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Supporting group learning and assessment through Internet. Liane Tarouco Marlise Geller Antonio R. de Vit Luciano Hack Graduate Program Informatic on Education Universidade Federal do RS - Brazil. CMDL.

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Supporting group learning and assessment through Internet

Liane Tarouco Marlise Geller

Antonio R. de Vit Luciano Hack

Graduate Program Informatic on Education

Universidade Federal do RS - Brazil

  • Computer Mediated Distance Learning (classroom is routinely a far more scrutable educational environment than the physical classroom)
    • email & news groups
    • chat
    • videoconference
  • Computer Supported collaborative Learning
    • group learning is more effective
  • Learning through reflexive discussion
cscl based on internet services
CSCL based on Internet services
  • Computer Supported collaborative Learning
  • CSCL based on Internet
    • asynchronous
        • email, news groups,

electronic board

    • synchronous
        • chat, videoconference
collaborative learning
Collaborative learning
  • Problems
    • heterogeneous contributions
    • lack of capability for monitoring allgroup work
learning assessment
Learning assessment
  • Learning assessment became a challenge to those who work with distance education
learning assessment1
Learning assessment
  • Evaluation process should include a great variety of evidences that go beyond the traditional final examination based on paper and pencil.
face to face context
Face-to-face context

Professors use more than just formal mechanisms to evaluate students.

  • body language
  • participation

Quality of questions proposed by students are good indicators of learning

distance education
Distance Education
  • What normally occurs it is the use of formal mechanisms only
Why ?
  • It occurs not only because of the lack of accessible mechanisms that can assist instructors on this task, but also, because many professors prefer to work with more traditional methods of evaluation.
  • Authentication
  • Legal aspects
internet evolution
Internet evolution
  • Evolution of networks and computers and especially the Internet
  • New mechanisms and services started to show up
keeping track
Keeping track
  • Tools to keep track of students activities and interactions
    • with learning environment
    • with the group of students
    • with the professor
internet for distance education
Internet for distance education
  • Reduction of the distribution costs;
  • Internet facilitates collaborative writing;
  • The corrections and updates are simpler to handle;
  • Several techniques for evaluation are possible using multimedia for the interaction between professor and students and between students.
distance education assessment
Distance education assessment
  • Assessment based on contributions for group discussions
  • Tests (automatically handled by computer program)
  • Term papers (analyzed by professor or assistants)
  • Oral or written tests conduced in the presence of the instructor (some times through videoconference) or with a remote assistant.
types of assessment
Types of assessment
  • case studies
  • exams
  • papers
  • projects

All of them requires extensive time to grade and are very difficult to get automated help to do the evaluation.

distance education technologies
Distance education technologies

Ancient formsInternet based


Printed text books HTML pages

Exercises Forms and CGI

TV broadcast  MBONE

VHS tapes Real Video, MPEG

Audio tapes Real audio

Assesment Forms and CGI 

  • Kirkpatrick's model for evaluation - set of tools to provide capability to asses according this model
      • consensus
      • tracking
      • voting
      • self-evaluation
kirkpatrick s model
Kirkpatrick’s model





formative evaluation
Formative evaluation
  • Formative evaluation is important to make easy for the students not only inform their opinions and feelings about how course is going on but see this contributions being handled and considered.
using quiz system
Using quiz system
  • Teachers may built artifacts and link them
  • CGI allows dynamically building and editing
basic functions included
Basic functions included
  • Feedback for each alternative
  • Indication of correct answer
  • Nothing more, just counting incidence of selections on each alternative
complementary tools
Complementary tools
  • Consensus
  • Tracking
  • Voting
  • Self-evaluation
tool of consensus
Tool of consensus
  • It allows on time creation of enquete proposing instigating questions, as well as the collection and tabulation of responses;
  • The tool has the capability to keep track of each student's level of contribution to the discussion as well as enquete responses.
tracking tool
Tracking tool
  • The register of learning activities (accessed page with dates and time) is important because it allows the professor to know the progress of students trough the course;
  • The collected information will show that type of access the student has made (visited units, tools used, etc), as well as the time spent on it.
voting tool
Voting tool
  • Aimed to provide conditions for a fast feedback for the instructor on specific subjects.
self evaluation tool
Self-evaluation tool
  • Allows the dynamic building of enquetes for self-evaluation by professor and by students.
group activity handling
Group activity handling

Group activity may give opportunity for student to present contributions that some times are relegated to forgetfulness.

  • It is also needed a voting system to support group decision about the consolidated results from discussion
    • ordering
    • reordering
    • selecting
    • discarding
what was needed
What was needed
  • Development of applications to handle participants contributions
  • Provide support for group decision
  • Utilization of contributions that came up during group activity
handling group activity results
Handling group activity results

A set of tools was designed and developed to support distance education collaborative work.

group activity results
Group activity results
  • Group activity results on a log file containing interchanged texts (synchronous or asynchronously) during a group debate.

Example: Using an environment like Palace for chat

other services used for group discussion
Other services used for group discussion
  • WWW based chat
  • Videoconferencing complemented with chat
developed solution
Developed solution
  • Application for handle results of group discussion (brainstorming)
    • consolidation of contributions
    • summaries with more relevant ideas
    • voting process
issue analyzer
Issue Analyzer
  • Tool supporting brainstorming
  • Used natural language recognition
  • Grouping of similar ideas
  • Organize them according with definitions of the group
  • Client server application
  • Supported only synchronous communication
  • Tool initially developed for information retrieval
  • Uses methods for grouping textual objects
  • Objects are organized automatically in similar objects groups
  • Directed to natural language
  • Designed to work with files (each text object must be presented as a different file)
  • Handle log files derived from group activity
  • Clean and cut
      • remove stop words
      • spell checking
      • remove names of senders
  • Uses Eurekha for clustering
  • Handle voting process
  • Formative evaluation plays an important role to get distance students motivated because they feel a sense of not being lost in space
  • Just the opposite, they feel that being closely monitored and having their opinions being asked often is more like having a personal tutor that pay attention on way they do and what they say.
  • This kind of attention provided by the system helps to minimize solitude that sometimes is referred as main desisting factor from students in distance education programs
  • Cognitive development improved
    • development of better self-expression
    • help student to learn about how to work collaboratively
    • stimulate problem solving critical thinking and collaborative analysis
    • learning through reflexive discussions
  • colaboration valued/considered
  • better follow up from teacher
  • contributions more homogeneous
  • secundary results
    • writing skills improved
    • more reflexive thinking about what is being presented
more details contacts
More details / Contacts
  • Marlise Geller

  • Liane Tarouco