In order to investigate the WebQuest's role in the intrinsic motivation to learn, the students' perception of enjoyment of the WebQuest and whether it made the learning process more interesting was surveyed Table VI pge 8. The students were relatively evenly distributed between being undecided Most students Across all four nominal scale questions there was no difference in the results of the Physiotherapy groups. The OT y2 and OT y3 were similar, but significantly different from OT yl for benefit to learning, difficulty and making the learning process more interesting.
The Occupational Therapy students' enjoyment of the WebQuest appears to wane each year with a significant difference noted between each year. The two optional, short open-ended questions explored aspects the students' 'liked' versus 'disliked' aspects of the WebQuest responses. People are more positive about learning when they see the learning process as a game and I think [the] WebQuest was successful in allowing people to have fun while still learning valuable information.
Student PT y. Instead of the controversial lecturer standing in front of the class type of learning it actually was a total contrast of what learning is and that made it very intriguing. Student OT y3. Student PT y2.
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It was more the technological difficulties that gave problems such as internet connection. Student 71 OT y2. It took up quite a bit of time simply because internet was slow and some features did not work on some devices. It was a lot of work just to go through things which were rather easy to figure out anyway. Although innovative and fun, when it started to waste time, the originality turned into an irritation. Blended Learning BL in South African universities is challenged by concerns that some students enter higher education with poor digital literacy skills due to unevenly distributed access to technology resources during their high school career 2.
Surprisingly, less than half the students indicated the use of a mobile device and mobile data as a preference. This does not imply that they do not have mobile devices, merely that they prefer other modalities for accessing electronic media, which may be a reflection on the relatively high cost of mobile data in South Africa It therefore supports the need for access to stable university-funded bandwidth.
Despite common concerns about the digital literacy of first year students 1,2 , the study groups were confident about their electronic media proficiency, which primes them for blended learning. The readiness of these students suggests that WebQuests are a viable BL strategy in this population, but the difficulty of the WebQuest may be a factor. Overall, the students felt that the level of difficulty of the WebQuest was 'just right' Similar to Aina and Sofowora 18 , the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students perceived the WebQuest as beneficial to their learning For a We-bQuest to be successful, it needs to be authentic and real-world 15 - which is validated in the student comments that the content of the WebQuest was meaningful and valuable and Studies of the benefits of using WebQuests seldom consider the students' perceived enjoyment as a construct to investigate, rather adding minor anecdotal comment on observed indications that students have enjoyed it 19, There were very few negative responses, but students were divided between being undecided The notable finding in this study is the results of the three Occupational Therapy student groups, which supports the relationship between perceived difficulty, enjoyment of the WebQuest, and the learning process being interesting as an indication of intrinsic motivation to participate, and in turn, in the perceived benefit of the WebQuest to learning.
The OT yl This appears to associate with significantly higher enjoyment of the WebQuest by OT yl The impact on their perception of the WebQuest as being beneficial to learning is evident in that The frustrations expressed by the students, particularly the technical difficulties experienced by OT y2 and OT y3 cohorts, and that all cohorts felt that the WebQuest was too long with too much reading, possibly accounts for the shift in enjoyment, as was described in the quote by Student OT y3 above.
It is important to recognise that enjoyment is subjective and may not be directly correlated to students' finding the process interesting or learning from the experience. The students' primary frustration was that some of the policy and guideline documents they had to download were too reading-intensive. This possibly relates to the point at which required reading skills and comprehension 'ratchet up' between secondary and tertiary education, and the diversity of academic preparedness of our students, many of whom have experienced socio-cultural inequality 2.
They showed reluctance to engage with large documents, despite hyperlinked navigation of the document contents. These documents represent the prescribed readings that would be required throughout their undergraduate careers. Selection of prescribed readings should therefore take readability into account, and University documents could be designed to be more user-friendly.
This suggests that a WebQuest - focusing on information literacy and academic writing - could be developed for students to participate in should they feel they need it.
