For over a decade, a declarative approach to problem solving based on the use of abstract data types (ADTs) has been taught to high-school students as part of the logic programming instructional unit. We conducted a study aimed at assessing students' problem-solving processes when utilizing ADTs. The findings indicated that students' strategies that diverged from the conceptual model often cause the students to develop incorrect programs. Specifically, students have difficulties in establishing correct mapping between the problem and its abstract model - the corresponding ADT, and in establishing proper connectivity between layers of abstraction related to different stages of the problem-solving processes (e.g., between distinct programming modules). These difficulties are apparently associated with general difficulties that novices encounter when learning programming, and with the cognitive load encountered when dealing with high levels of abstraction. With the intention to reduce student difficulties, we suggest using an instructional approach designed to gradually educate the students toward attaining proficiency as ``problem solvers'' through the use of integrative knowledge and autonomous problem-solving techniques. This approach should be further evaluated regarding its feasibility and applicability to reducing students' difficulties in dealing with abstraction processes.
Program visualization (PV) is potentially a useful method for teaching programming basics to novice programmers. However, there are very few studies on the effects of PV. We have developed a PV tool called ViLLE at the University of Turku. In this paper, multiple studies on the effects of the tool are presented. In addition, new qualitative data about students' feedback of using the tool is presented. Both, the results of our studies and the feedback indicate that ViLLE can be used effectively in teaching basic programming concepts to novice programmers.
It is well known that the ancient Egyptians represented each fraction as a sum of unit fractions - i.e., fractions with unit numerators; this is how they, e.g., divided loaves of bread. What is not clear is why they used this representation. In this paper, we propose a new explanation: crudely speaking, that the main idea behind the Egyptian fractions provides an optimal way of dividing the loaves. We also analyze the related properties of fractions.
A brief overview of formation method of flexible learning objects is presented in this article. The basis of this method is e-learning material that is structured and separated from display rules. The learning objects that have such e-learning material may be adapted to individual needs and may be used in different learning contexts without changing e-learning material. To change the presentation form of e-learning material of such objects, it is enough to change display rules of this material. However, if the e-learning material must be adapted too, it is much easier to do this as the material is structured and contains less technical information of representation. The adaptation of such learning objects is more effective and needs less work time input, therefore they are called as flexible learning objects.
To create good and optimal school schedule is very important and practical task. Currently in Lithuania schools are using two programs for making the school schedule at the moment. But none of these programs is very effective. Optimization Department of Lithuanian Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (IMI) has created ``School schedule optimization program''. It has three optimization algorithms for making best school schedule. A user can choose not only few optimization options and get few optimal schedules, but some subjective and objectives parameters. The making of initial data file is advanced in this program. XML format is used for creating initial data file and getting all optimal results files.
The purpose of this study is to analyze used optimization algorithms used in ``School schedule optimization program'' and to compare results with two most popular commercial school scheduling programs in Lithuania.
Motivation plays a key role in the learning process. This paper describes an experience in the context of undergraduate teaching of Artificial Intelligence at the Computer Science Department of the Faculty of Sciences in the University of Porto. A sophisticated competition framework, which involved Prolog programmed contenders and game servers, including an appealing GUI, was developed to motivate students on the deepening of the topics covered in class. We report on the impact that such a competitive setup caused on students' commitment, which surpassed our most optimistic expectations.
The journal Informatics in Education and the conference Koli Calling are compared, starting with Simon's system for the classification of computing education papers and going on to conduct a brief bibliometric analysis of the authors of papers in both publications, including their repeat rates and the countries from which they come. The analysis finds that despite their different natures, the Lithuanian journal and the Finnish conference are highly comparable in many respects. The broad conclusion is that the two publications work well together - but it would be good to see some Lithuanian authors contributing papers to Koli Calling.
This paper reports a qualitative study designed to investigate the issues of cybersafety and cyberbullying and report how students are coping with them. Through discussion with 74 students, aged from 10 to 17, in focus groups divided into three age levels, data were gathered in three schools in Victoria, Australia, where few such studies had been set. Social networking sites and synchronous chat sites were found to be the places where cyberbullying most commonly occurred, with email and texting on mobile phones also used for bullying. Grades 8 and 9 most often reported cyberbullying and also reported behaviours and internet contacts that were cybersafety risks. Most groups preferred to handle these issues themselves or with their friends rather then alert parents and teachers who may limit their technology access. They supported education about these issues for both adults and school students and favoured a structured mediation group of their peers to counsel and advise victims.
Domain ontology as an instrument for knowledge representation, sharing, reuse and interoperability takes an increasingly important role in the approaches for personalised intelligent e-learning architectures and systems. However, wider practical acceptance of domain ontology as an engineering product and as a part of web-based learning systems is still needed. We believe that one of the barriers for wider spreading of domain ontologies in different fields, including e-learning, is the problem of the design and maintenance of high quality ontologies. As the importance of the quality of learning resources is obvious, the quality of domain ontology for e-learning is even more important, because ontology is intended to be re-used in design and implementation of various learning resources. In this paper, we analyse the quality-related characteristics of domain ontology. We propose a framework for evaluation of the quality of domain ontology for web-based learning. Further, we propose a model for ontology evaluation, based on its technical and complexity-related characteristics. We identify main conceptual (semantic) quality characteristics, and analyse the relationship between both types of ontology quality characteristics. Also we present an application of proposed framework to the evaluation of ontologies for web based learning.