We report upon a study introducing a chatbot to develop learning communities at a London University, with a largely international student base. The focus of the chatbot was twofold; to ease the transition for students into their first year of university study, and to increase study engagement. Four learning communities were created using the chatbot; level 3 foundation, level 4 undergraduate, level 6 undergraduate and level 7 post-graduate. Students and programme leaders were provided with access to the chat bot via mobile app prior to their study induction and throughout the autumn term of 2019. At the end of the term, data were collected via questionnaires and focus groups with students and teaching staff to allow for identification of benefits and challenges. Findings indicated a positive correlation between study engagement and engagement with peers. Students reported that the chatbot enabled them to obtain support and connect to their programme leader. Both staff and students also made recommendation on how engagement could be further enhanced using the bot in terms of; clearly specified purpose, integration with existing university systems, leading by example and connectivity. Extending upon these recommendations, a second pilot study is planned for September 2020, for which the focus will be upon improving attendance rates, student satisfaction and module pass rates.
The Arabic language is one of the most important languages. Learning it is so important for many people around the world because of its religious and economic importance and the real challenge lies in practicing it without grammatical or syntactical mistakes. This research focused on detecting and correcting the syntactic mistakes of Arabic syntax according to their position in the sentence and focused on two of the main syntactical rules in Arabic: Dual and Plural. It analyzes each sentence in the text, using Stanford CoreNLP morphological analyzer and machine-learning approach in order to detect the syntactical mistakes and then correct it. A prototype of the proposed system was implemented and evaluated. It uses support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to detect Arabic grammatical errors and correct them using the rule-based approach. The prototype system has a far accuracy 81%. In general, it shows a set of useful grammatical suggestions that the user may forget about while writing due to lack of familiarity with grammar or as a result of the speed of writing such as alerting the user when using a plural term to indicate one person.
E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).
This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.
This research addresses the use of an e-Learning creation methodology for learning objects. Throughout the process, indicators are being gathered, to determine if it responds to the main objectives of an engineering discipline. These parameters will also indicate if it is necessary to review the creation cycle and readjust any phase. Within the project developed for this study, apart from the use of structured methods, there has been a central objective: the establishment of a learning atmosphere. A place where all the professionals involved are able to collaborate, plan, solve problems and determine guides to follow in order to develop creative and innovative solutions. It has been outlined as a blended learning program with an assessment plan that proposes face to face lessons, coaching, collaboration, multimedia and web based learning objects as well as support resources. The project has been drawn as a long term task, the pilot teaching actions designed provide the preliminary results object of study. This methodology is been used in the creation of learning content for the African countries of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. It has been developed within the framework of the MACbioIDi, an Interreg European project for the International cooperation and development. The educational area of this project is focused in the training and advice of professionals of the medicine as well as engineers in the use of applications of medical imaging technology, specifically the 3DSlicer application and the Open Anatomy Browser.
This paper proposes an effective adaptive e-learning system that uses a coloured concept map to show the learner's knowledge level for each concept in the chosen subject area. A Fuzzy logic system is used to evaluate the learner's knowledge level for each concept in the domain, and produce a ranked concept list of learning materials to address weaknesses in the learner’s understanding. This system obtains information on the learner's understanding of concepts by an initial pre-test before the system is used for learning and a post-test after using the learning system. A Fuzzy logic system is used to produce a weighted concept map during the learning process. The aim of this research is to prove that such a proposed novel adapted e-learning system will enhance learner's performance and understanding. In addition, this research aims to increase participants' overall understanding of their learning level by providing a coloured concept map of understanding followed by a ranked concepts list of learning materials.
