The Internet has recently encouraged the society to convert almost all its needs to electronic resources such as e-libraries, e-cultures, e-entertainment as well as e-learning, which has become a radical idea to increase the effectiveness of learning services in most schools, colleges and universities. E-learning can not be completely featured and met without e-testing. However, in many cases e-testing tools are suitable just for traditional/theoretical knowledge testing, covered by such items as questions, quizzes, matching boxes and other. The article ``A Method for Automated Program Code Testing'' tackles the lack of functions in e-testing systems and suggests e-assessment possibilities for students who study computer science, especially programming. The article analyzes the method that allows freely entering answers to questions, checking program syntax during the testing and enables automatic written code checking and evaluation.
The ``digital society'' provides not only with new technology, but also with new concepts. Information plays a central role and becomes a valuable good, but knowledge cannot be reduced to information, and one aim for educators is to contribute in a ``knowledge society'', not only an ``information society''. A knowledge society is structured in networks, enriching the traditional hierarchies; a knowledge society promotes a kind of ``collective intelligence''. In such a society, open and distance learning has new dimensions and faces new challenges: collaboration and individualization, dealing with time and space, dealing with presence and distance, and contributing to lifelong learning. The Stellenbosch Declaration gives the main trends for ICT in education in a knowledge society, according to six major issues: digital solidarity, learners and lifelong learning, decision-making strategies, networking, research, teachers.
This paper deals with the main problem of involving information technology in teacher education - structure and contents of teachers' training courses based on distance learning. In Lithuania, the Standard of computer literacy for educators has been developed. It should be the main source of all teachers' training courses on information technology. The Standard consists of two parts: technological and educational. The main attention of the paper is paid to the analysis and requirements of the educational part that becomes more and more urgent: it requires some psychological, cognitive, social, and pedagogical knowledge referring to the information technology usage in education. This paper comprehensively covers the problems of application of information technology in education, course planning, and implementation of distance teaching, it referring to the teachers' training course on educational issues of information technology via distance learning, carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania and organized by the Centre of Information Technologies of Education, and summarises its results.
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.
Distance learning programs have rapidly increased during the past few decades. In fall 2000 the University of Joensuu started to offer distance Computer Science (CS) studies to the high school students in surrounding rural areas of Joensuu. In this program high school students study the first year's university level CS studies over the web simultaneously with their regular high school studies. We describe the creation process of our virtual curriculum which is based the so-called Candle scheme. The Candle scheme search the most essential principles needed in on-line course design, supporting a student locally in her authentic learning needs via electronic tools in a light way. With the Candle scheme we have successfully focused in our design process on the most essential parts of the virtual study process. Our experiences of the Candle scheme in the creation process of the on-line CS program during years 2000-2002 indicate that the scheme is the functional one and expandable to other contexts as well.