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The Future of E: Advanced Educational Technologies for a Future e-Europe

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Title, Authors, Affiliation

Abstracts

45

Collaborative Learning in Change Management

Katarzyna Grzybowska
Poznan University of Technology, Institute of Management Engineering

Modern enterprises operate on a global and competitive market, in an ever-changing environment. A change is one of the most serious management problems in companies. Thus new trends in changes and project management appear. Transformation and reorganization are the creation and change of a whole new form, function or structure of a firm; are to create a company that is better than before.
Companies need to be extremely flexible to adapt to changes on the market. Companies need effective learning and collaborative experience. Collective learning is gaining importance in reorganization.
This paper will focus on three of them: cooperation, coordination, and true collaboration in Change Management or Project Change.

47

Automatic Construction of a Grounded Multimedia Ontology of Objects to Illustrate Concepts in a Learning Process

Adrian Popescu, Christophe Millet, Pierre - Alain Moëllic, Patrick Hède, Gregory Grefenstette
Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique - LIST/LIC2M

When building an e-learning system, we need a way of organizing the information to be presented to the user. Formal ontologies are one way of resolving this knowledge structuring task. The main use of ontologies in e-learning systems concerns the modelling of the domain of interest and this is equally our approach. Here we present a technique for automatically transforming unstructured data (from text and images) about domains into grounded ontologies that can then be used for e-learning applications. The chosen domain is “tools”, a collection that contains only picturable objects. We implement a grounded ontology that provides exemplars (definitions and images) at each node in the hierarchy. These exemplars can be used to illustrate concepts and ideas presented during learning, or in response to a learner’s questions. One main characteristic of our method is the fully automatic population of large scale ontology.

48

On Evaluation for Learning Communities: A Close-grained, Actor-specific Approach

Jochen Wittmann
University of Hamburg, Germany
Faculty of Informatics

Simon Heß
University of Hamburg, Germany
Faculty of Informatics

This contribution focuses on evaluation within elearning systems. It criticizes the common ex post
evaluations on the level of courses and even learning
environments. These evaluations are not targeted to
the needs of the actors within a learning community.
Therefore, the first step is to specify action roles an
their individual demands concerning the significance
of the evaluation. The generated list of desired results
is the base for a close grained and actor-specific
evaluation system. The structure of such a system is
specified and the main objects are defined formally.
The transfer of the abstract objects of the common
evaluation system to the objects within an e-learning
community is made. Finally, possible disadvantages
are discussed in relation to the power of the approach,
sketched by a list of possible extensions.

49

A Generic Tracking Protocol Component for E-Learning Environments

Simon Heß
University of Hamburg, Germany
Faculty of Informatics

Jochen Wittmann
University of Hamburg, Germany
Faculty of Informatics

In most e-Learning environments the application keeps track of the progress or the state of users. On the one hand the tracked information is used to help users navigate through the learning content. On the other hand tracked user information or tracked interactions are the basis for individualized adaptive learning systems. The power of possibilities using tracked data depends on the detail level of tracked information, thus the granularity is an essential decision for e-Learning applications. It is necessary to analyze demands and restrictions of possible solutions to raise development guidelines and an adequate design for a tracking component. This paper leads to a prototypical tracking component specification, which bridges the gap between too complex protocol information, causing unused tracked data, and generic integration into learning systems. The specified tracking component is not limited to the field of e-Learning but also could be used in other tracking/profiling systems.

50

Extendibility of Educational Systems to Include a Learner-Adaptive Motivational Module

Mihaela Cocea
National College of Ireland

 

Motivation is a key component of learning, no matter if it takes place in the classroom, via an online system or in a blended setting. Motivated learners feel more self-efficacious, they spend more effort and persist more on a task, they are more interested in the learning activities and they use more self-regulatory learning strategies. If in classroom teaching motivation is handled by teachers, in the case of online learning, motivation has been considered only in terms of content and ways of delivery. There is a need for considering motivation by educational systems in a more personalised way that would allow adequate interventional strategies to motivate learners. This paper explores the possibility of existing open-source educational systems to be extended with a motivational module.

52

Modular sensor network design as a student project

Timo Antero Löhönen
Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Technology

Pekka Juhani Kähkölä
Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Technology

This paper describes tools and methods used by students while creating modular sensor network during work practise at Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Paper includes description of the process and the system to be created in this project. Final conclusions include feedback from project participants.

54

Cybercells and the Development of Collaborative Teaching in Actual and Virtual Classes

Ken Stevens
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St John’s NL Canada A1B 3X8

Collaborative teaching and learning has been facilitated in some parts of rural Canada by the development of internet-linked classes in small schools within school district digital intranets. These electronic structures that link schools, together with the teaching and learning processes that take place within them, have demonstrated the possibilities of integrating virtual and actual teaching and learning. Cybercells  are considered as a vehicle for the preparation of teachers for classrooms that combine actual and virtual teaching and learning within emerging electronic Canadian educational structures. The possibilities of recent Canadian research in schools across dispersed sites for e-collaboration in other places, including Europe, provide a basis for discussion.

