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[publication] From refugee to programmer? A framework for a collaborative coding program for higher education institutions

Our article about „From refugee to programmer? A framework for a collaborative coding program for higher education institutions“ got published in the Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning.

Abstract:

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to share the lessons learned in teaching programming skills to refugees during a time when circumstances were changing quickly and constantly and the needs of the target group were not well known.

Design/methodology/approach
The integration of refugees poses serious challenges for the hosting society’s education system. A large number of refugees can put a strain on all kinds of public resources, and difficulties with differences in languages, previous curricula, falling behind due to having to spend time outside of education, and psychological traumas have to be expected. In response to the refugee crisis and in order to manage mass migration, the adaptive nature and rapid development of civic approaches can contribute to overcoming some of these challenges. To evaluate the impact of civic approaches, the authors have paid attention to refugees{code} an Austrian coding school for refugees which was developed by the civic community and which shows great potential in terms of providing rapid, innovative and adaptive kinds of educational support for refugees, as well as helping to combat the lack of programmers in the Austrian job market.

Findings
As the great potential that initiatives like refugees{code} have for education, there are also substantial challenges. As we learned from the first course, course completion rates were very low. Therefore, it is important to build an infrastructure and a learning environment around the course. This learning environment includes providing mentoring and support, creating spaces where participants can learn. It was also found that having a pedagogically trained staff who is sufficient in the English language, too, is necessary to cater to a heterogeneous group. Also varying teaching strategies according to the needs and skills of the learner is necessary. One of the issues that confronts projects like refugees{code} is also receiving legal status. The collaboration with universities and colleges can be greatly helpful because they are already familiar with the structure of public authorities as well as with heterogeneous groups. Initiatives like refugees{code} are agile and flexible and know how to take advantage of that. The authors conclude that bringing successful education to heterogeneous and culturally different groups is multi-faceted. It is not something any individual organization or project can do; it can only be the result of a system of different actors working together with traditional educational institutions.

Originality/value
This research study reports on two courses of programming for refugees and seeks to offer practical advice for further research and for the implementation of such courses into the educational system. Therefore a framework is proposed which should be taken into account in case of doing similar work.

[article @ Journal’s Homepage]

[article @ ResarchGate]

Reference: Wolf, D., Ebner, M. (2018) From refugee to programmer? A framework for a collaborative coding program for higher education institutions, Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIT-09-2017-0024

[publication] Should You Go for Smartphones at School? How the Use of Modern Media in Class Influences IT-Competences #netgeneration #tugraz #digitalnatives

At this year Ed-Media conference in Amsterdam we published our research work about „Should You Go for Smartphones at School? How the Use of Modern Media in Class Influences IT-Competences“.

Abstract:

Since 2007, Graz University of Technology has been conducting an annual poll amongst its first-year students about their IT preferences and competence. On the basis of more than 8600 data records, this long-term survey reports the changes regarding students´ITstudents´IT device ownership, communicative behavior via IT devices, and use of apps as well as social media services over a time period of eleven years. Furthermore, this publication answers the question, whether the use of emerging technologies in classroom has an influence on these changes or not. It can be stated that an „IT-friendly“ environment (most of all internet access) and teaching at secondary school level significantly promotes IT and coding skills but does not intensify the use of social media applications.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Nagler, W., Grandl, M., Haas, M., Schön, M. & Ebner, M. (2018). Should You Go for Smartphones at School? How the Use of Modern Media in Class Influences IT-Competences. In Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 735-743). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

[publication] Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom #OER #reseach #OpenEducation

We did a publication about „Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom“ and give an overview about daily barriers when you try to use OER in classrooms. The findings are for sure interesting.

Abstract:

In this research work, we want to follow the idea of using open educational resources (OER) in a classroom to gather practical experiences. The topic of our choice is English as a foreign language (EFL), because in our opinion a lot of teaching content should be available. The preparation of the lectures, as well as the final lecturing, is described to understand how OER can be used in the EFL classroom. The feedback of the pupils and the lessons learned point out that there are more obstacles than expected, mainly because of the strict copyright law in German-speaking Europe.

[Full Chapter @ Book Homepage]

[Full Chapter @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Maria Haas, Martin Ebner and Sandra Schön (July 18th 2018). Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom, Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments Núria Llevot, IntechOpen, pp. 123-136 DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72452.

[publication] Inverse Blended Learning in der Weiterbildung für Erwachenenbildner_innen – Eine MOOC-Fallstudie #imoox #ebmooc18 #tugraz

Im Rahmen der Zeitschrift für Hochschule und Weiterbildung haben wir unsere Erfahrungen mit dem Inverse-Blended-Learning-Konzept im ebMOOC festgehalten und auch belegen können. Jetzt ist unser Artikel zu „Inverse Blended Learning in der Weiterbildung für Erwachenenbildner_innen – Eine MOOC-Fallstudie“ erschienen

Zusammenfassung:

