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Open access

Jana Majerčíková and Barbora Petrů Puhrová

Abstract

Introduction: The family life of a child of compulsory school age is influenced by the way that a child’s educational career is discussed and practically supported. This is transmitted into normal family life through the completion of the child’s homework and any other school-related responsibilities. The parent is considered an actor who contributes significantly to the supervision of the child’s homework. Methods: This research project explored how parents and children describe their experience of homework through semi-structured interviews with elementary school pupils and their parents. The results are presented in our study. Seven, mostly university-educated parents and six pupils were interviewed at the start of compulsory schooling, when the bonds and interaction are the most intensive between parents and children in the context of homework. The transcribed interviews were analysed using the technique of open coding. Codes identified were repeatedly read, reviewed and subsequently grouped into categories with the aim of description and explanation. Results: The survey revealed that the completion of homework in the parent - child interaction is an implicit part of everyday family life. Homework and advance home preparation are considered to be the responsibility of the parent as well as the child, on the other hand, the home preparation is also time-consuming and gendermarked. Limitations: The limitations of the study relate primarily to the construction of the research sample. The intentional sample of parents was determined by socioeconomic status and quantity and also by the parents’ willingness to share their parenting experience, and for the child by the extent of data gathered. In further research, this will be supported by observation in the home setting. Conclusions: The research findings contribute to a description of the child’s life in the family and confirm the importance of inevitable parental participation in their educational socialization at the beginning of compulsory school attendance.

Open access

Petra Kaduchová

Abstract

Introduction: The paper deals with the issues of the education of senior patients within nursing care. The aim of the paper is to find out the level of nurses’ knowledge and skills in educating elderly patients and to discover how these are reflected in the reality of clinical practice. It is a case study focused on showing the current real state of clinical practice related to the given topic. Methods: This paper will introduce the outcomes of a qualitative research (semistructured interview, semi-structured observation, documents analysis) based on theoretical background. The research was carried out during the survey fellowship in the Slovak Republic and the respondents were nurses working in standard hospital departments. Certain phenomena, relations and influencing factors were clarified through the follow-up analysis. The gathered data were processed by using qualitative methods in the form of case studies. Results: The qualitative survey has revealed certain deficiencies in nurses’ knowledge and in the reality of the education of elderly patients in clinical practice. Discussion: The deficiencies in knowledge and skills are essential in the reality of clinical practice. Limitations: The research sample was made up of educating nurse/nurses working in geriatrics, in long-term care departments or internal departments. It included a total of 16 respondents. Conclusions: Sufficient attention should be paid to the training of nurses which should be focused on the specificities of educating seniors/senior patients as well as on the reality of education that is performed. It is necessary to provide training for working with this specific age group even in pre-gradual nursing education.

Open access

Hana Navrátilová

Abstract

Introduction: This paper deals with an important aspect of preschool teachers’ everyday professional life - interacting with children during educational activities in kindergarten environment. The research of real situations in kindergarten, still rare in Czech pedagogical discourse, indicates the limitedness of preschool teachers’ communication following already fixed communication structures and patterns. There is not much evidence that teacher-child communication in kindergarten is initiated by children with any frequency. The aim of our research study is to describe preschool children’s initiations in communication with preservice preschool teachers and identify teachers’ strategies in mutual communication. Methods: The research is based on qualitative analysis of data obtained through participated unstructured observation (37 video recordings of micro educational situations with the duration of 3 to 15 minutes were collected) and written reflection of pre-service preschool teachers (55 participants). Each part of the observation took place in a different class of a standard kindergarten. In one case, it was a homogeneous class of children aged 5-6 years, and in the second, a heterogeneous class with children aged between 3 and 5 years. Our data material in the form of written reflections and transcribed video recordings was then processed through the qualitative content analysis. Results: Research results show children breaking the communication structure managed by the teacher, and the teacher’s strategies in these situations. We identified five main circumstances of preschool children’s initiations as communicating their own experiences or associations related to the topic presented by the teacher. Discussion: Our findings show a certain range of responses of future teachers to children’s initiation in interaction during educational activities. Besides evidence of releasing communication in terms of teacher management, less suitable kinds of responses to children’s initiation appear. The teacher is not able to give up control over the ongoing communication. Limitations: Selected research sample consists of pre-service teachers, who represent only a partial sample of potential interactions in the kindergarten environment. Thus, to some teachers, the findings apply only partially in practice; with other teachers, we could possibly expand our research even deeper. This choice to use only a partial sample reflects both practicality and the need to improve the competence of future teachers through recording their unscripted interactions with children. Conclusions: Children need teachers who are sensitive to their initiations and offer space for children to initiate communication. If we want to have students at the primary and secondary levels of education with developed life skills and the ability to discuss and argue, we need to offer such manner of communication as early as in kindergartens.

