WSEAS CONFERENCES. WSEAS, Unifying the Science

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 Volume 5, 2008
Print ISSN: 1790-1979
E-ISSN: 2224-3410








Issue 1, Volume 5, January 2008

Title of the Paper:  Improving Teamwork with University Engineering Students. The Effect of an Assessment Method to Prevent Shirking


Authors: Juan A. Marin-Garcia, Jaime Lloret

Abstract: Various sources have shown the advantages of considering a teamwork-based methodology with university students. University teachers, however, observe certain shortcomings and disinformation, especially with regard to the assessment of group processes. For this reason we set out to answer the following research questions: Is it possible to measure the group process in classes with large numbers of students? Can shirking be prevented? What problems arise? To this end we have designed and tested a teacher observation grid and we will process a broad set of data.

Keywords: active methodologies, process assessment, student participation, university teaching

Title of the Paper: E-learning Platforms in the Italian Universities: The Technological Solutions at the University of Bari


Authors: S. Campanella, G. Dimauro, A. Ferrante, D. Impedovo, S. Impedovo , M. G. Lucchese, R. Modugno, G. Pirlo, L. Sarcinella, E. Stasolla, C. A. Trullo

Abstract: In the era of globalization of goods and services difficulties in knowledge diffusion still remain. The effective exchange of experiences and skills is not guaranteed by the enormous potentials of internetworking systems and devices. E-learning technologies represent a good opportunity to reduce the digital divide and to ensure faster and higher development trends. Several universities and companies are currently involved in using e-learning systems to provide a valid solution; this notwithstanding several problems related to e-learning activities still remain open. This paper presents an analysis of the e-learning technologies used in the Italian Universities. The most widespread open source and commercial Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are investigated and presented. Successively, a simple model is proposed and used to perform a comparative evaluation of the adopted systems. Finally, the activity experienced at the “Rete Puglia” Centre of the University of Bari is described and the most relevant results are illustrated.

Keywords: Academic Education, Distance Learning, E-learning, Knowledge Building, Knowledge Exchange.

Title of the Paper: An Online System for Testing and Evaluation


Authors: Cristea Boboila, George V. Iordache, Marcela S. Boboila

Abstract: This paper describes an online application for test design and evaluation of trainees. We address two main topics: activity flow modeling and adaptive test design. With activity flow modeling, we achieve high usability and structural coherence, while the adaptive test design method that we propose facilitates dynamic generation of tests based on topic relevance. Our method ensures the creation of adaptive tests, targeted to specific topics of interest for users, and employs specific policies to adjust the difficulty level of tests. We also describe a taxonomy-based test design method, that enhances the testing environment with new usability and efficiency attributes.

Keywords: Online testing, E-learning, Computer adaptive tests, Activity flow modeling, Web-based training, Taxonomy

Title of the Paper:  Ontologies and Metadata for E-Learning Environments in Ecological and Environmental Science


Authors: Pirjo Kuitunen, Anne Honkaranta, Kalevi Salonen

Abstract: Ecological and environmental science has remained a discipline in which e-Learning has not been widely utilized, possibly due to the complexity and heterogeneity of the e-Learning content available. Traditionally the Learning Objects for ecological and environmental science consist of Web pages, unstructured documents, numerical data files and numerical data in databases. Using metadata attached to Learning Objects and different kinds of data enhances the use of heterogeneous materials. Metadata may be characterized as information about the data required to understand not only the data itself but also its context, quality and structure, as well as to make the data accessible and retrievable. This paper reviews research on metadata, ontologies and markup languages for e-Learning and describes the e-Learning content for ecological and environmental science. The paper describes two common metadata specifications, i.e. the Learning Object Metadata and the Dublin Core as well as two potential markup languages for ecological and environmental e-Learning, i.e. the Ecological Metadata Language and the Geography Markup Language. Metadata provides means to organize the major topics of e-Learning courses and for visualize the semantic connections between concepts. It is possible to extend and reuse metadata specifications by utilizing ontologies and ontology languages (e.g. Web Ontology Language). A semantic e-Learning environment for ecological and environmental science gives a student a possibility to build mental structures and learn in a constructive, self directed and activity oriented way.

Keywords: e-Learning, markup languages, environmental data, Learning Object, metadata, ontology

Title of the Paper: Detailed and Global Analysis of a Remedial Course’s Impact on Incoming Students’ Marks


Authors: M. G. Sanchez-Torrubia, R. Martinez-Lopez, E. E. Castineira-Holgado

Abstract: Engineering incoming students are facing great difficulties to overcome first course subjects. To tackle that situation and increase the students’ success a Remedial course in Mathematics was offered to Informatics Engineering freshmen. This study presents a statistical analysis of their results comparing the marks obtained by those joining the course (studio group) versus those who did not participate (control group). ANOVA tests are performed over the students’ marks averages as well as over each subject students marks. These tests show statistically significant differences between both groups, with the studio group consistently outperforming the control group at 99% confidence level in most cases and at more than 92% confidence level in every case.

Keywords: Remedial courses, Educational research, Engineering education, Mathematics learning, Informatics curricula

Title of the Paper: A Trend-based Prediction System for Web User Behavior


Authors: Nien-Yi Jan, Shun-Chieh Lin, Nancy P. Lin, Chung-I Chang

Abstract: Since web applications make great progress, the latency of Internet owing to the network bandwidth becomes an urge problem in the cyber world. It is very important to deliberate on how to construct a prediction model to predict web users traveling path for adapting the website structure and improving the website performance. A trend based prediction model without extra information is proposed in this paper to generate prediction models with a sequence of pages for a proxy server prefetcting the suitable pages. The trend similarity is the core of our proposed model which considers not only the page similarity but also position similarity. Two measures include page correctness rate and order correctness rate are proposed to evaluate accuracy of our prediction system.

Keywords: Trend similarity, Prediction system, Web mining, User behavior, Sequence mining

Issue 2, Volume 5, February 2008

Title of the Paper: Parallel Internet Traffic Simulator with Self-Similar Scale-Free Network Models


Authors: Radu Dobrescu, Sebastian Taralunga, Stefan Mocanu

Abstract: The paper presents a platform, named Parallel Internet Traffic Simulator (PITS), which allows simulating Internet traffic and accurately replicating appropriate stochastic processes using scale-free models with self-similar topology. The experiments compare simulation of large-size scale-free networks when using different number of CPU's running in parallel in the platform cluster and note the differences in simulation time as well as some characteristics related to the efficiency of the simulation distribution is possible and if there are limitations in single-CPU simulation. We consider that PITS shows interesting properties when compared to other traffic generators and therefore it represents a real simulation tool for controlled traffic generation over real networks which allows to accurately analyze and evaluate the performance of network, transport, and application-level protocols.

Keywords: scale-free networks, simulation, parallel and distributed processing, self-similar traffic.

Title of the Paper: Cooperative Work for Teacher Training


Authors: Victor M. Grassa, Jaime Lloret, Cristina Rodriguez, Lucia Romero, Esther Sanabria, Vicente Sanchis

Abstract: Many training strategies for teacher training have been developed to train university lecturers. Our objective in this paper is to analyze the cooperative work as a strategy for training university teachers in the context of a Training Program for new lecturers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. We will describe the training Program and its key for training university teachers: Base-Group strategy. Further on we will explain its norms and how they work. Finally we will analyze the advantages and drawbacks found when they have been used. As far as we know, there is no further published research about cooperative work for teacher training.

Keywords: Teacher training, training strategies, cooperative work.

Title of the Paper: A Framework for Developing a Microchip PIC Microcontroller Based Applications


Authors: Miha Smolnikar, Mihael Mohorcic

Abstract: This paper presents a framework for developing applications based on a Microchip PIC microcontroller (μC). Consisting of hardware and software tools it supports the development and transfer of program code from a personal computer to the microcontroller, and evaluation of its execution on rapid prototyping hardware. The first part of the paper focuses on hardware design, which is based on a modular approach, i.e. recomposed for the design of each application, in order to ensure maximum adaptability. The MPIC development system (MPICds) thus consists of a programmer, a main board including adapters for a variety of chip packages, and plug-in modules. All these hardware components are designed so that they can be fabricated by any potential user. Selected microcontroller is programmed in the standard ICSP mode using one of the freely available PC programs. These are presented in the second part of the paper describing the software part of the framework, which besides programming tools also discusses the code development tools. The stress is given to the use of high-level tools, where the algorithms are described in the form of different graphical notations, i.e. block diagrams, instead in C or assembly code. Throughout the paper, a special attention is given to the use of framework in the electrical engineering education process. Besides giving some suggestions for the use at different educational levels, the emphasis is on the implication of contemporary design methods, and the hardware’s robust design, which is deliberately planned in such a way that even an incorrect use cannot harm any of its components.

Keywords: PIC microcontrollers, Development system, High-level design tools, Electrical engineering education

Title of the Paper: A Mathematical Solution of an Industrial Problem for Engineering Students


Authors: Ravelo Hernandez, I. I. Siller-Alcala, J. Jaimes-Ponce, R. Alcantara-Ramirez

Abstract: This paper presents an illustrative industrial example: the liquid volume contained in a horizontal tank is calculated by using integrals and least square method. The equation is used by automated system that can automatically measure the volume of material in horizontal tanks in real time. This system is composed by an industrial PC, where an operator can monitor the variable level through a graphical environment interface developed in Delta V, the interface contains alarms, historical, tendencies about substances weight contained in the tanks. The objective is to provide to mathematics lecturer a practical example in order to motivate engineering students to make mathematics interesting to them and show them why the knowledge of mathematics is essential for their future real word.

