Abstract

This Innovate Practice full paper presents a cloud-based personalized learning lab platform. Personalized learning is gaining popularity in online computer science education due to its characteristics of pacing the learning progress and adapting the instructional approach to each individual learner from a diverse background. Among various instructional methods in computer science education, hands-on labs have unique requirements of understanding learner's behavior and assessing learner's performance for personalization. However, it is rarely addressed in existing research. In this paper, we propose a personalized learning platform called ThoTh Lab specifically designed for computer science hands-on labs in a cloud environment. ThoTh Lab can identify the learning style from student activities and adapt learning material accordingly. With the awareness of student learning styles, instructors are able to use techniques more suitable for the specific student, and hence, improve the speed and quality of the learning process. With that in mind, ThoTh Lab also provides student performance prediction, which allows the instructors to change the learning progress and take other measurements to help the students timely. For example, instructors may provide more detailed instructions to help slow starters, while assigning more challenging labs to those quick learners in the same class. To evaluate ThoTh Lab, we conducted an experiment and collected data from an upper-division cybersecurity class for undergraduate students at Arizona State University in the US. The results show that ThoTh Lab can identify learning style with reasonable accuracy. By leveraging the personalized lab platform for a senior level cybersecurity course, our lab-use study also shows that the presented solution improves students engagement with better understanding of lab assignments, spending more effort on hands-on projects, and thus greatly enhancing learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2018-October
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period10/3/1810/6/18

Keywords

  • Computer Science Education
  • Cybersecurity Education
  • Hands-On Lab
  • Learning Style
  • Personalized Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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  • Cite this

    Deng, Y., Lu, D., Chung, C. J., Huang, D., & Zeng, Z. (2019). Personalized Learning in a Virtual Hands-on Lab Platform for Computer Science Education. In Frontiers in Education: Fostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings [8659291] (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE; Vol. 2018-October). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2018.8659291