Friday, October 31, 2008

Introduction of My Master Thesis

If we see a common group meeting scenario four colleagues sitting around a table with several pads and pens. Typically this arrangement works very well. Everyone have there own resort. A pad of paper and pens to write and to share the ideas upon.

It is easy to observe how natural this arrangement is as one person share information with other with a little effort, and how user can augment another’s idea and share it back without disrupting the flow of the meeting. However when a small group is trying to collaborate around a single format of input for example on a single pad of paper, several problems arise the cost of group dynamic to be awkward and frustrating. This single entry point to the collective contribution causes two members to always be queuing ideas and manage to get it turn with the outfacing questions. If one has too dominance in his own ideas that can be very difficult for the others to contribute.

Another common meeting arrangement occurs at the whiteboard. Ordinarily there’s one person on the board who is drawing out of the problem, all the others are trying to contribute.

Again this person can be becoming gross to his own ideas making it difficult for the others to participate. In which case the other participants may break away and began working among them, whether it is an inner active or traditional whiteboard that can be very awkward to see the control from the person operating on the board and it rarely happens. Another problem with this arrangement is collusion with the person at the whiteboard gets in the way and the other observing, this is even more of a problem with several people working at the board together.

Becoming more and more familiar is the orientation of the small group working around a single screen such as a laptop or tablet; again we have a single entry point, in this arrangement the mouse. As you can see it’s easy for them to observe what’s on screen but it’s difficult to take turns in interacting with what’s on screen because of the awkwardness of the exchanging of the controls and handing the mouse from one user to another.

Typically the user in control of the mouse becomes in gross into the task leading the other users without any way to contribute.


So how do we do with these problems, particularly how do we overcome the frustrations only having one mouse when interacting with digital information on the screen or as I discuss with the whiteboard having a one pen. This research designs new technologies that can support groups working in together and particular to trying facilitating more equal participation.

We developed a framework of the multiple entry points that’s intended to help us in the form design of these new work spaces. But what is the meaning of multiple entry point well an entry point is invitation in the physical, digital space for anyone to part. And when we think about the design is how we can create multiple entry points that different people can enter the workspace and take part. This contrast is in previous cases is only one single entry point via the mouse or the pen.

In order to implement the multiple entry point framework we examine several technologies and autumnally chosen Tabletop using the diamond spin software package.

We use the tabletop with the diamond spin software to implement a prototype for this task, in which the images that can select are small icons of the sides of the tabletop. What to do in that just simply using the finger tips can slide these images into the middle of the tabletop and allow each other to look it these, to compare them and to select them. So what we found that is much more participation from all over the group members taking place particularly there are a lot of turn taking and what we called it turn inviting and this is where one member will invite another to take part; for example to comment an image, or to select an image, or to scroll and image or to place an image.

This type of setup where you have different entry points encourages that type behavior which is quite different as that of other previous setups. So in this case the users have no problem in sharing, passing or trading in order to refine there selections through different icons on the tabletop. So everyone in the group is being very active in finding there own way to participate. This change makes the transitions between various jobs fluid and easy, so if one user decided to change roles, it has no negative effect on the others.

So in concluding, this physical digital arrangement provides more entry points for users to make contribution and therefore allows a various types of the users to contribute in the way that they are most comfortable. The results shown that there’s a strong possibility that providing a space that has multiple entry points for contribution can faster more accurate able decision making in small groups. We planned to further this research and determine if a multi entry points framework can be implemented in such a way as generalize some of our findings. One of the first steps in doing this will be to continue to extend the work space and offer more channels for people to participate in ways which make them more comfortable.

Tabletop groupware systems combine the real efforts of collaboration of the people around the multi-touch, multi-user system in which the people can do work collaboratively to achieve a certain task. In order to manipulate user’s hands and fingers are recognized and tracked using the gesture recognition component of the Tabletop, by means of computer vision algorithms applied to the video camera stream of the table area.

As Cooperative learning is one of the best researched of all teaching strategies. The results show that students who have opportunities to work collaboratively, learn faster and more efficiently, have greater retention, and feel more positive about the learning experience.

Conceptual maps are visual representation of graph like structure that represents the knowledge consists of concepts and the relationship between them. In the Concept Mapping process, the first step is the identification of the problem, after identification the focus question are identifying and listing the most important or “general” concepts that are associated with the topic, ordering the concepts from top to bottom in the mapping field, means that the general concepts are on the top in the hierarchy and less general are at the bottom of tree. Then adding and labeling linking phrases. Once the preliminary Concept has been built, cross-links are identified and added, and a review of the map for completeness and correctness is performed.

In the work of my project I have tried to present a tool for developing the Concept maps which can be used by the group of students on a multi-touch, multi-user system. The tool can provide all the necessary functions through which the students can make the Concept Map collaboratively on the tabletop.

The tool that I am going to develop can help the students to build the Concept maps in a real system of multi-user, multi-touch technology. The interface is real time interface through which students can collaboratively place there ideas in the form of maps.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tips for Better Learning Groups

Below is a checklist of things that groups can do to function better. If appropriate for your class, distribute to your students.

I. Before the group begins:
Expect to learn, to enjoy, and to discover.
Team up with people you don't know.

II. As the group begins:
Make a good first impression.
Build the team.
Do something that requires self-disclosure.
Take interpersonal risks to build trust.
Establish team goals as appropriate.
Start thinking about group processing.

III. While the group is in existence:
Work at increasing self-disclosure.
Work at giving good feedback.
Get silent members involved.
Confront problems.
Apply lessons from class work.
Work on issues in the group even if they appear at first to be just between two members.
Don't assume you can't work with someone just because you don't like or respect them.
If the group can't solve a problem, consult the instructor as a group.
Regularly review your data.
Vary the leadership style as needed.

