Emergent Technologies to Support Active Learning in Higher Education

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 8685

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: learning technologies; game-based learning; serious games; e-learning; multimedia
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Guest Editor
School of Digital Technologies, Tallinn University, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: digital transformation; digital technologies; technology-enhanced learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Active learning corresponds to any pedagogical method that places the students at the center of the learning process and is concerned with how they learn, including the recognition and promotion of their personal experiences in social contexts as part of that learning process. Active learning methods develop learners’ skills and competencies beyond the immediate memorization process, allowing them to reach higher cognitive levels. The identified benefits for students are considerable improvements in critical, lateral and creative thinking, analytical skills, problem-solving strategies, intrinsic motivation, group collaboration, communication skills, entrepreneurship and integration with the society, increased retention and transfer of new information and improved interpersonal skills. Active learning also develops students’ autonomy and their ability to learn, therefore helping them become “lifelong learners” as they master a higher control over their learning. Project- and problem-based learning, experiential learning, action learning, agile learning, design thinking and inquiry-based learning are examples of active and learner-centered methodologies that can be used to scaffold active learning. These methodologies are normally applied by instructing students to work together in groups, but they can also be used to foster individual reflection.

Supporting active learning through emergent digital learning tools and technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, personalized learning platforms, serious games, simulations, etc.) creates learning environments where the “digital native” student feels comfortable and is motivated to learn. These tools, advanced Open Educational Resources (OERs), which are highly interactive and immersive, can be used to effectively scaffold learning for higher education students as they develop the required set of competencies. Students can reflect the dynamic nature of the world and the quick evolution of systems that prompt changes in the necessary professional skills with more ease.

In this Special Issue, we give an overview of how active learning can be scaffolded in different ways, and we present cases and examples of how emergent learning technologies can foster the uptake and efficiency of such methods. A large quantity of research studies have shown how these environments can be used in distinct domains such as computer science, economics, politics, health, environment, globalization and tourism just to mention a few. This Special Issue focuses on higher education in the sense that higher education programs must be designed to use this new generation of learning tools that promote the learner’s autonomy, collaboration, creativity and critical analysis ability. Learning with these tools should emphasize visualizing, hearing, feeling, experimenting and interpreting so that there is an active construction of knowledge.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Supporting project/problem-based learning with emergent learning technologies;
  • Supporting inquiry-based learning with emergent learning technologies;
  • Supporting challenge-based learning with emergent learning technologies;
  • Supporting design-based thinking with emergent learning technologies;
  • The design and implementation of new active pedagogical methods supported by emergent learning technologies in higher education;
  • Challenges/strategies for introducing technology-supported active learning in higher education;
  • Leveraging emergent learning technologies in higher education;
  • XR-supported pedagogical approaches in higher education;
  • AI- or robotics-supported pedagogical approaches in higher education;
  • Serious games or simulations in active learning in higher education.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Carlos Vaz de Carvalho
Prof. Dr. Merja Bauters
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • active learning
  • technology enhanced learning
  • problem/project based learning
  • inquiry-based learning
  • agile learning
  • design thinking
  • challenge-based learning

