WSEAS CONFERENCES. WSEAS, Unifying the Science

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 Volume 7, 2010
Print ISSN: 1790-1979
E-ISSN: 2224-3410








Issue 1, Volume 7, January 2010

Title of the Paper:  New Horizons for e-Learning and Open Education. A Comparative Transfrontier Project at the University of Bucharest


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: The paper analyses the strategies in a programme concerning the integration of social software technologies in drawing up literary translations as instrument of the European integration and cultural communication. Initiated by prof. dr. Lidia Vianu (English Department of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures - the University of Bucharest) in cooperation with poetry p f, a growing showcase of poets writing in English, the project represents a fundamental research in the domain of literary texts translation. The paper analyses the way in which this project connects the formative aspect of the research with the institutional aspect, with the problems of professional conversion, of flexibility, of competence (not only linguistic competence but also, generally, cultural and social competence), of the open learning and of the problems risen by the eLearning.

Keywords: Translation, Internet, globalization, information, communication, eLearning, poetry, language, knowledge

Title of the Paper: Inovative Pedagogical Intervention Strategies and Social Software Technologies in an e-Learning Project Initiated by the University Politehnica of Bucharest (Faculty of Applied Sciences)


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: The paper highlights the links between the educational sector and the further development of the ICT. It presents an e-learning project initiated by the mathematicians from the Faculty of Applied Sciences (University Politehnica of Bucharest) in cooperation with McGraw-Hill. The paper describes this project that develops practical methodology, approaches and tools targeted at day-to-day utilization by the teacher trainers and students. Another issue is also discussed : the importance of a close cooperation between ICT and universities (with a special reference to the achievements of the University "Politehnica" of Bucharest) in order to develop the information society as a society with equal chances for everybody.

Keywords: Learning project, Internet, Mathematics, Physics, technology, information, communication, applications, curriculum

Title of the Paper: A Novel Continuous Function for Approximation to the Factorial


Authors: Gianfranco Chicco

Abstract: Various approximations to the factorial have been proposed in the literature to formulate continuous functions in which the argument is a non-negative variable. Most of these approximations are based on the classical De-Moivre-Stirling's or shortly Stirling's formula. Further approximations have been provided, either multiplying the Stirling's formula to a correction function, or introducing some structural modifications to the Stirling's formula. The characteristics of the various approximations can be pointed out by investigating how the correction function or the structurally modified formula can provide a better representation of the factorial for natural numbers with respect to the classical Stirling's formula. This paper starts with a tutorial illustration of the characteristics of various approximations to the factorial, and contains the proposal of a novel continuous function with relatively simple structure. The proposed function has very low relative approximation errors with respect to the factorial; furthermore, the relative approximation error is always positive. These characteristics enable the novel function to be used as an upper bound to the factorial. Application examples of the proposed formula in the pattern recognition domain are presented, in order to obtain factorial-free formulations for the calculation of orthogonal Fourier-Mellin moments and Pseudo-Zernike moments, with some notes on the possible computational complexity reduction obtainable by exploiting the proposed formulation with respect to the computation of the same moments using the factorials, in analogy to what has been done in the literature by using a different type of approximation.

Keywords: Factorial, Stirling's formula, Asymptotic convergence, Correction function, Relative approximation error, Orthogonal Fourier-Mellin moments, Pseudo-Zernike moments.

Issue 2, Volume 7, February 2010

Title of the Paper:  A Bluetooth-based Interactive System to Improve Relationships Between Actors in Educational Environments


Authors: Fernando Ribeiro, Jose Metrolho, Monica Costa

Abstract: Nowadays there are a vast number of devices and technologies available for the common citizen to improve their communication with others. This fosters the design and implementation of systems that explore the available features of these devices. In this paper, we propose a Bluetooth-based interactive system for delivering personalized information in high education institutions. The system allows informing, on a personalized way, the actors of an education institution on a free way using popular communication standards. The scenario we promote in the paper is mainly focused on learning environments, however the framework is also applicable in other shared public and semi-public spaces such as offices, homes, companies and many others. One of the most important contributions of this work is to combine public displays and personal mobile devices for delivering personalized information according to the students’ location. A prototype has been built and discussed with demonstrative user scenarios. Early results show that teachers and students found some advantages in this system comparing to traditional approaches. This system can effectively support a wide range of activities for students. It provides to each student the possibility to have a personal interaction with the technology in an authentic and appropriate use context. Features like the system’s architecture, prototype and system’s evaluation are explained in the paper. Results show that this system can be an important complement to other popular systems in education environments (e.g. e-mail, chats, Wikis, forums, e-learning platforms etc.).

