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Education, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date Nov. 2005

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): c1 - c4
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  • IEEE Transactions on Education publication information

    Page(s): c2
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  • Development, implementation, and assessment of a web-based power electronics laboratory

    Page(s): 567 - 573
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1392 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A Web-based laboratory exercise with remote access is presented, through which a student of Electrical/Electronic Engineering is introduced in both a theoretical and practical way, to many fundamental aspects of power electronics. The system is flexible and can expand the range of laboratory exercises where full-scale laboratories are not feasible. In the electrical environment, limits can be placed on voltages and currents for safety reasons. Prelaboratory investigations allow students to take an active involvement in the learning process by addressing some challenging and critical aspects of the design before approaching the physical system. Further understanding is gained by studying the circuit in a Web-based, interactive power electronics seminar (iPES) by simulating the circuit using PSpice and then analyzing the control and feedback issues with MATLAB. In the final stage, a real power converter is tested remotely over the Web, and the cycle of design, simulation, and test is completed using Web-based tools. View full abstract»

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  • A teacher friendly environment to foster learner-centered customization in the development of interactive educational packages

    Page(s): 574 - 579
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (136 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A good teacher is able to customize the lesson to fit the requirements and needs of the learners he or she has in the classroom. This process becomes difficult and expensive in open and distance education, where customization means availability of similar contents, presented in diversified styles. A methodology and the tools to tackle the problem by using automated course compilation have been developed in the 3DE project (Design, Development, and Delivery-Electronic Environment for Educational Multimedia). The work on course customization showed the key role of the authoring process and the related problems. This paper summarizes the methodology and describes the development environment designed to assist authors in the creation of customized educational material. The environment seeks to help teachers/authors understand the relations among pedagogical and technical aspects and provides instructions, guidelines, and assistance for the development of learning-styles-aware material. The paper focuses on the author interface of the environment with details on the pedagogical framework, the authors' guide, the classification guide, and the metadata tool. View full abstract»

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  • Intelligent browser-based systems to assist Internet users

    Page(s): 580 - 585
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    New client-based systems that filter Web pages, infer user learning styles, and recommend relevant pages are described. The systems provide easy, structured, focused, and controlled access to the Internet. A first system, called iLessons, is embedded within Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and provides teachers with tools to create lesson Web pages, define zones of the Internet that can be accessed during a lesson, and enforce these settings in a set of computers. A second system enables students to investigate and collaborate using the Internet. The system filters Web pages based on the relevance of their contents and assists students by inferring their learning style (active or reflective) and by recommending pages found by fellow students based on page relevancy, student learning style, and state of mind measured by activity. View full abstract»

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  • A web-based remote interactive laboratory for Internetworking education

    Page(s): 586 - 598
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    A Web-based remote interactive laboratory (RIL) developed to deliver Internetworking laboratory experience to geographically remote graduate students is presented in this paper. The onsite Internetworking program employs hands-on laboratories in a group setting that correlates with the constructivist and collaborative pedagogical approach. This paper discusses the pedagogical and technical considerations that influence the design and implementation of the remote laboratory environment given the constraints of the special hardware and learning outcomes of the program. For wide-ranging usability, the remote Internetworking (INWK) laboratory uses de facto networking standards and commercial and broad-band Internet connectivity to ensure real-time secure interaction with equipment. A four-tier role architecture consisting of faculty, local facilitators, remote facilitators, and students has been determined appropriate to maintain academic integrity and ensure good quality of interaction with the remote laboratory. A survey employing a five-point scale has been devised to measure the usability of the remote access INWK laboratory. View full abstract»

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  • Creating a sense of "Presence" in a web-based PSI course: the search for Mark Hopkins' log in a digital world

    Page(s): 599 - 604
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    The technical term presence concerns the feeling that a student is in a real classroom, in real time, with a real person managing the learning. This paper considers the two major factors affecting presence: 1) the choice of pedagogical strategy and 2) its implementation using a freshman computer course taught over the Web by the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) method. Special attention is paid to the location of professor, proctor, and students in this study as well as other strategies to heighten a sense of presence in Web-based courses. View full abstract»

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  • A methodical assessment of integrative model-based E-course development

    Page(s): 605 - 611
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    A number of course content development models are being prescribed. How effective are these models? Does course content, developed using these models, lead to improved learning? Empirical evaluation is perhaps the only way one can hope to get reliable answers to such questions. This paper describes a methodical assessment process consisting of unique experimental efforts undertaken for evaluation of one such model. After briefly introducing the new systematized courseware development model used, the paper describes the development of an e-course on Introduction to Internet Technology and its evaluation. The evaluation does indicate a significant difference in the knowledge level attained by students learning from online lessons created using the specific development model. View full abstract»

