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Webgene _{\rm OS} : A Generative and Web-Based Learning Architecture to Teach Operating Systems in Undergraduate Courses

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2 Author(s)
Buendia, F. ; Dept. of Syst. Data Process. & Comput., Univ. Politecnica de Valencia ; Cano, J.-C.

Operating systems is a fundamental topic underlying many modern disciplines, including computing, telematics, and control engineering. Moreover, operating systems is one of the core courses considered under the most important curricula recommendations. The learning process in this area involves both a theoretical and a practical part that students have to learn and put into practice. To reinforce operating systems fundamentals, simulation tools and instructional operating systems have been proposed. However, few of these tools address a learning approach that permits one to work with real operating systems while supporting an active learning methodology that integrates theory and practice. This paper applies generative learning methods and Web-based applications to operating systems courses. WebgeneOS is presented as an experimental learning system that leads students through a more active participation in the learning process. WebgeneOS combines the universal connectivity of Web technologies with the educational theory provided by the generative learning methods. The system allows students to send their system programs using Web forms, execute them in a native operating system, and receive their results and feedback information through Web browsers. The benefits of WebgeneOS were evaluated by comparing students' grades. The evaluation involved students attending operating systems courses during the 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005 academic years. Students using WebgeneOS improved their grades by about 13%. Moreover, the system offered a well-balanced formation between the theoretical and the practical learning outcomes. Overall, this paper made evident that Web technologies and generative learning methods help students in their learning process

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 4 )