Visualizing Learning Networks for Instructor Support

V. Tzoumakas and B. Theodoulidis (UK)


Instruction Monitoring, Graph-based Visualization, Problem Based Learning, computer supported collaborative learning


This paper introduces a framework for monitoring of the instruction process in on-line computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) systems. The proposed framework is influenced by the project-based-learning pedagogical approach, which puts emphasis in two main directions; problem solving and communication. Based on this model, we investigate the requirements for effective instruction from the instructor's point of view. We propose the design of an environment which aims at assisting the instructor in visualizing characteristics and patterns of individual and group interactions within the particular educational approach. The system is based on a layered architecture that uses log-data from the collaboration server, parses them in a relational database, processes them using knowledge extraction algorithms and graphically represents them using graph drawing algorithms. We discuss the data model which combines information pertaining to aspects of the instruction such as performance and group functioning. The visualization we propose is based on graph drawing techniques that use physical analogies, aiming at assisting the instructor in various aspects of computer supported instruction.

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