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Pages: pp. 196-196

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to introduce the new issue of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. As you can see from the overview of papers presented below, this issue covers a wide variety of topics. Altogether, the papers in this issue demonstrate how large and advanced the area of technology-enhanced learning has become.

Our first paper, by H. Vargas and his colleagues from Madrid and Alicante in Spain, is titled “A Network of Automatic Control Web-Based Laboratories.” Describing in detail both their pedagogical and technical setup, they present an innovative set of remote labs to enhance control engineering education at both universities. Lab management and integration with their learning management system is specified as well. The final overall system assessment discusses students’ perceptions, showing high student satisfaction and further aspects to improve.

In their paper, “Bees Algorithm for Construction of Multiple Test Forms in E-Testing,” Pokpong Songmuang and Maomi Ueno from Japan describe how to automatically construct multiple equivalent test forms relying on test information functions based on item response theory. They describe an optimization algorithm for constructing these tests based on the Bees Algorithm and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed system.

Bertrand Schneider and his colleagues from EPFL Lausanne focus on “Benefits of a Tangible Interface for Collaborative Learning and Interaction.” They investigate in more detail the role that tangibility plays in a problem-solving task, comparing multitouch and tangible interfaces. Tangibility of the interface clearly helped to perform the task better and achieve higher learning gain by supporting more exploration of the logistic apprentices observed.

Mario Muñoz-Organero and his colleagues from the Carlos III University of Madrid investigate “Adapting the Speed of Reproduction of Audio Content and Using Text Reinforcement for Maximizing the Learning Outcome through Mobile Phones.” The paper analyzes data from 100 Spanish speaking users that are grouped according to different critera such as gender, age, or level of studies.

The paper “A Semantic-Oriented Approach for Organizing and Developing Annotation for E-Learning,” presented by Mihaela M. Brut, Florence Sedes, and Stefan Daniel Dumitrescu, is focused on semantic indexing of educational resources. Semantic indexing is important to increase reuse of learning objects by both humans and intelligent algorithms. The authors attempt to advance the state-of-the art in this area by presenting and evaluating an innovative indexing approach that combines latent semantic indexing with the application of the WordNet knowledge base.

The paper by Masanori Sugimoto from the University of Tokyo presents GENTORO, which is “A Mobile Mixed-Reality Environment for Children's Storytelling Using a Handheld Projector and a Robot.” Digital (i.e., computer-supported) storytelling has recently emerged as a popular approach to collaborative learning for younger children. The system presented in this paper makes a very interesting and innovative attempt to bring the computer side of digital storytelling closer to the audience by using augmented reality and robotics.

A practically-oriented paper, “Experiences in Personal Lecture Video Capture” by Surendar Chandra, summarizes several years of research and experience with a technology that allows individual instructors to record and annotate videos of their lectures without the help of videographers and distribute it over several channels including the iTunes U platform. This work contributes to the stream of research on video lectures making this powerful technology work for a much larger variety of classes.

Ilias Verginis, Evangelia Gouli, Agoritsa Gogoulou, and Maria Grigoriadou, in their paper “Guiding Learners into Reengagement through the SCALE Environment: An Empirical Study,” target the problem of student engagement in online learning. The authors propose fighting student disengagement using open learner models—a visualization of individual student and class performance over various topics and activities of a course. The work demonstrates that this approach can reengage the majority of disengaged students and improve their posttest performance.

Wolfgang Nejdl, Editor-in-Chief

Peter Brusilovsky, Associate Editor-in-Chief

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