Distance learning involves a lot of work of human assistants. These assistants need to be connected for answering student doubts and questions. Intelligent agents can do part of this repetitive work because they can observe students interacting with educational courses, detect learning troubles of these students, and then suggest them some way for overcoming those troubles. However, a design problem appears with this promised possibility: how to connect educational applications with these agents. This paper presents a solution to this problem, in which both the capture of student's intentions and agent intervention for helping students are specified. These two architectural design points are defined as connection points. The first connection point is named student intentions. Student intentions define situations in which agents might help. This connection point depends on the user interface of the educational application that students are using; the agent needs to know the gestures that students could do for interpreting their intentions. The second connection point is named agent interventions. Agent interventions define the context in which agent might assist and the type of help that might give, like a suggestion or a warning. This solution is introduced in the context of one specific application for distance learning named SAVER, which is used for exemplifying each architectural design point.
Since establishment of World Wide Web a number of e-learning tools and resources have been created and successfully used in every educational institution. Established standards such as IMS and SCORM currently provide means for e-learning asset portability and reuse. Most of such implementations have a database back-end. Data from such a back-end RDBMS can be exported into IMS XML and used by standard compliant e-learning platforms. After reviewing facilitating technologies and similar solutions authors state that there is no viable solution for database to IMS conversion. Next they present own DB-to-IMS XML conversion method. As a conversion example authors introduce and use own developed EduMMDB - a set of e-learning tools with database back-end. After presenting conversion tool ELSTD authors summarize gained experience and possibilities of improvement.
To apply Extended Entity Relationship Model (EER) is a good method for representing requirements on information systems, because of its high level of abstraction. Although it is very close to the user, it is not so trivial when some constructs, such as higher order relationships, are used. This paper describes the characterisation and several important results of an experiment performed at our university in order to show some of the difficulties found when novice students and practitioners use ternary relationships. Some special topics in identifying ternary relationships such as the importance of the domain of text and the intersection data are also investigated. In order to guide and help users in the design task, these results are introduced in PANDORA Case Tool, a research project which tries to serve as a methodological assistance tool.
This paper describes steps taken towards introducing Web-based educational technology in teaching demography at the university level. Traditionally, demography is taught by giving lectures to the students, who are then expected to study from textbooks and exercise in demographic calculus. Some students find this way of learning monotonous and exhausting, hence their motivation gradually drops. Modern learning technology can help prevent such a situation, at least to an extent. Of course, using any technology to support teaching and learning requires representing essential parts of the domain knowledge with that technology first. The paper presents initial results in building such a knowledge infrastructure for Web-based education (WBE) in the domain of demography.
Every repetitive process encapsulates a regularity pattern, which may be expressed as an invariant assertion. Invariants embody implicit, insightful properties that characterize the execution of programming statements. Due to their implicit nature, invariants may be less apparent to algorithmic problem solvers. Yet, invariants are essential for designing correct and efficient algorithms. This paper illustrates the essential role of invariants, and examines whether novices tend to look for invariant properties during their algorithmic problem solving. The paper presents a study in which two novel algorithmic challenges were displayed to a group of motivated, novice students. Student solutions to these challenges demonstrate an operational reasoning approach, which does not capture the essence of the problems at hand, and yields non-satisfying results. Some solutions were incorrect, others were inefficient, and some had no convincing justification. These results, and the correct and efficient solutions to both challenges illuminate the importance of assertional reasoning and the fundamental role of invariants.
The definition of effective pedagogical strategies for coaching and tutoring students according to their needs is one of the most important issues in Adaptive and Intelligent Educational Systems (AIES). The use of a Reinforcement Learning (RL) model allows the system to learn automatically how to teach to each student individually, only based on the acquired experience with other learners with similar characteristics, like a human tutor does. The application of this artificial intelligence technique, RL, avoids to define the teaching strategies by learning action policies that define what, when and how to teach. In this paper we study the performance of the RL model in a DataBase Design (DBD) AIES, where this performance is measured on number of students required to acquire efficient teaching strategies.
