Research projects 6
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.
The partner organisations bring together their expertise in research and development of new educational methods and tools at university level in the field of sustainability and development education and training. The goal of the cooperation is to combine the technical and pedagogical elements of existing simulation and game tools to a massive multiplayer online simulation for sustainability education. This is pursued by forming a network willing to participate in the forming of a massive multiplayer simulation for sustainability education in Southern Africa.
The aim of the CAPOLSA project is to establish a strong literacy centre with international visibility and impact, specifically in African countries facing similar challenges to Zambia. The literacy training approach is based on the Grapho Learning Initiative and the innovative and efficient digital-based learning game, GraphoGame that has been developed based on scientific studies led by Professor Heikki Lyytinen. THe project was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the HEI ICI programme. Project Award Number: HEI ICI‐2010‐P1‐000153
The ongoing CAPOLSA Phase II project completes the capacity building in CAPOLSA Phase I and needed for reaching the final goal of the ongoing action to help as many children as possible in Sub-Sahara Africa to learn the basic skills, and be able to have appropriate reading skills to acquire functional literacy by being offered appropriate reading material. Together with the training of coordinators for distribution of literacy support throughout Zambia and its neighbouring countries, the project builds skills and networks to overcome the complete lack of reading material which children who have just learned to read have to have. 1. The Capolsa Centre works as a national help centre in Zambia for the tens of thousands of first grade teachers who will be using small tablet computers that Grapholearn Initiative for optimal learning results as well as the learning-game based reading practicing environments (Graphogame). It also serves as the whole Sub-Saharan resource centre in order to extend the reach of their expertise eventually to all the countries in Sub-Sahara area.
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.
This research project analyses the influence of social movements on primary sector extractive investments. The theory how social movements influence the politics of corporate resource exploitation will be developed and tested through a comparison of empirical evidence from 30 resource exploitation projects in the forest and metal industries of Brazil and India. The research will identify the generalizable and specific mechanisms and political games by which movements transform the local-global political dynamics in areas where increasing transnationalization of resource flows has taken place. Causal process analysis combined with various methods and Qualitative Comparative Analysis of 30 cases provides a strategy for working through empirical materials collected by field research. The project belongs to the fields of social scientific environmental research and Political Science/World Politics.