Digital Performance Learning: Utilizing a Course Weblog for Mediating

Digital Performance Learning: Utilizing a Course Weblog for Mediating  

Digital Performance Learning: Utilizing a Course Weblog for Mediating


Two sections of university-level technical writing courses were given an authentic task to write an article for publication for an outside stakeholder. A quasi-experimental study was conducted to determine the differences in learning outcomes between students using traditional writing methods and those using social media to generate articles. 

1- One section was randomly assigned to 

Follow the traditional writing process using computermediated writing and small group peer workshops of paper drafts, while the other section published its work-inprogress on a course blog and engaged in web-mediated online collaboration to determine if there are meaningful .

2- Differences between computer-mediated and

Web-mediated writing as measured by learning outcomes in terms of publication rates and grades. The results of this study demonstrate that utilizing an online social network in the form of a course blog positively impacted learning outcomes; however, a close examination of the published peer review feedback on the course blog indicated a moderately negative relationship between the quality of the feedback received and acceptance scores. 

Thus, the value of the webmediated workshop was not based on the outcome of the workshop, but rather on having providing feedback, which generated a higher level of engagement and more time spent on task as compared to the paper draft workshop section.

3- In this study, an expert system was developed

To support context-aware ubiquitous learning activities for science courses. An experiment was conducted in a Geosciences course to help students recognize and differentiate the target rocks in a laboratory. 

The experimental results showed that the students’ learning achievements were significantly improved in terms of several cognitive processes in Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives with the .assistance of this real-world learning guidance approach. 

4- Moreover, it is found that the experimental 

Group students had significantly better learning achievement than the control group students in the “Remember,” “Apply,” “Analyze” and “Evaluate” dimensions, while no significant difference was found between the two groups in the “Understand” dimension.

 As the grid-based interactive guiding mechanism can be seen as a Mindtool that assists students to collect and organize what they have observed and learned in the real world, such findings conform to what has been reported in previous studies, namely that computerized 

5- Mindtools are able to engage students in 

Higher order thinking, such as “Analyze” and “Evaluate” (Chu, Hwang, & Tsai, 2010; Jonassen, 2000). In particular, the students’ learning performance related to the “Analyze” category reveals a rather large effect size, showing that the use of 

6- Mindtools in such a context-aware 

u-learning environment is helpful to the students in improving their analysis performance (Cohen, 1988, 1992). Furthermore, researchers have found that representing knowledge in grids makes it easy to examine and interpret the structure and logic of the knowledge as well as to recognize the differences between the targets (Cragun & Steudel, 1987; Hwang, 

Chu, Lin, & Tsai, 2011); therefore, the findings of this study concerning those four dimensions are reasonable. In terms of the “Understand” dimension, the difference between the two groups is not significant since both groups of students have been situated to learn in the real-world environment with access to digital supplementary materials. 

7- Researchers have pointed out that such 

An authentic learning approach is helpful to students in understanding the concepts to be learned (Arnseth, 2008; Hwang, Yang, Tsai, & Yang, 2009; Resnick, 1987); that is, the students’ performance concerning the “

Understand” dimension could mainly be affected by the real-world environment in which they have been situated. Although the performance of the learning system is desirable, it should be noted that the PDAs used in this study cannot represent modern mobile technology. 

8- In fact, modern mobile technology is no 

More a byproduct of desktop technology as was the case with PDAs that mimicked desktop and laptop behavior. New mobile devices, such as iPads and Android Pads, not only deviate from the established PC world, but also tend to integrate and interconnect with users in such a manner that cannot be reached by simple PDAs. 

9- Therefore, it is worth adapting the proposed 

Approach of this study to modern mobile technology. Furthermore, there are several extended issues of this study to be investigated. First, the real-world learning behaviors of the students 

Have not been fully recorded and analyzed; therefore, it is worth investigating the real-world learning patterns of the students and the relationships between the learning patterns and the learning achievements. 

10- Second, it is worth applying this approach 

To other subject units to evaluate its effectiveness in depth. Third, for those learning subjects that are not concerned with differentiating knowledge, it is worth developing new learning guidance mechanisms or 

Mindtools to help students improve their learning effectiveness. Third, one limitation of this study is that PDAs are not as popular and powerful (in terms of user interface, screen resolution, memory size and CPU performance) as those modern mobile platforms, such as iOS or 

11- Android; therefore, it remains

 Achallenging issue to implement such an approach on the modern mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablet personal computers) with new sensing technologies, such as the QR (Quick Response) code, in the future. 


There’s an old folk saying that goes something like this: No man knows the truth about himself, only his neighbors do. Having students publish their work on blogs is one way for them to find out the truth about their writing from their peers. 

Online publishing provides a motivating factor for students to improve performance as quickly and efficiently as possible, increasing their level of engagement and enhancing attention to collaboration, self-regulation, and performance. 

This study will compare the process and outcome of writing published on blogs to computergenerated paper drafts to determine if a web 2.0 social learning space in the form of a course blog affects learning outcomes

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