In this paper we report on a longitudinal study of a Leonardo da Vinci program regarding the application of a Computer Based Learning environment in three EU countries, Greece, Germany, and Holland. The `` Orestis''CD-ROM was a multimedia CBL environment aimed at teaching young offenders the basic and advanced skills for the use and maintenance of a photo-copy shop. The complete project consisted of three phases: construction of the CD-ROM, application of the instructional methodology in the participating countries and evaluation of the outcome. In this paper we firstly clarify the notion of CBL environments, in comparison to multimedia and distance learning ones, and then we provide some theoretical background on these environments. The main research question we tried to answer was whether the application of the environment under real circumstances could perform adequately without the presence of a domain expert as a ``teacher'', but rely on a ``tutor'' who had five main tasks to perform during the instructional phase, as described in the paper. In order to answer this question, we designed and constructed the aforementioned integrated CBL environment and, in addition to this, an instructional methodology in order to apply it effectivelly in the participating countries. The application of the environment by the partners showed our hypothesis about the tutor to be correct, moreover we elicited results about the different user groups that worked with the environment and their performance under different circumstances. We studied also the combination of CBL training and real practice in real environments, among some other issues concerning the application of CBL environments in general, and we provide some statistical facts as observed and reported during the two pilot studies and the five applications of the environment in the three participating European countries. We conclude by arguing that the tutor, as described in this paper, performs more than satisfactorily and demands far fewer resources than a real domain expert. However, it must be emphasized once more at this point, that this conclusion implies the application of a predefined instructional methodology that aids the tutor in his role, since the teaching procedure will be a task for the hypermedia enriched CBL environment, designed ad hoc for the intended user group and according to the appropriate educational theories.
The study is the first attempt to systematically gather information about what is happening in research and education in the ICT field in the Baltic countries and Northwest Russia, so it is mostly a general investigation and fact-finding project, leading to possible future research and activities in the field.
The study will estimate how well the supply of eSkills, that is, educated ICT graduates, meets the requirements of the ICT industry and the needs of the market in Northwest Russia, Kaliningrad, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The main objective of this study can be divided into three tasks:
• Surveying educational organisations providing ICT education and training in the region. The main technical universities, high schools and other public and private institutions, as well as research centres, will be examined with the goal of charting what specialists are being
produced and what research is being carried out in the universities and research institutions of the region.
• Identifying the market needs for ICT competence with the focus on the ICT industry and SMEs.
• Highlighting discrepancies between the supply of ICT educated graduates and the demand of the digital economy.
Information society paradigm and program highly affect the higher education as well. The rapidly changing environment reflects both the contents and the organisation. The effects are significant concerning the ICT related departments and disciplines, but the IT technology can change very traditional subjects as philosophy radically. An interesting symptom of the always-conservative academic world: the organizational structure of the universities is very hierarchical, the knowledge transfer (what we call education) is fragmented, atomised. On the other way around the real world requirements are just the opposites: there is a vast demand for students and professionals having the ability of integration, knowledge absorption. The general tendencies look a little bit more sharpened in the world of transition, in both the economic and social sense. During the last ten years Hungary went through an intensive development and changing phase in which the experiences of transition and coping with the information society requirements mixed up. In our paper we are going to illustrate a way to develop the teaching in the higher education on an integrated ERP platform.
In this paper, we present a standard definition for learning objects, a controversy around it, and the resulted working definition, along with features to be held by learning objects, benefits of the object-oriented approach for learning, some pros and cons for using learning objects, and finally some quality standard guidelines for these objects. In addition, we introduce shortly a taxonomy of learning object types and the metadata standards that can be used for learning objects and the way they inter-relate. An overview of the content and capabilities of the instructional digital libraries available on the web is presented too. We conclude by pointing out some possible solutions for meaningful use of the learning objects that can be found on the web, either by construction of really useful community instructional digital libraries, or by using non-authoritative metadata to find these learning resources. Involving the conscious user in the process of making sense of the huge quantity of learning resources to be available on the web is, in our view, the only straightforward way to having fast access to the most appropriate (instructional) resource that is needed for a particular (educational) aim.