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(CTLT 2014)

JULY 09 - 10, 2014



Copyright APIA Publications
Global Conference On Teaching And Learning With Technology
Conference Proceedings
ISBN: 978-981-07-9920-5
Publisher: Asia Pacific International Academy
July 2014

The authors of individual papers are responsible for technical, content, and linguistic


Asia Pacific International Academy.

Aventis School of Management is a Leading Graduate School dedicated to the development of
professionals and business leaders. Aventis is a member of the European Foundation for
Management Development (EFMD), European Council for Business Education (ECBE),
Executive MBA Council and United Nations (UN) Global Compact partnership. Through our
close collaboration with professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM
UK); American Association for Financial Management (AAFM), Aventis qualifications are
industry driven and recognised by professional bodies internationally.

Asia Pacific International Academy (APIA), a subsidiary of Aventis School of Management, was
found in 2010 with the purpose of promoting academic research and intellectual development of
researchers, academicians and professionals from various institutions and across different
countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond through academic conferences and executive

We strive to organise the best academic conferences in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. On
behalf of all APIA conference executives, I sincerely thank you for your participation and look
forward to seeing you at our conference.

Have a great day!

Tan Lee Ming
Conference Secretariat


Prof. Dan Levin, Ph.D, Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, Director
(Academic Affairs) Graduate Programs Aventis School of Management
Dr. Lorraine Pe Symaco, Director of the Centre for Research in International and
Comparative Education (CRICE) at the University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Josh McCarthy, The University of South Australia
Dr. Mohd Asri Mohd Noor, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
Dr. Anne Geniets, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Dr. Tee Meng Yew, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr Kumar Laxman, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Leong Kwan Eu, University of Malaya, Malaysia



Samuel Teo
General Manager
Aventis School of Management, Singapore

Tan Lee Ming
Conference Manager
Asia Pacific International Academy, Singapore

Tan Hwee Li
Conference Officer
Asia Pacific International Academy, Singapore

Jay Goh
Conference Marketing Executive
Asia Pacific International Academy, Singapore


Table of Contents

Using a Collaborative Learning Knowledge Management System to
Enhance the Effective Learning of Thai Students
Krittawaya Thongkoo (Thailand)

Multicultural Learning Partnerships In The Caf: Integrating
International Students Into First Year University In Australia Using The
Collaborative Application For Education
Josh McCarthy(Australia)

Rude or Polite: Do Personality And Emotion In An Artificial
Pedagogical Agent Affect Task Performance?
Samantha Tan & Paul Howard-Jones (United Kingdom)


A Conceptual Framework for Cloud-based Service in E-learning
Porntida Kaewkamol (Thailand)
Changing C Programming Teaching A Successful Case Study
Ming Yang, Songhua Yang, Xiaofang Wang

& Yufang Zhao (China)



Factors for Enhancing the Level of Satisfaction among Students in an
Electronic Learning System: A Conceptual Framework for a Computer
Programming Course
Kannika Daungcharone (Thailand)

Cooperative Learning Principles Enhance Online Interaction
George Jacobs and Peter Seow (Singapore)
LISSA A Game To Learn CPR And AED Use
Imma Boada, Juan Manuel Garca-Gonzlez, Antonio Rodrguez-
Bentez , Mateu Sbert (Spain) & Voravika Wattanasoontorn (Thailand)
Digital Divide: Its Challenges On Technology-Based Learning And
Achievement In Secondary School Mathematics.
Godwin Okeke (United States)

The Flipped Workshop: Inverting the Teaching and Learning
Environment for Problem Solving Using Educational Robotics
Ngit Chan Lye, Andrew Chiou, Kok Wai Wong (Australia)

Causal Factors Related to the Potential Success of Web-Based Training
for the Professional Development of Teachers
Nathathai Sangsuk, Sunchai Pattanasith, James E. Gall (Thailand)


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Krittawaya Thongkoo
Chiang Mai University, Thailand

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This study was undertaken with the goal of developing a Collaborative Learning
Knowledge Management System (CLKMS) for enhancing the effective training of Thai
students. The structural design model for collaborative learning system has been
developed in order to support the collaborative learning activities in virtual environment.
Collaborative Learning occurs when students and instructors work together to create
knowledge for pedagogy that has a focus on the creation of shared meaning and process,
resulting in the richness of knowledge and it can be expanded even more. The
methodology of this study consists of three processes which are data collection, analysis
and implementation. Initially, a set of questionnaire was given to a sample group
including a hundred of the second- year students from Modern Management and
Information Technology program at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Chiang Mai,
Thailand. The students were selected to be respondents during the data collection process.
The derived results from the questionnaires will reveal the students interests, learning
styles as well as their learning preferences for the online system development. The
prototype design is subsequently being constructed, using the Web-based technology
which includes MySQL, PHP and Apache web server. The expected result is the
appropriate system that can facilitate online communication and collaboration from many
different locations so as to encourage distance learning education.

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Although the learning of Thai students problems is complex, teachers want
students to learn to explain patterns and processes in the natural world and to be able to
make predictions about system behaviors. Collaborative learning can be described as
coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and
maintain a shared conception of a problem. There are many techniques for improving
teaching and learning in classroom. The one technique that helps students analyze the
problem is using concept map.
Concept mapping is a diagram tool to represent the relationship between the meanings of
concepts, and it also shows that the text label in the diagram can associate with another
concept as well. Concept mapping as a means for students to learn new information
which has been widely recommended and accepted in science, mathematics and
educational psychology.
Furthermore, a concept map is also an effective and efficient tool that can be used to
evaluate student learning because a concept map reflects the students internal semantic
networks with regard to the knowledge they perceive, accumulate and comprehend.
Therefore, the teacher can estimate the students learning by evaluating the content and
structure of a concept map they have constructed.
The goal of this study was to compare two sections of a structural analysis and design
course - one that was dominated by lecture and one that used the constructivist model.
The need for the development of a knowledge management system using concept maps
for structural analysis and design was apparent. The first step was to characterize the
problems that students are typically asked to solve.
In this study, a framework was designed for the analysis of individual learning
performance and cooperative behavior on knowledge accumulation and organization
using collaborative learning. The Collaborative Learning Knowledge Management
System (CLKMS) was then developed to empirically evaluate and confirm the
effectiveness of the proposed framework. The CLKMS maintains current and historical
versions of collaborative learning, and it also records the discussion/cooperation history
of the collaborative learning developing process.
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Finally, in the present study, proposals are made as to how teachers can apply the best
practices in structural analysis and design education research.

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For supporting this paper there are many theories and researches to explain and
promote this concept. There are four related topics, including the collaborative learning,
the e-Learning, the concept mapping and knowledge management.

Collaborative learning
The common goal of collaborative learning requires working together. Collaborative
learning has been called by various names, for example, cooperative learning, collective
learning, collaborative learning or learning communities but all of these have an
incorporate group work. However, collaboration is not only co-operation but
collaboration evokes the whole of learning process including students teaching another
one and also the teacher teaching the students.
Moreover, the students must have responsibility for the other one's learning as well as
their own and reaching the goal of collaborative learning that students have helped each
other for learning. However, the meaning of cooperative learning is to facilitate the
accomplishment of a goal through people working together in groups.
Unavoidably, that cooperation learning and collaboration learning seem to overlap, but
from the cooperative learning model, the teacher will control most of activity in the
classroom, even though the students are working in groups. On the other hand, the aim of
collaborative learning is to get the students to take almost full responsibility for working
and building knowledge together, changing and evolving together and also improving

E-Learning allows learners to access a source of knowledge from anywhere and at
anytime via the internet technology along with the utilization of electronic devices, i.e.,
internet, television, video-conferencing. It can also provide advices from specialists and
training materials. Although E-learning has a variety in its definitions, it generally
involves in an on-line learning experience. More importantly, it can be regarded as a shift
in education and training.
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E-Learning can be associated with Knowledge Management resource as it
contributes to many blended learning methods. Self-paced web-based training, virtual
classroom, simulation and peer-to-peer mentoring are some of the examples in these
methods. Hence, the effective E-learning system should not only present information but
should also consist of connectivity, advice, support, demonstration and practice to sustain
learning process.

Figure 1 Structure of e-Learning.

Concept mapping
Concept Map (Novak, 2006) can be regarded as a Road Map since it illustrates the
idea in a two-dimensional form. In addition, it is not only a diagram tool to represent the
relationship between the meanings of concepts, but it also shows that the text label in the
diagram can associate with another concept as well.

Education Training Information Technology
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Concept Map can be created in different styles, for instance, spider chart,
organization chart, flow diagram, etc. However, the appropriate format of a concept map
for the learning and teaching circumstance should be in Hierarchical organization form as
the concepts can be placed within plain and specific positions in the diagram.
There are some advantages of using Concept Map in teaching process. One of these
is the students can logically develop and manage their presentations. Generally, concept
mapping proposes students a guide to think and present in systematic and logical way. In
some cases, they can utilize concept mapping to do a presentation note.

Knowledge Management
The term knowledge management can be referred to several meanings. It is
generally a discipline that promotes an integrated approach for identifying, managing and
sharing all of an enterprises information, including database, document, policies and
procedures as well as unarticulated expertise and experience of individual workers
(Morey et al., 2001). Knowledge management is an emerging discipline with many ideas
yet to be tested, many issues yet to be resolved and much learning yet to be discovered
(Jay, 1999).

Figure 2 Knowledge management process.

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Data Collection
Initially, a set of questionnaire was given to a sample group including a hundred
of the second-year students from Modern Management and Information Technology
program in Chiang Mai University (CMU), Chiang Mai, Thailand to inspect the students
interest, learning styles and preferences in learning structural analysis and design subject.
The study analysis result from the questionnaires will reveal whether there are needs for
the development of the online system for learning and sharing knowledge of the system
analysis course.

System Analysis & Design
The Collaborative Learning Knowledge Management System or CLKMS was developed
by adopting the concept of collaborative learning using concept map technique. There are
three main stakeholders designed for the system which are the administrator, lecturer and
First step, the lecturer will prepare the general topic of the concept map and considers the
related ideas. Then, the lecturer will select appropriate words for the topic that support
the main ideas of system analysis and draw these words and connect to the main topic
with a line referring to the relationship. Furthermore, the lecturer will repeat all processes
in the subtopics until students understand the concept of system analysis.
For student phase, students will prepare the general topic of the structural analysis and design
curriculum and brainstorm to design the words that are related to the topic. Besides, the selected
words from each brainstorming sessions are ranked which will support the main ideas of
structural analysis and design. In additional, the students will compare group similarities and
differences; a separate map is created for each of the groups. The final concept map demonstrates
the importance of the items according to the rankings. Finally, the concept map is presents the
information which identifies into themes. The answers are graded by the lecturers and can be
downloaded by the entire collaborative class.
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For the system design of the CLKMS, the system requirements comprise of two parts that
are the functional requirements and non-functional requirements. Both conditions are
represented using the use case diagram. Finally, the physical design of CLKMS is being
constructed using the Web-based technology which includes MySQL, PHP and Apache
web server.

Figure 3 Interfaces of CLKMS application

CLKMS is being developed using the web-based technologies such as MySQL, PHP and
Apache to support the teaching and learning of the structural analysis and design course
with the objective to provide supporting virtual learning aids to the students, thus
promoting active learning in a virtual learning environment.
The collaborative learning has been proven effective in enhancing students learning
performances and individual self-learning. The interactions among and between the
students are visible and can be directly tracked and also evaluated by the lecturers.
However, the collaborative learning system concerns complex issues and challenging
tasks in order to create a virtual environment that suits every student.

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Abel, M., & Freeze, M..Evaluation of concept mapping in an associate degree nursing
program. Journal of Nursing Education, 45, 356364, 2006.
Chen, C. C., & Shaw, R. S. Online synchronous vs Asynchronous software training
through the behavioral modeling approach: A longitudinal field experiment.
International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 4(4), 88102, 2006.
Jay Liebowitz. Knowledge Management Handbook. CRC Press LLC, 1999.
Joseph D. Novak. The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them.
Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01, Florida Institute for Human and
Machine Cognition, 2006.
Morey D, Maybury M, Thuraisingham B (eds). Knowledge Management. MIT Press:
Cambridge, MA, 2001.
Nickell, G. S., & Pinto, J. N.. The computer attitude scale. Computers in Human
Behavior, 2(4), 301306, 1986.
Susan E. Cooperstein and Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger. Beyond active learning: a
constructivist approach to learning. Reference Services Review, Emerald Group
Publishing Limited, Volume 32, 2004.
Von Glasersfeld, E. A constructivist approach to teaching. In L. P. Steffe & J. Gale
(Eds.), Constructivism in education (pp. 3-15). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence

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Dr Josh McCarthy
University of South Australia, Australia

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This paper reports on using the Caf: the Collaborative Application for Education
as an online learning environment within the Facebook framework, for integrating
international students into first year university in Australia. Facebook, the most
popular social networking site in the world, affords learning qualities not
commonly found within traditional online learning environments, such as learning
management systems. Facebooks intuitive interface, immense popularity and
social focus make it an excellent host for an engaging and interactive online
community, particularly for commencing students, who are new to university
culture, and international students, who are potentially isolated within a large
cohort. The Cafe, a new e-learning application, has been designed and developed
not only to take advantage of Facebooks popularity and social qualities, but also to
provide institutions with a dedicated e-learning environment that meets the needs of
modern-day tertiary students and teaching staff. During two separate courses in
2013, 91 first year students, including 24 international students, from the University
of South Australia participated within the e-learning environment in combination
with traditional face-to-face classes. Students were required to submit work-in-
progress imagery related to assignments, and provide critiques to their peers. The
evaluation process of the e-learning application involved pre and post semester
surveys providing participating students with the opportunity to critically reflect on
the experience during the year. The findings of the study are discussed in light of
the growing use of social media within learning and teaching in tertiary education,
and the importance of providing first year students, particularly international
students, with multiple means of communication with staff and peers.

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In 2007 a national study was conducted by Sawir, Marginson, Deumert, Nyland and
Ramia (2008), analyzing the university experience of international students in Australia.
The study highlighted various issues confronting international students studying in
Australia. Sawir et al. note that international students plunge suddenly upon arrival at
their chosen institutions into a challenging new study setting, with up to 65%
experiencing relational deficit and isolation at a time when in need of greatest support.
Their loneliness is often acute, separated as they are from Australian students by
language and cultural barriers, and from students sharing a common culture by dint of the
fact that so many of them are strangers in a strange land. They no longer belong to the
world they left behind, but in first year, do not yet belong to the world they have entered.
The immense popularity of web 2.0 technologies however, offers potential solutions to
such learning problems. The virtual environment and accessibility of SNSs, such as
Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, are highly effective for developing preliminary
relationships between local and international students as they negate key loneliness
triggers such as language barriers and social inhibitions. Students can communicate at
their own pace and contemplate discussion and responses, rather than being put on the
spot in the physical classroom.
Loneliness is most likely to occur within situations such as a lengthy absence from
home or the loss of a significant other (Sawir et al, 2008), two situations students face
when they study abroad. The literature on loneliness indicates personality and a loss of
social networks as influencing factors, however there are many other factors that can
contribute to a students isolation. Weiss (1973) distinguishes personal loneliness and
social loneliness. According to Weiss, personal loneliness can be seen as the loss or
lack of a truly intimate tie such as that with a parent, child or lover, and is characterized
by anxiety and apprehension. International students experience personal loneliness
because of the sudden loss of contact with their families. Personal loneliness can often be
resolved by the instalment of an attachment relationship such as a boyfriend or
girlfriend. Students experience social loneliness because of the sudden loss of existing
social and academic networks, and is characterized by boredom and a sense of exclusion.
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Social loneliness can be resolved through immersion into an existing or newly formed
social network, as Weiss (1973) notes:

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Social networks provide a pool of others among whom one can find companions for
an evenings conversation or for some portion of the daily round. Social isolation
removes these gratifications; it directly impoverishes life.
Osterman (2000), states that being accepted, included or welcomed leads to positive
emotions such as happiness, elation, commitment and calm; however being rejected,
excluded or ignored leads to often intense negative feelings of anxiety, depression, grief,
jealousy and loneliness. People who are very prone to loneliness are often shy,
introverted, and less willing to take social risks (Hojat 1982; Stokes, 1985), and as such
international students, simultaneously experiencing a new culture, environment and other
learning hurdles, are most at risk. Language competence is a key factor. For students just
arrived in the country this is a huge barrier, and it is crucial for universities to explore
means of tackling such issues. Being able to respond to a question online, in a written
manner, over a period of time, rather than verbally on the spot in the classroom, is of
great benefit to commencing international students. It should also be acknowledged that
international students are coming from many different cultures and backgrounds, and as
such may not have many, if any, peers from their own country. Indeed some international
students find themselves isolated within an already distanced group (McCarthy, 2012).
Triggers for loneliness and feelings of isolation are common within both commencing
and continuing international students and the results can be devastating. The experience
of loneliness can trigger a withdrawal from social relationships in an effort to contain the
pain, reinforcing and exacerbating social isolation. Cultural factors are often responsible
for triggering loneliness and can affect international students in two distinct ways. Firstly
students often miss their own cultural and linguistic setting, and being placed in an
unfamiliar environment can be completely overwhelming. Secondly, while many students
may find themselves in cross-cultural relationships, they are often at a lower level of
empathy than same-culture relationships. More specifically, international students are
disappointed by the underdevelopment of relationships with local students, and can be
affected by weak institutional relationships, including the exchange in classrooms with
peers, and student-teacher connections (Sawir et al, 2008).

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One remedy, for loneliness within international students, is integration into an
existing or newly formed social network. This enables students to interact with peers and
engage with their learning. The two variables that correlate most significantly with
loneliness are density and quality. Denser networks enhance a sense of belonging and
reduce loneliness. The larger the network, the higher the chances of students finding like-
minded peers with whom to interact. Similarly, if the network contains students of similar
interests, relational goals and age brackets, the quality of the network is increased. At a
first year level it is crucial to promote connections with both peers and academic staff,
and to do so through fostering an environment in which students participate actively and
develop a sense of belonging in both small and large group settings (Krause, 2006).
Opportunities to ask questions and contribute to group discussion are particularly
conducive to engagement. Organizing peer learning and study groups that extend
interactions beyond classroom walls and using online resources, such as forums, social
networking tools, wikis and blogs, all lead to student engagement. The goal is to build
student independence and support networks as part of an integrated academic and social
transition experience. From an international student perspective, developing a sense of
belonging in the academic community is critical in supporting the adjustment to
university culture in Australia, more specifically, building cross-cultural connections with
local students (McCarthy, 2009). Good networks help students to feel supported and
more in control (Sarason, Sarason, Gurang, 1997), and friends, both local and foreign, are
the most preferred source of help for international students (Baloglu, 2000). As many
commencing international students lack any close friends, it is crucial to initiate
connections with their peers immediately, to foster collaborative learning and a sense of
belonging in the academic community.

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Online learning environments in Facebook
Facebook is predominantly known as a hub of social networking activity;
however it is quickly being recognised as a reputable and popular e-learning platform
(Bosch, 2009; McCarthy, 2012). Since 2008, Facebook has been successfully
implemented as an online learning environment within tertiary education case studies
around the world (Irwin, Ball, Desbrow and Leveritt, 2012; Kenney, Kumar and Hart,
2013; Kurtz, 2013; McCarthy, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013a; Rambe, 2012; Ritter and Delen,
2013; Shih, 2011). A key factor behind this revolution is Facebooks immense
popularity. Facebook is a familiar tool, and often a part of students daily lives (Duffy,
2011; McCarthy, 2012, 2013a, 2013b). At the time of this writing Facebook has 1.31
billion monthly active users ( Furthermore
students can access the site using a range of devices from anywhere in the world. It is
also free to use, ensuring students can connect with anyone, including global peers and
industry leaders, at any time. This accessibility is often perceived by students as a
significant benefit as it can allow increased communication with staff and peers, greater
access to course material, connections to industry, and access to collaborative learning
partners (Irwin et al, 2012; McCarthy, 2012, 2013a; Bosch, 2009). While Facebook has
the potential to promote collaborative learning and student interaction, traditional
university online learning environments, such as learning management systems (LMSs),
negate such action through their closed-system format (Wang, Woo, Quek, Yang and Liu,
2012). Students must be enrolled within the specific course in order to access the learning
environment, and while this structure is well suited to housing course material, such as
lecture notes and tutorials; and managing course related issues, such as assignment
submissions, extension requests and course evaluations, it does not accommodate the
beneficial academic and social qualities found in Facebook (Deng and Tavares, 2013;
McCarthy, 2013a). Students cannot use their LMS to interact with their global peers, or
receive feedback from industry mentors, as these potential partners are not authorised to
access it (McCarthy, 2010). LMSs often lack social connectivity and the personal profile
spaces which todays students are familiar with (Mazman and Usluel, 2010). In contrast,
students see Facebook as a self-regulated space for individual expression and
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collaborative learning (Rambe, 2012), and a more conducive environment for
communication with staff and peers (Wang et al, 2012). The primary benefits of
Facebook as a learning tool arise from its ability to enable participants, both students and
staff, to share information, knowledge, and artefacts within a community (McCarthy,
2012). The ability to post content and receive feedback from a wide range of
collaborators stands as one of the primary educational benefits of the site (Duffy, 2011;
Richardson, 2006; McCarthy, 2013a).
There are however considerable deficiencies, both pedagogical and technical,
within learning environments in Facebook, which need to be addressed. Online learning
environments within Facebook are commonly created using the group, page, or
event applications, or a combination of the three. These applications have not been
designed or created specifically to use for e-learning; they have been created to facilitate
interaction between social networks, and to act as marketing tools for institutions,
businesses and celebrities (McCarthy, 2013a). Furthermore, Facebook developers have
consistently reshaped these applications in terms of their functionality and design,
resulting in a complete lack of control over the look and operation of any potential
learning environment within the site (McCarthy, 2013a). This lack of continuity and
control highlights the need for a dedicated e-learning application within the social
networking site (SNS). Facebooks popularity, social qualities and intuitive interface
make it the perfect host site for online learning, while its open accessibility ensures it has
the capacity to host national and international collaborative learning partnerships.
However the inconsistent functionality and poor design of its in-built tools negatively
affects the overall quality of the learning environment, and as a result can weaken the
student experience (McCarthy, 2012, 2013b). Analysis of previous case studies using
Facebook as a learning environment has also indicated that there needs to be a separation
between students social and academic activities. Often, when students submit work, such
as comments, images or videos, to an academic forum in Facebook, these posts will
appear on their friends regular news feed, in turn prompting social commentary from
users outside of the student cohort (McCarthy, 2013a). This is a significant problem in
using Facebook as an educational tool, as it can impact on a students willingness to
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participate and as a result, can impact on their performance within the learning
environment (Wang et al, 2012; McCarthy, 2012).

