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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Gavin Baxter, Thomas Hainey and Gary McKenna

Abstract

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 March 2022

Gavin Baxter and Thomas Hainey

This article aims to explore student views from a UK higher educational institution about the concept of remote online higher educational delivery. Students were asked…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore student views from a UK higher educational institution about the concept of remote online higher educational delivery. Students were asked about opinions towards working remotely and the psychological impact this had upon students and students' studies. The research provided students with the opportunity to reflect upon whether the practice of delivering education remotely continues to provide students with a beneficial student learning experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopted a case study methodology utilising a mixed methods approach via questionnaire-based research. In total, 894 students completed the questionnaire. The aim of the research was to obtain a wide breadth of student opinion from multidisciplinary backgrounds to ascertain whether students' learning experience differed per subject area.

Findings

The research identified some interesting findings, namely that certain participants considered that learning remotely online was beneficial for instant feedback, supported motivation and fostered communities of practice. Negative perspectives related to feeling isolated, unmotivated and a preference towards face-to-face (F2F) delivery. One of the main areas of conflict identified from this study is that the aspect of engagement can impact students' online learning both positively and negatively.

Originality/value

The study provides an in-depth multidisciplinary student tertiary perspective relating to online remote learning. The findings from this study can be useful for educators to reflect upon and inform educational policy in relation to how best to facilitate and support the student learning experience off-campus.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Mireilla Bikanga Ada, Mark Stansfield and Gavin Baxter

The purpose of this paper is to investigate an area of growing importance that is widely recognised in the literature relating to the issue of how to improve ways that…

1296

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate an area of growing importance that is widely recognised in the literature relating to the issue of how to improve ways that assessments and feedback are provided to students within higher education. This paper reports on a study that aimed to explore the views of both educators (n=70) and students (n=540) on feedback and feed-forward at a UK university. The study also investigated their experience and attitudes to social media applications as a means of enhancing access to feedback within the context of mobile learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach adopted in this study predominately conforms to a quantitative research design though embeds elements of qualitative research via a “mixed methods” approach. The overall methodology of the paper adheres to an exploratory case study in a higher education environment to identify various issues and approaches that could be addressed or enhanced to aid ways that assessments and feedback are disseminated to students within higher education.

Findings

Participants’ views were sought in relation to students receiving learning materials, as well as feedback from tutors directly to their smartphones and mobile devices. In addition, the study explored possible reasons for students not wanting to use social media and mobile devices for their learning and feedback. Overall, the results indicated a positive attitude on the part of educators and students to using mobile devices and social media applications for teaching and learning purposes.

Research limitations/implications

The case study presented in this paper draws on findings from one higher educational institution. Further research is required to determine the generalisability of the findings to allow comparison of the findings to be undertaken within other higher education institutions.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is that it provides detailed empirical evidence and findings that provide several important implications in relation to enhancing the student learning experience and providing considerable improvements to the way that feedback is provided that make it more likely that students will take more notice to feedback and act upon it. This in turn enables educators to better plan and manage their teaching and student experience online and through students’ mobile devices. The value of this study is that it explores views of both educators and students, whereas many other previous studies tend to focus on the views of either educators or students.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Gavin Baxter and Thomas Hainey

This paper provides an analysis and insight into undergraduate student views concerning the use of virtual reality technology towards whether it has the potential to…

1077

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides an analysis and insight into undergraduate student views concerning the use of virtual reality technology towards whether it has the potential to support and provide novel pedagogical avenues towards teaching and learning in higher education. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain student views about the application of VR technology within their degree programmes from a pedagogical perspective in addition to identifying potential challenges to VR adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design adopted a mixed methods approach through the use of a questionnaire that was disseminated to undergraduate students studying in the discipline area of the creative industries. Through a series of open and closed questions, student views on VR adoption in higher education were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results were analysed statistically through a series of Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests. The qualitative statements were contextualised in the overall perspective of the research with the more relevant viewpoints identified to coincide with aspects of VR discovered in the literature.

Findings

The predominant findings of the research indicated that the majority of the students considered the use of VR to have useful pedagogical implications though not all findings were positive. The findings provided a sound overview of the benefits and potential drawbacks of VR use in general with a more specific focus in an educational context.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the research include the lack of overall generalisations that can be formed from the study due to the sample size and the fact that the results were based from one specific academic institution.

Practical implications

The findings of the research will provide educators with an insight into various perceptions of VR adoption within higher education. This will aid towards allowing them to reflect on whether VR is an appropriate tool to integrate within their curriculum and pedagogical approaches towards course delivery.

