While educators teach their students about decision making in complex environments, managers have to deal with the complexity of large projects on a daily basis. To make better decisions it is assumed, that the latter would benefit from better understanding of complex phenomena, as do students as the professionals of the future. The goal of this article is to evaluate the relevance of the use of simulation games for learning about the complexity of large-scale socio-technical projects. Relevant concepts from complex adaptive systems will be introduced or described. The conjecture is that complex adaptive systems can be simulated by games, in which players are able to experience the system workings, and retrieve more insight in their complex behaviour as a result. The multiplayer computer game SimPort-MV2 illustrates this by simulating the decision making process revolving around Maasvlakte 2 (MV2), an extension of the Port of Rotterdam into the North Sea. The game has been played by hundreds of students of higher education. Based on this study, we present preliminary indications of learning and conclusions on how simulation games can provide insights in a complex adaptive system and be used to educate both students and professionals.
This qualitative study explores how using Peer Learning Forums (PLF) in an online asynchronous computer programming course can be analyzed to derive information about Student Activity Focus (SAF) for adult Information Technology students. Three instruments are proposed to assist instructors classify questions posted by students on these forums, obtain easy quantitative measures of their SAF, and use it to gain a better understanding of the type of learning barriers they are encountering. In addition, we also look at the difference in SAF between passing and failing students based on their exam performance. The PLF learning activity and the classification instruments are easily adaptable to other disciplines or courses and allow instructors and students alike to gain a better understanding of what kind of participation is helpful in online asynchronous discussion forums.
In this paper we present a small-scale study investigating the use of the MicroWorlds Pro multimedia programming environment as an authoring tool for constructing models, simulations and multimedia applications with students of Senior High School. We implemented the cross-thematic educational scenario ``Free fall simulation development'' as an open and flexible framework for activities in actual classroom circumstances, exploring two alternate instructional strategies: a) simulation development from scratch and b) use of a preconstructed microworld, and we observed how the students collaborate and interact with the programming environment. The findings highlight the overall process and the differences in the students' levels of engagement and performance, indicating some special features of the programming environment that contribute to or cause difficulty in the creation of an effective learning environment. We attempt to contribute to the discussion on the main parameters of designing, developing and implementing an effective constructionist approach aimed at engaging students in simulation development as a cross-thematic multimedia project.
In order to improve the learning process for students with different pre-knowledge, personal characteristics and preferred learning styles, a certain degree of adaptability must be introduced to online courses. In learning environments that support such kind of functionalities students can explicitly choose different paths through course contents or can be directed to different parts of the instructional material depending on the pace of their advancement in acquiring new knowledge. This paper presents the implementation of such an environment by extending open source learning management system Moodle.
The paper presents the part of research for determining the link between technical knowledge of Lithuanian youth and their independence in performing jobs connected with engineering. It has also been attempted to trace whether exists any difference in this respect between the groups of boys and girls. For the research sample, young people from secondary and adult secondary schools, vocational schools, business and technical colleges, as well as university students have been chosen. Tests on theoretical technical knowledge and applied technical knowledge and questionnaire ``Young people and engineering'' have been employed as assessment instruments. The research leads to the conclusion independence in performing technical jobs is an important in acquiring applied technical knowledge for boys, while girls are less influenced by it. Analysis of the link between theoretical technical knowledge and experience gained in this field leads to the conclusion that level of theoretical knowledge of independent girls is higher than that of independent boys.
The paper aims to analyse several scientific approaches how to evaluate, implement or choose learning content and software suitable for personalised users/learners needs. Learning objects metadata customisation method as well as the Method of multiple criteria evaluation and optimisation of learning software represented by the experts' additive utility function are analysed in more detail. The value of the experts' additive utility function depends on the learning software quality evaluation criteria, their ratings and weights. The Method is based on the software engineering Principle which claims that one should evaluate the learning software using the two different groups of quality evaluation criteria - `internal quality' criteria defining the general software quality aspects, and `quality in use' criteria defining software personalisation possibilities. The application of the Method and Principle for the evaluation and optimisation of learning software is innovative in technology enhanced learning theory and practice. Application of the method of the experts' (decision makers') subjectivity minimisation analysed in the paper is also a new aspect in technology enhanced learning science. All aforementioned approaches propose an efficient practical instrumentality how to evaluate, design or choose learning content and software suitable for personalised learners needs.
In this paper, we analyze the errors novice students make when developing invariant based programs. In addition to presenting the general error types, we also look at what students have difficulty with when it comes to expressing invariants. The results indicate that an introductory course utilizing the invariant based approach is suitable from the very beginning of university studies in CS without being ``too advanced''. Although inventing the invariant was not found to be trivial, the main difficulty faced by novices when applying a correct-by-construction approach to program development seems to be related to weak skills in translating intuitive and informal statements into a symbolic form using logical notation in general and quantifiers in particular.
In this article we try to show how new devices and methods can help in the education of programming. At Kecskemét College programmable mobile robots and instead of behavioral, the constructivist pedagogical methods were used. Our experiments have proved our hypothesis as the improved new methodical education using devices can give more practical programming knowledge, increases the attitude towards programming and helps to have positive programming self-image. The results of the experimental and control groups were compared at the beginning and at the end of semester, when the programming knowledge and motives were measured. During the learning process only the experimental groups used devices and new methods.
The Lithuanian Informatics Olympiads (LitIO) is a problem solving programming contest for students in secondary education. The work of the student to be evaluated is an algorithm designed by the student and implemented as a working program. The current evaluation process involves both automated (for correctness and performance of programs with the given input data) and manual (for programming style, written motivation of an algorithm) grading. However, it is based on tradition and has not been scientifically discussed and motivated. To create an improved and motivated evaluation model, we put together a questionnaire and asked a group of foreign and Lithuanian experts having experience in various informatics contests to respond. We identified two basic directions in the suggested evaluation models and made a choice based on the goals of LitIO. While designing the model in the paper, we reflected on the suggestions and opinions of the experts as much as possible, even if they were not included into the proposed model. The paper presents the final outcome of this work, the proposed evaluation model for the Lithuanian Informatics Olympiads.