2022, Volume 25, Issue 2

Special Issue on "Creative Learning in Authentic Contexts with Advanced Educational Technologies"

Guest Editor(s): Rustam Shadiev, Wu-Yuin Hwang and Gheorghita Ghinea

Full Length Articles

Chiu-Fan Hu, Yu-Tzu Lin, Cheng-Chih Wu and Hsueh-Chih Chen

Chiu-Fan Hu

Graduate Institute of Information and Computer Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // chiufan@ntnu.edu.tw

Yu-Tzu Lin

Graduate Institute of Information and Computer Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // linyt@ntnu.edu.tw

Cheng-Chih Wu

Graduate Institute of Information and Computer Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // chihwu@ntnu.edu.tw

Hsueh-Chih Chen

Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan // chcjyh@ntnu.edu.tw


This study developed a scale to assess high school students’ programming disposition. The scale was developed by utilizing a standardized test development process. The three constructs of the scale, namely confidence, persistence and flexible thinking, consisted of 9 items (3 items on each construct). Participants for the formal test of the scale were 1,332 students from 11 high schools. The validity and reliability of the programming disposition scale were validated via internal consistency, test-retest reliability, construct validity, discriminant validity, criterion-related validity, correlation coefficient of each subscale and confirmatory factor analysis. The analysis results showed that this scale is valid and reliable. The scale can serve as an assessment tool to assist teachers to instruct students learning programming, and help students determine whether taking programming courses in high school or pursuing programming-related majors in university. The effects of individual differences on programming disposition were also discussed to provide feasible educational implications.


Disposition, Programming, Assessment tool, High school students

Wenhui Liu

School of Educational Technology, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China // 202031010056@mail.bnu.edu.cn //

Cixiao Wang

School of Educational Technology, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China // wangcixiao@bnu.edu.cn


In science classrooms, technology affordance varies depending on device-student ratios (DSR) and the ways virtual manipulatives on mobile devices are used. Additionally, external scripts (ES) are widely used to promote effective group interaction in collaborative learning. Therefore, this research explored the influence of DSR and ES on collaborative inquiry learning. This research adopted a counterbalanced design between two rounds of experiments. A total of 128 students (including 11 dropouts) from four sixth-grade classes participated, with the four classes randomly divided into four experimental groups. Thematic analysis, social network analysis, and statistical analysis methods were used to analyze the distribution and transition of roles, the interaction between roles, and the self-efficacy and collective efficacy of the roles. The results illustrated that the role distribution was affected by DSR and ES, and frequent transitions of operational roles in groups emerged when DSR was exchanged. Moreover, the role of ES was reported in this study; it promoted the stability of role interaction on the one hand while significantly promoting self-efficacy and collective efficacy on the other. The study also proposed that the discourse statuses of different roles in collaborative learning were significantly different, and roles with a weaker discourse status had lower self-efficacy.


Collaborative inquiry learning, Technology affordance, Role interaction, Self-efficacy, Social network analysis

Hsin-Yun Wang

Institute of Education, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan // wanghsinyun.ie08g@nctu.edu.tw

Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun

Institute of Education, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan // csun@nctu.edu.tw


To explore knowledge co-construction patterns and learning motivation within virtual EFL co-creation environments, this study examined behavioral patterns and motivation in three different co-creation environments (paper-based, 2D digital, and 3D VR co-creation) through sequential behavioral analysis and ANCOVA. The study utilized a quasi-experimental research design with a total of 66 tenth-grade students from two English classes at a public senior high school in northern Taiwan. Based on the visualized behavior transition diagrams, the task-switching behaviors between dissonance identification and knowledge negotiation as well as the isolated behaviors of applying newly-constructed knowledge are the core of knowledge co-construction. Particularly, 3D VR co-creation was characterized by the highest number of higher level isolated acts and lower level circular continuity, both of which reflect VR co-creators’ efforts to gain familiarity with advanced technology as well as the intention to exchange information and reach community consensus to overcome task complexity, form community consensus, and lower anxiety. Such behavioral patterns echoed the results of ANCOVA on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; that is, on either intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, the influence of 3D VR co-creation was the greatest, followed by that of 2D digital co-creation and paper-based co-creation. For future co-creation instruction and research, it is suggested that the instruction of VR co-creation be invested with abundant time to allow mature higher level knowledge co-construction dialogues to occur. Moreover, to gain an even deeper understanding of the social structure embedded in knowledge co-creation, it is suggested that social network analysis (SNA) be employed in future research.


