Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Science

First Advisor

Leisa Armstrong

Second Advisor

Prachyanun Nilsook

Field of Research Code

080505, 130306, 070106,

Abstract

Agriculture plays a vital role in the economy of Thailand. Recent government initiatives such as “Smart Agriculture” have been undertaken to improve agriculture and the uptake technologies in both agriculture and agricultural education. The inclusion of Thailand in ASEAN group of nations has also lead to a greater push for university education to be delivered in English and for students to develop a greater proficiency in English. Computer technology has been used for teaching in many disciplines including agricultural science. Language barriers, challenges in the uptake of new technologies in agriculture, and the disadvantages of the traditional classroom learning are some of the factors that can limit the learning of new technology by Thai agriculture students. Multilanguage Blended Learning System which combines classroom learning environment and online learning environment has been proposed as a viable solution for improving the effectiveness of these learners. This research study was carried out to answer the question: “What is the effectiveness of multilanguage blended learning in the context of Thai agricultural science education?” This was answered by addressing the following sub questions 1. What barriers exist in traditional delivery of agricultural science education in Thailand? 2. Are multilanguage blended learning environments an effective approach to teaching agricultural science courses to Thai students? 3. What factors determine the effectiveness of multilanguage blended learning systems to improve learning in agricultural science courses? 4. What are the key principles to achieve effectiveness in a blended learning environment for Thai agricultural science education? A review of relevant literature identified a number of limitations in overcoming language barriers in learning and limitations found in research into multilanguage blended learning. The review of literature provided a definition of MBLS in order to clarify the scope and meaning of MBLS. LMS tools and their examples were also reviewed to provide knowledge in using LMS. The factors influencing the design of multilanguage learning management system and concepts and examples in designing multilanguage learning management system were examined. A case study was carried of students, lecturers and online learning experts from three universities in Thailand. The 374 student participants and other participants were selected from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkranang (KMITL), King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), and Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (RMUTP). A case study was conducted based on a mixed-method research methodology. Both quantitative and qualitative data techniques were used for the data analysis. This study utilized a two-treatment counterbalanced design with 374 students which consisted of students from seven groups from the three universities. Questionnaires, achievement tests, a Moodle tracking system and interviews were used as the research instruments of the study. A situational analysis was carried out using information from broad perspective to specific factors in relation to blended learning in agriculture in Thailand. The analysis presented the current situation that affected the blended learning system when the MBLS was tested. The findings from situational analysis were used for designing MBLS to suit the Thai students learning styles. The development of the MBLS used a process which consisted of four steps; software specification, software design and implementation, software validation and software evolution. The software process was used for designing MBLS. Activities and the resource teaching tools which provided in Moodle LMS were presented. The architecture of MBLS which consisted of four blocks; LMS, content in English language, translation tools, and content in other languages. Course content, Google, and ImTranslator add-on was selected to use in the MBLS. The research results from achievement test indicated that the achievement test all four groups did not clearly indicate that blended learning or classroom learning has higher efficiency. System logs from MBLS that indicated the behaviours in accessing MBLS of students at normal rate. The frequencies in accessing MBLS of students depend on the number and type of activities that lecturers assigned to students. The results of analysis of student experiences of using MBLS indicated that the overall satisfaction of students in using MBLS is high. The mean score of students’ satisfaction that was categorised in three aspects: the content, delivery medium, multilanguage tools indicated participant students satisfy in learning with MBLS. One-Way MANOVA was used to analyse how students in each groups rated satisfaction in content, delivery medium, and multilanguage tools. Univariate and MANCOVA in SPSS were used to analyse the relationship between student groups and the ability in using MBLS system of students. The findings from multivariate linear regression model equations of each group and model of all student who learning with MBLS indicated that Y’ = –0.657 – 0.027X +1.198X2 –0.069X3 is the equation of the student’s satisfaction. The model shows how students’ satisfaction of content, delivery medium, and multilanguage tools effected to students. Findings from interviews and participant observation were presented as a number of themes. The data from observed students’ behaviour, lecturers’ behaviour, web administrator’s behaviour, and course designers’ behaviour were presented. The data from student interviews was analysed into seventeen themes. The themes were categorized into five groups based on the process in developing MBLS. The data from the lecturer interviews were analysed into eighteen themes. The themes from lecturer interviews were also categorized into five groups based on the process in developing MBLS. A MBLE framework was proposed for an effective approach to assist agricultural science student that integrated LMS and translation technology in teaching. The MBLE consisted of 4 phases: preparation, implementation, teaching, and completion. The MBLE framework was designed in a top down design which the low layer is considered as fundamental of upper layer. Each phases have divided into 10 steps: surveying requirements, planning MBLE, seeking cooperation, designing MBLE, selecting tools, preparing ICT system, implementing MBLS, teaching through MBLE, evaluating, and complete model of MBLE. The research highlighted the barriers which exist in traditional delivery of agricultural science education in Thailand, factors determine the effectiveness of multilanguage blended learning systems to improve learning in agricultural science course, and key principles to achieve effectiveness in a blended learning environment for Thai agricultural science education are presented. This study has proposed, created, and used a novel concept of blended learning system that integrated LMS with novel translation tools in blended learning environment. Multiple factors influencing teaching in MBLS has been studied. The study contributes other lecturers, course designer, and web administrator in designing MBLS.

Access Note

On expiration of the embargo period a version of the thesis with chapters 1 - 10 removed will be available by the author's request.

Available for download on Sunday, February 19, 2023

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