Next Issue
Volume 11, October
Previous Issue
Volume 11, August

Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 111 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, we designed 3 demonstrations with 2 design principles, namely POE-task (predict–observe–explain) and the particle perspective, to help students to master structure–property reasoning. In these demonstrations, the properties of metals, salts, and molecular compounds are shown by the teacher. The students had to model the structure models and used these models to explain the shown properties. Results showed that after the demonstrations, students were more aware of the structure models at the micro-level. Qualitative data of Sally, a 16-year-old student, showed how she made interesting progress in modeling micro-level chemical structures. As we used conventional demonstrations as a starting point for design, this could well serve as a practical tool for teachers to redesign their existing demonstrations. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Predicting the Intention to Use Technology in Education among Student Teachers: A Path Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090564 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Teacher education must provide the knowledge and skills necessary for technology integration, but also influence attitudes and beliefs. Little research has been conducted on how knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes predict teachers’ intentions to use technology. The aim of this study was to identify [...] Read more.
Teacher education must provide the knowledge and skills necessary for technology integration, but also influence attitudes and beliefs. Little research has been conducted on how knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes predict teachers’ intentions to use technology. The aim of this study was to identify how perceived knowledge about technology integration, and beliefs and attitudes towards using technology, impact the intention to use technology among student teachers. The sample consisted of 232 student teachers from the University of Tartu. Data were collected using a questionnaire based on elements of two different models. Validating the technology acceptance scale using a confirmatory factor analysis identified that perceived usefulness was split into two constructs: perceived usefulness for students and perceived usefulness for teachers. Path analysis, as a special type of structural equation modelling, was used to test 11 hypotheses. The results showed that both perceived ease of use and attitude to use have direct effects on intention to use. Still, perceived usefulness for teachers and perceived knowledge displayed an indirect influence. Based on these results, it is important that student teachers should be convinced that technology is easy to use in teaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching: Present and Future)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Vocabulary in English Language Learning, Teaching, and Testing in Vietnam: A Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 563; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090563 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1563
Abstract
This review paper aims to provide an overview of vocabulary in English language learning, teaching, and testing in Vietnam. First, we review studies on the vocabulary knowledge of Vietnamese EFL learners. Recent research evaluating different aspects of vocabulary knowledge shows that Vietnamese EFL [...] Read more.
This review paper aims to provide an overview of vocabulary in English language learning, teaching, and testing in Vietnam. First, we review studies on the vocabulary knowledge of Vietnamese EFL learners. Recent research evaluating different aspects of vocabulary knowledge shows that Vietnamese EFL learners generally have limited knowledge of both single words and formulaic language. Next, we discuss contemporary approaches to teaching vocabulary in Vietnam to reveal current issues and provide relevant recommendations. Empirical studies on Vietnamese EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition are also discussed with an aim to shed light on how vocabulary can be acquired by Vietnamese EFL learners and subsequently draw important pedagogical implications. In addition, we look into the lexical component of high-stakes English tests in Vietnam, calling for more attention to the lexical profiles and lexical coverage of those tests. Finally, we provide concluding remarks and research-informed recommendations for EFL vocabulary learning and teaching in Vietnam to elaborate on how vocabulary can be effectively learned and taught. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue English Education in Vietnamese Schooling)
Article
Pedagogies of Discomfort and Care: Balancing Critical Tensions in Delivering Gender-Related Violence Training to Youth Practitioners
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090562 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 692
Abstract
This reflective paper explores the emotions, ethics, and challenges of facilitating training for youth practitioners to tackle gender-related violence (GRV). This paper draws on insights from a training intervention that emerged from an EU-funded feminist project (UK GAPWORK project), which sought to bring [...] Read more.
This reflective paper explores the emotions, ethics, and challenges of facilitating training for youth practitioners to tackle gender-related violence (GRV). This paper draws on insights from a training intervention that emerged from an EU-funded feminist project (UK GAPWORK project), which sought to bring together approaches to tackle violence against women and girls with challenging heteronormativity and homophobia. Drawing on accounts from facilitators and participants, the aim of this paper is to identify tensions, opportunities and strategies in developing training to support critically engaged practice around sensitive topics such as GRV, and to consider the significance of working with discomfort within any such training intervention. We reflect on how discomfort presented within the training space and the challenges presented. This paper examines how Boler’s theoretical work on pedagogy of discomfort can be operationalised to think productively about designing and delivering training for informal educators on sensitive issues with ethical integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating Informal Educators)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Idealistic Assertions or Realistic Possibilities in Community and Youth Work Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090561 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Community and youth work (CYW) practice has been articulated as striving towards a more socially just and equal society and is theorised as a catalyst for social change that seeks to overcome power differentials. Yet, despite these claims, there is limited empirical evidence [...] Read more.
