Category Archives: Applications

Smartphone based laboratories: a case study to measure friction coefficients

The use of didactical laboratories is a common necessity both for distance and traditional universities. If in the first case institutions have to invest money not only in the creation but also in the maintenance of the structures, for distance learning there is an always under discussion problem related to how laboratory activities can be offered to students. In this context, smartphone applications can help both cases offering simple, low cost and didactical effective laboratories. In this paper, a review of the state of art is presented together with a case study realized during the annual internships organized by INFN-Frascati for secondary school students.

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The ACADEMICA e-course: an example of good practice to train e-learning new users

ACADEMICA – Accessibility and Harmonization of Higher Education in Central Asia through Curriculum Modernization and Development – is a three-year project co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of ERASMUS Plus Program involving 15 partners coming from Europe (Bulgaria, Italy, Austria and Spain) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan).
The project’s main objective is to support Higher Education lecturers in Central Asia in the improvement and modernization of scientific curricula through the introduction of new methodologies based on the use of technology, media supports and distance learning tools.
This paper describes the rationale underlying the project and provides an outline of the implementation of the planned activities. Particular attention is given to the design of the ACADEMICA e-course that represents the core element of the initiative and that, once completed, is expected to become a good practice to be transferred even to other institutions that are not partners of the project’s consortium.

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Use of localization technologies and traffic prediction for the transportation assignment problem

ABSTRACT. This study develops an optimization model for bus transit network based on road network and zonal ODM (Origin Destination Matrix). The source information has been obtained via recorded phone data of transit users collected by an Italian telecommunication operator.The model aims at achieving minimum bus transfers and maximum passenger flow per unit length with line length and non-linear rate as constraints. An operations research algorithm is used to solve the problem (ACS). To further optimize results, the model uses Google APIs for traffic optimization. The model is tested with survey data of Rome city. The results show that an optimized bus network with less transfers and travel time can be obtained, and the application of operations research algorithm effectively increases the calculation speed and quality.

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E-Learning & Digital Design in Architectural Pedagogy Observations and Questions based on the On-line Msc of Interior Design

ABSTRACT. In the field of design education there is a growing consensus among institutions and instructors about the pivotal role of e-learning and digital design in the future of architectural pedagogy. Departing from this observation, this study focuses on the potentialities that exist in joining multimedia, digital tools and the web together, to propose alternative educational models for design related disciplines. In order to explore and highlight relevant issues, the creation of a new Master’s Degree for Designers is utilized as a case study. The description of this program, fully delivered online and created in a virtual environment will serve as the basis for further experimentation and reflection regarding the topic of design pedagogy in the Information Age. Furthermore, it is attempted to outline the challenges faced and lessons drawn from teaching design in a format that departs completely from the traditional – physical – relation and collaboration between tutor and student.

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The spectrum of learning analytics

ABSTRACT. “Learning Analytics” became a buzzword during the hype surrounding the advent of “big data” MOOCs, however, the concept has been around for over two decades. When the first online courses became available it was used as a tool to increase student success in particular courses, frequently combined with the hope of conducting educational research. In recent years, the same term started to be used on the institutional level to increase retention and decrease time-to-degree. These two applications, within particular courses on the one hand and at the institutional level on the other, are at the two extremes of the spectrum of Learning Analytics – and they frequently appear to be worlds apart. The survey describes affordances, theories and approaches in these two categories.

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Life cycle assessment of a virtual reality device

ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the strongest trends for future communication systems. Considering the amounts of VR devices expected to be produced in the coming years, it is relevant to estimate their potential environmental impacts under certain conditions. For the first time, screening life cycle assessment (LCA) single score results are presented for a contemporary VR headset. The weighted results are dependent much on the source of the gold and the electric power used in production. Theoretically, using recycled gold for the VR subparts would be very beneficial seen from an environmental damage cost standpoint. Using low environmental impact electric power in the final assembly of the VR headset, in the final assembly of integrated circuits, and in the preceding wafer processing would also be worthwhile. Distribution of the final product is more pronounced than for other consumer electronics.

