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Teaching ethics and critical thinking in contemporary schools
Bojan Borstner, Smiljana Gartner, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Basic ethical questions, dilemmas and especially decisions do not only affect the life of an individual but can also affect lives of others. In some professional ethics, where decisions about a person's life or death are made, decisions can even be irreversible. In this contribution three ways of deciding by highlighting critical, and reflective decision-making or systematic thought process as the most effective method in ethics have been pointed out. Therefore, taking ethics as a critically reflective morality highlights the fact that we can talk about ethical exploration, so ethics is a process of thinking, not a set of established answers that need only to be passively accepted. It could be concluded that the study of and practice in, evaluating arguments and evidence (moral decision making) via critical thinking as well as using other important skills (raising questions according to Blooms taxonomy and doing a lot of case studies) is the best way to achieve the most fundamental goal in teaching an ethical course -- becoming a better person. And is therefore something that should be in every curriculum.
Keywords: authority, critical thinking, ethics, teaching ethics, decision making, intuitions
Published: 19.12.2017; Views: 19; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (547,37 KB)

Smart e-testing
Marjan Krašna, Tomaž Bratina, Branko Kaučič, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: A decade of experience with e-learning material production gives significant trends overview. From the perspective of ICT evolution this means very long time. E-learning is always closely coupled to ICT but with the distinction - it always lags behind the advancement in ICT. Among many unknown issues one thing is certain - e-learning permanently changes. From the past experiences prediction of immediate future e-learning is possible but the prediction for longer time is less accurate. In the article chronological e-learning achievements and their connections are presented in order to give an overview of trends in e-learning in Slovenia. But despite of the detailed past knowledge fundamental prediction error of e-learning future developments was made. Today's hot topics are not better e-learning materials, not even broad application of interactive boards but e-testing. Possible immediate future of e-learning is therefore application of intelligent e-testing systems. Intelligent computer assisted testing (CAT) is not the new topic in e-learning. It is object of many researches but it is not suitable for teachers. It is way too complicated for teachers to apply it successfully in their work. E-learning development process for intelligent computer assisted test production that suits teachers' competences is prepared and explained in the article.
Keywords: distance learning, knowledge assessment, learning management system
Published: 19.12.2017; Views: 21; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (681,61 KB)

Metacognitive accuracy and learning to learn
Karin Bakračevič Vukman, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Metacognition belongs to higher-order mental processes and enables us to control, plan and accordingly regulate our own learning and problem solving process. In the present study we researched developmental changes in different reasoning domains and in metacognitive accuracy, which is considered as part of successful metacognitive monitoring/regulation, and as an essential element of self-regulated learning and learning to learn competence. The study involved 282 participants from four different age groups: 13-15-, 23-25-, 33-35- and 43-45- year olds. These participants solved tasks addressed to spatial, verbal-propositional and social reasoning, and evaluated their own performance on these tasks. To specify possible differences in metacognitive accuracy, the metacognitive accuracy index was computed. Results showed that metacognitive evaluations were accurate in spatial domain, less accurate in verbal-propositional and quite inaccurate in the social domain. The accuracy of self-evaluation increased with age and males were more accurate in their self-evaluations than females. Improvement of metacognitive accuracy with age is in tune with findings that metacognition becomes more effective with development and that people with age become more reflective and self-aware.
Keywords: reasoning, metacognition, metacognitive accuracy, self-regulated learning
Published: 15.12.2017; Views: 54; Downloads: 1
.pdf Full text (488,20 KB)