Limitations of the Study. The limitations that were evident during this study were:.
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While the study was conducted over three years with relatively consistent findings, replicability is limited due to the WebQuest design being specific to the VLE and online resources available at this particular university. A similar WebQuest could however be modelled on the same tasks for use at other Universities. A WebQuest was designed to introduce first year Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students to BL and online tools and resources available within the University.
The students indicated higher than anticipated access to computing devices and off-campus internet access, and perceived their electronic media proficiency to be very good. There was evidence of a relationship between the degree of difficulty of the WebQuest to influence the intrinsic motivation of the students, and in turn impacting their perceived benefit of the WebQuest to their learning. Students found the WebQuest to be too long, indicating that revision of the tasks and scheduling appropriate time for completion should be explored.
The Web-Quest is considered to have achieved the desired skills and learning objectives, and the students experienced it as an interesting, creative and fun way to learn. Considerations for the future within this context include: The WebQuest should be confined to a single laboratory session to combat the technical issues. Consideration should be given to reducing the overall length of the WebQuest and exploring design modifications which support ease of reading task instructions, while maintaining the learning objectives.
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A task on navigating large electronic documents to find pertinent information may be a valuable future addition. This study indicates that a dialogue should be opened with the University's central services involved in developing and publishing rules and guideline documents, regarding the readability and complexity of the documents they publish.
Further research into the relationship between students' perception of how difficult a WebQuest is and the impact it has on intrinsic motivation as indicated by enjoyment and how it makes the learning process interesting should be explored. While intrinsic motivation is viewed as improving student engagement with the content 20 , further investigation to whether there is increased benefit to learning and if this translates into improved digital literacy skills, is warranted. Considerations for implementation of WebQuests in health professional education: Exposing students to a Web-Quest early in their academic career provides lecturers with the opportunity to explore the use of WebQuests in their BL modules, and has been shown to improve the students' digital literacy Short-term WebQuests create a fun context to learn and explore real-world issues within the context of the curriculum.
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In designing a WebQuest for health professionals' education, ensure that it has a fixed duration one to two weeks to drive consistent participation. Consider the availability of electronic devices and allocate time in a computer laboratory if one suspects that students' access to the WebQuest content will be influenced by the need to pay for mobile data.
Students are entering higher education with a high level of computer and electronic media proficiency, which is creating more opportunities to use BL activities such as WebQuests to design for 21 st century learning.
Papageorgiou E, Callaghan C. Resource scarcity and information technology: Issues and trends among first-year accounting students. South African Journal of Higher Education. Kajee L, Balfour R Students' access to digital literacy at a south african university: Privilege and marginalisation.agendapop.cl/wp-content/other/docyn-localizador-de.php
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Snowball J, Mostert M. Introducing a learning management system in a large first year class: Impact on lecturers and students. Learning partnership: Students and faculty learning together to facilitate reflection and higher order thinking in a blended course. Online Learning. Blended learning in anatomy education: A study investigating medical students' perceptions. Alghamdi A. Pedagogical implications of using discussion board to improve student learning in higher education. Higher Education Studies. Analysis of selected aspects of students' performance and satisfaction in a moodle-based e-learning system environment.
The impact of student activity in a virtual learning environment on their final mark. Active Learning in Higher Education. Siemens G, Conole G.
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Special issue - connectivism: Design and delivery of social networked learning - editorial. The modality effect on reading literacy: Perspectives from students' online reading habits, cognitive and metacogni-tive strategies, and web navigation skills across regions. Interactive Learning Environments.
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Pak M. Developing academic technology skills with webquests. California English. Leung CB, Unal Z. Advantages and disadvantages of classroom instruction with webquests: Connecting literacy and technology. Journal of Reading Education. Dodge B. Starr L. Wire side chat: Bernie dodge on webquests.
Interview with Dodge B. Education World. March T. The learning power of webquests.