Science learning based on local wisdom, to raise awareness of environmental issues. VR technology at the service of feedback. Bet on learner personality over the outdated idea of a “learning style”; and be even more bullish on gamification. But don’t say goodbye to paper just yet.
These is some of the latest insight on learning science in 2021. Like any other social science, education hardly offers any objective truths. I can only assume the likes of Thorndike and Seligman had a sarcastic sense of humor when calling their theories as “laws.” Serendipity in the lab can be surprisingly common, yet utterly unreliable. The progress of science in education and learning only comes from tedious, repetitive, methodologically sound replication studies.
The following 5 meta-analyses are not original research, but a peer-reviewed account of lots of peer-reviewed research.
Isn’t life better when it’s peer reviewed?
Do you need access to the original research? Contact us or reach out to the researchers directly
Meta-Analysis: Science Learning Based on Local Wisdom Against Preserving School Environments During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Tomi Apra Santosa and others. (2021) Unnes Journal of Biology Education, Vol. 10, No. 2, 244-251
Education no longer runs effectively. Has it ever? In terms of the global quality experienced by the average learner, the current state of the practice is economically and logistically cumbersome, not to mention environmentally impactful. But it’s precisely the respect and understanding of the learner locality that is the key to an innovative education that develops more aware citizens. Fashionably so, this meta-analysis focused specifically on environmental awareness.
The Take: Local wisdom framed within a science subject can be a powerful way to raise awareness and, well, wisdom.
Learner Acceptance and Student Experience of Virtual Reality Usage in Biology learning: A Meta-analysis
Shafira Eltasari, Susilo. (2021) Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education, Vol. 12, No. 14, 851-858
From static imagery of the cell, molecules and DNA strands, animations and 2-D simulations ushered a new era of biological learning, if unfortunately it never saw a broader light beyond college majors. But now, thanks to kind of dated tech, virtual reality can provide much enjoyed spatial perspective.
The Take: Feel free to invest in immersive experiences for subjects where spatial relations matter. Make sure the experience involves assessment too.
Effect of Paper Versus Digital Reading in Health Professional Education: A Systematic: Review and Meta-Analysis
Guillaume Fontaine and others. (2021) American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Vol 85, No. 6
Some never see a future where there is no paper. Others can’t wait to see the day. But which one is the sound pedagogical route? Unfortunately, despite the broad evidence available by the analysts, the studies were too heterogeneous to be deemed reliable. A predilection for paper over screen, observed in a number of subgroups, cannot be completely attributed to the medium and not things like familiarity or emotional cues.
The Take: It might be best to keep trees as trees and make the most of electronic devices to administer education instead.
Big Five personality traits and academic performance: A meta-analysis
Sakhavat Mammadov. (2021) Journal of Personality. Free Access
With access to a large and diverse sample space, this likely candidate to most robust educational research of the year associates traits with standard academic performance. The evidence is clear: Conscientiousness and Openness are correlated with better academic performance, a relationship that appears to strengthen over time; whereas Agreeableness, Extraversion and Neuroticism, the remaining “Big Five” traits, show neutral to slightly negative effect.
The Take: The time for Conscientiousness-Based Education is quite possibly upon us.
Does gamification affect academic achievement? A meta-analysis of studies conducted in Turkey
Melih Dikmen (2021) International Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, Vol 13, No. 3, 3001-3020
Turkish learners are players at heart. Despite the restriction to one country, analysts found 52 experimental studies to come up with an undisputable finding: Gamification is nice. It can also explain over 70% of the variance on academic achievement. Even after controlling for age, level and even class sizes, this meta-analysis leaves little doubt about the powerful role gamification can play in a classroom.
The Take: Game on! Develop a mix of in-class play and motivational incentives, and manage the growth of measurable achievements.