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Discussion 5




For this discussion, please read:


8 chapters of the 2004 edition (3rd edition)


12  

13



14

15


16


17


18


19


We have questions for each of these chapters



The following questions are submitted by Patricia, Janice and Stephan


The readings are numbers 12-19 from the Second Edition  == and there is a supplementary reading (link at the end of this list)


The questions are numbered  12A, 12B (for the first and second questions for the number 12 reading)




Questions for documents


READING 12

RESEARCH ON LEARNING FROM TELEVISION

Barbara Seels

et al


12. A:  BACKGROUND

The author describe three "futures" in section 12.2.6

What does this mean in terms of the way children interact with and learn from television? First, the greater flexibility, ver- satility, and accessibility will increase the options children are faced with and the need for structure and guidance from parents and teachers. Children will also clearly need to develop more sophisticated literacy and interpretation skills. Whether or not these can or will be provided by schools and families is hard to predict at this point, given the poor success of critical viewing skills and the looser family structure.

Second, the highly interactive nature of the Internet and Internet–television hybrid types of media will provide children with more activities to interact with the technology and the in- formation provided by it, rather than functioning as lower-level receptors of the broadcast medium. In this way, the full effect of the active theory will become apparent.

A third future lies in the increasingly enhanced realism of computer-television technology. Researchers are predicting that the innovations of virtual reality technology, which are now evolving commercially in video game formats, will enhance the realism of the computer-television medium particularly for ed- ucational purposes.

12A:  QUESTION:   What role should schools take in providing the needs identified in the article?




12B:  QUESTION

In section 12.3.4, describe the two theories about how students relate with TV and moving images.



12C:  QUESTION 

Look at figure 12.1 on page 265.  In two sentences, interpret the graph, describing two extremes.




12 D:  QUESTION in Section 12.4 the relationship between performance in school and amount of TV "consumed" is discussed.    12.4.2.1 discusses four theories:  

the displacement theory,* the information processing theory, the short-term gratifications theory, and the interest stimulation theory. 

Summarize each in your own words and give an example to support the one or two that you favor most.



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READING 13


DISCIPLINED INQUIRY AND THE STUDY OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Orrill, Hannafin, Glazer


13A:  BACKGROUND

page 340

13.2.1.5.1 Virtual Reality Usability Research. Early VR researchers were interested in whether learning could occur in virtual environments and to what extent it occurred as well as on the usability issues of such systems.

13A:  Question:  Give examples of how VR can be used to induce learning.


13 B:  Background:  The author concludes the article with the following words

The very same “things” are often examined in dramatically different ways—different questions, different theoretical frame- works, different methods and measures. It is the unique lens through which innovation is viewed that influences what is stud- ied and how it is studied. To refine and understand one’s lens is to define the researchers frame; to communicate this frame effectively is to reveal the basic foundations, assumptions and biases underlying a research study or program of research.

13B:  QUESTION

Looking back at this article, how have your foundation, assumptions, and biases been changed by any particular piece of research?





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READING 14

DISTANCE EDUCATION

Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena University of New Mexico

Marina Stock McIsaac


14A:  BACKGROUND:  The authors end the article with these observations

Distance education is no longer viewed as a marginal educaional activity. Instead, it is regarded internationally as a viable and cost effective way of providing individualized and interactive instruction. Recent developments in technology are erasing the lines between traditional and distance learners 

14A:  Question:  What are the developments that are erasing the lines between traditional and distance learners?



14:B  BACKGROUND   The article states… 

The content of future research should:

--  Move beyond media comparison studies and reconceptual- ize media and instructional design variables in the distance learning environment.

--  Examine the characteristics of the distance learner and investigate the collaborative effects of media attributes and cognition 

--  Explore the relationship between media and the socio-cultural

construction of knowledge 

--   Identify course design elements effective in interactive learn-

ing systems 

--   Contribute to a shared international research database 

--  Examine the cultural effects of technology and courseware

transfer in distance education programs

14B:  QUESTION:  The extra article that we selected focused on one aspect of this list…  the collaboration between the attributes of media and the effects on cognition.

After you read the article, please describe the collaboration between the attributes of the media.  The link to the article is

http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/science/article/pii/S036013151100114X



http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.05.008



(see the article at the end of this list of questions.)




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READING 15

COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION


Alexander Romiszowski Syracuse University

Robin Mason The Open University


15A  QUESTION:

What recommendations do you find useful in the section on individual student styles, perceptions and attitudes?  (15.4.1.3)   In particular, what does the final recommendation (just above the heading for 15.4.2) imply for the conduct of simulations?  

(Context for this question;  Many of us in this course are taking or have taken or will take a course in Simulation which asks us.  One of the requirements of the course is to conduct all sessions for student interaction in WIMBA. )



15B:  Background

In 15.4.2.2 the article discusses resistance by teachers to online instruction.   

15B QUESTION:  What items in that discussion have you heard on your campus?  When you talk to colleagues about online experiences, what types of resistance do they mention?  What if any of the remedies mentioned in the article might be appropriate in your school?  (explain)




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READING 16


EXPLORING RESEARCH ON INTERNET-BASED LEARNING: FROM INFRASTRUCTURE TO INTERACTIONS


Janette R. Hill University of Georgia

David Wiley Utah State University

Laurie Miller Nelson



The authors begin this article by aiming to identify unresolved issues and problems that might help guide future research.


16A  QUESTION

on page 438 there is a list of points from a study about student satisfaction…   

A. Faculty Responsibility

B. Facilitating Discussions

C. Course Requirements 

Select at least two points in the list and elaborate.   


16B QUESTION

Section 16.54.2 about "Shifting from Face to Face to Online Contexts" lists four factors (workload, communication, satisfaction, and cultural considerations.

).  Select two and comment on how your viewpoint has shifted or become strengthened during your time as an online student.  With the fourth factor, Instructor Satisfaction, comment on how you will probably answer if you ever become an online instructor (or if you current teach online).



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READING 17

VIRTUAL REALITIES

Hilary McLellan McLellan Wyatt Digital



Background:  Dan Pink (author of Drive, A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation) suggests that people under 30 years old should band together and take a person over-30-years old and drag him into a room filled with video games.  They should keep the older person in there until the older person finally gets the idea that video games are a form of education.  


17A:  QUESTION

If you are over 30 years old, how do you react to the statement that Dan Pink makes?  Are video games (kill the zombie, every man for himself, Grand theft auto) educational?

If you are under 30, what rationale would you use to persuade the older person -- or is Dan Pink wrong?  What elements of video games are in fact useful for training?



17B:  Background

Please focus on this article's fourth section, 17.4  VR application in education and training

The section gives examples of some of the websites describing these programs.

I visited http://www.firsthand.com/creations/zengo-sayu.html

ASK YOURSELF

a)  What elements of the simulation in language learning are useful?

b)  what elements are frustrating to you?  What does the VR simulation need to improve?

If you don't want to look at the Japanese language demonstration (also available on youtube at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPu0Hn4Sjgs) 

You can try some of the other items located at FIRSTHAND.com

http://www.firsthand.com/creations/

(the location is no longer http://www.imprintit.com/ CreationsBody.html)

QUESTION 17B

Choose at least one of these links, play the demonstration and describe your reaction:  … has the author Hilary McLelan accurately described the experience of simulation and VR in education?





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READING 18


THE LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER: TOUCHSTONE FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS

Delia Neuman University of Maryland



THE ARTICLE BEGINS with a quotation.  "the instructional designer from within" (suggesting the in-house designer of curriculum enhancements.)


18A  QUESTION

What is part of the role of the media center specialist of the future?

(Section 18.6 might be particularly helpful.)


18B  Question 

Section 18.7.1 focuses on three aspects of today's situation: Too Little Done, Too Little Studied, Too Narrowly Communicated

What are potential remedies to the problems described in this section?





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READING 19


TECHNOLOGY IN THE SERVICE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING: THE CASE OF THE LANGUAGE LABORATORY

by Warren Roby


Background:

Anyone who went through a high school since 1960 has been exposed to the language learning lab.  It was one of the first instances of electronic technology in the classroom. A teacher can sit and monitor dozens of students:  a flick of the switch and the teacher can hear how Johnny is inventing new ways to mispronounce and garble his second language, then another flick and the teacher is virtually inches away from Sarah's beautifully inflected accent.


