Two e-Learning elective seminars in Novi Sad Putnik Z., Komlenov Ž., Budimac Z. DMI, Faculty of Science University of Novi Sad.
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Two e-Learning elective seminars in Novi Sad Putnik Z., Komlenov Ž., Budimac Z. DMI, Faculty of Science University of Novi Sad
Intro Depending on the direction they are studying, students of DMI in Novi Sad, have ONE, TWO, or THREE elective seminars during their studies. Those elective seminars are situated in their II, III, and IV year of studies.
Intro Every year, lecturers from DMI offer topics to be covered through course elective seminar. So far, we had for example courses on: –eLearning / Advanced eLearning –Mobile agents / Multiagent systems –Web mining –XML databases –.NET technologies –Selected topics in software/hardware development –Combinatorial algorithms –Symbolic calculus –Prince and PMBOK in software project management …
Intro This year, for the first time, we (Chair of Computer Science) offered TWO elective courses connected to eLearning: –eLearning AND Advanced eLearning, –Mobile agents / Multiagent systems –Web mining –XML databases –…
Goals Course on basics of eLearning is supposed to: –introduce students to different modes of eLearning, its theoretical background, and basics of instructional design –focus on gaining practical skills and prepare students for a role of course designer –create solid ground for future modifications and updates of eCourses conducted at the DMI
Goals … also, it is supposed to: –offer students an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity –take advantage of several means of communication (forums, chat, instant messages…) This seminar is supported through Open Source eLearning course management system Moodle
New iteration – thoroughly redesigned course In summer semester 2007/2008 this course was held for the 4 th time It is still (TOO) attractive to our students (mainly those in 2 nd or 3 rd year of studies): –2004/2005: 7 students –2005/2006: 22 students –2006/2007: 85 students –2007/2008: 44 students (initially more) Completely new course material More lab exercises: 12 weeks x 2 h + online readings, obligatory discussions and assignments, followed by a seminar paper which presents overall results of a student
Syllabus – Section 1 Introduction to eLearning –Basics of eLearning –History of distance education and eLearning –Teaching and learning – theoretical background –Organizational issues –Available technologies –Future trends –Assignment 1 Analysis of eLearning activities at our Department and suggestions for its improvement
Course design –Models and process of instructional design –Learning outcomes –Project management in eLearning –Choice of media and technology –Moodle workshops: basics, Lesson module –Guidelines for the development of complex (adaptive) eLessons –Assignment 2 Project plan and technology evaluation Syllabus – Section 2
Syllabus – Section 3 Implementation and evaluation –Knowledge assessment –Tools for communication and collaboration –Moodle workshops: Quiz module, new features in version 1.9 –Evaluation of eLearning projects –Case studies – successful eLearning projects –Legal aspects of using online teaching material –Assignment 3 Implementation of one section of the chosen eCourse
Assignments and grading Assignment 1 – Analysis of eLearning activities at our Department and suggestions for its improvement - Essay, 1000-1500 words 20 pts Assignment 2 – Project plan and technology evaluation –Detailed development plan of a section of the chosen course taught at the Department –Guidelines for practical work in third assignment –Essay, enriched with an eLesson diagram 20 pts
Assignments and grading Assignment 3 – Implementation of one section of the chosen eCourse –Practical part of the work planned in the second assignment 30 pts Seminar paper – Summarized results 20 pts Discussions and small research assignments performed online throughout the semester 10 pts Total 100 pts
Results Students prepared teaching material for 4 Courses: –Introduction to e-Business –Introduction to Programming –Software Engineering –Moodle (work on tutorials developed as additions to this very course) They mainly worked on eLessons, quizzes and glossaries Some of them added extra examples, assignments, etc. 75% of students passed the exam so far –80% at the same time last year Average grade: 8.51 (max 10)
Course For the first time during the school-year 2007/08 an elective seminar on “Advanced eLearning” was offered to students. Explanation of the seminar for possible future students stated the following: –Methodology: Research seminar, that will be dealing with analysis of methodologies and techniques of transformation of existing teaching material into form suitable for eLearning, definition of a model for mentioned conversion, and analysis and if needed creation of tools that will enable semi-automatic or automatic transformation of teaching resources into learning objects.
Course For this seminar, we decided to put some limitations: –Limitations: Because of advanced and research content, seminar is suitable only for students of IV, or eventually III year –Assessment: Exam is defended through written seminar paper or with creation of a software tool that can be used at some point of conversion process for teaching material.
Course In the beginning, there was some interest, but most of the students decided that they would prefer “regular” eLearning seminar to this one. Among other things, reason was probably the fact that they were told that “serious research” and “a lot of hard work” will be needed
Course As a consequence, only 4 students applied for the seminar. (Actually, compared to other seminars, 4 students is not such a small number!) But, even at the beginning, 2 of them announced that they are “not sure” they will stay with the course
Course Unfortunately for the course – those 2 students DID leave the course after a month. After a month more, one more student decided to leave. This situation IS possible, because of the nature of elective seminars, which are necessary, but not obligatory.
Course Namely, students often apply for more exams than they need, stay with them for some time, and only later decide which of them they will take! Finally – we have 1 (ONE) student still with the course.
Course Bojan is working hard on creation of a tool that will deal with reading/conversion of PDF and DOC files into some standard form for learning objects. He is still not finished, so we didn’t have a chance to give him any “anonymous” questionnaire.
Conclusion This elective seminar confirmed our disappointing opinion about the way they are chosen: with apology to (very) few exceptions, students chose elective seminar –not because they like the field, –not because they are interested to do some research, –not because they would like to learn something, –but because they want to pass the exam AEAP (as easy as possible) Our average student