Rev Psico Escolar Especial.pmd

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Rev Psico Escolar Especial.pmd
ISSN 1413-8557
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE)
Semiannual Journal of the Brazilian Association of Educational and School Psychology (ABRAPEE)
Revista Semestral de la Asociación Brasilera de Psicología Escolar y Educacional (ABRAPEE)
Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
Volume 11 Number Special 2007
ABRAPEE
EDITORES
Antonio Méndez-Villas
Formatez – Espanha
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
Universidade São Francisco - Brasil
PARECERISTAS CONVIDADOS
ISSN 1413-8557
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE)
Semiannual Journal of the Brazilian Association of Educational and School Psychology (ABRAPEE)
Revista Semestral de la Asociación Brasilera de Psicología Escolar y Educacional (ABRAPEE)
Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
Volume 11 Number Special 2007
Acácia Aparecida A. dos Santos
Brian Horvitz
César Collazos
Clarisse Olivieri de Lima
David Moore
David Spendlove
Denise de Souza Fleith
Giselle B. Esquivel
Imad Saleh
J. B. Arbaugh
Jorge Castellá Sarriera
José Armando Valente
Pierre Dillenbourg
Piet Van den Bossche
Ron Oliver
Ronei Ximenes Martins
Sarah Parsons
Sheng-Chin Yu
ASSISTENTES
DO
Universidade São Francisco - Brasil
Western Michigan University - USA
University of Cauca - Colombia
Colégio Teresiano / Rio de Janeiro
Leeds Metropolitan University - United Kingdom
University of Manchester - United Kingdom
Universidade de Brasília - Brasil
Fordham University - USA
University Paris 8 - France
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh - USA
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - Brasil
Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Brasil
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne - Switzerland
University of Maastricht - The Netherlands
Edith Cowan University - Australia
Universidade São Francisco - Brasil
University of Birmingham - United Kingdom
Tungnan University- Taiwan
CONSELHO EDITORIAL
Cláudia Aparecida Nascimento Martins
Lucicleide Maria de Cantalice
ABRAPEE
Rua Alexandre Rodrigues Barbosa, 45
Itatiba/SP – 13.251.900
Home-page: http://www.abrapee.psc.br
www.pepsic.bvs-psi.org.br
E-mail: [email protected]
Indexação em/Indexation in/ Indexación en:
Disponível nas bibliotecas da Rede Brasileira de Bibliotecas
da Área de Psicologia - ReBAP (www.bvs-psi.org.br/rebap/)
Index Psi
LILACS
PePsic
ABRAPEE
Apoio editorial:
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional./ Associação Brasileira de
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional.- v. 1, n. 1. 1996Campinas : ABRAPEE, 1996.
Quadrimestral : 1996-1999.
Semestral : 2000ISSN 1413-8557
l. Psicologia educacional. 2. Psicologia escolar.
3. Educação. 4. Brasil. I. Associação Brasileira de Psicologia
Escolar e Educacional.
Expediente
A revista Psicologia Escolar e Educacional é um veículo de divulgação e debate da produção científica na área
específica e está vinculada à Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE). Seu objetivo
é constituir um espaço para a apresentação de pesquisas atuais no campo da Psicologia Escolar e Educacional e
servir como um veículo de divulgação do conhecimento produzido na área, bem como de informação atualizada
a profissionais psicólogos e de áreas correlatas. Trabalhos originais que relatam estudos em áreas relacionadas à
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional serão considerados para publicação, incluindo processos básicos, experimentais, aplicados, naturalísticos, etnográficos, históricos, artigos teóricos, análises de políticas e sínteses sistemáticas de pesquisas, entre outros. Também, revisões críticas de livros, instrumentos diagnósticos e softwares.
Com vistas a estabelecer um intercâmbio entre seus pares e pessoas interessadas na Psicologia Escolar e Educacional, conta com uma revisão às cegas por pares e é publicada semestralmente. Seu conteúdo não reflete a
posição, opinião ou filosofia da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional. Os direitos autorais
das publicações da revista Psicologia Escolar e Educacional são da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e
Educacional, sendo permitida apenas ao autor a reprodução de seu próprio material, previamente autorizada
pelo Conselho Editorial da Revista. As transcrições e traduções são permitidas, desde que no limite dos 500
vocábulos e mencionada a fonte. São publicados textos em português, espanhol e inglês.
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional is a journal, associated to the Brazilian Association of Educational and School
Psychology (Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional - ABRAPEE), for the communication and
debate of the scientific production in its area of specificity. Its objective is to provide a medium for the presentation
of the latest research in the field of Educational and School Psychology, for spreading knowledge, which is being
produced in the area, as well as updated information to psychologists and other professionals in correlated
areas. Original papers, which report studies related to Educational and School Psychology may be considered
for publication, including, among others: basic processes, experimental or applied, naturalistic, ethnographic,
historic, theoretical papers, analyses of policies, and systematic syntheses of research, and also critical reviews
of books, diagnostic instruments and software. As a means of establishing an interchange among peers, as well
as people who are interested in Educational and School Psychology, it employs a double blind review by peers
and it is published semiannually. Its contents do not, in any way, reflect the positions, opinions or philosophy of
the Brazilian Association of Educational and School Psychology. Copyrights on the publication of the Journal of
Educational and School Psychology are property of the Brazilian Association of Educational and School Psychology,
and each author will only be allowed to reproduce his or her own material, with prior permission from the
Editorial Board. Translations and transcriptions will be permitted to a maximum of 500 words, provided that
the source is mentioned. Texts in Portuguese, Spanish and English are published.
La revista Psicología Escolar y Educacional es un medio de divulgación de debates de producción científica en
su área específica y está vinculada a la Asociación Brasilera de Psicología escolar y Educacional (ABRAPEE). Su
objetivo es constituir un espacio para la presentación de investigaciones actuales en el campo de la Psicología
Escolar y Educacional y servir como un vehiculo de divulgación del conocimiento producido en el área, además
de informaciones actualizadas a profesionales psicólogos y de áreas relacionadas. Trabajos originales que relaten
estudios en áreas relacionadas a la Psicología Escolar y Educacional serán considerados para publicación, incluyendo
3
procesos básicos, experimentales, aplicados, naturalísticos, etnográficos, históricos, artículos teóricos, análisis
de políticas y síntesis sistemáticas de investigaciones, entre otros, además de revisiones críticas de libros,
instrumentos de diagnóstico e software. Con el objetivo de establecer un intercambio entre pares y personas
interesadas en Psicología, la revista tiene una revisión “a ciegas” hecha por pares y por consiguiente, los contenidos
no reflejan la posición, opinión o filosofía de la Asociación Brasilera de Psicología Escolar y Educacional. Los
derechos autorales de las publicaciones de la revista Psicología Escolar y Educacional son de la Asociación
Brasilera de Psicología Escolar y Educacional, siendo permitido apenas al autor la reproducción de su propio
material, mediante autorización previa del editor de la Revista. Las transcripciones y traducciones son permitidas, con un límite de 500 palabras y con mención a la fuente. Son publicados textos en portugués, español e
ingles.
4
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
ISSN 1413-8557
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional
PUBLICAÇÃO SEMESTRAL
9
Volume 11
Número Especial
2007
Editorial
Artigos
Papers
Publicaciones
13
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning programme for children with autism
Modelo adaptado de programa de aprendizagem em linguagem facilitada por multimídia para
crianças com autismo
Modelo adaptado de programa de aprendizaje en lenguaje facilitado por multimedia para niños
con autismo
Fai-Kim Lau
Allan H.K. Yuen
John M-G. Lian
27
Gender differences in online collaborative learning groups promoting affective education and
social capital
Diferença de gênero em grupos de aprendizagem colaborativa online promovendo educação
afetiva e capital social
Diferencia de género en grupos de aprendizaje de ayuda online promoviendo educación
afectiva y capital social
Mebane Minou Ella
Sorace Roberta
Solimeno Andrea
Tomai Manuela
37
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence
Estruturas de apoio e intervenção entre estudantes e professores num Modelo de
Aprendizagem Sequenciada (MAS)
Estructuras de apoyo e intervención entre estudiantes y profesores en un Modelo de
Aprendizaje Secuencial (MAS)
Eva Edman Stålbrandt
Annika Hössjer
5
49
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a correlation study with an electronic
comprehension test and a reading attitude survey.
A validade do Sistema Orientado de Cloze: um estudo correlacional
La validez del Sistema Orientado de Cloze: un estudio correlacional
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
59
A framework for designing and improving learning environments fostering creativity
Uma estrutura para projetar e implementar meios criativos de aprendizagem
Una estructura para proyectar e implementar medios creativos de aprendizaje
Norio Ishii
Yuri Suzuki
Hironobu Fujiyoshi
Takashi Fujii
Masanori Kozawa
71
An examination of Latino immigrant youths’ out of school technology practices
Uma avaliação das práticas tecnológicas de jovens imigrantes latinos que não frequentam escola
Una evaluación de las prácticas tecnológicas de jóvenes latinos inmigrantes que no frecuentan la
escuela
Yvonne De La Peña
Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
83
The effects of two computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) scripts on university
students’ critical thinking
Os efeitos de dois roteiros de aprendizagem colaborativa baseada em computador (ACBC) sobre o
pensamento crítico de estudantes universitários
Los efectos de dos guías de aprendizaje ayudada basada en computadora (ACBC) sobre el
pensamiento crítico de estudiantes universitarios
Tammy Schellens
Hilde Van Keer
Bram De Wever
Martin Valcke
93
Personalization and learning: innovative approaches to teaching for e-learning
Personalização e aprendizado: novos métodos para ensinar em e-learning
Personalización y aprendizaje: nuevos métodos para enseñar en e-learning
Ray Webster
Fay Sudweeks
6
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
103
Why Hong Kong students favour more face-to-face classroom time in blended learning
Porque estudantes de Hong Kong preferem aulas presenciais na aprendizagem mista
Por qué estudiantes de Hong Kong prefieren clases presenciadas en el aprendizaje mixto
James Henri
Sandra Lee
113
Normas de publicação
Instructions to authors
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
7
Editorial
Technology and learning
This special issue of Psicología Escolar e Educacional, published by the Brazilian Association of Educational and
School Psychology, includes some expanded and revised papers presented during the IV International Conference
on Multimedia and ICTs in Education (m-ICTE2006, http://www.formatex.org/micte2006), which took place at
the Faculty of Communication of the University of Seville, in Spain, during 22-25 November 2006. This CISCO
Systems-sponsored Conference was organized by Formatex (Badajoz, Spain), founder of this conference series
in Spain, and it counted on the support of a solid group of currently active researchers in the field, which were
in charge of selecting the most relevant works submitted for oral presentation and discussion at the conference.
We would like to thank the work done by these members of the conference scientific advisory committee:
Ángel García del Dujo - University of Salamanca - Spain
Barney Dalgarno - Charles Sturt University - Australia
Bill Hunte - University of Ontario - Canada
Chin-Chung Tsai - Institute of Education - Chiao Tung National University- Taiwan
Daniel Burgos - Open University of the Netherlands - The Netherlands
Demetrios Sampson - Informatics Telematics Institute - Greece
Elhanan Gazit, H.I.T. - Holon Institute of Technology - Israel
Fernando de Arriaga - Polytechnic University of Madrid - Spain
Giuliana Dettori - CNR Institute of Didactic Technologies - Italy
Harold Modell - Physiology Educational Research Consortium - United States
Ian Kinchin - King’s College of London - University of London - United Kingdom
Joaquín Gairín Sallán - Autonomous University of Barcelona - Spain
Joseph D. Novak - Institute for Human and Machine Cognition - United States
Juan de Pablos Pons - University of Seville - Spain
Katie Goeman - Vrije University of Brussels - Belgium
Katy Campbell - University of Alberta - Canada
Manuel Area - La Laguna University - Spain
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly - São Francisco University - Brasil
Marios C. Angelides - Brunel University - United Kingdom
Marius Fieschi, Marseille Medicine Faculty - France
Miguel Ángel Sicilia - University of Alcalá - Spain
Moncef Bari - Quebec and Montreal University - Canada
Roberto Carneiro - Portuguese Catholic University - Portugal
Roberto Moriyón - Autonomous University of Madrid - Spain
Silvia Gherardi - University of Trento - Italy
T. Ramayah- Sains University of Malaysia - Malaysia
Toshio Fukuda - Nagoya University - Japan
Vicki L. Cohen - Fairleigh Dickinson University - USA
Vladimir Uskov, - Bradley University - United States
9
Over 450 researchers from about 50 countries participated at m-ICTE2006 Conference. In addition to
most general aspects related to the application of multimedia and ICTs in Education, 5 specialized sessions,
representing current hot topics, were organized:
·
·
·
·
·
Multimedia and ICTs in Science Education
Collaborative Learning/Groupware
E-Learning Standards: Learning Objects and Repositories
Digital Games
National, Regional and Local Experiences
As it was done with previous editions, works presented at the conference, compiled in the book “Current
Developments in Technology-Assisted Education (2006)”, were made freely available on-line, and they can be
consulted both from the Formatex and conference websites. An increasingly significant part of the conference
is taking place on-line, through the virtual participation modality established. In this edition, over 50 participants
chose this modality for participating at the Conference. These papers are presented and discussed on-line, and
they are also archived permanently at the virtual conference section of the website (http://www.formatex.org/
micte2006/virtual/).
We are committed with favouring the conditions to make such a concentration of people sharing a common
research interest as fruitful as possible from a scientific viewpoint, and in this sense, other features than the oral
or poster presentations were designed. There was an opportunity to make public call for partners for all those
who were attending the conference not only for presenting works but for seeking research/technology partners
for advancing in their research. Those researchers had the opportunity of expose their research expertise, the
kind of collaboration they were seeking and the skills the partners should have. Just a sample of some of this
public calls were: Supporting Project for the Beginner Literate People in Antalya (Dr. M. Aksu, Akdeniz University,
Turkey), Accessibility standards for educational multimedia products (Dr. Michela Ott, CNR, Italy), Academic Writing
and Critical Thinking Supported by Electronic Media (Claire Penketh and Mark Schofield, Edge Hill University,
UK), Health and Social Care Education (Dr. Marie Krumins, Centre for Inter-Professional e-Learning, Coventry
University, UK), Online Study Programs in Europe (Dr. Klaus Wannemache, HIS Higher Education Information
System, Germany).
The importance (while recognizing the difficulties) of interdisciplinary collaborations of more technicallyoriented researchers with more educationally or socially-oriented ones was also highlighted during the
presentation of a numerous group of translational collaborative projects funded by the European Union. These
are usually very good examples of active people joining for mobilizing knowledge from diverse areas in order to
resolve current problems in this specific area. Some examples of these kinds of transnational projects presented
were: WINDS - Web based Intelligent Design Tutoring System (http://winds.gmd.de), VELVITT - Virtual Electronic
Learning in Vocational Initial Teacher Training (http://velvitt.banki.hu), MISTRAL - Measurable Intelligent and Reliable
Semantic Extraction and Retrieval of Multimedia Data (http://mistral-project.tugraz.at), LeActiveMath - LanguageEnhanced, User-Adaptive, Interactive eLearning for Mathematics (http://www.leactivemath.org), ELS - European
Languages Skills (http://www.eurobusinesslanguageskills.net), “La Piazza” – Convivial Spaces for Inter-generational
Learning: What places for the digital age? (http://161.116.88.107/la_piazza/index.php), Up2UML - Upskilling to
Object-Oriented Software Development with the Unified Modelling Language (http://www.up2uml.org), EU4ALL
- European Unified Approach for Assisted Lifelong Learning (http://www.eu4all-project.eu), CIRCE – ICT on
Classics (http://www.circe.be).
10
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
As a way to maximize the visibility and impact of the conference presentations, the organizers invited a
number of researchers (who presented well justified and complete research/developments works) to write up
their presentations to be considered for inclusion in a journal special issue. These papers underwent peer
review, revision and further review. This special issue contains those papers which were finally accepted for
publication. We are very grateful to these reviewers for their collaboration throughout the process and the
willingness to meet our editorial requirements: We would also like to thank the members of the conference
secretariat and organization, in special to Aurora Solano, for their effort in making the conference so successful
for making possible this special issue Psicología Escolar e Educacional.
Antonio Méndez-Vilas
General Coordinator of the Conference
Guest editor of the special issue
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional editor
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007
11
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language
learning program for children with autism
Language learning program
Fai-Kim Lau
Allan H.K. Yuen
John M-G. Lian
Abstract
The aim of this pilot study is to help researchers construct an appropriate multimedia-supported learning program for students who have autism. The
results of this pilot study assisted the multimedia learn program designers to pay attention to the need of the development of a clear and simple layout,
multiple level of content presentation, and simple but direct audio instructions. The core conclusion is the significance of the need for caring individual
differences of these students during the learn process.
Keywords: Technology; Learning; Autism.
Modelo adaptado de programa de aprendizagem em linguagem facilitada por multimídia para crianças com autismo
Resumo
O objetivo desse estudo é de ajudar os pesquisadores a construir um programa multimídia de aprendizado adequado para estudantes com autismo. Os
resultados desse estudo piloto auxiliarão aos programadores de programas de aprendizagem em multimídia a ficarem atentos à necessidade de
desenvolverem um padrão simples de paginação, diferentes níveis para apresentação de conteúdo e instruções orais simples e diretas. A principal
conclusão refere-se à importância de atender às diferenças individuais destes estudantes durante o período de aprendizagem.
Palavras-chave: Tecnologia; Aprendizagem; Autismo.
Modelo adaptado de programa de aprendizaje en lenguaje facilitado por
multimedia para niños con autismo
Resumen
El objetivo de este estudio es ayudar a los investigadores a construir un programa multimedia de aprendizaje adecuado para estudiantes con autismo. Los
resultados de este estudio piloto auxiliarán a los analistas de programas de aprendizaje en multimedia a estar más atentos a la necesidad de desarrollar
un padrón simple de paginación, diferentes niveles para presentar el contenido e instrucciones orales simples y directas. La conclusión principal se refiere
a la importancia de atender a las diferencias individuales de esos estudiantes durante le período de aprendizaje.
Palabras clave: Tecnología; Aprendizaje; Autismo.
13
Theory Framework
We adopted a cognitive perspective of
information processing theory in multimedia
learning (Lau, 2005; Lau, Yuen & Lian, 2006) based
on the definition of information processing (IP) as
a joint product of information theory and computer
sciences (Alessi & Trollip, 2001). Secondly, the
explanation of IP’s specific characteristics (Massaro
& Cowan, 1993) may be able to explain and
contribute to the progress of vocabulary learning
in students with autistic features. Thirdly, our
essential source includes the ideas and findings of
Robert E. Kozma (1987, 1991) and his associates
(Kozma & Croninger, 1992) and of Richard E. Mayer
(2001).
Our initial assumption was that weaker expressive
performance in children with autism was an outcome
of delayed development in the ability of their working
memory (WM) retrieving corresponding visual and
audio information to their long-term memory (LTM)
as Bird, Castelli, Malik, Frith & Husain described
(2004). In other words, the speech difference of
children with autism than their typically developed
counterparts is likely a neuro-physiological problem.
Hence, this inevitably limits their speech
performance.
14
With reference to Levelt’s (1989) application of
IP theory to speech formulation in human learning,
we hypothesized that such a language learning gap in
children with autism might be bridged theoretically
with a variety of processing qualities displayed in the
procedure system. Modified from Kozma and
Mayer ’s multimedia learning theory, in which
multimedia presentation is a crucially essential symbol
system, and based on Massaro & Cowan, (1993), we
assumed automaticity and interactivity, two key
features of computer-based multimedia programme,
able to help students with autism develop their spoken
vocabularies acquisition. The graphic titled like Figure 20 shows this schema.
In our framework, students with autism act as a
processor able to interact with humanized multimedia
programme and computer technology (Mayer, 1996).
The second significant feature is the automatic
functioning of computer-based multimedia system able
to lessen or eliminate children with autism’s distraction
(Hardy, Ogen, Newman & Cooper, 2002). That means
automaticity of computer acted as a trigger in activating
information retrieval from the LMT. For example, auto
run of the programme and auto record of subjects’
data are able to serve this purpose.
The third component is the multimedia system as
an external memory (Kozma & Croninger, 1992). As
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
described earlier, possibly only visual information
retrieved from short-term memory to long-term
memory. Therefore, in the learning process, we would
record participants’ verbal expressions that may help
them to recall full information of information stored
in previous session.
The last but not the least is the adoption of the concept
of leaning ecology in which this kind of learning tool
performs its role and function (Cobb, Confrey, diSessa,
Lehrer & Schauble, 2003). That means we consider as
many as possible the relevant observable and hidden
personal and contextual factors significant to their mutual
relationships affecting each participant’s changes.
In order to have a relatively comprehensive
understanding about the reaction of children with
autism to a computer-based multimedia learning
programme, we conducted a two-week pilot study.
We expected the findings be able to help us construct
an original and appropriate programme for our
subjects in the main study. Information collected
during the pilot study would also help us design an
adaptive pedagogy for those children who were
diagnosed with autism. This paper reports some
insights generated from the pilot study.
Autism is one the pervasive developmental
disorders (DSM-IV). Weak verbal performance is one
of the typical features in persons with autism (Scott,
Clark & Brady, 2000; Wetherby, Prizant & Schuler,
2000). However, rapid technological development,
especially that of information and communication
technologies, in past decades have provided means to
assist individuals on the autistic spectrum to develop
their speech (Hetzroni & Tannous, 2004; Kinney,
Vedora & Stromer, 2003; Massaro & Bosseler, 2006;
Mirenda & Erickson, 2000). Therefore, we pioneered
a study in Hong Kong exploring the prospective changes
in verbal vocabulary acquisition in children with autism
and limited speech in a multimedia-facilitated context.
Method
A speech therapist (ST) of a local special school
other than our target school of the main study
administered and coordinated our pilot study.
Participating students had similar autistic behavior to
those of the school in our main study.
Participants
Three boys from 7 to 8 in their chronological age
but in their language age of 2; 09 to 3; 10 were selected.
Their IQ levels were round about 60 to 66. Educational
psychologists or clinical psychologists in representative
and authoritative organizations such as the Education
and Manpower Bureau (EMB) or Duchess of Kent
Hospital Child Assistance Centre conducted the
language and mental assessments and diagnosed these
children as autistic with global developmental delay or
pervasive developmental disorder. The tools included
Griffiths Mental Developmental Assessment and Reynell
Developmental Language Scale (Cantonese version).
These took place two years before this pilot study.
There seemed no follow-up tests but we believed that
these boys should have made certain progress in this
period of schooling. Their parents are native Cantonese
speakers who are dominant population in Hong Kong.
Assessment tool
There was no existing technology-facilitated
language learning programme catering for students
with autism in local market but a commercial product
for kindergarten at level 2 was available. Hence, we
examined carefully this interactive multimedia learning
programme by a local renowned publisher before we
used it.
First, its game-oriented design with multi-level
presentation was essentially significant. That is,
vocabularies represented in verbal, graphic, and
character formats, were able to help the boys
concentrate on the tasks. We likely applied these
techniques to our self-developed programme.
Second, the layout, style of presentation, and topics
in the curriculum were able to arouse these boys’
interests.
Third, although the product catered for children
of 4-5 years old in Hong Kong, the designers included
merely simple single-character vocabularies that the
boys should have no difficulty in recognition and
understanding. Further, we selected topics closely
matched with the participants’ ability and related to
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 13-26
15
their life experiences, including family life, transportation,
and supermarket. We also chose topics on spring and
winter because we started the study in early February.
Having these considerations, we made use of the
given activities to assess the boys in four areas:
matching, making choice, putting to the right location,
and observing rules.
Matching activities
The first six matching tasks required students to
select appropriate character to represent the picture
shown (Figures 1 and 2). The second two matching
tasks asked students to complete a picture with given
graphics (Figures 3 and 4).
Making choice activities
A narrator in two tasks of the game about making
choice between two objects asked students to click
on an object, for example, “which one is hot?” (Figure 5) They would get marks if making a correct choice.
Right location activities
Figures 6 and 7 are about the game asking students
to relocate transportation means. The children just
clicked on the misplaced graphics that would appear
on the appropriate location.
Observing rules activities
The task asked for a correct choice of signs. Figure 8 shows a rule of no-tricycle on the playground
Figura 5
16
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
Figura 6 - A picture with misplaced transportation means
Figura 7 - Completed picture
Figura 8 - Choose an appropriate sign
crowded with children. Figure 9 shows a rule of not
kicking ball inside the pavilion.
Despite twelve tasks available, students were
free to finish as many as they could do and/or felt
interested in. We chose these games mainly because
they were identical with the boys’ mentality and
were the hot topics school teachers taught in
whatever type of schools in Hong Kong. The rule
observation task might be slightly difficult for some
children with autism, but we anticipated that this
challenge would serve as a motivation agent and
was productive. In fact, we always kept in mind
not to overestimate or underestimate the actual
ability of each child.
Procedure
The boys had equally six 30-minute sessions, same
duration in our main study, within two weeks. The
interaction was in face-to-face and person-to-person
mode and took place in a conference room at the top
floor of the school building. Hence, the researcher
picked one of them up each time and led him to the
venue. On the way, the researcher usually initiated a
purposeful conversation, intending to build up a
rapport between both parties and to have a deeper
understanding about each of them.
Our principal investigator, who had six-year
teaching experience with children special educational
needs including autism, was aware of the possible
difficulty in understanding the narration embedded in
the software with that the boys might not be familiar.
He either rephrased the narration with appropriate
wordings, or demonstrated how to complete the
task. His duties also included tape-recording, guiding
and playing with the children, observing their
behaviour, managing some unexpected incidences and
so on. In other words, he was the sole facilitator in
each session.
In order to minimize the effect of some unexpected
and/or aversive behaviors because both researchers
and these children with autism were very new to each
other, we accepted ST’s advice to prepare two sets
of play kits and some snacks. Her advice in fact
reflected an on-going practice in this school. Being
realistic, external reinforcement might serve as some
kind of channels for their cooperation in so limited
contact time. The play kits that they used to play
might also pacify their emotions when they became
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 13-26
17
unstable. In other words, we actually considered the
school culture and some unique characteristics of
children with autism in Hong Kong.
At times, there was no interference with the boys’
behavior or participation in the conference room. The
more natural their reaction, the more valuable and
helpful information about learning styles and strategies
by children with autism would be. Their performances
were video-recorded for analysis too.
Results
Based on the analysis of students’ video-taped
performance, the outcomes did help us confirm the
need for an adapted design of our self-developed
learning software, for example, the effect of simple
layout. Some of the boys’ performances confirmed
our ideas while some helped consolidate our plan and
way of thinking, for instance, the relationship between
students’ need for materialistic rewards and their need
for care.
In this section, we will categorize the findings of
this pilot study in five essential areas including students’
performances, knowledge of vocabularies,
communication with facilitator, reinforcement, and
individual differences. We will associate the description
with our programme design for our subjects in the
main study in next section.
Students’ performances
P1 showed consistent interest in the programme.
He did not interrupt the programme and stayed to
work alone without distraction even when the
researcher was away for a while. The boy was able
to manage the games, to have clear concepts of
categories, and to get very high marks in all completed
tasks in each session. Good results excited him
obviously. The boy’s high level of concentration
exhibited his interest in the themes of the programme.
He likely had no difficulty or problem in computer
games or tasks. Despite a commercial product, this
educational programme’s design, including
architectural and curriculum, seems appropriate for
this boy.
18
Contrast to P1’s performance, P2 expressed unstable
interest in the programme. Sometimes, he was inactive
but showed involvement in certain tasks especially when
he was rewarded with the snacks. For example, he did
a very good job in the item of winter. He even spoke out
“scarf” and “thank you” after prompting and expressed
verbally his desire in single words. In other instances, he
might play with or touch the mouse when requested to
play a game matching a picture with the appropriate
word but no reinforcement given.
P3 exhibited his strong control desire on the
programme and devices. He fetched the mouse
immediately after sitting at the computer desk in the
first day but switched off the computer when the
programme just started. In the following days, he
appeared attentive, showed more positive interest in
the programme, and was able to accomplish the tasks
but he might suddenly shift to another topic. After
exiting the programme, he would re-enter the
programme and tried again but might exit again. He
was cheerful after task completed but shortly he began
to move showing his impatience. In fact, he exhibited
more interested in changes in tasks, for instance,
pressing icons, shifting topics from one to another,
going outside the room and the like, instead of
focusing solely on one task.
Regarding attitude to the scores, P1 smiled when
he tried successfully and got high scores. P2 seemed
not interested in the marks and might lean back to
the chair. His initiative was overall weak. P3 showed
his ability in the tasks. Nevertheless, his non-verbal
signals expressed such message, “I do not care the
score”.
To P3, some built-in exciting sound seemed
attractive but likely not in other two boys. In the
process, P2 did not quite understand the audio
instructions of the programme because he stopped
and withdrew sooner he attempted with no choice
made. There may be some hidden difficulty in P1 and
P2’s motor skills because they sometimes needed
researcher’s help, particularly P2.
All in all, P1 showed an overall positive attitude to
this commercially designed educational learning
programme and performed very satisfactorily. The
obvious unstable reactions to the programme displayed
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
in P2 and P3 alerted us in the design of our self-devised
programme, especially on layout, presentation, and
audio instructions. We will discuss these and other
relevant topics in later part of this paper.
Knowledge base of vocabularies
Various speech performances demonstrated
different knowledge bases of vocabularies in P1, P2,
and P3. P1’s receptive and expressive performance
appeared the best among the three. He was able to
express his need verbally at intervals and to respond
with fairly complex vocabularies and statements. For
example, he replied, “Short pant is for summer” when
asked if people wore short pant in winter. To respond
a question about hot items, P1 elaborated what he
saw, saying “sweet potatoes are hot”. He also was
able to use such expressions as “Put the schoolbag”,
“electric cooker” or words for location, for example,
“Here”, “On desk top”. On the way to the conference
room, this boy described what he just saw and tried
to explain why some incidence happened. Sometimes,
he made request and/or raised question.
P2 was able to speak simple vocabularies, for
example, “yes”, “cup”, and to point at the characters
“people”, “bed” without speaking them out. He
apparently had better receptive ability than his
performance in verbal expression. He frequently made
some sound to express his needs and/or emotions.
Like P2, P3 seldom talked but was found able to
speak such expressions as “Good” and even some
complex statements like “Yes, I do want to eat!” In
second session, this boy did try on the game and he
knew most of the items. He was able to respond,
“Thank you” when asked what he had to say in
receiving gift. Occasionally, the boy was able to ask
questions, for example, “Where is this?”
Communication with facilitator
All three boys were capable of understanding
researcher’s instructions and requests. P1 followed
facilitator’s instructions or the programme narrator’s
step by step but required cuing and verbal explanation
in certain situations. P2 showed no response to
researcher ’s appreciation while he accepted
researcher’s help to point at his choice of answer.
Demonstrations seemed essential in this boy. His
performance apparently declined if solely relying on
audio instructions.
P3 expressed kinetically his clear reluctance to
follow researcher’s intervention. His unexpected good
performance in Day 4 was likely the result of free
navigation. He usually made little response to the
researcher’s request, instruction, explanations, and/
or questions.
In some other instances, each of them showed
some particular communicative needs. P1 once felt
interested in the researcher’s forehead without hair
and touched on researcher’s head top. At intervals,
P2 shut his ears with his hands, or curled up in the
chair, or turned half of his back to the researcher. At
the end of the first session, this boy shook hand with
the researcher and scratched slightly and softly on
the latter’s hand.
Very firm, clear, and direct instruction from
authoritative figures appeared crucial in P3’s learning.
His highly cooperative attitude in second day resulted
in his class teacher’s serious warning. However, his
desire of control manifested this boy’s expectation
of doing things on his own. He pulled researcher’s
hand away when closing the programme, and
struggled with the researcher to get back the mouse.
When the researcher insisted to holding the mouse,
the boy started to gape and to press the keyboard.
Reinforcement
P1 appeared less aware of the existence of
materialistic reward for tasks completed although he
also was happy to receive snacks. Contrarily, P2
expressed impatience and irritation when keeping him
to wait for a considerable time to the promised snacks
for correct answers. This may show that materialistic
reinforcement was significant and encouraging for P2.
In some instances, P3 turned his head back looking
for the snacks if he wanted.
Interesting to note is the use of alternative
reinforcement. P2’s better performance as described
in earlier part of this section demonstrated a shift from
single materialistic reward to a mixed mode. P2 got
his reward for a right choice resulted in his expressed
desire to complete the task.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 13-26
19
In P3’s case, researcher made an oral contract
with him and allowed him to sightsee outside the
conference room if he was able to finish certain tasks.
Another motivator was the play with puzzles.
Researcher promised to set some time for this activity
before or after P3 also kept his promise to complete
the task. Results in Day 4 and Day 6 seemed to support
the success of these tactics. Significance of
reinforcement, whether materialistic or symbolic,
extrinsic or intrinsic, was obvious.
Individual differences
Findings above disclose the unique features of individual students. P1 was more obedient than the other
two boys were and his language level was obviously
superior to that of P2 and P3. For the latter, P2 showed
his significant need for substantial reinforcement but
he also considered free decision-making an essential
need, which was part of P3’s characteristics as well.
More obvious, nevertheless, was P3’s preference about
changes in tasks. This confirmation on individual
differences will inevitably assist us to construct an
appropriate multimedia design for our main study. We
are going to elaborate this in next section.
Discussion
Results reported above reflect the potentials of
using multimedia software to help language learning in
children with autism (Moore, & Taylor, 2000; Tjus &
Heimann, 2000). Hence, we started our programme
design to suit interests of students with autism
immediately after the pilot study.
Below is a concise discussion about the impact of
findings in preceding section on our design in three
dimensions: multimedia design, pedagogical
approaches, and theoretical framework. The
discussion on multimedia design includes interfaces
and curriculum and is closely related to students’
performances and knowledge base of vocabularies and
that about pedagogical approaches covers
reinforcement, facilitator, and need for caring for individual differences. Both in turn are associated with
the communication style of students with autism.
20
First, this is a question of catering for individual differences we highlighted in the section about
students’ performances. Second, the effect of
communication style reflects if the designer
expects interaction between the learner with
autism and the multimedia programme, that is, her
level of activity or passivity. Third, this is equally
essential or even more crucial that a facilitator is
able to fully aware of her or his role in the language
learning process. In this sense, we have to
consider if the facilitator solely rely on the
multimedia programme without authentic
interaction with her or his learners.
Multimedia design: Interfaces
Layout
Observing the significance of a simple layout in a
piece of multimedia software for students who have
autism, we deliberately gave up sophisticated
navigation layouts that were too easily to distract the
participants’ attention. Figure 10 shows an example
of a simple and clear layout that there was no specific
navigation icon. The subjects in our main study would
have to finish all required tasks before automatic
entering another page of task. Therefore, a number
of tries for each task and time for each try were set.
However, we kept free navigation between these
activities because repetition is imperatively essential
for students who have autism. Another purpose was
particularly for those who were able to skip one task.
The commercial product we used in the pilot study
had such function too but she had several pages for a
single activity. In order to maintain a simple design,
we decided to group all icons for individual activities
in one page.
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
Presentation
Considering the characteristic of relatively stronger
visual ability in students with autism and an increase
data retrievability (Kozma, 1987), we adopted two
specific designs, use of background music and multiple
level of presentation, resulted from P3’s responses
and the commercial educational interactive
programme adopted in the pilot study. Samples in
later section showed each vocabulary represented in
text (traditional Chinese characters), graphics
(corresponding pictures or animations), and built-in
audio narration and/or pronunciation.
appropriate for typically developing children, but this
would not be easy for children with autism to follow.
Although we were fully aware of this obstacle as
explained in section 2.3, and the principal investigator
rephrased, P2 and P3 might have been irritated and,
therefore, were not able to concentrate on certain
tasks. With this anticipation, all audio instructions and
narrations in our original programme were brief and
direct. In the title page of each activity, there also
were written instructions in point form accompanied
with graphics where appropriate (Figure 12).
Login page
On the Main page (Figure 11), we displayed five
portraits representing each of our subjects expecting to
enhance their sense of involvement and then their
motivation. Each subject would have an assigned login
password (Login page) because this facility allowed a
personal account for each child so that s/he could store
pertinent data in the computer file for analysis in later stage.
Multimedia design: Curriculum
Overview
Use of a single digit numeric password, the easiest
way for the subjects was to eliminate the difficulty in
keying their names, school names, and class number
as in the pilot study’s product. Besides, we used
portraits instead of personal photos because the
subjects’ photos were not available and, more
significant, the consideration of confidentiality.
Audio instructions
One of the main reasons for not very satisfactory
performances of two participants in the pilot might
be the flow of the programme, particularly the audio
instructions. The way of narration and instructing was
Figure 13 presents a brief structure of the software
in the main study. There were very brief explanations
about each learning theme of five learning tasks and
six games involving vocabularies of different classes
and nature generated from the short story
broadcasted in video format. Except two games which
acted as relaxation agent, all learning tasks and games
would have scores.
The ongoing assessments allowed us to understand
any changes in the children’s learning behavior including
effect of certain vocabularies and instruction. A1 to A3
assessed number of successful and unsuccessful tries
for vocabularies child had learnt in the intervention
phase, class and nature of these vocabularies, time for
each try, and the corresponding scores. Integration of
these assessments with learning activities and free
navigation among them allowed some subjects to have
repeated chances to do a particular assessment. A4
was an assessment on the acquisition of the short story
that each subject was required to read aloud the three
statements in the story.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 13-26
21
Contents
The boys’ receptive and expressive performances
in pilot study confirmed us to modify a well-structured
but sophisticated language learning scheme of a
reputable special school serving a mixed group of
students with disabilities, including children with
autism. We classified two sets of vocabularies, food
and clothing, for our subjects into five categories:
single, 2-vocabulary, 3-vocabulary, 4-vocabulary, and
concept of category. These items primarily
constituted the mainly body of the short story
introduced in the preceding section. We also included
some relevant items, whether learnt or fresh to our
target subjects.
The unique features of Chinese language were a
very important factor affecting our design. Take “fruit”
as an example. In a game adapted from an English
vocabulary learning website, the designer could split
and mixed all alphabets of the word with other
alphabets and asked the learner to rearrange the order
22
and form the word again. However, in Chinese, “fruit”
is composed of two different characters which
themselves are single vocabulary. If we break the
vocabulary “fruit” into a number of strokes, the task
to re-form the vocabulary is too complicated and
advanced for our subjects. Hence, we had to include
other characters and asked the children to choose
two characters among the set and move them to the
circle box in proper order and form the required
vocabulary (“fruit”) (Figure 14).
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
Moreover, 3-vocabulary and 4-vocabulary in
Chinese may be a statement or a sentence. This
implies, therefore, a learner acquiring 3-vocabulary
and 4-vocabulary statement or sentences has
already manipulated the basic speaking skills in
Chinese. In other words, an evaluation on a learner’s
3-vocabulary and 4-vocabulary acquisition is more
or the less the same as an assessment on her or his
ability in putting those characters in systematic and
proper order, that is, fundamental speech
performance. With this understanding, we
provided our subjects with all relevant 3-vocabulary
and 4-vocabulary statements and their
corresponding pictures. Then we spoke out these
statements and asked the children to identify the
right graphic.
Figures 15 and 16 show how students moved the
characters of a 3-vocabulary statement to the proper
boxes; then an audio statement “well done” appeared
with written form. In expressive activity, they simply
read those sentences which were audio-recorded to
the computer files.
Figures 17 to 19 are about the receptive and
expressive task for 4-vocabulary statements. Students
identified the right picture according to the narrator;
then an audio statement “well done” appeared with
written form. In expressive activity, they did the same
as the previous task for 3-vocabulary statements.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 13-26
23
Pedagogical approach
Facilitator
In addition to the role of monitor and facilitator
described in earlier section, the principal
investigator had to face some imperative ad hoc
events with learning implications during intervention
phase of our main study as in the pilot study. P1
and P2’s reaction and behaviour described in early
part of this report posed challenges to special
educators using multimedia-supported learning tool
in the teaching process. We also need to solve the
question: how to produce a product catering for
this kind of users to navigate on her or his will.
More accurate, this may involve teachers in general education of all levels.
Reinforcement
The two boys’ expectation for whatever
rewards discussed in preceding section may define the significant importance in the learning and
teaching processes of students with autism. For
example, in recent International Conference on
Special Education held in Hong Kong, an attendee
asked our principal investigator if materialistic
reward was one of the factors motivating students
with autism to learn. She also wondered if it should
be part of and integrated with the pedagogical or
instructional considerations. Her question was
mainly a response to our report on our preliminary
study.
Alternatively, we also observed effects of other
means in reinforcement like enhancing P2’s selfmotivation and oral contract with P3. Surely, it was
too quick and too early to have an immediate
conclusion on the integration of concrete reward with
pedagogical practices. It needs further investigation
indeed. However, we did include substantial
reinforcement mixed with playing toys in our main
study because we observed the need for care in the
pilot study.
Again, such need is to large extent related to one’s
history of growth and interrelationships of all
environmental stimulations. In the design of
appropriate learning software, we are facing the issue:
how can we care for children with autism?
24
Need for caring for individual differences
We have discussed how different reinforcements
in the pilot study related to pedagogical approaches
motivating students with autism and how the facilitator
effectively made use of this kind of relationship in
various situations. Individual difference, nevertheless,
between the three boys was the core in our concern.
In the pilot study, we attempted to shift P2’s attention
to other issue by identifying his possible fear of the
researcher and his explicit interest in the mouse. Then
we drew his attention back to the initial item and
assisted him to make a selection of appropriate
answer for the task. For P3, our intervention approach
changed slightly with the focus on various
combinations of game activities and time for each task
per session was deliberately shortened.
The boys’ behaviour in the pilot study has
demonstrated the necessary and essential impact of
individual difference on curriculum design, instruction
adaptation, and pedagogical adjustment. In fact, the
concern of such difference exhibits the need for care.
Since we care, we refined our methods in the process
to match with the boys’ cognitive needs,
comparatively difficult interpersonal relationship,
relatively shorter attention span, and weaker ability in
decision-making. Simply speaking, in multimediasupport learning context, personal interaction and
verbal explanation on activities is still significant.
Theoretical framework
In spite of the purpose of the pilot study described
at the start of this report and different target
population of the commercial product used, there
were insights generated from the findings for our
theory building in the main study.
The participants’ performances in our pilot study
seemed able to indicate the motivating function of a
multimedia programme. P1’s involvement and P2 and
P3’s unstable good performance likely supported the
assumption that the visual information input was able
to help them make appropriate responses.
However, the findings were not able to evidence
positively or negatively the desirability of automaticity
and interactivity of the multimedia software as initially
expected in the learning process. P1 was the one
Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
expressing the highest level of interactivity with the
programme among the three. However, we had no
adequate supporting information to associate his
involvement with what Hardy et al. (2002) argued
that the automatic features might help reduce or
minimize easy distraction in childhood autism.
Instead, P2 and P3 seemed to provide some
behavioral indicators to a possible dissociation
between the trigger effect of automaticity and
developments in learning outcome. This may imply
some connection of automaticity with other
dimensions, e.g. the psychological and cognitive needs
of the child, in the issue of distraction. This in turn
relates to the relevancy of information to the children
with autism’s functioning (Swanson, 1987). In other
words, some other equally significant factors, for
example, efficient use of cognitive strategies (Kozma,
1987), closely related to individual characteristics of
learners with autism may be overlooked. We need
further exploration on whether automaticity and
interactivity independent of these personal or
contextual factors.
Some other reflections include the effect of
integration of audio and visual data, the transmission
process from working memory to long-term
memory, and the retrieval process. All these require
a second study to clarify their impact on the learning
programme design.
Conclusion
The main theme of this paper is about the need
for adaptation in technology-facilitated education. We
have concisely discussed the insights from the
performances of the three boys in our pilot study on
programme design of our self-devised multimediasupported learning tool, pedagogical or instructional
modifications, and our theoretical framework.
In fact, the interaction of the boys with the
commercial product reminds us not to confine
multimedia design in the media themselves involving
organization of learning and/or teaching material, the
format of presentation, tasks to be completed, and the
like. Multimedia software is better to serve as a cognitive
tool as Kozma (1987) suggested. It may be one of the
“adaptive learning systems [which] are learning
programmes capable of adapting themselves to the
individual abilities of the learner, e.g., previous
knowledge, interests, weaknesses or preferences with
regard to forms of representation” (Steinmetiz &
Nahrstedt, 2004, p. 162). This is why Kozma (1991a)
agreed that “such tools will be more effective if they
activate the task-relevant cognitive skills that writers
already have while they model and support those
cognitive processes and skills the writers lack” (p. 35)
when he explained the relationship between computerbased writing tools and the writers’ cognitive needs.
By and large, an essential contribution of this pilot
study is the confirmation of need of caring individual
differences in whatever learning contexts.
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Adapted design of multimedia-facilitated language learning program for children with autism • Fai-Kim Lau, Allan H.K. Yuen e John M-G. Lian
Gender differences in online collaborative learning
groups promoting affective education and social
capital
Gender differences and social capital in collaborative learning groups
Mebane Minou Ella
Sorace Roberta
Solimeno Andrea
Tomai Manuela
Abstract
This paper reports the results of a study aimed to establish whether the amount and types of conflicts vary in all male, all female and mixed gender groups
working in asynchronous collaborative learning online settings. Sixty psychology majors were divided into three groups conducted online by the same
teacher. The study show that the levels of participation in the three groups varied in relation to gender composition. Further the results evidenced all
female group did have more conflicts then male and mixed groups, but primarily they did not have interpersonal. The female groups´ conflicts seem to
be related to goal-oriented process of work.
Keywords: Affective education; Human sex differences; Learning.
Diferença de gênero em grupos de aprendizagem colaborativa online
promovendo educação afetiva e capital social
Resumo
Esse artigo apresenta os resultados de um estudo destinado a estabelecer os tipos e a quantidade de conflitos existentes entre homens, mulheres e grupos
mistos que atuam de modo assíncrono num modelo de aprendizagem colaborativa online. 60 psicólogos especialistas foram divididos em três grupos de
trabalho online orientados pelo mesmo professor. O estudo mostra que os níveis de participação nesses grupos distintos variaram com relação a
composição genérica dos mesmos. Além disso, os resultados evidenciaram que todos os grupos femininos revelaram um número muito maior de
conflitos em comparação aos formados apenas por homens ou mistos, mas primariamente não apresentaram conflitos interpessoais. Os conflitos dos
grupos femininos eram relacionados com a escolha da meta do processo de trabalho.
Palavras-chave: Educação afetiva; Diferenças de gênero; Aprendizagem.
Diferencia de género en grupos de aprendizaje de ayuda online
promoviendo educación afectiva y capital social
Resumen
Este artículo presenta los resultados de un estudio destinado a establecer los tipos y la cantidad de conflictos existentes entre hombres, mujeres y grupos
mixtos que actúan de modo asíncrono en un modelo de aprendizaje de ayuda online. 60 psicólogos especialistas fueron divididos en tres grupos de trabajo
online orientados por el mismo profesor. El estudio muestra que los niveles de participación en esos diferentes grupos variaron con relación a la
composición genérica de los mismos. Además de eso, los resultados mostraron que todos los grupos femeninos revelaron un número mucho mayor de
conflictos en comparación a los grupos formados apenas por hombres o a los grupos mixtos, siendo que en primer lugar no presentaron conflictos
interpersonales. Los conflictos de los grupos femeninos eran relacionados con la elección de la meta del proceso de trabajo.
Palabras clave: Educación afectiva; Diferencias de género; Aprendizaje.
27
Introduction
In recent years interest in affective education has
risen: as levels of violent and antisocial behaviours have
increased in many schools, more teachers have
become concerned both with helping adolescents learn
to cope with interpersonal conflict and negative
emotions and with promoting the creation of social
capital (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Caprara & Gerbino,
2002; Leonard, 2004; Loeber & Ferrington, 1998;
Kavanaugh, Reese, Carroll & Rosson, 2005; Putnam,
2000). Affective education has been defined as that
part of the educational process that regards attitudes,
feelings, beliefs and emotions of students, and its
proponents have developed tools to promote
prosocial behaviours and the formation of bonding
social capital (Francescato & Putton, 1995; Lang, Katz
& Menezes, 1998). Gittell and Vidal (1998) define
bonding social capital as “the type that brings closer
together people who already know each other” (p.
15); it refers to resources that people can obtain from
within-group ties, while bridging social capital is “the
type that brings together people or groups who
previously did not know each other” (p. 15).
Among the methodologies developed by affective
educators to promote bonding social capital, and
conflict resolution, the most well known is the “circle
time”, where students sit in circle, facing one another
and discuss topics of their choice. Several studies have
shown that use of circle time promotes prosocial
behaviours, better peer relations, reduces exclusion,
fosters mutual aid, and promotes self esteem, self
awareness, and awareness of other’s feelings
(Karpinnen, Katz & Neill, 2005). Training teachers,
psychologists and other educators to use affective
education competently, has been up to now, very time
consuming and expensive, requiring intensive face-toface small groups meetings. However the new
platforms for e-learning permit forms of collaborative
learning online such as Computer Supported
Collaborative Learning (CSCL), which could be used
to provide professional training that requires small
group settings.
Most training programs for clinical or educational
psychologists still rely almost exclusively on the face28
to-face approach, and several authors doubt that
computer networks can replace the personal touch in
training students (Belar, 1998). However some authors
(Harasim & Yung, 1993; Rudestam, 2004) theorize
that key features of CSCL such asynchronous small
group discussions, collaborative problems solving,
reflective inquiry, competency based outcomes and
the facilitator role of the instructor could be very
helpful in the training of clinical psychologists. Others
(Binder, 1999) have also hypothesized that the use of
interactive, multimedia computer technology to
simulate live clinical experience can guide the learner
through staged difficulties.
Some empirical studies have shown that various
professional competencies in the fields of family
therapy (Maggio, Chenail & Todd, 2001), industrial
psychology (Vodanovich & Piotrowski, 1990) and
educational psychology (Tolmie & Boyle, 2000) can
be learnt online, but they have lacked control face-toface groups.
So the review of the literature shows the need to
ascertain whether certain specific skills, such as those
required in affective education, can be moved beyond
the traditional classroom and to evaluate how online
and face-to-face settings fare in transmitting specific
professional skills and promoting social capital, keeping
constant certain key variables such as teachers’ and
students’ characteristics, collaborative learning
modalities used, and evaluation procedures. There is
also the need to find out if social presence and social
capital can be built more and last more in face-to-face
affective education collaborative learning settings or
CSCL contexts.
In a previous study (Mebane, Porcelli, Iannone,
Attanasio & Francescato, in press) we confirmed that
CSCL could be used to teach some professional
psychological skills of affective education as well as in
face-to-face control groups. These included a mix of
theoretical knowledge about principles and methods
of affective education, and the development of
professional competences such as being able to
facilitate circletimes, and observing and understanding
group processes. Forty seven university clinical and
community psychology master program majors, 85%
females, matched for age, and academic achievement
Gender differences in online collaborative learning groups promoting... • Mebane Minou Ella, Sorace Roberta, Solimeno Andrea e Tomai Manuela
were randomly divided into two groups, and met with
the same teacher for three months for face-to-face
or online circle times and other socioaffective
collaborative group activities.
We used Yahoo groups platforms because it was
cost free. Analysis of variance for a mixed design was
performed having as independent factors type of
groups (face-to-face and online). The results of this
study showed that online students acquired the
theoretical knowledge about principles and methods
of affective education and competences in facilitating
circle times, and observing group processes just as
much as their face-to-face colleagues.
A follow-up interview nine months after the end of
the seminar was undertaken to assess whether social
bonds, formed during the seminars, had lasted in time.
Analysis of student’s replies showed that bonding social capital had developed during the seminars.
Students in both groups made at least one new close
friend during the seminar. But online students also
developed more lasting social capital: after nine months
they met face-to-face with the new friends made
through the seminars and studied together more often
than their face-to-face colleagues.
Since our students were mostly females, we
wondered whether the creation of bonding social capital could be attributed to gender of participants as
well as to collaborative learning online, since several
studies show gender differences in online
communication.
Gendered communication in synchronous and
asynchronous online settings
Early psychological studies of the Internet focused
on what was lost in text-based CMC and theorised
that self-awareness was reduced in CMC and that
communication will be depersonalised, less ‘social’ and
more uninhibited, in comparison to face-to-face
communication (Nie, 2001; Nie, Hillygus & Erbring,
2002). On the contrary, a large part of recent literature
maintains that computer mediated communication
liberates interpersonal relationships from the limits of
physical locality and thus creates novel opportunities
for the development of genuine relationships and social capital (Horrigan & Rainee, 2002; Parks & Floyd,
1996; Parks & Roberts, 1998). In particular,
asynchronous communication online is conceived to
give to the students ample time to consult source
material and analyse the comments of others before
contributing (posting) their own views; this process
makes them more reflective and deliberate in their
discussion, develops self-awareness, interpersonal
awareness, and the appreciation for diverse
perspectives, therefore favouring critical thinking
(Rudestam, 2004; Sipusic, Pannoni, Smith, Dutra,
Gibbons & Sutherland, 1999).
For these reasons many authors have hypothesized
that Computer Mediated Communication facilitates
cooperation and communication, such diminishing
interpersonal conflicts (Griffith & Meader, 2004;
Griffith, Mannix & Neale, 2003; Mortsen & Hinds,
2001; Potter & Balthazard, 2002; Rudestam, 2004).
However most of these studies do not take into
account the influence of variables such as gender and
type of communication, synchronous vs
asynchronous.
In fact, one important limit of several previous
studies on conflict online is that they either used both
synchronous and asynchronous communication as if
they were equivalent (Johnson, Suriya, Won Yoon,
Berret & La Fleur, 2002; Mortsen & Hinds, 2001), or
did not clearly specified if they evaluated the amount
of conflict during synchronous and asynchronous
communication (Griffith et al., 2003; Griffith & Meader,
2004). We believe, instead, the type CMC used may
be a crucial factor in promoting or reducing conflict;
online synchronous environments, in fact, replicate
some of the characteristics of a traditional class
discussion: too many messages coming across may
make people feel overwhelmed, confused, or
interrupted in their own thinking processes, fostering
negative emotions, which may increment relational and
process conflicts. A few empirical studies seem to
point in the direction that asynchronous CMC, making
the expression of emotions less immediate, may foster
communication patterns that lead less often to conflict.
Fahy (2005) compared the online and face-to-face
group interaction using Bales’ Interaction Process Analysis
(IPA). The online group showed considerably less
negative socio-emotional behaviour; particularly two
types of behaviour of IPA, show tension and show
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 27-36
29
antagonism, were not observed in the online group at
all. Another study (Chou, 2004) have found
asynchronous groups participants compared to
synchronous ones more likely to express more
opinions, to give information and to answer questions
rather than contesting other people’s opinions.
Johnson et al. (2002) found that online asynchronous
learning groups follow a sequential model of group
development, but do not present the conflict stage.
We confirmed Johnson’s findings in a study of
asynchronous team work: we found fewer episodes
of conflict in online than in face-to-face student groups
and the lack of a storming stage, commonly found in
face-to-face groups (Tomai, Mebane, Foddis, Ingravalle
& Francescato, in press). The low level of conflict found
in our asynchronous groups could be due to the
combined effect of using collaborative methodologies,
which emphasize cooperation more than competition,
and of employing asynchronous communication
modalities, which may foster less conflict among
members. However since also in this study, our
students were mostly females (females make up 85%
of psychology students in Italy), the low prevalence of
conflict could be due also to gender differences as some
studies seem to suggest.
Studies on gender differences in online settings have
focused primarily on two topics: interaction patterns
and participation levels. Some studies have also
explored gender difference in computer use: earlier
studies had found males to have an advantage (Adam
& Bruce, 1993; Collazos, Guerrero, Llana & Oetzel,
2002; Kirk, 1992; Yelloushan, 1989) while more recent
studies did not find any gender differences (Hargittai
& Shafer, 2006; Torkzadeh & Van Dyke, 2002).
Interaction patterns
Several studies show that patterns of
communication online differ with the gendered
composition of group members. Blum (1999) found
that women more than men, in training groups online,
were more supportive, more able to perceive moods
and to disclose personal information. Other studies
(Anderson & Blanchard, 1982; Carli, 1989; Eagly &
Karau, 1991; Savicki, Kelley & Ammon, 2002) show
that women will primarily assume maintenance or
30
socio-emotional group process roles and men will take
one more task oriented roles.
Therefore one could predict that social capital
formation may be influenced by the gender
composition of online training groups. We found no
research related to this topic, however several studies
have analyzed what variables contribute to create
conflictive relations in groups, sometimes preventing
the formation of positive social bonds which are the
basis on which social capital is built.
Savicki, Kelley and Lingenfelter (1996) have found
specific communication differences related to gender
composition in small (4 to 6 member) groups using
asynchronous CMC over 3 to 4 week periods to complete specific tasks. These results are consistent with
both task versus socio-emotional contrasts and with
Herring’s (1994) findings. The author describes
different gender styles. As Tannen (1991) had
described in face-to-face contexts, consistent with the
task versus socio-emotional distinction, the female
style is characterized by supportiveness and
attenuation while the male style by adversariality
(strong assertions, lengthy and/or frequent postings,
self-promotion, and sarcasm; coarse and abusive
language). Herring (1994) suggested that gender-based
communication styles and the power dynamics
associated with these styles carry over to electronic
environments, despite the loss of overt face-to-face
cues to gender; males are traditionally awarded more
status and power in society and these gendered power
differentials in communication style would transfer into
computer-mediated environments as also Sussman and
Tyson (2000) suggested.
However Guiller and Durndell (2007) found that
males and females were similar regarding use linguistic
variables, with the exception of intensifiers, as more
females used them than males. Further, males were
more likely than females to use authoritative language
and to respond negatively in interaction, and females
more than males tended to explicitly agree and
support others and make more personal and
emotional contributions. The authors underline that
it is still unclear whether CMC moderates or
magnifies the gender differences reported in faceto-face research.
Gender differences in online collaborative learning groups promoting... • Mebane Minou Ella, Sorace Roberta, Solimeno Andrea e Tomai Manuela
Participation Patterns
The absence of hierarchy, status and power in
CMC, was also presumed to have a democratising
effect on participation (Sproull & Kiesler, 1986). It
was suggested that in CMC participants become
uninhibited and participated more. The removal of
status cues such as gender has the potential to
moderate the effects of gender on language use
online. Several studies have examined participation
in CMC by gender with conflicting results (Graddol
& Swan, 1989; Selfe & Meyer, 1991). Males
dominated mixed-sex interaction in formal face-toface contexts by speaking more frequently, for longer
and interrupting more, than females (Tannen, 1991;
Thorne, Kramarae & Henley, 1983). On the contrary,
Miller and Durndell (2004) studied participation in
an educational context and found no significant
gender differences in measures of participation
(frequency or length of online postings) of males and
females. However, other studies have shown that
relatively few males still managed to dominate a
discussion online (Light, Nesbitt, Light & Burns,
2000; Sierpe, 2000).
Gender seems to determine not only the
interaction style but also group development (Savicki
et al., 1996); in fact women in female only groups
(FO) had more advanced levels of group development
than did either male only (MO) or evenly mixed gender
(MIX) groups. Female groups seem to develop more
trust among members favouring a more direct and
personal communication. Also members of female
groups show a higher capacity to question and modify
their opinion.
So a review of the literature shows the need to
explore gender differences in conflict in online groups,
controlling for pedagogical model used (individual vs
collaborative learning) and communication mode
(synchronous vs. asynchronous).
Aims
Our study aimed, therefore, to establish
whether the amount and types of conflicts vary in
all male, all female and mixed gender groups working
in asynchronous collaborative learning online
settings.
Method
Sixty psychology majors matched for age,
academic achievement, problem solving-strategies,
attitudes toward collaborative learning and toward
group work, were divided into three groups, one with
only females, one with only males and one with both
male and female members. In the first two weeks
students worked in one large groups, in the last three
weeks they also worked in small (4-5 participants)
subgroups. The same teacher, expert in both faceto-face and online teaching, structured affective
education learning activities that could be done weekly
in all three seminars. We planned micro modules with
precise didactic objectives and group tasks that
required high degree of cooperation. Two trained
observers, recorded online groups processes, plus
all exchanges were automatically recorded on the
platforms. Students in all three seminars had access
to the same theoretical materials on affective education
and the same practice exercises and received feedback
from the same teacher. In all groups they experienced
first circle times facilitated by the teacher and then
students conducted the other circle times with some
students acting as silent observers outside the circle
time. They also practiced analyzing group processes,
and detecting strong and week points. Students were
assessed using a variety of evaluations procedures:
individual multiple choice exams, individual
competency based performances, and essays written
cooperatively in small groups (four to five students)
to reinforce collaborative learning skills of their group
activities.
We used forum and mailing list of a Moodle
platform, and all students were trained in using the
platform. In two previous studies on online learning
(Francescato, Porcelli, Mebane, Cuddetta, Klobas &
Renzi, 2006; Francescato, Mebane, Porcelli, Attanasio
& Pulino, 2007) we had not found any gender
differences among our students in computer use, and
again this year there was no difference.
To analyze the groups’ process we used Tuckman’s
(1965) five phase model while we referred to Jehn
typologies (1995; 1997) to explore which types of
conflicts arose more frequently. She distinguishes
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 27-36
31
among relational, task and process conflicts. Relational
conflict includes personality clashes, hostility and
opinions divergences (“they reproached us but I know
that we have nothing to envy others for”). Task or
cognitive conflict is characterized by the presence of
different opinions among group members on what
goals to pursue and how (“I can’t wait for your
response until tomorrow! Next time we have to have
clearer aims and organize ourselves better!”). Process
conflict deals with disagreement on how to carry on a
group tasks or on how to distribute resources (“I’m
not agree! Too much work for us and too little for
you!”). We used content analysis of the entire corpus
of email (Losito, 1996).
We are at present, a year after the end of this
research, conducting a follow up study to gauge eventual differences in social capital formation, in all males,
all females and mixed groups.
Results
In all three groups, analyzing exchanges in the
larger group forum setting, there was not a phase of
storming. Most interactions happened during the
norming and performing stages, that is when
participants were engaged in proposing rules and
procedures deciding objectives and focusing on
reaching them. However the levels of participation in
the three groups varied as can be seen on Table 1.
The mixed group exchanged 511 mails, the only
female group 293 and the male group had the lowest
exchange (109).
The language used differed in the three groups.
The all male group compared to the other two used
less emoticons and colors and instead wrote more
often foul words.
Considering all email exchanged in the small
subgroup setting, as can be seen in Table 2, the number
of conflicts was greater in female than male and mixed
groups. Therefore, in all three groups most conflicts
are process ones. In particular in all female groups,
conflict was around problems in performing tasks, or
about scant participation on the part of some group
members.
Examining the email exchanges in all subgroups
evidenced the same results: as in the general forum,
the storming phase was absent. In the small group
Table 1: Participation in general forum in the different groups
Table 2: Kind of conflict in the different groups
Lg= larger group; Sg= sub group
32
Gender differences in online collaborative learning groups promoting... • Mebane Minou Ella, Sorace Roberta, Solimeno Andrea e Tomai Manuela
setting, as can be seen in Table 3, the all female
group exchanged the highest number of email,
confirming that, also online, women tend to speak
up more in small groups than in larger ones, as they
do in face-to-face settings. Moreover, the female
subgroups were more relation oriented, more
collaborative and more respectful of norms, while
the all male groups were more task oriented and
also kept better track of time spend and
approaching deadlines. The fact that female groups
were more respectful of norms and dealt with
conflicts openly could have favoured the higher
participation rate that we found and also helped
the group to survive and function. In fact, one male
subgroup, which had very few mail exchanges, the
lowest number of all subgroups, as can be seen on
Table 3, saw three people leave so that the
remaining two joined other groups.
