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The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank

Shaochun Zhong1,2,3,4, Yongjiang Zhong2,3,4, Jinan Li2,3,4,


Wei Wang2,3,4, and Chunhong Zhang5
1
Software School in NorthEast Normal University (NENU), JiLin ChangChun, 130024
2
Ideal Institute of Information and Technology in NENU, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
3
E-learning laboratory of Jilin Province, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
4
Engineering & Research Center of E-learning, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
5
ArmorTechnique Institute , JiLin ChangChun, 130117
sczhong@sina.com, zhongyj@nenu.edu.cn,
ljn@szftedu.cn, wangw577@nenu.edu.cn,
zchji@sogou.com.

Abstract. Based on briefly analyzing the current situation and problems of


internet item bank, the paper proposes a web-based intelligent item bank which
is intelligent and can evaluate the tests effectively. Then it introduces the func-
tion design, architecture and implementation scheme of the system. It elaborates
the evaluation strategies--S-P table in detail, which can not only evaluate the
student individual and in whole but also evaluate the testing. Finally it discusses
the future development of the system.

Keywords: Internet item bank, Paper appraisal, Adaptability.

1 Introduction
Item bank is “a set of items for a special subject constructed by computer system
according to the education measurement theory”. Item bank following the education
measurement theory is an education measurement tool based on strict mathematical
model.
Item bank construction is a complex system engineering. First, establish the
mathematical model. Then set the attributes indexes of the items and the structure of
the test papers, input the scientific effectual items. Following that, evaluate the testing
effect and situation of the students’ leaning. After putting into operation, adjust adap-
tively according to the testing level of the students. To ensure the scientificalness and
effectiveness, the relative attributes of the items and test papers should not only be set
by experts but also be sample tested using large numbers of sampling data, which can
adjust the effectiveness of the parameters. Editing and testing task for a relatively
complete item bank based on the classical test theory is such a formidable task, which
can not be done well by average institutions. [1]
Presently with the development of information technology, item bank are estab-
lished by companies, schools or their cooperation. They have made certain achieve-
ments in practical application, but with some problems.

Z. Pan et al. (Eds.): Edutainment 2008, LNCS 5093, pp. 278–289, 2008.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008
The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 279

(1) Independent of the other teaching links, used un-widely, so can not be improved
based on sufficient sample data.
(2) Providing reverence answers without education evaluation and intelligent in-
structing.
(3) The adaptability of the system is not so good, for example: the difficulty index
keeps invariable and papers can not be generated automatically.
(4) Having little characteristics of automatic marking and reasonable statistics analy-
sis functions.
In order to solve the problems above, we improved the existed internet item bank
and developed a general item bank system successfully. It consists of subsystems of
item management, automatic test paper generation, autonomous learning, testing, and
study evaluation, which can provide a series of services: automatic test paper genera-
tion, testing, analysis and evaluation.

2 System Design

2.1 Overall Design

In order to solve the problem of running independent of other teaching links, the sys-
tem is designed with the relative systems such as testing, evaluation and autonomous
learning. The overall design is illustrated by figure 1.

2.2 Function Analysis

(1) Item Management Subsystem


The sub-system includes the question database and the paper database. Question
database is used for storing all kinds of questions, and paper database is used for the
papers generated by paper generation subsystem and obtained by the paper input
interface. This subsystem can edit the questions and papers such as multiple choice,
calculation, close test, line connecting, etc, and can store the corresponding answers
and explanations.
Fuction include:Searching,Adding,Editing,Deleting,Submission online.
(2) Paper Generation Subsystem
Paper can be generated automatically or manually. Manual generation means to gen-
erate the papers from the item bank according to the teachers’ requirements. Auto-
matic generation methods can be divided into three types.
a᧥ Generating by teachers: The teachers input the parameters of paper generation
(including: paper title, testing time, full mark, total number of the items, the
knowledge nodes tested, average difficulty, etc) via browser, then the system can
generate the paper and answer according to the requirements. There are two
ways to show the paper. One is in the form of web pages, which can be edited
online by teachers and then printed .The other is in the form of RTF file packet,
which can be downloaded for use.
280 S. Zhong et al.

Students
database

Strategy
database

Score
database

Knowledge
database

Autonomous learning subsystem


Item Management Sub system
Study Evaluation Subsystem

Paper Generation System

Item
Testing Subsystem

database

Test paper
database

Analysis of the Papers

Analysis of the Questions

Analysis of the Students

Analysis of teaching process

Fig. 1. Overall Design


The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 281

b ᧥ Generating by students: The students can input the parameters of paper genera-
tion (different from the one used by teachers) according to their own condition,
then the system generates the paper for exercise of pertinence which can be


