Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 39

Search results for: learning environments

39 The Impact of Gamification on Self-Assessment for English Language Learners in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Wala A. Bagunaid, Maram Meccawy, Arwa Allinjawi, Zilal Meccawy

Abstract:

Continuous self-assessment becomes crucial in self-paced online learning environments. Students often depend on themselves to assess their progress; which is considered an essential requirement for any successful learning process. Today’s education institutions face major problems around student motivation and engagement. Thus, personalized e-learning systems aim to help and guide the students. Gamification provides an opportunity to help students for self-assessment and social comparison with other students through attempting to harness the motivational power of games and apply it to the learning environment. Furthermore, Open Social Student Modeling (OSSM) as considered as the latest user modeling technologies is believed to improve students’ self-assessment and to allow them to social comparison with other students. This research integrates OSSM approach and gamification concepts in order to provide self-assessment for English language learners at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). This is achieved through an interactive visual representation of their learning progress.

Keywords: E-learning system, gamification, motivation, social comparison, visualization.

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38 Embodied Cognition and Its Implications in Education: An Overview of Recent Literature

Authors: Panagiotis Kosmas, Panayiotis Zaphiris

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Embodied Cognition (EC) as a learning paradigm is based on the idea of an inseparable link between body, mind, and environment. In recent years, the advent of theoretical learning approaches around EC theory has resulted in a number of empirical studies exploring the implementation of the theory in education. This systematic literature overview identifies the mainstream of EC research and emphasizes on the implementation of the theory across learning environments. Based on a corpus of 43 manuscripts, published between 2013 and 2017, it sets out to describe the range of topics covered under the umbrella of EC and provides a holistic view of the field. The aim of the present review is to investigate the main issues in EC research related to the various learning contexts. Particularly, the study addresses the research methods and technologies that are utilized, and it also explores the integration of body into the learning context. An important finding from the overview is the potential of the theory in different educational environments and disciplines. However, there is a lack of an explicit pedagogical framework from an educational perspective for a successful implementation in various learning contexts.

Keywords: Embodied cognition, embodied learning, education, technology, schools.

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37 Applying Augmented Reality Technology for an E-Learning System

Authors: Fetoon K. Algarawi, Wejdan A. Alslamah, Ahlam A. Alhabib, Afnan S. Alfehaid, Dina M. Ibrahim

Abstract:

Over the past 20 years, technology was rapidly developed and no one expected what will come next. Advancements in technology open new opportunities for immersive learning environments. There is a need to transmit education to a level that makes it more effective for the student. Augmented reality is one of the most popular technologies these days. This paper is an experience of applying Augmented Reality (AR) technology using a marker-based approach in E-learning system to transmitting virtual objects into the real-world scenes. We present a marker-based approach for transmitting virtual objects into real-world scenes to explain information in a better way after we developed a mobile phone application. The mobile phone application was then tested on students to determine the extent to which it encouraged them to learn and understand the subjects. In this paper, we talk about how the beginnings of AR, the fields using AR, how AR is effective in education, the spread of AR these days and the architecture of our work. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to prove how creating an interactive e-learning system using AR technology will encourage students to learn more.

Keywords: Augmented reality, e-learning, marker-based, monitor-based.

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36 Embodied Cognition as a Concept of Educational Neuroscience and Phenomenology

Authors: Elham Shirvani-Ghadikolaei

Abstract:

In this paper, we examine the connection between the human mind and body within the framework of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. We study the role of this connection in designing more efficient learning environments, alongside the findings in physical recognition and educational neuroscience. Our research shows the interplay between the mind and the body in the external world and discusses its implications. Based on these observations, we make suggestions as to how the educational system can benefit from taking into account the interaction between the mind and the body in educational affairs.

Keywords: Educational neurosciences, embodied cognition, pedagogical neurosciences, phenomenology.

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35 A Formal Approach for Instructional Design Integrated with Data Visualization for Learning Analytics

Authors: Douglas A. Menezes, Isabel D. Nunes, Ulrich Schiel

Abstract:

Most Virtual Learning Environments do not provide support mechanisms for the integrated planning, construction and follow-up of Instructional Design supported by Learning Analytic results. The present work aims to present an authoring tool that will be responsible for constructing the structure of an Instructional Design (ID), without the data being altered during the execution of the course. The visual interface aims to present the critical situations present in this ID, serving as a support tool for the course follow-up and possible improvements, which can be made during its execution or in the planning of a new edition of this course. The model for the ID is based on High-Level Petri Nets and the visualization forms are determined by the specific kind of the data generated by an e-course, a population of students generating sequentially dependent data.