Also in the subgroups the exchange of email
occurred more in the norming and performing stages.
Again, we found differences in the language used: in
the male subgroups, members told jokes, kidded
around and used irony more than members of the
other two groups.
Discussion
Overall, our results evidenced the lack of a
storming phase in all plenary groups and also in all
subgroups regardless of gender composition,
confirming Johnson’s et al. (2002) findings and Tomai
et al. (in press) results. We also found few conflictual
episodes distributed along all phases of group
development. Asynchronous communication seems
to foster a cooperative atmosphere as Chou (2004),
Griffith et al. (2003) and Rudestam (2004) maintained,
at least in groups using a collaborative learning
methodology. These results can have important
educational implications, if we want to foster
constructive communication among potentially
adversary groups, such in intercultural education,
using collaborative methodologies in asynchronous
online settings seems to be a promising strategy.
Our study also shows, however, that gender
composition can make a further difference even in
collaborative asynchronous settings, but not entirely
in the direction, of women being less confrontational
than men as women have been found to be in some
face-to-face and online settings (Light, Nesbitt, Light
Table 3: Participation in subgroup forum in the different groups
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 27-36
33
& Burns, 2000; Tannen, 1991; Thorne, Kramarae &
Henley, 1983; Sierpe, 2000).
Further studies will have to confirm if online all
female groups do have, as we detected, more conflicts
than mixed or male groups. This was a rather surprising
new finding since most authors had previously
ascertained that women‘s communication style was
characterised by supportiveness and attenuation of
contrast (Herring, 1994; Tannen, 1991). We should
underline that our all female group did have more
conflicts but primarily they did not have interpersonal.
Their conflicts seem to be related to goal-oriented
process. These types of conflict can lead to better
performances, in fact, several authors maintain that
facing conflicts allows for more participation, group
development and more thoughtful decision making
processes (Griffith et al., 2003; Rudestam 2004; Savicki
et al., 1996). Further studies can explore where task
related conflicts are more prevalent in all females, mixed
or all male groups and how this affects performance
and social capital’s formation.
Our study showed that men in all male groups
participated less often and used more foul and abusive
language. In at least one male subgroup this lead to a
premature death of the group and therefore to lower
performance and lower initial social capital, since new
social ties were severed. Further studies should
confirm if these gender differences are only found
among psychology university students, where males
represent a minority group, or do appear also in all
male groups in other business, political or recreational
contexts, where men are the majority.
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About the authors
Mebane Minou Ella ([email protected]): Faculty of Psychology 2, University Sapienza, Via Dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy.
Sorace Roberta ([email protected]): Faculty of Psychology 1, University Sapienza, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy.
Solimeno Andrea ([email protected]): Faculty of Psychology 1, University Sapienza, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy.
Tomai Manuela ([email protected]): Faculty of Psychology 1, University Sapienza, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy.
36
Gender differences in online collaborative learning groups promoting... • Mebane Minou Ella, Sorace Roberta, Solimeno Andrea e Tomai Manuela
Scaffolding and interventions between students
and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence
Teachers’ scaffolding and interventions
Eva Edman Stålbrandt
Annika Hössjer
Abstract
The aims of this paper are to develop knowledge about scaffolding when students in Swedish schools use digital educational material and to investigate
what the main focus is in teachers’ interventions during a Learning Design Sequence (LDS), based on a socio-cultural perspective. The results indicate that
scaffolding were most common in the primary transformation unit and the most frequent type was procedural scaffolding, although all types of scaffolds;
conceptual, metacognitive, procedural, strategic, affective and technical scaffolding occurred in all parts of a learning design sequence. In this study most
of the teachers and students, think that using digital educational material requires more and other forms of scaffolding and concerning teacher
interventions teachers interact both supportively and restrictively according to students’ learning process. Reasons for that are connected to the content
of the intervention and whether teachers intervene together with the students or not.
Keywords: Technology; Scaffolding; Knowledge.
Estruturas de apoio e intervenção entre estudantes e professores num
Modelo de Aprendizagem Sequenciada (MAS)
Resumo
O objetivo desse artigo é conhecer as Estruturas Educacionais de Apoio (EEA) quando alunos em escolas suecas utilizam material educacional digital e
investigar qual é o principal foco nas intervenções dos professores durante um Modelo de Aprendizagem Seqüenciada (MAS), baseado numa perspectiva
sócio-cultural. Os resultados indicam que as EEA foram mais comuns nas unidades de transformação primárias e o tipo mais freqüente foi a EEA de
procedimento, embora todos os tipos tenham sido identificados - conceitual, metacognitiva, processual, estratégica e afetiva. EEA técnica ocorreu em
todas as etapas do MAS. Nesse estudo a maioria dos professores e alunos, pensam que para utilizar material de educação digital é necessário outras
formas de MAS. Além disso, de acordo com o processo de aprendizado dos alunos, as intervenções dos professores foram consideradas tanto de apoio
quanto de restrição. Os motivos para isso estão relacionados ao conteúdo das intervenções e se os professores intervem junto aos alunos ou não.
Palavras chave: Tecnologia; Estruturas educacionais de apoio; Conhecimento.
Estructuras de apoyo e intervención entre estudiantes y profesores en un
Modelo de Aprendizaje Secuencial (MAS)
Resumen
El objetivo de este artículo es conocer las Estructuras Educacionales de Apoyo (EEA) cuando alumnos en escuelas suecas utilizan material educacional
digital, e investigar cual es el foco principal en las intervenciones de los profesores durante un Modelo de Aprendizaje Secuencial (MAS), apoyado en una
perspectiva socio-cultural. Los resultados indican que las EEA fueron más comunes en las unidades de transformación primarias y el tipo más frecuente
fue la EEA de procedimiento, pese a que todos los tipos fueron identificados - conceptual, metacognitiva, procesal, estratégica y afectiva. EEA técnica
ocurrió en todas las etapas del MAS. En este estudio la mayor parte de los profesores y de los alumnos piensan que para utilizar material de educación
digital son necesarias otras formas de MAS. Además de eso, de acuerdo con el proceso de aprendizaje de los alumnos, las intervenciones de los profesores
fueron consideradas tanto de apoyo como de restricción. Los motivos para eso están relacionados al contenido de las intervenciones y a si los profesores
intervienen junto a los alumnos o no.
Palabras clave: Tecnología; Estructuras educacionales de apoyo; Conocimiento.
37
Introduction
This paper is written within the research project,
“Digital Teaching Aids and Learning Design Sequence
in Swedish Schools – Users´ Perspective”. The study
is in the research field of ICT and it is based at the
Stockholm Institute of Education. The project’s
purpose is to deepen the understanding of how digital media are used as a resource for learning in
education. The project runs for three years, from the
year of 2004 to 2007 and is led by professor Staffan
Selander, financed by The Swedish Knowledge
foundation.
Ten schools were selected by their active use of
ICT. Students were from 6 to 19 years old and they
were observed in different subjects. Different
researchers have different research questions
concerning for example communication, interaction,
the digital tool and subject integration with ICT. In
this paper we only present two researchers’ different
questions, on one hand scaffolding and on the other
hand teachers’ interventions. The two groups of
questions were not linked together from the beginning,
we just use the same material in one case. Three
schools in the suburbs of Stockholm were chosen
from the material. The subjects which were included
in the Learning Design Sequence in these three
schools were Swedish language, Music, ICT, Home
economics and Social science. The students’ were 8,
13, 14 and 17 years old.
The main questions for scaffolding: in this study
are:
• What kinds of scaffolding occur when students
use digital educational material and where in a
learning design sequence do they occur?
• Do students understand the same phenomena
of scaffolding as teachers?
• Do students and teachers believe that
schoolwork with digital educational material
demands more, less or other kinds of scaffolding
for learning?
The main questions for teachers’ interventions
in this study are:
• What is the main focus of the teacher
intervention?
38
• Are teacher interventions supportive or
restrictive for students’ learning process?
Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework is primarily based on
socio-cultural perspective. Vygotsky’s socio-cultural
theory of learning points out that human intelligence
stems from the culture we are living in. Human
cognition occurs in the first place on a social level in
interaction with other human beings and thereafter
inside the individual (Vygotsky, 1978). Learning is a
process of engagement and activity together with
other people where actions and thinking are situated.
The process, form and content are all merged within
activities, where communication is important. These
activities are interdisciplinary (Lave & Wenger, 2003;
Säljö, 2005).
In the socio-cultural perspective the artefact is
central. Pupils’ thinking is thought to be intimate
connected to the artefacts they are using. This is
shown in the interaction between pupil and artefact
where the pupil for example often can manage
complicated actions without being able to verbalize
them, which is a common scenario in the material.
Säljö means that it is useless trying to understand what
goes on in one pupils head – instead we try to
understand learning in the interaction between pupils,
teachers and artefacts (Säljö, 2005).
Scaffolding
When learning is shaped by the social environment
every person, has a larger extent of potential for
learning than the definite capacity of the individual when
learning is facilitated just by someone with larger
knowledge (Wertsch, 1991). This range of a person’s
potential is called the zone of proximal development
and is essential according to Vygotsky’s ideas. Learning
in the zone of proximal development is a combined
activity in which the teacher simultaneously keeps an
eye on the goals of the Learning design sequence and
on what the student with assistance is capable to do.
Scaffolding is a strategy that teachers use to move
learning forward in the zone of proximal development.
It is a collaborative process. It involves negotiation of
meaning between the teacher and the student about
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
expectations and how to improve the learning process
in the best way (Shepard, 2005). Examples of
scaffolding could be when the teacher provides the
student with different kinds of support e.g. hints
encouragement, cognitive structures and reminders
during the learning process through an LDS (Wood,
Bruner & Ross, 1976). One way of categorize
scaffolding are Hill and Hannifin’s (2001) four types
of scaffolds; conceptual, metacognitive, procedural
and strategic scaffolds. Conceptual scaffolds could be
maps, outlines and clarifying examples which support
the student to make choices about the selection or
to prioritize what is important information.
Metacognitive scaffolds may include reminders to
reflect on the goal or a cognitive model, which helps
the student to focus on the target or to estimate what
he/she knows and what to do next in the learning
process. Procedural scaffolds could be textual charts,
graphic representations, site navigation maps or
instructions about the working procedure which help
the student to value resources and at the same time
reduce the cognitive load in the procedure of
navigation. Strategic scaffolds may include suggestions
for alternative approaches to tackle a task that helps
the student to develop an alternative perspective of
an issue for example. Two categories which Hill and
Hannafin don’t include are the affective and the
technical scaffolds which are found in Masters’ and
Yelland’s research (2002). The affective scaffolding
can consist of encouragement and praise. The technical
scaffolding includes technical instruction and technical
recovery in form of prompts or guiding questions to
recover a technical mistake.
Learning theories and factors that influence
teacher interventions
How do teachers intervene when pupils in Swedish
schools use digital educational material? To answer this,
we need to have a background to how we think
learning occurs. According to Säljö (2005), there are
three main learning traditions. The cognitive tradition,
within which processes are more central than
content, the subject didactic tradition, where content
is of central importance and the socio cultural tradition,
where people appropriate social experiences from
situated activities. In this paper, we focus on the socio
cultural description of learning.
In the Swedish curricula of 1994 (Skolverket,
1998) working methods must be democratic, with
the students’ participation in planning of activities and
the teacher having a personal responsibility for the
students’ learning. The teacher should encourage
independent as well as social work, including active
learning, problem solving, communication and
discussion. In Lpo 1994 (Skolverket, 1998) student
learning is in centre of school activities, and this in
turn impacts classroom strategies. Teaching strategies
and daily classroom life are the most important points
for student learning (Jedeskog, 2005). Interactive
teaching is one way of teaching today. It includes active learning such as collaboration, communication and
creation of meaning and understanding. Traditionally,
in non-interactive teaching, the teacher is talking most
of the time in the classroom. Interactive teaching on
the other hand often supports social constructivist
or socio-cultural learning. This includes being open
for creative thinking, using challenging and open ended
questions, encouraging group discussions and initiating
more interaction, both between students and between
teachers and students (English, Hargreaves and
Hislam, 2002).
Teacher interventions are situated in a social
context with deep historical and cultural traditions.
Säljö (2005) means that institutions are units of social
practice, having their own cultural tools. This includes
communicative patterns and activities within special
institutional frameworks. Different assumptions about
the nature of learning are found within these
institutions. We can talk about different physical,
cognitive, communicative and historical contexts.
Social structures have impact on individual actions and
vice verse. People in the same social setting use
common artefacts and common ways of
communicating and acting.
We are also involved in a number of communities
of practice. A community is defined by three
dimensions: What it is about, how it functions and
what capability it has produced. They share some
common resources (such as routines, vocabulary and
artifacts) which accumulate knowledge within the
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 37-48
39
community. All members are involved in relationships
which are important for learning (Lave and Wenger,
2003). Depending on academic subject, there are
differences between how teachers plan and teach
courses and approach ICT. According to Waggoner
(1994), each subject has its own structure with given
ontological and epistemological assumptions. We tend
to teach as we are taught, and, since our teaching
training varies between subjects, so does our teaching
style. Santee and Siskin (1994) find that teachers have
a deep identification with their subject. The teachers’
perspectives on how they teach differ, and values are
sometimes in conflict between subjects. In general,
teachers within a subject share the same faith in who
they are, what they are doing and how they would
like to do it.
All of this, communities of practice, institutions,
cultural tools and traditions, differences between
teachers’ subjects and their identification with their
subject has impact on how teachers intervene in the
classroom.
Method
The method and analysis we have employed is
qualitative. According to our aim and research
questions different methods of data collection are
used, such as descriptive field observation, video
recordings and interviews (formal and informal) with
students as well as teachers. The material is gathered
in classrooms when students use digital educational
material in their daily work. It can for example consist
of Internet, different software as Word, Power Point
and Illustrator, Learning Management systems, digital
cameras or scanners. The main part of the material
consists of videotaped film. All material is not
transcribed; instead we transcribe critical incidents
(Tripp, 1993) which we choose according to the
questions at issue. We have transcribed and analyzed
different sequences according to our research
questions. According to scientific practice we take
responsibility for the research process being governed
by ethical views, carried out in accordance with the
ethical rules of the Swedish Research Council (http:/
40
/www.codex.vr.se/codex_eng/codex/index.html) for
research in social science, including information
requirement, approval requirement, confidentiality
requirement and usage requirement.
Scaffolding
Concerning scaffolding the material is collected
from three different schools and the students are 8,
14 and 17 years old. we have analyzed the video
material from the LDS model (see below) and Hill
and Hannafin’s four types of scaffolds; conceptual,
metacognitive, procedural and strategic as well as
Masters’ and Yelland’s (2002) two scaffolds: the
affective and the technical. An example of conceptual
scaffolds were clarifying examples from the teacher,
a metacognitive scaffold could be a reminder from
the teacher to reflect on the goal, graphic
representations were examples of procedural
scaffolds, a strategic scaffolds could consist of a
question from the teacher which gave the student a
different perspective of an issue, the affective
scaffolding consisted mostly of encouragement and
he technical scaffolding included technical instructions.
The theme, and subject content of the three LDS’s
were for the 8-years old “The history of my life” in
Swedish language, for the 14 years old “The travel
through Europe” in home economics, social science,
Music and ICT and for the upper secondary class it
was ”History of literature” in Swedish
language. Regarding scaffolding, we also took our point
of departure from the interviews.
Teachers’ interventions
When it comes to teacher intervention the material is collected from two schools in two different classes, 13 and 14 years old students. The theme and
subject content of the two LDS’s were “Human
existence, fears and children rights” for the 13 years
old consisting Social Science, Music and ICT. According
the 14 years old students it is the same material as
scaffolding above with the theme “The travel to
Europe” in Home economics, Social science,
Music and ICT. The selection of sequences was
delimited by the teacher coming to a group of
students and intervening with them, and it lasts until
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
The LDS model
The analysis is also made according to the LDS
model below. Within our research group we have
constructed a model which we refer to as an LDS –
Learning Design Sequence. An LDS contains everything
from the start of a learning sequence until the end,
when students’ work is finished, including
presentations and assessment. It can be a two hour
lesson in physics but also a long sequence in social
studies which reaches over a whole semester. An LDS
is framed by the institutional norms among the
teachers and students the intentions in the curriculum
and by the resources for learning which are available
(left). It is also framed by the interest, group climate
and patterns of social interactions (above). Focus in
the model is how knowledge is created and reshaped
in the process of learning. In the “Primary information
resources for learning. In this cycle of information the
students transform and form their knowledge of this
information. What kind of media is used and which
kind of information are shown in different modes. It
is also interesting to how and in what way the group
is a resource for learning. During this phase the
teacher intervene in many ways. Then we have the
“Second information unit” with is focus on the students
representations and presenting. The students’
discussion and reflection over their learning process
and results are important in this phase. As you can
see in the figure (below), teacher intervene during
this unit too. Signs of learning are traced in the
students’ representations and in their process with
new explanations and skills. The arrows inside the
circle of the primary and secondary transformation
unit symbolize a back and forward movement between
transforming and forming knowledge in the primary
unit, as well as represent and presenting knowledge
in the secondary unit. During the primary and
secondary transformation unit teacher intervene in
many ways. One kind of intervention is assessment
(below). In the primary transformation unit there is a
focus on formative assessment and in the secondary
a summative assessment (Selander, Engström, &
Åkerfeldt, 2007).
unit”, the focus is on how student search for and
process information, how they collaborate and
interact with each other, with the teacher and
A teacher intervention can be observed before and
during the primary transformation unit and through
the secondary transformation unit of a Learning Design
the teacher has departed. The material will just allow
us to analyze the sequences, not what has happened
after that. The units of analysis were speech, activity,
display, digital learning resource, which way the
teacher comes to the group and the content of the
intervention. We would like to point out that very
rarely the analyzed sequences coincide with the
analyzed sequences for scaffolding.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 37-48
41
Unit. The teacher decides the content of an LDS,
sometimes in collaboration with the students. There
are many underlying processes which have an impact
on learning in an LDS, such as intentions, curriculum,
traditions, group climate and students’ opportunities
to reflect and represent the LDS. Scaffolding and
teacher interventions occur in different ways along
the whole LDS, from the start to the end. We have
documented these sequences with a digital video
camera and field observations. Interviews with both
teachers and students take place after the Learning
Design Sequence. Student’s representations are
gathered, sometimes as a CD, caught with our video
cameras or in printed form.
In the research about scaffolding we videotaped
one LDS each from three different schools in the
suburbs of Stockholm. The students were 8, 14 and
17 years old. All the classes worked for about two
months with their LDS. The video documentation
consists of about 10 hours video recordings from each
school. The LDS for the 8-years old students was
called “History of my life” and included the school
subject Swedish language. The students produced a
PowerPoint slideshow about their life including text,
pictures, photos and sound. One class, the 14-years
old, was the same LDS as described down below as
“The travel to Europe”. The content of the third class’
LDS was history of literature in an upper secondary
school. The students and teachers used Internet and
an LMS-system, software like PowerPoint, Illustrator
and In Design. According to the LDS-model the units
of analysis were; setting, primary transformations unittransforming information to forming learning and
knowledge- and secondary transformation unit –
presenting and representing knowledge.
In the research about intervention we followed one
LDS from each of two different schools. The students
were 13 and 14 years old. Both of the LDSs which
we followed involved thematic work with teachers
from different subjects, lasting for almost a whole
semester. One class had teachers in social science,
music, ICT and home economics. The Learning Design
Sequence was called “The travel to Europe”. It was a
storyline theme where the students learned about
geography (climate, populations, industries,
42
economy), cooking (inspired from a country in
Europe), music (European composers) and science
(European scientists) etc. The students pretended to
be employed, with the goal of registering differences
and similarities between European countries. They
worked with computers (laptops and PCs) with
various software (Power Point, Word, Internet) and
digital cameras. A PowerPoint- production was
presented as a result of the thematic work. The other
class involved teachers in social science, ICT and
music. Students worked with the Learning Design
Sequence “Human existence, fears and children
rights”, using video cameras, digital photos and Apple
computers with Movie and Garage Band. A movie
about bullying and related topics was produced by
the students based on interviews, filmed episodes and
facts found from the Internet. As we can see in the
LDS-model, teachers’ interventions occur through the
whole LDS, even before the primary transformation
unit and secondary transformation unit. All the units
in the LDS affect the teacher intervention and can be
shown in the analyze of the results.
Results and Discussion
Scaffolding
Regarding all research questions about scaffolding
the material is chosen from three different schools
and three LDS’. The students are 8, 14 and 17 years
old. In all three LDS’ the teachers had organized the
students’ learning-process collaboratively in the social environment (Wertsch, 1991). The content and
forms of learning were merged within collaborate
thematic work where communication was important
in the interdisciplinary activities (Lave & Wenger, 2003;
Säljö 2005). In all the three LDS’ we found the
learning-process organized first on a social level
(Vygotsky, 1978) and then on a more individual level
continuing to finish on a social level again. The results
indicate that scaffolding was a strategy used by all the
teachers to move learning forward in the zone of
proximal development. We found forms as hints,
encouragement, and cognitive reminders in all three
classrooms both on social and individual level (Wood,
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
Bruner & Ross, 1976). All types of scaffolds (Hill &
Hannafin, 2001; Master & Yelland, 2002) occurred in
every part (setting, primary and secondary
transformation unit) of an LDS. The most common
type of scaffold was the procedural type (Hill &
Hannafin, 2001) in all the three LDS’. An example of
that is when the teacher in advance has made an
instruction sheet to help some of the students to value
different resources on the Internet (below). She didn’t
use it for all students, some didn’t need it, and this
was one example for us to know that she was aware
of the proximal zone of development of her students.
The sheet consisted of the text below:
“There is a lot of information to get on the Internet,
some is very good but some websites are not. Don’t
trust everything you read, see and listen to on the
Internet! Be critical!
Choose your material from the Internet by using
these questions below:
Who has made the website? Is it an authority,
organization, a company or a private person?
Do they know a lot about the subject at issue?
What purpose has the website?
To inform, to present facts, to advocate for
something, to sell something or to entertain?
What do the website look like? Is there any contact
information?
Does the text look serious to you? Do the
hyperlinks work? Is there a date on the site?
Do they refer to other resources? Can you get
information from other resources?
The library or trusted school sites? Have you
compared this site with other websites?”
The most common phase where the scaffolds
occurred was in the primary transformation unit when
the students worked on their own or in group and
the teacher’s role was more of a guide than an instructor, an example of a collaborative process between
the teacher and students where negotiation of meaning
took place (Shepard, 2005). The technical scaffolds
(Master & Yelland, 2002) were more common in the
setting and in the primary transformation unit than in
the secondary in all three LDS’s and they were more
frequent among the younger students. In the upper
secondary school different types of structures, such
as how a story is structured or how to analyze a movie,
were a common form of scaffolding. In this class we
recognized that the students created their own
structures in the working process and we interpret
that scaffolding worked as a mediating resource for
learning.
Concerning the second research question “Do
students understand the same phenomena of
scaffolding as teachers?” The results differ a lot
between the schools. In one of them the teacher’s
view of scaffolding is quite similar to the students’. In
another school the answers differ totally between the
teacher and the students. For example in one case
the teacher shows the learning goals for some pupils
in order to be a metacognitive scaffold, a reminder to
reflect on the goal and not continuing on a sidetrack
(Hill & Hannafin, 2001), but it is not at all
comprehended as scaffolding by the pupils, as it were
meant to be. The pupils we interviewed in this class
considered scaffolding as instructions how to do things
or direct answers from the teacher, answers which
solved the problem the pupils themselves were set
to solve. They didn’t have the same view of how to
learn as their teacher. In the third school the answers
and the descriptions of scaffolding are very similar
between the teacher and the students.
Regarding the third research question “Do students
and teachers believe that schoolwork with digital
educational material demands more, less or other
kinds of scaffolding for learning?” we have used the
interview material for analyzes as well. Among the
younger students the teacher and the students agreed
upon that schoolwork with digital education material
demands more technical scaffolding (Master &
Yelland, 2002) to handle the digital artefact. The
teacher also pointed out in the interviews that the
pupils’ thinking about the content is very much
connected to the digital artefact (Säljö, 2005) in the
interaction with it and the technical scaffold is
therefore needed not only for technical matters. In
another school the students express their increased
need of conceptual scaffolding (Hill & Hannafin, 2001)
in the searching phase of the LDS. They express that
it is more difficult to understand the information they
get at the Internet compared with traditional
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 37-48
43
educational material. The teacher in this school also
thinks that it is necessary with more scaffolding to
deepen the understanding for the students because it
takes a lot of time to handle the artefact and get the
technique working smoothly. The teacher in the third
school thought more scaffolding is needed in form of
metacognitive as well as procedural scaffolding (Hill
& Hannafin, 2001) since the information on the
Internet is far more comprising than traditional
educational material which requires more preparation
from the teacher. The students were also of the
opinion that working with Internet as a resource
requires more cognitive scaffolds to help them to focus
on the target.
To sum up most of the teachers and students, in
this study, think that using digital educational material
requires both more and other forms of scaffolding
compared to other forms of educational material.
Teachers’ interventions
The main questions for teachers’ interventions in
this study dealt with the focus and the content of the
intervention, and if it supports or restricts the
students’ learning process. The analyze of the
intervention was limited by the teacher coming to
the students and lasted until de departure of the
teachers. The results are strictly limited to these
sequences. The results indicated that the focus of the
teachers’ interventions’ were very important during
both the “Primary information unit”, and the “Second
information unit” (Selander, Engström & Åkerfeldt,
2007). The intention with the examples is to show
how the focus of the intervention affects the learning
process and make the intervention transparent. All
LDS is framed by the institutional norms and patterns
of social interactions (Selander, Engström & Åkerfeldt,
2007), which become obvious in our
observations. When it comes to teachers’
interventions some of them occurred focusing directly
towards the digital resources.
We are inside an eight’s grade classroom. The
mathematics- and ICT teacher Andrew walks around
in the classroom, carrying a laptop. One of the boys,
Daniel, calls for his attention and he steps forward to
the boy’s group that works around a table. They work
44
with three laptops. Daniel: “Andrew, come now
Andrew … I get crazy on this computer.”…“this strip,
why is there empty space created when I try to paste copied material”…Then Andrew puts down his
computer, leans forward, takes over the mouse from
Daniel and looks into the screen. He starts working
with Daniel’s computer, and continues the work for a
long time without involving Daniel at all. Daniel walks
away, out in the classroom, and starts talking with
other students… At last Daniel comes back and sits
down, but he doesn’t participate in Andrews work
with Daniels computer… Andrew finishes saying
“Well, now it works. That’s it! Don’t ask me what I
did but now it works.” Then the teacher grabs his
own portable computer and walks away. This example
shows a student calling for help and a male teacher
coming. The digital learning resource is in focus and
the teacher takes over. As a result, the student doesn’t
participate in problem solving and doesn’t know what
has happened, neither on his screen nor with his work.
He is not told how to solve similar problems in the
future. On the positive side, the student can resume
his work after the teacher’s support. This teacher
intervenes as a technician, having a user support role.
When teachers teach ICT they often guide and
instruct the students. The teacher intervention is
focused on the ICT and a “how-to-do-it” perspective.
The student is watching, being told what to do and
then follows the instructions. The teacher is the guide
that leads the student forward, which can be helpful
in a learning situation. Two girls, Eve and Phoebe, work
with one Macintosh computer each. An information
and communications technology teacher gets to them
and grabs the mouse. She demonstrates how to
proceed and says: “Do like this … I Movie works as
follows, when you start a … the movie appears …
that you need to put on your desktop”. The student
Eve says: “should we start then”. The teacher is
standing behind the two girls, helping one of them.
When they start working she gives instructions by
pointing at the screen. In this example the teacher is
the guide who leads the students forward. She is
supporting them to continue working. The teacher is
both a technician and educator in this intervention. In
the sociocultural perspective the artefact is central,
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
and the students thinking is thought to be intimate
connected to the artefacts they are using. The
interaction between teachers, students and artefacts
are closely connected to learning (Säljö, 2005). How
teachers teach and interact with digital resources and
students will have an impact on the learning process.
There are some examples of restricting the learning
processes when the teacher interrupts ongoing
activity. An example is when a teacher distracting
students when the student group is deeply involved
in writing a Power Point presentation. Their task is
inspired by storyline and their work proceeds well,
when a teacher comes and gives them test results
from a test they did a couple of weeks earlier. Pat,
social science-teacher of an eight’s grade class steps
forward to Adam and says: “Adam, I have corrected
your essay about XXX here”. She opens the essay,
gives it to Adam and reads her judgment. “Now I
have corrected it and I actually liked it very well…
you describe how he experiences all these events but
… it would have required more analysis of causes
and consequences …” She puts down the essay in
front of Adam and walks away. The student group
leaves their writing and starts to talk about the test,
shouting and asking other students in the classroom.
This teacher action is obstructive since the students’
work is interrupted. The result is that students loose
interest in their work, discuss other things and
become distracted. After this, the students can’t find
their way back to the working flow again, not even
when the teacher has left.
We have examples where the contents of the
work and interaction with the students are in focus,
while the artefact is of secondary importance. In this
example the teacher looks at the students more than
on the computer screen. Daniel calls for Susan. ”Susan!
Can you read this?” The social science teacher gets
around the table to Daniel, leans down and watches
the screen…She reads through the contents. At the
same time another student, Brad, finds something on
the web. Susan to Daniel: “…what does lost searching
mean?” Daniel: “It means that one walks around, out
of the city...” Brad: “Ahh, check here… watch, the
number of inhabitants in cities is 62%.” Susan to Brad:
“Well, fine, then you got an answer to that question,
that site is very good.” She looks into the students’
eyes while communicating with them. Susan points at
Daniel’s screen. Susan: “Have you found this at the
same site too …” Susan talks with Daniel and points
at Brad. Brad takes part in the conversation and Susan
laughs. She turns to everyone in the group. Susan:
“You have chosen the black and red. Is that for any
particular reason or?” Daniel: “No, it’s just…” Susan
talks and watches both Brad and Daniel. In this
example, the teacher communicates with the whole
group of students, asking questions and giving advice.
The teacher is working as a facilitator engaging active
learners. The teacher is encouraging group discussion
and initiates more interaction to support learning. As
a result, the students think together and collaborate,
their views are widened and they are given different
perspectives, everything situated. Whit in the activities
they communicate which emphasis learning (Lave &
Wenger, 2003).
We have discovered a lot of interventions that
focus on subject contents. When teachers intervene
with a group, it is their subject skills that are in focus.
