Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI


A Model for Systemic Change Management in Education
Marylu Menchaca, Michael Bischoff, Benay Dara-Abrams
Pages: 1-6
Based on an understanding of systems thinking as practiced by successful learning organizations and derived from large-scale projects in technology-assisted teaching and learning in Mexico and Germany, we have developed a model that offers guidance to educational institutions and organizations to support their transition from lecture-based, face-to-face teaching to interactive learner-centered eLearning. As the basis for the model, we analyzed the systemic change processes of two major educational institutions: the largest private institution of higher education in Latin America, Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), a leading nationwide educational system of international scope with 33 branches in 27 cities throughout Mexico, and the federal flagship project in Germany, Virtuelle Fachhochschule (VFH), the Virtual University of Applied Sciences, a virtual organization with decentralized and distributed management and participants from twelve universities of applied sciences, two universities, the federal employers

A Program for Electronic Medical Education in Colombia: Educación Electrónica Estructurada (E3) A Succesful Experience
Rafael E Riveros, Andres Isaza, Andres Espinosa, Felipe Lobelo, Susana Pacheco, Ridda Younes
Pages: 7-9
Medical education in Colombia remains, almost completely, with the physical presence of the lecturer in the classroom. In recent years, new alternatives in higher education have been explored, on a balanced basis. Our faculty traditionally remains teaching with conservative methods; therefore, strategies for incorporating informatics, virtual education and in general, electronics are vital in our academic environment. Our electronic medical education group, E3, is constituted by faculty, undergraduate and graduate students.

E3 was designed to provide the urgent need to develop an appropriate scenario for a group of faculty and students who will provide the school with clear cut policies and strategies, to establish a permanent and dynamic program of ICT locally, institutionally and regionally. The project, enveloped in the objectives of E3 includes: Electronic Academic Contents (EAC), Virtual Education Project (VEP) and Electronic Clinical Record (ECR).

We will improve and increase, by the end of 2003, electronic medical education at our School and radiate to the University and the academic community.

A Regional Integrated Virtual Learning Environment: The AOU's Experience
Said Hammad, Taleb Sarie, Abdel-Elah Al-Ayyoub
Pages: 10-14
In this paper we propose to construct a Regional Integrated Virtual Learning Environment (RIVLE) for the Arab Open University (AOU). AOU is a new nonprofit learning institution with branches in six Arab countries and more branches scheduled to open in the near future. The university adopts an open learning methodology. We describe the major elements of the RIVLE and their interaction. We present a generic interface between the RIVLE and the Student Information System (SIS). We focus on the characteristics of the pedagogical model in the Arab Open University context and explain why RIVLE would be a perfect fit for this model. We argue that the potential benefits of a RIVLE are realized in such a setting. We also study the possibility of extending the RIVLE to existing learning institutions in the region.

An XML Based Knowledge Management System for e-Collaboration and e-Learning
Varun Gopalakrishna, Ashwin K Bhagavatula, Lih-Sheng Turng
Pages: 15-21
This paper presents the development, key features, and the implementation principles of a sustainable and scaleable knowledge management system (KMS) prototype for creating, capturing, organizing, and managing digital information in the form of Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents and other popular file formats. It is aimed to provide a platform for global, instant, and secure access to and dissemination of information within a knowledge-intensive organization or a cluster of organizations through Internet or intranet. A three-tier system architecture was chosen for the KMS to provide performance and scalability while enabling future development that supports global, secure, real-time, and multi-media communication of information and knowledge among team members separated by great distance. An XML Content Server has been employed in this work to store, index, and retrieve large volumes of XML and binary content.

Developing a Tool for Real-Time Data Assimilation, Visualization and Storingin the Framework of “Lab of Tomorrow”
Stefano Turso, Giovanni Perona, Luisa Viglietta, Marco Zambotto
Pages: 22-25
Lab of Tomorrow (LoT) is an IST European Project concerning the implementation and dissemination of an innovative system for the acquisition and handling of data streams coming from a non conventional experimental activity. A dedicated SW tool has been developed to handle both the LoT system and the basic LoT user needs. In this article, the LoT system innovative concepts, educational approach and architecture will be presented. The LoT system user interface will be presented as well, pointing the attention on the adopted design principles and on the features provided to the final user.

Developing an Online Course Profile Builder to Promote Pedagogical Change
Josh Humphries, Lesley Jolly
Pages: 26-31
This paper discusses the development of an online databasedriven electronic tool for building profiles for university courses (or subjects). We take the view that any technology, including a pedagogic one, needs to be designed for, understood as and evaluated within its place in a complex socio-technic system of human-to-human as well as human-to-tool relationships.

Many academics are reluctant to make changes to their practice either because of change fatigue or insufficient commitment to or understanding of the new requirements for transparency and accountability. In our institution, adoption of a new policy for the production of standardised course profiles gave us the opportunity to draw all of the school staff into the new processes. We designed an electronic tool which embodies both the course profile policy and the explicit identification of and planning for graduate attributes and which seeks to pay attention to the socio-technic system within which it operates. Intended as a tool to aid academics meet requirements, it has had the benefit of encouraging users to reconsider their understanding of such educational issues as objectives and criteria and reconsider their educational aims. This paper describes the design of the tool from both technological and social viewpoints.