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  • AutoTutor: an intelligent tutoring system with mixed-initiative dialogue

    Page(s): 612 - 618
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    AutoTutor simulates a human tutor by holding a conversation with the learner in natural language. The dialogue is augmented by an animated conversational agent and three-dimensional (3-D) interactive simulations in order to enhance the learner's engagement and the depth of the learning. Grounded in constructivist learning theories and tutoring research, AutoTutor achieves learning gains of approximately 0.8 sigma (nearly one letter grade), depending on the learning measure and comparison condition. The computational architecture of the system uses the .NET framework and has simplified deployment for classroom trials. View full abstract»

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  • Effects of laboratory access modes upon learning outcomes

    Page(s): 619 - 631
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    The Web was first used as a telecontrol medium in 1994. In recent times, Web-based telecontrol is being used as an educational option, providing students with remote access to laboratory hardware. The literature reporting the initial studies into telelaboratories speaks of encouraging responses from students, but very little literature actually addresses the quality of learning outcomes from this alternative access mode. A recent comparative study at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, randomly allocated a cohort of third-year students to one of three separate access modes-proximal, Web-based remote, or simulation-to perform the same laboratory class. A range of tools were used to measure the students' learning outcomes and their perceptions of the class. Statistically significant differences were found between the groups in their learning outcomes, students' perceptions of the laboratory class, and the ways in which they engage the learning experience. View full abstract»

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  • Implementation of a web-based educational tool for digital signal processing teaching using the technological acceptance model

    Page(s): 632 - 641
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3424 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents an exploratory study about the improvement and validation of a Web-based educational tool. The tool, designed with Shockwave and Macromedia Director, is used as a teaching methodology in an undergraduate course using modern microprocessors, architectures, and applications. An information system theory, called the Technological Acceptance Model (TAM), has been applied to detect both the use of the tool and the external variables that have a significant influence over it. The obtained results illustrate the strengths and weaknesses to be reinforced and have been taken into account to implement the final version of the tool. The proposed method may be extended to similar tools and experiments to fill the lack of scientific studies in the validation and acceptance of computer-based educational tools. View full abstract»

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  • Teaching photonics laboratory using remote-control web technologies

    Page(s): 642 - 651
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    This paper proposes a remote education system, Virtual Photonics Experiments Network (V-PEN), for teaching photonics experiments. In this approach, teaching and learning photonics become easier by the V-PEN. A design procedure for transforming real experiments to online experiments is also proposed, and a Michelson interference system as an example is employed to describe the procedures of the online experiments. This photonics experiment platform has been used for a semester. The survey of learners' feedback is also presented. View full abstract»

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  • Effect of web-browsing interfaces in web-based instruction: a quantitative study

    Page(s): 652 - 657
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (368 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Two major problems were identified in reviewing current research in Web-based instruction: 1) assessment of irrelevant learning outcome variables and 2) weak methodological design in conducting quantitative research. This quantitative study was designed to investigate whether different types of Web-browsing interface in Web-based instruction influence students' learning achievement of varied educational objectives. The studied interfaces were 1) browser scroll, 2) frame-based, and 3) pop-up-window interfaces. This study also investigated a potential interaction between the interface and students' prior knowledge, since prior knowledge had long been considered an important learning variable for acquiring new information. A total of 137 undergraduate students participated in the study. A statistical multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to analyze collected data. Results showed significant main effects of independent variables in all criterion tests except for the treatment effect on a comprehension knowledge test. View full abstract»

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  • The implementation and evaluation of OASIS: a web-based learning and assessment tool for large classes

    Page(s): 658 - 663
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    This paper describes a Web-based learning and assessment tool developed and implemented over a five-year period. Used predominately with first- and second-year students for skills practice and summative assessment, the tool delivers individualized tasks, marks student responses, supplies students with prompt feedback, and logs student activity. Interviews with instructors indicated that the software had enabled them to manage workloads in spite of rising class sizes and that student learning, based on observation and assessment results, had been enhanced rather than compromised. Student surveys, interviews, focus-group discussions, and informal feedback showed that students found the software easy to use and felt it helped them improve their skills and understanding. Student activity logs provided an insight into student study habits and confirmed the motivating power of assessment. View full abstract»

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  • Integrated component web-based interactive learning systems for engineering

    Page(s): 664 - 675
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (720 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Dynamic web-based learning tools are indispensable in modern teaching, especially considering their capability for interaction on demand as a means of stimulating and engaging students. The experience on which the results reported here are based has grown out of progressive testing of different approaches for publishing technical sketches and mathematical notations from the field of electromagnetics on the web, starting in 1997 with simple static web pages of solved examples. The encouraging results from using and evaluating this educational material and the needs expressed by students for learning from more dynamic and interactive web learning materials that offer the possibility of changing parameters in online calculations motivated a search for new approaches to publishing interactive learning materials on the web. Integration of already developed components for building animations, presenting mathematical equations, and performing online computations with browser scripting led to development of a learning environment where animations are synchronized with corresponding derivations of equations and supported by dynamic, parametric-driven calculations and visualizations that can be integrated with sound and video. The system supports tests and examinations in which the answers are provided as mathematical notations. The use of Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) permits equations in the learning materials to be copied and pasted into most of the popular mathematical software tools for algebraic manipulation or numerical computation. Examples demonstrate how the system can be used with a course on electromagnetics, although the basic approach is applicable in other fields of engineering and natural science. View full abstract»

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  • QoL guaranteed adaptation and personalization in E-learning systems

    Page(s): 676 - 687
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1176 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper investigates the problem of adaptation and personalization in e-learning systems. A new metric-QoL (Quality of Learning)-is recommended for e-learning systems to evaluate the learning process. This paper proposes the Adaptive & Personalized E-Learning System (APeLS) that provides dynamic learning content and an adaptive learning process for learners to enhance the quality of learning. According to feedback from the learner, the proposed APeLS is capable of self-adjusting and self-reorganizing the learning components and paths to adapt to each user's learning interests, abilities, and behavior. This adaptation and reconfiguration is produced according to the user's QoL and a dynamic referred ideal learning curve. To ensure QoL, the proposed APeLS revises each user's learning curve to match with the referred ideal learning curve. A prototype system is implemented, and the collected results are excellent. View full abstract»

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  • Self-assessment in a feasible, adaptive web-based testing system

    Page(s): 688 - 695
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (568 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Adaptive testing systems generate tests for assessment that are tailored to each student. In these tests, students are assessed through a process that uses Item Response Theory (IRT), a well-founded psychometric theory. This theory is responsible for estimating student knowledge, determining the next question that must be posed at each moment, and deciding test finalization. System of Intelligent Evaluation Using Tests for Teleeducation (SIETTE) is a Web-based environment for generating and constructing adaptive tests. In SIETTE, teachers can create tests for self-assessment. In this kind of test, questions are posed one by one, and the correction of each question is shown immediately after the student's answer. Along with this correction, and in terms of the student's answer, feedback is provided. Feedback consists of pieces of knowledge that help students detect misconceptions or reinforce concepts correctly learned. Furthermore, hints can be included when questions are posed to supply students with some kind of help or explanation about the stem. As a result, this kind of test can be used not just for assessment, but also for instructional purposes. The first goal of this paper is to show how SIETTE can be used for instructional purposes, by combining adaptive student self-assessment test questions with feedback and hints. This paper also shows that the Web is a feasible platform for the generation of adaptive tests, supporting the use of SIETTE for this purpose. View full abstract»

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  • Collaborative web-based experimentation in flexible engineering education

    Page(s): 696 - 704
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    The Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, is deploying a flexible learning scheme for selected pilot courses in engineering education. In such a scheme, traditional lectures and written exercises are combined with additional Web-based learning resources. The main objective of this initiative is to sustain the evolution from traditional teaching to active learning and to better integrate the increasing number of educational resources available online. In engineering education, a key activity to sustain the learning process is hands-on experimentation carried out using either simulation tools or real equipment. This paper describes how a collaborative Web-based experimentation environment has been introduced at the EPFL for providing more flexibility to students performing laboratory experiments in automatic control, biomechanics, and fluid mechanics. It particularly describes the eJournal, a Web service integrated in the proposed learning environment that enables the collection and sharing of preparatory notes and experimental results with both peers and teaching assistants. View full abstract»

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  • Network EducationWare: an open-source web-based system for synchronous distance education

    Page(s): 705 - 712
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    Inexpensive computers and Internet connections can be used in teaching engineering and technology courses to make the classroom presentation of a lecture available anywhere with connectivity. With rapidly growing demand, particularly from working professionals who need courses to remain current or for advancement in their careers, and reductions in financial support, universities face increasing pressure to find solutions that are effective academically and fiscally. This paper describes an open-source distance-learning system that fulfills both "smart classroom" and distance-education roles and that is inexpensive, easy to use and operate, and highly effective, even when used over dial-up connections. The software is available at no cost for academic use. View full abstract»