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Since 2007 many other SNSs have been formally and informally utilised within
tertiary education, including image-host sites Flickr and DeviantArt, video-hosting sites
YouTube and Vimeo, microblogging site Twitter, and visual discovery tools Pinterest and
Clipix. Flickr is an image hosting website which allows users to share photographs, and
host images that they embed in other SNSs. Accessibility to Flickr has improved with the
advent of an application that can be used on smart devices. While Flickr is an excellent
site for storing and displaying image-based content it lacks the social qualities of
Facebook as well as the structure of groups and forums. YouTube is a video sharing
website in which users can upload, view, rate and comment on videos. Registered users
can access and analyse data regarding uploads, including number of views, peaks and
valleys of view times, as well as generic user demographics. Like Flickr, YouTube can be
accessed via phone or tablet through a standalone application, ensuring high availability
to content. The ability to embed videos in other sites, as well as the rank and comment
features, provides a strong basis for peer-to-peer learning. Pinterest is a SNS which
allows users to collate media and categorise content based on specific interests. The site
allows users to store images, links and videos and sort them on different pinboards.

Research Aims
While the afore mentioned SNSs provide opportunities for e-learning, none
provide a complete online learning environment, and there is a clear need for an e-
learning application that takes advantage of the popularity and social qualities of
Facebook, as well as the content sharing qualities of Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and
Pinterest. This application should be structured and designed specifically for e-learning;
it should incorporate the interactive and community-minded aspects of other successful
SNSs; it should negate the closed-system format of LMSs; and it should allow
participants to separate their academic and social activities should they wish. In response
to these factors, as well as the pedagogical concerns of the design of standard
Facebookpages, events and groups, and the continuing lack of control over their
operation, a custom Facebook application - the Caf: the collaborative application for
education has been designed, developed and pilot tested. This paper reports on the pilot
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testing of the Caf used as an e-learning environment for two student cohorts from the
University of South Australia in Australia in 2013.

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The principle aim of this paper was to assess the Cafs effectiveness for
providing international students with an online environment within which to interact with
peers and further their understanding of course material.

The Caf
The Caf can be accessed through both Facebook and its dedicated website, and can be used on a range of devices. The Caf allows a user
to establish an online learning environment in the form of a forum and invite
participants to join. A forum can be both open and closed format, at the discretion of the
forum manager, enabling the creation of both private and public forums. The forum
manager can also change this setting at any stage, allowing open access or closed access
to forums at different times. Within the forum there are four key areas: the pinboard,
galleries, Q and A, and MyCafe. The pinboard acts as the home page for the forum.
On the pinboard participants are able to pin images, videos, comments and links, relevant
to the forum. All image, video and link-based posts contain imagery to create a more
visually engaging online space, while a live-feed tracks all submissions within the
entire forum in real time. The galleries allow the forum manager to establish virtual
gallery spaces - content pages for student submissions. Forum managers can outline the
details of a gallery, such as opening and closing times, and content descriptions.
Participants can then submit content, be it image, video, text or link-based. Once content
is submitted to a gallery, participants can comment on, like or add the submission to
their personal space within the forum in myCafe. The Q and A page acts as a
discussion board for the forum, and provides participants with the opportunity to ask
questions and provide responses. The final section within the application is myCafe.
This acts as the participants personal space within the Caf. Participants are able to
collate all of their submissions within the forum. They are also able to collate, and
organise into categories, submissions from other participants within the forum, as well as
submissions they comment on. This supports the student by a) facilitating personal
reflection on their work; and b) helping them to prepare for exams. It also allows the
student to develop an online collection of precedents and examples to enhance their
broader knowledge of the topics delivered within a course. Lastly it makes assessing the
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students performance, interaction and engagement within the online learning
environment much easier for associated staff by collating all of their submissions in one

The pilot studies
In 2013, 91 students from two first year courses in the Bachelor of Media Arts
program at the University of South Australia participated in the pilot studies. In the first
lecture of the semester, students were introduced to the e-learning environment in the
Caf, and shown how to access, install and use the application. Following this
introduction, students were given the opportunity to take part in an anonymous pre-
semester survey, hosted via Survey Monkey, to determine their expectations of the
learning experience ahead. The survey included three broad types of measures:
demographic data; students attitudes towards online learning environments in Facebook;
and students attitudes towards in class and online participation. In total 70 students
participated in the survey, a response rate of 77%. The breakdown of student
demographics within the cohort is outlined in Table 1.
Table 1.The breakdown of student demographics within the two cohorts.
Demographic Local Students International
All respondents
Number of
55 15 70
Male 30 8 38
Female 25 7 32
17-18 7 2 9
19-24 32 13 45
25-34 9 0 9
35+ 7 0 7

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The survey contained statements towards online learning environments in Facebook and
questions related to online and in class interaction with peers and teachers. Mean
response and broad agreement data are collated in Table 2 and Table 3.

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The data shows that participating international students much prefer to engage in
academic exercises online rather than in class, with 93% preferring to critique their
classmates work online, 85% preferring to engage in academic discussions online, and
73% preferring to ask questions online.

Table 2.Student responses to questions and statements.
l Students
All Students

Yes No Yes No Yes No
Have you used Facebook for any
form of online or collaborative
learning in the past?
42% 67% 33% 67% 40% 60%
Topic In
I prefer asking questions 44% 56% 27% 73% 40% 60%
I prefer critiquing my classmates
18% 82% 7% 93% 16% 84%
Engaging in academic discussions 49% 51% 15% 85% 41% 59%

The participating international students also responded positively towards the idea of
using Facebook as host site for an online learning environment. 100% of international
students were looking forward to using the Caf learning environment prior to the start of
the semester, while 80% believed Facebook was an effective host site.

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Table 3.Student responses to questions and statements. The survey used a 5-point
Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree), to 3 (undecided), to 5 (strongly agree); MR =
mean response; BA = broad agreement.
l Students
All Students
I believe Facebook is an effective
host site for an online and
collaborative learning
4.00 73% 4.19 80% 4.05 74%
I believe academic and personal
activities in Facebook should be
kept separate.
3.95 67% 3.95 73% 3.95 68%
I am looking forward to using the
Caf learning environment within
Facebook this semester.
4.00 72% 4.50 100% 4.10 75%

During the semester students were required to regularly submit work-in-progress
imagery related to major assignments, and provide feedback and critiques to their peers.
Participation within the Caf was worth 15% of the final grade for the course, and
students were assessed on three key components: a) the quality of the submitted imagery;
b) the descriptions that accompanied the submitted imagery; and c) the quality and
consistency of their peer critiques. Figure 1 (left) shows a screen capture from the
forums pinboard, accessed on 1/10/2013. The screen capture shows a custom banner at
the top of the page, created by a student as part of a design competition within the course,
under which is the forum navigation. Below that is the live-feed showing forum activity
in real time. Posts from participants are stored at the bottom of the page in three columns.
Posts move left to right and top to bottom, as new content is submitted. This ensures new
content is always at the top of the pinboard.

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Figure 1 (right) depicts a screen capture from a forum gallery. The screen capture
shows the gallery profile image and description at the top of the page, followed by
thumbnail previews of student submissions. Individual submissions can be viewed in full
screen, and can be liked, commented on, and added to myCafe.

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Figure 1.Left) a screen capture of the forum pinboard. Right) a screen capture of a
forum gallery.

Figure 2 (left) shows a screen capture from the forums Q & A page. The screen capture
shows a list of questions asked by participants in reverse chronological order, ensuring
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new questions are at the top of the page. Any participant can provide a response to a
question. Figure 2 (right) shows a screen capture from a students myCafe page. Content
within the myCafe page is arranged in three columns: my posts every post made by
the participant; commented posts every post which the participant has commented on;
and added posts every post which the participant has chosen to add to myCafe.

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Figure 2.Left) a screen capture of the Q & A page. Right) a screen capture of a
students myCafe page.

The student experience during the two studies was evaluated through an online,
ten-question, post semester survey. The post semester questionnaire addressed the design
and functionality of the application; the perceived effectiveness of the learning
environment; and the students experiences throughout the semester. 70 students
participated in the survey, again a response rate of 77%. Participants were given the
opportunity to assess the learning experience in the form of likert-scale statements and
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open-ended questions. Mean response and broad agreement statistics, related to the six
likert-scale statements are shown in Table 4.

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Table 4.Student responses to questions and statements from the post-semester
I would like to use the Caf as an
online learning environment again in
future courses.
4.54 93% 4.60 100% 4.55 94%
During the semester the Caf
promoted interaction with peers.
4.20 91% 4.50 100% 4.28 93%
During the semester I received
beneficial feedback through the Caf
4.25 84% 4.45 93% 4.31 85%
Having all of my posts collated in
myCafe was beneficial.
4.14 84% 4.20 87% 4.16 85%
During the semester the Caf
generated rewarding academic
4.00 78% 4.20 93% 4.04 80%
The ability to collate and categorise
other students posts in myCafe was
4.10 75% 4.10 80% 4.10 76%

The questionnaire outlined student reactions towards the online learning
environment in the Cafe.

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85% of all participants indicated they received beneficial feedback from their peers
during the semester while 80% noted the learning environment generated rewarding
academic discussions. Responses included:
The Cafe is a great environment for promoting student discussion and sharing of
ideas and thoughts on other students' work. It was good to hear different
perspectives on the work I uploaded and to be able to provide feedback for other
students, as well. (Local student).
Yes, I received many comments on my work from other students which was really
great and helped me in my design work. (International student).
I really enjoyed being able to watch everyones progress and abilities develop over
the time of the course.(International student).

93% of participants indicated the Caf promoted interaction with their peers, by
providing students with a familiar and accessible online environment:
Without the Caf app, there would probably be less natural inclination among the
students to discuss each others work, but because the Caf operates through
Facebook, which is an environment that a lot of people are familiar with, I think
people felt more comfortable with discussing their thoughts and ideas with each
other. (Local student).

Providing students with design activities beyond the course assessment was also
instrumental in promoting interaction between peers online:
The banner contest and 50 word comment rule are very peer interactive. There was
always something to do or discuss during the semester on the Caf. (International

The majority of participants responded positively towards myCafe, the personalised
space within the Caf, citing the ability to collate both posts from the pinboard, their own
work and also peers posts from the galleries:
It was helpful to collect the posts from the pinboard - images and videos related to
assignments or lectures.(International student).
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94% of participants indicated they wanted to use the Caf as a learning environment in
the future, referring to the applications ability to generate peer discussions, to learn
about design, and to promote group learning:
I really like the way our course interacted with the Caf, its nice to see the uni
using available technologies.(Local student).
Definitely - this was a good way to get everyone learning together.(International

A large number of students, predominantly international students, noted that the online
environment gave them more time to think and react, as opposed to a traditional
As an international student it is hard sometimes to discuss in class. It is great to get
so many comments from other students and staff. (International student).
The Caf is excellent because we have our critiques written down, and we can read
through and comment at our own pace. (International student).

Many participants responded positively when asked about the design, layout and
navigation of the Caf:
Great, simple to navigate and understand.A good layout.A great tool to see peers
work.(International student).
The Caf is easy to navigate through and that is credited to the simple design
layout.(Local student).

While the majority of students enjoyed participating in the online environment, and
believed they benefitted from doing so, there was a small number of students who simply
did not. When asked to provide details on any problem areas, concerns, or room for
improvement in the design and functionality of the Caf, students noted loading times
and upload errors related to specific video types as key issues:
The only problem would be sometimes there are issues with uploading videos and
sometimes uploaded videos wouldnt play straight away.(Local student).
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Sometimes the pages took a while to load because they contained large
files.(International student).
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The only thing that I find annoying is that I have to enter the DLMA forum when I
launch the Caf instead of it taking me straight there. (Local student).
Final reflections on the learning experience provided insight into how the Caf could
grow in the future:
The Caf allows me to be inspired by some really creative works.(International
At the start of the semester I was very sceptical in regards to the whole 'Facebook
idea', but it actually worked really well. It is almost surprising for someone like me
who still uses a very old Nokia without internet!(International student).

The majority of participants responded positively towards the learning experience within
the Caf at the conclusion of the pilot studies. The international student respondents were
particularly positive towards the experience, as outlined in Table 4, noting the
professional design and simple navigation as two key features of the application, while its
accessibility (via Facebook) and interactivity (through posting, commenting on, and
collating content) were also important in providing a platform for discussing their design
work and interacting with peers, especially local students. This online interaction helped
the development of cross-cultural relationships. Such relationships are particularly
important for commencing international students, who can struggle to develop
meaningful connections with local students, often due to language barriers. The addition
of a virtual environment enabled international students to formulate meaningful
comments and critiques, as opposed to rushing immediate responses under pressure in the
Research and development of the Caf will continue in the future and forthcoming
publications will focus on revisions to the design and operation of the application, as well
as additional case studies using it as an e-learning environment. In the second half of
2014, student cohorts from the University of South Australia, Swinburne University and
Queensland University of Technology, will participate in a collaborative animation forum
hosted by the Caf. From July 2014the Caf will be available to download for free and be
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used by anyone with an active Facebook account, on any device that has an internet

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Baloglu, M. (2000).Expectations of international students from counseling services.
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Mazman, S. G. and Usluel, Y. K. (2010) Modeling educational usage of
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Samantha Tan & Paul Howard-Jones
University of Bristol, United Kingdom

E-mail id:

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This study investigated the validity of the Politeness Effect in APA-human interaction.
It compared the effects of two APAs (rude vs. polite) on 16 postgraduate participants
instruction-taking and performance on a maze task. Perceptions of both APAs were also
captured through interviews. Results cast doubt on a strong Politeness Effect,
suggesting that a blend of both (rude and polite) might aid learning. Consequently, this
study emphasises the need to investigate what the optimal personality mix of an APA
should be - with the possibility of banter being ideal. It also recommends a variety of, and
flexibility in, APA personality and communication style for students as this study
highlights the complexity of human-APA interaction.

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1. Introduction
Advances in computer and communication technologies has seen artificial intelligence
move from an ancient wish to forge the gods (McCorduck, 2004) to become a reality in
everyday lives, with human-computer interaction evolving to utilize sophisticated virtual
characters capable of interacting with humans. The case for using technology in
education is made by educators who seek to increase students academic intrinsic
motivation for its life-long benefits (Ryan & La Guardia, 2000). Unfortunately, academic
intrinsic motivation declines with age and is heavily related to school curriculum and the
way in which subjects are taught (Gottried, Fleming & Gottfried, 2001). Crucial to
bolstering learners intrinsic motivation are elements of incongruity, novelty, and
complexity; as well as tasks that relate to students interests (Covington,2000). The
search for educational methods incorporating such elements has led to research into
computer based systems due to its popularity and social nature (Mitchell & Savill-Smith
Empirical studies on the benefits of computer-based tutoring systems have
produced mixed results (Kirriemuir, 2002; Rosas et al., 2003; Conati & Klawe, 2000), but
computer-based learning systems have been found to be most effective when there is
strong instructional support and teacher mediation (Klawe, 1998; Kirriemuir, 2002). The
instructional aspect to learning is crucial, as it deliberately arranges learning conditions to
provide an optimal learning environment (Clark &Harrelson, 2002). In addition, the
social nature of learning for human beings implies thateducational technology should
embody the principles of social interaction in intelligent tutoring systems (Meltzoff &
Moore, 1977; Vygotsky, 1978; Rizzolatti, Fogassi & Gallese 2001), with theoretical
evidence that one-on-one tutoring can significantly improve learner performance (Bloom
1984). Hence, one possible solution to the social problem of computer-based tutoring
and to increase the feasibility of providing individualized instruction to a huge number of
learners, has emerged in the form of Animated Pedagogical Agents (APAs). They are
defined here as intelligent virtual characters employed in electronic learning
environments to serve instructional goals (Baylor, 2002; Gulz, 2004).

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While studies show that humans tend to impose human-human social norms on
virtual characters when interacting with them (Reeves & Nass, 1996; Ryokai, Vaucelle &
Cassell 2003; Chaminade & Cheng, 2009) and virtual characters have considerable
motivational impact, this has not led to conclusive evidence supporting the supposed
social and cognitive benefits that lead to better learning outcomes (Lester et al., 2001;
Moreno et al., 2001; Johnson et al., 2003; Gulz, 2004). Veletsianos etal. (2010, p. 7)
argues this is due to a present lack of natural and effective agent-learner communication
in APA-based learning systems, which impedes successful engagement with educational
tasks, contributes to poor learning experiences, and ultimately obstructs learning. They
further argue that the proposed benefits may manifest by improving the design of APAs
to better approximate human- human communication.
That APAs be perceived as social actors may be better achieved by endowing
them with enriched social cueing abilities in the form of emotions and personality. It is
argued that this would facilitate the inference of intentions, which is necessary for
information transfer (Ball & Breese, 2000; Kircher et al., 2009), as well as to establish an
empathetic relationship with the user (Dautenhahn & Coles, 2000). Though research
into virtual character personality is in its infancy, it is clear that human APA interaction
is complex. Firstly, affective support from APAs appear to be gender dependent, with
differing learning styles between the genders and females reported to benefit more from
APA support in disciplines such as Maths (Arroyo et al., 2011). Secondly, trust and
empathy between human and APA may not be related to student engagement in a direct,
simplistic way (Goetz & Kiesler, 2002).
Researchers have suggested that APAs should display politeness and positivity
(Veletsianos, Miller & Doering, 2010) based on Brown and Levinsons (1987) cross-
cultural theory of politeness. They argue for the Politeness Effect, which suggests that
students learn better with a polite APA (Mayer et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2008).
However, not all evidence supports this (Person et al., 1995; McLaren et al., 2007),
since human expert tutors are found to be direct, immediate and discriminating (D'Mello,
Lehman & Person, 2010). Furthermore, qualitative studies have shown that a too soft,
nice and polite
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APA appeared to be scripted and elicit skepticism among students (Gulz et al., 2011),
with some learners preferring to engage with a rude instead of polite tutor (Graesser et
al., 2008). A stronger case for a less polite and accommodating tutor is made in light of
evidence showing that APAs that are too nice may allow distraction and off-task
activities (Veletsianos & Miller, 2008), and even encourage learners to verbally assault
conversational agents instead of learning from them (Rehm, 2008) as there are no formal
repercussions of such behavior (Veletsianos & Miller, 2008).
Therefore, this study seeks to investigate the viability of the Politeness Effect,
and further explore the effect APA personality (rude vs. polite) in modulating the
motivational and cognitive aspects of instruction-taking and task performance. This study
also explored if there were any gender effects. Such knowledge will help in the
understanding of the user experience, contributing to the design of instructional APAs.

1.1 Research questions:
1. Does the personality of an APA (rude vs. polite) affect participants instruction-
taking and task performance?
2. Will participants perceive the rude and polite APAs differently in terms of
helpfulness and likeability?
3. Will there be an interaction between gender and APA personality (rude vs. polite)
in participants task performance?
4. Will male and female participants perceive the rude APA differently?

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2. Methods
All participants had to do an experimental task consisting of two runs, each with a
APA, Rude Julie or Polite Julie, as seen in Fig. 1. Each run involved a maze with hidden
parts that participants were to complete as quickly as they could.