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) sind in den letzten Jahren in aller Munde, wenn es darum geht, technologiegestütztes Lernen für große Zielgruppen zu verwirklichen. MOOCs bieten dabei kostenlose Bildung mit offenem Zugang an, sowohl für die breite Öffentlichkeit als auch für spezielle Zielgruppen (z.B. Weiterbildung). Die in den Medien diskutierte Absprungrate (Drop-Out) führte zu einer notwendigen Reflexion über Vor- und Nachteile dieses Verfahrens. Die Autor_innen dieses Beitrags schlagen daher einen neuen pädagogischen Ansatz vor: Der Online-Kurs (MOOC) soll durch Präsenzunterricht ergänzt werden, um den sozialen Prozess des Lernens gezielt zu unterstützen. Während die Anreicherung von Präsenzveranstaltungen mit Online-Anteilen als „Blended Learning“ beschrieben wird, wird die Anreicherung von reinem Online-Lernen durch Präsenzangebote als „Inverse Blended Learning“ bezeichnet. Im Beitrag wird ein MOOC für Erwachsenenbildner_innen, der durch Präsenzangebote erweitert wurde, als Fallstudie vorgestellt. Aus den Daten der Nutzer_innen und ihren Aktivitäten kann mit Hilfe von Verfahren des Learning Analytics Rückschlüsse gezogen werden. Dabei zeigt sich in diesem Beispiel, dass – vermutlich durch das große Angebot und die starke Nutzung von Begleitangeboten zum MOOC – mit 48,2 Prozent eine sehr hohe Zertifizierungsquote (N=3.064 registrierte Nutzer_innen) erreicht werden konnte. Zudem wird eine Verbesserung der Interaktion zwischen den Teilnehmenden auf der MOOC-Plattform als auch in den zugehörigen Diskussionsforen beobachtet.

[Artikel offen zugänglich bei der Homepage der Zeitschrift]

[Artikel bei ResearchGate]

Referenz: Ebner, M., Schön, S., Khalil, M., Ebner, M., Aschemann, B., Frei, W. & Röthler, D. (2018) Inverse Blended Learning in der Weiterbildung für Erwachenenbildner_innen – Eine MOOC-Fallstudie. Zeitschrift Hochschule und Weiterbildung 1(2018). S. 23-30 https://doi.org/10.4119/UNIBI/ZHWB-239

[publication] From Refugee to Programmer? An Action-Based Learning Approach for Teaching Coding to Refugees #research #CodingForAll

At this year Ed-Media conference in Amsterdam we published our research work about „From Refugee to Programmer? An Action-Based Learning Approach for Teaching Coding to Refugees“.

Abstract:

Teaching coding is currently gaining momentum in classrooms and informal learning spaces (coding fairs, labs, challenges, etc.) all over the world. In Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, a number of organizations offering coding courses for refugees (e.g. Refugees on Rails, HackYourFuture, CodeYourFuture) have been created as a reaction to the “refugee crisis“ in 2015-16. Such civic initiatives are aiming far beyond simply creating a new generation of programmers in response to integration and the lack of software developers in the job market. They show great potential in terms of providing rapid, innovative, and adaptive kinds of educational support. Their work is done by rapid and iterative testing of ideas in a way that traditional education institutions are not able to, possibly because of factors such as regulations, internal processes or mere traditions. To evaluate the impact of such approaches for the educational sector, and to develop courses appropriate for the needs of heterogeneous and culturally diverse groups, the authors report on two programming courses for refugees based on an empirical technique called “action research” and seek to offer practical advice for the implementation of courses for cultural diverse groups in the educational system. This study was conducted at “refugees{code}”, an Austrian coding school for refugees.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Wolf, D. & Ebner, M. (2018). From Refugee to Programmer? An Action-Based Learning Approach for Teaching Coding to Refugees. In Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 2042-2056). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

[publication] Individualisierung des Deutschunterrichts mit IDeRBlog #LearningAnalytics

Unser Artikel zu „Individualisierung des Deutschunterrichts mit IDeRBlog“ ist nun in der Ausgabe von Computer + Unterricht erschienen. Viel Spaß beim Lesen 🙂 .

Zusammenfassung:

Warum IDeRBlog Digitale Medien (Der Begriff „Digitale Medien“ umfasst in diesem Artikel die Nutzung von Computer/Laptop/Smartphone/Internet) und deren Nutzung nehmen einen immer größeren Stellenwert in der Gesellschaft ein. Die Tendenz der Digitalisierung der Gesellschaft wird allerdings noch nicht von allen Schulen beziehungsweise den unterrichtenden Lehrer/innen aufgegriffen. Die Gründe dafür sind vielfältig und sollen hier nicht weiter erörtert werden. Dabei gibt die Nutzung von digitalen Medien den Lehrer/innen große Möglichkeiten der Unterrichtsveränderung. Sie können mit digitalen Medien ihren Fachunterricht verändern, indem sie z. B. recherchieren lassen im Internet. Sie können Schüler/innen Texte zu Fachthemen produzieren lassen und diese digital innerhalb der Klassengemeinschaft tauschen. Dabei bleibt die Nutzung digitaler Medien immer an ein Fach gebunden, in dem die Schüler/innen für das Fach lernen. Gleichzeitig findet ein Lernen über sinnvolle Nutzung von Medien und über verantwortungsvollen Umgang mit digitalen Medien statt. Ein starker Nutzen von digitalen Medien für den Unterricht kann durch automatisierte Analyse von Eingaben der Schüler/innen erreicht werden. Schüler/innen erhalten direkt und unmittelbar Rückmeldung über die Qualität ihrer individuellen Eingaben. Dabei kann fachwissenschaftliches Wissen abgefragt werden, es kann aber auch die Rechtschreibung von eingegebenen Wörtern oder Texten überprüft werden. Diese automatisierte Kontrolle kann vom Computer viel schneller und direkter vorgenommen werden als dies Menschen können. Entscheidend neben der Kontrolle ist die Rückmeldung, die den Schüler/innen gegeben wird, um ihr individuelles Lernen zu verbessern und damit ihr Wissen zu vergrößern. Entscheidend hierbei ist die Möglichkeit, Übungen oder Lernszenarien zu den von den Schüler/innen getätigten Eingaben zur Verfügung zu stellen, die das Lernen der Schüler/innen in diesem Bereich fördert.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Zitation: Gros, M., Steinhauer, N., Ebner, M.. (2018) Individualisierung des Deutschunterrichts mit IDeRBlog. Computer + Unterricht Nr. 110/2018, S. 13-15

[publication] OER-Certification in Higher Education #OER #research #edmedia

At this year Ed-Media conference in Amsterdam we published our research work about „OER-Certification in Higher Education“.

Abstract:

Open Education Resources (OER) will play an important role in the future of higher education institutions at least in German-speaking countries. Due to the very strict copyright law OER seems to be the only possible solution in a long run. In this publication, we discuss the result of a nationwide special interest group (SIG) aiming to provide a nationwide strategy and solution for how higher education institutions can deal with this issue. A concept of OER certification will be presented, which is divided into two domains: The certification of the lecturers and the certification of the higher educations institutions themselves. In the end, the use of Open Badges is recommended as a certification method. The proposed concept can also be used by other institutions, independently of the education sector or the country.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Ebner, M. (2018). OER-Certification in Higher Education. In Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1-6 Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

[publication] German Language Training App for Primary School Children #LearningAnalytics #iderblog

At this year Ed-Media conference in Amsterdam we published our research work about „German Language Training App for Primary School Children“.

Abstract:

Mobile apps and the gaming industry experienced continuous growth and popularity over the last couple of years. While children have always played games for fun, researchers, recognized the promising possibilities behind games in the field of education. As nearly every child is in possession of a mobile device today, the sector of digital game-based learning is of special interest. Since primary school pupils often find it difficult to acquire good language skills, this research study deals with the creation of a prototype for tablets to support language training within primary schools. For the evaluation, a field test among children in Austria was conducted in order to see whether benefits could be observed. The extremely positive field test strengthened our approach and further motivated the participants to play the game even after the test was finished.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Schwaiger, A., Ebner, M. & Ebner, M. (2018). German Language Training App for Primary School Children. In Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 1202-1210). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

[publication] Kissed by the Muse: Promoting Computer Science Education for All with the Calliope Board #Making #MakerEducation

At this year Ed-Media conference in Amsterdam we published our research work about „Kissed by the Muse: Promoting Computer Science Education for All with the Calliope Board“.

Abstract:

A critical approach to new technologies requires a general understanding of the logical and technical aspects behind them. In the German-speaking part of Europe, we experience, that computer science education in school is still considered less important than other scientific subjects, especially in secondary and primary school. This is particularly disadvantageous for girls, as they stick to gender stereotypes and social expectation and do not opt for a male-dominated career path. To foster kids and teenagers’ interest in science, technology and particularly in programming, we believe, that active encouragement in school and hands-on experience play a vital role. Visual programming languages, age-appropriate development environments and educational robots or boards like the Calliope mini allow an easy entry into this field. To impart coding skills and to practise computational thinking, the Graz University of Technology offered workshops with the title “Coding with the Calliope mini – a playful approach to the digital world”. The aim of the paper is to present the Calliope initiative and to describe the importance of extracurricular offers to promote computer science education for boys and girls. The outcome of the study shows that the Calliope mini can boost programming activities and attract students. Nevertheless, the results show, that it does not influence teenage girls’ decisions for their future life and career, which correspond to gender stereotypes.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Grandl, M. & Ebner, M. (2018). Kissed by the Muse: Promoting Computer Science Education for All with the Calliope Board. In Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 606-615). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

[publication] Offene Bildungsressourcen (OER) in der Weiterbildung #OER #research

Unser Artikel über „Offene Bildungsressourcen (OER) in der Weiterbildung“ ist nun in der Zeitschrift Education Permanente erschienen. Wir haben dabei versucht einen Einblick in das Themenfeld mit einem speziellen Blick auf die Weiterbildung zu geben.
Zusammenfassung:

Mit Materialien zu arbeiten, die nicht von einem selbst stammen, ist auch in der Erwachsenenbildung üblich. Dabei gilt es aber einige Dinge zu beachten.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Zitation: Schön, S., Ebner, M. (2018) Offene Bildungsressourcen (OER) in der Weiterbildung. Education Permanente 2/2018. S. 42-43