This study is concerned with the formal assessment of a Distance Learning Environment (DLE) created to deliver a course on UML sequence diagrams to university‐level…
This study is concerned with the formal assessment of a Distance Learning Environment (DLE) created to deliver a course on UML sequence diagrams to university‐level students, divided into control and treatment groups. An ad‐hoc DLE was constructed to deliver instruction to the treatment group, while the control group was taught in a traditional face‐to‐face way. The main point of concern is whether a DLE can be as effective for the treatment group, as the faceto‐ face lecture is for the control group, in terms of gaining mastery on the domain. So, a controlled experiment was organized and executed, in order to measure the participants’ performance in both groups. The results have shown no statistically significant difference for both groups of students. So, it can be argued that in the context of this experiment and by following a DLE‐design close enough to the traditional face‐to‐face approach, one can obtain equally good results using distance learning as with the traditional system. However, a number of concerns remain and more work is needed to generalize the results of this work on other domains.
The purpose of this paper is to present the design and first results of the integration of a web‐based system person‐centred group‐activity support system (PEGASUS) in…
The purpose of this paper is to present the design and first results of the integration of a web‐based system person‐centred group‐activity support system (PEGASUS) in university instruction, as a means for advancing person‐centred learning by supporting group activity. The PEGASUS is expected to help students and teachers in two distinct objectives: enhancing metacognition (students and teachers are supported to identify their learning and teaching preferences, which in turn is used as a framework for reflection), and group formation (the system suggests homogeneous or heterogeneous workgroups, supporting also teacher‐students negotiations of the final group synthesis).
First, a theoretical framework is built to reflect the process of transforming the principles for learner‐centred learning into a pedagogical model which becomes the basis for defining the PEGASUS specifications. Then, qualitative field evidence is provided from the initial integration of the system into the teaching process to support students' group activity.
From the pilot testing of PEGASUS it is evident that learning style‐based group formation might not be acceptable to all students in the typical classroom setting where students already know each other. The early implementation data indicate that not every student might accept the theory‐based grouping suggestions of the instructor.
The research is limited to qualitative and preliminary results from undergraduate as well as postgraduate students.
Systems like PEGASUS can initiate fruitful discussions among students and teachers on the role of learning styles in learning. However, group activity is a complex socio‐cognitive phenomenon that cannot be approached simply on the basis of students' learning styles. Still, such a system can help identify how students' learning styles can be of significance under certain conditions.
The paper describes the development of a web‐based system for personalised learning and system integration in everyday teaching.