The NBL-Tools prototype is a groupware system which is basically designed and developed to support collaborative knowledge which can be used over the Internet as in the form of (TCP/IP) along with the usage of any HTML 3. 2 compliant WWW-browser such as Netscape Navigator 3 . NBL-Tools is considered to be truly a new-generation of networked learning programme, which eventually relies solely on recent achievements and accomplishments of cognitive research performed on educational practices and computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).
Over the period of time several models have been designed and development of NBL , It had been of a very great emphasis and with the help of this effect a special change has been performed to develop a meta-cognitive tool for structuring user activity. The NBL environment model comprises of a various modules that are designed with the sole aim to facilitate collaborative knowledge programmed which will be used future in university and vocational education institutes.
NBL modules comprise and consist of:- WebTop (virtual desktop in the web), Knowledge Building module, Jam Session module, Library module and Administration module for tutors and also for system administrator. 1. General Technical Design of the NBL-Tools Server- The NBL-Tools is based on a three tier architecture in which the NBL software is further designed and distributed among three different servers which are commonly known as – The database server which allows a very important function i. e.
Hence it allows the users to work efficiently with the common information processing programs at their use producing for example, documents, graphics, video or www -links. The primary users of NBL is been done by the university students and people studying into service courses at various organizations at different levels. Internet accessibility with www –It follows that small groups working at different locations and in different time are able to coordinate their activities with the tools provided by the NBL.
While associated with NBL students across the university get ample of opportunities to interact with each other either face to face or through video conferencing , simultaneously at the beginning of the secessions and at the mid term as well. The users are able to access the NBL-Tools from any place containing Internet connection and computer (or terminal) with standard WWW-browser: workplaces, homes, libraries, schools, university computer labs, Internet cafes, etc… The end-user terminal may also be Set-top-box commonly known as Web-tv or palmtop (such as Nokia Communicator) with “www”-browser and Internet connection.
To get acces to the main users need to use only one username and password to login which will enable them to access all courses running in the NBL environment. NBL users can uses only one centralized database for there implementation part and during every login session the students may take part in all courses involved and associated within it. 2. Inquiry Learning Process and the Modules of the NBL-Tools
The effective usage of NBL- The tools happens to be inquiry learning process where all students and tutors can utilize the best of opportunity to share and distribute their existing knowledge with each other as it can be very much beneficial. The ideal module created for the NBL courses is an increasing spiral, which eventually helps the students in creating there own theories and knowledge aspects. Where In ideal situation these new theories will prove to be a new context and background for upcoming study course that will be used and performed across universities and educational institutions..
NBL-tools consist of several modules that are designed and developed to facilitate collaborative knowledge building and collaborative design work through a constructive programmed process. The modules are WebTop commonly known as virtual desktop in the web, Knowledge Building module, Jam Session module, Library module and Administration module for tutors and system administrator. 2. 1. The WebTop module The NBL -environment provides each and every user with there personal open ‘desktop’ in the web (WebTop).
The WebTop is used to store digital materials and these materials can also be shared with other students within the university. The WebTop also consist of an optional choice of sharing which enables the contains tools for ‘leaving’ and sending messages such as stickies which is future used for collaborative evaluation and self-evaluation as well. It future also related to the deep principle. It is also required from the users while accessing or using the webtop into service students can add/create there personal files and folders, features like rename and removing the files from his or her own WebTop.
Inside the folders the users may also create new sub-folders and add new files inside them. Students within the university can also visit each other WebTops and take copies of the files found over there which can also be used for future references. 2. 2. Knowledge Building module The Knowledge Building module is actually used for sharing the informations, topics concepts and programs that are been created or generated by the students . The online conferences based on discussions are guided by the ‘Deep Principles’ decided together with the tutor and the students of the course.
The ‘Deep Principles’ redefines the context of concern. The discussion messages are added to the shared space and are future labelled by the users with different ‘Categories of Inquiry’. The tutor may select various kind of Categories of Inquiry for various kind of courses. Lets take for instance there focus ares of concers is more on design and art the ‘Categories of Inquiry’ used in the FLE knowledge building such as: Design Task, Working Idea, Subordinate Problems, Deepening Knowledge, Comment, and Metacomment.
The Categories of Inquiry eventully related the student with expert like problem solving research and design process by redirecting the students to produce their own knowledge objects. Categories of Inquiry Used in the NBL-Courses: The learning process aims at answering to all its related problems. The purpose of defining a problem is to explicate learning goals, to explain research interests and also to introduce the questions that are ultimately directing towards students inquiry.
After critically viewing the present working theories and by introducing new deepening knowledge to the discussion new subordinate problems can also be incorporated. Working theory presents students with there own conceptions (hypothesis, theory, explanation, interpretation) about the problem at hand. A working theory is not necessarily well defined or articulated early in the inquiry process. However, it is crucial that the explication of working theory evolves during the process and working theory eventually become more refined and developed.
In-depth Knowledge can over a period of time can also presents some scientific findings or other knowledge that the student have undergone. It brings to the discussion some new points of view otherwise helps the inquiry process to continue. It differs from the working theory as in that it represents the knowledge produced by others or authority/experts. It also gives a chance to both the Students and tutors to comment to the inquiry process, for example to that of someone else’s working theory. It could also be clarified through a comment as to ask for clarification more thorough explanation and its opinion and so on.
With the use of a comment message we can also provide help for other learners’ which can also be used in as a problem-solving process rather a problem itself. A comment should focuses on the inquiry process and its methods rather then discussing the process outcomes. Hence future it can be analyses with a Metacomment weather students and tutors can evaluate and that too to what extent, e. g. Is the process is progressing in the desired direction , have appropriate methods been used, and if yes how sharing of tasks and inquiry process is accomplished among the members of the learning community.
In the summarized form the summary may aim at identifying a new Deep Principle or may reflect the views of the writer on the progression of the inquiry learning process. Using the Help-category tells that the user have, in his or her work, come across some difficulties where he/she needs guidance from others to be in a stage to proceed. The Jam Session module is a space for the collaborative construction of digital artifacts It helps the students in the dynamic development of a project by providing graphical representations of its phases.
Students can also add in their own digital artifacts such as -pictures, videos, audio, text, software to the session and let other students continue and comment on the work in progress. 2. 4. NBL Library The NBL Library can be considered as a adaptive medium to publish and browse multimedia learning materials, in additional learning materials are saved into the NBL-database from which the tutor or teacher may first search and choose relevant clips and then publish them in the Library last but not the least work of the study groups will be saved to the NBL-database.