Student tool choice in enquiry-based learning

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A presentation given at the international Pedagogic Research into Higher Education (PRHE) conference on 25th Oct 2010.

Authors: Peter Dangerfield, Tünde Varga-Atkins, Ian Ellis, Louis Vitone

Title: Student tool choice in enquiry-based learning: an activity theory analysis of a pilot project using an online social bookmarking tool (Diigo)

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  • 30 minutes

    Question to audience: how many uses social bookmarking sites? Which ones?
    How many know what they are and how they work?
  • Quick round question:
    How many of you know about it?
    How many of you use it?
  • Definition - Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them. (Wikipedia April 22)
    Features:

    Saving weblinks – own accounts – accessible anywhere
    Sharing weblinks bw groups and public
    Search other people’s weblinks (the ‘social’ bookmarking) – benefit from other people’s findings if interested in same topic via social tagging (self-generated tags)
    Toolbar.
  • Definition - Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them. (Wikipedia April 22)
    Features:

    Saving weblinks – own accounts – accessible anywhere
    Sharing weblinks bw groups and public
    Search other people’s weblinks (the ‘social’ bookmarking) – benefit from other people’s findings if interested in same topic via social tagging (self-generated tags)
    Toolbar.
  • Diverse, LLiDA + other refs
    e.g. Stud33ents adept at using technologies for social life
    But less so for their studies, education

    In today’s fast developing information society and medical discipline, it is pivotal for medical trainees to develop as reflective professionals who are able to continuously learn, update and evaluate their own skills and knowledge. Professionals need to be “adept at locating and synthesising information from a variety of sources” (McGee&Bee 2008).

    Although most of today’s students are ICT-literate, they may not possess adequate information skills to support their ability to critically evaluate internet-based resources in terms of their accuracy, authority and currency (Shanahan 2008). Students are also likely to use web2.0 technologies (e.g. blogs, wikis, social networking sites) in their social and personal lives (JISC/Ipsos MORI 2008), but not necessarily for their studies (Trinder et al 2008; Boulous et al 2006). Yet these technologies are becoming increasingly useful to busy medical professionals in their day-to-day work through the introduction of mobile Internet devices.


  • Landscape in total
    Online tool particular interest

    By tools we mean people, techniques and resources

    Convert this into full activity diagram! (rules, div of labour, community)
  • What is the value of social bookmarking tool in the context of students’ research and reflection process, especially in context of PPD?
    (How social bookmarking may enhance reflective research process?)
    During PBL with whom nad how they interact?
    How do these interactions contribute to their learning?
    How do students engage with the tool?
    What features of the tool do they use and value?
  • [this slide is just to show – not to talk over]
    Small scale study, pilot with 2 PBL groups.
    Focus groups & interviews.
    Piloted a technique: walkthrough interview.
    Online engagement and statistics- asked to be invited to social bookmarking groups.
    Email feedback requested for clarification.
    Used activity theory to help interpret and organise findings.
  • Context: information skills & reflection
    Temporal: changing patterns from first to third year
    Conflict: wanting direction vs discovery, independence
    BUT this tension is the source of learning.
    Issue of ‘depth’ in PBL learning objectives

    DEPTH – how do we know how much to cover / learn
  • Purpose of using resources:

    Source learning objectives (main source: BOOKs)
    Lectures, HARC booklets guide on what/how much should be covered
    techniques: working out from others’ learning objectives.

    Some elements of personal preference in different books is showing.
  • Friends in same year, PBL group, senior peers, ex-school mates in other unis, staff in HARC
    Family as resource, faculty, lecturers

    The purpose of first years involving people – they are the main source of info to guide their PBL especially to see what DEPTH to go into the different learning objectives.
    Senior peers seem to be quite important. As are the rest such as PBL group, facilitators.
    Interesting their comparisons with exfriends from school at non-PBL unis.

    These discussions, comparisons give them guidance and confidence to progress.

    One important person left off the drawing: their own self!!
  • In first year note taking is predominant.

    Some of these techniques are done individually, some in groups!
  • Useful in theory – but not used in practice:
    Quantity
    Utility vs effort
    ‘social’ element not utilised, recognised

    We can look at the white/green ones- and analyse what makes them take up, continue or discontinue with tool – what makes them value and choose it?
    Few took lead to set up groups – these few – ‘agile learners’ (Beetham et al 2009)
    Some didn’t log on
    Few saved resources + commented on
  • Definition - Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them. (Wikipedia April 22)
    Features:

    Saving weblinks – own accounts – accessible anywhere
    Sharing weblinks bw groups and public
    Search other people’s weblinks (the ‘social’ bookmarking) – benefit from other people’s findings if interested in same topic via social tagging (self-generated tags)
    Toolbar.
  • Report on how students interacted with Diigo

    Contradicts diffusion theory (early adopters, early-late majority, laggards) Davis?
  • So what really happened?
    Physical sharing: via f2f, FaceBook, email, text
    First year- main source of information = books , not so much internet links
    Role of sharing: to help guide students about DEPTH rather than share a physical resource.
  • Add other references
    Useful in theory – but not used in practice:
    Quantity
    Utility vs effort
    ‘social’ element not utilised, recognised

    May be a good tool in the later years when there are more internet searches
    May be taken up by an ‘agile individuals’ (Beetham et al) rather than whole groups.

