A novel group engagement score for virtual learning environments

group_norm_atkinson_distributionJorge Castellanos, Pablo A. Haya, Jaime Urquiza-Fuentes

IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 10(3), July-Sept. 1 2017, pp.306-317,  DOI: 10.1109/TLT.2016.2582164 [download] (JCR, IF 2017: 1.869, Q2 Education & Educational research, Q3 Computer science, interdisciplinary applications)


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is currently receiving much attention from governments and educational institutions. Our work is based on active learning and video-based learning approaches to support STEM education. Here we aimed to increase student’s engagement through reflective processes that embrace video film-making, and subsequent on-line discussion and evaluation of those videos. We propose a group engagement score that takes into account both individual activity and similarity of participation, thus allowing corrective actions to be taken when unengaged students or groups are identified. We tested these ideas using our own social learning platform that combines the principal features of Social Networks with tools that facilitate collaborative learning design. This platform stimulates students’ learning by means of two main reflective processes: participatory production and peer-review. We evaluated this platform and the learning approach it supports in an Object Oriented Programming course and identified interesting differences between group engagement and video ratings. Our principal conclusion is that greater teacher and student awareness of the ongoing activities and group engagement are needed.

Analysing content and patterns of interaction for improving the learning design of networked learning environments

Pablo A. Haya, Oliver Daems, Nils Malzahn, Jorge Castellanos and Heinz Ulrich Hoppe

British Journal of Educational Technology. Article first published online: 3 MAR 2015 (2015) DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12264 [download] (JCR, IF 2014: 1.394, Q1)

Learning Analytics constitutes a key tool for supporting Learning Design and teacher-led inquiry into student learning. In this paper, we demonstrate how a Social Learning Analytics toolkit can combine social network analysis and content analysis for supporting a global and formal teacher inquiry. This toolkit not only supports teachers in improving the organisation of the learning process but also generates important input to improve the students’ reflection on their own learning. Our examples show how combinations of different levels of analysis can provide deep insight in the learning process. We report a case study that exemplifies the main features of our approach and the kind of outcomes that can be obtained. Commenting and rating processes on videos are analysed based on user traces from a social learning platform. Finally, we point out implications on the learning design for networked learning environments in general.

Discussion network

Juxtalearn: learning science and computing through juxtaposition performance in video making

The main goals of JuxtaLearn are to research, develop and evaluate a pedagogical and technological framework that exploits performance to enhance science and technology learning. JuxtaLearn will encourage students to use creative activities, in particular video-making, to help them understand things they find difficult to grasp. The international project will apply to both university and school students

Juxtalearn PathwaySchool and University students studying science and technology often encounter barriers to their understanding of complex concepts. However, unlike in the arts, students are frequently poorly motivated to overcome these barriers. Focusing on ‘performance’ JuxtaLearn will provoke student curiosity in science and technology through
creative film making and editing activities. Computational identification of students’ barriers to conceptual understanding will be overcome by scaffolded creative application of concepts in activities juxtaposed to traditional understanding. State of the art technologies will support students transferable reflections focusing on two pedagogical approaches: juxtaposition performance and reflective performance.