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Title: Network-based autonomous and cooperative learning : self-organised learning environments in a junior high school in China
Author: Ma, Xueting
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 521X
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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Research in the field of Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) has investigated a wide range of aspects of this approach to learning and teaching, including its application in vocational education and training, and the implications for educational strategies, metacognition, and child development. However, there has been relatively little research into how SOLEs can be used to improve learning outcomes within a traditional and exam-oriented teaching environment in China, and for a range of school subjects. This study seeks to address this gap by investigating how a SOLE can be integrated into the curricula for history and maths in a Chinese junior high school. The study was conducted in Xining, a North-western Chinese city with limited educational resources and management systems. The study involved a class in the Eighth-grade with 58 students as the SOLE group, and another two classes which were taught by same history and maths teachers as a control group. Twenty history and twenty maths SOLE classes were conducted over nine months in two semesters. Data was gathered from students and students' guardians using questionnaires, and from students and teachers by means of semi-structured interviews, after-class diary forms, and homework assessments. Other data included classroom observation notes, and the results of three examinations. Results suggest that most students enjoyed developing their knowledge of history in the SOLEs, and made progress in history scores. In addition, students enjoyed doing geometrical tasks much more than algebraic tasks in the SOLEs, but they were not able to improve their maths scores in the exams after using the SOLE in comparison with the non-SOLE classes. In order to make effective use of the Internet-based learning environments, participants in this SOLE study had to take on new roles, and the results suggest that both teachers and students adapted well to this requirement. There was also evidence that students can learn effectively with teacher support in a task-oriented interaction in a SOLE. The effectiveness of this approach varied between history and maths classes. This was partly linked to the existence of, iv and the ability to locate, suitable online resources, though it may also have been linked to the greater dependence on scaffolding for particular subjects. These findings suggest the need for further research in larger scale studies over a broader range of school subjects, and in other educational contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available