A Wiki-Based Active Learning System
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A Wiki-Based Active Learning System

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    A Wiki-Based Active Learning System A Wiki-Based Active Learning System Presentation Transcript

    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions A wiki-based active learning system how to enhance learning material in epistemology of computer science and computer ethics (cc) Federico Gobbo and Gaetano Aurelio Lanzarone (federico.gobbo,gaetano.lanzarone)@uninsubria.it Universit` dell’Insubria a Presented at FORMATEX 2006, November
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions 1 Introduction Epistemology of computer science Computer ethics 2 Educational aspects 3 Wiki-based lecture notes 4 Conclusions
    • Two key questions 3/ 40
    • First question 4/ 40 What’s epistemology of computer science?
    • Second question 5/ 40 What’s computer ethics?
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science The goal of the new discipline 6/ 40 Epistemology of computer science aims to investigate the different theories of knowledge underlying computer science and informatics, as well as Artificial Intelligence.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A new discipline, quite fragmented 7/ 40 There isn’t any comprehensive textbook in epistemology of computer science. Two main reasons:
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A new discipline, quite fragmented 7/ 40 There isn’t any comprehensive textbook in epistemology of computer science. Two main reasons: 1 the relative novelty of the discipline;
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A new discipline, quite fragmented 7/ 40 There isn’t any comprehensive textbook in epistemology of computer science. Two main reasons: 1 the relative novelty of the discipline; 2 different backgrounds of the researchers.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A new discipline, quite fragmented 7/ 40 There isn’t any comprehensive textbook in epistemology of computer science. Two main reasons: 1 the relative novelty of the discipline; 2 different backgrounds of the researchers. However, some main problems are generally acknowledged. Now, two examples.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science Alan Turing puts the main challenges of classic AI 8/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science Turing’s classic: the Imitation Game 9/ 40 I propose to consider the question, “Can machines think?” This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms “machine” and “think”. The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangerous. If the meaning of the words “machine” and “think” are to be found by examining how they are commonly used it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the meaning and the answer to the question, “Can machines think?” is to be sought in a statistical survey such as a Gallup poll. But this is absurd. Instead of attempting such a definition I shall replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A visualization of the Imitation Game, first phase 10/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science A visualization of the Imitation Game, second phase 11/ 40 “Macchina” is the Italian word for “machine”.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science An other classic is the Chinese Room argument by Searle 12/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science Good questions our students we expect to learn 13/ 40 Is computer science really a science? How should an empirical experiment in computer science be carried out? What is the status of knowledge gained from conducting an experiment in evolutionary or genetic programming? How should an empirical experiment in computer science be carried out?
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science The need to have a historical background 14/ 40 Our students are graduate in computer science, with no philosophical background. We soon realized that these key questions are correctly addressed after an introduction to the history of computation and logic. In other terms, we find that a historical perspective greatly helps our students to relativize problems, i.e. to understand the main topics in a more general way.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science The history of logic 15/ 40 The Ars Magna by Ramon Llull
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science From Ramon Llull to George Boole and beyond 16/ 40 We explain the influence of Ars Magna by Raimond Llull into Western philosophy. He was the first to postulate a way to mechanize the whole human thought into algorithms. Then we present the main steps of Western philosophy until George Boole and beyond. At the end, students understand what is behind an everyday tool as Boolean Logic.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science The history of calculating machines 17/ 40 Babbage’s Difference Engine realized in meccano
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science From the abacus to modern computers 18/ 40 We are deeply convinced that there are profound relations between the history of calculation and the developments of the calculating machines. Our students learn a common background with students coming from humanities. We are trying to break the Two Cultures approach, i.e. technologists vs. humanists, in favour of a Renaissance model.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Epistemology of computer science Being in and out at the same time 19/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Computer ethics The epistemological foundation of Computer Ethics 20/ 40 Computer Ethics start point: technology should not be considered as a social monad, i.e. a factor neutral in relation to social change, but as socially determined – e.g. the debate free vs. open source software has social and political implications. Although computer ethics issues started as a branch of epistemology of computer science, this field has achieved a status of relative autonomy, at least since the fundamental work of Deborah Johnson.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Computer ethics Some issues in computer ethics 21/ 40 Is computer ethics indipendent from “general” ethics? Privacy: freedom vs. security Copyright: from free software to open source up to creative commons Artificial ethics: may expert systems substitute humans? Why not? Professional codes of ethics for computer scientists
