Experiences and outcomes of craft skill learning with a 360° virtual learning environment and a head-mounted display.
ABSTRACT: Virtual reality environments (VLEs) such as 360° videos have been introduced as educational tools over the last few years, although the pedagogical value of these media has not been widely examined, especially in the context of craft skill learning. Moreover, emotions and competences have a great impact on the usability and adoption of ICT - and on learning. In this paper, mixed-method strategies were used to address these pedagogical and emotional needs in the context of craft learning and 360° VLE. Furthermore, a quasi-experimental design was used to compare learning outcomes of 360° VLE and traditional groups. Findings based on quantitative analysis suggest that negative or positive ICT-attitude did not affect how students experienced traditional or 360° lessons emotionally. However, ICT- and craft-competences had significant correlations with the described emotions. No significant differences in terms of learning outcomes were observed between the traditional and 360° teaching methods. According to the thematic analysis of the interviews, the 1st-person-view 360° VLE could be used for basic skill observation and visualization to support traditional hands-on learning. Moreover, a head-mounted display was considered to help with focusing on the demonstration. However, more interaction with the interface and opportunities for direct interaction with the instructor were seen as necessary in 360° VLEs for skill learning in the future.
Project description:In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3-5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2-3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning.
Project description:The proliferation of ICT in South African basic education has not been associated with effective pedagogical uses of ICT in classrooms. While there is differential deployment of ICT as cognitive tools of instruction in South Africa's schools, the effects of educators' ICT self-efficacy on their pedagogical use of technologies is yet to be fully grasped. This research gap has been attributed to, inter alia, the lack of a detailed profile of ICT self-efficacy beliefs of educators and its effects on pedagogical uses of ICT by educators. This study employs a cross-sectional survey, adapting a structured questionnaire to investigate the relationship between purposively selected 163 Gauteng educators' ICT self-efficacy beliefs and their pedagogical use of ICT. An exploratory factor analysis on pedagogical use of ICT (PUI) revealed three factors of 'traditional PUI' and one 'constructivist PUI'. Results suggest that ICT self-efficacy had a positive significant but moderate effect on the three traditional PUI and a positive significant and strong relationship with the constructivist PUI. Furthermore, a linear regression analysis found ICT self-efficacy to significantly predict all four PUI factors. The study recommends initial educator training that emphasises exposure of trainee educators to extended periods of hands-on engagement with ICTs in classroom environments. Furthermore, it recommends continuous ICT integration and the development of practicing educators with a focus on the "how to" integrate ICT tools as 'generative' mind tools. These interventions have potential to increase educators' ICT self-efficacy in resource constrained contexts. The implication is that educator training curricula are re-designed with an emphasis on practical lesson planning that includes ICTs as seamless resources used in the classroom in basic education.
Project description:We employed virus-like elements (VLEs) pGKL1,2 from Kluyveromyces lactis as a model to investigate the previously neglected transcriptome of the broader group of yeast cytoplasmic linear dsDNA VLEs. We performed 5' and 3' RACE analyses of all pGKL1,2 mRNAs and found them not 3' polyadenylated and containing frequently uncapped 5' poly(A) leaders that are not complementary to VLE genomic DNA. The degree of 5' capping and/or 5' mRNA polyadenylation is specific to each gene and is controlled by the corresponding promoter region. The expression of pGKL1,2 transcripts is independent of eIF4E and Pab1 and is enhanced in lsm1? and pab1? strains. We suggest a model of primitive pGKL1,2 gene expression regulation in which the degree of 5' mRNA capping and 5' non-template polyadenylation, together with the presence of negative regulators such as Pab1 and Lsm1, play important roles. Our data also support a hypothesis of a close relationship between yeast linear VLEs and poxviruses.
