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e -nhance lectures

Larissa Naber & Monika Köhle


Institute for Software Technology
Vienna University of Technology

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Austrian Situation
• Hardly any access limits
• No strict curricula
• High drop out rates
• Re-introduction of study fees →
students as paying customers?
• Government position: e-learning will solve all our
educational problems

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Motivation
• Introductory lectures: “fact pushing´´
• Advanced lectures: “information overload´´ →
too little time
• comparison to other fields of study
• different problems - common source?

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What are lectures good for?
 Information transfer?
 Answer questions?
 Develop new Ideas?
 Discuss applications?
 Social contact?
 Proof that universities are doing something?
→ Check all that apply

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Lecture Critique
• more time for question & answer session
• more connections to other topics
• more discussions

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Interest
“E-learning would be great–
if it was working!”
“I’m seeing my computer a lot –
I don’t want to learn theory from it!”
Students are
• disappointed by existing solutions but
• still open minded

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Most wanted
• Discussion groups
• Organised material
• support for learning phases
• Annotations
• Personalised information
• Print version

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Usage: learning phases
1. Reconnoitring
2. Learning the basics
3. Exam preparation
4. Reference
5. Selective retrieval (just-in-time information)

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Top 3 useless features
• Hypertext!
• Bookmarks
• Full text search

“The poor, overworked lecturer shouldn’t


spend time trying to make THESE work!”

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Lecturer needs
• Ease of use
• Work-flow support
• Focus on university material creation
• No additional time exposure

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Common annoyances
• Tools geared towards office/commerce use
• Tools made by information scientists for the use
by information scientists
• Tools you need several month training for
• Tools that need a group of experts and $$$ to
produce resutls
• Tools/Systems aimed replacing the teacher
• Easy tools that do not really help the students

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e-ULE System
• Server: version control, collab. editing, adaptive
features
• Slim authoring tool
• No students’ client: web browser

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e-ULE key concepts
• Collaborative editing
• Living materials
• Semi-automatic hyper-linking
• Research support
• Administrative support
• Cross platform
• Standards based & open sourced

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Topic centred approach
• Hierarchical structure: prequel, sequel
• Conceptual level. essential, important, additional
• Keyword based semi-automatic hyper-linking
• Typed links

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Authoring Tool Test site Public site Web-Browser
(slim client)

ToDo List (automated) Chat, Forums

Editor
Topics Adaptive features
Personalised Portal
Link Builder
Users
Keywords
Common Sense Checker Annotations

publish
Special Views
Version Control
Collaborative Editing Topics Views
Idea Repository Search
Keywords Packages
Authors
Printversions
Brainstorm Mode

Research Article Database Webpage Cache Research


Environment Environment
Document Repository

Source Controll Document repository XML Database Relational Database


CVS Filesystem, Ht://dig, Postgres Xindice Postgres

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Summary
• Tool for the average lecturer
• Support academic worklflow
• Reduce amount of data transfer in lecturers →
more time for discussions, . . .
• Support students in all phases of learning
• Reconcile lecturer and students’ needs

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Work in Progress
• Proof of concept
• Detailed system design
• Usability study

http://eule.swt.tuwien.ac.at/

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