This paper also addresses the relationship between the technical design of the tool, university policy and good pedagogical practice, the mapping of learning objectives to assessment and the mapping of graduate attributes to programs.

E-Learning – Using XML technologies to meet the special characteristics of higher education
Igor Kanovsky, Rachel Or-Bach
Pages: 32-36
In this paper we claim that the current approach to learning objects and metadata standards is counter productive for the integration of e-learning in higher education. We explain why higher education is different with regard to E-learning and we suggest an approach that avoids the use of global standards and favors an approach of an evolving set of metadata tags for an evolving community of practice. We demonstrate how XML technologies and some minimal technical help for the participating teachers can provide the required foundation for a productive process of integrating E-learning in higher education.

Internet-Based Learning Tools:Development and Learning Psychology (DLP) Experience
José Tavares, Ana Paula Cabral, Isabel Huet Silva, Rita Carvalho, Anabela Pereira, Isabel Lopes, Helder Caixinha
Pages: 37-43
The project aims to establish a deeper involvement of students and teachers in the learning process by using the ICT in higher education. We will try to address the following two questions: “how can the use of ICT help educators to accomplishing their academic goals and how do the students use the ICT to develop their academic skills?” The work team constituted by four teaching staff and two researchers at the University of Aveiro has developed a project on the ‘Development and Learning Psychology’ course. The course follows the traditional style of lecturing but with a Web site as a supporting tool aiming at increasing the involvement and responsibility of the students in the class.

On-line Peer Review in Teaching Design-oriented Courses
Hai Ning, John Williams, Abel Sanchez
Pages: 44-48
Peer review has been one of the very important designfacilitating processes practiced in education field, particularly in design-oriented courses such as MIT’s 2.007 Robot Design. Typically students exchange ideas sketched on a piece of paper and critique on each other’s design within a small team. We designed PREP web application backed up by a range of web services that handle the peer-review process on-line, and we argue that this is a significant step towards supporting designoriented course on-line. We believe that the lessons learned could be applied to other interested institutes that offer designoriented courses.

Promoting Active Learning in Calculus and General Physics through Interactive and Media-Enhanced Lectures
Guoqing Tang, Aaron Titus
Pages: 49-56
In this paper we present an approach of incorporating interactive and media-enhanced lectures to promote active learning in Calculus and General Physics courses. The pedagogical practice of using interactive techniques in lectures to require "heads-on" and "hands-on" learning, and involve students more as active participants than passive receivers is a part of academic curricular reform efforts undertaken currently by the mathematics, physics and chemistry departments at North Carolina A&T State University under the NSF funded project "Talent-21: Gateway for Advancing Science and Mathematics Talents."

Repurposeable Learning Objects Linked to Teaching and Learning Styles
Jeremy Dunning, Donald Cunningham, Larry Vandermolen, Tom Hunt, Ari Vidali, Abtar Kaur
Pages: 57-60
Multimedia learning objects are an essential component of high quality, technology-mediated instruction. Learning objects allow the student to use the content learned in a particular part of a course and; 1. demonstrate mastery of the content, 2. apply that knowledge to solving a problem, and 3. use the content in a critical thinking exercise that both demonstrates mastery and allows the student to place the content within the context of the larger topic of the course. The difficulty associated with the use of learning objects on a broad scale is that they require programming skills most professors and instructors do not possess. Learning objects also tend to be custom productions and are defined in terms of the programming and code terminology, further limiting the professor’s ability to understand how they are created. Learning objects defined in terms of styles of learning and teaching allow professors and instructors to develop a deeper understanding of the learning objects and the design process.

A set of learning objects has been created that are designed for some of the important styles of learning and teaching. They include; visual learning, writing skills, critical thinking, time-revealed scenarios, case studies and empirical observation. The learning objects are designed and described in terms that the average instructor can readily understand , redesign and incorporate into their own courses. They are also designed in such a way that they can readily be repurposed for new applications in other courses and subject areas, with little or no additional programming.

Robotics Technologies for K-8 Educators:A Semiotic Approach for Instructional Design
Antoinette P. Bruciati
Pages: 61-65
Play in the K-8 curriculum? What robotic technologies are currently available for educators having no prior computer programming experience? and How should instruction in robotics technologies for K-8 educators be designed? Robotics engineering courses have provided undergraduate computer science students with opportunities for designing and programming simulations of robotic tasks. In contrast, many teacher education programs have lacked courses in this area. Educators who have not gained a conceptual understanding of computer programming could lack the skills that would have enabled them to successfully integrate robotics technologies into their K-8 curriculum.

