• Hands-On Math and Art Exhibition Promoting Science Attitudes and Educational Plans

      Helena Thuneberg; Hannu Salmi; Kristof Fenyvesi (Hindawi Limited, 2017-01-01)
      The current science, technology, engineering, art, math education (STEAM) approach emphasizes integration of abstract science and mathematical ideas for concrete solutions by art. The main aim was to find out how experience of learning mathematics differed between the contexts of school and an informal Math and Art Exhibition. The study participants (N=256) were 12-13 years old from Finland. Several valid questionnaires and tests were applied (e.g., SRQ-A, RAVEN) in pre- and postdesign showing a good reliability. The results based on General Linear Modeling and Structural Equation Path Modeling underline the motivational effects. The experience of the effectiveness of hands-on learning at school and at the exhibition was not consistent across the subgroups. The lowest achieving group appreciated the exhibition alternative for math learning compared to learning math at school. The boys considered the exhibition to be more useful than the girls as it fostered their science and technology attitudes. However, for the girls, the attractiveness of the exhibition, the experienced situation motivation, was much more strongly connected to the attitudes on science and technology and the worthiness of mathematics. Interestingly, the pupils experienced that even this short informal learning intervention affected their science and technology attitudes and educational plans.
    • How Do School Children and Adolescents Perceive the Nature of Talent Development? A Case Study from Finland

      Elina Kuusisto; Sonja Laine; KIRSI TIRRI (Hindawi Limited, 2017-01-01)
      This article examines how school children and adolescents (N=607) perceive the nature of talent development. More particularly it is investigated whether students perceive intelligence and giftedness as developing or as inherent and how students’ perspectives on talent development are related to their learning outcomes. Participants were students in elementary (n=200), lower secondary (n=256), and upper secondary school (n=151). The results showed that students perceived the nature of intelligence as more malleable than giftedness. Along with this domain-specific variance, there were also age and gender related differences in students’ perceptions. By examining the relation between implicit beliefs and students’ academic achievements, it was found that growth-oriented views about intelligence, but fixed ideas about giftedness, indicated higher math grades. The results suggest that the relationship between implicit beliefs and academic outcomes might not be as straightforward as previous studies have suggested.
    • How Environmental Attitudes Interact with Cognitive Learning in a Science Lesson Module

      Maximiliane F. Schumm; Franz X. Bogner (Hindawi Limited, 2016-01-01)
      As cognitive knowledge plays a major role in supporting proenvironmental behavior, identification of individual aspects related to knowledge acquisition is essential. Our study monitored knowledge levels before and after a science-based lesson set in relation to self-reported behavior and attitudinal preferences (attitudes towards environmental Preservation and Utilization) of 190 students (Mage  ± SD: 15.96 ± 0.55; 51.1% female). A knowledge questionnaire was completed once before and twice after participation. Additionally, (i) the 2-MEV (two Major Environmental Values) and (ii) the GEB (General Ecological Behavior) were applied. Girls showed higher Preservation but lower Utilization attitudes than boys did. Learning success was positively related to Preservation preferences (for girls) as well as to behavior-based scores (for girls and boys). For boys, high preferences in Utilization were negatively correlated with learning achievement.
    • How Teachers Understand and Use Power in Alternative Assessment

      Kelvin H. K. Tan (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      “Alternative assessment” is an increasingly common and popular discourse in education. The potential benefit of alternative assessment practices is premised on significant changes in assessment practices. However, assessment practices embody power relations between institutions, teachers and students, and these power relationships determine the possibility and the extent of actual changes in assessment practices. Labelling a practice as “alternative assessment does not guarantee meaningful departure from existing practice. Recent research has warned that assessment practices in education cannot be presumed to empower students in ways that enhance their learning. This is partly due to a tendency to speak of power in assessment in undefined terms. Hence, it would be useful to identify the types of power present in assessment practices and the contexts which give rise to them. This paper seeks to examine power in the context of different ways that alternative assessment is practiced and understood by teachers. Research on teachers’ conceptions of alternative assessment is presented, and each of the conceptions is then analysed for insights into teachers’ meanings and practices of power. In particular, instances of sovereign, epistemological and disciplinary power in alternative assessment are identified to illuminate new ways of understanding and using alternative assessment.
    • How to Support Children with Mathematical Learning Disabilities Learning to Play an Instrument?