Keywords: E-schools, e-learning, personalized information, mobile learning, interactive spaces, Bluetooth, information and communication technologies, mobile devices

Title of the Paper:  Higher Education Decision Making and Decision Support Systems


Authors: Vasile Paul Bresfelean, Nicolae Ghisoiu

Abstract: The authors illustrate several issues in decision support and decision support systems (DSS), state of the art research in these fields, and also their own studies in designing a higher education DSS. The final section contains our contribution in outlining the modules of the DSS, involving the present systems and databases of FSEGA and UBB, results and activities belonging to FSEGA students, teaching and research staff, to assist decisions for all the actors implicated in the processes, in various specific situations.

Keywords: Decision support, decision support systems (DSS), higher education institutions, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Title of the Paper:  How we Can Mark the Rhythm of the Daily Work by using a Learning Management System as Moodle?


Authors: Angel Mora Bonilla, Maria Del Pilar Sarmiento Moreno, Enrique Merida Casermeiro

Abstract: In this paper is shown how e-learning can help us to mark the pace of the daily work of on-site students when they are studying alone. In the classroom, it is an easy task to orientate the work of the pupils by classical methods, but these ones have the lack of be inadequates to regulate the student’s work when they are out of the classroom. E-learning can help us, and so, here is shown how the use of some tools provided by an LMS (Learning Management System) such as Moodle allow teachers to schedule activities in order to students face up to appropriate learning environment when they are studying alone. Moreover, these e-learning tools permit collaborative learning as a way of reinforcing their activity and solving problems in real time. We have focussed our attention to those tools of Moodle that let us direct our efforts toward the achievement of this goal for in site students making their daily work in their own time autonomously, and how the use of techniques, activities and resources of e-learning can help them in real time. Moreover, schoolteachers always have an updated information of all activities carried out by students. It allows teachers to become aware of those aspects of the learning process or topics that students find some difficulties and make the appropriate corrections in real time, in other words, it enables the early detection of those obstacles that can produce unsuccessful results.

Keywords: Learning strategies, collaborative learning Moodle, LMS, e-learning, guidance, blended learning

Issue 3, Volume 7, March 2010

Title of the Paper:  The Computer in the Mathematics Teaching


Authors: Ana Julia Viamonte

Abstract: The difficulty in learning mathematics is often caused by the prior fear of mathematics. Besides the necessity of changing the methods of teaching and teachers training, computer may be a tool that can be used to avoid this fact and to make learning funnier. The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in schools is still unusual. Several factors contribute to that: the lack of training of teachers, the lack of material resources and the excessive number of students per class. Computers should be used as tools to assist students in the exploration and discovery of concepts, to make the transition from concrete experiences to abstract mathematical ideas, in practice routines, and in the process of troubleshooting, but only as auxiliary and not as the goal of education itself. The use of computer in solving a problem requires that users of these tools have knowledge of errors theory; otherwise they can get wrong values that they do not know how to explain. This work aims to reflect on the occurrence of some of the most common mistakes when using these tools.

Keywords: Mathematics Education, Self Regulation, Educational Technologies, Numerical Analysis

Title of the Paper:  Introducing Yoga Practice for Managing New Kind of Pressure in Scientific Engineering Schools


Authors: Ph. Dondon, J. M. Duprat, C. Delesse

Abstract: This paper points out in the first paragraph the general evolution of scientific curriculum and student’s behaviour in French scientific engineer schools. Necessary reforms and adaptations to these changes are discussed and some unexpected consequences are described: Indeed, since a few years, theses behaviour’s evolutions are a source of new kind of psychological pressures and stresses for the teachers. As illustration, new pressures’ origins are then identified and analyzed. We finally suggest, as a possible answer, an approach based on Cachemire yoga practice in and/or out the work place. Benefits of yoga practice are discussed and explained. At least, we show how to export this practice in the daily life.

Keywords: Scientific education, Pedagogical process, Psychological aspects in scientific engineering school

Title of the Paper:  Advanced System for Risk Assessment of the Security Expressed in the Complex Labor System and Strategic Objectives of National Interest


Authors: Gabriel–Dragos Vasilescu, Tiberiu–Atila Csaszar, Stela Dinescu, Valeriu Plesea

Abstract: In the present paper, a technical approach on establishing scientifically based tools for the quantification of threats and vulnerabilities or potential or apparent specific national security system, identified at a time, to substantiate of quantitative and qualitative risk and security establishment, wittingly, the detailed controls to eliminate or reduce hazardous situations arising from these factors disturbances. Results obtained from the investigation and diagnosis of national security, based on the methodology presented, leading to overall assessment of risk associated security status of specific environmental threats event and/or vulnerabilities identified in order substantiate and implementation of appropriate programs of action with maximum emergency/necessity or urgency/need to eliminate or reduce the dangerous situations that may affect national security.

