Enhancing the Project-Based Learning Experience Through the Use of Live Web Data

Full Text (PDF, 337KB), PP.33-43

Views: 0 Downloads: 0


Nader Mohamed 1,* Jameela Al-Jaroodi 2 Imad Jawhar 1

1. College of Information Technology, UAEU, P.O. Box 17551, Al Ain, UAE

2. Middleware Technologies Lab, Bahrain

* Corresponding author.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijmecs.2012.11.03

Received: 11 Aug. 2012 / Revised: 1 Sep. 2012 / Accepted: 3 Oct. 2012 / Published: 8 Nov. 2012

Index Terms

Project-Based Learning, Information Technology Education, Internet Information Retrieval


Project-based learning (PBL) was proven to be a very useful model to give students hands on experiences and allow them to be active learners rather than passive listeners. In this paper we introduce a tool to help enhance the project development experiences for information technology (IT) students. The main purpose of this tool is to help reuse web information to enable IT projects for students. This tool is called InetRetriever and it can be easily used by students to retrieve, in real-time, any required real information from the web and to implement, execute, and test their projects with real life data. As PBL is becoming an integral part of many information technology (IT) courses, and in many cases real data is essential for many types of projects, it becomes important to make such data available and accessible easily. In various cases, students focus gets shifted from the real objectives of a project when they spend a lot of their time trying to find data or create methods to get them this data. Furthermore, many projects fail and cannot demonstrate their real capabilities when they are tested and demonstrated using small sets of sample data or some fabricated data sets because the students could not include real data available on the Internet. Another possibility here is that students could not even complete their projects because of the difficulties in retrieving the required data and the excess amount of time they spend on that tasks rather than on the real tasks in the project. Therefore, InetRetriever was developed to overcome this obstacle. It was tested in different information technology courses to enable effective and realistic project-based learning. Using this tool we observed increased student interest in the project development and higher levels of interactions and learning.

Cite This Paper

Nader Mohamed, Jameela Al-Jaroodi, Imad Jawhar, "Enhancing the Project-Based Learning Experience Through the Use of Live Web Data", International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science(IJMECS), vol.4, no.11, pp.33-43, 2012. DOI:10.5815/ijmecs.2012.11.03 


[1]B.F. Jones, C.M. Rasmussen, and M.C. Moffitt, Real-Time Problem Solving: A Collaborative Approach to Interdisciplinary Leaning, American Psychological Association, Washington, USA, 1997.
[2]J.W. Thomas, J.R. Mergendollar, and A. Michaelson, Project-based Leaning: A Handbook for Middle and High School Teachers, The Buck Institute for Educations, Novato, CA, USA, 1999.
[3]J. Thomas, A. Michaelson, and J.R. Mergendoller, Introduction to Project Based Learning. Buck Institute for Education Project Based Learning Handbook, 1999. URL: http://www.bie.org/index.php/site/PBL/pbl_handbook/
[4]Intel Innovations in Educations, Harnessing the Power of Project-Based Learning, 2004. At http://www.intel.com/corporate/education/emea/eng/ireland/ elem_sec/tools_resources/plans/harness.pdf.
[5]LK Soh, X. Liu, X. Zhang, J. Al-Jaroodi, H. Jiang, and P. Vemuri, “I-MINDS: an Agent-oriented Information System for Applications in Education,” In Agent-Oriented Information Systems, pp. 16-31, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, pp. 16-31, 2004.
[6]N. Mohamed, J. Al-Jaroodi, and I. Jawhar, “Internet Information Retrieval for Enabling Student Projects,” in Proc. of The Sixth International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations (ITNG 2009), IEEE Computer Society Press, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, pp. 987-992, April 2009.
[7]J.W. Thomas, A Review of Research on Project-Based Learning, The Autodesk Foundation, 2000. URL: http://www.bobpearlman.org/BestPractices/PBL_Research.pdf
[8]F. Kurzel and M. Rath, “Project Based Learning and Learning Environments,” Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Vol. 4, 2007.
[9]N. Piccinini and G. Scollo, “Cooperative Project-based Learning in a Web-based Software Engineering Course,” Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp: 54-62, 2006.
[10]R. K. Pucher, H. Wahl, and F. Schmöllebeck, “Integrating Undergraduate Project Based Learning in Computer Science with COAST: A Research Network,” In Proc. ICT: Providing Choices for Learners and Learning, 2007.
[11]R. C. Solamo, “Project-based Learning Approach in Teaching Introductory Course in Programming,” Invited talk at the 6th National Conference on Information Technology Education, 2008.
[12]P. Gurunathan, and S. Pandian, “A New Tool for Web-Based Educational System,” In Proc. of the International Conference on Natural Computation, pp. 112-116, 2008.
[13]J. Torrent, P. Moreno-Ger, B. Fernandez-Manjon, and L. Sierra, “Instructor-Oriented Authoring Tools for Educational Videogames,” 8th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, pp. 516-518, 2008.
[14]Y. Kita, T. Katayama, and S. Tomita, “Implementation and Evaluation of an Automatic Visualization Tool "PGT" for Programming Education,” 5th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering Research, Management, & Applications (SERA 2007), pp. 213-220, 2007.
[15]A. Ziesemer, C. Lazzari,and R. Reis, “An Educational Tool for Design Automation of CMOS Cells,” IEEE International Conference on Microelectronics Systems Educations," pp. 149-150, 2007.
[16]G. Klimeck, M. McLennan, S. Brophy, G. Adams III, and M. Lundstrom, “nanoHub.org: Advancing Education and Research in Nanotechnology,” Computing in Science and Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 5, pp. 17-23, 2008.
[17]J. M. Dodero and E. Ghiglione, “ReST-Based Web Access to Learning Design Services,” IEEE Transactions on Learning Technology, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 190-195, 2008.
[18]T. Aleahmad, V. Aleven, and R. Kraut, “Creating a Corpus of Targeted Learning Resources with a Web-Based Open Authoring Tool,” IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 3-9, 2009.
[19]RFC 1866, “Hypertext Markup Language – 2.0,” 2005.
[20]Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fourth Edition), http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/, 2006.
[21]A. King, “The Evolution of RSS,” 2003. Available at http://www.webreference.com/authoring/languages/xml/rss/1/.
[22]R. Burget, “Hierarchies in HTML Documents: Linking Text to Concepts,” Proceedings of 15th International Workshop on Database and Expert Systems Applications, pp. 186-190, 2004.
[23]S. Li, Z. Peng, and M. Liu, “Extraction and Integration Information in HTML Tables,” In Proceedings of The Fourth International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (CIT'04), pp. 315-320, 2004.
[24]M. Labský, V. Svátek, O. Šváb, P. Praks, M. Krátký, and V. Snášel, “Information Extraction from HTML Product Catalogues: From Source Code and Images to RDF,” In Proc. of The IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI'05), pp. 401-404, 2005.
[25]N. Mohamed and J. Al-Jaroodi, “A Simple and Efficient Approach for Retrieving Live HTML-based Internet Information,” in System and Information Sciences Notes, UK, Vol. 1, No 3, pp. 221-224, July 2007.
[26]N. Mohamed, A. Romaithi, E. Samahi, M. D. Kendi, and E. Jabrie, “Generating Web Monitors,” in Proc. of The International Conference on Internet Computing (ICOMP 2008), Las Vegas, USA, pp. 111-116, July 2008.