19A  QUESTION

According to the author, what is the future of the language lab?  What research should guide the evolution of the language lab of tomorrow?



19B:  Question

The author makes a pointed reference to our textbook (Saettler) -- what evidence would you give to support or contradict the author's evaluation?






=======================  


Plus the bonus article

The synergetic effect of learning styles on the interaction between virtual environments and the enhancement of spatial thinking

Hanoch Hauptman a, *, Arie Cohen b


The link to the bonus article is



http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/science/article/pii/S036013151100114X



http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.05.008



QUESTIONS


QUESTIONS

1.  How has this article helped show the collaboration between media attributes and cognition?

The article states that the purpose of the research was to  find out to what extent exercising spatial abilities in virtual environments affects the spatial thinking of students with different learning styles.




2.  The next questions focuses on the discussion of the article:  

The achievements of the visual students were greater, but not significantly. Chen et al. (2005) encounter the same phenomenon: the style with the highest scores was the one expected to be the highest-achieving, but the difference from other styles was not significant. 


QUESTION:  WHAT POSSIBLE REASONS do the authors offer for the result?   In other words, what attribute of virtual environments help to "level the playing field" among the various learning styles?



Our Subcluster hopes that you have enjoyed selecting among these questions and we look forward to discussing these interesting articles with you.




Janice          Patricia                Stephan



RETURN TO 8008



HERE ARE THE ANSWERS, I THINK, to the questions that I found.  I tried to copy the parts of the articles so they are easy to highlight the answers… 



Questions for documents


12

RESEARCH ON LEARNING FROM TELEVISION

Barbara Seels

et al




The author describe three "futures" in section 12.2.6

What does this mean in terms of the way children interact with and learn from television? First, the greater flexibility, ver- satility, and accessibility will increase the options children are faced with and the need for structure and guidance from parents and teachers. Children will also clearly need to develop more sophisticated literacy and interpretation skills. Whether or not these can or will be provided by schools and families is hard to predict at this point, given the poor success of critical viewing skills and the looser family structure.

Second, the highly interactive nature of the Internet and Internet–television hybrid types of media will provide children with more activities to interact with the technology and the in- formation provided by it, rather than functioning as lower-level receptors of the broadcast medium. In this way, the full effect of the active theory will become apparent.

A third future lies in the increasingly enhanced realism of computer-television technology. Researchers are predicting that the innovations of virtual reality technology, which are now evolving commercially in video game formats, will enhance the realism of the computer-television medium particularly for ed- ucational purposes.



What role should schools take in providing the needs identified in the article?




QUESTION

IN section 12.3.4, two theories about how students relate with TV and moving images.

12.3.4.1 Reactive/Active Theory. Two approaches to un- derstanding the way in which children attend to television have emerged. These positions include the reactive theory* which generally views the child as passive and simply a receptor of in- formation or stimuli delivered by the television, and the active theory* which suggests that children cognitively interact with the information being presented as well as with the viewing environment (Anderson & Lorch, 1983). These two viewpoints generally parallel theoretical orientations to human information processing in that early concepts of the human information processing system were reasonably linear and viewed attention as a relatively receptive process where the learner merely re- acted to stimuli that were perceived (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). Later conceptions of how we process information took the po- sition that we are active participants in selecting and processing incoming stimuli (Anderson, 1980).




QUESTION 

Look at figure 12.1 on page 265.  In two sentences, interpret the graph, describing two extremes.




QUESTION in Secgion 12.4 the relationship between performance in school and amount of TV "consumed" is discussed.    12.4.2.1 discusses four theories:  


the displacement theory,* the information processing theory, the short-term gratifications theory, and the interest stimulation theory. 

Summarize each in your own words and give an example to support the one or two that you favor most.



Television viewing has gained the widespread reputation of be- ing detrimental to scholastic achievement. This perception of many teachers, parents, and researchers stems primarily from the negative statistical relationship sometimes found between amount of time spent watching television and scholastic perfor- mance (Anderson & Collins, 1988). The relationship between television and scholastic achievement is much more compli- cated and complex than such a simple inverse relationship sug- gests (Beentjes & Van der Voort, 1988; Comstock & Paik, 1987, 1991; Neuman, 1991). A review of the research on scholastic achievement, focusing particularly on that produced since the early 1980s, reveals the likelihood of many interacting variables influencing the impact of television.



In her book Literacy in the Television Age, Neuman (1991) examined four prevailing perspectives of the televi- sion/achievement relationship: the displacement theory,* the information processing theory, the short-term gratifications theory, and the interest stimulation theory. Her analysis of the evidence supporting and refuting each of these hypotheses is one of the most accessible and comprehensive to date. She also includes practical suggestions to help parents and teachers de- lineate situations where television can be beneficial for scholas- tic achievement and literacy development. Through Neuman’s framework, we can examine the body of literature on the asso- ciation between television viewing and scholastic achievement.



displacement theory

 Theorists sug- gested that the negative relationship sometimes found between television and achievement occurs because the activities be- ing replaced are those that would enhance school performance (Williams, 1986). 





Information processing Theory

12.4.2.2

Neuman argued that the two pieces of evidence needed to validate the displacement theory, proof that other activities are being replaced and a demonstration that those activities are more beneficial to scholastic achievement than television, have not been adequately established in the literature (Neuman, 1991). Neither leisure reading at home nor homework activi- ties were found to have been displaced consistently by televi- sion. Instead, functionally equivalent media activities such as movies or radio seem to have been affected by television view- ing (Neuman, 1991). Since other activities have not been proved to be more beneficial than television, Neuman found the dis- placement theory unsubstantiated. The body of literature on achievement supports the need for a much more complex and sophisticated model than the simplistic one represented by pure displacement theory. Another trend in achievement research identified by Neuman is information processing theory that ex- amines the ways television’s symbol system impacts mental pro- cessing. This theory was discussed in the section on message design and cognitive processing.






Short term gratification theory

Proponents of this theory, many of whom are teachers, believe that television’s ability to entertain a pas- sive viewer has “fundamentally changed children’s expectations toward learning, creating a generation of apathetic spectators who are unable to pursue long-term goals” (Neuman, 1991, p. 105). They argue that students have come to believe that all activities should be as effortless as watching television and that students’ attention spans are shorter due to such fast-paced programming as Sesame Street (Singer & Singer, 1983).





12.4.2.4 Interest Stimulation Theory. The fourth trend in achievement research discussed by Neuman is the interest stim- ulation theory. This hypothesis suggests that television can po- tentially spark a student’s interest in or imagination about a topic, fostering learning and creativity.






12.4.2.1 Frameworks for Theory. Homik (1981) sug- gested a number of hypotheses for the relationship between television viewing and achievement. Television may (a) replace study time, (b) create expectation for fast paced activities, (c) stimulate interest in school-related topics, (d) teach the same content as schools, (e) develop cognitive skills that may rein- force or conflict with reading skills, and (f ) provide information concerning behaviors. Except for the first hypothesis, Reink- ing and Wu (1990), in their meta-analysis of studies examining television and reading achievement, found little research sys- tematically investigating Homik’s theories.






13


DISCIPLINED INQUIRY AND THE STUDY OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Orrill, Hannafin, Glazer





page 340

13.2.1.5.1 Virtual Reality Usability Research. Early VR re- searchers were interested in whether learning could occur in virtual environments and to what extent it occurred as well as on the usability issues of such systems.


Question:  The author concludes the article with the following words

The very same “things” are often examined in dramatically different ways—different questions, different theoretical frame- works, different methods and measures. It is the unique lens through which innovation is viewed that influences what is stud- ied and how it is studied. To refine and understand one’s lens is to define the researchers frame; to communicate this frame effectively is to reveal the basic foundations, assumptions and biases underlying a research study or program of research.

QUESTION

Looking back at this article, how have your foundation, assumptions, and biases been changed by any particular piece of research?


