Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
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 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)



TABLE OF CONTENTS





A New Mission for Schools in Hong Kong in the 21st Century: Promoting Effective KM
Esther Chan
Pages: 1-4
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Knowledge Management, though a hot topic in business, is quite a new concept in schools and in the education sector in Hong Kong. KM involves identifying, preserving, sharing and making the knowledge assets grow. Proper management of the knowledge assets will make the schools or educational organizations more responsive to changes and to operate successfully in the information age. Thus, there is a need to promote effective knowledge management in schools. The first section of the paper aims to define KM and the relationship of knowledge, information and data. The second section discusses some practical ways that lead to effective handling of knowledge in schools.


Evaluating evaluation as a communication process. What role for formative evaluation in ICT-based knowledge acquisition?
USEILLE Philippe
Pages: 5-10
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
This article examines how formative evaluation as a communication process contributes to knowledge acquisition in using ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). Previous studies, especially in the field of education and training, have shown that formative evaluation plays a crucial part in the learning process because it contributes to learning to learn. Through formative evaluation, the learner becomes aware of errors and can adjust learning strategies to the situation. In addition, formative evaluation provides the teaching side with significant and useful information. Consequently, ICT researches have developed a wide range of solutions for this specific purpose. It is however difficult to check the efficiency of these tools by considering the effects of ICT in the knowledge acquisition process. I suggest that formative evaluation includes also a communication system that has an effect on the learning process. This study tackles the issue by proposing an alternative approach to formative evaluation that considers it as both a learning and a communication process. The study is based on SADT (Structure Analysis and Design Technique) that provides a suitable description for the whole complex communication process. It allows a rigorous understanding and identification of the variables of evaluation as a communication process in order to take care of an ICT frame. Finally, this article outlines a multidisciplinary method to evaluate formative evaluation by focusing on the validity facets of the communication process. Keywords: formative evaluation, communication process, validity criteria, ICT training context.


Evolution of a Corporate Knowledge Management and Knowledge Building Effort: A Case Study of Just-In-Time Training and Support of Laboratory Robotic Workstations Driven Through Online Community Portals
Karen Kearns
Pages: 11-17
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
This is a case study of the evolution of how a successful knowledge management initiative was achieved in a corporate learning organization. The initiative was centered on providing training tools and documentation of automated laboratory workstations that are utilized by scientists in a drug discovery environment. The case study will address the software tools, processes for content building, and the organizational dynamics that either assisted or blocked the progression of the initiative. Over a four-year period three distinct efforts were implemented, each differed in the particular software tools and focus of the initiatives. This presentation will compare and contrast the elements that provided barriers to success in the first two initiatives and the mechanisms and focus used in the third initiative that proved successful, scalable, and sustainable.


Methods for Marine Ecosystems Research through the Use of PDAs with Preservice Teachers
Antoinette Bruciati, Maria Lizano-DiMare
Pages: 18-23
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Science teachers are charged with the task of providing students in grades K-12 with opportunities that will enable them to make sense of science and develop habits of mind. One goal of science education is to prepare well-rounded citizens who are scientifically literate. Through inquiry-based learning, students formulate questions, perform investigations, and construct new understandings. It is important for preservice science teachers to be introduced to current techniques, discoveries, and debates in the field of science. The use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) can provide K-12 students with increased opportunities for exploring and learning through scientific investigations. In order for these devices to be successfully integrated into classroom instruction, changes in teaching methodologies must be adopted. This paper presents a model lesson that can be used to guide preservice teachers in the use of PDAs for studying a marine ecosystem. The field experience takes place on the shoreline of Long Island Sound at Stratford Point, in Stratford Connecticut.


Performance Visualization for Hearing-Impaired Students
Rumi Hiraga, Mitsuo Kawashima
Pages: 24-32
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
We have been teaching computer music to hearing impaired students of Tsukuba College of Technology for six years. Although students have hearing difficulties, almost all of them show an interest in music. Thus, this has been a challenging class to turn their weakness into enjoyment. We thought that performance visualization is a good method for them to keep their interest in music and try cooperative performances with others. In this paper, we describe our computer music class and the result of our preliminary experiment on the effectiveness of visual assistance. Though it was not a complete experiment with a sufficient number of subjects, the result showed that the show-ahead and selected-note-only types of performance visualization were necessary according to the purpose of the visual aid.