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 3498 KiB  
Article
School-Based Digital Innovation Challenges and Way Forward Conversations about Digital Transformation in Education
by James Sunney Quaicoe, Abiodun Afolayan Ogunyemi and Merja Lina Bauters
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13040344 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2433
Abstract
Background: This article attempts to formulate a school-based model to capitalise on the opportunities and strengths within schools in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regions to ideate global school-driven digital innovation(s). Consequently, this article explores various digital innovation challenges, opportunities, and elements for schools, [...] Read more.
Background: This article attempts to formulate a school-based model to capitalise on the opportunities and strengths within schools in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regions to ideate global school-driven digital innovation(s). Consequently, this article explores various digital innovation challenges, opportunities, and elements for schools, as well as proposed school-driven interventions. The paper seeks to open conversations among various international bodies and educational stakeholders, leading to school actors taking ownership of educational projects and school innovation. Methods: A traditional literature review was adopted to analyse the subject of Digital Transformation in Education (DTE). The traditional literature review is a comprehensive and critical overview based on the past and current literature on a subject matter without stringent methodology. Through the literature review methodology, existing materials on the subject matter are subsequently used. Terms and concepts about school innovation and management/leadership were extracted for consideration. These served as a basis for formulating a reference DTE model for interventions. This paper is underpinned by two main conceptual and theoretical bases: (i) The theory of school-based management and its related indicators, and (ii) Michael Fullan’s concept of school innovation, which is based on the three key factors of Technology, Pedagogy, and Change knowledge. Fullan’s concept is extended to showcase how Active Learning (AL) can inform pedagogical innovation. Results: This paper presents a school-based digital transformation in the education reference model as the outcome. The model uses concept maps to showcase the interrelations between DTE indicators and concepts, and the linkages around which Digital Transformation in Education could be developed as a School-Based Managed (SBM) agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Technologies to Support Active Learning in Higher Education)
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17 pages, 1795 KiB  
Article
A Proposed VR Platform for Supporting Blended Learning Post COVID-19
by Simon Colreavy-Donelly, Alan Ryan, Stuart O’Connor, Fabio Caraffini, Stefan Kuhn and Salim Hasshu
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12070435 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2970
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift in teaching practice towards blended learning for many higher education institutions. This led to the rapid adoption of certain digital technologies within existing teaching structures as a means to meet student access needs. This paper is an [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift in teaching practice towards blended learning for many higher education institutions. This led to the rapid adoption of certain digital technologies within existing teaching structures as a means to meet student access needs. This paper is an attempt to summarise and extend pre-COVID-19 pedagogical research to leverage digital immersive technologies for blended teaching in the post-pandemic era. This paper forms both a review of these methodologies and a case study of the I-Ulysses Virtual Learning Environment as an example of a platform that leverages such immersive digital technologies and employs instrumental use of VR. To further clarify, the purpose of the paper is to describe and propose a distance learning solution with immersive VR qualities; this is what the I-Ulysses environment represents, as the main obstacle to learners of site-specific information during the pandemic has been lack of on-site accessibility. Furthermore, this is of key importance, because Joyce’s novel takes place in historical Dublin, where access to the physical location of the story is indispensable to a reader. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Technologies to Support Active Learning in Higher Education)
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15 pages, 1074 KiB  
Article
Teaching Field Data Crowdsourcing Using a GPS-Enabled Cellphone Application: Soil Erosion by Water as a Case Study
by Elena A. Mikhailova, Christopher J. Post, Hamdi A. Zurqani and Grayson L. Younts
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030151 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Crowdsourcing is an important tool for collecting spatio-temporal data, which has various applications in education. The objectives of this study were to develop and test a laboratory exercise on soil erosion by water and field data crowdsourcing in an online introductory soil science [...] Read more.
Crowdsourcing is an important tool for collecting spatio-temporal data, which has various applications in education. The objectives of this study were to develop and test a laboratory exercise on soil erosion by water and field data crowdsourcing in an online introductory soil science course (FNR 2040: Soil Information Systems) at Clemson University. Students from different STEM disciplines (wildlife biology, forestry, and environmental and natural resources) participated in the study in the fall of 2021. They completed a sequence of self-contained digital teaching modules or reusable learning objects (RLOs), which are often used in online learning. The exercise included a field exercise and learning module to teach students about different types of water-based soil erosion as well as field data collection and crowdsourcing tools. As a result of this exercise, student familiarity with crowdsourcing was effectively increased, as shown by the post-assessment survey with a +31.2% increase in the “moderately familiar” category and a +28.3% increase in the “extremely familiar” category. The online quiz contained ten questions and was taken by 56 students with an average score of 9.5 (out of 10). A post-assessment survey found that most of the students indicated that the laboratory was an effective learning experience about field data crowdsourcing using a GPS-enabled cellphone application. Detailed students’ comments indicated enjoyment of learning (e.g., data collection, learning about different technologies), the value of multimedia (e.g., ArcGIS Survey123, cellphone), the flexibility of learning (e.g., field work), the content applicability (e.g., actual field examples of erosion by water), and criticism (e.g., technical issues). A word cloud derived from students’ comments about their laboratory exercise experience indicated the most frequent words used by students, such as “erosion”, “enjoyed”, and “different”, among others. Incorporating a learning module and field exercise using modern data collection technology into an undergraduate soil science education course enabled students to understand the value and methods for leveraging cellphone-based field collection methods to crowdsource data for environmental assessment. Practical recommendations for planning and executing future crowdsourcing exercises were developed using the current study as an example. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Technologies to Support Active Learning in Higher Education)
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