Keywords: Risk, negligible event, credibility, national security, probability, strategic objectives, vulnerabilities

Title of the Paper:  Managers, Teaching Professionals and the Crisis Impact upon the Education System in Romania – Values, Attitudes, Conduct


Authors: Ioan Neacsu, Emil Stan, Catalin Popescu, Mihaela Suditu

Abstract: This research paper examines, based on the data of an empirical research study, the problems of the new challenges that the education actors and, especially, school managers have to face under the current global, financial and moral crisis. There are approached context elements, frequent queries, substantiations that are present in investigations, solutions and expectations of social and professional resonance.

Keywords: School management crisis, community-school relation, global crisis, optimum managerial conduct

Issue 4, Volume 7, April 2010

Title of the Paper:  Optimal Team Formation for Practical Software Development Exercise -Evaluating a Method for Team Formation Based on the Type of Project Manager-


Authors: Kiyomi Shirakawa, Shiori Yamamoto, Ryota Chiba, Hiroaki Hashiura, Seiichi Komiya

Abstract: In the software development exercise for the third graders of the Shibaura Institute of Technology Department of Information Science and Engineering, students are assigned to each team with the capability to carry out a role, for optimization of team formation. In the team formation of 2006, each student who expected to play an active part for the success of exercise subject played an active part also in the actual exercise lesson in each team. As a result "all the teams achieved the exercise subject without any halfway dropouts", which Shirakawa, et al. [1] checked. However in the questionnaire results after the end of the exercise, it turned out that the low motivation of some students caused the shortage of communication of the members in the team. Then, the authors built up the hypothesis that "each student's motivation is decided by whether the type of Project Manager (Project Manager is described as PM henceforth) and the PM type each member desire is in agreement. Each member has a role to play besides PM in the team for software development. The decision of the role assignment of each member demanded a substitute characteristic and an expression of relations with each role to express a role performance by a covariance structure analysis. Based on an expression of relations, decided assigned members according to the PM type and performed role assignment and the team formation of each member. As a result, the team formation of the students without the practice experience confirmed that high team formation of the cooperativeness between team members was realizable by considering a PM type.

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

Title of the Paper:  Occupational Risk Assessment and Management: Challenges and Guidelines for the Romanian Organization's Practice


Authors: Lucian-Ionel Cioca, Gabriel-Bujor Babut, Roland-Iosif Moraru

Abstract: Integrating risk assessment in an organization is a process that generally follows a sequence of phases. To be effective, the company culture must be willing to embrace the risk assessment process, and cultural acceptance stems from management leadership. Emphasizing some of the major benchmarks in occupational risk assessment approaches, the paper summarizes and outlines several basic principles directed towards practical risk assessment process improvement. The article discusses the principles that underlie a coherent and efficient assessment for occupational health, safety and well-being: the need of a global approach of these problems not only at the workplace but for the whole of the living conditions at work; a clear understanding of the complementary character between the different partners of this prevention; the role of actor of the workers and therefore the absolute necessity of a participative approach; the real usefulness of measurements and of risk quantification in general; the differences between risk assessment and risk management. The paper demonstrates how a sound risk assessment approach can lead not only to better risk management, but to the pro-active prediction of occupational risk accidents and incidents and ultimately its prevention, considering the need of changing minds in Romania when it comes to occupational risk assessment and management.

Keywords: Risk, assessment, management, occupational health and safety, guidance principles

Title of the Paper:  Robots as Learning Tools in a Vocational School


Authors: Marzia Pisciotta, Bruno Vello, Claudio Bordo, Giovanna Morgavi

Abstract: Many researchers have commented on the use of technological resources in education, in particular in the robotic field, but consistent data that assess how robots affect motivation and learning in the vocational education programs are missing from the literature. We present an educational experience over one year in a vocational high school class forming electronic technicians. Motivation and pressure are considered two factors impacting vocational high school student learning. The introduction of educational robot project and then of the robot competition showed to be effective in improving learning efficiency in different fields as a consequence of enhancing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Results are encouraging, and should affirm the idea that the didactic project "educational robot" is a well facilitated learning environment of different disciplines, where the motivation to learn increases, the achievements of both individual and class are positive.

Keywords: Educational Robots, Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, Parallax Boe-Bot, Vocational School, Robocup Junior Competition, Learning Motivation

Title of the Paper:  Information and Communication Technologies in the Process of Instruction: Students/Communication in On-line Courses


Authors: Ivana Simonova, Petra Poulova, Martin Bilek

Abstract: The paper describes the process of implementation and building appropriate competences towards reaching the teaching and learning competence in the process of instruction supported by modern technologies. The research is provided focusing on communication between a student and tutor of on-line distance courses in relation to submitting assignments (individual homework). The communication is monitored from the point of frequency, extent, content and academic year. The data were collected from students of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year in three different subjects, English for IT Students, Management and Database Systems at the Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Proposed recommendations and conclusions are expected to contribute to building closer and warmer relations in the course of study, and thus contribute to higher effectiveness of the learning process in general.

