Teaching and Learning Modelling and Specification Based on Mobile Devices and Cloud: A Case Study

Teaching and Learning Modelling and Specification Based on Mobile Devices and Cloud: A Case Study

Fernando Moreira (IJP, REMIT, UPT & IEETA, UA, Porto, Portugal) and Maria João Ferreira (REMIT, UPT & ALGORITMI, UM, Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2017100103
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Teaching Requirements Engineering and, in particular modelling and specification requirements, at the higher education institutions is an “arduous” task according to the literature. In this way, it is proposed an approach that aims to contribute for filling this gap. So, in the context of a degree in Informatics, and following the guidelines of the Information Systems courses provided by ACM/AIS, we explore the Modeling and Specification (MS) of requirements using Unified Modelling Language (UML) integrated into the TLP (TLP-MS) activity of the BML Context Oriented (BML-CO) model. These activities (modelling and specification of requirements) are supported by the use of the Lucidchart tool in a collaborative environment.
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Mobile devices have been gradually introduced in educational contexts in recent decades due to factors such as the new social needs in educational technologies, the development of market economy, improvement of forms and methods of learning (Awadh & Higgins, 2013). Mobile technology has led most people to carry their own individual devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) that already have a high computing power, storage, etc. This large amount of computing power and portability, combined with wireless tools and context sensitivity, makes these devices a great potential learning tool, both in the traditional classrooms, or in informal learning outdoors, taking the development of mobile learning (m_Learning).

Educationally advanced countries have developed strong policies and strategies to address the educational needs of the XXI century. These countries are the pioneers in how to take advantage of mobile devices in the teaching-learning process (TLP). Some European countries have developed some m_Learning projects, for example, in the UK, the MoLeNET1, has a sterling £ 12 million budget and 40,000 students. In Australia, the feasibility and m_Learning sustainability is a topic of intense debate, since 65% of people have their own smartphone, 37% its own tablet, and about 1/3 of the population have both devices (Deepend, 2014).

Moreover, in terms of promoting innovation in education through various technologies (Web 2.0, cloud, etc.) have been adapted for teaching and learning (Cochrane and Oldfield, 2011), not only in supporting the traditional teaching, but also through the collection and sharing of information, also can promote innovative methods of teaching through cooperative learning, exploratory learning outside the classroom, and games-based learning (Moreira et al., 2016).

When the learning environment is stimulating, students become curious and facilitate immersion in the teaching-learning process (TLP) (Osang et al., 2013). Simultaneously, students are able to use their mobile devices (Bring Your Own Device, BYOD) anywhere, anytime, in order to continuously learn and stay active. In this context, according to Toktarova V., et al. (2015) there are new requirements for the design and development of educational mobile applications, or the use of existing applications, to making your application on effective TLP: (i) integration with multiple systems and e-learning services; (ii) Adequate supply of content for effective learning; (iii) Distribution of learning materials in various shapes and sizes; (iv) ergonomics, simplicity and the possibility of working with educational web applications; (v) stability, reliability and productivity, provide efficient utilization and high availability of the application for a large number of students at the same time. These factors lead to an increased number and complexity of tasks.

Requirement Engineering (RE) is a stage in the software life cycle and the success of the final product – software system – critically depends on the designer’s understanding the problem to be solved. This understanding is compiled into a formal document – Software Requirements Specification (SRS), which should unambiguously, completely and consistently describe requirements (ISO, 2012).

RE process is an ongoing and interplaying and iterative. Nevertheless, there are several approaches that diverge on the definition of which activities need to be satisfied in the RE process. Wexler et al. (2008) claimed that in context of a RE course the process is composed by five activities – Elicitation; Analysis, Negotiation and Prioritization, Modeling and Specification; Documentation and Validation.

In this paper is explored the Modeling and Specification (MS) of requirements using UML integrated into the TLP (TLP-MS) activity of the BML Context Oriented (BML-CO) model (Moreira and Ferreira, 2016). These activities (modelling and specification requirements) are supported by the use of the Lucidchart tool in a collaborative environment.

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