Pages: pp. 99-102
Welcome to the second 2013 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (TLT). With this issue, we are pleased to introduce nine new Associate Editors joining our Editorial Board. Over the last several years, we have seen an increased volume of high-quality submissions. In addition, as technology-enhanced learning spreads to new areas, devices, and modalities, the diversity of these submissions has also been increasing. To accommodate that, we have invited leading researchers in several important areas, such as adaptive educational systems, mobile learning, dialogue-based learning, computing education, game-based learning, and learning objects. We are excited that they have accepted our offer to be on TLT’s board and I hope that you will share our excitement when you see the names and biographies of the new board members listed on the following pages.
The six papers in this issue indicate the diversity of the field, in research methods, technologies, pedagogies, and nationalities of the research teams.
The paper “Intelligent Performance Assessment of Students’ Laboratory Work in a Virtual Electronic Laboratory Environment,” by Ifeyinwa E. Achumba, Djamel Azzi, Victor L. Dunn, and Gloria A. Chukwudebe, presents an interesting development at the crossroads of two popular research areas—virtual labs and intelligent tutoring systems. It explores the application of Bayesian networks, a technology typically associated with intelligent tutoring and student modeling, to support dynamic performance assessment of students interacting with a virtual electronic lab. The presented data demonstrates the feasibility of student performance assessment in this kind of lab from their observed behavior.
The paper “Preparing for Future Learning with a Tangible User Interface: The Case of Neuroscience,” by Bertrand Schneider, Jenelle Wallace, Paulo Blikstein, and Roy Pea, describes and evaluates a low-cost system with a tangible user interface for learning neuroscience. Students can manipulate a table-top replica of parts of the human brain, overlaid with displayed information about connections between brain regions. A crossover design study with 28 adult participants compared learning from text and from the interactive tabletop. It showed a significant difference in favor of the tabletop, and also that students who used the table and then read a text on the same topic outperformed those who learned from text followed by the table.
In their paper “GreedEx: A Visualization Tool for Experimentation and Discovery Learning of Greedy Algorithms,” J. Ángel Velázquez-Iturbide, Ouafae Debdi, Natalia Esteban-Sánchez, and Celeste Pizarro, a team from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, is focused on discovery learning of advanced algorithms. The authors share the results of several years of research on a GreedEx visualization tool that was created to support this learning approach. The paper provides details about the system, reviews main stages of its evolution, and presents the results of its evaluation.
In “CASE: A Configurable Argumentation Support Engine,” Oliver Scheuer and Bruce M. McLaren address the challenge of providing automated support for students learning how to argue through diagrams. Tutorial agents analyze patterns of student activity and then provide hints and feedback. Teachers or researchers can configure the pedagogic patterns and behaviors of the agents to support students in understanding argument topics and develop their problem solving and collaboration processes.
The paper “Organizational Learning from the Perspective of Knowledge Maturing Activities” is the result of a large-scale collaboration of 11 researchers from seven different institutions. It presents an extensive study of organizational learning practices based on data collected through telephone interviews with representatives from 126 European organizations. The study is focused on knowledge maturing activities and presents interesting insights that could be useful for researchers well beyond the field of organizational learning.
In “A Practice-Oriented Review of Learning Objects,” Jane Sinclair, Mike Joy, Jane Yin-Kim Yau, and Stephen Hagan offer a practice-oriented survey of reusable learning objects (RLOs) covering the state-of-the-art, maturity of the field, research findings, and controversies. Taking a user’s perspective, it addresses how to find relevant RLOs, how to assess their quality, and, for teachers, how reuse RLOs for successful teaching.
Enjoy your reading and consider TLT for sharing the results of your exciting projects!
Peter Brusilovsky, Editor-in-Chief
Mike Sharples, Associate Editor-in-Chief