Participants had to navigate the maze independently, but at the hidden parts, they
had to listen to the APA give them instructions on how to get back onto the visible parts
of the maze.
This study used an explanatory mixed methods approach to better assess the
multidimensionality of social interaction and its relationship to task performance
(Johnson et al.2007). Qualitative data (interviews and video footage) was collected to
complement the quantitative data as well as to gain more insight into the motivational and
social effects of APAs on participants task performance.
Quantitatively, this experiment employed a 2 x 2 mixed ANOVA design. The dependent
variable (DV) is the time participants took to complete each maze task, which was taken
to be a measure of how well the personality of an APA had facilitated instruction-taking
and performance. The independent variables (IV) consist of the personality of the APA (2
levels: rude and polite; within subject factor), and the gender of participants (2 levels:
male or female; between subject factor). Participants were split into 4 different groups as
seen in Table 1, where there were an equal number of males and females in each group
(i.e. 2 males, 2 females), and the presentation order of the mazes and conditions (rude vs.
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polite) were permutated to prevent any order effects. There were 2 runs - in each run,
participants would do a different maze with a different APA.

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Participants were also asked to rate how likeable and helpful they found each APA on a
Likert scale, as designed in Table 2.

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In light of the literature reviewed in the introduction, this study hypothesized that:

H1: In line with the Politeness Effect, time taken in the maze task will be longer when
Rude Julie is giving instructions compared to Polite Julie.
H2: An interaction between gender and APA is expected, where female participants will
take a longer time to complete the maze task with Rude Julie.
H3: Participants will find Polite Julie more helpful and likeable.
H4: Gender differences in likeability and helpfulness towards the Rude Julie will be
found. Female participants will find Rude Julie less likeable and less helpful.

2.1. Experimental Set-up
The experimental set up is illustrated in Fig. 2. Participants were placed in a
separate room from the experimenter to allow maximum impact of Julies social presence
on their task progress. The experimental mazes (ref. Appendix A) were displayed on the
Maze monitor, and Julie was presented on the APA monitor placed just next to the Maze
monitor. A webcam was positioned on a tripod to face the Maze monitor.
Just outside the participants room, the experimenter used the Experimenters
monitor to observe participants task progress via the webcam connected to Windows
Live Movie Maker on the Experimenters monitor. Julie was set up on SitePal on the
Experimenter monitor, and using the screen splitter, the monitor screen was extended to
allow Julie to appear on the APA Monitor. Julies speech was controlled by transferring
lines from APA scripts (ref. Appendix B) on a Microsoft Word document into the SitePal
textbox on the Experimenters monitor. Julies speech was heard through the APA
monitor by connecting an audio cable from the Experimenters monitor to the APA

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2.2. Participants
19 participants (mean age 25 years, age range 21 30 years), from the University of
Bristol participated and gave informed consent. Originally, only 16 participants were
required, but as data from 3 participants of the original 16 had to be omitted in this study
due to technical difficulties, the experimenter had to recruit another 3 participants to
replace them (2 males, 1 female). Altogether, data from 8 males and 8 females were used.

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2.3. Procedure
When the participant arrived, s/he was brought into the participant room, where
either Polite or Rude Julie was present on the monitor depending on which group
participants were in.
Firstly, participants were briefed on the experiment and given full opportunity to
raise questions before being asked to sign a consent form that laid out the experimental
procedure and information pertaining to sensitive information collection. They were told
that there were 2 runs in this experiment, with each run consisting of a different maze
task and a different APA. Depending on which group participants were in, they
encountered 2 different permutations of the conditions on the first and second run. The
experimenter told them that their goal was to complete the maze as quickly as they could,
before reminding them they would be filmed throughout the experiment.
Subsequently, Julie was introduced as an intelligent, autonomous agent capable of
responding to their progress on the maze. The webcam was referred to as Julies eyes,
which were described as allowing her to monitor participants movement through the
maze. They were told that Julie would be facilitating the experiment, i.e. giving them
instructions about when to begin and when the experiment ended, and how to navigate
the hidden parts of the maze.
Afterward, participants were shown an example maze to practice on and to follow
instructions read by the experimenter that supported their journey through the hidden
parts. They were also allowed to ask any questions about the experiment and Julie.
Finally, the experimenter began filming and left the room. During both runs, the
experimenter started timing participants as soon as they began the maze. When the first
run was done, the experimenter entered the room and asked participants to turn away
from the maze and APA Monitor, while the maze tasks and APA were switched for the
second run. Participants were told to follow Julies instructions again, and were then left
to do the second run with a different Julie. After the maze tasks were completed, the
experimenter entered the room to stop the filming and carried out 15 minute long
interviews with participants on their perceptions towards the APAs. During the questions
On a Likert much would you rate the helpfulness of the rude and polite
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APA? and On a Likert much would you rate your liking towards rude and
polite Julie?, subjects were presented with the Likeability and Helpfulness Likert scale
and asked to rate both Julies.
3. Results
To recap, participants were given two mazes, where some parts were covered up. They
then had to follow instructions from Rude Julie or Polite Julie to complete the maze. The
time taken for participants to complete the mazes were recorded, as well as their
Likeability and Helpfulness Likert scale ratings. The independent variables were the
gender of participants and the personality of the APA (rude vs. polite). All 16 participants
were interviewed and filmed. The filmed footage was examined to see if reactions and
emotional responses caught on film corroborated with the interview data.

3.1. Participants timings
Data was analysed using a mixed-design ANOVA with a within-subjects factor of
APA personality (rude, polite), and a between-subject factor of gender (male, female).
Mauchlys test indicated that the assumption of sphericity had been violated (2(0) = .00,
p < .001), and because epsilon > 0.75, degrees of freedom were corrected using Huyndt-
Feldt ( = 1.00).
As seen in Table 3, participants were faster in the rude condition than in the polite
condition, thus not supporting H1. According to Fig. 3, female participants were faster on
the maze with rude Julie, compared to male participants. In contrast, male participants
were faster than female participants in the polite condition. It also appears that there was
greater variation in timing for males in both conditions (rude vs. polite), compared to

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However, the main effect of APA personality (rude vs. polite) was found to be non-
significant F(1, 14) = 1.04, p = .33. The interaction between APA personality and gender
also proved non-significant F(1, 14) = .28, p = .60, thus not supporting H2. APA Gender
Mean (SD) (ms) No. of participants

3.2. Helpfulness and Likeability Likert scale ratings
Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was performed on the helpfulness and likeability ratings of
the rude and polite APA. Analyses on the Likert Scale ratings showed that participants
found polite Julie significantly more helpful (z = 3.35, N Ties = 14, p = .0005, one-
tailed), and likeable (z = 2.87, N Ties = 16, p = .002, one-tailed) than rude Julie. This is
illustrated in Table 4, which shows that participants perceived helpfulness and likeability
ratings of polite Julie were nearly double that of their ratings for rude Julie. Thus, these
results appear to support H3.

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However, no significant differences between genders were found for Likeability (z =
.743, N Ties = 4, p = .229, one tailed), or Helpfulness, (z = .769, N Ties = 7, p = 221,
one tailed) towards rude Julie, thus not supporting H4. This is supported by Table 5,
which shows that male and female ratings for rude Julie did not differ by a large margin.

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3.3. Trends observed from interviews and corroborated with filmed footage.
1) Humanizing of APAs
Generally, all participants humanized and attributed a level of sentience to Julie,
as they used she and her to refer to Julie. Nevertheless, there was cognitive
dissonance, with participants fighting the illusion that Julie was subject to the same social
norms as humans are. This was succinctly summarized by a participant, I think you can
detach an APA from a person, because its not a physical person in the room, its just a
screen, but theres definitely something going on.
Though participants felt that the human visual aspect made the APA more
relatable, this degree of humanization met with gender differences. Male subjects tended
to regard the APAs in a more detached manner, while female participants appeared to be
more affected.

2) Complexity feelings of likeability towards Rude Julie compared to Polite Julie.
All participants generally expressed positive feelings towards polite Julie because
she was encouraging, and helped put them at ease, supporting the Likert scale ratings and
to some extent, H3. However, 10 out of 16 participants expressed that she was a blander
character compared to rude Julie, and made them feel bored and lose respect for her.
This is illustrated in Appendix C1 and C2.
Participants showed more ambivalence towards rude Julie from the video
recordings, they showed expressions of surprise, amusement and annoyance (Ref.
Appendix C3 and C4). During the interviews, though participants expressed dislike
towards her, it was mixed with amusement to varying degrees. Feelings of annoyance
were mitigated by the fact that she was not human. 4 participants even said they liked
her more than polite Julie, because it was interesting to have a rude one for a change
andshe seemed more sincere and honest.
The two genders also expressed different reasons for disliking rude Julie, though
interviews did not find that more female participants disliked Rude Julie, thus only
partially supporting H4. Female participants felt that her comments and facial expressions
were personally offensive and reported being more emotionally affected, while male
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participants disliked her more so because they felt her comments were unhelpful in
assisting them to reach their goal.
3) Polite Julie was generally deemed to be more helpful.
9 out of 16 participants thought that Rude Julie was unhelpful or very unhelpful
because of her impatient and nasty comments, supporting H3. Out of these 9 participants,
6 were female subjects who expressed being emotionally affected to various degrees by
the mean comments, supporting H4. On the contrary, male participants felt that Rude
Julie was unhelpful because her excess words were interfering and inane. 6 of the 9
participants also felt that Rude Julie was less helpful because they were too absorbed in
watching her and waiting for her next insult. However, 7 participants still rated Rude
Julie as helpful, as they recognized the instructional content both APAs gave were the

4) Rude Julie was seen to be more interesting, but not necessarily more positively
Generally, all participants found Rude Julie more interesting because she was
perceived as being more unpredictable and less boring. However, this did not
necessarily make all participants positively engage with the task. In fact, some of them
mentioned that Rude Julie distracted them from their tasks. Nevertheless, all participants
clearly remembered rude Julie and her insults it appeared that some quality of her
rudeness engaged participants to pay attention to her. This was particularly true for
female participants, who expressed that they were more susceptible to rude Julies
impatient demands.

5) Both APAs may provide different kinds of motivation.
There were more male participants (5 out of 8) who found that polite Julie
provided greater motivation to do the task, as they found rude Julie distracting. Half of all
female participants, however, said that polite Julie was more motivating because rude
Julies attitude made them want to slow down in a show of defiance, or made them
reconsider their moves.
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Some participants said that rude Julie provided more motivation because she kept
them on the ball, and even brought out a competitive streak, commenting that polite
Julie was too much of a walkover to take seriously. Nevertheless, 3 participants
mentioned that rude Julie could also be negatively motivational, in that they went faster
because she made them feel harried and that they were imposing on her.

6) While most participants preferred nice Julie, they appreciated aspects of rude
Julie. 13 out of 16 participants expressed preference for polite Julie, especially if an APA
were to play a guiding role. This was mostly because they felt politeness and
encouragement were important in taking instructions and learning, especially if the task is
However, these participants also found it hard to decide which APA they
preferred, as they appreciated rude Julies novelty and unpredictability, which they found
was entertaining and provided more of a challenge.
Importantly, 5 participants mentioned they would prefer a mix of both APAs,
with allusions to rude Julie being honest and polite Julie being encouraging.

4. Discussion
Overall, the results from this study appear to partially support some hypotheses.
The timings on the maze task and the qualitative data seem to imply that a polite,
charming APA might not always be what is needed or preferred. While Likert Scale
results imply that participants found polite Julie more helpful and likeable, the qualitative
data (interview and film) paints a more complicated picture regarding participants
perceptions of both APAs.
4.1. A complex picture of human-APA interaction
1) Personality and emotions of APA are important in ensuring the humanizing effect.
All participants had a tendency to, though to differing degrees, humanize both
Julies and this was ultimately facilitated by what they pointed out to be her human-like
appearance and speech. Importantly, participants preferred a realistic human APA to a
cartoon-like APA. Nevertheless, it appears that humans also access post-hoc meta-
reasoning about APAs by extrapolating from their current knowledge about computers
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(Lee, et al. 2005). Thus, it is necessary to further investigate the feasibility of, and to
what extent one may design APAs to invoke a suspension of belief in order to replicate
human- human interaction. If this is not possible, then it is necessary to explore creating
other more effective learning context within these limitations.

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2) Participants found different aspects of both APA personality motivating and engaging.
The interview data revealed that all participants found rude Julie more interesting
compared to polite Julie due to her unpredictability and incongruity. In addition, the rude
comments seemed to be humorous and induce academic motivation to avoid failure,
particularly among females, providing a reason for faster female maze timings with Rude
Julie compared to males. Some participants also reported that rude Julie represented a
competitive figure that spurred participants on to do better and toshow the agent.
Unfortunately, it is not clear whether it was the element of competition, or interest, or
even the slight level of anxiety that intrinsically motivated participants to do better.
However, the interview data suggested that rude Julies remarks could also have had a
potentially discouraging effect, as her comments were consistently threatening to the
users positive face.
In contrast, Polite Julie appeared to engender more positive emotions and
motivation, particularly among male participants who found her less distracting. This
could also explain why there was greater variation in male participants timings for Rude
Julie, as some complained that she was more distracting. Thus, elements of calmness and
encouragement can be seen as important in APAs to facilitate concentration on the task,
particularly for males. However, interview results and film footage suggest that her
constant praise may be seen by both genders as boring, predictable and too nice
after an extended period. Indeed, some participants remarked that she induced positive
deactivating emotions that were disengaging after a while.

3) Participants perceptions of likeability and helpfulness of both APAs affected by
gender, self-efficacy and visual appearance.
Even though polite Julie was found to be significantly more helpful and likeable on the
Likert Scale measure, she was not found to help participants do better on the maze task.
This cautions against a strong Politeness effect. It also suggests that inducing positive
affect may not necessarily lead to learning gains, and participants may not always be in
the best position to know what engenders best learning outcomes. Moreover, the
interview data suggests a more nuanced picture, where gender and level of self-efficacy
act as variables that affect participants perceived liking and helpfulness of both APAs.
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More female participants expressed being more affectively influenced by non
instructional comments, either expressing great liking or intense dislike for Rude Julie.
Male participants, on the other hand, seemed to view her in a more detached manner,
mirroring findings that male learners are less interested in suspending disbelief to
immerse themselves in a pretend world (Arroyo et al., 2011). In addition, female
participants might have felt more strongly about rude Julie, as they might have
unconsciously expected her to adhere to stereotypical social rules that females should
be more prosocial (Rose & Rudolph, 2006). This is in contrast to male participants, who
felt negatively about Rude Julie mainly because she distracted them from the task, rather
than because she was being socially incorrect. However, it is important to note that these
differences were not severe, as both male and female participants reported also being
amused by Rude Julie, further supporting results showing no significant differences
between both genders Likert Scale ratings of Rude Julie.
In addition, participants level of confidence in their ability to do the task could
have affected results. Those who expressed a dislike for Rude Julie also said she made
them feel nervous and anxious because they were trying hard to do a new and
unfamiliar task, implying a degree of effortful concentration. In contrast, participants
who felt that the maze task was simple enough found Polite Julie boring, and tended
to find Rude Julie more entertaining.
Lastly, because of humans sensitivity to visceral facets of an agents design, the
visual aspect of both Julies could have been the most salient to participants, especially
with the facial expressions being congruent to non-directional content. Thus, the
physical personality of both Julies could have affected participants judgment and
initiated different attitudes and expectations (Haake, 2009), depending on participants
individual learning preferences and personality. Interestingly, participants were more
likely to refer to Rude Julie as being more honest despite the fact that none of Rude
Julies non-directional comments were actually related to participants performance on
the maze, and the voice used for both APAs were the same. Thus, it appears that the
visual characteristics manipulated participants into thinking that she would be direct in
pointing out their mistakes. Though not necessarily increasing her likeability, Rude
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Julies directness might have been appreciated because it is what is expected of expert
tutors (Mello et al., 2010).

4) There were unclear effects on the cognitive aspects of instruction-taking and task
It was not possible with the experimental design to isolate the effects of APA
personality on each cognitive process involved in instruction-taking and maze navigation,
however, some interpretations may be considered.
Participants reports that rude Julie was distracting suggest that cognition and
emotion are intricately intertwined, where more effortful cognitive processes may have
been involved in concentrating on the maze task with Rude Julie. However, it is unclear
whether it was the unpredictability element, or the visceral facets of Rude Julies design
(visual presentation and negatively-valenced words) that had an undesirable effect on the
cognitive processes of attention, memory and monitoring.
Results showed that there were no significant differences in maze timing for the
two APAs and there is no main effect of APA personality. The different personalities of
APAs could have interacted with various types of learner personalities and preferences to
produce both positive and negative effects that had a cancelling-out effect, thus not
producing any significant results for H2. It cannot be concluded if the distracting or
stimulating effect of rude Julie had greater influence on participants compared to the de-
motivating or encouraging effect of polite Julie and vice versa.

4.2. Towards an optimal APA
1) An overall optimal balance between positivity, unpredictability and conflict.
To establish affective affiliation between the APA and the learner, it is important
to incorporate qualities that make it more human-like. Thus, instead of being one-
dimensionally conflict-free, or introduce too much friction, it is crucial to establish a
balance that simulates the complexity found in humans.
Participants indicated that pleasantness is imperative in challenging learning
situations, but a level of competition and unpredictability is useful in keeping their
interest. Therefore, instead of rudeness that may be regarded as face-threatening, banter
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could be introduced. As banter consists of a surface layer of impoliteness but a proper
layer of politeness (Nowik, 2005), it would be ideal as it still adheres to social norms and
avoids the risk of seeming too artificial. It could narrow social distance between the tutor,
who is in an authoritative position, and a learner by introducing a level of informality,
which is especially popular among young people to mark emotional closeness.

This could also be cognitively beneficial, as informal speech is often found to be
more supportive of learning than formal speech (McLaren et al., 2007). The decreased
social distance possibly enhances learners negative face, and increases their agency to
explore and construct knowledge for themselves.
In addition, the introduction of a healthy level of competition has also been found
to be related to students enjoyment of learning and hope for success (Pekrun et al.,

2) Is honest and provides constructive criticism
Though criticism and honesty can sometimes be face-damaging, it has been
postulated that negative activating emotions from direct feedback are part of a natural
learning process (Kort, Reilly and Picard, 2001). In addition, as seen in this experiment,
positive affect towards polite Julie did not necessarily stimulate better instruction-taking.
Thus, it is important to find a balance between the entertaining aspects of APAs
that ensure user enjoyment, and a mode of communication that is direct and immediate
but pedagogically effective (DMello, Lehman & Person, 2010). This is especially since
participants reports of APA likeability and helpfulness are not necessarily consistent
with their actual task performance.

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4.3. Conclusion
This study has shown that users academic emotions and motivations in
instruction-taking from APAs are multifaceted and diverse. There is also the implication
that an APA that is onedimensionally nice or nasty produces no significant cognitive
differences in participants instruction-taking and task performance.
As summed up by a participant, Its not so much about being rude or polite, but
being realistic and showing the human quality of emotion.
Additionally, there are significant individual differences in learning with social
interfaces. Indeed, the results suggest that while there are certain trends as mentioned
earlier, there is no standard user. Thus, it is necessary to supply an adequate variety and
flexibility in APAs while maintaining a mode of communication that is pedagogically
effective. This field needs systematic research of differences between groups of people in
terms of attitudes and reactions towards virtual social characters (Gulz, 2004), in
particular, what differences between groups of people are relevant in certain contexts.
Only then may we provide an adequate set of character strategies, roles and character
visualisations to choose from.
APAs should also be designed to actively generate tailored interventions by
taking into account students cognitive states, meta-cognitive skills and their emotional
responses (Conati & Klawe 2000). For example, APA feedback to incorrect answers
could be personalized and dependent upon learners confidence and ability. This would
have a positive influence on learning and long-term attitudes towards difficult subject
matter, as APAs eventually identify students academically desirable states and provide
effective interventions to achieve that.

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I would like to thank Dr. Paul Howard-Jones from the Graduate School of Education at
the University of Bristol for providing me the support to complete this dissertation. I
would also like to thank all the friends who participated in my experiments and read my
paper. Lastly, I would like to thank God for giving me the grace and strength to finish
this paper.

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Porntida Kaewkamol
Chiang Mai University, Thailand

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Cloud computing is increasingly being used in education particularly in e-learning
systems. The main reasons are cloud-based services support data access with time and
location independence, effective information sharing and real-time collaborative
information editing. According to these cloud characteristics, students are able to create
and adjust their personal learning paths as well as comfortably share the learning
outcomes with their peers. Besides, educators can also guide students to achieve the
learning objectives by engaging in the e-learning community. This paper, therefore, aims
to propose a conceptual framework for utilising cloud-based services to facilitate self-
learning processes in e-learning environment. Methodology of this paper is mainly based
on a combination of literature reviews. As a result, this paper provides the conceptual
framework which is likely to assist educators to integrate cloud-based services in e-
learning systems. However, the proposed framework only refers to the use of Software as
a Service (SaaS) in generic e-learning environment rather than the specific study

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Cloud computing rapidly plays an important role in e-learning system. This technology
provides an alternative approach to overcome the demand of massive data storage for
interactive learning contents. It also reduces startup costs with a fixed or small budget to
implement the solution. Apart from infrastructure and financial benefits, there are various
cloud-based services that can support information sharing and collaboration among users.
However, the implementation of cloud-services particularly Software as a Service (SaaS)
in e-learning systems may involve many factors. This paper therefore aims to introduce a
conceptual framework to utilise Software as a Service in e-learning system.

Literature Review
Literature reviews of this paper consist of four parts: e-learning, cloud technology,
Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing in e-learning. The review of e-learning
focuses on its definition and critical success factors. Cloud technology is reviewed
regarding general meaning and service levels. Software as a Service (SaaS) is also
studied in its unique characteristics. Moreover, there is a review of key advantages of
cloud computing in e-learning, an academic cloud framework, featured functions that
should be included in SaaS-based service for e-learning and the examples of utilised SaaS
in education sector.

E-Learning can be regarded as an Internet-enabled learning system. It consists of learning
contents, learning experience management and an online community of learners.
Contents of e-Learning can be developed in various formats. However, interactive-
based media can be considered to suit students interest (Fernandez et al., 2012).
In terms of critical success factors, McPherson and Nunes (2006) studied on e-learning
implementation and also identified organizational critical success factors for the system.
They included four issues which were leadership structural and cultural issues, design
issues, technological issues and delivery issues.

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Cloud Technology
According to Hayes (2008), Cloud computing is the scalable technology that provides
virtualised resources to users. They are able to utilise these resources without the
understanding of technical mechanism behind cloud technology. Fernandez et al. (2012)
mentioned that cloud technology generally has three service levels: Software-as-a-
Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as
can be shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Cloud service levels (Fernandez et al., 2012)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the cloud-based service which can dynamically be
extendable depending on the demand of users (Al-Zoube, 2009). It can also enable new
digital resources for education such as Youtube and iTunes. Learners can subsequently
customise their learning content through the provided service (Little, 2008). Additionally,
SaaS-based system is able to support data sharing and knowledge-based service as well
as reduce operation cost (Cho, 2010).

Cloud Computing in E-learning
With reference to literature reviews, key advantages of cloud technology for e-learning
are cost reduction, usage scalability, data sharing, data security and real-time data access
with location independence.-

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The reviews can be summaried as follows:
Researcher Advantages of cloud computing in e-learning
Madhumathi and
Ganapathy (2013)
Data damage from software and hardware are reduced.
Course content can be remotely backed up.
Information transferring between devices is more convenient.
Students are able to study from multiple locations through
browser-based applications.
Some services are available and ready-to-use for free.
Users can dynamically scale their data storage usage.
Fernandez et al.,

Cloud services provide ease of access from anywhere and at
Client-side software is decreased.
Cost of software subscription can be flexible based on demand.
SaaS server might be used to support more than one institution.
Data security is enhanced as it is stored in the server.
Cloud system can minimise data loss when client computer
Scale infrastructure and maximise system investments.
Data access can conveniently be monitored as cloud provides a
unique entry point for every user.
Al-Zoube (2009)

Many programs can be accessed from web browser while they are
stored in the cloud.
Browser-based applications are accessible from a set of devices
and mobile platforms.
Institutions without technical expertise can still get the use of
on-demand scalability in order to serve the increasing number of
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Software installation and maintenance are generally facilitated
and managed by cloud-service provider.
Data can be shared and collaborated more easily and safely in the

According to Madhumathi and Ganapathy (2013), an academic cloud framework
was proposed as a guideline to construct and deploy cloud system in universities. The
framework technically includes six layers: user interface layer, software instance layer,
platform layer, virtual resource maintenance and management layer, vitualisation layer
and physical layer. Each layer has its own components while security and monitoring
management is administrated across all layers. By focusing on Software as a Service, the
details of software instance layer are specifically reviewed. The cloud-based service in
this layer are installed in the cloud server and provided to the students as a service with
user customisation function.
Fernandez et al. (2012) additionally suggested the important functions that should be
included from SaaS provider in order to successfully manage e-learning system. They
consist of five subsystems which are:
Application Registry Management to register the application.
Application Server to store learning contents.
Account and User Management to authorised users.
Virtual Desktop Deployment to provide personalised desktop environment.
Session Management to ensure the system is being used by an authorised user.
Personalised Management to enable the selection of favourite learning

Besides, Cloudtweaks (2014) studied on the essential of cloud computing in the
classroom and highlighted some cloud-based services that have been utilised particularly
in education sector. Gmail, Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live Meeting are the
examples of cloud application using in schools. It is noticeable that these applications
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have the featured functions on document sharing and group communication. However,
other solutions have been identified as the services which especially suit to educators.
They contain additional capabilities to design and create interactive learning contents
with a flexible price. These applications are Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365
and IBM SmartCloud Engage Advanced.

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Proposed Conceptual Framework

From a set of literature review, a conceptual framework for cloud-based service in e-
learning systems is developed. According to Madhumathi and Ganapathy (2013), cloud-
based service focusing on Software as a Service, for example, on-line services for
document, spreadsheets and database management, should be stored in the cloud server
together with the layer of security and system monitoring management. Besides, the SaaS
services should also include the key functions which have a beneficial impact on e-
learning system. These functions are application registry management, account and user
management, virtual desktop deployment, session management and personalised
management (Fernandez et al., 2012). Moreover, students and educators should be able to
access the services from various locations using browser-based application. They should
also be able to access and customise e-learning content, as well as share information,
through cloud-based applications from a range of devices, for example, mobile, laptop
and desktop computer. The proposed conceptual framework for cloud-based service in e-
learning systems can be shown in Figure 2.
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Figure 2 The proposed conceptual framework for cloud-based service in e-learning
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Result and Conclusion
E-learning system is one of learning approaches which encourages students to practise
self-learning skill. It also allows students to comfortably adjust their personal schedule
and content structure to obtain the learning outcomes. However, e-learning system should
be able to create a virtual classroom circumstance in order to stimulate learning
environment among students. According to this concerns, cloud computing can play an
alternative role to support the e-learning system. This is due to the fact that cloud-based
services, especially Software as a Service, provide information sharing as well as the
ability for students to concurrently access and edit a document at the same time. It hence
encourages a virtual classroom and a collaborative learning environment. Nevertheless,
the implementation of cloud-based service in e-learning systems can be related to many
concerns. Service and data should basically be stored in cloud server with security and
monitoring management layer. Moreover, cloud-based service should provide some
important functions, such as application registry management and virtual desktop
deployment, so as to effectively support e-learning systems.

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Al-Zoube, M. (2009) E-Learning on the Cloud, International Arab Journal of e-
1 (2), pp.58 64, [Online]
%20the%20Cloud.pdf (Accessed: 2 May 2014).
Cho, J. (2011) Study on a SaaS-based library management system for the Korean library
network, Electronic Library, 29 (3), pp. 379 393, Emerald, [Online] DOI
10.1108/02640471111141115 (Accessed: 26 January 2014).
Cloudtweaks (2014) Going to the cloud [Online]
infographic-going-to-the-cloud (Accessed: 30 April 2014).
Fernandez, A., Peralta, D., Herrera, F. and Bentez, J.M, An Overview of E-Learning in
Cloud Computing, Workshop on Learning Technology for Education in Cloud
173, pp. 3546, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.[Online] (Accessed: 1 May
Hayes, B. (2008) Cloud computing, Communications of the ACM, ACM Digital Library,
51 (7), pp. 9 11, [Online]. DOI: 10.1145/1364782.1364786 (Accessed: 2 May 2014).
Little, B.(2008) Trends in learning content management, Industrial and Commercial
Emerald, 40 (5). pp. 261-265, [Online] DOI 10.1108/00197850810886504 (Accessed: 2
May 2014).Madhumathi,.C, Ganapathy, G. (2013) An Academic Cloud Framework for
Adapting e-Learning in Universities, International Journal of Advanced Research in
Computer and Communication Engineerin,. Emerald, 2 (11), pp.4480 4484, [Online].
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SMadhu%20Mathi%20AN%20academic.pdf (Accessed: 30 April 2014). McPherson, M.
and Nunes, M. B. (2006) Organisational issues for e-learning Critical success factors as
identified by HE practitioners, International Journal of Educational Management,
Emerald, 30 (7), pp.542 558, [Online]. DOI 10.1108/09513540610704645 (Accessed:
1 May 2014)

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Ming Yang,

Songhua Yang,

Xiaofang Wang

& Yufang Zhao

Southwest University, China

School of Computer and Information Science, Faculty of Psychology,
Southwest University, China

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C programming language is very important in the teaching of undergraduate
computer science students. We describe in this paper our experience in changing
programming teaching in our college from a traditional lecturing based system to a new
autonomous learning based platform. At the same time an online continuous evaluating
system was set up to check what they had learned and a technology forum was used to
solve students programming problems in time. After 2 years attempt, most students
operational abilities on programming, interest in design, and autonomous learning skills
were greatly improved. Practice has proved that this study is a very useful teaching model
and has promotional value in most Chinese colleges of computer science major.
Keywords: E-Learning, Satisfaction, Factors for Enhancing

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1. Introduction
C programming language has a long history among most programming languages
(Kernighan et. al 1988); however it endures very well and there is no sign of
disappearing. While many people who do not know the truth behind take the graphical
interfaces developed by other programming languages for granted as the whole content of
programming design, lots of software developed by C programming have supported
human civilization silently in most key fields such as operating system, drivers,
controllers, servers.
As a professional primary language for learning programming, C is still the best
choice. Some other popular programming languages with full functionality that have been
in use, like C++, java, they are descendants of C. It will be easier to learn other
programming languages after you have studied C, but not vice versa.
In China, most colleges which have specialization of science and engineering set
up programming language C as their basic required course for the undergraduate students
in the first year. However, the effect is not ideal, even worse than people imagine, as
graduated students need to restudy programming when they take a job (Li, 2012). In
order to change this situation, we must amend the learning objectives of students from
how to get high score in examinations to how to get the true abilities of programming. In
fact, the teaching objective is that undergraduate students should learn how to design and
implement programs. As we all know, coders have rich experiences and skills in
programming and debugging because they get largely these skills from keeping trying to
debug and modify codes, not from learning by heart programming syntax rules, copying
examples and doing exercises of textbook, and passing the written exams by answering
questions. At the same time coders know very well that code is designed for other people
to read, so they developed good programming styles and easily finished team work.
Unfortunately, many teachers pay more attention to syntax rules and producing a
fragment of code according to relevant grammar to debug and show it to students, and do
not realize the importance of coding styles. So a lack of correct guidance not only wastes
a lot of time, but it also easily forms too bad a working habit to fit team work.
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So for 3 years now we have been doing some reforms in C programming language
teaching and obtained good effects in developing the abilities of designing and

2. About C language Course
2.1 Curriculum properties
A programming course is different from mathematics and physics theory. It is a
practice-based course and you cannot use it flexibly if you lack practical experience. The
knowledge related to the practice-based courses is similar to the graph structure, while
content in textbook seems like a linear structure. So no matter how general or how perfect
textbooks or reference books of C programming are, they cannot make students success
in coding if they rely only on lectures and reading. This course is closer to practical
research, and knowledge related to programming is very broad, so students can
practically eliminate the false and retain the true by coding and debugging in quantity.
We want that students get the ability of autonomic learning. During the learning process
teachers should answer questions which appeared in the practicing and introduce their
programming experience to the students, not only explain the grammar in the classes.
However some important chapters such as the memory usage, file pointer and
programming specification should be emphatically explained. The students will go
through very hard process during designing code, debugging and running. Only by their
own efforts to solve the problems instead of looking for ready-made answers from the
teacher or reference, students can get the true knowledge and skills. This problem-solving
process may be very long and painful, but the obtained experience is very valuable and
robust. And students will not only master C programming but also the method of self-
learning. They will learn more and more by themselves.
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2.2 Programming development environment
Programming was originally done in character interface terminals with Unix
Environment, later with both Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and graphical
user interface (GUI), which indeed provide a great convenience for developers. However,
from many years teaching practice people found IDE and GUI were not convenient for
beginners, because they easily focused on how to use these complex multifunctional tools
rather than on designing and debugging a program itself. Moreover, IDE and GUI hide
the processes connected with the compiler, and it makes the beginners hard to understand
the program generation and start-up process. This controversial development platform is
VC++. VC++ aims at C++ programming, and the interface is more complex, therefore
should not be used as common teaching platform.
Using character terminal to learn C programming is much better for students
beginners. It can dramatically reduce the difficulty of understanding developing tools and
make beginners concentrate on programming design process.
Linux system is a combination of kernel and Shell, where Shell can be character
terminal style or it can be graphical interface too. Bash is one widely used character
terminal Shell. In bash people can use vi(command) to edit, use gcc to compile and
connect, use make to manage project, and it is a very classical developing mode now.
Learning the basic usage of these tools is very easy, and students can know the
technologic flow from source code to executable program well by such a development
mode step by step. In addition, with respect to the cost of the commercial version of the
integrated development environment, free gcc and make are undoubtedly a much better
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3. The C language teaching reform
From the start of 2011, we launched the C language teaching reform in our
college and changed the programming teaching. From a traditional lecturing based
system we went to a new autonomous learning based platform by using a Linux character
terminal. At the same time a technology forum by CSDN (Chinese software development
net) was set up to solve students programming problems in time, and an online
continuous evaluating system was used to check what they had learned. After 2 years
attempt, most students operational abilities on programming, interest in design, and
autonomous learning skills were greatly improved.

3.1 Teaching objectives
As a programming design course, practice in programming design should be the
main goal of teaching, not to be diverted with the various examinations goals. We divided
it into two levels: the first level is that students can develop programs which accomplish a
certain function by hands-on programming procedures; the second level is that teachers
must require students to learn the standard style of source codes such as good readability,
easy understandability, simple statement structures and write the software supporting
Generally speaking, students who are as long as serious in self-study, after a few
months practice in programming, they can grasp most skills from simple to complex
design and debug procedures. However, the importance of normative (or standard)
coding style and writing software documents seemed hard for beginners to totally
understand. For example, it is hard to realize the importance of program readability for
those who are less experienced; and also hard to understand the importance of software
documentation for those who lack designing projects experience. In real programming
development both of them are very important to teamwork. This is one kind of shortage
of textbooks to emphasize this knowledge as an integral part; unfortunately many
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teachers themselves lack experience in these two aspects. So we emphasized both levels
of teaching objectives, especially repeated the second level using several methods during
the practice process in order to develop good habits from the beginning.

3.2 Teaching method
In the past almost all courses which have theory class hours and laboratory class
hours were separated to give lectures because of lack of computers and hardware
resource. Students could touch a computer only in the laboratory, so the programming
practice using computer was not enough for students. Even now, there is still lack of
computer rooms if most courses are lectured only in computer rooms. However,
computers and laptops are more popular at present, take 2012 grade students as example,
more than 96% students majoring in computer science had laptops. Even for those poor
students that could not afford it, they can apply for computer time offered freely by
school according to their schedule. Thus students do have sufficient resources to use a
computer after classes. With the popularization of campus network and wireless network,
practicing programs and trouble shooting in any time are possible.
We deployed a Linux host in campus network and let students run terminal
simulation software named putty to login the host and design program. Teachers can
check the students online status and judge the quality of their codes.

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3.3 Teaching assessment
Since 1994, the National Computer Rank Examination (abbreviate NCRE) has
been running in China for undergraduate students of non-computer major, meanwhile C
language teaching in many colleges related to computer major gradually evolved into a
training course of NCRE (Tan, 2010). Students could get a high score by remembering
most grammar rules and passing the written examination. This led to many students not
to grasp the true process of designing and the skills of debugging, so after the end of the
course they did not have the ability of programming skills at all and needed to restudy the
subjects when they were in the follow-up courses, such as Data structures. That meant a
lot of troubles both for teachers and students.
To change this situation we realized that students need to program a lot and we
must find a way to monitor their daily homework, change the assessment method and
even improve the difficulty of examination. So we designed two kinds of examinations,
one is for simple programming not involving the design of program pointers, the other is
named complex examination including the design of a function pointer. For each
examination we offered a set of test questions in the host, and the system would present
the students the questions randomly. Every question is a word document which includes
all requirements of input and output. In order to avoid some students feel nervous and
thus negatively influence their developing abilities, each examination was done 3 times.
During the test process, students can use reference books or Internet, but they must
explain the main idea clearly in case some students copy the result from a website or
In fact, the criteria of assessment are very strict. First, if the required functions in
the question are completed correctly the student gets 60% of the score. Second, if in
addition the source code meets the style specification the student can get 100% of the
Each question is not only a description of the requirements document, including
also the reference supporting example and test data files. The assessment system will
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copy all source files in a backup database, then compile the students programs, if
compilation is successful, will go on running by using the test data files as input. By
comparing the output of students source code with the reference answer,, we can
consider the source programs achieve full functionality. These test data files not only
contain the correct data, but also contain a variety of erroneous data, because in the
program design, how to handle error is also very important.
Although we emphasize the programming style, only basic standard of students
source codes are required in the assessment system, for example, they must have the
correct indent, must give a space after assignment in a single assignment statement, must
have a space after the comma, etc. All these requirements can improve the readability of
the source codes and be detected by this system instead of manual reading.
After these two tests of evaluation, we arrange students to design and analyze a
comprehensive program of at least 500 lines in the end of term. This program must have
some practical value functions, and students can refer to the materials the teachers
supplied to solve the problem in two weeks.

3.4 Teaching support
Traditional teaching support time was only in the laboratory classes, thus most of
the time the students only solve their problems by themselves or other classmates (Chen,
2012). When they faced with difficult questions in programming, many students didnt
insist to overcome them. On the other hand, students may go astray or take unnecessary
pains to study an insignificant problem if they explore by themselves the different
questions. Therefore, trouble shooting and supporting within 24 hours is very helpful for
In the process of student programming practice, we use as a powerful tool the
Internet to give technical support. The main way is by instant messaging tool QQ and
Technology Forum CSDN (Chinese software development net). We have built a large
QQ group for all students in one grade, and asked more than 10 teachers to join the group
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and to communicate with students by QQ tool. However, the more important way is the
technical forum. If with guidance by QQ group, the teacher often repeatedly answers the
similar questions, but using the forum we can accumulate more common questions and
group them by topic.
Sometimes the answer comes from excellent students, so it is a very effective way
to practice expressing ability and programming techniques to answer others question.
After graduation this technology forum is still an important way to get answers.

4. Conclusion
We describe in this paper our experience in changing C programming language tea
ching in our college, from a traditional lecturing based system to an autonomous learning
based platform by using a Linux character terminal, dramatically reducing the difficulty o
f understanding developing tools and making students concentrate on programming desig
n. After 2 years attempt, most students operational abilities on programming, interest in
design, and autonomous learning skills were greatly improved. Practice has showed that t
his teaching model is very useful for undergraduate students programming design and ha
s promotional value in most Chinese colleges of computer science major.

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Project supported by the research and practice of teaching reform for fundamentals
compulsory course of computer specialty (C Programming Language)" (2012JY022) and
"National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371055)"

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1. Brain W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Richie(1988). The C programming language, 2nd
Ed, Prentice Hall Inc.
2. Xiangling Li(2012). The research of C language course reform exploration and
practice. Journal of Gansu Union University:(Natural Sciences),2(4),103-106.
3. Haoqiang Tan(2010). C Language programming design, 4th Ed, Beijing, Tsinghua
University Press.
4. Gang Chen, Xiaoyan Zhu(2012). The teaching reform of C Language design in
Jianghan university, Computer CD Software and Applications, No. 7, 245-246.

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Kannika Daungcharone
College of Arts, Media and Technology, Thailand

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The computer programming course is hard to understand because it is not a pure
theory. The main objective of this course is for students to understand and apply all
applicable theories with any problem. However, most students cannot do so in their
classrooms, they have to spend more time to practise from various examples and
exercises. For the complex exercises, the students may have to try with many errors that
sometimes they cannot fix the problems by themselves. One best way to help them is to
prepare the E-Channel for all students and teachers to participate together. As such, the
purpose of this paper is to create a conceptual framework to develop an E-Learning
system by examining the factors impacting on the level of satisfaction among the students
in the computer programming course. Its aim is to find the best solution for helping the
students improve their knowledge and to apply the knowledge with any problem
regarding computer programming.