E-learning materials for social science students
Marjan Krašna, Tomaž Bratina, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Today's student population is rightfully categorized as digital natives. From the beginning of their education, they used ICT. The technological gadgets, internet, and social networks are like a glove to them. Such generation of students require more than just textbooks. In the 2013 University of Maribor establish a task force for e-learning materials development. The goal was to identify the optimal technological, didactical and financial approach to the long process of e-learning materials development. Members of the task force have many workshops presenting different views, acquired experiences from their previous projects, technological constraints, prediction, etc. During these workshops it was decided it would be the best to prepare different types of e-learning materials and test them by the students. From their feedbacks we could set the guidelines for large scale production. At the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Faculty of Education students needs to acquire also the digital competences to become successful teachers. For special didactics study programs different types of e-learning materials were produced with different technological approach. The concept was to upgrade the previous deliverables (PowerPoint slides) and narrate them. Narrated slides would enable students to refresh their lectures and should be used as blended e-learning materials. Narrations were prepared in different format: textual narration, voice narration and video narration. But later it was decided that these types are not enough and a mix of narratives (integrated multimedia learning materials) could be used on individual slides depending on the content of the slide. Students first receive the lecture in the classroom and in the same week they need to study associated e-learning materials and write their review of corresponding e-learning materials. In their review students were required to log the required time for studying the e-learning materials; benefits and drawbacks; potential improvement of e-learning materials; and open text of impression of using e-learning materials. Effectiveness and outcomes were tested with the electronic quizzes. Students were highly motivated with these new types of learning materials and provide us valuable feedback. Most efficient were text narrated learning materials, but the favourite was integrated multimedia learning materials. Video and audio narrations take them more time to study since they were constrained with the speed of speech of the recorded lecturer.
Keywords: design, distance learning, e-learning, learning materials, validation, verification
Published: 15.12.2017; Views: 19; Downloads: 1
.pdf Full text (1,47 MB)

Critical thinking in education
Janez Bregant, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: The study argues for the claim that a correct argumentation, i.e. a non-fallacious or good reasoning, should be the essential part of the education process, which is not always the case. The bad argumentation makes human standards and interpersonal relationships worse, and leads to the growth of social conflicts and an instable society. If the legislature, executive and judiciary branches of power did not listen to good arguments, our lives would not be as good as they are since the state might pass bad, dangerous and unjust laws. A person trained in critical thinking starting in their youth would be able to tell a difference between good and bad arguments and recognize the fact that accepting the former and dropping the latter is the only way to avoid the above mentioned negative characteristics of a society. By teaching pupils how to employ the prescribed standards of a correct argumentation using everyday examples helps them to avoid adopting certain views on the ground of their popularity, affections produced in observers, their popularity etc., which are classic examples of logical fallacies. An early training in critical thinking could make obvious the fact that, a democracy consisting among other things also in a social, racial and gender equality, after all, does not mean that sometimes left arguments win and sometimes the right ones, and that there is no difference between them in the long run.
Keywords: arguments, critical thinking, deduction, induction, validity
Published: 15.12.2017; Views: 18; Downloads: 1
.pdf Full text (583,71 KB)

Collaborative culture as a challenge of contemporary schools
Mateja Pšunder, 2009, original scientific article

Abstract: Different authors stress that traditional culture is still the most common culture in schools. This culture prefers high educational goals, high expectations and productivity. Under such circumstances, there is no room for cooperation and helping each other. On the contrary, these stimulate competitiveness that causes tension between the participants. One of the fundamental aims of today's and future education is also to stimulate cooperation that provides each individual with the strength to come to known him or herself and to behave in accordance with his or her tradition and beliefs, while at the same time staying open to other and different people. This can be achieved only in a culture of good relationships that includes the values of tolerance, solidarity, critical thinking and independence. Research has shown that collaborative culture also has many other benefits over traditional culture reflecting itself in the well-being and effectiveness of teachers and students and also in the development of the institution as a whole. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine effective schools without cooperation at all school levels. Since school culture is a relatively stable phenomenon, it takes a long time to change and such a change cannot be achieved with external orders. The most important initial step towards changing school culture is that all school staff realise its importance, influence and extent in creating an effective school. This can be a starting point and encouragement to think about the existing school climate, make plans for the future and find ways to change it.
Keywords: education, culture, multicultural education, democratic school, school culture, school climate, effectiveness
Published: 15.12.2017; Views: 21; Downloads: 2
.pdf Full text (741,85 KB)

Artificial intelligence versus human talents in learning process
Janez Bregant, Boris Aberšek, 2011, original scientific article