Keywords: E-learning, ICT, English for specific purposes, ESP, Management, communication

Issue 5, Volume 7, May 2010

Title of the Paper:  DigiLab: A Virtual Lab for IT Students


Authors: Rosilah Hassan, Nazlia Omar, Haslina Arshad, Shahnorbanun Sahran, Norul Huda Yusof

Abstract: This paper presents a new experience concerning a practical laboratory for Digital Logic Design (DLD) that can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet. Our approach was to design a virtual laboratory, using a multimedia platform, namely DigiLab which can be access from anywhere via the Internet. DigiLab run as an online application where a user needs to have internet connection and user account before access to the application. Virtual laboratory occasionally replaces traditional classrooms due to rapid advances in computer technologies. One of the engineering subjects, Digital Logic course is regarded as an important core requirement in Information Technology (IT) department. The IT student needs to study about logic for hardware purpose in IT. The idea of digital logic virtual lab is to allow students in IT to understand the logic circuit behavior and practice the skills of designing the circuit board with different techniques and instruments. Due to costly traditional laboratory, the DigiLab is designed to fulfill the needs of the knowledge for students.

Keywords: Digital Logic Design (DLD), DigiLab, Virtual Laboratory, and Information Technology (IT)

Title of the Paper:  LabVIEW based Electrical Machines Laboratory for Engineering Education


Authors: R. A. Jabbar Khan, A. Mohammed, M. Junaid, M. A. Masood, A. Iftkhar

Abstract: The Laboratory session in any engineering education particularly in Electrical Engineering is critical as these Labs are designed for students in accordance with theoretical course work. Software based Electrical Machines cost less and have provision of wide ranging change in parameters as compared to hardware based Lab, which results in better understanding of students in learning concepts of Electrical Machines course. Software based Laboratory experiments have become current day need due to its impacts on flexible learning of students and understanding abilities. This motivation deals with Simulation of Electrical Machines Laboratory experiments which are part of Lab session at under-graduate Electrical Engineering level using Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW) software. LabVIEW uses graphical language which allows a natural, vivid and user-friendly interaction.

Keywords: Electrical Machines, Simulation, LabVIEW, Engineering Education

Title of the Paper:  ACTA Tools as an Integrated Teaching Assistant for the Design of Automatic Flight Control Systems


Authors: Antonios S. Andreatos, Anastasios D. Zagorianos

Abstract: ACTA I and ACTA II are two user friendly tools for teaching Automatic Control Systems, based on Matlab. ACTA tools greatly facilitate the design of Electronic Flight Control Systems. In this paper the ACTA tools and their functions are initially introduced; then a case study demonstrating how a typical modern aircraft control system may be analyzed and redesigned using the ACTA tools is presented. The paper concludes by summarizing the ACTA tools advantages, as well as, our future plans. The ACTA tools are available for free downloading through our wiki.

Keywords: Control systems, aircraft control, Electronic Flight Control systems, EFCS, ACTA tools, GUI, ACTA tools tutorial, Bloom’s taxonomy

Issue 6, Volume 7, June 2010

Title of the Paper:  The Study of Electrical Resistance Measurement Methods using Virtual Instruments


Authors: Valentin Dogaru Ulieru, Savu-Cristescu Maria, Draghicescu Luminita, Eugenia Dogaru Ulieru, Stancescu Ioana, Petrescu Ana-Maria

Abstract: Measurement and automation technology were changed once the National Instruments company introduced the concept of virtual instruments, using the graphical programming LabVIEW (Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench). LabVIEW, originally developed for the measurement and automation technology, has been advancing more and more as an alternative to conventional programming languages. This graphical programming represents crucial reading and work for instructors, scientists, students, hardware and software developers, and decision-makers in research, academia and industry [10,12]. This article presents theoretical considerations regarding electrical resistance measurement in D.C. circuits and applications for their study and analysis using the LabVIEW graphical programming. By combining the meta-cognitive strategies with interactive work procedures, by the efficient use of the computer in the simulation of certain phenomena specific for the diverse scientific disciplines, the academic staff builds increasingly motivating learning experiences, stimulating the students to progress increasingly faster in their learning, providing them with the necessary framework for an authentic, sequential learning, resulting in flexible acquisitions, able to be transferred and valorized in different theoretical and practical contexts.

Keywords: LabVIEW, virtual instruments, competences, academic learning, computer-assisted training

Title of the Paper:  Advanced Prediction Procedure for the Underground Stress Manifested in the Undermined Coal Bed Works


Authors: Valeriu Plesea, Gheorghe Manolea, Sergiu Ghinia, Radu Sorin, Daniela Stochiloiu, Gabriel Vasilescu, Doru Cioclea

Abstract: In nowadays coal exploitation conditions from Jiu Valley coal undergrounds taking into account the safety requests for adequate support and for assuring the stability for coal face due to extending the coal fields necessary to be uncover and undermined to coal bed method impose to forecast the manifestation and estimation intensity mode of mining prevention state is considered more important for knowing the actual situation and to apply the imposed measurements. Within the context of assessing retain safety in exploitation, the evaluation system which is presented in the paper assumes that monitoring the pressure from hydraulic pillars using individual timber from undermined coal bed is necessary for estimate the exploitation safety.

