Our second “review of reviews” is here. Whether they show outstanding evidence, or the need for further research, we trust they at least pick your brain about your LMS-based teaching practice.
The 1st Insight: Gamification might be pushed harder than its evidence would recommend
- Dichev and Dicheva (2017). Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical review. International Journal of Educactional Technology in Higher Education
This review takes a critical look at gamification. It suggests the volume of sound research has failed to keep pace with the rate of adoption for affective, behavioral or cognitive goals. Still, it seems gamification gets better and wider use from the CS and IT fields. 50% of the reviewed research shows inconclusive findings about its effects on any of the goal categories. Most of the research is too short, uses too small a sample or offers no control group. Expectations about the value of gamification seem to be adjusting down.
The 2nd Insight: Economies of scale might be the only way hardware gets massive adoption in the classroom
- Khan and Bhutta (2016) A review of interactive technologies in learning. Proceedings of 2nd International Multi-Disciplinary Conference
As an educational tool, a physical object offers many advantages over software applications. Even though we become more accustomed to digital interfaces and at earlier ages, they still pose a barrier for intuition. But stuff primes us for multi-cognitive discovery, the minute we put our hands on it. But time and again, school innovation programs rely on screen-based delivery of digital interaction, due to its unbeatably low cost. Only a large-scale, concerted manufacturing and adoption effort might put tangible items, such as electronic building blocks, on the hands of children everywhere.
The 3rd Insight: Biometrics are primed for LMS integration, if you ever come to need it
- Guillén-Gámez (2017). Biometrics and education: a review about facial authentication software for the identification and verification of students who use virtual learning platform (LMS) (PDF). Advances in Educational Technology and Psychology
Biometric authentication can be divided in three categories: physical, chemical and behavioral. They all rely on a database of existing biometric data and the quality of the biometric reading. Short of high-profile online examinations, few scenarios today are asking for large-scale biometric authentication.
The 4th Insight: Postgraduate medical students, early workplace EdTech adopters, hint at room for more feedback-based LMS support, social media integration a possible way forward
- Barrett (2016). The role and value of workplace-based assessment in learning in postgraduate medical education. Thesis submitted for the award of PhD at National University of Ireland, Cork’s School of Medicine
- Bing-You and others (2017). Feedback for Learners in Medical Education: What is Known? A Scoping Review. Academic Medicine
- Sterling and others (2017). The Use of Social Media in Graduate Medical Education: A Systematic Review. Academic Medicine
The practicality and evidence-based requirements of postgraduate education in medical subjects has long pioneered graduate and even post-secondary education approaches. These reviews suggest a “skills gap” that could be filled by more dynamic LMS formats, primarily on mobile devices. The way technology is applied in post-graduate offering, likened to a “tick-box exercise”, stills falter to provide sufficient impact and it’s often too focused on assessment rather than actual learning or a way to deal with substandard performance. The lack of focus on feedback is patent. There is strong evidence that social media is being used among graduate med students to disseminate information and evidence, but assessing the effects of social media on graduate education or higher “is difficult”.
The 5th Insight: Flipped learning might need a new (or several) theoretical framework, engineering schools worth checking out
- Karabukut-Ilgu, Jaramillo, Jahren (2017). A systematic review of research on the flipped learning method in engineering education (Paywall). British Journal of Educational Technology
Three years ago, more than a third of Higher Ed faculty said to be implementing flipped learning, or planning to. Today, evidence is thinner than expected. But engineering fields, as reviewed here, seem to be an area of positive impact, with some evidence placing it above “traditional lecture-style” formats. Instructor training, based on more appropriate conceptual frameworks, might be flipped learning’s most impending challenge.
The 6th Insight: STEM education engagement need unique approaches, good teachers critical
- McDonald (2016). STEM Education: A review of the contribution of the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Science Education International
This research is another, necessary reminder of the particular hurdles instructor face in tasks regarding STEM engagement. It is only an attempt to classify the lines of work and the kinds of approaches used, before making conclussions about what works and what does not. However, roadmaps to more engaging STEM teaching tend to involve multidisciplinarity, and “high-quality teachers”, a term that might require classification research itself but that does involve teachers’ beliefs.
The 7th Insight: To make LMS actual Decision-Making Support Systems, upgrade traceability, consider to comply with ISO standards
- Mora and others (2017). Decision-Making Support Systems in Quality Management of Higher Education Institutions: A Selective Review (Paywalled). International Journal of Decision Support System Technology
For years now, the OECD has pushed for standardization of Higher Education standards. Some global university rankings are factoring compliance with the ISO 9001 family, for general Quality Management and Control Systems. Specific QSMs for education have been in the works for a while, and national higher education compliance could become a criteria for new OECD memberships.
The 8th Insight: An LMS or similar tool, preferably on mobile, might educate teenagers on health and allow them to make better decisions
- Pinto and others (2017). Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Health Education for adolescents: integrative review. Journal of Nursing UFPE
There is strong evidence that teenagers today are, in general, better informed and knowledgeable about the world, particularly in scientific and technical topics, than previous generation at the same age. Thanks, mostly, to more engaging and ubiquitous interfaces. But use of these advantages for health topics is deemed as underdeveloped. For highly connected, largely at risk youth population, such as that in developing countries, all the requirements are in place for better health engagement through the adequate learning and knowledge platforms. More digitally literate health professionals and officials might be the missing piece of the puzzle.
The 9th Insight: Work-based learning could be in best position to promote behavioral change at large scale, in regards to sustainable development and climate literacy.
- Hindley and others (2017). Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects (Paywalled). Higher Education Skills and Work-Based Learning
It is yet another review emphasizing the need for more learning technologies that act right at the point of action, whenever the user is about to take and action or make a decision. This case of study illustrates many aspects that would make an LMS or similar system more involved on a user’s everyday life. It discusses infrastructural and curricular implications.
Do these findings excite you, alarm you, give you suspicions? Let us know in the comments. Also, if you find research worth looking up, share the reference!