Community and youth work (CYW) practice has been articulated as striving towards a more socially just and equal society and is theorised as a catalyst for social change that seeks to overcome power differentials. Yet, despite these claims, there is limited empirical evidence to inform knowledge about the extent to which ‘equality work’ is featured and practiced in CYW programmes in higher education. This article draws on perspectives from current and former CYW students in the UK which routinely claim critical pedagogy as the bedrock of professionally approved degree programmes. Utilising a survey approach, our aim was to examine the experiences of students to find out if teaching, learning and assessment practices in professionally approved CYW programmes can be argued as helping students to articulate practice as emancipatory. The findings indicate that there was coherence and a strong understanding of core theories that confirmed CYW programmes as helping students to articulate emancipatory practice. In relation to teaching and learning, programmes were not as aligned with critical pedagogy, inclining more towards traditional and formal methods than alternative or informal methods. Finally, an imbalance between the persistent use of standardised assessment methods over more flexible and creative assessments suggested a reluctance to seek, or develop, more emancipatory sustainable assessment alternatives. The article concludes by arguing that informal education and, specifically, CYW programmes are well-placed to drive institutional and social change forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating Informal Educators)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Primary Students’ Experiences of Remote Learning during COVID-19 School Closures: A Case Study of Finland
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 560; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090560 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 535
Abstract
The remote learning period that took place due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 was a novel experience for many students, teachers and guardians in Finland and globally. To be prepared for similar occasions in the future [...] Read more.
The remote learning period that took place due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 was a novel experience for many students, teachers and guardians in Finland and globally. To be prepared for similar occasions in the future and to support all students appropriately, it is important to be aware of students’ experiences. In this study, instant video blogging (IVB) was used to collect primary school students’ first-hand reports of their emotions in remote learning situations. Through an experience sampling method, 23 Finnish fifth-grade students (aged 11–12 years) took part in IVB during the remote learning period 18 March 2020–13 May 2020. Students’ expressions related to negative emotional experiences were more diverse than those related to positive ones. Nice was the most often reported positive evaluation related to studying. The most often reported negative feelings were bored and irritated, and the most often reported negative aspects related to learning were difficult tasks or not having learned anything. Towards the end of the research period, positive mentions about returning to school increased. The IVB method offered direct insight into how primary students experienced the remote learning period, which can support preparation for exceptional periods in the future and the development of digital learning solutions. Full article
Article
Light Blue Walls and Tan Flooring: A Culture of Belonging in Engineering Making Spaces (or Not?)
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 559; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090559 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 404
Abstract
The motivation for this exploratory qualitative study is to understand what a culture of belonging may look like across six engineering education making spaces in institutions of higher education in the U.S. The research question for this study was: In what ways are [...] Read more.
The motivation for this exploratory qualitative study is to understand what a culture of belonging may look like across six engineering education making spaces in institutions of higher education in the U.S. The research question for this study was: In what ways are the management, instructors, and staff operating engineering education making spaces influencing a culture of belonging (if any) for engineering students? We examined the transcripts of semi-structured interviews of 49 faculty members and 29 members of management/staff of making spaces, using thematic coding. From the data, we identified four themes that described the culture of belonging being created in these six engineering making spaces: (a) a ‘closed loop’ culture for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access; (b) a ‘transactional, dichotomous’ culture; (c) a ‘band-aid, masquerading’ culture; (d) a potential ‘boundary-crossing’ culture. Our primary conclusion was that created cultures in engineering making spaces are extensions of normative cultures found in traditional engineering classrooms. Additionally, while making spaces were attempting to change this culture in their physical infrastructures, it was deemed that the space leadership needs to expand hiring strategies, the nature of making activities, the ambient/physical appearance of the space, disciplines, and required expertise, to create a truly inclusive and equitable culture of belonging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
Article
Preservice Biology Teachers’ Scientific Reasoning Skills and Beliefs about Nature of Science: How Do They Develop and Is There a Mutual Relationship during the Development?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 558; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090558 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 499
Abstract
Scientific reasoning (SR) skills and nature of science (NOS) beliefs represent important characteristics of biology teachers’ professional competence. In particular, teacher education at university is formative for the professionalization of future teachers and is thus the focus of the current study. Our study [...] Read more.
Scientific reasoning (SR) skills and nature of science (NOS) beliefs represent important characteristics of biology teachers’ professional competence. In particular, teacher education at university is formative for the professionalization of future teachers and is thus the focus of the current study. Our study aimed to examine the development of SR skills and NOS beliefs and their mutual relationship during teacher education. We applied paper-and-pencil tests to measure SR skills and NOS beliefs of 299 preservice biology teachers from 25 universities in Germany. The results of linear mixed models and planned comparisons revealed that both SR skills and NOS beliefs develop over the course of the study. Nevertheless, the development of SR skills and multiple aspects of NOS beliefs proceeds in different trajectories. Cross-lagged models showed a complex picture concerning the mutual relationship between SR skills and NOS beliefs during their development (both positive and negative). The current study contributes to the existing research because it is based on longitudinal data and allows—in contrast to cross-sectional research—conclusions about the development of SR skills and NOS beliefs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Flexible Future Education Model—Strategies Drawn from Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 557; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090557 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 612
Abstract
As they emerge from the pandemic, universities worldwide are evaluating the adaptations in the education sector during the pandemic and determining their course of action for the future. In this work, drawing on the lessons from four courses across two different universities, a [...] Read more.
As they emerge from the pandemic, universities worldwide are evaluating the adaptations in the education sector during the pandemic and determining their course of action for the future. In this work, drawing on the lessons from four courses across two different universities, a survey of over 300 students, and the literature, we present strategies for successfully implementing a flexible blended education format. The survey revealed that the performance of the cohort taking the course during the pandemic performed nearly the same as the cohorts that took the courses before the pandemic. However, the students did not prefer an entirely virtual format, felt that their social wellbeing was impacted, and preferred a hybrid education model with a lot of supplementary learning material. As a key contribution of this work, we have identified and elaborate on four key pillars for a flexible blended education format, namely, course design, pedagogical strategies incorporating active learning and providing a sense of online community, infrastructure for delivery and training, and incorporating activities that support student wellbeing. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Identified Challenges from Faculty Teaching at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions after Abrupt Transition to Emergency Remote Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 556; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090556 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
COVID-19 has been one of the most significant disruptors of higher education in modern history. Higher education institutions rapidly transitioned to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) in mid-to-late March of 2020. The extent of COVID-19’s impact on teaching and learning, and the resulting challenges [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has been one of the most significant disruptors of higher education in modern history. Higher education institutions rapidly transitioned to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) in mid-to-late March of 2020. The extent of COVID-19’s impact on teaching and learning, and the resulting challenges facilitating ERT during this time, likely varied by faculty, institutional, and geographical characteristics. In this study, we identified challenges in teaching and learning during the initial transition to ERT at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) in the Midwest, United States. We conducted in-depth interviews with 14 faculty teaching at Midwestern PUIs to explore their lived experiences. We describe the most overarching challenges related to faculty teaching through four emergent themes: pedagogical changes, work-life balance, face-to-face interactions, and physical and mental health. Five themes emerged that we used to describe the most overarching challenges related to students and their learning: learning patterns, technology access, additional responsibilities, learning community, and mental health. Based upon the identified challenges, we provide broad recommendations that can be used to foster a more successful transition to ERT in unforeseen regional or global crises in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Systematic Review
Supporting Indigenous Students in Science and STEM Education: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 555; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090555 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
There are a growing number of education programs in science and STEM education with the aim of improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students who have long been underrepresented in current education systems. The aim of this study is to systematically review empirical research [...] Read more.
There are a growing number of education programs in science and STEM education with the aim of improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students who have long been underrepresented in current education systems. The aim of this study is to systematically review empirical research from 2011 to 2020 that reported programs to support Indigenous students in science and STEM education. A total of 24 studies were included in this review. These programs involved student participants from all K to 12 grade levels and occurred in both formal and informal contexts. Most of the programs employed multifaced approaches, and cultural relevance and scientific inquiry practice were the two main features of the programs. All the programs had reported positive outcomes in relation to Indigenous students’ science learning, understanding of their own cultures and traditions, and/or the complementarity of Western science and Indigenous knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chinese University Students’ Experience of WeChat-Based English-Language Vocabulary Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 554; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090554 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
The outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide in 2020 has posed tremendous challenges to higher education globally. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is among the many areas affected by the pandemic. The unexpected transition to online teaching has increased challenges for improving and/or [...] Read more.
The outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide in 2020 has posed tremendous challenges to higher education globally. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is among the many areas affected by the pandemic. The unexpected transition to online teaching has increased challenges for improving and/or retaining students’ language proficiency. WeChat, a popular social application in China, was widely used for TEFL at Chinese universities before COVID-19. However, it remains unclear whether the use of WeChat can facilitate Chinese university students’ English-language lexical proficiency during the pandemic. To fill this gap, the aim of the present study was two-fold: (1) it initially explored the relationship between the variables including students’ academic years, genders, and academic faculties/disciplines, and their lexical proficiency; and (2) it evaluated the effectiveness of a WeChat-assisted lexical learning (WALL) program in facilitating learning outcomes of English-language vocabulary. One hundred and thirty-three students at a university in Northern China participated in the WALL program for three weeks. As the results indicated, the independent variables had no correlation with the students’ lexical proficiency. More importantly, the students had a decline in the test scores after using the program, compared to their initial test scores. Moreover, the difference was reported to be medium. The findings further proposed questions on applying WeChat to vocabulary teaching in a large-scaled transition. The study is expected to provide insights for tertiary institutions, language practitioners, and student stakeholders to troubleshoot the potential problems regarding implementing WeChat-based TEFL pedagogies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
Article
Impact of Governance Factors over Lecturers’ Scientific Research Output: An Empirical Evidence
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 553; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090553 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
This study aims to determine the governance factors that influence the scientific research output of lecturers through the application of PLS-SEM, in conjunction with ANOVA and t-test. Based on a survey of 398 lecturers in twelve higher education institutions (HEIs) in Vietnam, [...] Read more.
