Education and Learning

The PDF format is used to allow ease of reuse of figures and text, quoted with citation.

Publication citations are given where a version of the report has been published. Often material has been edited in publication and the cited version differs to some extent.

Some remarks on computer-based educational systems, B.R.Gaines, Report to a University/Industry Task Force on Computer-Based Educational Systems, 1968. PDF.

This document is intended as an indication of the order of magnitude of commencing a realistic computer-based educational research program in Britain. (Reprinted for its historic interest in illustrating the technology and approaches to computer-based education in 1968)

A spectrum from pounds to fortunes, B.R.Gaines, Times Higher Education Supplement, 264, 26, 1976. PDF.

A continuous spectrum is now available ranging from the microcessor (computer-on-a-chip) for a few pounds, through minicomputers (oomputer-on-a-board) for a few hundred pounds, midi-computers (computer-in-a-box) for a few thousand pounds, small office systems (computer-in-a-cabinet) for some tens of thousands, to central computer services (computer-in-room) for some hundreds thousands, and giant machhines (computer-in-a-building) for those with miIlions to spend on weather forecasting and military modelling.

Tracking the creativity cycle with a microcomputer, Mildred L G Shaw & B.R.Gaines, International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 17(1), 75-85, 1982. PDF.

One of the major attractions of introducing electronic technology in education has been that of providing individualized instruction. However, it has proved very difficult to obtain a representation of each student's inferred knowledge state on which to base such individualization. In this paper we present Kelly's personal construct psychology as a framework for the analysis of the educational process and educational system, and particularly for the practical determination of relevant features of the knowledge state. His notions of constructive alternativism, and the creativity cycle in particular, are both of major theoretical significance and can also be studied through interactive microcomputer programs eliciting the construct systems of students and teachers.

Mapping creativity with conceptual modeling tools, Mildred L G Shaw & B.R.Gaines, Proceedings of the AAAI Workshop on Creativity: Models, Methods and Tools. pp.32-45. Anaheim, California, 1991. PDF.

Many of the tools developed within the knowledge acquisition research community to support the knowledge engineer in developing knowledge-based systems are based on methodologies from psychology, education or management designed to support people in developing overt conceptual models. Often the root discipline already has explicit models of the roles of these methodologies in supporting the human creative process. Given the tremendous technical progress in developing a variety of interactive knowledge acquisition tools in recent years it is appropriate to investigate the applicability of these tools to their original domain of application in the root disciplines. This paper reports some preliminary experiments on the application of conceptual modeling tools based on personal construct psychology to support first year graduate students in establishing their research directions and identities.

Women, scholarship and information technology: a post-modern perspective, Mildred L G Shaw, Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada. pp.113-131, 1994. PDF.

Post-modern perspectives emphasize the social construction of meaning and seek to overcome the bias that arises from linear thinking and a narrow focus on objective values. This provides a framework for the analysis of information technology as arising out of social needs rather than being an autonomous phenomenon that has created an 'information age'. However, education in University Computer Science departments generally provides disciplinary perspectives which emphasize the technology and pay little attention to its social origins. This is both an effect of the male-domination of these departments, and a cause of the unattractiveness of computer science degree courses to female students. It also leads to a cognitive bias in the discipline such that major phenomena, such as the growth of the Internet, are neglected because they cannot be understood in technological terms but reflect major social needs. This paper discusses these issues and ways in which the impact of the gender bias can be alleviated through approaches to teaching core material in the computer science curriculum, such as software engineering, which has an intrinsic and accepted social dimension. Information technology is too important to society for it to be presented to students in a way that fails to address the significance of social issues.

Comparing constructions through the web, Mildred L G Shaw & Brian R Gaines, Proceedings of CSCL95: Computer Supported Cooperative Learning. 300-307. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995. PDF.

Much of the richness of a collaborative learning environment comes from the differing constructions that different learners bring to the learning domain. However, the differences in terminology and its usage that stem from different construct systems can also be major impediments to collaboration. Techniques from personal construct psychology may be used to make such tacit differences overt and a source of rich discussion among collaborative learners. This article describes the use of construct elicitation, modeling and comparison services on the World-Wide Web to enable collaborative learners to understand one anotherŐs constructs.

Collaboration through concept maps, Brian R Gaines & Mildred L G Shaw Proceedings of CSCL95: Computer Supported Cooperative Learning. 135-138. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995. PDF.

Concept maps have been used in education, policy studies and the philosophy of science to provide a visual representation of knowledge structures and argument forms. They provide a complementary alternative to natural language as a means of communicating knowledge. In many disciplines various forms of concept map are already used as formal knowledge representation systems, for example: semantic networks in artificial intelligence, bond graphs in mechanical and electrical engineering, Petri nets in communications, and category graphs in mathematics. This paper describes the design and applications of groupware concept mapping tools designed to support collaboration in dispersed learning communities.

The learning web: a system view and an agent-oriented model, D.H.Norrie and B.R.Gaines, International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1(1) 23-41, 1995. PDF.

The notion of a learning society has long been promoted as the next stage of evolution of the educational system from the inculation of skills and knowledge to the development of capacities which enable people to learn continuously for the rest of their lives. This evolutionary step is vital to the continued health of human societies in a post-modern age of rapid and unceasing change where the certainties of the past have been replaced by the uncertainties of a future that requires continuous learning. The move to a learning society requires changes in personal attitudes and the educational infrastructure. It also requires major technological support to provide open access to a learning environment for all people, in all places at all times. This paper presents progress in the development of the Learning Web, an agent-oriented network supporting knowledge access, collaboration and simulation, in order to provide a widely accessible learning environment. The essence of the Learning Web is an open architecture supporting integration of heterogeneous subsystems in which their is a natural symbiosis between human and computer agents.

Foundations for the learning web, B.R.Gaines, D.H.Norrie and M.L.G. Shaw. Carlson, P. & Makedon, F. (Eds.) Proceedings of ED-TELECOM 96: World Conference on Educational Telecommunications. 109-114. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, June 1996. PDF.

The learning web was presented [Norrie and Gaines, 1995] at EdMedia'95 as a systemic approach to the modeling and support of knowledge processes in a learning society. This article addresses the rationale for, and systemic foundations of, the learning web, its implications for restructuring the higher education system, and the role of information technology in supporting that restructuring. Two associated articles report on the implementation of some of the technologies necessary to support the learning web [Gaines and Shaw, 1996], and some preliminary experience in applying them in undergraduate education [Shaw and Gaines, 1996].

Implementing the learning web, B.R.Gaines and M.L.G. Shaw, (a shortened version appeared in Proceedings of ED-TELECOM 96: World Conference on Educational Telecommunications. 359. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, June 1996). PDF.

The implementation of a system to support a learning web (Norrie and Gaines, 1995) involves the coordinated support of a wide range of knowledge processes in a learning community. These include the discourse processes among members of the community, the dissemination of knowledge through documents and multimedia resources, the elicitation, sharing and comparison of conceptual structures, and the exploration of the consequences of knowledge through simulation and application. Currently the Internet provides excellent tools supporting discourse such as email list servers, and supporting multimedia resource dissemination through World Wide Web (web) servers and browsers. Mediator, a prototype learning web implementation, involves integrating these existing tools with new ones supporting the collaborative modeling of conceptual structures through questionnaires, concept maps and repertory grids. This article describes the Mediator architecture and its implementation on the web, and describes and exemplifies the use of existing facilities and the additional tools.

Experience with the learning web, M.L.G. Shaw and B.R.Gaines, Proceedings of ED-TELECOM 96: World Conference on Educational Telecommunications. 320-325. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, June 1996. PDF.

The learning web approach can be introduced into existing undergraduate courses and doing so provides the basis for its implementation on a larger scale transcending institutional boundaries. However, an essential prerequisite is the restructuring of existing pedagogical approaches, de-emphasizing received wisdom and authority of the instructor, and emphasizing collaborative learning and meta-reflection on all aspects of the learning process itself. The instructor becomes a facilitator of students learning to learn, and eventually that process of learning to learn must itself become an overt topic for discussion by students fully participating in its management. In the same way that in the current educational system the home prepares for the school and the school prepares for the university, the university must come to see itself as preparing students for a role in a learning society in which they have come to understand and manage their own processes of lifelong learning. This article describes experience in using the learning web approach and technologies in some senior undergraduate courses in Computer Science.

A research-based masters program in the workplace, M.L.G. Shaw and B.R.Gaines, Proceedings of WCCCE'98: Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education, May 1998. PDF.

The Software Engineering Research Network (SERN) is funded by industry and administered by the Industrial Software Engineering Chair at the University of Calgary to support the dissemination of good practice in software engineering. One component of SERN's activities is a thesis-based masters program with a specialization in software engineering targeted on students with industrial experience in full-time employment. This program has dual objectives: to develop highly-qualified personnel; and to encourage industry-based software engineering research with a focus on good practice. The program commenced in September 1996, and this article describes experience in its operation.

CPCS 6-Apr-2012