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Results from a worldwide survey to higher education students regarding their educational experiences during the pandemic (not yet peer-reviewed); some considerations that might be useful for starting the next semester
Abstract: The paper aims to present the most comprehensive and large-scale study to date of students’ perceived impacts of COVID-19 crisis on different aspects of their lives on a global level. The study with a sample of 30,383 students from 62 countries reveals that due to worldwide lockdown and transition to online learning students were most satisfied with the support of teaching staff and universities’ public relations. Nevertheless, a lack of computer skills and the perception of increased workload prevented them from perceiving higher performance in a new teaching environment. Students were mainly concerned about their future professional career and studying issues, and were feeling boredom, anxiety and frustration. The pandemic encouraged some hygienic behaviors (i.e. wearing masks, washing hands) and discouraged certain daily habits (i.e. leaving home, shaking hands). Students were also more satisfied with the role of hospitals and universities during the epidemic, compared to government and banks. Further findings demonstrate that students with selected sociodemographic characteristics (male, part-time, first level, applied sciences, lower living standard, from Africa or Asia) were, in general, more strongly affected by the pandemic as they were significantly less satisfied with their academic work/life. Key factors influencing students’ satisfaction with the role of university have also been identified. Policymakers and higher education institutions worldwide may benefit from these findings when formulating policy recommendations and tactics on how to support students during the pandemic.
Recommended reference: Aristovnik, A.; Keržič, D.; Ravšelj, D.; Tomaževič, N.; Umek, L. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Life of Higher Education Students: A Global Perspective. Preprints 2020, 2020080246 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0246.v1).
9 years after my first participation in QQML as a PhD student, today was the turn of my student Alex Villegas, congratulations!
I share our publication in the journal Información Tecnológica.
Abstract: This study analyzes the perception of 4456 high school students from the state of Chihuahua (Mexico), in relation to their preferences (understood as personal interest) and willingness (the desire to continue participating) towards scientific-technological innovation. The objective is determining the feasibility of generating extracurricular academic training environments (science clubs). The information was collected using a questionnaire and the data allowed the identification of the following moments in the study subjects: 1) previous experiences of scientific application and self-concept about creativity and creative people; 2) current interests in scientific-technological innovation; 3) knowledge and skills; and 4) provision of active participation in scientific environments. The results show that, when the four moments are analyzed as a method, only minor populations indicate constancy in taste and willingness to get involved in academic events related to innovation, which justifies the feasibility of opening promotional spaces for the science; On the other hand, a large population offers results of disinterest and lack of willingness to participate.
Reference: Tarango, J., Guajardo-Morales, I., Machin-Mastromatteo, J, D., & Villanueva-Ledezma, A. (2020). Preference and willingness for scientific-technological innovation in Mexican high school students. Información Tecnológica, 31(1), 91-102. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-07642020000100091.
The objective of this workshop was to provide tools, strategies and procedures so that information professionals and libraries can support researchers in promoting their research published in scientific journals using international professional networks and channels for this purpose.
The contents presented include the definition of professional networks and channels for the promotion of scientific publications, as well as a strategic workflow that every researcher should use in order to promote and gain value in terms of their visibility, attention and authority as scientists.
The importance of this type of workshop is that if information professionals and libraries manage the formal channels for the promotion and metrics of the scientific publications evaluation, elements that are within this discipline, they can position themselves with a vital role within the processes of scientific communication in their institutions. These issues also represent some important support for researchers, since they usually do not do it themselves because of time constraints or ignorance. However, conducting an appropriate promotion through the relevant scientific channels, networks and indexes are key activities for enhancing the visibility of a researcher, to ensure that their intellectual production is read and cited, which will allow them to be part of the National Researchers System, access research funds, or collaborative projects, as well as reaching other national and international merits. All these are important issues for higher education institutions, although some of them will not want to address these issues or will fail to recognize them, as the area of research and intellectual production becomes more important as an element used to evaluate the capacity and quality of an educational institution. Topics such as those discussed in the workshop reinforce institutional research plans, since they are basic strategies for the intellectual production carried out in institutions to generate a greater impact, which allows increasing the number of researchers who have distinctions and are internationally recognized as authorities In their areas. This means that educational institutions gain greater visibility, recognition and positioning as knowledge-generating institutions and are more favorably evaluated in international
Some media outlets selectively reported on the event:
Inclusion of information literacy in the curriculum through learning communities and action research
The book ‘Pathways into information literacy and communities of practice: Teaching approaches and case studies‘ is now available by Elsevier-Chandos. In it, you will find ‘Chapter 4 – Inclusion of information literacy in the curriculum through learning communities and action research‘, co-written with my dear colleagues Javier Tarango, José Luis Evangelista y Jesús Cortés. The whole book is highly recommended, edited by Dora Sales y María Pinto.