This study aims to determine the governance factors that influence the scientific research output of lecturers through the application of PLS-SEM, in conjunction with ANOVA and t-test. Based on a survey of 398 lecturers in twelve higher education institutions (HEIs) in Vietnam, the psychometric properties of the scales measuring the considered dimensions of scientific research outputs were initially examined through the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) procedure, prior to being input into the PLS-SEM model. The SEM model comprised six constructs for the scientific research outputs: scientific research objectives of HEIs, leadership, decentralization, policies for lecturers, support for scientific research activities, and resources for scientific research. The results reveal that resources for scientific research have the most impact on lecturers’ scientific research output, followed by policies for lecturers, support for scientific research activities, scientific research objectives of HEIs, and finally, leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Systematic Literature Review of Student’ Performance Prediction Using Machine Learning Techniques
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 552; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090552 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Educational Data Mining plays a critical role in advancing the learning environment by contributing state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and applications. The recent development provides valuable tools for understanding the student learning environment by exploring and utilizing educational data using machine learning and data mining [...] Read more.
Educational Data Mining plays a critical role in advancing the learning environment by contributing state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and applications. The recent development provides valuable tools for understanding the student learning environment by exploring and utilizing educational data using machine learning and data mining techniques. Modern academic institutions operate in a highly competitive and complex environment. Analyzing performance, providing high-quality education, strategies for evaluating the students’ performance, and future actions are among the prevailing challenges universities face. Student intervention plans must be implemented in these universities to overcome problems experienced by the students during their studies. In this systematic review, the relevant EDM literature related to identifying student dropouts and students at risk from 2009 to 2021 is reviewed. The review results indicated that various Machine Learning (ML) techniques are used to understand and overcome the underlying challenges; predicting students at risk and students drop out prediction. Moreover, most studies use two types of datasets: data from student colleges/university databases and online learning platforms. ML methods were confirmed to play essential roles in predicting students at risk and dropout rates, thus improving the students’ performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Integration of Different Curriculum Ideologies in a School Science Subject
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 551; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090551 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
School science subjects may be informed by curriculum ideologies such as discipline-centered, service-centered, student-centered, or citizen-centered ideologies. The distinct characteristics of each ideology complicate the extent to which science subjects could integrate different curriculum ideologies. Consequently, the present research explored how different curriculum [...] Read more.
School science subjects may be informed by curriculum ideologies such as discipline-centered, service-centered, student-centered, or citizen-centered ideologies. The distinct characteristics of each ideology complicate the extent to which science subjects could integrate different curriculum ideologies. Consequently, the present research explored how different curriculum ideologies are reflected in a school science subject. Natural Sciences was used as a case study that followed a mixed-methods approach. Inductive content analysis was performed on the curriculum document to determine its foregrounding curriculum ideologies using a validated open-ended instrument. Findings indicate that Natural Sciences integrates four curriculum ideologies concurrently. These are the student-centered ideology, service-centered ideology, discipline-centered ideology, and citizenship-centered ideology. However, while attempting to adopt multi-curriculum ideologies, the subject could not ensure equal representation of these ideologies. For example, citizenship-centered ideology received the least representation even though it is the ideology most related to the imperatives of social empowerment. It is concluded that the integration of different ideologies may lead to teaching difficulties where teachers find it challenging to adapt teaching methods that satisfy all four curriculum ideologies. Additionally, students in different schools may be taught according to different curriculum ideology principles, leading to inconsistencies in attained learning outcomes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effect of Block Class Scheduling on the Achievements of Primary School Students in Nature and Biology Classes
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090550 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate whether the class scheduling of Nature and Biology classes in blocks results in better learning success for primary school students, and whether this depends on the average student success rate (i.e., student performance categories), age, [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate whether the class scheduling of Nature and Biology classes in blocks results in better learning success for primary school students, and whether this depends on the average student success rate (i.e., student performance categories), age, or prior knowledge. For this study, we have assumed that block scheduling results in better success rates for older lower-performing primary-school students. The research included 773 fifth- to eighth-grade students from 14 Croatian primary schools. The students fell into two groups: one group attending 45-min Nature and Biology lessons twice a week (single-scheduled classes), and another group attending a 90-min lesson once a week (block-scheduled class). To assess the level of student learning success, all students underwent both an initial and final written exam in Nature and/or Biology, specific to each grade. The rmANOVA proved that there was a significant interaction among class scheduling, performance categories, and the initial and final written exam scores of fifth- and seventh-grade students. Such a correlation was not found among the sixth- and eighth-grade students. Our findings further indicate that students achieve better results in block-scheduled classes at the end of primary school education, and that block class scheduling does not necessarily result in improved student achievement, particularly in lower-performing students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Motivation and Sense of Belonging in the Large Enrollment Introductory General and Organic Chemistry Remote Courses
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090549 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 729
Abstract
The rapid shift from face-to-face to remote instruction in 2020 has resulted in recalibration of lecture and laboratory pedagogy. This research analyzed the impact of remote learning on student motivation and sense of belonging in large enrollment chemistry courses. Student responses were parsed [...] Read more.
