Validating the Course Analyzer Tool through Some Educational Pedagogy

Introduction

Course analyzer is a significant tool in determining whether a student’s learning style will improve academic performance. Therefore, the analyzing tool evaluates the suitability of the course in relation to a student’s abilities. From this perspective, education instructors modify the course structure in order to achieve the program’s goals. It is important to note that instructors use the course analyzer to improve teaching strategies when dealing with students diverse learning styles (Despotović-Zrakić, Marković, Bogdanović, Barać & Krčo, 2012).

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Moreover, a course analyzer is critical in identifying, evaluating, teaching and learning strategies addressed in the course plan. Another role of a course analyzer is to collect relevant course information required for the program. In addition, the analysis tool is used to identify and formulate effective practices for the course. The course analyzer is significant in identifying areas that require improvement. This is done by developing curriculum review activities that support course effectiveness. Moreover, the among teachers and learners. This research paper seeks to validate the course analyzer tool using educational pedagogy.

Learner empowerment

This pedagogy is a 21st-century education development that involves students in the learning process. For a long time, the learning process has been teacher-oriented and is based on an assumption that all learners have similar learning styles. From this perspective, few learners benefit from this method of teaching. However, using a course analysis tool like discussion forum activities provides learners with an opportunity to take part in the learning process (El-Bishouty, Saito, Chang & Graf, 2013).

This eliminates barriers between teachers and students. Discussion forum activities provide an opportunity for students to review their colleague’s learning styles by discussing, correcting and encouraging each other. In addition, the teacher reviews learners’ understanding and performance in relation to their learning styles. Discussion forum activities harness diverse learning styles through sharing and accommodation of ideas.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills is a new education pedagogy that ensures students acquire and develop the abilities to counter challenges. Self-assessment tests are an example of course analysis tools. Self-assessment tools examine whether students have acquired knowledge as expected from course objectives (El-Bishouty, Saito, Chang & Graf, 2013). In most cases, this is done using close-ended questions that are based on the content of a course. The effectiveness of self-assessment tests is that teachers can give immediate feedback about the students’ abilities to acquire, retain and apply knowledge. From the results of self-assessment tests, teachers may add or remove some of the course contents that will improve students’ knowledge and skills.

Social learning

The pedagogy of social learning seeks to ensure education environments are favorable for the actual learning process. In this regard, it is necessary to ensure new activities that promote interaction beyond a class setting are developed. This is a fundamental strategy for harnessing the power of interaction and cultural diversity among students. Using the discussion forum activities, animation and online learning as course analysis tools is critical in achieving social learning objectives (El-Bishouty, Saito, Chang & Graf, 2013). As indicated earlier, a teacher can use the discussion forum activities to review how students obtain knowledge.

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This is done when students take the responsibility of asking questions related to course contents. In addition, animation techniques are vital in demonstrating concepts that are complex in nature. Animation techniques analyze whether the student is creative enough to apply learned concepts using other skills. On the other hand, online learning is an essential element of understanding students’ ability to engage socially with other sources of information. Moreover, students’ interest in education and information can be determined by how they use online facilities.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is viewed as vital education pedagogy since it develops students’ ability to conceptualize ideas and apply them in real-life situations. Students’ and teachers’ creativity and ability to solve problems is integral in assessing the effectiveness of a learning process. A student’s cognitive abilities in intuition and insight are part of the critical thinking pedagogy. Such abilities must be harnessed using a course analyzing tool such as computer-mediated communication (CMC). Computer-mediated communication surpasses the use of face-to-face classroom settings. This analyzing tool adapts a computer conferencing strategy utilized in higher education.

CMC assumes cognitive, social and teaching presence that fosters critical thinking and collaborative discourse (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). From this perspective, the analyzing tool evaluates how students initiate critical inquiry after a teacher communicates course expectations. From the course analyzer, the student is expected to explore ideas through brainstorming, queries and social learning (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). In addition, a student integrates acquired information and ideas to solve a problem. Text-based communication is another course analysis tool related to CMC.

Technology fluency

Technology fluency pedagogy educates students on how to use technology-based tools in improving their learning styles. Similarly, technology fluency is instrumental in developing effective teaching strategies (Dede, 2008). Technology fluency affects the manner in which course materials are delivered to students. Because of diverse students’ learning styles, there are concerns that traditional course construction has standard, components and content issues. Therefore, a need to use modem courseware as a course analyzer has been integral in improving the same (Melia & Pahl, 2007). Courseware involves delivering course content using technology-based techniques.