55

Mobile Learning Devices in the Laboratory

Leo Ilkko
M.Sc., Tech Phys., Raahe School of Engineering and Business, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Timo  Pieskä
M. Sc. Tech. Phys., Raahe School of Engineering and Business, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

 

The mLearning is the intersection of mobile computing and elearning.
In this presentation there will be short description of mobile learning devices in general and then there are concentrated to N770, Mobile Linux device and to the applications of this device in learning and teaching. The device is seen as Teacher’s assistant in the laboratory. In our Raahe School of Engineering and Business, one part of Oulu University of Applied Sciences we are using the device as Teachers assistant tool in the automation laboratory. With this terminal the teacher can connect to the learning management system. Second use for the same device is also to use N770 as a one component of the laboratory work. In this laboratory students are learning about remote user interfaces of the robot system. Third use of the mobile device is combined to the software project course where students are researching also open source project Maemo.org.

56

UpgradING – A Modular Course for Lifelong-Learning in Rural Regions: Concept, Implementation and Experiences

Peter Schentler, Jörg Schweiger, Jutta Pauschenwein
FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences, Department of Industrial Management

 

The rising demand for education usually leads to a migration of people from rural regions into cities where universities are located, in order to take up studies or similar qualification programs.
Nevertheless, even for rural regions highly qualified employees are a point of great significance for future development and the establishment of (new) business. This paper describes an approach to accomplish a Blended Learning concept for continuous education in rural regions using the province of Styria in Austria as an example. The main focus of this concept is not the replacement of existing contents with e-learning, but the creation of a course for continuous education which could not be implemented without a high amount of e-supported self-learning.
The pilot project started in autumn 2005 and ended in February 2006. The focuses of this paper are the implementation, the results and experiences of the pilot project. These include general feedback about the pilot project, as well as experiences of two specific modules.

57

Improving Education by Intensive Cooperation with IT Companies

Kaisa Korpela
Oulu University of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering

 

Information technology and especially mobile technology develop rapidly and there are also in Oulu area lots of IT subcontractors which expect very qualified graduates from the institutes of higher education in Oulu. These are the challenges we have to rise to.
In many institutes there are difficulties to offer the latest education for students and prepare them for these challenging jobs in industry. How we can assure that our students are also in demand for IT companies in future? Also Oulu University of Applied Sciences School of Engineering has had this concern.

59

Towards transnational virtual stydy circles: an introduction to the E-report project

the E-report research group, University of Palermo
Università degli Studi di Palermo, University of Salzburg, Studien und Management Center Saalfelden GmbH, Confederación Empresarial de la Provincia de Alicante, EUREKA - Training Centre in Palermo, Universitatea Politehnica din Timisoara, Departamentul de Educatie Permanenta Timisoara, Högskolan på Gotland, Karolinska Institutet

E-report is a communitarian project aiming at the constitution of a repertory of reference material with regard to the development of innovative methods in the field of e-learning system for educational projects and also for distance learning in VET. The activities of research, experimentation and analysis are combined with the use of ICT with massive use of tutoring activities, learning groups and transnational virtual study circles.

61

Technology Health Center - Training

Pekka Silvén
Project manager, Oulu University of Applied Science, School of Engineering

 

Oulu University of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering and Professional Development Services is managing a project (2006-2008) to create solutions for the better and more effective health care. The new technological solutions make it possible for health care procedures to become more efficient and qualitative. The core idea of the project is to enhance healthcare by training the target groups for the new technology and operational processes. Providing powerful tools for patient care management and training the target groups for the new operational processes will improve the healthcare professionals´ productivity. The target groups include health care operators in the public (nurses, doctors) and private sector (technology companies). Oulu University of Applied Sciences is one of the key partners in the mission to improve the quality of medical care and to make the Oulu area internationally significant centre for health care research and development.

62

The Use of Technology Based Learning in the Maltese ICT Sector

Mr. Simon Caruana
University of Malta, Computer & I.S., Others

The Use of Technology Based Training in the Maltese ICT Sector
Ever since Malta has become a member of the European Union; there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of ICT organisations being set up.  The Maltese Government has recently signed an agreement with Tecom Investments of Dubai, the main services operator behind the Dubai Internet City (DIC) concept to set up a similar centre in Malta creating thousands of jobs in the ICT sector.
To stay upfront, local ICT companies are turning to technology-based learning.  The government itself has started off a series of initiatives in this regard to provide further support.  This research seems to indicate that there is no one-way of doing this.  Many different approaches are being adopted suggesting that technology based learning for the ICT industry must be highly flexible and customisable to the organisation's requirements.

64

Multichannel digital recording and playback platform for teaching theatre

Federico Filira, Alessandro Bolzonella, Giuseppe Mantesso, Michele Moro, Marco Tozzato
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova

 

The paper deals with multimedia synchronization issues for recording and playback of multiple audio and video streams .The Department of Information Engineering developed a distance learning platform which manages a set of independent audio video sources transmitted each in a separate multimedia IP stream: teacher’s audio, teacher's video, teacher's document camera, teacher's notebook desktop and remote classrooms videos. Remote classrooms can participate to the lessons, they can ask for a question. All of these streams need to be digitally recorded for offline playback. The aim is to create a system to completely record a lesson in video-conference, in such a way that:
1) the lesson can be reproduced as it was held
2) the user can choose which streams to be shown
3) post-production is allowed.
During a playback of a recorded lesson a student always needs to hear the audio stream but he may choose one or more of the recorded video streams (among all of the selectable streams). The student has the possibility to change at any moment the visualized video streams. In particular the new video stream has to be synchronized with the current played audio and video.