Keywords: E-Learning, Satisfaction, Factors for Enhancing

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Kannika Daungcharone

This paper was prepared from gathering, research, analysis and design in many
related parts. The objective is to present the way for finding the main factor to improve
the E-Learning system in the computer programming course. The benefit of this paper is
helping the students who study the computer programming course to understand the
lesson and can apply the knowledge with other problems from learning via E-Learning

Computer programming skill is one of the core competencies that graduates from
many disciplines, such as engineering and computer science, are expected to possess.
To develop good programming skills typically requires students to do a lot of practice
(Law et al., 2010). Most of the students cannot understand the computer programming
lesson in the classroom because it is the practical discipline. Students have to apply the
theory with the real problem. Normally, if they review the lesson and do more exercise
outside the class time, then they can build the knowledge and fix other problems by

Nowadays, there are many technologies which can be applied to teaching,
especially the internet and communication system. The existing face-to-face learning
paradigm is no longer the only educational method due to the advent of E-Learning that
makes it possible to receive education without being restricted by time and space.
So, the way to help them is to prepare the E-Channel for all students and teachers to participate
together. As such, the purpose of this paper is to create a conceptual framework to develop an E-
Learning system by examining the factors impacting on the level of satisfaction among the
students in the computer programming course. Its aim is to find the best solution for helping the
students improve their knowledge and to apply the knowledge with any problem regarding
computer programming with the satisfaction of students in the course.
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For supporting this paper, there are many theories and researches to explain and
promote this concept. There are three related topics, including the E-Learning system,
the satisfaction in learning and the self-learning.

E-Learning System
E-Learning offers an opportunity to improve the learning experience. The
advantages for teachers are enhanced distribution of learning content, ease of update,
standardization and tracking of learner activities. The advantages for learners are ease of
access, better interactivity and individual choice concerning the pace and mix of learning.
Important disadvantages are the considerable resources required to develop E-
Learning projects and difficulties in simulating some aspects of the real world prescribing
experience. Pre-requisites for developing an E-Learning program to support prescribing
include academic expertise, institutional support, learning technology services and an
effective virtual learning environment. E-Learning content might range from complex
interactive learning sessions through to static web pages with links. It is now possible to
simulate and provide feedback on prescribing decisions and this will improve with
advances in virtual reality (Maxwell & Mucklow, 2012).
The growing demand for E-Learning along with striving for excellence associated
with globalization; there are worldwide calls for enhancing and assuring quality in E-
Learning, specifically in the context of the developing countries. Such calls for quality
enhancement, accountability, added value, value for money, self-evaluation and role
players satisfaction in higher education settings cannot go unheeded (Masoumi &
Lindstrm, 2011).
The quality of E-Learning can be defined in many different ways, reflecting different
stakeholders and the complexity of the systems and processes used in higher education.
These different conceptions of quality can be mutually contradictory and while politically
significant, may also be beyond the direct control or influence of institutional leaders
(Marshall, 2011).
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Learning designs refer to a variety of ways of designing student learning
experiences, that is a sequence of types of activities and interactions. It may be at the
level of a subject or subject components and it also can be considered the framework that
supports student learning experiences. It should focus on learning designs implemented
with the use of Information and Communication Technologies. A learning design
comprises the following key elements (Oliver, 1999):
Tasks that learners are required to do.
Resources that support learners to conduct the task.
Support mechanisms that exist from a teacher implementing it.

Figure 1 An E-Learning framework (Blake, 2004)

The Satisfaction in Learning
The student satisfaction is worthy of investigation because it is critical to
academic achievement. Student satisfaction, which reflects how positively students
perceive their learning experiences, is an important indicator of program and student-
related outcomes, for example, student satisfaction is associated with program quality,
student retention and student success in program evaluation. High student satisfaction can
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lead to lower drop-out rates, higher persistence and greater commitment to the program.
Considering these potential benefits, student satisfaction should be studied to increase
retention and recruitment of future students. In addition, student satisfaction enables
institutions to target areas for improvement and facilitates the development of strategic
planning specific to online learners. The factors contributing to student satisfaction in
online learning are interaction, internet self-efficacy and self-regulated learning (Yu-
Chun, 2013).
Other scholars also have found that learners on-line learning satisfaction was
affected by factors like learners technology acceptance behaviors, learners experience
in online learning, quality of institutional support, academic environment and
instructional interaction. For instance, learners who had more experiences in online
learning were more likely to be satisfied with learning online and were less likely to feel
anxious about online learning. In addition, the issues of academic environment and
instructional interaction also contributed to students online learning acceptance and
satisfaction in higher education online programs. However, these perspectives do not
account sufficiently for the influence of individual differences in online satisfaction since
motivation, a predictor of achievement in academic settings and personality, the
description of an individuals pattern of personality interaction with the environment to
satisfy needs, both help in understanding why individuals process and respond to the
same online learning situations differently. There have been fewer studies of online
learning that account for the impact of personality and motivation differences on online
learning satisfaction (Shih, 2013).
Sun (2006) points out that E-Learning is basically a web-based system that makes
information or knowledge available to users or learners and disregards time restrictions or
geographic proximity. Although online learning has advantages over traditional
face-to-face education, concerns include time, labor intensiveness and material resources
involve in running E-Learning environments. Many researchers from psychology and
information system fields have identified important variables dealing with E-Learning.
A summary of literature relevant to all factors vital to the activities of E-Learning and
affecting learners satisfaction with E-Learning is made. There are six dimensions which
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are used to assess the factors, including student, instructor, course, technology, design
and environment, the model is shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2 Dimensions and antecedents of perceived e-Learner satisfaction
The Self-Learning
Law (2010) states that computer programming skills constitute one of the core
competencies that graduates from many disciplines, such as engineering and computer
science, are expected to possess. To develop good programming skills typically requires
students to do a lot of practice which cannot sustain unless they are adequately motivated.
Learning to write computer programs is known to be difficult for many beginners.
For decades, researchers have been building automated e-learning systems to lower the
barriers to programming. Learning and motivation are highly complex facets of human
behavior. People do learn from their experiences while their willingness to learn is
affected by a set of determinants. Relationships between motivating factors and learning
have been a prominent research topic in the field of higher education. Motivation is
believed to be an enabler for learning and academic success. This is more so in the case
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of learning computer programming where engagement in frequent practice would not
happen without the sustained motivation to succeed.
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Motivation can be defined as the extent to which persistent effort is directed
toward a goal and learning motivation can be understood as the extent to which persistent
effort a student pays toward learning. Motivation can be determined intrinsically by
individuals and externally by sources due to situational variables and environmental
factors. The factors motivating learning are intrinsic factors: individual attitude and
expectation, goals and emotions; extrinsic (environmental) factors: clear direction,
reward and recognition, punishment and social pressure and competition. These are
related and affect the efficacy of learning as shown in Figure 3. H1 shows students who
value intrinsic factors more importantly exhibit a higher level of efficacy. H2 shows
students who value extrinsic factors more importantly exhibit a higher level of efficacy.
H3 shows students at a higher level of efficacy score a higher level of perceived e-effect.

Figure 3 The related factors of motivation

Interaction with others, specifically peers and instructors, is one of the important
variables determining students' successful learning experiences in an online learning
environment. A number of online educators and researchers have reported that interaction
with others significantly and positively relates to student satisfaction with the course,
perceived learning and social presence. In addition, because a major portion of online
assignments require students to interact with others, skillful and effective interaction with
others is very important not only for individual learners' success, but also for cultivating
positive learning environments. Student interaction with others is, therefore, critical in
online learning settings. A number of models of self-regulated learning have emanated
from various views of learning, but self-regulation is most commonly defined as students'
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proactive management in two areas of learning: motivation and cognition. With regard to
motivation for interacting with others, self-regulated online learners tend to enjoy and
have high self-efficacy for interacting with others (e.g., peers and instructors).
Cognitively, self-regulated online learners use effective writing strategies. They
intentionally write messages, monitor the interaction process and reflect their interaction
by reading others' messages (Cho and Kim, 2013)

The conceptual framework in this paper is developed from the basic approach for
enhancing the level of satisfaction among students in an E-Learning system in computer
programming course as shown in Figure 4.
Frequency of
Number of
suggest to other
Care Plan
Group Work
Cognitive Dialogue
Technique Feedback

Figure 4 The conceptual framework
The basic model consists of latent and observed variables. This is to analyze the
relationships between exogenous latent variables and endogenous latent variable. The
approach assumes that these variables are critical if the E-Learning is integrated to the
computer programming course. Regarding the expected methodology, a questionnaire
survey is needed to conduct by asking all students who enroll in all relevant subjects.
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For analyzing the data, the Structural Equation Modeling will be needed to identify the
causal relationships between various variables.
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The purpose of this paper is to find the best solution for helping the students to
improve their computer programming knowledge and to apply this knowledge with any
problems regarding computer programming. However, the success of this framework
depends on various factors consisting of latent and observed variables. Moreover, It is
expected that the framework will be employed so as to provide some suggestions which
will well facilitate the E-Learning setting and then can enhance learning motivation and
self-efficacy for the students in the course and also affect the academic performance of

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Blake A. (2004). Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education. Retrieved
Apirl 25, 2014, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Web site:
D. Masoumi & B. Lindstrm. (2011). Quality in e-learning: a framework for promoting
and assuring quality in virtual institutions. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
Volumn 28, Issue 1, 27-41. . Retrieved April 8, 2014, from Wiley Online Library.
Hsiu-Feng Shin, Shu-Hui Eileen Chen, Shu-Chu Chen and Shyh-Chyi Wey. (2013). The
Relationship Among Tertiary Level EFL Students Personality, Online Learning
Motivation And Online Learning Satisfaction. Procedia - Social and Behavioral
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S. Marshall. (2011). Improving the quality of E-Learning: lessons from the eMM.
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10, 2014, from Wiley Online Library.
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Simon Maxwell & John Mucklow. (2012). E-Learning initiatives to support prescribing.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Volume 74, Issue 4, 621-631. Retrieved
April 18, 2014, from Wiley Online Library.
Yu-Chun Kuo, Andrew E.Walke, Kerstin E.E. Schroder and Brian R. Belland. (2013).
Interaction, Internet self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning as predictors of
student satisfaction in online education courses. The internet and higher
education,35-50. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from Science Direct database.

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George Jacobs
James Cook University Singapore
Peter Seow
Nanyang Technological University
National Institute of Education, Singapore

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This paper describes eight principles that can be used to promote cooperative interactions
among students working in online environments. The principles derive from a well-
established approach to education, known variously as cooperative learning and
collaborative learning. Each principle is explained as to what it means, why it is
important and how it can be deployed. The eight principles are heterogeneous grouping,
teaching collaborative skills, group autonomy, maximum peer interactions, equal
opportunity to participate, individual accountability, positive interdependence and
cooperation as a value.

Keywords: cooperative learning, collaborative learning, peer interaction, computer
enhanced collaborative learning

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Cooperative Learning Principles Enhance Online Interaction
When many people think about computers, tablets, smartphones and other IT devices,
they picture individuals alone seemingly glued to the screens and keyboards of their
devices. Similarly, when people think of students using those devices for learning, they
imagine the students alone, perhaps at desks or tables in their homes, far from their
classmates. However, such images of individualized involvement with electronic learning
tools often fail to look below the surface. In reality, students are often using their devices
to interact with others, and frequently those others are their fellow students.

The purpose of this paper is to share ideas for facilitating and enhancing those student-
student online interactions. These ideas flow from a learning technology known variously
as cooperative learning or collaborative learning. In this paper, the neutral abbreviation
CL will be used.The paper begins with background information on CL, including
supporting learning theories and research, as well as a definition. The main section of the
paper explains eight CL principles, including what each principle means, why it is
important and how it can be applied in IT environments.

Background on Cooperative and Collaborative Learning (CL)
CL dates back to at least the 1970s and finds support in many theories of learning,
including Sociocultural Theory (Vygotsky, 1978), Social Interdependence Theory
(Johnson & Johnson, 2006), Humanist Psychology (Maslow, 1968), Social
Constructivism (Palincsar, 1998) and Multiple Intelligences Theory (Gardner,
1993).Additionally, a great deal of research has been done on CL. This research covers a
wide range of learners, subjects and modes of learning, including online learning. In
general, the research suggests positive effects for CL on both cognitive and affective
variables (Ibez, Garca Rueda, Maroto, &Kloos, 2013;Johnson, Johnson, &Stanne,
2000; Slavin, 1991). Indeed, a steady stream of research continues to investigate many
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areas of CL, including research on online learning, as can be seen from a search of online
databases and in the From the Journals listings in the enewsletter of the International
Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE) (IASCE, 2014).
CL can be defined as principles and techniques for helping students collaborate with
peers and others. This paper will explain eight of these CL principles. Furthermore,
hundreds of CL techniques have been developed. The key point about CL is that it is so
much more than asking students to push their desks together in a classroom, or to connect
to each in an online environment, and then hoping that they will collaborate successfully.
Instead, CL provides teachers and students with a large and growing body of ideas for
taking further steps towardsmaking it more likely that student-student interaction will
realize its potential. Additionally, the hope is that the collaborative skills and attitudes
that students develop in the process of interacting with their peers will serve students well
throughout their lives in whatever contexts they find themselves.

Eight CL Principles
This section of the paper explains eight CL principles, including what each principle
means, why the principle is important and how to implement it in IT groups. Readers
should be aware of two points. One, different books and websites on CL espouse
different principles, but a great deal of overlap exists among the various principles
espoused. Second, readers should also note that a twosome or pair is considered a group.
Indeed, in some ways, two members is the best size for groups, because in twosomes,
students may have more opportunities to be active. Plus, students are less likely to be left
out of the groups of two, and they can manage their groups more easily. Furthermore,
after working in twos, students can pair with other twosomes to share ideas, thereby
widening their resources and enjoying more interaction opportunities. The eight CL
principles to be discussed in this paper are heterogeneous grouping, teaching
collaborative skills, group autonomy, maximum peer interactions, equal opportunity to
participate, individual accountability, positive interdependence and cooperation as a
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Heterogeneous Grouping
Heterogeneous grouping involves students forming CL groups with fellow students who
are different from themselves. The many variables on which students differ include past
achievement, social class, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sex, diligence and personality.
Many CL experts advocate heterogeneous groups, because when students learn in groups
that are heterogeneous as to past achievement, they are more likely to engage in peers
tutoring, as those higher in past achievement can help those who are, at least temporarily,
lower achievers. Such interactions can benefit both parties (Webb, et al., 2009).
Heterogeneous grouping on other social and personality variables encourages students to
see different perspectives and to learn to work with people different from themselves,
thereby setting the stage for building a more harmonious society (Aronson, 2014).
Often, if students choose their own groupmates, the resulting groups may tend towards
homogeneity, as the tendency is for birds of a feather to flock together, and students
may, at least initially, prefer such groupings (Jacobs, Power, & Loh, 2002). The most
straightforward way to encourage heterogeneous groups is for teachers to assign students
to groups. In a more student centric mode, teachers can discuss with students the meaning
of heterogeneous grouping and its potential benefits. From there, students can be
encouraged to form their own groups. Even if students never meet face to face, they can
post data about themselves. With those data and perhaps some discussion, students
working in online environments can form their own heterogeneous groups.

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Teaching Collaborative Skills
The CL principle of teaching collaborative skills means devoting class time for students
to learn about and reflect on their use of collaborative skills. Many lists of collaborative
skills exist (e.g., Underwood & Underwood, 1999). Skills important for CL include
comparing understandings, asking for help, offering suggestions and feedback,
responding productively to suggestions and feedback, asking for reasons, providing
reasons, disagreeing politely, providing specific praise and thanks and attending to group
When students use collaborative skills, their groups are likely to function better (Soller,
2001), leading to more learning and more enjoyment of learning. Furthermore, these
skills will advantage students in many areas of their present and future lives. However,
not all students have these collaborative skills, and, perhaps more crucially, even if
students have the skills, they may not use them routinely. As a result, instructional time
devoted to learning these skills and practicing their use may be time well spent.
Johnson, Johnson and Holubec (2007) present a six step procedure for teaching
collaborative skills. The procedure focuses on one skill at a time. First, students need to
understand the importance of the collaborative skill and second,what the skill involves, as
to verbal (the words used) and non-verbal (gestures, facial expressions, emoticons)
elements. Third, students practice the skill apart from class content, i.e., they work just on
the skill, e.g., via a game or role play, without paying attention to the topic the class is
studying. Fourth, students then combine use of the skill with learning of class content.
Fifth, students discuss how well they, individually and as a group, are using the skill and
how they might improve. Sixth, because time on task is often needed for students to reach
the level of natural use of a collaborative skill, students persevere in practicing the skill.
Teaching of collaborative skills may be especially important in online environments, such
as discussion boards, email and social networks, as these environments present new
challenges, requiring variations from the skills appropriate in face to face environments.

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Group Autonomy
Too often, students tend to depend too much on their teachers, overlooking their own and
their peers abilities. The CL principle of group autonomy encourages students to look
first to their groupmates when they need help or want feedback. For students to become
lifelong learners, they need to take on some of the roles formerly seen to be the exclusive
domain of teachers, such as the roles of providing assistance and feedback. Performing
these roles provides students with learning opportunities and promotes peer interactions.
Also, when students are helping each other within their capability to do so, teachers are
able to provide help that lies beyond students current abilities.
The CL literature offers many ideas for promoting group autonomy. For instance, groups
can utilize the slogan, Team Then Teacher, i.e., studentsasktheir groupmates before
asking their teachers. Taking that slogan one step further, groups can follow a policy of
3 + 1 B4 T, i.e., if no one in their groups(of two, three or four members) can help,
students ask one other group for help before asking teachers. Teachersare still there to
help, but not as first options. Group autonomy can be especially important in IT
environments, even more so than in classrooms, as teachers are less likely to be
immediately available to provide assistance. In online environments, when students face
difficulties, instead of giving up or waiting several hours or more for assistance from
teachers, students can turn to their peers.

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Maximum Peer Interactions
The CL principle, Maximum Peer Interactions, refers to maximizing two aspects of peer
interactions. First, the quantity of peer interactions increases when group activities are
used, particularly when the number of members in each group is kept small and when
groups sometimes report to other groups instead of or in addition to the entire class.
Second, the quality of peer interactions increases when students use higher order thinking
skills (Chiang, et al., 2013). Indeed, the magic of CL lies in the quality of peer
interactions. These thinking interactions promote more learning, greater depth of
processing and greater engagement (Jrvel, Hurme, &Jrvenoja, 2011; Nussbaum,
2008). Thus, the greater the quantity of these quality peer interaction, the better.
IT provides many new and engaging tools for peer interactions. Unfortunately, too often,
the use of IT in education merely results in teacher fronted instruction being delivered
electronically rather than face to face. This situation can easily be changed. For instance,
when students listen to online lectures or read texts provided online, time and tasks for
interactions should be included, and these tasks should include thinking tasks. Care,
however, must be taken so that these thinking tasks are within students current ability
levels. Here, teachers have a vital role in providing the support students need so that these
interactive thinking tasks are doable. This support might, for example, include annotated
model responses. Furthermore, when groups are heterogeneous as to past achievement,
lower achieving students can ask their groupmates for help, rather than going astray or
giving up when faced with tasks that are too challenging.

Equal Opportunity to Participate
Sometimes one or more group members attempt to dominate the group, denying others
the chance to interact with the task and with groupmates. Equal opportunity to participate
is the CL principle that specifically addressessuch situations. When some students are
excluded from the group interactions, those students may learn less and enjoy less. At the
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same time, the rest of the group members lose the benefits of interacting with the
excluded person(s). For instance, if excluded group members are less proficient at the
task the group is undertaking, the other group members miss out on peer tutoring
opportunities they would have had if everyone had been included.
CL techniques, along with various software, offer tools for providing all group members
equal opportunity to participate. For example, in contrast to face to face discussions in
which some group members may have difficulty being heard, asynchronous online
communication allows students to share their ideas without having to compete for a spot
in the conversation. Other ideas promoting equal opportunity to participate include colour
coding to show each persons contribution to a graphic, table or text, or group members
being chosen at random to share their groups ideas. Additionally, some software allows
students and teachers to monitor the distribution and quality of turns in their groups.

Individual Accountability
While equal opportunity to participate is the CL principle which seeks to offer all group
members chances to play important roles in their groups, the principle of individual
accountability puts pressure on members to do their fair share in the groups. Thus,
individual accountability can be seen as the flip side of equal opportunity to
participate.Students need to use the opportunities provided to contribute what they can to
their groups. Unless students feel individually accountable, if instead some students act as
freeloaders, group morale may suffer, and students may lose faith in the use of groups for
learning due to the presence of these freeloaders. Furthermore, freeloading makes
assessment more difficult, as teachers may not be able to judge the members
contributions to their groups (Johnson & Johnson, 2003).
Fortunately, the CL literature and IT tools offer ideas for promoting individual
accountability. For example, groups can roster who needs to do what and when, and
monitor if it is done. Additionally, the same software that promotes equal opportunity to
participate by monitoring each group members participation can also let groupmates and
teachers know who is not pulling their weight in the group. Two ways to address the
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difficulties that freeloaders pose for assessment are to involve peers in assessment, as
peers are better placed to monitor each members input, and for students to study together
but be assessed alone, e.g., after students work together to solve a set of online
mathematics problems, they do another set of similar problems on their own.