Keywords: Education, Engineering Mathematics, Automatic Control, Volume Measurement, Industrial Application and Data Acquisition.

Title of the Paper: Interactive Tools for Discrete Mathematics e-Learning


Authors: Carmen Escribano Iglesias, Antonio Giraldo Carbajo, Maria Asuncion Sastre Rosa

Abstract: Education is a dynamical and complex area. Research in education increases year by year. This increase is an important factor in the development of new educational techniques. Nowadays, the information society in which we live needs wider educational spaces, and internet provides a powerful tool to introduce new educational technologies and to use online applications. Indeed, TICs (technologies for informatics and communication) provide a very positive aid to the learning tasks. Interactive tutorials allow access to a big amount of information in a multi-sequential way, by using specifically designed Java applets suitable for the learning of a specific knowledge. Due to these facts, the use of these tools has many advantages for learning mathematics. In this sense, we present here a hypertext with many interactive java applets, developed to show the main applications of Integer and Modular Arithmetic in a brief theoretical environment.

Keywords: Modular Arithmetic, Interactive Tutorials, Hypertext, Java Applets, World Wide Web, RSA Cryptosystem.

Issue 3, Volume 5, March 2008

Title of the Paper: Integrating Team Projects into the SE Curriculum


Authors: Kristina Lapin, Saulius Ragaisis

Abstract: This paper reports the experience of developing and modifying a Software Engineering study program in Vilnius University, Lithuania. The aim of a new curriculum is improving the collaboration with industry and emphasizing the team projects. Industry partners participated in defining both, the outcomes of the curriculum and aspects that should be emphasized. The evolution of team projects’ implementation has resulted in three stages approach: introductory internal university team project for the second year students, in-home simulation of the real world projects for the third year students and the projects provided by industry for the last year undergraduates. The initially stand-alone HCI course was integrated with team projects in which students are expected to apply acquired HCI skills. The intent of our SE curriculum is developing extended software engineering skills and in-depth understanding of the user-centred design techniques.

Keywords: SE education, industry-university collaboration, team projects, integration of courses.

Title of the Paper: Teaching Implications of Information Processing Theory and Evaluation Approach of learning Strategies using LVQ Neural Network


Authors: Andreas G. Kandarakis, Marios S. Poulos

Abstract: In terms of information processing model, learning represents the process of gathering information, and organizing it into mental schemata. Information-processing theory has definite educational implications for students with learning and behavior problems. Teachers with a greater understanding of the theory and how it is formed to, select learning strategies in order to improve the retention and retrieval of learning. But it must also be taken into consideration that the learning environment has specific effects on academic achievement. Socialization alters the levels of stress, confidence, and even the content knowledge. Social support provides encouragement, stress reduction, feedback, and communication factors which enable learning. Furthermore, an evaluation of 4 learning strategies attempted via a well-formed LVQ Neural Network.

Keywords: information processing, memory, matacognition, learning strategies, general education classroom, learning, behavioral problems and neural networks.

Title of the Paper: Three-Dimensional Design against Fatigue Failure and the Implementation of a Genetic Algorithm


Authors: K. Krishnapillai, R. Jones

Abstract: The research presented here utilises a genetic algorithm in a numerical three-dimensional fatigue based optimisation study of a 7050-T7451 aluminium structure. Genetic algorithms have rapidly become popular due to the robustness and the balance between efficiency and effectiveness in many different environments. Genetic algorithm has been utilised in many stress based optimisation applications, however to date, it has not been used in a three dimensional structural fatigue based optimisation study involving short crack lengths in the threshold region. The generalised Frost-Dugdale law was developed to allow for the accurate prediction of fatigue crack growth from short crack lengths. Consequently, design against fatigue failure can include the analysis of near-threshold crack propagation. The structural optimisation procedure proposed integrates geometrical modelling, structural analysis and optimization into one complete and automated computer-aided design process. This paper indicates that the proposed combined procedure provides a more accurate and robust optimised solution. It was discovered that the results resembled the solutions from other optimisation algorithms. As a result, this procedure illustrates a procedure for the design of light weight structures using a fatigue based optimisation in conjunction with a genetic algorithm. Furthermore, the possibility of the application of the generalised Frost-Dugdale model in design optimisation has been demonstrated. This procedure has the potential to be applied to structures with complex structural configurations taking into account crack propagation in the near-threshold.

Keywords: Structural optimisation; Genetic algorithm; Finite element method; Short crack growth

Title of the Paper: Evaluation Cycle Management - Model for Selection of the most Applicable Learning Management System


Authors: Matija Pipan, Tanja Arh, Borka Jerman Blazic

Abstract: The paper deals with a complex decision-making problem, the evaluation and selection of most applicable Learning Management Systems (LMS) in which several objectives - referring to the definite group of users - like social, technical, environmental, and economic impacts, must be simultaneously taken into account. The general aim of our case study was focusing on the usability and applicability aspects of LMSs in relation to definite target group and users: employees in the Slovenian SMEs with a basic knowledge of ICT. We introduce Evaluation Cycle Management (ECM), a support methodology aimed at the evaluation of options that occur in the decision-making processes. ECM is based on Multi-attribute decision making (Criteria Evaluation) and Usability Testing (Usability Evaluation). The Multi-attribute decision making in the first phase of ECM presents an approach to the development of a qualitative hierarchical decision model that is based on DEX, an expert system shell for multi-attribute decision support. The second phase of ECM is aimed at Usability Testing on end users.

Keywords: Innovative E-learning Software, Education, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Evaluation Cycle Management (ECM), Criteria Evaluation, Usability Testing, Multi Attribute Decision Making

Title of the Paper: Using Circuit Simulators to Sensitivity-Factor Analysis in Analog Circuits


Authors: Elena Niculescu, Dorina-Mioara Purcaru, Marius-Cristian Niculescu

Abstract: In this paper, a procedure to calculate the sensitivity factors of the quiescent drain current of a field-effect transistor operating in the active region is presented. This one can be applied in conjunction with a general-purpose circuit simulator for bias circuits with bipolar junction transistors or field-effect transistors. We showed that the sensitivity factors of the quiescent drain current can be calculated by repeated simulations of the bias circuit modified according to the change of a parameter value. How to apply the proposed procedure is illustrated on the two common bias circuits for which comparatively studies are performed. Such a procedure based on a circuit simulator allows the students to verify and, if necessary, modify the bias circuit design on desired direction and rapidly test it.

Keywords: Sensitivity factor analysis, Bias circuits, FET.

Title of the Paper: A Study of Inspector’s Behavior for Stopping Strategies as Multiple-Target Search


Authors: Sittichai Kaewkuekool

Abstract: The main purposes of this research were to study inspector’s behaviours for stopping strategies and performance to detect defects as multiple-target search. Visual task was computer simulated search tasks and defect was indicated in English character X with the background characters of A, K, M, N, V, W, Y and Z filled up to 50% of searching area in each screen. Ten subjects were students randomly chosen from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) with 20/20 vision test. They were asked to perform inspection task to pass for pilot study before running the experiment. The experiment was consisted of visual search task and look for defects, which composed of one, two, three and four defects existed randomly. Preliminary information was provided to subjects before running the experiment. They were asked to perform the experiment by searching and detecting the defects using mouse to choose for them without time limits. Subjects could decide to stop searching at anytime by themselves and data of mean search time, mean stooping time, and number of defects detected would be recorded. The results were shown that the inspector’s behaviours were affected by the patterns of time spent in searching and stopping. Moreover, subject could detect defect for 100 percent on single defect. This could be concluded that inspector’s behaviour was affected by the number of defects, which showed significantly different at the level of 0.05, and mean stopping time and percent defect detected at the level of 0.01.

Keywords: Visual Inspection / Inspector Behavior / Mean Search Time / Mean Stopping Time

Issue 4, Volume 5, April 2008

Title of the Paper: Uncertainties in Knowledge Assessment


Authors: Sylvia Encheva, Sharil Tumin

Abstract: Various techniques for reasoning in the presence of inconsistent or incomplete information have been exploited lately. In this paper we focus on applying many-valued logic in practical deductive processes evaluating propositions being neither true nor false when they are uttered. Such situations occur while dealing with inconsistent and/or incomplete information. Application of many-valued logics allows the system to handle situations with such input. Many-valued logic is a generalization of Boolean logic and as such offers solution to a number of Boolean problems.

Keywords: Web-based assessment, learning, intelligent tutoring systems

Title of the Paper: Optimization of Grouping and Team Formation of Students for Class Exercise Based on Analysis of Human Factors by Covariance Structure Analysis


Authors: Kiyomi Shirakawa, Hiroaki Hashiura, Hitomi Saito, Seiichi Komiya

Abstract: Group exercises for software development adopting more practical approaches are conducted in Department of Information Science and Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology in order to allow students to acquire knowledge and skills for software development. (Such student groups can be recognized as "teams" in a precise sense because each student member belonging to the group takes certain partial charge of software development.) But the class time for students acquiring software engineering is limited. That is why the support system, which is called EtUDE (Environment for Ultimate software Development Exercise), has been developed and introduced to help students to take practice together at any time and any place. However, differences in students' abilities for software development have sometimes led to problems like that some teams can not achieve a given task by due date. To solve the problems, Hashiura, et al. [1] developed the system, EtUDE/GO which automatically decides an optimal scheme for grouping and team formation for class work. In spite of this, human factors influencing on the team formation remained unknown. Therefore, the authors introduced a covariance structure analysis and so on to find a relational expression between true factors influencing directly on team formation and alternative characteristics having effect indirectly on it. Applying the obtained relational expressions to EtUDE/GO, they produced an optimal team formation scheme automatically. Then, how the optimization of team formation exerted influences on the class exercises by measuring each student's contribution evaluated with log information of their work. The result of the analysis showed that the students who were expected to make contributions for achievement of tasks and who were disposed in each team assisted their team well so as to complete the tasks in actual class exercise as they were expected. As a result, all the team was confirmed to have achieved the assignment without delay. In fact, this paper shows it was confirmed that the optimization of team formation enabled all the teams to complete the exercise assignment by due date.

