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Architectural Concepts: Implications for the Design and Implementation of Web and Mobile Applications to Support Inquiry Learning
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics.
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The integration of mobile and sensor technologies, and the design and implementation of different web-enabled visualizations to support inquiry learning in different educational scenarios encompass the main research efforts carried out in this thesis. These challenges are addressed from the perspectives of mobile and web engineering, visualization and technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Thus, the main research question investigated in this thesis relates to the identification of the main features that can guide the design and implementation of web and mobile applications to support inquiry learning in different contexts.

This thesis consists of a collection of four publications that describe the research efforts conducted during a period of three years in relation to the Learning Ecology through Science with Global Outcomes (LETS GO) research project. The research questions investigated and the implemented technological solutions reported in these publications are closely related to the main goals and challenges of this thesis. The design and implementation of the proposed software system was guided, deployed and refined having the following aspects in mind: (1) System Requirements and Architectural Design, (2) System Implementation and Deployment, and (3) System Assessment and Web Usability Testing. During the three years of development efforts, three software prototypes were implemented utilizing service-oriented approaches. These efforts have been tested with more than 200 users in connection to several trials that took place during this period. The user trials allowed testing the software application throughout three development iterations on authentic settings, while new requirements continuously emerged in these activities. This process made it possible to verify that user requirements were adequately addressed while satisfying their needs.

The outcomes of these activities led to the design and implementation of a system architecture that relies on service-oriented approaches and open standards. The main outcomes of this thesis are presented in the form of Architectural Concepts, as they can be used to guide the design and implementation of web and mobile applications to support inquiry learning. The idea behind architectural concepts is to provide a set of tools for supporting the overall life cycle of a software development process, such as requirements, design, implementation, deployment and testing while coping with rapid changes of technological implementations. Some of the architectural concepts identified in this thesis correspond well with the kind of support that inquiry-learning activities require. They provide solid foundations in terms of possibilities to tackle the requirements for supporting inquiry learning in a flexible manner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University , 2012. , 133 p.
Keyword [en]
mobile and web engineering, visualization, TEL, system architecture, interoperability, open standards, prototyping, usability, user testing, inquiry learning
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-17240OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-17240DiVA: diva2:489302
Presentation
2012-01-16, D1136, Linnaeus University, Växjö, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-02-13 Created: 2012-02-02 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An Interactive Web-based Visualization Tool: Design and Development Cycles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Interactive Web-based Visualization Tool: Design and Development Cycles
2011 (English)In: 2011 IEEE 35th Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference Workshops (COMPSACW), IEEE, 2011, 279-285 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Current advancements in web technologies are enabling to develop new features of interactive systems that rely on cloud infrastructure and services. In this paper, we present our efforts related to the development of three prototypes of a web-based visualization tool that use Google Cloud Services to process and visualize geo-temporal data. The domain in which these efforts are taking place is in the field of environmental science. The need of web-based visualization tools in this area indicates the importance of allowing users in an interactive manner to explore, analyze and reflect on different representations of environmental data. We discuss the development of these prototypes and their features, as well as the different iterations that were carried out during these processes. The outcomes of the design and development processes point out that the users ́ feedback generated during the prototyping cycles provided valuable insights in order to further enhance the web-based visualization tool. Thus, our study emphasizes the need of finding a balance between design and development in order to consider how the rapid evolution of web technologies should be taken into account during the design and planning of different cycles of web prototyping.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2011
Keyword
cyclic prototyping, visualization, web APIs, cloud services, geo-tagged data.
National Category
Computer Sciences Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15310 (URN)10.1109/COMPSACW.2011.55 (DOI)2-s2.0-80054990860 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-4459-5 (ISBN)
Conference
2011 IEEE 35th Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference Workshops (COMPSACW), 18-22 July 2011
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
2. An Interactive Web-based Visualization Tool in Action: User Testing and Usability Aspects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Interactive Web-based Visualization Tool in Action: User Testing and Usability Aspects
2011 (English)In: Proceedings 11th IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology, IEEE Computer Society, 2011, 403-408 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we present our efforts in relation to the evaluation of an interactive web-based visualization tool developed for supporting environmental sciences learning. The tool enables the visualization of different types of geo-tagged content and sensor data collected using mobile devices. It also utilizes APIs that provide multiple visual representations of the data set. These representations allow users to actively interact with graphs, maps, images, and data tables. In order to test the usability, novelty and interactivity of our web-based visualization tool, we have conducted a study involving university students in the field of teaching environmental sciences. The results and analysis of the user testing indicate that the tool’s usability and performance were satisfactory. Outcomes from the user testing have resulted in a number of concrete suggestions for further enhancement and improvements of our visualization tool in relation to application functionality, navigation and interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2011
Keyword
Usability evaluation, user testing, web-based visualization, geo-tagged data.
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15311 (URN)10.1109/CIT.2011.68 (DOI)2-s2.0-80054977435 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-4388-8 (ISBN)978-1-4577-0383-6 (ISBN)
Conference
11th IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (CIT '11), Aug.31-Sept. 2, 2011, Pafos
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
3. Exploring the benefits of open standard initiatives for supporting inquiry-based science learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the benefits of open standard initiatives for supporting inquiry-based science learning
2010 (English)In: Sustaining TEL: From Innovation to Learning and Practice: 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2010, Barcelona, Spain, September 28 - October 1, 2010. Proceedings / [ed] Martin Wolpers, Paul A. Kirschner, Maren Scheffel, Stefanie Lindstaedt and Vania Dimitrova, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2010, 596-601 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mobile devices combined with sensor technologies provide new possibilitiesfor embedding inquiry-based science learning activities in authenticsettings. These technologies rely on various standards for data exchange whatmakes the development of interoperable mobile and sensor-based applications achallenging task. In this paper, we present our technical efforts related to how toleverage data interoperability using open standards. To validate the potentialbenefits of this approach, we developed a prototype implementation and conducteda trial with high school students in the field of environmental science.The initial results indicate the potential benefits of using open standards for dataexchange in order to support the integration of various technological resourcesand applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2010
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 6383
Keyword
Interoperability, open standards, mobile learning, ODK, sensors, visualization, inquiry-based science learning.
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-9388 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-16020-2_60 (DOI)2-s2.0-78049397294 (Scopus ID)978-3-642-16019-6 (ISBN)
Conference
EC-TEL 2010, LNCS Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg
Available from: 2010-11-19 Created: 2010-11-19 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
4. Integrating Mobile, Web and Sensory Technologies to Support Inquiry-Based Science Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating Mobile, Web and Sensory Technologies to Support Inquiry-Based Science Learning
2010 (English)In: IEEE WMUTE (International Conference on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies in Education), IEEE Press, 2010, 65-72 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recent advances in mobile, wireless, and sensor technologies provide new possibilities for supporting learning activities that can be spatially distributed and incorporate different physical and environmental sensory data. In this paper, we present our technical efforts in relation to the design and implementation of mobile and web applications that integrate sensory data used to support inquiry-based science learning. In order to test the validity of our solution and its functionality and novelty, we conducted a prototype experiment with high school students in the field of environmental sciences. The initial outcomes presented in this paper point towards the potential benefits of using sensor and mobile technologies with real-time geo-positioned data and visualizations, which may increase students’ engagement, enabling them to conduct scientific inquiries and analyses in new ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Press, 2010
Keyword
context, visualization, inquiry-based science learning, mobile learning, sensor technologies
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-7100 (URN)10.1109/WMUTE.2010.41 (DOI)2-s2.0-77954512285 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-3992-8 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE WMUTE 2010
Available from: 2010-08-11 Created: 2010-08-11 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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