Online discussions are commonly used as learning activities in higher education. One of the rationales behind their use is to enhance students’ competence in critical thinking and rational argumentation. In the research field, several approaches to critical thinking and rational argumentation are suggested, and several frameworks for analyzing online educational discussions are employed. In this article, online discussions from an introductory philosophy course are analyzed. The microstructure of arguments (how arguments are backed) and the macrostructure of argumentation (how arguments are linked together in chains of arguments and counterarguments) are used as analytic tools. The categories for analysis are based on Toulmin’s argument model. The aim here is twofold. First, the article explores what occurs in online discussions in an introductory philosophy course where competence in argumentation is a specific learning objective, analyzed using the categories of the microstructure of arguments and the macrostructure of argumentation. Second, the article discusses how suitable the categories from Toulmin’s model are for such analysis. The analysis reveals that the students eagerly discussed the topic, showed an understanding of the topic, and employed subject knowledge. Yet, their discussion posts tended to be associative and unaddressed. The categories of the microstructure of arguments and the macrostructure of argumentation proved powerful tools for analysis. The analysis coincides with the students’ and teachers’ own evaluation of argumentation in the discussions, yet it provides a more justified, detailed picture of the strengths and weaknesses in the students’ argumentation. Nevertheless, important qualities of the discussion are not revealed by these categories. One recommendation for teaching and facilitation is to provide students with an elaborated conception of rational argumentation.
Although the first phase of this study analyzing the e-learning of undergraduate students in Campus Monterrey at Tecnologico de Monterrey resulted in several premises about how and what students learn on digital media (DM), the analysis of this paper1Dealing the second phase of the project. focused on transforming those premises into research questions and measuring them. Thus, the main objective was to discover if there were any gender differences in the use of digital media (DM) and social media. E-learning theory (Haythornthwaite & Andrews, 2011) was mainly used to discuss the findings. A survey of undergraduate students enrolled in courses at the Department of Languages, in the Campus State of Mexico, was applied to collect data. Approximately 650 students answered the survey. Significant gender differences were found in the use of DM, as well as differences of purpose for its use and that of social media. By and large, this study suggested that the idea of Millennials as a generational movement using DM technologies is a questionable one, at least for the case of students in this age category at the State of Mexico campus, and that future study should consider an alternative reason.
In order to effectively integrate digital technology into education, it is necessary to examine and understand teachers’ preparedness to use digital technology in education. The objective of this pilot study is to validate a self-reported instrument to measure teachers’ preparedness to use Information and Communication Technologies for learning and teaching. The survey items of the instrument are grounded and developed on the basis of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Data was collected from a sample of 157 teachers at seven K-9 schools in Sweden and analysed mainly using exploratory factor analysis. The results yielded a seven-factor structure comprising a model of teachers’ digital competence focusing on their preparedness. These factors are: (1) Abilities to use digital learning technology, (2) Social influence and support, (3) Intention of use, (4) Usefulness and efficiency, (5) Limitation awareness, (6) Pedagogical potential, and (7) Assistance awareness. The results of this study aim to support schools when encouraging and supporting teachers to use technology in teaching and learning. They can also be used to measure differences before and after inventions, such as on the job teacher training.
Drawing on 178 video-recorded lessons from 47 lower-secondary classrooms with high technological infrastructure in Norway, the present study sheds light on how and for what purposes teachers use technology in their everyday instruction, providing important insights into what kind of digital literacy practices students experience in a classroom context. Key findings are that teachers’ implementation and uptake of technology in everyday instruction was narrow and limited. Despite good access and high national ambitions for the development of students’ digital competence, teachers’ uptake of the available digital technology was very often limited to supporting traditional teacher-centered practices, with low student participation, suggesting that information and communications technology (ICT) was used for traditional transmissive pedagogy. Teachers’ discourse around ICT in class was practical and technical, rather than conceptual. Further, students’ use of technology mainly revolved around writing digital texts, individually, not the promising pedagogical practices associated with ICT in previous research. These findings show that the implementation of digital technology and the development of digital competence in schools require far more than an ambitious curriculum and a basic digital infrastructure. Structures at a national level are not enough, and there is an urgent need for professional development at the local level to increase the instructional repertoire and the didactical motivation of teachers in relation to digital technology.
1-2020, Volume 15
Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy (NJDL) is aimed at researchers, school authorities, school leaders in primary and secondary schools, teachers in primary and secondary education, at colleges and universities, and others concerned with education and ICT.
The journal contains peer-reviewed articles and book reviews. Through dissemination of national and international research, the journal contributes to the debate on education policy. The journal aims at creating a platform for the critical analysis of digital literacy and competence, and the use of ICT in educational context. Moreover, the aim is to stimulate dialogue between different participants in the field. Upon reception, the editor evaluates all submissions. After editor screening, approved contributions are sent to at least two anonymous international reviewers.
Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy has a focus on articles that deal thematically with digital literacy and the use of ICT in educational settings. Papers can among others be targeted on the following themes:
ICT use and innovation in education
Theoretical, methodological and practical challenges around the use of ICT in education
ICT in subjects (didactic context)
Evaluation and development
Learners’ work and learners’ ICT skills
Teachers, teacher education and classroom management
Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir
Kjetil L. Høydal
Cathrine E. Tømte
Fredrik Mørk Røkenes
Ove Edvard Hatlevik
Lise Øen Jones
Birgitte Holm Sørensen
Design: Type It AS
Typeset: Bøk Oslo AS
ISSN online: 1891-943X
The journal is published in collaboration with University of Bergen
© Scandinavian University Press / Universitetsforlaget 2020