Behavioral patterns, Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Co-creation, Virtual Reality

Tugba Altan

Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Turkey // tugbaaltan@ksu.edu.tr

Kursat Cagiltay

Middle East Technical University, Turkey // kursat@metu.edu.tr


This study investigated the effects of multimedia learning and visual design in a 6th grade science textbook on students’ studying processes. This was accomplished by using eye tracking technology and by applying multimedia learning design and visual design principles to science textbooks. Eye tracking based testing was employed to evaluate the effects of multimedia learning and visual design principles on students’ studying process as they interacted with the revised textbook chapter. The results revealed that the revised cell biology chapter facilitated answering achievement test questions and helped attentional focus on relevant images, as well as more successful integration of text and images during students’ studying processes. These research findings can be used in the design process to develop science textbooks based on learner needs. The research also provides guidelines for designing similar multimedia learning materials. Thus, the research results may contribute both theoretical and practical implications for the multimedia learning design of science textbooks.


Multimedia learning design, Visual design, Eye tracking, Textbook

Julian Chen

Curtin University, Australia // julian.chen@curtin.edu.au

Tatiana Bogachenko

Curtin University, Australia // tetiana.bogachenko@curtin.edu.au


Establishment of online communities in distance education has been linked to improved engagement, retention, and learning outcomes. This study investigates how online community building was fostered in the text-based Discussion Board (DB) and multimodal VoiceThread (VT) in one of the postgraduate units offered by Open Universities Australia. Specifically, it delves into how social presence – encompassing affective, cohesive, and interactive indicators in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) – was facilitated on both platforms. Findings show that VT multimodal postings triggered more instances of social presence than DB postings across all three indicators. VT communication also bolstered a continuous and inclusive discourse by bringing participants closer by addressing members’ names and mentioning posts made by others. It is concluded that multimodality afforded by VT can be more advantageous for online collaboration and engagement. Suggestions for course design to establish stronger social presence and for evaluation of multimodal platforms are also offered.


Distance education, Social presence, Online communities, VoiceThread, Multimodality


Rustam Shadiev

Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China // rustamsh@gmail.com

Wu-Yuin Hwang

National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan, China // wyhwang@cc.ncu.edu.tw

Gheorghita Ghinea

Brunel University London, Uxbridge, Middlesex, United Kingdom // george.ghinea@brunel.ac.uk


Creativity is an important ability of an individual to meet the challenges of the 21st century. For this reason, creativity development received priority attention of scholars in the field of education. This special issue collected research articles on innovative theoretical perspectives and original applications related to creative learning in authentic contexts with advanced educational technologies. We received 36 articles and 6 of them were included in this special issue after several rounds of rigorous reviews. In this editorial note, we discuss the background for the special issue and quality management. In addition, we briefly introduce each article selected for the special issue.


Creative learning, Authentic contexts, Advanced educational technologies

Special Issue Articles

Nicoletta Di Blas

HOC-LAB, Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy // nicoletta.diblas@polimi.it


PoliCultura is a collaborative digital storytelling program for schools (K-12), which has gathered so far more than 41,000 students. It is an example of authentic learning experience, for a number of reasons, including the fact that students are required to do a “professional” work that will be made public in the frame of a competition. The paper investigates whether PoliCultura can foster creativity, by analyzing all the “stories” submitted to the competition in 2020 using a literature-based creativity rubric, with positive results. The analysis of the teachers’ pedagogical reports sheds light on the key factors for promoting creativity, which are, for the teachers: to be a facilitator of the activity, to promote collaboration, to “open up” to external support and stimuli beyond the classroom and to foster the students’ individual talents. Guidelines for designers of educational tools are drawn too: provide a clear path while at the same time allowing a wide degree of freedom, keep the threshold low and plan for the teacher to be at the center-stage.