Teaching and learning EFL speaking modules is one of the most challenging productive modules for both instructors and learners. In a student-centered interactive communicative language teaching approach, learners and instructors should be aware of the fact that the target language must be taught as/for communication. The student must be empowered by tools that will work on more than one level of their communicative competence. Communicative learning will need a teaching and learning methodology that will address the goal. Teaching turn-taking rules, pragmatic principles and speech acts will enhance students' sociolinguistic competence, strategic competence together with discourse competence. Sociolinguistic competence entails the mastering of speech act conventions and illocutionary acts of refusing, agreeing/disagreeing; emotive acts like, thanking, apologizing, inviting, offering; directives like, ordering, requesting, advising, and hinting, among others. Strategic competence includes enlightening students’ consciousness of the various particular turn-taking systemic rules of organizing techniques of opening and closing conversation, adjacency pairs, interrupting, back-channeling, asking for/giving opinion, agreeing/disagreeing, using natural fillers for pauses, gaps, speaker select, self-select, and silence among others. Students will have the tools to manage a conversation. Students are engaged in opportunities of experiencing the natural language not as a mere extra student talking time but rather an empowerment of knowing and using the strategies. They will have the component items they need to use as well as the opportunity to communicate in the target language using topics of their interest and choice. This enhances students' communicative abilities. Available websites and textbooks now use one or more of these tools of turn-taking or pragmatics. These will be students' support in self-study in their independent learning study hours. This will be their reinforcement practice on e-Learning interactive activities. The students' target is to be able to communicate the intended meaning to an addressee that is in turn able to infer that intended meaning. The combination of these tools will be assertive and encouraging to the student to beat the struggle with what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Teaching the rules, principles and techniques is an act of awareness raising method engaging students in activities that will lead to their pragmatic discourse competence. The aim of the paper is to show how the suggested pragmatic model will empower students with tools and systems that would support their learning. Supporting students with turn taking rules, speech act theory, applying both to texts and practical analysis and using it in speaking classes empowers students’ pragmatic discourse competence and assists them to understand language and its context. They become more spontaneous and ready to learn the discourse pragmatic dimension of the speaking techniques and suitable content. Students showed a better performance and a good motivation to learn. The model is therefore suggested for speaking modules in EFL classes.
There is an increasing trend toward student-centred interactive e-learning methods and students’ feedback is a valuable tool for improving learning methods. The aim of this study was to explore the attitude of second year pharmacy students at the University of Babylon, Iraq, towards lectures, exams and e-learning. Materials and methods: Ninety pharmacy students were surveyed by paper questionnaire about their preference for lecture format, use of e-files, theoretical lectures versus practical experiments, lecture and lab time. Students were also asked about their predilection for Moodle-based online exams, different types of exam questions, exam time and other extra academic activities. Results: Students prefer to read lectures on paper (73.3%), use of PowerPoint file (76.7%), short lectures of less than 10 pages (94.5%), practical experiments (66.7%), lectures and lab time of less than two hours (89.9% and 96.6 respectively) and intra-lecture discussions (68.9%). Students also like to have paper-based exam (73.3%), short essay (40%) or MCQ (34.4%) questions and also prefer to do extra activities like reports (22.2%), seminars (18.6%) and posters (10.8%). Conclusion: Second year pharmacy students have different attitudes toward traditional and electronic leaning and assessment methods. Using multimedia, e-learning and Moodle are increasingly preferred methods among some students.
Over the past 20 years, technology was rapidly developed and no one expected what will come next. Advancements in technology open new opportunities for immersive learning environments. There is a need to transmit education to a level that makes it more effective for the student. Augmented reality is one of the most popular technologies these days. This paper is an experience of applying Augmented Reality (AR) technology using a marker-based approach in E-learning system to transmitting virtual objects into the real-world scenes. We present a marker-based approach for transmitting virtual objects into real-world scenes to explain information in a better way after we developed a mobile phone application. The mobile phone application was then tested on students to determine the extent to which it encouraged them to learn and understand the subjects. In this paper, we talk about how the beginnings of AR, the fields using AR, how AR is effective in education, the spread of AR these days and the architecture of our work. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to prove how creating an interactive e-learning system using AR technology will encourage students to learn more.
This research study examines the current state of support services for e-network practice in an Australian and an American university. It identifies information that will be of assistance to Australian and American universities to improve their existing online programs. The study investigated the two universities using a quantitative methodological approach. Participants were students, lecturers and admins of universities engaged with online courses and learning management systems. The support services for e-network practice variables, namely academic support services, administrative support and technical support, were investigated for e-practice. Evaluations of e-network support service and its sub factors were above average and excellent in both countries, although the American admins and lecturers tended to evaluate this factor higher than others did. Support practice was evaluated higher by all participants of an American university than by Australians. One explanation for the results may be that most suppliers of the Australian university e-learning system were from eastern Asian cultural backgrounds with a western networking support perspective about e-learning.
This paper presents an original approach to student and group activity level assessment that relies on certainty factors theory. Activity level is used to represent quantity and continuity of student’s contributions in individual and collaborative e‑learning activities (e‑tivities) and is calculated to assist teachers in assessing quantitative aspects of student's achievements. Calculated activity levels are also used to raise awareness and provide recommendations during the learning process. The proposed approach was implemented within the educational recommender system ELARS and validated using data obtained from e‑tivity realized during a blended learning course. The results showed that the proposed approach can be used to estimate activity level in the context of e-tivities realized using Web 2.0 tools as well as to facilitate the assessment of quantitative aspect of students’ participation in e‑tivities.
Since its appearance, the MOOC (massive open online course) is gaining more and more intention of the educational communities over the world. Apart from the current MOOCs design and purposes, the creators of MOOC focused on the importance of the connection and knowledge exchange between individuals in learning. In this paper, we present a conceptual model for massive open online blended courses where teachers over the world can collaborate and exchange their experience to get a common efficient content designed as a MOOC opened to their students to live a better learning experience. This model is based on disciplines’ concepts capitalization and the detection of the obstacles met by their students when faced with problem situations (exercises, projects, case studies, etc.). This detection is possible by analyzing the frequently of semantic errors committed by the students. The participation of teachers in the design of the course and the attendance by their students can guarantee an efficient and extensive participation (an important number of participants) in the course, the learners’ motivation and the evaluation issues, in the way that the teachers designing the course assess their students. Thus, the teachers review, together with their knowledge, offer a better assessment and efficient connections to their students.
To strengthen social and behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) of the Government of Bangladesh, BCCP/BKMI developed two eLearning courses providing opportunities for professional development of SBCC Program Managers who have no access to training or refreshers training. The two eLearning courses – Message and Material Development (MMD) and Monitoring and Evaluation (MandE) of SBCC programs – went online in September 2015, where all users could register their participation so results could be monitored. Methodology: To assess the uses of these courses a randomly selected sample was collected to run a pre and post-test analyses and a phone survey were conducted. Systematic random sampling was used to select a sample of 75 MandE and 25 MMD course participants from a sampling frame of 179 and 51 respectively. Results: As of September 2016, more than 179 learners have completed the MandE course, and 49 learners have completed the MMD course. The users of these courses are program managers, university faculty members, and students. Encouraging results were revealed from the analysis of pre and post-test scores and a phone survey three months after course completion. Test scores suggested a substantial increase in knowledge. The pre-test scores findings suggested that about 19% learners scored high on the MandE. The post-test scores finding indicated a high score (92%) of the sample across 4 modules of MandE. For MMD course in pre-test scoring, 30% of the learners scored high, and 100% scored high at the post-test. It was found that all the learners in the phone survey have discussed the courses. Most of the sharing occurred with colleagues and friends, usually through face to face (70%) interaction. The learners reported that they did recommend the two courses to concerned people. About 67% MandE and 76% MMD learners stated that the concepts that they had to learn during the course were put into practice in their work settings. The respondents for both MandE and MMD courses have provided a valuable set of suggestions that would further strengthen the courses. Conclusions: The study showed that the initiative offered ample opportunities to build capacity in various ways in which the eLearning courses were used. It also highlighted the importance of scaling up these efforts to further strengthen the outcomes.
Social networks play an important role in the lives of children and young people. Along with the high penetration of mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets among the younger generation, there is an increasing use of social networks already in elementary school. The paper presents the results of research, which was realized at schools in the Hradec Králové region. In this research, the authors focused on issues related to communications on social networks for children, teenagers and young people in the Czech Republic. This research was conducted at selected elementary, secondary and high schools using anonymous questionnaires. The results are evaluated and compared with the results of the research, which has been realized in 2008. The authors focused on the possibilities of using social networks in education. The paper presents the possibility of using the most popular social networks in education, with emphasis on increasing motivation for learning. The paper presents comparative analysis of social networks, with regard to the possibility of using in education as well.
Educational institutions are under pressure from their competitors. Regulators and community groups need educational institutions to adopt appropriate business and organizational practices. Globally, educational institutions are now using e-learning as the best teaching and learning approach. E-learning is becoming the center of attention to the learning institutions, educational systems and software inventors. North-West University (NWU) is currently using eFundi, a Learning Management System (LMS). LMS are all information systems and procedures that adds value to students learning and support the learning material in text or any multimedia files. With various e-learning tools, students would be able to access all the materials related to the course in electronic copies. The study was tasked with identifying the e-learning components at the NWU, Mafikeng campus. Quantitative research methodology was considered in data collection and descriptive statistics for data analysis. The Activity Theory (AT) was used as a theory to guide the study. AT outlines the limitations amongst e-learning at the macro-organizational level (plan, guiding principle, campus-wide solutions) and micro-organization (daily functioning practice, collaborative transformation, specific adaptation). On a technological environment, AT gives people an opportunity to change from concentrating on computers as an area of concern but also understand that technology is part of human activities. The findings have identified the university’s current IT tools and knowledge on e-learning elements. It was recommended that university should consider buying computer resources that consumes less power and practice e-learning effectively.
In recent years, e-learning recommender systems has attracted great attention as a solution towards addressing the problem of information overload in e-learning environments and providing relevant recommendations to online learners. E-learning recommenders continue to play an increasing educational role in aiding learners to find appropriate learning materials to support the achievement of their learning goals. Although general recommender systems have recorded significant success in solving the problem of information overload in e-commerce domains and providing accurate recommendations, e-learning recommender systems on the other hand still face some issues arising from differences in learner characteristics such as learning style, skill level and study level. Conventional recommendation techniques such as collaborative filtering and content-based deal with only two types of entities namely users and items with their ratings. These conventional recommender systems do not take into account the learner characteristics in their recommendation process. Therefore, conventional recommendation techniques cannot make accurate and personalized recommendations in e-learning environment. In this paper, we propose a recommendation technique combining collaborative filtering and ontology to recommend personalized learning materials to online learners. Ontology is used to incorporate the learner characteristics into the recommendation process alongside the ratings while collaborate filtering predicts ratings and generate recommendations. Furthermore, ontological knowledge is used by the recommender system at the initial stages in the absence of ratings to alleviate the cold-start problem. Evaluation results show that our proposed recommendation technique outperforms collaborative filtering on its own in terms of personalization and recommendation accuracy.
Nuclear technology is part of our everyday life and its beneficial applications help to improve the quality of our lives. Nevertheless, in Brazil, most often the media and social networks tend to associate radiation to nuclear weapons and major accidents, and there is still great misunderstanding about the peaceful applications of nuclear science. The Educational Portal Radioatividades (Radioactivities) is a corporate social responsibility initiative that takes advantage of the growing impact of Internet to offer high quality scientific information for teachers and students throughout Brazil. This web-based initiative focusses on the positive applications of nuclear technology, presenting the several contributions of ionizing radiation in different contexts, such as nuclear medicine, agriculture techniques, food safety and electric power generation, proving nuclear technology as part of modern life and a must to improve the quality of our lifestyle. This educational project aims to contribute for democratization of scientific education and social inclusion, approaching society to scientific knowledge, promoting critical thinking and inspiring further reflections. The website offers a wide variety of ludic activities such as curiosities, interactive exercises and short courses. Moreover, teachers are offered free web-based material with full instructions to be developed in class. Since year 2013, the project has been developed and improved according to a comprehensive study about the realistic scenario of ICTs infrastructure in Brazilian schools and in full compliance with the best e-learning national and international recommendations.
There has been significant recent interest in on-line learning, as well as considerable work on developing technologies for virtual laboratories for engineering students. After reviewing the state-of-the-art of virtual laboratories, this paper steps back from the technology issues to look in more detail at the pedagogical issues surrounding virtual laboratories, and examines the role of gathering student feedback in the development of such laboratories. The main contribution of the paper is a set of student surveys before and after a prototype deployment of a simulation laboratory tool, and the resulting analysis which leads to some tentative guidelines for the design of virtual engineering laboratories.