This chapter has attempted to provide a representative rather than exhaustive review of contrasting, and in some cases com- plementary, community perspectives advanced by emerging technologyresearchers.Itseemstousna ̈ıveandperhapsim- possible to examine research in terms of hardware per se— computers, video, CD-ROM, and the like. By design, we have avoided attempts to organize these trends in terms of techno- logical “things.” Rather, we focus our perspectives and analysis on the kinds of questions researchers from diverse epistemolog- ical backgrounds pose and address related to technology. Our matrix attempts to overlay a framework on emerging technol- ogy research to better understand the kinds of questions asked, the communities who ask them, and the underlying beliefs on which they are based. We build on the distinctions made by Stokes and others who describe research in terms of the under- lying intent of the research community—whether concerned with solving real-world problems of use or developing funda- mental building-block knowledge across settings.

Are there really “new” research questions, or are they varia- tions of existing themes? To be certain, the questions posed and the methods employed vary as a function of the epistemologi- cal biases, contextual factors, social and community values and mores of the researchers. So, perhaps conventional wisdom— the problem and question drive the method—is oversimplified: The very same “things” are often examined in dramatically dif- ferent ways—different questions, different theoretical frame- works, different methods and measures. It is the unique lens through which innovation is viewed that influences what is stud- ied and how it is studied. To refine and understand one’s lens is to define the researchers frame; to communicate this frame effectively is to reveal the basic foundations, assumptions and biases underlying a research study or program of research.

you can go to www.aect.org and use my username   29990

and the password is my last name     mccrea






14



DISTANCE EDUCATION

Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena University of New Mexico

Marina Stock McIsaac


The authors end the article with these observations

Distance education is no longer viewed as a marginal educa- tional activity. Instead, it is regarded internationally as a viable and cost effective way of providing individualized and interac- tive instruction. Recent developments in technology are eras- ing the lines between traditional and distance learners 



The content of future research should:

--  Move beyond media comparison studies and reconceptual- ize media and instructional design variables in the distance learning environment.

--  Examine the characteristics of the distance learner and investigate the collaborative effects of media attributes and cognition 

--  Explore the relationship between media and the socio-cultural

construction of knowledge 

--   Identify course design elements effective in interactive learn-

ing systems 

--   Contribute to a shared international research database 

--  Examine the cultural effects of technology and courseware

transfer in distance education programs


The extra article that we selected focused on one aspect of this list…  the collaboration between the attributes of media and the effects on cognition.


(see the article at the end of this list of questions.)







15

COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION


Alexander Romiszowski Syracuse University

Robin Mason The Open University





What recommendations do you find useful in the section on individual student styles, perceptions and attitudes?  (15.4.1.3)   in particular, 



What does the final recommendation (just above the heading for 15.4.2) imply for the conduct of simulations?  

(Context for this question;  Many of us in this course are taking or have taken or will take a course in Simulation which asks us.  One of the requirements of the course is to conduct all sessions for student interaction in WIMBA. )


page 416



In 15.4.2.2 the article discusses resistance by teachers to online instruction.   What items in that discussion have you heard on your campus?  When you talk to colleagues about online experiences, what types of resistance do they mention?  What if any of the remedies mentioned in the article might be appropriate in your school?  (explain)




16


EXPLORING RESEARCH ON INTERNET-BASED LEARNING: FROM INFRASTRUCTURE TO INTERACTIONS


Janette R. Hill University of Georgia

David Wiley Utah State University

Laurie Miller Nelson



The authors begin this article by aiming to identify unresolved issues and problems that might help guide future research.


QUESTION

on page 438 there is a list of points from a study about student satisfaction…   

A. Faculty Responsibility 1) Learners want prompt feedback from faculty and seem to

appreciate it when these comments were posted in the

discussion forum in a timely manner. 2) Learners want specific feedback and view comments such

as “nice job” or “good response” as being indicative of a

disinterested or lazy faculty member. 3) Learners do not object to opinions being challenged as

long as the individual was not belittled or humiliated for

offering the response. 4) Learners prefer that negative comments be given pri-

vately, preferably through a phone call. B. Facilitating Discussions

1) Learners appreciate and seemed to learn much from the responses of other learners.

2) Learner responses seem to be a valuable aspect of the course.

3) There is perceived guilt among some learners about not posting when postings of other learners have captured the essence of what they wanted to say.

4) Learners do not like it when fellow classmates did not keep current with the weekly online posting require- ments.

5) Learners prefer discussion forums that encourage open and honest dialog; are not dominated by one or two “dom- inant voices”; and are not used to express non-course- related concerns or complaints.

C. Course Requirements 1) Learners want guidelines from faculty regarding course

requirements. 2) Learners were dissatisfied when URLs were inoperative

or incorrect. 3) Learners want to immediately apply information gleaned

in class to life or work situations. 4) Learners did not like being required to purchase books,

articles, various programs or other required material that were not fully utilized by the course instructor.


Select at least two points and elaborate.   


QUESTION

Section 16.54.2 about "Shifting from Face to Face to Online Contexts" lists four factors.  Select two and comment on how your viewpoint has shifted or become strengthened during your time as an online student.  With the fourth factor, Instructor Satisfaction, comment on how you will probably answer if you ever become an online instructor (or if you current teach online).






Another area that has received considerable attention in the literature is related to moving from face-to-face environments to online contexts. In these studies, several factors have been explored. We will discuss four of the most prevalent factors in the following section: workload, communication, satisfaction, and cultural considerations.

16.4.2.1 Workload. Workload has received considerable at- tention in the literature, specifically examining how the move from a face-to-face context impacts workload in a variety of ways. Ryan, Carlton, and Ali (1999) conducted a study focus- ing on viewpoints related to classroom versus World Wide Web modules. A questionnaire was distributed to 96 graduate stu- dents to evaluate perceptions of their experiences in the class- room and on the Web. Several issues were raised from the results of the study, one of which related to workload. According to the researchers, the Internet-based modules required more time on the part of the faculty to respond to the students, as each stu- dent was required to respond to each topic. As a result, a group approach in the face-to-face classroom became a one-on-one approach in the Internet-based environment. The researchers indicated a need to rethink how many students might be in- cluded in an Internet-based learning context as well as how we engage dialogue in learning environments.

Kearsley (2000) has also reported on workload implications for Internet-based learning. Citing Brown, Kearsley indicates that designing a course that is highly interactive creates the high workload. Providing good feedback to students also creates high workload. While Kearsley also offers suggests for how to reduce the workload for instructors (e.g., peer evaluation, use of teaching assistants, multiple choice tests vs. discussion), more research is needed to fully understand the ways in which we

might help reduce the amount of work associated with Internet-

based learning.

16.4.2.2 Communication. One of the key characteristics of Internet-based learning is communication—asynchronous and synchronous. Researchers have explored a variety of factors im- pacting Internet-based communication.

Berger (1999) describes communication lessons she learned from teaching a human resource management course via the Web. The course consisted of 54 students located around the world. The course was the first online experience for Berger, al- though she had 10 years of teaching experience. Suggestions for management of communication were one result of Berger’s ex- perience. Recommendations include: create a single Web page for personal and professional information for all course partic- ipants; place all operational procedures for the course in one location; have students submit assignments within the body of e-mail messages instead of attachments; have students use the e-mail address to which they want responses sent, enabling easy replying; create separate folders for each course requirement to enable easy filing; and be very specific with expectations (e.g., turnaround time with messages and postings) and requirements regarding assignments so as not to confuse students.

Tiene (2000) looked specifically at the advantages and disad- vantages of Internet-based discussions. Tiene surveyed 66 stu- dents involved in five graduate-level online courses over a 2-year period to find out their perceptions of online discussions. Re- sults indicated positive reactions to most aspects of the online discussions, particularly the asynchronous aspects and use of written communication. However, when given a choice, most students indicated a preference for face-to-face discussions, not- ing that online discussions are useful additions to face-to-face discussions. One conclusion that Tiene draws is that instructors use online discussions to enrich face-to-face interactions when such an arrangement is feasible.

Smith, Ferguson, and Caris (2002) also focused on commu- nication in their research. In their study, Smith et al. (2002) interviewed 21 college instructors who had taught online and face-to-face courses. Results from the analysis of the interviews indicated that instructors perceived a difference in commu- nication style in online versus face-to-face classes. Instructors attributed the differences to bandwidth limitations, the asyn- chronous nature of how the courses were designed, and an emphasis on the written word. Smith et al. indicate that the differences provide opportunities and challenges. Opportuni- ties include greater student/instructor equality, deeper class dis- cussions and anonymity. Challenges include a need for greater explicitness in instructions for class activities, increased work- load for instructors and emerging online identities for all partic- ipants.