Keywords: Coal exploitation, undermined coal bed, monitoring, hydraulic pillars, mining pressure, exploitation safety, data aquizition, front mining works, electronic wiring, serial adaptor, program PC

Title of the Paper:  Equipment and Technology for Assessing the Safety Parameters by the Remote Control of the Mine Underground Atmosphere


Authors: Valeriu Plesea, Sergiu Ghinia, Ioan Dumitrescu, Dragos Vasilescu, Artur Gaman, Stela Dinescu

Abstract: The OH&S standards in force valid for mine closure (i.e. during the conservation and proper closing and for temporary or permanent closing of the mine areas adversely affected during the operating period) state the monitoring of the safety parameters that define the underground atmosphere, mainly temperature and gases. The idea shown below is part of the group for warning against underground fire hazards and gas and powders hazards. It comprises an early automatic sampling and processing of information related to the history of temperature and gases inside gobs and closed underground areas.

Keywords: Underground atmosphere, spontaneous combustion, underground fire, coal mine, safety parameters, automatic control, monitoring, evaluation system, voltage converter, receiving catches, process interface

Issue 7, Volume 7, July 2010

Title of the Paper:  Development of a Study Scale Model for Energy and Daylight Analysis


Authors: Hendrik Voll, Kaarel Paasuke

Abstract: Starting from July 1st in 2009 became into force the regulation number 258 („The Minimum Requirements for Energy Efficiency“) of Government of The Republic of Estonia. The regulation states, that every new and significantly renovated building has to correspond to the minimum requirements of energy efficiency. In case the building does not meet the requirements stated in the regulation, the building has to be redesigned. The energy consumption of a dwelling derives mostly from heating the building, and which is affected by insulation and ventilation-system. As in offices considerable amount of energy consumption is derived from cooling, the situation is more complex. To educate Estonian architects and engineers and explain one of the key-factors – the design of the facade –direct solar radiation table named Heliodon and diffuse daylight artificial skybox were established and a model of a building was manufactured. The model has different types of facade layouts in different sides to visualize their influence of heating/cooling loads and energy demand. The present paper focuses on the introduction of Tallinn University of Technologies daylighting lab, developing process of the exemplary model from conceptual idea to real physical model and in the end gives an example how the designed scale model will be used for educational purposes.

Keywords: Cooling demand, Energy efficiency, Daylight, Rapid Prototyping, Selective Laser Sintering

Title of the Paper:  University Stakeholder Management and University Social Responsibility


Authors: Libena Tetrevova, Veronika Sabolova

Abstract: The article further develops the theoretical resources of stakeholder theory, stakeholder management and corporate social responsibility, created for the needs of enterprises. It deals with the possibility of using them for the needs of universities. The theory is interconnected with the outcomes of the survey in the areas of university stakeholder management and university social responsibility. The paper defines university stakeholders, suggests their classification and gives some recommendations on selection and application of the strategy for negotiation with individual university stakeholders. Attention is also paid to relationships between stakeholders and social responsibility concept. The basic resources of the university social responsibility are described and its key areas and problems are identified on the example of Czech universities.

Keywords: University, Stakeholder, Stakeholder Theory, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Management Strategies, Corporate Social Responsibility, University Social Responsibility

Title of the Paper:  Preparing Advanced Matlab Users


Authors: Michal Blaho, Martin Foltin, Peter Fodrek, Michal Poliacik

Abstract: This paper is about preparing advanced Matlab users mostly at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in Bratislava. We described how is our basic course organized and what methodology we use on the course. We show how to improve student’s results by focusing on individual work of the students and proper motivation by evaluating finished tasks on practices. We also compare other type of evaluating task. By using modern communication possibilities we show how to interact students to improve the course. Finally we show you student’s opinion on our system of teaching, how we interact with others institutes by providing more courses outside the faculty and how we extending our knowledge by participating on Matlab conferences.

Keywords: Teaching, Matlab, Week tasks, Web materials, Forum, Social network, Colaboration, Open source

Issue 8, Volume 7, August 2010

Title of the Paper:  Use of Educational Technology in Engineering Education – A Computer Assisted Instruction (Multimedia) Package for Engineering Students


Authors: Anjali Venkatesh Deshpande

Abstract: Computer based instructional materials offer great potential for engineering education. The author( designer and developer ) has experienced that the development of Multimedia package is a sequential programme which needs deep concentration and consistency to give a proper shape to the product.This paper presents the author?s( designer and developer ) experience in designing and developing a computer assisted instruction package for teaching multiple integrals to engineering students . The paper describes a systematic approach which has been used to design and develop the Multimedia ( Computer Assisted Instruction ) Package. Understanding the needs of the target audience and implementing this need the CAI is indeed a challenging task.