Authentic learning, Creativity, Digital storytelling

Yue Fan, H. Chad Lane and Ömer Delialioğlu

Yue Fan

Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA // yue.fan@liulishuo.com

H. Chad Lane

Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA // hclane@illinois.edu

Ömer Delialioğlu

Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Middle East Technical University, Turkey // omerd@metu.edu.tr


Due in part to its flexibility and open design, the video game Minecraft has emerged as a popular tool for teaching and learning. Inspired by prior research showing the influence of problem-solving mindsets in physical settings, this study is an effort to understand the extent to which an open-ended task influences subsequent problem-solving behaviors in a virtual environment. Specifically, we investigate creativity and its relationship with task design in Minecraft by comparing a well-defined task group, instructed to follow step-by-step directions, with a group pursuing an open-ended task requiring a higher degree of agency. Creativity is assessed using two conventional approaches: the Alternative Uses Test (AUT) and the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT). Judges were trained to evaluate using both methods and achieved sufficient agreement on a subset of the data prior to completing the full data set. Our results suggest that (1) participants who engaged in the open-ended task receive significantly higher CAT scores than those in the well-defined task group, and (2) among variables such as the level of skill/experience, interest in Minecraft, and materials (blocks) used in Minecraft, only game interest level has a significant influence on the CAT score.


Creativity, Minecraft, Problem solving, Educational games, Computer-based learning environments

Hyojung Kim

Department of Fine Arts Education, Graduate School of Education, Ewha Womans University, Korea // hyojungk@ewha.ac.kr

Hyo-Jeong So

Department of Educational Technology, Ewha Womans University, Korea // hyojeongso@ewha.ac.kr

Ju-Yeon Park

Cha Mirisa College of Liberal Arts, Duksung Women’s University, Korea // juyeonpark@duksung.ac.kr


The goal of this study was to examine the effect of engaging students in socially engaged art (SEA) education to create 3D virtual worlds for fostering creative problem-solving (CPS) skills. The study was conducted with 135 students (aged 16) of boys’ high school in Korea who participated in the SEA program through four stages: Stage 1- appreciation and interpretation of artwork about social issues; Stage 2 - discussion on the potential solution to the selected social issue; Stage 3 - creating a 3D virtual world k to express proposed solutions; and Stage 4 - experiencing and sharing 3D virtual worlds. The following research questions guided the study: (1) What is the effect of SEA education with VR on students’ CPS? (2) How are the students’ CPS as expressed in their artifact (essay and VR work)? (3) What are the relationships between students’ CPS and their artifact (essay and VR work)? For data collection, we administered the instrument to measure students’ CPS skills in three areas (higher-order thinking, divergent thinking, and problem-solving) and also evaluated student essays and VR work to examine CPS specific to art education. Overall, the results indicate that the students improved their CPS skills significantly after participating in the SEA program. The CPS skills had significant relationships with the essay scores, whereas only one significant relationship was found between CPS and VR work. This study provides empirical findings concerning how the formal school curriculum can introduce students to an authentic context concerning social issues through artmaking practices with VR.


