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Reduced GUI for an interactive geometry software: Does it affect students' performance?

Journal paper
Simone S. Borges, Helena M. Reis , Leonardo Brandão Marques, Vinicius H. S. Durelli, Ig I. Bittencourt, Patrícia A. Jaques, Seiji Isotani
Computers in Human Behavior, v. 54, p. 124-133, 2016.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an experimental study to reduce cognitive load and enhance usability for interactive geometry software.

Design/methodology/approach

The Graphical User Interface is the main mechanism of communication between user and system features. Educational software interfaces should provide useful features to assist learners without generate extra cognitive load. In this context, this research aims at analyzing a reduced and a complete interface of interactive geometry software, and verifies the educational benefits they provide. We investigated whether a reduced interface makes few cognitive demands of users in comparison to a complete interface. To this end, we designed the interfaces and carried out an experiment involving 69 undergraduate students.

Findings

The experimental results indicate that an interface that hides advanced and extraneous features helps novice users to perform slightly better than novice users using a complete interface. After receiving proper training, however, a complete interface makes users more productive than a reduced interface.

Originality/value

In educational software, successful user interface designs minimize the cognitive load on users; thereby users can direct their efforts to maximizing their understanding of the educational concepts being presented.

Keywords

  • Interactive geometry software;
  • iGeom;
  • Graphical user interface;
  • Experimental study;
  • Interactive learning environment

Concepção de uma Família de Gestos para Construção de Objetos Geométricos e sua Utilização em um Sistema de Geometria Interativa para Dispositivos Móveis: GeoTouch

Journal paper
Helena Macedo Reis, Seiji Isotani, Leônidas O. Brandão, Wilmax M. Cruz, Anarosa A. F. Brandão, Ramilio R. R. Filho
Revista Brasileira de Informática na Educação, v. 23, p. 206-224, 2015.

Abstract

Interactive Geometry (GI) software were developed with the goal of enabling students to explore geometry through the computer, allowing the construction and manipulation of geometric objects, such as, lines, points and circumferences. Traditionally, while using GI systems, the user-learners build a geometric object using the icon associated with it and available in the system interface. Literature indicates that this type of system can facilitate the learning of geometry. Nevertheless, there are studies suggesting that the reduction of icons in the interface can be beneficial for novice users, reducing the difficulty of locating the desired icon among several ones. This difficulty, beyond generating frustration and consequent lack of motivation, can divert the focus of learning, with the learners struggling to learn how to use the system and not to the geometric concepts. In this context, this paper proposes the reduction of icons at GI systems interfaces through the definition of a family of natural gestures that can be used to build and manipulate geometric objects. These gestures are designed to not only reduce the number of visual elements in screen, but also facilitate the learning of geometric concepts. To validate the proposed gestures we developed a GI system using Gestural Interface for mobile devices called GeoTouch. Usability tests were performed with Geotouch as well as the comparison of it with other three GI systems for mobile devices available to date. Results indicate that the GeoTouch interface, which uses the family of proposed actions, is easier to learn, has fewer usability problems and the severity of the problems encountered affect minimally the user
Keyword
interactive geometry system, gestural interfaces, mobile devices, geotouch, interface, usability

Dados Abertos Conectados

Book
Seiji Isotani, Ig I. Bittencourt
1. ed. São Paulo: Novatec, 2015. 176p .

O que são dados abertos conectados? Qual o papel deles na construção da Web do futuro (i.e. Web dos dados)? Como eles ajudam no desenvolvimento de programas mais inteligentes para resolver problemas econômicos, sociais e de gestão?

Conheça um pouco mais sobre o conceito de dados abertos conectados e as vantagens de se criar um ecossistema para estruturação, disponibilização e consumo de dados no formato aberto. Saiba como utilizar os princípios conhecidos como “Sistema de 5 Estrelas” para classificar o grau de abertura dos dados disponíveis na Web.

Aprenda também um pouco sobre a área de Web Semântica, ontologias, modelagem de dados e padrões de compartilhamento de informação semântica. Saiba quais são os métodos e padrões atualmente utilizados para o compartilhamento de metadados que dão significados aos dados da Web. E veja as tendências mais recentes no desenvolvimento de aplicações inteligentes que utilizam a semântica dos dados para geração de ferramentas mais adequadas para atender as necessidades do mercado e da sociedade no século 21.

Espera-se que ao final da leitura deste livro o leitor (i) tenha uma visão geral sobre dados abertos, dados abertos conectados e suas potenciais aplicações; (ii) tenha também adquirido conhecimentos necessários para modelar, publicar e consumir dados abertos de maneira estruturada e sistemática; (iii) entenda o processo de disponibilização (abertura) de conjuntos de dados de maneira estruturada por meio de ontologias; (iv) saiba mais sobre as diversas tecnologias da Web Semântica e suas potencialidades; e (v) entenda como utilizar as tecnologias da Web Semântica tanto na disseminação dos dados quanto para criação de aplicativos simples.

Cursos e certificações referentes ao conteúdo do livro são promovidos pelo Centro de Estudos sobre Tecnologias na Web (CEWEB.br). Estes cursos estão disponíveis nos endereços eletrônicos  http://www.ep.org.br/curso/56  (curso sobre publicação de dados em formato aberto) e http://www.ep.org.br/curso/58  (curso sobre  dados abertos conectados).

Automated instructional design for CSCL: A hierarchical task network planning approach

Journal paper
Geiser Chalco Challco, Marco Aurélio Gerosa, Ig Ibert Bittencourt, Seiji Isotani
Expert Systems with Applications 41 (2014) 3777–3798

Abstract

In Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), one of the most important tasks for instructional designers is to define scenarios that foster group learning. Such scenarios, defined as Units of Learning (UoLs), comprise different components and are organized according to pedagogical approaches to orchestrate group learning processes. Examples of UoL components are learning objects, student roles, student characteristics (e.g., background, preferences, learning styles, etc.), instructional/learning goals, and activities, among others. Thus, the instructional design (ID) of a proper UoL for CSCL is a complex task that requires practice and experience. This is particularly true when designing, developing, adapting, and customizing UoLs, taking into consideration different instructional/learning goals and individual preferences of students. This paper therefore proposes using a Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning approach to automate and optimize the tasks of designers. To accomplish that, we define an initial CSCL scenario as ‘‘an ID task’’ and ‘‘a set of information related to students and the domain to be taught.’’ Then we propose a model that formally describes ID for CSCL as HTN planning, where the initial CSCL scenario is adapted and refined according to student needs. In this model, the ID strategies are defined as hierarchical tasks and methods into a planning domain definition, and the initial CSCL scenario is defined as a planning problem definition. To validate our approach, we develop a CSCL courseware generator that (i) helps designers to set up an initial CSCL scenario; (ii) automatically generates a personalized UoL based on a given initial scenario; and (iii) supports the adaptation of UoLs.

GeiserExpertSystems

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • Instructional design
  • Automated planning
  • Hierarchical task network planning
  • CSCL script design pattern
  • Unit of learning
  • Courseware generator