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Given challenges of covering course content, ensuring skills acquisition, and assessing student’s work, higher education faculty often experience difficulties in practicing student-centered learning. The education literature has shown that one way of addressing these concerns is through the use of educational technologies. In this action research, ten faculty members from a Philippine university participated in a coaching programme on using technology for student-centered learning. From interviews and classroom observations, the study finds that when introduced to appropriate tools, higher education faculty use technologies for interactive learning, timely feedback, and better engagement with students. The present research elaborates how faculty from different departments have used these technologies and how the students have responded to their use. The study contributes to the discussion of how technologies can enhance student learning and complement classroom instruction.
International Journal of Action Research 2019_1 81-94
Technology’s roles in student-centred learning in
higher education
Jose Eos Trinidad and Galvin Radley Ngo
Given challenges of covering course content, ensuring skills acquisition, and assessing student’s work,
higher education faculty often experience difficulties in practicing student-centered learning. The educa-
tion literature has shown that one way of addressing these concerns is through the use of educational
technologies. In this action research, ten faculty members from a Philippine university participated in a
coaching programme on using technology for student-centered learning. From interviews and classroom
observations, the study finds that when introduced to appropriate tools, higher education faculty use
technologies for interactive learning, timely feedback, and better engagement with students. The present
research elaborates how faculty from different departments have used these technologies and how the
students have responded to their use. The study contributes to the discussion of how technologies can
enhance student learning and complement classroom instruction.
Keywords: student-centered learning; educational technology; student engagement; interactive learn-
ing; Philippine higher education
Los roles de la tecnología en el aprendizaje centrado en el estudiante de educación superior
Dados los desafíos de cubrir el contenido del curso, garantizando la adquisición de habilidades y
evaluando el trabajo de los estudiantes, los profesores de educación superior a menudo experimentan
dificultades para practicar el aprendizaje centrado en el estudiante. La literatura educativa ha demostrado
que una forma de abordar estas preocupaciones es a través del uso de tecnologías educativas. En esta
investigación-acción, diez miembros del cuerpo docente de una universidad filipina participaron en un
programa de capacitación sobre el uso de la tecnología para el aprendizaje centrado en el estudiante. A
partir de entrevistas y observaciones en las clases, el estudio descubrió que cuando se introducen las
herramientas apropiadas, los profesores de educación superior utilizan tecnologías para el aprendizaje
interactivo, realizan devoluciones oportunas y tienen un mejor compromiso con los estudiantes. La
presente investigación aborda cómo los docentes de diferentes departamentos han utilizado estas
tecnologías y cómo los estudiantes han respondido a su uso. El estudio contribuye a la discusión de
cómo las tecnologías pueden mejorar el aprendizaje de los estudiantes y complementar la instrucción en
el aula.
Below is the pre-print manuscript version of the research. I provide this in order for other
researchers who do not have access to journal articles and databases to have access to this
present research.
If you wish to receive the print version, you may email me at or
Technology’s roles in student-centered learning in higher education
Jose Eos Trinidad, and Galvin Radley Ngo
Given challenges of covering course content, ensuring skills acquisition, and
assessing student’s work, higher education faculty often experience difficulties in
practicing student-centered learning. The education literature has shown that one
way of addressing these concerns is through the use of educational technologies.
In this action research, ten faculty members from a Philippine university
participated in a coaching program on using technology for student-centered
learning. From interviews and classrooms observations, the study finds that when
introduced to appropriate tools, higher education faculty use technologies for
interactive learning, timely feedback, and better engagement with students. The
present research elaborates how faculty from different departments have used these
technologies and how the students have responded to their use. The study
contributes to the discussion of how technologies can enhance student learning and
complement classroom instruction.
Keywords: student-centered learning; educational technology; student
engagement; interactive learning; Philippine higher education
1. Introduction
Stemming from constructivist theories where knowledge is actively created by learners
(Dewey, 2011; Vygotsky, 1978), student-centered learning (SCL) has gained credence as
an effective educational approach. In this approach, students are actively engaged in their
understanding of topics, and the teacher’s role is about facilitating and scaffolding the
learning process (Hoidn, 2017). Although many teachers subscribe to SCL in principle,
there are challenges in fully implementing this method, particularly in higher education.
First, there are competing visions of what student-centered means and subscribing to this
method can be a steep learning curve. Second, teachers need to cover the course content
and SCL may take more time than the usual lecture format. Third, putting so much
responsibility on students’ motivation may lead to uneven acquisition of skills. Lastly,
assessments are more difficult to prepare or correct, given the openness of questions and
differences in answers (Hannafin & Land, 2000).
Although the challenges are valid and understandable, there are ways that teachers
have addressed these concerns. Teachers who actually started using SCL reported higher
satisfaction and improved student academic outcomes (Dear, 2017; Veldman, Admiraal,
van Tartwijk, Mainhard, & Wubbels, 2016). They also used creative ways like problem-
based learning and small group discussions to cover more course content (Loyens, Rikers,
& Schmidt, 2006; Wijnia, Loyens, & Derous, 2011). Another prominent way to address
the challenges is to employ technology in practising SCL (Kang, Hahn, & Chung, 2015;
Lowry & Flohr, 2004). Thus, different technologies could be harnessed for classes and
courses to be more focused on the learning of the students.
In this action research, we ask how university faculty understand student-centered
learning and how they use educational technologies in instructing and teaching their
classes. This present research shows that technology plays different roles for different
teachers, particularly in relation to their disciplines and contexts. However, technology
use can be categorized in terms of its different functions: increasing interactive learning,
providing feedback on student learning, and fostering closer engagement with students.
