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Students’ Perceptions Of the Implementation of a Cyberlearning Tool

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Cyber Technology

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Debra M. Duke Virginia Commonwealth University

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Debra Duke is an Instructor and the Undergraduate Director in the Computer Science Department of the College of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. Debra received her Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006. She worked as a Software Developer at mDimension Technology making use of her experience in several programming languages, database design and development, software engineering, and web application development.
She began teaching computer science at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia in 2009 and moved to VCU in August 2016.
Debra has served on the advisory board for Lighthouse for Computer Science (LH4CS). The goal of the Lighthouse project is to improve computer science diversity through faculty professional development. In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Council for the Deep Run High School’s Center for Information Technology in Glen Allen, Virginia, where she provides program support and assists in curriculum development for their technology-based preparatory program for future computer scientists.

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Mandayam Thirunarayanan Florida International University

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Mandayam Osuri Thirunarayanan is an associate professor in the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE) at Florida International University, in Miami, Florida. He teaches courses in learning technologies at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. He also supervises doctoral dissertations. His research interests include distance education, cyber-learning, and videogames in education. He has proposed innovative and futuristic educational applications.

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Abigail Byram Virginia Commonwealth University


Peter J. Clarke Florida International University

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Peter J. Clarke received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) in 1987, M.S. degree from SUNY Binghamton University in 1996 and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clemson University in 2003. His research interests are in the areas of software testing, software metrics, model-driven software development, domain-specific modeling languages, and computer science education. He is currently an associate professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. He is a member of the ACM (SIGSOFT, SIGCSE, and SIGAPP); IEEE Computer Society; and a member of the Association for Software Testing (AST).

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A cyberlearning tool was developed to facilitate teaching and learning of software engineering courses. The tool, SEP-CyLE (Software Engineering and Programming Cyberlearning Environment), was developed by a publicly funded research university and is currently being used by at least seven other universities across the United States of America. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided funding for the development and implementation of the tool. Since its initial development the scope of the tool has been expanded for use in other university level computer science courses.

The three learning engagement strategies (LESs) that are an integral part of the tool are (i) collaboration, (ii) gamification, and (iii) social interaction. This paper focuses on the gamification strategy that was implemented in an introductory computer programming courses at a university that was one of the locations for the multi-site project funded by the NSF.

A study was conducted to determine students’ perceptions of the cyberlearning tool and how it was implemented. Data for the study were obtained through interview and focus group sessions. The data were transcribed and the major ideas expressed by the students during the interview and focus group sessions will be presented and discussed during the proposed session. The usefulness of the tool and the motivational aspects of the gamification strategy will be highlighted during the presentation. The paper will also provide suggestions from students for improving the tool as well how it is implemented in classrooms.

The main contributions of this work are as follows: 1. The cyberlearning environment or tool that developed with funding from the NSF was considered to be useful and user friendly by students who used the tool. 2. Gamification was considered by students to be motivating. 3. Students suggested that the tool should be used as an integral part of the course rather than as an add-on.

Duke, D. M., & Thirunarayanan, M., & Byram, A., & Clarke, P. J. (2019, June), Students’ Perceptions Of the Implementation of a Cyberlearning Tool Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33316

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