The students will ask the social science teacher
questions about social science, the ICT teacher ICTrelated questions and so on. An example of an
intervention where the teacher has a subject oriented
perspective is when a social science teacher comes
to a student and discusses what GNP is, from her
point of view the content in the work. Peter: “Kathy,
here me”. Peter calls for Kathy, the social science
teacher who comes forward to him. She bends down,
points at the screen and reads loudly: “… this number
exceeds 100 per cent… since more children than
expected started school…” Peter wonders: “Should
I just write 100 per cent?” Kathy: “Yes, you can do
that… but have you copied this, will you have some
sort of reasoning about it? …Peter: “What does GNP
mean?” Kathy: “It means Gross National Product …
then you will get a definition, the sum of all products
and services…” During the whole conversation Peter
gets back and forth between a PowerPoint
presentation and the web. In this example, when the
teachers reach a group, it is the teachers’ subject
skills that are in focus. Even though the activity is
interdisciplinary, the interventions are not. The
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 37-48
45
students ask the social science teacher questions about
social science, the ICT-teacher about ICT-related
questions and so on. The ICT teacher never comments
on thematic contents, nor does the math and science
teacher comment on social science work. Each
teacher uses his or her particular subject skills. With
this approach, each activity is defined within a certain
subject or discipline. This teacher is a tutor that solves problems related to her subject matter. She is
collaborating with the students and discussing
problems. Challenging and open ended questions are
used and the teacher is primarily an educator and
facilitator for learning, using her subject authority to
scaffold the student. The results indicate that the
subject on one hand and the identification of the
teacher’s role with the subject on the other hand
impact the behavior in the classroom. Teachers are
formed and socialized into a community of practice
with relationships and different teaching style. Their
identification with their subjects is strong (Lave &
Wenger, 2003; Säljö, 2005; Waggoner, 1994; Santee
& Siskin, 1994). This was obvious in our video
recordings when we saw how the teachers intervened
with the students in a subject oriented way.
Also ICT can be taught in a subject oriented
perspective. Lynn calls for the ICT teacher, called
Anne, and says: “Anne, we have a small problem…
we don’t want to play the slide show so fast…” The
speed of the slide show is considered as a problem.
The teacher sits down by the computer, pointing at
the screen. Changes of slides are discussed and the
teacher informs all the time what is happening on the
screen. Anne teaches about the changeover: “…
when a change of slides has been completed, the film
cut is locked and you can’t work with it… Anne points
at the screen and gesticulates, and then she looks at
all three, one by one. She continues: “… is here at
the rear side, for you to pull out…you may also
double-click on this paper …” Lynn answers with an
“Aha!” Anne says “…I think you may elaborate a bit…”
Anne points and instructs how to proceed. Lynn has
the mouse and clicks where the teacher points at the
screen. The teacher is interacting with the students
and discussing the ICT content that are in focus in the
discussion. The teacher is the link between the
46
students and the computer and is both a technician
and an educator in this intervention, trying to solve a
technological educational issue. In these interventions
we can see that teachers concentrate on ICT. For
interventions concerning ICT there is a lot of guidance,
with instructions leading the students forward.
Conclusions
The use of the LDS-model has helped us in the
research group to see an LDS from various views
that deepen and give a wider perspective on a learning
process. In this paper it has been two different but
related views that complement each other and the
results can be fruitful in the understanding of the
teachers work when digital resources are used in a
learning environment.
Our conclusions about scaffolding are that it is used
as a strategy by the teacher to move learning forward
during all parts of an LDS when using digital educational
material in school but it is needed even more (Shepard,
2005). Especially technical scaffolding (Masters &
Yelland, 2002) among the early users. In the beginning
there is huge need of scaffolding to handle and learn
(Säljö, 2000), by using the artefact so the students
can be more independent and focus on the content
and the task instead of technical matters. There is
also a need of extended conceptual scaffolds (Hill &
Hannafin, 2001) among older pupils using content from
the Internet. Maybe the students use insufficient
strategies to interpret and process information on the
Internet? It is then even more important with more
and different types of scaffolding in all phases of the
learning process when they are working with Internet
and digital educational material. We also found that
the comprehension of scaffolding depends on the view
on learning and knowledge. An example of that is when
the teacher had prepared different types of scaffolding
but the students didn’t comprehend them at all as
scaffolds because they considered learning as
instructions or knowledge you get from the teacher.
When the teacher didn’t tell them exactly how to do,
or didn’t give them a direct answer to a question they
didn’t consider it as scaffolding.
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
We have given some examples of teacher
interventions during a Learning Design Sequence,
where the teacher is either restrictive or
supportive for the students’ learning. In what
directions is the teacher intervening? Is the focus
on the students, artefact or the subject? Sometimes
ICT becomes more of an object than a tool for
teachers when software or hardware problems
occur. Then they have to focus on ICT rather than
encouraging more of student thinking related to
their subject (Lim & Hang, 2003). The
consciousness from teachers how an intervention
influences the learning is important, also to plan
interdisciplinary work according to the results
regarding the strong didactical influences when
teachers’ intervene. We want to continue the
discussion how teachers intervene with digital
artefacts and the students.
Our conclusions lead us to further questions. The
teacher’s role and how they intervene is is very
important for learning but could the digital
educational material be designed in another way
including more scaffolds to complement the
teacher’s scaffolds? We could see that the teachers
intervened in a way strongly influenced by the
didactical tradition of teacher education for
secondary teachers. Is that the reason why
procedural scaffolds were the most common type
of scaffold in all the LDSs? Do teachers need to teach
more sufficient literacy strategies for learning when
working with digital educational material? Do
teachers need more competence development in the
area of digital literacy?
References
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Dilemmas in the National Literacy Strategy: primary teachers’
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Hennessy, S., Ruthven, K., & Brindley, S. (2005). Teacher
perspectives on integrating ICT into subject teaching:
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Departments in Secondary Schools. Washington D.C: The Flamer
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lärande i en digital miljöom ‘Learning Design Sequences’. In
Knudsen, Skjelbred og Aamotsbakken (Ed.), Tekst i vekst.
Teoretiske, historiske og analytiske perspektiver på pedagogiske
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Säljö, R. (2005). Lärande och kulturella redskap. Om lärprocesser
och det kollektiva minnet. Falun: Norstedts Akademiska Förlag.
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professional judgement. London. Routledge.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher
psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
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Waggoner, M. (1994). Diciplinary Differences and the
Integration of Technology into Teaching. Journal of Information
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Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of the mind: A sociocultural approach
to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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Wood, D., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring
problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(2),
89-100.
Corresponding author:
Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
Stockholm Institute of Education, Box 43103, S-100 26 Stockholm, Sweden
E-mail:[email protected] [email protected]
48
Scaffolding and interventions between students and teachers in a Learning Design Sequence • Eva Edman Stålbrandt and Annika Hössjer
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a
correlation study with an electronic
comprehension test and a reading attitude survey
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a correlation study
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the efficiency of the Cloze Oriented System (COS) considering its relation with reading attitude and its validity. The
Electronic Program Comprehension (EPC) for students from K1 to K4 based on the COS parts of stories from the Brazilian Children’s literature was
applied in eighteen class-hours. The 40 subjects, ten in each grade, of both genders aged 7 to 11 years, were evaluated before and after the EPC with
a Cloze test. They answered the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey too, in a printed protocol adapted to Portuguese, to evaluate the reading attitude
of the students and the influence of the EPC in the academic and recreational reading. The results showed that the performance in reading comprehension
of all the subjects was higher after taking part in the EPC, and also had significant differences in reading attitude, according to the results of the T of
Wilcoxon statistic test. A correlation between comprehension performance before and after the EPC and the reading attitude was verified. There was
significant difference for academic reading attitude in the post-test between proficient readers and the one’s that has low skill.
Keywords: Cloze Testing; Measurement; Psychometrics.
A validade do Sistema Orientado de Cloze: um estudo correlacional
Resumo
Este estudo analisou a eficiência do Sistema Orientado de Cloze (SOC) considerando sua relação com atitude em leitura e sua validade. O Programa Informatizado
de Compreensão (PIC) para alunos de 1ª a 4ª série do ensino fundamental foi baseado no SOC de trechos de histórias da literatura infantil brasileira e aplicado em
18 horas/aula, duas vezes por semana. Os 40 participantes, 10 para cada série, de ambos os gêneros e com idade entre 7 e 11 anos, foram avaliados antes e depois
do PIC por um teste de Cloze, Eles responderam também ao Inventário de Atitudes de Leitura, num protocolo impresso e adaptado para o Português, visando
avaliar a atitude de leitura dos alunos e a influência do PIC na leitura acadêmica e recreacional. Os resultados revelaram que o desempenho de todos os participantes
em compreensão de leitura foi alto após participarem do PIC e foram encontradas diferenças significativas em relação à atitude de leitura, de acordo com os
resultados obtidos pelo teste T de Wilcoxon. Correlação entre o desempenho em compreensão em leitura antes e depois do PIC e atitude de leitura foi verificada.
Há diferença significativa da atitude para leitura acadêmica no pós-teste entre os leitores proficientes e os que apresentam pouca habilidade.
Palavras chave: Cloze; Medida; Psicometria.
La validez del Sistema Orientado de Cloze: un estudio correlacional
Resumen
Este estudio analizó la eficiencia del Sistema Orientado de Cloze (SOC) considerando su relación con actitud en lectura y su validez. El Programa Informatiza de
Comprensión (PIC) para alumnos del 1º al 4º grado de la enseñanza primaria fue basado en el SOC de pedazos de historias de la literatura infantil brasileña y aplicado
en 18/horas/clase, dos veces por semana. Los 40 participantes, 10 de cada grado, de ambos géneros y con edad entre 7 y 11 años, fueron evaluados antes y después
del PIC por un test de Cloze. Ellos también respondieron al Inventário de Atitudes de Leitura en un protocolo impreso y adaptado para el portugués, con el objetivo
de evaluar la actitud de lectura de los alumnos y la influencia del PIC en la lectura académica y recreacional. Los resultados revelaron que el desempeño en comprensión
de lectura de todos los participantes fue alto después de participar del PIC y fueron encontradas diferencias significativas en relación a la actitud de lectura, de acuerdo
con los resultados obtenidos por el test T de Wilcoxon. Correlación entre el desempeño en comprensión en lectura antes y después del PIC y actitud de lectura fue
verificada. Hay diferencia significativa de la actitud para lectura académica en el pos-test entre los lectores proficientes y los que presentan poca habilidad.
Palabras clave: Cloze; Medida; Psicometría.
49
Introdution
Literacy and reading comprehension
Literacy is a basic skill and has always been a central concern of schooling. It is necessary to everyone
in order to access information, as well as
communicating and learning. Especially in the
elementary school, the students’ proficiency in
reading predicts their success (Braunger & Lewis,
2006). Nonetheless, in Brazil 11,8% of the population
aging over 15 years is illiterate. If individuals that have
not finished the first four years of elementary school
are taken into account, such levels reach 26% (IBGE,
2006).
Moreover, data from the 2003 National Basic
Education Evaluation System (Sistema Nacional de
Avaliação da Educação Básica – Saeb) revealed that
59% of Brazilian students attending the fourth grade of elementary school display severe reading
deficiencies. These students are either illiterate or
are still focused on decoding the words rather than
understanding their content (INEP, 2003). Only 10%
of the students that finish elementary school (8th
grade) (INEP, 2003a) and 5% of the students who
completed basic education, by finishing the 3rd year
of high school, were considered proficient readers
(INEP, 2004). Thus, it is necessary to characterize
reading performance through strategic evaluations,
especially in early schooling stages, in order to
develop programs that produce efficient
interventions to promote the formation of competent
readers.
Beside this, it’s necessary to analyze which type
of assessment is effective to know the students’ skill.
Jonhston (2005) advertises that students need
resilient, flexible, self-direct and collaborative literacies
to be well-successful in a global world. It’s not only
necessary to decode and comprehend the meaning
of the language, but also understand how is the best
way to interpret and qualify the information from
different Medias. At this point of view, despite the
complexity of the literacy and the news literacies as
constructs, it’s important to consider the assessment
relevance and how it will point out the learn directions
to teachers (Jonhston & Costello, 2005).
50
Reading comprehension assessment
Reading and writing are cognitive skills which are
part of the Cattell – Horn – Carroll theory. It is
comprised of a psychometrically validated model,
which integrates ability and academic performance,
thus enabling a better comprehension of the learning
difficulties in the realm of the psycoeducational
variables involved.
As investigated in the present study, reading, is
defined as the presence of the necessary abilities to
understand written language. Comprehension is
related to decoding graphic symbols and assigning
meaning to them within a context (sentence,
paragraph or text). In order to do that, it is necessary
that the linguistic code be recognized, decoded and
interpreted (Flanagan e col., 2002).
The international researchers and experts in
reading comprehension assessment, according to
Braunger e Lewis (2006), agree that the traditional
monitoring modes of the reading development during
the elementary school are standardized and normreferenced instruments. Although, theses tests do not
have sufficient accuracy to show in detail how is the
reader level and his difficulties to become proficient.
In addition, their content and format always tend to
focus more the right achievement than the substantive
learning. Beside this, this kind of evaluation is not
common in Brazilian’s schools.
The evaluation of reading comprehension, in
relation to information interpretation, occurs more
frequently through the analysis of reader’s
performance in specific tasks in Brazil. Retelling a story
that has just been read, identifying the meaning of
words, or inferring from context and answering
questions are some examples of the tasks most widely
used for reading comprehension assessment. Despite
the fact that knowledge, application and involvement
with information are the main objectives to be
achieved by a proficient reader, procedures designed
to evaluate knowledge obtained through reading,
which is acquired and applied for problem solving,
are less common (Paris & Stahal, 2005).
Another procedure for assessing comprehension,
called Cloze Technique, was developed by Taylor
(1957) to evaluate second language comprehension
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a correlation study with an electronic comprehension test and... • Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
and was later adapted by Riley (1986). It requires that
the reader establishes relationships among text
elements, associations between previous knowledge
and printed information, as well as estimate
understanding of the contents. Traditional Cloze
technique requires the omission of every fifth word
in a 250-word text (Taylor, 1957). Progressive Cloze
involves the definition of a gradation in the
comprehension task sequence, beginning with a
stimulus-sentence to get to the text (Riley, 1986).
Such an activity is oriented by the teacher to guarantee
that the students master the procedure and apply it
to routine reading situations. Another variation of
Cloze is related to the quantity of words omitted of a
particular semantic or syntactic category of
information [10, 11]. The task is to fill out the blanks
in such a way that the meaning of the sentence or
text is preserved. It is considered ability in the CHC
theory (Flanagan e col., 2002).
The Cloze Oriented System (COC) is used in
evaluation instruments comprised by literary texts
(Joly, 2006; Joly & Lomônaco, 2003; Joly & Nicolau,
2005) and deals with text organization. It could be
specified from a specific set of criteria related to the
number of words, word deletions, size of blanks, and
options for response. It aims at determining different
difficulty levels.
Studies with Cloze
It must be pointed out that Cloze technique is
efficient for developing and implementing reading
comprehension. Nonetheless, few studies were made
available in the past decade, in Brazil with 1st to 4th
grade elementary school students (Joly & Marini, 2006).
There are some Brazilian studies with intervention
procedures, such as, the one from Joly (2000), focused
on the analysis of the effect of a reading
comprehension program, Joly and Lomônaco (2003)
which compared the effects of the media used (printed
or computerized) in a reading program, as well as
Santos (2004), which aimed at analyzing the
psychometric characteristics of the test used for the
investigation. There are other studies, which are
aimed at designing reading evaluation studies using
Traditional Cloze (Taylor, 1957).
One of the psychometric studies of a
comprehension test (Cloze – MAR), using Traditional
Cloze, applied to text adapted from children’s
literature, was conducted, by Joly and Nicolau, with
511 students, between 9 and 14 years of age (M=9,80;
SD=8,40), of which 53 % were male, attending K4,
in public and private schools of the interior of Sao
Paulo state/Brazil. Evidence of the validity of the
construct, in relation to age and criterion by extreme
groups, was found for the reading comprehension in
the Cloze used. As for its reliability, Cronbach’s
coefficient test indicated a reliability of 0,95 (Joly &
Nicolau, 2005).
This test (Cloze – MAR) was also analyzed through
Item Response Theory (IRT) with two parameters
(Joly, 2006). The respondents were 522 K4 students
aged between 9 and 14 years (M=9,82; SD=0,87),
53,4% male. They were attending public (57%) as
well as private schools (43%) in the interior of São
Paulo state. The Kuder-Richardson test displayed a
reliability of 0,95. The average difficulty found for the
items was 0.81 (SD=1,16), and was considered
adequate for the two-parameter model. Of the total
existing 59 items, 25 were considered difficult,
because they displayed values above 1,50, with a
critical value of 2,95. Item discrimination index was
1,04 (SD=0,25), which was excellent, for it is much
superior to the critical value of 0,30. This thus indicates
that difficult items require superior abilities from
respondents and vice-versa (Embretson & Reise,
2000). It is worth pointing out that the high reliability
of the test remained unaltered (0,95/0,94)
independently of the statistical test used, as shown
by studies presented earlier.
A test (Cloze – MAL) using COS – 1 x 5 (every
fifth word deleted) by box (word list) and by option
(multiple choice with three options) applied to an
adapted children’s literary text, to evaluate the
comprehension performance of K2 and K4. It was
analyzed through the Classical Statistics Theory
(Caparrotti, 2005) and IRT Two parameter model
(Embretson & Reise, 2000; Joly, 2006).
Caparrotti (20005) found convergent-discriminant
validity with the Peabody Vocabulary Test in an
investigation with 724 students with average age of
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 49-57
51
9,65 (DP=0,81) in K3 and K4, attending both public
and private schools, using COS -1x5 by box. The test
discriminated proficient and non-proficient readers
according to variables of gender, grade, age and type
of school according to Peabody. Reliability was 0,94
using Cronbach’s coefficient test.
A test per box, in which 1220 participants were
instructed to choose the word to complete the blank
in the text, from a list that contained all the words
which had been omitted, without distracters, was
analyzed by using IRT. Participants average age was
9,49 (SD=0,95). There were 51% males K2 (8,4%),
K3 (47,5%) and K4 (44,1) attending public (77%)
and private (23%) schools. The average difficulty of
the items was 0.09 (SD=0,62), which is adequate
for this model. Test items are easy, but have a very
good average discrimination index (M=1,06;
SD=0,40) according Embretson and Reise (2000).
The reliability identified was also very good (KR-21=
0,94).
The study of the option test using IRT was
conducted with 275 K2 students, with average age
of 8,33 (SD=0,88), 50,2% of which were female,
and 84% attended public schools. A reliability of 0,92
was detected by Kuder-Richardson test. The average
difficulty found for the items was 0.28(SD=0,62),
which is satisfactory for the model. Test items can be
considered of average difficulty and high level of
discrimination (M=1,08; SD=0,01), according
Embretson and Reise (2000).
Comparing the studies, the precision was
equivalent in the investigations using tests by box
(0,94) and there was no significant decrease (0,2) by
option (Joly, 2006; Caparrotti, 2005). The results have
shown that the box test is easier to be answered than
the multiple choice test. The different difficulty levels
of the two tests, although the contents are the same,
due to the variation of response option, revealed that
it is possible to use COS as a system for organizing
the tests, by defining difficulty levels.
Thus, the problems for understanding the text will
be linked to the items omitted and to the type of
answer required, as it is the case in the Degrees of
Reading Power Test, text difficulty is closely linked to
its readability (Koslin, Zeno & Koslin, 1987). Is must
52
be pointed out that COS was investigated solely as
applied to an evaluation instrument, and was found to
be viable.
Another important aspect, which influences
reading proficiency, is reading attitude. This is defined
as a set of feelings in relation to reading that determines student’s adhesion or withdrawal when faced with
reading situations. Such attitude is derived from
reading experiences the reader has had, either
recreational or academic; and is related, on one hand,
to social norms and subjective beliefs about what it
means to be a good reader, as well as motivation, and
on the other hand, to cognitive and metacognitive
abilities to understand written language (Mathewson,
2001).
There are psychological models, which have been
developed about reading attitude acquisition
(McKenna, 1994). It’s necessary to define the attitude
object of reading which will be evaluate in order to
analyze the results to the development of proficient
readers and then identify the contexts and materials
that influence the performance (Ajzen, 1989).
Researches and surveys, in which the Elementary
Reading Attitude Survey was used with elementary
school students, showed that children’s attitudes
about reading exhibited a consistent decline in function
of age. The young readers have more positive reading
attitudes than the oldest ones. Besides this, the girls
expressed more positive attitudes towards
recreational reading and greater stability than boys
(Kush & Watkins, 1996; McKenna, Kear & Ellsworth,
1995; Sainsbury & Schagen, 2004).
Morgan e Douglas (2007), after analyze 15 studies,
identified that reading skills are correlate with
motivation and reading attitude. In one hand, young
children who enjoy reading do it more often and they
tend to become skilled at it. In the other hand, poor
readers often display low motivation to read.
According Guthrie e cols. (2007), the motivation to
read, considering interest, perceived control,
collaboration, involvement, and efficacy could predict
the reading comprehension growth.
In addition, characterizing students’ reading
attitude and assessing the possible relationships and
influences in comprehension performance is always a
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a correlation study with an electronic comprehension test and... • Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
contemporary field of study for literacy research. In
order to attempt this tendency and minimize the
reading tests gap to assess the students’ achievement,
this study evaluated the validity of the Cloze Oriented
System (COS), when applied to a reading intervention
program, as a reading comprehension assessment
procedure. It was aimed by comparison of pre and
post test situation, differentiation by extreme groups
and correlation with reading attitude.
Method
Participants
40 students of both genres (57,5% female)
attending K1 to K4. It was 10 students per grade,
participated in the study. The age varied between 7
and 11 years (M=9,05; SD=1,20).
Instruments
Electronic Program of Comprehension (EPC) (Joly,
1999)
Its goal is to develop reading comprehension ability.
It was designed for K1 to K4 students. Its organization
is based on COS applied to 16 adapted excerpts of
Brazilian children’s literature. The texts varied in size
(150 to 300 words), deletion criterion (every 10, 8, 7
or 5 words) and response option (2 or 3 options, list
of omitted words, first letter of the word deleted,
number of letters of the word deleted or no option),
and were divided in four steps with an increasing level
of difficulty. The activities of the program can be done
by computer, individually or in pairs, thus respecting
each student’s rhythm. Evaluation is done by summing
the correct responses. The participant must obtain 70%
of correct responses to go to the next story and step.
Reading comprehension test (Joly, 1999).
A 300-word text, in Traditional Cloze format,
with omission of one in every five words was
selected. The blanks were to be filled out with
the words that the participant considered as being
the best to complete the meaning of the text,
without options. The answers considered correct
were the ones that had words identical to the ori-
ginal text. One point was awarded for each
correct response.
Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (McKenna &
Kear, 2000).
This indicates the attitude towards both
recreational and academic reading of elementary
school students. The survey is comprised of 20
items in the form of questions that always begin as
“How do you feel...” (E.g. How do you feel when
you get a book as a present) in a four-point Likert
scale which varies from “Very happy” (3 points) to
“Sad”(zero point), that was translated to Portuguese.
The first ten questions refer to recreational reading
and the remaining questions to academic reading.
Score is obtained by the total sum of the frequencies
per item and factor, with a maximum possible score
of 80 points. The higher the score, the more
favorable the attitude of the respondent towards
reading will be.
Procedure
The participants were initially evaluated through
the Reading Comprehension Test and by the
Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. The EPC was
conducted in a maximum of 16 sessions, with
duration of 50 minutes, twice a week. The
participants did the activities independently. During
the conduction of the activities of the program a
tutor provided any necessary orientation, about
equipments or technical issues. After the completion
of the program, a new reading comprehension
evaluation was conducted.
Results and Discussion
The analysis of the reading comprehension
performance revealed progress in all grades, which
corroborates previous studies, using Cloze technique
in non-computerized comprehension programs (Joly
& Lomônaco, 2003), with students beginning
schooling (Joly & Lomônaco, 2003, p.16-17). The
worst pre-test performance was in K1 and the best
post-test performance was in K3 (Figure 1).
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 49-57
53
Figure 1. Reading performance to pre and posttest by grade
Wilcoxon T-test indicated a significant difference
between pre and post test for all grades (Table 1). A
correlation between - comprehension performance
before and after EPC as detected ( r=0,26; p<0,05).
This probably occurs because the evolution in
acquisition of the skills was extensive for all grades.
Caparrotti (2005) also detected an age difference with
COS for K4 in her study.
Table 1: Wilcoxon T-test analysis of reading comprehension performance in pre and post
test by grade (N=10)
significant to p<0,05
ANCOVA applied to the comprehension score
(pre-test) in relation to variables of age, gender and
grade attended, showed an effect of grade upon
comprehension performance (F[3]=6,00; p<0,003),
with an interaction of gender and age (F[3]=4,32;
p<0,01). The analysis of post-test scores did not
detect any effect of the variables on performance.
54
The Elementary Reading Attitude Survey results
showed an increase in the total score (Figure 2),
without any differentiation by grade for pre-test
(M=57,50; SD=13,28), and for post-test (M=65,83;
SD=10,99)
Such difference was significant for K1 (Z= -2,08;
p<0,005), K2 (Z= -2,65; p<0,008) and K3(Z= -
The validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS): a correlation study with an electronic comprehension test and... • Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly
Figure 2. Reading attitudes performance to pre and post-test by grade
2,90; p<0,037). No difference was identified for K4
(Z= -0,59; p<0,55). The reliability index was 95%.
ANCOVA indicated an effect of grade on reading
attitude both for pre (F[3]=3,36; p< 0,035) and
post-test (F[3]=3,27; p< 0,038).
There were not only correlation between reading
comprehension and reading attitude to pre and postest, but also to recreational and academic reading. It
was very high significant correlation between reading
comprehension and reading attitude and academic
Table 2. Correlation between reading comprehension and reading attitudes at pre and post – test
* p ?0,05 ** p ?0,001
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 49-57
55
reading after the EPC; to recreational reading the
correlation is almost the same (Table 2).
Only in relation to K2 a correlation between
performance after EPC and academic reading attitude
prior to EPC (r=0,64; p<0,05) was detected. The
participants were sorted according to best
performance (average total score of at least 75% of
the maximum score obtained) and worst (average total score lower than 25% of the maximum score
obtained) so that an analysis of reading attitude could
be conducted.
A high level of correlation was identified among
participants with poor comprehension performance
prior to EPC and academic reading attitude after this
intervention program (r=0,84; p<0,05). There was a
statistically significant difference in relation to academic
reading attitude post-test by extreme groups of
comprehension performance to K2 participants
(t[4]=-2,95; p<0,04). It was identified that reading
attitude predicted (pre-test) the achievement in reading
comprehension (t=2,64; p=0,012) observed in the
post-test using the linear regression test with the
blackward method.
K2 was the grade, which displayed the most
significant relationships between comprehension
performance and reading attitude in relation to school.
We can assume that such a relation is due to reading
acquisition, if we consider the integration between
decoding and comprehension (Flanagan e col., 2002),
that occurs in this grade in Brazil (MEC, 1996), which
enables the reader to get involved in this activity. More
over, it is very important to characterize readers and
verify the viability of implementing reading
comprehension programs for reader formation in this
initial schooling phase (Paris & Stahal, 2005).
In relation to the objectives proposed, the efficiency
and validity of Cloze Oriented System (COS) applied
to a reading intervention program was verified by
means of comparing pre and post test status, which
revealed significant gain for the participants in all grades. Evidence of validity differentiation in reading
attitude of the participants, by extreme groups of
comprehension, and convergent-discriminant validity,
by correlation between the EPC and the Elementary
Reading Attitude Survey, was found.
56
Final Remarks
COS has shown that it is an efficient Cloze technique
both for application in evaluation and in computerized
intervention programs for developing reading
comprehension. Despite the small number of
participants, it is possible to obtain significantly
favorable results for this text organization system.
Further studies with IRT will be necessary in order to
fit the model and estimate item difficulty and student
skill in the EPC. The relationships among variables such
as memory, attention, processing and reaction time,
are also relevant to be investigated, especially for a
computerized program.
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About the author
Maria Cristina Rodrigues Azevedo Joly ([email protected]): Universidade São Francisco Rua Alexandre Rodrigues Barbosa, 45 - 13251-900 Itatiba/
São Paulo, Brasil.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 49-57
57
A framework for designing and improving learning
environments fostering creativity
Learning environments fostering creativity
Norio Ishii
Yuri Suzuki
Hironobu Fujiyoshi
Takashi Fujii
Masanori Kozawa
Abstract
This paper proposes a framework for designing and improving learning environment for creativity in engineering. The framework consists of the following
three components: instructional design based on knowledge from psychology, development of systems for supporting creative activities, and objective
evaluation of learning results related to creativity. Based on that framework, we design and practice course based in the programation of a robot at a
Japan University in the 2004 academic year. As a result, we confirm the following two advantages of our framework: learners’ idea generation skills were
improved and their meta-cognitive activities were also activated. In the 2005 academic year, we improve the course based on 2004 results. As a result,
we confirm that the number of uploads of activity data from students have increased in the 2005 course, students’ reflection sheets have become more
detailed, and their volume of information have also increased.
Keywords: Creativity; Knowledge; Learning.
Uma estrutura para projetar e implementar meios criativos de aprendizagem
Resumo
Esse artigo propõe uma estrutura para projetar e implementar meios de aprendizagem da criatividade na engenharia. A estrutura é composta por três
componentes: modelos instrucionais baseados no conhecimento da psicologia, desenvolvimento de sistemas para apoiar atividades criativas e avaliação
objetiva de resultados relacionados com a criatividade no aprendizado. Baseado nessa estrutura, projetou-se e testou-se um curso baseado na
programação de um robô em uma Universidade Japonesa em 2004. Como resultado, confirmaram-se duas vantagens da estrutura escolhida: a
habilidade dos estudantes para gerar idéias foi ampliada e ativaram suas habilidades metacognitivas. No ano de 2005, o curso foi estruturado e
implementado a partir dos resultados observados no curso de 2004. Como resultado final, confirmou-se que o número de atividades realizadas pelos
alunos cresceu no curso de 2005. Os relatórios dos alunos se tornaram mais detalhados, com maior quantidade de informações descritas neles.
Palavras chave: Criatividade; Conhecimento; Aprendizagem.
Una estructura para proyectar e implementar medios creativos de
aprendizaje
Resumen
Este artículo propone una estructura para proyectar e implementar medios de aprendizaje de la creatividad en ingeniería. La estructura es formada por
tres componentes: modelos institucionales basados en el conocimiento de la psicología, desarrollo de sistemas para apoyar actividades creativas y
evaluación objetiva de resultados relacionados con la creatividad en el aprendizaje. Basado en esa estructura se proyectó y examinó un curso basado en
la programación de un robot en una Universidad Japonesa en el 2004. Como resultado se confirmaron dos ventajas de la estructura elegida: la habilidad
de los estudiantes para generar ideas fue ampliada y activaron sus habilidades metacognitivas. En el año del 2005 el curso fue estructurado e
implementado a partir de los resultados observados en el curso del 2004. Como resultado final se confirmó que el número de actividades realizadas por
los alumnos creció en el curso del 2005. Los informes de los alumnos se tornaron más detallados y con una mayor cantidad de información descrita.
Palabras clave: Creatividad; Conocimiento; Aprendizaje.
59
Introduction
In recent years, creativity education in universities
has extensively incorporate project-based classroom
practices aimed at fostering a creative attitude in
learners through experience in production activities
(Elata & Garaway, 2002; Hirose, 2001). The goal of
these classes is to have the learners acquire creative
attitudes and engineering knowledge by developing
ideas through group discussions, and by giving
concrete form to those ideas.
As an example of this approach, we have attempted
to incorporate such creative education practices into
education targeting university students (Ishii & Miwa,
2005). Specifically, we divided students into groups,
and put to them the challenge of creating a robot
using LEGO Mindstorms. As a result, we confirmed
that the students were able to learn through
experience the importance of “Thinking” and “Using
one’s hands” in the context of creative production
activities.
In this way, creative education in engineering
education involves the accumulation of know-how
through practice. Many of these activities, however,
are attempts at investigation based on the educational
experiences of teachers. It is important to examine
class design and evaluation methodologies; for
example, from the following perspectives: “How classes should be configured to ensure the most effective
learning?” or “How should practical results be
evaluated, and how should these evaluations be used
to further improve the classes?
In the current study, we propose a framework for
achieving more effective design, execution, and
evaluation of creative education in engineering
education.
The framework consists of the following three
components.
Instructional design based on knowledge
from psychology
Up to now, many attempts at creative education
have involved classes designed based on the
experiences of the teachers. By contrast, the
framework proposed here actively incorporates
60
knowledge from psychology in relation to education
and learning in addition to the experiences of the
learners, in order to achieve more effective classes.
Based on this approach, we then designed classes that
can be expected to demonstrate better results in
terms of learning.
Development of systems for supporting
creative activities
In the field of software engineering, many systems
have been developed to support “Thinking activities”
in the context of creative activities. In real situation,
people learn a great deal from trial and error, in the
repeated process of creating and evaluating
prototypes. In the framework proposed here, we
have developed a creative activity support system that
focuses on “Production activities” and “Evaluation
activities,” and have introduced this system into a class
environment.
Objective evaluation of learning results
related to creativity
A large number of the creative education
practices mentioned above involve subjective
evaluations of class results based on questionnaires.
Furthermore, these questionnaires are limited to
qualitative evaluations of the changes in the learners
with regard to creativity. In order to gain a detailed
understanding of what the learner specifically learned
with regard to creativity, however, it is necessary
to conduct evaluations based on objective data; for
example, changes in knowledge and skills related to
creativity. In the framework proposed here, we will
objectively evaluate learning results by establishing
items that will enable evaluations of increases in skills
related to creativity.
The purpose of this research is to design classes based on the above framework, and through
its practice, to clarify its effectiveness. Based on
this framework, we designed creative education
classes for engineering education. We put these
classes into practice for one half of an academic
year targeting first-year engineering students, and
conducted evaluations and observations of the
learning results.
A framework for designing and improving learning environments... • Norio Ishii, Yuri Suzuki, Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Takashi Fujii e Masanori Kozawa
Designing Learning Environments for Creativity
When designing classes, it is necessary to set
learning objectives. In the practice of creative
education up to now, there have been objective goals
with regard to contents, but the learning objectives
with regard to creativity have been abstract.
In this research, we set as the learning objectives
“improving idea generation skills in creative activities.”
Specific perspectives for evaluations were “Number
of ideas (volume of idea generation)”; “Scope of ideas
(variation in the ideas generated)”; and “Depth of ideas
(depth of study regarding a single idea).” Based on
these perspectives, we then objectively evaluated the
degree to which the students’ idea generation skills
changed.
These evaluation perspectives correspond to the
“Creativity Factors” proposed by Guilford – “Fluent
thinking (volume of ideas produced)”; “Flexible
thinking (the ability to produce a wide range of different
ideas)”; and “Elaborative thinking (the ability to
specifically elaborate on and complete the idea)” –
and are considered appropriate indexes for measuring
creativity in learners (Guilford, 1971).
Applying knowledge from psychology
In these classes, we actively incorporated
knowledge of psychology in relation to education and
learning in order to achieve more effective classes. In
the classes, we focused on knowledge from
psychology related to meta-cognitive activities in
creative activities.
The field of learning sciences, which studies human
learning processes in educational situations points out
the importance of “meta-cognition” in which the
learner’s own activities in an educational or learning
situation are seen from a “meta” perspective
(Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2005; Brown, 1987;
Chi, Bassok, Lewis, Reimann & Glaser, 1989). In fact,
empirical studies have confirmed that meta-cognitive
activities promote learning in various domains such
as physics education (Chi, Leeuw, Chiu & LaVancher,
1994) and programming education (Bielaczyc, Pirolli
& Brown, 1995). Furthermore, in the field of design
education, the importance of meta-cognitive activities
such as self-reflection has also been suggested (Schön,
1987), and some practical studies that intended to
foster reflective activities in design have been
conducted (Adams, Turns & Atman, 2003; Oxman,
1999).
Among the various types of meta-cognitive
activities, the authors’ prior research into the practice
of creative education suggested the effectiveness of
“reflection” in particular – the activity of looking back
at one’s own activity processes (Ishii & Miwa, 2005).
In the classes in the current study, we incorporated
this meta-cognitive activity of “reflection” into the classes as well.
Setting learning phases
The educational program consisted of three
main phases.
Phase 1: Introduction
As an environment for creative learning activities
by learners, put in place a programming environment
comprised of a laptop PC for each student, and have
the learners acquire basic knowledge of LEGO
Mindstorms and relevant programming language.
Phase 2: Experiencing creative activities
Learners form pairs, working together to produce
a robot (the creative activity set as the theme for the
class); they then participate in a “time trial”
competition. The competition is a race comprising
one lap of a course. The learners are required to
produce a robot that avoids obstacles and has a
function that traces a line where it has moved.
During these activities, the learners regularly
record the status of their own pair ’s progress
(robot’s shape, robot’s movement, race results,
control program, and comments). These status
reports are re-corded using the creative activity
support system described in the following section.
Phase3: Reflection
After the creative activities, learners undergo
“Reflection” to deepen their understanding and
awareness of their own creative activities. Learners
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 59-69
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summarize their groups’ creative processes in a chart
using a piece of paper measuring about 2m x 1m
(hereinafter referred to as the “Reflection Sheet”).
The Reflection Sheet is divided in half, from top to
bottom. On the top half of the sheet, the learners
position the PAD (Problem Analysis Diagram) and the
program source on a timeline (a software element),
and on the bottom half of the sheet, they place a
photo of the robot (a hardware element). PAD is a
method of diagramming ways of thinking (algorithms)
when programming. When programming, it is fundamental to schematize the algorithm of the processing
in advance, and then write code based on the
schematic.
As a supplementary explanation for these materials,
at each stage of the creative activities, the learners write
on the sheets (1) what they are planning and (2) what
results they achieved (Figure 1). The materials used
for placement on the Reflection Sheet are the items
recorded in the creative activity support system.
Figure 1. Example of reflection sheet (2004).
Creative activity support system
In the classes in the current study, we incorporated
the meta-awareness activity of “reflection.” During
Reflection, by looking back at the process of trial and
error in their own learning activities, the students learn
many things. At this time, in order to ensure that the
learners gain a detailed understanding of their own
creative activities, it is necessary to regularly record
the details of the activities conducted as part of
creative activities. Furthermore, when creating the
robot, it is necessary to undertake “version
management” of both the software and hardware
elements over a long period of time.
In this study, we therefore developed a creative
activity support system that would enable recording,
management, and viewing of the groups’ creative
activities, to provide support for the learners’
“Reflection” activities. This web-based system, which
is comprised of a PHP linked with a database
(MySQL), enables the learners to upload any items
related to the group’s creative activities using a
browser (Figure 2).
The information recorded by the learners is
updated in real time, so the learners can check the
ranking status of their own or other learners’ teams
at any time. Using this system, the learners regularly
record the status of their groups’ activities. They then
create the Reflection Sheet while viewing their own
creation processes, which they have recorded in the
system, and downloading the appropriate data as
required.
Evaluation of learning results
We conducted an actual class in creative education;
a course held in the Autumn Term in the 2004
Figure 2. The creative activity support system (2004).
62
A framework for designing and improving learning environments... • Norio Ishii, Yuri Suzuki, Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Takashi Fujii e Masanori Kozawa
academic year at the Chubu University College of
Engineering. The learners included 131 first-year
students in the College of Engineering Department of
Computer Science. The curriculum for this course
lasts for 13 weeks, with each (weekly) class lasting
135 min.
In these classes, in order to evaluate the learning
results for skills related to the learners’ creativity, we
presented design tasks before and after the classes,
based on an arrangement of Finke’s “invention tasks
(Finke, 19901).” A total of 91 students participated in
the design tasks. The students were given sheets that
presented with 15 specific types of parts, such as cube,
wire, and wheels, and were asked to come up with
new ideas for arranging these parts in any way that
they pleased, sketching their ideas on a piece of paper
one at a time. Each of the students was randomly
assigned one of three themes for these ideas: “Playground equipment,” “Furniture,” and “Stationery.” They
were also given a 20-minute time limit.
First, we categorized the ideas generated by the
students according to the functions of each idea.
Specifically, Author 1 categorized the responses
according to the respective themes(Table 1).
Changes in learners’ idea generation skills
First, we evaluated the changes in idea generation
skills during creative activities, which were set as the
learning objective in these classes. In this paper, we
calculated these changes based on the variations in
the functions of the ideas; that is, the “Scope of ideas.”
Similarly, we expressed the “Depth of ideas” as the
maximum value for the depth of study regarding an
idea with a single function.
From the results of these evaluations, we
confirmed that the number of ideas generated
increased after the classes as compared to before
(t(90)=4.481, p<.01) (Figure 3). We also
confirmed that both the scope (t(90)=3.727,
p<.01) and depth (t(90)=2.629, p <.05) of the
ideas generated increased after the classes were
completed. The above results suggest that the
students learned idea generation skills through
these creative activities.
Table 1. The categories of ideas.
Figure 3. Changes in Students’ idea generation skills (**: p<.01, *: p<.05).
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 59-69
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Changes in behavior related to learners’ reflections
Next, we analyzed the extent to which the learners
underwent autonomous reflection through the
Reflective Activities introduced into the classes.
We tabulated the number of learners who underwent
Reflective Activities in terms of “Re-examining ideas with
functions that were thought of before” in the context of
design tasks, and confirmed that when thinking of ideas,
the ratio of learners who re-examined the functions they
thought of before increased from about 19% to about
38% (χ2(1)=8.723, p<.01). Although this is only a small
ratio of the entire group of learners, these results indicate
that the number of learners who undertook autonomous
reflection in creative activities increased as a result of
having experienced Reflection in the classes.
From these results, we can say that the education
in creativity implemented by the course improved
the students’ creative endeavors. However, some
challenges remained.
First, although the goal of the course was to foster
a creative mindset, the actual lessons also taught
programming skills at the same time. In 2004, we did
not evaluate programming skills. Also, we prepared a
system that each team could use to archive their
activity data as an aid for the reflection activity.
However, there was great variation in the frequency
of their archival updates, and it is difficult to say that
they made sufficient use of the system. Also the
archived contents did not cover all the records of
the activities by the groups and students.
Furthermore, we believed that we needed to
improve the format of the reflection sheet for it to
better serve as a tool for the students to review their
activities.
Thus in the 2005 academic year, we implemented
the course as follows to grapple with these challenges.
Improving Learning
Environments for creativity
This section gives a report of the 2005 course as
it was carried out. We especially describe the content
of the improved course design as it relates to the
64
points raised by the evaluation of the 2004 course.
The name of the course was changed to “Creation B”
in 2005, but it is essentially the same course as 2004.
The course was lengthened to 15 weeks from 13
weeks.
Improvement 1: PAD assignment
The 2004 evaluation raised the point that results
of the goal of acquiring of programming skills were
not evaluated. To address this issue, PAD assignments
were added to the course content in 2005.
When improving a program, it is critical not to
modify the code directly, but instead, to review one’s
way of thinking by re-examining the algorithm. In 2005
course, we evaluated the learning results that come
from using PAD. We designed the PAD assignments
as follows.
The assignments were given as a pre-test in the
fifth class, which is the class before the start of creative
activities. They were also given assignments as a posttest in the 12th class, which is the class after the end
of creative activities. An assignment consists of three
problems: one basic problem concerning robot
programming, the target of this course, and two
problems concerning the mechanisms of automatic
vending machines (one basic, one applied). The
students draw diagrams of algorithms for each
problem using PAD on their answer sheets. An
example of a student’s answer (in the fifth class) is
given in Figure 4. The students were given a time limit
of 40 minutes to complete the problems.
Improvement 2: Activity reports
We made creating activity reports and archives
mandatory as aids for the reflection activity. For the
activity reports, the students must record the number
of hours spent and the number of times they ran their
programs, the PADs of their created programs, and
comments.
By making these records mandatory, we sought
to address the problem found in the 2004 survey
that showed that the teams varied greatly in how often
they updated their archives.
Also, the recordkeeping allowed students to
understand their own activities in greater detail when
A framework for designing and improving learning environments... • Norio Ishii, Yuri Suzuki, Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Takashi Fujii e Masanori Kozawa
Figure 4. PAD assignment and sample answer.
making reflection sheets. It also served to habituate
them to a basic practice of engineers, which is to
keep successive records of their activities.
Also, from the records the educational staff could
understand the amount of time spent by students
outside of class on the assignments, as well as the
number of trials. Thus useful information could be
obtained for the evaluation of the course.
To distinguish between contents about software
and hardware, which were separated in 2004, entries
were made using different colors. Also, to indicate
which member of the team was mainly responsible
for what activity, entries were marked with an “A” or
a “B” in the same manner as in 2004.
An example of a reflection sheet using the modified
format is shown in Figure 5.
Improvement 3: Format of reflection sheet
The reflection sheet was changed from the 2004
format, which had two entry columns, one for
software and one for hardware. The new design
allowed entries in three sections: Plan, Do, and See.
The PDS cycle is a synonym for the PDCA cycle,
which is a management method for operations to
continually maintain and improve their quality. The
P(plan)D(do)C(check)A(act) cycle is more general,
but for this course, the PDS cycle was used because
we believed it is easier for students to understand.
We believe making engineering students keep
records using the PDA cycle is effective for them to
realize that this method is used even in actual
manufacturing sites. Also, having the students’ record
what was done under which part of the cycle is useful
for providing data to judge objectively their
improvements in creativity. Thus the reflection sheets
employed these changes in design.
Figure 5. Example of reflection sheet (2005).
Improvement 4: Student’s role
From the contents of the 2004 reflection sheets,
it could be seen that the teams internally split into
two fixed roles, with one member responsible for
the programming and one responsible for the robot.
To address this situation, instructors explained the two
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 59-69
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roles beforehand to raise awareness in students, and
during Phase 2 of the second course, students were
told to switch the roles once. Students were told that
the roles were not divisions of labor, but rather
cooperation with members deciding who will be
mainly in charge of what.
Improvement 5: Creative activity support
system
The creative activity support system was changed
to support the changes in the design of the 2005
course (described above). Figure 6 shows the
updated system. For the activity reports, handwritten
files were converted to PDF format, which made
archiving more efficient.
Figure 6. The creative activity support system (2005).
Results and Discussion of
Improving Learning
Environments
The section reports the evaluation of the learning
results implemented in the 2005 academic year. We
especially focus on the three points of improvement
described above: the implementation of the PAD
assignment, the creation of the activities report, and
the change in the format of the reflection sheet.
Analysis of PAD Assignment
We now describe the results of the analysis of the
PAD assignment given in 2005. The subjects were
105 students present of the 133 students enrolled in
66
the course. We give the results of the analysis of the
application question, which had the highest degree
of difficulty of the three questions in the PAD
assignment.
We used a count of the number of algorithmic units
in the students’ responses as an indicator of the
complexity of their algorithms. In the students’
answers, if the PAD format was not satisfied or if the
solution does not work, the unit count was considered
zero.
The results showed an average of 8.9 units for the
pre-test and 10.6 for the post-test. The number of
units increased after the course compared to before
the course. The t-test confirmed a significant
difference (t(104)=2.648, p<.01).
From the above results, we confirmed that the
students’ skills in constructing algorithms increased
through the course’s robot programming activities.
Results of activity reports
The effects of the archive report activity, which
was made mandatory from 2005, are summarized
below. This report was added because of the criticism
in 2004 evaluation that teams showed great variance
in their number of their archival data uploads and were
not using the archives effectively.
Figure 7 compares the number of uploads between
the 2004 course and 2005 course. The average
number of uploads for the 2004 course was 8.14 and
for 2005 course 9.49, indicating an increase. The
distribution has also narrowed (t(115)=1.795,
p<.10). Thus a certain level of improvement could
be seen.
Analysis of Reflection Sheet
As described above, the reflection sheet used in 2005
was changed to allow entries during the three stages of
Plan-Do-See cycle. To evaluate the contents, we
measured the amount of information as described below.
For the measuring criterion, we used not the places
where entries were made, but gave first priority to
the contents. We counted the pieces of content that
fall into the categories of the Plan-Do-See cycle and
software/hardware. If a sentence included multiple
contents, then the sentence was divided and each piece
A framework for designing and improving learning environments... • Norio Ishii, Yuri Suzuki, Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Takashi Fujii e Masanori Kozawa
Figure 7. Frequency of uploads of activities data.
of content was counted. For example, the sentence
“We modified the placement of the sensor, and made
it lighter” included two pieces of contents, so it was
divided and each piece counted separately. Based on
the above method of measurement, the average
number of pieces of contents for each category in
2005 compared to 2004 is shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Comparison of average amount of reflection sheet
information.
From the above results, we can see that the average
of the total count for the “Plan” and “Do” category
has increased (t(113)=3.255, p<.01). This indicates
that the records of “what kinds of things were
planned” and “what was done” have increased.
However, the average of the total of “See” category,
which indicates “how were the results?”, did not show
a significant difference (t(113)=1.565, n.s.). For the
average of the total count of all the categories, there
was an increase (t(113)=2.963, p<.01).
Discussions
From the above analyses, we see that the number
of uploads of activity data from students have
increased in the 2005 course. The reflection sheets
have also become more detailed and their volume of
information have increased. These changes were due
to making these activities mandatory, and as a result,
they made it possible for the students to record the
contents of their activities more easily and in greater
detail. For the PAD assignments, we only measured
using a criterion of quantity, and saw some positive
results. Further analysis in greater detail is necessary.
In this section, on the basis of the results of our
educational program, we discuss how we should
design and improve a learning environment to foster
creative attitudes.
Scaffolding to Support Creative Activities
Using Mindstorms as a tool enables learners to
consider and embody their ideas relatively easily;
nevertheless, constructing products using Mindstorms
requires learners to have basic mechanical knowledge
such as how to construct a mechanism and how to
program an algorithm. In such a situation, a teacher
has to provide the learners with basic knowledge of
Mindstorms and step-by-step exercises before they
can engage in creative activities. In our educational
program, we provided the learners with scaffolding
to experience creative activities. Scaffolding is an
external support that enables a learner to achieve a
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 59-69
67
goal that could not otherwise be reached. In the field
of learning science, the importance of scaffolding for
learners’ activities has been discussed (Hmelo, Holton,
& Kolodner, 2000; Linn & His, 2000).
In our educational design, we gave the learners
step-by-step goals for their creative activities, such
as acquiring basic knowledge of Mindstorms and
constructing a simple four-wheeled car (Phase 1),
before they attempted the main task (Phase 2).
Moreover, we conducted the cycle of activities in
Phase 2 (Experiencing creative activities) and Phase 3
(Reflection) twice. In the second cycle of creative
activities, we had the learners completely dismantle
the robots produced in the first cycle, to encourage
them to take on the challenge of creating new ideas.
In such experience-based creativity education, a
teacher should provide the learners with not only a
goal but also scaffolding that encourage creative
activities.
Providing Information on Creative Processes
In this study, we designed and conducted classes
that introduced the practice of “Reflection.” We
confirmed that the results demonstrated the
effectiveness of these classes, in terms of increasing
the volume, scope, and depth of the ideas created by
the learners in the idea generation tasks after the classes were complete. In such activities, if the learners
had been given no information on their processes,
they would have forgotten their own detailed processes and reflected on incorrect processes.
Hershkowitz and Schwarz (1999) confirmed such a
phenomenon, referred to as purification, in their
educational program in mathematics.
In our educational program, the learners regularly
recorded the status of their own pair’s progress, and
they created the Reflection Sheet while viewing their
own creation processes, which they have recorded
in the creative activity support system, and
downloading the appropriate data as required. By
doing so, they could correctly reflect on their creative
processes in detail. We found that setting “Reflection”
as one of the learning activities stimulates activities
such as gaining a detailed understanding of one’s own
creative processes, correcting mistaken memories,
68
and sharing knowledge with other group members,
and that this in turn leads to increased quality in learning
results.
In terms of areas for future improvements, in the
field of learning sciences, it has been pointed out that
in order to support Reflection, it is important to clearly
show the learning content and learning processes
(Process Displays), to encourage explanations and
evaluations of the activities in question (Process
Prompts), to propose ideal models (Process Models),
and to promote social dialogue (Social Discourse) (Lin,
Hmelo, Kinzer & Secules, 1999). The system we have
created incorporates a process presentation function
in which the learners’ creative activities are shown a
list. In the future, we would like to add to the system
learning support functions targeting other activities
as well.
Conclusions
In this study, we propose a framework for
designing and improving learning environment for
creativity in engineering. Based on that framework,
we conducted an actual class in creative education; a
course held in the Autumn Term in the 2004 academic
year at the Chubu University College of Engineering.
As a result, we confirm the following two educational
effectiveness of our framework:
We designed and conducted classes that introduced
the practice of “Reflection.” We confirmed that the
results demonstrated the effectiveness of these classes, in terms of increasing the volume, scope, and
depth of the ideas created by the learners in the idea
generation tasks after the classes were complete.
We constructed a creative activity recording
support system as a system for supporting the
learners Reflection activities. Using this system, the
learners were able to centrally record and manage
details of the groups’ activities via the Internet.
In the 2005 academic year, we improve the course
based on 2004 results. By implementing the
improvements, we were able to see an increase in
the amount of recordkeeping of the students’ own
activities and improvements in creative activities
A framework for designing and improving learning environments... • Norio Ishii, Yuri Suzuki, Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Takashi Fujii e Masanori Kozawa
compared to the 2004 course. In the future, we plan
to further analyze the effects of cooperative work on
creative activities, and to incorporate the analysis in
the improvement of this course.
Elata, D. & Garaway, I. (2002). A creative introduction to
mechanical engineering. International Journal of Engineering
Education, 18(5), 566-575.
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About the authors
Norio Ishii ([email protected]) - Aichi Kiwami College of Nursing, Japan
Aichi Kiwami College of Nursing
Jogan-dori 5-4-1, Ichinomiya, Aichi, 491–0063 Japan
Yuri Suzuki ([email protected]) - College of Engineering, Chubu University, Japan
Research Institute for Information Science, Chubu University, Japan
Hironobu Fujiyoshi ([email protected]) - College of Engineering, Chubu University, Japan. Research Institute for Information Science, Chubu University,
Japan
Takashi Fujii ([email protected]) - College of Engineering, Chubu University, Japan
Masanori Kozawa ([email protected]) - College of Engineering, Chubu University, Japan
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 59-69
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An examination of latino immigrant youths’ outof-school technology practices
Latino youth and technology
Yvonne De La Peña
Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
Abstract
The majority of the existing research on youth and technology has focused on physical access, computer-related skills, or student attitudes. Less is known
about the social and cultural aspects of young people’s interactions with technology. However, understanding how youth use technology and the different
factors that affect these uses can help us capitalize on students’ strengths. Using survey and ethnographic data, this study is intended to contribute to
a better understanding of youths’ interactions with technology. Participants in the study were Latino immigrant students (fifth- and sixth-graders) from
an elementary school located in a large metropolis in the United States. Results provide both an overall picture of the youths’ technological practices as
well as a deeper look at the ways in which engaging with technology was valuable and meaningful for them.
Keywords: Technology; Awareness; Ethnography.
Uma avaliação das práticas tecnológicas de jovens imigrantes latinos
que não frequentam escola
Resumo
A maioria dos estudos existentes relacionados com juventude e tecnologia foca principalmente o acesso físico, habilidades relacionadas à computação
ou comportamento dos alunos. Pouco é conhecido sobre os aspectos culturais e sociais relacionados à interação de jovens com a tecnologia. Contudo,
entender como os jovens a utilizam e os diferentes fatores que afetam esse uso podem nos ajudar a priorizar as qualidades desses jovens. Por meio da
utilização de sondagens, pesquisas e dados etnográficos, esse estudo tem a intenção de contribuir para uma melhor interpretação da interação entre
jovens e a tecnologia. Os participantes desse estudo foram imigrantes latinos (alunos entre quinta e sexta série) de uma escola de ensino fundamental
localizada em uma grande metrópole nos Estados Unidos da América. Resultados forneceram uma figura global sobre as práticas tecnológicas dos
jovens. Práticas essas nos levam a crer, Por meio de uma visão mais profunda, que para os jovens a relação com a tecnologia é muito valiosa e significativa.
Palavras-chave: Tecnologia; Conhecimento; Etnografia.
Una evaluación de las prácticas tecnológicas de jóvenes latinos
inmigrantes que no frecuentan la escuela
Resumen
La mayoría de los estudios existentes relacionados con juventud y tecnología se centran principalmente en el acceso físico, en las habilidades relacionadas
a la computación o al comportamiento de los alumnos. Poco se conoce sobre los aspectos culturales y sociales relacionados a la interacción de jóvenes
con la tecnología. Pese a eso, entender de que manera los jóvenes usan esa tecnología y los diferentes factores que afectan ese uso pueden ayudarnos a
priorizar las cualidades de esos jóvenes. A través de sondeos, investigaciones y datos etnográficos, este estudio tiene la intención de contribuir para
interpretar mejor esa interacción entre los jóvenes y la tecnología. Los participantes del estudio fueron inmigrantes latinos (alumnos entre quinto y sexto
grado) de una escuela de enseñanza primaria situada en una gran metrópolis en Estados Unidos. Los resultados ofrecieron una visión global sobre las
prácticas tecnológicas de los jóvenes. Esas prácticas nos llevan a creer, a través de una visión más profunda, que para los jóvenes la relación con la
tecnología es muy valiosa y significativa.
Palabras clave: Tecnología, Conocimiento, Etnografía.
71
Introduction
The digital divide is no longer only about physical
access to technology but also about types of uses. In
other words, access to technology is being defined
both in terms of technology availability and in terms
of people’s ability to make use of those technologies
to engage in meaningful practices. Hence, researchers
are starting to theorize about factors such as language
background, cultural values, and relevance of activities
in people’s interactions with technology (Kupperman
& Fishman, 2002; Leonardi, 2003; Warschauer,
2003). They argue that looking at how technology is
culturally and personally relevant to people’s lives
might provide us with a richer framework for
understanding the social, cultural, and economic
aspects of the digital divide (Angus, Snyder &
Sutherland-Smith, 2003).
In the United States, the inequities of the digital
divide have been persistently most pronounced for
the Latino1 community in comparison to other ethnic
minority groups (US Department of Commerce,
2002). Despite the rapid growth of the Latino
population in the United States, there is very limited
empirical research on how this group interacts with
technology in everyday life. This is especially true for
Latino youth. In their report, A Nation Online: How
Americans are Expanding Their Use of the Internet,
the US Department of Commerce (2002) stated that
children and teenagers are rapidly becoming the
largest group of computer and Internet users.
However, the scant literature on Latinos/as and
technology mostly focuses on adults (e.g., Leonardi,
2003; Tornatzky, Macias, & Jones, 2002) or on youths’
interactions with technology in the formal educational
system (e.g., Kupperman & Fishman, 2002),
overlooking the culturally and personally relevant
technological practices that Latino youth might engage
in outside of school.
On the other hand, the existing research on youth
and technology has mainly focused on physical access,
computer-related skills, or student attitudes (e.g.,
Burns & Ferguson, 1988; Frantom, Green, &
Hoffman, 2002; Oosterwegel, Littleton, & Light,
2004), telling us little about the social and cultural
aspects of their interactions with technology. Using
survey and ethnographic data, this study is intended
to contribute to the understanding of Latino youths’
interactions with technology. In particular, we aim to
shed light on Latino youths’ out-of-school experiences
with technology and to contemplate the ways in which
engaging with technology is valuable and meaningful
for them.
A sociocultural approach: ‘Funds of Knowledge’ as
theoretical perspective
The ‘funds of knowledge’ perspective is based on
a simple premise: ‘that people are competent and have
knowledge, and their life experiences have given them
that knowledge’ (González, Andrade, Civil, & Moll,
2001, p. ix). Specifically, this perspective focuses on
the knowledge that is necessary for everyday life in
particular social contexts and how this knowledge is
used and shared by and within households. There is a
wide set of economic and sociocultural activities that
household members engage in for household
functioning and well-being, each of which requires
specific bodies of knowledge. When participating in
these activities, household members bring distinct
knowledge and expertise and therefore contribute to
a household’s ‘funds of knowledge’. Moreover, by
participating in these activities, household members
acquire experiences that can later become sources
of knowledge.
Researchers working from a ‘funds of knowledge’
standpoint began by looking at families’ labor exchange
practices when investigating the funds of knowledge
to which youth were exposed (e.g., Moll, Amanti,
Neff & González, 1992). Later they refined the theory
to include the social networks that interconnect
households with their social environments (Moll, Tapia
& Whitmore, 1993) and gave a greater emphasis to
1The term ‘Latino’ has come to represent those who identify with a Latin American culture. The term ‘Hispanic’ was invoked by the United States
government in its need to count the ever-increasing number of Spanish speaking people who could not be identified as a single race, and thus refers to
individuals of Spanish-speaking cultural descent (Leonardi, 2003). This paper uses the term Latino throughout except when referring to research done
by authors who use the term Hispanic.
72
An examination of latino immigrant youths’ out-of-school technology practices • Yvonne De La Peña and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
social and cultural practices as opposed to stand-alone
knowledge or skills (e.g., González, et al., 2001; Lee,
2001). ‘Funds of knowledge’, then, are strategic and
cultural resources that households manage (VélezIbáñez & Greenberg, 1992). A ‘funds of knowledge’
perspective is useful as a guiding theory for this study
as it has as an objective to locate and identify youths’
experiences with technology outside of school which
could later become sources of technological
knowledge.
Our interest in youths’ interactions with
technology emerged from a larger program of
research that studied the everyday language and
literacy practices of immigrant Latino youth. A first
study included the children of immigrants living in a
community within a large metropolis in the United
States. The main focus of this study was on these
youths’ work as language brokers (Tse, 1996), family
interpreters (Valdez, 2002), or ‘para-phrasers’
(Orellana, Reynolds, Dorner & Meza, 2003) for their
families, most of which had immigrated from the central farming areas of Mexico within the last 15-20
years. A second study examined the translation
experiences of five young people from families similar to those in the first study but who were living in a
suburb of the same metropolis. The suburban youth
were selected based on snowball sampling that
identified them as active translators for their families.
Method
Participants
The first study inquired 280 5 th and 6 th grade
students at an elementary school. Based on their
responses to the survey questions about translation
practices, thirteen youth were selected for qualitative
case studies. To these thirteen youth, the five youth
from the smaller study were added which resulted in
a set of 18 case studies.
Instruments
Survey of technology-based practices
The survey inquired different kinds of technologyrelated practices carried out on computers, over the
Internet, and/or on video game consoles, the main
places where the youth accessed computers, and the
types of people who provided help to the youth in
their interactions with computers.
Interview and Observation
The youths’ language practices and daily life
experiences were informed by prior ethnographic
research with immigrant youth; thus the qualitative
and quantitative dimensions of this project were
iterative. A team of fieldworkers observed these
youth in their classrooms and in out of school
contexts, especially at home. The aim of the out-ofschool observations was to identify and document
translation practices, especially as these were
embedded in everyday activities, but fieldworkers
recorded notes on all activities that youth engaged in
and household resources for language and literacy,
which included their interactions with and talk about
technology. In addition, the youth were interviewed
informally about their daily life experiences, including
their engagement with technology. These
observations were recorded in field notes.
Procedure
For this study of youths’ technology-based
interactions, we draw from these combined data sets.
Specifically, we used the survey data to identify broad
patterns of youths’ technology engagements at the
elementary school site. We then utilized fieldnotes
and interview data to see what these technology
practices looked like and how they were structured
within the context of the youths’ everyday lives. Over
a period of two years, sixteen observations, on
average, were made in each home. A subset of five
youth were observed much more intensively, with
between 20 and 40 visits to each home.
Results
We begin with results from the survey data. First
we give a brief overview of the youths’ use of
computers and then talk about differences found based
on gender and English language skills. After this, we
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 71-82
73
continue with results from the ethnographic data. First
we discuss what we consider to be an important
finding from our analysis across cases: youth as
experts. We end by presenting three case study
vignettes. Although these vignettes are not
representative of all the case studies, our purpose is
to illustrate variations in youths’ technological
engagements as shaped by the contexts within which
they occur.