printed or saved as web pages.
c Static generation strategies: There are some common generation strategies for
the common testing. The teachers can choose the ready generation strategies in-
stead of inputting the complicated parameters.
(3) Testing Subsystem
This subsystem can use the papers generated by the system or the ones generated
by the paper generation subsystem. Students take the test online or take the paper
home via storage device to test, and then submit their answers to the analysis mod-
ules. This subsystem includes three links.
a᧥ On-line examination: The students can choose the special paper via browser,
take the test and submit their answers. The system stores the answers into the
student information database, and then the teachers can take them out and do the


marking.
b On-line marking: After login in the system, the teachers can choose the paper
they should mark, and then choose the students who took the examination to take
the students’ papers and corresponding answers. The objective questions can be
judged by the system automatically. The non-objective questions are marked by
teachers which are stored into the score database with the marking information


together after submitted by teachers.
c Results requiring: After login in, the students can choose the papers they tested
and look over the testing contents, standard answer and marking condition, etc.
(4) Autonomous learning subsystem
Autonomous learning subsystem has a close relationship with the testing subsys-
tem. On one hand, it calls the paper generation subsystem to generate the papers, do
exercise autonomously and transfer the results to the analysis modules. On the other
hand, it can give the corresponding advices on knowledge review and learning strat-
egy according the test.
(5) Study Evaluation Subsystem
This subsystem is used to do statistic analysis of questions, papers and the teaching
process according to the history data of the students’ testing which is analyzed by S-P
table. It has two important parameters of difference coefficient and alarm coefficient,
and they can separately provide important information for analysis of teaching situa-
tion and teaching effect. So, this subsystem can analyze the reasonable degree for
individual situation, trends of all the students and improvement of the teaching effect.
It includes the following aspects.
a᧥ Statistics analysis of the papers: The distribution of the items such as students’
points can be shown by line graph and histogram and all the abnormal questions
in the exam can be captured such as all the answers are right or wrong in whole.
Analysis on the following subjects: the reliability, validation and average diffi-
culty of the paper; the maximum and minimum points, the total number of each
grade section, average point and standard deviation ; the original points and the
transformed points for each student.
282 S. Zhong et al.

b ᧥ Statistics analysis of the questions: Analysis results such as difficulty, differen-


tiation and marking of knowledge points can be shown in tables and figures.
Analyzing the marking of each question provides the current study situation of
the student group. Then the students’ recognition to knowledge points and prob-
lems can inferred even to affect the teaching strategies.
c᧥ Statistics analysis of the students:
i. Score Clarifying: When the students choose different groups, their original
points can be transformed from different sample ranges. So the students can
understand their own position of the different groups.
ii. Aware of the score trends: Track the history of testing scores in time order ,
transform the original points to the standard points , 100-level graduation
points, etc .After such transform, to compare the points of each subject is
more reasonable and easy to track the score trends.
iii. Analysis of knowledge and ability: On-line examinations can be recorded by
computer and use the record to analyze the significative response information.
Paper examinations can be input the response for the paper manually. Analyze
from two dimensionalities of cognitive ability and knowledge contents.
Teaching object range, degree and ability condition of each knowledge point
can be analyzed by its knowledge attribute, cognition classification attribute
and the students’ responses.
iv. Intelligent instructing: The analysis result of students’ learning can be used to
suggest the students what is need to enhance and to list the relative teaching
materials , analysis of their own fault and weak knowledge points, such it’s
easy to teach students in accordance with their aptitude. [2]
d ᧥ Statistics analysis of the teaching process: Based on the score accumulation of
many tests, it can analyze the point distribution of each knowledge point. If the
students ' responses are abnormal, it suggests that problems exist in the knowl-
edge unit and teaching should be improved.

3 Evaluation Strategies
S-P table is an information processing method of analyzing the teaching based on the
students’ points table of the questions. The method can evaluate the learning situation
of individual student and the trends of all the students; also it can evaluate propriety
of all the questions. Difference coefficient and alarm coefficient are two important
parameters used for S-P analysis. Calculation of them can provide important informa-
tion for analysis of teaching situation and teaching effect.

3.1 Formation of S-P Table

M students answer n questions, mark 1 when right, mark 0 when wrong, and a matrix
of student – question is created .In the matrix, Uij represents the point student i gets
for answering question j. Because of adoption of 0-1 score method, the matrix is con-
sisted of only 0 and 1.The score matrix can be shown concretely as the condition in
figure 2.
The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 283

z›œ‹Œ•›Tw™–‰“Œ”Gtˆ›™Ÿ

wX wY wZ w[ w\ w] w^ w_ w` wXW zŠ–™Œ

zX W X X W X X W X X W ]
zY W X X X X W W W W W [
zZ X X X X X W X X W X _
z[ W X X X X X X X W W ^
z\ X X X X X X X W W X _
z] W X X W W W W X W W Z
z^ X X X X X X X X W X `
z_ X W W X X X X X W X ^
z` X X X X X X X X X X XW
zXW X X X W X X W W W W \
zXX W X W X X X X W W X ]
zXY W X X W X X X X X W ^
zXZ W X X X X X X W X X _
zX[ W X X W X W X W W W [
zX\ W X X X X X X X X W _

