It is challenging to keep students motivated and engaged with course content outside the classroom. While there is plethora of research on different in-class student engagement methods, there is a dearth of research on keeping students engaged with traditional out-of-class activities. This research will develop a new learning environment, called Dysgu (learning in Welsh) which will optimize the learning experience outside the classroom. The Dysgu environment will provide students with interactive and motivating out-of-class activities, and accommodate personalization and adaptation to satisfy student’s specific needs. This research employs a novel approach by incorporating four distinct factors; interactive out-of-class activities, mobile technology, social networking, and gamification. The interactive activities are smaller than traditional out-of-class activities allowing for instructional scaffolding that can be deployed more frequently and with higher expectations to promote self-fulfilling prophecy. Mobile technology based learning environment will be used to deliver and administer such activities, as current generation of students are active users of this technology. Incorporating social networking in the learning environment will allow students to anonymously participate in interactions and view their own progress compared to their peers. Finally, the gamification components will be used to encourage students to participate and become engaged in the activities. Having a mobile interactive learning environment will allow faculty to facilitate learning even after the students leave the classroom and enable early intervention when students fall behind their peers.

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Grant Info

nsf.gov wssu.edu

09/15/2017 - 08/31/2020
Award number:
Funding program
Dr. Muztaba Fuad
Computer Science
Dr. Lynn Zubov
Dr. Monika Akbar
Computer Science
External Evaluator:
Dr. Clay Gloster
School of Sci. & Tech.


  • April 2020:
  • Paper accepted for presentation at 25th ACM ITiCSE Conference.

  • February 2020:
  • Dysgu is used in class for the first time.

  • September 2019:
  • April 2019:
  • Alpha version of Dysgu is released

  • December 2018:
  • Project advisory meeting was held.

  • September 2018:
  • Paper accepted for presentation at 48th IEEE FIE Conference , San Jose, California.

  • April 2018:
  • Paper accepted for presentation at 6th LATICE Conference , Auckland, New Zealand.

  • April 2018:
  • Three research students presented their work at the Scholarship Day poster presentation on-campus.

  • December 2017:
  • Project website is up and running.

  • November 2017:
  • Project setup is done, student researchers are hired and project is in full swing.


    nsf.gov wssu.edu

    1. Fuad, M., Akbar, M., & Zubov, L. (2020, June). Keeping Students Occupied with the Course Contents After Leaving the Classroom. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), pp. 545-546, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3341525.3393990

    2. Fuad M., Akbar M., and Zubov L. 2020. Social Learning and Scaffolding to Improve Student’s Self-efficacy and Engagement. In Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1288. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3328778.3372583.

    3. Fuad M., Dysgu: A Tool to Keep Students Engaged Outside the Classroom, IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE) 2019, 289-296, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, December, 2019. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TALE48000.2019.9225894.

    4. Fuad M., Akbar M., Zubov L. and Deb D., Out-of-class Activities: What Have We Been Doing and How We Can Change it for the Future. ICCSE 2019: 714-719, IEEE Press, Toronto, Canada, August, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCSE.2019.8845513

    5. Fuad M., Akbar M. and Zubov L., “Dysgu: A Mobile-based Adaptive System to Redesign Out-of-class Activities, Proceedings of the IEEE Frontiers In Education (FIE) conference, 1-5, IEEE Press, San Jose, CA, October, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2018.8659143

    6. Fuad M., Akbar M. and Zubov L., “Active Learning for Out-of-Class Activities Using Interactive Mobile Apps”, Sixth IEEE International Conference on Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTICE), 110-111, April 20-22, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/LaTICE.2018.00008

    Student Research Assistants

    Khaylia Ricks

    Vanessa E. Shogreen

    Brixx-John Garcia Panlaqui

    Isaiah J. Smith

    Mina M. Guirguis

    Thomas Blazak

    Carlos Clavijo

    Michael Kennedy