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The tremendous impact of electronic technology (like computer and computer embedded devices, computer networking, artificial intelligence, multimedia among others) on the human psychological capabilities productivity, intellectuality and other human related activities are very obvious. The quest and virtual implementation of computer in all the fields of human endeavor increases with its inevitable impact, these impacts are on its increase due to the need for high quality and timely response. Therefore, this project titled, design and implementation of e-learning platforms for student, is aimed at exploring and incorporating some of these sophisticated technologies for the development of electronic tutorial materials. This work examines and explains the step-by-step procedure for accomplishing the development of the proposed software products, the attainment of the goals and necessary requirement for their implementation. It considers and discusses the impact of the proposed products on the targeted end-users. This project is implemented using HTML, Microsoft asp.net and SQL Server for the online learning platform tutorial application package, and an e-book.
1.1 Background of the study
Learning is one of the very vital human activities that require concentration blended with interactivity, clear and distinct understanding of the facts been stated or discussed, high communication skills and techniques, attractive learning qualities such as colorful pictorial presentations of information among others. Nevertheless, all not learning process is considered to be effective. Effective could be assumed to had been achieved if about hundred percent (100%), of the population lectured assimilate the knowledge and/or ideas across; this is quite different when the population size is very high and there is existences of certain un-conducive learning conditions such as noise, poor ventilation, and extreme temperatures.
For effective learning to take place, it is dependent on many factors. In most cases, these factors arise from the teachers, the students, the teaching and learning media or materials, and the learning environment with its structures. For instance, if a teacher lacks communication skills and techniques, the students, will find it difficult to comprehend, if the necessary media or materials required for teaching and learning is not provided or if the provision is inadequate, the understanding of the subject topic or issue been discussed might be impaired. In addition, the duration for teaching and learning, the rate of understanding and individual learning style effect the assimilation of knowledge by the students; and may have impact on the extent to which the teacher covers the teaching scheme. These factors will, certainly, hamper the effective teaching and learning by the teacher and by the students respectively.
Most especially, the factors affecting effective learning is pronounced in learning aspects where intensive or much practical approach is required for the impacting of knowledge to the students. For example, in computer science much practical knowledge is required especially in computer networking, computer programming, and computer maintenance. The practical equipping of students are been affected by certain factors such as the duration for practical teaching and learning, inadequate computers, availability of computer laboratories, and poor power supply among others. As a result it is generally observed that most computer science students with little or no practical knowledge engages the service of the road side “computer training institute” due to the fact that it is not financially intensive and there is great need for the services, this approach, by such student has high tendency of impacting wrong knowledge on students especially on the terms and explanation of concept s found or used in the computer science world. Therefore, there is the need to reduce this different situation and ensure that the practical standard required of the students is attained.
The progress made in the computer world through the development of sophisticated hardware, software, and other technologies could be employed for the remedy of the situation. Exploring the powerful capabilities of multimedia and implementing it on teaching and learning processes via the production of learning material and products such as e-book, computer assisted learning (CAI), computer aided instruction(CAT), computer based training(CBT), internet based training among others would go a long way towards improving the advancement of the practical and theoretical knowledge of the students. With high quality content value of the e-learning products and the captivating multimedia features embedded in them, a student can easily, assimilate such knowledge (even in the absence of a teacher and the required physical environment) through repetitive
Accessing of the e-learning materials and following the animated instructions contained therein. Finally, the case study computer science department, Federal college of Agriculture Ishiagu is selected due to its proximity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is very obvious that it is required of the computer science students to be practically and theoretically sound so as to face the challenges to be encountered in the labor market. Disappointingly, most of the computer science students are not equipped as expected before lunching them into the labor market.
Often time, the students are found to be the highest set of customers patronizing most of the side “computer training institute” and in turn, might not get the value of services they requested. This situation had been ascribed to many claims, in most occasions, had been made by both students and teachers on the pattern of teaching and learning respectively .for instance, the students claim the greater percentage of the teachers have poor teaching communication skills, and likewise the teachers blame the inadequate teaching and learning facilities and/ or infrastructure as the reason for ineffective learning.
Hence, the problem centers on effective teaching and learning processes for the impacting and the advancement of the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
owing to the difficulties experienced during teaching and learning processes, this project is aimed at implementing e-learning through the development of a web site expected to be published over the internet, a CAL application package that will be installed in a computer, and on e-book in portal document format (PDF); this is to provide different remedy platforms for the shortcoming found in the traditional teaching and learning procedures.
Focusing on the above, the objectives of the study are to develop e-learning applications that are capable of:
I. providing coherent instruction for the selected subject topics
II. Accommodating individual learning style.
III. Encouraging learning and mastering of the individual topic contained therein.
IV. Enhancing the students practical knowledge and broaden their theoretical knowledge.
V. Creating a more interacting learning process.
VI. Overcoming most factors affecting effecting learning such as noise.
VII. Promoting students concentration during learning.
VIII. Accommodation learner’s unrestricted learning schedule.
IX. Promoting quick assimilation of information.
X. Providing accurate and high quality content value.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This project uses the combination of multimedia features, little artificial intelligence features, and human –computer interaction principles for the development of a web site for an online and implementation offline implementation of e-learning. Both of the e-learning are designed for the learning of computer science courses at its introductory level. These proposed e-learning avenues are deviations from the traditional teaching and learning procedure, and as a result have their main importance as follows:
i. Effective learning of the subject topic by the students- the traditional classroom methods have high tendencies of responding to the many factors affecting effecting learning (see table 1 in the appendix for more information). But with the adoption of e-learning, these factors may exist with little or no impact on the learner. Hence, this project is focused on developing e-learning application that will be captivating through the provision of different learning platforms and skillful use of multimedia which will lead to the enhancing of effective learning and reduction of teachers teaching work load.
ii. Cost of learning materials-could be reduced significantly when compared to the cost of traditional learning materials or the cost of conventional instructional system. This is, however, accomplished in this project by providing free access with limited content value to the user.
iii. Reduction in the duration of teaching and learning, and strengthening of teachers effort-according to some research, the training time could be reduced up to sixty percent (60%) as against the traditional classroom method using e-learning products. (khoo, 1994). These, in turn, increase the rate of knowledge assimilation and allow the teachers to direct more effort on other areas where the students are deficient. This is basically achieved in this project the use of certain technological features such as the multimedia features.
Apart from these main importance of the study, other reasons like protecting the students from assimilating wrong information passed on by the quack, the inadequate learning and teaching materials, difficulties to have access to information on time, and the general factors affecting effective learning could take care of.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The proposed e-learning products are targeted for the attainment of effective learning through the use of interactive presentations. Further, the products are expected to be used by computer science students. The product contents are structured to accommodate novice in computer courses and their usage are not limited to computer science students alone but to students of other disciplines who wish to have basic fundamental knowledge.
In the development of the proposed products, certain security consciousness likes piracy where moderately considered while some security measures like password were implemented. Each of the proposed e-learning products have different security requirement. On the side of the e-learning application package, password usage was implemented for discriminating the premium users from the free users. The internet application is designed to have an open unrestricted accessibility; this is to boost products awareness and marketing. The e-book is created in portal document format (PDF) so as to ensure content authenticity. Nonetheless, the three e-learning products do not implement any strong piracy security due to the fact that day after day more sophisticated hardware and software are developed which, in the contrary reason for their development and usage, used for computer product piracy. Finally, the physiological and cognitive impact of the proposed e-learning products on their users have their scope for achieving them limited to the use of multimedia features and interface design. This is one of the most important tasks required to be embedded in the products. In this learning application package, this is accomplished through the use of help menu and help animations, the internet application accomplishes the same task through the use of hyperlinks, flash animations, and still images while the e-book made use of hyperlinks and still images.
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