65

A New Multimedia Teaching Theatre for Live Distance Learning

Sergio Congiu, Federico Filira
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova

 

The Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova has developed a real-time interactive platform for teleteaching, using the most modern multimedia technologies, over a wired WAN intranet. Some Department’s classrooms were staged to really become a teaching theatre: a highly interactive, multimedia classroom offering instructors many up to date and creative teaching opportunities.
The core aspect of this distributed teaching theatre is the full integration of several communication channels (audio, video and data) into a digital flow, granting high quality communications among a number of remote classrooms, with a 2 Mbps bandwidth limit for each lesson being delivered, with no care about the number of connected remote site. The second main feature is the high quality streaming performance for real-time multimedia presentation and the possibility of live interaction between the teacher and the students in remote classrooms. Finally the fully open-source solution allows any equipped class-room to be used either for teaching or for attending lessons, with no need to plan the connections in advance.

67

E-learning in Russia – Best Resources

Ildar Galeev, Larisa Taranina, Renat Mustaphin
Kazan State Technological University,Russia

The results of the competition “Education in the Russian Internet” in the nomination “professional education” helped to form the list of the best resources of Russia in the sphere of professional education. The paper contains a complete list of these resources with annotations and the results of analytical survey. The survey gives the information on the type of the founders and the resource trend. The list of common gaps characterizing the described resources and recommendations on their improvement are placed in the conclusion.

68

Managing a virtual classroom

Michaela Logofatu
University of Bucharest, ODL Department, Bucharest, Romania

Anişoara Dumitrache
University of Bucharest, ODL Department, Bucharest, Romania

Anca Mateias
University of Bucharest, ODL Department, Bucharest, Romania

Mihaela Gheorghe
University of Bucharest, ODL Department, Bucharest, Romania

Alina Munteanu
University of Bucharest, ODL Department, Bucharest, Romania

 

The Virtual Campus allows a permanent and complex connection with its users. The importance of communication in the Virtual University is emphasized in the pedagogical process (instruction and assessment), which is different from the traditional one. Using this platform, the instruction process became accessible and facile and the student evaluation process is accurate and objective.
In this study, our main purpose it is to present the way in witch we use the Virtual Campus (http://portal.credis.ro/) in eLearning. Our experience in using this portal started in July 2002 within the framework of Open Distance Learning Department, allows us to present this electronically platform as an easy, indispensable one. From the beginning, the number of users grows up constantly and now there are almost 6000 users.

69

e-Learning for anaesthesia and ICU departments

Marco Sajeva, Vincenzo Lanza
Università degli Studi di Palermo, Ospedale Buccheri La Ferla Fatebenefratelli Palermo, SIAARTI ICT Task Force

 

This paper is a work-in-progress report that will introduce the work of the SIAARTI (Italian Society for Anaesthesia and ICU) ICT task force to promote the use of e-learning in the education process of physicians and of trained nurses to use high profile ICT tools, like network computing and grid computing devices. This goal will be achieved using advanced simulation tools, but also e-learning based on Web Leaning Based methodologies.

70

Designing efficient e-learning solutions

Bogdan Logofatu
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

Alina Boboc-Corcotoi
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

Luca Boboc-Corcotoi
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

This paper aims to present the integrated solutions used for representing the real world entities such as classrooms, teachers or students in the virtual learning environment. Designing IT solutions for learning is not at all an easy job, because a virtual learning platform must offer options that supply traditional face-to-face interaction between students and teachers, but also between students and their colleagues.
A special attention was paid to the IT technologies chosen for developing this platform and the way they were put to work together for providing a flexible e-learning solution, easy to be modified or extended, but also requiring few resources from the user’s personal computers and Internet bandwidth.

71

Solution for automatic assembling of online courses

Bogdan Logofatu
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

Alina Boboc-Corcotoi
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

Luca Boboc-Corcotoi
University of Bucharest, ODL Department-CREDIS

 

Most of the teachers don’t have the know-how of developing web applications and neither designing friendly graphical user interfaces. That is why the specialists from ODL Department CREDIS (University of Bucharest) tried to build an IT solution for automatic assembling of online courses.
From another point of view, it is difficult for students to attend online courses with different interfaces from one to another. The automatic assembling of these courses standardizes their structure and makes the learning easier for students. They will be focused mostly on the educational content of the course, not on how to use it.
This paper will describe the manner in which this tool was designed and developed to answer the needs of teachers and students. Also, an example of an online course assembled using this application will be presented.