Positive Interdependence
Positive interdependence is the CL principle which most prominently encourages sharing
among students. When students feel positively interdependent with their groupmates, the
groupfeels that their outcomes are positively correlated, i.e., the feel that what helps one
helps others, and what hurts one hurts others. In other words, groups adopt the spirit
embodied by the Three Musketeers slogan All for one; one for all. Whereas individual
accountability puts pressure on group members to contribute to the group, positive
interdependence provides support; if students are having difficulties, their groupmates are
there to help them. Positive interdependence can also promote motivation to learn,
because students are learning not just for themselves but also for the benefit of their
Many ideas have been developed to encourage students to feel positively interdependent
with their groupmates. For instance, students are more likely to feel that all group
members outcomes are positively correlated if they have group goals. These goals are
not about the group, but about the strengthening of each individual member. An example
in a writing class of such a group goal would be for all group members to do better on the
second writing task of the term (except in the case of group members with perfect scores
on the terms initial writing task). To help groupmates improve, students could use the
Track Changes and Comments functions in MS Word to offer each other feedback on
their drafts. If everyone in the group succeeds in improving on the second writing task, a
celebration or other rewards could recognize this accomplishment. Yet another means of
promoting positive interdependence is for each student to have different resources. For
example, each group member could go online to research a different subtopic of the
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larger group topic and then share what they learned with their groupmates (Aronson,

Cooperation as a Value
An eighth CL principle, cooperation as a value, builds on positive interdependence and
seeks to spread the feeling of One for all; all for one beyond the small group to the
entire class, the entire educational institution, the entire city, the nation and the world,
expanding to also include other species. While students need to know how to compete
and how to work alone, the hope embodied in the principle of cooperation as a value is
that students will come to view cooperation as their preferred option. A look at the news
headlines on almost any day finds many areas in which the world needs more of this
cooperation, yet many factors in society foster competition and individualism.
Many means exist for promoting cooperation as a value. For example, in service learning
projects (Kinsley & McPherson, 1995), students work together to provide a service while
at the same time engaging in learning linked to their curriculum, e.g., IT students might
develop websites and other online tools for non-profit organizations. Another means of
promoting cooperation as a value would be for students to appreciate the many benefits
of cooperation, e.g., they can learn about IT inventions, IT companies and IT networks
that required large scale cooperation to bring to fruition and to grow. Students can also
reflect on how their own cooperation in small groups (2-4 people) lays a foundation for
their later participation in larger scale cooperation.

An Example of Some of the Principles at Work with Technology
The availability of Web 2.0 and cloud-based tools, such as Google Docs, Popplet and
Prezi, allows multiple users to create, write, edit, annotate and comment on shared
documents, thereby providing a platform for individuals to collaborate. The eight CL
principles described in this paper can be applied to the use of such tools to foster
collaboration. An example is sharing a Google Doc among a group of students to
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collectively write a research report. At the start of the assignment, each student chooses
to be individually accountable to the group by choosing to write the first draft of a
particular section of the report. After they finish their individual research, students
contribute their draft to the shared Google Doc. As every student shares and views the
same document, they each have an equal opportunity to comment, annotate or edit to
improve their peers initial contributions to the report. This collective endeavor to clarify,
correct and elaborate can improve the report. As students work together on the report,
maximum peer interactions are promoted in many ways, e.g., when groups in the class
are invited to critically review every other groups report, thereby stimulating higher
order thinking skills. Through the process of collective writing, students will recognize
the value of cooperation, being aware that the quality and success of their report is
dependent on the contributions and feedback of individual students. Technology allows
the collaboration to happen in realtime where students feedback and comments can be
instantly viewed. Moreover, with the cloud computing, collaboration between students
takes place seamlessly across different devices, such as tablets, smartphones and
computers, and students can collaborate wherever they are and just-in-time.

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The goal of this paper has been to offer principles and other ideas to heighten the value of
student interactions conducted via electronic devices. The foundation of the ideas in this
paper lies in a learning technology which some call cooperative learning and others call
collaborative learning, both which all can abbreviate as CL. The first section of the paper
provided brief background on CL including related theories, relevant studies, and a
simple definition. The papers longest section described eight CL principles in terms of
the definitions of the principles, the principles importance and ideas for applying the
principles to learning contexts involving IT.
Perhaps the key idea to take away from this paper is that fostering successful groups is no
easy matter. The initial step of students forming groups is only a very initial step. Much
more needs to be done to increase the chances that the group members will strive to foster
each others learning. The theory and research cited early in this paper speak of the great
potential of student-student interaction, and the eight principles described in this paper
help students and teachers take many more steps towards successful groups not just
among themselves as students but also in the wider world generally.

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Aronson, E. (2014). The jigsaw classroom. Retrieved from
Chiang, V. C. L., Leung, S. S. K., Chui, C. Y. Y., Leung, A. Y. M., &Mak, Y. W.
(2013).Building life-long learning capacity in undergraduate nursing freshmen
within an integrative and small group learning context. Nurse Education
Today, 33(10), 1184-1191. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.009
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory and practice. New York, NY:
Basic Books.
IASCE.(2014). IASCE newsletter.Retrieved from
Ibez, M. B., Garca Rueda, J. J., Maroto, D., &Kloos, C. D. (2013).Collaborative
learning in multi-user virtual environments. Journal of Network and Computer
Applications, 36(6), 1566-1576.
Jacobs, G. M., Power, M. A., &Loh, W. I. (2002). The teacher's sourcebook for
cooperative learning: Practical techniques, basic principles, and frequently asked
questions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Jrvel, S., Hurme, T. R., &Jrvenoja, H. (2011). Self-regulation and motivation in
computer supported collaborative learning environments. Learning across sites:
New tools, infrastructures and practices. London, England: Routledge.
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2003).Assessing students in groups: Promoting group
responsibility and individual accountability.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T (2006).New developments in social interdependence
theory.Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 131(4), 285-358.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., &Holubec, E. J. (2007). Nuts & bolts of cooperative
learning (2
ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., &Stanne, M. B. (2000). Cooperative learning methods:
A meta-analysis. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.
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Kinsley, C. W., & McPherson, K. (Eds.). (1995). Enriching the curriculum through
service learning.Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Maslow, A. H. (1968) Toward a psychology of being (2
ed.) NewYork, NY: Van
Nussbaum, M. E. (2008). Collaborative discourse, argumentation, and learning: Preface
and literature review. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(3), 345-359
Palincsar, A. S. (1998). Social constructivist perspectives on teaching and
learning.Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 345375.
Slavin, R. (1991). Synthesis of research on cooperative learning.Educational Leadership,
45(5), 91-82.
Soller, A. (2001). Supporting social interaction in an intelligent collaborative learning
system. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 12, 40-62.
Underwood, J., & Underwood, G. (1999).Task effects on co-operative and collaborative
learning with computers. In K. Littleton & P. Light (Eds.), Learning with
computers: Analysing productive interaction (pp. 10-23). Florence, KY:
Psychology Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society.Ed. by M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E.
Souberman). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Webb, N. M., Franke, M. L., De, T., Chan, A. G., Freund, D., Shein, P., &Melkonian, D.
K. (2009). Explain to your partner: Teachers' instructional practices and students'
dialogue in small groups. Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(1), 49-70.
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Imma Boada
Graphics and Imaging Laboratory, University of Girona, Spain
Voravika Wattanasoontorn
Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Juan Manuel Garca-Gonzlez
Paidia Technologies, University of Girona ,Spain
Antonio Rodrguez-Bentez
Graphics and Imaging Laboratory, University of Girona, Spain
Mateu Sbert
Graphics and Imaging Laboratory, University of Girona, Spain

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LISSA, acronym of LIfe Support Simulation Activities, is a serious game designed to
teach the cardiopulmonary resuscitation protocol (CPR) and the automated external
defibrillators (AED) use. LISSA presents an emergency situation in a 3D virtual
environment and the player has to solve the emergency by applying the CPR protocol and
using the AED in the proper way. All actions are automatically evaluated and, at the end,
a final report is returned. LISSA can be used to train both experts and laypersons. It is
also an excellent channel to disseminate the importance of CPR and AED among citizens,
which will result in an improvement in their quality of life and health.

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Every year thousands of people die due to cardiac arrests outside hospitals. Most of these
deaths could have been avoided by practicing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first aid key survival technique used to
stimulate breathing and keep blood flowing to the heart. Its effective administration can
significantly increase the chances of survival for victims of cardiac arrest. Since 1960,
when Kouwenhoven et al. published an article stating that anyone, anywhere, could
perform CPR, providing CPR has become an essential competency not only for expert or
professional but also for laypersons.
An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that checks the
heart rhythm, and if it is needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore
a normal rhythm. AEDs give oral or visual instructions on how to apply CPR in such a
way that lay people other than paramedics or emergency medical technicians are able to
use them. The American Heart Association notes that at least 20.000 lives could be saved
annually by prompt use of AEDs. In Singapore, only 2.7 per cent of victims survive
compared to nearly 20 per cent in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Since a cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that can happen to anyone, anywhere, and
AEDs can increase the survival rate and the quality of life after a cardiac arrest, the
installation of AEDs in public spaces has become a fact. Almost all cities have created
programs to increase the public availability of these devices. In Singapore, according to a
voluntary registry kept by the Singapore Heart Foundation, at least 280 AEDs are already
installed across the island. In this context, there is a need of new strategies to disseminate
CPR knowledge and AED use among citizens.
To teach CPR and AED use, different learning strategies have been proposed, such as
classical teaching strategies with mannequins, interactive videos and 3D simulation
(Laerdal Medical, 2012; Ponder et al. 2002; Semeraro et al., 2012). However, several
studies show that CPR skills decay within three to six months after initial training
(Einspruch et al. 2007; Roppolo et al. 2007; Andersen et al. 2008). To tackle this
problem, we propose LISSA, a serious game designed in the Graphics and Imaging
Laboratory of the University of Girona in collaboration with health care professionals.
LISSA can be used to teach and learn, in a game mode, CPR and AEDs use in complete
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compliance with the European Resuscitation Council CPR guidelines (ERC, 2010).
Moreover, it can be used to refresh training in order to help to maintain CPR and AEDs
use knowledge and skills.

Related Work
In this section, we describe the basic CPR and the AED use guidelines. We also present
previous work on applications and serious games designed to learn these protocols.

CPR and AED use guidelines
Due to the importance of CPR and AED use, different organizations, such as the
European Resuscitation Council (ERC, 2010), the Red Cross, and the American Heart
Association (AHA, 2014), have defined guidelines that describe how resuscitation should
be undertaken both safely and effectively. In our case, we have followed the 2010 ERC
guidelines summarized in Figures 1 and 2. These algorithms define the steps that have to
be applied and how they have to be applied.

Serious Games and CPR
David Rejeski and Ben Sawyer (2002) introduced the term Serious Games, in their white
paper Serious Games Initiative as entertaining games with non-entertainment goals. Since
this first definition, many different ones have been proposed (Zyda, 2005; Michael and
Chen, 2005) and all they convey the same idea, use games to teach or transmit something.
This idea has led some analysts to describe serious games as the next wave of
technology-mediated learning (Derryberry, 2007). Serious games are applied in many
different areas, such as, healthcare, defence, education, communication and politics.
Focusing on healthcare, Wattanasoontorn et al. (2013) presented a survey with more than
one hundred serious games for health.
In the context of CPR, there are also different applications and games designed to learn
the protocol. Some video training applications are: Save-a-life simulator
(MedtronicFoundation), an interactive online video simulation that tests the player
knowledge of helping someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest; and CPR &
Choking (StoneMeadow Development LLC), an application that provides instant
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information on how to perform CPR and how to aid a choking victim. There are also
handheld device applications such as: CPR Game (EM Gladiators LLC), a cardiac arrest
simulator on iOS platform focused on advanced CPR training; iResus (Low et al. 2010),
an application for smart phone, designed to improve the performance of an advanced life
support provider in a simulated emergency situation; iCPR [Alessandri, 2009; Semeraro
et al. 2011), an iPhone application designed for both lay persons and healthcare
professionals able to detect the rate of chest compressions performance by using the
built-in accelerometer; M-AID (Zanner et al., 2007), a first aid application for mobile
phones that uses yes or no questions to judge an on-going situation giving to the user
detailed instructions of how to proceed; and CPR simulator (Less Stress Instructional
Services,Medtronic Foundation), a set of CPR exercises including adult, child and infant
CPR simulator that runs through the CPR sequence.
In addition, some applications for PC platforms are Mini-Virtual Reality Enhanced
Mannequin (Mini-VREM) (Indiegogo Inc) which is a CPR feedback device with motion
detection technology including Kinect, sensor and software specifically designed to
analyse chest compression performance and provide real-time feedback in a simulation
training setting, and AED Challenge (Insight Instructional Media), an application that
provides online automated external defibrillation and CPR skill practice and testing with
realistic scenarios.
Finally, in the serious games context, some games for CPR training are JUST (Ponder et
al., 2002), an immersive VR situation training system for non-professional health
emergency operators, MicroSim Prehospital (Laerdal Medical) designed for pre-hospital
training on emergency medical services, and Staying alive (2011) (Illumens), an online
3D simulator which provides a learning experience of saving a virtual patient from
cardiac arrest in four minutes.
Different to reported methods, LISSA has been conceived considering both instructors
and learners and with the idea to make instructors tasks easier. In this way, LISSA allows
the creation of different scenarios with different characters, patient symptoms and
environments. Moreover, the system provides automatic feedback to the learner that
enhances the learning process.

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The LISSA Serious Game

In this section, we describe the design requirements of LISSA and the main components
of its architecture.

Design Requirements
LISSA was conceived with the idea to create a user-friendly and enjoyable environment
to teach and learn CPR and AED use. In addition, LISSA has to be capable to support
any kind of user, expert and non-expert. Finally, it has to make the instructors tasks easier
and if it is possible automate them. To reach our objectives, we considered that game
technology is the most suitable one since it allows the creation of user-friendly and
enjoyable environments.
In our game, all the actions will turn around an emergency situation represented in a 3D
virtual environment with the victim, the helper, and all the auxiliary tools that may
require the emergency. This scenario will be defined by an expert (the instructor) and will
be presented to the player (the learner) as a problem. The objective of the player will be
to save the victim by applying the CPR protocol and using the AED in the proper way.
We will interpret the learner actions as the solution to the problem. To automate
instructor tasks, all the learner actions will be evaluated by the system and, at the end, a
final report and a score will be returned. In this way, our game will be able to
automatically correct learner solutions and return automatic feedback.
Taking into account all these considerations LISSA has to satisfy the following
It has to support two user profiles (instructors and learners). There will be also an
administrator profile to maintain the system and perform more specialized tasks.
The instructor may create emergency scenarios (or problems). These problems
will be stored in a common repository to share between users of the system.
The instructor may select problems from the repository.
The instructor may assign problems to the learners. These problems will be
assigned to a learner workbook.
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The learner may access his workbook and can solve the problems. To solve a
problem he has to apply the actions of the CPR and AED algorithms. These
actions will define the solution of the problem.
The system will evaluate on-line and automatically all the learner actions. It will
create a report with the final evaluation of the actions. If the solution is not
correct, and the instructor allows him, the learner can enter a new solution to
improve his score.
The instructor may check the learner evaluation report. He can also ask for
statistics about learners and problems.
The instructor may send messages to the learner and the learner may answer them.
These messages will be registered by the system. There will be a communication
channel between learner and instructor.
Taking into account all these requirements we designed the platform presented below.

To present LISSA architecture, in Figure 3 we illustrate the main modules that compose
it and the connections between them. We have labelled these connections with a number
to make its comprehension easier. These labels represent the order in which actions are
LISSA supports three types of users: learners, instructors and administrator. To enter into
the system a username and a password is required. All interface windows are specifically
designed for each user profile. In this description, we will only consider the instructor and
learner actions.
The communication module establishes a virtual communication channel between the
instructor of a course and all the learners of this course. LISSA has a problem repository
that registers all the created scenarios. This repository allows instructors to share
material. All problems have assigned a set of labels that identify: title of the problem,
author, topic, category into the topic, application area, level of difficulty, description and
creation date. The system database also registers information related to learners, such as,
assigned problems or learner solutions, and also tutorials related to courses. Focusing on
the modules of the platform, there is a problem management module used to enter
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problems into the system and register them into the repository. There is also a workbook
generation module used to create the learners workbooks. The instructor selects problems
from the repository and assigns them to the learners. The learner accesses the workbook
and selects the problem he wants to solve, and once selected enters in a 3D scenario
where the emergency is represented. A menu defines all the actions of CPR and AED use
protocol, and the learner has to select the actions in the correct order. At the beginning he
has the maximum score and according to the actions he will keep this score or he will
loose some points if he makes mistakes. If subsequent actions are performed in the
correct way he has the chance to increase the score. The key point of the protocol is the
CPR manoeuvre. To detect if the learner is performing it in the correct way the system
has a special icon (see next section for more details). The correction module corrects on-
line each action and returns feedback. This module when the game is over generates a
final report with all the details of the actions. This report is also stored in the learner
workbook and can be consulted by the instructor.
Since all the information about problems, solutions, and corrections is stored in the
system database, there is a statistics module to interrogate this database and extract
information to follow-up learner progress. This information can be used to guide the
learner through the topics that present a greater difficulty for them.

In this section, we present some of the main LISSA interfaces. For a real demo of the
game you can access to
Figure 4 illustrates one of the emergency situations of LISSA that will be presented as a
problem that the player has to solve. The main menu, on the bottom, contains the actions
of the basic life support and AED algorithms. Actions are grouped in four different
groups. The first one includes security actions, such as, controlling if the perimeter of the
victim is secure and also actions related to the patient position. To apply the protocol the
victim has to be in supine position and once it has been recovered in the lateral position.
The second group of actions is related to response actions. These are used to control if the
patient is conscious, and if he breathes or not. The third group of actions includes actions
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to ask for help and to call emergencies. Finally, the last group includes the core actions of
the algorithm, these are: CPR used to perform compressions and ventilations and AED to
access to the device. The score is represented in the top of the window as well as time.
The score is updated on-line according to the correctness of the actions. It is important to
control the time of the different actions since the algorithm imposes several restrictions.
For instance, the compressions and ventilations have to be done during 2 minutes. The
ratio has to be 30 compressions and 2 ventilations.
Figure 5 illustrates the performance of CPR actions. The player has to select the position
where the compressions have to be done and then using the space bar he performs
compressions. To perform a ventilation he has to press enter. The player can see on-line
if the compressions and ventilations are correct or not, since it appears a perfect, good,
bad and critic label for each one of his actions. The graph on the bottom illustrates
compressions rhythm and the icon on the left illustrates the compression depth. There is
also a counter to count the number of compressions and ventilations. For each incorrect
action it appears a message indicating the error. The instructor can select if he wants
these messages visible or not to increase the difficulty of the problem.
Figure 6 presents two images related to AED actions. LISSA reproduces the dialog of the
AED device and controls that the helper places the patches in the correct position and
also that the helper does not touch the victim.
The current version of LISSA has been used in the Faculty of Infirmary of our University
as a complement to manikin-based teaching. It is planned to introduce it as part of the
CPR and AED courses.

Conclusions and Future Work
In this paper we have presented LISSA, a serious game created to teach the CPR protocol
and the AED use. LISSA reproduces emergency situations and evaluates how the player
solve the situation by applying the CPR and AED algorithms. In addition, it integrates e-
learning functionalities that makes instructor and learner tasks easier. LISSA can be used
to train both experts and laypersons and it is a good complement to CPR and AED
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Our future work will be centered in the creation of new scenarios to support more
algorithms such as pediatric life support or resuscitation of babies at birth.

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Medtronic Foundation (2012). CPR Simulator.
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Wattanasoontorn V., Garca R., Boada I., Sbert M. (2013), Serious games for health,
Entertainment Computing Journal, Elsevier. Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 231247

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Figure Captions
Figure 1. Basic Life Support algorithm according to ERC 2010 guidelines
Figure 2. Automated External Defibrillator algorithm according to ERC 2010 guidelines
Figure 3. Main modules of LISSA and the communication between them.
Figure 4. LISSA problem interface reproducing an emergency situation. The main menu
groups basic life support and AED actions of the ERC2010 guidelines. On the top, a time
counter and the score icon.
Figure 5. Interface of CPR manoeuvre, the player can see on-line number, rhythm and
deepness of compressions and ventilations. A label indicates if the action if perfect, good,
bad or critical.
Figure 6. Application of an AED on a patient. LISSA controls that patches are placed in
the correct place and the helper does not touch the victim during shock application.

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Figure 1. Basic Life Support algorithm according to ERC 2010 guidelines

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Figure 2. Automated External Defibrillator algorithm according to ERC 2010 guidelines

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Figure 3. Figure 3. Main modules of LISSA and the communication between them.

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Figure 4. LISSA problem interface reproducing an emergency situation. The main menu
groups basic life support and AED actions of the ERC2010 guidelines. On the top, a time
counter and the score icon.

