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Digital Aids Enhance Learning Process

Digital Aids Enhance Learning Process

People from 157 countries access Connexions for its scholarly content. Authors from many different countries publish their content in Connexions. One such author is Anders Gjendemsjø, a Doctoral Fellow in Trondheim, Norway, at the Institutt for elektronikk og telekommunikasjon (Department of Electronics and Telecommunication) at the NTNU Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

“Future trends in education will to a larger extent make use of digital aids, hopefully enhancing the learning process,” said Gjendemsjø. “Systems, such as Connexions, will hopefully contribute in this respect and also facilitate both the student-student and faculty-faculty collaboration between different universities”. He chose to publish content in Connexions because “Connexions is a thought-through idea, with the potential to reach a large number of users, not only those who the material is, at first, intended for, such as students at your own university or high school.” He added that the “Connexions staff has been extremely helpful.”

Gjendemsjø noted several advantages of having his content in Connexions, “Connexions provides a good framework for publishing material. The Connexions system is well arranged and provides important opportunities over the traditional paper publishing approach”. The advantages he identified were:

  • Mechanisms that make it easy for users to give feedback to the author (e-mail, discussion forums)
  • Ability to link to other materials, which may originate inside or outside Connexions
  • Incorporate material by other authors along with his own, thanks to the use of the Creative Commons license
  • Include dynamic examples within the material, including images, Flash® objects, movies, Java™ applets, and audio files

Information and Signal Theory is one of the courses Gjendemsjø published in Connexions. It is used by Professor Tor Ramstad’s class of the same name at NTNU. Ramstad originally introduced Gjendemsjø to Connexions and invited him to publish material related to his course. Gjendemsjø described his course as an introduction to signal processing that covers central ideas and concepts such as:

  • Signal characterization
  • Convolution
  • Sampling
  • Information theory

“These concepts are augmented by numerous examples, exercises, and some applets,” Gjendemsjø said. “The students are informed about the material and encouraged to use it and give feedback. Further we have included some mandatory exercises on the pages so that the students will make use of the material rather early. We have also encouraged them to use the search function to find other relevant material.”

Creation of a complete course for the Introduction to Signal Processing class was the first goal of Gjendemsjø. In addition, he has published the course An Introduction to MATLAB, which is a basic introduction to the Matrix Laboratory programming environment that is used for a wide range of problems such as signal processing, optimization, linear programming, and so on.

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