72

Video Object Segmentation and Tracking using Nonparametric Density Estimation

Vasile Gui, Daniela Fuiorea, Corneliu Toma, Florin Alexa
Universitatea “Politehnica” Timişoara

 

The paper presents an unsupervised method of moving object segmentation and tracking in video sequences captured by static cameras. Central to our work is the nonparametric density estimation and the mean shift algorithm for finding local maxima of the probability density. Foreground segmentation obtained from background estimation is combined with intra-frame mean shift segmentation, region tracking and connectivity-based region merging, in order to obtain an efficient processing algorithm. Preliminary tests asses the viability of the proposed approach.

73

Ten years on: Masters degrees in Online Learning

David Evans
JME Associates Ltd, UK

 

An outline of some of the ways in which Masters Degree courses in the design and management of open, online and e-learning have changed over the past ten years, taking examples from the UK, USA, Australia and Europe. The paper discusses the changing content of such courses, and considers how a balance can be maintained between consideration of modes of learning and mechanics of delivery.  

76

Integration of E-learning in Higher Education in Hungary

Andrea Ficsura
University of Miskolc,
North Hungarian Regional Distance Educational Centre

Maria Kocsis Baan
University of Miskolc,
North Hungarian Regional Distance Educational Centre

As the basis of this study a survey was launched in spring 2006 as a background material of an open and distance learning round table discussion in University of Miskolc, Hungary.
The basis of the study was a questionnaire, completed by the representatives of distance educational-, e-learning- and adult educational centres of fifteen higher educational institutions. The institutions represented all three types of higher educational institutions concerning their ownership forms (state-owned-, church-owned-, private and foundation). In this survey fifteen universities participated from all of 69 universities in Hungary. Only such institutions completed the questionnaire that use intensely open and distance learning, e-learning methods.

77

Is Outsoursing Suitable for Education? E-ducation – Virtual University System

Alena Ilavská, Jozef Babiak
Technical University in Zvolen

In short paper is explanation quite high similarity between public and private institutions. It appears that public institutions are more likely to have sufficient human resources or equipment compared to private institutions.

78

Advanced audio and video streaming tools based on Open Source solutions: the webTV project of the University of Palermo

Dr. Marco Sajeva
University of Palermo, Linguistic philology, Italy

This paper will introduce the webTV project developed by the University of Palermo, using only Open Source based solutions, as an advanced e-learning tool, capable of streaming high quality multimedia content, but also as a strategic instrument to build a repository of high quality and high definition teaching files. The project has been developed inside  two main projects named Tutorfad and Centrico, both funded by the Italian Ministry of the University (MIUR). The webTV platform is now used by the University of Palermo to broadcast multimedia content for e-learning, guidance and tutoring, and it’s used also in the E-report transnational project, funded by the EC (Leonardo da Vinci Program (EAC/11/04), 2005 – Procedure C).

79

Computer-Based Math Lessons Design for Preschool Children

Zuhal Tanrıkulu
Assistant Professor Dr., Bogazici University

 

Computer-based learning for preschool children is still crawling by means of both quantity and quality of the related software. It is necessary to understand general learning skills of preschool children, using computers in preschools, and teaching mathematics to them. A literature survey is made in related topics, and with the knowledge that is obtained from this survey the program named “Cheerful Numbers” is developed.
“Cheerful Numbers” is an interactive tool for helping preschool children to learn numbers between one and nine, and counting in a cheerful way. It is a self-learning tool, which does not require a prior knowledge except mouse control skill.
It is developed in Macromedia Flash MX 2004. To implement sounds into the program, voices have been recorded by using “Microsoft Sound Recorder”.

81

Progressive introduction of blended e-learning in traditional classroom using rich multimedia content: the use of Podcasting to create a repertory of high quality reusable teaching files

Marco Sajeva, Antonino Di Sparti
Università degli Studi di Palermo, Corso di Laurea in Lingue Moderne per il Web

This paper is a work-in-progress report of the Podcasting project developed by the Course of Modern Languages for the Web (LxWeb – Lingue Moderne per il Web) of the University of Palermo, using only Open Source based solutions, to build a repertory of high quality reusable teaching files starting from traditional classroom and introducing the podcasting methodology. The project aims at testing the podcasting methodology in a blended e-learning environment, but also at creating a repertory of high quality reusable teaching files.

82

Analysing e-Maturity of a Computer Science e-Learning Program

L Nagel
Department of Curriculum Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

J Suhonen
Department of Computer Science, University of Joensuu, Finland

E Sutinen
Department of Computer Science, University of Joensuu, Finland

ViSCoS (Virtual Studies of Computer Science) is an e-learning program that was created by the University of Joensuu to enable Finnish high school students living in sparsely populated rural areas to study university-level Computer Science (CS) including programming. It has since been expanded to include post-school students and is also translated into English to make it available to multicultural students. At present the course is being  analysed critically. The ViSCoS curriculum is divided into three main areas: (1) the preliminaries of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), (2) the basics of programming with Java, and (3) an introduction to Computer Science. The main strength of the course resides in the balanced curriculum fostering life-long learning. The expansion and redefinition of ViSCoS represents attainment of the highest level of e-maturity and permits implementing the Finnish Millenium Goals by applying ICTs for economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

83

Evaluation of ICT adult training programs by learners

Fotis Lazarinis
Technological Educational Institute of Mesolonghi

 

This paper presents the beliefs and ideas of adult learners participating in six Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training programs related to advanced computer science topics. With the aid of a questionnaire we recorded information such as the reasons for participating in an adult training program and their expectations. The learners were also asked to evaluate the usefulness of the seminar they attended and the pedagogical and technical capacity of the educators with respect to the demands of the courses. Additionally they were asked to identify the main reasons for the success or failure of the educational activity they involved in and make suggestions for improving the educational setting and the quality of the seminar. The paper presents the methodology of the study and analyzes its main findings.

