Virtual School Meanderings

November 24, 2022

JOLR Article Notice – Blended, Transmedia Learning: Investigating the Engagement of Elementary Students in a Cryptology and Cybersecurity Curriculum

The sixth article in this issue.

Remember that JOLR is an open access journal, so follow the link below to access this article.

Blended, Transmedia Learning: Investigating the Engagement of Elementary Students in a Cryptology and Cybersecurity Curriculum

Zhen Xu, Kara Dawson, Pavlo Antonenko, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, United States ; Do Hyong Koh, Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies, University of Florida, United States ; Christine Wusylko, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, United States

Abstract

This convergent mixed method study investigates learner engagement during a blended, transmedia curriculum called CryptoComics which is designed to teach 3rd-5th graders about cryptology and cybersecurity. Curriculum design is presented through the lens of four engagement facilitators: (1) anchoring the curriculum with a comic book, (2) blending digital and unplugged media, (3) supporting situational interest via a transmedia narrative and (4) designing for social-cultural relevance. Latent profile analysis is used to develop profiles of learner engagement using quantitative indicators of cognitive and emotional engagement collected across 204 students at 13 implementation sites in the Eastern U.S. Qualitative indicators of engagement include teacher weekly check-ins submitted by 17 teachers working at the 13 implementation sites, student interviews, and classroom observations of 26 students participating in the curriculum at two local sites. Quantitative and qualitative results converge to suggest the majority of the students participating in the curriculum were highly engaged cognitively and emotionally. Qualitative data (1) suggest some third graders may be less cognitively engaged due to challenging content, (2) provide evidence for how design of the blended, transmedia curriculum supported, and some cases hindered, engagement, (3) highlight the importance of transitions between blended learning components in facilitating engagement and (4) uncover questions regarding one of the quantitative measures selected as an indicator of cognitive engagement. Keywords: blended learning, transmedia, learner engagement, cryptology, cybersecurity, curriculum design

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