16.4.2.3 Instructor Satisfaction. Several studies have ex- plored learner satisfaction with Internet-based learning. We were interested in uncovering research related to instructor perceptions of their Internet-based experiences. Several stud- ies have sought to provide insight into the positive and neg- ative reactions that instructors have to working in Internet- based contexts (see the Journal of Asynchronous Learning

Networks for a comprehensive review of faculty satisfaction, http://www.aln.org/alnweb/journal/jaln-vol4issue2–3.htm).

A recent issue of Distance Education Report (2001) pre- sented pros and cons related to instructor satisfaction in Internet-based learning. Fifty faculty members at a major univer- sity in the northeast were involved in the 2001 research study focused on uncovering factors leading to satisfaction and dissat- isfaction with Internet-based learning. Results of the research indicate three key factors contributed to faculty satisfaction: reaching new audiences, highly motivated students, and high levels of interaction. Three key factors were also identified as creating discontent: heavier workload, loss of some degree of control over the course, and lack of recognition of the work associated with Internet-based work in the higher education reward system.

Lee (2001) also explored the factors contributing to instruc- tor satisfaction. The overall purpose of Lee’s research was to examine faculty perceptions of instructional support in relation to a faculty member’s satisfaction in distance teaching. A survey was used to gather data from 237 faculty members from 25 insti- tutions affiliated with the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunication. Lee found that the perception of support from the institution has an impact on instructor satisfaction. Further, Lee reported that in the context of insufficient support faculty tended to be less satisfied with their teaching. A clear implication is that institutional support is not only needed for logistical reasons, it is important for instructor satisfaction with the online experience.

16.4.2.4 Cultural Considerations. Internet-based learning has the clear potential for international impact unlike any other instructional medium to date. Clearly teaching and learning on a global scale is quite a different experience from one that is more situated in a local context. An area that is receiving increased at- tention in the research literature is the impact of cultural issues on teaching via the Internet. Research to date offers insights regarding the promise of Internet-based learning on an interna- tional scale.

McLoughlin (1999) examined the impact of culturally re- sponsive design in the creations of an online unit for indigenous Australian learners. The model used was adapted from Lave’s (1991) community of practice model. McLoughlin reported that the experience indicated that designers of Internet-based envi- ronments need to be aware of the sociocultural background and learning styles of their learners. Further, educators and de- signers need to respect cultural identity, participation styles and expectations of learners from various cultures. As stated by McLoughlin, it is possible to support local communities as well as to support virtual communities that include a multitude of local entities.

Cifuentes and Murphy (2000) conducted a case study explor- ing the effectiveness of distance learning and multimedia tech- nologies in facilitating an expanded learning community in two K–12 contexts in Texas and Mexico. Data sources used in the re- search included portfolios, written reflections, and interviews. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: growth, empow- erment, comfort with technology, and mentoring. Overall, the researchers concluded that powerful teacher relationships were

formed as a result of the Internet-based connections, students’ multicultural understandings were enhanced, and students de- veloped a more positive self-concept as a result of their online interactions. The project offers encouraging insights into the potential of Internet-based learning for breaking down cultural stereotypes.



17

VIRTUAL REALITIES

Hilary McLellan McLellan Wyatt Digital



Dan Pink (author of Drive, A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation) suggests that people under 30 years old should band together and take a person over-30-years old and drag him into a room filled with video games.  They should keep the older person in there until the older person finally gets the idea that video games are a form of education.  


QUESTION

If you are over 30 years old, how do you react to the statement that Dan Pink makes?  Are video games (kill the zombie, every man for himself, Grand theft auto) educational?

If you are under 30, what rationale would you use to persuade the older person -- or is Dan Pink wrong?  What elements of video games are in fact useful for training?



Please focus on this article's fourth section, 17.4  VR application in education and training


The section gives examples of some of the websites describing these programs.

I visited http://www.firsthand.com/creations/zengo-sayu.html


a)  What elements of the simulation in language learning are useful?

b)  what elements are frustrating to you?  What does the VR simulation need to improve?



If you don't want to look at the Japanese language demonstration (also available on youtube at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPu0Hn4Sjgs) 

You can try some of the other items located at FIRSTHAND.com

http://www.firsthand.com/creations/

(the location is no longer http://www.imprintit.com/ CreationsBody.html)


Choose at least one of these links, play the demonstration and describe your reaction:  … has the author Hilary McLelan accurately described the experience of simulation and VR in education?









18


THE LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER: TOUCHSTONE FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS

Delia Neuman University of Maryland



THE ARTICLE BEGINS with a quotation.  "the instructional designer from within" (suggesting the in-house designer of curriculum enhancements.)


QUESTION

What is part of the role of the media center specialist of the future?


Section 18.6 might be particularly helpful.





18.6.1

Today’s Library Media Specialist

18. Library Media Center 513

While the general thrust of Information Power 2 remains the same as that of its predecessor, the document reflects some sig- nificant changes in the field’s understanding of the library media specialist’s overall role for the new century and its “information age.” Acknowledging the library media specialist’s substantial re- sponsibilities in the areas of program management, budgeting, staff supervision, and resource acquisition and maintenance, the new guidelines elevate “program administrator” to the li- brary media specialist’s fourth official role. And bowing to the field’s continuing dislike of the term “instructional consultant” because of its negative connotations, the guidelines substitute the phrase “instructional partner” for this function. No longer having to explain away their own reservations about the sep- arateness inherent in the word “consultant” and the concerns of teacher colleagues who bridled at the notion of superiority implied by the term, library media specialists can more eas- ily assume a collaborative stance—joining “with teachers and others to identify links across student information needs, cur- ricular content, learning outcomes, and a wide variety of print, nonprint, and electronic information resources” (AASL & AECT, 1998, p. 4).

Two other changes in role descriptions from earlier stan- dards documents are also important to note. First, in Informa- tion Power 2’s listing of the four roles now prescribed for the field, “teacher” is listed first; “instructional partner,” second; “in- formation specialist,” third; and “program administrator,” fourth. The committee that prepared the guidelines have been adamant that their intent was not to diminish the traditional “information specialist” role but to highlight the importance of the two in- structional roles in an age in which “Core elements in both learn- ing and information theory . . . converge to suggest that develop- ing expertise in accessing, evaluating, and using information is in fact the authentic learning that modern education seeks to promote” (AASL, AECT, 1998, p. 2). Nevertheless, the order of presentation underlines the full evolution of the library media specialist from a provider of supplementary resources and ser- vices to an essential part of the school’s instructional team with a mandate to use both instructional design and instructional technology to enhance students’ learning.

18.6.2 The Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning

The second important innovation in the document is the inclu- sion of a mechanism intended specifically to help the library media specialist implement the “teacher” and “instructional514 NEUMAN

partner” roles. The Information Literacy Skills for Student Learning (ILSSL) are the core of Information Power 2 and the first learning outcomes related to information use ever endorsed by the two national organizations that represent the library me- dia field. The nine standards and 29 indicators presented in the ILSSL are intended to provide a conceptual framework for the li- brary media specialist’s teaching of “information literacy”—the greatly expanded notion of “library skills”—and for integrating this key element of information-age learning throughout the curriculum. The schema begins with three standards related to basic information literacy, develops through three standards that foster independent learning with information, and culminates in three standards that relate to using information and infor- mation technology in socially responsible ways. The ILSSL are undoubtedly the most important contribution that Information Power 2 makes to the school library media field.

Several features were designed specifically to make the ILSSL useful as tools to support the library media specialist’s instruc- tional design role: the format in which they appear, the pro- vision of suggestions for assessing their achievement, and the inclusion of direct links to standards from a variety of content areas to show their relevance to learning across the curriculum. First, the ILSSL reflect the typical instructional design approach of creating goals and objectives to structure and direct student learning. The first Standard, for example, is “The student who is information literate accesses information effectively”—a state- ment that describes an outcome at a broad, general level. This Standard encompasses five “indicators,” statements that detail specific outcome behaviors that lend themselves to assessment: for example, “Identifies a variety of potential sources of infor- mation” (Standard 1, Indicator 4; AASL & AECT, 1998, p. 11).