84

The Role of Personal Motivation and Group Motivation in the Development of Online Learning Communities

János, Ollé
Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Department of Didactics

The analysis of interpersonal relations and motivational factors within a working group, their activity during collaborative materials development and those factors which influence these processes help us show the differences between the development of online and traditional offline working groups. The results of this research project may facilitate a better understanding of how online learning environments function, and it may enhance the development of effective online class management techniques.

89

Collaborative Learning in Face-to-Face and Computer- Supported University Contexts

Marcella Cuddetta, Cristian Inguglia, Alida Lo Coco, Paolo Renzi
Università di Roma La Sapienza, Dipartimento dei Processi di Sviluppo e Socializzazione, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Dipartimento di Psicologia

 

This study aimed to campare the efficacy of collaborative elarning in face to face and online groups. 166 psychology majors learnt the same professional skills ( community evaluation methodology) in four seminars taught over a two month period by the same teacher online and face-to-face.
Post-course evaluation of collaborative experience showed a significant differences between online and face-to-face seminar partecipants in perceived social presence, cooperation and group coesiveness with the learning experience.
Our results support the claim of advocates of third generation distance education methodologies that computers can be an effective anabler, not only of independent learning, but also of collaborative learning.
Furthermore, computer-supported collaborative learning environments are as efficient as collaborative learning in face-to-face seminars developing social presence and increasing professional competencies.

91

Best practise in developing a training course for e-learning professionals

Georgios A. Dafoulas
School of Computing Science, Middlesex University

 

This tutorial draws on previous experiences of two EU-funded projects (distance education and intercultural learning over the Internet), a distance education programme delivered to eight locations in five countries from Europe, Asia and Africa,  the coordination of a 16-partner think-tank consortium for the study of cognitive systems and the international workshop on e-Learning Online Communities.
Both in EU and the US we are witnessing an attempt for the simultaneous development of courses and learning materials specifically designed for global students alongside the e-learning technologies and pedagogical tools required to support them. The benefits of these efforts primarily result in the professional development of e-learning practitioners and researchers including designers of courses, developers of learning content, tutors and trainers involved in distance education, programme administrators, and managing personnel of institutions teaching overseas.
E-learning developers, trainers, tutors and managers, aim on advancing their e-tutor skills as their role is crucial in facilitating distance learners undertaking bilateral online programmes internationally. This enables such e-learning professionals to provide competent support of students through a variety of e-services and web applications.
Furthermore, diversity management skills are highly needed for improving mutual learning, trust and confidentiality. Cultural awareness is needed to provide better market opportunities, for fostering the competitiveness of content and language players on the global network. In the European Union’s rich cultural diversity, values, attitudes and beliefs vary so much as to cause problems without proper intercultural and multicultural awareness. Worldwide, there is a great need for citizens to have a better understanding of the level of their own intercultural and multicultural competence.
The ICT evolution of the past two decades leading to the proliferation of the World Wide Web was the primary factor for Online Communities to transform from a social interaction medium to virtual environments with commercial value. The increased popularity of Online Communities triggered the diversification of the community building process depending on those aspects forming the core of a community and enticing Internet users to become members; hence the birth of online communities focusing on education. Currently several institutions have created e-Learning Online Communities and there is early evidence of their future success.

92

Emerging Trends in Web-Based Learning: The use of e-portfolios

Georgios A. Dafoulas
School of Computing Science, Middlesex University

This paper is concerned with emerging trends in web-based learning and more specifically the methods of learner and learning support in e-learning. The study focuses on web-based learning needs and how they are addressed through services and tools available through the use of e-portfolios. An attempt is made to establish new ways of supporting online learners to cope with time and distance constraints. Such constraints are often affecting the curriculum offered in distance education mode. The paper suggests using e-portfolios for learner and learning support as an emerging trend in web-based learning. A framework is suggested for mapping learner needs and learning activities to portfolio functions. This framework is tested against data from 32 online modules over 5 undergraduate and postgraduate courses delivered through distance education programmes and supported by virtual learning environments. The paper concludes by discussing the positive effects of e-portfolio applications in web-based learning.

