TEACHING SOFTWARE SKILLS USING A FREELY ACCESSIBLE LEARNING SPACE - AN OER APPROACH
1 Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (GERMANY)
2 Bergische Universität Wuppertal (GERMANY)
3 Technische Hochschule Köln (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:A wide variety of skills and competencies using digital tools are needed at universities, technical colleges, and later on in the professional world. The current generation of students is often described as digital natives. However, deficits in dealing with digital tools are evident.
OER.DigiChem.NRW is aimed at students who would like to expand and consolidate their skills and competencies using chemistry-related and general software. The collaborative project of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Bergische Universität Wuppertal and Cologne University of Applied Sciences is developing specific interactive video tutorials as Open Educational Resources (OER), which will be integrated into the learning management systems (LMS), Ilias and Moodle. These materials will be provided to teachers and learners on ORCA.nrw, the learning platform of the state NRW, ensuring a long-term implementation of the created materials. Specific quality requirements are placed on the OER: The basic prerequisites of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation have to be guaranteed by all project members and ORCA.nrw. The phase-based quality assurance system enables the reflection and the adjustment of the process at different points in time.
The main questions in the project were how the didactical design of the learning materials and e-tutorials can be prepared in a way that enhances learning, and what social and technical challenges students have to deal with.
The created videos are complemented by various learning materials: these include exercises to go with each video, with which the students can review their learning, as well as cheat sheets with important shortcuts for each software. All levels of the students' senses (visual and auditory) are addressed, so that deep processing of what has been learned is possible.
After implementation of the created learning materials in the LMS, learning effects were surveyed. Central topics were:
- Is the complexity of the tasks appropriate?
- Does the design of the learning space support learning in regards to functionality and design?
- Do the students grasp the teaching goals?
- How much experience do students have with e-learning, especially in self-study, and does the frequency have an influence on the above questions?
The evaluation results (n=37) indicate that tasks are not too complex (multiple item query; 57% and 82%). When queried on several items, it is evident that both the design of the learning space (61%) and its functionality (43%) influence learning. The results show that the structure used supports learning (54%). The learning outcomes are well implemented in the videos and materials from the students' point of view (89%). Most students have already gained a lot of experience in using digital tools and feel confident in using them (78%).
The quantitatively collected results are subsequently substantiated by means of > 15 semi-standardized interviews. Location- and time-independent transcriptions are created using MAXQDA software. Analyses of the online questionnaires by means of SPSS or R allow the comparison of thematic overlaps, and are automatically done by the software through the integration of categoizations. Through the mix of methods, an overall picture of the learning behavior as well as the didactic-psychological design of the learning space can be compiled.
Keywords: OER, media didactics, quality management, chemistry, natural sciences, video production, research methodology, intentional learning.