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Examining the key influencing factors on college students’ higher-order thinking skills in the smart classroom environmentAbstract To understand the development of students’ higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) in the smart classroom environment, a structural equation modeling analysis was used to examine the relationships between key factors that influence students’ learning and their HOTS within a smart classroom environment. A sample of 217 first-year Chinese college students, who studied in a smart classroom environment for one semester, completed a survey that measures their smart classroom preferences, learning motivation, learning strategy, peer interaction, and HOTS. The results indicated that peer interaction and learning motivation had a direct impact on students’ HOTS. Furthermore, indirect effects were found between students’ learning strategy and HOTS through the mediator peer interaction, and between smart classroom preferences and HOTS through the following: learning motivation, the combination of learning strategy and peer interaction, and the combination of learning motivation, learning strategy and peer interaction. Based on these findings, this study recommends that instructors teaching in a smart learning environment should focus on improving peer interaction and learning motivation, as well as smart classroom preferences and learning strategy, to hone students’ HOTS.
Transitioning to the “new normal” of learning in unpredictable times: pedagogical practices and learning performance in fully online flipped classroomsAbstract The COVID-19 outbreak has compelled many universities to immediately switch to the online delivery of lessons. Many instructors, however, have found developing effective online lessons in a very short period of time very stressful and difficult. This study describes how we successfully addressed this crisis by transforming two conventional flipped classes into fully online flipped classes with the help of a cloud-based video conferencing app. As in a conventional flipped course, in a fully online flipped course students are encouraged to complete online pre-class work. But unlike in the conventional flipped approach, students do not subsequently meet face-to-face in physical classrooms, but rather online. This study examines the effect of fully online flipped classrooms on student learning performance in two stages. In Stage One, we explain how we drew on the 5E framework to design two conventional flipped classes. The 5E framework consists of five phases—Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. In Stage Two, we describe how we transformed the two conventional flipped classes into fully online flipped classes. Quantitative analyses of students’ final course marks reveal that the participants in the fully online flipped classes performed as effectively as participants in the conventional flipped learning classes. Our qualitative analyses of student and staff reflection data identify seven good practices for videoconferencing-assisted online flipped classrooms.
Critical Thinking Level among Medical Sciences Students in IranBackground. Critical thinking is one of the most important missions of the educational planning system of medical sciences universities around the world. Hence, identifying the level of critical thinking skills and tendency of medical sciences students to think critically is of great importance. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to examine the critical thinking level in medical sciences students in Iran. Methods. To extract published studies in the field of critical thinking in Iran, a search was conducted in the databases of PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ERIC, and Magiran. The keywords of critical thinking, medical sciences, and Iran were used for the purpose of the search in the two languages of Persian and English and without any time limit. The PRISMA flow diagram was applied for the selection of articles, and the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale was used for the evaluation of these papers. Results. After evaluating the quality of searched articles, 80 articles were finally selected for the final analysis. The total sample of the articles included 12,578 students. The results indicated that out of 51 articles conducted in the field of critical thinking skills, 48 articles reported these skills at a low level, 2 papers at a medium level, and only 1 paper at a high level in the medical sciences students. Among 29 articles in the field of the level of critical thinking disposition, 13 articles reported their tendency level at a low level, 11 articles at a medium level, and 5 articles at a high level. Conclusion. In general, based on most articles, the level of critical thinking skills in the medical sciences students in Iran was reported to be at a low level and their tendency to critical thinking at a moderate level and low level. Therefore, given the importance of critical thinking for medical sciences students, future studies should consider factors influencing the increase of the critical thinking level in these students. In this regard, formation of some training workshops can also be promising. Furthermore, reviewing the medical sciences curriculum should be taken into consideration by the policymakers and educational planners so as to strengthen the level of critical thinking in the medical sciences students.
Assessing Distance Learning in Higher Education during the COVID-19 PandemicThis qualitative study is an investigation and assessment of distance learning in Morocco during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research surveyed 3037 students and 231 professors enrolled in different stages of higher education programs. It aims to investigate the limitations of e-learning platforms and how these activities take place at public and private Moroccan universities during the coronavirus confinement. For this purpose, two structured questionnaires were constructed by researchers from different specialties, and the type of data was based on the responses of students and professors from 15 universities. In this paper, we have used three methods: descriptive analysis, regression analysis, and qualitative response analysis. As a data analytics tool, Microsoft Power BI was used to analyze data, visualize it, and draw insights. In this study, both professors and students stated that online learning is not more interesting than ordinary learning and professors need to provide at least 50% of their teaching in face-to-face mode. Recommendations at teaching and technical levels, such as the need for technical support and training in the use of these tools, were provided to enhance and promote distance education in Morocco. The contribution of this paper comes as a result of data analysis obtained from a survey conducted in some famous Moroccan universities.
Using Guided Discovery to Improve Students’ Retention and Academic Attitudes to Financial Accounting ConceptsFinancial Accounting is one of the specialised subjects in the Nigerian senior secondary school curriculum. It is no gain saying that without apposite comprehension of the subject, the goals of its inclusion in the curriculum might not be fully accomplished. Hence, the researchers are in quest of appropriate instructional strategies that entail students’ active participation and improve students’ learning outcomes (attitude and retention) through practice-oriented research. Consequently, this research determined the effectiveness of guided discovery instructional strategy, in relation to a conventional lecture, on learning outcomes of students in Financial Accounting concepts. This study adopted a nonrandomized pretest, posttest, control group quasiexperimental design with a 2 × 2 × 3 factorial design. 147 secondary school students in level 5 were selected from eight secondary schools in the northern part of a Southwestern state, Nigeria. The research instruments used were Teachers’ Instructional Guides on Guided Discovery, Students’ Attitude to Financial Accounting Questionnaire (r = 0.89) and a 30-item Financial Accounting Retention Test (r = 0.83). The analyzed data affirmed that the treatment improved students’ attitude (F(1,134) = 344.935; p<0.05; η2 = 0.720) and retention (F(1,134) = 385.431; p<0.05; η2 = 0.742) of accounting concepts. This study recommended that teachers should utilize the guided discovery strategy to develop attitudes and knowledge retention of learners in Financial Accounting.