Virtual reality (VR), Socially engaged art (SEA), Creative problem solving (CPS)

Xinquan Jin

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // jinxq805@nenu.edu.cn

Qiang Jiang

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

Weiyan Xiong

Institute of Policy Studies, School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong // weiyanxiong@ln.edu.hk

Xingzhu Pan

School of Information Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, China // panxz537@nenu.edu.cn

Wei Zhao

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


Creativity has been identified as a critical educational goal and an essential 21st-century skill, which can be captured through learning capabilities, thinking skills, and academic achievement. Although the relationship between creativity performance and self-directed learning (SDL) was theoretically researched, few studies have thoroughly investigated the exact nature of this association from a practical perspective. Therefore, this study aimed to design an online self-directed learning environment (OSDLE) to improve students’ creativity performance. The OSDLE was proposed with functions such as planning, learning, evaluation, and reflection, based on the three dimensions of personal attributes, process, and learning context. A quasi-experimental study was conducted in a university in Northeast China to explore the influence of the OSDLE on creativity performance. One hundred and six university students as study participants were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Participants in the experimental group learned in the OSDLE, whereas those in the control group learned in traditional classroom methods. The results indicated that the students using the OSDLE exhibited significant improvements in creativity performance. Furthermore, the SDL capabilities of the experimental group demonstrated gradual and continuous improvement. In addition, students’ thinking skills and academic achievement in the experimental group were higher than those of the control group. The main findings together are discussed in depth.


Creative learning, Self-directed learning, Creativity performance, Online self-directed learning environment

Chia-Chen Chen, Hong-Ren Chen and Ting-Yu Wang

Chia-Chen Chen

Department of Management Information Systems, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan // emily@nchu.edu.tw

Hong-Ren Chen

Department of Digital Content and Technology, National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan // hrchen@mail.ntcu.edu.tw

Ting-Yu Wang

Department of Management Information Systems, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan // a7278868@gmail.com


Many elementary school students find astronomical knowledge difficult to attain. Students cannot observe planetary motion in the universe, which makes the construction of astronomical knowledge abstract and incomprehensible for many students. To cope with this dilemma, this study proposed creative situated learning via augmented reality (AR) and developed an AR-based Cosmos Planet Go App to simulate the motion of planets in the universe. This allowed students to understand the characteristics and features of each planet through its simulated motion in the universe. This study adopted a quasi-experimental method and the qualitative analysis to conduct experiments on teaching astronomy in an elementary school in central Taiwan. The control group students were taught using traditional classroom narrative teaching, and the experimental group students were taught using the AR-based Cosmos Planet Go App. The results showed that students who learned with the use of the AR-based Cosmos Planet Go App performed significantly better than the control students on measures of learning effectiveness, learning motivation, and flow experience. Moreover, learning engagement, which occurs when students can use multiple perspectives to solve problems, is the most important element for evaluating the AR-learning environment in creative situations. This study extended the research field of digital technology-assisted learning to the discussion of integrated creative learning environment, which can be used as the basis and reference for scholars’ research.


Creative situated learning, ARCS motivation model, Augmented reality, Astronomy curriculum

Ting-Ting Wu

Graduate School of Technological and Vocational Education, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin, Taiwan // ttwu@yuntech.edu.tw

Wei-Shan Liu

Graduate School of Technological and Vocational Education, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin, Taiwan // d10943001@yuntech.edu.tw


Innovation in the design of curricula is widely discussed. Innovative curricula expose students to a diverse range of learning environments and prompt them to ask questions, stimulating their creativity and allowing them to develop a sense of initiative and to hone their problem-solving skills and ability to apply knowledge to practice. The introduction of new technology to the classroom has improved pedagogy and the information literacy of students. Because of these developments, this study expanded the integrative activity curriculum for second-grade elementary school students to an innovative curriculum involving a comprehensive set of activities related to remote-control cars and their use in the community. The students underwent a process of experiential learning in which they became familiar with the operation of remote-control cars. This study divided the students of two second-grade classes into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group participated in innovative teaching activities as a part of authentic learning courses and were familiarized with the operations of remote-control cars in traffic in the community. The control group participated in innovative teaching activities as a part of the lesson plan for remote-control cars and were familiarized with the operation of the cars in traffic in the community. The creative thinking and problem-solving skills of the students in both groups significantly improved, and the students in the experimental group outperformed those in the control group. The students in both groups indicated that they were satisfied with the curriculum.


Authentic learning, Curriculum design, Remote-control cars, Creative thinking, Problem solving

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.