For each indicator, three levels of proficiency are suggested “to assist in gauging the extent to which individual students have mastered the components of information literacy.” Exam- ples rather than specific assessment items, these statements “al- low local teachers and library media specialists full flexibility in determining the amount and kind of detail that should structure student evaluations” (AASL & AECT, 1998, p. x). For Standard 1, Indicator 4, the levels are as follows:

Basic Lists several sources of information and explains the kind of in- formation found in each. Proficient Brainstorms a range of sources of information that will meet an information need.

Exemplary Uses a full range of information sources to meet differing information needs. (AASL & AECT, 1998, p. 11)

The format of the statements and the inclusion of sugges- tions for assessing students’ learning clearly give library me- dia specialists a useful tool for designing information literacy instruction according to the concepts and principles of in- structional systems design. Moreover, providing specific guid- ance but assuming more latitude than traditional objectives and assessment strategies often allow, the ILSSL are broad enough to encompass a variety of learning and evaluation ac- tivities that are both consistent with current learning theory and that call for the use of “the full range of communica- tions media and technology” (AASL & AECT, 1998, p. 7).

Thus, the theory underlying the development of the ILSSL supports the library media specialist’s role in designing and implementing learning experiences that involve authentic tasks and that use a variety of technologies as “information vehicles for exploring knowledge to support learning-by-constructing” (Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, p. 13). For example, compar- ing and contrasting commercial and public service ads to de- termine the kinds of information featured in each addresses an information issue of interest to many students and can involve the use of a comprehensive range of information technology— newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the World Wide Web—as venues for learning. The ILSSL provide theoretical and practical guidance for melding the library media specialist’s in- structional design and instructional/informational technology responsibilities.

18.6.3 Links to the Content Areas

The third aspect of the ILSSL that supports their use as an instructional-partnering tool is the provision of links between these statements of information literacy outcomes and the con- tent area standards developed by various national educational groups in science, mathematics, geography, civics, English lan- guage arts, etc. Each of the ILSSL is accompanied by a series of outcome statements developed by these groups, over 80 of which—related to 14 content areas—were selected to high- light the connections between information literacy and learn- ing in the content areas. Extracted from Kendall and Marzano’s Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Bench- marks for K-12 Education (2nd ed., 1997), the statements are linked with specific ILSSL to provide “a tool for library media specialists and teachers to use as they collaboratively design learning experiences that will help students master both disci- plinary content and information literacy” (AASL & AECT, 1998, pp. x–xi). By offering guidance for linking information access, evaluation, and use specifically to the subject matter areas, this feature gives the library media specialist a clear and specific mechanism to use in approaching teachers, showing them the relevance of information literacy to achievement in their own content areas, and initiating the collaborative instructional de- sign process envisioned by Information Power 1 and 2.

One of the 11 content area standards provided for our exam- ple (ILSSL Standard 1) illustrates the utility of these statements for supporting the collaborative design of learning experiences that address both information literacy and content area exper- tise and that incorporate the meaningful use of technology as well:

Geography Knows the characteristics and purposes of geographic databases (e.g., databases containing census data, land-use data, topo- graphic information). Standard 1, Grades 6-8 Indicator. (Kendall and Marzano, pp. 511, quoted in AASL & AECT, 1998, p. 13)

Armed with this standard and an ILSSL indicator that focuses on the importance of identifying the most appropriate sources for finding specific information on a topic, the library media spe- cialist can readily collaborate with the middle school geography teacher to design, implement, evaluate, and revise interesting and authentic learning experiences that provide students an

opportunity to build their knowledge of geographic sources and their uses.

It may be that Information Power 2’s multiple supports for the library media specialist’s instructional design function—its newly stated goals, its emphasis on the “instructional partner” role, and its inclusion of the Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning—will be the catalysts that finally enable library media specialists to become full partners on schools’ instruc- tional design teams. The potential is certainly in place: over 56,000 copies of the guidelines have been sold in over 24 coun- tries (Robert Hershman, personal communication, March 11, 2002).




Section 18.7.1 focuses on three aspects of today's situation: Too Little Done, Too Little Studied, Too Narrowly Communicated

What are potential remedies to the problems described in this section?


18.7.1 Understanding the Status of the Field: Too Little Done, Too Little Studied, Too Narrowly Communicated

There are many reasons for the lack of awareness of library media specialists’ forays into instructional design and their contribu- tions to learning in schools. One, surely, is the limited amount of integrated instruction and instructional consulting that is ac- tually accomplished. Scholars in the field have lamented this situation for close to two decades (see, for example, Baumbach, 1991; Craver, 1986,1990; Pickard, 1993; Putnam, 1996; Schiff- man, 1987; Small, 1998b; Turner & Zsiray, 1990; van Deusen & Tallman, 1994). To this day, library media specialists with fixed schedules and fixed expectations on the part of principals and teachers often have little opportunity to engage in any instruc- tion beyond teaching isolated classes in what are still too widely called “library skills.” Even a library media specialist fortunate enough to have a flexible schedule is often the only professional working in a school’s library media center—with an astonishing

18. Library Media Center 515516 NEUMAN

“benchmark” review of research studies “intended to identify an association between school library media programs and student achievement,” Callison (2002) noted that

Tracing these studies 20 years later . . . reveals a problematic trend . . . in that none is published in respected educational research journals, few investigators published their findings beyond the initial dissertation, and an awareness of these collective findings seldom extended beyond the narrow school library research arena. (p. 351)

While this situation has improved somewhat, it is still true that library media research rarely finds its way into journals be- yond the limited number devoted specifically to the field: “Until research strands reported here move into a broader educational research framework, it is likely that findings, no matter how dramatic or significant, will remain dormant without causing change” (Callison, 2002, p. 362).

The chief problems, then, in linking the library media pro- gram to student achievement are that too little has been done, too little has been studied, and what has been found has been too narrowly communicated. Can this situation be overcome? Can library media programs and the library media specialists responsible for them emerge as recognized contributors to stu- dent learning over the next decade? And can research, theory, and practice in instructional design and technology contribute to that emergence? Several promising elements are in place both to support such emergence and to chronicle its nature and ef- fects. Perhaps never before in the history of the field has there been a better environment in which library media specialists can engage more fully in their instructional and instructional design roles and in which library media researchers can study the impact of those efforts and report their results to an inter- ested educational research community.

18.7.2 A Partial Answer to “Too Little Done”

Underlying the factors that suggest a more prominent and visible instructional contribution for library media specialists are the societal and cultural changes that have affected schooling in gen- eral and library media programs in particular. Foremost among these, of course, is the World Wide Web. The Web epitomizes the merger of information, communication, and instructional technologies—a merger that has placed the library media pro- gram at the heart of one of modern education’s most important challenges: to determine how to use information and informa- tion technology for effective, meaningful teaching and learn- ing. With teachers eager to find the “best” Web sites to enrich their teaching and students intent on importing Web-based text and visuals into their final products, today’s library media spe- cialists often find themselves at the center of the instructional questions that are most pressing in the everyday life of their schools.

It is library media specialists’ responsibility to select, main- tain, and provide instruction on how to use their schools’ elec- tronic information resources—a responsibility that gives them greater opportunities than ever before to promote their instruc- tional design and technology skills to affect learning, teaching,

and student achievement. Sought out for their expertise rather than seeking chances to provide it, today’s library media spe- cialists are poised to collaborate in designing information-based instruction as a matter of course rather than as an add-on or an unwarranted distraction. Both conceptually and practically, it is a short step from helping students and teachers locate specific information to helping them use information and information re- sources in meaningful ways. Library media specialists—trained in both information skills and instructional design—have the knowledge and skills and now an unprecedented opportunity to take that step.

Another cultural and societal engine that is driving library media specialists to a greater focus on learning outcomes is the increasing national emphasis on student achievement, which grew as part of the movement toward developing national stan- dards throughout the 1990s and culminated in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Like all other educators, library me- dia specialists are reexamining their programs and approaches to align them with state and national requirements to foster and demonstrate improved student performance. While the idea of assessing student learning is relatively new to library media specialists (see, for example, Kuhlthau, 1994; Neuman 2000; Thomas, 1999), the current national focus on accountability is encouraging library media specialists to be assessment partners with their teachers and thus—as a by-product—to set the stage for more research opportunities to delineate the relationship of library media programs to learning.