Nowadays, ontology is common in many areas like artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, e-commerce, education and many more. Ontology is one of the focus areas in the field of Information Retrieval. The purpose of an ontology is to describe a conceptual representation of concepts and their relationships within a particular domain. In other words, ontology provides a common vocabulary for anyone who needs to share information in the domain. There are several ontology domains in various fields including engineering and non-engineering knowledge. However, there are only a few available ontology for engineering knowledge. Fuzzy logic as engineering knowledge is still not available as ontology domain. In general, fuzzy logic requires step-by-step guidelines and instructions of lab experiments. In this study, we presented domain ontology for Fuzzy Logic Control (FLC) knowledge. We give Table of Content (ToC) with middle strategy based on the Uschold and King method to develop FLC ontology. The proposed framework is developed using Protégé as the ontology tool. The Protégé’s ontology reasoner, known as the Pellet reasoner is then used to validate the presented framework. The presented framework offers better performance based on consistency and classification parameter index. In general, this ontology can provide a platform to anyone who needs to understand FLC knowledge.
The purpose of the study is to explore how the fun game-learning approach enhances teacher trainers’ higher order thinking skills. Two-day fun filled fun game learning-approach was introduced to teacher trainers as a Continuous Professional Development Program (CPD). 26 teacher trainers participated in this Transformation of Teaching and Learning Fun Way Program, organized by Institute of Teacher Education Malaysia. Qualitative research technique was adopted as the researchers observed the participants’ higher order thinking skills developed during the program. Data were collected from observational checklist; interview transcriptions of four participants and participants’ reflection notes. All the data were later analyzed with NVivo data analysis process. The finding of this study presented five main themes, which are critical thinking, hands on activities, creating, application and use of technology. The studies showed that the teacher trainers’ higher order thinking skills were enhanced after the two-day CPD program. Therefore, Institute of Teacher Education will have more success using the fun way game-learning approach to develop higher order thinking skills among its teacher trainers who can implement these skills to their trainee teachers in future. This study also added knowledge to Constructivism learning theory, which will further highlight the prominence of the fun way learning approach to enhance higher order thinking skills.
Nowadays, in Japan, variety of students get into a university and one of the main roles of introductory courses for freshmen is to make such students well prepared for subsequent intermediate courses. For that purpose, the flipped-mastery model is not enough because videos usually used in a flipped classroom is not adaptive and does not fit all freshmen with different academic performances. This paper proposes an ontology-navigated tutoring system called EduGraph. Using EduGraph, students can prepare for and review a class, in a more flexibly personalizable way than by videos. Structuralizing learning materials by its ontology, EduGraph also helps students integrate what they learn as knowledge, and makes learning materials sharable. EduGraph was used for an introductory course for freshmen. This application suggests that EduGraph is effective.
E-learning is a developing area especially in education. E-learning can provide several benefits to learners. An intelligent system to collect all components satisfying user preferences is so important. This research presents an approach that it capable to personalize e-information and give the user their needs following their preferences. This proposal can make some knowledge after more evaluations made by the user. In addition, it can learn from the habit from the user. Finally, we show a walk-through to prove how intelligent process work.
The use of videoconferencing platforms adapted to teaching offers students the opportunity to take distance education courses in much the same way as traditional in-class training. The sessions can be recorded and they allow students the option of following the courses synchronously or asynchronously. Three typical profiles can then be distinguished: students who choose to follow the courses synchronously, students who could attend the course in synchronous mode but choose to follow the session off-line, and students who follow the course asynchronously as they cannot attend the course when it is offered because of professional or personal constraints. Our study consists of observing attendance at all distance education courses offered in the synchronous mode by the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department at Laval University during 10 consecutive semesters. The aim is to identify factors that influence students in their choice of attending the distance courses in synchronous mode. It was found that participation tends to be relatively stable over the years for any one semester (fall, winter summer) and is similar from one course to another, although students may be increasingly familiar with the synchronous distance education courses. Average participation is around 28%. There may be deviations, but they concern only a few courses during certain semesters, suggesting that these deviations would only have occurred because of the composition of particular promotions during specific semesters. Furthermore, course schedules have a great influence on the attendance rate. The highest rates are all for courses which are scheduled outside office hours.