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Research Reviews

DERN provides a weekly review of important educational ICT research with links to research about schools, training and higher education. Research reviews focus on issues and trends that impact on the use of ICT in education.


Teachers’ views on texting and literacy development

Posted on 13 Aug 2015 with 0 comments
Evaluating ICT effects Mobile learning Trends

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Concern about the effects of texting on children has resulted in polarised views and media reports declaring that texting has contributed to dyslexia, poor spelling and mental laziness. A UK study examines the views held by teachers about the use of texting by young people and its impact on literacy development.


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Student engagement in blended learning

Posted on 06 Aug 2015 with 0 comments
Blended learning Engagement and performance Instructional design Pedagogy

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Students learn better when they are actively engaged in their learning and blended learning has the potential to increase student engagement. What is the evidence to support this claim and what are the elements of blended learning that impact on student engagement?  A recent exploratory study using intensive longitudinal approaches sought to measure student engagement in a blended learning course.


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Social capital from online discussion forums

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 with 0 comments
Blended learning Engagement and performance Interactive personal networking Pedagogy

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Tools such as discussion forums are commonly used to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas in fully online and blended learning environments. Do students who actively participate in a unit’s online discussion forum achieve a higher final result than those who do not participate? A study investigates the role online discussion forums can play in generating opportunities for students to build and establish social capital in order to support their academic endeavours.


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Task switching and multitasking

Posted on 23 Jul 2015 with 0 comments
Engagement and performance ICT in education Learning environment Trends

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Digital tools facilitate independent study, providing access to information and resources as well as enabling connections and networking. However, the ease with which students can switch between tasks can also be a distraction, and may be undermining effective learning. Computer logs are used to analyse students’ behaviour in task switching and multitasking and how this behaviour may impact learning.


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Video and online learning

Posted on 16 Jul 2015 with 0 comments
Learning environment Open scholarship Pedagogy

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Providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) appear to be structuring their courses around the use of instructional videos. If MOOCs are dependent on video for content delivery, it begs the question of how effective is video for online learning? An exploratory study examines the current use of video in online learning by focusing on its design, production, costs and pedagogical use.


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Flipped Classroom

Posted on 09 Jul 2015 with 0 comments
Blended learning Learning environment Pedagogy

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Educators are increasingly making effective use of classroom time by moving some of the instructional activities outside class time. A recent paper discusses and reflects on the use of three learning designs as part of an action research study created to maximize instructional time for inquiry-based learning.


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Australian students in a digital world

Posted on 02 Jul 2015 with 0 comments
21st century skills Digital divide Digital literacy ICT in education Teacher capacity

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The development of digital literacy in Australian students has been a priority for schools and governments. How far have we come? Are our students well prepared to be effective participants in a digital age? A recent ACER paper presents an analysis of national and international testing of ICT literacy of Australian students, and considers progress made towards meeting the goal of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.


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Why do students complete MOOCs?

Posted on 25 Jun 2015 with 0 comments
Learning analytics Learning environment Open scholarship

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are increasingly gaining a stronghold in education. However, a concern is the low completion rate. Researchers at Columbia University explore some of the motivations behind MOOC enrolments and whether these motivations determine whether learners complete a course.


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New model for senior secondary assessment

Posted on 18 Jun 2015 with 0 comments
Assessment online Engagement and performance Learning environment Pedagogy

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Classroom practices are changing and learning is increasingly collaborative However, senior secondary assessment is still following a traditional path – heavily dependent on summative assessment. A short paper by Phillipa Whiteford explores how a more ‘future-focused’ application of an ePortfolio might provide an innovative solution to the challenges facing current assessment practice.


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Online lectures and student learning

Posted on 11 Jun 2015 with 0 comments
Blended learning Information sources Learning environment Open scholarship

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New technologies facilitate the restructuring and delivery of courses, in many ways creating economies of scale. Debate about how and whether lectures should be provided online centres on questions of attendance and achievement. A critical review provides an analysis of literature relating to the use of online lectures, lecture attendance and student achievement.


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