Learning Electromagnetism through the MATHEMA

By Alexandros Papadimitriou, Maria Grigoriadou and Georgios Gyftodimos.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes the didactic strategies and the educational material offered by the adaptive educational hypermedia system MATHEMA. The general aim of the MATHEMA is the support of senior high school students, through an interactive and constructivist environment, to learn physics (electromagnetism) individually and/or collaboratively, and to overcome their possible misconceptions and learning difficulties as well.
A primary principle of individualized learning is that no single didactic strategy is the best for all students. As a consequence, students will be able to achieve learning goals more efficiently when pedagogical procedures are adapted to their individual differences. The learning style describes individual differences in learning. In order to support multiple didactic strategies taking into account the students’ learning style, we chose Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and we adopted the following didactic approaches in the MATHEMA: presentation of theory and examples, questions on video simulations, exercise solving, and problem solving by using experimentation through simulations, explorations, guided discovery, and collaboration in pairs. Didactic approaches and educational material are adapted by the MATHEMA to the students according to their learning style.
An experimental study with senior high school students indicated that they improve their performances when studying through the MATHEMA.

Keywords: Adaptive Presentation, Learning Styles, Experiential Learning Theory Constructivist Environment Electromagnetism

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.371-390. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.729MB).

Dr. Alexandros Papadimitriou

PhD Candidate, Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Athens, Greece

Alexandros Papadimitriou received his diploma from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NTUA in 1992 and his M.Sc. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, NTUA in 2004. He is now in the PhD program in Computer Science at the department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens. His current research interests lie in the areas of adaptive educational hypermedia systems, adaptive presentation by using learning styles, misconceptions and learning difficulties in learning Physicsadaptive group formation and peer help, interactive problem solving support, and meta-adaptation techniques. In 2008, he was awarded with Outstanding Paper Award of the ED-MEDIA 2008 conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications.

Prof. Maria Grigoriadou

Associate Professor, Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Athens, Greece

Maria Grigoriadou received her BA in Physics from University of Athens in 1968 and her D.E.A and Doctorat from the University of Paris VII in 1972 and 1975, accordingly. She is now an Associate Professor in Education and Language Technology, and head of the Education and Language Technology Group, Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens. Her current research interests lie in the areas of adaptive learning environments, Web-based education, ITS, educational software, natural language processing tools, and computer science education. She has wined 7 awards, has participated in 15 projects, and has 4 invited talks. She has 27 publications in international Journals, 6 in international book chapters, 115 in proceedings of international conferences, 11 posters, and more than 300 citations to her research work. She is a member of IEEE, AACE, IADIS, EDEN, Kaleidoscope, and LeMoRe.

Georgios Gyftodimos

Assistant Professor, Department of Phylosophy of Science, University of Athens, Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Greece

Georgios Gyftodimos has obtained a degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Informatics. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy of Science, University of Athens. His interests lie in the domains of knowledge representation and modeling for cognitive purposes. He participates in the Interdiscipli-nary Postgraduate program on Cognitive Science organized in this Department, where he teaches courses in AI, Evolutionary Programming, and Simulation. He is an IEEE fellow.

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