|Techniques for Engaging Students in an Online Computer Programming Course|
Eman M. El-Sheikh
Many institutions of higher education are significantly expanding their online program and course offerings to deal with the rapidly increasing demand for flexible educational alternatives. One of the main challenges that faculty who teach online courses face is determining how to engage students in an online environment. Teaching computer programming effectively requires demonstration of programming techniques, examples, and environments, and interaction with the students, making online delivery even more challenging. This paper describes efforts to engage students in an online introductory programming course at our institution. The tools and methods used to promote student engagement in the course are described, in addition to the lessons learned from the design and delivery of the online course and opportunities for future work.
Design of the RFID for Storage of Biological Information
Yu-Lee Choi, Seok-Man Kim, Sang-Hee Son, Kyoung-Rok Cho
Recent advances in RFID (radio frequency identification)
technology promises to create a wireless circuitry capable of
interfacing with biological systems for acquisition, identification
and processing of biological data based on radio frequency
interaction. Thus, the RFID tag can be attached not only to
consumer products and form part of the supply chain, but also to
animals, plants and in particular human body. This paper describes
the strategy for the design of a novel RFID tag, which stores vital
biological information such as body temperature and blood
pressure and heartbeat in accordance with the EPC global Class-1
standard. Biological data is obtained from a sensor technology that
is based on resistance deviation-to-pulse width converter. The
integrated chip consists of an analog front end, command
interpreter, collision avoidance block, data storage, sensors, and
interface circuitry. The system is capable of supporting heartbeats
in the range of 40~200 beats per a minute and blood pressure
0~300mmHg. The proposed system employs collision free
algorithm that supports access to single tag within a multiple tag
environment. The approach facilitates intelligent management of
patients in hospitals as part of an integrated healthcare
A Petri Net-based Approach to Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems Modeling
Linda L. Zhang, Brian Rodrigues
Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs) have been used
to provide manufacturing companies with the required
capacities and capabilities, when needed. Recognizing (1) the
importance of dynamic modeling and visualization in decision
making support in RMSs and (2) the limitations of the existing
studies, we model RMSs based on Petri net (PN) techniques
with focus on the process of reconfiguring system elements
while considering constraints and system performance. In
response to the modeling difficulties identified, a new
formalism of colored timed PNs is introduced. In conjunction
with colored tokens and timing in colored PNs and timed PNs,
we further define a reconfiguration mechanism to meet the
modeling difficulties. A case study of an electronics product is
reported as an application of the proposed colored timed PNs to
Incorporating Gaming in Software Engineering Projects: Case of RMU Monopoly
Sushil Acharya, David Burke
A major challenge in engineering education is retaining student
interest in the engineering discipline. Active student
involvement in engineering projects is one way of retaining
student interest. Such involvement can only be realized if
project inception comes entirely from the student. This paper
presents a software game, RMU Monopoly, developed as a
project requirement for a software engineering course and
describes the challenges and gains of implementing such a
The RMU Monopoly was proposed by three junior software
engineering students. The game is a multi-platform software
program that allows up to eight players and implements the
rules of the Monopoly board game. To ensure agility the game
was developed using the spiral software development model.
The Software Requirements Specification (SRS) document was
finalized through an iterative procedure. Standard Unified
Modeling Language (UML) diagrams were used for product
design. A Risk Mitigation, Monitoring, and Management Plan
(RMMM) was developed to ensure proactive risk management.
Gantt chart, weekly progress meetings and weekly scrum
meetings were used to track project progress. C# and Sub-
Version were used in a client-server architecture to develop the
software. The project was successful in retaining student
interest in the software engineering discipline
Mitigating Reputational Risks - A Proposal With A
Knowledge-Based Stakeholder Information Leitstand
The Internet plays a crucial role in the communication strategy
of organizations. However, information is often distributed at
the “wrong” time and does not always satisfy the particular
requirements of key customers, suppliers, governments, shareholders
or financial analysts. Serious mistakes might not only
create negative sequela, for example, stakeholders remain
unsatisfied, downgrade their opinions about products and
companies, and subsequently make ‘wrong’ decisions. Such
mistakes could also have tremendous effects on the primary
objectives of an enterprise, e.g., the reputation suffers and subsequently
the share price plunges. In this paper, we present how
companies can take advantage of actively providing targeted
information with a knowledge-based Stakeholder Information
Leitstand (information planning and control center). It helps
executives stabilize relationships with key customers, journalists,
politicians, investors, and assists in promoting trust and
enhancing reputation, especially in times of risk situations. We
focus on the design phase of the system, and propose that
current decision support systems could be enriched with
“business content”, i.e. predefined situation-oriented and individualized
information categories and messages.
Professionalism and Work Ethic among U. S. and Asian University Students in a Global Classroom: A Multi-Cultural Comparison
William Swart, Steve Duncan, Rosina Chia
Professionalism and work ethic, as reflected by selfregulation,
has been and continues to be an important
attribute of a competitive work force. This paper
compared the academic self-regulation of U.S. vs.