Keywords: Multimedia, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer assisted instruction, Design, Development, Education

Title of the Paper:  Enhancing Calculus Learning Engineering Students Through Problem-Based Learning


Authors: Mohd Zin Mokhtar, Rohani Ahmad Tarmizi, Ahmad Fauzi Mohd Ayub, Mohd Ariff Ahmad Tarmizi

Abstract: Calculus is most important subject for science and engineering students but phenomenally it is abstract, difficult and highly boring. Underpinning with in constructivism theories, problem-based learning (PBL) is one of student centred and active learning strategies or approach which can be used to improve students’ interests and often lead to deep level understand hence acquiring the learning outcomes of a course This approach can be used to improve students’ participation, interests and performance in learning of calculus. This study is designed to investigate student’s perception about PBL approach in calculus; student’s engagement during the acquisition of understanding of calculus and; student’s performance as a result of PBL learning experience. A group of 48 Foundation Year engineering students was randomly selected to undergo the PBL approach in Basic Calculus course. A rubric-scoring assessment was used to evaluate students engagement level, a questionnaire with open ended question was used to assess students’ perception of PBL learning, and a post-test to measure students’ performance after undergoing PBL approach. This pedagogical approach has made the teaching and learning of calculus more interesting and effective. PBL in calculus offer the advantages as it promotes collaborative and distributed learning; development of learners' critical thinking, evaluative and judgment/ decision making skills and enables new and inexperienced learners to access and learn from captured solutions of expert problem solvers. It is also able to develop the potential of individuals to be more creative, critical in their thinking and effective in problem solving.

Keywords: Problem Based Learning, Calculus, Engagement in learning, Mathematics Education, Performance, Engineering Education

Title of the Paper:  The Students' Mentality from the Petroleum-Gas University – Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Electronics Regarding the Status and the Importance of Physical Activities in the Education for a Healthy Life


Authors: Lupu Elena, Suditu Mihaela, Safta Cristina

Abstract: In the process of mental education for a healthy life, a particularly important role is played by body activities and the extend to which we are able to implement these activities in the academic programme of students in order to raise their interest. It is widely acknowledged that body activities go beyond P.E. domain, but they are connected with it because P.E. is a component of general education and it has as a main purpose the development of physical, psychical, sociocultural qualities of a person. Therefore, P.E. represents an important part of general education, being an act of culture over years and an emancipation method with a pedagogical content.

Keywords: Mentality , Student, Higher education, Mechanical Engineering and Electronics, Body activities, Education, Games, Healthy life, Competition, Psychomotor activities, Engineers.

Issue 9, Volume 7, September 2010

Title of the Paper:  An Intercultural Perspective on Technological Education


Authors: Stan Panturu, Cornelia Cocan

Abstract: The present study focuses on the intercultural education’s objectives accomplished by and through technological education. This research has two premises as starting points: a) intercultural education is not a distinguished/ independent form of education, but it is integrated in education regarded as a whole process, in all of its dimensions, forms and levels; b) technological education is one of the education’s dimensions with the most intercultural potential. This research emphasizes on the present limitations of the curriculum and of the methodology of the technological education from the objectives of the intercultural education’s points of view. The research proposes solutions as re-thinking and re-construction of the curriculum and of improving the didactical methodology.

Keywords: Globalization, multiculturality, intercultural education, intercultural school, technological education, technology of the intercultural education, intercultural curriculum, intercultural competences

Title of the Paper:  Redefining Critique Session as an Assessment Tool In Architecture Design Studio Class


Authors: Badiossadat Hassanpour, Nangkula Utaberta, Azami Zaharim

Abstract: The architectural curriculum has been based on the design studio class model which focuses on learning by doing and all processes and procedures of problem solving are transmitting trough lectures and critique sessions. The tutorial system in design studio classes is same as master- Apprentice. So students learn during a communication between students and teachers and also between students. By this way each student will have a chance to express his/her own perceptions and ideas and make a dialogue with experts (teacher) and peers and expose him/her self to their judgments. According to John Dewey, a 20th century American philosopher, criticism is judgment and also Criticism is a very useful tool in the communication of ideas and evaluation of designs.The current model in studio classes is based on ancient model. In some cases the traditional design studio class in a school of architecture consists of a teacher telling students what to do and student doing what they are told.This traditional model must be redefined and be made clearer in order to improve both learning and teaching methods. This paper tries to analyze studio class types and implemented methods of critique in them in order to find their weak and strength points and also to identify procedures and tools that can be used to support the studio based pedagogy in architecture.

