Design And Implementation Of An Automated Tutorial System For Learning Biology

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included


Abstract


This research study focused on design and implementation of automated tutorial system for learning biology, using Ritman college as a case study. An automated learning system enables students to gain access to learning materials electronically. This implies that the system can be used independent of a teacher to educate its users. Applying automated learning to the subject of biology enables student to understand the subject better. Most students find it difficult to understand certain subjects because of the style of presentation or teaching. To solve this problem, an automated learning system can be programmed to enable students to appreciate a given subject. The scope of the learning system used in the research study is limited to the human anatomy. The programming language used is visual basic 6.0.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the introduction to the study, background of the study. Aim and objectives of the study, statement of problem, significance of the study, scope of the study and definition of terms.


1.1 Theoretical Background

The growing interest in automated learning also known as e-learning seems to be coming from several directions. These include organizations that have traditionally offered distance education programs either in a single, dual or mixed mode setting. They see the incorporation of online learning in their repertoire as a logical extension of their distance education activities. The corporate sector, on the other hand, is interested in e-learning as a way of rationalizing the costs of their in-house staff training activities. E-learning is of interest to residential campus-based educational organizations as well. They see e-learning as a way of improving access to their programs and also as a way of tapping into growing niche markets. The growth of e-learning is directly related to the increasing access to information and communications technology, as well its decreasing cost. The capacity of information and communications technology to support multimedia resource-based learning and teaching is also relevant to the growing interest in e-learning. Growing numbers of teachers are increasingly using information and communications technology to support their teaching. The contemporary student population (often called the “Net Generation”, or “Millennials”) who have grown up using information and communications technology also expect to see it being used in their educational experiences (Oblinger and Oblinger, 2005). Educational organizations too see advantages in making their programs accessible via a range of distributed locations, including on campus, home and other community learning or resource centers. Despite this level of interest in e-learning, it is not without constraints and limitations.

The fundamental obstacle to the growth of e-learning is lack of access to the necessary technology infrastructure, for without it there can be no e-learning. Poor or insufficient technology infrastructure is just as bad, as it can lead to unsavory experiences that can cause more damage than good to teachers, students and the learning experience. While the costs of the hardware and software are falling, often there are other costs that have often not been factored into the deployment of e-learning ventures. The most important of these include the costs of infrastructure support and its maintenance, and appropriate training of staff to enable them to make the most of the technology (Naidu, 2003).


1.2 Statement of Problem

There is a high need to develop the ability of students to learn the subject of biology, however because of inadequate training and also the inability to get learning materials on the subject that they can use independent of an instructor. Students have the difficulty of learning the subject due to the high cost of textbooks, many people cannot afford to get educated because it is far beyond their financial capability. Also, students only learn when there are in the classroom or when someone is present to teach and this service is only available for those that can afford it. There is a global need for an alternative means of learning. Human instructors or teachers cannot operate 24 hours a day and this stands as a limitation to acquiring knowledge. For most, the location of the school or institution may be very far and this may also stand as a barrier. It is therefore imperative that an alternative means of learning such as automated learning be developed and used to solve these problems.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the study

The following are the objectives of the study:

  1. To design and implement an automated tutorial system for learning biology
  2. To implement an automated learning system that provides a user friendly and interactive interface for learning fundamentals of biology
  3. To develop an easy to use automated tutorial system that will enable its users to be assessed and scored based on performance.
  4. To develop a system that can be easily installed and used to complement the effort of teachers in teaching students biology.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is that it will provide a possible solution to the problem of learning biology independent of a teacher. It will provide an example of how automated learning system can be applied to learning. The study will also serve as a useful reference material to other researchers seeking information pertaining the subject.


1.4 Scope of the Study

This study covers design and implementation of automated tutorial system for learning biology and it is limited to human anatomy the case study is Ritman College, Ikot Ekpene.


1.6 Organization of the Research

This research work is organized into five chapters.

  1. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
  2. Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
  3. Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
  4. Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation. The choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
  5. Chapter five focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Automate:

To convert a process or workplace to automation, or utilize the techniques of automation

Learn

To acquire knowledge of a subject or skill through education or experience.

System:

A combination of related parts organized into a complex whole

Tutor:

A teaching session spent individually or in a small group under the direction of a tutor.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusion, constraints of the study and offers useful recommendations.


5.1 Constraints of the Study

In carrying out the research work, some challenges were faced that limited the study such as:

Time:

The time given for the completion of the research work was too short hence the researcher had speed up the research work to meet up and this has an impact on the study.

Limited Materials:

Few materials were found pertaining to the research area and this limited the bulk of the literature review.

Finance:

The high cost of textbooks, internet browsing and transportation to different libraries to gather materials stood as a constraint to the research work.


5.2 Summary

Automated learning systems are very important and useful, they make learning flexible thereby aiding students to learn and understand specific subjects or concepts independent of a teacher or instructor. So long as the system is well programmed, it will help in making students comprehend what they are being taught. Growing numbers of teachers and institutions are increasingly using information and communications technology to support their teaching and learning process. This is due to the advantage of speed and convenience the computer system provides. Also, automated learning system can run for 24 hours unlike a teacher that can only train for some hours before fatigue sets in.


5.3 Conclusion

An automated learning system for biology enables students to find learning the subject interesting and interactive as they enjoy operating computer systems. It is therefore imperative that such systems are introduced in the academic system to promote learning and understanding of the subject.


5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations are offered based on the study conducted:

  1. Automated learning technologies should be introduced in institutions of learning.
  2. Teachers and students should be trained to be computer literate so that they can know how to make use of automated learning systems.
  3. Computer programmers should be contracted to work alongside teachers to develop automated learning systems.
  4. Government should provide institutions with the hardware, software and needed infrastructure to promote automated learning

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