      Annemie Desoete (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      In this study, children with a mathematical learning disability (=14) and age-matched peers without learning disabilities (=14) as well as their parents and teachers were interviewed on how they experienced playing an instrument (guitar, drum, flute, violin, trombone, horn, and piano) and on what helped them using a qualitative interactive interview with a flexible agenda to discover the interviewee’s own framework of meanings. Thematic analyses mentioned intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy as important. Some children with MLD were found to have a real musical talent and a very good musical ear and memory for sounds. However, all children with MLD seemed more dependent on the aid of parents, sibling, peers, and teachers. They had to study harder and needed more time to study, more practice, and a more structured approach.
    • ICT Adoption Impact on Students’ Academic Performance: Evidence from Saudi Universities

      Wael Sh. Basri; Jehan A. Alandejani; Feras M. Almadani (Hindawi Limited, 2018-01-01)
      This study investigates and explores the adoption of information communication technology by the universities and the impact it makes on the university students’ academic performance. The study also examines the moderators’ effect of gender, GPA, and student majors on the relationship between ICT and academic achievement. By using a quantitative research approach and a sample size of 1000 students, data were collected about the ICT adoption in universities and the relative performance of students belonging to four Saudi universities. Structure equation modelling was chosen to determine the validity of the research model. The Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS), specially used for structural equation modelling and path analysis, was used as the research tool. The findings reveal that there exists a relationship between ICT adoption and academic performance in a conservative environment. An additional finding also stated that ICT adoption resulted in the improvement of the performance of female students more than the male. However, students’ IT major was found to be making no impact on students’ academic achievement. A discussion of findings, limitations, and suggestions for future research has been provided in the study. Finally, it also provides implications of the current study to the existing knowledge.
    • Identification of Hispanic English Language Learners in Special Education

      Gail I. Becker; Aaron R. Deris (Hindawi Limited, 2019-01-01)
      Overrepresentation of English language learners (ELLs) in special education is a current problem. Urban school professionals indicated that inappropriate placement is linked to a multiplicity of factors. Scarce data exist regarding the relationship between school professional efficacy beliefs, the availability of bilingual programs and personnel for ELLs, and successful academic outcomes. School employees are still confused about the proper placement of English language learners (ELLs). What is enough time to acquire a second language and learn with success? Without other substantial program choices, children are referred to special education. Furthermore, many students in need of special education may be overlooked and remain in ESL programs for their entire school career. The aim of this study was to identify the role staff member’s efficacy plays in the proper determination of an ELL with a language difference or disability. Child study team (CST) members (n=14) working with a large Hispanic ELL population participated in semistructured interviews to determine the role their efficacy beliefs exert during assessment of linguistically diverse students. Overwhelmingly, staff members noted that they did not feel competent when making decisions regarding ELLs. Therefore, staff members placed the children into special education each time. The practice implications come from the prominent themes that include significant in-district professional development on second language acquisition, facilitation of second language through use of first language through bilingual staff, and committed bilingual programs to meet ELL needs. Additionally, universities must provide coursework that furthers second language acquisition theories and strategies for all teacher candidate programs.
    • Identification of the Most Commonly Used Laboratory Techniques in Regenerative Medicine: A Roadmap for Developing a Competency Based Education Curriculum

      Stephen L. Rego; Cheryl Burrell; Melissa Nielsen; Tatjana Grove; Amritha Kidiyoor; Vatashea Flournoy; Cheri Silverman; Shawn Hill; Grady Beard; Dwaine Davis (Hindawi Limited, 2016-01-01)
      Here, we are proposing and testing the use of literature reviews as a method to identify essential competencies for specific fields. This has implications in how educators develop and structure both traditional and competency based curricula. Our focus will be on utilizing this method to identify the most relevant and commonly used techniques in the field of regenerative medicine. This publication review method may be used to develop competency based education (CBE) programs that focus on commonly utilized skills. CBE is an emerging trend in higher education that will greatly enhance student learning experiences. CBE works by providing students with field specific skills and knowledge; thus, it is imperative for educators to identify the most essential competencies in a given field. Therefore, we reason that a literature review of the techniques performed in studies published in prevalent peer reviewed journals for a given field offers an ideal method to identify and rank competencies that should be delivered to students by a respective curriculum. Here, we reviewed recent articles published on topics in the field of regenerative medicine as a proof of concept for the use of literature reviews as a guide for the development of a regenerative medicine CBE curriculum.
    • Impact of a Social Constructivist Instructional Strategy on Performance in Algebra with a Focus on Secondary School Students