j–™™ŒŠ› ] X[ XZ XW X[ XX XX ` \ ^
{”Œš

Fig. 2. Student-question matrix

The column on the right lists the scores of the students (the number of the right
ones); the bottom lists the number of right answers for each question. Before the ma-
trix is processed, it can only provide the point of each student and the correct rate of
each question. It can provide much significant information after processed by the
following rules.
a) Students will be arranged by descending order according to the scores. Namely,
exchange the students scoring line, making the high score above in the row, low
score firms bottom.
b) Problems will be arranged by descending order according to the number of cor-
rect answers from left to right. Namely, exchange the problems line, making the
problem line of giving more correct answers to it on the left, the problem of low
frequency of correct answers row on the right side.
c) For the same score line, first of all, find out the sum of correct answers which the
student obtained the errors of each problem in the same column. And then, ar-
range the line of the same score according to the sum; line get high score firms
the top.
284 S. Zhong et al.

d) For the same score column, first of all, find out the sum of the student obtained
the errors of each problem. And then, arrange the column of the same score ac-
cording to the sum; column get low score firms the top.
e) Making the S line. Draw the vertical line for each of the students. Making the
number of the problems on the left side of the vertical equal to the students’
score. And then, drawing the striping between lines, link each vertical line to
form a ladder of the curve, called S line. As Figure 3 shows the solid line.
f) Making the P line. Draw the ledgement for each of problems. Making the num-
ber of students above the ledgement equal to the number of correct answers. And
then, drawing the vertical line between columns, link each ledgement to form a
ladder of the curve, called P line. As Figure 3 shows the dashed line.
After processing, the student-question matrix is transformed into ordered list of S
(solid line) and P (dashed line), which is called S-P table.

zTwG{ˆ‰“Œ

w\ wY wZ w^ w] w[ w_ wXW wX w` zŠ–™Œ

z` X X X X X X X X X X XW
z^ X X X X X X X X X W `
zZ X X X X W X X X X W _
zXZ X X X X X X W X W X _
zX\ X X X X X X X W W X _
z\ X X X X X X W X X W _
z_ X W W X X X X X X W ^
zXY X X X X X W X W W X ^
z[ X X X X X X X W W W ^
zX X X X W X W X W W X ]
zXX X X W X X X W X W W ]
zXW X X X W X W W W X W \
zY X X X W W X W W W X [
zX[ X X X X W W W W W W [
z] W X X W W W X W W W Z

j–™™ŒŠ› X[ X[ XZ XX XX XW ` ^ ] \
{”Œš

Fig. 3. S-P table


The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 285

3.2 Properties of S-P Table

Based on the data relationship, it is not difficult to see that the S-P table has the fol-
lowing basic properties.
Because the score of students equals the total time of the right answers, the left-
hand area of S is equal to the area above the P; S is not only the score curve of the
students but also the number curve according to the cumulative scores. P is the accu-
mulating distribution model of the right answer number for each question. S and P are
always intersectant, and when superpositioned, the left end of P is always above S and
the right end of P is always under S; the area gap between S and P is called dispersion
of the two lines which can describe the relationship between the question difficulty
and the students’ response. If S is as same as P, the condition is that the learning state
of all the students is absolute stable.

3.3 Analysis of S-P Table

According to S-P table, holistic analysis can only be done for whole and individual
analysis can only be done for individual.
(1) Holistic Analysis
It includes the difference analysis between the students and the questions and the
distribution analysis between the questions and students’ response. The dispersion of
the two lines reflects the evenness degree of distribution. The increase in dispersion
can be associated with the increase in un-even distribution. The evenness of distribu-
tion can be described as follows:

area between S-line and P-line


D(magnitude of deviation )= (1)
( S − P )surface area

( S − P) surface area=the number of students × the number of problems (2)

As for common tests, the value of D ranges from 0.25 to 0.35, and can not over 0.5
usually. If it is over 0.5, the relationship between the questions and students’ response
is abnormal .For example, if a difficult problem is solved by students getting low
points and not solved by students getting high points.
The difference between students and questions can be reflected by the faultage be-
tween S and P. Faultage stands for the beeline range between the domestic wirings.
Figure 4 illustrates the faultage.
If the line S keeps horizontal for quite long, it suggests the danger of polarization.
If the line P keeps vertical for quite long, it suggests that there is sufficient difficulty
difference which may influence the validity of the testing.
(2) Individual Analysis
It evaluates both the learning situation of the students and the pertinence of the
questions. When the dispersion between S and P is quite large, some responses of the
students or the questions are abnormal. As the S-P table in figure 3, the rate of right
answer of Problem P1 is 8/15, which is quite high. But the number who gives a right
answer is just a half both above and below line P, which shows whether the problem
286 S. Zhong et al.