Asian students enrolled in a Global Classroom course
at a large southeastern university. Students were asked
to respond to 10 specific pro-academic behaviors in
regard to what they were actually doing (actual
engagement) and what they felt they should be doing
(intended engagement) specific to achieving academic
success. The results indicated that students from both
the U.S. and Asia exhibited limited self-regulation in
the pursuit of behaviors leading to academic success in
comparison to what they reported they should be
doing. There was not a significant difference between
U.S. and Asian students in self-reported actual
engagement in pro-academic behaviors. However,
Asian students presented less of a discrepancy
between actual and intended engagement in proacademic
behaviors in comparison to their U.S.
counterparts. This was based on Asian students’ rating
of intended behaviors lower than U.S. students. A
notable difference was also found in that the Asian
students self-regulated better than their U.S.
counterparts in terms of pro-academic behaviors that
were not directly observable. For Asian students there
was not a discrepancy in self-reported engagement of
observable vs. non-observable behaviors The U.S.
students, however, appeared to be more amenable to
external motivation (e.g. having the instructor be able
to observe their behavior) and less likely to engage in
non-observable behaviors leading to academic
Platform for the analysis of written texts in terms of conceptual graphs: study
case, Cybernetics of Cybernetics course
José Bermeo, Germán Bravo-Córdoba, Sebastián Contreras, Roberto Zarama
The objective of this work is to observe and analyze the
conceptual-relation structures in texts written in Spanish, from
the perspective of second-order cybernetics. Texts are shaped
by the syntactic structure of the sentences they contain.
Conceptual-relationships emerge by transforming the text, using
a text analysis platform named PAST. The transformation is
guided by a set of established rules, permitting to observe a
system. PAST can be defined as a powerful operator to
transform texts written by the students in a Master’s Program
class. The platform is introduced as a tool enabling a graph
representation of relationships among the concepts in the text.
The internal procedure of the platform and the graph
construction concerns the linguistic analysis. Although the
resulting graphic representation does not follow a formal
definition, it reflects an iterative construction to define a
topology to create a semantic network. This network only
makes sense to the author of the text. In other words, the author
(observer), based on the cybernetics of the observing systems,
uses a tool that enables him to make a second-order observation
of a document that he/she has linearly written. The main
epistemological concepts mentioned throughout the
development of the proposal are discourse and distinction. The
contribution of this work is the application of a methodology
that conducts a recursive observation of both the direct and
indirect relationships established by the words the author puts
together in his/her written discourse. In the discussion of results
the next phases of this work are presented.
|An Integrated AI and RFID System for
People Detection and Orientation|
Bonifacio Castaño, María D. R-Moreno
A common problem that visitors have to face in big buildings,
with several floors, corridors and departments, is their accurate
location and orientation. The problem gets even worst when
there are a big number of users and they have time constraints.
A typical example is a medical centre where the patients have
got scheduled doctor’s appointments and, in some cases, severe
movement difficulties. A possibility for solving this problem is
to provide the building with an intelligent system for user
detection and orientation. In addition, this strategy would allow
to find and locate all the people inside the building and to carry
out an individual search if it were necessary. This is the
framework we have chosen in this article. We have developed a
complete hardware and software system for people detection,
location and orientation in this scenario. The hardware part of
the system is based on the RFID technology and it has been
successfully implemented in a fully operational prototype. The
software uses artificial intelligence techniques, specifically
planning and scheduling.
Increasing the Retention of Females of Color in Engineering and Technology Degree
Programs through Professional Development Activities
Sherri S. Frizell, Felecia M. Nave
This paper provides an overview of professional
development activities designed to provide minority
female engineering students with the knowledge and
essential skills to enhance their preparedness to transition
into the engineering workforce and their ability to sustain
a successful career. Three professional development
workshops are discussed that focused on such topics as
breaking the glass ceiling, leadership, soft skills
development, balancing technical and non-technical skill
development, professional etiquette, mentoring, and
creating a growth plan. Industry partnerships have been a
critical component to the success of these activities.
Parallel Task Processing on a Multicore Platform in a PC-based Control System for Parallel Kinematics
Yannick Dadji, Jochen Maass, Harald Michalik
Multicore platforms are such that have one physical processor chip with multiple cores interconnected via a chip level bus. Because they deliver a greater computing power through concurrency, offer greater system density multicore platforms provide best qualifications to address the performance bottleneck encountered in PC-based control systems for parallel kinematic robots with heavy CPU-load. Heavy load control tasks are generated by new control approaches that include features like singularity prediction, structure control algorithms, vision data integration and similar tasks. In this paper we introduce the parallel task scheduling extension of a communication architecture specially tailored for the development of PC-based control of parallel kinematics. The Sche-duling is specially designed for the processing on a multicore platform. It breaks down the serial task processing of the robot control cycle and extends it with parallel task processing paths in order to enhance the overall control performance.
