by Stephen Downes
Jan 12, 2017
We're on the verge of getting a deluge of papers like this: "we hypothesize that students acquire a more accurate understanding of the Bernoulli’s principle, a challenging science concept, by interacting with an augmented reality (AR) device." There's nothing wrong with that; we need to know whether games, virtual reality, augmented reality, etc., actually improve the user's understanding. But there's a caveat: if the study is going to generalize (as this one does) then it should have a large number of subjects. 58 students is not a lot of subjects (and dividing them by skin colour is utterly pointless). What I did like about the paper was the discussion of exactly how students get the Bernoulli principle wrong and how AR can address that. As a theoretical paper this is pretty interesting.
Are They Thinking Differently: A Cross-Cultural Study on the Relationship of Thinking Styles and Emerging Roles in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning
Xiaoqing Gu, Huawen Wang, Jon Mason, Educational Technology & Society, 2017/01/12
It's often said that people from different cultures collaborate differently. But why? This paper examines the possibility that different thinking styles result in different collaboration styles. The paper takes as its point of departure Sternberg's 1990 "cultural construct is introduced as 'mental self-government' to highlight the relationship between individual abilities and preferences and its effect on teaching and learning." Using small samples (too small, really) of students from China and the United States, the authors found that "Chinese students tend toward adopting roles of arguer, questioner and challenger, which are consistent with the thinking style of the oligarchic. By contrast, American students actively assume roles of supporter, starter, and timer, and are characterized as outgoing, enthusiastic, and friendly to group members, which are consistent with judicial, liberal, and hierarchical thinking skills."
One of my earlier experiences was teaching critical thinking at the University of Alberta Hospital School of Nursing. So it has long been evident in nursing schools that graduates need to have the capacity to reflect on practices and to adapt to changing circumstances. Tom Carey suggests the same framework could be applied to the teaching profession itself (and I agree). "Ultimately, we’ll have to tackle the need for faculty members – and our other educators – to be effective models as ‘critical friends’ of changes in workplace practices." Image: Nurse Killam.
This article is OK so far as it goes - there's certainly no doubt that academics are being scammed by scam journals and conferences. I get their invitations all the time, as does pretty much any other author in the field. At the same time, I think there's a bit of a naivety regarding the reliable sources. For example, it seems odd to uncritically agree that “There’s one legitimate impact-factor supplier, and it’s Thomson Reuters.” And the assertion that you've "burned your research" if you publish it in a shady journal is nonsense. The word stands on its own, no matter where it was published (but one wouldn't expect a publisher to agree with this, I guess).
This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.
Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.