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Figure 5. Interface of CPR manoeuvre, the player can see on-line number, rhythm and
deepness of compressions and ventilations. A label indicates if the action if perfect, good,
bad or critical.

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Figure 6. Application of an AED on a patient. LISSA controls that patches are placed in
the correct place and the helper does not touch the victim during shock application.

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Godwin N. Okeke
Department of Learning Technology
University of North Texas,USA

E-mail id:

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the major challenges facing
secondary school students in the 21
century in preparing them with the essential skills
necessary for success in a technology-driven society. Schools today face ever-increasing
demands in their attempts to ensure that students are well equipped to enter the workforce
and navigate a complex world. Twenty-first century students require highly developed
critical thinking skills to sought through the large amounts of information in order to
decipher which one is valid. Research indicates that technology can help support
learning. Technology-based learning is especially useful in developing higher order skills
(HOS) of critical thinking, analysis, and scientific inquiry. The purpose of this study was
to investigate the challenges posed by digital divide on technology-based learning and
achievement in secondary school math. This study examined whether a digital divide for
learning opportunities in secondary school math exists based on ICT access and the
relationship between ICT and socio-economic status in contributing to successful
learning opportunities. Though the 21
century has brought new methods to teaching and
learning for many students, population groups identified as disadvantaged (having limited
access to ICT) are lagging behind due to their inability to use technology-based tools.
These groups may further be excluded from opportunities to effectively participate in
todays educational system. The findings of this study revealed that even though
technology is fluid, and tremendously evolving, teachers, administrators, policy makers
and all stakeholders should make concerted effort to accommodate our less fortunate
students who do not have adequate access to information and communication technology.
Researchers have noted a positive effect of uses of ICT on student learning in nearly all
subject areas, with significant positive effects on mathematics. Furthermore, evidence
suggests that providing universal access to home computers and high-speed internet
would narrow/minimize Mathematics achievement gaps on technology-based learning
and achievement in secondary school mathematics.

KEYWORDS: Digital divide, Technology-based learning, critical thinking, higher order
skills (HOS), achievement gap
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Digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and
information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. In American
school system, it is commonly referred to as Achievement gap. Achievement gap is the
disparity between the academic performance among student groups described by race,
gender and socio-economic status (Landsman & Lewis, 2006). According to (Debell &
Chapman, 2006), digital divide is the gap between those students who have access to
digital technology at home and those who do not as a result of socioeconomic status,
ethnicity and geographic location. Further, (Bhart Mehra, 2002) argues that digital divide
is the troubling gap between those who use computers and the internet and those who do
not. According to (Benjack, A. 2002), digital divide is unequal access to computer
hardware, and also inequalities in the abilities to use information technology. (Lisa,
Servon 1999) insists that digital divide is a symptom of a larger complex problem, the
problem of persistent poverty and inequality. The digital divide is the unusual
distribution of opportunities across societal groups to reap the benefits of computerization
(Bozionelos, 2004).
The common denominator in all these definitions is that there is a gap between the
haves who normally reside in urban schools and the have not who are mainly
students in rural schools. That is not to say that all urban schools are digitally literate and
rural schools are not digitally literate; rather digital divide (achievement gap) is more
pronounced in the rural areas than it is in urban schools because accessibility of
resources, human and material, and financial capability is a great challenge to rural
The 21
century literacy called the information and communication technology (ICT) is
not only the ability to read and write but also to judiciously utilize and incorporate new
technologies that abound in order to communicate effectively with others. (The
partnership for 21
century skills, 2006). Socio-economic level is one of the major factors
implicated in the digital divide. The E rate program was created as an effort to provide
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affordable access to telecommunications to all eligible schools (Kuttan & Peters, 2003).
The question then is; who should pay for the poor living in rural areas? Rural teachers
face a lot of problems trying to access relevant and research-proven resources that can
enable them be very effective in the classroom (Cummins, A. 2005).
Both government and private sectors have attempted to resolve the digital divide
issues by implementing policies that compel educational institutions to be accountable for
the achievement of all students learning through a technology component especially in
math and science. Cyber learning was developed in 1993 based on the growing gap
identified in the information age. This program provided information technology (IT)
training to disadvantaged students issues but there existed a broadband divide that would
impact low-income population access and also adequate digital literacy skills (Kuttan &
Peters, 2003). To obtain and sustain rural education development, access to quality
professional development must be a priority. For example in 2010, the Department of
Education and Training in Australia launched the Remote Teaching Service (RTS)
support team. The aim is to invigorate and sustain rural schools through interventions,
support teachers and staff, through developing professional capacity and mentoring
teachers programs. It becomes even more disheartening when affluent schools compete
with non-affluent ones. According to (Lee, 2008), rural schools are characterized by
inadequate funding, poor school attendance, and dearth of needed resources, teaching
staff, and inexperienced/unqualified personnel. This challenges place teachers and their
students in rural schools in a great disadvantage position.

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Content and Scope of this Study
The content and scope of this study is hinged on the following:

1. Examine the extent digital divide poses a challenge on technology-based
To find out if technology-based learning make students more effective in learning
To investigate whether technology-based learning transforms teaching and
learning into an engaging and active process.

In recent years, policy makers and philanthropists have undertaken many initiatives to
increase disadvantaged childrens access to computers and related technology. Some of
these initiatives have focused on schools. For example, the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) administered E-Rate program allocated up to $2.25 billion each year
to improve Internet access at public schools and libraries. A survey carried out in
October, 2003 found large disparities in home computer access and use by race and
socioeconomic status. Among students in nursery school through 12
grade, rates of
home computer were 78% for whites and 46% for blacks; 88% for those with a post-
graduate educated parent and 35% for those with high school dropout parents (DeBell
and Chapman, 2006). The Texas Technology Immersion Project has provided laptops to
students in 22 pilot middle schools since 2004. These initiatives represent a significant
increase in per-pupil spending on computer access. These considerable investments have
been made even though very little evidence exists to support a positive relationship
between impact on technology and student academic outcomes.
Several projects like the Hole in the Wall; the Information Town; the Model
Computer Lab to mention just a few, have been embarked upon to bridge the gap
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between students who have access to ICT and those who do not. While each project was
a sincere attempt to bridge the digital divide, they proved to be unsuccessful because the
approach focused on providing hardware and software without consideration for human
and social systems that could change technology and make a difference (Warschauer,
2003). Access to technology should have a positive impact on academic achievement if
its usage go past classroom hours. Minority students access to computer use of the
Internet and other resources are not the same as those of higher socio-economic and
educational backgrounds (Attewell & Battle, 1999). Many of the low-income homes are
located in low, low-income school districts. Many low-income schools may only provide
drill and practice opportunities for technology use in the classroom because the teacher
could only use available resources; may not have adequate training; and may face other
demands outside the classroom instruction. Greater positive computer use impacts
academic achievement, class participation, relationship with families and greater self-
confidence (Tsikalas & Gross, 2002).
There is so much advancement of technology in the last two decades but not very
much is seen in the pedagogy as far as students success is concerned. Technology by
itself has little or no effect on students learning (Broadway, T. 2008).
Although, professional development (PD) is imperative for teachers and staff, its impact
is not significant due to time and access to resources. Even though PD provides
inspiration to instructors and teachers, yet it fails to implement and sustain practice
(McWilliam, 2002; Parr, 2004). Further, the top down-down approach of policy makers is
not truly reflective of the need of teachers and students because it has not improved
students learning (Trinidad, 2008). If technology-based learning refers to all the tools
that human beings use to search for meaning, to resolve problems, to communicate their
findings, to measure and to explain phenomena around them; then learning technology
should be used to assist teachers and students to convey knowledge, to develop and
respect the many ways of quantifying, comparing, classifying, measuring and explaining
day to day phenomena.
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When technology is utilized effectively in the classroom, students are more likely to
embrace it as a tool for more advanced learning than simple drill and practice exercises.
But how can technology use in this way be possible if there are non-available to students
who need them? Students who do not have access to information technology (IT) are not
provided the opportunity they need to be successful in society. Groups that fall into this
category include low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, rural communities, the
disabled and women (Trinidad, 2007).
Technology-based learning refers to electronic forms calculators and computers.
Other forms of electronic technology are television, calculators, and computers to
mention just a few that allow us only a limited form of pedagogical expression because
not all schools can afford to purchase these tools.
The use of sophisticated electronic tools can allow us to explore and organize new ways
of teaching and learning. One important way of using electronic tools in mathematics is
to learn how to organize and make sense of data. Kate Moor, a 15 year old from Des
Moines, IA was the national texting champion in 2009, having the ability to shoot out
14,000 text messages every month. Kate enjoyed studying because she looked back at
previous messages to review (Gross, 2009). Students growing up in a digital world accept
digital technology as a major part of their lives (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008).
Technology offers multi-dimensional learning tools (Spears, 2009, p.51). For students,
technology enables them to do more and make better use of their time. Students of this
generation (born after 1997) have never done anything without the Internet, cell phones
or emails and so are frustrated sitting in front of teachers using an entire class period
writhing on chalk-board or dry-erase board. Digital Natives (born after 1980) want to
learn on the go and multi-task at the same time in as many ways as possible (Palfrey &
Gasser, 2006).

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The true technologies of concrete manipulative, paper, pencil, chalkboards and games, all
seem to work better especially for children K-6. Learning to integrate the use of word
processing, spreadsheet, and simulations do make good cognitive sense. These
technologies have come about because they make sense in the real world. (Fletcher, W.
2003), is of the view that we all need to learn how visual images influence and
manipulate us into making decisions about data. Further, learning about the relationship
between the organization and format of information, and how this influences our
understanding and perception is the most realistic and indeed powerful use of learning
technology. Unfortunately, this is rarely discussed in the context of mathematics
education. In short, this dissonance is responsible for the mathematics aversion we find in
our country.
And so, the disconnect between media images, community reality, and the school reality
is responsible for the low performance of students especially in math instruction. Even
the youngest learner can tell you what our culture and their community see as important,
not so much the school as it values what goes on in the store, mart, or the shopping mall.
The school is of no use without the learner being an integral part of it and so all activities
should revolve around the learner (Baker, H. 2005).
The trends in International mathematics and science study (TIMSS) is used to study
achievement of American students. The U.S. low scores on the TIMSS test gave room to
scrutinize the quality of mathematics and science (Martin, Mullins & Foy, 2007). The
U.S. is lagging behind other Countries in science and mathematics. For example,
compared to students in Singapore, the U.S. students are placed in the intermediate
quartile of (475 549) as compared to Singapore and China that are in the upper quartile
of (624 and above).
Another means of assessing students achievement is the use of National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP). Data collected showed an achievement gap between
European American on one side and Hispanic and African American students on the
other side. (Lee et al (2007). This gap was 40 points in 2000, decreased to 32 in 2007 and
has been fluctuating till date. Something must be done to close this gap like the
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reformation of mathematics curriculum. Math topics and how they are to be taught are
part of the curriculum reform (Herrera & Owens, 2001).
The type of curriculum available to teachers and students has increased since the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) took the initiative of introducing
technology into the classroom. Interactive whiteboards, the Internet, graphing calculators,
and classroom response systems has changed dramatically. Further, the No Child Left
behind Act (NCLB) of 2002 was to improve academic achievement and aid integrating
technology into a quality curriculum. Technology by itself does not ensure academic
achievement but could have positive effects on the quality of instruction students receive
in the classroom (U.S. department of Education, 2009).

For students and teachers to take full advantage of the digital revolution, they
must know how to use the tools and have unrestrained access to them. The increasing
technology gap between the rich and poor children, the haves and the have not is not in
school access alone but in the loftier issues of home access, instruction and content (Vail,
2003). Low-end computers with limited resources are not configured to run applications
that support technology programs that allow students interaction. Further, the difficulty
that results in technology-based learning is partly due to rapid changes in technology
which amplifies the achievement gap. This is because many existing assessments do not
adequately capture the skills that this new technologies enhance. However, studies
examining the impact of students learning with technology in Mathematics are far from
conclusive (Heineck et al., 1999; Coley, 1997). Nonetheless, some studies illuminate the
conditions under which technology in Mathematics can improve student learning.
The (ACOT) Apple classrooms of tomorrows project, for example, was a ten-year study
that set out to investigate how routine use of technology-based learning would impact
learning. Results showed that when compared with their non-ACOT peers, they routinely
employed inquiry, collaborative, technological and problem-solving skills uncommon to
graduates of traditional high school programs (Sandholtz et al. 1997). In these ACOT
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classrooms, students routinely used software such as word processing, database,
spreadsheet, hypermedia and a host of others. Interdisciplinary project-based learning
was commonplace at this site where teachers worked in teams to upgrade technology into
the curricula framework. Other reviews (ex. Coley, 1997), have reported that technology-
based learning have improved student attendance, decreased drop out rate, and has
positive impact on students independence and feelings of responsibility for their own
learning. Also in ACOT classrooms, students displayed increased initiatives, spent more
time on assignments/projects when working on computers during free time (Sandholtz et
al. 1997). The Table 1 below further illuminates the points I have made.

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Contrasting views of Instruction and Construction, from Sanholtz, Ringstaff, and
Dwyer (1997).
Instruction Construction
Classroom activity Teacher-centered, didactic. Learner-centered,
Teachers role Fact teller, always an
expert, Scit Omnia, a sage
Collaborative, sometimes
learner takes initiative.
Student role Listener, always learning. Collaborative, sometimes
learner becomes the expert.
Instructional emphasis Facts, memorization. Relationship, inquiry and
Concept of knowledge Accumulation of facts. Transformation of facts.
Demonstration of success Quantity Quality of understanding.
Assessment Norm-referenced Criterion-referenced.
Portfolio and performance.
Technology use Drill and practice Communication, Info.

Technology-based learning supports the constructivist view of learning in which
the teacher is the facilitator of learning rather than the classroom only source of
knowledge (Trilling & Hood, 1997; Means, 1999; Stathan & Torell, 1999). In numerous
studies of student learning, Mathematics in particular, teachers have reported that
technology encourages them to be more student-centered, more open to multiple
perspectives on problems, and more willing to experiment in their teaching (Knapp &
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Glenn, 1996). In technology-rich classrooms, students become more engaged and more
active learners. There is typically greater emphasis on inquiry and less on drill and
practice (Sandholtz et al. 1997).
Technology-based learning also encourages student collaboration, project-based learning,
and higher order thinking skills (HOTS) (Pennel et al. 2000). The digital divide not only
affects students access to institutional resources, but also affects their opportunity to use
technology (Dika & Singh, 2002). It is inconclusive whether technology is going to affect
students academic performance in all subjects, but research found that at least
mathematics is positively linked to technology usage (Fletcher, 2003; Galuszka, 2007).
Although technology is not a panacea that can unconditionally enhance students
learning, but with thorough plans and an effective assessment system, student academic
performance can be accurately measured and will certainly produce positive outcomes
(Baker, 2005).
(Carvin, 2006), discusses the link between access and achievement and contends that
access alone is not the only factor we need to consider. He believes that we need to look
at the digital divide, not only from the perspective of access to technology, but also from
the perspective of ways in which technology is being integrated into the classroom and
curriculum. (Cummins, 2005), refers to this as the pedagogical divide.

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Although technology can support educational change, it will have little impact
without accompanying reform in the classroom, school, and district level. Researchers are
of the view that the magic lay not exclusively in the technology, but in the interweaving
of a systematic program of education reform with the judicious use of technology-based
resources (Chang et al., 1998, p.43). Researchers in the ACOT study noted that
technology had an enduring positive impact on student engagement only under certain
conditions. For example, students were less likely to become bored with computers when
teachers used technology as one tool among many in their instructional repertoire.
Monotony kills interest. In such classrooms, teachers use computers only when they were
the most appropriate tool for completing the assignment, not simply because they were
Student engagement was more likely to endure in classrooms that emphasized the
use of tools software rather than drill and practice applications. In other to maintain
student engagement, teachers also need to take into account individual differences in
interest and ability. Furthermore, student engagement remained high in classrooms
emphasizing interdisciplinary project-based instruction (Silverstein et al. 2000). In ACOT
classrooms, researchers found a strong complementary relationship between the adoption
of technology and the creation of collaborative learning environments for teachers (
Sandholtz et al. 1997).
Technology-based learning and mathematics achievement will not have any effect unless
teachers are adequately and appropriately trained (Office of technology assessment 1995;
Coley, Cradler & Melmed, 1996, Silverstern et al., 2000). A study of 1996 NAEP result
in mathematics found that teachers who were more knowledgeable about the use of
computers were more likely than their less knowledgeable colleagues to use technology
for higher order purposes; and that students whose teachers received professional
development on computers shared gains in mathematics scores of up to 13 points above
grade level (Wenglisky, 1998). The digital divide not only affects students access to
institutional resources, but also affects their opportunities to use technology.
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In addition, minorities or students from low income bracket may not be able to
enter college with insufficient technology background. One way of ensuring high
graduation rate into college is through the GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and
Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) program. According to (Darling-Hammond,
2009), the GEARUP program ensures students success through intensified instruction,
tutorials, and mentorship and enrichment programs. Perhaps the most succinct conclusion
is that posited by Judge, Puckett & Bell, 2006:

Thoughtful educators agree that access and literacy have become vital and
for every student to excel both in school and in life. If we assume that academic
is facilitated by access to computers. the gap in access to computer technology
is a cause for
concern. All children deserve the opportunity to have access to technological
resources that can
supplement their learning experiences as well as build the competency with the
technology that
they will need for full participation in society. (p. 100).

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Attewell, P. & Battle J. (1999) Home Computers and School Performance. The
Information Society, 15, 1-10.
Beltran et al. (2006). Are computers good for children? The effects of home computers
on educational outcomes. New York, NY: William T. Grant Foundation
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Baker, H. (2005). Assessing the effect of technology in a standard-driven world. Learning
and leading with technology.
Benjack, Mehra (2002). Findings from the teaching learning and computing survey: Is
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engagement (published in educational technology).
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Center for Children and Technology.
Coley, R. (1997). Technologys impact. Online Electronic School. Retrieved from
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MA: Harvard University Press.Cummins, A. (2005). Review paper on educational
technology research and development: NewYork: Education Development Center.
Darling-Hammond, (2009). We must strip away layers of inequality. Journal of staff
development, 30 (2), 52 56.
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Feb. 1, 2010 from
Dika & Singh (2002). Digital divide affects students access to institutional resources.
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Princeton, NJ: Eye on education.
Fletcher, W. (2003). Project Child: A decade of success for young children. Retrieved
Harris, J. Mishra, P. & Koehler, M. (2009). Teachers technological, pedagogical, content
knowledge and learning activities: Curriculum-based learning . Journal on Technology in
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what we can do about it. New York: Simon and Schuster.
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community design. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 24(3), 163-173.
Herrera, T., & Owens, D., (2001). Using graphing calculators in the math classroom:
Teachers conceptions and their teaching practices.
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Judge, S. Puckett, K. & Bell, S. (2006). Closing the digital divide: Update from the early
Longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Research, 100 (1), 52 60. Knapp & Glenn,
(1996). The technology/Content dilemma. Retrieved January 22 from
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Scarecrow Press inc.
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inclusive schools, promoting high expectations and eliminating racism. Stylus Publishing.
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American children:Where we stand and where we go from here. Washington DC: The
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and their teaching practices.
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DC: Government Printing Office.
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Martin, M. Mullins, I. & Foy, P. (2007). TIMSS 2007 Informal Math Report. Chestnut
Hill, MA, Internal Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Retrieved
McWilliam, C. (2002). Against Professional Development. Educational Philosophy and
Theory, 34(3), 289-299.
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computer use among low-income, minority urban adolescents: Fulfillment of basic needs
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Cambridge: MIT Press.

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Ngit Chan Lye
Murdoch University, Western Australia
Andrew Chiou
Central Queensland University, Australia
Kok Wai Wong
Murdoch University, Western Australia

E mail id:

School of Engineering and Information Technology

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Educational robotics has been adopted by educators at every level of education, from
primary to tertiary sectors in support of teaching and learning of technology based
courses. Its popularity stems from the inherent nature of the field of robotics to provide
learners the opportunity to exercise creativity and innovative approaches in problem-
based learning. However, the very persistent demand for this type of education
technology has caused an unrealistic level of expectation from both teachers and learners
that may be a challenge to fulfill. These challenges may include differences in: age
groups, learning styles, prerequisite skills, exposure and opportunities. As can be seen
from the above premise, the activities in teaching or carrying out these workshops or
classes requires many access points to cater to the existing differences. How can a teacher
minimise the differences to accommodate all the different type of learners? A framework
has been proposed that can adapt and diffuse the prevailing differences. The framework
introduces the flipped classroom, specifically adapted to carry out workshops and classes
using educational robotics as a medium to teach technology related lessons. As its name
suggest, a flipped classroom delivers the teaching and learning session sequences in
reverse. That is, in its simplest form: instead of a teacher teaching a class which
subsequently lead to students attempting to solve problems as found in conventional
classes, a flipped classroom is where students first attempt to solve and learn at their own
pace, to be subsequently followed up by a teachers supervision. The notion of an
inverted classroom allows for independent learning and exploration. This framework
leads to both effective teaching and learning. The flipped classroom approach was
applied to workshops with participants from across high schools, undergraduates,
Honours and postgraduate levels. Robot-based challenges such as search and rescue and
robosoccer were some of the problems given to these students to solve. Results shown
were encouraging. Even though originating from different backgrounds, students who
were entering the programme from different access points were able to quickly adapt and
benefit from the flipped classroom approach.

