Journal article critique

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  • 1. Journal Article Critique Sidawi, B. (2013). The tutors’ views on the utilization of e-learning system in architectural education. European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, Vol. 16 / No. 2. 1. Title The title of the study is brief and informative. However, it is not completely clear. It does not clearly show the impact of the utilization of e-learning system in architectural education. Furthermore, it does not mention these useful insights into some theoretical issues and practical implications for policy makers both in the government and universities. Perhaps a better title would be Architectural education: The impact of e-learning system on the teaching system. However, the title make clear the population of interest which is tutors and the major variables; the utilization of e-learning system as an independent variable and architectural education as a dependent variable. Other than that, the title avoids vague, ambiguous, and emotion-laden terms. 2. Statement of the Problem According to the researcher, the use of e-learning system was assessed by the e-learning deanship and it found that the system is of little use by the faculty of college of Architecture, University of Dammam. Furthermore, he add that a better understanding of the factors that reluctant the faculty to utilize the system and the utilization’s obstacles could have theoretical and practical implications to policy makers (both the government and university). This study argues that potential shortages of the system should be dealt with; otherwise, the present e-learning system, as it is, will not respond to the architectural education’s needs and would have negative impact on architectural education. The problem of the study clearly stated. Architectural tutors are reluctant to use e-learning tools and they stick to the traditional face-to-face teaching methodology and tools informed us in undertaking this unique study. It aimed to find out the reason behind the negligence of e-learning tools and the negative attitude of the faculty towards this emerging technology, and how to encourage tutors to adopt and implement these e-leaning tools in the architectural 1
  • 2. education. This study draws heavily on the theory of visuospatial thinking. According to visuospatial thinking theories, thinking consists of mental images and principled manipulation of mental images on the premise that: “a) appropriate visuospatial thinking during learning can enhance the learner’s understanding, and b) multimedia presentation can be designed to prime appropriate visuospatial thinking during learning” (Mayer, 2005). The justification or rationale for the study is; the theory of visuospatial thinking has been used successfully to negotiates various solutions of the design problem with oneself and communicates ideas with colleagues and tutors (Sidawi, 2012a; 2012b). 3. Related Literature This study provides two related literatures that relevant and sufficient to the study which are ‘characteristics of the architectural education’ and ‘the use of e-learning systems in architectural education’. Other than that, there are the connections between the present study and the previous research and theory. Refer to Juvancic, Mullins, and Zupancic (2012), learning about how to do architecture and how to ‘think’ architecture requires a great deal of cognitive processing, the manipulation of mental images, understanding of complex cause and effect relationships, functional, technical, performance, aesthetic, cultural and pysical aspects. According to Kvan (2001; 2000), virtual environments present an essential learning for practice of the future, exploiting technology in design teaching, researching the nature of design communication and processes, and searching for ways to improve the educational experience of a student. Blended learning according to Mizban and Roberts (2008) spans over face-to-face (f2f) and e-learning connecting them, combining learning on site with distant learning under the joint name of distributed learning. According to previous research and theory, they reported an overall positive attitude toward the adoption of e-learning among teaching staff, faculty members, students, administrators and tutors. Waycott et al. (2010) stated that the negative attitudes are not merely influenced by the lack of technological knowledge or poor infrastructure but the fact that the university teaching staff are more focused on institutional issues and pedagogical applications of technologies, so they would choose to integrate technologies into their teaching if and when they see educational value in doing so. This is coinciding with the present study to examine the impact of e-learning system on the teaching system. 2