The rapid shift from face-to-face to remote instruction in 2020 has resulted in recalibration of lecture and laboratory pedagogy. This research analyzed the impact of remote learning on student motivation and sense of belonging in large enrollment chemistry courses. Student responses were parsed according to specific demographics including gender, academic standing, first-generation status, and ethnicity. Research objectives included the analysis of how remote learning impacted specific demographics to develop guidelines for best practices moving forward for hybrid or online courses. Our findings show that second year students (sophomores) were the most impacted of the academic standing cohorts. Sophomores reported a statistically greater change in motivation after the start of the semester and statistically lower satisfaction with their performance on assignments. Females reported statistically lower motivation and a statistically lower sense of belonging in the course and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Black/African students reported a statistically lower motivation for remote learning than Asian/Pacific Islander and White/Caucasian students. Finally, both White/Caucasian and Black/African students reported a statistically lower sense of belonging in the course and in STEM fields than Asian/Pacific islander students. Finally, statistical differences were not observed based upon first-generation status. The research indicates that students were differentially impacted by the shift to remote learning. From these findings, a stronger understanding of how specific demographics are differentially impacted by remote learning in STEM courses is provided, granting greater insight into best practices moving forward. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development of Online Virtual Laboratory Platform for Supporting Real Laboratory Experiments in Multi Domains
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 548; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090548 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 684
Abstract
The increasing use of online virtual laboratories (OVLs) in educational institutions as a recent educational technology application necessitates developing a new educational platform for assisting instructors in using such technology in the teaching process without web programming obstacles. The OVLs are online environments [...] Read more.
The increasing use of online virtual laboratories (OVLs) in educational institutions as a recent educational technology application necessitates developing a new educational platform for assisting instructors in using such technology in the teaching process without web programming obstacles. The OVLs are online environments that provide students with several types of content such as simulations, videos, scientific images, and infographics related to real laboratory experiments. This article proposes a unified online virtual laboratory platform (OVLP) to support instructors who teach real laboratory experiments in multi-domains. To evaluate the proposed platform, five university instructors and five experts of ICT in education have participated in this study. The data were collected using online questionnaires for both specialists, respectively. Regarding the results, they confirm that the proposed platform is acceptable for teaching real laboratory experiments, especially in the tested domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Voices of Women within the Devanga Community, Bangalore, India
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 547; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090547 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Women face a unique set of challenges in India on account of traditionally held views of their gender, as well as often having lower educational and community status. Gender discrimination has continued to remain an evil in our society. Almost 70% women in [...] Read more.
Women face a unique set of challenges in India on account of traditionally held views of their gender, as well as often having lower educational and community status. Gender discrimination has continued to remain an evil in our society. Almost 70% women in South Asia are married at a young age, which is coupled with early childbearing and a lack of decision-making abilities within the traditional family structures, further enhancing their “disadvantaged” position in society. In India, the relationship of status and patriarchal values in addition to the deprived status of women worsens the situation. Despite advances having been made in the active participation of women in the political and economic domain, not much change has been seen in incidences of gender discrimination or dominant patriarchy. Daily interactions ensure that gender stereotypes have a strong influence on our values, judgements and evaluations to an extent that men and women are treated differently in society. A small weaving community, the Devanga community, which has its roots spread across India, practices stereotypes and patriarchal norms which have ensured the existence of male dominance in almost every aspect of decision making. The position of women within this community is worthy of debate and discussion, although no prior research has been conducted on this issue within the Devanga community. This paper draws upon the voices of women from within this community to understand the various levels of discrimination faced by them on a regular basis, along with highlighting male privilege as a cause of perpetuated discrimination and lesser opportunities for girls compared with boys. The reported research study analyzed data obtained from 120 women from the Devanga community through semi structured questionnaires and interviews and adopted an ethnographic feminist perspective to interpret these data. Findings indicate that the voices of women within this community are suppressed due to contributory factors such as orthodox beliefs and practices, male dominance, early marriage, and domestic responsibilities and all of these can be viewed as a barrier to providing educational opportunities to girls. Findings suggest that despite the progress made by women in India, they are still considered to be the single largest group of backward citizens. Full article
Article
Supporting the Transition from Primary to Postprimary Education in 2021: Perspectives from Irish Postprimary Practitioners
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 546; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090546 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 410
Abstract
The transition from primary to postprimary education is a significant milestone in children’s education and can be characterised by the multiple challenges that they experience, specifically the move from childhood to adolescence, from one institutional context to another, and from established social groups [...] Read more.
