About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2051-2057
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1441

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

BLENDED LEARNING: SIMULATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE TO TEACH IT STUDENTS RESEARCH SKILLS

P. Brockmann

Technische Hochschule Nuernberg (GERMANY)
For many educators, the recent focus has been on trying to teach students in non-STEM subjects IT skills necessary to succeed in the digital work force. In contrast, computer science students learn IT skills as part of their curriculum, but often lack the research skills necessary to succeed in graduate work. This paper describes a blended learning course designed to help computer science students at the master's degree level acquire the research skills necessary to publish scientific papers.

Instead of abstract lectures, students took part in a simulation of an international scientific research conference. Several stages of the research process were practiced for a concrete research topic, "Bionic Computation". A Moodle platform for the course served as the medium for the exchange of information and discussion. After a short orientation lecture about how to find a research topic, students formed small groups of two to three people. Each group selected an area of interest. Students then learned to use online digital libraries to access current research papers in their area of interest. Each group read and summarized 10 papers and uploaded the summaries to the course Wiki. In this manner, students virtually collaborated to develop their own shared pool of summaries. The next step was to generate research questions. Using creativity techniques such as brain writing and mind maps, each group generated a set of possible research questions for their topic. Once the research questions are defined, they next each developed an abstract of 100 words or less, including research questions, methods and relevant state of the art literature. Students then conducted mini-experiments utilizing their research methods on open source data. Results were analyzed, discussed and conclusions drawn. Students wrote final papers using IEEE templates as they would for a real conference.

Papers were uploaded by each group to the Moodle platform, without the names of the authors. Using a peer-review plug-in developed at our university, each group received papers from two different groups, which they reviewed anonymously. The instructor served as the third anonymous reviewer. Each group then received the results of three anonymous reviews, but didn't know which review was written by their peers and which by the instructor. After receiving their reviews, each group to revised and submitted their camera-ready papers to the platform. On the final day, an in-house conference was conducted. Each group presented their work described in their papers and moderated a group discussion. At the end of the conference, students voted for a Best Paper Award.

At the end of the course, a project review and retrospective was conducted. During the semester, students had initially complained of stress in meeting each of the "conference" deadlines to submit their abstracts, initial papers, serving as reviewers and final papers. At the end of the semester, they felt that these deadlines helped make the simulation feel real. Compared to what they would have learned in an abstract theoretical lecture, students felt that they had learned more about scientific research methods by actually taking part in a mini research project. After participating in a simulated conference, the group which won the Best Paper Award submitted their paper to an international research conference and will be taking part in this real conference at the end of July.
@InProceedings{BROCKMANN2018BLE,
author = {Brockmann, P.},
title = {BLENDED LEARNING: SIMULATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE TO TEACH IT STUDENTS RESEARCH SKILLS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1441},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1441},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2051-2057}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Brockmann
TI - BLENDED LEARNING: SIMULATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE TO TEACH IT STUDENTS RESEARCH SKILLS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1441
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 2051
EP - 2057
ER -
P. Brockmann (2018) BLENDED LEARNING: SIMULATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE TO TEACH IT STUDENTS RESEARCH SKILLS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 2051-2057.
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