Software is usually considered enabler for innovation in education. Thus, it is necessary to investigate: What leads to innovation in education and which, therefore, should be considered in the development of educational software? How to support decision-making for choosing software to be used in teaching and learning? How to evaluate software that enables, transforms, or supports innovation in education? In order to answer these questions, a research work was conducted that resulted in an approach called DEISE, which is concerned with drivers that lead to innovation in education and indicators that measure the fostering of software to skills need to students for 21st century learning. Through a web system developed for technological support to the DEISE approach, a set of educational software was evaluated by educators and the results show the index of innovation in education for each evaluated software and a comparison between educational software of similar purpose.
Creativity has emerged as an important 21st-century competency. Although it is traditionally associated with arts and literature, it can also be developed as part of computing education. Therefore, this article -presents a systematic mapping of approaches for assessing creativity based on the analysis of computer programs created by the students. As result, only ten approaches reported in eleven articles have been encountered. These reveal the absence of a commonly accepted definition of product creativity customized to computer education, confirming only originality as one of the well-established characteristics. Several approaches seem to lack clearly defined criteria for effective, efficient and useful creativity assessment. Diverse techniques are used including rubrics, mathematical models and machine learning, supporting manual and automated approaches. Few performed a comprehensive evaluation of the proposed approach regarding their reliability and validity. These results can help instructors to choose and adopt assessment approaches and guide researchers by pointing out shortcomings.
This case study aims at ensuring preservice science teachers to acquire experience by creating paper-based mind maps (PB-MM) and digital mind maps (D-MM) in technology education and to reveal their opinions on these mind mapping techniques. A total of 32 preservice science teachers, enrolled in the undergraduate program of Science Teaching at a university in Turkey, participated in this study. During the first three weeks of the six-week study, participants created PB-MM for certain subjects in science education. For the rest of the weeks, they created D-MM by using Coggle. As data collection tool, a form, consisting of open-ended questions, was used in this study. The obtained results demonstrated that the participants generally reported positive opinions including that mind maps are beneficial and useful tools in reinforcing, assessing and visualizing learning in general, making lessons more entertaining as well as offering ease of use. It was also concluded that students can also use mind maps in teaching of other topics such as “Vitamins”, “The Earth and the Universe” and “Systems” in particular, as well as in events like meetings, presentations, brainstorming. Advantages of D-MM were listed as the possibility of adding multimedia material, ease of correction processes and the visual richness, while its disadvantage was listed as experiencing technical problems. PB-MM contribute to psychomotor development of students as well as learning by performing/experiencing. The difficulty in processes such as deleting, editing, etc. and in adding videos and images constitute the restrictions of PB-MM technique.
Interfaces with good usability help their users complete more tasks in less time and with less effort, which gives them greater satisfaction. Given the vast array of options available to users today, usability is an important interface feature that may lead to the commercial success or failure of a software system. Despite its importance, few educational tools are available to help usability teachers and students. Knowing how to measure interface usability is one of the basic concepts that students should learn when they study the theme. This paper presents UsabilityZero, a web application to support the teaching of usability concepts to undergraduate students. By using UsabilityZero, students interact with a system displaying a reduced usability interface and, later, with the same system exhibiting an increased usability interface. Considering the use of UsabilityZero by 64 students, the differences between the interface with reduced and increased usability were: (i) 61.5% decrease in the number of clicks; (ii) 62.2% decrease in the time to perform tasks; (iii) 92.9% effectiveness increase; and (iv) a 277.3% satisfaction increase. During their experience with UsabilityZero, students learn how to measure efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction of user interfaces. After using the application, Information Systems and Computer Science students who had never been in touch with the subject could identify key usability aspects. The students’ perception of efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction as usability measures was higher than 80%. Also, they could identify some usability criteria and understand how measurements change when some of them are present in the interface design. As a result, over 92% of these students said they recognized the importance of usability to the quality of a software product, and 79% declared that their experience with the application would contribute to their professional lives.
While virtual learning environments (VLEs) present several advantages, such as space-time flexibility, they are still not including proper opportunities and resources for students to engage in collaborative activities with their peers. Recent approaches, for example, are based on resources that are not standard for VLEs or usual for students. Thus, their integration with VLEs is not simple. This paper conducted a theoretical investigation to identify strategies that could induce collaborative behaviours in students. These strategies were implemented as learning objects running in a VLE and a quasi-experimental research design was conducted with 133 students. The results show that the approach promotes collaborative interactions between students and also tend to improve their learning outcomes. Moreover, learning objects use a conceptualization that is already established over the e-learning community, simplifying their integration with VLEs.
This review paper presents a systematic literature review on the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in engineering education, and specifically in student’s spatial ability training, for the last decade. Researchers have explored the benefits of AR, and its application has been of increasing interest in all levels of education. Engineering students tend to have difficulties in acquiring visualization skills, and hence, AR is gaining momentum in enhancing students’ learning achievements. This paper aims to present valuable information to researchers, tutors and software developers of learning technology systems concerning the advantages and limitations of AR in spatial ability training, the incorporation of adaptivity and personalization in AR applications as well as the aspects of spatial ability having been evaluated using AR and the prevalent evaluation methods for AR applications. To this direction, a total of thirty-two (32) studies were reviewed, having been published since 2010. The findings reveal an increase in the number of studies during the last three years. One major conclusion is the improvement of learners’ spatial ability using AR in educational settings, and the noted challenge is the need for more learning content. One research gap that has been identified is the lack of personalization in the developed applications, offering space for future research. Concluding, this area is under-researched, and thus, there is scope for a lot of improvement.
The main goal of this research is to enhance the understanding of quality criteria for DB metadata for assessment and recognition as factors increasing their value in higher education (HE). To attain this goal, a case study approach centered in one HE institution was used, aiming (a) at an analysis of the status quo description of metadata of DBs issued by the HE institution to identify the value of DBs in terms of assessment and recognition procedures, and (b) a list of quality criteria for DB description metadata was proposed on the basis of academic research and on expert interview results. The results of the research demonstrate that in the institution under research, these criteria are not present in most cases of DB descriptions as teachers do not provide them. Distinct assessment and recognition criteria make an important quality factor for the DBs to become valid and valued digital credentials in HE.
There has been an active movement towards fun learning, using games in education. This article introduces the text-based serious game “Rise of the Java Emperor” that aims to support students in learning basic object-oriented programming concepts using Java. Information concerning the analysis, the design and the pilot evaluation of the game is presented. Thirty-three undergraduate and postgraduate students of an Applied Informatics Department voluntarily played and answered a questionnaire based on the MEEGA+ model, in order to investigate the perceived player experience and short-term learning as well as the acceptance of a text-based programming game by students. The results of the evaluation show that text based games can be both fun and instructional for the field of computer programming. An important issue that requires further research is how this or other programming games can be successfully combined with traditional teaching methods for enhancing the learning of programming.