Personalizing the Collaborative Learning Environment with Pictures
Brian Mackie, Charletta F. Gutierrez
Pages: 33-40
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
The Internet and Web-based technologies, as well as rapid globalization, are changing the way businesses communicate. Continuous progress in Information Technology (IT) enables effective and efficient communication, particularly with the use of collaborative systems. Such systems have many different types of interfaces and attributes, and one such attribute is the use of visuals. This research assesses the usefulness of participant pictures in a collaborative exchange. To evaluate the usefulness of such pictures, participants were asked a series of questions regarding the use of pictures in CAMS, a collaborative environment. The results suggest that, in a collaborative setting, the use of pictures is valuable in enhancing a “sense of community,” particularly in cases where participants have not met face-to-face.


Playing with Mathematics in Peru through Internet: A Case Study of www.20enmate.com
Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio, Cecilia Torres Llosa, Gabriel Ortiz de Zevallos
Pages: 41-44
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
www.20enmate.com is an interactive website designed in 2003 to improve mathematical skills among Peruvian primary and secondary school students. The site seeks to strengthen the children’s sense of motivation and self-sufficiency through an innovative didactic methodology that stresses the idea that learning and practicing mathematics can be both fun and rewarding. www.20enmate.com has achieved outstanding qualitative and quantitative indicators for the first three years, a result of its creative design and well-coordinated network of students, teachers, schools, parents, local Internet booths, the private sector and the general community. The design and implementation of this website is an initiative of Grupo APOYO and its social responsibility program.


Proper Support Improves Online Student Success
Julia Sweitzer
Pages: 45-48
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
To ensure success of students enrolled in distance learning courses factors such as training for instructors, allocation of resources, administrative support, perceived relevance of content to the student’s career or personal interests, degree of student support, amount and nature of feedback and amount of time/effort required as well as establishment of learning communities are critical. Unfortunately, these services are not always in place when colleges first begin to venture into distance education. In addition, faculty members are often reluctant to develop courses in the absence of sufficient support from administrators and technical staff, not only for themselves, but their students as well. This article will discuss these issues and why they are important for student success.



Qualitative Evaluation of the Java Intelligent Tutoring System
Edward Sykes
Pages: 49-60
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
In an effort to support the growing trend of the Java programming language and to promote web-based personalized education, the Java Intelligent Tutoring System (JITS) was designed and developed. This tutoring system is unique in a number of ways. Most Intelligent Tutoring Systems require the teacher to author problems with corresponding solutions. JITS, on the other hand, requires the teacher to only supply the problem and problem specification. JITS is designed to “intelligently” examine the student’s submitted code and determines appropriate feedback based on a number of factors such as JITS’ cognitive model of the student, the student’s skill level, and problem details. JITS is intended to be used by beginner programming students in their first year of College or University. This paper discusses the important aspects of the design and development of JITS, the qualitative methods and procedures, and findings. Research was conducted at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Ontario, Canada.


The “T3 Support Centre” (Teaching, Technology & Testing) - Not just another help desk
Carol Miles, Nestor Querido
Pages: 61-65
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Many faculty members embrace the challenge of responding to rising student demands for more technically advanced course supports by offering their courseware through a variety of media. However, it is often difficult for them to find the time required to become proficient in the use of the software packages, course management systems and web technologies at their disposal. These new realities of teaching point to the need for support systems for faculty members that go beyond the traditional computer services “help desk” with a more comprehensive support service that actually becomes involved in the development and modification of technology-based course materials and computerized test marking and analysis. Increasing demand for these types of services at Carleton University resulted in the establishment of the T3 (Teaching…Technology…Testing) Support Centre. The service offers faculty members extended-hour phone-in and walk-in support as well as a variety of resources such as Scantron and Item Analysis service for multiple choice exams, the use of scanners and colour printers, as well as a variety of teaching publications and contacts. This paper details the planning, administration, and services offered of the T3 Service, including advice those attempting to establish a similar service. Usage statistics from the first year of operations will be delineated.