The transition from primary to postprimary education is a significant milestone in children’s education and can be characterised by the multiple challenges that they experience, specifically the move from childhood to adolescence, from one institutional context to another, and from established social groups into new social relations. This research employs a theoretical framework that describes this transition from the perspective of secondary school inservice practitioners as they aim to help students to make a successful transition. An incremental, sequential mixed-methods data collection strategy took the form of an exploratory survey followed by qualitative semistructured interviews. Current transition practices in the context of the challenges presented in Irish secondary schools are reported on in five key areas: administration, social and emotional supports, curriculum support, pedagogical support, and management/autonomy of learning. The findings of this research also highlight a need to reflect on the purpose and timing of current practices, along with calls for continuing professional development programmes to be developed that specifically target the challenges faced by Irish inservice teaching practitioners. It is hoped that this paper will spark discourse relating to the development of transitional supports for students and associated training for those who are best placed to provide those supports. Full article
Article
The PRU: The Solution for Whom?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 545; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090545 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 507
Abstract
In Sweden, pupil referral units (PRUs) have been recommended by the government, suggesting that “inclusion has gone too far”. This governmental recommendation is not based on research focusing on PRUs, as such research is sparse. Furthermore, there has been a lack of evaluations [...] Read more.
In Sweden, pupil referral units (PRUs) have been recommended by the government, suggesting that “inclusion has gone too far”. This governmental recommendation is not based on research focusing on PRUs, as such research is sparse. Furthermore, there has been a lack of evaluations of the efficacy of PRUs, and no national evaluations of such provision have been undertaken. Furthermore, more attention must be paid to PRU students’ own perspectives and experiences as we lack knowledge of their needs and situation. This study aimed to investigate how educational needs have been and should be addressed in one PRU according to nine stakeholder groups, for example, current students, former students, parents, school staff, and various groups of people who, in their work, were responsible for deciding about the PRU (e.g., chief education officers or politicians) or supporting the PRU (e.g., school healthcare unit staff). Comparative analysis of all groups’ perceptions considered similarities and differences of views of this topic. Preliminary results indicate substantial between- and within-group variation concerning the purpose of the PRU and uncertainty about educational quality, partly due to insufficient documentation. Some students described a “Catch-22”: having been told to catch up educationally with peers and that PRU placement would help in this, they were disappointed, as the emphasis on non-educational practices impeded catching up. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Implementation of a Thematic Analysis Method to Develop a Qualitative Model on the Authentic Foreign Language Learning Perspective: A Case Study in the University of Northern Cyprus
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 544; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090544 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Environmentally friendly occasions allow foreign language learners to further concentrate on realizing their extensive knowledge of the English language. Exercises and activities performed in foreign language classes have been criticized for a lack of authenticity, which prevents language learners from learning the real-life [...] Read more.
Environmentally friendly occasions allow foreign language learners to further concentrate on realizing their extensive knowledge of the English language. Exercises and activities performed in foreign language classes have been criticized for a lack of authenticity, which prevents language learners from learning the real-life usage of language. In this paper, we developed a qualitative model based on the thematic analysis method (TAM) to distinguish the efficacy of research strategies. The number of participants was defined based on theoretical saturation. To collect the data, 18 participants were selected from the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in Cyprus. The selection of participants was according to their involvement in research-based projects. Theoretical saturation occurred after 15 semi-structured interview forms from participants; however, we selected three extra participants to obtain more reliable results. The reliability of the qualitative model was explicitly illustrated by colleagues who were experts in this field by reviewing and analyzing the proposed model with previous models. It was concluded that the two principles of motivation (principle 11) and provision of collaborative opportunities (principle 4) had the highest frequencies, of 22.47% and 19.66%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Lessons in the Use of Technology for Science Education during COVID-19 Age under a Teachers’ Collaboration Cluster
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090543 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The COVID-19 confinement has represented both opportunities and losses for education. Rarely before has any other period moved the human spirit into such discipline or submission—depending on one’s personal and emotional points of view. Both extremes have been widely influenced by external factors [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 confinement has represented both opportunities and losses for education. Rarely before has any other period moved the human spirit into such discipline or submission—depending on one’s personal and emotional points of view. Both extremes have been widely influenced by external factors on each individual’s life path. Education in the sciences and engineering has encountered more issues than other disciplines due to specialized mathematical handwriting, experimental demonstrations, abstract complexity, and lab practices. This work analyses three aspects of science education courses taught by university professors in a collaborative teacher cluster, sharing technology applications and education methodologies in science over three semesters when the COVID-19 lockdown was in effect. The first aspect was a didactic design coming from several educational frameworks through adoption or sharing. The second one was an analysis by discipline of multiple factors affecting student engagement during the health contingency. The third analysis examined the gains and losses in our students caused by the university closure and the pandemic’s intrusions. The report explores the correlations of the exiting student perceptions with their academic performance in the courses and survey results about the impact of decisions or happenings during the crisis. This work’s value lies in the lessons for the future of education concerning the teacher dominions of didactic design, support, and collaboration in a broader sense than only for teaching. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Portuguese Primary and Secondary Education in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic: An Exploratory Study on Teacher Training and Challenges
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090542 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 713
Abstract
The discussion about the use of digital technologies in education is not new. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the total closure of schools around the world, that forced millions of students to attend their classes from home, has demonstrated the importance of this [...] Read more.
