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Title: An adaptive e-learning system for sea-farers
Author: Aly, Mobamed Sbaaban Mobamed Sbaaban
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 3618
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2008
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Such resources as the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) are good vehicles for making possible and for facilitating collaborative learning (Rovai, 2003). Collaborative e-Iearning is very beneficial (Forrester & Jantzie, 1999) for many disciplines which mostly combine theoretical parts and practical tasks and skills. Particularly, it is very constructive for sea-farers (Tallack, 1997) onboard especially when the minimum configuration of equipment is required (Cui et at., 2005) for an efficient system. Because of individual differences relating to their natures and characteristics, people learn in different ways (DeCapua & Wintergerst, 2005). This is due to many factors that contribute to individual differences in learning. That is to say, that their learning styles may change according to the learning environment. So, it is very important to consider such variations within an e-Iearning context (Rovai, 2003; Nabeth et al., 2004). Therefore, the system should be adaptive to each leamer's needs and requests (Shon, 2002). In this context, it is relevant to investigate the leamer's learning style in a standalone system rather than in a collaborative learning system that may add other factors which can affect their learning outcomes. Collaborative learning systems, which include maritime education and training (MET) systems, could affect the learning outcomes by distinctive features such as: e-mail, discussion opportunities, simulation capability with another party, or any other factors that may take the system away from its proposed target (Zhang et al., 2006). Hence, the proposed learning system in this work is designed to be a stand-alone system in order to investigate whether an adaptive e-Iearning system leads to better learning outcomes than a non-adaptive e-Iearning system. It is relevant here to state that any attempt to control all other factors that could affect learning outcomes is an impossible task (Zikmund, 2000).In this regard, one of the most important issues is the learning theory which specialists and researchers have classified within different approaches during the 20th century to the present time. Most specialists tend to combine principles of one approach with the principles of the preceding approach into one overall approach. The chosen theories for the proposed learning system in this study are those which contain principles or features specified for designing a learning system and could be implemented by the selected authoring tool. Authorwarewas chosen for the proposed system because of its rich capabilities for e-Iearning system design. It is integrated within an artificial intelligence (AI) technique - production rules - for controlling the interactions between the system and different learners and pedagogically for the adaptability purpose as well. This adaptability is based on the leamer's learning style in which the system adapts itself and guides the learner upon her/his interaction with the system through her/his path of learning from one lesson to another. The adaptability and changes by the system continue and are not only confined to one time at the leamer's first use. However, it continues during her/his learning for better learning achievement. That is why all the different learning styles that are identified by the index of learning styles instrument (ILS4) are considered and controlled in the proposed design by a number of pedagogical rules. Meanwhile the system maintains changes of its interface setting at a minimum; thus, preventing any disturbance of the learner in her/his learning session. The proposed system is designed, developed, and implemented on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) course for its importance for life-saving at sea. The proposed system has been tested on thirty male marine students of the same age range and of the same nationality. Also, the output data of the trail has been prepared and processed statistically. Another set of data has been collected through a questionnaire; this data has been used for discussion to answer the research hypothesis and many other questions which have come up during the research. The results show that the adaptability of the leamer's learning style that could change during learning from situation to situation may lead to better learning outcomes than the non-adaptive learning system, if the system addresses the taught material through a method that matches the leamer's learning style.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available