What are the requirements for an effective adaptive learning system in Al-Baha University?
The main research question to be addressed in the project includes;
• What are the requirements for an effective adaptive learning system?
to develop an integrated adaptive learning system with enhanced features for the Al-Baha University in Saudi Arabia. This enhanced adaptive learning system will enable students and staff at Al-Baha University to improve the quality of their electronic learning and interaction experience. Other objectives of the new project include;
• To establish key requirements, which are important in having an effective course website.
• To provide an enhanced system to students that gives them opportunity to get information faster regarding their courses.
• To provide members of staff with opportunity to interact with students and Al-Baha University community frequently and at any time using the new project.
• To enable staff members have an easy time in facilitating online learning and discussion activities with their students.
• To enable the university update and relay information to students and other stakeholders on time using the new project.
The new project to be developed will have short-term goal of ensuring experience on electronic learning at the Al-Baha University increases with enhancement of the project with critical adds-on features that improve quality of the adaptive learning system at the university.
Beneficiaries of the Project
Students and staff members at Al-Baha University are the major beneficiaries of this system. The system makes it easy critical features to be added to the adaptive learning system at the institutions, which in turn improves the entire experience of electronic learning and interaction among students and staff members.
Problems solved by the project
This new system can be said to solve a number of problems that the community at Al-Baha University experience at the moment as a result of an ineffective adaptive learning system. Some of these problems can be evidenced in the following scenarios;
• Students cannot receive quality information and educational instructional through the university online system.
• Lecturers’ cannot have quality online education, learning, and interaction with their students.
• Information relayed to students via the current system tends to be delayed.
• Students find it difficult to have an updated online course programme.
Methods chosen to realise the project objectives and goals
One important core requirement in this course is to design an ER modeling, as part of the requirements for the course materials on the entity relationship model. Therefore, given the knowledge acquired, an ER modeling that takes a form of customised adaptive learning system known as ‘A-BahaCom’ is created. Successful design and implementation of this new system for the Al-Baha University is the right opportunity to put to use the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the course. The new adaptive learning system is designed by incorporating a number of development platforms such as Java EE based architecture, Microsoft .NET, PHP, and a database back-end (Oneto, Abel, Herder & Smits n.d). Furthermore, the new system aims to integrate key critical features or requirements that enhance the entire system in terms of functionability. To achieve this, a number of LMS are integrated in order to achieve the features desired. Some of the most critical LMS adopted include open-source Claroline, Moodle, Sakai, eXact, and IMC CLIX (Oneto, Abel, Herder & Smits n.d).
Apart from developing a new system, the methodology adopted in this project incorporates the use of survey and questionnaires that generate information regarding the views of stakeholders at Al-Baha University about the key requirements that the new project should have when developed. In other words, information to be collected using survey and questionnaires will basically ask the stakeholders at the university to identify the current challenges of adaptive learning system in place, and what features or aspects they want to be changed or modified.
The construction of questionnaires is based on the research objectives. Questionnaires are justified on the basis that they are free from the researcher’s bias, they allow respondents to answer in their own words, and they give enough time to the respondents to go through the questions,and can reach as many respondents as possible. Where the questionnaires are not used, especially where the researcher aims to evaluate qualitative aspects regarding the development of the new adaptive learning system, survey techniques of interview and observation are used.
Activities to be implemented
The new adaptive learning system is going to function when certain issues are implemented. First, an effective information technology network in the university has to be enhanced by adopting current systems. This is to be followed by implementing an effective IT education and training programme to equip students and teachers with basic IT skills in order to minimise likely problems and challenges that may emanate from the new technology. Besides, the current computers in the computer library are not adequate to enhance a more quality and productive electronic learning process. Therefore, more computers have to be added and the computer lab equipped into a modern status IT library.
Evaluation and success criteria of the project
In order to establish the level of functionability of the project, the evaluation process has to be conducted. The process is largely based on the following aspects:
• In the first six months of the implementation of the project, it is expected that 80% of students and staff members at Al-Baha University use the new adaptive learning system.
• Qualitative and quantitative feedbacks from the students and staff members are generated to establish the ability of the system to meet the needs of users (Seel 2011).
• Assessment of online activities between students and teachers will be conducted through survey methods such as observation and interview of students and staff members.
• An online feedback database system is established to capture information concerning how students and lecturers use the new project by allowing students and staff members to feed critical information into the database.