The students have different working abilities

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

ABSTRACT

Recently, the new paradigm of "Collaborative Learning" has evolved. This refers to a team learning process where members of the team support each other to reach an agreed target. The students have different working abilities and are responsible for both their own learning and the learning of others [1]. Collaborative learning has many advantages over the traditional forms of learning, including the development of oral, written and verbal skills, increasing the ability of students to work in teams, encouraging students to seek solutions to a problem in variety of ways, and learning from the experience of others [2-4].

In the recent times, providing a collaborative learning environment through the use of multi-touch interface has gained greater importance. This is due to the fact that technology has not just become an integral part of a student's life but it is now available at affordable prices as well. Multi-touch interfaces have the ability to accommodate more than one user concurrently, which is particularly useful for learning through large and shared display systems like tabletops [5]. Using such a system should encourage students to collaborate with each other and create an environment wherein, they can discuss their findings and integrate their ideas seamlessly without any technological hindrances. It should enhance their interaction skills and promote teamwork. The purpose of this research to investigate whether there is an improvement in the quality of the students' learning experiences.

Unified Modelling Language (UML) is amongst the most popular Object Oriented (OO) design languages. However, students who are attempting to learn UML find it difficult to comprehend its concepts [6]. Possible reasons for this range from inherent difficulties in the OO design to problems in learning the OO modelling language and methods [7]. This raises the need for easier and more efficient ways to learn UML.

In light of the advantages of collaborative learning and multi-touch technology, this research will investigate the educational impact of collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams using multi-touch technology. The research will identify how to help students to work together to solve problems, to communicate with each other and to discuss their different solutions to reach an agreed design with the help of multi-touch technology.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The difficulties of understanding and learning UML have been widely researched [8]. Some of studies have focused on developing an Intelligent Tutoring System that helps individuals and small groups learn UML-Class diagrams [9]. Thus, in order to support the design of other diagrams of UML such as State diagrams, it is proposed to develop a multi-touch technology-based collaboration learning system that enables students to build quality UML-State diagrams. In addition, the research will investigate the educational impact of multi-touch collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams to produce high quality design. Some of the key issues that this research will attempt to understand are: the impact of multi-touch technology in enhancing students' engagement in collaborative design, if there are improvements in the students' learning of UML-State diagrams design, if there are enhancement in the quality of diagrams design and if students improve their collaboration skills.

CONTEXT OF WORK

Recent research activity has developed a large number of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) systems [10]. Such systems can be classified into three categories [11]. The earliest systems reflected the actions performed by one individual on the screen of other participants [12]. The next type of system keeps track of the state of interactions between various participants. An example of this is Sharlok (Sharing, Linking and Looking-for Knowledge) [13]. The most recent type of system offers feedback to the participants during the collaboration process. Notable tools that have been developed with this feature are COLER [14], COLLECT-UML [15] and CoLeMo [16]. However, user often works individually to design UML diagrams. Subsequently, they collaborate by discussing result or exchanging their views. Therefore, the level of collaboration is often limited in these tools. Users do not collaborate over the design process but over the subsequent discussions. In addition, above discussed research projects have investigated collaborative learning of UML for remote collaborators. However, the focus of this research is on supporting collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams for co-located collaborators.

This research will try to fill the gap identified above in order to enhance the co-located collaboration between group members. It will also explore the impact of a collaborative learning environment using multi-touch technology on the pedagogical goals of improving students' collaboration skills and engagement activities.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

There has been a lot of research on the benefits of collaborative learning environments [17]. Potential benefits identified include encouraging participants to verbalize their thinking, finding new ways to solve a problem, encouraging team work, and learning from the experience of others [18, 19].

Some of the earlier CSCL systems developed are COLER, CoLeMo, COLLECT-UML and AUTO-COLLEAGUE. Of these, only COLLECT-UML and AUTO-COLLEAGUE enable the learning of UML. COLLECT-UML helps the participants to learn Class diagrams in a collaborative environment that is supported by an Intelligent Tutoring System, which generates feedback for users while AUTO-COLLEAGUE offers students adaptive help and advice regarding the most efficient and productive organization of the students in groups in order to learn UML. However, both COLLECT-UML and AUTO-COLLEAGUE are concerned with providing advice for students learning design modelling language using UML [20]. This research will focus on improving the level of students' collaboration in order to achieve some pedagogical goals such as improving students' collaborative and learning engagement activities while learning UML-State diagrams through multi-touch-based collaborative learning.

Multi-touch interfaces have the ability to accommodate more than one user concurrently. This is particularly useful for learning through large and shared display systems like tabletops and interactive walls [5]. Rogers, et al (2004) found in their research that users tend to interact consecutively rather than concurrently while using a multi-touch table [21]. However, such a situation may occur when the group is given a small task such as designing a calendar, map or diagram. Therefore, it would be interesting to find out how users would react to using multi-touch technology when given larger tasks like UML-state diagram modelling.