h”—“›œ‹ŒG–GzGs•Œ
OˆP
w
•Œ
Gsw
G–

‹œ
›“
—
”
h

O‰P

Fig. 4. Faultage

can be answered correctly is random distributed, and the students no matter with high
or low points answered the questions correctly random. So the differentiation index of
the problem is quite low and need to be checked. For example, there are two students
who both answered 5 problems right, but the problems for each student distributes
nearly halfly on both sides of line S ,which is also quite random and need to pay at-
tentions. The abnormality degree of the students and questions can be described by
alarm coefficient.
Calculation formula for the alarm coefficient:

COV j ( P)
W j (P) = 1 − (3)
COV j (C )

Wj(P) represents the alarm coefficient of problem j; COVj(P) represents the covari-
ance of the response pattern of problem j and the general response pattern; COVj(C)
represents the covariance of the general response pattern and the complete response
pattern. Complete response pattern means the response pattern that above the curve of
S are all 1s and the blow are all 0s.
Calculation formula for the covariance of the response pattern of problem j and the
general response pattern:
1 m 1
COV j ( p ) = ¦ ( X ij − m PX i )(SX i − v)
m i =1
(4)

In the formula, v means the average score of the students, and it can be calculated
as follows:
1 m
v= ¦ SX i
m i =1
(5)
The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 287

Then, COVj(P) is transformed:


1 m
COV j ( P ) = (¦ X ij SX i − PX jV ) (6)
m i =1
Calculation formula for the covariance of the general response pattern and the
complete response pattern:
1 m
COV j (C ) = ( ¦ X ij SX i − PX jV ) (7)
m i =1
Then, the alarm coefficient of the problem j can be calculated:
m

COV j (P) ¦ X ij S X i − P X jV
W j (P) = 1 − = 1− i =1
PX (8)
C O V j (C ) j

¦ SX
i =1
i − P X jV

Calculation formula for the alarm coefficient of the student:


C O Vi ( S )
Wi (S ) = 1 − (9)
C O Vi (C )

In the formula, COVi(S) presents the covariance of the response pattern and the
general response pattern; COVi(C) represents the covariance of the general response
pattern and the response pattern of the student. Response pattern here means that the
left-side of S are all 1s and the right-side are all 0s. As calculating the alarm coeffi-
cient for problems, calculate COVi(S) and COVi(C), and then Wi(s):
n

¦X
j =1
ij PX j − SX i u
Wi (S ) = 1 − SX i (10)
¦ PX
j =1
j − SX i u

In the formula, u means the average correct time for each question:
1 n
u= ¦ PX j
n j =1
(11)

When the alarm coefficient of the student is high, it suggests that this student
makes mistakes in the relative easy problems but solves the relative hard ones. The
phenomena may result from the problems in the learning conditions .For example,
students are not of high learning enthusiasm such as to answer careless, they don’t
exert the potential abilities or answer just by guessing, etc.
When the alarm coefficient of the student is over high, it suggests that this problem
is answered wrong by students with high points but answered correctly by students
with low points. So the differentiation index of the problem is low and its use value
decreases in terms of score levels.
Experiments indicates that: when the value of Wj(P)or Wi(S) is over 0.6,teacher
should pay sufficient attentions to the problems of the students and courage them to
make great effort. Also the problem should be deleted or modified. [3]
288 S. Zhong et al.

4 Implementation of the System


The software architecture of the item bank adopts the B/S network computing pattern
with 3-layer architecture of express-tier, the business-tier and the data-tier.
The express-tier applies the asp technology and employs at least IIS 4.0 as web
server. The business-tier is enveloped with COM components so that it can combine
with the windows operating system and run steady and effectively. The data-tier uses
the large-scale commercial database SQL Server, which has the characteristics of
ensuring the data integrity and data security and makes for shortening the inputting
and outputting time of the massing data.
The system uses XML for Sharing Information Resources within the item bank. It
can transform according to different educational resource metadata information, such
it’s easy to share the resource information among item banks. The system also refers
to specifications and technologies such as JavaScript, DOM, JavaMail, LDAP, Dict
Protocol. [4]

5 Conclusion
At present, the system has already established and been on the test-run stage with the
basic functions. It can solve the shortcomings of running independent of the other
teaching links, lacking of education evaluation, intelligent instructing and statistics
analysis well. Yet further research and development should be made.
(1) Further Application of Information Push Technology
Although the system push information such as evaluation, knowledge points to
review after the functions such as statistics analysis and intelligent instructing,
yet the technology is necessary to extend its application in other aspects. There
are some examples. Push the teaching strategies after mining personalized in-
formation such as students’ appetite on study media and learning regulation;
Push more authoritive tests; Push the adaptive tests to students according to their
knowledge regarding knowledge points. [5]
(2) Componentizing the System
The system provides a series of services of automatic test paper generation, test-
ing, analysis and evaluation, which can provide strong support to the distant
education. Each link of this system is also an important link in the current web-
based distant education. The system can be separated into functional subsystems
based on component, which can integrated into the distant education supporting
platform seamlessly and combine with the network courses closely.
(3) Applying the Item Response Theory to the Adaptive Testing
Compare the IRT with classical test theory, the theoretical system of the former is
built based on more complicate mathematical model with more accurate concepts
and theoretical derivation. It’s suitable for the adaptive testing. The testing system
asks the student one or more questions, then chooses the questions which can
evaluate the student most well and truly by analyzing the completed questions. In
this way, on one hand it can make the test corresponds with the student’s ability
level and then provides the more accurate information to evaluate the students’
ability. On the other hand, it can shorten the testing duration effectively.
The Design of Web-Based Intelligent Item Bank 289