Keywords: Optimizing Project Team Formation, Exercises in Units of Groups, Exercise for Software Development, Genetic Algorithm, Covariance Structure Analysis, Factor Analysis, Path Diagram ,Maximum Likelihood Estimation,Chi-Square test

Title of the Paper: A System for Supporting Project-Based Exercise in Software Development with Facilities to Detect Students Automatically who are Required Individual Tutoring


Authors: Hiroaki Hashiura, Kotaro Yamashita, Tatsuya Ishikawa, Yuka Isozaki, Ryota Chiba, Yuichi Inoue, Seiichi Komiya

Abstract: In recent years, large-scale-sizing and complication of software development are being followed wholeheartedly. On top of that fast delivery and low cost developments are being required as compared to up to now, and the environments, which surround software development are becoming more severe. For this reason, the industry is demanding high talented people with potentials of practical senses from the universities. For this reason, Shibaura Institute of Technology Information Engineering Department, in order to master the knowledge and technology for software development, is carrying out the group exercise class of the software development, which adopts a style more close to actual exercise. The group exercise can lower the burden of the teaching person regarding the instructions to students than the instructions for individual exercise, but it is difficult for giving instructions matching with every student's capacity. In addition, since the school hours assigned to software engineering are insufficient, it becomes important to prepare the environments where a student can exercise also out of school hours. Moreover, the goal of a exercise class is to acquire the knowledge and skill for software development on the individual level of a student. Therefore the authors having multi functions that were necessary for support to the group exercise and a high possibility to be included in the group exercise, developed group exercise supporting circumstances EtUDE[1] (Environment for Ultimate software Development Exercise) of the software development with function to automatically detect the student requiring individual instructions.

Keywords: Software Development Exercises, Software Development Environment, Project-Based Exercise

Title of the Paper: Force-based and Displacement-based Back Analysis of Shear Strengths: Case of Tsaoling Landslide


Authors: Jian-hong Wu, Chun-Hwa Chen

Abstract: Tsaoling landslide is a notorious gigantic landslide triggered by the Chi-Chi Earthquake at Taiwan in 1999. The landslide provided a valuable case study to review the available methodologies in analyzing seismic induced landslides. In this study, the force-based back analysis method is applied to investigate the shear strengths of the Tsaoling landslide. Additionally, the calculation results are compared with the ones analyzed by displacement-based analysis. The analysis results confirm that the conventional force-based analysis method, which introduces the maximum horizontal seismic acceleration to the seismic analysis, overestimates the shear strengths. An appropriate factor to “discount” the acceleration or the defining slope safety factor is required in the force-based analysis to obtain accurate shear strengths. On the other hand, the displacement-based analysis, such as Newmark sliding model, provides an alternative way to pursue accurate shear strengths if a seismic-slope failure regression formula is also available. Additionally, the GPS data of ground displacement in a large earthquake are crucial for baseline correction to guarantee the correctness of the seismic data.

Keywords: Tsaoling Landslide, Chi-Chi earthquake, force-based, displacement-based, back analysis, shear strength.

Title of the Paper: Simulation for Reliability Prediction at Nuclear Complex System


Authors: Vasile Anghel

Abstract: The reliability level for a nuclear installation is given in generally by the technological process quality of operation and maintenance and in particular by a lot of technical, technological, economic and human factors. The maintenance role is fundamental for a nuclear installation. In the maintenance activity as in any dynamic area, appear continuously new elements which, sometimes, require new methods of approach, thus for considered installation that is a Nuclear Detritiation Plant (NDP) existent as part of National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies – ICSI, Rm.Valcea, for assurance the reliability level in operation is proposed for predictive maintenance the theory fuzzy, entropy theory and software LabVIEW. The final aim is to achieve the best practices for maintenance of Plant that process tritium.

Keywords: simulation, nuclear, reliability, maintenance, labVIEW

Title of the Paper: The Effects of Level-of-Interactivity and Gender on Learners’ Achievement and Attitude in an E-learning Course on Computer Graphics


Authors: Ming-Puu Chen

Abstract: The interactivity of e-learning may affect how learners responding to the learning content. This study examined the effects of level-of-interactivity and gender on learners’ achievement and attitudes under the condition of learning computer graphics on-line. One hundred and twenty one e-learners participated in this study and the effective sample size for the present study was ninety two. The effects of level-of-interactivity of e-learning courseware and gender on e-learners’ performance and attitudes were analyzed with learners’ prior-knowledge as a covariate to eliminate the effect caused by learners’ various degrees of background knowledge in computers and the Internet. The analysis on e-learning performance revealed a significant interactivity-gender interaction and indicated that (a) when receiving the high-interactivity e-learning, male and female learners performed equally, but when receiving the low-interactivity e-learning, the male learners outperformed the female learners; (b) from the gender aspect, the male learners performed equally under the high-interactivity e-learning and the low-interactivity e-learning, the female learners, however, performed better when receiving the high-interactivity e-learning. The analysis on participants’ attitudes revealed that (a) e-learners were satisfied with the design of e-learning and showed positive attitudes toward the learning guidance, prior-knowledge connection and practice, and (b) the high prior-knowledge learners approach e-learning more positive than the low prior-knowledge learners. It was concluded that the employment of interactivity should suit to the learning needs and individual difference of the learners in order to be effective.

Keywords: E-learning, Interactivity, Instructional design, Gender difference

Title of the Paper: Electro-Mechanical Control Systems Simulator (ECSS) With Multi-Language Support


Authors: Hasan Erdal, Vepa Halliyev

Abstract: This paper describes a simulator for the electro-mechanical control systems. Electro-mechanical control systems mainly consist of contactors, time relays, electrical motors, switches, buttons and etc. Single or three phase power system that has high voltage and current is generally used in this kind of systems. Engineering students or technicians who are studying electro-mechanical control systems are always faced with a high voltage and current. For this reason a simulator is developed to establish a safety study environment. In this environment, students easily implement their designs or assignments to get familiar with the real industrial applications in the laboratory.

Keywords: Electro-mechanical systems, Electrical motor control, Electrical control techniques simulator, Educational tool, Educational simulators.

Title of the Paper: Quality Enhancement in e-Learning Activities: Improvements by Mean of a Newly Engineered E-Learning Survey


Authors: S. Campanella, G. Dimauro, A. Ferrante, D. Impedovo, S. Impedovo, M. G. Lucchese, R. Modugno, G. Pirlo, L. Sarcinella, E. Stasolla, C. A. Trullo

Abstract: This paper deals with quality enhancement of e-learning activities through the satisfaction analysis expressed by university learners while using specific learning modules. The paper considers a newly engineered survey that evaluates not only quality in use but also quality in learning and learner involvement. The quality of the interface, the friendliness of the contents, the accessibility of concepts and the capability to provide new knowledge and skills are all considered. Through the paper, the various aspects concerning the different discriminating factors that characterize e-learning processes are investigated. The results, obtained during university teaching activities, show the usefulness of the survey in individualizing the more improvable factors by understanding effective learners’ needing.

Keywords: e-learning, learnability, quality evaluation, survey, usability.

Title of the Paper: Survey on Professors and Student’s Attitude about Virtual Learning in Iran Universities


Authors: Ali Akbar Shaikhi Fini

Abstract: Although virtual learning is seen as a desirable phenomenon and has been increasing rapidly among colleges in Iran but there are still few researches in this area. The goal of this study is to survey the attitude of professors and students in the Iranian colleges. For this purpose 95 and 161 questioners were provided and sent to professors and students, respectively. Results show that professors have positive attitude to virtual learning as an effective instructional tool. For students results indicate that factors such as independency, guidance of professors and multimedia instruction are the most effective variables in using virtual learning. For both professors and students it has been noticed that Self-sufficiency and Self-acceptance are the most important factors of using virtual learning.

Keywords: Virtual Learning, Attitude, Multimedia instruction

Issue 5, Volume 5, May 2008

Title of the Paper: Determining a Set of Measures for Quality Estimation of e-Resources Conformant to the Model/models Defined in Traditional Education


Authors: Ewa Stemposz, Alina Stasiecka

Abstract: In the paper, the problem of e-resource quality estimation is considered, from a didactic point of view. The first analysis was done on the basis of one of the teaching models known in traditional learning, the model of effective learning. As a result, the two subsets of measures sufficient for introductory e-resource quality estimation were determined: non-differentiating and differentiating ones. To generalize the results on any traditional teaching model, the successive steps were taken. A metamodel that is putting demands on e-resource structure to be conformant with traditional models was proposed and two new sufficient subsets of measures were defined and examined.