Effect of Changing Governance System: Result of Western Style Management Adoption to Japanese Culture of Ambiguity
This paper considers the difficulty of management style change
through observation of the management style of Company-A,
one of the biggest Japanese IT companies.
Japanese economy grew after World War II until the early
1990’s. During that era, Ba or SECI process worked in
Japanese organizations very well. Further, there was an
ambiguous culture in the background of such characteristics.
Some kinds of ambiguity or adhocracy made positive effects for
Japanese organizational activity, or ambiguity played an
important role for Ba activity. There were nested Ba’s in each
organization with ambiguity. Ambiguous descriptions of roles
for each organizational unit activated nested Ba’s and generated
After the economic crisis, Company-A changed its governance
and gave clear targets for each organizational unit and for each
employee. This change gave new difficulty and diminishes its
competence. The change denied the ambiguity in the
organization but it was the basis of the competence.
Adopting a new system of governance is not a simple activity.
Systems must be adjusted to the culture of the organization.
Company-A should study competitors in different cultures and
adjust the methodology for its culture.
Using Marking Criteria to Improve Learning: An Evaluation of Student Perceptions
This paper is an exploratory study on the use of Marking Criteria in the offshore campus of an Australian University in the Middle East. The purpose of the study is to analyse student attitudes to the use of Marking Criteria with a view to maximizing its use. Most educators agree that assessment plays a key role in education and the use of Marking Criteria helps to streamline assessment. The study notes that most students were aware of the benefits of reviewing criteria before they worked on an assessment but few actually used it. The paper offers ways to help students internalise criteria to make learning effective. It also proposes the use of Marking Criteria as a tool that aids teachers in giving feedback in large classes.
Development and Validation in Air Traffic Control by Means of Real-Time Simulations
Stephan Herr, Michael Teichmann, Tim Gesekus
The airspace in Central Europe is already one of the busiest airspaces in the world and the forecasts predict further traffic increases. The current air transport system is reaching its capacity limits, not only at airports but also in parts of the en-route area. This is mainly due to the workload constraints of air traffic controllers.
In the past, many technical system functionalities were developed with the aim of reducing controller workload and thus enabling the safe handling of the predicted traffic growth. But these new functionalities alone will not provide adequate relief to air traffic controllers. Their working procedures and the airspace structure will have to be adapted accordingly. In order to obtain real operational benefits, these technical innovations must be integrated into an overall concept which – in addition to the above-mentioned factors – also takes account of ergonomic aspects and human-machine interfaces.
When developing such an overall concept, additional evaluation and validation measures are indispensable to ensure that the desired operational benefits are achieved. This is why DFS has for many years used fast- and real-time simulations to assess and optimise any changes to be made to the air traffic control system. The working methods of DFS in this context are in keeping with the European Operational Concept Validation Methodology of 2007, in short E-OCVM.
This paper outlines the development and validation activities of DFS using the MSP D/L project as an example. The project deals with the introduction of the new role of air traffic controllers as multi-sector planners (MSP) and new system functionalities, such as air/ground data link (D/L).
The project included the development of an operational concept for using the new functionalities as well as for defining working procedures and the airspace structure. This concept was subsequently evaluated by means of a fast-time simulation and two real-time simulations and gradually optimised.
This paper focuses on how data were collected during the real-time simulation. In addition to collecting traffic-specific indicators and data concerning the taskload situation, we also performed an eye-tracking analysis in cooperation with the Darmstadt University of Technology to analyse changes relating to the working methods and the information used.
Another objective of the paper is to compare the use of the prototype simulation platform for the real-time simulation with the use of operational systems for simulation purposes. Adapting operational systems to new operational procedures and functionalities is always associated with considerable costs. Air traffic controllers, however, need a realistic working environment for such simulations. Otherwise, it is impossible to obtain reliable results. It is not easy to develop a simulation platform that ensures both a realistic environment and quick and flexible adaptation capabilities. The project successfully met this challenge with the help of the Advanced Function Simulator (AFS) of the R&D Centre at DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung. The major features of the prototype simulation platform, i.e. rapid data adaptation, iterative development and automatic compilation of all user interactions, are shown using Project MSP D/L as an example.
An overview of the results achieved in the real-time simulation is given at the end of the paper.
Developing Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management in Teacher Education: A Successful Attempt at Teaching Novice Computer Users
This unique colloquium of research for lecturers took place in
an academic college of education focused on discussing and
peer reviewing through an On-Line Forum and on participating
in a conference. Both aimed at enhancing the level and quality
of the research activity in the college by developing knowledge
generation, communication and management. This study
followed studies, which indicated that lecturers do not know and
experience enough about generating, communicating and
managing knowledge, especially with regards to the didactics of
Most of the studies carried out by the lecturers who participated
in the colloquium focused on integrating disciplines with
pedagogic-didactic applications. The method of the colloquium
was based on virtual peer teaching, sharing their generated
knowledge and experience, and then managing it.
The findings indicated that the process was advanced very fast.
The lecturers were able to integrate theory and practice while
carrying out their research and instruction. This certainly
affected the lecturers