Coding and analyzing the survey data
The first set of analyses involved the survey data,
to secure a broad overview of the youths’ technologyrelated experiences. These analyses included
frequency counts of different kinds of technologyrelated practices carried out on computers, over the
Internet, and/or on video game consoles and chisquare tests and analyses of variance (ANOVA) to see
if there were significant differences based on gender
or English language skills. Previous research has
demonstrated that gender differences exist in the
types of technological activities youth engage in
(Volman and van Eck, 2001) and that language skill is
an important factor in the interactions of Latinos/as
with technology (Ospina, Macias, Shejavali, &
Gonzalez, 2002; Tornatzky, et. al., 2002).
After sketching the broad contours of the youths’
technology practices, the survey data were further
examined to identify the main places where the youth
accessed computers, and the types of people who
provided help to the youth in their interactions with
computers. We looked at the main places where the
youth reported accessing computers, because the
places were youth have access to computers matters.
Technological practices cannot be analyzed outside of
the particular contexts they are embedded in
(Warschauer, 2003). We looked at people who
provided assistance to the youth, because we were
interested in knowing the human resources that were
available to these youth. Youth acquire valuable
knowledge and resources from communities grounded
in informal networks such as families or social circles.
In particular, this is important in considerations of the
technology engagement, because it is not just access
to hardware that matters; access to people who can
74
help resolve technology problems also has a bearing
(Warschauer, 2003). Specifically, we wanted to know
if the youth were receiving their help mainly from
family, peers, or others.
Coding and analyzing the ethnographic data
The exploration of the survey data in turn informed
our analyses of the ethnographic data; we probed the
fieldnotes for where the youth interacted with
technology; what they used technology for; and what
resources they sought when they encountered
challenges. An important point to highlight is the fact
that when the survey was designed, the researchers
made efforts to ensure that it reflected youths’
perspectives and interests. Therefore, these
categories, that were subsequently used to look into
the youths’ interactions with technology, emerged
from data that tapped into the points of view of the
youth themselves.
In addition, we used the analytical lenses of a ‘Funds
of Knowledge’ perspective to probe how technology
fitted within the everyday exchange of knowledge and
information in households. That is, we looked for the
presence of technology in parents’ and other adult
family-members’ occupations, household practices
(e.g., Sunday outings) and interactions within their
social networks, and the different activities the youth
participated in both at home (e.g., chores) and outside
of home (e.g., sports).
All case study files contained within the larger data
set were reviewed to identify those that included
reports on youths’ technology uses. All but three of
the eighteen case study files included such
information about technology interactions as part of
the reports on youths’ daily life experiences, as
observed by fieldworkers. These fifteen case study
files were then examined and coded using the
previously created categories. From this process
additional categories, grounded in the data, were
created. These additional categories included types
of activities, participants, roles participants took,
(e.g., Did they take up the role of “expert” and
provide technological knowledge to others? Did
they negotiate understandings with others? Did they
work alone?), and family attitudes towards
An examination of latino immigrant youths’ out-of-school technology practices • Yvonne De La Peña and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
technology. See Table 1 for the final set of conceptual
categories.
In addition to coding across cases in this way, we
developed analytical memos that summarized the
technology-based experiences of each of the case
study youth. The conceptual categories acted as a
framework for these summaries. Hence, the
summaries gave a picture of the youths’ interactions
with technology, highlighting important aspects of
these interactions as discovered by the analysis across
cases. In addition, these summaries were especially
useful when trying to understand how the youths’
the most popular activity, with Internet surfing, emailing, and chatting following behind. However,
considerable number of the youth used computers
for other activities such as drawing, writing poems,
and keeping journals. Finally, more than half of the
youth reported using the computer to do
homework. Figures 1 and 2, respectively,
demonstrate the frequency of computer use by the
youth and the variety of computer activities in
which they reported to engage.
We also found that home was the place where the
youth more often accessed computers and when
Box 1. Conceptual categories used during ethnographic data analysis
interactions with technology fitted within the daily
lives of their particular households.
Patterns of usage
We found that a substantial number of the youth
used a computer frequently and for a great variety
of activities. Playing computer games was by far
encountering difficulty with the computer, the youth
received help more often from a family member than
from anyone else. Figures 3 and 4, respectively,
demonstrate the percentage of youth who accessed
a computer at the different locations and the
percentage of youth who received help from different
individuals.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 71-82
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Figure1. Responses to the question, “How often do you use computers outside of school?”
Figure 2. Responses to the question, “What do you use computers for?”
76
An examination of latino immigrant youths’ out-of-school technology practices • Yvonne De La Peña and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
Figure 3. Responses to the question, “Where do you use a computer?”
Figure 4. Responses to the question, “When something goes wrong with your computer, who helps you?”
Differences based on gender and English language skills
There were some differences in relation to the
types of technological activities the youth engaged in
based on gender and English language skills. A
significant gender difference was found in regards to
the youths’ frequency of playing digital games;
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 71-82
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χ2(2)=15.55, (p= .00 two-tailed). The results of this
analysis are in line with previous research that indicates
that boys tend to play video games or computer
games more often than girls do (Marshall, Gorely,
Biddle, 2006; Volman & van Eck, 2001). However
there was no difference by gender in overall computer
use. This is also in line with previous research that
has shown that girls use computers as frequently as
boys at this age if no distinction is made between the
applications used by boys and the ones used by girls
(Marshall, Gorely, Biddle, 2006; Volman & van Eck,
2001).
The analysis also revealed a significant effect of
language proficiency, as measured by self-reports of
the youths’ proficiency to write and read English, on
the number of activities performed on a computer ;
F(2, 270) = 9.76, (p < 0.001) and F(2, 267) = 6.96,
(p < 0.001) for writing proficiency and reading
proficiency respectively. Previous research with Latino/a adults has also found that English language skills
and proficiency play an important role in their Internet
and computer activities (Leonardi, 2003; MenardWarwick & Dabach, 2004; Ospina et al., 2002;
Tornatzky et al., 2002). It is not clear, however, if this
is a direct effect of language abilities, or an index of
something else, such as the recency of families’
immigration (which could influence their ability to
purchase computers or to expose youth to computer
technology) or socioeconomic status. Further
research is needed to explore the relationship between
English language skills and proficiency and Latino
youths’ engagement with technology, specifically
computers and the Internet.
Youth and expertise
We began our analyses of the ethnographic data
with the assumption that youth who utilized
computers must have had access to some kind of
technological “funds of knowledge” from more expert
others, or specifically from adults. However, as the
analysis progressed it became clear that it was the
youth who were often the main sources of
technological knowledge for their families, and that
they took the lead in many decisions that were made
about technology in their homes. Often it was the
78
eldest children in a family, who encouraged their
families to purchase technology, set up and managed
the hardware, and taught younger siblings to use
computers and video games. For example, we
observed both Brianna and Katie helping their younger
brothers play on the computer and teaching them
how to navigate cartoon web sites on the Internet. In
another instance, we observed Jasmine helping her
brother Gerardo produce invitations for his upcoming
birthday party. These invitations were later distributed
among their friends and family.
To date, the focus of the ‘funds of knowledge’
framework has been principally on adults’ funds of
knowledge and how they can be leveraged for youths’
learning in school. Yet, youth are social actors with
their own sets of knowledge, information and skills
(James & Prout, 1997; Thorne, 1993). In this study,
our ethnographic data revealed that although adults
brought some sort of expertise to the youths’
interactions with technology, it was the youth who
provided most of the relevant technological expertise.
Hence it becomes clear that it is important to pay
attention to the youths’ funds of knowledge and to
how this knowledge is shared within households. This
is especially true when considering household funds
of knowledge in the area of technology because youth
are often the first to adopt the newest developments
of media culture such as digital games, computers and
mobile phones (Suoranta & Lehtimäki, 2004).
A case in point is using the computer and Internet
to keep in touch with family. Using the computer and
Internet to keep in touch with family was a recurrent
theme among the purposes for which the youth
engaged with technology. For example, Amanda often
wrote emails to her family in Cuba; Tony liked instant
messaging his cousins, and Nova expressed a desire
to have an Internet connection so that he could send
pictures to his cousins in México. Previous research
with Latino/a adults has found that communicating with
family members was a main reason for them to use
computes and access the Internet as they could save
money on long-distance domestic and international
phone calls (Ospina et al., 2002). However, research
has also found that some Latino/a adults, although
aware of the possible economic benefit to use
An examination of latino immigrant youths’ out-of-school technology practices • Yvonne De La Peña and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
computers and the Internet as a medium to
communicate with family far away, were reluctant to
do so. A main reason cited was a lack of technological
knowledge and skills, the same technological
knowledge and skills that often youth employ when
they engage in family communication through
technology.
However another reason that was mentioned for
not engaging in family communication through
computers and the Internet was related to values
regarding good communication and relationships
(Leonardi, 2003; Ospina et al., 2002). Hence, further
research is needed to explore the relationship between
Latinos’/as’ values regarding good communication and
relationships, their technological knowledge and skills,
and their use of technology, specifically computers
and the Internet.
The social context of technological activities
Using the survey data and the cross-case analyses,
we were able to obtain a general picture of the
youths’ uses of computers and also identify important
aspects of their technological activities. However, to
probe more deeply the nature and meanings of
youths’ engagement with technology it is necessary
to look at the youths’ interactions in context. In doing
so, we can observe how the different contextual
factors (e.g., access, type of activity, participants)
shape youths’ technological experiences. The
following vignettes offer further insight into what
meaningful access to technology comprises; together
they demonstrate that access is not a simple yes/no
proposition (either youth have access to technology
or not). Rather, access to technology exists in
gradations and its meaning and value varies depending
on particular social contexts (Warschauer, 2003).
Jasmine.
Jasmine was born in the United States; her parents
are Mexican. She is the oldest of three children. She
has two younger brothers, Gerardo and Beto. At the
time of our research, Jasmine’s father worked in manual labor and her mother was a homemaker. For a
time, Jasmine’s family had a computer, but when it
broke down they were not able to immediately
replace it. However, there were other places where
Jasmine had access both to computers and the
Internet. For example, the upstairs neighbors in their
two-flat had a computer and an Internet connection
and allowed her to use it. Jasmine’s knowledge of how
to use computers appeared limited, but she showed
rather sophisticated knowledge about the uses of the
Internet and used it to contribute to her household
functioning and well being. For example, on one
occasion, Jasmine asked one of the fieldworkers on
the research project to do research on the Internet
for her. She wanted to get information, to share with
her parents, about a life insurance policy that her
parents were thinking about buying.
Josh.
Josh was also born in the United States to
immigrant parents from a farming community in central Mexico. He has one younger sister, Marla. At the
time of our research Josh’s father worked at a hotel
performing a variety of duties, from maintenance jobs
to setting up and serving banquets; his mother worked
at a chicken processing plant. At Josh’s house, the
computer was placed in the living room where all
members of the family, including aunts and uncles, had
access to it. Access to the Internet was done through
dial-up but phone calls were given preferential
treatment since both the computer and the phone
shared a line. It was Josh who maintained the family
computer, installed software on it, kept the virus
protection up to date, and helped with its proper
functioning. More than engaging in computer activities,
Josh enjoyed spending his free time playing video
games and it was common for his friends to come
over to his house and play with him.
Nova.
Nova, unlike the other youth, was born in Mexico,
in the same small farming community where his father
had been born. Nova was the older of two children;
his sister, Carrie, was five years younger. At the time
of our research Nova’s father worked in landscaping
and his mother worked cleaning guest rooms at a local university. Nova’s parents bought a computer
when Nova was in the seventh grade and after a family
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 71-82
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discussion it was placed in Nova’s room. Nova was
ecstatic about this and worked on putting it together
mostly by himself. Unfortunately for Carrie, the
location of the computer came to define it as Nova’s
computer. Due to expenses related to their newly
acquired house it was not possible for Nova’s parents
to keep an Internet connection. Nova enjoyed building
web sites and at the time of the study was working
on two of them. He was constructing one in
collaboration with his cousins about one of their
favorite musical groups. The other one was Nova’s
personal web site; he was building it with help from a
friend from Mexico, who possessed sophisticated
computer knowledge.
Discussion
Traditionally technological activities have been
regarded as individual activities and technological
literacy has been deemed to consist of stand-alone
knowledge and skills. In this study we found that the
technological activities in which the youth engaged
were not solitary endeavors. On the contrary, their
interactions with technology were mostly socially
embedded. Both the survey data and the ethnographic
data showed that family and friends were important
participants in the youths’ engagements with
technology. It was often through their social networks
that the youth obtained and shared technological
knowledge and skills. Furthermore, the survey data
showed that the youth had the knowledge and skills
to engage in a variety of technological activities. Yet,
as evident in the ethnographic data, it was within social practices that such technological knowledge and
skills were transformed into meaningful activity. For
example, the youths’ technological knowledge and
skills became meaningful as they used technology to
keep in touch with family and friends or collaborated
to create party invitations or passed through the
levels of a digital game with the help of more
knowledgeable others.
In addition some of the youths’ technological
activities were part of the daily functioning of their
households, allowing them to make important
80
contributions to their households while supporting
their acquisition of technological skills and knowledge.
In particular, these youth may have extended their
role as tutors and household helpers into the realm
of technology, leveraging their technological skills to
teach their siblings and help their families. These
findings make clear that the non-school technological
practices of youth should not always be considered
‘just play’, as is often assumed in discussions of youths’
technological activities. [For example, King and
O’Brien (2005) note, ‘students are told that they can
play with computers when they are done with their
real work’ (pg. 42).] Instead, this could be one of
many ways in which participation by children in
household tasks comes to be seen by Latino families
as essential for their education and therefore
encouraged (Orellana, 2003; Villenas & Moreno,
2001).
Until recently, most of the research aimed at
understanding and improving youths’ lives has taken
a ‘research on’ children and teenagers approach
(Darbyshire, Macdougall, & Schiller, 2005), exploring
their lives through the voices of adult proxies and
portraying them as mere objects to be studied (Barker
& Weller, 2003). However the youth in this study
were active participants in their technological activities
and had their own areas of expertise and views of
technology. A recent study found that the perceptions
of youth in Spain, India, Brazil, Africa, and Norway,
about usefulness of technology, learning with
technology, and interest in technology differed
significantly from those of their parents (Casas,
Mjaavatn, Nayar, Rizzini, September, Figuer, González,
& Malo, 2007). If we are to fully understand youths’
technological activities we need to look at youth as
competent social actors that make sense of and actively
contribute to their environments (Barker & Weller,
2003). Furthermore it is necessary to investigate the
social and cultural aspects of their interactions as well.
In our study, the survey data showed that the great
majority of the Latino youth living in this community
had some type of physical access to computers and
engaged in computer usage in their daily lives. At the
same time, the ethnographic data revealed that the
nature and meaning of that engagement varied widely.
An examination of latino immigrant youths’ out-of-school technology practices • Yvonne De La Peña and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
As schools increasingly incorporate technology into
education, it is important that we have a clear view of
the technological knowledge and skills that students
bring to school. Moreover, it is important that we
understand the different technological practices in
which students engage. Having this knowledge can
help us capitalize on students’ strengths and create
zones of practice where they are involved in the
creation of knowledge not just consumers of it.
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About the authors
Yvonne De La Peña ([email protected]) - University of California – Los Angeles
Marjorie Faulstich Orellana([email protected]) -University of California – Los Angeles
Correspondence address
Yvonne De La Peña
3350 Sawtelle Blvd #202
Los Angeles, CA, 90066
USA
Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the University of California – Los Angeles, Graduate Division (Graduate Summer Research Mentorship
Program in the Humanities & Social Sciences) and by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) to the
first author; as well as by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5R03HD39510-02), the William T. Grant Foundation, the
Foundation for Psychocultural Research/Culture, Brain and Development program at UCLA, and the Spencer Foundation.
The effects of two computer-supported
collaborative learning (CSCL) scripts on university
students’ critical thinking
Computer-supported collaborative learning scripts on university
Tammy Schellens
Hilde Van Keer
Bram De Wever
Martin Valcke
Abstract
The present study focuses on the use of two different types of scripts as possible ways to structure university students’ discourse in asynchronous
discussion groups and consequently promote their learning. More specifically, the aim of the study is to determine how requiring students to label their
contributions by means of De Bono’s Thinking Hats (script 1) and Weinberger’s script for the construction of argumentation sequences (script 2) affects
the ongoing critical thinking processes reflected in the discussion. The results suggest that both scripts successfully facilitated critical thinking. The results
showed that the labeling condition (script 1) surpasses the argumentation script (script 2) with regard to the overall depth of critical thinking in the
discussion, and the critical thinking processes during the stages of problem identification and problem integration in particular. Further, it can be argued
that students in the labeling condition are engaged in more focused, more critical, and more practically-oriented discussions.
Keywords: Critical thinking; Problem solving; Learning.
Os efeitos de dois roteiros de aprendizagem colaborativa baseada em computador (ACBC) sobre o pensamento crítico de estudantes universitários
Resumo
O objetivo desse estudo é enfatizar o uso de dois diferentes roteiros como possibilidades para estruturar o discurso de estudantes universitários em
grupos de discussão assíncrona e, conseqüentemente, promover o aprendizados dos mesmos. Mais especificadamente, esse estudo têm o objetivo de
ensinar alunos a dar suas contribuições por meio do roteiro de De Bono’s Thinking Hats (roteiro 1) e pelo roteiro Weinberger para a construção de
seqüências argumentativas (roteiro 2) que afetam o curso do processo de pensamento presente numa discussão. Os resultados revelaram que rotulação
(roteiro 1) supera o roteiro argumentativo (roteiro 2) em relação a profundidade do pensamento crítico global e do pensamento crítico durante o estágio
de identificação de problemas e, em particular, na etapa relativa à integração de problemas. Além disso, pode ser considerado que alunos competentes
em rotulação são mais engajados, críticos e orientados para a prática nas discussões.
Palavras-chave: Pensamento critíco; Resolução de problemas; Aprendizagem.
Los efectos de dos guías de aprendizaje ayudada basada en computadora (ACBC) sobre el pensamiento crítico de estudiantes universitarios
Resumen
El objetivo de este estudio es enfatizar el uso de dos guías diferentes como posibilidades para estructurar el discurso de estudiantes universitarios en
grupos de discusión asíncrona y, consecuentemente, promover el aprendizaje de los mismos. Más especificamente, este estudio tiene el objetivo de
enseñarle a alumnos a dar sus contribuciones por medio de la guía de De Bono’s Thinking Hats (guía 1) y por la guía Weinberger para la construcción de
secuencias de argumentos (guía 2) que afectan el curso del proceso de pensamiento que está presente en una discusión. Los resultados mostraron que
83
rotulación (guía 1) supera la guía argumentativa (guía 2) en relación a la profundidad del pensamiento crítico global y del pensamiento crítico durante el
periodo de identificación de problemas y, particularmente, en la etapa relativa a la integración de problemas. Además de eso, puede ser considerado que
los alumnos competentes en rotulación son más comprometidos, críticos y orientados para la práctica en las discusiones.
Palabras clave: Pensamiento crítico; Resolución de problemas; Aprendizaje.
Introduction
Computer-supported collaborative learning
(CSCL), and asynchronous discussion groups in particular, is very popular because of the positive effects
on different aspects of learning. Empirical evidence
however stresses the importance of engaging students
in high-quality interaction as a prerequisite for
supporting online learning. In this respect, scripts can
be regarded as an approach to facilitate true
collaborative learning. With the present study we want
to shed light on the impact of different kind of scripts
and the different aspects that should be taken into
account when designing CSCL environments.
A script can be defined as a detailed and more
explicit didactic contract between the teacher and
the group of students regarding their mode of
collaboration (Dillenbourg, 2002). Certain scripts, for
instance, stimulate learners to construct specific
arguments by providing them prompts on which they
have to respond (Baker & Lund, 1997; Dillenbourg,
2002; Kollar, Fischer & Hess, 2003; Weinberger,
2003; Weinberger, Ertl, Fischer & Mandl, 2005). This
approach is particularly interesting to specify,
sequence, and eventually to allocate different learning
activities to learners (Weinberger et al., 2005).
The concept of ‘script’ however encompasses a
very broad range of methods, techniques, and
approaches. In this respect it is difficult to speak about
the overall efficacy of CSCL scripts (Dillenbourg,
2002). In this study, we compared the use of two
different types of scripting tools and the impact of
these scripts on the critical thinking processes
reflected in the discussion. As part of the course
‘Instructional Strategies’, 57 third-year university
students were engaged in asynchronous discussion
groups debating different perspectives, possibilities,
and limitations of “constructivism” during two weeks.
Two research conditions were distinguished. In the
first condition (script 1), students were required to
84
tag their messages by means of De Bono’s (1991)
Thinking Hats. Each note in the discussion had to be
associated to one of a predefined set of six labels
expressing different thinking types. The aim of
requiring students to tag their posts is twofold. First,
it obliges students to reflect upon the nature of their
contribution and on how it will add to the ongoing
discussion. Second, the labels improve the outline of
the discussion and indicate the predominance or
absence of one or more thinking types. Table 1
presents an overview of the six thinking types reflected
in De Bono’s thinking hats (1991).
In the second condition (script 1), the
argumentation-visualization script based on
Weinberger, Stegmann, and Fischer (2005) was used
to support the construction of argumentation
sequences. With this script, there is an imposed path
of argument, counterargument, and integration
through the discussion.
Oliver (2001) argues that critical thinking skills
represent an important issue for education and that
these skills are particularly important nowadays in
order to make meaningful use of electronic
information. Boxler (2002) considers critical thinking
as a main tool that one must develop and use to enact
social change. Although asynchronous discussion
groups might support opportunities for engagement
in various cognitive processes such as critical thinking,
they do not guarantee it (Murphy, 2004). Few studies
specifically focus on critical thinking. However, some
aspects of critical thinking have been investigated in
online asynchronous discussion environments.
Empirical evidence stresses for instance the
importance of engaging students in high-quality
interaction as a prerequisite for supporting critical
thinking and deep-level learning. Because there is little
empirical evidence on whether and how computersupported collaboration scripts specifically aimed to
support critical thinking are really successful, the
following research question was explored: Do
The effects of two computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)... • Tammy Schellens, Hilde Van Keer, Bram De Wever and Martin Valcke
Table 1: Overview of the interpretation of De Bono’s thinking hats (1991)
messages of students who were required to tag their
contributions to asynchronous discussion by means
of De Bono’s Thinking Hats (1991) differ from
messages of students who were required to follow a
script for the construction of argumentation
sequences with regard to the overall depth of critical
thinking, the depth of critical thinking for different
categories and indicators, and the depth of critical
thinking at the successive critical thinking stages
distinguished by Garrison (1992).
Theoretical framework
Although most educators agree on the importance
of critical thinking for learning, there is much
disagreement about the exact meaning of the term
“critical thinking” and there is no universal definition
of critical thinking for education. In the present study,
we agree with the definitions of Chance (1986) and
Scriven and Paul (1992) who respectively define
critical thinking as the ability to analyze facts, generate
and organize ideas, defend opinions, make
comparisons, draw inferences, evaluate arguments,
and solve problems (Chance, 1986) and as the
intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully
conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/
or evaluating information gathered from, or generated
by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or
communication, as a guide to belief and action (Scriven
& Paul, 1992).
A number of theorists have considered critical
thinking as a problem-solving process (e.g.,
Brookfield, 1987; Garrison, 1992). Garrison (1992)
more particularly identifies five phases of critical
thinking. According to his theory, critical thinkers
move through the stages of identifying a problem,
defining it more clearly, exploring the problem and
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 83-92
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possible solutions, evaluating their applicability, and
integrating this understanding with existing
knowledge. The model employed to analyze the
discourse in the present study is based on Garrison’s
model which is a dynamic cognitive one, similar to
models of problem-solving used in cognitive
psychology and artificial intelligence. Although
Garrison initially developed it as a means of studying
individual learning, it requires shared understanding
with others and is therefore suitable for studying
group learning as well. Underneath, the different
stages are illustrated briefly.
Stage 1: Problem identification. Students start by
identifying a problem and gather information on it.
This information is made available for other students
in the online discussion groups. It is in the interaction
with others that the problem is identified.
Stage 2: Problem definition. In the problem
definition phase students have to define problem
boundaries, ends, and means. At this point students
should bring in outside information from textbooks
or own experience to clarify the problem. It requires
the students to identify a position before putting
arguments for and against it.
Stage 3: Problem exploration. The phase of
problem exploration can be regarded as the
creative generation of new ideas, since it is the
most creative part of the critical thinking process.
Here students have to explore the problem and
possible solutions. They use both logical reasoning
and creative thinking to extend their understanding
beyond the basic problem definition (Newman et
al., 1995).
Stage 4: Problem evaluation/applicability. In the
fourth stage, students critically evaluate possible
solutions, link ideas together, and try to find out if
these proposed solutions can work in practice.
Stage 5: Problem integration. When students
integrate the solutions into existing knowledge, they
need to validate the solution within the group. This is
the stage where the solutions are grounded in the
real world. This requires feedback. In this respect,
not only external feedback is necessary; but criticism
from other group members is important as well.
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Method
Sample and design
All students enrolled for the course ‘Instructional
Strategies’ participated in the present study (N=57).
The students were subdivided into 6 groups and each
group was randomly assigned to one of the two
research conditions. Students were either required
to tag their contributions by means of De Bono’s
(1991) Thinking Hats (script 1) or to post messages
following the argumentation-construction model of
Weinberger, et al. (2005) (script 2).
With regard to the script 1 condition, the online
discussion environment offered a checklist
interpreting the different types of contributions
advancing the discussion process. For each Thinking
Hat, the students received a description of what the
hat implies in terms of a discussion contribution. In
the script 2 condition, we aimed to facilitate a specific
argumentation
sequence
of
argumentcounterargument-integration (Weinberger, et al.,
2005; Leitão, 2000). In this script, each first message
of a discussion tread has to be labelled “argument”.
The answer to an argument should than be labelled as
“counterargument” and a reply to a counterargument
has to be labelled as “integration”. The next message
is again a “counterargument”, then “integration” and
so on. In this way, there is an imposed path throughout
the discussion. If necessary, students can start a new
thread, starting again with an argument.
Task environment and procedure
Students participated in an asynchronous discussion
session of two weeks. Students were flexible as to
time and place to work on the discussion assignment
within this two-week frame. During the first face-toface session of the course, the CSCL-environment
was demonstrated. A typology functionality was
included in the system. The typology and the different
types, in this case, the different hats were defined
and added to the forum. If students wanted to post a
message to the forum, they first had to pick a type of
the typology concerned, in this case this means
choosing between red, white, green, yellow, black,
or blue hat from a drop-down menu. When their
The effects of two computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)... • Tammy Schellens, Hilde Van Keer, Bram De Wever and Martin Valcke
message was contributed to the forum, the hat
chosen appeared next to their message.
A number of strict rules were stated to define the
expected student participation: participation in the
discussion groups was a formal part of the course,
successful participation implied that each student
posted at least 5 messages, and the instructor
followed the ongoing discussions and limited the
interventions to structural feedback. To ensure a
correct use of the labels students received a thorough
training with regard to the differences between the
labels. Moreover the information and description of
the different hats was incorporated in the discussion
environment and visible for the students at all times.
The nature of the discussion assignment was the same
for all discussion groups in the study. The same learning
goal, context, expectations, time requirements, and
deliverables was put forward in all discussion group,
regardless of the research condition the groups were in.
The discussion assignment allowed learners to construct
different arguments pro or contra “constructivism”. An
online column on EduSite (http://www.edusite.nl/edusite/
columns/) served as a starting point. Students were asked
to read this text and to discuss the content from different
perspectives. They were urged to consult the literature
suggested in the course reader and to search for additional
information to feed the discussion.
Data analysis
Content analysis was applied in order to study
the critical thinking processes reflected in the
discussions. More particularly, the content analysis
scheme based on Newman, Webb, and Cochrane
(1995) was used. This content analysis instrument
is based on Garrison’s (1992) five stages of critical
thinking and Henri’s (1992) cognitive skills. It
identifies 10 critical thinking categories: relevance,
importance, novelty, outside knowledge, ambiguities,
linking ideas, justification, critical assessment,
practical utility, and width of the discussion. For each
category, a number of positive and negative indicators
are formulated and most indicators are fairly obvious
opposites (Newman et al., 1995). Within the
framework of the present study all critical thinking
categories and indicators distinguished by Newman
et al. (1995) were adopted, except for the indicators
referring to tutor postings. Taken into account the
restricted time span of a two-week discussion we
requested students to move on quickly to a more
focused discussion. Therefore, the category ‘Width
of the discussion’ received a deviated interpretation,
assigning a positive connotation to focused
discussions and a negative connotation to broad
discussion contributions. In this respect, the category
was renamed ‘Focus of the discussion’. The indicators
used in the present study are listed in Table 2.
For each of the 6 groups, the complete discussion
transcripts were analyzed. This encompasses a total
of 510 messages. According to Newman et al. (1995),
phrases, sentences, paragraphs, as well as messages
illustrating at least one of the indicators can serve as
units of analysis. The authors only mark and count
the obvious examples, and ignore less clear indicators.
They do not report reliability data and according to
Marra, Moore, and Klimczak (2004) calculating interreliability is not even possible given that the unit of
analysis varies from phrases, to paragraphs, or to the
entire posting. Therefore, in the present study the
whole message was used as the unit of analysis.
According to Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer
(2001) this results in the objective identification of all
units of analysis. Each message that obviously indicated
critical or uncritical learning according to the indicators
explained above was analyzed. Per category only one
indicator could be chosen. This means that every
message could receive a maximum of 10 codes.
Two coders coded the messages independently.
Training was provided to all coders and included a
thorough explanation of the coding process, written
coding rules and guidelines, examples and nonexamples and practice with sample data. Group
discussion helped students to get acquainted with the
particularities of the coding scheme and to reach
mutual agreement about the coding category to be
selected. Inter-rater reliability was calculated and found
satisfactory for each category of critical thinking.
To check the correspondence between the
students’ message label and the actual message
content, a sample of the messages (5%) posted in
the script 1 condition was analyzed. An agreement of
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 83-92
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Table 2. Overview of critical thinking indicators and mapping of to Garrison’s (1992) stages of critical thinking
almost 87% was found which indicates that students
generally used the correct labels. The fact that there
was a clear distinction between the different labels,
can explain this high correspondence. Students were
88
not likely to mix up between hats. Moreover, the
training students received and the description of the
hats which remained visible during the discussions
strengthened this correct use of the hats.
The effects of two computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)... • Tammy Schellens, Hilde Van Keer, Bram De Wever and Martin Valcke
An equally large sample of the messages posted in
the script 2 condition was checked for correct use
of the script. The analyses of the discussions revealed
that in almost all cases students followed the script as
they were instructed to play it. Only in 6% of our
sample students did not completed the argument
followed by counter-argument path.
Results and Discussion
As to the results, we will first focus on
differences with regard to the overall depth of
critical thinking. Secondly, the effect of the research
conditions on the separate categories and indicators
of critical thinking is studied. Finally, the findings
are related to Garrison’s stages of critical thinking
(1992). Therefore, the depth of critical thinking at
successive stages is examined.
As to the overall depth of critical thinking, a
critical thinking ratio was calculated on the basis of
the coded critical thinking indicators. This ratio varies from -1, indicating all uncritical thinking
statements to +1, indicating all critical thinking
statements. The results with regard to the overall
depth of critical thinking in the discussion groups
reveal more statements indicating critical thinking
than the opposite in both research conditions,
implying that there is evidence for critical thinking
in both conditions. Analysis of variance, however,
indicates that students tagging their contributions
by means of the Thinking Hats surpassed the
argumentation-visualization group significantly in the
achieved general depth of critical thinking (mean
depth of critical thinking = 0.41, respectively =
0.30) (F(1, 359)=14.25, p<0.001).
Apart from the overall depth of critical thinking,
the content analysis scheme of Newman et al.