Keywords: e-learning, e-resource, quality of e-resources, learning model

Title of the Paper: Analytically Tuned Parameters of Simulated Annealing for the Timetabling Problem


Authors: Juan Frausto-Solis, Federico Alonso-Pecina

Abstract: University Timetabling problem (UTT) has a computational complexity that grows exponentially as the size of the problem augments; therefore random algorithms become the best alternative to solve it, and among them, Simulated Annealing (SA) is one of the most efficient. However, SA obtains very good solutions, only if its parameters are well tuned. SA requires an initial solution for solving UTT. Besides, analytical tuning strategies for SA in UTT have not been explored. In this paper a SA Markov tuning strategy and a heuristic to generate feasible solutions are proposed. This strategy improves SA performance for UTT as is shown with experimental instances taken from PATAT benchmark.

Keywords: Timetabling, Simulated Annealing, Optimization

Title of the Paper: Identifying the Break-Even Point in Distance Courses


Authors: Martina Kadavova

Abstract: Distance education has become a very up-to-date item. The article describes the categorization of distance education costs and their integration into cost and revenue functions. The aim of the article is to define the break-even point – i.e. the economic effectiveness of a course, and thus specify the number of students for the minimal effectiveness of the course using various functions for calculating expenses in relation to their distance rate and stair-step functions.

Keywords: Virtual university – costs - efficiency – students – profit – benefit – break-even point

Title of the Paper: Calculus b-learning with Java Tools


Authors: Carmen Escribano Iglesias, Antonio Giraldo Carbajo, Maria Asuncion Sastre Rosa

Abstract: Nowadays, information society we live in needs wider educational spaces, and internet provides a powerful tool to introduce new educational technologies and to use online applications. Indeed, TICs (technologies for informatics and communication) provide a very positive aid to the learning tasks. Interactive tutorials allow access to a big amount of information in a multi-sequential way, by using specifically designed Java applets suitable for the learning of a specific knowledge. Due to these facts, the use of these tools has many advantages for learning mathematics. In this sense, we present here an interactive tool for differential calculus within a theoretical environment. Moreover, we show how to make a good use of this type of tools, integrating them with traditional teaching methodologies, as well as non-traditional ones, arising in the convergence towards the European Higher Education Area.

Keywords: Interactive Tutorials, Java Applets, World Wide Web, Calculus, Derivative

Title of the Paper: Development of an Interactive Learning Environment for Introductory Physics in Engineering


Authors: L. Seidel, R. M. Benito, M. E. Camara, J. C. Losada, F. J. Arranz

Abstract: We present the development of the project “Fisica Interactiva” (Interactive Physics) that addresses the special needs of students that enter at a Polytechnic University with a deficient background in Physics. The project tries to make an interactive tool available to the students through a web site. We choose Moodle as the Course Management System due to its cooperative philosophy and its open-source and free development model. The emphasis is put on fundamental concepts of first year Physics: vector character of magnitudes, point mechanics, electric and magnetic fields. Interactive materials (developed as Flash animations) are conceived to reinforce concepts through critical thinking and active enrolment. We discuss our experience developing these materials, with the pros and cons of the tools chosen, and preliminary results of the use of the site with students at our University.

Keywords: e-learning, b-learning, Teaching Physics, Moodle CMS, Flash animations

Title of the Paper: Online Interactive Lessons on the Principle of the Direct Torque Control of the Induction Machine


Authors: Sergiu Ivanov, Damien Grenier, Francis Labrique, Maria-Jose Resende, Benoit Robyns

Abstract: The modern multimedia techniques are an important lever for teaching the Electrical Engineering. The development of such tools places a large demand on human and financial resources. In consequence, an advantageous approach in order to obtain impressive results is to join the effort of several teachers or institutions. The theme of this paper is to present an experience in collaborative design of interactive tools through the example of a lesson designed and realised for teaching the Principle of Direct Torque Control (DTC) of the Induction Machine. The purpose of this lesson is to highlight the link between both main branches of the Electrical Engineering: Power Electronics and Electrical Machines.

Keywords: on-line lessons, interactive, electric machines, direct torque control

Title of the Paper: “MIB-16” FPGA Based Design and Implementation of a 16-Bit Microprocessor for Educational Use


Authors: Esma Alaer, Ali Tangel, Mehmet Yakut

Abstract: This paper presents a design and FPGA implementation of a 16-bit microprocessor core, so called “MIB-16” using VHDL. The microprocessor can directly access to the memory which consists of 16-bit words, addressed by a 16-bit word-address. Instructions are all multiples of 16-bit words, and are stored in this memory. There are 16 general purpose registers (R0–R15), a program counter (PC) and a condition code register (CC). The microprocessor can execute 16 instructions such as add, subtract, multiply, divide, load and store. The complete design is realized and verified on Xilinx Spartan-3 Evaluation Board. “MIB-16” is suitable especially for educational purposes and for FPGA based industrial digital system-on-chip ASIC solutions as being an easy to use basic microprocessor core. Whereas, professional VHDL or Verilog based microprocessor core libraries offered by the FPGA vendors are expensive, more complex to be modified, and consume too many resources in an FPGA chip.

Keywords: Microprocessors, FPGA, VHDL, Digital System Design

Title of the Paper: A Preliminary Study on Prediction Models for English Web-based Remedial Education: Application of Data Mining Theory


Authors: Rong Zhang, Yue Zhou, Fukuya Ishino

Abstract: Remedial course is a product of a well-developed higher education system. As universities/colleges become more available to high school graduates, competitiveness in the entrance exam is lessened and demand for students’ basic scholastic abilities diminishes in admission. This social phenomenon causes two problems for the implementation of higher education: (1) Students can’t comprehend lectures due to their lack of basic academic knowledge; (2) The unbalanced distribution of students’ scholastic achievements is believed to be the most significant factor weakening teaching effectiveness. Many universities/colleges, especially those in developed countries and areas, have to integrate remedial courses into their first-year education in order to help the students compensate for what they should have mastered in the previous learning. This study reports an English remedial course carried out for all freshmen in Nishinippon Institute of Technology, Japan, and focuses on the regression analysis for determinants of students’ score changes. Two prediction models are postulated, so that the issue is being examined from different perspectives. In the first model, students’ total engagement in learning, intercultural communication competences and computer operation skills are proved to be responsible for their score changes. In the second model, students’ positive attitudes towards remedial course and web-based learning turn out to be a crucial factor to promote their performances.

Keywords: Remedial courses, Multiple regression analysis, Prediction model, English education, Web-based learning

Title of the Paper: Clustering and Achievement of Engineering Students based on their Attitudes, Orientations, Motivations and Intentions


Authors: Huikkola Miika, Silius Kirsi, Pohjolainen Seppo

Abstract: Insufficient skills in basic mathematics cause problems for those majoring in engineering at university level. Learning entails the learner’s own initiative in the achievement of learning objectives. Factors with bearing on what students do include attitudes: orientations, intentions and motivations. The present study ascertains how new undergraduates of Tampere University of Technology (TUT) differ in their attitudes to the study of mathematics. On the basis of their attitudes students are classified into different learner groups. The learner groups that were found were Surface Oriented Learners, Peer Learners, Students Needing Support, Independent Learners and Skilful Students. In this paper we present a Basic Skills Test, a web-application which measures high school basic skills in mathematics and Remedial Instruction arrangement which is also a web-application intended to fill in gaps in students’ basic skills in mathematics. The relation between the basic skills and further study achievement at university is investigated. The effect of learner groups on study achievement is also scrutinized. Results tell that basic skills predict quite well study achievement and that learner groups have influence on students’ achievement. In this paper we also present some concrete teaching development based on the research carried out at Tampere University of Technology.

Keywords: attitudes, orientations, motivation, intention, clustering, engineering, mathematics, remedial study, achievement, higher education

Issue 6, Volume 5, June 2008

Title of the Paper: Mobile Learning Integrating Elementary Education─ Taiwan Elementary as an Example


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Chien-Chin E., Jia-Rong Wen, Hung-Jen Yang, Chi-Jen Lee, Hua-Lin Tsai

Abstract: Over the last few years, Dealing with digital learning and information explosion, Students enhance their global vision via collaborative online d-learning Experience. Therefore, through digital multimedia students’ interacting with other nations on the web is a very important skill in this digital era. The study of this project intends to understand course material while interacting through online web learning. It stimulates students’ cultural experience and expands learning fields. Many outstanding examples of d-learning were produced, Student Support: d-learning is not the same as distance learning, collaborative online d-learning courses are not usually whole programs, but teaching units available on the Internet. They replace conventional university lectures, many of which are held in severely overcrowded auditoriums. At this stage, it should be emphasized that collaborative online d-Learning is not aiming to transfer entire courses of study to the Internet.

Title of the Paper: The Application of M-Learning & Knowledge Management in the Grade 1-9 Curriculum


Authors: Wen-Jiuh Chiang, Rong-Jyue Fang, Zhen-Gang Chen, Hua-Lin Tsai, Chiao-Pin Lin, Chien-Chin E.