Teaching a Second Core Course in Information Technology: A West Point Experience
Douglas Wolfe, Curtis A. Carver Jr.
Pages: 66-71
The United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point has the mission to produce officers for the U.S. Army. As part of the curriculum, the Academy requires all non-ABET major cadets (students) to take two courses on information technology (IT) with both courses focused on problem solving with technology. The first course is an introductory course offered in the freshman year while the second course is a more detailed course offered in the junior year. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department uses an expanded definition of information technology; that is, any technology that acquires, transmits, processes, or displays information. Information technology is becoming increasingly important in the Army with the development and use of sensors, command and control systems, and other technologies to achieve information dominance. The course is divided into six modules: acquisition of data and sensors, transmission of data and networks, processing of data into information, display of information, legal and ethical issues of IT, and information dominance and operations. Cadets use a four-step problem solving methodology to develop and implement the components of an Information System to solve a real-world problem. The short-term impact of the course on the cadets has been very positive, and we are confident that the long-term impact will be substantial on the cadets and the Army. Cadets are exposed to a number of different technologies, gaining an understanding of how these technologies are used to acquire data, transmit data, process data into information, and display information to support decision making. In addition, the course projects help enforce the problem solving methodology where cadets analyze, design, implement, and test their solutions.

The ICT in the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal The Beginning of a New Phase
Armando J. Pires, Vitor T. Rodrigues
Pages: 72-76
The main subject of this paper is to present and discuss a technical solution based on the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that is proposed to be implemented in a Higher Education (HE) institution in Portugal.

It is believed, that this project will change profoundly the administrative organization and the teaching-learning paradigm inside the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (PIS). This project will cover three different and complementary areas: a Wireless LAN area, an Administrative and Informative area and an eLearning area.

Other relevant aspects and remarks, regarding eLearning issues, will also be taken into consideration, illustrating the most significant activity of the PIS academic staff in what concerns the eLearning field.

Web-Based Flow Control of a Three-Tank System
Lei Wu, David Cartes, Chiang Shih
Pages: 77-82
In this paper, three different web-based LabVIEW control structures are designed, LabVIEW to LabVIEW control, LabVIEW to web browser control through CGI, and LabVIEW to web browser control through ActiveX + DataSocket. These three different web-based control structures are implemented and compared on an actual three-tank system. The objective is to enable the remote users to run the two pre-designed experiments through Internet in real time. The remote users should also be able to specify the control parameters for the experiments, watching the live video of the water height during the experiment, and getting data after the experiment to study control subjects. All three structures realize the web-based control concept under certain conditions. The live video broadcasting setup is the same for these three structures, and therefore they deliver the similar live video playback performance. Except the live video, these three structures differ very much. In terms of the data acquisition and control performance, the CGI method delivers the best performance with the shortest data acquisition period. In terms of the data communication, both LabVIEW to LabVIEW and ActiveX + DataSocket structures enable live data transfer. While LabVIEW to web browser through CGI structure can only enable the users to download the data file after experiment finishes. In terms of the implementation in real life, CGI has the widest user group. Everyone who has a web browser can have access to the web-based experiments through CGI. LabVIEW to LabVIEW control requires that the remote users have some knowledge about LabVIEW and have LabVIEW version 4.1 or above installed in his/her computer. The application area of LabVIEW to web browser control through ActiveX + DataSocket is very limited because ActiveX is a double-edged technology on Internet. In short, LabVIEW to web browser control through CGI delivers the best performance overall among these three different web-based control structures.

A Way to Learn How to Design Educational Software
Dalia M. Gil, Miguel A. Garay
Pages: 83-88
The improvement in the quality of instructional process stimulates the development of active teaching methods based on “learning by doing” principles. This paper shows an experience developed on educational informatics course to engineering instructors students who learn to create a type of hypermedia intelligent tutoring system with a system approach. This experience has been developed for more of six years at Havana Polytechnic Institute. Keywords: Educational Technology, Educational Software, and Teacher Education. Graduate students have learned how to design and create educational software applied to different subjects such as linear programming, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and so forth. Some of these results are showed in the present paper.

Design and Implementation of Kana-Input Navigation System for Kids based on the Cyber Assistant
Hiroshi Matsuda, Yoshiaki Shindo
Pages: 89-93
In Japan, it has increased the opportunity for young children to experience the personal computer in elementary schools. However, in order to use computer, many domestic barriers have confronted young children (Kids) because they cannot read difficult Kanji characters and had not learnt Roman alphabet yet. As a result, they cannot input text strings by JIS Kana keyboard. In this research, we developed Kana-Input NaVigation System for kids (KINVS) based on the Cyber Assistant System (CAS). CAS is a Human-Style Software Robot based on the 3D-CG real-time animation and voice synthesis technology. KINVS enables to input Hiragana/Katakana characters by mouse operation only (without keyboard operation) and CAS supports them by using speaking, facial expression, body action and sound effects. KINVS displays the 3D-Stage like a classroom. In this room, Blackboard, Interactive parts to input Kana-characters, and CAS are placed. As some results of preliminary experiments, it is definitely unfit for Kids to double-click objects quickly or to move the Scrollbar by mouse dragging. So, mouse input method of KINVS are designed to use only single click and wheeler rotation. To input characters, Kids clicks or rotates the Interactive Parts. KINVS reports all information by voice speaking and Kana subtitles instead of Kanji text. Furthermore, to verify the functional feature of KINVS, we measured how long Kids had taken to input long text by using KINVS.