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Educ. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle “Sleep? Maybe Later…” A Cross-Campus Survey of University Students and Sleep Practices
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 66; doi:10.3390/educsci7030066
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 17 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Sleep deficiency is a significant issue across higher education campuses and has a detrimental effect on students’ academic achievement, physical and mental health, and overall wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to carry out a campus-wide survey determining students’ self-reported sleep patterns,
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Sleep deficiency is a significant issue across higher education campuses and has a detrimental effect on students’ academic achievement, physical and mental health, and overall wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to carry out a campus-wide survey determining students’ self-reported sleep patterns, sources of advice for sleep problems, current sleep promoting practices, and preferred mechanisms to receive new information assisting with sleep problems. An anonymous electronic survey was distributed in February 2016 to all levels of students at the University of Alberta in the Western region of Canada. Descriptive data analysis was carried out with SPSS (v23). There were 1294 students (78.0% undergraduates; 87.5% living off-campus, 77.5% female) who participated in the survey. Sleeping less than 6.5 h a night was reported by 30.5% of participants; 66.5% stated they had insufficient sleep; 80.6% had not sought help. The three most frequent behaviours to aid sleep were reading a book, listening to music, and adjusting the heat. Although sleep problems were widely reported, students seldom sought help for this. The survey revealed that students already practice several strategies (listening to music, for example) that lend themselves to serving as a foundation for a strength-based cross-campus social marketing campaign of sleep promoting strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Lessons Learned from the Dying2Learn MOOC: Pedagogy, Platforms and Partnerships
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 67; doi:10.3390/educsci7030067
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming more commonplace in the delivery of free online education and a Dying2Learn MOOC was offered by a team at Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, South Australia; (2) Methods: Working with the OpenLearning platform
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(1) Background: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming more commonplace in the delivery of free online education and a Dying2Learn MOOC was offered by a team at Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, South Australia; (2) Methods: Working with the OpenLearning platform developer, a research study and MOOC evaluation were embedded in the course, and content was delivered in innovative ways without compromising pedagogical approaches; (3) Results: This MOOC provided the facilitators with the opportunity to view education as an intervention, with testing undertaken, including measuring attitudinal change. Research, clinical and community partnerships were developed or reaffirmed and the value of ongoing partnerships with developers in creating platforms and tools that can expand the options for online learning is highlighted. Opportunities for future health professional and consumer education were also explored; (4) Conclusion: MOOCs can provide innovative opportunities to redesign educational approaches, which can be achieved by working with new technologies and with platform developers, while still adhering to pedagogical principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Massive Open Online Courses)
Open AccessArticle How Finnish and Swedish Learners’ Academic Self-Control Relates to Time Spent Online in Class, Perceptions of Educator Qualities, and School Appreciation: A Cross-Sectional Comparison
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 68; doi:10.3390/educsci7030068
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 23 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
In school settings, self-control is central to the ability of learners to complete their academic work successfully. Learners’ self-control is directly influenced by the ways in which educators execute their work, including their instructional explanations, their classroom management, and the expectations that they
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In school settings, self-control is central to the ability of learners to complete their academic work successfully. Learners’ self-control is directly influenced by the ways in which educators execute their work, including their instructional explanations, their classroom management, and the expectations that they express to their learners. Our research on this phenomenon investigated Finnish and Swedish learners in upper secondary schools. Not only is the use of digital technology very different in these two countries; the autonomy and status of educators are as well. This article compares the empirical significance of antecedents of learners’ academic self-control in the two national settings by surveying 2191 learners in Swedish and Finnish schools. Our analysis applies structural equation modeling to two cross-sectional datasets, and the results reveal that the associations between educators’ instructional explanations, classroom management, and their high expectations on the one hand and learners’ academic self-control on the other are stronger overall among Finnish students than among Swedish students. Furthermore, the association between digital technology use and learners’ perceptions of conflict between school norms and Internet opportunities are much stronger in the Swedish sample than the Finnish sample. Lastly, we discuss the meaning of these results and their possible implications for research and practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Education: Reflecting on Application of Environmental Attitudes Measuring Scale in Higher Education Students