Abstract: The Study of this research is to realize the the study of applying m-learning and knowledge management in the Grade 1-9 curriculum, and viewpoints of the related questions of the Grade 1-9 curriculum, and to offer the practical suggestions. There are “questionnaire” and “interview” involved in this study. The public elementary school teachers in Kaohsiung city are the main objects in this research. After arranging these data, we obtain some suggestions from the findings of this study. Actually, the main conclusions of the study are as follows: 1. Most of the elementary school teachers tend to stand for the state enforcement of the Grade1-9 curriculum. 2. There is a significantly different level among these items (sexuality, age and position in school) in the understanding of the theory of the Grade1-9 curriculum of the elementary school teachers. 3. There is a significantly different level at the item (total classes in school) in the understanding of the concept of the Grade1-9 curriculum of the elementary school teachers. 4. There is a significantly different level among these items (sexuality, highest diploma and total classes in school) in the understanding of the curriculum innovation of the Grade1-9 curriculum of the elementary school teachers. 5. There is a significantly different level at the item (different background) in the thoughts of the elementary school teachers on forming a complete set and the attitude towards reform. 6. There is a different level at the item (different background) in the current executive situation of the Grade1-9 curriculum of the elementary school teachers. Finally, according to the conclusions of the study, we hope to offer some suggestions for teacher-training institutions, educational authority, and administrators of elementary school, elementary school teachers and the future research.

Keywords: elementary school teacher, Grade1-9 curriculum, curriculum innovation.

Title of the Paper: The Contribution of Science & Technology Integration in Science and Technology Curriculums


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Hung-Jen Yang, Hua- Lin Tsai, Chi-Jen Lee, Pofen Wang, Shu-Hui Hsiun

Abstract: It is very important that understand the mobile technology content for bring up the new century students’ technology equipment, and it is the headstone of technology development. The mobile technology include handle mobile device, digital transmission modes, mobile information software and so on. The mobile technology realized the perpetual contact, the network tools of teenagers’ social intercourse. In the science and technology curriculum, the students had to learn something, such as: what is mobile technology? How did the things execute? What kinds of value and belief effect influenced the mobile technology? What idea foster the mobile technology? How did we put idea into practice? What influence between mobile technology and sociality? The more important is to promote the students’ adaptation to the new environment via technology instruction. The mobile technology content integrated into instruction could apply instructional strategies of dissemination, facilitation, inside collaboration, outside collaboration, apprenticeship, generative development an so on. Therefore, there are perplexities and countermeasures in the paper by theory exploration and experience of teaching. The result will provide administrations and teachinf to refer.

Keywords: Digital Learning Technology, the Science and Technology curriculum, Technology integrate into instruction

Title of the Paper: How the Online Learning Affects for Principals’ Management


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Chung-Ping Lee, Chien-Chung Lin, Yao-Ming Chu, Hua-Lin Tsai

Abstract: In the past decade, the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) have been considered important in the schools as part of the learning environment. The value of online learning has become widely recognized with development of information technology so as to accept gradually by instruction in the schools. Through the network, everyone can learn anytime and anywhere. This kind of learning convenience completely changes the traditional teaching model. But it is seldom understood about the principals' behavioral intentions to use WWW. The purpose of this study was to develop a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) for the principals in elementary schools and junior high schools. The Technology Acceptance Model proposes that ease of use and usefulness predict applications usage and behavior. This study was framed by six subscales: perceived ease of use, perceived useful planning, perceived useful learning, perceived useful contents, attitudes toward using online learning, and behavioral intentions to manage via online learning. This study would also explore the relationship between online learning and the principals' leadership. At the same time, the study introduced perceived useful planning, perceived useful learning, and perceived useful contents as new factors that reflected the principals' intrinsic belief in online learning acceptance.

Keywords: Technology Acceptance Model, TAM, Pincipals’ management in the schools.

Title of the Paper: The Model of KM Learning Activities Integrating into Business Management Curriculum Instruction


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Chien-Chung Lin, Yu-Fei Chang, Hua-Lin Tsai, Yung-Sheng Chang

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to discuss the importance of knowledge management for enterprises and individuals and to gain abilities of knowledge management through a finance investing management activity in college business course learning. The learning activity includes designing a personal fund management chart and discussing how to develop a student’s ability of knowledge management. After participating the activity, students can learn how to express and share their opinions in fund investment. The anticipated benefit of this study for students is to learn the abilities of knowledge obtaining, transformation, application, innovation, protection and so on.

Keywords: Knowledge Management(KM), Business Knowledge Management, Personal Knowledge Management(PKM), Fund Management

Title of the Paper: Web-based Self-directed Learning Environment and Online Learning Apply on Education


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Yung-Sheng Chang, Chien-Chung Lin, Hua-Lin Tsai, Chi-Jen Lee, Pofen Wang, Dai-Hua Li

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop the theoretical framework on the perception of web-based self-directed learning environment. The research objectives are to identify the structure categories, dimensions, and aspects for the perception of the environment. An extensive literature review was conducted as the research method. The results include 3 system categories, 5 dimensions, and 13 aspects in the framework. The 3 system categories are system environment, interactive relationship, and personal development. The 5 dimensions are internet resources, web-based functions, peer interaction, learning content type, and self-directed learning. The study also presents the 13 aspects of the structure in the system model. The findings and recommendations can be provided for further related studies and teaching references.

Keywords: Environmental perceptionself-directed learningweb-based learning

Title of the Paper: Project-Based Learning Model & Self-learning Ability by Network


Authors: Rong-Jyue Fang, Wen-Jiuh Chiang, Tsai Lih-Jiuan, Lan-Hua Wang, Hua- Lin Tsai, Zhen-Gang Chen

Abstract: The team teachers give the learners a challenge of inquiring project-based learning. In the problem-solving process, learners have to know clearly what the problem they face and which misson they have to conquire. Besides approaching these steps, learners also browse many websites to gather information from variety of sources and synthesis, and analysis, and derive knowledge from it.Teachers have the responsibility to offer another unheard education in traditional classrooms. Learners who take a part in project-based leaning have more positive attitude, comfort and enjoyment when working numerous hours with peers.

Keywords: project-based learning, learning attitude, problem-solving

Title of the Paper: A Project Based Methodology to Teach a Course on Advanced Digital Systems Design


Authors: Antonio J. Araujo, Jose C. Alves

Abstract: This paper presents a project based teaching experience in a course on advanced digital systems design, with emphasis on design methodologies and laboratory assignments. The use of FPGA devices as the most suitable implementation technology for teaching digital design is described. The course structure, oriented to the development of real working digital systems, challenges the students and increases their motivation. This improves the learning process and the productivity of classes. The laboratory works are deployed on a FPGA based platform that implements a real-time video processing chain, from a low cost digital camera to a standard desktop monitor. Examples of proposed laboratory projects in a recent course edition are presented and their evaluation results are analysed.

Keywords: Digital systems design, FPGA, design methodologies, teaching digital systems

Title of the Paper: The Study of Using e-Learning Platform to Analyst Learning Process Curriculum in Higher Education


Authors: Tingsheng Weng

Abstract: The e-Learning has the main characteristics of learning anywhere and anytime. It can construct an independent and individualized learning environment and break through the restrictions of the conventional learning. Geographic information e-Learning Website has been built for higher education with open source Course Management System. Based on the standard of SCORM, courses have been designed with collaborative learning, Critical Thinking Instruction and Activity theories and multimedia applications through built-in modules of Course Management System. By using the SCORM-compliant environment in Course Management System, the SCORM-compliant materials can operate smoothly. Learning packages manufactured for restrictive specifications can also input to implement and use with other SCORM compliant environment. It is a costeffective and quickly teaching pattern for sharing and reusing educational resource and proceeding e-Learning with integrating SCORM standard and open source software. The purpose of study is constructing Geographic information e-Learning Website to assist geographic information education and promote students’ learning achievement with interactive environment and attractive multimedia learning materials. In this research, our target sample is college students are National Chiayi University in Taiwan.

Keywords: e-Learning, SCORM, Moodle, Course Management System, Geographic information Education, blended, Study course

Issue 7, Volume 5, July 2008

Title of the Paper: coPAS and monoPAS: APIs to Communicate C++ and C# with Octave for the implementation of Signal Processing Applications


Authors: Amaia Mendez, Begona Garcia, Ibon Ruiz, Iker Alonso

Abstract: This is an approach to provide signal processing learners two gateways between the programming languages C++ or C# and Octave mathematical software. They have been named coPAS and monoPAS, and have been developed in free software by the PAS research group at the University of Deusto (Spain). These gateways are developed with the shape of API, and have been made available to students doing degrees in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, so as to assist them in their lab training in signal processing, as well as for the drafting of their final projects. . They are very useful to research developments as well, not to rewrite existing code. The aim is to enable students to rapidly develop applications of signal treatment by using experience and simplicity in the design of graphic interfaces in the above-mentioned programming languages, which are widely used in engineering. Finally, it is important to stress the free-software nature of the developed gateways: as no license is necessary, student access to this program of scientific calculus is easier. The interest of this APIs increases according to the student’s satisfaction. The PAS group has made several polls obtaining an average of 8.3, this has promoted the idea of new bridges. Exactly, the next step is the combination of Octave with other languages such as Python or with other platforms such Linux. The compatibility in a higher level is the next research. Hence, this research Group is actually working into other approaches, focused on biomedical applications.

Keywords: Engineering Education, API, C++, C#, Gateway, Octave.

Title of the Paper: Research Methodology for the National Knowledge Network INPRO- ROMANIA


Authors: Paul Dan Brindasu, Livia Dana Beju, Sorin Borza

Abstract: The paper presents the systemic structure of the Romanian knowledge network in the area of integrated engineering of products and processes – INPRO. The systemic structure of the network is presented using IDEF0 functional modelling language. Such a structure underlines the possibilities of continuous improvement of the network. Teamcenter software and a complex database are the main elements of network functioning. A specific research methodology for projects carried out in the network system is presented. A research example (done in network frame) from cutting tool area shows the possibilities and advantages of the methodology. The research activity in the network frame can be done by students, PhD students and/or specialists.