      Umar A. Ginga; Yusuf F. Zakariya (Hindawi Limited, 2020-01-01)
      There have been perennial concerns on the low academic performance of students among researchers and other education stakeholders. Innovative teaching strategies have, therefore, gained prominence in the field of mathematics education. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a social constructivist instructional strategy on students’ performance in algebra. The present study is quasi-experimental, and its type is a posttest control group involving 154 secondary school students that are randomly selected across four intact classes. The random selection of students to treatment and control controls is assumed to improve the validity of the results. Two research questions are raised, and two null hypotheses are formulated and tested at p≤0.05 level of significance. One research instrument, algebra performance test (APT), was developed, pilot-tested (test-retest reliability coefficient of 0.897), and used to measure students’ performance in both treatment and control groups. The data are analyzed using independent sample t-tests. The findings indicate that there are significant differences in the mean performance scores between experimental (mean = 16.05, SD = 2.74) and control (mean = 11.46, SD = 2.49) groups, t(152) = 10.83, p<0.05. These findings may be interpreted to be evidence of the effectiveness of the social constructivist instructional strategy in improving performance in algebra better than the conventional teaching method. Also, a significant difference exists between the mean performance scores of males (mean = 17.83, SD = 2.82) and females (mean = 14.72, SD = 1.77) in the experimental group (t(80) = 6.11, p<0.05). Thus, the effect of the social constructivist instructional strategy on students’ performance in algebra is gender-sensitive. Based on these findings, some recommendations are made to students, teachers, parents, administrators, and other stakeholders.
    • Impact of Cooperative Learning Approaches on Students’ Academic Achievement and Laboratory Proficiency in Biology Subject in Selected Rural Schools, Ethiopia

      Eyayu Molla; Meseret Muche (Hindawi Limited, 2018-01-01)
      The main objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of cooperative learning methods on students’ academic achievement and laboratory proficiency in biology subject. Quasi-experimental control group interrupted time series design was employed. Data pertaining to these variables were collected from 369 students and 18 biology teachers in three schools. A series of biological tests and semistructured questionnaire were used to collect data. Multivariate analysis (two-way ANOVA) was used to analyze the test scores exposed by teaching methods, and semistructured questionnaire was administered to comprehend factors that hamper the successive execution of CL. Hence, multivariate analysis revealed that there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in the pretest score of the learner academic performance; however, there were significant differences (P<0.01) in the posttest results by teaching methods, but not by schools. Correspondingly, there were significant differences in the pretest P<0.05 and posttest (P<0.01) results of the students’ laboratory proficiency by teaching methods. The results exemplify that there was significant learning gain obtained via CLAD followed by cooperative discussion group (CDG). The result from the questionnaire survey showed that the number of students, lack of laboratory equipment, and so on hamper consecutive execution of CL.
    • Implementation of Cooperative Learning in Science: A Developmental-cum-Experimental Study

      Sonam Mehta; A. K. Kulshrestha (Hindawi Limited, 2014-01-01)
      This research paper is designed to set forth ideas on how to implement cooperative learning and examine its effect on social and cooperative skills while imparting science education at the Secondary Level. The strategy used is Jigsaw Technique making heterogeneous groups based on intelligence and gender. Instructional material and observation schedule were constructed by researchers. The cooperative skills of the students were found improving during the experimental period, and they developed positive interdependence, face-to-face interaction skills, and feeling of individual accountability, as compared by Mann Whitney U test. The students developed the feeling of working in a group in the classroom of science, and it also improved performance, as the discussion always leads to a considerable degree of clarity of concepts.
    • Improving Study Skills by Combining a Study Skill Module and Repeated Reflection Seminars

      Björn Hedin; Viggo Kann (Hindawi Limited, 2019-01-01)
      If students have a broad spectrum of study skills, learning will likely be positively affected, since they can adapt the way they learn in different situations. Such study skills can be learned in, for example, learning-to-learn courses. Several studies of such courses have been done over the years, but few of these have been carried out in longitudinal naturalistic settings, where the effect has been evaluated over several years in nonexperimental settings. In this paper, we present a novel approach for learning study skills, as a part of a course running over three years. The course starts with a learning-to-learn module, followed by 11 follow-ups that include, among other things, peer discussions about learning strategies with the aim of promoting self-regulated learning. This evaluation shows which study skills the students were most interested in trying, how successful they were in continuing to use the study skills, and which effects the students believed the study skills had after trying them. No significant change was found in how satisfied the students were with their overall study technique immediately after the initial module, but in the long term, 78% of the students believed the course had promoted their ability to analyze and adapt their study habits. We conclude that our approach could be a useful way to get the students to improve their repertoire and use of study skills, and we believe that the students also will improve general self-regulated learning skills.
    • In Search of Alignment: A Review of Impact Studies in Entrepreneurship Education