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  • Changing a standard telecommunications laboratory to a same-time-different-place virtual laboratory format: techniques utilized and lessons learned

    Page(s): 713 - 718
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    While distance learning via video conferencing has gained wide acceptance in many universities around the world, interactive laboratory classes at a distance remain a weak area in this arena, especially those that require live interaction among students and the instructor to achieve cognitive or psychomotor outcomes. This paper discusses changes made to a same-time-same-place (STSP) telecommunications laboratory that have allowed experiments to be offered in a same-time-different-place (STDP) manner. Some of the key lessons learned to date are also presented. View full abstract»

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  • Interactive online tutorial assistance for a first programming course

    Page(s): 719 - 728
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (752 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Web-based instruction shows great promise toward enriching the student learning experience. One particular area of interest is providing tutorial material and practice problems online so that classroom lecture time can be better utilized. However, the time and cost to develop full tutoring systems can be prohibitive. The project presented in this paper shows that low-cost online modules can be developed to complement existing course delivery methods. The key to the design is limiting the type of tutoring and focusing on instructional challenges involving the repetition of concepts that are introduced in the course lectures. For introductory programming courses, these challenges primarily involve the difficulties inherent in learning the syntax of a particular programming language and gaining sufficient familiarity with programming concepts, such as loops, conditional statements, and simple algorithms. The set of online modules was developed to reduce the need for repetition of these concepts during lectures. Thus, students benefit as they can gain knowledge and comprehension of these concepts at their own pace as they actively engage the tutorials and self-check exercises. The modules were used as an enhancement for an introductory programming course taught in C++ to first-year university students, some of whom had little or no programming experience. Feedback from students and instructors shows that the modules were useful and aided student learning. View full abstract»

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  • Use of web-based materials to teach electric circuit theory

    Page(s): 729 - 734
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    Beginning fall 2001, the Electrical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, College Station, significantly altered the instructional philosophy of the ELEN 214 Electric Circuit Theory course by introducing more engineering design into the curriculum and adopting the WebCT-based interactive homework submission system. This paper will discuss the use of the Quiz tool within WebCT for the construction of question banks and their publication to a WebCT server. An example, deriving mathematical expressions, which describes electric circuit behavior and helps customize the homework problems to each individual student, are discussed. In other words, in a class of 200 students, each student is presented with an individual homework assignment with a unique set of problems not repeated to anyone else via WebCT. A help desk staffed by senior undergraduates assists the course students in completing the WebCT-based homework on time. WebCT is an essential ingredient in the delivery of the course. The approach presented in this paper can be adapted to any other course in engineering/science that involves mathematical calculations. So far, the course evaluations suggest that the students are more motivated and excited about electrical and computer engineering as a career. View full abstract»

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  • Interactive online undergraduate laboratories using J-DSP

    Page(s): 735 - 749
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    An interactive Web-based simulation tool called Java-DSP (J-DSP) for use in digital signal processing (DSP)-related electrical engineering courses is described. J-DSP is an object-oriented simulation environment that enables students and distance learners to perform online signal processing simulations, visualize Web-based interactive demos, and perform computer laboratories from remote locations. J-DSP is accompanied by a series of hands-on laboratory exercises that complement classroom and textbook content. The laboratories cover several fundamental concepts, including z transforms, digital filter design, spectral analysis, multirate signal processing, and statistical signal processing. Online assessment instruments for the evaluation of the J-DSP software and the associated laboratory exercises have been developed. Pre/postassessment data have been collected and analyzed for each laboratory in an effort to assess the impact of the tool on student learning. View full abstract»

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  • Knowledge-based web-enabled agents and intelligent tutoring systems

    Page(s): 750 - 756
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (472 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Intelligent tutoring systems have been in existence for decades, and their characteristics can be beneficially applied in environments utilizing information and communication technology (ICT). The "intelligence" in these systems is seen through the way these systems adapt themselves to the characteristics of the students, such as speed of learning, specific areas in which the student excels as well as falls behind, and rate of learning as more knowledge is learned. In such intelligent learning environments, the agent or set of agents can be modeled to perform pedagogical tasks. This paper considers the necessary characteristics that constitute a good intelligent tutoring system. This paper introduces a framework incorporating an incremental machine-learning approach to capture 1) the dynamics of knowledge creation in the domain of interest and 2) the learned-knowledge content of the student over time. Some of the components of the proposed system are illustrated using examples from an introductory course on database design. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Educational research, methods, materials, programs, and technology in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and fields within the scope of interest of IEEE.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Jeffrey E. Froyd
Texas A&M University