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions The need of lecture notes in our discipline 22/ 40 Ours is the first experience in Italy, so there isn’t any material in Italian. we had to prepare lecture notes almost from scratch. In our view, the lecture notes should be considered both as a preliminary textbook for our students and, far more importantly, as the starting point to their homework.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions A metodology based on active tasks 23/ 40 Students ‘learn by doing’: they write some assessments and a final essay about some topics. The best one we used as complementary material for next years’ students. Advantages: (a) we may be surprised by the active tasks performed by students and so learn something new obtaining good feedback for what we teach; (b) active tasks commit students to learn about learning, i.e. they metalearn, in particular rhetorics and logics of argumentative writing.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions The need of lecture notes de- and reconstruction 24/ 40 Some lectures are dedicated to deconstructing the myth of new and old writing media, such as the web as an always trustable source of public information and books as the unique media carrying state-of-the-art knowledge on every imaginable topic. Nevertheless, most students treat our lecture notes reverentially, as ‘silver bullets’, i.e. ontological entities outside society, space and time, with some immutable characteristics that magically lead to the right solution.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions The reasons behind a writing technology shift 25/ 40 On the contrary, we consider our lecture notes both as a work in progress and as an arena for collaborative knowledge. In particular, we want to emphasize that lecture notes play a role as guidelines on arguments and topics, but their contents may be trusted and at the same time expanded and annotated by students. Initially, we wrote lecture notes through a word processor, but this writing technology doesn’t encourage particularly active studying. We thus decided to change our writing paradigm, adopting a wiki-based technology.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Encouraging collaboration, maintaing authorship 26/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Learning Management Systems unfit for our purposes 27/ 40 LMSs as BlackBoard (used by our University) need to prepare the learning objects, a very time-consuming task. We want to avoid this. Our technical requirements of the wiki system we were looking for are: ease of converting existing lecture notes from Word format; ease of publishing into the BlackBoard platform; presence of a revision history, to keep track of the different versions.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Wikis started from the analysus of thread systems 28/ 40 thread content Jack White Pietro Bianchi root msg comment A comment B spin-off topic comment C comment D John Smith Mario Rossi Too much complexity, content redundancy, personalisms
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions ...as an opposite and complementary KM system 29/ 40 wiki content edit A edit C edit B edit D Pietro John Smith Jack White Mario Rossi Bianchi Shared content, collaboration, anonymity
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions We need a non-standard wiki system 30/ 40 We can’t allow anyone edit contents, i.e. lecture notes, anonymously, as in standard wikis. We need to retain the role of authorship in the following way: edit mode: easy to convert lecture notes from MS Word; annotation mode: easy to write different study paths; browser mode: easy to navigate with any web browser.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Our choice after a period of acceptance testing 31/ 40 http://www.tiddlywiki.com
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Easy integration with BlackBoard (it’s client-side only!) 32/ 40
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Once dowloaded, it’s ease to annotate 33/ 40 Look at the right menu: “new tiddler” (i.e. lexia)
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Not-so-easy to convert style from a word processor 34/ 40 It’s not clear how to extract meaningful text and its typesetting, i.e. bold, quotations, etc., in an automatic way. Moreover, the hypertext structure (i.e. non-sequential readings through multiple paths) implies a content editing, e.g. resolving a lot of anaphoras.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Sequential and non-sequential paths together 35/ 40 We retain a classical sequential, page-turn order of lexias (i.e. semantic hypertext units) with an index. Moreover, the hypertext structure (i.e. non-sequential readings through multiple paths) implies a content editing, e.g. resolving a lot of anaphoras.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Add semantic areas to lexias by tags 36/ 40 Each lexia has meaningful tags, i.e. keywords that form sets of lexias, as definite semantic areas. Our basic tagset is the following one: figure; figure reference; introduction; note; reference. There are also additional tags depending on specific contents, e.g. history of logical calculus; objection to Turing’s test. Students can choose which lexias to load in the TiddlyWiki web page at a given time, e.g. every reference cited in the text, with or without figures.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions The search box and the reverse linking features 37/ 40 For instance, a student may want to review a picture about Ramon Llull seen during the last lecture, as it was already shown in previous one in a different context. After loading every lexia tagged ’figure’ the student quickly finds the right one, and then he or she may read the text lexias that comment that lexia through the reversed linking feature present in TiddlyWiki, i.e. a special link showing every lexia which points to the current one. Alternatively, if students don’t remember exactly why and how Babbage is important, they may search through the whole lexia set, even using regular expressions.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Open issues for further work 38/ 40 1 Duplication. By now, each module is a separate TiddlyWiki file, with some duplication (i.e. references, as they were written once for all in the word version).
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Open issues for further work 38/ 40 1 Duplication. By now, each module is a separate TiddlyWiki file, with some duplication (i.e. references, as they were written once for all in the word version). 2 Integration. Not easy to integrate PowerPoint or Latex/PDF presentations in TiddlyWiki. We are exploring a HTML only slide show format, S5.
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Open issues for further work 38/ 40 1 Duplication. By now, each module is a separate TiddlyWiki file, with some duplication (i.e. references, as they were written once for all in the word version). 2 Integration. Not easy to integrate PowerPoint or Latex/PDF presentations in TiddlyWiki. We are exploring a HTML only slide show format, S5. 3 More collaboration. Students may want to share their study paths; we may switch to a server-based TiddlyWiki clone, LesserWiki (http://www.lesserwiki.org).
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Let’s see a demo.. if we have enough time 39/ 40 http://www.dicom.uninsubria.it/∼federico.gobbo/ formatex2006.html
    • Indice Introduction Educational aspects Wiki-based lecture notes Conclusions Thanks 40/ 40 This presentation is under the following CreativeCommons licence: Attribuzione-Non Commerciale-Condividi allo stesso modo 2.5 Italia http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/it/ A Where to find this presentation (also LTEXsource): http://www.dicom.uninsubria.it/∼federico.gobbo/#2006 Questions?