The teaching of sorting algorithms is an essential topic in undergraduate computing courses. Typically the courses are taught through traditional lectures and exercises involving the implementation of the algorithms. As an alternative, this article presents the design and evaluation of three educational games for teaching Quicksort and Heapsort. The games have been evaluated in a series of case studies, including 23 applications of the games in data structures courses at the Federal University of Santa Catarina with the participation of a total of 371 students. The results provide a first indication that such educational games can contribute positively to the learning outcome on teaching sorting algorithms, supporting the students to achieve learning on higher levels as well as to increase the students' motivation on this topic. The social interaction the games promote allows the students to cooperate or compete while playing, making learning more fun.
Notwithstanding the hype surrounding the enthusiasm and rush that characterises the employment of robotics in formal educational contexts, their use is described as nothing less than fragmented. In the circumstances that processes of adoption and application of digital tools are clearly outpacing their accommodation and enactment in formal educational settings, a teacher-training framework for the integration of robotics in primary schools is being proposed.
Anticipated to be editable in context by teachers, a mediating tool whose actions are defined by the Activity Theory is presented to provide a framework for activities, aims, learning outcomes and suggestive complementing hardware. Thematically built around a constructionist approach, and having a long-standing tradition in early childhood education, it should simultaneously enhance the student and teacher learning experience towards robotics in a meaningful manner.
New technologies are evidently gaining access to daily school life. Considering new challenges, the educators search for new ways to update educational content in the 21st Century when learning paradigms are changing. Soon, the new technological tools and solutions become predominant and change the traditional approach to teaching and learning. The new technologies not only help the educators to provide the relevant educational content in an easier and diverse way, but also to organise the evaluation of the results. This is particularly important for the educational process, taking into account the relevant issues of the period.
The article presents results of a survey. Participants of the survey were teachers who use the ActivInspire interactive evaluation system in their lessons. These teachers were the first to use this system in Lithuania. No studies on the experience in the use of the interactive evaluation system in Lithuania have been carried out before. During a school year, the teachers were writing reflections about their experience in using the interactive teaching tools in lessons: interactive whiteboard, electronic textbooks and the audience response system. Generally, the teachers had a positive opinion about the use of the interactive evaluation system in classroom. The teachers emphasized in particular the aspect of usefulness of the audience response system. In addition to the aspect of usefulness, other aspects marked by the teachers as important were those of attractiveness, time management and impact on learning. This experience of teachers in Lithuania in using the ActivInspire evaluation system in classroom is similar to the experience of teachers in other countries.
The management of contemporary software projects is unfeasible without the support of a Project Management (PM) tool. In order to enable the adoption of PM tools in practice, teaching its usage is important as part of computer education. Aiming at teaching PM tools, several approaches have been proposed, such as the development of educational PM tools. However, such approaches are typically limited with respect to content coverage and instructional support. In this context, an important technique is the provision of instructional feedback, which is essential in order to help the students to learn based on the evaluation of their own actions. In order to take advantage of this technique, this article proposes its employment in an Instructional Unit, being integrated into the PM tool dotProject+, providing automated feedback based on the project plan being developed with the tool. This technique has been evaluated through a series of case studies.
Although widely used, the SCORM metadata model for content aggregation is difficult to be used by educators, content developers and instructional designers. Particularly, the identification of contents related with each other, in large repositories, and their aggregation using metadata as defined in SCORM, has been demanding efforts of computer science researchers in pursuit of the automation of this process. Previous approaches have extended or altered the metadata defined by SCORM standard. In this paper, we present experimental results on our proposed methodology which employs ontologies, automatic annotation of metadata, information retrieval and text mining to recommend and aggregate related content, using the relation metadata category as defined by SCORM. We developed a computer system prototype which applies the proposed methodology on a sample of learning objects generating results to evaluate its efficacy. The results demonstrate that the proposed method is feasible and effective to produce the expected results.
Context: concept Maps (CMs) enable the creation of a schematic representation of a domain knowledge. For this reason, CMs have been applied in different research areas, including Computer Science. Objective: the objective of this paper is to present the results of a systematic mapping study conducted to collect and evaluate existing research on CMs initiatives in Computer Science. Method: the mapping study was performed by searching five electronic databases. We also performed backward snowballing and manual search to find publications of researchers and research groups that accomplished these studies. Results: from the mapping study, we identified 108 studies addressing CMs initiatives in different subareas of Computer Science that were reviewed to extract relevant information to answer a set of research questions. The mapping shows an increasing interest in the topic in recent years and it has been extensively investigated due to support in teaching and learning. Conclusions: based on our results we conclude that the use of CMs as an educational tool has been widely accepted in Computer Science.
The paper considers a problem of financial resource allocation in a higher education institution. The basic financial management instruments and the multi-stage cost minimization model created are described involving financial instruments to constraints. Both societal and institutional factors that determine the costs of educating students are examined and involved into the model, too. A financial flow planning model of an education institution (e.g., university) has been created, using two-stage or four-stage stochastic programming algorithms, with easily selected education institution's accounting data. The created model has been adapted to solve the two-stage and multi-stage financial flow optimization problem of the branch of university, and the obtained results of two-stage and multi-stage tasks have been compared. A mixed integer programming algorithm, realized in the model using CPLEX Studio 126 for optimization, can be flexibly adapted for practical needs of financial planning of education institutions.
The objective of this article is to present the development and evaluation of dETECT (Evaluating TEaching CompuTing), a model for the evaluation of the quality of instructional units for teaching computing in middle school based on the students' perception collected through a measurement instrument. The dETECT model was systematically developed and evaluated based on data collected from 16 case studies in 13 different middle school institutions with responses from 477 students. Our results indicate that the dETECT model is acceptable in terms of reliability (Cronbach's alpha ?=.787) and construct validity, demonstrating an acceptable degree of correlation found between almost all items of the dETECT measurement instrument. These results allow researchers and instructors to rely on the dETECT model in order to evaluate instructional units and, thus, contribute to their improvement and to direct an effective and efficient adoption of teaching computing in middle school.