ubi:mentor enabling interactive, personalized hands-on training of web-based applications
ubi:mentor constitutes an educational environment that interactively integrates and fruitfully combines the Web-based application software to be taught with the personalized training and educational procedure. ubi:mentor provide real-time interoperability and interaction with the e-learning synchronous and asynchronous capabilities of the widely -known and -adopted Moodle Learning Management System, in the scope of training process improvement and efficient monitoring of the trainee. The combination of synchronous and asynchronous e-learning and hands-on training in application software products (as proposed by ubi:mentor) in conjunction with educational approaches and pedagogic models have the potentials to introduce a holistic technology-enhanced learning, e-training and educational process monitoring environment.
ubi:mentor incorporates a set of mechanisms that develop the technical preconditions required in order the trainee to be able to use and interact, for training purposes, with the application software to be taught, instead of using an inflexible and inadequate simulation environment. These mechanisms facilitates the context-sensitive access of the trainee to the components and the functionality of the application software being taught, regarding the learning and training level of the trainee. ubi:mentor integrates a set of mechanisms that defines each user’s access rights to several training areas of the e-learning environment depending on the user’s competencies level. These mechanisms identifies the training goals of each end-user, ensures the intelligent access of end-users to the digital learning content, to the appropriate step of the training process and to the suitable components of the application software to be taught. and evaluates and assesses the overall performance of the end-user in a given training scenario. ubi:mentor utilizes and extends the Moodle LMS, so as to realize a typical system for automatic evaluation of trainees, including tools for creating queries of several types (e.g. multiple choice exercises), tools for composing tests, an organized exercises repository, test and exercises interfaces, and mechanisms for automated performance assessment.
ubi:mentor provides the appropriate tools for the creation and reproduction of e-training scenarios for the application to be taught. In the case of the trainer that means that he/she has the appropriate tools in order to create e-learning scenarios by interacting directly with the application software and not by creating a simulation. For the case of the trainee, he/she is able to be trained on the actual software.
Thus, ubi:mentor functionality for recording e-training scenarios by capturing the interactions between the end-user and the actual application to be taught. This functionality allows an end-user (in this case the trainer) to effective capture a sequence of interaction between himself/herself and an arbitrary Web application. This functionality includes actions like starting the process of capturing, pausing and finishing the capturing. Once the e-training scenario is recorder and the recorded user interactions are formulated in a well-structured and machine-interpretable graph, ubi:mentor realizes their annotation, defining a set of extensibility elements regarding the e-training scenarios. These Extensibility Elements will enrich the already capturing e-training scenarios with valuable metadata information that will provide the necessary pedagogical value to them. Upon request, ubi:mentor has the ability to reproduce any e-training scenario selected, providing the user with a unique training experience on the application to be taught itself.
Finally, ubi:mentor challenges the trainee to perform specific scenarios on the software to be taught, recording the user interactions with Web-based application and comparing his/her interactions with the respective training scenario graph captured by the trainer – so as to automatically assess the actual performance of trainee.
Benefits and Pedagogic Contribution
ubi:mentor contributes at a pedagogical level in the following ways:
- it improves the quality of the provided e-learning services;
- it enables the trainee to become a real user of the application software product taught in realistic usage scenarios;
- it enables the simple application user to turn instantly into a trainee;
- it offers mature conditions of apprenticeship development, even with the natural and electronic absence of an experienced application user;
- it offers new and innovative potentials for e-learning content creation and maintenance;
- it adopts a widely known and accepted framework concerning the monitoring and the evaluation of the e-learning procedure; and
- it could potentially support an automated process regarding the certification of competencies on specific application software products.