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2. Jing, Y.J., Zhong, S.C., Li, X., Li, J.-N., Cheng, X.C.: Using instruction strategy for a Web-
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3. Fu, D.: Education Information Processing. Peking (2001)
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Methods on Educational Resource Development and
Application

Shaochun Zhong1,2,3,4, Jinan Li2,3,4, Zhuo Zhang2,3,4,


Yongjiang Zhong2,3,4, and Jianxin Shang2,3,4
1
Software School in NorthEast Normal University (NENU), JiLin ChangChun, 130024
2
Ideal Institute of Information and Technology in NENU, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
3
E-learning laboratory of Jilin Province, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
4
Engineering & Research Center of E-learning, JiLin ChangChun, 130024
sczhong@sina.com, ljn@szftedu.cn,
zhangzhuo_ca@sina.com, zhongyj@nenu.edu.cn,
shangjx576@nenu.edu.cn.

Abstract. By analyzing systematically the current state and existing problems


of educational resource development and application (ERDA) both here and
abroad, this paper presents methods of resource development and application
based on the course of curriculum implementation, the curriculum resource
structure and integration model and the evaluation factors of resource and
curriculum integration. At last, the paper presents the methods on integrating
intelligent resource and establishing distributed resource system by
experimental study.

Keywords: curriculum resource, resource system, resource development


method, resource evaluation factor.

1 Current State and Problems


Informatization has become the key point of each country’s development. Obviously,
educational informatization also becomes the key point of educational development
[1]. Thus, schools set up informational environment such as campus network,
computer classroom, multi-function classroom, etc. However, equipments lost their
values rapidly, which will fall into disuse in 3 to 5 years. In the first year, the
proportion of loss will be more than 30%. The equipment application in instructional
system is the main criterion to evaluate education informatization level [2]. In order to
utilize equipments maximally, the most important things are to develop good
resource, corresponding application modes and approaches as well as service system
for teachers and students utilizing them in the course of instruction [3].
In general speaking, on ERDA, there are lack of comprehensive arrangements,
global design and systemic organization. On the theory and orientation of ERDA,
there exist a number of deviations in the most of schools.
Concretely speaking, on resource development, there are no in-depth studies on
resource development theory such as the instructional modes under the information

Z. Pan et al. (Eds.): Edutainment 2008, LNCS 5093, pp. 290–301, 2008.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 291

environment, the instructional design basis and so on. Thus, the developed resource
cannot bring advantages of network into play maximally, cannot solve key difficulties
in learning and teaching process. The developed resource and software are too loose
in global area and too centralized in local area, which have no share functions.
Teachers cannot use them smoothly. On rules and approaches of subject-specific
resource development, animation developing tools, resource integration tools and
excellent resource structure, there are lack of normative studies. These lead to the
lower efficiency and quality of resource establishment. On function, structure and
technology of resource and their support software, less work has been done. The
developed resource and software cannot meet teachers’ needs. On categoricalness and
consistency of resource, there exist more problems such as incomplete, incompatible
and conflicting phenomenon [4].
On resource application and service system, there are no more modes and
approaches for the integration of IT and subject, namely, no operating regulation. The
existing application modes and approaches have no enough scientificaalness,
hierarchy, excellent evaluation system (for example, what is the good integration
class?), effective service support system and share system.
Instructional design under the environment of network means to provide students
materials by utilizing network resource. The communication between teachers and
students or among students mainly uses words. There are no communication ways for
the process of solving problems. Instructional activities under the environment of
network lack of support system on learning, directing, supervising, evaluating and
feedback (for example, the supporting system in the course of investigative learning).
More important thing is that the development and change of IT and instructional
modes are so fast that teachers cannot adapt to these dynamically. Clearly, how to
provide teachers effective application support system has become more and more
important [5].
According to the above, this paper presents methods of ERDA in the course of
curriculum implementation, the curriculum resource structure and integration model,
evaluation factors of resource and curriculum integration, and methods on integrating
intelligent resource and establishing distributed resource system by experimental
study.

2 Goals on Curriculum Resource Development


During the course of education informaziliation, questions that need to be answered
are what kinds of resource should be established in each curriculum, why establish
them like that and what the basis of resource establishment is.
To answer these questions, we should answer why apply IT into instruction? In
fact, the purpose for doing so is not only to learn it but also to improve the quality and
efficiency of instruction. To reach this purpose, first, we should find difficulties in the
general instructional process, and then solve them by using IT. This is the reason for
applying IT into instruction [8] [9].
In order to make clear what kind of resource should be established and why
establish them like that, we must understand completely how to integrate IT and
curriculum together, and in which aspects of curriculum IT can be used, etc.
292 S. Zhong et al.

