Research projects 5

This research focuses on designing a smart learning environment (SLE) using virtual reality mini games to support students' computational thinking skills. Aside from enhancing the teaching and learning of CT, this research aims to support first-year students and novices of computer science with the opportunity to gain CT skills through an experiential learning approach. The goal of the research is to design and develop VR mini games through a rigorous process of the design science research methodology in order to provide artefact that allows students to learn CT concepts such as algorithmic thinking, recursive thinking, pattern recognition, and abstraction of problems. This research will measure students' learning achievement and cognitive benefits through a field experiment with first-year university students in Nigeria and Finland. Currently, we have developed a VR mini games application in the VR EdTech Lab located at the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland. The mini games were co-designed with students from within Finland and abroad in order to achieve a student-centered learning environment. The research has produced over seven research papers published in ranked journals and conferences as shown in the link (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mSqmwdgAAAAJ&hl=en). The research is being supervised by professors from the School of Computing, University of Finland, and Luleå University of Technology (LTU) Sweden. The professors are specialists in VR technology, educational games, and ICT4D.

Team

Professor Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, MSc. Friday Joseph Agbo

Emerging technologies such as affordable smart phones with 4G access, broadband internet, and interactive interfaces employing gestures or speech, are revolutionizing the ways we access information, learn new skills and interact with the world around us. However, developing world communities - who stand to benefit from such technologies - were, until recently, largely neglected. Interactive technologies provide a means to address learning challenges such as functional illiteracy and information access barriers, and can improve learning and education, health and wellbeing, and agricultural practices.

Team

Markku Turunen, Jaakko Hakulinen, Mikko Ruohonen, Sumita Sharma, Pekka Kallioniemi, Juhani Linna

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the human and infrastructure capacity of EIT to create and distribute electronic learning resources and services that are pedagogically sound and locally relevant, so that the EIT can take an active and informed role in the use of ICTs to address the Eritrean development and education priorities.

Team

(UEF) Andrés Moreno, Ilkka Jormanainen, Roman Bednarik, Jarkko Suhonen, Erkki Sutinen, Juha Eskelinen (Aalto) Jyri Hämäläinen, Edward Mutafungwa (EIT) Samuel Tewelde, Teklay Tesfazghi, Khalid Idris

  • Head of research Prof. Erkki Sutinen
  • Language n/a

The Business Informatics on the Ground (BIG) project aims to set up a sustainable learning environment where participants of the network learn to design and apply mobile technologies, including games, for practical business uses in the context of emerging economies. A key component of the design process is to collect real life design stories related to good practices and lessons learned of various business informatics projects emerging in different contexts. A concrete example of a BIG initiative is a street business school, where street vendors are trained to use mobile technologies in their daily lives. The approach used in the street business school is a living lab approach where the vendors, students, researchers and designers of technologies work in close collaboration.

Team

Prof. Erkki Sutinen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen

  • Head of research Prof. Markku Tukiainen
  • Language n/a

According to our experience, most of the African Universities still focus on education, while research outputs are generally low. We have identified two main reasons for this. First, it is common that faculty members of higher education institutions are master degree holders. This means that faculty members usually lack research experience and they do not have basic knowledge and skill to conduct research. Secondly, those faculty members who have interest and skills to do research are often heavily loaded with teaching and administrative responsibilities. Thus, developing a research culture is an important direction for the future of African universities.

Team

Prof. Emanuel Mjema, Prof. Edda Tandi Lwoga, Prof. Markku Tukiainen, Prof. Matti Tedre, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen