Personal Digital Assistants - teachers prefer the personal
This paper was presented at the Mlearn 06 conference in Banff October 2006. It presents the results of a small-scale project, funded by the UK Teacher Development Agency, where 13 teachers and 3 trainee teachers in one secondary school science department were given handhelds (Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs) with cameras and internet access for the academic year. The aims were: * to build capacity - enabling trainee teachers to share their mlearning practice; * to enable school based associa
Music Composition Lessons: the multimodal affordances of technology
This article seeks to investigate the multimodal affordances presented by music software and how it can provide new opportunities for students to engage with composition work in the classroom. It aims to broaden the scope of current research into classroom composition using technology, through a study of students' environments and compositional processes as seen from these new perspectives. The authors believe there is a now a need for a reconsideration of the scope of multimodal enquiry in the
Knowledge Structures and Didactic Model Selection in Learning Object Navigation
In this paper two levels of content aggregation are considered: (i) a ‘conceptual level’ of the content of the learning objects, and (2) a ‘didactic preference level’ of the specific preferences expressed by a taecher or educational institution. We then present a knowledge structure model in which the learning objects are organized according to constraints imposed at these two distinct levels. The structure on the learning objects is then used to restrict the number of learning paths ava
APLUSIX, A learning environment for algebra, actual use and benefits
After a presentation of the APLUSIX system, a learning environment for formal algebra, we describe the use of this system in a French class of grade 10, in particular a sequence devoted to factorisations and equations, and an analysis of the students' work during this sequence. This study exhibits the influence of the tools provided by the software on the construction of competences in algebra. We also report the opinion of a teacher who used the APLUSIX system during one year with this class.
Uncertainty-reducing cooperation scripts in online learning environments
Online learning courses can create new interaction situations for participants who have not previously worked with each other. Initially, there is some degree of uncertainty between participants in these interaction situations. According to the uncertainty reduction theory, low uncertainty increases theamount of discourse and decreases information seeking. Thus, uncertainty may influence online discourseand learning. However, the relation of uncertainty reduction to learning outcomes has not yet
Virtual mental space: interacting with the characters of works of literature
We build the software implementation of virtual mental space: its inhabitants are interacting with the literature characters in natural language. The players are encouraged to ask questions about intentions and desires, knowledge and believes, pretending and deceiving of the literature characters. Works of literature are identified based on the patterns of mental interaction between the characters. Reasoning about mental states and natural language processing with the semantic focus are the tech
Data Driven User Requirements Specification in the UNITE Project
This paper describes the process of user requirements specification in UNITE project. The main goal of the project is to develop an integrated system for authoring and delivery of high quality eLearning activities for the secondary school students. The UNITE system consists of three main components: 1) Software Platform – integrating state of the art learning management systems (LMS), content management systems (CMS), and mobile learning (mLearning) capabilities; 2) Pedagogical Framework – s
User Interfaces for a Virtual Learning Environment: Two Study Cases
A recent powerful idea in the design of Web-based learning environments is the usage of virtual places. The employment of interface metaphors is one of the approaches enabling inexperienced users to feel comfortable in such virtual environments. We have designed a Virtual Environment for Distance Education and Training (VEDET), which provides basic virtual spaces, resources, and services. In this paper we discuss the user interface of two Web-based distance learning courses Business on the Inter
Interoperability framework for Assessment Authoring
Current paper presents a research in the area of e-learning interoperability, and more concrete in assessment area. As first there is reviewed state-of-the-art in specifications, managed by IMS consortium. Next there are discussed relations between these specifications and rationale behind assessment specifications evolution. Next is presented Assessment Interoperability Bus (AIB), as a skeleton for further facilitation of presentation in assessments interoperability. As result there are present
Futurelab - Teachers Learning with Digital Technologies: A review of research and projects
If we are interested in changing education, we need more than ever to be interested in teacher education, teacher knowledge and teacher learning. If we want to encourage different approaches to teaching and learning, and new relationships between pupils and teachers, we need to understand the ways in which teachers come to learn, adapt and make such new approaches a reality. This review aims to provide an overview of the research on teacher education, and a roadmap for how this might best be sup
Initial queries into the notion of Power Users of Technology
In this paper I shall address and investigate some ideas and hypotheses, which I find very important in order to understand the notion of “Power Users of Technology”. The Power Users research initiative has noted and emphasises the heavy increase in children’s, adolescents’ or young people’s use of technology. What distinguishes the Power User research initiative and makes it qualitatively different from similar studies is that it is not merely looking into changed patterns in adolesce
Implementation of ICT in Higher Education as Interacting Activity Systems
Implementation of ICT in higher education is not a trivial process. It is however a process leading to a number of challenges and problems. The paper develops a theoretical model of the implementation of ICT in higher education based on activity theory and on a case study in a Danish university. The model suggest that implementation in itself is an activity system. The implementation activity is composed of three processes: Selection of ICT; adaptation of ICT and change of practice with ICT. Fur
ICTs and the South African Higher Education Landscape
This report is a mapping exercise, which describes and explores the landscape of ICTs and higher education in South Africa since 2000. Broadly delineating the terrain, the focus is on teaching and learning within higher education. This study sets out to answer five questions: 1. How are ICTs understood and described by practitioners and researchers? 2. What policies and structures for ICTs exist nationally and institutionally? 3. What does the emerging domain of enquiry look like? 4. How do prac
Automatically generated exercise pages
In order to generate an exercise page on a particular knowledge, exercises have to be indexed according to the knowledge useful to solve them. Hence, the main idea of this project is to use a problem solver, Argos, to help us deal with this indexation. Argos aims not only at solving geometry problems, but also writes their proofs just as a teacher or a pupil would. Consequently, the meaningful data have to be extracted from the proofs found by the solver. Argos automatically generates rules from
Designer integration in training cycles : IEEE LTSA model adaptation
This paper describes an architecture centered on a component model for the course cycle. This model guides a re-engineering process based on the observed use scenarii. It is applied in an institutional framework and uses learning devices provided by the open source community. The architecture integrates the latest works on learning technology standards.
Are well-designed Web sites efficient for learning mathematics at the undergraduate level?
We conducted an experiment in order to examine the effectiveness of an educational Web site, which provides resources to undergraduate students in mathematics. The participants' task was to solve 18 questions about differential equations. Students in the paper condition outperformed those in Web site conditions. There was no difference between the original and an improved Web site version. Moreover, students in all conditions preferred working with the paper resource. Practical and theoretical i
Didactical complexity of computational environments for the learning of mathematics
How a microworld is used by students is crucially influenced by the teacher, who has the responsibility of organising the classroom setting in which learning takes place. For this reason this paper focuses on the teacher as a manager of the learning situation, in relation to the students’ construction of meaning. A model of teaching which takes into account interactions between teacher, students and computer is outlined. Although the focus of this paper will be on the teacher, the teacher w
Two Years Of Use Of The Aplusix System
APLUSIX is a learning environment for helping students to learn algebra. This system is designed and developed in the IMAG-Leibniz laboratory. Its basic training mode consists of letting the students perform their owns calculations, thanks to a two-dimensions editor of algebraic expressions, providing feedback on the correctness of the calculations and on the end of the resolution. APLUSIX has now been used for two years at school, in different contexts. One use was made by four teachers during
Learning Design Engines as Remote Control to Learning Support Environments.
Context: Chapter 5 of the Learning Design book describes the operational model of a learning design engine based on the concept of finite automata with output alphabet. We rely on this event concept to include pre-existing learning tools in flexibe and rich learning designs. Contribution: We sketch an approach for the integration of complex learning environments in learning designs. Interactive learning support environments, such as argumentation or modelling tools are pre-existent and have a hi
Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Conflicting Paradigms or Perfect Partners?
This paper will examine the use of quantitative and qualitative methods as complementary research methods. It asks the fundamental question wether these two approaches can be used jointly in a principled manner. The pressure in educational research has been towards using the two methods alongside each other. In applied research the use of the two approaches in the same project is accepted yet we still find serious objections raised to such work when it is presented in a more formal context. Eval