Volume 10 Issue 3 (2021)

Artificial intelligence and education: A pedagogical challenge for the 21st century

pp. 7-12  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.1

Esteban Vázquez-Cano


Background/purpose – Education in the 21st century faces a series of challenges, including training in mobile and ubiquitous contexts, and the improvement of the didactic processes associated with online and face-to-face teaching. For this, teachers and students can and should take advantage of the potential of tools based on artificial intelligence.

Materials/methods – This study is a review article, which presents a brief literature review on the possible applications and functionalities of artificial intelligence in education.

Practical implications – One of the prominent emerging challenges in education consists of proposing models and propositions for the integration of artificial intelligence into teaching and learning processes, based on solid didactic and pedagogical principles. Meeting this challenge appropriately and effectively may help to create more flexible, personalized, and sustainable learning environments.

Conclusion – The integration of artificial intelligence within education should be approached from a strong pedagogical approach in which not only algorithms should converge, but also emotions and appropriate values.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, education, didactics, pedagogy, sustainability.


Examining first-grade teachers’ experiences and approaches regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning

pp. 13-38  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.2

Elif Mercan Uzun, Eda Butun Kar, Yusuf Ozdemir


Background/purpose – Elementary school first-grade is very important, particularly in Turkey where preschool education is not compulsory. For students who have not received preschool education or those with low levels of preparedness, starting elementary school can be very challenging process. These difficulties have increased with the implementation of emergency distance education due to the pandemic. This study aims to determine the difficulties that first-grade elementary school teachers have faced during the pandemic.

Materials/methods – Phenomenological study, as one of the qualitative research methods, was applied in the current study. A semi-structured interview form was prepared as a data collection tool, and then interviews were conducted with 15 first-grade elementary school teachers.

Results – The study analyzed problems experienced during the emergency distance education program under the categories of focusing, learning losses, homework, textbooks, curriculum, equipment problems, screen time, hardware deficiencies, Internet access, connectivity problems, absenteeism, communication problems, home conditions, expectations from the state, inadequate family support, and security problems. It also examined problems experienced during the face-to-face training process under the categories of facemasks, social distancing, hygiene, adaptation problems, socialization, and parents.

Conclusion – The most significant problem that the participant teachers experienced during the emergency distance education was reported to be the learning losses of students. The other problems were determined to be the long periods of time students spent in front of a screen, educational materials not having been prepared for distance education, and not providing teachers with fundamental necessities for lessons such as Internet connectivity. In face-to-face education, the anxiety caused by fear of contracting the virus, and the difficulties of students to adapt to face-to-face education was seen to negatively affect the teachers.

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, elementary school first-grade, distance education, face-to-face education.


Competence and competency in higher education, simple terms yet with complex meanings: Theoretical and practical issues for university teachers and assessors implementing Competency-Based Education (CBE)

pp. 39-52  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.3

Andrew G. D. Holmes, Marc Polman Tuin, Sophie L. Turner


Background/purpose – British, European and American universities are increasingly adopting competency-based learning, yet, there are different and conflicting definitions of competence, competency, and competency-based learning. Consequently, multiple interpretations and understandings are held by educators in respect of what these terms mean, when applied to their own teaching and assessment practices. Therefore, unless informed and considered discussion has taken place amongst staff about their individual understandings and interpretations, any development of new, competency-based assessment processes and procedures, is necessarily problematic. The main purpose of the paper is to stimulate reflection and discussion, so that teaching staff can arrive at a common understanding and interpretation of what competency-based education is, so that they may develop appropriate, authentic and equitable assessment processes.

Materials/methods – The methodology used was a systematic review of literature on competence, competency-based learning and the assessment of competency-based learning.

Conclusion – This paper provides an overview of the main issues and tensions involved in clearly defining competency within higher education programmes and assessing competence, along with two clear recommendations for practice. The recommendations have significance for all higher education teaching staff involved in programmes of competency-based learning.

Keywords: Higher education, competency, competence, competencies, assessment, competency-based learning.


Emergency remote teaching due to COVID-19 pandemic and potential risks for socioeconomically disadvantaged students in higher education

pp. 53-61  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.4

Turgut Karakose


Background/purpose – Higher education institutions worldwide rapidly switched to emergency remote teaching with a sustainable quality education approach in response to the global health threat caused by the COVID-19 virus. The sudden and largely unprepared transition to emergency remote teaching placed serious pressures on not only students, but also academics, the families of both, and also other stakeholders as well. This study aims to discuss the potential effects of emergency remote teaching due to COVID-19 on disadvantaged students in higher education.

Materials/methods – This study is a review article, which presents a brief literature review on the potential impact of emergency remote teaching due to COVID-19 on disadvantaged students in higher education.

Practical implications – This study may help to provide researchers and practitioners with a roadmap for potential future work on the impact of emergency remote teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on disadvantaged groups. From this perspective, the potential effect of emergency remote teaching on disadvantaged students in higher education is examined and recommendations put forwards for solutions aimed at educational administrators and decision-makers.

Conclusion – The emergency remote teaching put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the widening of the digital divide among higher education students. Therefore, integrating the digital and distance education approach into the higher education system correctly and effectively may both facilitate the achievement of instructional goals and also help to eliminate digital inequality in the higher education student population.

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, emergency remote teaching, disadvantaged students, higher education, online teaching, online learning, distance education.


Investigating the moderator effect of fear of COVID-19 in the relation between communication anxiety and self-efficacy

pp. 62-77  |  Published Online: July 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.103.5

Nesrullah Okan


Background/purpose – COVID-19 has forced many people to face psychological problems, with already difficult living conditions having become progressively more challenging. Individuals with low pre-pandemic levels of communication anxiety saw those levels increase, which negatively affected their self-efficacy. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to examine the moderating effect of fear of COVID-19 on the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy.

Materials/methods – Three measurement tools were used to perform analyses regarding the purpose of the research; the Communication Anxiety Scale, the Self-efficacy Scale, and the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Along with these variables, the moderating effect of COVID-19 fear was examined. IBM’s SPSS 25 package program and Hayes’s process were used to perform the analysis. Data from 393 participants were included in the analysis within the scope of the research.

Results – In the model in which the moderating effect of COVID-19 fear was examined, it was concluded that fear of COVID-19 worsened the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy. In addition, a negative and significant result was obtained between communication anxiety and self-efficacy.

Conclusion – According to the results obtained from this research, fear of COVID-19 increases communication anxiety and decreases self-efficacy. At the same time, fear of COVID-19 had a negative moderating effect on the relationship between communication anxiety and self-efficacy. This research was completed by analyzing the variables, presenting the results, forming a discussion, and with suggestions put forward.

Keywords: COVID-19, COVID-19 fear, communication anxiety, self-efficacy, moderator.



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