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ItemSocial Media for Informal Learning: a Case of #Twitterstorians( 2019-01-08)Open, online environments like social media are now a mainstay of life-long informal learning. Social media like Twitter help people gather information, share resources, and discuss with other participant-learners with similar interests. This paper seeks to test and validate the ‘learning in the wild’ coding schema in the context of discussions on Twitter, an approach first developed for studying learning communities on Reddit. The schema considers how participant-learners are leveraging social media to facilitate self-directed informal learning practices, exploratory dialogue, and communicative exchanges. We apply the coding schema on a sample of tweets (n=594) from the History Twittersphere community (#Twitterstorians) to provide a more nuanced understanding of the different kinds of discursive practices, resource exchanges, and ideas being shared and communicated outside traditional classroom settings.
ItemDevelopment of a Reading Material Recommender System Based On Design Science Research Approach( 2019-01-08)Using design science research (DSR), we outline the construction and evaluation of a recommender system incorporated into an existing computer-supported collaborative learning environment. Drawing from Clark’s communication theory and a user-centered design methodology, the proposed design aims to prevent users from having to develop their own conversational overload coping strategies detrimental to learning within large discussions. Two experiments were carried out to investigate the merits of three collaborative filtering recommender systems. Findings from the first experiment show that the constrained Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) similarity metric produced the most accurate recommendations. Consistently, users reported that constrained PCC based recommendations served best to their needs, which prompted users to read more posts. Results from the second experiment strikingly suggest that constrained PCC based recommendations simplified users’ navigation in large discussions by acting as implicit indicators of common ground, freeing users from having to develop their own coping strategies.
ItemDesigning Authentic Cybersecurity Learning Experiences: Lessons from the Cybermatics Playable Case Study( 2019-01-08)This paper reports our work on an educational simulation that we call the Playable Case Study (PCS). A PCS is characterized by a fictitious narrative integrated with real-world learning activities, helping students learn skills, knowledge, and dispositions relevant to a professional career. We describe a recent pilot test of a PCS focused on the discipline of cybersecurity, emphasizing the kinds of tensions and difficulties that can arise during the development of immersive, experiential learning experiences: a) challenges accompanying the work of interdisciplinary PCS teams, particularly maintaining technical accuracy while still developing an authentic and engaging narrative; b) reconciling the opportunities provided by the philosophy of the simulation with the need to scaffold educational experiences to support students’ capabilities; and c) integrating the PCS into the classroom environment. We also provide design recommendations, in the form of questions that others can consider if they are attempting to create similar educational experiences.