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Journal Article

A Novel Interactive Online Module in a Traditional Curriculum through a Blended Learning Approach  pp301-308

Leslie Laing Gibbard, Florin Salajan

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Special ICEL 2009 Issue, Editor: Florin Salajan and Avi Hyman, pp191 - 316

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Abstract

A unique approach was planned and implemented for undergraduate dental students that would reinforce the principles of removable partial denture (RPD) design. 162 students were grouped according to their year of dental studies (66 second‑year students and 96 third‑year students) within the Discipline of Prosthodontics at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto. Previous training for the students consisted of the traditional Socratic approach, including lectures, seminars, and laboratory pre‑clinical hands‑on exercises. During the testing session, all the students were given the case history of a particular patient. One half of each of the classes was instructed to design an RPD using the traditional, clinically‑related approach, with a dental model that could be touched and seen, dental surveyors, and writing instruments. When finished, various treatment options were discussed. The other half of the classes was given the same instructions but saw the dental model only in animated form choices of drop‑down design features made in a particular orderly sequence as the students worked step‑by‑step through the computer simulation. A pre‑test questionnaire was given to all students concerning their design choices, the order in which they chose the denture components, and their learning experiences. All students were then asked to design an RPD for a different but similar case using dental models in the traditional clinical manner. Post‑test questionnaires were given to assess the effectiveness of the method of their pre‑test technique, in addition to their enjoyment of the approach. A cross‑over situation followed one week later, whereby each group of students went through the alternate approach from the previous session. The results from the third‑year student data and implications of this blended approach for teaching and learning RPD design are analyzed and discussed.

 

Keywords: e-learning, dental education, computer-aided learning, computer simulation, removable partial denture design

 

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Journal Article

Acquiring Software Project Specifications in a Virtual World  pp120-131

Vincent Ng, Zoe Tang

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011, Editor: Philip Balcean, pp1 - 158

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Abstract

In teaching software engineering, it is often interesting to introduce real life scenarios for students to experience and to learn how to collect information from respective clients. The ideal arrangement is to have some real clients willing to spend time to provide their ideas of a target system through interviews. However, this arrangement cannot be scaled up as it demands too much resource. Starting from 2008, we have used Second Life (SL) to create a virtual company, named SVG Corporation, which has multiple departments so as to simulate the real‑world business environment. The development of this fictitious company not only provides a new experience in requirement collection to students, but also lowers the working effort of our colleagues in acting as external business clients. Students can practice their communication and fact finding skills during visits in the departments and interviews with the virtual “staff”. The company has been used to support 2 subjects, Human Computer Interface and Foundations of Database Systems. The presence of SL acts as an online platform for students to access and acquire user requirements from staff (AI robots) of a virtual company, through a series of interviews, for system development. The roles of SL are twofold: to reduce the operational overheads in the project administration and to allow students to gain more hands‑on experiences through working on a simulated real‑life business cases. Hence, student could learn how to apply their knowledge and understand the software development process in the real business world. In this paper, we would like to report our experience and results of using SL in the software engineering student projects. Furthermore, the problems and the difficulties encountered during project period will be discussed for future enhancement.

 

Keywords: second life, software development project, AI robots, simulation, eLearning

 

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Journal Article

Podcasting to Support Students Using a Business Simulation  pp257-264

Andrea Gorra, Janet Finlay

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Special ICEL 2009 Issue, Editor: Florin Salajan and Avi Hyman, pp191 - 316

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Abstract

Audio or video podcasts can be a useful tool to supplement practical exercises such as business simulations. In this paper, we discuss a case study in which different types of podcast were utilised to support the delivery of a course in international business. The students work in groups and run a fictional company using business simulation software, which gives them the opportunity to evaluate their decision making skills. A number of podcasts were used as reusable learning objects for different student cohorts. Faculty members produced visually enhanced audio podcasts offering tutor discussions of key elements of the computer‑assisted business simulation used by the students. The podcasts were made available via the virtual learning environment (Blackboard Vista), as well as for subscription by web browser‑based RSS readers, such as Google and downloadable RSS readers, such as iTunes. Our evaluation of this approach to using podcasts takes into account pedagogic and technical issues. Firstly, faculty members involved in this case study were interviewed to obtain their views and experiences on the process of producing podcasts as well as the suitability of podcasts to support their teaching. Secondly, students were surveyed and interviewed about the value of the podcasts and the way in which they were used. This work is on‑going and initial informal student feedback indicates that the podcasts engaged the students and supported their understanding of the international business module. This paper presents a snapshot of the current findings which generally support the value of this innovative way of using podcasting for learning and teaching.

 

Keywords: podcasting, reusable learning resources, e-learning, web 2.0, visually-enhanced audio, business simulation

 

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