Undergraduate Students’ Critical Online Reasoning

To successfully learn using open Internet resources, students must be able to critically search, evaluate and select online information, and verify sources. Defined as critical online reasoning (COR), this construct is operationalized on two levels in our study: (1) the student level using the newly developed Critical Online Reasoning Assessment (CORA), and (2) the online information processing level using event log data, including gaze durations and fixations. The written responses of 32 students for one CORA task were scored by three independent raters. The resulting score was operationalized as “task performance,” whereas the gaze fixations and durations were defined as indicators of “process performance.” Following a person-oriented approach, we conducted a process mining (PM) analysis, as well as a latent class analysis (LCA) to test whether—following the dual-process theory—the undergraduates could be distinguished into two groups based on both their process and task performance. Using PM, the process performance of all 32 students was visualized and compared, indicating two distinct response process patterns. One group of students (11), defined as “strategic information processers,” processed online information more comprehensively, as well as more efficiently, which was also reflected in their higher task scores. In contrast, the distributions of the process performance variables for the other group (21), defined as “avoidance information processers,” indicated a poorer process performance, which was also reflected in their lower task scores. In the LCA, where two student groups were empirically distinguished by combining the process performance indicators and the task score as a joint discriminant criterion, we confirmed these two COR profiles, which were reflected in high vs. low process and task performances. The estimated parameters indicated that high-performing students were significantly more efficient at conducting strategic information processing, as reflected in their higher process performance. These findings are so far based on quantitative analyses using event log data. To enable a more differentiated analysis of students’ visual attention dynamics, more in-depth qualitative research of the identified student profiles in terms of COR will be required.


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Successful failure: what Foucault can teach us about privacy self-management

The “privacy paradox” refers to the discrepancy between the concern individuals express for their privacy and the apparently low value they actually assign to it when they readily trade personal information for low-value goods online. In this paper, I argue that the privacy paradox masks a more important paradox: the self-management model of privacy embedded in notice-and-consent pages on websites and other, analogous practices can be readily shown to underprotect privacy, even in the economic terms favored by its advocates. The real question, then, is why privacy self-management occupies such a prominent position in privacy law and regulation. Borrowing from Foucault’s late writings, I argue that this failure to protect privacy is also a success in ethical subject formation, as it actively pushes privacy norms and practices in a neoliberal direction. In other words, privacy self-management isn’t about protecting people’s privacy; it’s about inculcating the idea that privacy is an individual, commodified good that can be traded for other market goods. Along the way, the self-management regime forces privacy into the market, obstructs the functioning of other, more social, understandings of privacy, and occludes the various ways that individuals attempt to resist adopting the market-based view of themselves and their privacy. Throughout, I use the analytics practices of Facebook and social networking sites as a sustained case study of the point


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The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-first Century

None of us has ever lived through a genuine industrial revolution. Until now.

Digital technology is transforming every corner of the economy, fundamentally altering the way things are done, who does them, and what they earn for their efforts. InThe Wealth of Humans,Economisteditor Ryan Avent brings up-to-the-minute research and reporting to bear on the major economic question of our time: can the modern world manage technological changes every bit as disruptive as those that shook the socioeconomic landscape of the 19th century?

Traveling from Shenzhen, to Gothenburg, to Mumbai, to Silicon Valley, Avent investigates the meaning of work in the twenty-first century: how technology is upending time-tested business models and thrusting workers of all kinds into a world wholly unlike that of a generation ago. It’s a world in which the relationships between capital and labor and between rich and poor have been overturned.

Past revolutions required rewriting the social contract: this one is unlikely to demand anything less. Avent looks to the history of the Industrial Revolution and the work of numerous experts for lessons in reordering society. The future needn’t be bleak, but asThe Wealth of Humansexplains, we can’t expect to restructure the world without a wrenching rethinking of what an economy should be.


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Social media use and disturbed sleep

Are you spending more and more time consuming social media through your computer, mobile phone, video games, and social media apps? If so, you’re not alone. Data from Pew Research Center has shown that use of social media among adults has grown from 5% in 2005 to 69% in 2018, with almost 90% of 18–29-years-olds indicating use. Using social media of various forms may have some benefits; in addition to entertainment value, social media can also expose us to new ideas and current events, promote community participation, facilitate connection with long-distance friends and family, and enhance access to social networks.


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The “online brain”: how the Internet may be changing our cognition

The impact of the Internet across multiple aspects of modern society is clear. However, the influence that it may have on our brain structure and functioning remains a central topic of investigation. Here we draw on recent psychological, psychiatric and neuroimaging findings to examine several key hypotheses on how the Internet may be changing our cognition. Specifically, we explore how unique features of the online world may be influencing: a) attentional capacities, as the constantly evolving stream of online information encourages our divided attention across multiple media sources, at the expense of sustained concentration; b) memory processes, as this vast and ubiquitous source of online information begins to shift the way we retrieve, store, and even value knowledge; and c) social cognition, as the ability for online social settings to resemble and evoke real‐world social processes creates a new interplay between the Internet and our social lives, including our self‐concepts and self‐esteem. Overall, the available evidence indicates that the Internet can produce both acute and sustained alterations in each of these areas of cognition, which may be reflected in changes in the brain. However, an emerging priority for future research is to determine the effects of extensive online media usage on cognitive development in youth, and examine how this may differ from cognitive outcomes and brain impact of uses of Internet in the elderly. We conclude by proposing how Internet research could be integrated into broader research settings to study how this unprecedented new facet of society can affect our cognition and the brain across the life course.


