Notebooks in Education
About the Project
In this project, we have investigated how notebooks and
wireless LAN can be used to provide a better learning
environment. This approach was part of the national
BMBF (Federal Ministery for Education and Research)
project "Notebook Universities" and its
local realisation "NUSS"
(Notebook Universität Stuttgart).
In this project, we supported the course
"Modeling and Control of
Biological Systems", which gives an introduction to
System Biology, an interdisciplinary research area combining the
fields of (cell) biology and systems theory. Each topic of the
course is practiced in computer exercises.
In order to allow the students to play a more aktiv role during
the lecture, a shared whiteboard was used. This enabled the
participants to make public and private anotations directly on
the distributed course material on their laptops.
The second important goal was to break the separation between
theoretical course and practical computer exercise. To do this,
the course was no longer separated in these two parts, normally
taking place at different times and places (lecture room/computer lab).
Instead the tutor was free to do a computer exercise whenever a
subject was discussed theoretically and needed to be illustrated
in an exercise. To guarantee a smooth transition between course
and exercise the tutor used an application, with which he could
monitor the activities on the notebooks of the students. If
needed, he could claim the control of a specific laptop and give
advices. The same software was used to present exemplary results
of the course participants. We also worked with a special chat
tool which allowed to give specific feedback signals, like
"I have a question", "I am ready with the exercise"
or "The result is 42". Based on this feedback, the tutor
was able dicide which further steps he wanted to perform.
Modeling and Control of Biological
Studienarbeit "Virtuelles Computerlabor"