      Uladzimir Kamovich; Lene Foss (Hindawi Limited, 2017-01-01)
      This study uses the concept of alignment as a framework to examine empirical research on the impact of entrepreneurship education interventions on students. Alignment assumes that effective instruction requires congruence between three instructional components: intended outcomes, instructional processes, and assessment criteria. Given the extant diversity and complexity of entrepreneurship education impact, scholars have not been able to explain how teaching approaches and methods are being adjusted to the variety of expected outcomes. In order to address this gap, we critically reviewed the published empirical studies on entrepreneurship education impact in 20 journals over a 15-year period (2000–2015). We found 16 empirical studies that met our inclusion criteria. Our findings revealed that teaching objectives, teaching methods, and teaching content receive scant attention from researchers. This study will be of value to scholars researching the impact of heterogeneous entrepreneurship education practices and approaches on individuals. Our analytical framework could contribute to less contradictory findings of entrepreneurship education impact studies. We also identify research limitations and suggest avenues for future research.
    • Increasing Trends in Orthopedic Fellowships Are Not due to Inadequate Residency Training

      K. A. Almansoori; M. Clark (Hindawi Limited, 2015-01-01)
      Orthopedic residents have one of the highest fellowship participation rates among medical specialities and there are growing concerns that inadequate residency training may be contributing to this trend. Therefore, a mixed-exploratory research survey was distributed to all 148 graduating Canadian orthopedic residents to investigate their perceptions and attitudes for pursuing fellowships. A response rate of 33% (n=49) was obtained with the majority of residents undertaking one (27%) or two (60%) fellowships. Surgical-skill development was reported as the most common motivating factor, followed by employment and marketability; malpractice protection and financial reasons were the least relevant. The overwhelming majority of residents (94%, n=46) felt adequately prepared by their residency training for independent general practice, and 84% (n=41) of respondents did not feel that current fellowship trends were due to poor residency training. Three common themes were expressed in their comments: the growing perceived expectation by healthcare professionals and employers to be fellowship-certified, the integration of fellowship training into the surgical education hierarchy, and the failure of residency training curriculums to accommodate for this trend. In conclusion, Canadian orthopedic residents are confident of their residency training and are increasingly pursuing fellowships to primarily develop their surgical skills and expertise.
    • Indicators of Achievement in EFL Classes at a Taiwanese University

      Brent Allan Kelsen; Hsin-yi Liang (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      Understanding the factors that contribute to student success is crucial for educators. This study estimated the indicators of success in the context of student achievement in university EFL courses in Taiwan. Data was collected from two classes of sophomore students and various student assessment aspects served as dependent variables: overall final grade, final exam score, oral test performance, and scores received on the listening, reading, and writing sections of the final exam. Explanatory variables included: years of English study, gender, part-time work, total hours studying English, participation in English-taught program, English language aptitude, first language ability, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, language anxiety, attendance, reading English for pleasure, and socioeconomic status. Pearson product-moment correlations were calculated and stepwise multiple regression analyses identified selections of variables that explained the dependent variables. Multiple regressions using the selected variables suggested that hours spent studying English, participation in the English taught program, first language ability, attendance and reading for pleasure were the most significant indicators of achievement. All models provided statistically significant moderate to strong explanatory power. Finally, this paper offers pedagogical considerations based on the results, as well as suggestions for future research.
    • Information Updating in Working Memory: Its Effect on Teacher Efficacy

      Jun Tao (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      Teacher efficacy has a great impact on effective teaching and has been studied in various perspectives. The updating information ability in working memory is always related with many capabilities of cognition. An experiment of N-back task and a questionnaire of teacher efficacy were conducted in this study to test the effect of the ability of information updating in working memory on the teacher efficacy. A significant difference was found in the reaction time between high teacher efficacy group and low teacher efficacy group. The results showed that teachers who scored higher in the teacher efficacy scale tended to react faster than those who scored lower based on the same accuracy. And the updating information ability could serve as a predictor of teacher efficacy.
    • Integrating Scientific English into Biological Sciences PhD Programs in Developing Countries: Strategies from Trainees and Mentor