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Beehive challenges to reinforce Asian University entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT. Two significant National Reports (Indonesia and Philippines) came out from the documentary and field work researches that had actively involved Asian academic clusters within the international venture Beehive. Feedback received witnesses that University entrepreneurship is certainly considered important in both clusters even if it is evident that there is no a unique model or strategy for the University to embed entrepreneurial approach into the academic management and learning offer. The initiative, guided by the University of Varna, has been funded by the European programme Erasmus + KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Capacity Building in Higher Education). The project aims at building sustainable university-based entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asian Higher Education Institutions to enhance students’ and graduates’ entrepreneurial and innovation skills and then ability to create jobs. Partners during the project life will build up sustainable entrepreneurial university ecosystems by establishing and embedding start-up accelerators with a business start-up support services for students. Finally, the involved universities will be committed to achieve a specific quality label certifying the excellence and efficiency of their entrepreneurial ecosystems. Beehive core mission is then coherent with the last trends of the European Commission Industry Strategy since the presence of entrepreneurial education offer and services in academia environments will contribute to reinforce the linkages between information technology last innovations, business actors and academic research representatives.

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Personal branding and job hunting 4.0: Epbe project

ABSTRACT. The term Industry 4.0, initially referred only to the manufacturing sector, has been progressively extended to the digital revolution which is involving all domains and that is entailing a rapid change of business models, production and work organization, and impact on value creation, job requirements and skills. This Forth Revolution has also transformed the job search process which is for the most part supported by Social Networks. The creation and maintenance of an on line brand and reputation is becoming central for young people who are looking for a job. Thus, building a brand and an online presence allows for individuals to network with others, not only socially but professionally as well. Following these considerations, the EPBE project was conceived to provide a contribution to foster Industry 4.0 main challenges by equipping students and young people to build up an on-line personal brand and to apply job hunting 4.0 techniques for reinforcing their job search opportunities, and their access to the labor market. To achieve these goals the EPBE project outputs are targeted to both students and young people (two MOOC courses on “Personal Branding” and “Job Hunting 4.0”), as well as teachers and trainers (EPBE Toolkit and train for trainers course on “MOOCS: Methodologies in distance and Blended Learning”).

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Toward Cyber ports: a geopolitical and global challenge

ABSTRACT. The next future will be played on a cyber level, that imposes the need to merge “physical” with “digital in all fields”: phygital will be the future of current world, in many sectors, primarily in the transportation fields. Mobility and transportation have always been playing a crucial role as way to provide economic and social development. The maritime transports, as main player in freight movements, nowadays cover more than 70% of the markets: most of goods are shipped through the sea. Ports are considered, due to their strategical relevance as a Critical Infrastructure, to be protected and the main issues is to guarantee the resilience of transportation infrastructures. The Cyber Security in the sector has become a corner stone that needs to be looked after and raised on a daily basis with continuous improvement. The cyber attacks are becoming a daily problem showing how the public sector and private sector have to create synergies to provide a more safe and secure conditions: in transportation, this is more true than in any other sector. This article will present a short overview of the main vulnerabilities related to the maritime transport and the impact of a connected community where almost 3 billion of people are online and with a forecast of more than 40 billion devices connected by 2020 (IoT). Beyond the creation of the Hybrid port, that will be a consequence of the Digital Transformation and technology innovation is necessary to enable new services. Ports have to be re-thinked and re-designed in: immaterial and material infrastructure, processes, organization and information exchanged between actors. A safe and secure port is one of the current geopolitical challenge to be considered a competitive country.

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New instruments for advanced Distance Learning Universities – the virtual lab on Lighting technique

The use of innovative high technology-based instruments to deliver higher education in e-learning Universities is a challenge that must be addressed to satisfy the growing request for distance education in high technologies. (…)This paper intends to prove the valuable contribution that advanced distance learning Universities may give to their students, by illustrating an instance of a dynamic virtual laboratory developed for a specific course at the Guglielmo Marconi University.

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The didactics of foreign languages and multimedia technology: teaching to translate

This article aims to provide an example of the application of multimedia technologies to the learning of foreign languages. We will present the case of a French Language and Translation course for intermediate learners implemented at Guglielmo Marconi University. The course is divided into two parts: the first part is composed of a multimedia course created by other teachers of the university, while the second consists of ten video lessons recorded by me and devoted to the theory and practice of translation, referring specifically to Italian and French.

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Online discussion forums: a tool for stimulating language teachers’ interaction and reflection

Teachers’ approaches and decisions in the classroom are guided by their beliefs on what it means to teach and to learn, which are formed along their lives both as students and as teachers. (…) Considering the importance of reflection in teacher education, in this paper, we discuss the interactive potential of online discussion forums in a graduate course to foster language teachers’ reflection of their beliefs and classroom practices. (…)The findings point out that understanding, interpreting and confronting beliefs can be a path to the transformation of teachers’ reflective and teaching practices. When contrasting their beliefs with other people’s beliefs, teachers can trigger a process of self-analysis of their roles as language teachers. They also emphasize that the use of online discussion forums as a pedagogical tool can contribute in this direction.