  • 3. 4. Subjects The population of interest defined. The sample for this research majored mainly on the tutors from faculty of college of Architecture, University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The data was obtained from the survey consists of two stages; pilot study and the main survey (questionnaire) distributed to the tutors on the faculty of college of Architecture. A total number of 98 questionnaires were distributed and 53 or 54% was retrieved back. The findings of the study were generalized on tutors of University of Dammam. Therefore, it cannot be generalize to all university tutors. Moreover, the study focused on tutors on the faculty of college of architecture. Therefore it cannot be simply generalized for tutors with other domains. 5. Procedures In this study the tutors from the faculty of college of architecture were surveyed using a questionnaire that was developed for this study. It is coinciding with the main objective of this research; to find out the level of staff’s technical knowledge and skills and whether they have used any of online education tools. The procedures described well enough to allow replication of the study. The respondents were made to indicate the degree of their agreement with the statements on the questionnaire about themselves. They were required to select from a five-point scale which include a category of strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree and a structured questions which enabled the students to select either yes or no options. 6. Instruments The instruments adequately described. The researcher used a four part questionnaire with twenty nine items. Part one requested for the respondents to extent their technical experience regarding the use of the online/web tools, part two pertaining to blackboard use by respondent, part three regarding to teaching design and part four required the respondents’ to give their opinions pertaining to the use of e-education system. The items in the questionnaire were in five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly agree = 5 to strongly disagree = 1. 3
  • 4. 7. Analysis of the Data In this study, descriptive statistics used appropriate for summarizing the data. An analysis was also taken of the mean that was measured using a five-point Likert scale. The statistics been interpreted appropriately for the level of measurement of the data. 8. Results In this study, the results of pilot study and questionnaire survey were presented by researcher. The result of the pilot study suggested that a quantitative measurement of the user’s performance (i.e. the student and the tutor) would be applied. However, the measurement of user’s performance cannot be achieved by applying quantitative measures only. Furthermore, qualitative/tangible issues should be considered and measured using qualitative assessment measures. The questionnaire survey results were clearly presented and all tables and figures were appropriately used. The results showed that many of the faculty have novice experience regarding the use of PeopleSoft, Blackboard and the University’s online resources. Also they have slightly better skills in using online communications tools. Researcher conclude that a mix-up between the traditional and online teaching would provide students with more help and support, meanwhile a strategy and clear plan should be set on how to implement and integrate online teaching courses into the architectural education. 9. Discussion The study revealed a number of problematic issues and the possible reasons behind the negative attitudes towards the use of e-learning system. Accordingly, innovative synchronous communication and visualization tools should be designed and the strategy should consider possible integration between the professional training, the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) schemes and the architectural education. For that, the study needs further research to assess the usefulness of blended design and theoretical courses in comparison with traditional f2f courses, inspect how new e-learning systems should be developed to overcome the present shortages and meet architectural education requirements. 4
  • 5. 10. Conclusions The conclusions clearly presented and follow logically from the results of the study. According to the researcher, the survey found that many of the respondents were against online teaching of design courses. To a good extent the study was representative of the article, and in the correct form. Who reads it can understand the overall purpose and method of the study. Moreover, the purpose of the study was made clear by the researcher. It was made clear that this study examine the impact of e-learning system on the teaching system. Bibliography Chua Yan Piaw (2011). Kaedah Penyelidikan. Edisi Kedua. Malaysia: McGraw-Hill. Noraini Idris (2010). Peyelidikan dalam Pendidikan. Malaysia: McGraw-Hill. Internet Resources Sidawi, B. (2013). The tutors’ views on the utilization of e-learning system in architectural education. Retrieved from the web site: http://www.eurodl.org/?article=577 University of Saskatchewan. Education and Music Library. (2011). Critical reviews of journal articles. Retrieved from the Library web site: http://library.usask.ca/education/files/Guides/crja.pdf 5
  • 6. 10. Conclusions The conclusions clearly presented and follow logically from the results of the study. According to the researcher, the survey found that many of the respondents were against online teaching of design courses. To a good extent the study was representative of the article, and in the correct form. Who reads it can understand the overall purpose and method of the study. Moreover, the purpose of the study was made clear by the researcher. It was made clear that this study examine the impact of e-learning system on the teaching system. Bibliography Chua Yan Piaw (2011). Kaedah Penyelidikan. Edisi Kedua. Malaysia: McGraw-Hill. Noraini Idris (2010). Peyelidikan dalam Pendidikan. Malaysia: McGraw-Hill. Internet Resources Sidawi, B. (2013). The tutors’ views on the utilization of e-learning system in architectural education. Retrieved from the web site: http://www.eurodl.org/?article=577 University of Saskatchewan. Education and Music Library. (2011). Critical reviews of journal articles. Retrieved from the Library web site: http://library.usask.ca/education/files/Guides/crja.pdf 5