(1995) makes it possible to study different
components of critical thinking through the
different categories and indicators. To enable more
detailed statements with regard to the differential
impact of both research conditions on students’
critical thinking in the discussions, in a second step
the global measure of overall depth of critical
thinking was split up by analyzing the ratios for each
critical thinking category and the incidence of the
separate critical thinking indicators. Table 3 gives
an overview of the critical thinking ratios for each
category per research condition. Figure 1 shows
the overall pattern, comparing both research
conditions.
Table 3. Overview of the critical thinking ratios by each indicator for each research
condition
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 83-92
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Figure 1. Patterns in depth of critical thinking by indicator for each research condition
As can be seen in Figure 1, the patterns between
both research conditions with regard to the different
critical thinking categories are generally quite similar.
Analyses of variance, however, indicate significantly higher
critical thinking ratios for the discussion focus (F(1,
359)=29.28, p<0.001), for the critical assessment
reflected in messages (F(1, 357)=10.52, p=0.001), and
for discussing practical utility (F(1, 349)=15.19,
p<0.001) in the condition in which students tag their
messages by means of De Bono’s (1991) Thinking Hats.
Multinomial logistic regressions corroborate these
findings. More specifically, it can be concluded that
students who are required to reflect on and to tag the
type of thinking in their contributions are 3.26 times
more prone to engage in in-depth discussions than their
peers in the argumentation-visualization condition who
are involved in more general online discourse. Further,
students in the script 1 condition are also 2 times more
likely to include critical assessment of one’s own or others
contributions. Finally, these students tend in to bring 3.85
times more possible solutions to familiar situations and
2.14 times more discussions points regarding practical
utility of new ideas.
In order to study the depth of critical thinking taking
place in each of Garrison’s stages of critical thinking
(1992), in the third step of the analyses each indicator
was related to the stage in which it is most expected.
For example, it can be expected that new problemrelated information is to be introduced in Garrison’s stage
of problem definition (stage 2). The critical thinking
indicators were mapped to Garrison’s five stages by
means of the procedure reported by Newman et al.
(1996) and presented in Table 2. Table 4 gives an overview
of the mean critical thinking ratios for each of the stages.
Table 4. Overview of the critical thinking ratios for each of Garrison’s stages (Garrison,
1992) for each research condition.
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The effects of two computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)... • Tammy Schellens, Hilde Van Keer, Bram De Wever and Martin Valcke
In Figure 2, the calculated critical thinking ratios
per stage are plotted for each research condition.
Figure 2 indicates that the patterns of critical thinking
during the successive stages identified by Garrison
(1992) are quite similar for both research conditions.
Analyses of variance, however, reveal significantly
deeper critical thinking for the students in the script
1 condition at the stages of problem identification (F(1,
359)=14.25, p<0.001) and problem integration (F(1,
359)=4.41, p=0.036), indicating that students who
are required to tag the type of thinking in their
messages are doing better at identifying a problem
by going to the core of the matter and at integrating
the solutions emerging from the discussion into
existing knowledge than the students asked to follow
an argumentation path.
processes during the stages of problem identification
and problem integration in particular. Further, it can
be argued that students in the labeling condition are
engaged in more focused, more critical, more and
practically-oriented discussions. The fact that the
results in the labeling condition exceed the results in
the argumentation-visualisation condition is probably
due to the fact that in the labeling condition, students
are asked to step back and to reflect upon the ongoing
discussion and on how to contribute to optimize the
debate. Moreover, the labels visualize the possible
predominance or absence of one or more thinking
types. The six hats together encompass the successive
stages of critical thinking. Since students were invited
to apply a whole range of thinking hats, going through
the successive stages of critical thinking was
Figure 2. Plot of the critical thinking ratios per stage for each research condition
In conclusion, it can be argued that asking students
to identify their thinking types by means of De Bono’s
Thinking Hats (1991) or to follow an argumentation
path appears to be successful to foster profound
critical thinking in asynchronous discussions. These
results corroborate the assumption that scripts can
be regarded as a way to facilitate true collaborative
learning (Dillenbourg, 2002; Kollar, Fischer & Hesse,
2003; Weinberger, 2003). However, the labeling
condition (script 1) surpasses the argumentation script
(script 2) with regard to the overall depth of critical
thinking in the discussion, and the critical thinking
stimulated. In the argumentation-visualisation condition
students were engaged in an identical assignment,
however the imposed path of argument,
counterargument, and integration through the
discussion is more restricted and does not cover all
the different stages and components of critical thinking.
Moreover since this kind of script forces each
contribution in a straitjacket we have to be aware of
the danger of too rigid scripting (Dillenbourg, 2002).
Clearly the results for both scripting conditions
are promising, however the results indicate that not
all scripts fit in for every kind of computer supported
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 83-92
91
collaboration. The scripts should be adapted
depending on the specific goal and the discussion processes you try to stimulate.
Marra, R. M., Moore, J. L., & Klimczak, A. K. (2004). Content
analysis of online discussion forums: A comparative analysis of
protocols. Educational Technology Research Development, 52,
23-40.
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About the authors
Tammy Schellens([email protected]) , Hilde Van Keer, Bram De Wever, e Martin Valcke
Department of Education, H. Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Personalization and learning: innovative
approaches to teaching for e-learning
Personalization and learning
Ray Webster
Fay Sudweeks
Abstract
This paper suggests that for academics to be good teachers, especially in the context of e-Learning, they need to understand learning. This is especially
important with the associated changes in higher education as we move towards the knowledge society. E-Learning is embedded in learning and, without
an understanding of what learning encompasses, it can be difficult for academics to develop into good teachers. It is suggested that, although this may
appear to be a simple aim, it is not necessarily understood or applied by university academics in their teaching. One inference is that university teachers
need to develop a theory of learning and teaching. Academics may have a ‘philosophy of teaching’, but in many cases even this may not be consciously
held or successfully implemented. A program for promoting conceptual change in academics’ approaches to teaching is outlined.
Keywords: Learning; Knowledge; Technology
Personalização e aprendizado: novos métodos para ensinar em e-learning
Resumo
Esse artigo sugere que para estudantes serem bons professores, especialmente no contexto do e-Learning, é necessário entender de aprendizagem. Isso
é especialmente importante devido às mudanças na educação superior, na medida em que nos movemos em direção a uma sociedade de conhecimentos.
O e-Learning é baseado em aprendizagem e tem objetivo de formar bons professores, porém sua compreensão pode ser difícil para acadêmicos que
não compreendem quais aspectos a aprendizagem engloba. Apesar de seu objetivo ser simples, ele não é necessariamente compreendido ou aplicado por
acadêmicos universitários no ensino. Um dos problemas é que professores universitários têm que desenvolver uma teoria de aprendizagem e ensino.
Logo, acadêmicos podem ter uma filosofia de ensino mas, em muitos casos, até essa filosofia pode não ser conscientemente realizada ou implementada
com sucesso. Um programa para promover mudanças conceituais nas técnicas de ensino dos estudantes é destacado no artigo.
Palavras-chave: Aprendizagem; Conhecimento; Tecnologia.
Personalización y aprendizaje: nuevos métodos para enseñar en e-learning
Resumen
Este artículo sugiere que para que estudiantes sean buenos profesores, especialmente en el contexto e-learning, es necesario entender sobre aprendizaje.
Eso es especialmente importante por causa de los cambios en la educación superior, en la medida en que nos movemos en dirección a una sociedad de
conocimientos. El e-learning es basado en aprendizaje y tiene como objetivo formar buenos profesores, pese a que su comprensión puede ser difícil para
los académicos que no entienden cuales aspectos son englobados por el aprendizaje. Pese a su objetivo ser simple, no necesariamente es entendido o
aplicado por universitarios académicos en la enseñanza. Uno de los problemas es que los profesores universitarios tienen que desarrollar una teoría de
aprendizaje y enseñanza. De esa forma, los académicos pueden tener una filosofía de enseñanza, pero en muchos casos, esa propia filosofía puede no ser
conscientemente realizada o implementada con suceso. Un programa para promover cambios conceptuales en las técnicas de enseñanza de los
estudiantes es destacado en el artículo.
Palabras clave: Aprendizaje; Conocimiento; Tecnología.
93
Introduction
Good practice in learning and teaching requires an
understanding of learning. This is true for e-Learning
as the purpose of the technologies and associated
processes is still to support learning itself. An
understanding of learning is best accessed through an
individual’s understanding of his/her own learning
followed by an appreciation of the large variations in
approaches to learning existing in and adopted by any
given body of students. This paper suggests a strategy
and methodology for enabling conceptual change in
academics’ approaches to teaching for learning in the
knowledge society by engaging with these issues.
The mechanism for operationally these matters is
provided by the concept of student learning profiles.
Each individual has a learning profile, the core
constituents of each profile are cognitive style, learning
style and personality type. These three profile
components interact in ways which produce very individual and personalised approaches to learning.
Facilitating an understanding of the range of possible
learner profiles via accessing and reflecting on their
own profile can help enable academics to become
more effective teachers amidst the increasing demands
of higher education as we move towards a more fullfledged knowledge society. These issues will be
explored using data from a study of four hundred
students and a team of tutors and teachers
participating in a foundation level unit, “Learning at
University”.
Purpose and rationale of the research
The overall purpose of the research is to provide
a strategy for developing a network of disciplinary
leaders for excellence in learning and teaching in
information technology. This will be achieved by
enabling conceptual changes in the approaches of
academics to their teaching and will be operationalised
by using an understanding of personal learning to
enhance the teaching skills of university teachers.
Working from a subject dependent (information
technology) and departmental base, the intention is
to provide a framework which can be extended in
two ways. The first is from the departmental level
94
through the faculty level to the institutional level. The
second is by providing a subject independent
methodology that can be adapted to each area.
The rationale for the project is that, for academics
to be good teachers, they need to understand
learning. The purpose of teaching is to enable learning.
Without an understanding of what learning
encompasses, it can be difficult for many academics
to develop into good teachers. A much quoted
phrase from Paul Ramsden (1992) emphasises this
view: “The aim of teaching is simple: it is to make
student learning possible” (p. 5). While it might be
quoted often and proclaimed to be a simple aim,
that aim is not necessarily understood (and especially
applied) by university academics in their teaching.
The following quote highlights this proposition. An
inference is that university teachers need to develop
a theory of learning and teaching.
“[I]t is difficult to find an academic with a theory of
learning. Or even one who thinks it is his job to have
one” (Laurillard, 1999, p. 113).
Most academics may well have a ‘philosophy of
teaching’ rather than a ‘theory of learning’, possibly
linked to their own experiences as students and most
likely related to their personal preferences for
presenting and receiving information. However, in
many cases, even this may not be consciously held or
successfully implemented.
Good practice in learning and teaching requires an
understanding of learning. This understanding of
learning is best accessed through an individual’s
understanding of his/her own learning followed by an
appreciation of the large variations in approaches to
learning existing in and adopted by any given body of
students. This project proposes the use of ‘leaders
for excellence in learning and teaching’. These leaders
will be individuals who understand, use, champion and
spread the use of learning profiles as a method of
understanding learning to enhance teaching.
The mechanism for operationalising these issues
is provided by the concept of a Learning Profile (LP).
Each individual has a Learning Profile (Webster,
Personalization and learning: innovative approaches to teaching for e-learning • Ray Webster and Fay Sudweeks
2005) and we can identify three core constituents
of each profile: (i) cognitive style, (ii) learning style,
and (iii) personality type. This is in line with Jonassen
and Grabowski (1993) who, in a broad survey of
individual learning, commented that “the particular
combination of aptitudes and traits possessed by
each individual is reflected in the individual’s
cognitive styles, personality, and learning styles” (p.
xi). These attributes, then, comprise the main
elements of the learning profile. These three profile
components interact in ways which produce very
individual and personalised approaches to learning.
Enabling and enhancing metacognition by both
university teachers and students can be achieved
by the process of self-reflection on learner
characteristics or profiles. Learner characteristics
and the related interactions with others can have a
large impact on the individual learning process and,
by definition, the teaching process. How individual
university teachers approach their teaching and
develop their teaching strategies is strongly related
to their own individual learning profiles. As groups
and learning communities are aggregations of individual learners, it follows that these characteristics
also impact on all aspects of teaching and learning
including individual learning, group learning and,
ultimately, learning community development.
That academics are increasingly expected to have
a ‘theory of learning’ is representative not only of a
shift in focus in higher education, but of a series of
changes throughout the sector which can be
described as producing a major systems
reconfiguration (Ison, 1999, 2000). Within this
context, and from a systems perspective,
understanding how students learn can be considered
to be central to designing environments to support
student learning – whether those environments be
social (e.g. learning support groups), technical
(Blackboard, WebCT, etc.) or organisational (e.g. the
department, faculty or university as learning
environment). From the academics’ perspective, this
is simply one more change factor that they have to
take into consideration amidst increasing student
numbers, falling resource levels and changing
systems.
Helping University Teachers to Develop a
‘Theory of Learning’
While it is easy to bemoan the possible
shortcomings of university teachers in this area, the
quote from Laurillard suggests that the need to adopt
a ‘theory of learning’ is unlikely to be apparent to
many. Consequently, a more difficult task is that of
helping university teachers to develop a ‘theory of
learning’ that is accessible and makes sense to each
and every one. The methodology proposed in this
project will enable such a theory to be developed in a
constructive and applicable manner. This will be done
by personalising the learning process while at the same
time locating it in the context of the huge range of
possible individual learning profiles.
This initial project is centred on Information
Technology departments; however, the project can
be extended to different student constituencies. The
major aims of the project are to:
• implement a strategy of developing a network
of disciplinary leaders for excellence in learning
and teaching in information technology;
• provide an action research model which will
attract participants, directly impact on their
professional effectiveness, and increase
involvement;
• enable university teachers to understand their
own learning via personal learning profiles and
extend this understanding to the range of
possible learning profiles, the consequent
approaches to learning and the implications for
effective teaching;
• create a professional development strategy for
moving the action research model from a
departmental to a faculty approach and thence
to a university wide approach; and
• create a professional development strategy for
moving the action research model from an
information technology subject base to other
subjects.
Approach and Methodology
The research aims fit in with general institutional
priorities in higher education. All universities are
committed to enhancing student learning through the
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 93-101
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development of teaching excellence. The following are
extracts from strategy documents of example
Australian universities:
• Murdoch University, WA: To enhance the
educational quality of courses and the teaching
and learning experience … To maintain student
satisfaction with the quality of teaching within
the top 20% of the Australian public
universities.
• University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), NSW:
Use research on learning and feedback on
teaching to identify good practice and inform
UTS teaching standards … Develop
communities of UTS teaching practice that
increase the exchange of ideas and the
dissemination of good practice.
• Edith Cowan University (ECU), WA: Enhancing
Teaching, Learning and Research: ECU will
become a national leader in the education of
learners for the knowledge based service
professions, and will be recognised for the
quality of its teaching and its learning
opportunities in those fields … ECU is a
teaching and research university, and research
will inform its teaching especially research into
the scholarship of teaching and learning.
The major outcomes proposed are as follows.
• A network of disciplinary leaders for excellence
in learning and teaching in information
technology at each institution will be created.
• A strategy for enabling teaching via conceptual
change in university teachers understanding of
learning will be developed and implemented.
• A flexible approach (the learning profile
measures can be varied) which can be adapted
for different subject areas (via changes in the
unit activities) will be introduced.
• An aligned and integrated institutional/faculty/
departmental approach will be provided.
• A professional development strategy for
moving the action research model from a
departmental to a faculty approach and thence
to a university wide approach will be
formalised.
96
• A professional development strategy for
moving the action research model from an
information technology subject base to other
subjects will be formalised.
• A series of workshops and materials to enable
the dissemination of the program and
strategies will be organised.
Additional outcomes for academics participating
in the iterative process of reflection on learning profiles
and their application via teaching include the following.
• A deeper understanding of the learning process,
as applied to the teacher and the student, is
developed by each academic.
• A deeper understanding of the range of learning
profiles possible in any given student body is
developed by each academic.
• The ability to adapt one’s teaching for whole
group learning is developed.
• A framework is provided that affords both a
structure to work within and a process to
follow.
• Participation in the process will help university
teachers and students to develop
metacognitive skills and explore their attitudes
to learning in a manner which will promote Life
Long Learning.
Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework for the research draws
on current international developments in personalised
learning (DfES, 2004; Martinez, 2001; Metros &
Bennett, 2002) and the recognition that these
developments have their roots in “the best practices
of the teaching profession” (DfES, 2004). It also builds
on research on the reflective practitioner (Schön,
1983, 1991) and learning organisations (Argyris &
Schön, 1996), and the Soft Systems Methodology
implementation of this (Checkland & Scholes, 1990).
Within this context, the concept of learning profiles
(Webster, 2004), derived from available psychometric
measures, is used to provide a framework for
reflection. A process of individual reflection and peer
group discussion is used as the basis for the design
and development of a Personalised Teaching Resource
Personalization and learning: innovative approaches to teaching for e-learning • Ray Webster and Fay Sudweeks
Portal (PTRP). By using the teacher’s understanding
of the learning process via self-knowledge, the core
of the work is the fundamental link between learning,
reflection and good teaching practice.
In order to the learning profile derivation, three
instruments have been selected based on empirical
evidence of their validity and reliability as
measurements and constructs. As with many
psychometric measures, there is continued debate
about the use of each (Geyer, 1997; Peterson et al,
2003). However, they are used as indicators of the
range of styles and characteristics available in each
element of the profile and indicate the self reported
strengths of learning preferences rather than acting
purely as quantitative measures in a quasi-experimental mode. As such they are reflective tools which the
participants use as a framework to locate and consider
the factors underpinning their own approaches to
learning and teaching.
Elements of the conceptual framework include:
1. the development and application of the
cognitive profile concept to provide a
structured and accessible summary of
teachers’ learning characteristics;
2. the use of the profiles as a framework for
structured reflection on learning
characteristics;
3. the identification of the impact of learner
characteristics, as derived from the
cognitive profiles, on the dynamics of group
learning;
4. the identification of key profiles for the
development of successful learning groups
and communities; and
5. the development of a methodology for
enhancing teachers’ metacognitive
awareness of group learning with reference
to the formation of learning communities.
The three components of the Learning Profile and
the instruments used to measure them are:
• Cognitive Style – the Cognitive Styles Analysis
(Riding, 1991, 2000) is a 15 minute computerbased test which measures personal
preferences for representing and processing
information.
• Learning Style – the Approaches to Study
Inventory (Entwistle et al, 2001; Tait et al.,
1998) aims to measure deep, surface and
strategic approaches to learning in addition to
other categories of learning.
• Personality Type – the Myers-Briggs Type
Inventory (Myers et al., 1998) is an educational
and management tool which classifies
respondents according to personality type and
is strongly related to measures of cognitive and
learning styles.
In this case, the developmental methodology
encourages reflection by university teachers on
aspects of their own learning and participation in the
process of the design and development of
personalised portals. The development of the portal
is a major part of the reflective and reflexive
development as it requires the individual to fully
engage with his or her profile in the act of applying it
within the context of a design application.
The overall process for each academic begins with
critically reflecting on the elements of a personal
learning profile. This is first done individually and then
within the context of the project team, both within
and across the three universities using a learning
management site designed for the purpose. The
comparative group discussions help the development
of an understanding of the broader range of possible
learning profiles. The results of the reflections,
discussions and emerging design plans will then be
applied to the design and development of a PTRP by
each participating academic.
The methodology uses multiple data sources and
mixed data types (Webster, 2004). The data sources
include pre- and post-questionnaires, reflective
journals, interviews and structured design
Considering the application, the core methodology
is provided by RAPAD (a Reflective and Participatory
Approach to Design) (Webster, 2005). RAPAD is a
developmental methodology which encourages
reflection within the context of a participatory
approach to design.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 93-101
97
commentary (i.e. a walk through of the form and
content of the PTRP where the participant explains
the relationship and purpose of each element in the
context of his or her learning profile). Using this
methodology in the context of this research project
also enables a conceptual change in the participating
university teachers’ approaches to teaching via an
understanding of the learning process.
Methodological Process and
Stages
Institutional Teaching Team Focus
Stage 1: The project leaders at each university will
be familiar with the concepts and practices of learner
profiling. They will have undertaken the series of
reflective and practical activities involved in the
process. Each project team member will take
responsibility for a group of participating staff and each
institutional leader will recruit four academics who
wish to participate in the research.
Stages 2: Participating staff (ratio of 1 leader to 4
participants) will undertake the same process of
profiling, reflection and comment, guided by the
institutional leaders. At the outset, each participant
will first have been asked to sketch an outline of what
his/her learning profile might be. This will be done
for comparative purposes and with reference to the
learning profile elements, e.g. cognitive style - field
dependent/independent, holist/analytic, verbaliser/
visualiser; personality type – according to MBTI type;
learning style profile - deep, surface or strategic
learning style propensity.
Stage 3: The participants will develop a relatively
straightforward web-based teaching and learning
support portal. The PTRP will have teaching and
learning support processes and objects embedded in
the structure which are based on the learning profile
of the individual developer. This will allow the
participants to apply their learning in a practical
context and will serve to strengthen their
understanding of how the elements of their learning
98
profile impact on various aspects of the learning
process – and by means of that, the related and
interconnected teaching process. The knowledge
management and portal design consultant will play an
important part throughout this period, being available
for consultation and providing feedback and guidance
on design and development issues.
Stage 4: The participants will be made aware of
the possible range of learning profiles that exist and
their impact on the learning process through
discussion, comparison and locating their own profile
within the set of all possible profiles. This is an
iterative, dynamic and ongoing process. In the context
of this research project, this process will be facilitated
by the provision of online discussion spaces to allow
each participant to share his or her profiles and
reflections with those at each of the institutions
involved.
Stage 5: The online discussion spaces will be part
of the project website which will also act as a regularly
updated data resource. The resources will include the
participant profiles, student profiles, example
environments from previous studies, and links to other
learning resource centres. Where possible,
participants will be encouraged to focus on the
adaptation and reuse current resources rather than
the creation of completely new resources.
Stage 6: The participants will develop a series of
teaching strategies – e.g. a general (meta) strategy, a
strategy for the academic year, for each semester, for
each unit – based on the above elements of the
research process. Using these resources and their
reflections on and understanding of their learning
profiles, the participants will work through a series of
planning exercises for a set of diversely profiled students
groups (large, small, lecture, seminar, tutorial) with the
purpose of working out a series of approaches which
they would deem suitable for the dynamic interaction
of themselves and the various student groups.
It is intended that these six stages will be
completed during the initial program period. In each
Personalization and learning: innovative approaches to teaching for e-learning • Ray Webster and Fay Sudweeks
case, a small network approach to the dissemination
of the techniques involved is used – project leader to
institutional leaders, institutional leaders to institutional
teams. This approach provides a flexible outlined plan
which can be adapted according to subject area and
organizational unit size. The reflective and participative
design techniques (or other suitable active learning
task) can then be used by each of the participants
with their own students or passed on to colleagues
via staff development workshops or less formal
methods.
Teaching Team and Student Learning Focus
The methodology of profiling and related design
work will then be integrated with the units taught
by the participants, allowing student involvement.
The process for the students will be essentially the
same. The learning profile instruments will be
administered at the start of the respective units, fed
back to the students for reflection and integrated
with one of the unit assignments. Again, pre- and
post-attitudinal surveys and a range of other data
collection instruments such as semi-structured
interviews will be administered to both academics
and students in order to help evaluate the process
and project from both perspectives. The
consideration of the process from both a teacher
and student perspective provides several additional
features that allow a comparative analysis of the
program experience.
Outcomes for Students
For the students, the outcomes mirror those
expanded upon above for the university teachers, but
more specifically associated with learning. These
include the following.
• Participation in the process will help students
to develop metacognitive awareness and selfregulatory skills and to explore their attitudes
to learning individually in groups and as a
member of a wider learning community.
• Students will engage in a peer group discussion
plus an individual reflective design project and
produce a negotiated end product in the form
of a personalised learning portal.
• A framework will be provided (by the learning
profile and RAPAD) that will afford both a
structure to work within and a process to
follow.
Students engaged in the process will further
understand learning and creative work in the context
of a technology related project (again, this can be
adapted for suitable projects for other subjects).
• As a product of the process, students will
acquire a resource which will work in several
ways and on several levels – a portal to a
learning community, an information organizer,
a learn-place, a virtual/physical interface and a
cognitive interface
Formative and summative evaluation
Formative project evaluation will be undertaken
to ensure the quality of the planning process, the
consistency of the goals and the effectiveness of the
project design. This will be achieved by undertaking
an iterative review process using techniques such as
external consultation, design review, expert review
and one on one review.
Summative project evaluation of each of the main
and additional outcomes will be undertaken to measure
and evaluate the project outcomes and to provide
information for future iterations. An important part
of the evaluation at an individual level is provided by
the use of a reflective and participative methodology
(RAPAD) which provides structure, process and
checkpoints for the participants. In addition, a series
of pre- and post-project measures, designed to
effectively evaluate the level of outcome attainment,
will also be used for this purpose. Both quantitative
and qualitative instruments will be employed.
Conclusions
This paper outlined a program of teaching for
learning in the knowledge society by promoting
conceptual change in academics’ approaches to
teaching. The mechanism for operationalising these
matters is provided by the concept of student
learning profiles. Each individual has a learning profile,
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 93-101
99
the core constituents of each profile are cognitive
style, learning style and personality type. These three
profile components interact in ways which produce
very individual and personalised approaches to
learning. Facilitating an understanding of the range
of possible learner profiles via accessing and
reflecting on their own profile can help enable
academics to become more effective teachers amidst
the increasing demands of higher education as we
move towards a more full-fledged knowledge
society. A methodological approach, series of stages
and suggested outcomes has been presented as a
possible way of accomplishing this.
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Personalization and learning: innovative approaches to teaching for e-learning • Ray Webster and Fay Sudweeks
About the Authors
Ray Webster ([email protected])
Fay Sudweeks ([email protected])
School of Information Technology
Murdoch University
Murdoch WA 6150, Australia
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 93-101
101
Why Hong Kong students favour more face-toface classroom time in blended learning
Why traditional learning environments matter in Hong Kong
James Henri
Sandra Lee
Abstract
A three year study in student characteristics, needs and learning styles guided instructors at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Education to improve
teaching and learning in a core module: Information Literacy. A mixed-method approach analyzed data collected from undergraduate, in-service
teachers in a BEd program, and helped instructors in the program to gain insight into the Hong Kong teacher working, post-service towards a BEd in
Library and Information Science. Part-time students indicated a preference for a combination of online and face-to-face teaching, with more face-to-face
class time in that mix. These findings would also be informative for other part-time programs using blended teaching and learning models.
Keywords: Learning; Technology; Measurement.
Porque estudantes de Hong Kong preferem aulas presenciais
na aprendizagem mista
Resumo
Um estudo, realizado durante três anos, sobre as características de estudantes, necessidades e tipos de aprendizado na University of Hong Kong Faculty of
Education tinha o objetivo de melhorar o ensino e a aprendizagem relacionada às Tecnologias da Informação e Comunicação. Um método misto de abordagem
analisou as informações coletadas com estudantes universitários, professores em treinamento em serviço em um Programa de Aprendizagem Mista (PAM), e
colaborou com os instrutores do programa a ter uma visão sobre o trabalho docente em Hong Kong e a prestação de serviços ulterior de um PAM na biblioteca
e para informações científicas. Estudantes de meio período indicaram preferência por uma combinação de ensino online e presencial, com mais aulas presenciais.
Descobertas também poderão ser informativas para outros programas de meio período que utilizam modelos mistos de ensino e aprendizagem.
Palavras chave: Aprendizagem; Tecnologia; Medida
Por qué estudiantes de Hong Kong prefieren clases presenciadas en el
aprendizaje mixto
Resumen
Un estudio realizado durante tres años sobre las características, necesidades y tipos de aprendizaje de estudiantes en la University of Hong Kong Faculty
of Education tuvo el objetivo de mejorar la enseñanza y el aprendizaje relacionado a las tecnologías de la información y comunicación. Un método mixto
de abordaje analizó las informaciones cosechadas con estudiantes universitarios, profesores en entrenamiento en servicio en un Programa de Aprendizaje
Mixto (PAM), y colaboró con los instructores del programa en el sentido de tener una visión sobre el trabajo docente en Hong Kong y la prestación de
servicios posteriores de un PAM en la biblioteca, así como también para informaciones científicas. Estudiantes de medio período indicaron preferencia por
una combinación de enseñanza online y presencial, con más clases presenciadas. Hallazgos también podrán ser informativos para otros programas de
medio período que utilizan modelos mixtos de enseñanza y aprendizaje.
Palabras clave: Aprendizaje; Tecnología; Medida.
103
Introduction
A study of part-time students’ characteristics and
learning styles was conducted at the University of
Hong Kong, Faculty of Education in 2003. Further
studies in 2004 and 2005 examined two more spirals
and their effects of the study ’s action research
approach. This paper will focus on the 2005 data and
results.
The study called Innovative Pedagogical Practices
Online (IPPO), provided data for instructors to
identify measures to improve teaching and learning.
The study was completed using data from students
enrolled in the BEd Information and Technology Studies
and Library and Information Studies students. These
programs are for in-service teachers and thus employ
flexible delivery to enhance learning and mitigate some
of the challenges in continuing education for busy
professionals.
The paradigm of action research was well-suited
to instructors involved in this study as reflective
practitioners modeling for the importance of reflective
practice for in-service teachers enrolled in their
courses. This study allowed instructors to use data
and feedback to improve their own teaching in Library
and Information Studies programs. The focus of this
paper includes the lessons learned from the action
research in specifically in the core undergraduate
module ‘Information Literacy’.
The program at HKU equips teachers with
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information Services to meet the ongoing reform in
education and its emphasis on learning to learn and
life long learning-arising out of a series of education
reports that highlighted the need for transformation
in schooling (CDC, 2001; HKSAR, 2001). Significant
funding has been provided to the school sector to
enhance Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) and information services, including the provision
of computer labs, and libraries and the employment
of IT coordinators and teacher librarians.
The BEd (ITE/LIS) program prepares students in
the various aspects of leadership and information
management within schools. The program is delivered
using an online course-room Interactive Learner
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Network (ILN) to supplement face-to-face classes and
therefore attempts to provide the best of the online
and face-to-face traditions. The ILN allows for storage
and access to course materials, discussion forums
(asynchronous communication), chat (synchronous
communication), assessment submission and student
evaluation of the course.
The in-service program in the Faculty of Education,
Information and Technology in Education program a
the University of Hong Kong is underscored by a
recognition that best practice is framed by reflective
practice and that learning is a lifelong endeavor
supported by mastering information literacy skills.
Learning is self-directed, autonomous and should be
modeled by the school teachers in their own
continuing education.
The IPPO study was initiated because instructors
regularly commented on a perceived and significant
variation in the motivation among students—
evidenced by such indicators as late attendance, lack
of reading and out of class activity, and reluctance to
participate in class group work.
To address this question, instructors involved in a
collaborative research project, believed that data was
needed to provide a snapshot of the student body, to
indicate what learning preferences students had and
determine variables affecting their success. A learner
management system was used to evaluate workload,
assessment modes, and delivery options. The
BEd(LIS) program uses a combination of online and
traditional approaches, making use of the in-house
platform (ILN) developed for delivering materials and
synchronous and asynchronous communication
between students and instructors. Face-to-face
lectures are enhanced with the integration of ICT. The
IPPO study intended to identify the learning styles of
students enrolled in the Bed (LIS) program. It was
posited that self-directed learners are better able to
adjust to their learning environments by juggling busy
work and study lives.
