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Network analysis of gratitude messages in the learning community

In pedagogical practice, gratitude is recognised not as an emotion, but as an approach to learning. This study introduced gratitude messages into the academic online communication of university students and specifically examined the community in which students shared their messages with gratitude. This study examined the tendency of message connections and how gratitude messages prompted replies. To elucidate their connections, exponential random graph models (ERGMs) were used. A post-event questionnaire to evaluate gratitude experiences was also administered. Results revealed that 77.3% of the 172 connected messages from 123 students involved gratitude. When the post-event questionnaire results were examined using an ERGM, the score effects on increasing message connections were found not to be significant. The most prominent indication was a higher level of significant propensities to make mutual connections. The homophily of the message content was found to have a significant propensity to increase connections. The ERGM results and a review of messages revealed that students expressed gratitude for being both benefactors and beneficiaries of gratitude messages, which confirmed their prosocial behaviour.

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Learning from success stories when using eLearning and bLearning modalities in higher education: a meta-analysis and lessons towards digital educational transformation

This work seeks to support scholars interested in non-face-to-face modalities of higher education in making decisions about the use of digital and educational technologies (DET) to promote educational transformation (ET) in the context of their organizations. This organizational change deals with the implementation of technology-based flexible educational practices, focused on helping students develop competencies of interest for their personal and professional growth. With this in mind, in 2018 we identified and followed six leading higher education institutions on three continents that, for years, have carried out educational innovation experiences with the support of technology. Two of the analyzed experiences make use of eLearning, another of bLearning, and the others combine eLearning and bLearning as a complement to the face-to-face modality. The meta-analysis of the cases, carried out in 2019, followed suggestions from (Stake in The art of case study research, Sage Publications Inc., 1995) as well as from qualitative research that seeks to understand what is behind the cases from three dimensions: education, technology, organization. For each one, we determined what they do, how they do it, and what success factors must be considered. As the data was collected before the 2020 pandemic and this issue produced structural imbalances in society and in higher education, it was considered pertinent, at the end of 2020, to check the pulse of the ET mediated with DET in three of the six institutions studied. The purpose was to refine the findings of the meta-analysis and learn from the decisions made in the situation of forced change in environments, means, and strategies to continue providing quality higher education.

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Digital higher education: a divider or bridge builder? Leadership perspectives on edtech in a COVID-19 reality

The edtech community has promoted claims that digital education enhances access, learning, and collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic tested these claims like never before, as higher education systems seemingly overnight had to move teaching online. Through a sequential mixed-method approach, we investigated how 85 higher education leaders in 24 countries experienced this rapid digital transformation. Through their experiences, we identified the multiple and overlapping factors that contribute to an institution’s ability to realize the potential of digital education, in terms of access, learning and collaboration, whilst highlighting deeply rooted inequalities at the individual, institutional and system level. Drawing on these empirics, we put forth recommendations for closing the digital divides and pathways forward. Higher education leaders are uniquely positioned to move beyond the emergency adoption of online learning towards inclusive, long-term visions for digital education, which emphasize collaboration over individual gain.

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Exploring the key influencing factors on college students’ computational thinking skills through flipped-classroom instruction

To better understand students’ computational thinking skills (CTS) within the context of flipped-classroom instruction, this study employs a structural equation modeling analysis to examine the key factors that influence student learning and students’ CTS when learning through flipped-classroom instruction. The results of this study show that student-to-student connectedness, learning motivation, and learning strategy have a direct impact on students’ CTS.

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Understanding openness through (in)visible platform boundaries: a topological study on MOOCs as multiplexes of spaces and times

Based on an empirical case study on a MOOC platform developed and administered by several European universities, the study presents a combination of descriptions, sketches and legends that describe multiple spaces and times of openness in the MOOC platform. The study therewith provides strong arguments for the pertinence of this alternative view, and invites further research on higher education initiatives to examine the various yet specific ways openness can be established.

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The 2017 national survey of online learning in Canadian post-secondary education: methodology and results

Canada has a long history of online and distance education, but until 2017 there had been no comprehensive national data on online enrolments in both the university and college sectors. However, in 2017 a team of independent Canadian researchers, working in collaboration with the Babson Survey Research Group and WCET in the USA, raised the funding and conducted a national survey of online learning in all public post-secondary institutions in Canada. The results from the survey are presented and discussed, as well as plans for further studies in the future.

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Online learning readiness and attitudes towards gaming in gamified online learning - A mixed methods case study

Gamification has gained a lot of attention in recent years as a possible way to foster students' motivation and learning behavior. As a high drop-out rate is associated with distance learning, in particular with students often struggling to engage with the material, the implementation of gamification may support and enhance more successful online learning. This case study found a significant positive correlation between self reported attitudes towards gaming and the dimension of coping of study-satisfaction. 

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Featured article: Supporting decision-making processes on blended learning in higher education: literature and good practices review

This article seeks to support decision-making processes in higher education institutions interested in using blended learning (bLearning) as a complement to other learning ecologies.  It aims to serve as a framework to strategic and tactical decisions around bLearning as a complement to other learning modalities, by raising questions aimed at suporting the construction of multidimensional bLearning environments. It concludes with an analysis of how to articulate bLearning with existing approaches in a way that is sustainable.

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Featured article: Understanding the faculty perspectives influencing their innovative practices in MOOCs/SPOCs: a case study

Using a pedagogical discourse-based approach, this paper analyzes the backgrounds of faculty at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid who participate in MOOCs, Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) or other projects, and interprets the factors that influence their understanding of the practices in these environments. The research demonstrates that faculty with traditional beliefs are compelled to transform their practices using this kind of course design. However, their interests are more focused on the social value of learning by promoting their research areas in an entertaining way, than on the pedagogical value of online education through innovating their practices.

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Featured article: Three paradoxes in the approach to educational technology in the education studies of the Spanish universities

This critical analysis discusses the the organizational approach to educational technology in Spanish universities based on the paradigms of information, rationality and critical sense. Comparing the results reveals the limitations and constraints in those areas that tend to be considered strongest in the technology-education relationship.

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Featured article: Efficient, helpful, or distracting? A literature review of media multitasking in relation to academic performance

Media multitasking, using two or more medias concurrently, prevails among adolescents and emerging adults. This review  synthesizes research on the impacts of media multitasking on academic performance.  Research indicates that media multitasking interferes with attention and working memory, negatively affecting GPA, test performance, recall, reading comprehension, note-taking, self-regulation, and efficiency.

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Featured article: Computer-based technology and student engagement: a critical review of the literature

Computer-based technology has infiltrated many aspects of life and industry, yet there is little understanding of how it can be used to promote student engagement. This article presents a critical review of the literature from the past 5 years related to how web-conferencing software, blogs, wikis, social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter), and digital games influence student engagement.  Overall, the findings provide preliminary support that computer-based technology influences student engagement, however, additional research is needed to confirm and build on these findings.

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Featured article: Students’ feedback beliefs and anxiety in online foreign language oral tasks

This study examines the relationship between students showing anxiety when speaking a Foreign Language (FL) and feedback as a potential anxiety inhibitor in an online oral synchronous communication task. Two questionnaires, the Foreign Language Anxiety Scale (FLAS) and the Corrective Feedback Belief Scale (CFBS), were administered to 50 students in an online learning environment. The results indicate the need to take into account individual differences anxiety foreign language learning and students’ beliefs about CF in order to help them achieve their learning goals in an interactive online environment.

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Featured article: Representational model on Moodle's activity: learning styles and navigation strategies

This paper attempts to describe the conditions related to the representation of 63 navigational paths carried out on Moodle’s platform based on a hypothesis that learning styles determine the mode in which users browse through websites. The practical application of the results aims at the usefulness of the findings in university education context, which can be used in the elaboration of quality assessments and the identification of the needs of educational mediation.

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Featured article: Scenarios in virtual learning environments for one-to-one communication skills training

This paper analyzes and provides a classification for virtual scenarios between a player and a virtual character for one-to-one communication skills training. Using this analysis the authors specify requirements for describing communication scenarios related to their structure, properties, and parameters to define a schema for representing such communication scenarios and present an authoring tool to create a scenario.

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Featured article: Analysis of the use of social media in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) using the Technology Acceptance Model

This paper analyzes the drivers of social media in higher education institutions (HEIs) in an emerging economy by adopting aspects of the Technology Acceptance Model including subjective norm, perceived playfulness, Internet reliability and speed as additional constructs. The findings, though preliminary, suggest that private HEIs should initiate or continue the use of social media in classrooms, because intention to use translate to actual use of these tools. Public institutions, however, should improve Internet reliability and speed and should reassess their use of social media in order to fully take advantage of the benefits of ICT.

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Featured article: Blended learning effectiveness: the relationship between student characteristics, design features and outcomes

This paper investigates the effectiveness of a blended learning environment through analyzing the relationship between student characteristics/background, design features and learning outcomes. Multiple regression analysis results showed that blended learning design features (technology quality, online tools and face-to-face support) and student characteristics (attitudes and self-regulation) predicted student satisfaction as an outcome. The results indicate that some of the student characteristics/backgrounds and design features are significant predictors for student learning outcomes in blended learning.

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Featured article: The possibility of predicting learning performance using features of note taking activities and instructions in a blended learning environment

This article reports the results of a formative assessment introduced to a blended learning course n order to predict participant’s learning performance using measurements of their note taking activity and metrics of their attitudes. n the results of two types of regression analysis of these measurements, features of note taking activities were a significant source of information for predicting the scores of final exams.

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Featured article: A flexible online platform for computerized adaptive testing

This article introduces a software architecture to fill a gap in the existing literature for Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) to enable the development of fully customizable CAT tools with respect to domain-specific item design and visualization as well as deployed CAT algorithms. A prototypical implementation of the architecture and a set of domain-specific item types are presented to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach and outline future directions of development and research.

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This journal is indexed by

  • Scopus
  • Social Sciences Citation Index® (SSCI)
  • Journal Citation Reports/ Social Sciences Edition
  • Current Contents®/Social and Behavioral Sciences
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  • DOAJ

Associated institutions

The International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education is associated with:

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Universidad de los Andes

Dublin City University

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Vytautas Magnus University

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