Cloud computing technologies although in their early stages, have managed to change the way applications are going to be developed and accessed. These technologies are aimed at running applications as services over the internet on a flexible infrastructure. Microsoft office applications, such as word processing, excel spreadsheet, access database and many more can be accessed through the internet, even though the files and applications are housed in the cloud. Cloud computing provides a low cost solution to academic institutions for their researchers, faculty and students. This setup provides an additional benefit because all these browser-based applications can also be accessed through mobile devices in addition to being available to a variety of laptop and desk top computers, provided internet access is available. In this paper we present a solution that is based on cloud computing and can be used for building a virtual environment both for teaching and learning. We present an interactive tool that can be used for science education; we combined various technologies to achieve this goal. The environment and the design proposed can also be used as a platform for exploring and sharing new ideas as well as for designing, modifying and monitoring educational or course contents. In our design under the same environment we also allow integration of different pedagogical approaches to both learning and teaching.
The increasing adoption of e-Learning technology is facing new challenges, such as how to produce student-centered systems that can be adapted to each student’s needs. In this context, educational video games are proposed as an ideal medium to facilitate adaptation and tracking of students’ performance for assessment purposes, but integrating the games in the educational flow presents technical and practical challenges. Moreover, their eventual integration should be accomplished according to the current standardization trends in e-Learning to simplify general adoption. Barriers still exist between the gaming and e-Learning communities, preventing their mutual interaction. In this work, the authors present a middle-ware to bridge this gap, integrating adaptive educational video games in e-Learning environments with a special focus on the ongoing standardization efforts.
Existing adaptive e-learning methods are supported by student (user) profiling for capturing student characteristics, and course structuring for organizing learning materials according to topics and levels of difficulties. Adaptive courses are then generated by extracting materials from the course structure to match the criteria specified in the student profiles. In addition, to handle advanced student characteristics, such as learning styles, course material annotation and programming-based decision rules are typically used. However, these additives demand certain programming skills from an instructor to proceed with course construction; they may also require building multiple course structures to handle practical pedagogical needs. In this paper, the authors propose a framework based on the concept space and the concept filters to support adaptive course generation where comprehensive student characteristics are considered. The concept space is a data structure for modeling student and course characteristics, while the concept filters are modifiers to determine how the course should be delivered. Because of the “building block” nature of the concept nodes and the concept filters, the proposed framework is extensible. More importantly, the authors’ framework does not require instructors to equip with any programming skills when they construct adaptive e-learning courses.
This paper describes an adaptive learning system based on mobile phone email to support the study of Japanese Kanji. In this study, the main emphasis is on using the adaptive learning to resolve one common problem of the mobile-based email or SMS language learning systems. To achieve this goal, the authors main efforts focus on three aspects: sending the contents to a learner following his or her interests, adjusting the difficulty level of the tests to suit the learner’s proficiency level, and adapting the system to his or her learning style. Additionally, this system has already been evaluated by the learners and the results show that most of them benefited from the system and would like to continue using it.
This study examines the usability challenges and emotional reactions of blind college students in their attempts to access online educational materials and to communicate with colleagues through online technologies. A case study approach was adopted. Five students were interviewed regarding their online learning experiences using Blackboard, a popular Course Management System. Analysis of the interviews revealed that Blackboard was poorly accessible to the blind students, which affected achieving their academic goals. The study also showed that the blind students were motivated and optimistic of their successes despite their frustrations and feelings of marginalization. The study suggests that academic administrators and database designers work jointly with adaptive software developers in developing enhanced user interfaces to ensure universal access and usability of online technologies and to reduce educational inequities and frustrations encountered by blind students.
Intelligent tutoring systems are any computer systems encompassing interactive applications with some intelligence that support and facilitate the teaching-learning process. The intelligence of these systems is the ability to adapt to each student throughout his/her learning process. This paper presents an intelligent tutoring system, called EduTutor, created for the web-based Aulanet learning management system (LMS).The system architecture and its main characteristics are described in detail. EduTutor focuses on subjects for the first cycle of studies of the Portuguese primary education system, between the first and the fourth year. Its purpose is to facilitate the perception of the learning process of each student, individually, in a virtual environment, and as a study guide. Furthermore, this intelligent tutor system was designed and its architecture was prepared for being easily integrated in higher levels of studies, different subjects, and different languages. EduTutor was validated with a large set of real cases and is being used, with success, in the Aulanet LMS platform.
