Learning Technologies of Change

Learning Change Project

The Future of Mobile Learning

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This paper is part of the UNESCO Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning. The Series seeks to better understand how mobile technologies can be used to improve educational access, equity and quality around the world. It comprises fourteen individual papers published in 2012 and 2013. The Series is divided into two broad subsets: six papers examine mobile learning initiatives and their policy implications, and six papers examine how mobile technologies can support teachers and improve their practice. Within the two subsets there are five geographical divisions: Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each subset also contains a ‘Global Themes’ paper that synthesizes central findings from the five regional papers. Two additional ‘Issues’ papers round out the Series. One paper highlights characteristics shared by successful mobile learning initiatives and identifies supportive policies. A separate paper discusses how mobile technologies are likely to impact education in the future. As a whole, the Series provides a current snapshot of mobile learning efforts around the world. Collectively and individually, the papers consolidate lessons learned in different regions to provide policy-makers, educators and other stakeholders with a valuable tool for leveraging mobile technology to enhance learning, both now and in the future.

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Written by learningchange

July 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Scaffolding Conversations: Engaging Multiple Media in Organizational Communication

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Much of the research on media use in organizations has tended to focus on the use of one medium in isolation from the other media in the organization. Yet the proliferation of communication technologies, especially Internet-based technologies, combined with work configurations such as hybrids of virtual and co-located work, has made it more likely that organizational members will use multiple media, in various combinations, to communicate. This study of a regional facilities group in a Fortune 500 company explores how the use of both single and multiple media in a hybrid work configuration can facilitate a variety of rich and complex interactions. Focusing on the conversation as the unit of analysis, we found that organizational members used single and multiple media to support individual as well as concurrent interactions. We propose the notion of conversational scaffolding to describe how organizational members engaged with various media alone and in combination to accomplish both individual and concurrent conversations.

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Written by learningchange

July 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Conversational Coherence in Instant Messaging and Getting Work Done

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This paper explores the critical role conversational coherence plays in facilitating the ongoing, distributed work of one virtual team as they engage in instant messaging (IM) conversations to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. In studying the IM conversations of team members over the course of a month, a number of challenges to coherence emerged as they communicated with each other and worked together. These challenges include two previously identified challenges—lack of simultaneous feedback, and disrupted turn adjacency—and two additional challenges: multi-tasking, and authority. We describe the team’s responses to these challenges and conclude by discussing implications for research.

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Written by learningchange

July 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Conversational Coherence: Using Email Threads to Coordinate Distributed Work

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This paper explores the central role of conversational threads in facilitating the ongoing, distributed work of one virtual organization. In studying the electronic mail exchanges of organizational members during one year, we found that they engaged in a range of threading activity to establish and maintain continuity, coherence, and coordination in their collaborative work over time. In particular, we found that organizational members used threads in multiple ways: in isolation, to carry on individual conversations that focused their attention and action on a particular topic over a short period of time; in parallel, to carry on concurrent conversations that enabled their engagement with multiple topics during the same period of time; and in sequence, to conduct recurrent conversations that allowed them to connect related work over long periods of time. We conclude by discussing the implications of conversational threads for research on virtual organizing.

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Written by learningchange

July 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

A Creative Thinking Approach to enhancing Problem Solving Performance of University Students

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Along with the advancement of information and communication technology, researchers have pointed out the necessity and challenges of developing effective instructional strategies to enhance students’ web-based problem-solving performance, which refers to the ability of investigating a series of related problems via searching for, abstracting and summarizing information on the web. In this study, a creative thinking strategy is proposed to cope with this problem. Moreover, an experiment was conducted on 80 freshmen from two classes of a university to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The experimental results show that the proposed approach improved the students’ web-based problem solving performance in comparison with the conventional approach in terms of “problem finding” and “idea finding.” Moreover, it was found that the proposed approach could improve the “fact finding” performance of the students with intuitive-type cognitive style. Accordingly, some implications and suggestions are given for educators who attempt to conduct web-based problem-solving activity.

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Written by learningchange

July 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Cultivating Critical Thinking Through E-learning Environment and Tools – A Review

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Critical thinking is one of the main goals of higher education to train dependant and reasonable thinker as an efficient citizenship in modern society. Researchers and instructors in the world attempt to assess the level of students’ critical thinking in order to foster it as a vital ability. Also, researchers use different learning approaches and theories along with the technological progress to nurture critical thinking of students. On the other hand, the advent of e-learning in education facilitates the difficulties through the learning and teaching paths. Researchers provided models and strategies for developing critical thinking by e-learning tools with their specific characteristic and applications. This paper presents a review on e-learning approaches and models which are used to cultivate critical thinking with the aim of highlighting the importance of critical thinking and the role of e-learning. We also present a taxonomy of existing e-learning models based on their applications and efficiencies as well as presenting similarities and differences in such approaches and discuss open research issues.

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Written by learningchange

July 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm