Paradigm and Architecture of Computing Augmented Learning Management System for Computer Science Education

Paradigm and Architecture of Computing Augmented Learning Management System for Computer Science Education

Ebenezer Anohah (University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2017040105
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Literature suggests that existing learning management systems should be extended to integrate learning activities that aim at enhancing comprehension of students in Computer Science education. Therefore, literature has proposed Computing Augmented Learning Management System (CALMS) that meets the needs of online Computer Science education. However, it's unclear the current state of architecture for the CALMS to assist researchers interrogate and extend its modules for online Computer Science education. Pedagogically to ascertain the thinking direction of current Computer Science educators it's also relevant to understand philosophical stance of learning events from the new idea of CALMS for online computer science education. The review reveals that learning events of the CALMS suggest an adaption of moderate constructivism stance for online Computer Science education. The CALMS incorporate annotations, algorithm or animation visualization and automatic assessment for the purposes of computer science education.
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Online Computer Science education relies on learning management systems for teaching and engaging students in distance. However, regardless of the teaching and learning platform, programming languages are perceived as one of the central concepts for computer science education (Zendler, 2008). Nevertheless, programming courses in particular, need full range of interaction, visualization and collaborative learning media to meet the needs of novice programmers (Thota et al., 2009). Unfortunately, stimulating interaction and algorithm or animation visualization with current learning management system create a challenging task for Computer Science education (Thota et al., 2009). Therefore, to customize the course environment to meet the learning needs of novice programmers and enable the integration of specialized Computer Science education tools necessitated the idea of a Computing Augmented Learning Management System (CALMS) (Thota et al., 2009; Rößling et al., 2008). According to the ITiCSE 2008 working group, CALMS is a standard that can be customized by educators to meet their needs by integrating Computer Science content with plug-in modules of learning systems developed by themselves or others (Robling et al., 2008). In other words, CALMS are LMS designed specifically for Computer Science education (Brusilovsky et al., 2014).

Setting up scope for the CALMS, Robling et al (2008) point out that the aforementioned system ought to provide ability to integrate dynamic visualizations and simulations of algorithms and data structures, automatic functional assessment, support students code experiments, group work and specific subareas of Computer Science such as formal languages, modeling or simulations. Most especially the automatic assessment system proposed for CALMS seeks to increase efficiency of computing educators and attend to large class sizes in developing countries.

The aforementioned scope for CALMS patronizes certain theory of thinking and learning activities that depart from the traditional constructivism ways of acquiring knowledge and skills in Computer Science education. An interrogation into epistemological bases of CALMS stands to highlight underlying philosophical paradigm of computing educators towards online studies in Computer Science education. The implication of a philosophical paradigm from CALMS shed light on current theory of thinking of computing educators towards the debate between objectivism and constructivism. The extent of departure of computing educators’ choice of learning activities from constructivism stand point towards adaptation of aspects of objectivism would suggest whether epistemological bases of CALMS are rooted in radical or moderate constructivism for online Computer Science education. Similarly, the architecture for CALMS seeks to highlight conceptualization of its current state and extendable option to existing Learning Management Systems (LMS).

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