This paper studies the relationship between university institutional autonomy (both formal and informal) and their performance and efficiency using multi-stage empirical methodology. First, we measure an “autonomy-in-use” index, and then we employ Data Envelopment Analysis in order to evaluate institutional efficiency. Lastly, we use a panel fixed effect regression to provide robust evidence for the relationship between institutional autonomy, performance and efficiency. We find that formal status of autonomy does not predict higher publication activity or efficiency. However, the findings also reveal that informal autonomy is positively associated with efficiency scores, and advanced practices in staff management can contribute to increases in publication activity and overall institutional efficiency.
This article presents generalized model of collaborative actions, during which participants create, modify, and estimate digital objects. Such activities can be observed in numerous network communities. A prominent example is the repository of lesson scenarios of Moscow Electronic School (MES). The combination of methods of agent-based modeling and network analysis is used in the work. Using NetLogo environment in the frames of the model, an artificial community has been developed, where teachers-agents interact with scenarios-agents. Teacher-agent determines whether there are potential scenarios in his environment to be contacted with. If such scenarios are available, then the agent selects the nearest one and makes a step towards it. If the scenario has been opened by one of the teachers, then this is already an author’s scenario and the teacher-agent takes an action to reuse it. Variants of the reuse can be preset so that to correspond to the actions allowable in the environment of MES repository for learning scenarios: review, addition to bookmarks, running the scenario, downloading, using in home assignments. All these actions of teachers regarding scenarios are logged, then the log records are transformed into bipartite graph. The experiments demonstrate that while the area of participant scenarios is expanded, not only the general number of links among participants increases but also large networks of participants are subdivided into smaller and densely interconnected groups. One of the control trends of participant activities is in the use of multiagent-based modeling as a tool of collective reflection of teachers cooperating on the basis of MES.
School climate is a topic of increasing importance internationally. The current study investigated the established measurement invariance of an eight-factor school climate scale using a multinational sample of secondary students. School climate factor means across 14 international groups were compared and findings on the association between school climate factors and mental health were also investigated. Findings, from this study, illustrate several cross-national similarities regarding the ways in which secondary students perceive school climate and the influence of school climate on student mental health. These findings can support school psychologists’ efforts to identify strategies and supports that improve the school environment in areas that are most consistently related to student experiences, such as school safety and school connectedness. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
There is a growing need for valid tools for assessing skills and certifying qualifications in the context of increasing labour migration and mobility. Due to the growing internationalization of business activities, companies are interested in standardized skills assessments that ensure valid and comparable ratings of job applicants and employees. At the same time, assessment of professional or vocational skills, which are highly domain-specific and numerous, remains challenging, especially in terms of comparability. Therefore, objective skills assessment tops the list of challenges faced by national VET systems.
This paper presents an overview of practices and tools for assessing vocational skills and VET learning outcomes, and covers the following issues: a) current practices and challenges in measuring vocational skills and learning outcomes in VET; b) initiatives for internationally comparable assessment of vocational skills, including PISA-VET and WorldSkills competitions; c) national initiatives for assessment of VET learning outcomes in the cases of Germany and Russia; d) labor market-and industry-driven initiatives in skills assessment for job seekers and qualification assurance. This paper contributes to the literature on skills assessment by providing a more comprehensive picture of approaches to skills assessments, including well-established ones and emerging initiatives outside the field of measuring learning outcomes in education.
Grit is widely considered a trait composed of perseverance of effort (PE) and consistency of long-term interests (CI) that is positively associated with educational and professional attainments. However, because of unclear relations between the two elements that compose grit, PE and CI, the theoretical model of the construct of grit is still questionable. On the one hand, we have extensive evidence that the overall score for grit can predict important life outcomes. On the other hand, predictive ability does not necessarily indicate that a measure reflects a unitary psychological trait. In the case of the Grit scale, a number of works have shown that treating grit as a whole or higher-order construct is psychometrically and psychologically unsound. In this work, we aimed to explore the relationship of PE and CI with long-term educational outcomes in desired educational trajectories while controlling for potentially confounding factors. We hypothesized that if PE and CI are facets of a unified grit construct, we would find consistent patterns in these facets for a range of educational outcomes. Our study was conducted on a large sample of students (N=3110) from a national longitudinal study of school and university graduates. These students were also participants in both the TIMSS-2011 and PISA-2012 studies. When the students were in 9th grade, we assessed their grit, academic achievement, and educational aspiration. The next year, we obtained information about the choices students made after completing compulsory education: staying in high school vs. obtaining vocational training. Two years later, we again assessed the students’ educational and life outcomes. We run two regression models. The first model was a model with PE and CI as predictors only. In the second model, SES, gender, cognitive ability scores and educational aspirations were added as covariates. To test the mediation hypotheses, we also run regression models for possible mediators (educational aspirations and achievement) as outcomes. The results showed that perseverance was a better predictor than interests, although the effects of perseverance on long-term educational outcomes were more often indirect. Consistency of interests did not predict educational trajectories or achievement. Accordingly, we failed to find any consistent patterns in perseverance and interests with long-term educational outcomes. These findings are discussed in terms of the nature of the grit construct and the validity of the Grit scale.