Keywords: Critique (crit), design studio class (studio), Architecture, assessment tool, evaluation

Title of the Paper:  Spanish Universities Shaping to European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by Means New Teaching Methodologies. A Case Study


Authors: M. Martinez-Gomez, M. Mari-Benlloch

Abstract: This paper describes briefly the transformation of the obligatory subject Introduction to Statistics (IS), in the first year of degree in the Faculty of Business Administration and Management (Administracion y Direccion de Empresas FADE) at the Universidad Politecnica of Valencia (UPV) during the academic course 2009-2010. That course which a pilot European Credit Transfer System (ETCS) credit program was initiated, previous to its obligatory implantation in 2010, in the context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of changes on the didactic model of this subject regarding previous academic years. Our work describes the new methodologies followed by teaching staff, the main problems troubled and the solutions adopted to solve them. Finally, a questionnaire was developed to evaluate the students’ perceptions about new active methodologies and teamwork that let us to know how these aspects influence in the development of competences and abilities, especially the interpersonal and systemic ones. In spite of the need for a larger study, the results draw that students have been fitted well to the new active methodologies and cooperative work.

Keywords: European Higher Education Area, Educational Innovation, ECTS credits, pilot project, student opinion, analysis of questionnaires

Issue 10, Volume 7, October 2010

Title of the Paper:  The Development of Engineering Education in Haryana


Authors: Vijay Nehra, Sandeep Dahiya, Kiran Nehra

Abstract: Haryana is one of the constituent states of Indian republic which came into existence in 1966. The state has made remarkable progress in engineering education over the last two decades. Engineering education is adapted to the general needs of modern economy and society, dominated by globalization aimed to meet the growing demand for technical manpower in several technological areas. The present paper discusses chronological developments in the engineering education system including the various milestones, academic programme overview, courses offered & enrolment, state initiatives, issues & challenges and the future prospects. The paper specifically addresses a case study in the development of engineering education in Haryana. The paper may be useful for policy planners, academicians, researchers and people who are involved in the issues of engineering education.

Keywords: Engineering Education, Haryana, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Doctoral Studies, Initiatives, Issues

Title of the Paper:  An Example of ADDIE Application on Industry Demand-Driven ELearning Curriculums


Authors: Kai-Wen Cheng

Abstract: While previous studies have focused on the theories and use of e-learning, little is known about the practical design of e-learning curriculums step by step. This study applied ADDIE model to develop an example for industry demand-driven e-learning curriculums in one international accounting firm. In other words, building an innovative example for the industry-oriented e-learning curriculums is the most important contribution in this study.

Keywords: Accounting firm, ADDIE, Auditor, E-learning

Title of the Paper:  New Skills for New Jobs. Lifelong Learning Initiatives in the Romanian Higher Education


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: In a complex world, characterized by diversity and change, the lifelong-oriented education answers the challenges of the open society. The paper describes the Romanian government's strategy for revitalizing the lifelong learning in higher education system. Attention is drawn to the technical universities in terms of the access to higher education and the transition to an educational system appropriate for a society based on individual freedom, political pluralism, and market economy. It is emphasized that in the context that is specific to Romania, where fighting marginalization and social and cultural discriminations is a process that has recently started, this orientation could offer compensatory solutions.

Keywords: Training, labour market, reform, lifelong learning, communication, qualification, knowledge society, curriculum, infrastructure

Issue 11, Volume 7, November 2010

Title of the Paper:  Modern Teaching Instruments for the Establishment of the Thermodynamic Values of Real Gases in the Training of Engineer Students


Authors: Sorin Neacsu, Silvian Suditu, Catalin Popescu

Abstract: In the hereby study, we describe and present analytically several software applications – designed as an effective complex teaching-learning means but attractive and useful friendly at the same time – developed by us for the students – future engineers – in the oil industry. Our preoccupation is directed towards the building-up and adopting of a modern strategy that should favour the students’ active and participative learning, as it is well-known the high level of difficulty and abstractness of this scientific domain. What we are trying to achieve by means of this endeavour is to shift the focus from “to know” to “to know how to do”. In this respect, our research study presents the “Real Gases” software, a learning tool used for the calculation of thermodynamic values of gases and gas mixtures, both hydrocarbons and other gases.

Keywords: Educational software, thermodynamic values, gases, gas mixtures, teaching-learning instruments

Title of the Paper:  University Autonomy - the Current Trend in Educational Reform. The Romanian Higher Education System in Line with the Bologna Agreement


Authors: Brandusa Prepelita-Raileanu

Abstract: The paper emphasizes that decentralization is not an end in itself. It is part of the national strategy of decentralization and is intended to create an educational system organized, administered and financed by European rigors regarding the quality assurance in educational training process. The paper also refers to the fact that Education Act and other legal provisions insist on the components that define university autonomy: the deciding on the internal structure of the institution, the planning, organizing, improving of the educational process. The issue of decentralization is discussed in light of the fact that a real reform of academic education has as a major aim the development of the free and creative personality, its social function being integration in social order and change. The paper highlights many aspects of the fact that such a reform starts from reality and from traditions, secures equal chances of access to and success in education, answers the challenges of contemporary world.