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Using the virtual classroom system to teach a traditional girls’ classroom: benefits & challenges

This paper focuses on fulltime girls students’ perspectives of using the virtual classroom (via the Blackboard system) as a main teaching tool to deliver and teach learning materials. It also presents teachers’ views on using this system in comparison with the videoconference system used by male faculty staff members to teach female students at their campuses. (…)

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Development of authoring tools for online-courses with assignments

Today’s workforce faces a dynamic world with changing occupations, tasks, and demanding technologies – forcing people to adapt their skills and competences permanently to new requirements. Many achieve further qualifications in parallel to their working careers, often without adequate support or suitable educational institutions. Competence-based learning (CBL) aims for including formal and informal learning into everyday life: at the workplace or during leisure activities.

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Instructional delivery utilizing a blended format

Current trends in technology and new strategies in curriculum design have yielded a new methodology for content area course delivery. Blended learning is now being utilized in many colleges and universities to deliver instruction with a balanced approach in mind. This format provides new avenues in curriculum design and instructional delivery. Blended learning unites the best of both worlds in a post-secondary instructional model.

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Competitive strategies as an effective instrument of enterprise development

Nowadays the business environment is very unstable, so the companies should adapt quickly to the changes in the market to maintain their positions. That’s why the effective instruments of management will provide their success. The most successful companies are those that focus their efforts strategically. A successful strategy adds value for the targeted customers over the long run by consistently meeting their needs better than the competition does.

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Advanced inter-organizational collaboration for knowledge transfer in educational systems

Inter-organisational collaboration is forced and based on knowledge transfer. Educational systems are fields of application, research subjects as well as training provision domains for knowledge transfer in inter-organisational context.

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Cogent: a case study of meaningful gamification in education with virtual currency

This paper analyzes students’ experience with Cogent, a virtual economy system used throughout the 4 years of a B.S. degree in a Technology major. The case study explains the rules of the Cogent system and investigates its effectiveness to motivate students to learn. Using focus groups and interviews, we collected qualitative data from students about their experience and perceptions of Cogent. The results indicate that Cogent played an encouraging and motivational role for these students and suggest potential for the successful design and implementation of meaningful gamification systems to promote student motivation and engagement within an educational context. (…)

Article first published in “iJET – International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning”, V. 10 (2015), n. 1, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/at/deed.en)
//online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4247

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Critical connections: personal learning environments and information literacy

Personal learning environments (PLEs) and critical information literacies (CILs) are two concepts that have been presented as responses to the challenges of the rich and complex information landscape. While both approaches support learners’ critical engagement with new information environments, each was developed within a different field. This paper connects and contrasts PLEs and CILs in order to explore the design of pedagogical responses to the information environment. Through a careful examination of PLE and CIL literature, the paper demonstrates that information literacy education intersects with the concepts and goals of PLEs. As such, the authors suggest that PLE scholarship informed by CIL scholarship, and vice versa, will yield a deeper understanding of modern learning contexts as well as a more holistic and responsive learner framework. (…)

Article first published in “Research in Learning Technology”, V. 23 (2015), and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) License (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
//www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/21193#alm

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A novel real-time video transmission approach for remote laboratory development

Remote laboratories are an inevitable necessity for Internet enabled education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields due to their effectiveness, flexibility, cost savings, and the fact that they provide many benefits to students, instructors and researchers. Accordingly, real-time experiment live video streaming is an essential part of remote experimentation operation. Nevertheless, in the development of real-time experiment video transmission, it is a key and difficult issue that the video is transferred across the network firewall in most of the current remote laboratory solutions. To address the network firewall issue, we developed a complete novel solution via HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol and FFMPEG that is a powerful cross-platform command line video transcode/encoding software package on the server side. In this paper, a novel, real-time video streaming transmission approach based on HLS for the remote laboratory development is presented. (…)

Article first published in “iJOE International Journal of Online Engineering”, V. 11 (2015), n. 1, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/at/deed.en)
//online-journals.org/index.php/i-joe/article/view/3167

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Private label electrical goods and Indian consumers

Organized Retailers use private label brands to compete with the national brands by setting competitive price for products. Determining customer perception towards private label brands is an essential part of a retailer’s marketing strategy formulation process. To gain this understanding with respect to Indian customers, present study was conducted by using the personal survey method on respondents from the northern part of India. Study conducted through structured undisguised questionnaire, using 5 – point Likert scale. Hypothesis framed for the research work have been tested with the help of t-test and Chi-square test. Study reveals that parameters like scheme, brand design and price shows different opinion of respondents.

