Apomediation and Disintermediation: YouTube Prescribers on Fad Diets

As a result of the confinements of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sedentary lifestyle due to teleworking, there is an increase in weight gain and dietary carelessness in the population, which leads to an increase in offers of fad diets based on recommendations made by digital influencers. The aim of the study was to examine the characteristics of dietary recommendation videos made by non-health professional prescribers in Spanish and English to understand what patterns are followed by the productions of this type of content and what effects they have on the interaction they receive. An exploratory walkthrough method analysis was applied to define the variables of a codebook, followed by a content analysis of a sample of 50 videos published between January 2020 and July 2021. Most of the videos are published in the first months of the year, probably aimed at users seeking to reduce the weight gained during Christmas. The productions were characterized by having a very personal tone, informative and with relatively plural information, sometimes addressing the risks of diets or slimming products, and, although recommendations abound, the voices of experts are not frequent. The products and diets addressed in the videos often have a high health risk and do not involve practices recommended by experts, so although sometimes their contraindications or associated risks are pointed out, the promotional component and the search for traffic to the channel seem to be more relevant factors than public health in these videos.

Coworking spaces and virtual learning communities in social networks: Case Study of #ElClaustrodeIG on Instagram

Social networks are consolidated as spaces for the exchange of valuable content. It is not surprising to find spaces for the exchange of good teaching practices in virtual learning communities, so the objective of this study is to analyze, through the case study of #ElClaustrodeIG on Instagram, the educational content focused on teaching that is shared for the Ibero-American community in Spanish, as well as the analysis of the users who share their experiences and good practices in this social network. In order to do this, content analysis is first carried out, through an analysis sheet to 300 posts and a questionnaire is applied to 130 users of this hashtag on Instagram in order to analyze their patterns of use, their interests and motivations, their training in ICT and social networks, as well as the impact that the use of this social network has on their professional development and the gratification they expect. The results show that most of the publications are about good practices for primary and preschool education while most of the users think that Instagram is an ideal space for non-formal learning, applying in the classrooms many of the good practices shared in this coworking space.

Influence of institutional seniority and type of ownership on university quality rankings: correlational analysis of Peruvian universities

This study evaluates the correlations between the universities' type of property (public, private associative and private corporate), institutional seniority (<20, 20–45 and >45 years) and the presence and position in national and international university rankings. It considers 90 Peruvian universities certified by SUNEDU (public agency for the accreditation of universities in Peru). According to their presence in 20 university rankings (yes/no) and the position (tertiles) in two world rankings: Webometrics and SIR Iberoamericano, four universities participated in 10 or more rankings and only 16 (18%) in six or more. The private corporate universities were the least old (p < 0.01). No association was found with the type of property both in the presence in rankings and in the positioning (p > 0.05), except in one where there was less participation of public institutions. Long-lived universities had higher participation and better positioning in rankings than those with less seniority (p < 0.01). The presence and better positioning in university rankings depend on institutional seniority and not on the type of ownership in Peruvian licensed universities. This research highlights the lack of equity in several international rankings for the evaluation of the quality of universities, in the respect that most of them give priority to aspects related to institutional seniority and size. At the same time, the results of younger and smaller institutions are not put into perspective.

Learning Leaders: Teachers or Youtubers? Participatory Culture and STEM Competencies in Italian Secondary School Students

Youth is increasingly learning in non-conventional contexts, such as social networks or video platforms, courses, and tutorials. This research aims to diagnose the role of participatory culture, digital resources, social networks, and, specifically, YouTube, in learning processes and the acquisition of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills, specifically in mathematics, also analyzing the role of youtubers and, in contrast, teachers, both learning leaders in the formation of these skills. In order to accomplish this, mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) were used, based on a survey applied to 4845 Italian adolescents, as well as a content analysis of the videos and YouTube channel of the Italian educational influencer Elia Bombardelli, one of the most followed and best rated in this country. Also, an in-depth interview has been applied to 12 Italian secondary school teachers. Among the main findings, it is highlighted that all adolescents value YouTube videos as a key resource to improve their school performance, rating youtubers better than teachers. However, it is remarkable that in the processes of learning and acquisition of STEM competencies, they prefer to interact with teachers rather than with youtubers.

Determining Factors in MOOCs Completion Rates: Application Test in Energy Sustainability Courses

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are open educational activities that allow for distance learning and professional updating, although the academic community has questioned their effectiveness due to their low completion rates. This research analyzes which factors (personal, family, social, labor, and instructional design) are involved in the value expectations and engagement of the MOOCs and to what degree these affect the decision to enroll and the completion of the MOOC. To this end, in the context of 12 MOOCs on energy sustainability carried out between 2017 and 2018, 8737 participants were surveyed using two instruments designed according to theoretical constructs and expert judgment. The main results show that all the factors reviewed influence the decision to take a MOOC, although the “professional development” aspect has the most significant impact on participants who have graduated from technical and engineering careers. Additionally, this study emphasizes that the “instructional design” factor is decisive in the engagement of younger participants, showing that the conventional design of xMOOCs (Stanford Model) may be one of the most important reasons for the low completion rates of this type of course.

Incidence of Digital Competences in the Completion Rates of MOOCs: Case Study on Energy Sustainability Courses

Contribution: This article analyzes the correlation between users' digital competencies and their tendencies to successfully complete energy sustainability massive online open courses (MOOCs). In addition to reviewing whether digital competencies are a predictor of the effective completion of the course, this article analyzes whether participants acquire higher levels of digital competence through interaction in the course. Background: Completion rates of MOOCs typically range between 5% and 8%, with respect to registered participants. According to the literature, low rates may be due to factors such as students' lack of motivation or digital competence limitations. Research Questions: RQ1: Is there a correlation between the level of digital competence declared by the participants and their tendency to successfully complete the MOOC? RQ2: Does participation in a MOOC improve participants' digital competencies? Methodology: Two surveys, one pretest and one post-test (before and after the MOOCs), were applied to assess the digital competence levels of the participants. The total population of participants in the 12 MOOCs was 123 124 unique users, from which 9075 participants (pretest) - 7.37% of the universe - and 6029 participants (post-test) - 35.70% of the universe - were extracted as a sample. To determine its internal consistency, an exploratory factorial analysis was performed on both instruments and a Cronbach's alpha greater than 0.8 was obtained in all of its dimensions. Findings: A significant level of moderate to high correlation between the declared levels of digital competence and the trend toward successful completion of the MOOCs under study was observed. However, a significant increase was not demonstrated in the levels of digital competence acquired in the interaction with MOOCs. Conclusions: The level of digital competence of a participant in a MOOC was a valid predictor of their tendency to finish it. Although no increase in the levels of digital competence acquired through MOOCs was demonstrated, this may be because the subject matter of the MOOCs was alien to the indicators and dimensions of the digital competence. Further research could analyze the effectiveness of MOOCs in terms of digital competition at the acquired levels of competition.

The notion of educommunication in intergovernamental organizations

This research analyzes the notion that the main international organizations of multilateral character have on the concept of educommunication (media literacy), by means of the correlational extract and analysis of the content of interpretative base of 2.648 information units from 12 organizations, both regional and transcontinental, including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Arab League, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and the Organization of Ibero-American States, African Union, European Union, League of Arab States, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization of American States, Commonwealth of Latin American and Caribbean States, Union of South American Nations, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and Pacific Islands Forum. Regarding the main results, it is evident that 83% of the organizations analyzed, except in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and in the African Union, the convergence of the educational and communicative context is specifically presented under the terminology “media education”, which influences the formulation of domestic policies through the proposal of incentives and restrictions that affect decision making at the governmental level, alluding to the continuous change and the dynamic construction of identity. 

Entrepreneurship competencies in energy sustainability MOOCs

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been gaining popularity as non-formal lifelong learning educational platforms. However, they have been criticized for their low completion rate and low ability for networking. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how incorporating entrepreneurial competencies in MOOCs develops attributes of educational innovation and collaborative projects. The research followed a three-stage process: in the first stage, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify dimensions of entrepreneurial skills and attributes of educational innovation in MOOCs. In the second stage, a quantitative study was carried out based on the analysis of pre- and post-test surveys taken by a sample of 6,517 participants. In the last stage, the interaction analysis model/computer-mediated communication analysis model was applied through qualitative analysis, using the MAXQDA tool to identify if entrepreneurship opportunities were generated in the interactions within the discussion forums of the MOOCs.The results show that the analyzed MOOCs have an overall completion rate of 12.55%, above the average of the rates found in the literature review. However, only 14.29% of the participants expressed at least one opportunity to generate ventures related to the topics of energy in the discussion forums. This research could help instructional designers and universities to consider the inclusion of entrepreneurship issues in the design of MOOCs’ content and to encourage more activities that promote networking among participants to identify business potential from the educational materials. This research is one of the very few studies on entrepreneurship competencies in MOOCs to understand how the inclusion of issues related to entrepreneurship in MOOCs can generate a positive impact on participants.

Gamified Platform Framing for Entrepreneur Competencies

The study aims to reveal the need to propose a digital network where entrepreneurs can disseminate their skills achieved beyond formal and normative education. The general objective is to design a gamification platform based on entrepreneurial skills. For this, the specific objectives are proposing a Delphi study to 15 experts obtaining a list of priority competencies in the profiles of entrepreneurs, then the second specific objective is integrating the selected competencies within an interface based on the use of game elements, resulting in a platform that displays the 5 priority competencies, learning through experience, motivation, spotting opportunities, working with others and valuing ideas with 5 game elements respectively, experience points, feedback, leaderboards, progress bar and badges. From the results obtained, it can be concluded that the model implemented will serve as a first precedent for the display of competencies, thus providing an alternative traceability to the skills achieved by entrepreneurial initiatives.

Media Competence in Spanish Secondary School Students. Assessing Instrumental and Critical Thinking Skills in Digital Contexts

The ways in which young people communicate have changed in line with the impact of technologies. This change has been accompanied by growing differences between the young, and their "liquid" experience, and adults with their "solid" experience, and these shapes the state of the question that defines young people as digital natives. This work analyses Spanish adolescents' level of media competence. The sample consisted of 672 students attending secondary schools in 10 provinces in Spain. The average age of the participants was 14. The study aims to show that, although today's adolescents are described as the digital generation, and there is a widely held belief that they are digital natives, their level of media competence is low and there is need for fomenting greater literacy skills in this field. The "ad hoc" questionnaire yielded results that indicate an overall medium level of media competence, but a skills shortage in the dimensions relating to critical thinking, such as in reception and audience, production and programming processes, and ideology and values. The conclusions question the supposed superior competence of digital natives in media. This study underlines the need for a clear definition of the concept of media competence from a convergence perspective.