The educational concept of “Zone of Proximal Development”, introduced by Vygotskij, stems from the identification of a strong need for adaptation of the learning activities, both traditional classroom and modern e-learning ones, to the present state of learner’s knowledge and abilities. Furthermore, Vygotskij’s educational model includes a strong bent towards social and collaborative learning. The joint answer to these two trends can be concretely implemented through a tight integration between personalized learning paths and collaborative learning activities. Along this line, the authors designed the combination of the functions of two pre-existing prototypes of web-based systems, to investigate how the above integration can merge adaptive and social e-learning. LECOMPS is a web-based e-learning environment for the automated construction of adaptive learning paths. SOCIALX is a web-based system for shared e-learning activities, which implements a reputation system to provide feedback to its participants. The authors propose a two-way tunneling strategy to integrate the above prototypes. The result is twofold: on the one hand the use of the student model supported by LECOMPS in an adaptive e-learning course is extended to support choosing exercise activities delivered through SOCIALX; on the other hand the reputation and the skills gained during social-collaborative activities are used to update the student model. Under the social perspective induced by the integration, the authors present a mapping between the student model and the definition of Vygotskij’s Autonomous Problem Solving and Proximal Development regions, with the aim to provide the learner with better guidance, especially in the selection of available social learning activities.
To help researchers in building a knowledge foundation of their research fields which could be a time-consuming process, the authors have developed a Cross Tabulation Search Engine (CTSE). Its purpose is to assist researchers in 1) conducting research surveys, 2) efficiently and effectively retrieving information (such as important researchers, research groups, keywords), and also 3) providing analytical information relating to past and current research trends in a particular field. Their CTSE system employs data-processing technologies and emphasizes the use of a “Learn by Searching” learning strategy to support students to analyze such research trends. To show the effectiveness of CTSE, a pilot experiment has been conducted, where participants were assigned to do research survey tasks and then answer a questionnaire regarding the effectiveness and usability of the system. The results showed that the system has been helpful to students in conducting research surveys, and the research trend transitions that our system presented were effective for producing research trend surveys. Moreover, the results showed that most students had favorable attitudes toward the usage and usability of the system, and those students were satisfied in gaining more know ledge in a particular research field in a short period.
The objective of this paper is to apply Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) to identify the best open source Learning Management System (LMS) for an E-learning environment. FCA is a mathematical framework that represents knowledge derived from a formal context. In constructing the formal context, LMSs are treated as objects and their features as attributes. This context is analysed and classified into concepts based on the rules of FCA. The knowledge derived from the concepts and our analyses reveal that Moodle is exceptional, with more features when compared with other LMSs.
This paper proposes a framework for web-based language learning support systems designed to provide customizable pedagogical procedures based on the analysis of characteristics of both learner and course. This framework employs a course-centered ontology and a teaching method ontology as the foundation for the student model, which includes learner knowledge status and learning preferences. A prototype system has been developed based on this framework. The system was evaluated by means of analysis of learner data from the international language department of a Chinese university. The average learning achievement of the students in the experimental group, who studied with the learning support system, was significantly better than that of the control group, who studied with the tradition learning management system while taking the same Japanese course as the experimental group.
In an online course, students learn independently in the virtual environment without teacher’s on-the-spot support. However, many students are addicted to the Internet which is filled with a plethora of shopping websites, online games, and social networks (e.g. Facebook). To help keep students focused on and involved in online or blended courses requires teachers’ exquisite design of their online teaching methods and learning activities. Thus, the author in this study redesigned his online pedagogy, collaborative learning (CL) with initiation and self-regulated learning (SRL) with feedback, based on the teaching results from previous semesters and his own self-reflection. This study involved an experiment that included 227 sophomores from four class sections. The results of this study indicate that students from CIS group (who received online CL with initiation and SRL) had the highest involvement. The implications for educators that plan to deliver online learning were also provided in this study.
The environmental priority requires structural interventions that will be effective in the long period only if they are accompanied by modifications of behaviors, orientations and beliefs, specially investing in the new generations. This paper presents a 3D Virtual World serious game named Pappi World, designed according to pedagogical theories and to the Italian Environmental Ministry guidelines. This game aims at helping children to learn how to dispose waste and to understand that waste can become a relevant resource when correctly managed. The game proposes individual and collaborative activities and exploits the city evolution mechanism proper of city-building games to involve the students. Pappi World is also evaluated 1) considering the learning efficacy and the student perceptions and 2) collecting the teachers opinions related to the game usability, fun, engagement, mechanism and metaphor adequateness as well as expected learning outcomes. Also the student perceptions on the game were collected. With regards to learning effectiveness, the empirical evaluation revealed a significant difference between pre-game and post-game knowledge. Students reported they were engaged and had fun playing Pappi World. Teachers expressed a positive opinion on the game adoption and its effectiveness, also providing useful suggestions to improve it.
The gradual development of intelligent learning (iLearning) systems has prompted the changes of teaching and learning. This paper presents the architecture of an intelligent learning (iLearning) system built upon the recursive iLearning model and the key technologies associated with this model. Based on this model and the technical structure of a cloud-based intelligent system, the authors developed an exemplary iLearning system-”Mobile Class”, accessible from the Shanghai Lifelong Learning Network, an online platform for the continuing education of Shanghai residents. This cloud-based intelligent learning (C-iLearning) system can adopt the cloud management model and synchronize users' learning process in the clouds, so as to support users' continuous learning with different devices. Formal testing with target users revealed the effectiveness of this system in supporting anytime anywhere learning.
Brainwaves (EEG signals) and mouse behavior information are shown to be useful in predicting academic emotions, such as confidence, excitement, frustration and interest. Twenty five college students were asked to use the Aplusix math learning software while their brainwaves signals and mouse behavior (number of clicks, duration of each click, distance traveled by the mouse) were automatically being captured. It is shown that by combining the extracted features from EEG signals with data representing mouse click behavior, the accuracy in predicting academic emotions substantially increases compared to using only features extracted from EEG signals or just mouse behavior alone. Furthermore, experiments were conducted to assess the prediction accuracy of the system at points during the learning session where several of the extracted features significantly deviate in value from their mean. The experiments confirm that the prediction performance increases as the number of feature values that deviate significantly from the mean increases.
Multi-agency crisis management represents one of the most complex of real-world situations, requiring rapid negotiation and decision-making under extreme pressure. However, the training offered to strategic planners, called Gold Commanders, does not place them under any such pressure. It takes the form of paper-based, table-top exercises, or expensive, real-world, limited-scope simulations. The Pandora project has developed a rich multimedia training environment for Gold Commanders, based on a crisis scenario, timeline-based, event network, with which the trainees and their trainer interact dynamically. Pandora uses the emotional intelligence of the trainees, through a behavioural modelling component, to support group dynamic and decision-making. It applies systemic emotional intelligence, based on inferred user state and rule-based affective inputs, to impact the stress levels of the trainees. Pandora can impose variable stress on trainees, to impact their decision-making, and model their behaviour and performance under stress, potentially resulting in more effective and realisable strategies.
In this paper, the entries of Lang-8, which is a Social Networking Site (SNS) site for learning and practicing foreign languages, were analyzed and found to contain similar rates of errors for most error categories reported in previous research. These similarly rated errors were then processed using an algorithm to determine corrections suggested by a native speaker. Subject matter experts then evaluated the processed sentences to determine the quality in relation to use in tests or exams for language learners. The method describes the automatic generation of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blanks quizzes using the writings of language learners on public web based learning sites, in order to support learner reflection on corrections and practicing past errors to overcome problems.
In a large scale study on 843 transcripts of Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) talks, the authors address the relation between word usage and categorical affective ratings of lectures by a large group of internet users. Users rated the lectures by assigning one or more predefined tags which relate to the affective state evoked in the audience (e. g., ‘fascinating’, ‘funny’, ‘courageous’, ‘unconvincing’ or ‘long-winded’). By automatic classification experiments, they demonstrate the usefulness of linguistic features for predicting these subjective ratings. Extensive test runs are conducted to assess the influence of the classifier and feature selection, and individual linguistic features are evaluated with respect to their discriminative power. In the result, classification whether the frequency of a given tag is higher than on average can be performed most robustly for tags associated with positive valence, reaching up to 80.7% accuracy on unseen test data.
Mobile computing offers potential opportunities for students’ learning especially when it combines a sensing device such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Researchers have indicated that a key feature of in-field learning supported by mobile devices and technology is context awareness, with which context and functionality provided by the learning system are adapted to the user’s situation. However, the design of context-aware mobile learning systems provides the authors with major challenges in terms of both defining use context as well as developing appropriate concepts relevant to the design of contextual information on the systems. Educators have highlighted the role of activity in science development and learning, implying that activity theory can be used to design a mobile learning environment. This paper presents the use of activity theory as a framework for describing the design of a context aware mobile learning application. A case study for the design of a mobile learning application for science learning is described using activity theory.
In language learning, error correction information given by teachers for student compositions is of great value in both teaching and learning. However, in traditional paper-based error correction mode, error correction information is easily lost and cannot be fed back to students systematically. The aim of this research is to provide maximum feedback related to systematic correction for students and teachers so that there can be targeted learning and teaching. This paper describes a web-based auxiliary error correcting system for Japanese writing that compares compositions before and after error correction and provides statistics related to error type, error frequency, and error variation. The system was evaluated in the Dalian University of Technology and the experiment proved that teachers and students benefit from this system.
The Multi-Mouse Quiz System is an application used to treat quizzes in a classroom or other learning environment. The system comprises the Multi Mouse Quiz (MMQ) and MMQEditor. The MMQ is an application of Single Display Groupware (SDG), which enables multiple users to answer quizzes by connecting several mice to an ordinary computer. The MMQEditor is a personal computers (PCs) application designed to edit quizzes for MMQ. In this paper, the authors describe the activities of using MMQ and MMQEditor in an elementary school. Sixth grade children were asked to design quizzes using MMQEditor and then evaluate them mutually using MMQ. The results of the activities showed that the combination of MMQEditor and MMQ helped engage the children in the activities, the children easily operated MMQEditor, and learning was encouraged and deepened through the mutual evaluation of created quizzes.
Building pedagogical applications in virtual worlds is a multi-disciplinary endeavor that involves learning theories, application development framework, and mediated communication theories. This paper presents a project that integrates game-based learning, multi-agent system architecture (MAS), and the theory of Transformed Social Interaction (TSI), the project implements a group of engaging, affectionate and effective pedagogical agents equipped with abilities of self-repsentation, emotional states reasoning and situational awareness. A prototype of a virtual quiz show, QuizMASter, has been implemented to realize these abilities, and will be used to test for the effectiveness of the approach.
This study aims to discuss whether game-based learning with the integration of games and digital learning could enhance not only the flow experience in learning but achieve the same flow experience in pure games. In addition, the authors discovered that whether the game-based learning could make learners to reveal higher cognitive load. The effects of computer-assisted learning, computer games, and computer-assisted learning on the fifth-grade students are compared. The results showed that game-based learning is able to promote and achieve the same flow experience in games as well as increase the learners’ cognitive load. However, repeatedly using such software would not present significant difference on cognitive load.
The teaching of 3D digital game design requires the development of students’ meta-skills, from story creativity to 3D model construction, and even the visualization process in design thinking. The characteristics a good game designer should possess have been identified as including redesign things, creativity thinking and the ability to visualize ideas from imagination. Therefore, 3D visualization is a key skill in this context. To help students fully focus on game design rather than on complicated 3D modeling or animation skills, this study developed an authoring package that is integrated with Google 3D Warehouse, SketchUp, and a web-based 3D multi-user platform: 3D Cyber Worlds. The proposed game design authoring package was used with 53 college students for one semester, while a total of 108 students were involved in the overall study. The results indicate that the package achieved its aim of in assisting students in the game design process, including that of 3D modeling, and is feasible for future development using advance web technologies. Examples of the students’ game design projects and feedback on the use of this authoring package are also presented and discussed.
Practice and research in the composition education that is using computer and network have been more and more active. Through online composition system, a large amount of written texts produced by students and teachers can be collected. This kind of information is called a learner corpus, which is important in second language education because the specific learning situations of learners can be analyzed. However, there is still little effective application on how to utilize the collected learner corpus in pedagogy. In this research, a web based composition/correction system has been constructed. It can not only support online composition submission and correction, but also supply a retrieval function for learner corpus. This function has been combined with another CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) drill system to create more effective exercises according to learners’ misuses. This research has proposed a unique mechanism to integrate both construction and application of learner corpus.
With the rapid development of Internet, e-learning has become a new teaching and learning mode. However, lots of e-learning systems deployed on Internet are just electronic learning materials with very limited interactivity and diagnostic capability. This paper presents an integrated e-learning environment named iCLSR. Firstly, iCLSR provides an online environment for instruction and collaborative learning, which gets rid of the constraints of time and space. Second, online teaching and learning evaluation data from instructors and learners can be collected by iCLSR and can be analyzed with an improved PSK-means clustering algorithm. Third, the learning object lists can be recommended for learners based on online evaluation results and their learning history. The application of iCLSR demonstrates that it can recommend appropriate learning materials for learners, inspire communication between learners and instructors, save time for users and therefore improve the instructional effects and learning performance.
One of the most closely investigated topics in e-learning research has always been the effectiveness of adaptive learning environments. The technological evolutions that have dramatically changed the educational world in the last six decades have allowed ever more advanced and smarter solutions to be proposed. The focus of this paper is to depict the three main dimensions that have driven research in the e-learning field and the evolution of the technological approaches adopted for the purposes of building advanced educational environments for distance learning. Then, the three different approaches adopted by the authors are discussed; these consist of a multi-agent system, an adaptive SCORM compliant package and an e-learning recommender system.