In this study of ten faculty members from a Philippine university, we highlight the current
literature in student-centered learning, the process of training and coaching teachers in
the use of technology, the results of the coaching, and the key insights from these results.
2. Student-centered learning and technologies
This literature review is divided in two parts. The first discusses the basics of SCL—its
effects, assumptions, and challenges to implementation. It then shifts to how technology
addresses these challenges and what framework is used for this present research.
Student-centered learning (SCL) is an educational approach where students direct
their own learning, are supported in scaffolding their knowledge, and have a more active
role in the learning process (Brush & Saye, 2000). In principle, the role of the teacher
shifts from being “sage on the stage” to being “guide on the side,” where teachers are no
longer the sole knowledge source in the classroom and where students learn alongside the
teacher (Weimer, 2013). The shift is often seen from the lecture- or teacher-centered mode
of learning to one where students engage and co-construct knowledge through
experiential education, creative outputs, problem-based learning, and collaborative
discussions (Abe, 2011; Passehl-Stoddart & Monge, 2014; Tom, 2015). Although
applicable to any grade level, SCL approaches are very appropriate in higher education
because students already have advanced cognitive skills suitable for deeper learning, and
social emotional skills for motivating and directing their education (Wright, 2011).
Many studies have shown positive effects when using SCL, particularly with
student motivation and achievement. Umbach and Wawrynzski (2005) use two United
States datasets and find that students report higher levels of engagement when teachers
use active and collaborative strategies. In addition to engagement, SCL contributes to
better understanding and higher academic scores (Granger et al., 2012; Nurjannah,
Husniyah, & Harjanto, 2017; Wijnia et al., 2011). However, there have also been studies
showing negative effects. This is particularly true in developing countries where SCL’s
efficacy is reduced because of implementation problems, lack of resources, and cultural
differences (Abbasi & Hadadi, 2014; Schweisfurth, 2011).
It is possible that SCL works in some situations and not in others because of the
strong assumptions that underlie this practice. For students, they are assumed to be
motivated, self-managing, and collaborative (Brush & Saye, 2000; Harju & Åkerblom,
2017) while for teachers, they must prepare class activities in addition to lectures, offer
assessments that test skills rather than memory, and create accountability measures so
that all students are on task (de la Sablonnière, Taylor, & Sadykova, 2009; Krahenbuhl,
2016). Although helpful in principle, SCL does entail important shifts and significant
challenges for instructors who use a more teacher-directed approach.
Challenges to the implementation of SCL are often the main concern of teachers
who are resistant to this learning approach. First, teachers will have to shift teaching
styles—from one where they direct the instruction to one where they facilitate discovery
and knowledge construction with students (Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark, 2006). This leads
to a second concern in terms of time, where teachers may have less time to cover course
materials and need more time to prepare student-centered activities (Cooper, MacGregor,
Smith, & Robinson, 2000; Patrick, Howell, & Wischusen, 2016). A third concern from
the students’ perspective is their responsibility and motivation for learning. The strong
assumption of self-directedness can prevent less motivated students from attaining the
skills their more motivated peers are able to reach (Kozanitis & Desbiens, 2016; Lee &
Hannafin, 2016). A fourth challenge is the difficulty in assessment, particularly for large
classes since teachers will have to correct papers and clarify rubrics for more open-ended
questions (Borda et al., 2017). It must be emphasized that not all lessons necessarily need
to shift towards student-centered activities since there are still circumstances when
teacher-directed instruction is necessary.
Although the challenges can dissuade teachers from incorporating strategies in
this approach, educational technologies address some of the implementation challenges
(Polly & Hannafin, 2010). Researchers have shown various ways for technology to
improve, rather than substitute, teacher instruction (Dondlinger, McLeod, & Vasinda,
2016; Kalathingal & Buchanan, 2017). Technology can help in instruction, particularly
when engaging students in active learning (Ralph & Ralph, 2013), and contrary to the
usual concern, there are opportunities for technology to help in terms of time because of
activities outside the usual class meeting (Damewood, 2016; Thoma, Hutchison, Johnson,
Johnson, & Stromer, 2017). It can also help in student motivation, and assist in providing
timely assessments and feedback (Connor, 2017; Nation-Grainger, 2017).
Those critical of technology use in classrooms often have low expectations for
technology to improve learning, and focus on technology fostering technical skills rather
than realizing course content (Fu, 2013; Lim, 2007). In this evaluation, technology is seen
as an add-on to the teaching process, and does not enhance student learning (Kay,
Benzimra, & Li, 2017; McCabe & Meuter, 2011). Mindlessly using technology for its
novelty has also led to negative effects with detrimental off-task activities (Aagaard,
2015; Kuznekoff, Munz, & Titsworth, 2015). Thus, there is a caveat that technology
should serve as means rather than as ends in the learning process.
Since technology should be used so that students learn better, this present research
uses a framework that integrates technology knowledge with both content and
pedagogical knowledge. Koehler and Mishra (2009) propose the TPACK (technological
pedagogical content knowledge) framework. They argue that teachers have knowledge
on three realms (technology, pedagogy and content), and that the three’s interaction form
the basis of effective teaching. Using this framework, teachers learn and integrate content
knowledge (what to teach), pedagogical knowledge (how to teach) and technological
knowledge (what technologies to use), all within the context of the learner (Archambault
& Barnett, 2010). In the realm of higher education where teachers have significant
training in content knowledge, there are opportunities for teachers to clarify their
pedagogy and see how technology could aid their instruction. Thus, this action research
looks into technology’s roles during the teaching of disciplinal content.
