Web Enabled Collaborative And Cooperative Learning System

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The methods that are used to share ideas and for collaboration are constantly changing and evolving. This has also has impact on the way we learn. The methods are now ubiquitous in nature. In some cases, it has provided for building communities. The communities formed can be geared towards learning which can be both cooperative and collaborative in nature.

Collaborative learning is an instructional system of educating in which students group together on a task and students can create the individual parts of an allotted ask exclusively and after that set up the last cooperate, as an issue (Educause, 2010). Agreeable adapting, some of the time confused for collective learning, portrays a technique where students cooperate in little gatherings on an organized movement. Students are independently responsible for their work but also for the work of the group as a whole, and both outcome are assessed.

Interactivity and collaboration have become the keywords of the new web content and this has necessitated for the topic, design and implementation of web enabled cooperative and collaborative learning for Computer Science Department, Federal University of Technology, Minna.

The need for education is increasing constantly and the development and improvement of the eLearning platform solutions is necessary (Paul Pocatilu, Felician Alecu & Marius Vetrici, 2012). Collaborative learning need to keep pace with technology, so the new direction is to leverage eLearning components system architecture in which this study intend to work upon. This will allow the students to cooperate and collaborate with each other in an unprecedented way so as to bring about learning.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Lecturers find it difficult to know whether a given task assigned to students (usually in groups) which supposed to be cooperative and collaborative in nature fulfil its very purpose. Cooperative and collaborative learning are used to increase self-esteem and self-concept. Students who also live in different location find it difficult to cooperate and collaborate on a task face-to-face and it is most difficult if the task given span across holidays or festive period in which students have to live the vicinity of the campus and even the town which the campus is situated. How the students then successfully cooperate and collaborate virtually to bring a about learning which is relative permanent change in behavior which is acquired through skills, experiences and knowledge in order to achieved some goals of cooperative and collaborative learning (which include celebration of diversity, valuing contributions, increased higher level of reasoning, greater transfer of learning between situations, and increased generation of new ideas and solutions)?

This system will provide a reliable and efficient platform for collaborative learning that will solve the problem of identifying inactive student(s), assign task to students while on break, track student progress, test for all the 3-levels of domains( cognitive, affective and psychomotor), catalyzed innovation and creation of learning community.


1.3 Aim and Objectives

The aim of this project is to design and implement a web enabled cooperative and collaborative learning system for computer science department.

This is to be achieved by the following objectives:

  1. To study and review the existing methods of collaborative and cooperative learning.
  2. To design a web enabled collaborative and cooperative learning platform that is typical to Federal University of Technology, Minna.
  3. To implement the design with necessary specifications using programming languages such as: Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML), PHP Hypertext Pre-processor (PHP), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), JavaScript and Structured Query Language (MySQL).

1.4 Significance of Study

The project will reduce the cost overhead accrued by the University for Deploying educational collaborative Solutions like Google Apps for education, Microsoft Apps for education and etc. It will equally reduce the cost of purchasing significant number of hardware and software by the institution. It is relatively inexpensive, less stressful, it does not consume time, and it is modern, reliable, dependable, and easily usable. It will bring about effective knowledge management which is much more important than document management. It will also provide opportunities and platform for the optimal utilization of the available devices that are owned by most students.

The students and lecturers of department of computer science and federal university of technology, Minna will benefit from the project because of the following advantages which it possesses.

The students can now remotely work and collaborate on task that involves group investigation, group discussion and cooperative work without physically interacting with each other. Festive period in which student and staff travelled to their home town or base can no longer hinder collaborative task once the user can have access to the internet.


1.5 Scope of Study

This study looks into the processes of collaborative learning which aim to solve group investigation task, developed by Shlomo and Yael Sharan. It is a general classroom-organization plan in which students work in small groups using cooperative inquiry, group discussion, cooperative planning and projects-based task (Sharan and Sharan, 1992). The researcher focus on instructional and assessment in computer science departments of the University that involves collaboration and it can be modelled into web-based platform using the internet.