Originality/value

Though several studies have explored the use of VR in multiple contexts and subject areas, there still needs to be more research towards its potential drawbacks in a teaching and learning scenario and how to resolve these issues.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Gavin James Baxter

This special issue aims to increase the awareness of the organisational factors that enterprises must reflect on and address when introducing Web 2.0 technologies into…

2619

Abstract

Purpose

This special issue aims to increase the awareness of the organisational factors that enterprises must reflect on and address when introducing Web 2.0 technologies into their organisations. In contrast to empirical studies that review the impact of Web 2.0 technologies in organisations in terms of how they might support knowledge sharing or communities of practice, this special issue intends to identify the salient criteria that management practitioners must address to assist in the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies in the work place.

Design/methodology/approach

This special issue aims to increase the awareness of the organisational factors that enterprises must reflect on and address when introducing Web 2.0 technologies into their organisations. In contrast to empirical studies that review the impact of Web 2.0 technologies in organisations in terms of how they might support knowledge sharing or communities of practice, this special issue intends to identify the salient criteria that management practitioners must address to assist in the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies in the work place.

Findings

One of the principal findings that have emerged from this special issue is that it indicates the importance of reviewing social and cultural factors in organisations when introducing Web 2.0 technologies in the work place. In addition to assessing technical issues that might impact on the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies in organisations this special issue also explores subject matters such as the dilemma of whether a top-down or a bottom-up approach is more effective towards engaging staff in the adoption of Web 2.0 tools at work.

Originality/value

The research presented in this special issue provides an important academic contribution towards an area that is, at present, under researched namely, whether there is a structured approach that can be universally applied by organisations when internally implementing Web 2.0 technologies into their work place.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Gary McKenna, Gavin Baxter and Thomas Hainey

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a semi-experimental study conducted over a period of two years of five degree programmes using a web-based personal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a semi-experimental study conducted over a period of two years of five degree programmes using a web-based personal tutoring system to enhance learner engagement and students’ self-efficacy, towards using personal development planning (PDP) e-portfolios.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a semi-experimental approach using quantitative methods utilising a pre- and post-test design in the form of a general self-efficacy questionnaire inventory.

Findings

The study investigated the extent to which using a virtual learning environment web-based personal tutoring system (VLE WBPTS) can impact positively on the learners’ self-efficacy of the students’ undertaking a degree programme which promotes engagement with PDP e-portfolios.

Research limitations/implications

More empirical research is required to establish whether PDP and e-portfolios have a positive effect on students’ perceived self-efficacy. Further testing is required to establish whether the VLE WBPTS can have a positive effect on other beneficial elements associated with PDP and e-portfolio usage such as students: learning styles, learner conscientiousness, reflective thinking and effective learner skills.

Practical implications

The introduction of interventions that involve the utilisation of a VLE WBPTS may have a more significant impact and yield positive results when the period of usage is extended beyond the initial period of six weeks to a minimum period of 12 weeks.

Originality/value

This study was one of few studies to use a pre/post-test design to collect and analyse empirical data about whether a VLE WBPTS can have a positive effect on students’ self-efficacy towards using PDP e-portfolios.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Gary McKenna, Gavin Baxter and Thomas Hainey

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of staff and students towards adopting the use of e-portfolios for the purposes of supporting the concept of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of staff and students towards adopting the use of e-portfolios for the purposes of supporting the concept of personal development planning (PDP). The study compares and contrasts the views and opinions of staff and students at one UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) about whether e-portfolios can support PDP.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a case study approach, this study presents empirical data gathered from two surveys involving 460 students and 182 lecturers from one UK HEI, collected from four different campuses across the West of Scotland.

Findings

The results of the surveys showed that the framework the authors used in the research to collect information about students and staffs attitudes was effective and that further research is merited for a more extensive investigation into PDP e-portfolio usage within HEI.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted at only one UK HEI so at this stage of the research, it is difficult to assess how generalisable the findings are.

Practical implications

This study provides useful empirical evidence to educators who may be considering employing e-portfolios within an educational context. For example, the views of students and staff identified in this paper can aid towards informing educators about some of the issues that might impact on using e-portfolios for supporting PDP in higher education.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first work that presents survey data on both students’ and lecturers’ attitudes towards e-portfolio use to support and facilitate PDP.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Thomas Hainey, Gavin Baxter and Amanda Ford

Rudimentary programming is an essential, transferrable, problem solving skill in many higher education (HE) programmes in academic institutions including Software…

Abstract

Purpose

Rudimentary programming is an essential, transferrable, problem solving skill in many higher education (HE) programmes in academic institutions including Software Engineering, Business Information Technology, Computer Games Development, Design and Technology. The purpose of this paper is to address some of the problematic issues associated with teaching programming by the utilisation of a new novel teaching approach called games-based construction learning (GBCL) to attempt to increase motivation, engagement and learning effectiveness. An international and national trend is to introduce coding at earlier education levels resulting in upper primary education (PE) being the focus of this paper to ascertain if GBCL using Scratch to teach programming concepts is more effective at different levels of upper PE.