The Analysis of User Behaviour of a Network Management Training Tool using a Neural Network
Helen Donelan, Colin Pattinson, Dominic Palmer-Brown
Pages: 66-72
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
A novel method for the analysis and interpretation of data that describes the interaction between trainee network managers and a network management training tool is presented. A simulation based approach is currently being used to train network managers, through the use of a simulated network. The motivation is to provide a tool for exposing trainees to a life like situation without disrupting a live network. The data logged by this system describes the detailed interaction between trainee network manager and simulated network. The work presented here provides an analysis of this interaction data that enables an assessment of the capabilities of the trainee network manager as well as an understanding of how the network management tasks are being approached. A neural network architecture is implemented in order to perform an exploratory data analysis of the interaction data. The neural network employs a novel form of continuous self-organisation to discover key features in the data and thus provide new insights into the learning and teaching strategies employed.


Training People to Use Automation: Strategies and Methods
John Barnett
Pages: 73-76
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Automation is being introduced into the workplace more and more frequently, and more and more people are learning to use automated systems. However, many people tend to exhibit patterns of behavior towards automation which influences how they use it, or if they use it at all. Often, these behavior patterns can either negate the advantages of automation, or allow automation to lead people into precarious situations. This paper discusses some of these common behavior patterns and how training may help people avoid their negative consequences. It also includes a suggested automation training strategy to help training developers design training programs for automated systems that takes user attitudes towards automation into account.


User Interface Aspects of a Human-Hand Simulation System
Beifang Yi, Frederick Harris, Sergiu Dascalu, Ali Erol
Pages: 77-83
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
This paper describes the user interface design for a human-hand simulation system, a virtual environment that produces ground truth data (life-like human hand gestures and animations) and provides visualization support for experiments on computer vision-based hand pose estimation and tracking. The system allows users to save time in data generation and easily create any hand gestures. We have designed and implemented this user interface with the consideration of usability goals and software engineering issues.


Web Engineering as a Specialization of Software Engineering: Differences in Project Management Education
Herwig Mayr
Pages: 84-91
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
We present the motivation and our concept of introducing "Web Engineering" as a specialization of our "Software Engineering" curriculum. Our main focus lies on the differences in project management education for both areas as well as the necessary process models and tools.
First we discuss the principal differences of software project management and web project management, focusing on the main difficulties of teaching such management skills to primarily technophile students. Then we analyze the composition of modern software development teams and changes within such teams implied by the development of web applications. We illustrate this transition showing how a merely document-driven process - as can be found in many traditional software development projects - is turned into a highly tool-supported, agile development process, which is characteristic for web development projects.


Web Service Architecture for e-Learning
Xiaohong Qiu, Anumit Jooloor
Pages: 92-101
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Message-based Web Service architecture provides a unified approach to applications and Web Services that incorporates the flexibility of messaging and distributed components. We propose SMMV and MMMV collaboration as the general architecture of collaboration based on a Web service model, which accommodates both instructor-led learning and participatory learning. This approach derives from our message-based Model-View-Controller (M-MVC) architecture of Web applications, comprises an event-driven Publish/Subscribe scheme, and provides effective collaboration with high interactivity of rich Web content for diverse clients over heterogeneous network environments.


Web-Based Tools for Collaborative Evaluation of Learning Resources
John C. Nesbit, Jerry Z. Li, Tracey L. Leacock
Pages: 102-112
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
The emergence of large repositories of web-based learning resources has increased the need for valid and usable evaluation tools. This paper reviews current approaches to learning object evaluation and introduces eLera, a set of web-based tools we have developed for communities of teachers, learners, instructional designers and developers. Compatible with current metadata standards, eLera provides a learning object review instrument (LORI) and other features supporting collaborative evaluation. eLera provides limited translation of evaluations and subject taxonomies across communities using different languages and terminology. eLera is designed to assist researchers to gather data on evaluation processes and has been used to teach educators how to assess the quality of multimedia learning resources.