Abstract: This work corresponds to a practical and transversal integration process of information literacy in university curricula, specifically with undergraduate students from the philosophy program of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (Mexico), by developing alternatives to evolve traditional classroom teaching practices toward integrating learning communities and using action research as means of influencing a continuous improvement upon learning processes. This chapter discusses basic concepts from this study and provides the results, which were a product of the data collected from ethnographic processes. This practical experience has demonstrated the feasibility of combining this study’s components for the achievement of active learning, but also for identifying specific elements that inhibit a full implementation. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100673-3.00004-6
The first European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) took place on 22-25 October 2013, in Istambul, Turkey. I proposed two papers for this conference and I had the opportunity to get both accepted. This was an important milestone in my career to have two papers selected for the same conference, among the quite impressive sample from Iberoamerican works, Alejandro Uribe Tirado counted 23 contributions, in a conference with an European focus. Athough I could not attend the conference, both these papers were presented by my coauthors and they got published by Springer in the conference proceedings ‘Worldwide Commonalities and Challenges in Information Literacy Research and Practice’. In the following paragraphs you will find the information of both articles and some bullet points about them.
1. Machin-Mastromatteo, J., Lau, J., Virkus, S. (2013). Participatory action research and information literacy: Revising an old new hope for research and practice. Worldwide Commonalities and Challenges in Information Literacy Research and Practice: Communications in Computer and Information Science, 397, pp. 48-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-03919-0_5
- Slides available!
- Open access version
- Tracks and rebuilds a research agenda integrating information literacy with participative methodologies (E.g. action research).
- It deals with some topics that are also dealt with on my own PhD research, although on a meta level
- Develops and presents a questionnaire for worldwide experts that is being answered at this moment. You can still answer this questionnaire and share it with your colleagues!
- It studies the future contributions of this perspectives for the advance of information literacy
- Sheila Webber wrote a nice post about this research on her blog, thanks!
2. Machin-Mastromatteo, J., Virkus, S. (2013). Doing Online Relearning through Information Skills: A Mutual Shaping Perspective for Information Literacy Research and Practice. Worldwide Commonalities and Challenges in Information Literacy Research and Practice: Communications in Computer and Information Science, 397, pp. 380-385. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-03919-0_50
- Slides available!
- Open access version
- It’s part of my PhD research, it integrates social media in a learning experience, discovering the role of information literacy in such integration.
- The research and methodological framework ‘Doing Online Relearning through Information Skills’ is presented.
- It advances a conceptual, epistemological and methodological understanding that is important for online learning activities.
- This particular article discusses the conceptual idea of mututal shaping in this research
On September 19, 2013, CETYS Universidad hosted the International Colloquium ‘Higher Education: Alternative Models of Learning and Access’ and I had the opportunity of moderating its second panel ‘How to successfully swim in learning new schemes Info – skills, MOOCs, ICT and other technologies’. I dedicated some words of introduction to this interesting topic from my perspective as a librarian and as an academic and I also presented the panel’s speakers: Alison Hicks and Jesús Lau.
I wanted to share with you some of my notes of introduction to this session:
- Although my background is in Library and Information Science, I have been interested in technology and education since I graduated from my bachelor studies on Librarianship, as you may see if you read this blog. I have not been able to study or use Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), although they are perhaps one of the most important conceptual and technological innovations regarding alternative models of education.
- MOOCs are massive, imagine having hundreds or thousand of students; they are open, as they follow the philosophy of openness; and they are online, after all they are courses, online courses.
- MOOCs are quite interesting as an alternative model, as they may provide universal access to the university, which might have lost its way regarding its uni prefix.
- I see that MOOCs have plenty of opportunities and challenges for those teaching them and learning from them, some of them have to do with the competences individuals must develop to deal with them, to develop a strong discipline when it comes to study and for managing one’s own time.
- Information and digital literacies play a very important role when dealing with MOOCs as well as processes of academic certification and rigor, which acquire a new and perhaps more demanding dimension because MOOCs differ a great deal from classic courses.
- I believe MOOCs must be oriented and grounded on research and problem solving assignments, and that takes a very special academic to lead them. A special type of course needs special teachers and special students and they can be taught special competences for dealing with them. Training would involve various university departments, such as research, the academia, and the university libraries.
- It is interesting to point out the importance of the focus of this panel, where we have two librarians as guest speakers, Jesús Lau and Alison Hicks, as well as myself, the Learning and Information Development Librarian of CETYS Universidad, having the honor of introducing the topic in discussion and our distinguished guests. I believe that this configuration of speakers is quite a statement from CETYS’ part, because it means that libraries and librarians must be integrated as part of the engine of educational innovations. One clear path to follow is through information and digital literacies but we must question and enhance libraries’ role in breaking educational ground.
You can take a look at the whole session, which was recorded. I also prepared a Spanish/English bibliography on MOOCs, higher education and skills for this Colloquium.