I’m really proud to announce the third article of my PhD research has been published in Computers & Education.
This article ,’Differential impact of learning path based versus conventional instruction in science education‘, analyzes the differential impact of the instructional formats on learning outcomes, considering variations in group setting and group composition. Given the focus on science learning, gender was also considered. Multilevel analysis was applied, and the results show empirical evidence for superior performance for both boys and girls in the learning path condition as compared with that in the conventional condition. In addition, when girls collaborate, they perform best within same-sex groups, whereas boys achieve better results in mixed-gender groups. The implications of the findings are important for tackling the gender gap in science learning. The findings can lead to guidelines for teachers who want to implement learning paths within an optimal learning environment design.
If you use the article, please cite as:
De Smet, C., De Wever, B., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2016). Differential impact of learning path based versus conventional instruction in science education. Computers & Education, 99, 53-67.
The fourth article of my PhD research has been published in the Journal of Social Science Education (JSSE). A nice bonus: JSSE provides immediate open access to its content!
This article, ‘A Qualitative Study on Learning and Teaching With Learning Paths in a Learning Management System‘, presents the findings of a qualitative study (carried out between 2011 and 2013) about the adoption and implementation of learning paths within a Learning Management System (LMS). Sixteen secondary school biology teachers of the GO! Network in Flanders (an urbanized region in Belgium) were involved in the study and questioned via semi-structured interviews. Two research questions are addressed: (1) what are the perceived conditions at school and at teacher level affecting the use of learning paths? (2) how are these conditions related to the expected outcomes? Research results show teachers are satisfied with learning paths as an educational tool, but reflect mixed feelings as to the impact on student learning outcomes. Clear barriers are identified at the school and teacher level, thwarting the implementation of learning paths in secondary education. The availability of a reliable and accessible ICT infrastructure, the quality of technical and pedagogical support, teacher professional development and the mastery of teacher Information and Communication Technology competencies, among others, were found to be essential.
If you use the article, please cite as:
De Smet, C., Valcke, M., Schellens, T., De Wever, B., & Vanderlinde, R. (2016). A Qualitative Study on Learning and Teaching With Learning Paths in a Learning Management System. Journal of Social Science Education, 15(1), 27-37.
I’m enrolled in a MOOC where we are encouraged to reflect upon questions such as: “What’s the biggest design challenge that you have ever faced? Did you overcome it? How? “
I have experience with design projects on two educational levels: secondary education and higher education. My experience with both levels is more or less the same: a design challenge is usually not the problem, the barriers on the teacher and the school level are much harder to overcome.
My most ambitious design challenge was undoubtedly the research I conducted in order to obtain my PhD. We developed a teacher survey to investigate the instructional use of LMS (Learning Management Systems) in secondary education. Based on these results, we designed learning paths and examined in two quasi-experimental studies whether gender, group composition (collaborative learning) and the way learning paths are designed and implemented, have an impact on learning outcomes. To complete the circle, my last study reported on teacher perceptions of learning path usage within the LMS.
In short (my complete dissertation can be downloaded here), we faced some design challenges, but those were rather easy to overcome. However, we also identified clear barriers at both the school and the teacher level, and they were out of my league. More specifically, the lack of a reliable and accessible ICT infrastructure, the unavailability to the teacher of qualitative technical and pedagogical support and the underinvestment in professional development (resulting in low levels of teacher related ICT competencies), were frequently reported as essential factors hindering ICT-usage in the classroom.
Higher education: Continue reading “What are the biggest design challenges you faced? #OutstandingMOOC”
Don’t know what to read this summer?
How about reading a dissertation?
If this sounds like heaven to you, you are welcome to journey yourself through this incredibly exciting work 🙂
“Using a learning management system in secondary education: Design and implementation characteristics of learning paths”
It has been a great adventure. But now, 7 years later, I’m happy I finally arrived at my destination and became doctor of educational sciences!
I’ve got lots of ideas for the future, but first things first. I will take some days off to rest and to celebrate after all those years of hard work.
The second article of my PhD research has been published in Interactive Learning Environments (2014 – online version) and (2016, journal).
This article, ‘The design and implementation of learning paths in a learning management system’, investigates whether a particular design and implementation of learning paths has a beneficial impact on learning outcomes, and gender as a co-variables. It reports on the results of empirical research about using learning paths in a secondary education setting. The quasi-experimental study took place in the context of a biology course. Twenty-nine different classes, involving 360 secondary school students, were selected at random to participate in particular research conditions of the study. All biology teachers (N = 8; 3 males, 5 females) teaching in the third grade of the six participating schools were willing to take part in the study. A 2 x 2 factorial research design was adopted. Learning activities (1) differed in design and (2) were either undertaken individually or collaboratively. Gender was considered as a critical co-variables given the focus on science learning. Multilevel analyses were applied to study the impact on learning outcomes according to the design of learning paths, the individual/collaborative setting, and the co-variables gender. The results were helpful to direct research about the design and implementation of learning paths in a secondary school setting.
If you use the article as published in Interactive Learning Environments (2014), please cite as:
De Smet, C., Schellens, T., De Wever, B., Brandt-Pomares, P., & Valcke, M. (2016). The design and implementation of learning paths in a learning management system. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(6), 1076-1096.
The first article of my PhD research has been published in Computers & Education (2012): Researching instructional use and the technology acceptation of LMS by secondary school teachers.
In this paper we research the technology acceptation of LMS by secondary school teachers, based on a conceptual acceptance model including: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and subjective norm (traditional TAM2 components), personal innovativeness towards IT (Agarwal & Prasad, 1998), internal ICT support (Tondeur, Van Keer, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008), and experience (Sun & Zhang, 2006). In addition, we examine how secondary school teachers use LMS. We scrutinized LMS functionalities available and used by our target group when adopting one of the three most often used LMS: Dokeos, Blackboard, and Smartschool (De Smet & Schellens, 2009). Continue reading “Researching instructional use and the technology acceptation of learning management systems”