3. Context and methods
In 2017, Marian University, a pseudonym for a Catholic university in the Philippines,
established its Institute of Education as a consortium of schools and departments that
offer education programs and advance the school’s education agenda. One of its main
thrusts is research on student-centered learning in higher education, and the core team of
the institute gave a workshop on SCL and technology’s possible role in assisting and
advancing learning. Ten university faculty from different departments and schools
attended the workshop and tried to incorporate SCL and education technology to their
classroom instruction and assessment.
3.1 Participants
At the end of the first semester of school year 2017-2018, the Education Institute opened
registration in the Learning with Technology program, and there were twelve college
faculty members who signed up, although only ten participated in the first workshop.
Thus, this action research is limited to these ten members: five from the School of
Humanities, two from Management, two from the School of Science and Engineering,
and one from the Social Sciences.
The ten members were informed of the action research component of the study
and have given their informed consent to participating. In the study, the only identifier
used is the department they belong so that the use of technology is contextualized. The
participants ranged from second-year instructors to associate professors who have been
in the university for more than ten years.
3.2 Implementation of SCL action research
Action research is the strategy used to better understand SCL in higher education. Similar
to the action research cycle (Coghlan & Brannick, 2014; Kemmis, McTaggart, & Nixon,
2014), the researchers planned with the teachers through workshops and coaching
sessions, the teachers then implemented SCL with educational technologies, and the
researchers were there to observe the execution and reflect with the teacher after the class
or semester.
Before the start of the second semester, participants attended a whole-day
workshop on SCL and education technology use. As the participants registered, they
received informed consent forms that detail their voluntary participation in the program
and research. After a round of introductions, the first session concentrated on teachers
writing about their own teaching practices, learning objectives, student activities, and
missed opportunities. The second session focused on technologies that can be integrated
and used in the classroom. The last session applied insights from the first two sessions as
the teachers individually designed a lesson or modified their course syllabus to have a
more student-centered perspective.
During the first three weeks of the semester, the researchers worked individually
with the teachers to plan their classes in terms of creating SCL environments and using
appropriate technologies for instruction and assessment. The planning sessions are
directed by the teachers and their lesson objectives, and the researchers provided ideas
and technical support. The planning session often ended with a summary of the steps for
a particular lesson and the researchers being invited to the implementation.
After this, the researchers observed the execution of some lessons, particularly
noting how teachers apply SCL practices and use technology with these practices. After
some time, the researchers asked the teachers about their experience: what transpired,
what they learned, what they wanted to change, or what they wanted to improve. If
needed, the teachers and researchers set another date to do planning and observation for
another application of SCL in their classrooms.
3.3 Data collection
The Learning with Technology action research is interested to know how college faculty
members understand student-centered learning and technology’s roles in creating a SCL
environment. Thus, data mainly derive from teachers, either through interviews during
the planning and reflection phase, or through classroom observations.
In the planning phase, teachers are asked about their insights from the workshop,
their ideas of student-centered instruction, the changes they have made in their classes,
and how they plan to use technology in a lesson or their classes. In the reflection phase
after the execution, the teachers talk about their classroom practice, their assessment of
SCL practice and technology’s role, their students’ reactions to the changes, and the
possible improvements arising from the reflection. These interviews were recorded with
the participant’s permission and transcribed afterwards.
3.4 Data analysis
After the interviews were recorded and transcribed and the observations were typed on
Word documents, the researchers looked at the digital transcripts and notes, and analysed
these for themes in terms of SCL, technology use, and the interaction between the two.
The main means for analysing themes was abductive reasoning (Timmermans & Tavory,
2012), where surprising findings interact with anticipated ones from prior SCL and
technology research.
To identify the themes, both researchers read the transcripts independently and
discussed the codes to be used and identified three general themes that relate with the
present research. In order to show new findings that expand current literature, the
researchers have been sensitive to themes that are unanticipated but common to at least
two teachers. They have also taken note of themes that are common to previous literature
on the use of technology for SCL. All interviews and observations were analysed, and
particularly recurring words were highlighted.
For this research, we find three major categories for the teachers’ answers on how
they understand SCL and where they use technology: ‘interactive instruction’,
‘feedback’, and ‘student engagement.’ These themes come from both verbal answers
during interviews and independent observations during in-class implementation. To
protect the privacy of the respondents, they were given pseudonyms in this research and
the identifiers are general but give some sense of the person’s teaching background.
4. Student-centered learning and technology use
Since higher education faculty members teach diverse disciplines and are given a lot of
instructional freedom, there are differences in how they understand SCL and how this is
implemented with technologies. In this present research, we found teachers using
technology to have more interactive work, more intentional feedback mechanisms, and
more students engaged in course tasks. Although there were significant advances in the
teachers’ intentional use of technology, there were also some limitations and challenges
that teachers encountered.
4.1 Technology for Interactive Learning
A number of teachers have used technology so that students can interact and collaborate
with each other. There were instructors who used Kahoot and Plickers for group quizzes
where students had to deliberate their group’s answer. Although both are online platforms
where teachers can set-up quiz games, Kahoot needs both the teachers and the students
to have access to internet-connected devices while Plickers only require wireless
connection for the teacher who scans the students’ printed plicker cards. The printed cards
can be positioned to show a particular response (a, b, c or d), and the responses are
captured through a mobile device’s camera, tallied in real time and displayed on screen.