94

Live multimedia streaming application in a web-based presentation

Constantin Marian Bucos, Scorosanu Alin, Mihai Onita, Ciprian Bejenaru
Communications Department, Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications,
"Politehnica" University of Timisoara

The emergence of the Internet as a pervasive communication medium, the increased access bandwidths from private homes to the Internet and the widespread availability of digital audio and video technology have led to the rise of several networked streaming media applications such as live video broadcasts, distance education and online conference presentation. This paper describes an entire web-based presentation system for the users who wish to participate to a conference, but they can not be physical present there. They will feel exactly like a person who is in the middle of room presentation, but maybe more comfortable.

95

SVG Mapping System

Constantin Marian Bucos, Daniel Haiduc
Communications Department, Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications,
"Politehnica" University of Timisoara

 

This article presents the development of an online mapping system using SVG, PHP and MySQL database. The system aims to provide various services to general public: to find a place on the map by address or postal code, to display direction and distance information, to calculate the shortest path between two points. The system consists of 5 components: the map drawing tool – creates the map geometry and saves it in SVG format, the import module – process the map geometry and loads data in the database, the administration tool – allows administrators to change the map data or add additional information to each map element, the search engine – query the database and dynamically generate parts of it back into SVG format and the display tool – parse SVG data, renders the map on screen and provide options for navigation and zoom. All components used to implement this system are Open Source software. This is what makes the system particularly useful for low budget projects.

96

Innovative E-learning Solutions – “Password” of Cee Region for Entering the European Higher Education Space

Mária KOCSIS BAÁN
University of Miskolc, North Hungarian Regional Distance Education Centre

Several EU programmes aims to support development of European dimensions in Higher education – however the majority of initiatives remains at temporary, project levels. Analysing the reasons, several barriers have been identified – solutions for some of them can be found in innovative, creative ICT applications. E-learning – as complex system of such ICT solutions - has become the mainstream of education in the majority of EU countries and shows dynamic development in Central and Eastern European countries as well. More and more EU programs and projects support initiatives for enhanced cooperation of HEIs, however long term impact and sustainability realised by these projects are relatively poor. Methodology and results of a recent Leonardo project are introduced as a promising experience in multilingual course development and delivery.

97

E-Learning at MAHLE Componente de Motor SRL

Mr. Carlo Fromm
Managing Director MAHLE Componente de Motor SRL, Timisoara, Romania 

Advantages of e-learning often include flexibility and convenience for the learner especially if they have other commitments, facilitation of communication between learners, greater adaptability to a learner's needs, more variety in learning experience with the use of multimedia and the non-verbal presentation of teaching material.
Others are critical of e-learning in the context of education, because the face-to-face human interaction with a teacher has been removed from the process, and thus, some argue, the process is no longer "educational" in the highest philosophical sense.
To overcome the disadvantages MAHLE introduced the Blended Learning for English and MS-Office applications.
This mixed methode combines the “pure” E-Learning  with the “classic” Live Training.

98

The DIMPLE (Digital Internet and Mobile Phone e-Learning Environment) – a dual device research methodology

Diana Andone, Dr. Jon Dron, Dr. Lyn Pemberton
University of Brighton, UK

 

While most existing online learning environments cater for needs identified during the 1990s, a new generation of ‘digital students’ has emerged in the developed world.. Digital students use technology differently, fluidly (and often simultaneously) using instant messengers, mobile phones, the Web, MP3 players, ipods, online games, blogs and more. If their use of technology is different, the kind of learning environment they will require is likely to be equally different. To identify these differences we ran an online survey in universities from across Europe, followed by focus groups, interviews and observations of students in traditional and online learning environments. From this analysis we have more clearly identified how a learning environment for digital students should be constructed and used; an environment that contains a blend of Internet and mobile technologies which enhance student-tutor and student-student communication through multiple media channels, providing responsiveness, customizability and flexibility to adapt and be adapted to the students’ needs.

99

Evaluation of the METOIM Web-tool-Testing Competences Online

Prof.dr.eng. Radu Vasiu, Lect. Diana Andone, Assist. Marian Bucos
Multimedia Centre of "Politehnica" University of Timisoara, Romania

 

The paper presents the methodology of the METOIM "MEasure TO IMprove: how European Labour Union associations and firms can better improve through self-evaluation" Web Tool for improving the employment chances of EU citizens, as part of the lifelong learning policy of equal opportunities. The activities were carried out during a Leonardo da Vinci pilot project which is an innovative ICT educational product aimed to highly contribute to fill the gap of information and communication within the vocational training and employment fields. The bridge over this gap is possible by a correct evaluation of the key competences of all the workers. The METOIM partners, social actors all over Europe will be sharing, though in different contexts, the implementation of an instrument capable to measure competences (transversal and social), quality of learning (motivation and perception), quality of services (case studies, best practices) and quality of communication/information tools. To establish the competences the partners applied an online survey realized for two professional categories: front-desk officer and professional driver. The main scope of the METOIM Web Tool Application was to develop an online tool for the self-evaluation of key competences at international level for several employment areas. This tool is used as an assessment method for companies interested in vocational training and responds to the workers needs of assessing their competences at an international level. The Metoim Web Tool is translated in German, French, Hungarian, Greek, Italian and English. The tool development and design concern a management structure of all the data concerning users involved in a way or another in this project, even if they are partners, firms or employees. The METOIM Web Tool is a friendly application for people with low IT skills, which allows different levels of interaction (worker, firm, expert) and innovate the methodology of assessing competencies. We present the testing, piloting and evaluation of this tool. It is based on the testing process against usability, statiscs results and use of the information by firms and workers in 3 countries.