This is considered instrumental in preserving the quality of course content. Students with different learning styles get a standardized course content packaged in the simple instructional unit, in the form of an assessment quiz or tutorial. Moreover, courseware personalizes learning content with respect to students learning styles. This provides students with an individualized experience in relation to learning style and preferences, as well as knowledge acquisition. In essence, courseware evaluates the standardization of courses and how best they serve students’ personal experiences.

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Distance learning

In recent times, education success is determined by the effectiveness of distance learning pedagogy. Distance learning has evolved with time due to technology integration in education systems. In this regard, the use of e-learning became a prerequisite in distance learning. The use of online-based tests is an example of a course analysis tool used in distance learning. Online-based tests are internet-oriented and encourage extensive research. Moreover, online-based tests encourage sharing of information among students using discussion forums. In addition, using a Bloom criterion as a course analyzing tool is recommendable (Ascough, 2002). Bloom’s criterion evaluates a student’s performance in distance learning and determines any required changes in the program.

Transformative capabilities

It is the objective of a course plan to impact knowledge in students. However, a need to achieve competency by inclusively engaging students in the learning process is considered a transformative pedagogy. In this regard, using a starter-wrapper technique to analyze course content is considered effective especially in a psychological course (Hara, Bonk & Angeli, 2000). The course analysis in this context examines meta-cognitive abilities among students who have different learning styles (Hara, Bonk & Angeli, 2000). Other important areas of analysis include students’ judgment, experience and self-awareness.

Project-based learning

Project-based learning is also referred to as active learning pedagogy. This phenomenon provides students with an active role in researching for information required to solve society’s problems (Blumenfeld, Soloway, Marx, Krajcik, Guzdial, & Palincsar, 1991). The success of this pedagogy is determined by teacher-student collaborative management and consultation. In this regard, constant monitoring of identified projects and feedback is essential.

Project-based learning utilizes course analysis tools such as questionnaires, research, focus group and interviews (Martınez, Dimitriadis, Rubia, Gómez & De La Fuente, 2003). These analysis tools are critical in providing immediate feedback on the course priorities and values (Morgan, 1997). In addition, the course analysis tool reports on project inconsistencies that require urgent attention and correction. Moreover, the course analysis tools can modify the project techniques to accommodate learners’ abilities and styles.

Conclusion

As indicated earlier, a course analyzer is instrumental in determining the suitability of education content to a student based on learning styles. In addition, the analysis tool helps the teachers in modifying a course structure and content to suit a student’s learning style. Therefore, understanding the significance of a course analyzer in respect to prevailing education pedagogies is critical. The most outstanding education pedagogies that consider different learning styles are learner empowerment, social learning, critical thinking and technology fluency. Other pedagogies that validate the use of a course analyzer are project-based learning, transformative capabilities, distance learning and problem-solving skills.

References

Ascough, R. S. (2002). Designing for online distance education: Putting pedagogy before technology. Teaching Theology & Religion, 5(1), 17-29.

Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational psychologist, 26(3-4), 369-398.

Dede, C. (2008). Theoretical perspectives influencing the use of information technology in teaching and learning. International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education. New York, NY: Springer US.

Despotović-Zrakić, M., Marković, A., Bogdanović, Z., Barać, D., & Krčo, S. (2012). Providing Adaptivity in Moodle LMS Courses. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 15(1).

El-Bishouty, M. M., Saito, K., Chang, T. W., & Graf, S. (2013). An Interactive Course Analyzer for Improving Learning Styles Support Level. Human-Computer Interaction and Knowledge Discovery in Complex, Unstructured, Big Data. Berlin, BE: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking and computer conferencing: A model and tool to assess cognitive presence.

Hara, N., Bonk, C. J., & Angeli, C. (2000). Content analysis of online discussion in an applied educational psychology course. Instructional Science, 28(2), 115-152.

Martınez, A., Dimitriadis, Y., Rubia, B., Gómez, E., & De La Fuente, P. (2003). Combining qualitative evaluation and social network analysis for the study of classroom social interactions. Computers & Education, 41(4), 353-368.

Melia, M., & Pahl, C. (2007). Pedagogical validation of courseware. In Creating New Learning Experiences on a Global Scale (pp. 499-504). Berlin, BE: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Morgan, D. L. (1997). Focus groups as qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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