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Face-to-face or face-to-screen? Undergraduates’ opinions and test performance in classroom vs. online learning

As electronic communication becomes increasingly common, and as students juggle study, work, and family life, many universities are offering their students more flexible learning opportunities. Classes once delivered face-to-face are often replaced by online activities and discussions. However, there is little research comparing students’ experience and learning in these two modalities. The aim of this study was to compare undergraduates’ preference for, and academic performance on, class material and assessment presented online vs. in traditional classrooms. Psychology students (N = 67) at an Australian university completed written exercises, a class discussion, and a written test on two academic topics. The activities for one topic were conducted face-to-face, and the other online, with topics counterbalanced across two groups. The results showed that students preferred to complete activities face-to-face rather than online, but there was no significant difference in their test performance in the two modalities. In their written responses, students expressed a strong preference for class discussions to be conducted face-to-face, reporting that they felt more engaged, and received more immediate feedback, than in online discussion. A follow-up study with a separate group (N = 37) confirmed that although students appreciated the convenience of completing written activities online in their own time, they also strongly preferred to discuss course content with peers in the classroom rather than online. It is concluded that online and face-to-face activities can lead to similar levels of academic performance, but that students would rather do written activities online but engage in discussion in person. Course developers could aim to structure classes so that students can benefit from both the flexibility of online learning, and the greater engagement experienced in face-to-face discussion.


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What would learning in an open world look like? A vision for the future

The pace of current technological advancement is phenomenal. In the last few years we have seen the emergence of ever more sophisticated gaming technologies, rich, immersive virtual worlds and new social networking services that enable learners and teachers to connect and communicate in new ways. The pace of change looks set to continue as annual Horizon reports testify and as encapsulated in the following quote from the NSF-report on cyberlearning:

Imagine a high school student in the year 2015. She has grown up in a world where learning is as accessible through technologies at home as it is in the classroom, and digital content is as real to her as paper, lab equipment, or textbooks. At school, she and her classmates engage in creative problem-solving activities by manipulating simulations in a virtual laboratory or by downloading and analyzing visualizations of real- time data from remote sensors. Away from the classroom, she has seamless access to school materials and homework assignments using inexpensive mobile technologies. She continues to collaborate with her classmates in virtual environments that allow not only social interaction with each other but also rich connections with a wealth of supplementary content.


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Open, Social and Participatory Media

The emergence of open, social and participatory media in recent years is changing the
landscape of technology practices. They are changing the ways in which users interact,
communicate and participate with technologies. These technologies include
social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, blogs and wikis
and microblogging sites such as Twitter. They are being used for a mixture of social
and professional activities. This chapter considers the impact of such Web 2.0 technologies on education and in particular how these new technologies are changing
learning and teaching practices. It will consider their fundamental characteristics and
look at the implications for learners, teachers and institutions. It argues that the impact
on practice can be both positive and negative and that as a consequence educational
institutions need to develop new policies and strategies to take account of these.


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Personal inquiry: innovations in participatory design and models for inquiry learning

This paper describes a participatory design approach to the development of
inquiry-based learning supported through a technology toolkit. The work is part of
an interdisciplinary project – Personal Inquiry (PI). The paper focuses on the
approach we adopted, concentrating in particular on the two mediating artefacts
we used to guide and frame the design process during two design workshops. The
first mediating artefact used was an inquiry framework developed as part of the
wider PI project and the second was Kellett’s enquiry research bubbles, which is
a framework to guide enquiry-based thinking processes. The paper reports on data
collected during the workshops and reflects on the value of the approach adopted.
The paper also explores the PI-team’s own reflections on the design process and
its role in the overall project.


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E-Learning for Geographers: Online Materials, Resources, and Repositories

Electronic learning (e-learning), which occurs when a computer is used as the means of accessing learning resources and activities, provides today’s university student with an unprecedented array of learning materials. Most universities in the developed world now provide their students with a wealth of electronic information via libraries, administrative Web sites, and virtual learning environments. Students expect course syllabi, reading lists, exercises, data, old exam papers, and timetables to be online.
A logical next step in this learning evolution is to put the lectures, tutorials, and student activities online. As working online can be viewed as a new context for learning and not just a learning tool, for most geography teachers, especially those accustomed to traditional delivery methods, this is a daunting challenge involving radical re-skilling and much effort. What are the best ways to do this? What is the best mix of online and face-to-face learning? What tools are available to help in the process? Through the experiences of an international team of geographers, educationalists, and computer scientists we aim to answer these questions.


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