100

Testing the e-tasters

Lect. Diana Andone, Prof.dr.eng. Radu Vasiu, Assist. Mihai Onita, Iasmina Ermalai
Multimedia Centre of "Politehnica" University of Timisoara, Romania

In this paper the methodology and the development of e-tasters is presented. A wide range of ODL (Opening and Distance Learning) actors from EU and CEE countries, partners in the EU Socrates Minerva ‘e-Tasters’ project focus on developing an innovative approach for enhancing international e-learning course development and delivery. In this spirit nine partners from 6 countries propose a joint development of 12 short, freely accessible, on-line courses as e-tasters in English, by applying versatile pedagogical approaches, fitting to specific training needs. Selected 4 of 12 are translated to 9 other languages, and then piloted in three phases, a multilingual delivery of developed e-Taster courses to general public, citizens of several EU and PHARE countries, via one specific, advanced multilingual e-learning platform, supported by members of the two ODL networks: EADTU and e-Collegium. Three phases of piloting offers different levels of learners’ support (both in language and methodological aspects) and collaborative approach and tools, to be tested as networking models (see www.e-taster.net). The e-taster concept introduces as a novelty the well-designed course development approach, a multilingual delivery via a multilingual online platform and models of joint delivery, different levels of learners’ support. The online delivery, the independent model of learner as well as the variety of the titles, the target audience in the general public increase the level of acceptance of this e-learning model into the educational society. In the same time, due to the e-taster characteristics the learner’ general competencies can be improved in a short time and an easy way. The multilingual system of the e-taster ascertain the acquisition of similar levels of competencies for all the learners and allows a very wide spread over Europe. The e-Taster courses are a friendly e-learning method for people with low IT skills, general public, which allows different levels of interaction and innovate the methodology of life-long learning. The application is tested and evaluation by all the partners in 5 countries.

101

The implementation of an International master in Multimedia – a model for a Europe wide degree

Radu Vasiu, Diana Andone, Marian Bucos
"Politehnica" University of Timisoara, Romania

 

The higher education system in Romania has seen a series of transformations which reflect European tendencies but also the growth of the Romanian economy. These changes affect also Distance Education, a growing method for delivering several specializations, as off-campus solutions. Several EU programmes aims to support the development of European dimensions in Higher education – however the majority of initiatives remains at temporary, project levels. E-learning has become the mainstream of education in the majority of EU countries and shows dynamic development in Central and Eastern European countries as well. The “Politehnica” University of Timisoara is at the avant-garde of these changes and promotes innovation in education, and eLearning is seen as a further step in the high-education delivery. The EU Socrates Erasmus programme International Master in Multimedia seeks the development of the academic curricula of an international, online master programme delivered by a joint partnership of 5 universities and 3 companies.

102

Application of the Interactive Multimedia Technology in the European e-education

Dr. József Szabó, Dr. Zoltán Bártfai, Dr. Elsayed Hassan
Szent István
University Gödöllő, Hungary

The past few years have seen an incredible growth in the use of personal computers in higher education. Many factors can be credited with fuelling this growth, such as great increases in performance coupled with decreases in cost and the increasing availability of sophisticated authoring tools. One of these factors is undoubtedly the emergence of multimedia capability on personal computers. The purposes of this article is to show the meaning and implications of multimedia technology in e-learning in the European e- education and to support individuals and organizations, whether they be schools or workplaces, with implementing multimedia materials which is developed by European educational institutes.

103

Guidelines for a [Future] Multimedia Educational Platform

Andrei Rusan,  Mihai Onita
Multimedia Centre of "Politehnica" University of Timisoara, Romania

 

With the development of the Internet and Multimedia field, people hoped to be able to quickly create complete e-learning systems that would provide ubiquitous and independent access to knowledge for every potential user. These expectations proved to be too ambitious and, with regard to what was already realized in the e-learning field, it is now time to restate our objectives when designing platforms for e-collaboration and e-learning. In this paper, we describe both theoretical guidelines and possible implementation solutions for designing a platform guided by such principles as: efficiency, (re)usability and accessibility. Both students and teachers can take advantage of this kind of design during the learning stage, as well as in the following usage phases.

104

Smart Design in eLearning Interfaces

Dr. Carmen Taran
AT&T, Training, USA

The problem addressed in this tutorial is that currently there are no practical guidelines/checklists that help designers, managers, programmers, graphic artists, or vendors to evaluate the effectiveness of eLearning interfaces. This tutorial helps participants learn smart design in standalone eLearning interfaces, based on the presenter's academic research and experience after developing over 500 eLearning products for one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. Smart eLearning design relies on site architecture, online content presentation, instructional design customized for eLearning, and motivational elements for sustaining users' interest while learning online. This tutorial is highly practical. Participants are asked to analyze a multitude of samples of eLearning interface and are given checklists with practical guidelines for developing eLearning interfaces.