Using multi-touch technology for a collaborative learning purpose, students can learn fast as the chances of conflicts between users would be minimal in such an environment. This is largely due to the fact that such a learning environment helps users to communicate more effectively with each other and therefore facilitate greater understanding within the group [22]. Experts such as Westerman and his colleagues (2001) believe that such multi-touch environment provides new possibilities for interaction between human beings and computers. Many researchers explore this theory further and indicate that a multi-touch environment can be successful since interaction through touch is intuitive and natural. They also believe that with the advancement in multi-touch devices, there would be more interaction between human and computers in the future [23].

In a collaborative multi-touch environment, users can create their personal space and work on designated modules. This could further help facilitate getting individual inputs and completing the project at a faster rate. Further, it would ensure that every student is involved in the project and everyone is able to contribute towards the success.

Several projects have introduced the use of multi-touch surfaces to enhance collaboration learning such as DigiTile [24], WordPlay [25] and WebSurface [26]. The level of collaboration is limited and restricted to simple action performed by users such as putting words in the right context (e.g. puzzles) arbitrary arranging items over tables, simple clicks and drag actions (e.g. collaboration browsing). However, UML design involves advanced design issues that raises new collaboration needs. For example, simple and easy to use mechanisms are required to enable, students bring their ideas to surfaces and visualize their thoughts. In addition, we need to explore the best techniques that allow users to collaborate over the annotation and linking to UML entities. Also, it opens the vistas to undertake a comprehensive research to find out whether multi-touch technology enhances students' engagement, collaboration skills in a collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams. It is now possible to investigate if multi-touch technology supports collaborative activity in students' learning software design.

METHOD

In order to evaluate this hypothesis multi-touch technology enhance students' collaboration skills, students' engagement of UML-State diagrams design, as well as improves the quality of diagrams design, the research will provide a tool for collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams over the multi-touch surface which allow them to collaborate to build State diagrams.

Students will be given a task (problem statement) and each group of three students will work on a task using multi-touch desk. The task is to design UML-state diagrams so; the tool enables students solving the problem by choosing the diagram elements such as initial state, state, transition, event and action and final state from element bar in order to compose diagrams. Students should start with the main diagram and then they will be able to discompose it to substaes. The quantitative data of learning process such as time to reach agreed diagram, number and type of mistake made measurement of individuals' contribution to tasks and actions taken by each individual in support of the collaborative solution will be collected from the video recording.

For this study, two experiments would be conducted to measure the efficacy of multi-touch technology in promoting collaborative learning. Students will be divided into a set of six experimental groups, with each group consisting of three students from postgraduate levels. In the first experiment, group (A) will be asked to complete a UML-State diagrams design in papers and group (B) will be asked to complete a UML-State diagrams design of the same task of group (A). Then, in the second experiment, group (A) will be asked again to complete the same task of UML-State diagrams using a multi-touch surface and group (B) will be asked also to complete the same task of UML-State diagrams using papers. Both first and second experiments will be applied for all other groups (C, D, E and F). The methods that would be used to observe the progress of the students work is the video recording. These results would then be analysed to find out whether students benefited from using Multi-touch technology for collaborative learning of UML-State diagrams.

RESULTS

The study intends to find out whether providing collaborative learning through the use of multi-touch interface improves the learning capabilities of students, especially, for creating UML-State diagrams. This study would encourage students to collaborate with each other to design using multi-touch technology; they can discuss their findings and integrate their ideas seamlessly without any technological hindrances.

It would further enhance their interaction skills and promote teamwork. Although, the individual members of the team would play an important role in determining the success of this study, even the hardware used for this type of learning environment would have a vital role as well. Therefore, for this study, even papers platform is used to find out whether students are more comfortable using traditional method (using papers) or multi-touch interfaces. It is assumed that multi-touch interface would be the preferred method of design as it would allow students to work at the same time on similar designs in the same location without the problem of having a leader to control the entire process.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria will consist of answering the research main questions and verifying whether the results of the experimental method support the research hypothesis, or not. The following table shows the evaluation criteria and method of data collection for each research question.

Research questions Method of Data collection Evaluation Criteria

  1. Does Collaborative design using Multi-Touch technology enhances students' engagement of UML- state diagrams design? Video recording student's contribution to the task in both paper sitting and multi-touch. Measure the number of each student's contribution to the task such as drawing diagram elements and editing a part of a diagram. It is about counting the physical action to the task.
  2. Does Collaborative design using Multi-Touch technology enhances Learning UML- state diagrams design? Conducting a pre-test and post-test of UML-State diagrams in order to evaluate the learning enhancement. Comparing the results of pre-test and post-test for each student.
  3. Does Collaborative design using Multi-Touch technology enhances the quality of UML- state diagrams design? Final results of the UML-State diagrams created by the students on the papers and multi-touch interfaces will be evaluated by expert(s) of UML. Grading the final designs created on papers and multi-touch interfaces separately on the scale of 1 to 5, 1 being very good design and 5 being very poor design.
  4. Does Collaborative design using Multi-Touch technology enhances students' collaboration skills? Video recording students' behaviour throughout the experiment. Number of discords/arguments between students Number of ideas/suggestions given by each student.
  5. Does multi-touch technology enhances interactions techniques that allows for easy building of UML diagrams without obstructing collaborative activities? Conducting a questionnaire. Measure user's satisfaction.

REFERENCES

  1. A. Gokhale, "Collaborative learning enhances critical thinking," Journal of Technology Education, vol. 7, 1995, pp. 22-30.
  2. K. Kreijns, et al., "Identifying the pitfalls for social interaction in computer-supported collaborative learning environments: a review of the research," Computers in human behavior, vol. 19, no. 3, 2003, pp. 335-353.
  3. M. Rajamoney and S. Stapa, "Computer Supported Collaborative Learning In Developing Written Literacy in ESL Classroom ", 2005, pp. 1-13.
  4. W. Rubens, et al., "Design of web-based collaborative learning environments. Translating the pedagogical learning principles to human computer interface," Computers & Education, vol. 45, no. 3, 2005, pp. 276-294.
  5. J. Han, "Low-cost multi-touch sensing through frustrated total internal reflection," Proc. Proceedings of the 18th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, ACM, 2005, pp. 115-118.
  6. K.M. Hansen and A.V. Ratzer, "Tool support for collaborative teaching and learning of object-oriented modeling," Proc. Proceedings of the 7th annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education, ACM, 2002, pp. 146-150.
  7. K. Siau and P. Loo, "Identifying difficulties in learning UML," Information Systems Management, vol. 23, no. 3, 2006, pp. 43-51.
  8. A. Simons and I. Graham, "30 Things that go wrong in object modelling with UML 1.3," Behavioral Specifications of Businesses and Systems, 1999, pp. 237-257.
  9. N. Baghaei and A. Mitrovic, "A constraint-based collaborative environment for learning UML class diagrams," Lecture Notes in Computer Science4053, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2006, pp. 176-186.978-3-540-35159-7
  10. E. Lehtinen, et al., Computer supported collaborative learning: A review of research and development, Department of Educational Sciences University of Nijmegen, 1999.
  11. P. Jermann, et al., "From mirroring to guiding: A review of state of the art technology for supporting collaborative learning," Proc. of EuroCSCL, 2001, pp. 324-331.
  12. C. Plaisant, et al., "The design of history mechanisms and their use in collaborative educational simulations," Proc. of Computer support for collaborative learning Conference, International Society of the Learning Sciences, 1999.
  13. H. Ogata and Y. Yano, "Combining knowledge awareness and information filtering in an open-ended collaborative learning environment," International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, vol. 11, no. 1, 2000, pp. 33-46.
  14. M. Constantino-González and D. Suthers, "A Coached Collaborative Learning Environment for Entity-Relationship Modeling," Intelligent Tutoring Systems Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1839, Springer, 2000, pp. 324-333
  15. N. Baghaei, "A collaborative constraint-based intelligent system for learning object-oriented analysis and design using UML," Victoria University of Wellington, 2007.
  16. W. Chen, et al., "CoLeMo: A collaborative learning environment for UML modelling," Interactive Learning Environments, vol. 14, no. 3, 2006, pp. 233 - 249.
  17. A. Inaba and R. Mizoguchi, "Learners' Roles and Predictable Educational Benefits in Collaborative Learning An Ontological Approach to Support Design and Analysis of CSCL " Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3220, Springer, 2004, pp. 41-46
  18. N. Webb, et al., "Constructive activity and learning in collaborative small groups," Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 87, 1995, pp. 406-406.
  19. A. Soller, "Supporting social interaction in an intelligent collaborative learning system," International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, vol. 12, no. 1, 2001, pp. 40-62.
  20. K. Tourtoglou and M. Virvou, "User Stereotypes Concerning Cognitive, Personality and Performance Issues in a Collaborative Learning Environment for UML," Studies in Computational Intelligence(142/2008), Springer, 2008, pp. 385-394
  21. Y. Rogers, et al., "Finger talk: collaborative decision-making using talk and fingertip interaction around a tabletop display," Series Finger talk: collaborative decision-making using talk and fingertip interaction around a tabletop display, ACM, 2004, pp. 1271 - 1274
  22. A. Nevgi, et al., "Supporting students to develop collaborative learning skills in technology-based environments," British journal of educational technology, vol. 37, no. 6, 2006, pp. 937-947.
  23. W. Westerman, et al., "Multi-touch: A new tactile 2-d gesture interface for human-computer interaction," Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2001, pp. 632-636.
  24. J. Rick and Y. Rogers, "From DigiQuilt to DigiTile: Adapting educational technology to a multi-touch table," Proceedings of Tabletop, 2008, 2008.
  25. S. Hunter and P. Maes, "WordPlay: A Table-Top Interface for Collaborative Brainstorming and Decision Making," Submitted to IEEE TableTop Collaborative Surfaces, 2008.
  26. P. Tuddenham, et al., "WebSurface: an Interface for Co-located Collaborative Information Gathering," 2009; www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~pr10/publications/tis09.pdf.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.