About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4669-4675
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

TOOL-USE IN A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: IS TIMING EVERYTHING?

G. Lust, J. Elen, G. Clarebout

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (BELGIUM)
Introduction
The current contribution investigates the temporal dimension in students’ use of content management (CMS) tools throughout a course. This temporal dimension has been neglected in current research investigating students’ use of CMS tools (e.g., Hoskins & Van Hooff, 2005), despite the fact that these studies do research during long learning periods i.e., the entire semester. Given this characteristic it is possible that optimal tool-use, as using tools beneficial for learning, is not only defined by whether the student uses the tool but by the moment the student uses the tool as well. The present study focuses on this temporal dimension by looking at how CMS tools are used throughout the whole semester and by investigating whether the moment of use influences course performance.

Method
Participants and Course
Participants were 157 of the 175 first year Educational Sciences undergraduates at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven who followed the course ‘Instructional sciences’. Next to the lectures, a Blackboard-based CMS was provided with a variety of CMS tools: (1) administrative tools (e.g., announcements); (2) content information (e.g., course material outlines); (3) knowledge modeling tools (e.g., practice quizzes); (4) collaboration tools (e.g., discussion board), and finally (5) conceptual scaffolds (e.g., study tips).

Measurements
Students’ use of the CMS tools was registered through log files logging students’ actions –hits and amount of time- in the Blackboard course starting from February (1) until June (5). This results in 5 variables per tool.
Students’ performance was assessed by an exam (consisting of factual items, comprehension items, and application items) and an assignment for which students had to argue about an educational proposition.

Results and Discussion
One-way repeated measures analysis with time as within-subject variable reveal that except for posting messages on the discussion board, F(4, 153)= .89, p= .47, students’ use of the other CMS tools changed significantly throughout the semester. On average, students’ use increased in April, peaked in May and decreased in June again. These trends can be related to course specific deadlines in May and the exam in June. In order to consider individual changes over time, students’ use was classified into late use, early use, constant decrease use and constant increase use per tool based on the percentage change. Multiple analysis of variance reveal that for general use, Wilks’ lambda= .32, F(10, 298)= 23.32, p= .000, course material outlines, Wilks’ lambda= .37, F(4,218)= 39.40, p= .000, and external links, Wilks’ lambda= .04, F(4, 306)= 303.16, p= .000, significant differences existed between these user-groups. Only the moment students used the course material outlines impacted performance significantly, F(15, 411)= 2.37, p= .00, η2= .08. Students that used the outlines at the end of the semester (late users) performed worse on the assignment and the factual items than students that used the outlines at the beginning of the semester (early users) and students that used them constantly.

Conclusion
By exploring how students use different CMS tools throughout the semester, more insight is retrieved into how students’ use fluctuates, how that relates to course specific requirements and how these subtle differences impact students’ learning.
@InProceedings{LUST2011TOO,
author = {Lust, G. and Elen, J. and Clarebout, G.},
title = {TOOL-USE IN A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: IS TIMING EVERYTHING?},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4669-4675}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Lust AU - J. Elen AU - G. Clarebout
TI - TOOL-USE IN A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: IS TIMING EVERYTHING?
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 4669
EP - 4675
ER -
G. Lust, J. Elen, G. Clarebout (2011) TOOL-USE IN A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: IS TIMING EVERYTHING?, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 4669-4675.
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