105

eLearning in the Age of Aesthetics

Dr. Carmen Taran
AT&T, Training, USA

From architecture to designer clothing to toenail polishing, there is a profusion and demand of style all around us. As consumers, we are undergoing a democratization of taste and ask that more and more objects and services embody fine design. The proclamation for the aesthetic has emerged in the Web design word as well. With the advent of technology and powerful authoring tools, function is a given. It is often the aesthetics that can create reactions and make site stand out. The use of line, form, tone, color, and texture can arouse emotional reactions in users. The purpose of this opinion paper is to examine the effect of aesthetic in corporate eLearning from the standpoint of interface aesthetics and learner experiences. To be a successful designer, one must both delight artistically but also instruct meaningfully.

106

Evaluating the evaluators using on-line feedback questionnaires

Iasmina Ermalai, Muguras Mocofan
Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politehnica University of Timisoara

 

The major goal of teachers is to continuously improve the way knowledge is provided to learners, and one way of doing this is to evaluate the evaluators. Within the framework of the learning system we should test the students’ reaction to the content, the interactivity, the accessibility of the course, both for traditional and web-based courses. For this an on-line feedback questionnaire was implemented using a PHP&MySQL technology. All the questions and the students’ answers are stored in a database and they are used to draw up statistics.
There are a few advantages in using this technique instead of traditional paper-based feedback questionnaires: easier update of the questions in the database, faster delivery of the answers, real-time statistics, without the risk of obtaining biased results.
Having the possibility of checking and comparing the results given by the statistics, teachers can easily improve both the manner of teaching and the content of the course.

107

Implementation of e-Training Services in Lithuania in the Context of International Study Programs

Danguole Rutkauskiene, Ramunas Kubiliunas, Airina Volungeviciene and Egle Butkeviciene

The article aims to explore the implementation of e-training services in Lithuania. The analysis is based on exploring the need for e-training among Lithuanian rural residents and introducing two international projects, aiming at delivery of distance education services. Projects cover different levels of distance education: the fist one (IMM project) is an example of implementation of e-learning in higher education; the second one (EVETE project) presents the situation of e-training at vocational education level.

108

The Development and Implementation of e-Learning/e-Teaching Strategies at Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences

Prof. Johann Gunther
University of Applied Sciences St. Poelten, Austria

 

109

The Potential of Design Patterns
for Vocational Teacher Education in Finland

Lauri Kurkela
Senior Lecturer, M.Sc. Oulu University of Applied Sciences
School of Vocational Teacher Education

 

 

 

The idea of patterns was publicly introduced by Christopher Alexander in the field of architecture to manage structural relationships that reoccur in good spaces. Patterns are capturing expert practice and communicate it to others. The idea of patterns has been adapted to several branches e.g. Software Design Patterns, Organizational Patterns, Telecommunication patterns, Pedagogical Patterns. Design patterns in e-learning are descriptions of good practice in e-learning. Patterns are usually used in contexts where an individual or an organization takes a paradigm shift in her/his learning process. The essence and potential use of patterns has been analysed at several layers to find out where expert practice could be captured and communicated to teacher students and new staff members.
Finnish Vocational Teacher Education is arranged by Universities of Applied Sciences in five Teacher Education Schools. Vesa Vuorimaa from Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences suggested that the idea of Design Patterns could be applied in cooperation of Finnish Vocational Teacher Education Schools.

110

An Ontology-based Web Portal to Support Continuous, Adaptable, Rigorous, Reflective and Sustainable Evaluation of eGovernment Systems (CARRSE)

Ah Lian Kor, Graham Orange, Alan Burke
Leeds Metropolitan University

 

111

Use of Multimedia and Hypermedia in On-line Courses for Engineering

Laura Grindei, Aurel Vlaicu, Bogdan Orza, Vasile Topa, Calin Munteanu
Tehnical University of Cluj-Napoca

This paper presents several multimedia and hypermedia applications developed and integrated in the on-line course “The Theory of Electromagnetic Field” (TEF)  for Engineering, designed and presently taught at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. These applications were developed and integrated within the course tutorials, the solved and assigned theoretical applications and projects, virtual laboratory and evaluation tests.

112

Webcourse and Webtutorial - 
New Collaborative Tools for 
E-learning

Aurel Vlaicu, Sanda Porumb, 
Cosmin Porumb, Bogdan Orza
Tehnical University of Cluj-Napoca

In Open and Distance Learning, the collaborative work concept provides with several advantages not just when talking about virtual universities, but also the special education programmes. There are situations where the sacked persons have to find a new job in fields different than they have been involved before, or frustrated students need more explanations regarding the educational content they have to assimilate. In those situations, the teachers do not have enough time to explain to each of them the concepts defined in the courses and tutorials. Starting with these needs, the article describes new concepts when developing collaborative tools in E-Learning based on a set of applications designed to provide a telecommunication infrastructure for web conferencing, video-assisted presentations and automated creation of navigable and searchable multimedia archives. In the same manner, these new concepts can help busy professors teaching in 2 or 3 universities, case we can meet in our country but also in European Union.

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