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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)

Just look at these interesting articles, appears in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), Volume 28, Number 1, 2012.

Patterns 1: Basalt stones, Godfrey's Beach, Stanley, Tasmania, about 300 km from Hobart,
 host city for [ascilite 2011] Conference.

Using blogging and laptop computers to improve writing skills on a vocational training course
By Nick Marsden and Eileen Piggot-Irvine

The action research project described in this paper was part of an initiative to bring about change in the way courses are delivered in the vocational trades area at UNITEC New Zealand. We decided to focus on students' writing on a new Level 3 course - the Certificate in Automotive and Mechanical Engineering (C.A.M.E.) in which all participants had netbooks or laptops for the first time. We selected blogging because it introduces new possibilities in a field where one would not expect to see much written work by students.

Impact of static graphics, animated graphics and mental imagery on a complex learning task
By Feng-Qi Lai and Timothy J. Newby

The present study compared the impact of different categories of graphics used within a complex learning task. One hundred eighty five native English speaking undergraduates participated in a task that required learning 18 Chinese radicals and their English equivalent translations. A post-test only control group design compared performance differences following training between 5 groups of participants (control, concrete verbal imagery information, single static graphics, multiple gradient static graphics, and animated graphics) on both immediate and 4-week retention tests.
Data analysis indicated all graphic groups significantly outperformed the control group immediately following training. A 4-week delayed test showed those originally receiving multiple gradient static graphics significantly outperformed all other groups except those receiving the animated graphics. Implications are discussed based on cognitive load and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning.

Understanding student perceptions and motivation towards academic blogs: An exploratory study
By Liping Deng and Allan H. K. Yuen

The success of academic blogs depends on the participation and engagement of students. Taking an exploratory approach, this study aims to develop a better understanding of the perceptions of student teachers towards academic blogging, and the factors that motivate them to write academic blogs voluntarily.
Drawing on data gathered from questionnaires, interviews, and content analysis of blog posts, the study reveals a set of mediating factors in individual, social and academic dimensions, among which students' perceived values of blogs play a critical role. Our findings have methodological and practical implications for researchers and teachers interested in academic blogs, especially for those in the field of teacher education.

The iPortfolio: Measuring uptake and effective use of an institutional electronic portfolio in higher education
By Brian R. von Konsky and Beverley Oliver

An institutional electronic portfolio called the iPortfolio had over 17,000 subscribers one year after its introduction at an Australian university. This paper reports on a study to determine how students use these iPortfolio accounts, and factors leading to uptake and effective use. Self-assessed competence with technology skills, factors motivating uptake, and barriers to adoption were examined using an online survey completed by 554 students. Of these, 339 had an iPortfolio at the time they completed the survey.
Survey results were examined in the context of usage patterns based on data automatically collected for operational and administrative purposes. No statistically significant difference in prior technology use or self-assessed competence with information technology was observed when comparing students with iPortfolio accounts to those without.

The challenges and opportunities for professional societies in higher education in Australasia: A PEST analysis
By Iain Doherty, Caroline Steel and Dominique Parrish

Professional societies, established to support academic and professional staff in higher education, need to be vigilant of regional and international trends that affect their core business. In this paper, we provide an analysis of political, economic, social and technological factors that are impacting upon the Australasian higher education environment through considering the case of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite).
Drawing on two ascilite membership surveys along with the relevant literature we identify significant challenges for professional societies and offer some strategic insights for similar regional societies and their executive teams.

Effects of presentation mode on mobile language learning: A performance efficiency perspective
By I-Jung Chen, Chi-Cheng Chang and Jung-Chuan Yen

This study investigated the effects of simultaneous written text on the comprehension of spoken English as a foreign language, when the text is presented with the aid of a personal digital assistant (PDA) as a learning tool. Eighty-seven university students majoring in applied foreign languages were randomly assigned to either listening with auditory materials only, or listening with identical and concurrent written text.
 Performance efficiency was used to provide a better indicator of the quality of learning. The results revealed that for learners with lower English levels, the presence of concurrent written text elicited higher performance efficiency in the immediate recall task of the English listening comprehension. However, the beneficial effect of the written text did not extend to the subsequent auditory-only passage. The study suggested that when using mobile devices as training tools, the provision of written text facilitates the acquisition of information but not the schema construction of the English listening comprehension skill.

Source: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology