NISMED science and mathe-matics education specialists are currently involved in two of the five major projects of the College of Engineering funded by the Department of Science and Technology under the Engineering Research and Development for Technology Project (ERDT).
One project is entitled Learning While Playing (LEAP), taking advantage of the advancements in digital technology (specifically video games) to facilitate learning of science concepts and development of thinking skills. The NISMED team provides inputs on the appropriateness of the science concepts covered for the grade level and the pedagogical techniques used in the games. The authors of the educational games are undergraduate engineering students aided by software programmers, graphic artists, and musicians. LEAP has so far finished 15 educational games in science under the topics Earth, the Solar System, Force and Motion, and Ecosystems. The games are aligned with the Grade 6 science curriculum of the Department of Education. Elementary school pupils evaluate the efficacy of each game in terms of learning science concepts and ease of use of the technology. The LEAP project is being managed by the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute.
The other project is entitled Towards a Context-Aware Classification and Retrieval System of E-Learning Materials. It aims to help teachers, students, and other stakeholders discriminately select the most relevant materials for their specific learning objective knowing that there is a huge volume of e-learning materials in the Internet. The project initially digitized NISMED-developed teaching and learning materials for science and mathematics. The materials from NISMED are multimodal and consist of sourcebooks for teachers, self-learning modules with activity sheets for students, video, powerpoint and audio presentations, posters, and many others. NISMED science and mathematics specialists classified and labeled the materials for grade level appropriateness and specific use. The Department of Computer Science Team identified and developed key words to facilitate data search and retrieval by employing generalized algorithms that will provide the best results for a specific domain with particular features. The project will provide a wider exposure for NISMED’s products and services.