Keywords: Globalization, European integration, decentralization, reform of education, lifelong education, quality of education, equality of chances, management

Title of the Paper:  Teaching Strategy for Algorithmic Problem-Solving


Authors: Soojin Jun, Seungbum Kim, Wongyu Lee

Abstract: Many instructors claim that the teaching process of programming education improves problem-solving abilities. However, if the instructor focuses on teaching programming grammar (syntax) or on memorizing well-known algorithms’ process maps, such as sorting and searching, students’ cognitive loads could increase and this does not enhance their problem-solving abilities. Therefore, this paper proposes a sample curriculum and problems that students should solve in each theme to learn programming skills and algorithmic problem solving. The programming course was based on methods, such as storytelling, simulations, and games to motivate students. We also present a teaching strategy to design a programming teaching course. The teaching strategy process is founded on basic steps of algorithm creation. Then, the Class-Responsibility-Collaborator card model was used as a hands-on activity for program design. We used an educational programming environment in our experiment in which the students can easily implement their programs. Our experiment ran for elementary school students for 12 hours. We demonstrate the examples of students’ problem-solving activities that were discovered and solved by teacher or learner during the programming scenario. Learners’ interests, satisfactions, and achievements in learning programming with the teaching strategy had considerable positive results.

Keywords: Algorithmic problem-solving, Teaching strategy, Squeak etoys, Elementary school students, Novice

Issue 12, Volume 7, December 2010

Title of the Paper:  The Influence of the Wind Shears and Sensor Errors upon Aircrafts Landing Process


Authors: Mihai Lungu

Abstract: The paper presents a new system (automatic pilot) for the automatic control of the aircrafts flight altitude in the landing process. The system has two subsystems: the first one controls the altitude of the aircrafts in the glide slope phase of the landing process, while the second subsystem controls the altitude too, but in the flare phase (the second phase of the landing process). The paper author validated the obtained automatic pilot by numerical simulations in Matlab neglecting or taking into consideration the wind shears and sensor errors. He obtained complex Matlab/Simulink models and time characteristics (time variations of the variables involved in the landing process). The wind shears and the sensor errors do not affect the landing process. The most important graphic characteristic is the dependence between the flight altitude and the horizontal displacement.

Keywords: Landing process, Dynamic inversion, Sensor errors, Wind shears

Title of the Paper:  Correlation and Frequency of Use of the NetspeAK ELEMENts in Asynchronous Discussion within the Same Generation of Students in the 1st and in the 7th Semester


Authors: Karmela Aleksic-Maslac, Jagoda Poropat Darrer, Tihana Djuras

Abstract: Spread of new communication technology is producing long term effects not only on important aspects of communication, but also on languages. Netspeak elements are very common among young people even in formal ways of communication. In this paper the authors tend to discover whether the ratio of those elements is growing or falling by increasing the level of students’ education. The authors analyze the presence of Netspeak elements (such as emoticons, acronyms and abbreviations, salutation, complementary closing and nonstandard use of punctuation, slang, prolonged graphemes, omission of diacritics and the use of words in English) in asynchronous discussions within the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) course taught in 1st semester and within the MIS (Management Information Systems) taught in 7th semester at Zagreb School of Economics and Management. The methodology the authors use is the analysis of the posts in asynchronous discussion within the 1st and 7th semester using Pearson product moment coefficient of correlation, One Sample Statistics and Paired Samples Statistics. The results confirmed the hypothesis that the freshmen are more subjected to Netspeak even in formal discussions than the senior students, especially when it comes to the emoticons.

Keywords: Asynchronous discussion, Netspeak elements, spoken language, e-learning, Information and Communication Technologies

Title of the Paper:  A Low Complexity MIMO Channel Estimation Design and FPGA Implementation Using Orthogonal Matrix Triangularization


Authors: Mohammad Tariqul Islam, Mostafa Wasiuddin Numan, Norbahiah Misran, Mohd. Alauddin Mohd. Ali, M. B. I. Reaz, J. S. Mandeep

Abstract: The paper presents a low complexity channel estimation technique for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless system that involves orthogonal matrix triangularization on training based least squares (LS) estimation to reduce a full rank matrix into a simpler form in order to eliminate matrix inversion. Complexity evaluation of the proposed approach is validated through MATLAB simulations in terms of mathematical operations, which shows that the method appreciably outperforms LS estimation at lower complexity and represents a good solution of MIMO channel estimation. The paper also provides design and implementation of a MIMO receiver on Xilinx VirtexTM-4 XC4VLX60 FPGA that provides reconfigurability, resources by adopting the technique of parallelism. The system is developed based on modular structure which is simplifies system design, eases hardware update and facilitates testing the various modules in an independent manner.

Keywords: MIMO, Channel estimation, Orthogonal matrix, FPGA, Least square


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