    Results of study: first satisfaction w technology, then perceived usefulness, attitude, concentration, and perceived behavioural control (necessary skills using techn) (Lee Ming-Chi 2010)
    [so in our study either students didn’t perceive this method to be useful – not intended to try it out or those trying it out were not satisfied with it?]

    Satisfaction (Lee ming-Chi 2010 – most important)(Chiu & Wang 2008)
    Perceived Usefulness or utility (Lee ming-Chi 2010 , Chiu & Wang 2008)
    Attitude
    Ease of use or effort expectancy (Lee ming-Chi 2010 Chiu & Wang 2008)
    Social influence (contradicting Chiu and Wang 2008 and confirming Lee Ming-Chi 2010)
    Lee also mentions the influence of the opinions of other people; if they find that other people around them adopted techn, they are more likely to do it too [CETL: peers, senior peers, facilitator, faculty etc.; our group was pilot so did not have this influence group ] (Lee Ming-Chi 2010


    Lee also mentions the influence of the opinions of other people; if they find that other people around them adopted techn, they are more likely to do it too [CETL: peers, senior peers, facilitator, faculty etc.; our group was pilot so did not have this influence group ] (Lee Ming-Chi 2010)

    Chiu and Wang (2008) Results: performance expectancy (usefulness) and utility – same effect on continuance
    Chiu and Wang (2008) Performance expectancy, effort expectancy, positive task value – likely to help users continue, intrinsic value (enjoyment) also significant
    Chiu and Wang (2008) Social influence were not significant predictor of continuance [contrary to our CETL findings I think]



  • Diffusion theory not relevant: – not true (early adopters, early majority, late majority, ‘laggards’)

    How they value social bookmarking: utility (not the social aspect – they do this in facebook & not the bookmarking aspect, they take hand-written notes or quick savelinks

    What they value: discussions as it helps them with the depth


  • Importance of social influence – particularly strong here – see PEOPLE slide too!
  • Learners often lack skills in using techn to support learning
    Learners display enourmous differ-s in past educ exp-s , needs and motivations; these have profound influence over their preferred strategies for using technologies.
    Learners are conservative in their attitude to adoption of new technoliges. Highly infl-d by tutors and courses and expect the use of digital technologies in course contexts to have an educational rationale.
    Some agile learners – true in our case!
  • Student tool choice in enquiry-based learning