Keywords: Educational data visualization, high-level petri nets, instructional design, learning analytics.

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34 Business Skills Laboratory in Action: Combining a Practice Enterprise Model and an ERP-Simulation to a Comprehensive Business Learning Environment

Authors: Karoliina Nisula, Samuli Pekkola

Abstract:

Business education has been criticized for being too theoretical and distant from business life. Different types of experiential learning environments ranging from manual role-play to computer simulations and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been used to introduce the realistic and practical experience into business learning. Each of these learning environments approaches business learning from a different perspective. The implementations tend to be individual exercises supplementing the traditional courses. We suggest combining them into a business skills laboratory resembling an actual workplace. In this paper, we present a concrete implementation of an ERP-supported business learning environment that is used throughout the first year undergraduate business curriculum. We validate the implementation by evaluating the learning outcomes through the different domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. We use the role-play oriented practice enterprise model as a comparison group. Our findings indicate that using the ERP simulation improves the poor and average students’ lower-level cognitive learning. On the affective domain, the ERP-simulation appears to enhance motivation to learn as well as perceived acquisition of practical hands-on skills.

Keywords: Business simulations, experiential learning, ERP systems, learning environments.

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33 Developing Creative and Critically Reflective Digital Learning Communities

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

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This paper is a qualitative case study analysis of the development of a fully online learning community of graduate students through arts-based community building activities. With increasing numbers and types of online learning spaces, it is incumbent upon educators to continue to push the edge of what best practices look like in digital learning environments. In digital learning spaces, instructors can no longer be seen as purveyors of content knowledge to be examined at the end of a set course by a final test or exam. The rapid and fluid dissemination of information via Web 3.0 demands that we reshape our approach to teaching and learning, from one that is content-focused to one that is process-driven. Rather than having instructors as formal leaders, today’s digital learning environments require us to share expertise, as it is the collective experiences and knowledge of all students together with the instructors that help to create a very different kind of learning community. This paper focuses on innovations pursued in a 36 hour 12 week graduate course in higher education entitled “Critical and Reflective Practice”. The authors chronicle their journey to developing a fully online learning community (FOLC) by emphasizing the elements of social, cognitive, emotional and digital spaces that form a moving interplay through the community. In this way, students embrace anywhere anytime learning and often take the learning, as well as the relationships they build and skills they acquire, beyond the digital class into real world situations. We argue that in order to increase student online engagement, pedagogical approaches need to stem from two primary elements, both creativity and critical reflection, that are essential pillars upon which instructors can co-design learning environments with students. The theoretical framework for the paper is based on the interaction and interdependence of Creativity, Intuition, Critical Reflection, Social Constructivism and FOLCs. By leveraging students’ embedded familiarity with a wide variety of technologies, this case study of a graduate level course on critical reflection in education, examines how relationships, quality of work produced, and student engagement can improve by using creative and imaginative pedagogical strategies. The authors examine their professional pedagogical strategies through the lens that the teacher acts as facilitator, guide and co-designer. In a world where students can easily search for and organize information as self-directed processes, creativity and connection can at times be lost in the digitized course environment. The paper concludes by posing further questions as to how institutions of higher education may be challenged to restructure their credit granting courses into more flexible modules, and how students need to be considered an important part of assessment and evaluation strategies. By introducing creativity and critical reflection as central features of the digital learning spaces, notions of best practices in digital teaching and learning emerge.

Keywords: Online, pedagogy, learning, communities.

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32 Developing Digital Competencies in Aboriginal Students through University-College Partnerships

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

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This paper reports on a pilot project to develop a collaborative partnership between a community college in rural northern Ontario, Canada, and an urban university in the greater Toronto area in Oshawa, Canada. Partner institutions will collaborate to address learning needs of university applicants whose goals are to attain an undergraduate university BA in Educational Studies and Digital Technology degree, but who may not live in a geographical location that would facilitate this pathways process. The UOIT BA degree is attained through a 2+2 program, where students with a 2 year college diploma or equivalent can attain a four year undergraduate degree. The goals reported on the project are as: 1. Our aim is to expand the BA program to include an additional stream which includes serious educational games, simulations and virtual environments, 2. Develop fully (using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies) online learning modules for use by university applicants who otherwise are not geographically located close to a physical university site, 3. Assess the digital competencies of all students, including members of local, distance and Indigenous communities using a validated tool developed and tested by UOIT across numerous populations. This tool, the General Technical Competency Use and Scale (GTCU) will provide the collaborating institutions with data that will allow for analyzing how well students are prepared to succeed in fully online learning communities. Philosophically, the UOIT BA program is based on a fully online learning communities model (FOLC) that can be accessed from anywhere in the world through digital learning environments via audio video conferencing tools such as Adobe Connect. It also follows models of adult learning and mobile learning, and makes a university degree accessible to the increasing demographic of adult learners who may use mobile devices to learn anywhere anytime. The program is based on key principles of Problem Based Learning, allowing students to build their own understandings through the co-design of the learning environment in collaboration with the instructors and their peers. In this way, this degree allows students to personalize and individualize the learning based on their own culture, background and professional/personal experiences. Using modified flipped classroom strategies, students are able to interrogate video modules on their own time in preparation for one hour discussions occurring in video conferencing sessions. As a consequence of the program flexibility, students may continue to work full or part time. All of the partner institutions will co-develop four new modules, administer the GTCU and share data, while creating a new stream of the UOIT BA degree. This will increase accessibility for students to bridge from community colleges to university through a fully digital environment. We aim to work collaboratively with Indigenous elders, community members and distance education instructors to increase opportunities for more students to attain a university education.

Keywords: Aboriginal, college, competencies, digital, universities.

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31 The Learning Impact of a 4-Dimensional Digital Construction Learning Environment

Authors: Chris Landorf, Stephen Ward

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This paper addresses a virtual environment approach to work integrated learning for students in construction-related disciplines. The virtual approach provides a safe and pedagogically rigorous environment where students can apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated real-world context. The paper describes the development of a 4-dimensional digital construction environment and associated learning activities funded by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The environment was trialled with over 1,300 students and evaluated through questionnaires, observational studies and coursework analysis. Results demonstrate a positive impact on students’ technical learning and collaboration skills, but there is need for further research in relation to critical thinking skills and work-readiness.

Keywords: Architectural education, construction industry, digital learning environments, immersive learning.

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30 E-Learning Recommender System Based on Collaborative Filtering and Ontology

Authors: John Tarus, Zhendong Niu, Bakhti Khadidja

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In recent years, e-learning recommender systems has attracted great attention as a solution towards addressing the problem of information overload in e-learning environments and providing relevant recommendations to online learners. E-learning recommenders continue to play an increasing educational role in aiding learners to find appropriate learning materials to support the achievement of their learning goals. Although general recommender systems have recorded significant success in solving the problem of information overload in e-commerce domains and providing accurate recommendations, e-learning recommender systems on the other hand still face some issues arising from differences in learner characteristics such as learning style, skill level and study level. Conventional recommendation techniques such as collaborative filtering and content-based deal with only two types of entities namely users and items with their ratings. These conventional recommender systems do not take into account the learner characteristics in their recommendation process. Therefore, conventional recommendation techniques cannot make accurate and personalized recommendations in e-learning environment. In this paper, we propose a recommendation technique combining collaborative filtering and ontology to recommend personalized learning materials to online learners. Ontology is used to incorporate the learner characteristics into the recommendation process alongside the ratings while collaborate filtering predicts ratings and generate recommendations. Furthermore, ontological knowledge is used by the recommender system at the initial stages in the absence of ratings to alleviate the cold-start problem. Evaluation results show that our proposed recommendation technique outperforms collaborative filtering on its own in terms of personalization and recommendation accuracy.

Keywords: Collaborative filtering, e-learning, ontology, recommender system.

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29 Perceived Benefits of Technology Enhanced Learning by Learners in Uganda: Three Band Benefits

Authors: Kafuko M. Maria, Namisango Fatuma, Byomire Gorretti

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Mobile learning (m-learning) is steadily growing and has undoubtedly derived benefits to learners and tutors in different learning environments. This paper investigates the variation in benefits derived from enhanced classroom learning through use of m-learning platforms in the context of a developing country owing to the fact that it is still in its initial stages. The study focused on how basic technology-enhanced pedagogic innovation like cell phone-based learning is enhancing classroom learning from the learners’ perspective. The paper explicitly indicates the opportunities presented by enhanced learning to a conventional learning environment like a physical classroom. The findings were obtained through a survey of two universities in Uganda in which data was quantitatively collected, analyzed and presented in a three banded diagram depicting the variation in the obtainable benefits. Learners indicated that a smartphone is the most commonly used device. Learners also indicate that straight lectures, student to student plus student to lecturer communication, accessing learning material and assignments are core activities. In a TEL environment support by smartphones, learners indicated that they conveniently achieve the prior activities plus discussions and group work. Learners seemed not attracted to the possibility of using TEL environment to take lectures, as well as make class presentations. The less attractiveness of these two factors may be due to the teacher centered approach commonly applied in the country’s education system.

Keywords: Technology enhanced learning, mobile learning classroom learning, perceived benefits.

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28 Leading, Teaching and Learning “in the Middle”: Experiences, Beliefs, and Values of Instructional Leaders, Teachers, and Students in Finland, Germany, and Canada

Authors: Brandy Yee, Dianne Yee

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Through the exploration of the lived experiences, beliefs and values of instructional leaders, teachers and students in Finland, Germany and Canada, we investigated the factors which contribute to developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments for early adolescents. Student-centred leadership dimensions, effective instructional practices and student agency were examined through the lens of current policy and research on middle-level learning environments emerging from the Canadian province of Manitoba. Consideration of these three research perspectives in the context of early adolescent learning, placed against an international backdrop, provided a previously undocumented perspective on leading, teaching and learning in the middle years. Aligning with a social constructivist, qualitative research paradigm, the study incorporated collective case study methodology, along with constructivist grounded theory methods of data analysis. Data were collected through semi-structured individual and focus group interviews and document review, as well as direct and participant observation. Three case study narratives were developed to share the rich stories of study participants, who had been selected using maximum variation and intensity sampling techniques. Interview transcript data were coded using processes from constructivist grounded theory. A cross-case analysis yielded a conceptual framework highlighting key factors that were found to be significant in the establishment of developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Seven core categories emerged from the cross-case analysis as common to all three countries. Within the visual conceptual framework (which depicts the interconnected nature of leading, teaching and learning in middle-level learning environments), these seven core categories were grouped into Essential Factors (student agency, voice and choice), Contextual Factors (instructional practices; school culture; engaging families and the community), Synergistic Factors (instructional leadership) and Cornerstone Factors (education as a fundamental cultural value; preservice, in-service and ongoing teacher development). In addition, sub-factors emerged from recurring codes in the data and identified specific characteristics and actions found in developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Although this study focused on 12 schools in Finland, Germany and Canada, it informs the practice of educators working with early adolescent learners in middle-level learning environments internationally. The authentic voices of early adolescent learners are the most important resource educators have to gauge if they are creating effective learning environments for their students. Ongoing professional dialogue and learning is essential to ensure teachers are supported in their work and develop the pedagogical practices needed to meet the needs of early adolescent learners. It is critical to balance consistency, coherence and dependability in the school environment with the necessary flexibility in order to support the unique learning needs of early adolescents. Educators must intentionally create a school culture that unites teachers, students and their families in support of a common purpose, as well as nurture positive relationships between the school and its community. A large, urban school district in Canada has implemented a school cohort-based model to begin to bring developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments to scale.

Keywords: Developmentally responsive learning environments, early adolescents, middle-level learning, middle years, instructional leadership, instructional practices, intellectually engaging learning environments, leadership dimensions, student agency.

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27 Integration of Best Practices and Requirements for Preliminary E-Learning Courses

Authors: Sophie Huck, Knut Linke

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This study will examine how IT practitioners can be motivated for IT studies and which kind of support they need during their occupational studies. Within this research project, the challenge of supporting students being engaged in business for several years arose. Here, it is especially important to successfully guide them through their studies. The problem of this group is that they finished their school education years ago. In order to gather first experiences, preliminary e-learning courses were introduced and tested with a group of users studying General Management. They had to work with these courses and have been questioned later on about their approach to the different methods. Moreover, a second group of potential students was interviewed with the help of online questionnaires to give information about their expectations regarding extra occupational studies. We also want to present best practices and cases in e-education in the subarea of mathematics and distance learning. Within these cases and practices, we use state of the art systems and technologies in e-education to find a way to increase teaching quality and the success of students. Our research indicated that the first group of enrolled students appreciated the new preliminary e-learning courses. The second group of potential students was convinced of this way of learning as a significant component of extra occupational studies. It can be concluded that this part of the project clarified the acceptance of the e-learning strategy by both groups and led to satisfactory results with the enrolled students.

Keywords: E-learning evaluation, self-learning, virtual classroom, virtual learning environments.

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26 Analyzing the Perception of Key Terms in E-Learning in Academia: Case Study of Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University

Authors: M. Almohaimeed, Y. Alhaidari, H. Alhamdan, A. Alfaries, A. Ater Kranov

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A university-wide survey to obtain baseline data regarding the perceptions of key terms related to e-learning and distance learning among students, faculty and staff was conducted to help achieve the goals of Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University’s and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for e-learning and Distance Learning. This paper comprises a relevant literature review, the survey methodology, preliminary data analysis, discussion, and recommendations for further research. The major findings indicate a deep and wide differentiation of understanding among users of critical key terms.

Keywords: E-learning, distance learning, on-line learning, perceptions of learning environments.

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25 Role of Feedbacks in Simulation-Based Learning

Authors: Usman Ghani

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Feedback is a vital element for improving student learning in a simulation-based training as it guides and refines learning through scaffolding. A number of studies in literature have shown that students’ learning is enhanced when feedback is provided with personalized tutoring that offers specific guidance and adapts feedback to the learner in a one-to-one environment. Thus, emulating these adaptive aspects of human tutoring in simulation provides an effective methodology to train individuals. This paper presents the results of a study that investigated the effectiveness of automating different types of feedback techniques such as Knowledge-of-Correct-Response (KCR) and Answer-Until- Correct (AUC) in software simulation for learning basic information technology concepts. For the purpose of comparison, techniques like simulation with zero or no-feedback (NFB) and traditional hands-on (HON) learning environments are also examined. The paper presents the summary of findings based on quantitative analyses which reveal that the simulation based instructional strategies are at least as effective as hands-on teaching methodologies for the purpose of learning of IT concepts. The paper also compares the results of the study with the earlier studies and recommends strategies for using feedback mechanism to improve students’ learning in designing and simulation-based IT training.

Keywords: Simulation, feedback, training, hands-on, labs.

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24 Design of a Statistics Lecture for Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Students Using a Range of Tools and Techniques

Authors: S. Assi, M. Haffar

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Teaching statistics is a critical and challenging issue especially to students from multidisciplinary and diverse postgraduate backgrounds. Postgraduate research students require statistics not only for the design of experiments; but also for data analysis. Students often perceive statistics as a complex and technical subject; thus, they leave data analysis to the last moment. The lecture needs to be simple and inclusive at the same time to make it comprehendible and address the learning needs of each student. Therefore, the aim of this work was to design a simple and comprehendible statistics lecture to postgraduate research students regarding ‘Research plan, design and data collection’. The lecture adopted the constructive alignment learning theory which facilitated the learning environments for the students. The learning environment utilized a student-centered approach and used interactive learning environment with in-class discussion, handouts and electronic voting system handsets. For evaluation of the lecture, formative assessment was made with in-class discussions and poll questions which were introduced during and after the lecture. The whole approach showed to be effective in creating a learning environment to the students who were able to apply the concepts addressed to their individual research projects.

Keywords: Teaching, statistics, lecture, multidisciplinary, postgraduate, learning theory, learning environment, student-centered approach, data analysis.

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23 Experimental Model for Instruction of Pre-Service Teachers in ICT Tools and E-learning Environments

Authors: Rachel Baruch

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This article describes the implementation of an experimental model for teaching ICT tools and digital environments in teachers training college. In most educational systems in the Western world, new programs were developed in order to bridge the digital gap between teachers and students. In spite of their achievements, these programs are limited due to several factors: The teachers in the schools implement new methods incorporating technological tools into the curriculum, but meanwhile the technology changes and advances. The interface of tools changes frequently, some tools disappear and new ones are invented. These conditions require an experimental model of training the pre-service teachers. The appropriate method for instruction within the domain of ICT tools should be based on exposing the learners to innovations, helping them to gain experience, teaching them how to deal with challenges and difficulties on their own, and training them. This study suggests some principles for this approach and describes step by step the implementation of this model.

Keywords: ICT tools, e-learning, pre-service teachers.

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22 Grid-Connected Inverter Experimental Simulation and Droop Control Implementation

Authors: Nur Aisyah Jalalludin, Arwindra Rizqiawan, Goro Fujita

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In this study, we aim to demonstrate a microgrid system experimental simulation for an easy understanding of a large-scale microgrid system. This model is required for industrial training and learning environments. However, in order to create an exact representation of a microgrid system, the laboratory-scale system must fulfill the requirements of a grid-connected inverter, in which power values are assigned to the system to cope with the intermittent output from renewable energy sources. Aside from that, during fluctuations in load capacity, the grid-connected system must be able to supply power from the utility grid side and microgrid side in a balanced manner. Therefore, droop control is installed in the inverter’s control board to maintain a balanced power sharing in both sides. This power control in a stand-alone condition and droop control in a grid-connected condition must be implemented in order to maintain a stabilized system. Based on the experimental results, power control and droop control can both be applied in the system by comparing the experimental and reference values.

Keywords: Droop control, droop characteristic, grid-connected inverter, microgrid, power control.

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21 A GA-Based Role Assignment Approach for Web-based Cooperative Learning Environments

Authors: Yi-Chun Chang, Jian-Wei Li

Abstract:

Web-based cooperative learning focuses on (1) the interaction and the collaboration of community members, and (2) the sharing and the distribution of knowledge and expertise by network technology to enhance learning performance. Numerous research literatures related to web-based cooperative learning have demonstrated that cooperative scripts have a positive impact to specify, sequence, and assign cooperative learning activities. Besides, literatures have indicated that role-play in web-based cooperative learning environments enhances two or more students to work together toward the completion of a common goal. Since students generally do not know each other and they lack the face-to-face contact that is necessary for the negotiation of assigning group roles in web-based cooperative learning environments, this paper intends to further extend the application of genetic algorithm (GA) and propose a GA-based algorithm to tackle the problem of role assignment in web-based cooperative learning environments, which not only saves communication costs but also reduces conflict between group members in negotiating role assignments.

Keywords: genetic algorithm (GA), role assignment, role-play; web-based cooperative learning.

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20 Social Software Approach to E-Learning 3.0

Authors: Anna Nedyalkova, KrassimirNedyalkov, TeodoraBakardjieva

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In the present paper, we-ll explore how social media tools provide an opportunity for new developments of the e-Learning in the context of managing personal knowledge. There will be a discussion how social media tools provide a possibility for helping knowledge workersand students to gather, organize and manage their personal information as a part of the e-learning process. At the centre of this social software driven approach to e-learning environments are the challenges of personalization and collaboration. We-ll share concepts of how organizations are using social media for e-Learning and believe that integration of these tools into traditional e-Learning is probably not a choice, but inevitability. Students- Survey of use of web technologies and social networking tools is presented. Newly developed framework for semantic blogging capable of organizing results relevant to user requirements is implemented at Varna Free University (VFU) to provide more effective navigation and search.

Keywords: Semantic blogging, social media tools, e-Learning, web 2.0, web 3.0.

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19 Confirming the Identity of the Individual Using Remote Assessment in E-learning

Authors: Olaf Hallan Graven, Lachlan MacKinnon

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One major issue that is regularly cited as a block to the widespread use of online assessments in eLearning, is that of the authentication of the student and the level of confidence that an assessor can have that the assessment was actually completed by that student. Currently, this issue is either ignored, in which case confidence in the assessment and any ensuing qualification is damaged, or else assessments are conducted at central, controlled locations at specified times, losing the benefits of the distributed nature of the learning programme. Particularly as we move towards constructivist models of learning, with intentions towards achieving heutagogic learning environments, the benefits of a properly managed online assessment system are clear. Here we discuss some of the approaches that could be adopted to address these issues, looking at the use of existing security and biometric techniques, combined with some novel behavioural elements. These approaches offer the opportunity to validate the student on accessing an assessment, on submission, and also during the actual production of the assessment. These techniques are currently under development in the DECADE project, and future work will evaluate and report their use..

Keywords: E-learning, remote identification, assessment.

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18 Using Serious Games to Improve the Preparation of Pre-Service Teachers in Bulgaria

Authors: Rumyana Peytcheva-Forsyth, Blagovesna Yovkova

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This paper presents the outcomes of a qualitative study which aims to investigate the pedagogical potentials of serious games in the preparation of future teachers. The authors discuss the existing problems and barriers associated with the organization of teaching practices in Bulgaria as part of the pre-service teacher training, as well as the attitudes and perceptions of the interviewed academics, teachers and trainees concerning the integration of serious games in the teaching practicum. The study outcomes strongly confirm the positive attitudes of the respondents to the introduction of virtual learning environments for the development of professional skills of future teachers as a supplement to the traditional forms of education. Through the inclusion of serious games it is expected to improve the quality of practical training of pre-service teachers as they overcome many of the problems identified in the existing teaching practices. The outcomes of the study will inform the design of the educational simulation software which is part of the project SimAula Tomorrow's Teachers Training.

Keywords: pre-service teacher training, serious games, virtual practicum, simulations

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17 Emotion Classification for Students with Autism in Mathematics E-learning using Physiological and Facial Expression Measures

Authors: Hui-Chuan Chu, Min-Ju Liao, Wei-Kai Cheng, William Wei-Jen Tsai, Yuh-Min Chen

Abstract:

Avoiding learning failures in mathematics e-learning environments caused by emotional problems in students with autism has become an important topic for combining of special education with information and communications technology. This study presents an adaptive emotional adjustment model in mathematics e-learning for students with autism, emphasizing the lack of emotional perception in mathematics e-learning systems. In addition, an emotion classification for students with autism was developed by inducing emotions in mathematical learning environments to record changes in the physiological signals and facial expressions of students. Using these methods, 58 emotional features were obtained. These features were then processed using one-way ANOVA and information gain (IG). After reducing the feature dimension, methods of support vector machines (SVM), k-nearest neighbors (KNN), and classification and regression trees (CART) were used to classify four emotional categories: baseline, happy, angry, and anxious. After testing and comparisons, in a situation without feature selection, the accuracy rate of the SVM classification can reach as high as 79.3-%. After using IG to reduce the feature dimension, with only 28 features remaining, SVM still has a classification accuracy of 78.2-%. The results of this research could enhance the effectiveness of eLearning in special education.

Keywords: Emotion classification, Physiological and facial Expression measures, Students with autism, Mathematics e-learning.

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16 Model to Support Synchronous and Asynchronous in the Learning Process with An Adaptive Hypermedia System

Authors: Francisca Grimón, Marylin Giugni, Josep Monguet F., Joaquín Fernández, Luis León G.

Abstract:

In blended learning environments, the Internet can be combined with other technologies. The aim of this research was to design, introduce and validate a model to support synchronous and asynchronous activities by managing content domains in an Adaptive Hypermedia System (AHS). The application is based on information recovery techniques, clustering algorithms and adaptation rules to adjust the user's model to contents and objects of study. This system was applied to blended learning in higher education. The research strategy used was the case study method. Empirical studies were carried out on courses at two universities to validate the model. The results of this research show that the model had a positive effect on the learning process. The students indicated that the synchronous and asynchronous scenario is a good option, as it involves a combination of work with the lecturer and the AHS. In addition, they gave positive ratings to the system and stated that the contents were adapted to each user profile.

Keywords: Blended Learning, System Adaptive, Model, Clustering Algorithms.

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15 Virtual Learning Environments in Spanish Traditional Universities

Authors: Leire Urcola, Amaia Altuzarra

Abstract:

This communication is intended to provide some issues for thought on the importance of implementation of Blended Learning in traditional universities, particularly in the Spanish university system. In this respect, we believe that virtual environments are likely to meet some of the needs raised by the Bologna agreement, trying to maintain the quality of teaching and at the same time taking advantage of the functionalities that virtual learning platforms offer. We are aware that an approach of learning from an open and constructivist nature in universities is a complex process that faces significant technological, administrative and human barriers. Therefore, in order to put plans in our universities, it is necessary to analyze the state of the art of some indicators relating to the use of ICT, with special attention to virtual teaching and learning, so that we can identify the main obstacles and design adaptive strategies for their full integration in the education system. Finally, we present major initiatives launched in the European and state framework for the effective implementation of new virtual environments in the area of higher education.

Keywords: Blended learning, e-Learning, ICT, Virtual LearningEnvironments

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14 Different Multimedia Presentation Types and Students' Interpretation Achievement

Authors: Cenk Akbiyik, Gonul Altin Akbiyik

Abstract:

The main purpose of the study was to determine whether students- interpretation achievement differed with the use of various multimedia presentation types. Four groups of students, text only (T), audio only (A), text and audio (TA), text and image (TI), were arranged and they were presented the same story via different types of multimedia presentations. Inference achievement was measured by a critical thinking inference test. Higher mean scores for the TA group compared to the other three groups were found. Also when compared pairwise, interpretation achievement of the TA group differed significantly from scores of the T and TI groups. These differences were interpreted with the increased cognitive load. Increased cognitive load for the TA group may have invited students to put more effort into comprehending the text, thus resulting in better test scores. Findings of the study can be seen as a sign of the importance of learning situations and learning outcomes in multimedia-supported learning environments and may have practical benefits for instructional designers.

Keywords: Multimedia, cognitive multimedia, dual coding, cognitive load, critical thinking.

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13 Digital Learning Environments for Joint Master in Science Programmes in Building and Construction in Europe: Experimenting with Tools and Technologies

Authors: E. Dado, R. Beheshti

Abstract:

Recent developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) have created excellent conditions for profoundly enhancing the traditional learning and teaching practices. New modes of teaching in higher education subjects can profoundly enhance ones ability to proactively constructing his or her personal learning universe. These developments have contributed to digital learning environments becoming widely available and accessible. In addition, there is a trend towards enlargement and specialization in higher education in Europe. With as a result that existing Master of Science (MSc) programmes are merged or new programmes have been established that are offered as joint MSc programmes to students. In these joint MSc programmes, the need for (common) digital learning environments capable of surmounting the barriers of time and location has become evident. This paper discusses the past and ongoing efforts to establish such common digital learning environments in two joint MSc programmes in Europe and discusses the way technology-based learning environments affect the traditional way of learning.

Keywords: education, engineering, learning environments, ICT.

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12 Computational Intelligence Techniques and Agents- Technology in E-learning Environments

Authors: Konstantinos C. Giotopoulos, Christos E. Alexakos, Grigorios N. Beligiannis, Spiridon D.Likothanassis

Abstract:

In this contribution a newly developed e-learning environment is presented, which incorporates Intelligent Agents and Computational Intelligence Techniques. The new e-learning environment is constituted by three parts, the E-learning platform Front-End, the Student Questioner Reasoning and the Student Model Agent. These parts are distributed geographically in dispersed computer servers, with main focus on the design and development of these subsystems through the use of new and emerging technologies. These parts are interconnected in an interoperable way, using web services for the integration of the subsystems, in order to enhance the user modelling procedure and achieve the goals of the learning process.

Keywords: Computational Intelligence, E-learning Environments, Intelligent Agents, User Modelling, Bayesian Networks.

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11 Integrating E-learning Environments with Computational Intelligence Assessment Agents

Authors: Christos E. Alexakos, Konstantinos C. Giotopoulos, Eleni J. Thermogianni, Grigorios N. Beligiannis, Spiridon D. Likothanassis

Abstract:

In this contribution an innovative platform is being presented that integrates intelligent agents in legacy e-learning environments. It introduces the design and development of a scalable and interoperable integration platform supporting various assessment agents for e-learning environments. The agents are implemented in order to provide intelligent assessment services to computational intelligent techniques such as Bayesian Networks and Genetic Algorithms. The utilization of new and emerging technologies like web services allows integrating the provided services to any web based legacy e-learning environment.

Keywords: Bayesian Networks, Computational Intelligence techniques, E-learning legacy systems, Service Oriented Integration, Intelligent Agents

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10 Building an e-Learning System Model with Implications for Research and Instructional Use

Authors: Kuan-Chou Chen, Keh-Wen “Carin” Chuang

Abstract:

This paper demonstrates a model of an e-Learning system based on nowadays learning theory and distant education practice. The relationships in the model are designed to be simple and functional and do not necessarily represent any particular e- Learning environments. It is meant to be a generic e-Learning system model with implications for any distant education course instructional design. It allows online instructors to move away from the discrepancy between the courses and body of knowledge. The interrelationships of four primary sectors that are at the e-Learning system are presented in this paper. This integrated model includes [1] pedagogy, [2] technology, [3] teaching, and [4] learning. There are interactions within each of these sectors depicted by system loop map.

Keywords: e-Learning system, online courses instructionaldesign, integrated model, interrelationships.

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