Anthony, a chemistry instructor, said that Kahoot “was a refreshing way to ask
questions and get the class and workshop excited.” For Plickers, he mentions that this
technology is an effective way to track students’ learning and a good avenue for students
to work as groups. Karina, a physics professor, used Plickers and talked about how “it
helped in making the otherwise boring question and answer activity more lively.” Both
of these science faculty members show how these applications help in creating interactive
learning environments where students feel engaged and excited.
Other faculty members also highlight the use of this technology so that students
can interact with each other. In his classes on theology, Howard uses Kahoot to test the
students’ understanding of the lesson and also incorporates Padlet in his interactive tool
kit. This program allows a teacher to setup a virtual wall where students can post virtual
sticky notes containing texts, links, images, and videos. After this, the teacher projects
the image on the screen and discusses people’s “sticky notes.” He does these at the
beginning of class to facilitate interaction among students and adds that it streamlined
collection of discussion items and created a space for people to share ideas.
Providing space for interaction did not only affect the students’ engagement with
course materials, it also affected the teachers’ understanding of their own pedagogies.
Nina, a professor at the School of Management, said, “I realized that my classes have
been lecture-intensive; I often see bored faces. By incorporating [interactions in class]
they become more engaged, and they seem excited to participate in class.” Thus,
technology’s use in fostering interactions not only affects students but also teachers. It is
important to show that one of the ways technology can help in instruction is through the
interaction it facilitates between students, and between teacher and students.
4.2 Technology for Feedback on Student Learning
A second theme on teachers’ use of technology is them receiving feedback on students’
learning. In this sense, technology is used so that teachers can gauge how deeply the
contents are learned or how intently the skills are practiced. One of the tools used is
Today’s Meet, an online platform for teachers to setup a chat room where students can
enter questions or insights being discussed in class. It allows teachers to respond directly
to questions or clarifications, and it provides teachers quick feedback if there are students
who are struggling with the course content.
In her many years of teaching, one of the difficulties experienced by Michelle, a
finance professor, is that some students are not comfortable raising their hands and asking
questions. Because of this, she tried using Today’s Meet to create a chat room where
students can post their questions anonymously, and she found out that people actually
asked thought-provoking questions and she was able to respond to these before the end
of class. Howard agrees and says, “The anonymity associated with these tools made
students really willing to participate and share their thoughts.” Both teachers show the
technology’s potential in getting immediate feedback so that students can clarify their
Another way to get feedback from the students is by having online objective
quizzes and short essay homework. A member of the philosophy department, Daniel gives
online quizzes and short essay assignments to his students so that he can get immediate
feedback and see gaps in students’ understanding of ethics concepts. He also sees these
activities as students’ “preparation for class discussions.” From this, teachers do not just
get feedback on the students’ performance; the students also try to be accountable for
their own learning. Having quizzes helped Daniel see which philosophy topics to focus
on because of the quick feedback on student’s initial understanding.
In terms of time, online quizzes can also save teachers a lot of time because the
checking happens automatically. This can free teachers up for more thoughtful evaluation
of students’ essays and creative work. As Sara, a faculty of the humanities, said prior to
the coaching, “Assessments might be overly focused on comprehension and recall of
other authors’ critique [that there is] not enough opportunity for students’ own critique.”
By having technology assist in feedback mechanisms, teachers can actually have more
time for more thoughtful activities.
4.3 Technology for Teacher-Student Engagement
A third theme for how instructors use technology is the teacher’s engagement and open
communication with the students. Anna is a sociology professor who has been in the
university for more than a decade, and she thinks of technology as “an addition—it’s an
enhancement, a magnifier of human intent,” especially as she uses technology to be more
connected with her students and to meet them “where they are.” This is why she set up
her own Schoology class where students can enrol in, get their resources, take online
quizzes, and submit assignments. It also tracks students’ attendance and provides the
students’ running grades at any point in the semester. For Anna, Schoology was a more
convenient “space” for readings, announcements, and submissions.
Other teachers agree about their use of technology to facilitate teacher-student
engagement outside the classroom. Seven out of the ten participants used a learning
management system where the teachers setup online classes and students enrol in them;
Schoology and Google Classroom are the two most common examples. Lance, a
philosophy faculty member, uses Schoology for sharing reading materials and sending
out grades. Anthony from the chemistry department uses Google Classroom for class
assignments while Susan of the theology department uses Schoology for students to reach
her and schedule consultations, aside from the functions already mentioned by the first
two professors. From the examples, we see how college instructors use technology to
reach out to their students and facilitate communication outside the classroom.
In class, there are examples of teachers using technology to engage students for
their insights and stories. One philosophy instructor, Lance, shares how he is a “lecture-
type of instructor—but of course, facilitative.” Since he wants to get ideas and insights
from his students, he tried using Mentimeter, an online platform that allows students to
answer open-ended questions or vote on poll questions. Students submit, and answers are
presented visually in real time. By using this, he privileges students’ answers and finds
that “most students… felt involved without feeling coerced or put on the spot.” Having
these technologies helped teachers connect more to students and create learning
opportunities inside and outside the classroom.
