Current Volume


Education Thinking, ISSN  2778-777X – Volume 1, Issue 1 – 2021


literature review

Enhancing Learners’ Autonomy With E-Portfolios And Open Learner Models: A Literature Review

Sacha Kiffer, Éric Bertrand, Jérôme Eneau, Jean-Marie Gilliot, Geneviève Lameul

This article considers how e-portfolios improve learner autonomy in higher education, especially when using open learner models (OLMs). OLMs are artificial-intelligence-built representations of interactions between learners and instructional environments, where learners have access to data about their interaction patterns. The analysis is based on a review of 24 research articles. Results suggest that e-portfolios improve learner autonomy, especially by strengthening self-reflection capabilities. The review also identifies areas of e-portfolio and OLM research that require further investigation.

Pages 1–9 / Publication date: 9 March 2021 / View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF


literature review

A Review of Zoom Utilization in Higher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lesly R. Krome

The COVID-19 pandemic stunned the world in 2020 resulting in governmental lockdowns bringing a halt to traditional face-to-face classes in the field of education (Czeisler et al., 2020). Institutions of higher education scrambled to find a means to remotely instruct students and the Zoom Video Communications conferencing tool was found to be a valuable piece of technology with which to do this. Following the transition to online classrooms, a wide array of research has been published regarding the experiences of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic through Zoom and similar conferencing software.

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A total of 32 peer-reviewed journal articles were identified as addressing the subject of higher education instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic using the Zoom conferencing tool. These articles were analyzed, and four main areas of investigation were identified: transitioning to the online classroom, comparison of online learning with teaching face-to-face, evaluation of online classroom experiences, and recommendations/best practice. A general theme surrounding the quality of online instruction was also recognized.

Pages 11–26 / Publication date: 8 May 2021 / View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF


methodology of literature reviews

Rethinking Systematic Literature Reviews as the Gold Standard for Interdisciplinary Topics

Susan M. Drake, Joanne L. Reid, Michael J. Savage

As a team of diverse researchers, we sought a method to write a substantive literature review that could influence policy on integrated/interdisciplinary curriculum (IC). Simultaneously we engaged in action research during this process to improve as researchers. In two attempts to conduct a rigorous systematic literature review, we encountered numerous obstacles: multiple and amorphous definitions; dependency on authors’ keyword choices; the challenge of consistent application of inclusion criteria; our reluctance to include overlapping studies and to exclude respected qualitative studies; determining if the studies reflected true curriculum integration; and finally, measurement and validity issues.

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We concluded that systematic reviews may not be as surgical as we had hoped, but instead, can be messy and limiting. Our struggles serve as cautions for researchers investigating interdisciplinary topics such as IC. We offer our process and lessons learned for consideration: loosening inclusion criteria boundaries, ‘slow thinking’, and a prismatic approach to reviewing literature.

Pages 27–42 / Publication date: 3 Nov. 2021 / View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF


literature review

The Impact of Simulation Training on Student Motivation in Health Studies in France

Bérangère Laroudie

Simulation is a teaching method that has been insistently promoted in France over the recent period, in particular for the training of health students. Simulation training assigns the students an active role which is intended to strengthen their motivation. Thus, the more motivated students would be during the lessons, the more they would engage in their training, take up challenges, persevere, raise their performance level, and pass exams. Motivation therefore represents a powerful driver of learning that training systems cannot afford to ignore.

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Taking this into account, and reworking training engineering accordingly, is a challenge for training institutions and trainers. This article examines the links between the use of simulation training and student motivation in health studies in France. Scrutinising relevant education literature and health literature databases led to identify 24 relevant research articles. After analysis, the results suggest that indeed, simulation training does increase motivation in health students. Literature in this field mainly covers two complementary aspects, namely the determinants at work in the simulation-motivation process, and the conditions for implementing simulation training. However, the literature is silent on trainers’ perspective. The results of this literature review are of particular interest to institutions regarding the place to be given to simulation in training engineering, and to trainers as to how to conduct a simulation session.

Pages 43–55 / Publication date: 3 Nov. 2021 / View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF


literature review

What Is Meant By ‘Teacher Quality’ In Research And Policy: A Systematic, Quantitative Literature Review

Kane Bradford, Donna Pendergast, Peter Grootenboer

The notion of ‘teacher quality’ is a concept that has dominated education research and policy for decades. While the terminology is widely accepted and used in the literature, it lacks a clear and consistent understanding and application in the field. Furthermore, the underpinning factors relating to ‘teacher’ and ‘teaching’ quality are regularly used interchangeably and often unintentionally. As a result, while the concept of ‘teacher quality’ is widely used and forms the basis of critical policy reform in Australia and internationally, its foundations are compromised due to this lack of clear definition and common intent.

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Moreover, with such disparate understandings and applications of ‘teacher quality’, assessing the viability and impact of policy and performance and comparing systemic outcomes in this area, in schooling systems, is increasingly difficult. Within this context, this study seeks to draw out, from a critical analysis of the literature, what is meant when the term ‘teacher quality’ is used in research and policy. A deliberate emphasis was placed on the Australian context with the intention of situating the findings in this setting. To achieve this, a Systematic, Quantitative Literature Review (hereafter SQLR) was conducted, adopting the formal methodology of Pickering and Byrne (2013). The SQLR produced 215 articles after exclusion protocols were applied. Forty-four themes emanating from these papers revealed that ‘teacher quality’ as a concept is invariably interconnected with notions of ‘teaching quality’, but the underlying constructs lack consistency and definition, despite an assumption that there is a shared understanding of the meaning. The findings suggest that the lack of clarity around this construct has allowed policy to drive a prevailing narrative, most recently characterised by a measurement and accountability agenda. As a result, professional expertise as well as interpersonal and psychosocial factors shown to impact the quality of teachers and their practice have been marginalised. It appears that what actually matters, in terms of impact in schools and performance of educators, is in the union of these concepts; ‘who’ teachers are and ‘what’ they do.

Pages 57–76 /Publication date: 24 Nov. 2021 / View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF