July 2024, Volume 27, Issue 3

Special Issue on "Preparing for the future: Cultivating self-directed learners with technology in the K-12 context

Guest Editor(s):  Chun Lai, Olga Viberg and Chunping Zheng

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Full Length Articles

Nitesh Kumar Jha, Plaban Kumar Bhowmik and Kaushal Kumar Bhagat

Nitesh Kumar Jha

Advanced Technology and Development Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India // nitesh.jha1092@gmail.com

Plaban Kumar Bhowmik

G.S    Sanyal School of Telecommunications, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India // plaban@gmail.com

Kaushal Kumar Bhagat

Advanced Technology and Development Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India // kkntnu@hotmail.com


The aim of this study is to provide a current synthesis of Online Inquiry-Based Learning (OIBL) systems that use argumentation as a pedagogy. Data were collected from three databases: Scopus, Web of Science, and ERIC. The present review synthesized the findings of 73 studies from 2010 to June 2023. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to examine the inquiry-based systems regarding design features that support argumentation and learning outcomes. Four design features were identified: engaging students in unique and meaningful topics, providing visualization and scaffolding tools, collaborative inquiry in groups, and sharing and critiquing arguments. Most studies provided scaffolding and visualization support, while a few allowed students to engage in unique and meaningful topics. Most studies measured higher-level cognitive outcomes in contrast to lower-level outcomes. Future studies need to design systems for a more diverse population of students with improved collaboration support. In addition, this review identified a need to focus more on interdisciplinary topics rather than natural science.   


Argumentation, Inquiry-based learning, Online argumentation, Online inquiry, Online inquiry-based learning system 

Cite as:Jha, N. K., Bhowmik, P. K., & Bhagat, K. K. (2024). Online inquiry-based learning systems for argumentation: A systematic review. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3), 1-28. https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).RP01
Submitted February 7, 2023; Revised September 21, 2023; Accepted October 21, 2023; Published November 29, 2023

Victor Law, Manuel J. Jimenez, Liza Kittinger and Barbara Lopez

Victor Law

University of New Mexico, USA // vlaw@unm.edu

Manuel J. Jimenez

University of New Mexico, USA // mjimenez.abq@gmail.com

Liza Kittinger

University of New Mexico, USA // lizakittinger@gmail.com

Barbara Lopez

University of New Mexico, USA // barbislop@gmail.com


The popularity of digital badges has been accelerated in recent years. Advocates of digital badges suggest their use may improve students’ motivation and achievement, but existing empirical studies have failed to show consistent results. Furthermore, to date, no meta-analysis has been conducted on the topic of digital badges. Given this gap, the purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the effect of digital badges on student motivation and learning achievement. Our results suggest that digital badges have a significant impact on learning achievement, but the effect on motivation is inconclusive. In addition, moderator analyses were conducted to test the extent to which badge visibility, grade level, content area, and length of intervention influence the effects on motivation and learning achievement. The study provides an early summary of empirical digital badge research -- an area still in its infancy. The results of this meta-analysis provide a foundation for the future of digital badge design and development research. Furthermore, our results can inform the practice of the implementation of digital badges in that digital badges can have stronger effects in the higher education context, with STEM subjects, and for a medium duration of one to nine weeks.


Digital badge, Motivation, Achievement, Meta-analysis

Cite as:Law, V., Jimenez, M. J., Kittinger, L., & Lopez, B. (2024). A meta-analysis of digital badges in learning environments in educational settings. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3), 29-45. https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).RP02
Submitted November 13, 2021; Revised August 28, 2023; Accepted September 6, 2023; Published February 26, 2024

Hui Shan Lo, Yung Ji Sher, Jon Chao Hong, Hsu Kai Chang and Ting Fang Wu

Hui Shan Lo

Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // sunnylo519@gmail.com

Yung Ji Sher

Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // siaa@ntnu.edu.tw

Jon Chao Hong

Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // hongjc@ntnu.edu.tw

Hsu Kai Chang

Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // 61017010E@ntnu.edu.tw

Ting Fang Wu

Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // tfwu@ntnu.edu.tw


Virtual Reality (VR) holds promise in vocational education and benefits individuals with disabilities. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a blended learning approach using VR and traditional instruction in teaching car detailing skills to students with intellectual disabilities (ID). This study utilized a group comparison research design, employing a pre- and posttest approach. The participants consisted of 21 students with ID. The blended learning group received the regular school-based course (4 hours/week) and additional VR sessions, while the traditional learning group only received the regular school-based course. Both the blended learning group and the traditional learning group completed assessments before and after the intervention. The results indicated that the blended learning group students demonstrated significant improvement from the pretest to the posttest, while the traditional learning group students did not. In conclusion, the findings suggest that blended learning was more effective in terms of enhancing understanding of the car washing sequence than the traditional learning.


Blended learning, Individuals with intellectual disabilities, Car detailing skills

Cite as:Lo, H. S., Sher, Y. J., Hong, J. C., Chang, H. K., & Wu, T. F. (2024). The effects of blended learning on the car detailing skills of students with intellectual disabilities. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3), 46-60. https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).RP03
Submitted August 2, 2023; Revised November 6, 2023; Accepted December 11, 2023; Published February 26, 2024

Extracting stages of learning habits from year-long self-directed extensive reading logs

Chia-Yu Hsu, Izumi Horikoshi, Rwitajit Majumdar and Hiroaki Ogata

An interactive approach using WeChat’s Rain Classroom: The influence of three types of interactions on learning performance

Benazir Quadir and Jie Chi Yang

Seamless vocabulary learning for young learners: ARCH for bridging Home-based learning and classroom-based learning

Yun Wen, Yanjie Song, Guat Poh Aw, Hock Huan Goh, Yingjiang Zheng, Yanyan Wang

Mindfulness mitigates the adverse effects of problematic smartphone use on academic self-efficacy: A structural equation modelling analysis

Sandy C. Li, Jackie W. W. Chan, Andrew K. F. Lui, Ming Lui and Raymond W. P. Wong

The role of self-efficacy and cognitive styles on visual reasoning and performance: A dynamic view of Eye Movement

Shu-Ling Wang, John J. H. Lin and Pin-Chun Su

The design and evaluation of a multi-scaffolding game-based career education teaching module with mobile technology for high school students with mild intellectual disabilities

Chien-Huey Sophie Chang, Ching-Yi Chen, Chih-Chen Kuo and Huei-Tse Hou

A systematic review of technology-supported scaffoldings in empirical studies from 2017-2022: Trends, scaffolding design features and learning outcomes

Daner Sun, Kee-lee Chou, Lan Yang and Yuqin Yang

GOAL - A data-rich environment to foster self-direction skills across learning and physical contexts

Rwitajit Majumdar, Huiyong Li, Yuanyuan Yang and Hiroaki Ogata

Special Issue Articles

Guest Editorial: Preparing for the future: Cultivating self-directed learners with technology in the K-12 context

Chun Lai, Olga Viberg and Chunping Zheng

Xiaohong Liu

School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China // xiaohongliu1211@gmail.com 

Jon-Chao Hong 

School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China // tcdahong@gmail.com

Li Zhao

School of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China // li.zhao@njnu.edu.cn


Self-directed learning (SDL) is a basic individual ability in modern society. It is of great value to explore SDL and its relationship to learners’ online learning effectiveness. This study explored the relationships among online learners’ personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion), SDL (SDL-approach and SDL-attitude), and perceived online learning ineffectiveness (POLI). A total of 668 high school students who had received online learning completed the survey. Results revealed that neuroticism negatively predicted SDL-approach and SDL-attitude, whereas extraversion was positively correlated with SDL-approach and SDL-attitude, and SDL-approach and SDL-attitude were negatively correlated with POLI. In addition, the correlation between personality traits and POLI was significantly mediated by the two types of SDL. The findings provide educators with empirical evidence and insights about improving students’ SDL and understanding the importance of personality traits in online learning.


High school students, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Self-directed learning, Online learning effectiveness

Cite as:Liu, X., Hong, J.-C., & Zhao, L. (2024). Personality traits related to self-directed learning towards perceived online learning ineffectiveness. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).SP02
Published May 27, 2023

Min Zhang

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // zhangm122@nenu.edu.cn

Qiang Jiang 

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // jiangqiang@nenu.edu.cn

Weiyan Xiong

Department of International Education, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong // xiong.weiyan@hotmail.com 

Qi Li

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // liq410@nenu.edu.cn

Wei Zhao

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // zhaow577@nenu.edu.cn


Self-directed learning with mobile technology (SDLMT) is critical to students’ learning success. However, only minimal research has been conducted on the manner by which significant aspects (e.g., self-efficacy, student engagement) are related to SDLMT. This study analyzed the answers of 485 Chinese students (seventh to ninth grades) who were surveyed, and evaluated the relationships among self-efficacy (Internet self-efficacy and online communication self-efficacy), student engagement (behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social engagement), and SDLMT. Structural equation model revealed that SDLMT was positively predicted by self-efficacy, and SDLMT was positively impacted by student engagement. Moreover, the mediation analysis was performed using the PROCESS plugin in SPSS and determined that after controlling for gender and grade, the relationship between self-efficacy and SDLMT was partially mediated by student engagement. Findings established the value of self-efficacy for SDLMT, and further emphasized the vital mediating role of student engagement. Hence, developing K–12 students’ SDLMT entails enhancing self-efficacy and student engagement.


Self-efficacy, Student engagement, Self-directed learning, Mobile technology, Self-directed learning with mobile technology

Cite as:Zhang, M., Jiang, Q., Xiong, W., Li, Q., & Zhao, W. (2024). Self-efficacy predicting K–12 students’ self-directed learning with mobile technology: Analyzing the mediating role of student engagement. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).SP03 
Published August 4, 2023

Lianjiang Jiang

Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, HKSAR China // jljiang@hku.hk

Hayley Kam

Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, HKSAR China // kamhaynamhayley@gmail.com

Daniel Ferguson

Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, HKSAR China // danielf@connect.hku.hk


The importance of self-directed language learning is well documented. Yet whether and how teachers in K-12 contexts can facilitate self-directed language learning, particularly during the pandemic, remains underexplored. Informed by a sociocultural conceptualization of self-directed language learning as socially mediated action, this study presents a tale of two primary English teachers’ use of digital multimodal composing (DMC) to facilitate self-directed language learning among their young learners. Multiple sources of data were gathered, including in-depth interviews, observation, reflection, and multimodal videos. The analysis shows that using DMC in K-12 language pedagogies affords a new avenue for the two teachers to engage their students with self-directed language learning. The findings reveal that with DMC, the teachers facilitated their young learners with both artifactual literacies and participatory contributions to an online English community. With the artifactual and participatory patterns of literacy learning during DMC, the study argues that self-directed language learning for contemporary young learners is becoming multimodal, digital, embodied, artifactual, connected, collaborative, and distributed within and across multiple spaces. The study refutes a deficit perspective toward K-12 learners and advocates recognizing and building on their linguistic and cultural repertories for the emergent process of self-directed language learning with technologies. Implications on how K-12 teachers should go beyond technological know-how to pedagogical know-how are also discussed. 


Self-directed language learning, Digital multimodal composing, Primary English teachers, Artifactual, Participatory

Jiang, L., Kan, H., & Ferguson, D. (2024). Facilitating self-directed language learning during the pandemic through digital multimodal composing: A tale of two Hong Kong primary English teachers. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).SP04
Published August 4, 2023

Carmen Durham

University of Northern Iowa, USA // carmen.durham@uni.edu

Loren Jones

University of Maryland, USA // ldjones@umd.edu


Technology continually changes day-to-day interactions, and emergent bilingual learners often multitask, using several digital tools, at times simultaneously, to communicate and learn. Students may text, post on social media, and listen to music as they complete their work. Studies have examined the affordances of technology for language learning, both inside and outside of traditional classroom settings. However, as we seek to better understand how teachers can incorporate students’ experiences and interests in academic settings, more research is needed on the nuanced ways that students leverage multiple digital tools as they multitask, or quickly alternate between technologies. This ethnographic study focuses on two high school classes of English to speakers of other languages in the United States. Through the lens of sociocultural theory, we examine how emergent bilingual students multitask with digital tools and how teachers facilitate technology use. Findings reveal that although teachers actively and explicitly approved specific assignments and digital tools that would lead to accomplishing daily language and content objectives, students also purposefully selected other digital tools that would help them co-construct knowledge with peers, and they often switched between various websites across multiple devices to examine content that was closely related to their interests and lived experiences. Evidence from previous studies supports that multitasking can be harmful to learning, but this study found that multitasking can also mediate learning, especially self-directed learning, which has important implications for how teachers implement digital tools in the classroom.


Multitasking, Sociocultural theory, Self-directed learning, English to speakers of other languages, Emergent bilingual learners

Cite as:Durham, C., & Jones, L. (2024). “Mirá, mirá [Look at this]”: High school emergent bilingual learners multitasking and collaborating with digital tools. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).SP05
Published August 10, 2023

Yin Yang

Artificial Intelligence and Digital Competency Education Centre, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong //  yangyinnicole@gmail.com

Yuyang Cai

School of Languages, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, China // sailor_cai@hotmail.com

Yanjie Song

Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong // ysong@eduhk.hk


The effect of technology on primary students’ self-regulated vocabulary learning (SRVL) over time and its dynamic relationship with vocabulary outcomes have been scarcely studied. This quasi-experimental study reports a longitudinal inquiry into the effect of a mobile-assisted self-regulation scheme on primary students’ SRVL and the relationship between the changes in the perceived SRVL skills and vocabulary learning outcome. The study lasted seven months. Participants were 174 Grade 4 students (89 girls) from four classes at a primary school in Mainland China. Two classes were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. Students in both groups used the app named Vocab+, the former with and the latter without a mobile-assisted self-regulation scheme. Data collection included questionnaires on students’ perceived SRVL skills and vocabulary tests. Latent Growth Modelling (LGM) was used to analyse data. The results showed that perceived SRVL skills and vocabulary learning outcomes increased over time. The findings further revealed that students in the experimental group exhibited a steeper increasing trend in perceived SRVL skills and vocabulary learning outcomes. Besides, the association between the growth rates of students’ perception of SRVL skills and vocabulary learning outcomes was stronger with the experimental group than with the control group. Our results provided theoretical implications for understanding the relationship between SRVL skills and vocabulary learning outcomes from a developmental perspective.  


Self-regulated learning (SRL), Mobile-assisted self-regulation scheme, Self-regulated vocabulary learning (SRVL), Latent growth modelling

Cite as:Yang, Y., Cai, Y., & Song, Y. (2024). Examining the effect of a mobile-assisted self-regulation scheme on primary students’ self-regulated vocabulary learning via latent growth modelling. Educational Technology & Society, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.30191/ETS.202407_27(3).SP06
Published August 10, 2023

Understanding teachers’ multimodal TPACK Literacies for supporting VR-based self-directed learning of L1 writing

Michael Yi-Chao Jiang, Morris Siu-Yung Jong and Ching-Sing Chai

Starting from Volume 17 Issue 4, all published articles of the journal of Educational Technology & Society are available under Creative Commons CC-BY-ND-NC 3.0 license.