4.4 Limitations of Technology
Although there were important successes in the action research on technology’s use in
higher education classes, there were also some limitations to the implementation. For
example, Nina from the management school was unable to incorporate technology in her
classes although she has been very deliberate in providing a student-centered learning
environment. She reflected about how the lecture format has been her comfort zone and
how she now shifts to engaging students and giving them opportunities to report and do
case studies. This shift to SCL, however, did not translate to technology’s being employed
because of factors such as her health condition and her perceived inadequacy in
Other limitations with the use of technology are online glitches that can happen
when class activities require all students to have devices connected to the Internet or weird
questions when students are anonymous in online polls. Additionally, two professors said
that there were some activities that were still better on paper like quizzes and mindmaps.
These limitations are important to consider, especially since teachers want to be
intentional and strategic in their use of technologies.
It is also important to consider that teachers thought of technologies not as ends
but as means to greater learning. A physics professor said that even if she already has an
online learner management system, she still finds online participation and discussion
lacking. Rather than think of this as a failure of technology, it can be considered a good
sign that teachers want to maximize how technologies can enhance students’ learning and
engagement of the subject matter.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
Shifting to student-centered learning entails important shifts and specific challenges for
instructors in higher education. There are difficulties with time limitations, unmotivated
students, and quick assessments (Borda et al., 2017; Lee & Hannafin, 2016; Patrick et al.,
2016). Because of these, the research asks how university faculty can use technology to
address some of these concerns, and through this action research, we find that there are
significant avenues where technology can actually help the instructor in the students’
learning process.
The action research involved ten university faculty learning about SCL and the
different technologies that can help in facilitating this type of environment. The
framework used was the TPACK framework where teachers integrate technological
knowledge with their pedagogical and content knowledge since this interaction forms the
basis of effective instruction (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). This action research’s focus is
on the use of technological knowledge to promote SCL practice, and there were four
important insights that can contribute to the literature.
Firstly, similar to previous literature there are salient differences in instructor’s
understanding of student-centered practices. There are some teachers who privilege group
activities and interactions between students while some teachers think of SCL as
providing quality teacher-student feedback and engagement. Different teachers focused
on different activities, and these activities did not always need technology use. These
differences may also come from differences in disciplines and from the necessity to be
flexible about content and pedagogical style (Mancuso, 2001). This emphasizes that
teachers can provide a wide variety of engaging activities and that the effort to put
students at the center of the learning process can have significant positive effects
(Umbach & Wawrzynski, 2005). Teachers have mentioned that they found students to be
more engaged when there were activities that involved the students in the learning of a
concept. Our action research shows how this effort at more student-centered practices can
help both teachers and students.
Secondly, when given a venue to learn about technological tools that can help
with learning, higher education faculty are actually open to changing their strategies in
teaching their students. By having a whole-day workshop and subsequent coaching
sessions, the teachers learned more about student-centered learning and the possible
technologies that can be integrated. Literature has shown that teachers can be resistant to
using technology since this produces feelings of inadequacy and teachers perceive a lack
of benefit from its use (Hicks, 2011). However, a program that assists teachers to learn
more about technology’s use in the classroom actually helped teachers try out different
tools. Except for one teacher, all the program participants were able to integrate
technologies in the way they taught their students. For the one teacher who struggled, she
nonetheless was able to use SCL principles, which she admits was already a huge shift.
In this regard, teachers should know the appropriate uses and actual value added of using
technology in the teaching process (Howard, 2013), and the action research suggests that
this can be most effectively achieved when teachers are shown and coached with the
possible tools.
Thirdly, university faculty members actually use technology for student-centered
learning in at least three broad ways: to increase student-to-student interaction, for
teachers to have quick feedback on students’ learning, and for teachers to be able to
communicate efficiently with their students. Teachers actually use technologies that
promote collaborative and active learning; these can come in the form of group activities
or games that try to engage the whole class in the lesson. More importantly, the teachers
are able to use technologies in order for them to get quick feedback on the students’
quality of learning or their remaining questions. Online assessments and query platforms
help teachers get a sense of where the students are at and continually clarify lessons so
that students can learn more. Another way technology is used in a student-centered
classroom is as a means of communication and engagement from the teacher to the
student. Learning management systems help teachers cascade information to their
students, and these tools also help students know their current grades, access class
materials, and identify forthcoming activities. These three “categories” of interaction,
feedback and engagement form the base of what the researchers discovered of how
technologies can function in SCL classrooms.
Lastly, the research finds that even if teachers are coached, there are still
limitations in the use of these educational technologies, particularly as some teachers are
not confident in using them or how glitches in the execution can discourage them. Future
programs that promote the use of technologies in higher education must work around
these constraints of motivating teachers to try them out and not be discouraged by the
initial hiccups. Inasmuch as some teachers experience limitations in the use of
technologies, it must be noted that teachers still agree on the importance of using
technology to reach out to students, to promote their learning, and to create a secure
learning environment. Thus, this means that the limitations are not signs for abandoning
the use of technology but are rather helpful cautions of the ways technology can be
received and perceived.
In summary, the action research finds that although higher education faculty
members have differences in their understanding and practice of SCL, the provision of a
coaching program has been helpful in motivating teachers to use technology for better
student interaction, faster feedback on student learning, and more engaged ways of
communicating outside class time. The findings suggest that proper understanding of
technology’s roles in education and timely coaching help encourage teachers to try out
different strategies that engage their students further. They also suggest that there are
different strategies in promoting student’s learning and growth, and that technologies can
help enhance these strategies. Thus, technology is not an end where the teacher is forced
to use technology, but a means for promoting collaboration, getting feedback, and
engaging communication—all in an effort to put the students at the front and center of
their learning.