2.1 Definition of IT and Curriculum Integration

Definition 1 IT and curriculum integration means to integrate IT with the aspects of


curriculum completely for improving the instructional quality and efficiency. Aspects
of curriculum include curriculum goal, curriculum content, curriculum design,
curriculum implementation and curriculum evaluation. Figure 1 illustrates more
details.
On curriculum goal, IT can enlarge the curriculum’s goals, for example, writing
compositions with the help of network and computer, it means to extend goals of
literature education. On curriculum content, IT can change the medium and form of
curriculum content display, and make curriculum content more rich and colorful. On
curriculum design, IT can change fundamentally modes, approaches, steps and
evaluation of curriculum design. On curriculum implementation, IT provide support
platform for it, such as teaching support platform, self-learning and cooperating
learning platform, communicating platform , feedback platform and so on. On
curriculum evaluation, IT provide effective support means for its implementation,
such as self-evaluation, students’ evaluation and social evaluation, etc.

Fig. 1. Integration of information technology and curriculum

2.2 Goals on Curriculum Resource Development

Definitioncurriculum resource means multimedia data and software saved in the


computer, which can be spread through network for students’ learning and teachers’
teaching. These multimedia data and software can bear knowledge, transfer
information, record data, make interaction, make control, make computation, make
simulation and so on. Multimedia types include word, picture, image, video, audio,
animation, software and their compound.
Definition 3 goals on curriculum resource development mean to develop resource
that can help teachers and students to solve difficulties existing before class, in class
and after class, which cannot be solved by the general instructional means. These
resources are divided into the following types: just for teachers, just for students, for
teachers and students, etc.
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 293

3 Methods of ERDA
ERDA should be considered from the sufficient integration of IT and curriculum.
Developer should grasp the nature of integration. Methods of ERDA are multifarious,
each school and teacher have their own methods according to their concrete
conditions. Each method has its advantages and shortcomings. At present, there is no
ideal method of ERDA yet. In the following, we contribute a set of ERDA methods
based on the course of curriculum implementation:

3.1 Steps on ERDA Method

1. ERDA Method based on the course of curriculum implementation includes:


(1). curriculum diagnosis: it is to design instructional modes, arrange instructional
activities, choose ways to complete instructional process and find difficulties that
cannot be solved by general instructional means. In this process, instructional
arrangement should be reasonable and optimized.
(2). exploration of IT advantages: it is to explore advantages of IT aiming at solving
difficulties existing in the course of traditional instruction and then systemically
analyze these advantages to conclude rules.
(3). system designs: it should solve difficulties, which cannot be solved by
traditional instructional means, by using IT advantages. It includes the resource
structure, display form and application mode.
(4). curriculum resource making and integration: it is to select suitable developing
technology and tool to make resource and make effective integration according to
resource structure.
(5). resource application and feedback: it is to apply structural curriculum resource
in the course of instruction, analyze the performance of these resources through
dynamic instructional feedback, and then decide if it needs to repeat step1 to step5 or
some step(s) of them.
(6). end.
It can be drawn from upper steps, ERDA needs a process, in which teachers,
educational experts and IT experts explore and study together. ERDA needs
practicing. It cannot be implemented by empirically simple reasoning. The nature and
rule of ERDA can be discovered through instructional practice.

2Curriculum Diagnosis Approach


Curriculum diagnosis is the base of ERDA. The quality of resource design and
development is subject to the precision of curriculum diagnosis. Steps in curriculum
diagnosis are as follows:
Step 1: classify curriculum content according to their commonness rule, take
contents that have commonness rule as the same category. Some categories can be
classified to sub-categories or multiple sub-categories.
Step 2: find suitable approaches of instructional mode design, instructional process
arrangement and instructional strategy selection for each category.
Step 3: analyze difficulties existing in the course of general instructional activities
and classify these difficulties into categories.
294 S. Zhong et al.

Among these steps, instructional mode and process design are the most important
step. If they are not reasonable and scientific, the diagnosis results are unacceptable.
In the course of instructional mode and process design, some factors should be
considered. The following are the key factors:
(1) what are instructional purposes? Where do students’ learning motivations come
from and how to inspire them? Students’ learning motivations come from their needs
of life instinct and curiosity. The learning purposes are to educate abilities, improve
diathesis and master knowledge and information. Concretely, they include mastering
not only basic knowledge but also corresponding knowledge system, logical thinking
approach and essential information based on the frame of abilities. Thus, from the
angle of psychology and education, learning contents that are suitable for the needs of
students’ life instinct and curiosity should be arranged for students.
(2) factors on affecting learning efficiency are multifarious, thereinto, age and
information form are the most important factors among them. Different ages need
different learning modes. People’s means for obtaining information are mainly from
five sense organs. Information forms affect directly the received efficiency. Thus,
from the angle of psychology and education, the effective learning environment,
reasonable instructional process and mode that is subject to the age character should
be made for students.
(3) factors on relationship between knowledge education and innovation education
should be considered. On knowledge education, its goal is to master knowledge and
then change them into skills. Normally, Students educated in this way just can do the
repeated work. However, society needs persons with innovation ability. Thus, the
instructional result should be to make students think about more questions instead of
no questions.