Received: 10 March 2014
Revised: 10 June 2014

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A multiclass-based classification strategy for rethorical sentence categorization from scientific papers

Rapid identification of content structures in a scientific paper is of great importance particularly for those who actively engage in frontier research. This paper presents a multi-classifier approach to identify such structures in terms of classification of rhetorical sentences in scientific papers. The idea behind this approach is based on an observation that no single classifier is the best performer for classifying all rhetorical categories of sentences. Therefore, our approach learns which classifiers are good at what categories, assign the classifiers for those categories and apply only the right classifier for classifying a given category. This paper employsk-fold cross validation over training data to obtain the category-classifier mapping and then re-learn the classification model of the corresponding classifier using full training data on that particular category. This approach has been evaluated for identifying sixteen different rhetorical categories on sentences collected from ACL-ARC paper collection. The experimental results show that the multi-classifier approach can significantly improve the classification performance over multi-label classifiers.

Article first published in “Journal of ICT Research and Applications”, V. 7 (2013), n. 3, pp. 235-249. Reprinted with permission.

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Increasing quality in large scale university courses. E-flashcards as an approach to support active learning and individual facilitation

Quality of education should be stable or permanently increased – even if the number of students rises. Quality of education is often related to possibilities for active learning and individual facilitation. This paper deals with the question how high-quality learning within oversized courses could be enabled and it presents the approach of e-flashcards that enables active learning and individual facilitation within large scale university courses.

Article first published in “eleed”, n. 9, //eleed.campussource.de/archive/9/3655. Reprinted with permission.

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Ghosts, stars, and learning online: Analysis of interaction patterns in student online discussions

Discussions are commonly used in online teaching and have been shown to foster student learning and collaboration. This case study uses content analysis to explore the interaction patterns of student online discussions during a semester-long teacher preparation course using concepts from sociometry. Findings suggest that interaction patterns were influenced by the content of student posts. Online discussions in this case were found to be an equitable form of collaborative learning, enabling each student to have a voice. There were, however, indications that gendered ways of knowing may play a role in the content of interaction, if not in the patterns themselves.

Article first published in “IRRODL The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning”, V. 15 (2014), n. 3, //www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1641/2911 as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Is Finnish higher education a model or a myth? The case study of Erasmus mobility from Italy to Finland

The top ranking of Finland in OECD’s statistics seems not to affect the destination choices of Italian students going abroad. Finnish leadership in Higher Quality Education seems neither a significant aspect nor a decisive element in choosing to study in Finland.

Received: 24 July 2013

Revised: 12 September 2013

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PowerPoint: It’s not yes or no, it’s when and how

A great deal of research has been done on the use of PowerPoint in the classroom. Most of it has used student acceptance of PowerPoint as the measure of its effectiveness, and these results have overwhelmingly shown that students like PowerPoint. However, most studies measuring PowerPoint’s impact on learning have not shown any benefit from its use, and there is no shortage of articles blaming PowerPoint itself for these results. In this paper we show that the problem lies in the way in which PowerPoint is used rather than with the technology itself, and that more information is needed to fully understand how and when to use PowerPoint to enhance learning.

Article first published in “Research in Higher Education Journal”, Vol. 22 (2013), December. Reprinted with permission.

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Tablets (iPad) for M-learning in the context of social constructivism to institute an effective learning environment

With the proliferation of mobile devices, educational institutions have experimented with various mobile devices to implement mobile learning (M-Learning). Mobile devices have been used to facilitate, support, and enhance and extend the reach of teaching and learning. Although there are very few empirically evaluated studies on M-Learning projects, these studies reported that mobile devices brought a transformation to the educational process.

Article first published in “International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM)”, V. 8 (2014), n. 2, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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Future direction for next generation Web

We explore recent developments on the Web and forecast future development trends of Next Generation Web. This is based upon the current technologies and emerging Web technologies developed by international standard organizations.

Article first published in “International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)”, V. 8 (2013), n. 6, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0

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