Recently the World faced force push to distant learning caused by COVID-19 disease. Statistical numbers show a notable increasing number of users of corporate educational solutions utilizing cloud architecture. However, non-cloud-based learning tools do not meet this growth. In this work the authors consider the causes of that contradictory behaviour and present an explanation based on differences between two types of these educational systems. Also, the authors formulate an interpretation giving a list of extracted technologies or product features that allow corporate solutions to quickly gain popularity among educational society. In addition, clear examples of their connection to learning methods that can improve teaching, learning, and the last, but not the least a user’s experience are provided. And finally, the authors highlight a sig- nificant role of integration and interoperability standards supporting easy com- ponents replacement and scaling.
Studies showing improved learning performances for students who take notes collaboratively have speculated that sharing this task among group members may reduce the extraneous cognitive burden placed on each member. Therefore, a study (n=171) was conducted in the context of a fipped scientifc writing course to examine the efects of collaborative note-taking on student’s levels of cognitive load. Students in the course were divided into two groups, with members of the treatment group being directed to take collaborative notes in a shared online document and members of the control group receiving no such instructions. The study also measured the level of collaboration the collaborative note-takers engaged in, as well as the level of completeness of the notes that they produced. The results showed that, frstly, the treatment group reported higher levels of both germane and extraneous cognitive load compared to those of the control group, meaning that collaborative note-takers experienced higher levels of understanding of course content as well as increased confusion. Secondly, the level of collaboration was positively and signifcantly correlated with levels of germane load (understanding), but not with extraneous load (confusion). Thirdly, no correlation was found between completeness of notes and cognitive load. Accordingly, the authors suggest that collaborative note-taking is worthwhile, as the gains to students’ understanding of course content outweigh the disadvantages of increased confusion.
Context is increasingly recognised as a critical explanatory variable in accounting for commonalities and differences in human resource management. Giving expression to it in research models holds the prospect of enhancing theory development, deepening our appreciation of embedded practices in diverse territories, and opening up new lines of enquiry. However, contextualisation presents a significant research challenge and increasingly, international academic research networks that bring together scholars from different countries in the co-production of knowledge represent a key approach to rising to this challenge. This volume documents aspects of the development of one such network, namely the Cranet Network on International Human Resource Management, and presents a series of recent contributions from the network. The chapters highlight, inter alia, the limits to convergence in human resource management as a result of contextual determinism, the role of institutional actors, markets, and work regulation in accounting for variations in practices, the contextual specificities and dynamics at play in transition economies, along with key methodological challenges that arise when seeking to build cumulative comparative knowledge via network collaborations of this nature.
Although flipped instruction is becoming increasingly common, there is still discussion and debate regarding how to define it and distinguish it from other forms of instruction. This article proposes a framework with which to visualize the constituent parts of blended learning and to define what makes a course “flipped.” The definition of flipped instruction provided by this framework can be summarized as instruction that provides large amounts of information online along with face-to-face (F2F) engagement but provides little information during F2F meetings and has relatively low online interaction. This article also presents the results of an empirical study (n = 54) in which students in a flipped scientific writing course participated in an online discussion forum, and a correlation was found between posting discussion topics and scores on in-class group writing assignments. A further connection was found between scores on these group writing assignments and student performance on individual writing assignments. Based on these results, the study recommends that online discussion forums can be used to better connect the online and F2F components of a flipped course.