Keywords: knowledge, network, research, design, project, integrated engineering

Title of the Paper: Sustainability Concepts in Environmental and Engineering Education


Authors: Cornelia Aida Bulucea, Doru Adrian Nicola, Gheorghe Manolea, Constantin Brandusa, Daniel Cristian Cismaru, Andreea Brandusa

Abstract: The real world processes involving energy and matter need to be linked not only to the engineering design and operation but also to the environment isuues. Energy systems involving coversion chain processes are highly irreversible and, consequently, they could have low exergy efficiencies. The paper emphasizes a number of sustainability-based concepts, such achieved energy, exergy and embodied energy, related as tools in order to describe, analyse and optimize energy conversion in electric transportation systems. This study aimed at examining an underground railway train as a system where different energy forms occur, so that the successive energy conversion chain is emphasized and the energy and exergy efficiencies, respectively, are compared. There are presented numerical simulations of traction induction motors regimes and experimental data related to electric trains operation. In this application, the exergy analysis can improve and optimize the electric transportation system design and operation, but also emphasizes the strong link between environmental and engineering education.

Keywords: Engineering education, Electric transportation, Energy, Environment, Exergy, Induction motor

Title of the Paper: E-Portfolio for Professional Learning Community


Authors: Andreja Istenic Starcic

Abstract: The e-portfolio in education and professional development assists the work that a learner has designed, documented and presented individually or in collaboration. Reflection process in the portfolio-assisted learning fosters the development of generic and transferable knowledge and skills that a learner needs in knowledge economy. This article focuses on professional learning, using the e-portfolio in a web-based learning community. The open source e-portfolio system is presented, and e-portfolio functionalities in continuous professional development: functions, influencing factors and modes of use are outlined. Sociocultural constructivism provides the theoretical framework when analysing e-portfolio support system for professional development within the web-based professional learning community. Web-based communities foster the interplay of intentional and non-intentional learning, embedded in day-to-day workplace practices. The study of adopting e-portfolio as a tool in professional learning with special emphasis on its efficiency in collaborative learning and sustaining participation in a professional learning community is presented.

Keywords: E-portfolio, Learning management system, Open source, Constructivism, Professional development, Community of practice, Learning community

Title of the Paper: Introducing Game-Based Virtual Learning Environment: Managing Educational Change in Higher Education


Authors: Andreja Istenic Starcic

Abstract: Game-based virtual learning environments are fostering new teaching and learning approaches, ensuring the worldwide collaboration of students and teachers. The paper presents a model of simulation-game-based virtual learning environment in four countries, in Finland, Slovenia, Germany and Estonia. Paper presents the classroom management model, outlining teaching and learning methods and assessment for virtual learning environments, where students may collaborate internationally, benefiting from guidance of international teacher teams. Simulation-game-based learning environment aims at assisting students in acquiring competences which will enable them to autonomously involve in their professional fields. Intended competences to be achieved are competences of working in the national, European and global tourism business environments. Quality assurance instruments were developed upon formative and summative evaluation. Investigated are new organisational solutions, which meet educational changes and are necessary so as to ensure international collaboration of students and teachers.

Keywords: Simulation game-based virtual learning environment, Instructional design, Computer supported collaborative learning, Higher education, Partnership, Business simulation

Issue 8, Volume 5, August 2008

Title of the Paper: Experimental Training on Advanced Technologies


Authors: B. Ando’, A. Ascia, S. Baglio, N. Pitrone

Abstract: In the last years the authors have devoted great attention to the different aspects of the educational activity, with particular emphasis to theoretical and experimental training of the undergraduate students on measurement methods, real instruments (features and working principle), virtual instruments and related environment, useful tools (advanced software and hardware), distance learning. Therefore a number of tools have been realized in order to gradually propose to the students meaningful aspects of advanced technologies. In the paper an overview of selected tools is presented, in particular the tool presented in the last section takes into account the peculiarities of the unknown signal and also the effect of the noise signal superimposed to the signal to be measured.

Keywords: Undergraduates, experimental training, digital frequency meter, voltage-time converters, digit error, noise effect, virtual instruments, learning LabVIEW, advanced technologies, e-learning.


Title of the Paper: E-learning at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete: An Evaluation Based on the Student Experience


Authors: Charalambos C. Katsidis, Panagiotes S. Anastasiades, Vasilios G. Zacharopoulos

Abstract: The student experience and the criteria used by the students in evaluating the platform of asynchronous tele-education at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete are in the focus of this study. A measuring tool combining both quantitative and qualitative techniques is presented. An important dimension in the evaluation of a virtual learning environment is the assessment of e-learner satisfaction. Critical elements in the assessment procedure are the learner interface, the course content, the access and interaction with the learning community, the personalization of learning and the degree the teachers establish and promote new learning styles via the platform. Based on these elements, questionnaires were developed assessing quantitatively e-learner satisfaction allowing in addition student comments necessary to extract qualitative data regarding the e-learning experience. Qualitative data were also collected by a limited number of unstructured interviews in order to give a deeper insight in the causes of learner satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The data manipulation is not restricted to descriptive statistics of quantitative data, the results are checked for their validity and reliability by comparison with qualitative data and by the use of statistical reliability estimators.

Keywords: Evaluation, Electronic Learning, e-Learner Satisfaction, Asynchronous Teaching

Title of the Paper: A Framework for Higher Education


Authors: Keith Maycock, John Keating

Abstract: It is well documented that the traditional protocol for higher education doesn’t suit each learner, the rhetorical method of lecturing while presupposing certain domain knowledge and experience is a very inefficient method of imparting knowledge. An ideal solution is to have a one-to-one system, where an instructor generates mathemagenic content for each learner. Obviously this is not an ideal situation considering the high increase of learners into higher education. One solution is for higher education to partially traverse into an online learning environment with an element of suitable adaptive content. Adaptive learning systems attempt to adapt learning content to suit the needs of the learners using the system. Most adaptive techniques however are constrained by the pedagogical preference of the author of the system and are always constrained to the system they were developed for and the domain content. This paper describes a personal profile that can be used to automatically generate instructional content to suit the pedagogical preference and cognitive ability of a learner in a tractable amount of time. The paper discusses the manifestation of measurable cognitive traits in an online learning environment and identifies cognitive resources that can be used to stimulate these manifestations. Additionally this paper describes a Content Analyser that is used to automatically generate Metadata to encapsulate cognitive resources within instructional content. The content is repackaged as independent Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) as described by the Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Finally the paper concludes with an example learning component that utilizes the CA for building course content to an expected predetermined minimum learning experience suited to each learner’s cognitive ability and pedagogical preference delivered through Moodle.

Keywords: SCORM, Content Adaptation, Selection Model, Content Analyser, Moodle, Digital Repositories.

Title of the Paper: Engineering Education Development Modelling in STELLA


Authors: Egils Ginters

Abstract:  The lack of specialists of engineering and precise sciences already for quite a long time causes problems to the development of economy in some countries. The lack of engineers hinders the introduction of science capacious technologies and the production with high added value. The EngiMod model described in the article serves the analysis of education system using system dynamics and simulation in STELLA environment. Special attention is devoted to influencing factors that affect the choice to study engineering sciences. STELLA allows easily manipulating with the weight of the significant factors and interactively acquiring the necessary predictions. According to the primary conditions and statistical data, it is possible to model and predict the development of the situation in any time period. EngiMod multilevel model can be adapted to the needs of other sectors.

Keywords: Engineering Education, Simulation, System Dynamics, STELLA 

Title of the Paper: Learning Objects Management: Theory and Practice


Authors: Erla Morales, Francisco Garcia, Angela Barron

Abstract: Although LO management is an interesting subject to study due to the current interoperability potential, it is not promoted very much because a number of issues remain to be resolved. LOs need to be designed to achieve educational goals, and the metadata schema must have the kind of information to make them reusable in other contexts. This paper presents a pilot project in the design, implementation and evaluation of learning objects in the field of university education, with a specific focus on the development of a metadata Typology and quality evaluate tool, concluding with a summary and analysis of the end results.

Keywords: Learning Objects, Management, Quality, E-learning, Metadata, Evaluation

Title of the Paper: Active Learning in the Education of Human Computer Interaction


Authors: Kristina Moroz-Lapin

Abstract: Software engineering students are trained to perform structured analysis and development. These activities have rigid structure therefore usually teaching methods expect them to master development life cycles and apply them in assignments. In engineering studies active methods are often employed in team projects where students acquire important professional development skills and learn to act in a project group. The multidisciplinary engineering, science and social underpinnings of human computer interaction challenge the educators because social aspects are new for mostly technical-oriented software engineering students. In our opinion, these aspects are better assimilated by technically-oriented engineering students when teaching social aspects the methods established in social science education are employed. In this paper we explore these methods that we employ in traditional lecture-based teaching format and big student classes. The aim is to incorporate the active learning that enhance creativity and heighten student appreciation of non technical aspects of human computer interaction.

Keywords: HCI education, teaching methods, active learning, creativity.

Title of the Paper: Learning Management Systems in Vocational Schools


Authors: Rosa Reis, Teresa Gomes, Bruno Reis

Abstract: As instruction and learning gain new dimensions in today’s world due to the proliferation of
information and communication technologies (ICTs) - multimedia, the Internet or the Web, as a medium to enhance instruction or as a replacement for other media-, education becomes independent of time and space. Consequentially, learners and instructors can utilize new modes of learning and communication due to the proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs). One of these new modes of learning and communication to support a full range of teaching and learning activities conducted by educational institutions is Moodle which facilitates online content creation and collaboration and entails various social and communication tools that support teacher-student, student-student, and teacher-teacher interactions. In the present paper, our main purpose is to demonstrate the way of using the Moodle in the education process at the Gaia Vocational School (GVS). The platform was characterized and promoted among the School members of GVS. The impact of this new platform (e-Courses) on the learning institution activities was evaluated through an online questionnaire, which showed high satisfaction levels with e-Courses.

Keywords: CSCL, LMS, LCMS, VLE, Open Source, Moodle, Vocational School


Title of the Paper: Application of Rasch-based ESPEGS Model in Measuring Generic Skills of Engineering Students: A New Paradigm


Authors: Rozeha A Rashid, Razimah Abdullah, Hamzah Ahmad Ghulman, Mohd Saidfudin Masodi

Abstract: The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (FKE) teaching and learning processes was certified to ISO 9001:2000 and now seeks the Engineering Accreditation Council of Malaysia (EAC) approval. One of FKE’s top management commitment is to ensure the programme accreditation requirements are met. EAC adopts American Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology 2000 (ABET) principles which promote outcome based education (OBE) learning process. OBE calls for the evaluation of the course learning outcomes (CLO) as specified in each Course Outline. Performance measurement has been largely dependent on students’ performance in carrying out tasks such as tests, quizzes or submission of assignments. Evaluation on the performance outputs; categorised as technical knowledge and generic skills, gives an indication on the achievement of the subject’s expected CLO. This paper describes a computational model which can be used to measure a subject CLO in an undergraduate electrical engineering program. An overview of the measurement model and its key concepts are presented. ESPEGS Model is the acronym for Engineering Student Performance Evaluation on Generic Skills. This model of measurement is developed based on students’ marks entries and together with Rasch Measurement Model, it can be used to improve the students’ assessment method on the CLO of each subject. Results obtained were assessed against the CLO maps for consistency and used as a guide for future improvement of the teaching method. The study shows that this model of measurement, which adopts Rasch Model based on Logistic Regression Model, can classify students learning ability more accurately with only very few randomly selected students and dimensions as compared to the traditional CGPA method.

Keywords: Learning Outcomes, performance measurement, Quality, engineering education, Rasch Model

Title of the Paper: Situated Learning Teaching Courses in the University Environment: a Practical Experience


Authors: S. Campanella, G. Dimauro, A. Ferrante, D. Impedovo, S. Impedovo, R. Modugno, G. Pirlo, L. Sarcinella, E. Stasolla, C. A. Trullo

Abstract: The capability of learning objects of transferring knowledge and skills depends on the way in which they are thought, organized, engineered and realized. The instructional design is the principal factor that influences the quality of learning objects. The success in use of learning modules depends on the capability in involving learners in e-learning; the utility of electronic didactic materials depends on the capability to provide effective learning environments; learning utility depends on the possibility of applying theories and explanations to the real problems of everyday life. This paper, by considering constructivism a useful model to provide learning by doing, presents the results of a practical experience to develop new learning solutions to make available better e-learning teaching courses to university students. The realized prototype considers in a whole a coaching phase, an exemplification studying phase, a problem solving phase, and a feedback based phase. The analysis of the learners’ satisfaction and of the time spent in using the learning object, show that situated learning teaching modules represent an enhancement with respect to previous implementations and a further step toward the ICT knowledge based society.

Keywords: Situated Learning, E-learning, Academic Education, Knowledge Based Society, ICT.

Issue 9, Volume 5, September 2008

Title of the Paper:  Introducing Embedded System Concept through a Multi Thematic Funny Hexapod Robot Design Project


Authors:  Ph. Dondon, N. Daddato, G. Leroyer

Abstract: In this paper, we first describe the pedagogical reform process in our school. Then, we point out the major human difficulties in reforming. The complexity of the relation between the new student generation and the teachers is briefly described. And some major changes in student’s behavior are given as example. The consequences on the teaching strategy are then indicated. At least, we show that theses evolutions require adaptation, efforts and changes in the way of teaching. And we finally present here, in our field of competence, a concrete and pedagogical robot design project (with technical details) we did, as an answer to the reform necessity.

Key words: Educational reform, “teaching efficiency ”, Embedded system, Multi thematic robot project, Student’s motivation.

Title of the Paper:  Harmonization of Engineering Education in Europe as a Prerequisite for Student Mobility: a Case Study Based on Curricula Modularity


Authors: Alla Anohina, Janis Grundspenkis

Abstract: - The paper presents the case study of the curriculum “Computer Systems” which is taught at the master level in the Institute of Applied Computer Systems of Riga Technical University. The study is carried out with the goal to evaluate opportunities for the short-time mobility of students. The main problems related to the provision of student mobility are discussed in brief. Positive impact of curricula modularity on mobility is pointed out. The curriculum “Computer Systems” is analyzed using a concept of two-dimensional modularity. Results of the comparison of the curriculum “Computer Systems” with similar curricula of other countries of the European Union at levels of courses, their groups and modules are presented.

Key-Words: - higher engineering education, curricula modularity, short-term mobility of students.

Title of the Paper:  Synthesis of Learning by Developing and Virtual Learning Case: Laurea’s Network Design Specialization Studies


Authors:  Rauno Pirinen, Jyri Rajamaki

Abstract: - Specialization studies are an efficient and flexible way of completing and updating professional knowledge, since the multi way of learning also suits the timetables of those who work and study simultaneously. In this design-science research, a new innovation in adult education, ‘Network Design Specialization Studies’ is executed and evaluated. The theoretical background consists of Learning by Developing (LbD), expansive virtual learning and virtual empowerment, and adult learning. Laurea University of Applied Sciences’ strategy is to integrate its three statutory tasks of education, research and development, and regional development by utilizing its LbD model. Laurea's Network Design Specialization Studies splice virtual learning and LbD. Virtual learning includes virtual lessons, exercises and examinations, but its main innovative part is a virtual laboratory with a virtual laboratory engineer. Laurea's new virtual learning environment plays a remarkable role of developing the competences of each individual learner, while the LbD concept steers the entire specialization studies. This study shows that LbD and virtual learning support each other. Utilizing Web 2.0 technologies in the future, Laurea’s innovative learning environment could be a part of global expert communities. This may lead to the materialization of the virtual empowerment, influencing the development of the future society during the next decade.

Key-Words: e-Learning, Higher Education, Learning by Developing, Virtual Empowerment, Virtual

Laboratory, Virtual Learning.

Title of the Paper: Collaborative Learning Environment to Improve Novice Programmer with Convincing Opinions


Authors:  Dinh Thi Dong Phuong, Hiromitsu Shimakawa

Abstract: At the present, many universities do not have enough teaching staffs for programming training. The teacher cannot give suggestions in a timely fashion to all of the students who need guidance for their programming problems. The training condition reduces motivation to learn programming of the students. We propose a model to promote collaborative learning among the students. In the model, the students are combined into small groups to practice programming. Although every group member has to do programming independently, they are encouraged to share programming problems with other group members to find out solution. The voting mechanism is applied to each group. If a group member gives an opinion which is evaluated convincing one, the member is rewarded by others with COOP points. For effective collaboration of students in each group, we combine students based on two features of each student. One is programming ability, which are scores of the source codes. The other is contribution to group, which are COOP points accumulated during the collaborative learning. Using the model, we developed a collaborative learning environment, Col-E. The Col-E has been applied to actual classes in Ritsumeikan university, Japan. The experiment results show that Col-E has good possibilities to improve any kinds of students.

Key–Words: Collaborative learning, convincing opinion, student combination, chat-based system, client-server architecture, Col-E

Title of the Paper: Similarity-Based Experts Weighting of CBR-Based Multi-experts System in Partner Selection


Authors:  Hui Li, Jie Sun

Abstract: With the development of supply chain collaboration in agile manufacturing (AM), outsourcing has become a focus, in which partner selection is an important problem. Outsourcing decision is often related with expertise. The decision of partner selection needs to take opinions of multi-experts from various departments of enterprise into consideration. Expert system (ES) is one of the main branches that focus on expertise, and casebased reasoning (CBR) is a methodology for problem solving in complex environments. In this research, a new approach of similarity-based experts weighting in CBR-based multi-experts system (MES) was proposed to integrate expertise in outsourcing of AM. Foundational issues of expert weighting in CBR-based MES, including the R6 model, assumption of delaminating structure of case and similarity-based experts weighting, were firstly discussed. Based on the R6 model and assumptions, experts weighting mechanism in CBR-based MES was then built up, including weighting founded on consensus-based similarity and that founded on casebased similarity. Finally, the application of multi-experts weighting approach in supplier selection carried out.

Key-Words: - Outsourcing; Experts weighting; Case-based reasoning; Multi-experts System; Partner selection

Issue 10, Volume 5, October 2008

Title of the Paper:  Collaborative Research and Elearning Platform for a Distributed Microelectronics Project


Authors: Eleonora Bilotta, Pietro Pantano, Jose Sepulveda, Rocco Servidio

Abstract: The CoMSON project is a distributed European research project that combines research efforts from both academia and industry. This project is distributed among eight institutions across Europe. The aim of this project is to implement an experimental simulation platform (in software code) for devices in micro and nano-electronics with an integrated eLearning system. This project has two main goals. First, to train graduate students and post-docs in mathematical modeling, through the creation of this simulation platform, and second the delivery of this simulation platform to be used as a training tool for new recruits. In this paper we describe the information system architecture created to provide the partners with a strong collaborative and development research environment. This architecture provides a framework with three main goals: information sharing, collaboration in research and, training. This scheme easily allows users to access, update and interact with information and with other researchers within all the stages of the project.