    1. 1. Student tool choice in enquiry-based learning: an activity theory analysis of a pilot project using an online social bookmarking tool Mon 25th October 2010, Session 2e, 2-3.30pm PRHE 2010 Peter Dangerfield Tünde Varga-Atkins Ian Ellis Louis Vitone Acknowledgements to CEDP (CETL in Developing Professionalism)
    2. 2. Social bookmarking ?
    3. 3. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Browse others’ searches  Snowballing  Common interests Social bookmarking  Portable ‘favourites’  Toolbar – saving weblinks quickly
    4. 4. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Social bookmarking
    5. 5. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Diigo – tag cloud
    6. 6. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Context: the reflective professional  EBL (PBL) & social bookmarking  Aims: what influences student tool choice?  Methods  Findings  Discussion Session outline
    7. 7. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 EBL - PBL 1. Clarify terms from scenario 2. Define problem 3. Identify prior knowledge 4. Review steps 2 and 3 5. Form learning objectives 6. Individual study 7. Group sharing of private study Wood, D (2003) Scenario
    8. 8. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 PBL group – which step?
    9. 9. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Analysis of problem: mind map
    10. 10. Mr Bridge 56 Married Stomach juices etc Reluctant to change Bad teeth Clinical iceberg OTC Primary secondary tertiary Life style advice Stats for men women going to doctor OTC Chronic Reluctant to go to doctor History NHS 1948 Triggers to consultation Roles staff (primary care team) Acid reflex Autonomy Smokes and overweight (bad life style) Wife has ulcer GIT tract Endoscopy Biopsy Liver Gallbladder Normal results Sick role Standard deviation Normal distribution Blames beer curry Vomiting Symptoms associated with indigestion Inflammatory response Production of saliva Peristalsis Name teeth Self medication
    11. 11. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Skills needed for developing reflective professional: - Independent learning skills; - Need to be adept at information skills (search, retrieve, store, evaluate and synthesise information) (McGee and Bee 2008);  Student characteristics: - Diverse ICT skills; - Most students use web2 for social life but not realise potential for education (JISC/Ipsos Mori 2008, Trinder et al 2008, Boulous et al 2006); Context
    12. 12. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Rationale: activity framework People Techniques Resources Research PBL objectives Student Tools Lifelong learning
    13. 13. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  What tools (people, techniques, resources) do students use to research their PBL?  Introduce an online social bookmarking tool. - How do students engage with the social bookmarking tool? - How do they value such a tool for their PBL enquiry? Aims: can students’ PBL learning be enhanced?
    14. 14. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Small scale study, pilot with first-year medics.  Focus groups & interviews. - Piloted ‘walkthrough interview’.  Online engagement and statistics.  Email feedback.  Used activity theory to help interpret and organise findings. Methods
    15. 15. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  What tools (people, techniques, resources) do students use to research their PBL?  How do students engage with the social bookmarking tool?  How do they value such a tool for their PBL enquiry? Findings
    16. 16. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 What tools: individual resources First years books internet library search VLE resources Anatomy booklets lectures Anatomy hands-on
    17. 17. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 What tools : talking to people First years Senior peers Friends, ex-school friends PBL group Anatomy staffLecturers Family, relatives PBL facilitator
    18. 18. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 What tools: learning techniques? mnemonics Note-taking diagrams drawings mind maps cue-cards quizzes copying reflecting
    19. 19. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  How students used Diigo: - As bookmarking weblinks for themselves; - As sharing tool; Social bookmarking tool: Diigo “Agile learners” Initially interested fail to see benefit of tool? [IT skill issues?/avoiders?]
    20. 20. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Social bookmarking
    21. 21. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Diigo – a group’s bookmarks
    22. 22. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Use / no use Difficult at first but got easier with use I felt I had to get used to so many things Very complicated at start; easy once sorted but not enough comments were made Ineffective and cumbersome We had our own system of sharing information Useful at first
    23. 23. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Continuance theory (e.g. Chiu and Wang 2008, Lee 2010) - What factors influence students’ continuing to use technology? - And what factors influence discontinuance ...? Value of social bookmarking tool Viewing technologies as ‘tools’ - metaphor is useful: it places control in students’ hands (Stevenson 2007)
    24. 24. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  In practice weblinks were: - Shared via face to face discussions instead or via email. - Share in Facebook© - Stored in favourites on PC or in their hand-written PBL notebooks. “We had our own way of sharing information“ Sharing weblinks: Diigo vs others
    25. 25. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Tool choice: continuance “We had our own way of sharing information“ Results of study: • first satisfaction with technology, • then perceived usefulness, • attitude, • concentration, and • perceived behavioural control (necessary skills using technology) (Lee 2010) “Useful at first“
    26. 26. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 “I felt I had to get used to so many new things “ Tool choice: continuance Results of study: •first satisfaction with technology, •then perceived usefulness, •attitude, •concentration, and •perceived behavioural control (necessary skills using technology) (Lee 2010) Ineffective and cumbersome
    27. 27. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 “Very complicated at start; easy once sorted but not enough comments were made“ Tool choice: continuance Social influence: • Have people around adopted technology? • They have an influence on continuance and adoption. (contradicting Chiu and Wang 2008 and confirming Lee 2010). • Medical students: see importance of (senior and current) peers.
    28. 28. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Importance of - Utility (and here not much web links to share); - Social influence;  Diverse ICT experiences -> large influence on uptake - Majority students show more conservative pattern of adoption/continuance of technologies; - But: some agile learners!  Lack of technology use for learning (vs social); - Confirms studies such as Beetham et al 2009 Findings suggest:
    29. 29. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Social bookmarking seems to be the least adopted web 2 technology (versus wikis and blogs) – why? - Bookmarking about how individuals manage their notes, resources ‘at home’? More difficult to shift? Discussion 1 Battelemedia.com
    30. 30. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Bookmarking has potential to enhance learning – but potential is not valued by students (at least in this stage in which they use books more than the web) - More appropriate in later in career? - And will this change as technologies converge/advance? Discussion 2 >
    31. 31. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Students do share e.g. Facebook. - Sharing is an informal activity and not just the act of posting/storing a link; - Not seen as being a controlled environment. Discussion 3
    32. 32. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35  Acknowledgements to CEDP (CETL)  The Road to the future? Conclusions
    33. 33. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 QUESTIONS Contact: tva@liv.ac.uk
    34. 34. STUDENT TOOL CHOICE IN ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING DANGERFIELD & VARGA-ATKINS ET AL PRHE 2010 /35 Publications – previous project •Developing professionalism through the use of wikis: a study with first-year undergraduate medical students. Medical Teacher 32(10), October. 2010 •HEA MEDEV subject centre newsletter. Spring 2010. (Issue 21) Using wikis to promote the personal and professional development of undergraduate medical students: a report for the CETL in Developing Professionalism

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