In a recently published article in the British Journal of Educational Technology, Hwang and Chang examined how the spherical video-based virtual reality (SVVR) approach can support descriptive article writing in high school writing classes in Taiwan.
In traditional language learning
activities, the authors noted, there is usually no chance for pupils to develop
in-depth feelings about the context of topics, resulting in low learning
motivations and limited expression in the writing process.
To provide in-depth experiences and to
facilitate pupils’ descriptive article writing, the study introduced an SVVR
system that used 360-degree photos or videos in a VR environment supporting pupils
before they started to write. Pupils from two grade 11 classes participated in
the study, with 30 pupils allocated to the experimental group and 35 students
to the control group. After pupils understood the writing tasks and read a
descriptive article about the Jade Mountain in Taiwan, pupils in the
experimental group used SVVR to experience the ascent of the mountain, while pupils
in the control group only watched videos and saw photos of the mountain. The
study was conducted over two weeks with three hours of class per week. Before
and after the intervention, a pre-test and a post-test on pupils’ writing
performance were administered, along with questionnaires. The results showed
- While pupils’
writing performance in both groups was similar in the pre-test, pupils who
learned with the SVVR approach obtained better post-test results in terms of
content and appearance than pupils in the control group, but not in organisation
and vocabulary use.
learning with the SVVR approach also outperformed that of control-group pupils
in creativity tendency and writing self-efficacy on the post-test.
experimental-group pupil and control-group pupils did not differ in learning
motivation and cognitive load on the post-test.
The authors suggest that SVVR is worth
promoting in school settings for language courses and experiential learning
activities, as a way to provide deep experience in specific learning
to be a writer: A spherical video‐based virtual reality approach to supporting
descriptive article writing in high school Chinese courses (December 2019), British Journal of Educational Technology
A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology suggests that the relationship between test anxiety and performance in high-stakes tests is positive, but the relationship varies for pupils with different achievement levels.
Yao-Ting Sung and
colleagues at the National Taiwan University used data from 1,931 Taiwanese
ninth grade (Year 10) pupils from 37 schools. The Basic Competence Test
(BCTEST) was used to benchmark their achievement. The BCTEST is a high-stakes
test for Taiwan junior-high school pupils, determining to which high schools
with different levels of prestige and tuition fees they will be admitted.
Subjects in the test included Mandarin, English, mathematics, social studies, science
and writing. Test anxiety was measured by the examination stress scale.
- The overall relationship between text-anxiety and learning achievement in high-stakes testing was positive (r =+0.18).
- Lower levels of test-anxiety were found among high-achievement and low-achievement pupils while higher levels of test-anxiety were found among moderate-achievement pupils.
- For higher achievement pupils, the relationship between text-anxiety and achievement in high-stakes testing was found to be negative (r = -0.16), while for the group of pupils with lower achievement, a positive relationship was found (r= +0.22).
Source: Reexamining the relationship between test anxiety and
learning achievement: An individual-differences perspective (July 2016), Contemporary Educational Pyschology, Volume
East Asian countries dominate international standardised tests in mathematics. This new working paper, produced by the Institute of Education, compares English children with those from Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, to see how their performance changes between the ages of 10 and 16.
The results suggest that, although average maths test scores are higher in the East Asian countries, the achievement gap does not increase between ages 10 and 16. The conclusion is that policy makers should concentrate on reforms at pre-school and primary level if English children are to catch up. Although they do not believe that reforming secondary education is the answer, the authors do note that there is also a need to ensure that English high achievers manage to keep pace with the highest achieving pupils in other countries during secondary school via, for instance, gifted and talented schemes.
Source: The Mathematics Skills of Schoolchildren: How Does England Compare to the High Performing East Asian Jurisdictions? (2013), Institute of Education