New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Technology Enhanced Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 42752

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Technology, Instruction and Design in Engineering and Education Research Group (TiDEE.rg), Catholic University of Ávila, C/Canteros s/n, 05005 Ávila, Spain
Interests: technology enhanced learning; virtual learning environments; virtual reality; augmented reality; metallography; material characterization; mechanical properties; mechanical behavior of materials; mechanical testing; materials testing; stress and strain analysis; fracture mechanics; fractography; corrosion science; failure analysis; fatigue; finite element analysis; nuclear energy; energy efficiency
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The application of new technologies and simulations encompasses teaching–learning processes in a growing number of areas. In addition, the rapid evolution and diffusion of technology as well as the obsolescence suffered by this type of applications compel us to maintain a constant development of new tools. Furthermore, the current epidemiological situation regarding COVID-19 has encouraged the adoption of non-formal education and, as current developments indicate, it seems likely that distance learning will gain more weight in the near future. Therefore, this Special Issue is open to the submission of original articles, literature reviews, case reports or short communications addressing the development of updated didactic technical tools and including the application possibilities that these technologies offer to users. We warmly invite researchers to submit their contributions to this Special Issue. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • m-learning;
  • Simulators;
  • Industry 4.0 applications;
  • New software for training;
  • Virtual laboratories;
  • 3D interactions for training;
  • 3D Interactive environments;
  • Learning management systems;
  • Augmented reality;
  • Virtual reality systems;
  • Virtual reality tools and toolkits;
  • 360-degree video;
  • Non-immersive virtual reality;
  • Immersive virtual reality;
  • Mixed reality;
  • XReality;
  • New interaction design for VR/AR/MR;
  • Education with VR/AR/MR;
  • Training of qualified staff through VR/AR/MR applications.

Dr. Diego Vergara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Non-face-to-face learning
  • Training
  • Simulations
  • Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality
  • Learning environments
  • Virtual laboratories

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 431 KiB  
Article
Online Virtual Reality-Based vs. Face-to-Face Physics Laboratory: A Case Study in Distance Learning Science Curriculum
by Irini Lakka, Vasilis Zafeiropoulos and Antonios Leisos
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111083 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1312
Abstract
In the context of this work, a physics laboratory exercise was designed and implemented in a virtual reality environment with the aim of familiarizing students with the process of collecting measurements, applying basic methods of statistical analysis, and drawing conclusions. Two groups of [...] Read more.
In the context of this work, a physics laboratory exercise was designed and implemented in a virtual reality environment with the aim of familiarizing students with the process of collecting measurements, applying basic methods of statistical analysis, and drawing conclusions. Two groups of second-year students from the “Natural Sciences” undergraduate program of the School of Science and Technology at the Hellenic Open University (HOU) were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training methodology. The first group consisted of 31 students who performed the laboratory exercise in person with the guidance of a tutor, while the second group consisted of 26 students who used the virtual reality laboratory without supervision. The results showed that the second group demonstrated an improvement in achieving the expected results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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12 pages, 734 KiB  
Article
Assessing Foreign-Language Students’ Speaking Performance through a Digital Platform: Challenges and Findings
by Ana Isabel Muñoz-Alcón, María Nieves Barahona-Esteban and Francisco Trullén-Galve
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13101039 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1555
Abstract
Online assessment of foreign-language learners, particularly of their oral skills, is a challenge for both students and teachers. Assessing language skills face to face, during a conversation between the examiner and the candidate, facilitates natural communication and is likely to provide a more [...] Read more.
Online assessment of foreign-language learners, particularly of their oral skills, is a challenge for both students and teachers. Assessing language skills face to face, during a conversation between the examiner and the candidate, facilitates natural communication and is likely to provide a more accurate assessment of the student’s language proficiency level. A change in the scenario and the use of digital tools can intimidate students and take away the naturalness and warmth of the interview. The purpose of this paper is to examine the suitability of Blackboard Collaborate as a learning management system for assessing English speaking skill and other factors that influence students’ online performance. A total of 180 students from 7 different undergraduate programs in the fields of technology, environmental sciences and health sciences were assessed according to the structure of a standardized test. Using a mixed-methods approach, their results were contrasted with responses to a final survey to examine the positive or negative impact of online testing on students’ attitudes, performance and achievement. The Blackboard digital platform proves to be a suitable and convenient online framework for optimal speaking performance, and the examiner’s attitude is also a determining factor in students’ success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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11 pages, 15085 KiB  
Article
Foldscope as an Innovative Teaching Tool
by Carlos Hernández-Pérez and María Nieto-Sobrino
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12120927 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2351
Abstract
This study deals with the descriptive analysis of the opinion of a pilot group of students at the University of Salamanca about the use of an innovative origami microscope: the Foldscope. Data were collected from an online satisfaction survey of 92 students of [...] Read more.