Design/methodology/approach

A large-scale empirical study introducing GBCL to teach programming concepts into 16 classes between levels 4 and 7 in PE utilising 384 children. A detailed implementation framework for GBCL using Scratch in PE was utilised to address all incorporation issues and the games constructed by the children scored utilising a game codification scheme specifically designed to address programming and design as a quantification rubric. The experiment utilised eight 1- h lessons on GBCL using Scratch.

Findings

The resulted in 178 games of varying levels of complexity developed. The results indicated that GBCL was an effective mechanism to teach programming concepts using Scratch at all levels of upper PE. Primary seven students scored higher in relation to the design metric of the quantification codification rubric.

Research limitations/implications

Under the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland non-traditional teaching approaches are encouraged and development of digital literacy skill is highly advocated. This has resulted in a new approach, novel approach called GBCL where children create their own games utilising an engine such as Scratch is gaining significant attention in terms of being a novel approach. Despite a plethora of similar studies associated with GBCL, it is still not as developed as games-based learning and requires further empirical studies to support the validity of the approach and resolve identified issues.

Practical implications

Computer programming itself can lead to a highly rewarding career in a number of sectors from games development to banking, such as cybersecurity and systems development. In the last decade, in particular due to the ubiquitous nature of technology there is an increasing international and national trend associated with teaching rudimentary programming concepts at a far younger age including secondary education and the upper PE level. Introducing programming at an earlier level is now being considered essential as the path to transfer from novice to expert programmer level in time is considered nearly a decade approximately. The introduction of GBCL interventions may yield positive results in a supplementary learning capacity in accordance with the CfE and increase the educational effectiveness of programming education in later levels of education.

Originality/value

This study presents a large-scale empirical evaluation of GBCL in upper PE utilising a compiled implementation framework for incorporation and a detailed game codification scheme to quantify the games produced highlighting coding constructs and design.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Gavin James Baxter and Thomas M. Connolly

The aim of this paper is to examine the subject area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations to identify from the literature common issues that must be addressed to…

2806

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the subject area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations to identify from the literature common issues that must be addressed to assist organisations in their approach towards introducing Web 2.0 tools in their workplace. Based on the findings of the literature a Web 2.0 tools implementation model is presented.

Design/methodology/approach

A general scoping review of the literature will be conducted to identify potential issues that might impact on the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations to provide an overview of examples of empirical evidence that exists in this subject area with a view to examining how to advance this particular field of research.

Findings

The findings of the scoping literature review indicate that while certain conceptual models and frameworks exist on how to implement Web 2.0 tools in organisations there is a lack of evidence to suggest that they have been empirically tested. The paper also notes that though organisations are unique, based on the literature common features can be found regarding “best practice” on how to introduce Web 2.0 tools in organisations.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not present any findings based on an empirical study involving the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations. The paper does however provide scope for both academic and management practitioners to adopt and test the models and frameworks identified in the literature review when implementing Web 2.0 tools in their organisations.

Originality/value

The contribution to knowledge that this paper provides is that it reviews an area where there is a lack of empirical evidence, namely, in the approaches that organisations can adopt when implementing Web 2.0 tools. Based on the findings from the literature and through the creation of a Web 2.0 tools implementation model, this paper provides practical guidance to management practitioners who might find introducing Web 2.0 tools into the workplace a challenge.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Gavin J. Baxter and Thomas M. Connolly

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the “state of art” of organisational blogging. It also aims to provide a critical review of the literature on…

1932

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the “state of art” of organisational blogging. It also aims to provide a critical review of the literature on organisational blogging and propose recommendations on how to advance the subject area in terms of academic research.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review is used to illustrate the different aspects of research currently associated with organisational blogging and how these studies have advanced the field of organisational learning.

Findings

The results of the systematic literature review indicate that though research into organisational blogging is increasing, research in this subject area is still in its infancy.

Research limitations/implications

Though this paper reviews empirical research related to organisational blogging it does not provide empirical evidence of Web 2.0 use within an actual organisation. The paper does, however, advocate and provide recommendations for further research to be undertaken within this subject area.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the “state of art” of organisational blogging by providing a current synopsis of the area and provides the academic community with further recommendations for conducting future research into the subject. The paper also provides value to management practitioners in terms of how organisational blogs can be applied in an internal corporate context.

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