4 Information Environment Classification and Feature Analysis

The role that IT plays in the course of curriculum implementation is subject to the
sufficient analysis on IT advantages and features. Analysis on IT advantages and
features should be from multi-angles such as in which parts of instruction IT should
be applied, what kinds of learning environment can be made by IT, etc.
The advantages and features of IT include dynamic interactivity, independent
usability, from stillness to movement, from abstract to concrete, from micro-state to
normal-state, virtuality, simulation, fast transmissibility, real-time, amplitude, etc.
These features are good for inspiring students’ learning interest, integrating excellent
teachers’ and experts’ wisdom together and inheriting effective instructional modes
and approaches.
In the course of IT and curriculum integration, we should do more research on IT
method. IT can set up multifarious instructional environment. Instructional
environment is divided into the following types: multimedia classroom, computer
classroom, campus network and internet. It is necessary to study their features and
application. For each instructional environment, we analyze it from the following
aspects: instructional modes, instructional steps and needed condition, etc.
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 295

4.1 Multimedia Classroom

(1) instructional contents: cognitive learning on knowledge and question;


explanation on question, method and process; etc.
(2) instructional modes: teaching class by using multimedia resource, interactive
activities between teacher and students.
(3) learning steps: scene design, teaching, thinking and discussing, concluding ǃ
exploiting thinking skill, inter-subject learning, subject system , training, simulation
test.
(4) needed conditions: instructional resource database, preparing for class platform
and teaching class platform

4.2 Computer Classroom

(1) instructional contents: cognitive learning on knowledge and question;


explanation on method, process, application and practice; ability cultivation; etc.
(2) instructional modes: teacher direct students self-learning or cooperative learning
or research learning by network; network is not only display means but also support
means for students’ learning and testing.
(3) learning steps: communication among students or between teacher and students;
real-time test and feedback; evaluation by students or teachers; scene design; teaching
class; thinking and discussing; concluding; exploiting thinking skill; inter-subject
learning; subject system; training; simulation test.
(4) needed conditions: network instructional resource database, instructional
platform, self-learning platform, cooperative learning platform, instructional test and
assessment platform, instructional management and feedback platform, research
learning platform, learning resource website, etc.

4.3 Campus Network


(1) instructional contents: knowledge learning, review, stability and exploration;
investigative learning ; stability, improvement, exploration, application and practice
on approaches and process; research ability cultivation; improvement on students’
integrated diathesis.
˖
(2) instructional means enlarging learning space and content by network,
perfecting the existing subject system, exploiting field of vision.
˖
(3) learning steps communication among students or between teacher and
students; feedback, stability, improvement and exploration; perfecting the existing
subject system; inter-subject system, training system.
(4) needed conditions: network instructional resource database, self-learning
platform, cooperative learning platform, instructional test and assessment and
feedback platform, research learning platform, learning resource website, etc.

4.4 Internet

(1) instructional contents: knowledge learning, review, stability and exploration;


investigative learning ;application and practice of approaches and process; ability
cultivation; improvement on students’ integrated diathesis.
296 S. Zhong et al.

(2) instructional means ˖ enlarging learning space and content by network,


perfecting the existing subject system, exploiting field of vision.
˖
(3) learning steps communication among students or between teacher and
students, stability and improvement and exploration, inter-subject system, training
system.
(4) needed conditions: learning resource website, communication support tools.

5 Resource Architecture
Definition 6: curriculum resource system means all kinds of resource types, which
includes some based on curriculum criteria, some based on textbook version, some
based on test resource, some based on public resource among curriculums and so on.
Definition 7: textbook version resource means instructional resources organized by
some textbook versions. These resources mainly focus on resolving difficulties that
general instructional means cannot solve during the course of instructional modes
implementation. They are organized by curriculum unit, subject, chapter, passage,
item and so on.
Definition 8: material granularity means knowledge and skill, process and method as
well as the scale of sensibilities value implemented by these materials.
Definition 9: material share means materials that can be used in two or more than two
courseware. There are two means for material share, one is courseware share for the
same content, and another is courseware share for the different content.
Definition 10: curriculum criterion resources mean resources that are organized
through basic knowledge system, encyclopedia information, special topics, test
training questions, learning rules, teaching rules, etc. They don’t depend on
textbook’s version. Some textbook’s resources can be built based on them.
Definition 11: public resource means resource that reflect people’s living environment
and can be shared by subjects. It includes natural and humanistic resources. Typical
public resources include information on nation, region, city, organization and people
as well as some natural environment information on mountain, river, lake, ocean and
so on.
Definition 12 test training resource means resource that can be used to test if students
understand curriculum knowledge or not and to discover where problems exist. It
includes curriculum forward model, curriculum backward model as well as related
test questions and papers.
Figure 2 illustrates the structure of curriculum resources.
Curriculum resource can be divided into three hierarchies from figure 2, namely,
basic hierarchy, category hierarchy, application hierarchy. Resources in basic
hierarchy are the basic curriculum resource types; they have the maximal share
degree, normally, they are 100 percent share. Resources in category hierarchy are
integrated through specific questions; they have the higher share degree. Resources in
application hierarchy are integrated for the concrete applications; they have the lower
share degree.
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 297

Fig. 2. Structure of curriculum resources

6 Curriculum Resource Evaluation

6.1 Resource Evaluation Factors

Resource evaluation should be considered from multiple factors. The following are
key factors:
(1) the proportion of usable resource in each class;
(2) the proportion of share resource in each class;
(3) the granularity of share resource;
(4) the distributing uniformity of total resources;
(5) the reliability of resource design
(6) the validation degree of resource used in instruction;
(7) the freshness of resource update.
(8) the satisfaction degree between resource and curriculum instructional needs ˗
(9) the leading degree of resource.
The function of each factor is different, some of them are sufficient, some of them
are necessary and some of them are sufficient and necessary. Each factor should be
assigned to a weight in the course of evaluation.

6.2 Evaluation Criteria for Curriculum Integration

Evaluation criteria for curriculum integration include improvement degree of


students’ learning effect and operation performance of curriculum implementation.
Concretely, they include the veracity of instructional goal, content, emphasis and
298 S. Zhong et al.

curriculum types; the scientificaalness of selecting instructional mode as well as


arranging process, strategy and method for each curriculum type; the veracity for
determining difficulties existing in the general instructional means; the perfectibility
and adaptability of applying IT; the systematicness , effectiveness and feasibility of
resource and software design; the operation performance of instructional resource,
software and website and so on.

6.3 Evaluation Example for Network Curriculum


A. Factors
(1) the understanding of curriculum goal is correct or not r1
(2) the curriculum content determined by curriculum goal is reasonable or not r2
(3) the three-level directory is reasonable and logical or not r3
(4)the content of each item is balanced and enough for questions, system and
multimedia materials or not p1,r4
(5) the learning direction and suggestion are sufficient or not p2,r5
(6) the reference material enable to meet all students’ needs or not p3,r6
(7) exercise and thinking question are suitable or not p4,r7
(8) the interface is beautiful, the connection is right and the set up type is normative
or not p5,r8
ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ
where 0”r1 r2 r3 r4 r5 r6 r7 r8”1 and r4+r5+r6+r7+r8=1 ˗
ˈ ˈ ˈ ˈ DŽ
0”p4 p5 p6 p7 p8”100

BFormula
After getting all information, compute the total score by using the following formula,

0”S”100 .
(1)
S=p1×p2×p3×(p4×r4+p5×r5+p6×r6+ p7×r7+ p8×r8)

CWeight Assignment

R4=0.7, r5=0.1, r6=0.05, r7=0.1, r8=0.05

7 Platforms for Resource Management, Development and


Application
Definition 13 instructional support platform software provides necessary support for
instructional process. It includes resource management and share, preparing for class
platform, instruction platform, management platform, local region communication
platform and blog support platform.
Concretely, resource management and share platform includes resource management,
retrieval, selection, delivery and share tools. Preparing for class platform includes edit,
integration, and animation making tools. Instruction platform includes teaching,
learning, test, training, assignment, answering question, communication, evaluation and
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 299

forum tools. Management platform includes daily management, electronic government


affair and information publish tools. Local region communication platform includes
information publish, information feedback and communication between teachers and
students or between teachers and parents tools. Blog support platform includes support
tools for teachers’ communication, forum and blog. Figure 3, 4, 5 illustrate more details.

Fig. 3. Instructional support platform

Fig. 4. Learning engine


300 S. Zhong et al.

Fig. 5. Instructional support engine

Definition 14 software tool on educational resource making, which can help


teachers to do educational resource by themselves even if they don’t know how to
program. Normally, there are two types: one is for making animation resource;
another is for integrating some resources together.

8 Conclusions

In the course of ERDA, it should be to make clear the orientation; study curriculum
types and difficulties existing in instructional process; arrange learning contents that
are suitable for students; select learning process and environment that are helpful for
students; cultivate logical thinking ability while applying visual technology; think
about integration between subjects; establish teachers’ continuing education system;
improve application and management system; take integration as a system
engineering.
Try to form a leading modes and methods system: modes and methods system on
the integration of IT and different content type; on the establishment of resource and
software structure; on the application of resource and software. ERDA needs
educational experts, IT expert, officer and teachers work together to make great
progresses.
Methods on Educational Resource Development and Application 301

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