This paper critically looks at the ways in which ‘global sociology’ has been debated and conceived in the past decades. It provides an historical overview of various proposals and ideas and the institutional contexts within which they are put forward and criticized. Two different periods are distinguished. Until the early twenty-first century, on the one hand, criticism of the ‘ethnocentrism of the West’ was often supported by ideas and pleas for an ‘indigenization’ of sociological knowledge. A commitment to the unity of science and to its universalist aspirations remained strong, however. In the course of the twenty-first century, on the other hand, criticism of the ‘northern dominance’ in sociology has become much stronger. Instead of a ‘multicultural’ understanding of global sociology, a ‘critical’ sociology that contributes to ‘global justice’ is now often advocated. Based on this historical overview, it is suggested that global sociology might contribute to more self-reflexivity within the discipline. It helps us to see how different contexts reverberate into the ways in which sociology itself is imagined in this world and provides an analysis of the debates for a better understanding of the challenges which sociology currently faces
Researchers see self-regulated learning (SRL) as a fundamental skill for succeeding in massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, there is no sufficient evidence of adequate functioning of SRL dimensions such as environment structuring, goal setting, time management, help-seeking, task strategies, and self-evaluation in the MOOC environment. This study fills the gap in understanding the structure of SRL skills utilising the Online Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (OSLQ). The construct-related validity of the OSLQ is evaluated based on self-reported survey responses of 913 Russian MOOC learners with confirmatory factor analysis and criterion-related validity is checked with independent samples t-tests comparison. The results show that the original six-factor hierarchical model does not fit the data adequately. The evidence implies that the dimension ‘help-seeking’ is not effective in the MOOC environment. Therefore, a redefined five-factor hierarchical model of the OSLQ is suggested.
The main aim of this study was to analyze the patterns of changes in Approximate Number Sense (ANS) precision from grade 1 (mean age: 7.84 years) to grade 9 (mean age: 15.82 years) in a sample of Russian schoolchildren. To fulfill this aim, the data from a longitudinal study of two cohorts of children were used. The first cohort was assessed at grades 1–5 (elementary school education plus the first year of secondary education), and the second cohort was assessed at grades 5–9 (secondary school education). ANS precision was assessed by accuracy and reaction time (RT) in a non-symbolic comparison test (“blue-yellow dots” test). The patterns of change were estimated via mixed-effect growth models. The results revealed that in the first cohort, the average accuracy increased from grade 1 to grade 5 following a non-linear pattern and that the rate of growth slowed after grade 3 (7–9 years old). The non-linear pattern of changes in the second cohort indicated that accuracy started to increase from grade 7 to grade 9 (13–15 years old), while there were no changes from grade 5 to grade 7. However, the RT in the non-symbolic comparison test decreased evenly from grade 1 to grade 7 (7–13 years old), and the rate of processing non-symbolic information tended to stabilize from grade 7 to grade 9. Moreover, the changes in the rate of processing non-symbolic information were not explained by the changes in general processing speed. The results also demonstrated that accuracy and RT were positively correlated across all grades. These results indicate that accuracy and the rate of non-symbolic processing reflect two different processes, namely, the maturation and development of a non-symbolic representation system.
This study aims to increase language learning (L2) output by incorporating a digital storytelling chatbot system (known as a “storybot”) that focused interactions on a narrative. This study also sought to investigate student perceptions of these storybot interactions and improve on poor perception rates from previous studies.
This one-sample exploratory study was of student-storybot participation rates and student perceptions towards a storybot activity designed to increase L2 output. A combination of storybot participation analytics and survey analysis of student perception was carried out.
The use of storybots in the L2 class resulted in mixed participation rates. Students read nine times more than they wrote, indicating a high degree of reading comprehension necessary for storybot interaction. Survey results revealed that students believed storybots helped them meet their L2 goals, were relevant to their L2 and were easy to navigate.
Interactions were through text messaging so no impact on speech or pronunciation could be observed. Further, the context was within a single university class in South Korea, restricting the generalization of findings to outside regions or with younger learners. Finally, while storybots proved to be valuable reading comprehension activities, the next step in this line of chatbot research should incorporate more writing prompts.
Storybots revealed explicit benefits to reading comprehension, as measured by cohesion between storybot delivered comprehension questions and student responses. Moreover, storybots can be used as examples for students in their own story creation, classroom forms to collect relevant student information regarding learning objectives and platforms for class quizzes.
Storybots scaffold students through conversations, which abide by socio-pragmatic norms, providing models for L2 learners to incorporate in real-world text-based communication. Additionally, a wide range of idiomatic expressions is contextualized in comprehensible interactions that students can learn from the storybot then practice with friends.
