Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 4377-4387
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1097
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
In the recent past there has been growing interest in how technology can improve the efficiency of education at all levels. When used appropriately, Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can expand access to information, strengthen the relevance of education to the modern digital workplace, and raise educational quality by transforming learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life. Until recently, they were mainly used to support concepts like distant learning, educational games, intelligent tutoring and e-learning applications. The notion of Intelligent Classrooms has prevailed during the past decade, envisioning classrooms equipped with technologically enhanced artifacts that aim to replace the traditional students' and teachers' desks and classroom boards.

The diversity of characteristics among the potential artifacts outlines the need for a unified working environment for both students and teachers, while it points out the interaction challenges that stem from the cross-device migration of the available applications. To address these issues, this work introduces CognitOS, a web-based window manager that hosts educational applications. CognitOS instantiates a common Look'n'Feel across the various classroom artifacts, thus transforming the classroom into a unified environment rather than a group of isolated units. Additionally, in cooperation with LECTOR, a framework able to identify student behaviors, CognitOS is able to intervene to draw the educator’s attention in problematic situations, and re-engage distracted or unmotivated students in the educational process. The term Intervention is used to describe the system-guided actions that subtly interrupt a course’s flow in order to help the students throughout their activities. Currently, CognitOS is deployed in an in-vitro Intelligent Classroom consisting of commercial (e.g., tablets, smartphones, interactive board) and custom made (e.g., smart desk) student and teacher artifacts.

The supported applications are described below:
‘My Book’ is the electronic version of the students’ books
‘My Exercises’ are the online representation of various types of exercises (e.g., multiple choice)
‘Hints’ are launched when the student asks for help about an exercise
‘My Media’ is used to display multimedia
‘My Profile’ contains the student’s personal information and performance statistics.

Regarding its role as an intervention host, CognitOS is able to present four types of interventions: notices, augmentations, alterations and restrictions. Actually, interventions are any of the aforementioned applications instantiated at a key point in time with appropriate content.
Augmentations: the applications are displayed in “mini-view” presenting auxiliary content alongside with other material.

The applications are displayed in “full-view” so as to monopolize the student’s interest.

A notification system is able to deliver appropriate messages.

A lock mechanism is able to deny access when the application content is deemed irrelevant
A heuristic evaluation was conducted to eliminate any major usability errors before proceeding with user testing. A small group of evaluators inspected the interface and judged its compliance with recognized usability principles. The next steps include the incorporation of the improvements revealed by the heuristic evaluation and the realization of a full-scale user-based evaluation with teachers and students.
Intelligent classroom, educational interventions, educational working environment, unified window manager.