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 69; doi:10.3390/educsci7030069
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
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Abstract
The Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Attitudes toward the Sustainable Development (EAATSD) scale measures environmental concern in relation to sustainable development. This article will discuss how this scale was tested with three groups of Dutch higher education students. Findings demonstrate that anthropocentric and ecocentric values
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The Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Attitudes toward the Sustainable Development (EAATSD) scale measures environmental concern in relation to sustainable development. This article will discuss how this scale was tested with three groups of Dutch higher education students. Findings demonstrate that anthropocentric and ecocentric values are independent of the students’ chosen course of study, suggesting that students attracted by the ‘sustainable development’ course title do not necessarily associate ‘sustainability’ with ecocentric aims. This article discusses why ecocentric values are beneficial to the objective of a sustainable society and proposes ways forward in which these values can be enhanced in learners. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Job Club: A Program to Assist Occupational Therapy Students’ Transition to Practice
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 70; doi:10.3390/educsci7030070
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Transition to practice can be identified as the change from the role of student to the role of practitioner. This period of transition is a time of intense professional and personal development. Typically, it can take anywhere between six months to two years
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Transition to practice can be identified as the change from the role of student to the role of practitioner. This period of transition is a time of intense professional and personal development. Typically, it can take anywhere between six months to two years before an entry-level therapist feels competent in the workplace. A number of factors affect the transition process, including role uncertainty, inadequate supervision, and an overall lack of confidence in clinical skills. This paper discusses a case example of a Job Club, provided by a Western Australian Occupational Therapy university program. The concept was initially set up to support students through the process of seeking and gaining employment. Over time, the club developed a broader scope based on the needs of attendees. This example illustrates the needs of students for greater support in this important transition, and lays the groundwork for formal research in future. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Systems Thinking for Understanding Sustainability? Nordic Student Teachers’ Views on the Relationship between Species Identification, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 72; doi:10.3390/educsci7030072
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability is a complex concept including ecological, economic and social dimensions, which in turn involve several aspects that are interrelated in a complex way, such as cultural, health and political aspects. Systems thinking, which focuses on a system’s interrelated parts, could therefore help
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Sustainability is a complex concept including ecological, economic and social dimensions, which in turn involve several aspects that are interrelated in a complex way, such as cultural, health and political aspects. Systems thinking, which focuses on a system’s interrelated parts, could therefore help people understand the complexity of sustainability. The aim of this study is to analyse student teachers’ level of systems thinking regarding sustainability, especially the ecological dimension, and how they explain the relationship between species identification, biodiversity and sustainability. Nordic student teachers (N = 424) participated in a questionnaire and their open answers were content-analysed and categorised. The results indicate the student teachers’ low level of systems thinking regarding ecological sustainability. About a quarter of them (25.4%) had a basic level including interconnections (13.7%), additional feedback (8.9%) and also behavioural aspects (2.8%), but none of them reached an intermediate or advanced level. The low level of systems thinking could be explained by two main factors: (1) Systems thinking has not been used as an educational method of developing understanding of sustainability in teacher education programmes; and (2) systems thinking is also a result of life experiences; the older ones showing more systems thinking than the younger ones. Therefore, elementary forms of systems thinking should be an educational method already in primary education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Flipped Model to Traditional Classroom Learning in a Professional Pharmacy Course
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 73; doi:10.3390/educsci7030073
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
The flipped classroom is an approach to incorporate active learning that is being used in secondary education, higher education, and professional schools. This study investigates its impact on student learning and confidence in a professional degree program course. A quasi-experimental study was conducted