Opportunities, of course, cannot be confused with out- comes. There is certainly a possibility that the tsunami of the Web will overwhelm library media specialists with technical de- mands rather than spurring them to new heights of instructional and instructional design activity. Even with an increased empha- sis on assessment, the field’s commitment to integrating infor- mation literacy into content instruction rather than treating it as a stand-alone curriculum makes it difficult to trace a straight line between the library media program and learning. Nevertheless, the Web has sparked unprecedented popular and educational interest in “educational technology,” and the national focus on accountability is finding its way into library media centers (see, for example, Grover, 1994; Grover, Lakin, & Dickerson, 1997). It seems likely at this juncture that researchers will soon find a much greater number of instances of library media specialists’ teaching, instructional partnering, and participation in stipulat- ing and assessing student learning outcomes to use as the basis for studying library media programs’ contributions to student learning.

18.7.3 A More Extensive Answer to “Too Little Studied”

To take advantage of the research possibilities afforded by the increasing instructional and instructional design activities now available for library media specialists, library media researchers will need new conceptual frameworks to guide their investiga- tions. Neuman (1997) has argued that the notion of “informa- tion literacy,” particularly as defined by the American Library As- sociation, provides a compelling framework for such research

because of its close interweaving of learning and information studies:

To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information....Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand. (ALA Presidential Committee Report, p. 1, quoted in Behrens, 1994, p. 315)

This definition, which “makes explicit the link between in- formation use and learning” and integrates “concepts inherent to learning with those essential to information use, suggests a theoretical structure that . . . anchors [the two fields] within [the] larger framework” of information literacy that provides a compelling rationale for studying the links between information use and learning and for determining the relationship of learn- ing with information to student achievement (Neuman, 1997, pp. 703–704).

Within this framework, several approaches—outgrowths of long-standing views as well as approaches that have emerged in recent years—hold promise for guiding studies of library me- dia programs’ contributions to student learning. For example, the field’s instructional models for teaching information-seeking skills—such as Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s Big Six Skills (1990), Joyce and Tallman’s I-Search Process (1997), Stripling and Pitts REACTS model (1988), and Pappas’ Pathways to Knowledge (1997)—lend themselves to research that will build on their im- plied focus on the learning that can occur as part of information seeking. Research designs that make that focus explicit and use it to undergird studies of how library media specialists use the models to foster learning through information seeking can test the models’ value as tools for learning. Since many library me- dia practitioners and researchers are already familiar with one or more of the models, using them as the basis for such stud- ies could be a reasonably straightforward way to address the issue.

In addition to the “traditional” information-seeking models that could be expanded to ground research on information seek- ing and learning, research related to several new instructional design models created specifically for library media specialists can extend knowledge and understanding of the relationship between learning and the instructional design role of the li- brary media specialist. Turner’s new textbook, based on his original model, is slated for publication in 2003. A book based on Small’s IM-PACT model (Information Motivation—Purpose, Audience, Content, Technique) is also about to appear (Small, 2000a). Turner’s model has been a potent force in discussions of library media specialists’ instructional design role for some 20 years, and Small’s approach builds on her research agenda on motivation (see, for example, Small, 1998a, 1999, 2000b) to create a model in which “motivation theories and concepts in- form and are integrated into” each of four design phases. “Based on principles of instructional design, industrial psychology, in- formation science, and communications theory,” Small’s model

focuses on generating “information motivation”—that is, “in- terest and excitement for using information resources, services, and technologies to solve information problems, satisfy intellec- tual curiosity, and stimulate a desire to seek and gain knowledge” (Ruth Small, personal communication, September 11, 2002). Re- search conducted both to verify Turner’s and Small’s models and to determine their effectiveness in promoting the library media specialist’s use of the concepts and skills of instructional design could augment our understanding of library media specialists as instructional partners.

Chief among the tools that can focus studies of library me- dia programs’ relationship to student learning, however, are the Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning (ILSSL) pre- sented in Information Power 2. Designed both to “describe the content and processes related to information that students must master to be considered information literate” (AASL & AECT, 1998, p. x) and to “provide the basis for the library media spe- cialist’s role in collaborative planning and curriculum develop- ment” (p. 63), these statements tie the field directly to learning and instruction as nothing has done before. Using them as a framework for structuring studies of their effectiveness—both as tools for planning and as measures for assessing the nature and extent of student learning—is an obvious research approach for the coming decade.

Case studies of how the ILSSL function as tools for collabora- tive planning and teaching—the processes and outcomes of us- ing them to structure the library media specialist’s instructional- partnering role—could provide insights into the specific ways in which library media specialists contribute to sound instruc- tional design and therefore to student achievement. Perhaps even more importantly, studies designed to measure students’ achievement related to each of the 29 indicators could provide specific evidence of the contributions of library media programs not only to students’ information literacy but to their mastery of content knowledge. These central components of Information Power—with their outcomes-based format, built-in guidelines for assessment, and links to a range of subject-matter areas— could prove central components in the field’s efforts to establish library media programs as essential to learning in the twenty-first century.

18.7.4 A Partial Answer to “Too Narrowly Communicated”

Changes in the way theorists and practitioners have come to view teaching and learning suggest that library media research that focuses on learning—and particularly on learning with the information that surrounds us in this “information age”—has a focus that could be of wide interest to the educational re- search community as a whole. Constructivist theory in particu- lar has renewed and strengthened all educators’ understanding that learning is in fact a process and that this process is inter- woven with a variety of the individual and contextual elements, including information in its various forms. Carey’s (1998) argu- ment for designing information literacy instruction according to constructivist ideas makes explicit the connection between constructivism and information literacy.

18. Library Media Center 517

518 NEUMAN

The constructivist conception of learning is a comfortable fit for the library media field, which has long been associated with learning as a process rather than only an outcome: “Our content is process” is a frequent refrain among library media theorists and practitioners who see the field’s essential role as helping students master the processes of finding, evaluating, and using information. The long-standing and widespread popular- ity of Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s “Big Six Skills”—designated as skills “for information problem solving” (Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1990)—provides evidence of the commitment of library media specialists to the view that their work goes well beyond atten- tion to the specific content of a particular information-gathering effort.

Ironically, in some respects it seems almost as if education at large and instructional design in particular are catching up with the library media field’s views about learning with infor- mation. For example, Mayer (1999) defines learning in terms of information processing and uses this definition as the basis for his SOI Model for designing constructivist learning: “Construc- tivist learning depends on the activation of several cognitive processes in the learner during learning, including selecting relevant information, organizing incoming information, and in- tegrating incoming information with existing knowledge. I refer to this analysis as the SOI model to highlight three crucial cog- nitive processes in constructivist learning: S for selecting, O for organizing, and I for integrating” (p. 148). While it is true that Mayer’s theoretical stance as well as his suggestions for encour- aging students in each process reflect a focus that is somewhat different from the kind of learning with information that con- cerns library media specialists, his design of a model based on information use suggests a strong conceptual commonality be- tween instructional design and library media. Indeed, Chung (2003) used it as part of the theoretical framework for her study of high school students’ use of library media resources for mean- ingful learning.

Similarly, Duffy and Cunningham’s (1996) six-step model for an undergraduate minor in “Corporate and Community Educa- tion” is based on the processes of information seeking and use and employs terms similar to the skills advocated by Eisenberg and Berkowitz (1990), including a central step in which students are instructed in the

Mayer’s (1999) and Duffy and Cunningham’s (1996) mod- els both suggest a commonality of research interests across age groups and even specific fields. The need to explore questions about “how students represent knowledge in their own minds at various stages of the information-seeking process, how they extract information from both textual and visual presentations and construct personal meaning from it, how they integrate var- ious kinds of information into their own understandings, how they move from one level of understanding to another, and how information use supports the growth and development of students’ changing conceptual structures as they move for- ward along the novice-to-expert continuum” (Neuman, 2003, pp. 513–514) suggests parallel agendas for instructional design research in general, for library media research that focuses on learning with information, and for content area research ad- dressed to understanding how the process of extracting infor- mation from content area databases and other resources can foster content learning. Although the caveat against mistaking opportunities for outcomes remains in force, it does seem that mutual interests in the many facets of learning with information suggest that researchers across a variety of fields might publish in one another’s journals to the benefit of all.




