Poster Session Dan Nyaronga
While stakeholders agree on the value and importance of experiential learning, it is up to individual institutions and programs to set goals and create structures and offerings to support them (Alamri, Lowell, Watson, & Watson, 2020). Community members, partner-agencies, foundations, and industries are all eager to tap into the best that students can offer. As such, employers are prioritizing customized student experiences (Pitt, Bell, Strickman, & Davis, 2019), recognizing that uniform degrees are no longer sufficient to evaluate potential, and wanting evidence of applicants’ worthiness for professional investment. As a new way of thinking, a new experiential learning (NEL) and a "customized student experience" with an emphasis on "doing”, create a new, dynamic, and flexible structure that places undergraduate students at the center of their learning—empowering them to explore and access the full breadth of relationships, expertise, and engagement with potential employers in the community. After efficiently tracking and analyzing students’ learning successes and retention through an optimized engagement and capacity building through community service, internship, research, and study abroad opportunities, the results of this program confirm previous findings and provide new information about the functionalities that comprise a uniquely comprehensive model for high-impact experiential learning.
Educational gamification aims at increasing students’ engagement in learning activities to improve their outcomes. While its popularity is increasing, underlying mechanisms by which gamification elements work are not well understood. This is especially true for Virtual Currency (VC), a gamification element which is rarely used. This motivated our research on the effect of VC on learners’ motivational and behavioral outcomes. For our empirical studies we gamified several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) academic courses using the gamification platform OneUp with only one element, virtual currency. The students received virtual bucks for successfully performing learning tasks which they could spend on course-related benefits. In this poster we summarize the educational contexts in which the studies were performed, the research questions addressed, and the main results. We conducted pre-test and post-test motivational surveys. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to assess the impact of gamification on pre- to post-test differences between participants’ scores on autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The results of all studies demonstrated a strong positive impact of VC on learners’ engagement, however, there was no statistically significant difference in the final course grades between the experimental and control group in one of the studies. Overall, the results demonstrated that VC could be a more effective motivator compared to other gamification elements, as it keeps learners engaged driven by their desire to obtain the intended rewards regardless of how much they enjoy the task itself. By sharing our experience, we intend to foster further research and increase utilization of VC.
Colonialities and Algorithms: Impacts on English Language Teaching and Pedagogical Praxis View Digital Media
The current world, marked by ubiquitous learning and guided by different types of algorithms, is resignifying how topics of social interest shape popular imagination. Inevitably, the educational environment is one of the places for negotiations of knowledge produced in the digital world, which is influenced by the perspective presented by algorithms. Based on this premise, this study discusses how algorithms have impacted English language teaching and pedagogical praxis, perpetuating colonialities, as well as the role of digital literacies in this scenario. For this purpose, this qualitative interpretive research embedded in the field of Applied Linguistics included the following steps: a) review of bibliographic references on decoloniality, digital literacies, and algorithms; b) reading and triangulation of references; and c) critical analysis of the theoretical material. Through the studies, we noticed that the topics are intertwined, as teaching practices have been permeated by colonial agendas conveyed through algorithms, generating new identities and reconfiguring pedagogical practices based on the colonialities disseminated by them. Thus, there is an urgent need for in-sevice teacher education based on digital literacies, as it can significantly contribute to the transgression of colonialities conveyed through algorithms in online networks, allowing other voices to be heard, marked, and recognized.
Formative Trails of the New High School and Digital Literacies: Analysis of the Proposals of the State Department of Education of Alagoas View Digital Media
Poster Session Isaac Leandro Santos Ismerim
Neoliberal policies have changed school structures. In Brazil, this has been justified by the need to prepare students to be able to join the job market after high school. This idea goes against the literacy theories, according to which it is fundamental to educate students who are critical of their own social reality. In Brazil, after the COVID-19 pandemic and pressured by neoliberalism, some resolutions, such as the New High School model, started to be implemented at school grounds, bringing a new component, called formative trails, to high school studies. So, the objective of this proposal is to show the analysis under development concerning if and how the formative trails designated for Language teachers in Alagoas mobilize (or not) digital literacies. For this research, part of Applied Linguistics studies, which is documental and interpretative, firstly, bibliographic research was carried out through the survey of articles published about formative trails. Then, documentary research through the analysis of the modules made available by the State Department of Education for language teachers. Finally, the documents' analyzis in order to verify if and/or how they mobilize and develop digital literacies. The analysis already carried out allowed us to perceive that some trails have digital literacy principles. However, the implementation of the components lacks in-service teacher education, a fact that can make the mobilization of digital literacies difficult. Thus, this work becomes relevant by showing the need for teacher education in the area, in order to provide better development of formative trails involving digital literacies.
Using Escape Rooms to Develop Digital Competencies of Natural Science Preservice Teachers View Digital Media
Digital literacy is one of the basic teacher competencies stipulated by the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (DBE, 2015). Regardless of the centrality of digital competencies in South African Policy documents, the Department of Basic Education has conceded that technology-enhanced learning has not advanced in South Africa as predicted (Padayachee, 2017), with one reason being that there was a disparity between government expectations and the practices of teachers (Mooketsi & Chigona, 2014) concerning technology integration in classrooms. Teacher training institutions are responsible for capacitating preservice teachers with the necessary competencies to increase technology-enhanced learning with the aim of improving educational outcomes for learners. This study reports on the use of computer-supported collaborative learning in developing the digital competencies of third-year preservice teachers in a Natural science module. Students were supported to conceptualise and create virtual escape rooms in groups as their capstone project, using a blend of physical and virtual teaching, learning, and assessment activities. Drawing on data from students produced as part of the teaching and learning for this module, students reported that the assessment for learning activities supported their understanding of the task and increased their confidence to complete the capstone assessment. In addition, students experienced the escape rooms as significant learning (Fink, 2013). This study thus shows that when teacher-educators employ a taxonomy of significant learning in assessment practices, it can improve student learning towards developing digital competencies of preservice teachers.
A Task Analysis in English Language Teacher Education: Working towards Authenticity, Agency, and Knowledge Empowerment
The present communication is a mixed-method analysis of student responses in the context of a presentation assignment that took place in an undergraduate course for English Language teachers at a Brazilian Federal University. First, this study investigates the relevance of grounding learning practices and its assessment tools on topics aligned with Critical Literacy (PASCOAL; MATTOS, 2022) and Teaching for Social Justice (ZEICHNER, 2011; MATTOS, 2014), along with the importance of sharing and promoting discussions on institutional Disability, Mobility, Financial Support, Research, Extension and Outreach, and Mental Health Support programs. The task encouraged students to research and orally present on these topics, thereby cultivating authentic language use, collaboration, and exploration of inclusivity/exclusivity within their academic surroundings. Through qualitative interpretive analysis and quantitative data analysis, our findings suggest that this activity effectively fostered students' communicative competence, critical literacy skills, and awareness of decolonial perspectives. By integrating both quantitative and qualitative methods, this research offers a comprehensive insight into the pedagogical practice, contributing to the evolving discourse in language teacher education (FREEMAN, 2002).