      Camila H. Coelho; Gaspar E. Canepa; Gunjan Arora; Patrick E. Duffy (Hindawi Limited, 2019-01-01)
      Successful researchers in the biological sciences communicate their work to a global audience and must do so in English to be widely recognized and cited. This applies equally to scientific talks, posters, and published articles; thus, scientific English must be prioritized in nonnative English-speaking (NNES) academic institutions to prepare their trainees for successful careers. Here, we propose strategies for integrating scientific English into PhD programs operating in NNES countries. Many graduate students from NNES countries strive for an international career and encounter English as an important barrier. Based on our own experiences as NNES postdoctoral fellows at a US institution, or as a US mentor of these trainees, we contend that conventional learning processes at home institutions do not sufficiently prioritize scientific English as the medium for regular discussions of laboratory-generated data. Principal investigators, mentors, and supervisors are key in promoting English language usage as a structured component of PhD training. If these stakeholders routinely integrate English training and education within the research laboratory program, graduates will be equipped to pursue international academic careers. The ideas presented here are intended for NNES PhD students (and their mentors) who seek an international scientific career in the biological sciences.
    • Interactive Whiteboards in Mathematics Teaching: A Literature Review

      Mauro De Vita; Lieven Verschaffel; Jan Elen (Hindawi Limited, 2014-01-01)
      An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a relatively new tool that provides interesting affordances in the classroom environment, such as multiple visualization and multimedia presentation and ability for movement and animation. These affordances make IWBs an innovative tool with high potential for mathematics instructional environments. IWBs can be used to focus on the development of specific mathematical concepts and to improve mathematical knowledge and understanding. The aim of this paper is to review the existing literature upon the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in mathematics classrooms. The reviewed studies offer a wide view of IWBs’ affordances, of the more interesting didactic practices, and of the difficulties of embedding this new technology in the classroom. The capabilities of IWBs to enhance the quality of interaction, and, consequently, to improve conceptual mathematical understanding are broadly recognized. Despite these capabilities, evidence from the studies points to a certain inertia on the part of many teachers to do anything else than use IWBs as large-scale visual blackboards or presentation tools. The emerging view of how to attempt to overcome these obstacles is that there is need for greater attention to the pedagogy associated with IWB use and, more specifically, to stimulate the design of new kinds of learning environments.
    • International Student’s Challenge and Adjustment to College

      Hsiao-ping Wu; Esther Garza; Norma Guzman (Hindawi Limited, 2015-01-01)
      International students’ enrollment in higher education in the US has expanded considerably in the last decades. In this study, international students’ experiences were examined in academic and sociocultural settings. Through qualitative interviews, the findings revealed that international students deal with academic challenges, social isolation, and cultural adjustment. Specifically, academic challenges included communication with professors, classmates, and staff. Consequently, they have to deal with social isolation when engaging in different group activities. Culturally, they need to confront the different ways of thinking and doing in the US. In order to overcome these challenges, students have adopted resources that mainly are derived from the university to overcome these challenges. Thus, as demonstrated in this study, having a better understanding of these students’ academic challenges, university faculty and staff can recognize students’ needs and effectively offer supportive campus resources and services. The university needs to be prepared to meet students not only academically but also socially and culturally. This study also suggests that some preparations need to be made by the university that will embrace international students upon their arrival.
    • Investigating Determinants of Student Satisfaction in the First Year of College in a Public University in the State of Qatar

      Bothaina Al-Sheeb; Abdel Magid Hamouda; Galal M. Abdella (Hindawi Limited, 2018-01-01)
      Purpose. A first-year student’s life is a web of interrelated academic and social experiences. Most universities have rigorous processes to achieve excellence or reach high-quality standards, with “Student Satisfaction” being the central focus of all of higher education aims for excellence. This study examined the influence of various academic, social, and environmental aspects on the overall satisfaction of first-year students. Design. A questionnaire was designed and administered to first-year students, and the resulting data were analyzed using correlation, linear regression, binary logistic regression, and artificial neural networks. Findings. The findings suggested that three of the five factors explored—100-level course satisfaction, a sense of belonging, and citizenship knowledge and skills—were the best determinants of the level of first-year student satisfaction. Originality. This study examined the influence of academic, social, and environmental factors on overall student satisfaction with the college experience. Many studies have focused on how factors such as student attitudes, perceptions, and academic and social engagements impact first-year student success and retention; however, few studies have attempted to explore the influence these factors have on student satisfaction and their overall perceptions of the college experience. Discussion and Conclusion. This study has provided a snapshot of some of the key determinants of the overall student satisfaction of the first-year experience. This study can assist college administrators and instructors in their quality assurance initiatives which may include reviewing the current system, setting college priorities, and planning and allocation of future resources to better achieve higher levels of student satisfaction.