This study deals with the descriptive analysis of the opinion of a pilot group of students at the University of Salamanca about the use of an innovative origami microscope: the Foldscope. Data were collected from an online satisfaction survey of 92 students of Plant Histology (Degree in Biology) during their laboratory practices. These surveys collected their opinions about the educational effectiveness of an innovative and economic foldable microscope made of paper. The foldscope is easy to use and can be used individually or collectively, thanks to its projection capability. The results show that the participants have a positive impression regarding the use of this tool to study plant structures, and they recommend its use in the years thereafter. In this regard, it is demonstrated that the price of microscopes is no longer a problem for the teaching of some subjects, such as Plant Histology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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11 pages, 602 KiB  
Article
Perceived Benefits of Future Teachers on the Usefulness of Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Teaching-Learning Process
by Raimundo Castaño-Calle, Amparo Jiménez-Vivas, Raquel Poy Castro, María Isabel Calvo Álvarez and Cristina Jenaro
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12120855 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Virtual and augmented reality technologies are increasingly being implemented in education and there is a growing body of evidence on their usefulness for training academic and non-academic skills among student with different education levels and diverse educational needs. To fully benefit from their [...] Read more.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies are increasingly being implemented in education and there is a growing body of evidence on their usefulness for training academic and non-academic skills among student with different education levels and diverse educational needs. To fully benefit from their use, teachers need to know the different existing tools and their potential, as well as be trained and motivated in their use. The current study aims to evaluate the factors that promote and hinder the use of virtual and augmented reality in future teaching professionals. Data were gathered by means of an online questionnaire from a total of 422 Spanish students from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (Spain). Instrumental analyses (Cronbach’s Alpha, and CFA) were performed, together with descriptive, correlational, and inferential tests (Manova, Anova, and Student’s T test) to contrast the hypotheses. Results indicate that participants show favorable attitudes towards these technologies, but have little knowledge of them. Age, year of study, and knowledge are associated with a higher perception of usefulness as tools for teaching and learning and for promoting inclusion. The results support the relevance of providing knowledge, and enhancing skills, thus fostering positive attitudes towards these technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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28 pages, 3260 KiB  
Article
Influence of Knowledge Area on the Use of Digital Tools during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Latin American Professors
by Álvaro Antón-Sancho and María Sánchez-Calvo
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12090635 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3353
Abstract
In this paper, quantitative, descriptive, and correlational research is carried out on the impact that the process of digitalization of academic activities in higher education has had on the habits of use of information and communication technologies (ICT) among professors and the influence [...] Read more.
In this paper, quantitative, descriptive, and correlational research is carried out on the impact that the process of digitalization of academic activities in higher education has had on the habits of use of information and communication technologies (ICT) among professors and the influence of the area of knowledge on this impact. For this purpose, responses from 716 professors from different Latin American universities to a survey designed by the authors were statistically analyzed. Following the UNESCO guide on the use of ICT in higher education, the survey distinguishes the following teaching activities to measure the use of ICT: lessons, tutorials, sharing materials, and evaluation. The results show that the use of ICT has increased in all teaching activities, but unevenly, being particularly intense in those in which the use of ICT was less frequent during the pandemic—specifically, tutorials and evaluation, whose frequency of use has increased by around 50%. As a result of this uneven increase, the use of ICTs in different teaching activities has become more homogeneous after the pandemic. This increase was significantly higher among engineering and social sciences professors than in other areas of knowledge, as well as in evaluation and tutorial tools than in other activities. In addition, the ICT tools most used during the pandemic were those with which the professors or students were most familiar before the pandemic. It is recommended that universities increase the specific training of professors in the pedagogical use of ICT and that they should address the specificities of each area of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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18 pages, 1138 KiB  
Article
Novel Mixed Reality Use Cases for Pilot Training
by Harald Schaffernak, Birgit Moesl, Wolfgang Vorraber, Michael Holy, Eva-Maria Herzog, Robert Novak and Ioana Victoria Koglbauer
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12050345 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
This study explored novel mixed reality (MR) use cases for pilot training using a mix of methods rooted in the general innovation theory of dynamic capabilities. The aim was to identify areas of improvement for various aspects of the flight training based on [...] Read more.
This study explored novel mixed reality (MR) use cases for pilot training using a mix of methods rooted in the general innovation theory of dynamic capabilities. The aim was to identify areas of improvement for various aspects of the flight training based on MR, in a socially and economically sustainable manner. Multiple surveys and workshops have been conducted with flight instructors, administrative staff, pilots and student pilots. The main result of this study is a systematic identification of the three most promising MR use cases: interactive theory training, cockpit procedure, and outside check training. These results are important because they inform the development of technical didactic tools for pilot training. The applicability of MR technologies to accommodate diverse user needs and preferences is addressed, while also considering aspects of economical sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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15 pages, 1082 KiB  
Article
Usability of Memes and Humorous Resources in Virtual Learning Environments
by Álvaro Antón-Sancho, María Nieto-Sobrino, Pablo Fernández-Arias and Diego Vergara-Rodríguez
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030208 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5726
Abstract
This research consists of a quantitative analysis of the perspective of a group of university professors from different areas of knowledge and from 19 different Latin American countries on the use of humor and memes in virtual learning environments (VLEs) in higher education. [...] Read more.
This research consists of a quantitative analysis of the perspective of a group of university professors from different areas of knowledge and from 19 different Latin American countries on the use of humor and memes in virtual learning environments (VLEs) in higher education. The data have been obtained from an own-design survey, and the answers have been analyzed in a descriptive and inferential way with the aim of knowing the opinion of the 401 participants (professors) about the didactic effectiveness of humor and the benefits and employability of memes in virtual classrooms. The analysis differentiates the sample by the professors’ area of knowledge as the main variable, and by gender, age and teaching experience. As results, the participants give a high evaluation of humorous didactic resources, particularly memes, although the evaluation of their usability in the classroom is intermediate. In this sense, it is shown that the area of knowledge has a significant influence on opinions in this regard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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29 pages, 7049 KiB  
Article
The Comparison of Students’ Self-Assessment, Gender, and Programming-Oriented Spreadsheet Skills
by Tímea Nagy, Mária Csernoch and Piroska Biró
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100590 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2312
Abstract
Previous research proved that teaching spreadsheeting from a programming perspective is much more effective than the widely accepted tool-centered surface approach methods. Spreadsheeting as an introductory programming approach allows students to build up schemata leading to contextualized, concept-based problem-solving. Furthermore, it provides tools [...] Read more.
Previous research proved that teaching spreadsheeting from a programming perspective is much more effective than the widely accepted tool-centered surface approach methods. Spreadsheeting as an introductory programming approach allows students to build up schemata leading to contextualized, concept-based problem-solving. Furthermore, it provides tools for real-world problem-solving in other disciplines, and supports knowledge-transfer to database management and “serious” programming. The present study provides the details of a nationwide testing of Grades 7–10 students on how they evaluate their spreadsheet knowledge, which classroom activities form their self-assessment values, and the results of three spreadsheet tasks evaluated by the SOLO categories of understanding. The comparison reveals that most students’ spreadsheet knowledge is pre-structural. On the other hand, they assess themselves much higher, which is primarily based on the number of activities carried out in classes. Traces of conscious problem-solving and knowledge-transfer within the scope of spreadsheeting are hardly detectable, while knowledge brought from mathematics is recognizable. In general, we found proof that the pieces of knowledge remain unconnected, not allowing students to reach the relational level of understanding and build up long-lasting knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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11 pages, 511 KiB  
Article
Implementation of a Thematic Analysis Method to Develop a Qualitative Model on the Authentic Foreign Language Learning Perspective: A Case Study in the University of Northern Cyprus
by Mohsen Mortazavi and Afshin Davarpanah
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11090544 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2420
Abstract
Environmentally friendly occasions allow foreign language learners to further concentrate on realizing their extensive knowledge of the English language. Exercises and activities performed in foreign language classes have been criticized for a lack of authenticity, which prevents language learners from learning the real-life [...] Read more.