Key words: Microelectronics, Nano-electronics, eLearning system, Constructivism, Information system architecture, Higher education

Title of the Paper:  A Neural Network Solution to Design Dual Stator Winding Insulation Level Detector for Three Phase Induction Motors


Authors: H. Selcuk Nogay

Abstract: This paper implements an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model able to predict the insulation level in a dual-stator winding squirrel-cage three-phase induction motor fed by an inverter. A sinusoidal pulse-width modulation (SPWM) inverter feeding three-phase induction motors were tested up to over load. The results show that the artificial neural network model produces reliable estimates of Insulation level for dual stator winding.

Key words: Artificial neural network (ANN); Three-phase induction motor; Insulation level, Dual Stator winding

Title of the Paper:  Construction and Use Examples of Private Electronic Notary Service in Educational Institutions


Authors: Masanori Nakakuni, Eisuke Ito, Yoshiaki Kasahara, Sozo Inoue, Hiroshi Dozono

Abstract: People have many documents. For example, a variety of documents are prepared and used in public institutions. As the internet becomes widely available in recent years, paper documents are being replaced with electronic data, which are often distributed in the form of electronic data without being printed out. Similarly, in educational institutions, increasing number of documents are distributed in the form of electronic data. Such data are distributed through various routes and means, and prone to the risk of alteration in the process. Data may be protected against alteration, but it is difficult to completely prevent data alteration in the distribution process. Data can be generated with electronic signature that allows for the identification of data creator and possible alterations by third parties. This method is, however, not valid if the data becomes separated from the electronic signature, making the validation of data creator or data alterations difficult or impossible. In this paper, we describe the invention of a system that, even in cases where data is separated form the electronic signature, enables easy identification of possible data alterations by the electronic signature management. And we describe here an exploratory construction of private electronic notary service in university. We also add a review on the utilization method of private electronic notary service in universities.

Key words: Notary Service, Electronic Signature, e-Learning, Digital Data Management, PKI

Title of the Paper:  Reading Preference and Performance of K1 Students for Chinese Text Presented on PDA Interface


Authors: Chien-Yu Lin, Yi-Kuan Lee

Abstract: This study investigates the reading preference and performance of young learners for Chinese text presented in either a horizontal format or a vertical format on PDA screens. In assessing the reading performance, the reading speed is taken as the performance evaluation criterion. The thirty participants in the current investigation are K1 students studying in the first grade of an elementary school. The ANOVA results indicate that both the screen orientation and the document format exert a significant influence on the reading preference and reading performance of the young students. Specifically, it is found that a horizontal screen with a vertical text format is the preferred choice of the K1 students. This particular treatment of the screen and document factors results in the shortest reading time. The results of this study can be applied to develop PDA-based educational software which not only satisfies the reading preferences of young learners, but also enhances their reading performance.

Key words: PDAs, Chinese, Children, Text, Reading, Interface

Issue 11, Volume 5, November 2008

Title of the Paper:  Comparing Novel and Stable Lecturers' Point of View when They Use University Students Working Groups in their Classrooms


Authors: Jaime Lloret Mauri, Juan A. Marin-Garcia

Abstract: One of the purposes of the Bologna process is to establish quality assurance standards in the European higher education area throughout Europe. It is important to train university lecturers in order to achieve this goal. Many educational methodologies could be applied in the university classrooms. One of the teaching methods that is being increased in the university is the workgroup methodology. Our research tries to identify which differences exist between novel and stable lecturers when they use working groups in their educational methodologies. In this work we are going to show if the grade of use of the workgroup technique is different according the status of the lecturer (novel lecturers vs. stable lecturers) and we will discuss all results obtained in our research for all basic techniques of working groups. We will also compare their problems and goals when they are using these techniques. In our final discussion, we will show that the use of working group techniques doesn’t seem to be affected by the stability of the lecturers or their age in the university, in opposition to what many people think, so it is not needed different training for novel than for stable university lecturers.

Key words: Novel vs. Stable Lecturers, Working Groups, Active Methodologies

Title of the Paper:  Remotely Controlled Electronics Systems through the World Wide Web


Authors: A. Etxebarria, R. Barcena

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), especially in the realm of education. A large portion of current ICT work focuses on remote control devices that use HTTP browsers. This paper presents the phases to develop a system that allows multiple users the access to a multiple real electronic circuits using any HTTP browser. With this aim, specific hardware and software have been designed and incorporated to a server-computer which includes a data acquisition card. The novel feature of this work is that the user has in a unique environment with the descriptions of the circuits to study, the possibility to work with real measurements and the necessary laboratory instruments to analyze the circuit signals. The prototype employed analyzes basic analog electronic circuits in order to check out the practical viability of this type of remote control system. Once functionality is demonstrated, the prototype can be used as an applicable model for remote controls in any type of real system. The communication protocols, control programs and user interfaces that allow the data transmission and the hardware access have been programmed using Virtual Instruments (VI) designed with LabView? – Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench. LabView? is a graphical programming language widely adopted throughout industry, academia, and research laboratories as the standard for data acquisition and instrument control software. The front panel of the VIs that guides the user through the system is embebed in his or her web browser like an ActiveX Control. In addition, the user has the possibility to pass information from the HTML browser to the application in the Server in order to study the behaviour of the composed circuits.

Key words: WWW, remote control, Internet, interface, Virtual Instrument, HTTP

Title of the Paper:  New Innovative eWay of Vocational Training in the Field of Mechatronics


Authors: Matija Pipan, Borka Jerman Blazic

Abstract: This paper is focused on introduction of best practices in the field of vocational training of mechatronics further supported with the state-of-the-art information-communication technology, as well as with established methodological and didactical approaches, with the view of improving the quality and efficiency of vocational training. The presented methodology introduces a completely new way of vocational training of this profile because both, theoretical and practical training will be entirely conducted on-line. Practical work will be done through an innovative remote laboratory for practical work, based on web technology which allows the performance of the real mechanical-electrical and programming related experiments in the physical laboratory, what is in the training of mechatronics crucial. This should result in a greater recognition and attractiveness of the profession and will positive influence on the reduction of existing disparities between supply and demand of qualified mechatronic staff on the market.

Key words: Enhanced E-learning, Learning Management System, Mechatronics, Real On-line Experiments, Remote Laboratory

Issue 12, Volume 5, December 2008

Title of the Paper:  Digital Opportunities for Students and Teachers: Some Technological Solutions at the University Politehnica of Bucharest


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: The paper discusses the idea that high quality software can raise the standards of education at all levels and make best practices available throughout society. Using examples from the experience of the University Politehnica of Bucharest, the paper shows that software products give students control over their learning environment, that they can hold their interest and provide new and interesting learning experiences not available in a traditional classroom. The paper emphasizes positive experience in the use of Information and Communication Technology in education and training programmes. It is shown that ICT has helped improve the scope, quality and effectiveness of these programmes. The initiatives of the University Politehnica of Bucharest in this domain have enabled users of ICT to focus realistic training on the precise learning needs and abilities of the students. Furthermore, ICT has improved efficiency in the monitoring and overall management of the training process. The paper evolves the idea according to which the benefits already gained in industry can also be achieved in the public education sector, provided that the necessary investment in technical facilities and related training is made.

Key words: Information, technology, communication, subjects, digital, education, qualification, proficiency, competency, standards

Title of the Paper:  Education as the Global Competitive Advantage - An E-learning Project in the University Politehnica of Bucharest


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: The paper discusses media education and the (re)production of culture, critically analysing the social production of knowledge through mass media and proclaiming the need for a pedagogy that criticizes its limitations, distortions, and biases. Presenting an important project of the University Politehnica of Bucharest the importance is stressed of building bridges across disciplines, using theory to connect media education with the empowerment of students and the promotion of democracy. The paper calls for contextualizing education within the framework of its functions in society. The author addresses the issue of promoting multiculturalism and media literacy on a University level. It is emphasized the fact that we live in a world of media and new technologies, and our social world is increasingly multicultural, providing new opportunities to enjoy richness and diversity, but also producing new social conflicts and problems.

Key words: Globalization, communication, education, information, qualification, values, proficiency, competency, standards, curriculum

Title of the Paper:  The Best Practice - E-learning Course “Sociology”


Authors: Karmela Aleksic-Maslac, Masa Magzan, Ilena Maslac

Abstract: The fast development of information and communication technologies (ICT) improves greatly education quality. The role of ordinary teacher changes – he/she becomes a tutor or a student’s mentor. At the same time the role of a student changes – he/she overcomes the passive learning process and becomes an active explorer. E-learning is an important education component at Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) and, in addition, it is obligatory for all our teachers and students. In this paper, the development process of course "Sociology" shall be described. During the course development 11 standards were used, that is to say, statical, dynamical and administrative ones. We shall pay special attention to dynamical standards, that is to say, to online quizzes and closed student-student and teacher-student discussions. We shall get interesting results by paying attention to student’s participation in online discussions at two completely different courses, namely, Sociology and Information and Communication Technologies. The obtained quality of the e-learning course and evaluations on the satisfaction of students with lectures shall be also taken into account.

Key words: E-learning, course development, quality, sociology, discussion, information and communication technologies, evaluation


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