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Jose Eos Trinidad is instructor at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and coordinator for
research of the Ateneo SALT Institute. After graduating from the University of Chicago, he has
focused his research on sociology of education, interdisciplinary studies, and non-cognitive
factors affecting student outcomes.
Galvin Radley Ngo is the coordinator for education technology of the Ateneo SALT Institute. He
is concurrently CEO of the Woohoo Learning Lab and was formerly the education technology
director of Xavier School.
Authors’ address:
Jose Eos Trinidad and Galvin Radley Ngo
Ateneo SALT Institute, 4th floor, Learning Innovation Wing, Areté,
Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines,
... Auspiciously, blended learning expedites student-centredness (Trinidad & Ngo, 2019). Learning becomes student-centred when it provides powerful instructional tools and sound academic content, but also allows students to use the tools to explore the content in a way that fits their strengths and interests (Ossianilsson, 2017). ...
... This means that learners can own, control the time, place, space, path and setting to learn (Secha Rao, 2018). This is the tenet of democratisation of learning (Trinidad, & Ngo, 2019). Opportunely, when students feel that learning is in their hands and space, they develop a higher state of motivation and morale, which can translate to higher performance (Loperfido & Giuseppe Ritella, 2017). ...
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While blended learning is well entrenched in many developed countries as a solution towards enabling access to educational resources and managing student diversity, this may not be the same for rural based universities in developing countries. Yet, blended learning is ideal for the current terrain of the COVID-19 pandemic which requires learning modalities that promote social distancing to reduce the spread of the disease while ensuring that students have access to quality teaching and learning materials and to frequently stay engaged. For many rural based universities, successful blended learning implementation implies an exploration of possible ways to strengthen existing practices. This paper, using the document analysis method, sought to explore the prospects and pitfalls of implementing blended learning in rural- based universities in Southern Africa. The blended learning implementation framework by Graham, Woodfield and Harrison (2013) served as a guiding framework as it was specifically designed to determine success in blended learning adoption and implementation in education. This framework utilises the constructs of strategy, structure and support to differentiate the stages of adopting blended learning. These three stages are in a continuum and comprise awareness and exploration as stage 1, adoption or early implementation as stage 2 and mature implementation and growth as stage 3, with stages differing depending on the extent of formalisation of the institutional strategy, structure and support. Findings indicated prospects of blended learning entail providing opportunities for flexible learning, enabling access to a wide range of educational resources and limiting alienation associated with purely online education delivery. For many institutions, however, implementation of blended learning is still a mirage with the majority still at the first stage of Graham et al.'s (2013) blended learning adoption and implementation framework owing to technical resource constraints related to unstable or non-existent network coverage characteristic in rural locations, curricular deficit stemming from the blended learning model not aligning to context, thus lowering morale for wider implementation. This is exacerbated by weak goodwill and limited policy guidelines on a specific blended learning model. The study concludes that creating conducive conditions for blended learning in rural based universities necessitates a context friendly implementation model where institutional evaluation data inform strategies, support and pedagogical approaches and related resources that can be used locally. The study recommends governmental support for resourcing rural universities to acquire affordable and usable resources to offset challenges hindering blended learning. Rural institutions should also strive to strengthen support to students and staff to build confidence in the potential of blended learning.
... Digital education, also referred to as e-learning or online pedagogy, involves the pedagogical use of technology (e.g., texts, sounds, videos, images, interactive activities) for learning (Väätäjä & Ruokamo, 2021). Its integration within HE curricula is based on the perspective that digital learning can enhance learning experiences, and there have been attempts to engage digital learning tools with student-centred learning (e.g., Awidi & Paynter, 2022;Trinidad & Ngo, 2019). Finding space for such learning can be problematic, however, based on other curricular requirements. ...
Objectives: Two sets of intercultural learning resources incorporating Global Englishes learning content were developed for self-access use in the higher education context. The resources were investigated in terms of student learning experiences across two contexts in Japan: an English language major program and a nonlanguage major program. The aim was to develop an understanding of student learning experiences to inform practical implications for self-access learning in these areas. Method: The educational resources were investigated in a qualitative content analysis of reflective writing and supporting survey data from 30 students across the two university programs to understand how (and if) they supported student learning as well as how the resources and form of learning were perceived by the students. Results: Resources in both universities led to similar learning outcomes, showing that self-access resources can support intercultural and Global Englishes learning. A longer time requirement was necessitated by one set of resources, which was criticised by students. Students also indicated a preference for collaborative learning aspects. Conclusions: This pedagogically focused article contributes to the discussion around digital resources for intercultural and Global Englishes learning. Short-form resources integrating these areas may be more effective for self-access learning than resources requiring multiweek commitments in both language and nonlanguage major programs. Aspects of collaborative learning in self-access engagement appealed to students. Implication for Theory and/or Practice: Carefully designed short resources based on the conceptual framework and on recommendations outlined in this article may lead to effective self-access student learning, particularly in resources involving collaborative work.
... It has also been proven that the inclusion of scenarios supported by games and competition enhance the active participation of students. Digital tools promote "interactive learning, timely feedback, and better engagement with students" (Trinidad & Ngo, 2019). State of Technology in Education report reaffirmed that technology is a powerful way to engage students. ...
