Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1514

Search results for: learning and assessment

1514 An E-Assessment Website to Implement Hierarchical Aggregate Assessment

Authors: M. Lesage, G. Raîche, M. Riopel, F. Fortin, D. Sebkhi

Abstract:

This paper describes a Web server implementation of the hierarchical aggregate assessment process in the field of education. This process describes itself as a field of teamwork assessment where teams can have multiple levels of hierarchy and supervision. This process is applied everywhere and is part of the management, education, assessment and computer science fields. The E-Assessment website named “Cluster” records in its database the students, the course material, the teams and the hierarchical relationships between the students. For the present research, the hierarchical relationships are team member, team leader and group administrator appointments. The group administrators have the responsibility to supervise team leaders. The experimentation of the application has been performed by high school students in geology courses and Canadian army cadets for navigation patrols in teams. This research extends the work of Nance that uses a hierarchical aggregation process similar as the one implemented in the “Cluster” application. 

Keywords: E-Learning, E-Assessment, Teamwork Assessment, Hierarchical Aggregate Assessment.

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1513 Confirming the Identity of the Individual Using Remote Assessment in E-learning

Authors: Olaf Hallan Graven, Lachlan MacKinnon

Abstract:

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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1512 Knowing Where the Learning Is a Shift from Summative to Formative Assessment

Authors: Eric Ho

Abstract:

Pedagogical approaches in Asia nowadays are imported from the West. In Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC), however, there is a dichotomy between the perceived benefits of Western pedagogies and the real classroom practices in Chinese societies. The success of Hong Kong students in large-scale international assessments has proved that both the strengths of both Western pedagogies and CHC educational approaches should be integrated for the sake of the students. University students aim to equip themselves with employability skills upon graduation. Formative assessments allow students to receive detailed, positive, and timely feedback and they can identify their strengths and weaknesses before they start working. However, there remains a question of whether university year 1 students who come from an examination-driven secondary education background are ready to respond to more formative assessments. The findings show that year 1 students are less concerned about competition in the university and more open to new teaching approaches that will allow them to improve as professionals in their major study areas.

Keywords: Formative assessment, higher education, learning styles, Confucian heritage culture.

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1511 An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles

Authors: Nabil El Kadhi, Minerva M. Bunagan

Abstract:

The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.

Keywords: Accreditation, audit, quality assurance, teaching, learning and assessment.

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1510 Internal and External Factors Affecting Teachers’ Adoption of Formative Assessment to Support Learning

Authors: Kemal Izci

Abstract:

Assessment forms an important part of instruction. Assessment that aims to support learning is known as formative assessment and it contributes student’s learning gain and motivation. However, teachers rarely use assessment formatively to aid their students’ learning. Thus, reviewing the factors that limit or support teachers’ practices of formative assessment will be crucial for guiding educators to support prospective teachers in using formative assessment and also eliminate limiting factors to let practicing teachers to engage in formative assessment practices during their instruction. The study, by using teacher’s change environment framework, reviews literature on formative assessment and presents a tentative model that illustrates the factors impacting teachers’ adoption of formative assessment in their teaching. The results showed that there are four main factors consisting personal, contextual, resource-related and external factors that influence teachers’ practices of formative assessment.

Keywords: Assessment practices, formative assessment, teachers, factors for use of formative assessment.

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1509 Use of a Learner's Log for Effective Self-Directed Learning in PBL

Authors: Amudha Kadirvelu, Sivalal Sadasivan

Abstract:

While the problem based learning (PBL) approach promotes unsupervised self-directed learning (SDL), many students experience difficulty juggling the role of being an information recipient and information seeker. Logbooks have been used to assess trainee doctors but not in other areas. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of logbook for assessing SDL during PBL sessions in first year medical students. The log book included a learning checklist and knowledge and skills components. Comparisons with the baseline assessment of student performance in PBL and that at semester end after logbook intervention showed significant improvements in student performance (31.5 ± 8 vs. 17.7 ± 4.4; p<0.001) with a large effect size of 3.93. The learner-s log for PBL has played an important role in enhancing SDL in first year medical students. Learner-s log could be a good self-assessment tool for the undergraduate medical students.

Keywords: Problem based learning, self-directed learning, logbook, self-assessment.

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1508 Peer Assessment in the Context of Project-Based Learning Online

Authors: Y. Benjelloun Touimi, N. Faddouli, S. Bennani, M. Khalidi Idrissi

Abstract:

The pedagogy project has been proven as an active learning method, which is used to develop learner-s skills and knowledge.The use of technology in the learning world, has filed several gaps in the implementation of teaching methods, and online evaluation of learners. However, the project methodology presents challenges in the assessment of learners online. Indeed, interoperability between E-learning platforms (LMS) is one of the major challenges of project-based learning assessment. Firstly, we have reviewed the characteristics of online assessment in the context of project-based teaching. We addressed the constraints encountered during the peer evaluation process. Our approach is to propose a meta-model, which will describe a language dedicated to the conception of peer assessment scenario in project-based learning. Then we illustrate our proposal by an instantiation of the meta-model through a business process in a scenario of collaborative assessment on line.

Keywords: Online project based learning, meta-model, peer assessment process.

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1507 Using Technology to Enhance the Student Assessment Experience

Authors: D. J. Smith, M. A. Qayyum

Abstract:

The use of information tools is a common activity for students of any educational stage when they encounter online learning activities. Finding the relevant information for particular learning tasks is the topic of this paper as it investigates the use of information tools for a group of student participants. The paper describes and discusses the results with particular implications for use in higher education, and the findings suggest that improvement in assessment design and subsequent student learning may be achieved by structuring the purposefulness of information tools usage and online reading behaviors of university students.

Keywords: Information tools, assessment, online learning.

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1506 Remote Training with Self-Assessment in Electrical Engineering

Authors: Zoja Raud, Valery Vodovozov

Abstract:

The paper focuses on the distance laboratory organisation for training the electrical engineering staff and students in the fields of electrical drive and power electronics. To support online knowledge acquisition and professional enhancement, new challenges in remote education based on an active learning approach with self-assessment have been emerged by the authors. Following the literature review and explanation of the improved assessment methodology, the concept and technological basis of the labs arrangement are presented. To decrease the gap between the distance study of the up-to-date equipment and other educational activities in electrical engineering, the improvements in the following-up the learners’ progress and feedback composition are introduced. An authoring methodology that helps to personalise knowledge acquisition and enlarge Web-based possibilities is described. Educational management based on self-assessment is discussed.

Keywords: Advanced training, active learning, distance learning, electrical engineering, remote laboratory, self-assessment.

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1505 Analysis of Suitability of Online Assessment by Maintaining Critical Thinking

Authors: Mohamed Chabi, Mohammad Shahid Jamil, Mahmoud I Syam

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to determine whether paper assessment especially in the subject mathematics will ever be completely replaced by online assessment using Learning Management System and Content Management System such as blackboard. Testing students has moved from the traditional scribbling and sketching on paper towards working online on a screen and keyboard. It is found that online assessment by using selective types of questions like multiple choices, true or false and final answer questions don’t reflect the actual understanding of students in solving the problems and teachers can’t determine the weakness points of students. In addition, it is showed that OBMCQs are a very good tool for self-assessment and when teachers are testing for knowledge and facts. But when it comes to the skills, OBMCQs are poor tools for measuring the ability to apply knowledge to complex math problem. 

Keywords: Paper assessment, online assessment, learning management system, content management system.

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1504 A Formative Assessment Model within the Competency-Based-Approach for an Individualized E-learning Path

Authors: El Falaki Brahim, Khalidi Idrissi Mohammed, Bennani Samir

Abstract:

E-learning is not restricted to the use of new technologies for the online content, but also induces the adoption of new approaches to improve the quality of education. This quality depends on the ability of these approaches (technical and pedagogical) to provide an adaptive learning environment. Thus, the environment should include features that convey intentions and meeting the educational needs of learners by providing a customized learning path to acquiring a competency concerned In our proposal, we believe that an individualized learning path requires knowledge of the learner. Therefore, it must pass through a personalization of diagnosis to identify precisely the competency gaps to fill, and reduce the cognitive load To personalize the diagnosis and pertinently measure the competency gap, we suggest implementing the formative assessment in the e-learning environment and we propose the introduction of a pre-regulation process in the area of formative assessment, involving its individualization and implementation in e-learning.

Keywords: Competency-Based-Approach, E-learning, Formative assessment, learner model, Modeling, pre-regulation process

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1503 A Holistic Conceptual Measurement Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness and Viability of an Academic Program

Authors: Munir Majdalawieh, Adam Marks

Abstract:

In today’s very competitive higher education industry (HEI), HEIs are faced with the primary concern of developing, deploying, and sustaining high quality academic programs. Today, the HEI has well-established accreditation systems endorsed by a country’s legislation and institutions. The accreditation system is an educational pathway focused on the criteria and processes for evaluating educational programs. Although many aspects of the accreditation process highlight both the past and the present (prove), the “program review” assessment is "forward-looking assessment" (improve) and thus transforms the process into a continuing assessment activity rather than a periodic event. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual measurement framework for program review to be used by HEIs to undertake a robust and targeted approach to proactively and continuously review their academic programs to evaluate its practicality and effectiveness as well as to improve the education of the students. The proposed framework consists of two main components: program review principles and the program review measurement matrix.

Keywords: Academic program, program review principles, curriculum development, accreditation, evaluation, assessment, review measurement matrix, program review process, information technologies supporting learning, learning/teaching methodologies and assessment.

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1502 A Digital Media e-Learning Training Strategy for Healthcare Employees: Cost effective Distance Learning by Collaborative offline / online Engagement and Assessment

Authors: Lynn. J. MacFarlane. A

Abstract:

Within the healthcare system, training and continued professional development although essential, can be effected by cost and logistical restraints due to the nature of healthcare provision e.g employee shift patterns, access to expertise, cost factors in releasing staff to attend training etc. The use of multimedia technology for the development of e-learning applications is also a major cost consideration for healthcare management staff, and this type of media whether optical or on line requires careful planning in order to remain inclusive of all staff with potentially varied access to multimedia computing. This paper discusses a project in which the use of DVD authoring technology has been successfully implemented to meet the needs of distance learning and user considerations, and is based on film production techniques and reduced product turnaround deadlines.

Keywords: DVD, healthcare, distance learning, cost.

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1501 EASEL: Evaluation of Algorithmic Skills in an Environment Learning

Authors: A. Bey, T. Bensebaa, H. Benselem

Abstract:

This paper attempts to explore a new method to improve the teaching of algorithmic for beginners. It is well known that algorithmic is a difficult field to teach for teacher and complex to assimilate for learner. These difficulties are due to intrinsic characteristics of this field and to the manner that teachers (the majority) apprehend its bases. However, in a Technology Enhanced Learning environment (TEL), assessment, which is important and indispensable, is the most delicate phase to implement, for all problems that generate (noise...). Our objective registers in the confluence of these two axes. For this purpose, EASEL focused essentially to elaborate an assessment approach of algorithmic competences in a TEL environment. This approach consists in modeling an algorithmic solution according to basic and elementary operations which let learner draw his/her own step with all autonomy and independently to any programming language. This approach assures a trilateral assessment: summative, formative and diagnostic assessment.

Keywords: Algorithmic, assessment of competences, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).

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1500 Improving the Reusability and Interoperability of E-Learning Material

Authors: D. Del Corso, A. Tartaglia, E. Tresso, M. Cambiolo, L. Forno, G. Morrone

Abstract:

A key requirement for e-learning materials is reusability and interoperability, that is the possibility to use at least part of the contents in different courses, and to deliver them trough different platforms. These features make possible to limit the cost of new packages, but require the development of material according to proper specifications. SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is a set of guidelines suitable for this purpose. A specific adaptation project has been started to make possible to reuse existing materials. The paper describes the main characteristics of SCORM specification, and the procedure used to modify the existing material.

Keywords: SCORM, e-learning, standard, educational effectiveness, assessment, methodology, open access.

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1499 Student and Group Activity Level Assessment in the ELARS Recommender System

Authors: Martina Holenko Dlab, Natasa Hoic-Bozic

Abstract:

This paper presents an original approach to student and group activity level assessment that relies on certainty factors theory. Activity level is used to represent quantity and continuity of student’s contributions in individual and collaborative e‑learning activities (e‑tivities) and is calculated to assist teachers in assessing quantitative aspects of student's achievements. Calculated activity levels are also used to raise awareness and provide recommendations during the learning process. The proposed approach was implemented within the educational recommender system ELARS and validated using data obtained from e‑tivity realized during a blended learning course. The results showed that the proposed approach can be used to estimate activity level in the context of e-tivities realized using Web 2.0 tools as well as to facilitate the assessment of quantitative aspect of students’ participation in e‑tivities.

Keywords: Assessment, ELARS, e-learning, recommender systems, student model.

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1498 Project Management at University: Towards an Evaluation Process around Cooperative Learning

Authors: J. L. Andrade-Pineda, J.M. León-Blanco, M. Calle, P. L. González-R

Abstract:

The enrollment in current Master's degree programs usually pursues gaining the expertise required in real-life workplaces. The experience we present here concerns the learning process of "Project Management Methodology (PMM)", around a cooperative/collaborative mechanism aimed at affording students measurable learning goals and providing the teacher with the ability of focusing on the weaknesses detected. We have designed a mixed summative/formative evaluation, which assures curriculum engage while enriches the comprehension of PMM key concepts. In this experience we converted the students into active actors in the evaluation process itself and we endowed ourselves as teachers with a flexible process in which along with qualifications (score), other attitudinal feedback arises. Despite the high level of self-affirmation on their discussion within the interactive assessment sessions, they ultimately have exhibited a great ability to review and correct the wrong reasoning when that was the case.

Keywords: Cooperative-collaborative learning, educational management, formative-summative assessment, leadership training.

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1497 Investigating Student Behavior in Adopting Online Formative Assessment Feedback

Authors: Peter Clutterbuck, Terry Rowlands, Owen Seamons

Abstract:

In this paper we describe one critical research program within a complex, ongoing multi-year project (2010 to 2014 inclusive) with the overall goal to improve the learning outcomes for first year undergraduate commerce/business students within an Information Systems (IS) subject with very large enrolment. The single research program described in this paper is the analysis of student attitudes and decision making in relation to the availability of formative assessment feedback via Web-based real time conferencing and document exchange software (Adobe Connect). The formative assessment feedback between teaching staff and students is in respect of an authentic problem-based, team-completed assignment. The analysis of student attitudes and decision making is investigated via both qualitative (firstly) and quantitative (secondly) application of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with a two statistically-significant and separate trial samples of the enrolled students. The initial qualitative TPB investigation revealed that perceived self-efficacy, improved time-management, and lecturer-student relationship building were the major factors in shaping an overall favorable student attitude to online feedback, whilst some students expressed valid concerns with perceived control limitations identified within the online feedback protocols. The subsequent quantitative TPB investigation then confirmed that attitude towards usage, subjective norms surrounding usage, and perceived behavioral control of usage were all significant in shaping student intention to use the online feedback protocol, with these three variables explaining 63 percent of the variance in the behavioral intention to use the online feedback protocol. The identification in this research of perceived behavioral control as a significant determinant in student usage of a specific technology component within a virtual learning environment (VLE) suggests that VLEs could now be viewed not as a single, atomic entity, but as a spectrum of technology offerings ranging from the mature and simple (e.g., email, Web downloads) to the cutting-edge and challenging (e.g., Web conferencing and real-time document exchange). That is, that all VLEs should not be considered the same. The results of this research suggest that tertiary students have the technological sophistication to assess a VLE in this more selective manner.

Keywords: Formative assessment feedback, virtual learning environment, theory of planned behavior, perceived behavioral control.

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1496 Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology

Authors: Matthew J. Zagumny

Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Keywords: Guided-inquiry learning, intellectual curiosity, psychometric assessment, scientific thinking.

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1495 E-Learning Experiences of Hong Kong Students

Authors: J. Lam, R. Chan

Abstract:

The adoption of e-learning in Hong Kong has been increasing rapidly in the past decade. To understand the e-learning experiences of the students, the School of Professional and Continuing Education of The University of Hong Kong conducted a survey. The survey aimed to collect students- experiences in using learning management system, their perceived e-learning advantages, barriers in e-learning and preferences in new e-learning development. A questionnaire with 84 questions was distributed in mid 2012 and 608 valid responds were received. The analysis results showed that the students found e-learning helpful to their study. They preferred interactive functions and mobile features. Blended learning mode, both face-to-face learning mode integrated with online learning and face-to-face learning mode supplemented with online resources, were preferred by the students. The results of experiences of Hong Kong students in e-learning provided a contemporary reference to the e-learning practitioners to understand the e-learning situation in Asia.

Keywords: E-learning, blended learning, learning experience, learning management system.

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1494 Using SMS Mobile Technology to Assess the Mastery of Subject Content Knowledge of Science and Mathematics Teachers of Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Authors: Joel S. Mtebe, Aron Kondoro, Mussa M. Kissaka, Elia Kibga

Abstract:

Sub-Saharan Africa is described as the second fastest growing in mobile phone penetration in the world more than in the United States or the European Union. Mobile phones have been used to provide a lot of opportunities to improve people’s lives in the region such as in banking, marketing, entertainment, and paying for various bills such as water, TV, and electricity. However, the potential of mobile phones to enhance teaching and learning has not been explored. This study presents an experience of developing and delivering SMS based quiz questions used to assess mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The SMS quizzes were used as a follow up support mechanism to 500 teachers who participated in a project to upgrade subject content knowledge of teachers in science and mathematics subjects in Tanzania. Quizzes of 10-15 questions were sent to teachers each week for 8 weeks and the results were analyzed using SPSS. Results show that teachers who participated in chemistry and biology subjects have better performance compared to those who participated in mathematics and physics subjects. Teachers reported some challenges that led to poor performance, This research has several practical implications for those who are implementing or planning to use mobile phones in teaching and learning especially in rural secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Mobile learning, e-learning, educational technologies, SMS, secondary education, assessment.

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1493 An Expert System for Assessment of Learning Outcomes for ABET Accreditation

Authors: M. H. Imam, Imran A. Tasadduq, Abdul-Rahim Ahmad, Fahd M. Aldosari

Abstract:

Learning outcomes of a course (CLOs) and the abilities at the time of graduation referred to as Student Outcomes (SOs) are required to be assessed for ABET accreditation. A question in an assessment must target a CLO as well as an SO and must represent a required level of competence. This paper presents the idea of an Expert System (ES) to select a proper question to satisfy ABET accreditation requirements. For ES implementation, seven attributes of a question are considered including the learning outcomes and Bloom’s Taxonomy level. A database contains all the data about a course including course content topics, course learning outcomes and the CLO-SO relationship matrix. The knowledge base of the presented ES contains a pool of questions each with tags of the specified attributes. Questions and the attributes represent expert opinions. With implicit rule base the inference engine finds the best possible question satisfying the required attributes. It is shown that the novel idea of such an ES can be implemented and applied to a course with success. An application example is presented to demonstrate the working of the proposed ES.

Keywords: Expert system, student outcomes, course learning outcomes, question attributes.

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1492 The Design and Analysis of Learning Effects for a Game-based Learning System

Authors: Wernhuar Tarng, Weichian Tsai

Abstract:

The major purpose of this study is to use network and multimedia technologies to build a game-based learning system for junior high school students to apply in learning “World Geography" through the “role-playing" game approaches. This study first investigated the motivation and habits of junior high school students to use the Internet and online games, and then designed a game-based learning system according to situated and game-based learning theories. A teaching experiment was conducted to analyze the learning effectiveness of students on the game-based learning system and the major factors affecting their learning. A questionnaire survey was used to understand the students- attitudes towards game-based learning. The results showed that the game-based learning system can enhance students- learning, but the gender of students and their habits in using the Internet have no significant impact on learning. Game experience has a significant impact on students- learning, and the higher the experience value the better the effectiveness of their learning. The results of questionnaire survey also revealed that the system can increase students- motivation and interest in learning "World Geography".

Keywords: Game-based learning, situated learning, role playing, learning effectiveness, learning motivation.

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1491 Development of Active Learning Calculus Course for Biomedical Program

Authors: Mikhail Bouniaev

Abstract:

The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.

Keywords: Active learning, assessment, Calculus, cognitive demand, constructivism, mathematics, Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Action Theory.

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1490 A Primer to the Learning Readiness Assessment to Raise the Sharing of e-Health Knowledge amongst Libyan Nurses

Authors: Mohamed Elhadi M. Sharif, Mona Masood

Abstract:

The usage of e-health facilities is seen to be the first priority by the Libyan government. As such this paper focuses on how the key factors or elements of working size in terms of technological availability, structural environment, and other competence-related matters may affect nurses’ sharing of knowledge in e-health. Hence, this paper investigates learning readiness assessment to raise e-health for Libyan regional hospitals by using ehealth services in nursing education.

Keywords: Libyan nurses, e-Learning readiness, e-Health.

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1489 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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1488 Identifying Understanding Expectations of School Administrators Regarding School Assessment

Authors: Eftah Bte. Moh Hj Abdullah, Izazol Binti Idris, Abd Aziz Bin Abd Shukor

Abstract:

This study aims to identify the understanding expectations of school administrators concerning school assessment. The researcher utilized a qualitative descriptive study on 19 administrators from three secondary schools in the North Kinta district. The respondents had been interviewed on their understanding expectations of school assessment using the focus group discussion method. Overall findings showed that the administrators’ understanding expectations of school assessment was weak; especially in terms of content focus, articulation across age and grade, transparency and fairness, as well as the pedagogical implications. Findings from interviews indicated that administrators explained their understanding expectations of school assessment from the aspect of school management, and not from the aspect of instructional leadership or specifically as assessment leaders. The study implications from the administrators’ understanding expectations may hint at the difficulty of the administrators to function as assessment leaders, in order to reduce their focus as manager, and move towards their primary role in the process of teaching and learning. The administrator, as assessment leaders, would be able to reach assessment goals via collaboration in identifying and listing teacher assessment competencies, how to construct assessment capacity, how to interpret assessment correctly, the use of assessment and how to use assessment information to communicate confidently and effectively to the public.

Keywords: Assessment leaders, assessment goals, instructional leadership, understanding expectation of assessment.

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1487 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

Abstract:

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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1486 Educators’ Adherence to Learning Theories and Their Perceptions on the Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning

Authors: Samson T. Obafemi, Seraphin D. Eyono Obono

Abstract:

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are pervasive nowadays, including in education where they are expected to improve the performance of learners. However, the hope placed in ICTs to find viable solutions to the problem of poor academic performance in schools in the developing world has not yet yielded the expected benefits. This problem serves as a motivation to this study whose aim is to examine the perceptions of educators on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning. This aim will be subdivided into two types of research objectives. Objectives on the identification and design of theories and models will be achieved using content analysis and literature review. However, the objective on the empirical testing of such theories and models will be achieved through the survey of educators from different schools in the Pinetown District of the South African Kwazulu-Natal province. SPSS is used to quantitatively analyse the data collected by the questionnaire of this survey using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations after assessing the validity and the reliability of the data. The main hypothesis driving this study is that there is a relationship between the demographics of educators’ and their adherence to learning theories on one side, and their perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning on the other side, as argued by existing research; but this research views these learning theories under three perspectives: educators’ adherence to self-regulated learning, to constructivism, and to progressivism. This hypothesis was fully confirmed by the empirical study except for the demographic factor where teachers’ level of education was found to be the only demographic factor affecting the perceptions of educators on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning.

Keywords: Academic performance, e-learning, Learning theories, Teaching and Learning.

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1485 A Programming Assessment Software Artefact Enhanced with the Help of Learners

Authors: Romeo A. Botes, Imelda Smit

Abstract:

The demands of an ever changing and complex higher education environment, along with the profile of modern learners challenge current approaches to assessment and feedback. More learners enter the education system every year. The younger generation expects immediate feedback. At the same time, feedback should be meaningful. The assessment of practical activities in programming poses a particular problem, since both lecturers and learners in the information and computer science discipline acknowledge that paper-based assessment for programming subjects lacks meaningful real-life testing. At the same time, feedback lacks promptness, consistency, comprehensiveness and individualisation. Most of these aspects may be addressed by modern, technology-assisted assessment. The focus of this paper is the continuous development of an artefact that is used to assist the lecturer in the assessment and feedback of practical programming activities in a senior database programming class. The artefact was developed using three Design Science Research cycles. The first implementation allowed one programming activity submission per assessment intervention. This pilot provided valuable insight into the obstacles regarding the implementation of this type of assessment tool. A second implementation improved the initial version to allow multiple programming activity submissions per assessment. The focus of this version is on providing scaffold feedback to the learner – allowing improvement with each subsequent submission. It also has a built-in capability to provide the lecturer with information regarding the key problem areas of each assessment intervention.

Keywords: Programming, computer-aided assessment, technology-assisted assessment, programming assessment software, design science research, mixed-method.

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