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Research in Learning Technology: Top 10 2019

Any end of year review of learning technology in 2019 would be incomplete without mentioning the following trends; Learning Analytics, Gamification, Mobile Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Social Media or Augmented and Virtual Reality. So, it’s no surprise that these trends are reflected in the most read articles in ALT’s journal, Research in Learning Technology (RLT).

Below is a brief summary of the top ten most read articles of 2019 and, as RLT is an open access journal, readers have free unrestricted viewing of these research papers:

  1. Smart learning environment: Teachers role in assessing classroom attention This is the most viewed article in the RLT journal from 2019. It provides an overview of a classroom with collaborative working environment using new technologies and an indoor location system to evaluate student’s attention. The results of this novel experiment shows that the teacher’s position in the classroom increases the learner’s motivation, collaboration and effective learning.
  2. Embedding educational technologies in early years education. This study used the results of a questionnaire that was sent to early years practitioners in the UK. It asked several different questions; what types of educational technologies are being used in early years education? How is it being used and why is being used? What barriers influence its implementation and what attitudes do early year practitioners have towards educational technology? The findings show that early years practitioners are accessing a wider range of technologies than where previously reported and they are being used in ‘more pedagogical appropriate ways than it was in the past’.
  3. Folk pedagogies and pseudo-theories: how lecturers rationalise their digital teaching The central question that this article attempts to uncover is ‘ what is the role of theories of learning in digital teaching in universities?’. The study found that references were often made to social constructivists approaches but the most widespread justifications for the use of technology were often based on ‘folk pedagogies and pseudo-educational theories’. However, the author notes that these folk and pseudo-theories should be acknowledged and can be used to support and develop digital teaching.
  4. Mobile augmented reality learning objects in higher education. This article looks at the mobile augmented reality app called HP Reveal (formally known as Aurasma). The HP Reveal app allows users to create and interact with layered multimedia experiences when the users are looking at learning objects. Over a two year period the research looked at the publically available data of Universities using the app and confirmed that AR can be used as as a useful tool by educators for a number of purposes, such as interaction, collaboration, digital storytelling and cultural exploration.
  5. Research into effective gamification features to inform e-learning design. This article looks at forty-one case studies of game-based learning over a 10 year period in order to identify the features that made them a success. These features are listed so that they can be used to inform those wishing to introduce gamification into their e-learning design.
  6. Use of the game-based learning platform KAHOOT! to facilitate learner engagement in Animal Science students. Game based learning is one of the major trends in in e-learning so it’s no surprise to see a second article on it in the top ten. This study used the results of seventy-two students about their experiences of using KAHOOT and is the first piece of research to see if there is a direct relationship between the use of KAOOT and the student’s final grades. 
  7. A comparative study on the traditional and intensive delivery of an online course: design and facilitation recommendations  This study compared the experience of a fully online postgraduate course delivered over a ‘traditional’ 13 weeks with an intensive course delivered over 6 weeks. The results found differences in the types of interactions but did show that intensive an intensive course can be as effective as a traditional course in terms of achievement of learning outcomes.
  8. Animating student engagement: The impacts of cartoon instructional videos on learning experience. This study investigates the impact of animated teaching videos on students learning, designed to explain highly complex, technical accounting and business processes. The findings of the study will have significant practical implications for other educators thinking of using animated videos in their teaching.
  9. Students perceptions of the educational value of Twitter: a mixed-methods investigation. This short study set out to investigate how physiotherapy students use Twitter and evaluate how effective Twitter is as an educational tool on their course. The findings indicated that the students valued opportunities to share resources and collaborate with others although it also highlighted potential barriers related to digital literacy and their confidence in using Twitter.
  10. Maximising motivators for technology-enhanced learning for further education teachers: moving beyond the early adopters in a time of austerity. Emily Armstrong’s research explored the views of Further Education staff using technology to support learning. It showed how access to devices, applications and training on their own are insufficient in themselves to motivate use in technology enhanced learning – teachers need opportunities to experiment and develop their confidence as a digital practitioner.

Author Info: Chris Rowell. Academic Developer in Digitally Enhanced Learning at LSBU rowellc@lsbu.ac.uk. @Chri5rowell

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

1 Comment

  • Jaimie says:

    These are some really interesting articles. The one about the use of cartoon videos in the classroom is intriguing – I wish more teachers were aware of this! Thanks for sharing.

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