19


TECHNOLOGY IN THE SERVICE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING: THE CASE OF THE LANGUAGE LABORATORY

by Warren Roby


Anyone who went through a high school since 1960 has been exposed to the language learning lab.  It was one of the first instances of electronic technology in the classroom. A teacher can sit and monitor dozens of students:  a flick of the switch and the teacher can hear how Johnny is inventing new ways to mispronounce and garble his second language, then another flick and the teacher is virtually inches away from Sarah's beautifully inflected accent.


According to the author, what is the future of the language lab?  What research should guide the evolution of the language lab of tomorrow?


What is the future of the language laboratory? Will it cease to exist? At least its name seems destined to change: “the term language lab is obsolescent, a form of shorthand that represents a variety of entities responsible for delivering technology-based language instruction. New names like ‘language media center’ or ‘learning resource center’ attempt to reflect new goals and new technologies” (Scinicariello, 1997, p. 186). Whatever they be called, it is probable that no two places will look alike: “There is no ideal language lab for the twenty-first century” (Scinicariello, 1997, p. 186).


The author makes a pointed reference to our textbook (Saettler) -- what evidence would you give to support or contradict the author's evaluation?







=======================  


Plus the bonus article

The synergetic effect of learning styles on the interaction between virtual environments and the enhancement of spatial thinking

Hanoch Hauptman a, *, Arie Cohen b


The link to the bonus article is



http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/science/article/pii/S036013151100114X



http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.05.008



QUESTIONS






====================  


DISTANCE EDUCATION

Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena University of New Mexico

Marina Stock McIsaac


The authors end the article with these observations

Distance education is no longer viewed as a marginal educa- tional activity. Instead, it is regarded internationally as a viable and cost effective way of providing individualized and interac- tive instruction. Recent developments in technology are eras- ing the lines between traditional and distance learners 



The content of future research should:

--  Move beyond media comparison studies and reconceptual- ize media and instructional design variables in the distance learning environment.

--  Examine the characteristics of the distance learner and investigate the collaborative effects of media attributes and cognition 

--  Explore the relationship between media and the socio-cultural

construction of knowledge 

--   Identify course design elements effective in interactive learn-

ing systems 

--   Contribute to a shared international research database 

--  Examine the cultural effects of technology and courseware

transfer in distance education programs


The extra article that we selected focused on one aspect of this list…  the collaboration between the attributes of media and the effects on cognition.


(see the article at the end of this list of questions.)



Excerpts


QUESTIONS

1.  How has this article helped show the collaboration between media attributes and cognition?


The article states that the purpose of the research was to find out to what extent exercising spatial abilities in virtual environments affects the spatial thinking of students with different learning styles.




2.  The next questions focuses on the discussion of the article:  


The achievements of the visual students were greater, but not significantly. Chen et al. (2005) encounter the same phenomenon: the style with the highest scores was the one expected to be the highest-achieving, but the difference from other styles was not significant. 


WHAT POSSIBLE REASONS do the authors offer for the result?   In other words, what attribute of virtual environments help to "level the playing field" among the various learning styles?


Possible reasons could include the following. 

First of all, the unique features of virtual environments, which contribute to the quick grasping and processing of information with one look(Gover, 1995), such that even difficult abstract concepts are made more comprehensible (Salzman et al., 1996) and students may overcome their style inhibitions. For example, the kinesthetic student may easily comprehend information in spite of his constant need to move(Dunn et al., 1995). 

The second possible reason is the interference of non-verbal variables, e.g., visual non-verbal abilities as measured by the Raven Test (Raven, Raven, & Court, 2003) or Toni-3 (Brown, Sherbenou, & Johnsen, 1997). Most of the time, the interaction in virtual environments is intuitive and non-verbal, and it is quite possible that students with a high level of non-verbal ability will perform better than those with a lower ability level. In future research, we will recommend that researchers verify whether such an impact exists and then control for that impact when comparing scores of different styles.






In general, the results were somewhat unexpected. The researchers assumed that the students with the visual learning style working in virtual environments would out-perform the students with aural or kinesthetic styles. Instead, their average score was higher than that for the other styles, but not significantly. The finding that the improvement of the kinesthetic students is the highest was surprising because of the inhibiting characteristics of this style in any instructional process, for example: they have difficulties in processing linguistic and symbolic information (Clausen-May, 2005, p.1), to learn best they require whole body movement where material can be touched, they are easily distracted (Sims & Sims, 1995, p.53; Zapalska & Dabb, 2002). Whereas for the S type style students in group 2 to out-perform the students with the N type style could be expected because of the matching between some of the characteristics of that style to characteristics of the exercising virtual environment of VR Spaces 1.0. In sum, the second hypothesis was not rejected.







d it is correct, one point is given. A perfect score for the MRT is 40. The time limit is 6 min (3 min for each part). It is appropriate for ages 14 and older. Reliability was measured using a KuderRichardson reliability coefficient 1⁄4 0.88 (Wilson et al., 1975). The testretest reliability coefficient was 0.83 after an interval of more than one year (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978).



A contrast analysis allows us to test the statistical significance between predicted specific differences in particular parts of a complex design. Thus, we performed a MANOVA and contrast analysis on the MRT scores for each experimental group. As a result, we found that in group 2 (with VR and without SRQ), the improvement of S Type students was significantly greater (p < .01) then that of N Type students. Table 4 illustrates these improvements.

In terms of the APSTE scores, the improvement of N Type students in group 3 (With SRQ but without VR) was significantly higher (p < .05) than that of S Type students.

TF types: The findings indicate a significant difference among the pre-test and post-test scores for the MRT test (F(1, 186) 1⁄4 92.88, p < .001) and the APTSE test (F(1, 186) 1⁄4 55.66, p < .001).

Additionally, a significant difference was found between the four groups on the MRT test (F(3, 186) 1⁄4 6.38, p < .001) and on the APTSE test (F(3, 186) 1⁄4 6.69, p < .05). Table 3 illustrates these differences.




3.3.1. Spatialvisual reasoning test of the aptitude profile series Educational (APTSE) from Morgan, Stephanou, and Simpson (2000) The APTSE is a battery of normed cognitive ability tests that contains four tests: the Verbal Reasoning Test, the Quantitative Reasoning Test, the Abstract Reasoning Test, and the SpatialVisual Reasoning test. Each test can be used alone or in conjunction with the other tests (Morgan et al., 2000, p. ix). They are suitable for middle secondary school students who can follow the instructions and for older students. This test contains three parts: Part 1, visualization/deduction in two dimensions (20 items in 12 min); Part 2, visualisation/deduction in three dimensions (10 items in 8 min); and Part 3, visualisation/deduction of object arrangement when the observer view is changed (18 items in 10 min). In this current research study, the SpatialVisual Reasoning test was used to assess spatial thinking capacity and visu-

alisation abilities. A perfect score for the APTSE is 48. This test has a Cronbachs alpha reliability of 0.90.







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Elsewhere in the article, we found the following:


In light of the above information, the question arises of to what extent virtual environments (e.g., VR Spaces 1.0) can enhance the process of exercising spatial abilities for students with different learning styles?