Abstract: To highlight the differences between conventional educational systems and CBLS - computer based learning systems. It is useful to consider CBLS, as the class of a system most closely related to artificial intelligence - AI. In such a system, the ultimate goal is to create a virtual duplicate of reality for learning, analysis, training, experimentation, or other purposes. Simulating reality is an approach that may or may not be useful at creating experience. This distinction yield several consequences. In CBLS, behaviour should be as realistic as possible, the representation of environment tends to be uniform and consistent and allowing users to act freely within that environment. To teach users through realistic experience CBLS design techniques can make the experience much more memorable. In such an environment the context and control afforded by design techniques allow the integration of technologies and evaluation of the overall experience. Perhaps it is time to take lessons of CBLS and AI in a learning design and teaching tools seriously. At the beginning we will point out one simple question: could the ideas, methodology and techniques of AI also be applied to a development of relatively serious mind applications and can they substitute human teachers? And the answer will be continued in our paper.
Keywords: education, intelligent tutors, artificial intelligence, CBLS
Published: 12.12.2017; Views: 51; Downloads: 2
.pdf Full text (465,85 KB)

Names in literary translation
Darja Mazi Leskovar, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: This article presents three English translations of the Slovenian tale Martin Krpan z Vrha (1858) by Fran Levstik and focuses on the translation of personal and geographical names with the aim of examining the application of domestication and foreignization translation strategies. The comparative analysis of the English names aims to find out if the cultural gap between the source and the target cultures has been diminishing over the years. The study also highlights the role of the chronotope that gives the work, one of the most frequently translated Slovenian texts, a distinctive cultural character.
Keywords: English translations of Martin Krpan, comparative analysis of translated name, domestication and foreignization strategies, chronotope, Slovene literature, literary translation
Published: 30.11.2017; Views: 45; Downloads: 2
.pdf Full text (743,28 KB)

Robust sex differences in jigsaw puzzle solving
Vid Kocijan, Marina Horvat, Gregor Majdič, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Sex differences are consistently reported in different visuospatial tasks with men usually performing better in mental rotation tests while women are better on tests for memory of object locations. In the present study, we investigated sex differences in solving jigsaw puzzles in children. In total 22 boys and 24 girls were tested using custom build tablet application representing a jigsaw puzzle consisting of 25 pieces and featuring three different pictures. Girls outperformed boys in solving jigsaw puzzles regardless of the picture. Girls were faster than boys in solving the puzzle, made less incorrect moves with the pieces of the puzzle, and spent less time moving the pieces around the tablet. It appears that the strategy of solving the jigsaw puzzle was the main factor affecting differences in success, as girls tend to solve the puzzle more systematically while boys performed more trial and error attempts, thus having more incorrect moves with the puzzle pieces. Results of this study suggest a very robust sex difference in solving the jigsaw puzzle with girls outperforming boys by a large margin.
Keywords: children, sex difference, visuo-spatial tasks, jigsaw puzzle
Published: 13.11.2017; Views: 26; Downloads: 2
.pdf Full text (1,57 MB)

Clarifying power, domination, and exploitation
Tibor Rutar, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: The paper examines two ubiquitous concepts of power: the "classical sociological" concept which draws on Max Weber's definition of power, and the "Foucauldian" concept which stems from Michel Foucault's genealogical works. Three main theses are argued for. First, the two concepts are not, in most respects, as radically different as it is usually claimed. It is demonstrated that both can make room for different sources of power, for understanding power in a non-reified way, for the fact that power is rarely completely centralised, etc. Second, in those respects in which the two concepts actually differ, the classical view of power is more convincing and useful than the Foucauldian one. It is demonstrated that the Foucauldian view is implicitly positivist in the normative domain and thus unable to differentiate between power and domination, and that it succumbs to errors of methodological holism (i. e. undertheorising agency). Third, it is argued that the classical sociological view allows to analytically distinguish between power, domination and exploitation. These three categories are shown not to be synonymous and to carry with them importantly different sociological implications. It is demonstrated that exploitation cannot merely refer to any process of unpaid appropriation of surplus as obvious false positives are generated from this definition. Nonetheless, such appropriation is the fundamental characteristic which differentiates exploitation from domination (but not power itself), and this reveals an important sociological implication for the dynamics of struggle of the exploited against exploitation in contrast to the struggle of the dominated against the dominators.
Keywords: power, domination, exploitation, Foucault, value-neutrality
Published: 24.10.2017; Views: 103; Downloads: 2
.pdf Full text (423,22 KB)

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