IV. Wrapping up the group:
Summarize and review your learning from group experiences.
Analyze the data to discover why the group was more effective or less so.
Provide final feedback to members on their contribution.
Celebrate the group's accomplishments.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Collaborative Learning and its Benefits

Collaborative Learning : -

The concept of collaborative learning is the grouping and pairing of students for the purpose of achieving an academic goal. The term "cooperative learning" refers to an instruction method in which students at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal.

44 Benefits of Collaborative Learning : -

  1. Develops higher level thinking skills
  2. Promotes student-faculty interaction and familiarity
  3. Increases student retention
  4. Builds self esteem in students
  5. Enhances student satisfaction with the learning experience
  6. Promotes a positive attitude toward the subject matter
  7. Develops oral communication skills
  8. Develops social interaction skills
  9. Promotes positive race relations
  10. Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning
  11. Uses a team approach to problem solving while maintaining individual accountability
  12. Encourages diversity understanding
  13. Encourages student responsibility for learning
  14. Involves students in developing curriculum and class procedures
  15. Students explore alternate problem solutions in a safe environment
  16. Stimulates critical thinking and helps students clarify ideas through discussion and debate
  17. Enhances self management skills
  18. Fits in well with the constructivist approach
  19. Establishs an atmosphere of cooperation and helping schoolwide
  20. Students develop responsibility for each other
  21. Builds more positive heterogeneous relationships
  22. Encourages alternate student assessment techniques
  23. Fosters and develops interpersonal relationships
  24. Modelling problem solving techniques by students' peers
  25. Students are taught how to criticize ideas, not people
  26. Sets high expectations for students and teachers
  27. Promotes higher achievement and class attendance .
  28. Students stay on task more and are less disruptive
  29. Greater ability of students to view situations from others' perspectives (development of empathy)
  30. Creates a stronger social support system
  31. Creates a more positive attitude toward teachers, principals and other school personnel by students and creates a more positive attitude by teachers toward their students
  32. Addresses learning style differences among students
  33. Promotes innovation in teaching and classroom techniques
  34. Classroom anxiety is significantly reduced
  35. Test anxiety is significantly reduced
  36. Classroom resembles real life social and employment situations
  37. Students practice modeling societal and work related roles
  38. CL is synergystic with writing across the curriculum
  39. CL activities can be used to personalize large lecture classes
  40. Skill building and practice can be enhanced and made less tedious through CL activities in and out of class.
  41. CL activities promote social and academic relationships well beyond the classroom and individual course
  42. CL processes create environments where students can practice building leadership skills.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Constructivism, a theory of building Knowledge

Constructivism is the construction of new understanding as a combination of prior learning, new information, and readiness to learn. Individuals make choices about what new ideas to accept and how to fit them into their established views of the world.

In a Constructivist Classroom...

Student autonomy and initiative are accepted and encouraged.
By respecting students' ideas and encouraging independent thinking, teachers help students attain their own intellectual identity. Students who frame questions and issues and then go about analyzing and answering them take responsibility for their own learning and become problem solvers.

The teacher asks open-ended questions and allows wait time for responses.
Reflective thought takes time and is often built on others' ideas and comments. The ways teachers ask questions and the ways students respond will structure the success of student inquiry.
Higher-level thinking is encouraged.
The constructivist teacher challenges students to reach beyond the simple factual response. He encourages students to connect and summarize concepts by analyzing, predicting, justifying, and defending their ideas.

Students are engaged in dialogue with the teacher and with each other.
Social discourse helps students change or reinforce their ideas. If they have the chance to present what they think and hear others' ideas, students can build a personal knowledge base that they understand. Only when they feel comfortable enough to express their ideas will meaningful classroom dialogue occur.

Students are engaged in experiences that challenge hypotheses and encourage discussion.
When allowed to make predictions, students often generate varying hypotheses about natural phenomena. The constructivist teacher provides ample opportunities for students to test their hypotheses, especially through group discussion of concrete experiences.

The class uses raw data, primary sources, manipulatives, physical, and interactive materials.
The constructivist approach involves students in real-world possibilities, then helps them generate the abstractions that bind phenomena together.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Software Requirement Specification

1. Functionality

2. External Interfaces

3. Performance

4. Attributes

5. Design Constraints

Friday, June 6, 2008

Compare two different conceptual maps

why compare two different conceptual maps???

Students are given some preliminary information such as a list of concepts, or an initial arrangement of concepts. This is often the case in classroom examples, where concept maps are used to assess student learning about a particular subject.
To compare different maps we counts levels of hierarchy, matches corresponding hierarchical clusters, and automatically identifies cross-links would be useful for concept map evaluation.

In comparison of two conceptual maps we…………

Evaluates the skeleton of the concept maps, asking only whether the concepts are connected to one another in the same way

Focuses on the agreement of the linking proposition used to define the relationship between each matching pair of concepts

Up to what degree the concepts, links and directionality of relations match

For teachers who want to see how their students are doing, this allows quite an efficient way to do it. As different students have different way of thinking to understand the logic of specific knowledge, the teacher can easily see her students’ progress, strengths and weaknesses and can help her in future studies.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Problem: Graph to tree conversion

I have found one algorithm which convert graphs into trees like structures:

The link of that algorithm is:

Infact this algorithm convert "RDF graph" which is the sameone as "concept maps" to trees.

So we dont re-invent new algorithm for the conversion of graphs to trees, because the main part of my work is to build the concept maps application on the table top that students can build and collaborate with each other.