2.2.3. Virtual learning environments and learning styles

In general, recent advances in educational technology have improved educational environments (Eunjoo & Doohun, 2005, p. 53; Follows, 1999). Can those advances cater to different learning styles? According to Bell and Fogler (1998) and Isdale, Fencott, Heim, and Daly (2002) some of the distinguishing features of virtual environments are as follows: they are highly immersive, interactive, visually oriented, highly sensory, colorful, and generally exciting and fun, providing a good medium for presenting three-dimensional objects and relationships and for illustrating concepts that have been covered elsewhere. In their opinion, VR is not an appropriate medium for delivering written information (at least via low-cost systems). However, when used properly, it can augment traditional methods to the benefit of some students and not only add to the variety of educational delivery mechanisms, but also specifically address those areas where traditional methods are weakest. Bell & Fogler (1995) present examples that refer to some of the learning style characteristics (as defined in the previous section). In the sensory–intuitive domain, where students are looking for concrete facts, data, experimentation, and a way to relate the material to a “real” situation, a virtual reality can provide a tangible representation of abstract concepts, such as geometrical objects that students zoom in on and walk on, and can let the student walk around on the math surface, climbing the peaks and valleys to see how the variables inter-relate; this is a world where “efficiency” takes on physical properties (e.g., [Moshel and Hughes, 2002] and [Salzman et al., 1996] ). On the visual–verbal scale, virtual reality is highly visual. In the inductive/deductive domain, virtual reality is a natural medium for free-format explorations and learning via observational experience, and on the active–reflective scale, virtual reality is highly active and immersive. The whole raison d’être of virtual reality is to pull the user inside the simulation and make him/her an active participant (Bell & Fogler, 1995, pp. 3–4). Hence, it can accommodate a wide range of student learning styles ( [Bell and Fogler, 1998] and [Follows, 1999] ). Furthermore, virtual environments offer cross-modality interaction opportunities with visual dominance (e.g., Storms, 2002, p. 460) that may offer an advantage to students with a visual learning style. On the other hand, the strong effect of the highly sensory-interactive environment may enhance students’ cognitive processes regardless of their learning styles (e.g., Chen, Toh, & Wan, 2005). That being said, the question arises of whether the unique features of virtual environments (e.g., VR Spaces 1.0) enhance only the achievements of students with certain learning styles (e.g., the visual learning style, the S type) or whether they enhance achievement regardless, even with styles that seem incompatible with learning in virtual environments (e.g., the audio learning style, the N type).

Even though Chen, Czerwinski, and Macredie (2000) extensively review the approaches to the relation between virtual environments and learning styles, they do not refer directly to this problem. Instead, they discuss some major issues that may be of assistance in approaching this question: deliberate matching between task demands and user styles, matching task demands to student styles, and defining student deficiencies and accommodating users by providing mediators, modalities, or organizing structures that users cannot readily provide for themselves (p. 500). Additionally they report major findings of various research studies (pp. 504–505) concerning the effects of individual differences on the use of virtual reality (e.g., in navigation training). Most of the research, they report, has focused on the aspect of human–computer interaction and ignored the aspects of the interaction between the individual characteristics and the virtual learning environment (Chen et al., 2005, p. 124). Furthermore, there has been little study of how learner characteristics interact with the features of virtual environments either to aid or to inhibit learning in these environments (Chen, 2006).

In sum, research concerning individual differences and learning styles in the context of virtual reality is still in its infancy (Chen et al., 2005, p. 124). Thus, our research focusing on the question of to what extent virtual environments affect the process of exercising spatial abilities for different modal and personality type learning styles may add important empirical data to the effort and provide more insight into the correspondence between virtual environments and learning styles and the design process of virtual learning environments.

Additionally, researchers (e.g., Azevedo, 2005) assert that the learner in a software environment needs support in the learning process at the point at which he struggles to continue. Therefore, the introduction of self-regulating questions can greatly strengthen this environment (Azevedo, 2005). Furthermore, we hypothesized that the addition of self-regulating questions would help advance the process of spatial thinking.

In general, self-regulation refers to the processes that coordinate cognition and reveal the ability to strategically use metacognitive knowledge to achieve cognitive goals, especially in cases in which overcoming cognitive obstacles is necessary (Panaoura, Demetriou, & Gagatsis, 2009, p. 1).

Self-Regulating Questions (SRQ) are vital to the learning process:

  • a. SRQ determine how students activate, alter, and sustain their knowledge (Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986) and are part of a self-directed process through which learners transform their mental abilities into task-related academic skills (Zimmerman, 2001, p. 1);
  • b. Self-regulated students are active participants in their own learning process, taking the initiative to acquire skills and knowledge instead of depending on external sources;
  • c. Students who self-regulate learning are more aware of their mistakes and take steps to correct their deficiencies (Zimmerman, 2001, p. 1);
  • d. SRQ are important tools that help to focus the learner’s attention on those aspects of knowledge relevant to the process of solving a problem or an exercise (e.g., Schoenfeld, 1987).

Effectively obtaining knowledge of this problem-solving process depends on the learner’s use of signs and symbols (e.g., symbols, letters, numbers, icons, formulas), which the learning environment provides. In general, signs, symbols and their interpretations are important factors of meaningful knowledge construction (Osberg, 1997 as cited in Yeh & Nason, 2004a). According to semiotic theory, the interaction between the representation (sign) of an object (the object itself) and the interpretant (the meaning of those signs) is the central building block of meaningful knowledge that one constructs from his environment (Otte, 2001, p. 32). The signs mediate (Cunningham, 1992) and function as “thinking helpers” in the interaction between the object and its interpretant (Radford, 2001).

In light of these premises, researchers (e.g., Mevarech & Karmarski, 1997) developed a set of questions that students can use while doing exercises.

In this current research study, each student used the following self-regulating questions:

  • a. What is the method for solving the given exercise?
  • b. What are the signs that brought me to choose a particular solution?
  • c. What are the signs that led me NOT to choose a particular solution?

The next section will discuss the ways in which the recent research differs from other research with a similar orientation.

2.2.3.1. Related research

To the best of our knowledge, the literature contains only a few examples of empirical research, that addresses the effect of virtual environments on learning styles as our study does.

One of those is Chen, Toh & Wan’s (2005) research. The aim of their study was to examine “how three different learning modes (VR [guided exploration], VR [non-guided exploration], and non-VR) were related to the learner’s learning styles” (Chen et al., 2005, p. 126). Those learning modes were applied to students taking virtual driving lessons with an emphasis on applying traffic rules and traffic signs to road scenarios. In the recent research, four learning modes were applied: the use of a virtual environment and self-regulating questions (SRQ), a virtual environment without SRQ, a non-virtual environment but with SRQ, and a non-treatment environment. The goal was to enhance spatial thinking using the VR Spaces 1.0 software, whence it would be possible to enlarge the scope of the empirical data and broaden the basis of the generalizations regarding the influence of virtual environments on learning styles. The main difference between the recent research and Chen, Toh & Wan’s (2005)research lies in the fact that in our research, we used a verbal process, three self-regulating questions (Hauptman, 2010, p. 126), to enhance learning; we focused on enhancing specific predefined cognitive processes (e.g., “visual memory” in the “construction in motion” game). In contrast, in Chen, Toh & Wan’s (2005) research, students were supposed to acquire driving skills while navigating a virtual environment. The researchers examined whether two categories of learning styles (assimilators and accommodators) derived from Kolb’s (see Kolb, Boyatzis & Mainemelis, 2001, pp. 227–230) experimental learning theory model (ELT) have any influence on acquiring these skills. They assumed that if there is a match between some of the characteristics of these learning styles (e.g., reflection, inductive thinking) and some of the abilities (e.g., reflection, inductive thinking) required during the instructional process, then the result will be an interaction between the assimilator and accommodator styles and the modes of instruction. According to their report, “there was no significant interaction between the three learning modes and learners’ learning styles, which means the effect of the learning modes on the gain of the VR-based test did not depend on the types of learning style” (Chen et al., 2005, p. 136).

Some possible reasons may explain this lack of interaction:

  • a. Task difficulty – when tasks are too easy, the student might find it unnecessary to make an effort and apply a high-order cognitive process like reflection (e.g., [Koriat and Goldsmith, 1998] and[Kramarski et al., 2001] ); he may be successful in these tasks regardless of his style. In the recent research, in contrast, the self-regulating questions were intended to invoke a process of thinking during every task.
  • b. Chen et al. (2005) do not report any specific design of the VR environment to give an advantage to a person with a particular learning style associated with the ELT model. According to Merrill (2000), any method that will use a learning style-specific approach must begin by determining the instructional goals and strategies. These strategies should be determined on the basis of the type of content to be taught or the goals of the lesson. Learning styles and preferences are then used to adjust or fine-tune these fundamental learning strategies. For example, if the assimilating learning style specializes in two abilities, AC (active conceptualization) and RO (reflective observation) (Yamazaki, 2005, p. 524), then some designed learning activities should give an advantage to reflective thinkers and/or to the process of active conceptualization. Otherwise, one may find it difficult to conclude that a specific environment (e.g., a virtual environment) is irrelevant to assimilating learning style.

In the recent research, it was assumed that, given a match between the characteristics of virtual environments (e.g., visual dominance, high level of interactivity) and certain learning styles (modal visual style, sensory S type style, trial and error E type style), an improvement in achievements might be expected in the scores of students with modal visual and S type style.



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