Conclusions and Implications of Student Needs and
This paper discusses the processes of adult informal learning activities in blogs and SNS through investigating six components of the Activity Theory framework. The blogs and the SNS are differentiated mainly in terms of their objectives – sharing information and knowledge with others vs. retaining and nurturing a social relationship and interpersonal communication.
Further, the types of division of labor in each activity system were identified and conceptualized (i.e., Blogs: Knowledge Creator, Information Organizer, and Information Seeker and SNS: Selfreflector, Interpersonal Communicator, and Lurker).
1- This conceptualization allows us to identify
The different dimensions of adult informal learning activities available in Web 2.0, corresponding to the different perspectives taken on the adult learning processes (Fenwick & Tennant, 2004):
(a) Dimension 1: acquisition from other Web 2.0 users;
(b) Dimension 2: meaning-making and self-reflection;
(c) Dimension 3: learning through social interaction and engagement.
2- In addition, this study makes its contributions
by illustrating how a methodological approach – the Activity Theory– can be applied to a specific context, web-based spaces. The analytical approach for this study also demonstrates a practical application of the Activity Theory framework and the interpretation of findings from investigating the learning activities engendered in
Web 2.0. Although the approach in this study is limited to a certain degree, its conceptual discussion does advance our understanding of the universal and local features of Web 2.0 applications and the potential value of using these applications for adult informal learning.
3- Furthermore, additional work and collection
Of data representing different contexts would be worthwhile to generalize the findings of this study. Based on the overall findings of this study, it is confirmed that Web 2.0 as an informal learning environment enables adult learners to engage in different levels of interaction and participation in social activities and hence to experience diverse dimensions of learning depending on their own purposes as self-regulated and self-directed learners.
There are education implications of using Web 2.0 for adult informal learning. First, an adult learner should have a clear sense of purpose when choosing Web 2.0 applications. This study shows that the individual level of activities (i.e., self-expression and self-reflection) found in these two web-based spaces can produce different interactive processes and valued outcomes.
4- Recognizing the differences can help adult learners
Have purposes, in other words, learning objectives, before their engagement in the web 2.0 spaces rather than acknowledging learning happened afterward and plan their learning processes and outcomes. Second, along with the purpose, an adult learner can decide her/his roles and degrees of engagement in the activities found in these web-based spaces.
This study identifies the patterns of behaviors as specific roles in both web-based spaces. It presents a spectrum of engagement, from rather passive to active and from rather individual to an interpersonal level. By increasing the level of engagement, s/he can gain more diversity in learning by relating to the different dimensions of learning activities (i.e., learning as acquisition, reflection, and community-based). Hence, more interactive ways of using Web 2.0 may guarantee not only more diverse, but also a better quality of learning
With the benefit of multimedia and the learning cycle approach in promoting effective active learning, this paper proposed a learning cycle approach–based, multimedia-supplemented instructional unit for Structured Query Language (SQL) for second-year undergraduate students with the aim of enhancing their basic knowledge of SQL and ability to apply SQL to a database.
The students were engaged into the learning unit by using the designed multimedia, were asked to explore SQL syntax errors using a game in the developed instructional multimedia and to share and discuss the cause(s) of the SQL syntax error(s) with the class. They then constructed, practiced, and applied SQL commands, and evaluated their own understanding using the multimedia. Research data were collected through an
SQL achievement test, small projects, and a questionnaire. The results showed that the students who participated in this developed instructional unit had better ability to apply SQL to a database compared to other groups of students
Keywords Learning cycle approach, Inquiry–based learning, Instruction, Multimedia, SQL, Database
A database is a collection of data organized into a structured format defined by metadata. Metadata are data about the data being stored: they define how the data are stored within the database (Sheldon, 2003).
Sometimes the data stored in a relation are linked to the data stored in another relation. If one of the relations is modified, the other must be checked and perhaps modified to keep the data consistent. Database query languages provide access to information in a database.
7- Such queries may be composed via menus,
command languages, or direct manipulation, but at last appear as Structured Query Language (SQL) queries (Smelcer, 1995). SQL is today the de facto standard language for relational and object-relational databases (Brass & Goldberg, 2006), and is the most important language used to support the creation and maintenance of a relational database and the management of data within that database (Sheldon, 2003).
Because of SQL importance, students would benefit more if the teachers could demonstrate the queries and ill-defined errors present in those queries and allow the students to practice by themselves instead of following an example from a textbook (Rob & Coronel, 2007; Wilton & Colby, 2005).
8- In recent years, multimedia has afforded an
Opportunity to implement an active, student-centered instructional approach in which learners can select relevant words and images, organize them into coherent verbal and visual models, and integrate them into a whole conceptual structure (Mayer, 2005). Such an approach can enhance students’ learning when appropriate principles are taken into account (Mayer & Moreno, 2003).
Multimedia teaching-learning tools are changing the way students from all levels are taught in the educational arena. Multimedia learning tools have also been successfully adopted in related areas such as data communications and networking (Asif, 2003; Elkateeb & Awad, 1999; Yaverbaum & Nadarajan, 1996), operating system concepts (Rias & Zaman, 2008, 2010), multimedia learning (Lahwal, Amaimin, & Al-Ajlan, 2009; Neo & Neo, 2009; Teoh & Neo, 2006), computer algorithms and design patterns (Byrne, Catrambone, & Stasko, 1999; Dukovich & Janzen, 2009), or even merging