Open access

Brett Best and Simone C.O. Conceição

Abstract

This study explored the impact of transactional distance dialogic interactions on student satisfaction in an international blended learning master’s degree program. The program examined was collaboratively delivered by three European universities to a cohort of students residing on several different continents. Students reported experiencing transactional distance for learnerlearner and learner-teacher dialogic interaction elements and dissatisfaction in the online components of the program but reported a sense of community and satisfaction for the inperson elements of the program. Transactional distance for the dimension of learner-content dialogic interaction was highest for elements of the program that were impacted by its multiinstitutional nature, but students reported general satisfaction for the program overall. This study has practical implications for distance educators, administrators, instructional designers, and policy makers concerned with student satisfaction in blended courses and programs, and it contributes to the literature on student satisfaction and multi-institutional programs.

Open access

Simon Bell, Andy Lane, Kevin Collins, Andrea Berardi and Rachel Slater

Abstract

Environmental Management (EM) is taught in many Higher Education Institutions in the UK. Most this provision is studied full-time on campuses by younger adults preparing themselves for subsequent employment, but not necessarily as environmental managers, and this experience can be very different from the complexities of real-life situations. This formal academic teaching or initial professional development in EM is supported and enhanced by training and continuing professional development from the major EM Institutes in the UK orientated to a set of technical and transferable skills or competencies expected of professional practitioners. In both cases there can be a tendency to focus on the more tractable, technical aspects of EM which are important, but may prove insufficient for EM in practice. What is also necessary, although often excluded, is an appreciation of, and capacity to deal with, the messiness and unpredictability of real world EM situations involving many different actors and stakeholders with multiple perspectives and operating to various agendas. Building on the work of Reeves, Herrington, and Oliver (2002), we argue that EM modules need to include the opportunity to work towards the practice of authentic activities with group collaboration as a key pursuit. This paper reports on a qualitative study of our experiences with a selected sample taken from two on-line undergraduate EM modules for second and third year students (referred to respectively as Modules A and B) at the Open University, UK where online collaboration was a key component. Our tentative findings indicate that on-line collaboration is difficult to ensure as a uniform experience and that lack of uniformity reduces its value as an authentic experience. Whilst it can provide useful additional skills for EM practitioners the experience is uneven in the student body and often requires more time and support to engage with than originally planned.

Open access

Beatriz de los Arcos, Bram Faems, Anna Comas-Quinn and Hélène Pulker

Abstract

The affordance of social interaction has been a part of open online repositories of teaching and learning resources for nearly two decades. Repositories are built not only to collect and disseminate materials, but enable users to collaborate and review, comment on and rate the content they access. However, research indicates that (a) most users do not participate in this type of generative use, and (b) the possibility of social interaction does not necessarily signal active participation in social interaction. In recent years the positive effects of gamification and social networking elements on user engagement have come to the fore in educational settings. From this stance, a quantitative study was conducted to assess users’ acceptance of the existing game mechanics of a large national repository of educational resources, their attitudes towards the inclusion of extra features, and teachers’ motivation to share openly. Our results indicate that teachers do not see open repositories as social networks, but as libraries of resources, and are likely to share if rewarded by intrinsic rather than extrinsic factors.

Open access

Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen and Hanne Voldborg Andersen

Abstract

This paper investigates the potential of digital technologies for strengthening the participation and inclusion of learners with developmental and attention deficits (focus learners) into the mainstream classroom. The paper describes the authors’ approach to the challenge of researching the extent, to which digital technologies may support the learning process of focus learners - in particular in those aspects of the learning process that deal with the construction of learning products and the communication and dissemination of knowledge to peers, teachers or others. On the basis of the actual analysis and a succeeding discussion, the paper concludes that in order to create ownership, pedagogic strategies and interventions with digital technologies (whether viewed from the perspective of teaching or the perspective of learning) should incorporate opportunities for developing digital multimodal reifications. These, in turn, then stimulate learner reflection and awareness. Finally, the authors of the paper emphasize importance of opportunities for reflection, tools and structures for construction and dissemination of learners’ knowledge (to demonstrate “I am able to” and “I know”).

Open access

Ünal Çakıroğlu, Seyfullah Gökoğlu and Mücahit Öztürk

Abstract

Drawing on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), this exploratory study examines the preservice teachers’ adoption of mobile technologies through the factors of current use, instructional use and future use in their teaching practices. Participants were 466 pre-service computer teachers enrolled at a public university in Turkey. A questionnaire developed by the researchers was used to collect data. Results indicated that the current use and instructional use factors had a strong positive correlation and also there was a similar correlation with the factor of future use and current use. Relationships between current, instructional, and future use of mobile technologies explained within the context of perceived usefulness, ease of use, and behavioural intention constructs of the TAM.

Open access

Catherine Schmidt-Jones

Abstract

Many users of online open education resources (OERs) are learners seeking insights into problems encountered as they pursue their everyday interests and activities. As well as benefitting from intrinsic motivation, such authentic learning activity provides context that helps the learner absorb and integrate the meaning of the knowledge. The purpose of this study was to explore barriers that prevent some online learners from using OERs in this way. Participants had experienced difficulties using music theory OERs to pursue personal music-making goals. Provided with online tutoring through an action research methodology, they appeared to benefit particularly from five aspects of active guidance: additional motivation, connections between generalized knowledge and personal experience, relevant learning activities, focus of attention, and goal-oriented feedback. In an environment rich in open content, providing these supports, in activities oriented towards learners’ goals, may be a particularly valuable use of teaching time.