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Presentation Details


E-device: Experimental Learning Device for e-Learning System

Che Zulkhairi Abdullah, Forest Lim, Marlia Khalid Izuzi.

The e-device is a supplement to the e-learning experience. It need to be appreciated as the key to interaction while providing user a medium/interface the virtual environment. The human factor attributed to this experience can be most useful for long term e-learning implementation scheme.

The design process of the device for this e-learning purpose -
a. Prototyping. Getting the right shape, ergonomic of general/normal user handling of this object, storage method, and security of many aspects.
b. System architecture. Hardware design, to include embedded processor with web capabilities, DAQ acquisition, data storage, compiler, screen output, input device and system software.
c. System software. To include graphic symbol compiler, natural language processor, e-learning system manager and basic OS facilities.
d. System testing. Test of usability, screen and interface functionality, learning experiences and improvisation or amendment to existing design.

The e-device can be included as part of the assigned e-learning content activities or be provided as the necessary item to be utilised for learning to happen and be manageable. Although there can be some learning activities or setting that would render the e-device as non-contributing factor. Yet, the opportunity for providing student the opportunity to explore and be creative with the formal syllabus structure can be an interesting factor. The task for integrating content, or turning the content into an e-device friendly would be in the hands of the content developer, school administration, teacher, parents, students and the general public's. Therefore, learning become part of the society-which does not require special or specific degree that acknowledge a person as a knowledgeable one. Learning become a device for societal development and for knowledge to be learned at many level.

This is made available by the key feature of the e-device, which are connectivity and DAQ acquisition. The connectivity factor contribute to group learning or community learning. And, the DAQ enable the e-device to acquire data from many type of input. This can be in the form of analog, digital sensor or any device that can output analog or digital raw data.

Students are expected to use the e-device to learn the concept and apply what is basically being provided by the syllabus as raw material. Processing is now done within the group studies or as an individual contribution which can later be compiled or organised as group materials.

The e-device system architecture needs to remain physically small(average palm-size or smaller), require average maximum 9-12 volts operating power, may have power management feature(sleep mode/standby with network available), can be enclosed as one contained unit and can be appropriately portable and accepted as part of ordinary common devices. The design of this device need to be thin, and the maximum body length should not exceed the ergonomic standard of users palm. It should be able to be placed comfortably within a children's palm, and does not form any difficulties or irritate the user. It should not produce to much heat, and have the surface material that absorb perspiratory or skin discharges. The system need to be able to work in any orientation, with less mechanical working part.

The system basic configuration should then remain square(with smooth ends/edges) and can be parts of or be completely/safely stored in a normal schoolbag, handbag, popular trousers pocket. For extra safety, the device can have a necklace type, or belt clip.

The e-device are meant for extensibility and user-designed functionality. The basic unit behave like LEGO Mindstorm RCX that can accept the attachment of sensor unit, can communicate with other RCX units and can power or control servo motor/motor. The differences is the content functions and system behaviour. However, the new development by LEGO on spybotics does include some new interesting behaviour. This e-device take the standard feature of those devices, and improvise the design to become cheap, easy to assemble and having more potential as toolkit or devices or supporting learning process.

The most possible ways to reduce the cost to immediately attach new feature to the e-device is via this few suggestion -
a) to introduce basic electronic unit classroom. Using basic facility and minimum cost on material or raw materials to produce cheap sensor, or input device.
b) To introduce basic electronic unit classroom for processing input data and using this accumulated/researched data for class project. This includes calibrating the devices , synchronising and simulation.
c) To encourage student to learn and explore basic construction. This can start with origami, paper plane design, small robot construction using paper, board, plastic and steel wire. This should a classroom unit by itself.
d) To facilitate the concept learning via the e-device as the medium to understanding and gathering information. The basic learning unit can be in this form- learning from Nature. Bird flying. Student to find ways to measure the wing motion parameters. Understanding rhythm, necessities and functional motor. To include other Sciences to this concept, by introducing abstract materials-like why the reaction to this can be different?. What initiate the reaction to happen, and how to understand when this occurrences can be expected? All this can be measured and recorded using the e-device. Students might need to improvise and include their own design to facilitate this new needs. Now, learning become interactive. And, most importantly, students can now learn many aspect of Sciences and formal studies using the same material. And the knowledge can be further expand when they start discovering other concept concerning bird from Biology, Physic, Mathematics, Psychology, and other Studies.

With educational discount prices, and maybe sponsors from private sectors or government subsidised projects-the development of the e-device can be made even cheaper and enabling all students at any level to produce and have one e-device for their learning needs. A proper documentation for manual assembly and list of raw materials and basic tool to produce and e-device would be made available for hobbyist level productions. Discussion group can later be established online by enthusiast. New system can be programmed to introduce new function or capabilities to the e-device. The source code can be made available under certain development agreement as public open source SDK kits.


Che Zulkhairi Abdullah  (Malaysia)
Tutor in Interface Design
Faculty of Creative Multimedia
Multimedia University

Special research interest=e-device for e-learning, interactive storyline structure, interactive content management, e-learning, embedded mobile vehicle/robot design, LEGO 'beams' robotic, GIS for e-Learning, alternative e-Learning framework. Knowledge Representation, Knowledge Mapping, Interface Design.

Forest Lim  (Malaysia)
Faculty of Creative Multimedia
Multimedia University

Marlia Khalid Izuzi  (Malaysia)
Faculty of Creative Multimedia

  • e-device
  • Product prototyping
  • Product testing
  • Embedded system

(Virtual Presentation, English)