This study contributes to the growing research on the use of chatbots for second L2 and offers specific insight into the use of narrative storybots as a means to increase L2 output and potentially benefit L2 reading comprehension.
This paper examines relations between doctoral students’ employment and graduation outcomes at a research-intensive university in Russia. Since most doctoral students lack financial support, they find employment and work full-time. This study addresses two questions: first, how the employment status is related to graduation outcomes (defending a thesis) and, second, how characteristics of student employment decrease the chances of defence of a thesis. The research is based on a longitudinal dataset of doctoral students that were enrolled in doctoral programmes between 2008 and 2017. The dataset combines survey data collected during the doctoral training and administrative data about the students’ graduation outcomes gathered in 2018. The results show that on-campus employment increases the chances to defend the thesis and off-campus employment is negatively associated with the completion. The findings may help define the groups of students that are at risk of attrition and should be provided with appropriate support.
A central concern surrounding test-based accountability is that teachers may narrow teaching practices to improve test performance on a curriculum-based specific knowledge test rather than student learning more broadly. Two of the most common teaching practices that “teach to the test” are providing test-specific classwork and increasing the frequency with which students take practice tests. Whether such teaching practices improve student learning—both in terms of learning the content associated with a specific knowledge test as well as more general learning—is a largely unanswered question. To approach this question, this paper uses a student fixed effects approach to analyze the impact of these kinds of narrow teaching practices on student performance on a specific test as well as a general knowledge test. We find that test-specific classwork and practice tests with specific test items tend to have little or negative impacts on curriculum specific or general knowledge test performance, except for male students, and that subject practice tests (without emphasizing test-specific items) have positive effects on student outcomes on both kinds of tests, but larger on the curriculum-specific than on the general test, and much larger on the curriculum-specific test for male students. We discuss the logic for these results and what they tell us about the effectiveness of test-focused teaching practices more generally.
This paper analyses the link between the efficiency of regional higher education systems and the rates of regional economic development between 2012 and 2015 in Russia. The efficiency scores are calculated at the institutional level using Two-stage Semi-parametric data envelopment analysis. Then, the scores are aggregated at the regional level. We formulate an economic growth model that considers the efficiency of regional higher education systems as one of the explanatory variables. As an econometric method, we employ a robust GMM estimator. The findings highlight a positive, and statistically significant effect of higher education institutions efficiency on the regional economic growth. We also found negative spillover effects.
Purpose. This exploratory study aims, firstly, to analyse and categorise judgments on the ethical behaviour and actual behaviour of university educators. Secondly, the study addresses the impact of demographic data, such as gender, age, and role on these issues.
Approach. We utilised online survey data from academic employees of four leading universities in Russia, who are involved in teaching activities. In this study, we used correlation, regression and factor analyses.
Findings. Our results demonstrate that teaching while too distressed to be effective, is a common experience among university educators. By contrast, the rarest categories include teaching under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, there is a high congruence between beliefs and respective behaviours. Females are typically more ethical in both judgements and actual behaviour. Factor analysis of behaviours yielded 16 interpretable factors.
Originality. This study contributed to the very limited research on the ethical aspects of higher education in Russia.
Practical implications. Firstly, the salary of the university educators should be adequate and competitive and match with their workload. Secondly, the work of the educators should be given recognition that may become their stimuli for improvement in university teaching. Thirdly, universities should develop ethics centres, which help faculty members and students to take the right decisions in situations involving questionable behaviour in the classroom. Lastly, the development of ethical codes, for faculty members and students, may become their guidance in situations with ethical dilemmas.
In moral panic studies, pro-ana communities are usually considered folk devils. Namely, pro-ana culture is investigated as an object of ‘moral crusades’ led by scientists, physicians, activists, politicians, mass media, parents and many other social actors concerned about the epidemics of restrictive eating disorders. In this paper, I put aside this strand of moral panic research and discuss the role of pro-ana communities as facilitators of moral panic to bridge the macro-micro divide in scientific investigations of the pro-ana phenomenon. I propose to examine pro-ana people as entrepreneurs of the moral panic over obesity. This means that pro-ana communities can be analysed as creating and spreading contemporary legends on obesity in their communication processes. Furthermore, I discuss and exemplify the roles of pro-ana people as amplifiers, supporters and enforcers of this panic. In addition, while reconnecting micro and macro levels in the explanation of the pro-ana phenomenon, I contribute to the development of moral panic theory, as the application of the concept of ‘moral panic’ to pro-ana communities facilitates niche formation in biomedical social research.