Using Web 2.0 Tools to Engage Content, Promote Self-Efficacy, and Implications for Intentional Student Learning

Using Web 2.0 Tools to Engage Content, Promote Self-Efficacy, and Implications for Intentional Student Learning

Paul Parkison (University of North Florida, USA) and Jeff A. Thomas (University of Southern Indiana, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5466-0.ch003
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This chapter defines Web 2.0 tools, their use in student learning, results from a study with university undergraduate students, and their implications for intentional student learning. Treatment subjects used a discussion board style site called TitanPad® to respond to a journal prompt after reading an article and before attending a subsequent class to discuss the journal article. Results are discussed for likelihood to read the assignment, amount of time spent reading, perception about being ready to discuss the material, perceived contribution to in-class work, and comprehension of the material. One inference was that with no additional time investment, instructors might increase student in-class participation using a Web 2.0 tool and students' self-efficacy with material in their profession. This has important implications for the manner in which students interact with text and content as significant intersubjective actors in the learning process.
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In many cases instructors are tempted to approach the content material and texts used in courses as objects of inquiry and implementation and not as subjects of intention in the dialogue of curriculum and student content knowledge development. It is common to see content material and texts as objects or as a set of restraining requirements for the development of course curricula, discrete lesson plans, and assessment instruments. The consequence of not considering the content material and texts as subjects of intention, defined by the instructor’s and student’s purpose in relation to them, is serious. Approaching content material and texts from an orientation that appreciates their role as a contextual actor and contributor has significant potential for increasing student learning. If instructors maintain a division between the products or objects of the content material and texts and our purpose in creating curricula and educative experiences within a classroom context, then the culture of study and engagement will develop immanently, in ways which will not facilitate educative student directed interaction with the content (Hirschkop, 1989).

To model best practices, the researchers teamed to incorporate several online exercises into an undergraduate science methods course for elementary teachers. Preservice elementary school teachers are university students that are completing a program leading to an initial teaching license. The efforts were prompted by a deep dive into listening to students’ voices about desired learning experiences in their courses. Students were surveyed and expressed a desire for more online learning as part of their teacher preparation. Table 1 displays three statements from the larger survey that revealed this desire.

Table 1.
Mean score for each question about online learning from senior year elementary preservice teachers (N=48)
Survey QuestionMean Score*
N = 48
1. Overall, I would prefer more online learning as part of my traditional methods courses.3.7
2. Overall, I would prefer more online learning in place of my university courses.3.8
3. Overall, I would prefer more online learning in place of my traditional methods courses.3.0

*1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree, 4 = strongly agree

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