The discussion about the use of digital technologies in education is not new. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the total closure of schools around the world, that forced millions of students to attend their classes from home, has demonstrated the importance of this discussion. It has highlighted the need to revisit debates about the interactions between technology and education, and the added value of digital resources to enhance the educational process. This article, based on an exploratory analysis, aims to understand how the transition from face-to-face to digital was accomplished in Portuguese primary and secondary education, namely regarding teacher training and the difficulties experienced during the emergency remote education period. The data analysed in this article were collected through an online questionnaire, disseminated through online social networks, and answered by 136 Portuguese primary and secondary education teachers. The questions focused on this article were open-ended, and the information collected was analysed using content analysis methodology. The results show how teachers have been forced to modify their pedagogical work, the importance of training, and the inherent challenges and critical reflections associated with the process, as well as the opportunities presented in a post-pandemic educational reality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Education and Digital Literacy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Individual Differences in Parental Support for Numeracy and Literacy in Early Childhood
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090541 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Past research has examined parental support for children’s math and reading skills in the early years through parents’ reports of their activities with their children in somewhat inconsistent ways. In this study, we use data from a large sample of parents (n [...] Read more.
Past research has examined parental support for children’s math and reading skills in the early years through parents’ reports of their activities with their children in somewhat inconsistent ways. In this study, we use data from a large sample of parents (n = 259; 103 males) collected through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to examine dimensions of parental enrichment in both support for literacy and numeracy skills at home. Additionally, we examine how socioeconomic resources as well as parental beliefs relate to these dimensions of the home literacy and home numeracy environment. Factor analyses revealed two dimensions of literacy activities (i.e., passive and active literacy activities) and three dimensions of numeracy activities (i.e., numeracy applications, basic numeracy, and written numeracy activities). Income was positively associated with active literacy activities, whereas parents’ educational attainment was negatively associated with active literacy activities and written numeracy activities. Additionally, parental beliefs, including their beliefs about the importance of literacy and math skills as well as their perceived responsibility for teaching their children reading, math, and language skills, related to home literacy and numeracy activities in distinctive ways. These results suggest that future research should explore parental enrichment practices with greater nuance, particularly when examining associations with socioeconomic status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education: At Home and in the Classroom)
Article
Assessment of Cognitive Student Engagement Using Heart Rate Data in Distance Learning during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 540; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090540 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Student engagement allows educational institutions to make better decisions regarding teaching methodologies, methods for evaluating the quality of education, and ways to provide timely feedback. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying cognitive student engagement in distance learning has been a challenge in higher [...] Read more.
Student engagement allows educational institutions to make better decisions regarding teaching methodologies, methods for evaluating the quality of education, and ways to provide timely feedback. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying cognitive student engagement in distance learning has been a challenge in higher education institutions. In this study, we implemented a non-self-report method assessing students’ heart rate data to identify the cognitive engagement during active learning activities. Additionally, as a supplementary tool, we applied a previously validated self-report method. This study was performed in distance learning lessons on a group of university students in Bogota, Colombia. After data analysis, we validated five hypotheses and compared the results from both methods. The results confirmed that the heart rate assessment had a statistically significant difference with respect to the baseline during active learning activities, and this variance could be positive or negative. In addition, the results show that if students are previously advised that they will have to develop an a new task after a passive learning activity (such as a video projection), their heart rate will tend to increase and consequently, their cognitive engagement will also increase. We expect this study to provide input for future research assessing student cognitive engagement using physiological parameters as a tool. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Helping Pregraduate Students Reach Deep Understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 539; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090539 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Pregraduate students often have low success expectations toward their thermodynamics courses, which are often considered too abstract and remarkably difficult to understand. For this reason, they may not even try to reach any level of comprehension while settling for reproducing mathematical calculations and [...] Read more.
Pregraduate students often have low success expectations toward their thermodynamics courses, which are often considered too abstract and remarkably difficult to understand. For this reason, they may not even try to reach any level of comprehension while settling for reproducing mathematical calculations and memorizing definitions to pass the exams. Traditional lectures on thermodynamics, focusing on mathematical deductions while neglecting the qualitative characterization of the concepts behind the equations, do not help in this respect. Aiming at a change in the teaching practice and focused on the second law of thermodynamics, the main goals of this work are to characterize the way of reasoning of the expert; to present a review on the most important learning difficulties encountered by students and categorize them into three groups: the disregard of qualitative understanding, the inherent conceptual difficulties, and those related to the students’ previous knowledge; and to propose some suitable teaching practices to assist instructors in this difficult but rewarding task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Teaching Congruences in Connection with Diophantine Equations
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 538; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090538 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
The presented paper is devoted to the new teaching model of congruences of computer science students within the subject of discrete mathematics at universities. The main goal was to create a new model of teaching congruences on the basis of their connection with [...] Read more.
The presented paper is devoted to the new teaching model of congruences of computer science students within the subject of discrete mathematics at universities. The main goal was to create a new model of teaching congruences on the basis of their connection with Diophantine equations and subsequently to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model experimentally. The teaching of congruences was realized in two phases: acquisition of procedural knowledge and use of Diophantine equations to obtain conceptual knowledge of congruences. Experiments confirmed that conceptual understanding of congruences is positively related to increasing the procedural fluidity of congruence resolution. Research also demonstrated the suitability of using Diophantine equations to link congruences and equations. Among other things, the presented research has confirmed the justification of teaching mathematics in computer-oriented study programs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Teaching Psychomotor Skills in a Virtual Environment: An Educational Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 537; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090537 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
In March 2020, most physical therapy schools across the globe transitioned to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This change posed unique challenges not only because it required adapting to new technology in a short period but, more importantly, it involved [...] Read more.
In March 2020, most physical therapy schools across the globe transitioned to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This change posed unique challenges not only because it required adapting to new technology in a short period but, more importantly, it involved developing ways to teach hands-on psychomotor and clinical skills virtually while maintaining the quality of instruction. In response to the rapid transition, the physical therapy program at MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP)designed and implemented a novel and effective coaching model to address the challenges. The model was developed based on experiential learning theory, constructivism, a coaching framework, and andragogical principles of feedback and reflection. Not only did the model meet its objectives of effectively teaching basic psychomotor skills in the virtual environment, but it may also have andragogical benefits that can be applied to traditional face-to-face methods. This case study describes the theoretical underpinning of the model, its development and implementation, the perceived effectiveness for learning psychomotor skills in a virtual environment, and the potential for broader relevance to future models of physical therapy education. Full article
Article
Implementation of a Surgery Congress for Medical Students to Learn Transversal Competences. A Case of Student-Led Teaching Activity
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 536; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090536 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Background: A dynamic training approach close to clinical work and research is highly requested by health sciences students. The aim of this paper is to present the organizational model of a student-promoted and student-managed surgical congress that encourages the acquisition of transversal competencies [...] Read more.
Background: A dynamic training approach close to clinical work and research is highly requested by health sciences students. The aim of this paper is to present the organizational model of a student-promoted and student-managed surgical congress that encourages the acquisition of transversal competencies among the students in charge of the organization of the Congress. Methods: A two-day surgical congress for medical students organized by themselves was held. Each day comprised two separate sections corresponding to different surgical specialties; sections included three types of activities: conferences, round tables with guest professors, and practical workshops. Once the Congress had finished, an online survey was carried out to evaluate 10 items scored from 1 to 4. To assess the acquisition of transversal competences among the students organizing the congress, three evaluations were carried out by the professor involved in the organization of the congress. Results: The congress had great acceptance among the students, filling 150 available places with an attendance rate of 100%. The survey showed a high assessment of the subjects (3.48/4), conferences (3.48/4) and workshops (3.27/4). Evaluation of the round tables was significantly lower (2/4). A total of 99% considered the congress to have been useful in its formation process and 100% would recommend it. The grade of transversal competences among the students organizing the congress showed a significant increase between the first and the third evaluation, being between 1.24 and 7.25 times higher. Conclusions: the student-led student surgical congress is a well-evaluated activity for medical students, and promotes, among its organizers, the acquisition of transversal competences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Learning and Teaching in Medical Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Study of Maintenance-Related Education in Swedish Engineering Programs
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 535; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11090535 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Engineers of today require a holistic understanding of the lifecycle of products and processes, from conceptualization to operations. Maintenance and reliability are areas receiving increased attention due to the contribution to sustainable industry practices. The related literature describes ways to strengthen the education [...] Read more.
Engineers of today require a holistic understanding of the lifecycle of products and processes, from conceptualization to operations. Maintenance and reliability are areas receiving increased attention due to the contribution to sustainable industry practices. The related literature describes ways to strengthen the education with respect to curricula and teaching, but studies on the extent and content of maintenance-related education in engineering programs are lacking. The purpose of this study is to describe the maintenance-related education content in Swedish engineering programs. The main objects of study are the curricula and courses of engineering programs in Sweden. In total, 123 Bachelor of Engineering and 119 Master of Engineering programs were studied, as well as 36 maintenance-related courses. It was found that 12% of the engineering programs include one or more maintenance-related course, either mandatory or elective. On the Master of Engineering level, only 4% of the programs include mandatory maintenance-related courses. The corresponding number for Bachelor of Engineering programs is 15%. The courses are typically of 6–7.5 credits, but as low as under one credit worth of maintenance-related content is seen, as well as two specialized programs offering up to 60 credits. Of the 36 courses, 20 have a distinct maintenance focus, 2 are degree thesis courses, and 2 are within reliability engineering, while the rest have a focus in other areas. The lack of maintenance-related education makes future engineers less prepared to make good decisions and judgments that might affect the operational phase of the product or system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education and Digital Transformation of the Industry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop