Education in informatics at Sofia university
- current status and future plans
The paper presents some real experiences, emerging models and lessons learnt based on the case of Sofia University - Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI), and its partners. Sofia University has always played a very important role for the development of the country. The university experiences a lot of challenges related to the overall transformation of the economic and social system in the country, the changing models of education, the new role of the universities in the knowledge-based s
The First Decade of Informatics in Dutch High Schools
Informatics is currently being taught in high schools all over the world. In the Netherlands, where all students are expected to become computer literate in the lower grades of high school (Hulsen et al., 2005), it has been decided not to consider computer literacy as being part of Informatics. What, then, should be the content of the Informatics curriculum taught in the higher grades? What should be taught, how and to whom? How should students' achievements be assessed? The answers to these que
Making the abstract concrete: Visualizing mathematical solution procedures
This paper reports on an experiment investigating the effects of different kinds of computer-based visualizations on the acquisition of problem-solving skills in the domain of probability theory. Learners received either purely text-based worked examples, text plus an instruction to mentally imagine the examples contents, or the possibility of retrieving either static pictures or concrete animations that depicted the problem statement and the problem states achieved by applying a specific solu
Balancing situativity and formality: the importance of relating a formal language to interactive gra
A situated cognition theory is presented in which situated learning is viewed from a Vygotskian perspective: the developmental situativity theory. It is assumed that learning is basically a non-symbolic inductive process that is greatly enhanced by formal systems which act as tools. Instruction should provide students with an environment containing elements to allow for situated activity as well as with appropriate formal tools. Tarski's World, which is an instructional Interactive Graphical Rep
The impact of example comparisons on schema acquisition: Do learners really need multiple examples?
Comparing multiple examples within problem categories is usually considered a necessary prerequisite for schema acquisition. However, there is an evident lack of conclusive empirical evidence supporting this claim. Moreover, there are findings indicating that carefully designed one-example conditions may allow for profitable processes of example comparison as well. In line with this reasoning, we present an experiment - that builds up on a series of studies conducted by Quilici and Mayer (1996)
Cognitive tools for discovery learning
Cognitive tools, defined here as instruments that support or perform cognitive processes for learners in order to support learning, can bridge the difference between open learning environments, like discovery learning environments and traditional supportive instructional environments. This article discusses a definition of the concept of cognitive tool and its use in learning. Two examples of cognitive tools for discovery environments are presented, and it is made clear how these tools can serve
Co-Lab, design considerations for a collaborative inquiry learning environment
Co-Lab is a learning environment for collaborative inquiry learning in which learners can experiment, make models, consult background information and discuss their findings. The complex learning processes in such an environment need to be supported by appropriate features in the software. In this paper we report on how, based on existing literature and specific user and usability studies, we developed a set of design guidelines that were implemented in the software.
An Experimental Study on Peer Selection in a P2P Network over PlanetLab
Peer selection is an important aspect in many P2P applications requiring efficient assignment and execution of jobs to peer nodes and search and file transfer, among others. Due to increasing interest of using P2P systems for distributed computing, peer selection is taking relevance and several models have been proposed in the P2P literature. Yet, there are very few experimental studies for peer selection in P2P networks deployed in real large scale networks. In this work we present an experimen
Bridging the Gap Between Empirical Data on Open-Ended Tutorial Interactions and Computational Models
In this paper we present an approach to using empirical data on human teacher-learner interactions to guide the development of a pedagogical agent for supporting musical composition learning. Our approach to bridging the gap between tutorial interaction analysis and computational models, intended for use in learning support systems, is a new one. We support our claim by pointing out that most of the previous work in the area of using human tutors as models has been conducted in domains that are
ML Tutor: An Application of Machine Learning Algorithms for an Adaptive Web-based Information System
One problem that commonly faces hypertext users, particularly in educational situations, is the difficulty of identifying pages of information most relevant to their current goals or interests. In this paper, we discuss the technical feasibility and the utility of applying machine learning algorithms to generate personalised adaptation on the basis of a userÕs browsing history in hypertext, without additional input from the user. In order to investigate the viability of this approach, we develo
Self-directed learning in simulation-based discovery environments
SIMQUEST1 is an authoring system for designing and creating simulation-based learn-ing environments. The special character of SIMQUEST learning environments is that they include cognitive support for learners which means that they provide learners with support in the discovery process. In SIMQUEST learning environments we try to find the balance between direct guidance of the learning process and sufficient free-dom for learners to regulate the learning process themselves. In this article we de-
New authoring frameworks for integrating collaborative learning technologies
This workshop is intended for CSCL researchers and/or their technologists who are interested in designing and then actually creating rich, interactive learning materials in a technology-enhanced environment. The workshop will present the work of two complementary approaches to the design of environments for collaborative, productive and open ended learning, such as collaborative inquiry learning and learning by design. Participants bring in their own issues and work on the design of learning env
Learning Design Repositories Structure Ontology and Processes
We summarize here the results of a project called IDLD: Implementation and Deployment of the Learning Design specification. The main product of the IDLD project is a portal that provides a suite of tools and methodological aids to help build IMS-LD compliant learning designs. In this paper, we focus on a practical approach to build and extend a repository of learning designs. We present a more specific process where tools in the portal serve to extend the repository by building LD patterns extra
GPS Scavenger Hunt
Students go on a GPS scavenger hunt. They use GPS receivers to find designated waypoints and report back on what they found. They compute distances between waypoints based on the latitude and longitude, and compare with the distance the receiver finds.
To learn how friction affects motion, students explore how different textures provide varying amounts of friction to objects moving across them. They build a tool to measure the amount of friction between a note card and various surfaces by measuring the distance that a rubber band stretches. They experiment with a range of materials to determine which provides the least/most friction.
News #69 - 3 New European Languages Getting the Innovative Treatment!
If you thought that German, French, Spanish and Portuguese were the only European languages you need to know, then shame on you! 230 different languages are spoken in Europe and we’re not stopping until we teach every single one. Call us crazy, but that’s how passionate we are about language learning! So, what are the [...]
Statistics at Square One
This textbook for medical statistics covers many topics such as: Data display and summary; Mean and standard deviation; Populations and samples; Statements of probability and confidence intervals; Differences between means: type I and type II errors and power; Differences between percentages and paired alternatives; The t tests; The chi-squared tests; Exact probabilty test; Rank score tests; Correlation and regression; Survival analysis; Study design and choosing a statistical test.
NASA CONNECT The Venus Transit
In NASA CONNECT Venus Transit, students will learn about the importance of using scale models to represent the size and distance of objects in the solar system and beyond. They will be introduced to the astronomical unit (AU), the baseline distance from the Earth to the Sun, which astronomers use to determine the relative distances from the Earth to other planets, stars, asteroids, and objects in space. They will also discover fascinating facts about the Venus Transit, a celestial and historical
Biomechanical evaluation of the intact, injured and surgically reconstructed ulnar collateral ligame
The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow is a major passive stabilizer againstvalgus moments and is a frequent site of injury for the professional throwing athlete. Due to theimportance of the UCL in elbow stabilization, many clinical and biomechanical studies wereconducted in the past to understand its role; however, no study has evaluated the stabilizingfunction of the UCL when subjected to a pure valgus-varus moment at varying degrees of flexion.In addition, few comparative studies ha
Frequency domain blind multiple-input multiple-output system identification
Since commercial banks play important roles in the financial markets, it is important to evaluate whether banks operate efficiently. Moreover, given increased competition from non-bank financial institutions, commercial banks should operate more efficiently than they did previously. Commercial banks might operate more efficiently if they have superior information. If this is true, bank size should not matter to the operation of the bank. Thus, as long as the bank has superior information, it wil