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The flipped classroom is an approach to incorporate active learning that is being used in secondary education, higher education, and professional schools. This study investigates its impact on student learning and confidence in a professional degree program course. A quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate pharmacy students enrolled in a semester-long didactic traditional classroom course compared to students learning the same material using a flipped model through online self-study modules in a hands-on experiential learning course. Before and after each learning experience, students of each group completed a 16-item knowledge assessment on four topic areas and rated their level of confidence with each topic area on a Likert scale. There was a significant difference in knowledge with students in the traditional course scoring higher than students using flipped approach in the experiential course. Furthermore, the flipped experiential course students did not improve assessment scores from pre-test to post-test. For confidence rating, the traditional course group ranked confidence higher than the flipped experiential group for all topics. These findings challenge the notion that the flipped model using self-study in an experiential setting can be a substitution for didactic delivery of pharmacy education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Flipped Classroom in Higher Education: Research and Practice)
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Open AccessArticle How to Align the University Curricula with the Market Demands by Developing Employability Skills in the Civil Engineering Sector
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 74; doi:10.3390/educsci7030074
Received: 17 June 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of the research is to discover which employability skills may be developed by students from technical universities in order to meet market demands. Since graduates from technical universities face unemployment or over qualification for vacant jobs, we presumed that there is
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The purpose of the research is to discover which employability skills may be developed by students from technical universities in order to meet market demands. Since graduates from technical universities face unemployment or over qualification for vacant jobs, we presumed that there is a misalignment between employers’ expectations concerning graduates’ skills and what they really get from school. Therefore, we conceived a questionnaire to see the demands of the business environment regarding graduates’ technical and professional skills. After analyzing the data, we proposed an interdisciplinary module system, where the mentors coming from the companies involved in the study teach voluntary or optional courses and applications in the domains where they have expertise. We used the employability skills model to find that mix of competencies that may help graduates find jobs in their field of knowledge. This innovative method serves universities, students and companies as well: the prestige of a university is quantified by the experts delivered into the labor market; companies will have well prepared employees in their specific area, with less costs; students will find jobs which will match their expectations, giving them motivation to perform. The limitation of the present research is that the study refers only to the Civil Engineering specialization of the Technical University Cluj-Napoca Romania. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Body, Mind and Spirit—Philosophical Reflections for Researching Education about the Holocaust
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 75; doi:10.3390/educsci7030075
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
This reflective essay draws a sketch of the theoretical and philosophical foundations in preparation for conducting a research project that investigates how German school learners deal with the memories of Shoah survivors. The essay explores some communication challenges and opportunities presented by the
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This reflective essay draws a sketch of the theoretical and philosophical foundations in preparation for conducting a research project that investigates how German school learners deal with the memories of Shoah survivors. The essay explores some communication challenges and opportunities presented by the use of the double linguistic medium—German and English. The central philosophical argument is that there is a conceptual conflation of and confusion around the word Geist (spirit/mind), and that the difference between the spirit and the mind needs to be explored and clarified. For this purpose Hegel’s thoughts on the spirit are considered and related to theories of memory. Also, Theodor Lessing’s reflections on the origins of hatred are touched upon, which he traces back to the splitting of the spirit from the mind. How the body, mind and spirit work together is highlighted with a biographical example of a descendant of a Nazi perpetrator. By way of conclusion, the philosophical and methodological implications for researching education about the Shoah are briefly discussed. Full article

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Open AccessFeature PaperDiscussion To Flip or Not to Flip: What Are the Questions?
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 71; doi:10.3390/educsci7030071
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
The flipped classroom has been receiving a lot of press lately as a more desirable way to manage the classroom and help students learn. However, flipping the classroom may not be appropriate for every course or every instructor. There may be a time
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The flipped classroom has been receiving a lot of press lately as a more desirable way to manage the classroom and help students learn. However, flipping the classroom may not be appropriate for every course or every instructor. There may be a time when other active learning strategies are more appropriate to meet learning outcomes, student needs, and instructor capacity. This manuscript will discuss what flipping is and the decisions that an instructor might consider before flipping their classroom which might also enhance their implementation of this and other teaching strategies. A decision matrix is provided to illustrate this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Flipped Classroom in Higher Education: Research and Practice)
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