The intelligent learning systems provide direct customized instruction to the learners without the intervention of human tutors on the basis of Semantic Web resources. Principal roles use ontologies as instruments for modeling learning processes, learners, learning disciplines and resources. This paper examines the variety, relationships, and conceptualizations of ontologies used in intelligent learning systems. The domain and application of ontologies assist in the building of learning content (courseware) and in the process of knowledge acquisition (learning session). In this paper, the conceptualization of the domain ontologies is presented by the upper levels of its taxonomies, a method and an algorithm intended for the generation of application ontologies of structural learning objects, that is, curriculum, syllabus, and lesson plan, are developed. Examples of curriculum and syllabus application ontologies are given.
Creativity and high performance in learning processes are the main concerns of educational institutions. E-learning contributes to the creativity and performance of these institutions and reproduces a traditional learning model based primarily on knowledge transfer into more innovative models based on collaborative learning. In this paper, the authors focus on the preliminary investigation of factors that influence e-learning adoption in Jordan. As a pioneer country for e-learning systems in the Middle East, an investigation has been completed for one of Jordan’s universities that has implemented e-learning. Factors are defined through the analysis of unstructured interviews with developers and users of the e-learning systems, and Leximancer content analysis software is used to analyze the interview’s content. Main factors include Internet, legislations, human factors, and Web content.
This paper compares students’ perceptions of support provided in the acquisition of various thinking and team-building skills, resulting from the various activities, resources and technologies (ART) integrated into an upper level Distributed Computing (DC) course. The findings indicate that students perceived strong support for their acquisition of higher-order thinking skills and team-building skills from the offline resources, but moderate support from the online resources and technologies provided in the course, which was in opposition to the grades received. It also seems that those in the traditional computer lab setting perceived online resources as more supportive of higher-order thinking skills than those in other sections and those in the electronic classroom perceived the least support. The results were mixed for team-building skills and for offline resources support for higher-order thinking skills. In particular, distance students deemed the text and material in Blackboard less important for developing these skills than onsite students.
Offering a series of diagnosis and individual remedial learning activities for a general class by means of web and multimedia technology can overcome the dilemma of conventional diagnosis and remedial instruction. The study proposes a three-layer conceptual framework and adopts a two-tier diagnostic test theory to develop a web-based two-tier diagnostic test and remedial learning management system called “the Dr. System.” The study also designs the two-tier diagnostic test items of electro-magnetic concepts and the related multimedia remedial learning materials based on the theory of modular course for the purpose of investigating the remedial learning effects. In addition, the study helps the participants eliminate their misconception through a quasi-experiment at an elementary school in a metropolitan area of northern Taiwan. The results show that the learners of the experimental group who received the treatment under the Dr. System performed significantly better than those who took the traditional remedial class. The study also indicates that the web-based two-tier diagnostic test helps us understand learners’ misconceptions. As a result, it also provides learners useful remedial multimedia materials, which are necessary for them to eliminate their individual misconceptions in the remedial learning process.
More video streaming technologies supporting distance learning systems are becoming popular among distributed network environments. In this paper, the authors develop a multimedia authoring tool for adaptive e-learning by using characterization of extended media streaming technologies. The distributed approach is based on an ontology-based model. Suppose a well-known teacher is giving a lecture/presentation to his student. Because of time constraints and other commitments, many students cannot attend. The main goal of the authors’ system is to provide a feasible method to record and represent a lecture/presentation using a browser with the windows media services. This system requires flexible support for the modeling of multimedia content models and supports possible interactivity, transfer of streams multimedia data such as audio, video, text, and annotations using network facilities. The authors propose a new approach for the modeling of reusable and adaptable multimedia content. A comprehensive system for advanced multimedia content production is also developed. This approach significantly impacts and supports the multimedia presentation authoring processes in terms of methodology and commercial aspects.
Blogs are an easy-to-use, free alternative to classic means of computer-mediated communication. Moreover, they are authentically aligned with web activity patterns of today’s students. The body of studies on integrating and implementing blogs in various educational settings has grown rapidly recently; however, it is often difficult to distill practical advice from these studies since the application contexts, pedagogical objectives, and research methodology differ greatly. This paper takes a step toward an improved understanding of employing blogs in education by presenting a follow-up case study on using blogs as reflective journals in an undergraduate computer-science lab course. This study includes lessons learned and adaptations following from the first-time application, the underlying pedagogical strategy, and a detailed analysis and discussion of blogging activity data obtained from RSS feeds and LMS logs.
The issue of knowledge management in a distributed network is receiving increasing attention from both scientific and industrial organizations. Research efforts in this field are motivated by the awareness that knowledge is more and more perceived as a primary economic resource and that, in the context of organization of organizations, the augmented management complexity of its whole life cycle requires new reference models. In this paper, we build on recent research work to propose a distributed knowledge management framework that can be used in several application domains. We characterize the dimension of social influences in terms of identity, negotiation and trust modeling them within a framework that can augment learning and cooperation capabilities through knowledge sharing and effective communication. A particular instance of the presented framework, to handle the problem of risk management in enterprise alliance partnership, is discussed as a case study that shows the practical applicability of our approach.
This paper deals with the use of learning styles in technology-enhanced learning by introducing a “Unified Learning Style Model” (ULSM). The article aims at providing answers to three main questions: “What is ULSM?”, “Why do we need it?” and “How can we use it?” First, a critical analysis regarding learning styles is provided; the identified challenges are addressed by proposing the use of a new model, specifically designed for TEL use. This model integrates learning preferences extracted from several traditional learning style models, related to perception modality in a way for processing and organizing information, as well as motivational and social aspects. A detailed description of the ULSM components is provided together with its rationale and its advantages. The practical applicability of the model is also shown by briefly introducing an adaptive web-based educational system based on it (called WELSA).
One of the difficulties in learning Chinese characters is distinguishing similar characters. This can cause misunderstanding and miscommunication in daily life. Thus, it is important for students learning the Chinese language to be able to distinguish similar characters and understand their proper usage. In this paper, the authors propose a game style framework to train students to distinguish similar characters. A major component in this framework is the search for similar Chinese characters in the system. From the authors’ prior work, they find the similar characters by the radical information and stroke correspondence determination. This paper improves the stroke correspondence determination by using the attributed relational graph (ARG) matching algorithm that considers both the stroke and spatial relationship during matching. The experimental results show that the new proposed method is more accurate in finding similar Chinese characters. Additionally, the authors have implemented online educational games to train students to distinguish similar Chinese characters and made use of the improved matching method for creating the game content automatically.
In Taiwan, when students learn in experiment-related courses, they are often grouped into several teams. The familiar method of grouping learning is “Cooperative Learning”. A well-organized grouping strategy improves cooperative learning and increases the number of activities. This study proposes a novel pedagogical method by adopting the Learning Diagnosis Diagram to obtain students’ knowledge structure. According to each knowledge structure of the student, this study proposes dynamic grouping to solve problems in the conventional once-and-for-all grouping strategy. The dynamic grouping method achieves the best complementary groups for further learning stages. Two courses were applied to conduct the proposed Two-phase Cooperative Learning. Complementary grouping methods and more interaction among team members are helpful for increasing the effect of learning. Evaluation results indicate that the proposed method significantly improves the learning achievement of all learners.
Attaining excellence in technical education is a worthy challenge to any life goal. Distance learning opportunities make these goals easier to reach with added quality. Distance learning in engineering education is possible only through successful implementations of remote laboratories in a learning-by-doing environment. This paper presents one such technology to carry out laboratory experiments from remote locations. The technology is demonstrated by handling the web interface, which supports the remote experimentation on communication circuits, power system and an embedded board. The implemented system environment facilitates users to perform the experiment remotely and efficiently using only a commonly available, user-friendly web browser. It describes the ongoing research in this area exploiting current telematics techniques, which supports remote experimentation with real hardware via the Internet.