Bulletin of the Technical Committee on Learning Technology (ISSN: 2306-0212)
Volume 20, Number 2, 1-2 (2020)
This work is under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 3.0 license. For more information, see Creative Commons License

Authors: Maiga Chang, Rita Kuo, Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun, Jun Chen Hsieh, Danial Hooshyar, Ahmed Tlili

Junior researchers in learning technology usually meet different difficulties when they are establishing their career path. For example, they would like to know what are the up-to-date techniques in solving a learning/teaching issue, what research methods are appropriate for specific research issues, how to find the cooperation opportunities in the research domain, and what communities they can join to establish their research network.

Bulletin of Technical Committee on Learning Technology aims to deliver that information to junior researchers and encourage senior researchers to share their works and experiences on this platform. After reviewed by associate editors and executive reviewers, seven articles were selected to publish in this issue, including four articles in Emerging Learning Technologies section, one article in Book & Reviews section, one article in Collaboration Opportunities section, and one article in Event Info & Call for Event Host section.

The articles in Emerging Learning Technologies section aims to provide a platform where researchers can share their research outcome offering insights into learning technologies, including systems, tools, apps, etc. The first paper, entitled “A performance-based assessment platform for developing computational thinking concepts and practices: EasyCode,” was written by Kong and Liu. This work presents the design and implementation of EasyCode, an innovative performance-based assessment platform, for students developing their computational thinking skills. Students can not only get timely feedback to understand the correctness of their codes but also get the evaluation results for their computational thinking skills. In addition, EasyCode can also decompose the complex tasks to subtasks that follow the key steps in the algorithm. These mechanisms can help students build computational thinking skills easier with navigation and feedbacks.

The second article documents how Takemata, Nunotani, Maekawa, and Minamide developed the game that can be used in color vision detection for elementary school students and their guardians. The game is a 2D action game with guides navigating players proceed from one to the next stage. The guides are difficult to be recognized by people who have poor or deficient color vision, so players who repeating taking more time to reach the goal can be considered color blindness. The game can help students and their guardians to screen their color blindness and promote understanding of color blindness.

In the third article, Srivastava, Jaiswal, Lamba, and Prabhakar introduce how they developed a desktop application entitled “Hindi-CNL-Coder,” helping naive/beginner non-English learners (NEL) or English as second language (ESL) programmers to learn to code using their native Hindi-language. Hindi-CNL-Coder designs several programming concept-based coding templates that are analogous to the equivalent concepts in standard programming languages. Based on the learning by imitation theory, NEL and ESL learners can migrate the coding experience from Hindi-CNL based codes to the standard coding languages smoothly.

The fourth article, entitled “The Go-Lab ecosystem: A practical solution for school teachers to create, organize and share digital lessons,” was written by Siiman, Rannastu-Avalos, Mäeots, and Pedaste. The authors present the Go-Lab ecosystem, a cohesive set of digital tools and services aimed at increasing the meaningful use of technology in teaching and learning. Teachers can not only organize the content for inquiry learning but also use the asymmetric simulations to develop students’ collaboration skills. All of the four articles provide important development processes and applications for the learners, which are useful for the relevant researchers.

In Book & Reviews section, Shi reviewed “Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak.” In brief, the hand book provides comprehensive knowledge and practical strategies, including criteria to select the most appropriate resources and tools, for educators and parents to facilitate implementation of flexible learning beyond the restrictions of space and time. Given that the global COVID‐19 pandemic has accelerated the use of technology-enhanced learning in an unprecedented way, the handbook could provide researchers, teachers, students, instructional designers, and policy makers with rich opportunities to improve teaching and learning. In addition to a concise summary of the book chapters, together with strengths and potential issues, the handbook provides a set of comprehensive suggestions that consider flexible learning from six aspects: infrastructure, learning tools, learning resources, teaching and learning methods, services for teachers and students, and cooperation between schools, governments, and enterprises. Finally, according to the review’s findings, the handbook calls for further strengthening the adaptability of flexible learning in different contexts.

In Collaboration Opportunities section, Srivastava, Verma and Prabhakar (2020) presented a framework that can help educators design courses for Visually Impaired Learners (VIL) based on both learning by imitation and learning by doing. The authors further highlight several challenges that VIL are facing, and present some solutions that the authors are currently working on. Finally, the authors are calling for collaborations on this topic to fulfill the goal of inclusive education.

Event Info & Call for Event Host section brings out an event relevant to language learning. Aiming at promoting the collaboration between researchers in the fields of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), the 4th Pedagogical and Practice in Technology Enhanced Language Learning (PPTELL 2021) will be held in a hybrid mode on 28-30 June, 2021. With the theme “Contextualized multimodal language learning”, PPTELL 2021 welcomes abstract submission for oral presentation, poster presentation, and technology showcase. PPTELL 2021 provides a channel through which researchers and educational practitioners could be inspired for theory-based technological integration in the 21st century.

The current submission statistics in 2020 show that authors get the first decision notification in average 28.02 days and get the acceptance notification in 48.61 days. To make the articles are published as quickly as possible, the Early Access (https://tc.computer.org/tclt/early-access/) page is added on the TCLT bulletin website. As long as the articles that are reviewed and accepted they will be published on the Early Access before assigned to an issue of a volume in order to deliver the most up-to-date information to the Learning Technology community.