Project description:Extrachromosomal hereditary elements such as organelles, viruses, and plasmids are important for the cell fitness and survival. Their transcription is dependent on host cellular RNA polymerase (RNAP) or intrinsic RNAP encoded by these elements. The yeast Kluyveromyces lactis contains linear cytoplasmic DNA virus-like elements (VLEs, also known as linear plasmids) that bear genes encoding putative non-canonical two-subunit RNAP. Here, we describe the architecture and identify the evolutionary origin of this transcription machinery. We show that the two RNAP subunits interact in vivo, and this complex interacts with another two VLE-encoded proteins, namely the mRNA capping enzyme and a putative helicase. RNAP, mRNA capping enzyme and the helicase also interact with VLE-specific DNA in vivo. Further, we identify a promoter sequence element that causes 5' mRNA polyadenylation of VLE-specific transcripts via RNAP slippage at the transcription initiation site, and structural elements that precede the termination sites. As a result, we present a first model of the yeast virus-like element transcription initiation and intrinsic termination. Finally, we demonstrate that VLE RNAP and its promoters display high similarity to poxviral RNAP and promoters of early poxviral genes, respectively, thereby pointing to their evolutionary origin.
Project description:Cytoplasmic virus like elements (VLEs) from Kluyveromyces lactis (Kl), Pichia acaciae (Pa) and Debaryomyces robertsiae (Dr) are extremely A/T-rich (>75%) and encode toxic anticodon nucleases (ACNases) along with specific immunity proteins. Here we show that nuclear, not cytoplasmic expression of either immunity gene (PaORF4, KlORF3 or DrORF5) results in transcript fragmentation and is insufficient to establish immunity to the cognate ACNase. Since rapid amplification of 3' ends (RACE) as well as linker ligation of immunity transcripts expressed in the nucleus revealed polyadenylation to occur along with fragmentation, ORF-internal poly(A) site cleavage due to the high A/T content is likely to prevent functional expression of the immunity genes. Consistently, lowering the A/T content of PaORF4 to 55% and KlORF3 to 46% by gene synthesis entirely prevented transcript cleavage and permitted functional nuclear expression leading to full immunity against the respective ACNase toxin. Consistent with a specific adaptation of the immunity proteins to the cognate ACNases, cross-immunity to non-cognate ACNases is neither conferred by PaOrf4 nor KlOrf3. Thus, the high A/T content of cytoplasmic VLEs minimizes the potential of functional nuclear recruitment of VLE encoded genes, in particular those involved in autoselection of the VLEs via a toxin/antitoxin principle.
Project description:It is important to identify and understand important factors underpinning the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in schools. And, it is important that ICT is adopted in a sound pedagogical manner. The aim with this study was to suggest a model for the actual use of ICT in schools and how it may be related to important factors such as technological pedagogical expectations. The design of the model was inspired by TAM2 and UTAUT models, but with some modifications. We have developed a model which highlight the pedagogical aspects beyond the technical ones. Furthermore, our suggested model also include the adoption of digital techniques in everyday life as a potential predictor of adoption of ICT at work. The sample consists of 122 teachers and we analyzed the model with a structural equation model. This study contributes with a suggested model including a new construct for measuring expected performance from a technological pedagogical point of view. This new construct was a significant predictor to actual use of ICT in school. Furthermore we also developed a new construct for adoption of ICT in everyday life, which also was a significant predictor to actual use of ICT in school.
Project description:Despite the increasing uptake of information and communication technologies (ICT) within healthcare services across developing countries, community healthcare workers (CHWs) have limited knowledge to fully utilise computerised clinical systems and mobile apps. The 'Introduction to Information and Communication Technology and eHealth' course was developed with the aim to provide CHWs in Malawi, Africa, with basic knowledge and computer skills to use digital solutions in healthcare delivery. The course was delivered using a traditional and a blended learning approach.Two questionnaires were developed and tested for face validity and reliability in a pilot course with 20 CHWs. Those were designed to measure CHWs' knowledge of and attitudes towards the use of ICT, before and after each course, as well as their satisfaction with each learning approach. Following validation, a randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the two learning approaches. A total of 40 CHWs were recruited, stratified by position, gender and computer experience, and allocated to the traditional or blended learning group using block randomisation. Participants completed the baseline and follow-up questionnaires before and after each course to assess the impact of each learning approach on their knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction. Per-item, pre-post and between-group, mean differences for each approach were calculated using paired and unpaired t-tests, respectively. Per-item, between-group, satisfaction scores were compared using unpaired t-tests.Scores across all scales improved after attending the traditional and blended learning courses. Self-rated ICT knowledge was significantly improved in both groups with significant differences between groups in seven domains. However, actual ICT knowledge scores were similar across groups. There were no significant differences between groups in attitudinal gains. Satisfaction with the course was generally high in both groups. However, participants in the blended learning group found it more difficult to follow the content of the course.This study shows that there is no difference between blended and traditional learning in the acquisition of actual ICT knowledge among community healthcare workers in developing countries. Given the human resource constraints in remote resource-poor areas, the blended learning approach may present an advantageous alternative to traditional learning.
