology Enhanced Learning by the School of Pedagogical and Technological Edu cation (ASPETE) research team (located in Athens) and implemented with 18 pre service student‑teachers at the Higher Education Technological Institute (TEI) of Lamia, located in another geographical area of Greece. In this context, elements of the C OI framework were employed as tools both for designing and for evaluating the contents, structure and activities of the e‑learning course. Two elements of the framework, teaching and cognitive presence were the axes supporting the course structure, whilst the kinds of activities most promoted were discussion, collaboration and reflection. The LbyD framework functioned as an awareness enhancement mechanism for trainee teachers to formulate, collaboratively negotiate and finally articulate and support pedag ogical scenarios integrating the meaningful use of technol

 

Keywords: Keywords: Community of Inquiry, blended learning, learning design, online teacher training, course design

 

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Journal Article

Improving Virtual Collaborative Learning through Canonical Action Research  pp326-338

Peter Weber, Christian Lehr, Martin Gersch

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, Editor: Dr Rikke Ørngreen and Dr Karin Tweddell Levinsen, pp313 - 410

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Abstract

Abstract: Virtual collaboration continues to gain in significance and is attracting attention also as virtual collaborative learning (VCL) in education. This paper addresses aspects of VCL that we identified as critical in a series of courses named Net Economy: (1) technical infrastructure, (2) motivation and collaboration, and (3) assessment and evaluation. Net Economy is an international online setting, focusing on the business impact of new technologies and is highly notable for the divergent educational and cultural backgrounds of its participants. Having been subject to research from the onset in 2008, in which approximately 10 students were analysed and evaluated, the course has continued to gain significant success as a learning tool, wit h over 150 students currently enrolled throughout the various course cycles. In this paper we focus on how we implemented changes with regard to the above mentioned critical elements as part of canonical action research between the last course cycles. We outline the general learning scenario behind our VCL‑courses, describe problems that we identified with the help of evaluation results and explain solution approaches and the impact of their implementation. The paper aims to provide a comprehensive exampl e for virtual collaborative learning as well as explaining and exemplifying a systematic approach of improving complex e‑learning settings through a series of steps, developed to ease the transition between each stage.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Social Networking Services, Virtual Collaborative Learning, Virtual Team Work, Web 2.0, International Cooperation, Community of Inquiry Framework, CoI

 

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Journal Article

Visualizing Solutions: Apps as Cognitive Stepping‑Stones in the Learning Process  pp366-379

Michael Stevenson, John Hedberg, Kate Highfield, Mingming Diao

© Oct 2015 Volume 13 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp317 - 445

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Abstract

Abstract: In many K‑12 and higher education contexts, the use of smart mobile devices increasingly affords learning experiences that are situated, authentic and connected. While earlier reviews of mobile technology may have led to criticism of these devic es as being largely for consumption, many current uses emphasize creativity and productivity, with diverse purposes ranging from blogging and social networking to near full‑scale video editing, office productivity and language translation. These affordanc es are further made possible by the large‑scale development of mobile applications (or apps). For the vast majority of mobile device users ‑ now numbering in the billions ⠍ many of these learning experiences are informal and just‑in‑time, sometimes un planned, unsanctioned by educational discourse and beyond the immediate locus of institutional control. As smart technologies become increasingly an extension of the personal, educators are faced with the question: how can we best facilitate and explicate the learning process and design relevant experiences that leverage the affordances of so many mobile devices? This paper explores how the effective use of apps enable the learning process to be visualized in ways that support meaningful and student‑cente red learning. The authors discuss recent developments in technology, mobile learning and multiliteracies, drawing on a range of case studies deploying mobile devices and using apps as part of learner‑led inquiry processes to enable creativity, collaborati on and critical thinking. Emerging from these case studies are real classroom examples, teacher‑student reflections, scaffolds and working models that all speak to the importance of using apps to visualize learning and support learners at each stage of th e learning process. Exploring the connections between mobile devices, media literacy and visual literacy, the paper also emphasizes the collaborative affordances of many current apps and the importance of multimodal forms of representation through gesture , voice, text, video and audio. Citing the com

 

Keywords: Keywords: apps, m-learning, tablets, smartphones, inquiry

 

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Journal Article

Model of Higher GIS Education  pp220-234

Imrich Jakab, Michal Ševčík, Henrich Grežo

© Jun 2017 Volume 15 Issue 3, Editor: Jarmila Novotná and Antonín Jančařík, pp199 - 280

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Abstract

The methods of geospatial data processing are being continually innovated, and universities that are focused on educating experts in Environmental Science should reflect this reality with an elaborate and purpose‑built modernization of the education process, education content, as well as learning conditions. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have the dominant role in geospatial data processing. GIS education of students in Environmental Science (ES) in master´s degree can be divided into two main approaches ‑ to teach about GIS and to teach with GIS. Approach “to teach with GIS” is mainly focused on teaching of Landscape Spatial Analysis with use of concrete GIS analytical tools. Students use the tools for solving of concrete problems. They work with real data and methods. The spatial analysis learned can help to manage conflicts of interest within the country, and to assess the impact of human activity on the environment. On the other hand students learn about GIS via tools and methods in concrete GIS software. To achieve higher efficiency in teaching Landscape Spatial Analysis we have created a model of GIS education based on the idea of inquiry‑based learning (IBL). In an effort to get closer to the approach used for real problematic task solving, it is essential to include several interconnected systems into the education. While the Global Positioning System (GPS) Web Map Service (WMS) and Database management systems (DBMS) present the work with geospatial data similarly as GIS, Learning Management System (LMS) represents a valuable information source for students as well as an instrument for communication between teacher and students and among the students themselves during work on student projects. The proposed model can offer support of student´s motivation to learn, increased efficiency of education process and improvement preparation of students for their profession.

 

Keywords: Inquiry Based Learning, GIS education, spatial analysis, Blended Learning

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue / Jul 2012  pp159‑256

Editor: Dimitris Gouscos

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Keywords: activity theory, alternative approaches, budget constraints, chemistry, classroom culture, collaboration, communities of practice, complex systems, connectivism, constructionist and inquiry-based learning, context, dialog, digital educational games, digital games, emotion, epistemological beliefs, formal learning, game development, game experience, game-based learning, games, half-baked microworlds, identity, inquiry, leadership, MMOGs, MMORPGs, modelling, motivation, non-invasive assessment, pedagogical issues, performance, play, problem representation, self-organization, serious games, situated play, sustainability, teacher’s role, theory, virtual teams,

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 3 / Jun 2017  pp199‑280

Editor: Jarmila Novotná, Antonín Jančařík

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Editorial

 

Keywords: Note-taking, reflection, self-efficacy, student's characteristics, correlation analysis, causal analysis, e-advising, reflection, reflective practitioners, trust, competency, Inquiry Based Learning, GIS education, spatial analysis, Blended Learning, Textbooks, electronic online materials, word problems, non-mathematical content, subversiveness, realia, stereotypes, construction of social reality, culture reproduction, models, projection, science education, 3D projections, interactive models, science education, biology, teacher technological pedagogical knowledge, 21st-century skills, low-technology context, teacher transition to e-learning, technology integration, professional networks, Tunisia

 

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