CTLT Conference Proceedings

Educational robotics has been adopted by educators at every level of education,
from primary to tertiary sectors in support of teaching and learning of technology based
courses. Its popularity stems from the inherent nature of the field of robotics that provide
learners the opportunity to exercise creativity and innovative approaches in problem-
based learning. However, the very persistent demand for this type of education
technology has caused an unrealistic level of expectation from both teachers and learners
that may be a challenge to fulfill. These challenges may include differences in: age
groups, learning styles, prerequisite skills, exposure and opportunities. As can be seen
from the above premise, the activities in teaching or carrying out these workshops or
classes require many access points to cater to existing differences. How can a teacher
minimise the differences to accommodate all the different type of learners? A framework
has been proposed that can adapt and diffuse the prevailing differences.

The framework introduces the flipped classroom, specifically adapted to carry out
workshops and classes using educational robotics as a medium to teach technology
related lessons. As its name suggest, a flipped classrooms delivers its teaching and
learning sequence in reverse. That is, in its simplest form: instead of a teacher teaching a
class which subsequently lead to students attempting to solve problems as found in
conventional classes, a flipped classroom is where the students first attempt to solve and
learn at their own pace, to be subsequently followed up by a teachers supervision. The
notion of an inverted classroom allows for independent learning and exploration. This
framework leads to both effective teaching and learning. The flipped classroom approach
was applied to workshops with participants from across high schools, undergraduates,
Honours and postgraduate levels. Robot-based challenges such as search and rescue and
robosoccer were some of the problems given to these students to solve.

CTLT Conference Proceedings

Educational robotics has become one of the most in-demand education technology
in recent years. It is most prevalent in its employment to promote subjects related to
mathematics, science and technology. Educational robotics has been adopted by
educators at every level of education, from primary to tertiary sectors in support of
teaching and learning of technology based courses (Han and Kim 2009; Li et al. 2009).
Its popularity stems from the inherent nature of the field of robotics that provides learners
the opportunity to exercise creativity and innovative approaches in problem-based
learning (Chiou, Lye, Lal & Wong, 2011; Lye, Wong & Chiou, 2012). In Central
Queensland the educational robotics movement has been significant since 2000.

Central Queensland, Australia, has approximately 130 state primary schools, 20
state high schools, 27 Catholic schools, 12 independent schools and 1 university. Most of
these schools have exposure to some variant of teaching and learning experience in
robotics as an educational technology through workshops, demonstrations, classroom
activities or specific classes. Since 2002, Central Queensland University in
Rockhampton, have been actively promoting the use of educational robotics as a teaching
tool (Chiou, 2004). It holds an annual Junior Robotics Competition to provide these
schools to showcase their efforts in the area of educational robotics through several
different categories of challenges (RoboCup Junior, 2013). These categories include
RoboCup Junior, Rescue Robots and Dance Robotics. In addition to this, the pre-tertiary
and tertiary levels have a different set of assessable challenges (Chiou, 2010) to promote
software and hardware skills. Training is provided to all levels of learning by the same
teaching team with the same resources.

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However, the very persistent demand of this type of education technology has caused
an unrealistic level of expectation from both teachers and learners that may be a
challenge to fulfill. How should the same teaching team and with the same limited
resources cater to such diversity of learners with different backgrounds? These
challenges may include:

1. Learners are of different age groups.
2. Learners are of different gender.
3. Learners are from different school grades or academic grades (i.e. Grade 3 to pre-
tertiary and tertiary level).
4. Learners adopt different learning styles.
5. Learners have different level of prerequisite skills. Some learners have no prior
skill sets; or some learners have one or more prior skill sets of the following:
mathematics, programming and problem solving techniques.
6. Learners have different level of exposure in the general field of robotics and thus,
a different level of expectation. This may be through reading and watching
science fiction movies, documentaries, have taken prior classes in robotics or may
have tinkered in robotics as a hobby, etc.
7. Opportunities are constrained to different level of resources. Educational robotics
requires a substantial investment in time, lab resources, teachers and training.
8. Ease of access to the above mentioned opportunities.

As can be seen from the above premise, the activities in teaching or carrying out these
workshops or classes requires many access points. And at the same time, the student
cohort is diversified, spanning almost every academic grade, level of skills and learning
styles (as identified in 1 to 8 above). The mix of cohort of students can easily permute
into fragmented class sizes that attempts to accomplish too much with too little resources.

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The Flipped Workshop Framework
To alleviate the diversity of the learning environment associated with using
educational robotics as an educational medium, a framework have been proposed that can
adapt and diffuse the prevailing differences. The framework introduces the flipped
classroom framework (Lage, Platt & Treglia, 2000; Rutherfoord & Rutherfoord, 2013;
Herreid & Schiller, 2013), specifically adapted to carry out workshops and classes using
educational robotics as a medium to teach technology related lessons. As its name
suggest, a flipped classrooms delivers its teaching and learning sequence in reverse. That
is, in its simplest form: instead of a teacher teaching a class which subsequently leads to
students attempting to solve problems as found in conventional classes, a flipped
classroom is where the students first attempt to solve and learn at their own pace, to be
subsequently followed up a teachers supervision and guidance. This framework leads to
both effective teaching and learning. The notion of an inverted classroom allows for
independent learning and exploration. While a flipped classroom approach does not have
all the necessary prescribed methods to solve all the challenges identified (as listed 1 to 8
above), it does however provide a single, compact solution that can satisfy several of the
main challenges.
In actual application to the educational robotics workshop, this requires a
modification as a consequence of the specialised lab equipment required. This specialised
equipment are robot construction kits and the appropriate programming software. In more
conventional flipped classrooms, students are required mainly to carry out pen and
paper exercises. However, in educational robotics workshops, students are required to
further their exploration with assembling and constructing different robot or mechanical
designs in solving hands-on experimental problems. The level of challenge for each
robot activity caters to different age groups. However, from past experience age groups
are inaccurate indicators of level of skill or prerequisite skill of each individual learner.
This compounds the problem of running workshops that have been divided into groups
that have been categorised into different age brackets or school grades. When these
workshops were delivered using conventional teaching model, that is, classes are
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delivered first and followed by lab exercises, students very quickly began to partner up or
gather themselves into groups consisting of other students with skills equal to their own.
These sub-groups can be identified by the average level of relevant skill possessed
by each of the student of the group. These groups are mostly (1) students with low level
or non-existing skill sets, (2) intermediate level skill sets and (3) experienced or advanced
level skill sets. It becomes clear that for all intentions, such workshops have inevitably
fragmented into two or more sub-groups. In almost all such cases, the students belonging
to each subgroups remain within the same sub-grouping until the end of the series of
workshops. In effect, the workshop has now unintentionally become two or more
workshops, where each required a different level of attention from the teacher or tutor.
This is a recurring problem with almost every workshop that has been carried out within
the educational robotics long-running project. It consumes time, energy and different
approaches in teaching and learning methods are employed to meet the unplanned
To counter the unintended sub-grouping, which inevitably adds to the challenge
of carrying out these workshops, the flipped workshop has been introduced. The
workshops were delivered in a combination of distance learning and onsite flipped
workshops. Students at a distance were delivered (via postal service) backpack robot kits.
These were complete robot construction kits that could be packaged and boxed in a
standard AusPost postal parcel. These were sent out to distance students who were then
given one to three weeks of playtime with the kits. The purpose were to allow the
students to familiarise themselves with the resources. Complete instructions were
provided. As for students that were able to attend classes on campus or their relevant
schools, open labs were made available at specific day and times of the week, where
students were encouraged to attend. Similar backpack robot kits were made available to
the students. Identical study materials in either printed format or accessible via the
internet were made available for both distance and onsite students.

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Upon the given deadline (playtime), students were required to attend a
workshop carried out on campus. As for distance students, live interactive broadcast were
employed on Central Queensland University distributed campuses across Queensland
equipped with full teleconferencing lab facilities. Students were supervised and provided
guided learning by a facilitator located on the university campus. Details of different
approaches will be reported in future.

This section reports on the result of initial findings of the flipped workshop framework
as applied to educational robotics in supporting coursework of mathematics, science and
technology programmes. This case study attempts to chart the pathway taken by students
over a period of eight years. In 2004, the authors undertook Project Mindstorms (Chiou,
2004). The project focus on providing a rich environment using educational robotics as a
delivery medium to enrich the teaching and learning of mathematics, science and
technology to middle school and highschool students in the Central Queensland
(Australia) region. One of the major activities of each of the environment presented to the
participating students is a competitive arena. This was to become the Central Queensland
Junior Robotics (2013) competition. One of the categories was the simplified version of
the search and rescue challenge. In order for students to gain access to this challenge,
workshops were provided to participating schools. The workshops were based on the
flipped workshop framework. Results shown were encouraging. Even though originating
from different backgrounds, students who were entering the studies from different access
points were able to quickly adapt and benefit from the flipped classroom approach.

From years 2004 to 2005, 117 students were part of Project Mindstorms. Upon
completing high school, 13 later attended university at Central Queensland University
(CQU). Of the 13, 4 became part of a 42 student group that were enrolled in either
information technology or information systems degree courses. Both of these courses do
not offer any courses on mechatronics. All 42 students subsequently undertook special
courses or special projects using educational robotics with emphasis on robotics in a
competitive arena in soccer robots and search and rescue challenges. These cohort of
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students were provided the backpack robot lab kits. This provided access for these
specific students who have had no prerequisite background. Of this, 8 subsequently
enrolled in an advanced final year course with a major component in robotics as a
competitive arena. 5 of these students were later joined by 3 students that were not part of
the program. These 8 students were enrolled in either Honours or topics in advanced
software project. The students at this level were involved in robotics in a competitive
arena. Of this final group, 4 subsequently are enrolled in a research higher degree. From
the above case study charted for the specific group of students with non-specialisation in
mechatronics, it can be seen that the flipped approach to teaching and learning provides a
rich environment that allow students an accessible pathway to gain entry into an
otherwise challenging area of study.


Educational robotics has been adopted by educators at every level of education, from
primary to tertiary sectors in support of teaching and learning of technology based
courses. However, the very persistent demand for this type of education technology has
caused an unrealistic level of expectation from both teachers and learners that may be a
challenge to fulfill. A framework has been proposed that can adapt and diffuse the
prevailing differences. The framework introduces the flipped classroom, specifically
adapted to carry out workshops and classes using educational robotics as a medium to
teach technology related lessons. Results shown were encouraging. Even though
originating from different backgrounds, students who were entering the programme from
different access points were able to quickly adapt and benefit from the flipped classroom

CTLT Conference Proceedings


Chiou, A., NC Lye, R Lal, KW Wong (2011), Framework for Robotics in Education:
Some Experiences and Case Studies in Test Arena Based Projects, 5th IEEE
International Conference on E-Learning in Industrial Electronics (ICELIE 2011),
Chiou, A. (2004). Teaching Technology Using Educational Robotics. Procs. Scholarly
Inquiry into Science Teaching Learning Symposium, University of Sydney (1 Oct ,
Chiou, A, (2010), Multiple Format Search and Rescue Robot as a Competitive Arena
Proc. Entertainment Computing Symposium 2010 (World Computer Congress
2010), Brisbane.
Han, J. and Kim, D. (2009). r-Learning Services for Elementary School Students with a
Teaching Assistant Robot, Proceeding of Human Robot Interaction (HRI)09,
March 11-13, La Jolla, Calirformia, USA.
Herreid, CL. and Schiller NA. (2013). Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom, Journal
of College Science Teaching, Vol.42 . No.5, 62-66.
Lage MJ., Platt GJ. And Treglia M. (2000). Inverting the classroom: A gateway to
creating an inclusive learning environment. The Journal of Economic Education,
Vol. 31. No. 1, 30-43.
Li, L., Chang, C. and Chen, G. (2009). Researches on Using Robots in Education,
Edutainment 2009, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5670, pp. 479-482.
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Lye, NC., Wong K.W. & Chiou, A. (2013). Framework for Educational Robotics: A
Multiphase Approach to Enhance User Learning in a Competitive Arena, Journal
of Interactive Environments, Vol. 21, No. 2, 142-155.
RoboCupJunior, (accessed 20 March 2014).
Rutherfoord, RH. And Rutherfoord JK. (2013). Flipping the Classroom: Is it for You? In
Proceedings of the 14
Annual ACM SIGITE, 19-22.

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Nathathai Sangsuk
Department of Educational Technology, Kasetsart University
Sunchai Pattanasith
Department of Educational Technology, Kasetsart University

James E. Gall
Department of Educational Technology, University of Northern Colorado

E mail id:

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This research examined factors related to the potential success of web-based training for
the professional development of teachers. The factors examined were: 1) experience in
the use of the Internet and web-based training, 2) web-based training for staff
development, 3) executive support, 4) organizational culture, 5) properties of web-based
training, and 6) the design of web-based training. The Office of Ubonratchathani Primary
Education for five service areas in one province in Thailand randomly sampled 371
teachers. A factor analysis was performed. Traditional goodness-of-fit indicators suggest
that the six-factor model provides a good fit to the data (GFI=0.86, AGFI=0.93). Web-
based training for professional development was the strongest factor; the design of web-
based training was the weakest. This study suggests that prior to engaging in WBT the
teachers believed that the value of the professional development activity and previous
experience with the medium would lead to the most success.

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In 1999, Thailand passed a National Education Act that included a goal of raising the
professional standards of teachers, faculty staff, and educational personnel, who shall be
developed on a continuous basis (Office of the National Education Commission, 1999,
p. 5). The continuous development of teachers requires them to increase their knowledge
and to further develop their roles past formal schooling. Shortly thereafter, Thailand
created its first ICT Master Plan. This plan helped to provide students with access to
technology at a reasonable cost (Na Songkhla, 2004). It has also allowed the development
of computer software and content appropriate to the social context of Thailand.
Thailands current Information and Communication Technology Policy Framework
specifically calls for a second decade of educational reform in the country that will focus
on 21
Century skills that include creativity, higher-order thinking, and citizenship
(Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, 2011).

According to Rassameethes (2012), Thailand was ranked 77
out of 142 countries in a
World Economic Forum report of those countries Networked Readiness. This placed
Thailand third out of the ASEAN countries behind Singapore (2
worldwide) and
Malaysia (29
). However, in terms of of skills (defined as the ability of a society to
make effective use of ICT thanks to the existence of basic educational skills captured by
the quality of the educational system, the level of adult literacy, and the rate of secondary
education enrollment), Thailand was ranked fifth within the ASEAN community (74

worldwide). This placed the country behind Singapore (2
worldwide), Malaysia (47
Indonesia (69
), and Vietnam (73

According to Tanner and Andrews (2012), technology can also serve as a vehicle for
reform and improvement in educational systems. The increased use of technology in
professional development, when done properly, can help facilitate change and needed
reform. Most recently, there has been increased interest in web-based training (WBT) as
a medium for professional development.
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Training is one way to develop human resources through the improvement of knowledge,
skills, and attitudes, leading to better performance (Chyung, 2008). Although one can
attempt to change an organization through training, this is often insufficient due to
organizational culture and resistance to change. Rogers (1983) studied the diffusion of
innovation, or how new products and methods are adopted by individuals. As a result of
his work, it has become more common to study different factors that lead to desired
changes in individuals and organizations.

The purpose of this research was to examine causal factors related to the potential success
of WBT for the professional development of teachers. One of the duties of the Office of
Ubonratchathani Primary Education in Thailand is to develop and implement professional
development activities for teachers in its service areas. Within this context, data were to
be collected from teachers on their attitudes toward WBT and factors that might influence
success in that training. The development of a causal model would aid in understanding
and provide practical guidance on developing future WBT interventions.

The participants were 371 teachers from the five service areas under the Office of
Ubonratchathani Primary Education in Thailand. The teachers completed a survey
regarding web-based training (WBT) for the professional development of teachers. The
survey consisted of three sections: general characteristics of the respondents, factors
thought to influence the potential success of WBT, and factors in the use of WBT. The
six factors thought to influence the success of WBT were: the use of WBT for staff
development (SD); previous experience in the use of the Internet and WBT (UW);
executive support (ES); organizational culture (OC); properties of WBT (PW); and the
design of WBT (DW). The five factors regarding the teachers potential use of WBT
were: interest in WBT (WBT1); motivation towards using WBT (WBT2); information
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about WBT (WBT3); perceived ability to solve problems in using WBT (WBT4); and
perceived ability to learn with WBT (WBT5). The factors included in the survey were
based on a review of previous research and literature on WBT. The causal model created
by the researchers is presented in Figure 1. The model was tested using a structural
equation modeling approach (Bentler, 1985).

Figure 1. Conceptualized causal model of factors related to the potential
success of WBT for the professional development of teachers.
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Four of the six influence factors consisted of two subscales. The use of WBT for staff
development (SD) and the design of WBT (DW) did not.

Previous experience in the use of the Internet and WBT (UW) had two subscales, training
(UW1) and knowledge and skills (UW2). The individual factor loadings for those
subscales are shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Previous experience in the use of the Internet and WBT
measurement model.

Executive support (ES) had two subscales, policy (ES1) and materials (ES2). The
individual factor loadings for those subscales are shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Executive support measurement model.
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Organizational culture (OC) had two subscales, norms (OC1) and value (OC2). The
individual factor loadings for those subscales are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Organizational culture measurement model.

Properties of WBT (PW) had two subscales, costs (PW1) and benefits (PW2). The
individual factor loadings for those subscales are shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Properties of WBT measurement model.

The overall causal model (as presented in Figure 1) was tested using the LISREL
program with the survey data. The chi-square test of the model was significant,

(102.85)=371, p<.01. Traditional goodness-of-fit indicators suggest that the six-factor
model provides a good fit to the data (GFI=0.86, AGFI=0.93). The direct effect of the
factors (from highest to lowest) were: WBT for staff development (SD), 0.84; previous
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experience in the use of the Internet and WBT (UW), 0.72; executive support (ES), 0.44;
organizational culture (OC), 0.38; properties of WBT (PW), 0.22; and the design of WBT
(DW), 0.16.

This study resulted in support for the proposed six-factor model. A good fit was achieved
with the empirical data collected. The use of WBT for staff development and previous
experience in the use of the Internet and WBT were the strongest factors in the model.
Properties of WBT and the design of WBT were the weakest factors.

The factors included in the survey were based on a review of previous research and
literature on WBT. It was not surprising that interest in WBT for staff development
would be the strongest factor related to perceived success with WBT. New technologies
often benefit from a novelty effect or additional motivation related to training in a newer
medium. However, this interest alone cannot guarantee success.

The current results are consistent with Tetiwat and Huff (2002) who found that previous
experience with the web is a highly influential factor in the adoption of web-based
technologies. Artis (2004) also described how previous computer experience had an
impact on the effectiveness of web-based computer training.

Executive support has previously been shown to have an effect on training over the web.
Tuwanuti (2001) studied learning through electronic systems in human resource
development within an organization. The vision of management implemented through the
infrastructure, technology, and personnel can have an limiting effect on the effectiveness
of training. Leadership training and support can help minimize some of these problems.
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Organizational culture can influence the effectiveness of training initiatives, particularly
when they are done at a distance. When training staff at various branches in different
locations, success or failure may depend on the attitudes and culture established at each
location. Kraisintu (1997) described how different aspects of technology may be
employed for training in different locations.

The use of electronic systems in training can benefit employees in terms of reducing
conflicts over time (KnowledgeNet, 2000). It can also provide opportunities for training
at both work and home and while traveling (Hartley, 2000). Although properties of WBT
and the design of WBT were the weakest factors in the proposed model, it may be that
these factors are simply the least important to teachers when asked about WBT. It is
likely that they would have registered as more important within the context of the
effectiveness of WBT or if teachers with more experience with WBT had been surveyed.

A limitation of the approach used is that the model represents influencing factors against
the respondents perceived success and willingness to participate in WBT. Further
research should examine how the factors identified here influence actual participation and
success to provide a more comprehensive view of WBT.

This study suggests that prior to engaging in WBT the teachers believed that the value of
the professional development activity and previous experience with the medium would be
the most important factors leading to success. This last point is particularly important for
educators given that in professional development settings WBT is often used to try to
reach professionals that may not have access to other resources. Although the actual
design and development of a WBT intervention would likely take this into account, these
results suggest that potential participants do not consider that highly prior to the training.
Alternate approaches, such as blended training models (in which online learning is
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balanced with face-to-face interaction), might prove best with future trainees who have
these concerns.

CTLT Conference Proceedings

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