Conference Paper
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Generation Z students, currently in our classrooms, with a mobile device in hand, laptop on the desk, pose a challenge to instructors. But at the same time there is an opportunity to use technology to engage them in active, student-centered, experiential learning activities. Kahoot! a device based free app, is among the most popular game-based learning platforms and is used by fifty percent of US K-12 students. However, there are limited studies on its use in higher education. This study aims at measuring the efficacy of Kahoot! as a learning assessment tool by administering a pre-test to the students in the first week of the semester, re-administering it at the end of the semester, collecting and comparing data using Kahoot! data tools to assess student learning. This work presents the results of a study in two courses, during academic year 2019-2020, and 2020-2021. The results showed that there was an increase in the overall scores from the pre to post test. It can be reasonably concluded that Kahoot! can be used to obtain concrete, verifiable data for quantitative learning assessment and gains over time, which can potentially be used in accreditation process in institutions of higher education.
... This would ensure that the learning environment can meet the national and global challenges and requirements of employability skills. Furthermore, the diverse stakeholders eagerly expect HEI to adopt appropriate measures at the earliest to handle the declining government funding [3], [4] and increase operational costs [5], [6]. ...
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Globally, with the recent technological advancement and innovative capabilities, Higher education institutions (HEI) are adopting information technology tools for teaching in online environments through virtual classroom platforms. Further, the administration of HEI is majorly concerned with students' employability skills and is always willing to empower students to achieve their career goals. The study explores the online e-learning tools like learning analytics and examine their impact on the employability skills of students of higher educational institutions for sustainable development. The paper investigates the mediation effect of learning analytics in influencing the online learning usefulness, and knowledge on the employability skills of the students. The study has used PLS-SEM approach to analyze the responses collected from 172 undergraduate students across universities of Delhi�NCR to test the hypothesis. The results confirm a positive and significant mediation of learning analytics in the relationship of e-learning usefulness and knowledge in achieving employability skills.
... Blended learning also promotes student-centeredness (Trinidad & Ngo, 2019). Providing instructional tools and real-time content anywhere and at any time allows students to access education and learn anywhere rather than being confined to the classroom walls. ...
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The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown regulations suddenly elevated the importance of blended learning in South Africa and worldwide. This has prompted various international and national institutions into action, providing various support services to enhance fast digital adoption in higher education and facilitate out of classroom learning. In this regard, this paper views the pandemic as a necessary evil that can catalyse the adoption of digital learning, particularly, in rural-based universities of South Africa that have been lagging in the digital education front. The paper reviews recent literature and document opportunities that are emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. These opportunities can assist rural-based universities to sustainably adopt blended learning, catch up with the elite universities, and bridge the digital divide that is still apparent in South Africa. The paper is based on a review of articles, educational policy documents, and government gazettes. The Atlasti version 8 software was utilised to synthesise the literature. It was concluded that various opportunities exist for rural-based universities. To enhance effective digital transformation in rural-based universities, there is a need for alignment of national policy with realities in different institutions, improve human digital apprehension capacity, and increase collaborations between education technologists and education institutions as well as behavioural change among higher education managers. These changes can enable rural-based universities to build on the opportunities presented by the pandemic and digitalise their education programs to align with the inevitable demands of the 4th industrial revolution
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Universities focus on digital transformation strategy to stay competitive in global education, staying competitive is taking on quite a different meaning in the 21st century – it includes the long-term implications of Covid-19 – the interaction of politics and economics, the emergence of China as a superpower, the end of neoliberalism, the emergence of distributed autonomous organisations particularly in the area of research and education. The impact of sustainable digital transformation in universities could be perceived as system and systematic. When the intangible but impactful influence is identified/recognized as a system, an applicable conceptual model could become designable and implementable. Conceptual models of digital transformation are vital to universities and business schools to gain sustainability amid rapid technological changes. However, there is paucity of practical, implementable and simple digital transformational models combining technologies, system and educational phenomena. This theoretical gap is sizeable, impactful and non-ignorable. To fulfil this gap, this paper critically examines the need and the association between sustainable digital transformation and its impact in the universities, using an innovative qualitative grounded theory approach which uses three distinct coding procedures namely open, axial and selective followed by transcribing qualitative data. The researchers have proposed a conceptual model for sustainable digital transformation, new propositions by critically reviewing the latest but multiple cases on (a) sustainability (b) digital transformation (c) green technologies and (d) implementable approaches in the education industry/universities. How fast universities could develop dependable business models to cater for the rapid changes amid globalization of education has become an important issue. If the universities can explore a scientific approach to the design-developing conceptual model, then it becomes straightforward for the academic leaders to implement digital transformation process effectively without resource burnouts. The adoption sustainability in digital transformation/information technology is remaining an underdeveloped area. There is a need to develop an innovative architectural design (blueprint) to stimulate sustainable practice, reporting mechanism and its leadership implication. Once universities recognize the digital transformational capabilities, then they could transform into operational effectiveness, which is vital to their business sustainability. This research study points to the effectiveness of using a sustainable blueprint while designing, developing and implementing digital transformation projects in universities. Also, this paper developed numerous value propositions for green implementation of digital transformation as new research studies/potential studies.
