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[ Index | Introduction | Expositive | Demonstrative | Interactive | Practical | Conclusion | References ]




Conclusion


        The learning environment for digital electronics based on the tools presented here has been used to support the teaching of the regular course Digital Systems Electronics, with different modalities. Initially it has been distributed to students on diskettes, then it has been installed, together with communication facilities [28], on a network server. Currently, it is exploited as a complementary resource for the students of the academic class and as a distance learning course for another set of students. An evaluation process carried out at the end of the first experimental phase, the local delivery on diskettes, has provided information on how students evaluate the learning environment [29]. Figure 21 is particularly remarkable for our analysis, because it summarizes students’ judgment about the two main kind of components in the courseware: expositive material and tools (Fig. 21a and Fig. 21b, respectively). The two graphs show clearly that students generally prefer practicing with the tools instead of reading hypertextual material or watching simple animation. We interpret this result as the confirmation of our basic assumption that hypertext-based theoretical lessons are less effective than interactive tools. The learning-by-doing paradigm is really the way to proceed in the implementation of CBL application, at least in scientific and technological fields [30].





Figure 21

Fig. 21. Students’ evaluation of the learning environment:
a) usefulness of hypertextual pedagogical material; b) usefulness of learning tools.
(1-useless - 5-very useful)





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