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Über dieses Buch

This book presents recent research in mobile learning and advanced user interfaces. It is shown how the combination of these fields can result in personalized educational software that meets the requirements of state-of-the-art mobile learning software. This book provides a framework that is capable of incorporating the software technologies, exploiting a wide range of their current advances and additionally investigating ways to go even further by providing potential solutions to future challenges. The presented approach uses the well-known Object-Oriented method in order to address these challenges.

Throughout this book, a general model is constructed using Object-Oriented Architecture. Each chapter focuses on the construction of a specific part of this model, while in the conclusion these parts are unified. This book will help software engineers build more sophisticated personalized software that targets in mobile education, while at the same time retaining a high level of adaptivity and user-friendliness within human-mobile interaction.



Chapter 1. Introduction

In the first chapter of this book the authors present a short introduction on the scientific topics that are covered. To this end, this chapter includes introductory sections for the scientific fields of mobile education, multimodal mobile interfaces and the Object Oriented paradigm which, to a large extent, is followed throughout this book. Both mobile education and mobile multimodal user interfaces are quite recent and are rapidly growing fields in the broader areas of information technology. Their use is expected to grow at a serious rate in the foreseeable future, not only by technical, but also by software means of evolution. The introductory chapter also reveals the authors’ motives for writing a book in the aforementioned domains while the rest of the book covers Object Oriented mobile projects, coupled by software evaluations and empirical studies.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 2. Related Work

In this chapter we present related work in the scientific area of mobile learning and we also investigate current research efforts in the area of affective mobile computing. Furthermore, we give a brief overview of past works and approaches that have been based on Object-Oriented programming. As one may observe, mobile-learning, in its modern concept, traces its roots to the first decade of 2000. More specifically, a small number of mobile learning applications were built during the first half of the decade with a very high scientific and social interest in this area. Vincent (2009) states that over one half of the world’s population is expected to be using mobile phones by 2009 and many people have become attached to and even dependent on mobile devices. In the same study mobile phones are found to maintain close ties within peoples’ families and friends. As expected, during the last 5 years there has been a continuously increasing development, using modern technology, both in mobile software and hardware driven mostly by economic benefits.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 3. Mobile Student Modeling

Student modeling is a subset of user modeling, where a student is a specific type of a user who handles a computer system. Focusing on mobile student modeling the student interaction is accomplished through mobile devices’ user interfaces. However, the model in its theoretic dimension remains the same. In this chapter the authors give a short presentation of the concepts of user models and user stereotypes. These concepts are used in the following chapters, in all resulting mobile educational systems in order to provide adaptation to the students’ personal profiles.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 4. Mobile Authoring in Educational Software

Towards the incorporation of sophisticated mobile authoring tools in educational software applications, in this chapter, the authors describe an already developed educational platform. This platform extends and improves a mobile authoring tool, developed by the authors, which has been successfully evaluated in the past. This chapter’s subsections include an introduction to the topic, an overview of the resulting mobile platform and also an outline of the system’s architecture from an Object Oriented view. A sufficient number of snapshots from the operating authoring tool are also available through this chapter’s sections in order to illustrate the authoring process.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 5. Extending Mobile Personalization to Students with Special Needs

This chapter focuses on describing an object oriented architecture that targets on extending mobile educational facilities to students with special needs. This is a common issue in mainstream schools, where students with special needs usually have problems in physical and/or mental participation in classes. These students often need a higher level of supervision and coordination by people related to them such as tutors, parents, therapists and co-students. Mobile computing can offer great opportunities in many cases, as in remote learning, communication, participation and naturally, supervision coordination. This chapter concludes presenting a mobile educational platform that keeps history models of students and records common problems, weaknesses and progress so that it may be used effectively by all parties involved in their education.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 6. Mobile Versus Desktop Educational Applications

Software that is meant to help an educational process can be considered successful only if it is accepted and approved by the interacting targeted participants. For educational software, there are two basic groups of users who use it, namely instructors and students. As a result, in this chapter, we try to find out how helpful our mobile learning software might be for human instructors and also how educationally beneficial it is to their students. On a second level, our evaluation is targeted to measure the effectiveness of a mobile approach to learning compared with the “traditional” computer based, e-learning process.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 7. Multiple Modalities in Mobile Interfaces

In human–computer interaction, a modality refers to a path of communication between the human and the computer, such as audition and vision. Computers, embedded computer systems and especially modern mobile phones (also known as smartphones) have a growing “tendency” to add more paths of communication between them and the outer world. In this chapter the authors give a thorough overview of the multiple modalities of interaction between smartphones and humans that can be found in recent mobile devices and features that may be expected to make their entrance in the mobile technology in the near future.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 8. Object Oriented Design for Multiple Modalities in Affective Interaction

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate how an object oriented (OO) architecture can be adapted to cope with multimodal emotion recognition applications with mobile interfaces. A large obstacle in this direction is the fact that mobile phones differ from desktop computers since mobile phones are not capable of performing the demanding processing required as in emotion recognition. To surpass this fact, in our approach, mobile phones are required to transmit all data collected to a server which is responsible for performing, among other, emotion recognition. The object oriented architecture that we have created, combines evidence from multiple modalities of interaction, namely the mobile device’s keyboard and the mobile device’s microphone, as well as data from user stereotypes. All collected information is classified into well-structured objects which have their own properties and methods. The resulting emotion detection platform is capable of processing and re-transmitting information from different mobile sources of multimodal data during human–computer interaction. The interface that has been used as a test bed for the affective mobile interaction is that of an educational m-learning application.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 9. Evaluation of the Multimodal Object Oriented Architecture

This chapter describes an evaluation study for an application of the Object Oriented architecture of a multimodal mobile system. A system relying on this structure is described in the previous chapter. In this chapter the authors evaluate the “quality” of their approach by attempting to provide solutions to the problems of successfully handling multimodal data in the much demanding area of mobile affective interaction. The results in this chapter’s findings indicate the success of their project and also strengthens their belief that the OO paradigm can successfully handle mobile multimodal data.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 10. Mobile Affective Education

This chapter introduces a new programming language for children named m-AFOL. This programming language extends a “desktop” version of a programming language named AFOL (Alepis 2011), already developed by one of the authors. As with AFOL, the m-AFOL programming language has been based on the idea of the well-known Logo programming language. However, m-AFOL extends Logo’s basic programming concepts such as sequential and functional programming by introducing the more modern concepts of Object Oriented programming. Furthermore, m-AFOL incorporates highly sophisticated user interaction mechanisms, namely affective interaction through emotion recognition and through the use of animated tutoring agents. Perhaps the most important addition to this programming language is the mobile interface with the platform. Through a mobile application, pre-installed on a modern smartphone with a wireless internet connection, a highly sophisticated graphical user interface with affective interaction capabilities is transformed into a modern programming language learning tool for children.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou

Chapter 11. Conclusions

In the last chapter of this book the authors present their conclusions, derived from their quite recent research studies over mobile technology and mobile software. More specifically, their efforts were targeted to the domains of mobile learning, user adaptivity and multimodal mobile interfaces. Their proposed architectures and methodologies have concluded in building actual software systems and platforms, which were also evaluated both by computer specialists and also by real end mobile users. This book’s last discussion reveals a fulfillment in the authors’ attempts in the related scientific fields, as well as their suggestions and challenges for future pursuits in mobile learning software.
Efthimios Alepis, Maria Virvou
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