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postgraduate thesis: Enhancing student learning using Web 2.0 technologies at a Tanzanian University

TitleEnhancing student learning using Web 2.0 technologies at a Tanzanian University
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):van Aalst, JCW
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Msonde, S. E.. (2013). Enhancing student learning using Web 2.0 technologies at a Tanzanian University. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5177317
AbstractSince the introduction of e-learning in Tanzania‘s higher education institutions, student learning outcomes expected on the basis of previous studies on the capability of e-learning from around the world have not been achieved. This study investigates e-learning designs currently implemented at a Tanzanian university, and then designed and tested three e-learning designs. Study 1 randomly selected four e-learning courses, examined the course designs in Moodle, observed instructors, surveyed students about their experiences, and interviewed instructors and technical staff involved in running the courses. Research questions were: What is the nature of e-learning designs created by Tanzanian university instructors‘ in their existing practices? To what extent do the existing e-learning designs produce student interactions and engagement? Study 2 used the most typical design observed in Study 1 as a control, and included two designs intended to promote student interactions and engagement with content. One design added discussion forums, and the second discussion forums and podcasts. Research questions were: To what extent do the three designed e-learning environments and pedagogical approaches enhance student interaction and learning engagement? Do the designs of e-learning environments and pedagogical approaches improve learning and higher-order thinking? 102 B.Sc. with Education students were randomly assigned to three tutorial groups taught by the same instructor. To establish a baseline, all students first studied using the control design for one instructional unit, and then one group continued for three units. The process of designing, implementation, and evaluation was used to improve each design and associated practices. All qualitative data were analysed in Atlas-ti and quantitative results using SPSS version 16. Moreover, social network analysis was used to characterize interaction patterns. The study had three main findings. First, before the introduction of the novel designs, students had few opportunities to interact and learned content posted by the instructor in isolation. Second, guided by social constructivist and activity theories, students participated in discussion forums improved social interaction over the three iterations. They advanced from isolative learning to collaborative learning. Social interactions and engagement were amplified when podcasts were used. These advances were gradual and differed between groups, depending on changes in instructor pedagogical strategies. Third, students improved their academic achievement and cognitive thinking progressively over the three iterations. They changed from memorizing facts before intervention to meaningful learning where learners explored and integrated ideas into coherent meaning. Advances were modest when discussion forum alone was used, but were extensive when podcasts were added. The acts of student to bring what they have learned from podcasts to the learning community contributed to such improvement. The study concludes that the use of discussion forums grounded on social constructivist pedagogies may provide significant student interactions, engagement and enhanced academic achievement. Coupling podcasts with discussion forums may be a powerful way to enhance social interactivity, higher-order thinking and academic achievements. In addition, the process of implementing constructivist pedagogy resulted in instructor learning. The more the instructor engaged in design team meetings, the more he becomes able to design complex pedagogies based on social constructivist theory.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectInternet in higher education - Tanzania
Web 2.0
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196499

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorvan Aalst, JCW-
dc.contributor.authorMsonde, Sydney Enock-
dc.date.accessioned2014-04-11T23:14:32Z-
dc.date.available2014-04-11T23:14:32Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationMsonde, S. E.. (2013). Enhancing student learning using Web 2.0 technologies at a Tanzanian University. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5177317-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196499-
dc.description.abstractSince the introduction of e-learning in Tanzania‘s higher education institutions, student learning outcomes expected on the basis of previous studies on the capability of e-learning from around the world have not been achieved. This study investigates e-learning designs currently implemented at a Tanzanian university, and then designed and tested three e-learning designs. Study 1 randomly selected four e-learning courses, examined the course designs in Moodle, observed instructors, surveyed students about their experiences, and interviewed instructors and technical staff involved in running the courses. Research questions were: What is the nature of e-learning designs created by Tanzanian university instructors‘ in their existing practices? To what extent do the existing e-learning designs produce student interactions and engagement? Study 2 used the most typical design observed in Study 1 as a control, and included two designs intended to promote student interactions and engagement with content. One design added discussion forums, and the second discussion forums and podcasts. Research questions were: To what extent do the three designed e-learning environments and pedagogical approaches enhance student interaction and learning engagement? Do the designs of e-learning environments and pedagogical approaches improve learning and higher-order thinking? 102 B.Sc. with Education students were randomly assigned to three tutorial groups taught by the same instructor. To establish a baseline, all students first studied using the control design for one instructional unit, and then one group continued for three units. The process of designing, implementation, and evaluation was used to improve each design and associated practices. All qualitative data were analysed in Atlas-ti and quantitative results using SPSS version 16. Moreover, social network analysis was used to characterize interaction patterns. The study had three main findings. First, before the introduction of the novel designs, students had few opportunities to interact and learned content posted by the instructor in isolation. Second, guided by social constructivist and activity theories, students participated in discussion forums improved social interaction over the three iterations. They advanced from isolative learning to collaborative learning. Social interactions and engagement were amplified when podcasts were used. These advances were gradual and differed between groups, depending on changes in instructor pedagogical strategies. Third, students improved their academic achievement and cognitive thinking progressively over the three iterations. They changed from memorizing facts before intervention to meaningful learning where learners explored and integrated ideas into coherent meaning. Advances were modest when discussion forum alone was used, but were extensive when podcasts were added. The acts of student to bring what they have learned from podcasts to the learning community contributed to such improvement. The study concludes that the use of discussion forums grounded on social constructivist pedagogies may provide significant student interactions, engagement and enhanced academic achievement. Coupling podcasts with discussion forums may be a powerful way to enhance social interactivity, higher-order thinking and academic achievements. In addition, the process of implementing constructivist pedagogy resulted in instructor learning. The more the instructor engaged in design team meetings, the more he becomes able to design complex pedagogies based on social constructivist theory.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshInternet in higher education - Tanzania-
dc.subject.lcshWeb 2.0-
dc.titleEnhancing student learning using Web 2.0 technologies at a Tanzanian University-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5177317-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5177317-

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