Instructors involved in the study designed
innovative teaching and learning situations or
approaches to test better delivery modes to suit busy
students. Information technology skills and selfdirected learning were essential for completing the
Why Hong Kong students favour more face-to-face classroom time in blended learning • James Henri and Sandra Lee
materials and assessment. A bias that had been
reported anecdotally by post-secondary instructors
in Hong Kong is that the learning culture relies heavily
on rote-learning style approaches. Yet, our students
are not unique in facing a more self-directed type of
learning in Hong Kong.
Student characteristics did not significantly change
over the three year period thus findings and
recommendations within the action research
methodology will be emphasized, particularly in the
third round of the study.
Survey of the Literature
The learning environment
The construct of the real world is imposed on
online learning. We use the term Web page; discussion
forums, and anything preceded by the letter ‘e’ to
define the abstract concepts the Web creates. To
define better what the literature dissects in
contemporary classrooms, real and virtual, three
types of delivery are often described.
Traditional learning environments are those with
face-to-face course delivery; online learning uses online
technology exclusively for course materials,
communication and assessment; and blended delivery
involves a mix of both traditional and online learning.
(Tallent-Runnels et al, 2006). Assessment of these
environments often takes on a comparative approach,
investigating which approach students prefer. Some
studies have examined student performance and
frame studies on a comparison of the approaches.
Recurring issues include communication and isolation,
independent learning, and student performance.
Tabor and colleagues designed a blended learning
approach for a course that was fairly technical. They
identified issues common to the findings of other
research. They note that student communication is
critical but more effective for groups if contact is
initially made in person. A blended approach thus
makes the most of economizing time, travel and
parking inconvenience and the need for face-to-face
engagement. The authors note that despite the
increase of both research and theory in online learning,
there are inconsistent results in the ‘quality of learning
outcomes.’ (Tabor, 2007, p. 48) Some of the lessons
learned in their faculty study indicate that ‘meaningful
online discussion activities that contribute to
learning…helps to achieve social interaction, but are
often difficult to develop. Students are quick to judge
activities as busy work if they do not clearly see a
benefit’ (Tabor, 2007, p. 49).
Self-directedness and motivation factors
Learning environments have evolved and changed
radically with inquiry-based learning now common in
schools and higher education. Most universities have
learning and teaching centers, dedicated to support
faculty in using active learning, group work and
authentic assessment that reflects more accurately
the ‘real’ world of work and professional engagement.
Critical thinking and problem solving are central to a
social constructivist teaching philosophy. This
development has also been shaped by the prevalence
of web-based learning either isolated in distance
education or through hybrid delivery of face-to-face
classrooms and online learning. These learning
environments require self-directed learners.
Several studies have examined self-directed
learning and self-management in students in higher
education (Amour, Cheng & Talpin, 1999; Kember,
Lee & Li, 2001; Moore & Kearsly, 1996; Romano et
al, 2005; Smith et al, 2000).
A study by Li et al (2000) of Hong Kong part-time
students focused on self-management of learning and
to a lesser extent, personal autonomy in learning. A
major focus was how students coped with their
courses. Li’s study found that some students felt a
degree of self-direction was necessary. The study also
noted a passive approach to learning, reinforced by
years of spoon-feeding in schools. Adjustments are
thus required to help learners learn best. The study
did find though, despite students’ past learning
experiences, they seemed to want autonomy in their
study (Li et al, 2000, p. 25). Vogel et al (2002) found
that Hong Kong students studying online needed to
have self-motivation in the absence of more formal
structure.
Ponton, Derrick and Wiggers (2004) note that
autonomous learning is an ambiguous term, further
characterizing the debate between a process
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 103-111
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perspective or a personality characteristic
perspective. They assert that although the former
approach dominates, the personality perspective
should not be underestimated in analyzing the
effectiveness of Web based learning that requires a
degree of autonomy and self determination.
Joo et al emphasized motivation and learning related
variables in their examination of Web-based learning,
finding that students’ perceived self-efficacy for selfregulated learning was an important variable in their
study (Joo, Bong & Choi, 2007).
Communication and interaction
Many authors remind us that the importance of
interaction is not a new discovery and that education
theory has always emphasized its contribution. Ideas
from Vygotzky and Bloom indicate our learning is
shaped by social interaction and iterative
development. How these concepts are supported and
shaped by Web-based learning has been examined in
several studies. Yang examined how online
asynchronous communication such as discussion
forums can enhance critical thinking which is essential
for learning. Tang and Byrne completed quantitative
analysis comparing online, traditional and blended
delivery, noting that students preferred blended over
traditional and completely online learning
environments.
Collaboration should be included in the
asynchronous learning environment to promote the
feeling of a learning community striving to achieve the
same goals or outcomes. (Weidmaier & Crews)
Intensive interaction with instructor and classmates
supports undergraduates better as they develop their
self-directed learning skills (Li, 2007).
The use of a Web-based learner management
system can be considered innovative practice allowing
for ‘anytime learning.’ Grabe and Christopherson
(2005) studied student use of online lecture notes.
Their findings indicated that students made most use
of online notes while following them in a face-to-face
class. Student usage on online notes was higher in
those who consistently attended classes.
A study and literature review by Lebec and Luft
(2007) summarize the problems with studies in online
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learning, noting that the comparison of student
achievement in online versus traditional environments
is not conclusive. However they do acknowledge the
impact Web-based instruction has on reflection and
communication.
The literature also strongly suggested providing
more time for interaction between students and the
interaction between classmates becomes part of an
important support network to cope with demands
(Li et al., 2000, p.23). Communication requires
opportunities for sharing amongst students but this
also needs to be structured carefully and provide
sufficient support to achieve outcomes (Li et al, 2000;
Smith et al, 1996; Vogel et. al, 2002).
Impact of the IPPO study
Zhao et al (20s05) completed a meta-analysis of
distance vs. traditional learning, asserting that online
learning has been studied mostly in comparison with
face-to-face learning. They cite contemporary
scholarly attitudes to this comparative framework as
holding less relevance and meaningful potential to
advance the research in online learning mileu. However
Zhao et al disagree and suggest what is needed in
analyzing online learning effectiveness is a different
‘lens’. Meta-analysis of online learning is insightful
because those studies that found differences in their
comparisons can shape the development of principles
and practice for online learning. Thus, although the
IPPO study included a specific student group: inservice teachers-the lessons learned will help to
inform teaching, learning and curriculum development.
This paper focuses on two of the project’s
research questions and the results for this piece of
action research:
• What are these student perceptions towards
using various modes of flexible delivery
compared to a traditional face-to-face
approach?
• How do the introduction of variations in
content delivery and pedagogy impact on
performance and motivation?
As well, the objective of the study in the third
round follow the action research paradigm and to
continue to trial a range of innovative and flexible
Why Hong Kong students favour more face-to-face classroom time in blended learning • James Henri and Sandra Lee
pedagogies in selected modules to determine their
effect on academic performance and participation.
Most importantly, instructors needed feedback
regarding the online components of the class.
The focus of this paper is the module Information
Literacy as it was shaped to implement the feedback
from students for improvement in 2004 and 2005.
The module was a required module for both Library
and information studies and information technology in
education (ITE) students.
This project employed both quantitative and
qualitative methodology. The quantitative approach
was used to enable benchmarking of existing student
characteristics. Qualitative approaches were used by
way of introducing variations/interventions to practice
and to enable evaluation of the success of the
innovations through student feedback and interviews.
2003 IPPO study round 1: Variations to
practice
Assessment tasks required more interaction online
using the discussion forum. Structured readings for
assigned groups framed discussion and the group was
to synthesize main points and reflections, for posting
to the ILN discussion forum (asynchronous
communication tool). Groups were to provide
feedback to other groups with those summaries also
posted to the ILN forum. Also to be completed: selfassessment of ILN discussion forum in a structured
rubric.
The most significant innovative intervention was that
the module was delivered entirely online.
2004 cohort
Students suggested assessment was too heavy so
it was changed to include a portfolio. This combined
the group discussion task in the discussion forum and
the self-assessment of student learning. Self
assessment was changed as well to a more reflective
essay based on semi-structured/guided set of
questions as well as their participation in the
discussion forum. Instructors provided a “Question
of the week” for reflection and debate and students
reflected on how their contributions to these topics
helped them learn.
2005 cohort
One 100% task combined in the portfolio. Highly
structured to include assigned groups and assigned
readings for groups to debate and synthesize for
posting on the ILN discussion and further analysis and
response from other groups. A paired Webquest
design as in previous years, but posting the Webquest
on the discussion forum for feedback and critique,
reflection about the process included and graded in
the portfolio (not grading the actual Webquest), plus
individual reflections on weekly questions relating to
the lesson topic. The assessment task became a highly
reflective essay about the student’s learning
In the end, the intervention in the third round of
the IPPO study was to eliminate online lessons. All
lessons were held in a computer lab, attendance
required, face-to-face. Instructors also returned to a
class composed of BEd students only, not a
combination with the graduate students. Although
online lessons were not used in delivery, the online
discussion forums played a large part in gathering material and reflection for the portfolio task – the ILN
was heavily used.
Data collection
For the larger IPPO study, four methods of data
collection were used.
1. An online questionnaire comprising closed and
open questions was administered. This benchmarked
learning style, motivation, work and lifestyle habits of
the part-time students undertaking further tertiary
study and factors affecting studying such as time for
travelling to and from lectures. In order to study
whether students’ learning styles and time usage was
related to factors such as age, teaching position and
teaching experience, a one-way Anova was applied to
analyse the collected data. Reliability analysis based on
Cronbach alpha was also adopted to study the
consistency of measuring items. In both cases, SPSS
11.0 was employed to run the tests.
2. Interventions into practice, addressing the
benchmarking, were conducted within an action
research paradigm. Action research is a cycle of inquiry,
whereby: 1) the present situation is analysed, 2)
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 103-111
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questions are raised, 3) factors are identified, 4)
solutions are proposed, 5) interventions are developed
and measured, 6) data are gathered and analysed, and
7) new questions are posed. Action research provides
a systematic approach and encourages reflective
decision-making (Farmer, 2000, p.1). Action research
is cyclical in nature and is intended to foster deeper
understanding of a given situation, starting with
conceptualizing and particularizing the problem and
moving through several interventions and evaluations.
3. Monitoring of motivation, participation, and
performance was undertaken by the researchers who
used this data as a basis of evaluation of the efficacy of
the innovation. During the module the learning process
was monitored and data collected to investigate the
efficacy of flexible learning compared to conventional
learning and other factors that influence pedagogical
progress.
4. On completion of each module, interviews with
representative focus groups explored the students’
experience and whether their expectations were
fulfilled. A series of questions were also used to
further investigate student learning styles, profiles as
a learner and importantly, how they compared the
efficacy of online learning. This data was used to explore whether the innovative practices used in the
modules had been effective. A focus group is a group
of individuals selected and assembled by researchers
to discuss and comment on a research topic from
their personal experience (Powell et al., 1996) and
benefit from interaction and group dynamics (Gibbs,
1997). Interaction enables respondents to ask
questions of each other, as well as to re-evaluate and
reconsider their own understandings of specific
experiences (Kitzinger, 1995). Semi-structured
interviews were conducted with a sufficiently openended framework to allow for focused, conversational,
two-way communication. The flexibility of the
interview schedule enabled re-ordering of content,
encouraged digressions and expansions, revealed new
topics, and identified any needed further investigation
(Cohen et al., 2000). Focus groups, alongside semistructured interviews, allowed the researcher to keep
108
the session focused and at the same time they enabled
focus groups to elicit information in a way which
allows researchers to find out why an issue is
prominent, as well as what is prominent about it
(Morgan, 1988). As a result, multiple explanations of
their behaviour and attitudes were more readily
articulated when the respondents revealed their
understandings and meanings (Lankshear, 1993).
Telephone interviews of students were conducted
in the Stage II study due to time constraints. Standard
student evaluations with detailed essay responses
informed instructors in Stage II and Stage III of the
study.
Discussion and Results
The sample size of students in Round II and II were
small, however the feedback and the action research
approach both indicate that lessons learned support
findings discovered in the literature review. Selfdirected learning is important according to students,
yet isolation in virtual classroom communication has
a negative impact on learning.
It was learned that students did not spend a great
deal of time preparing for study beyond class time.
Responses to the first study (entirely online) were
mixed. Some students were pleased to save time from
commuting, which can be extraordinary in Hong Kong
and the New Territories. Although not all students
were convinced that learning online is better.
The most surprising lesson from analysis of the
first IPPO study was that students – despite some
very long commutes – wanted face-to-face classes
for completion of class assignments. They would meet
in groups to work on assignments while eating dinner
and during class breaks. As well, group work was
tackled during class when group discussions were held.
Students economized their time on campus. Thus in
an online environment, they were isolated from social engagement and also from structured group
meetings. Students were accustomed to a regular time
to socialize and meet established by authority of the
class timetable; seemingly unable to set up their own
off-campus or virtual settings to complete group work.
Why Hong Kong students favour more face-to-face classroom time in blended learning • James Henri and Sandra Lee
Some very negative feedback was expressed regarding
a lack of face-to-face classes. Students struggled with
the emphasis on reflection in the assignments and many
students reacted strongly to instructor-determined
groups, necessary for quickly and efficiently
coordinating group discussion.
In the final round of the IPPO study, students were
asked what ratio of online and face-to-face classes
would be best. Of the seven students who provided
qualitative responses,
Three responded: Online 60%- 79%; one
responded online 30% and three recognized a mix
was preferred, but did not indicate exact ratios.
A limitation of this study is that there was no
conclusive data to indicate that negative attitudes
toward online learning, even when situated in a real
classroom, was based on the culture of these students,
that traditional environments and traditional methods
are the only type of learning they know.
Students were asked on their evaluations: Do you
prefer online or face-to-face course delivery?
For seven qualitative responses, three students said
they preferred online. One student preferred faceto-face and three students felt they learned well in a
blended environment.
Another student did not agree that online
components saved time and said:
It is not so essential to save travelling time. It is
imperative to help learners achieve their learning
goals. This module’s online session could not help
learners because they were just provided with a pack
of articles for self reading. This is an extra
assignment. No time has been saved.
In IPPO round II instructors in the Information
Literacy module were mindful to build in some faceto-face lessons. The first lesson clarified course
expectations and described assignments. An optional
class was on the schedule, should students have
required further clarification and needed a time for
group meetings. Students still struggled with the
reflective nature of assessment, continued to dislike
the predetermined groups and surprisingly, a small
number attended the optional face-to-face class.
Nevertheless, negative feedback was expressed about
the flexible, mixed-mode of online delivery. The
analysis of student evaluations indicated that the mix
of undergraduate and graduate classes was not a
significant factor in learning.
In IPPO round I and II instructors were mindful to
structure the online environment. This follows
research indicating that guided and collaborative work
is imperative for success in online learning.
Opportunities for sharing amongst students are
required but needs structure and support to achieve
outcomes.
In 2004, Instructors used a mixed delivery for
lessons as students in the previous cohort favoured a
mix. As well, because the student characteristic of
having a very long commute had not changed,
instructors believed time saved in travel could be
mitigate demands of class preparation. Self-directed
learning was required still, because of a mixed delivery
of face-to-face and online lessons. One student
commented:
Frankly speaking, we were on our own most of the
time. For the more capable learners, this online mode
of learning is an excellent one but I doubt if all of us
can be so independent in our own learning.
Sitzmann et al (2006) completed a meta-analysis
of classroom vs. Web-based instruction and found that
WBI was more effective, however, it is the “unique
instructional methods” afforded and employed in WBI
that are “driving observed differences in the
effectiveness of WBI relative to CI (647).” In other
words, Sitzmann et al conclude that their findings
support an earlier study by Clark that argues
“instructional methods rather than delivery media
determine learning outcomes (Sitzmann, 2006, p.
654).” Furthermore, the IPPO study conclusions
support Sitzmann et al in that further investigation
regarding the affective side of learning and assessment
of attitudes, motivation and anxiety are “underlying
causal mechanisms driving differences in the
effectiveness of WBI and CI (p. 653).”
Another student noted that “it is hard for us to
learn efficiently by the use of the discussion forum”
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 103-111
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indicating some impatience at the need to read, reflect,
type and critique. The assessment for the second
round was far more reflective than the first round of
the IPPO study and these comments raise awareness
that part-time students simply want answers provided.
Lack of time continued to be a concern raised by
students and amount of assessment was a recurring
complaint in the qualitative data. Four out of the seven
students interviewed as part of IPPO stage II in the
Information Literacy class, stated that the assessment
was too heavy. Three out of the seven students
identified lack of time as their major obstacles to
studying. Class evaluations echoed these comments
noting that the expectation of contributing to a
discussion topic every week was “really time
consuming and not flexible at all.”
Conclusion
In-service students at the University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Education maintain very “busy” lifestyles. A
set of innovative interventions to implement flexible
learning to reduce travel time was used to mitigate
work/life challenges. A focus on this faculty response
to student needs in the Information Literacy module
was analyzed using the qualitative results from student
evaluations in this paper. These results combined with
initial studies and finding in this action research
approach provided information about the potential of
flexible teaching and learning. The study contributed
to important improvements flagged by student and
indicated that some students manage their study
preparation better in a structured timetable of faceto-face lessons. Less anxiety results from immediate
and personal contact with instructors and set times
where students can meet with group mates to complete assessment tasks.
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About the authors
James Henri ([email protected])
Sandra Lee ([email protected])
Correspondence address:
James Henri, University of Hong Kong
Rm 420 RunMe Shaw Bldg. HKU Pokfulam Rd.
Hong Kong
[email protected]
Parts of this paper were presented at the IASL conference, Durban South Africa, July 2003. This research was funded by a grant from the School of
Professional & Continuing Education (HKUSPACE), University of Hong Kong; the University of Hong Kong Small Project Funds, and a research grant from
the Centre for Information Technology in Education, University of Hong Kong.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 103-111
111
Normas de publicação
Standards For Manuscript Submission
Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (Educational and School Psychology) adopts the standards of APA (4th edition, 1994), except in
situations in which such norms are in conflict with the necessity of ensuring blind revision by peers, usage rules of the Portuguese language,
ABNT general standards and internal procedures of the journal, including operational infrastructure characteristics. In case of omission of
the following detailing information, the orientation of APA shall prevail. Manuscripts can be written in Portuguese, Spanish, English and
French, in the following categories:
1. Articles – original theoretical work, literature revision or research reports (maximum of 25 pages);
Research Communication – brief original accounts of research conducted;
Reviews – presentation and analysis of books published in the area in the past two years (maximum of 5 pages).
2. History – publication or reprint of rare or scarcely available papers or documents, which are relevant for the research and preservation
of the history of Educational Psychology; interviews with people whose work has made important contributions and original papers about
the history of the area;
3. Practical suggestions – presentation of procedures, technology, work proposals, which can be useful for the solution of psychoeducational problems or for the work of the school psychologist, from the author’s experience with new instruments or other relevant
suggestions in the area (maximum 5 pages);
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must be numbered on every page, starting on the identified face sheet, which must be numbered as “page 1”.
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In case of reformulation of a text, the new version will be submitted in three hardcopies, as well as an electronic copy in disk, in the same
format as above indicated for the first version.
A letter signed by the authors must accompany all and every submission to the journal, in which the intention of submission or resubmission,
of the paper in question, for publication must be clearly stated. Furthermore, the authors must take full responsibility over all ethical
procedures necessary when conducting research with human beings, as well as grant Educational and School Psychology full copyright
rights over the article, if published. The presentation of papers must follow the order below:
1. Unidentified Face sheet containing only:
1.1. Full title in Portuguese, which must not exceed 12 words.
1.2. Suggestion for abridged title for heading, which must not exceed 4 words.
1.3. Full title in English, compatible with the title in Portuguese.
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2.1. Full title in Portuguese.
2.2. Suggestion for abridged title.
2.3. Full title in English.
2.4. Name of each author, followed by institutional affiliation at the time of submission.
2.5. Indication of the author to which readers if necessary may direct correspondence, followed by complete address, according to mail
service regulations.
2.6. Indication of mailing address for the editor, for issues related to manuscript submission, including, fax and telephone numbers, and
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2.7. If necessary, indication of updating of institutional affiliation.
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work (e.g. originally presented in event, derived from thesis or dissertation, data collection conducted at institution other than the one
informed in item 2.4), and any other facts, that for ethical reasons need to be stated.
2.9 Complete postal address and electronic address of all authors.
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The abstract must contain a maximum of 150 words for papers that fall under the category of Articles. The 3 to 5 keywords used for indexation
of the paper must follow the abstract. Such words must be chosen in order to classify the paper with a reasonable degree of precision, and
permit that it is retrieved among similar papers, and which any researcher, conducting bibliographical investigation, would likely evoke.
113
In the case of research report, the abstract must contain: summarized description of the object of study, pertinent characteristics of the
sample, method used for data collection, results and conclusions, its implications or applications.
The abstract of a critical review or a theoretical study must include the topic in question (in one sentence), objective, thesis or construct
under analysis or the organizer of the study, sources used (e.g. Observation conducted by the author, published literature) and conclusions.
4. Abstract sheet, in English, compatible with the Portuguese version. .
Abstract in English must obey the same specifications of the Portuguese version, and be followed by the keywords, compatible with the
keywords in Portuguese.
5. Text. In all categories of original work, the text must be organized in order to ensure easy recognition, signalized by a system of titles
and subtitles, which reflect such organization. In the case of research reports, the text must necessarily include: introduction, methodology,
results and discussion. The non-bibliographical notes must be limited to a minimum, and be displayed at the foot of each page, numbered
in Arabic digits, which must be displayed immediately after the text segment to which they refer. The suggested places for the insertion
of pictures and tables must be indicated in the text. Citations of authors must be done according to APA guidelines, as exemplified in the
end of this text. In the case of an integral transcription of a text, such transcription must be indicated by quotation marks, and the citation
of the author followed by the number of the page being quoted. Any literal quotation, which is comprised of 40 words or more, must be
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size of the typeface must be 12, as in the remainder of the text.
6. References, listed in order according to the following general rules. Papers of a single author and of the same author should be listed in
order of publication date, with the oldest one first. Papers of single authorship will precede the ones with multiple authors, when the
surname is the same. Papers in which the first author is the same, but co-authors are different, should be listed by co-author surname.
Papers with the same multiple authorship will be listed by date, with the oldest one first. Papers with the identical author and date will
be listed alphabetically by title, disregarding the first word in case it is a pronoun or article, except when the title itself indicates the order;
the year will immediately follow by lowercase. Whenever repeated, the name o the author must not be substituted by a dash or any other
signals. The format of the reference list must be appropriated to the task of revising and editing – besides double spacing and typeface size
12, standard paragraph with indentation only on the first line, without dislocation of the margins; stress must be indicated by underlining
the word (e.g., underline). The format of the paragraphs with indentation and stress in italics is reserved for the final phase of article editing.
7. Appendices, only when containing original important information, or essential for the comprehension of any part of the paper. We
strongly recommend avoiding annexes.
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containing drawings must be submitted with photographic quality; pictures, which contain graphics, must not be printed with impact
printers. As the published version may not exceed 8,3 cm in width for plain, and 17,5 cm for complex pictures, the author must ensure that
the captions will maintain reading quality, in case resizing becomes necessary.
9. Tables, including title and notes, one per hardcopy page and in electronic file. In the printed version, tables must not exceed 17,5 cm in
width x 23,7 cm in length. When preparing such tables, the author must limit their width to 60 characters, for plain tables, which are to
occupy one printed column, including a space of 3 characters between columns in the table, and for complex tables, limit to 125 characters,
which are to occupy two printed columns. Table length must not exceed 55 lines, including the title and footnote (s). For any other details,
especially in anomalous cases, the APA manual should be consulted.
Common types of text citation
Citation of article of multiple authors
1. Two authors
The authors’ surnames are listed in all citation s, using and or &, as follows:
“A revisão realizada por Guzzo e Witter (1987)” mas “a relação do psicólogo-escola pública foi descrita com base num estudo exploratório
na região de Campinas” (Guzzo & Witter, 1987)”
2. Three to five authors
All authors’ surnames are listed in the first citation, as shown above. From the second citation on, only the surname of the first author is
listed followed by the expression, “et. al.” and the year, if it is the first citation of a reference within the same paragraph:
Vendramini, Silva e Cazorla (2000) verificaram que [first time quoted]
Vendramini et. al.. (2000) verificaram que [quoted subsequently, first within the paragraph]
Vendramini et. al. verificaram [omit year in all subsequent citations within the same paragraph]
In the Reference section all the names will be listed.
114
Normas de Publicação
3. Six or more authors
In the text, from the first citation, only the surname of the first author is mentioned, followed by et. al., except when this format generates
ambiguity, in which case, the same solution presented in the previous item must be used:
Primi et. al. (2001).
In the Reference section all the names will be listed.
Citation of work discussed on a secondary source
The paper uses as a source work discussed on another paper, and the original has not been read, (for example, a study of Taylor, quoted by
Santos, 1990). In the text, use the following format:
Taylor (as quoted by Santos, 1990) acrescenta que a avaliação da compreensão em leitura...
In the Reference section, inform only the secondary source, in this case Santos, using the appropriate format.
Examples of common types of references
1. Paper presented at a congress, but not published
Serpa, M.N.F. & Santos, A.A.A. (1997, October). Implantação e primeiro ano de funcionamento do Serviço de Orientação ao Estudante.
Trabalho apresentado no XI Seminário Nacional das Universidades Brasileiras, Guarulhos - São Paulo.
2. Paper presented at a congress, with abstract published on a regular serial publication
Treat as publication in periodical, indicating, immediately after the title, that it is an abstract.
Silva, A.A. & Engelmann, A. (1988). Teste de eficácia de um curso para melhorar a capacidade de julgamentos corretos de expressões
faciais de emoções [Resumo]. Ciência e Cultura, 40 (7, Suplemento), 927.
3. Paper presented at a congress, with abstract published on especial publication
Treat as a book publication, informing about the event according to the information available on cover.
Todorov, J.C., Souza, D.G. & Bori, C.M. (1992). Escolha e decisão: A teoria da maximização momentânea [Resumo]. Em Sociedade
Brasileira de Psicologia (Org.), Resumos de comunicações científicas, XXII Reunião Anual de Psicologia (p. 66). Ribeirão Preto: SBP.
Witter, G.P. (1985). Quem é o psicólogo escolar: Sua atuação prática. [Resumo]. Em Sociedade Brasileira de Psicologia (Org.), XVII
Reunião Anual de Psicologia, Resumos (p. 261). Ribeirão Preto: SBP.
4. Unpublished theses or dissertations
Polydoro, S.A.J. (2001). O trancamento de matrícula na trajetória acadêmica do universitário: Condições de saída e de retorno à
instituição. Tese de Doutorado, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas-SP.
5. Books
Solé, I. (1998). Estratégias de leitura. Porto Alegre: Artes Mdicas.
6. Chapter in a Book.
Anderson, R.C. & Pearson, P.D. (1984). A schema-theoretic view of basic processes in reading comprehension. Em P.D. Pearson, R.
Barr, M.L. Kamil & P. Mosenthal (Orgs.) Handbook of reading research (Vol. 1, pp 251-291). New York: Longman.
Pasquali, L. (1996). Teoria da resposta ao item - IRT: uma introdução Em L. Pasquali (Org.), Teoria e métodos de medida em ciências do
comportamento (pp. 173-195). Brasília, INEP.
7. Translated book, in Portuguese
Salvador, C.C. (1994). Aprendizagem escolar e construção de conhecimento. (E.O. Dihel, Trad.) Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas. (original
published in 1990)
If the translation to the Portuguese language of any work in a foreign language is used as a source, quote the Portuguese translation and
indicate the publication year of the original.
Within the text indicate the publication year of both the original and the translated version: (Salvador, 1990/1994).
8. Articles in Scientific Periodical
Kintsch, W. (1994). Text comprehension, memory, and learning American Psychologist, 49 (4), 294-303.
9. Work to be published
Do not indicate a date, volume or page numbers until the article is published. It should be the last reference of a particular author, but the
order of names should be respected.
Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (ABRAPEE) • Volume 11 Número Especial 2007 • 113-116
115
Sonawat, R. (in press). Families in India. Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa.
10. Institutional authorship
American Psychiatric Association (1988). DSM-III-R, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder (3rd ed. revised). Washington,
DC: Author.
The submission of manuscripts for publication, as well as all follow up correspondence that may become necessary, must be addressed to
Revista Psicologia Escolar e Educacional, according to the address listed below or sent to the following electronic address
[email protected] :
Universidade São Francisco
Programa de Estudos Pós Graduados em Psicologia
Profª Drª Maria Cristina Joly
Rua Alexandre Rodrigues Barbosa, 45
13251-900 – Itatiba/SP
Manuscript Acceptance and Evaluation Procedures
The manuscripts that fall under the abovementioned categories will undergo the following procedure:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Forwarding to the members of the Editorial Board and/or ad hoc consultants to obtain opinions and recommendations.
Reception of opinions with acceptance recommendations (with or without modifications) or rejection. In case of acceptance with
modifications, the authors will be notified as briefly as possible of the suggestions (copies of the reviews will be sent to the author,
except when otherwise instructed by the consultant).
In case of acceptance for publication, the Editorial Board reserves the right to introduce slight modifications in order to maintain the
editorial standards and parameters of the journal.
The evaluation process uses a double blind revision system by peers, thus preserving the identity of both authors and consultants.
The final decision about publication of a manuscript always belongs to the Editorial Board.
Copyright
All rights on the publication of the journal Educational and School Psychology are property of Psicologia Escolar e Educacional (Educational
and School Psychology Journal). The reproduction in whole or in part, (of more than 500 words) will be subjected to prior written
authorization of the Editor.
The main author of each piece will receive three issues of the edition in which it has been published. The unpublished manuscripts will not
be returned.
116
Normas de Publicação
ALGUNS
TÍTULOS DA
CASA
DO
PSICÓLOGO
Título
Autor/Organizador
Educação, Pedagogia
Cinco Estudos de Educação Moral
Computador no Ensino e a Limitação da Consciência
Crianças de Classe Especial
Crianças Querem Saber, e Agora?, As
Difusão Das Idéias de Piaget No Brasil, A
Encontros com Sara Paín
Ensaios Construtivistas
Era Assim ... Agora Não
Ética e Valores: Métodos para um Ensino Transversal
Formas Elementares da Dialética, As
Guia de Orientação Sexual
Histórias de Indisciplina Escolar
Introdução à Psicologia Escolar
Jean Piaget Sobre a Pedagogia
Oficina Criativa e Psicopedagogia
Pelos Caminhos da Ignorância e do Conhecimento
Professores e Alunos – Problema: um círculo vicioso
Produção do Fracasso Escolar, A
Programa de Leitura Silenciosa
Psicanálise e Educação – Laços Refeitos
Psicologia e Educação
Psicologia Escolar: em Busca de Novos Rumos
Psicopedagogia: Uma Prática, Diferentes Estilos
Saúde e Educação. Muito prazer!
Quatro Cores, Senha e Dominó
Quatro Cores, Senha e Dominó – Caderno para Atividades
Reunião de Pais: Sofrimento Ou Prazer?
Tecnologia no Ensino:Implicações para a Aprendizagem, A
Macedo, Lino de (Org.)
Crochik, Jose Leon
Machado, Adriana
Costa, Moacir
Vasconcelos, Mario Sérgio
Parente, Sonia Maria
Macedo, Lino de
Scarpa, Regina
Puig, Josep Maria
Piaget, Jean
Gtpos – Abia – Ecos
Cíntia Copit Freller
Patto, Maria Helena S.
Parrat, Sílvia
Allessandrini, Cristina
Parente, Sonia Maria
Mantovanini, Maria Cristina
Maria Helena S. Patto
Condemarin, Mabel
Bacha, Márcia Neder
Marilene Proença
Machado, Adriana M. (Org.)
Rubinstein, Edith
Maria Salum e Morais; Beatriz Souza (Orgs.)
Macedo, Lino (Org.)
Macedo, Lino (Org.)
Althuon, Beate G.
Joly, Maria Cristina Rodrigues (Org.)

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