1.6 Limitations of Study

This project only focused on the use of internet to support cooperative and collaborative learning within computer science domain. It is difficult for the researcher to know all types and various examples of collaborative task that is applicable in all the departments in the school due to the time the researcher have to carry out the project. This makes it impractical to modelled different types of group investigation and collaborative task into the system which could have make the system more versatile and a compelling platform for collaboration to suit all the department in the school.


1.7 Operational Definitions of Terms

ELearning:

This is a learning that are supported or enabled through the use of electronic media/ information and communication technologies.

Cooperative Learning:

Cooperative learning is another type of collaborative learning that allow student to work on a task collectively.

Collaborative Learning:

Collaborative learning is an instructional method that allow student to form a team and work together to explore or work on a meaningful project.

Knowledge management:

Knowledge Management are range of approaches and practices to recognize, produce, characterize and enable the important use of people’s intuitions and skills in an organization.

Design:

A formal plan of achieving a goal.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL):

They are used by browsers to locate resources/files/documents on the internet.

HTTP Web Service:

It is a software that allows the way in which machine-to-machine communicate over the network

Internet:

This is a global connection of interconnected networks with standard protocols for communication

Structured Query Language MySQL:

This is a database retrieval language used in sending queries to the database.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Introduction

Learning or any other process that can bring about learning by higher institution over the internet has been seen as a way of rationalizing the costs of in-house student learning activities. The aim of this project is to guarantee that learning can be ubiquitous that is anywhere and at any time. The system developed in this research essentially utilize eLearning strategies to allow student collaborate and cooperate successfully on a task.


5.1 Summary

The main aim of this project was to determine the possibility of transferring the traditional collaborative learning into a reliable, secured and faster electronic system with internet technologies. The system architecture proposed in this project will provide valuableguide for developers in developing a web enabled collaborative and cooperative learning systems. The system will pave way for a world wide deployment of collaborative and cooperative learning platform.


5.2 Findings and Discussion

In this project, we developed a collaborative and cooperative learning system for students in a department of computer science. Students demonstrate high levels of academic achievement and learning satisfaction, which verified the system’s utility. This study concludes that establishing a comprehensive collaborative and cooperative learning system with better interaction mechanisms will ensure higher levels of learning performance in a web-based collaborative/cooperative learning process.


5.3 Suggestions for Further Work

The system has potential to grow, so there is need to make some enhancement in the future which are based on the findings of this study. The suggestions for further study are:

  1. Developing a mobile application version: a hybrid mobile application and a cross-platform mobile application (Android, iOS, Blackberry & windows phone) can be developed which will eliminate the use of browser on any device. The mobile app can also include a push notification for details of notification for assignment/task and other notifications.
  2. Integration of learning analytics tools to analyse the trends and pattern of learning task that the student shows interest most.

5.4 Conclusion

The project work presented a collaborative and cooperative learning system, which enables students/users to work on a group task by submitting their contribution for assessment. This project has sought to contribute to improving the procedures adopted by university in using a system-based collaborative and cooperative task among the students.

The project achieved its aims and its objectives stated earlier in Chapter one by studying the activities of the existing system before the designing of the web enabled system, using unstructured interview with the user so as to gain proper understanding of the system. Object-oriented analysis and design was use as the design methodology.

The proposed system was developed and developed on the foundation of the existing system and extra functionalities were added where necessary to improve and strengthen the existing system with the help of web and internet technologies such as PHP, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery and MySQL as the database.


5.5 Recommendations

There are also limitations in this study. Participants in this study are computer science students; and hence, results of this study may not be suitable for other aspect. Therefore, recommendation is suggested based on the experiment of this project that Cooperative and collaborative learning systems should contain better interaction mechanisms to support communication activities among lecturers and students in a web enabled learning platform.

The system is efficient and the method used could be integrated in any faculty in any University or academic system. The researcher is confident that this research work will not only aid teaching and research but will also promote learning at all level. Therefore, I strongly recommend that the system should be fully implemented.


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