Environmentally friendly occasions allow foreign language learners to further concentrate on realizing their extensive knowledge of the English language. Exercises and activities performed in foreign language classes have been criticized for a lack of authenticity, which prevents language learners from learning the real-life usage of language. In this paper, we developed a qualitative model based on the thematic analysis method (TAM) to distinguish the efficacy of research strategies. The number of participants was defined based on theoretical saturation. To collect the data, 18 participants were selected from the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in Cyprus. The selection of participants was according to their involvement in research-based projects. Theoretical saturation occurred after 15 semi-structured interview forms from participants; however, we selected three extra participants to obtain more reliable results. The reliability of the qualitative model was explicitly illustrated by colleagues who were experts in this field by reviewing and analyzing the proposed model with previous models. It was concluded that the two principles of motivation (principle 11) and provision of collaborative opportunities (principle 4) had the highest frequencies, of 22.47% and 19.66%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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30 pages, 4681 KiB  
Article
Methodology to Evaluate Economic Viability Plans and Digitalization Strategies in Private Social Education Centers
by Ricardo Francisco Reier Forradellas, Javier Jorge-Vázquez, Sergio Luis Náñez Alonso and Ricardo Salazar Valdivia
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11040170 - 6 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2648
Abstract
The Spanish educational system is characterized by the coexistence of three different models of production and provision of education: public, subsidized and private. Within the privately-owned centers not under the subsidized system, private schools of a social nature stand out. These schools, whose [...] Read more.
The Spanish educational system is characterized by the coexistence of three different models of production and provision of education: public, subsidized and private. Within the privately-owned centers not under the subsidized system, private schools of a social nature stand out. These schools, whose main source of financing comes from the fees paid by the students’ families, must implement financial strategies that guarantee their economic viability and allow them to develop their educational project. In a highly competitive environment, the implementation of sound financial strategies and the development of educational innovation policies are critical to ensure their survival. In this context, this study analyzes a methodological proposal that can contribute to guide this strategic policy based on two fundamental pillars: the financial viability of the center and educational innovation through the application of new technologies and innovative teaching strategies. To this end, the case method has been used as the main methodology, obtaining results that considerably improve student satisfaction and that represent economic improvements of more than €100,000 per year. From these results it has been possible to identify different possible scenarios that can condition the financial viability of the educational center, the dropout rate and the academic performance of the students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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12 pages, 987 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Literature on Emerging Technologies and Specific Learning Difficulties
by María Lozano-Álvarez, Sonia Rodríguez-Cano, Vanesa Delgado-Benito and Elvira Mercado-Val
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030298 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3060
Abstract
Educational research on emerging technologies, particularly virtual reality and augmented reality, is expanding at the moment. The purpose of this contribution is to conduct a systematic review to understand the impact of emerging technologies in the educational and social-health fields. The PRISMA 2020 [...] Read more.
Educational research on emerging technologies, particularly virtual reality and augmented reality, is expanding at the moment. The purpose of this contribution is to conduct a systematic review to understand the impact of emerging technologies in the educational and social-health fields. The PRISMA 2020 methodology was used to respond to the objective and research questions, ensuring the fulfillment of the quality criteria in the elaboration of the systematic review. This systematic review analyses the possible benefits that new technologies, specifically virtual reality and augmented reality, can have on learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD disorder, as well as their inclusion in the social sphere. In this study, articles from both the health and educational fields will be reviewed. The research focuses on highlighting the incipient benefits of these new technologies for the aforementioned learning difficulties in the school and health fields. The main conclusions drawn show that research on these emerging technologies is still scarce and incipient in the educational field, with the main results found in the healthcare field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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19 pages, 1383 KiB  
Systematic Review
Foreign Language Learning Gamification Using Virtual Reality—A Systematic Review of Empirical Research
by Rafael Darque Pinto, Bruno Peixoto, Miguel Melo, Luciana Cabral and Maximino Bessa
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050222 - 7 May 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 8786
Abstract
Virtual reality has shown to have great potential as an educational tool when it comes to new learning methods. With the growth and dissemination of this technology, there is a massive opportunity for teachers to add this technology to their methods of teaching [...] Read more.
Virtual reality has shown to have great potential as an educational tool when it comes to new learning methods. With the growth and dissemination of this technology, there is a massive opportunity for teachers to add this technology to their methods of teaching a second/foreign language, since students keep showing a growing interest in new technologies. This systematic review of empirical research aims at understanding whether the use of gaming strategies in virtual reality is beneficial for the learning of a second/foreign language or not. Results show that more than half of the articles proved that virtual reality technologies with gaming strategies can be used to learn a foreign language. It was also found that “learning” was the most evaluated dependent variable among the chosen records, augmented reality was the leading technology used, primary education and lower secondary was the most researched school stages, and the most used language to evaluate the use of gamified technology was by far the English language. Given the lack of directed investigation, it is recommended to use these technologies to support second language learning and not entirely replace traditional approaches. A research agenda is also proposed by the authors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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