Project description:The sudden global outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 has led to thriving online teaching, including the teaching of languages, across the world. As the online teaching of English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) in Chinese universities is facing new challenges, EFL teachers have been positively exploring new solutions. To understand how EFL teachers were coping with the challenges, we set up this research as part of a larger study to examine EFL teachers’ cognitions about online teaching in response to the disruption of normal teaching plans. We did so by taking a qualitative approach through analyzing in-depth interviews with three EFL teachers from a Chinese university. Through thematic analysis we found that teachers had clear cognitions about features, advantages, and constraints of online EFL teaching and that they acquired information and communication technology (ICT) literacy through understanding students’ learning needs, online teaching practice, and the necessity of integrating traditional classroom teaching methods into online delivery. We conclude this study with a discussion on its pedagogical implications for similar contexts or colleagues facing similar challenges in other parts of the world.
Project description:This paper outlines a pedagogical approach for entrepreneurship education, with a specific focus on students who do not necessarily identify as entrepreneurial. We advance seven essential and teachable entrepreneurial thinking skills (ET-7) to form future leaders: (1) problem solving, (2) tolerance for ambiguity, (3) failing forward, (4) empathy, (5) creativity with limited resources, (6) responding to critical feedback, and (7) teamwork approach. ET-7 offers an integrative framework that unites previously distinct perspectives of entrepreneurial competencies, and outlines how to teach and develop these skills in a 12-week mandatory entrepreneurship course through an innovative pedagogical approach. This approach to entrepreneurial education was built on the concept of a signature pedagogy (Shulman, 2005) and encompasses three components (i.e., the flipped classroom, learning through failure, and access to open educational resources). This pedagogical approach to entrepreneurial education supports entrepreneurial learning through experiential activities that simulate the environment entrepreneurs face. Thus, this paper contributes to the literature by outlining the entrepreneurial thinking skillset (ET-7) required to be successful in today's modern careers, along with considering the methods, tools, and pedagogy that is most likely to support ET-7 skill development. Highlights • Seven entrepreneurial thinking skills were identified and pedagogical methods for developing these skills are described.• This new approach to entrepreneurial education was built upon the concept of signature pedagogy.• Flipped classroom allows for concrete and operational learning to occur through a series of experiential activities.• Learning through failure, which conveys entrepreneurial knowledge by giving students the opportunity to “fail forward”.• The Open Educational Resource is designed to orient students and educators toward applying this pedagogical approach.
Project description:This dataset describes two main variables, technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) and Beliefs on ICT, which may affect pre-service teachers' (PSTs) use of ICT (UICT) during teaching practices. TPACK assumes that PSTs should actively combine some domains of knowledge to design good quality of ICT-integrated courses lessons. Beliefs on ICT in this study consist of a mix of behavioral, normative, and control beliefs on ICT integration in education. In addition, UICT is defined as ICT used by PSTs during teaching practices. Three approaches were applied for the purification of the dataset; development of instruments, survey, and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The dataset consists of demographic information, TPACK, Beliefs on ICT, and UICT. The dataset is beneficial to teacher educators in designing effective programs that best nurture PSTs' UICT during teaching practices. Researchers sharing similar sample characteristics in developing countries may adapt this dataset for more rigorous statistical analyses.