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Universities have multiple functions of teaching, research, community development, and social impact, with the teaching function often thought of as just equipping students with professional knowledge and skills. However, the purpose of students' higher education may span more than just career preparation, and this knowledge of other purposes could influence how universities can provide opportunities for attaining these goals. Through in-depth interviews of undergraduate students, we find three core purposes of higher education: It qualifies students to receive the necessary knowledge, skills, and certification for professional involvement; it socialises them to broader perspectives of society and others; and it makes them subjects who think for themselves and clarify what values they hold. Although most students still put primacy on the qualification purpose of higher education, the integration of these three purposes will have an impact on how education quality may be more clearly understood, better assessed, and more intentionally pursued. ARTICLE HISTORY
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Background: Student academic achievement is influenced by learning instruments such as: of teaching staff, facility and infrastructure as well as the curricular component. Teacher-Centered Learning (TCL) or Student-Centered Learning (SCL) will also contributes to student’s outcomes as an approach to apply a curricular component.Aim: To compare students’ academic achievement levels between undergraduate students who follow TCL and SCL approaches in nursing school.Methods: This was a quantitative research with a descriptive analytic method comparative study with 918 samples.Methods: The entire undergraduate student population of in one of nursing school in Indonesia from 1999 to 2011 was included in this research. The relevant data in this study was GPA score and length of study. A total sampling method was performed to select 918 subjects involved in the study. The data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney test.Results: Academic achievement was assesed from GPA score and length of study. The average GPA of students who followed a TCL approach was 3.28, while the score for those who followed a SCL approach was 3.54 with p-value of 0.00. The average length of study of students who followed a TCL approach was 4 years 3 months; while those with a SCL approach was 4 years 1 month with p-value of 0.279.Conclusions: There was a significant difference on GPA score and no significant differences on the length of study between the undergraduate students who followed a TCL versus a SCL approaches.
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This paper describes a teacher knowledge framework for technology integration called technological pedagogical content knowledge (originally TPCK, now known as TPACK, or technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge). This framework builds on Lee Shulman's (1986, 1987) construct of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to include technology knowledge. The development of TPACK by teachers is critical to effective teaching with technology. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the complex, ill-structured nature of teaching. The nature of technologies (both analog and digital) is considered, as well as how the inclusion of technology in pedagogy further complicates teaching. The TPACK framework for teacher knowledge is described in detail as a complex interaction among three bodies of knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. The interaction of these bodies of knowledge, both theoretically and in practice, produces the types of flexible knowledge needed to successfully integrate technology use into teaching.
In recent years, policy makers, researchers, and educators alike have increasingly emphasized and demanded student-centered learning as a promising pedagogical approach to promote quality higher education. This chapter introduces the changing context of higher education that continues to propel higher education institutions to promote a paradigm and culture shift from teacher-centered to student-centered learning and instruction. The findings presented in this book advance our understanding of how instructors can design and bring to life powerful student-centered learning environments that provide students with opportunities for deep learning. The developed educational model can help educational managers, administrators, curriculum developers, instructors, and faculty developers to navigate student-centered course design and instruction decisions in higher education in particular, and in postsecondary education and other educational settings in general.
Children who fail to learn to read proficiently are at serious risk of referral to special education, grade retention, dropping out of high school, and entering the juvenile justice system. Accumulating research suggests that instruction regimes that rely on assessment to inform instruction are effective in improving the implementation of personalized instruction and, in turn, student learning. However, teachers find it difficult to interpret assessment results in a way that optimizes learning opportunities for all of the students in their classrooms. This article focuses on the use of language, decoding, and comprehension assessments to develop personalized plans of literacy instruction for students from kindergarten through third grade, and A2i technology designed to support teachers' use of assessment to guide instruction. Results of seven randomized controlled trials demonstrate that personalized literacy instruction is more effective than traditional instruction, and that sustained implementation of personalized literacy instruction first through third grade may prevent the development of serious reading problems. We found effect sizes from .2 to .4 per school year, which translates into about a 2-month advantage. These effects accumulated from first through third grade with a large effect size (d = .7) equivalent to a full grade-equivalent advantage on standardize tests of literacy. These results demonstrate the efficacy of technology-supported personalized data-driven literacy instruction to prevent serious reading difficulties. Implications for translational prevention research in education and healthcare are discussed.
Barriers to technology integration in instruction include a lack of time, resources, and professional development. One potential approach to overcoming these barriers is through collaborative work, or professional learning communities. This article focuses on one group of teachers who leveraged their professional learning community to focus on integrating technology into their literacy instruction. Through this experience, teachers changed the way they approached technology integration. This article adds to the current literature on professional development and technology integration by exploring the perspectives of three fifth-grade teachers working in a collaborative learning community over a period of one year. Implications from this experience suggest that using common formative assessments, providing ample time to learn together, and using a facilitator can help teachers work together effectively to integrate technology into literacy instruction.
Motivating adolescents to participate in exercise and physical activity is becoming increasingly important due to a rise in obesity but can be prevented through Physical Education. A quasi-experimental design, grounded in the Self-determination theory, was utilised to assess the impact of an intervention using wrist-worn digital physical activity monitors to provide individual feedback to participants. Within the context of K secondary school, a sample of 10, male Year 10 students (aged 14–15-year olds) were divided into experimental and control groups. Over a period of six week, the experimental group received feedback on their exercise levels after PE lessons, while the control group did not. Three quantitative research questions in this pilot study were analysed using independent and dependent t-tests and correlations were run to understand the interaction between motivation and exercise. Results indicated that students in the experimental group showed a statistically significant increase in identified regulation. Furthermore, exercise levels increased significantly from week 2 of the intervention to week 6 in both groups. This pilot study suggests providing specific digital feedback to individuals based on their exercise levels in PE can increase students’ motivation to exercise which in turn increases their levels of exercise in PE.