The two kinds are:
- The kind called Jordi: A man who only wants the Certificate or Qualification to improve his professional position in his company.
- The kind called Martina. A woman who only wants to study for personal enjoyment.
|Last June, Alicia Valls and Magí Almirall, attended the NMC Summer Conference 2012, which took place in Boston.
In this Conference, Alicia presented the poster “m-learning applications based on personas & scenarios” which won the judges choice award for posters. The theme of this poster is about the kind of students the UOC has.
The two kinds are:
A question-answering system is being developed for Atenció a l’Estudiant. The system is intended to ease the assistants’ load of work when answering students’questions. The output has two dimensions. The first one is a list of links to web pages that describe the procedures that the student should follow in order to solve the problem. The list is displayed automatically by selecting the web pages whose procedures best match the student’s question. This shortens the time for assistants to give a proper answer. The second dimension is the answer to the same or a very similar question already made in the past.
In order to retrieve the answer to questions already posed, statistical Machine Translation Methods (STM) have been applied. These methods are those used by Google Translate. STM and answer retrieval have things in common. Both use parallel corpus (source-target sentences in STM, question-answer in answer retrieval), and both translation and answers can be retrieved by calculating the probability a string of words is related to another string. Let’s see an example. In Catalan-Spanish sentences, whenever the string Feliç Any Nou (happy New Year) appears in the source, the stringPróspero Año Nuevo appears in the target. So when translating Feliç Any Nou, the Spanish phrase Próspero Año Nuevo will be the most probable translation. With the same rationale, whenever the string segon semestre (second semester) and què significa (what does it mean) appear in the questions, nearly always the phrases febrer(February) and vol dir (means) appear in the answers. These pairings are called anchor words pairs and are calculated by using the tool TonD, developed by Antoni Oliver, from the UOC’s Dept. of Arts and Humanities, to retrieve translation equivalents. So the answer retrieved is the most probable one according to the number of anchor words pairs present between the question and the answer. For instance, if the question contains the phrase segon semestre the answers containing febrer will better candidates than those which do not contain it.
Members of the Labs for Learning from the OLT are coordinating SpeakApps, a project funded by the European Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) that focuses on creating a free and open source online platform that gathers ICT-based applications and pedagogies to practice oral skills online. The SpeakApps platform would thus serve a community composed of foreign language teachers and their students with:
1. Easy access to innovative and interactive online tools for learning and teaching languages.
2. Virtual classrooms to carry out pedagogical activities.
3. Exercises and tools for managing materials for synchronous tasks.
4. Technical and pedagogical guides to assist SpeakApps users.
5. A common space to exchange ideas and methodologies.
This project fills a gap in language training and allows us to go beyond simple grammar or reading comprehension exercises. If you would like to learn more about the project, please visit the SpeakApps website or the following video.
We want people to experience what the virtual campus and our classrooms are like. However, the only people who traditionally could see and use the UOC campus were our students . For that reason, we have built two classrooms where our potential students can log in and check the classrooms in real time. In this space, users are able to see the tutor´s comments though our microblog tool, also add their own comments and see the learning process and the look and feel of the materials employed at UOC.
This initiative was launched on May 17th, taking notice of the Internet global day.
The 2011 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems took place last week in Vancouver, Canada. It is a must for those working in user-centred design and usability. It offers a range of different ways of taking part including the Video Showcase, where some twenty leading projects in the field of human-computer interaction are presented in audiovisual format in front of all those attending and compete for one of the three prizes awarded by the organisers. These videos were chosen from more than 70 put forward and the Office of Learning Technologies had two projects shortlisted. One of these, Cube-U, Exploring the Combination of the Internet of Things and E-Learning, received one of the awards as shown on this video done by Jordi Casamajó.
The possibility of incorporating the Internet of Things into the field of education would allow for the expansion of the learning environment, freedom from the computer screen, and association with other objects that could (a) accompany students at all times and thus increase their feeling of belonging, and (b) provide them with fun and interactive strategies to complement their studies and stimulate their learning.
This is what led Labs for Learning to design and develop the first prototype of Cube-U. This cube-shaped device is easy to use and connects to the Campus. It is interactive and offers visual alerts with important information for students such as unread messages, the time remaining to hand in continuous assessment tests or the number of classmates connected to the Campus at any given time.
The prototype, which is still in an experimental phase, is the real star of the CHI 2011 award-wining video. Cube-U, Exploring the Combination of the Internet of Things and E-Learning would not have been possible without the production of Gustavo López and the work of Toni Mangas, Roger Castro and Gerard Tejero, who also appears in the video as the main actor.
Here, we summarize some of the new features of the UOC virtual campus for the first half of 2011:
The Office of Learning Technologies attended Educause 2010: The best thinking in higher ED IT. The annual conference took place in Anaheim, California in October 12–15. With more than 4,500 registrants the conference was considered an incredible success by its organizers.
With an accepted poster, the OLT members presented the following work: “The User-Centered Design Game“ (www.ucdgame.org), a poster entitled “How to Empower Faculty without Intrusion and Burdening” and another one regarding the process that the Office follows to introduce needs learning tools in the virtual classroom: “Open to the users’ needs: combining user-centered design, standards and open source for the virtual classroom“.
The Continuous Assessment Register is the tool where students submit their assignments and teachers can download them and grade them. The Register offers a holistic solution to facilitate the teachers’ tasks and promote a personalized feedback to students.
This tool is continuously enhanced in order to provide the best experience in such a critical aspect of the learning process. For example, teachers will be able to give feedback via audio or video, besides the currently used text. Moreover, a library of feedback is being implemented to be available for next semester.
The classroom design environment is the space where teachers configure the virtual classrooms and incorporate all the information regarding the learning activities. The following videos introduces its main functionalities.
The Labs for Learning team has a poster at the NMC Summer Conference in Anaheim, California. The poster is titled “How to Empower Faculty without Intrusion and Burdening”.
This is the abstract:
The Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) is a multidisciplinary team whose mission is to create a learning management system that goes beyond functionality and usability and provides the best learning and teaching experience. As such, a key element is to engage teachers in using new learning tools to enhance the students’ learning process and motivation.
Briefings, individual sessions, faculty interviews, tool sessions, videos and ‘tool packs’ are agile and simple ways to work towards this goal respecting the professors’ role and answering their learning and support needs. By not training them we have found a way to innovative and creative ways to work closely without intruding or burdening their work, meeting their needs and providing the best elearning experience.