Egyptian Computer Based Education
Since the first semiannual report has been written in August, 1998, more
Information has been collected about activities in the field of Computer Aided
Education (CAE). Now many universities and educational institutes added to
Their activities much more of this type of education. Many of these institutions
Offer all or most of the courses through Internet. With the introduction of
Internet, education is becoming more and more unlocalized. The traditional
Teaching methods are changing drastically.
Quite recently, several terms have emerged such as Internet Based
Education (IBE) Internet Based Learning (IBL), and Internet Based
Training (IBT). This simply means that the educational software material
is increasing with a very fast rate . Every day we see new tools with which
2D and 3D graphics are done. The most important feature of all these packages
is that most of them are interactive.
Now, the advantages of CAE are added to the advantages of the Internet as
A teaching medium. The most important feature of this combination is the
Reduction of distance.
The Physics Software Package
This project aims at the production of Computer Aided Education multimedia
software introductory physics package. This package covers five units:
Mechanics, Heat & Thermodynamics, Oscillations & Waves, Electricity &
Magnetism, Optics and Modern physics. Each unit is composed of 7-14 lessons.
Each lesson contains topic, objectives, key words, text, graphics, animations,
video shots, and interactive simulations solved examples, quizzes and tests
along with sound, color and motion effects. The package allows navigation
through the whole material, with a distinguished feature of being highly
interactive. It will also contain some fundamental problems which will be
handed to students as individualized home-work tests.
2. The work achieved by the Egyptian Team
During the past 6 months the Egyptian team has done the following:
- More revision of the written text and selection of graphics, animations
- Four programmers are now working intensively on transformation of
the written Text into a screen text and adding graphics, animations and
simulations along with proper navigation procedures.
- The Egyptian PI along with DR. H.Faheem have done a presentation
at The Ministry of Education, at the office of Dr. K. Kouchok
(the Grant Monitor ),with the presence of most of the staff of the
Science Curricula Development center. All present personnel were very
excited with the interactivity of the package .
- The Egyptian PI was invited to give a seminar about the project at
the Faculty of Engineering ,Suez Canal University Branch in Port Said
on November 25 ,1998.
Many staff and students attended the seminar . All expressed their
admiration of the Project and most of the staff mentioned that they
are going to do some similar packages for their students. I promised
to help them identify the proper software packages.
Moreover I agreed to be a co-supervisor for a post-graduate student who
will be working for a Ph.D. Degree on enhancement of engineering education
with the help of the so-called "virtual lab" techniques.
- I have been asked to incorporate some virtual lab experiments
(interactive simulations) in the" Experimental Physics "curriculum at
the Higher Technological Institute (HTI) at 10th Ramadan City ,where I
teach as part time.
Work under achievement
The Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism units were handed to
Experienced professors to review the material and give their opinion about the
Graphics, simulations included in the package. Meanwhile they will take part
in the selection of colors, sounds and all other multimedia presentations. This
Is in addition to the effort of the work team members involved in the
The same applies to the production of video shots.
Since the IP package does not allow creation of interactive simulations
in Optics Modern physics and heat packages, efforts are done now to create
simulations with some other packages such as VB 5.
4. The work achieved by the American Team
The American PI Professor L.Hayden is in close contact and is very helpful.
She arranged for me to visit for the second time ESCU to discuss the
progress of the project and to have some feedback from the Head of
the Department of Physics And of the Multimedia Group at ECSU. Mr. J. Wood
(from the Coast Guard Academy)contacted me twice and offered any help
concerning the Authorware Package and explained to me their own experience
in this respect. He told me that Dr. Hayden is trying to get a full version
of the package to help us develop a better navigation and control of the
Physics Package. At the Coast Guard Academy, they Have a good experience
with videos and movies.
My visit to the ECSU was postponed because I found myself alone and obliged to
personally follow the programming job, especially after the disintegration
of the work team, and in particular due to the death of one very active
5. Problems encountered during the 6 months period
No serious problems have been encountered during the past 6 months except
for the delay in the beginning of the production of the package.
At the beginning of the project, the original idea was to create just
Simulations, (or better to be called animations). During the course of
work, we discovered the advantages of having interactive simulations as
a powerful tool for explanation of the physical phenomena and an
invaluable drill. This change in methodology dictated some delay, but I
am convinced that it was worth it.
The most serious problem we have is that the Authorware Academic package
is very limited. We had to structure the navigation through the
unit involving Visual Basic 5 Package. But, this resulted in a
very slow package. It will be much slower adding voice.
What we need is a full Authorware package to accommodate all the multimedia
components in addition to the interactive simulations in one host
Package fast and allows an executable file.
6. Extent to which research effort has succeeded in meeting its work plan
In spite of the delay in meeting the work plan, I consider that we are
in a very Good position taking in consideration the nature of the project
as a multi-Component effort. In principle we could have met the work
plan should the above Mentioned setbacks have not occurred.
All the required ingredients are in place .Our main task now is to
combine these components in one smart package.
7. Nature and extent of end -user involvement
The Consultation Office for Integrated Systems (Coins) is the end-user
for this project. Coins was quite helpful in all stages of his project.
Dr. Hatem Faheem The Head of Coins took part in meetings of the work
team. Coins also provided me with a computer CPU to do most of the work
related to the project (creating sample simulations, reviewing text)
I used up to now and still I am still using the E-mail facility of Coins
to communicate with Dr. Hayden.
I was in continuous contact with Dr. Faheem at least twice a week (sometimes
More) to discuss the state of the project and look for advice about
programming problems. We held long discussions about the programming
problems and also for reviewing the simulations, graphics and animations,
colors and backgrounds and text. In addition to that, we had frequent
phone calls to schedule work of the programmers.
8. How research results will be used by the end-user
Once the physics package is ready, the end user will negotiate with
FRCU the mode of cooperation to market the material in and outside
Egypt. It is my hope that We will be able to approach software companies
in the US to market the package.
The arabized version can be marketed in other Arab countries.
One of the most important sides of this project is the development of
experience With the techniques of producing high quality educational
packages. This applies to Both teams of Coins and the work team in
Fayoum and at ECSU.
9. Nature and extent of collaboration between Egyptian and American PI
As it was mentioned before collaboration between the American and Egyptian
teams is quite close. It is my plan for further cooperation to ask
Dr. Hayden to test the package at ECSU. This is very important to judge
the quality Of the package. During my next visit to ECSU I will exchange
views with the Multimedia Group The ready material and we will try
to test the package at ECSU.
10. Work plan and budget modifications
In view of the afore mentioned setbacks, in spite of the fact that
there are some amount of money left, the following changes and
modifications to the work plan and budget will be asked:
- Extension of the duration of the project by 6 months.
- extra support of the budget by $ 8440 is needed to cover the following :
- research costs
- exchange visit of the Egyptian PI to ECSU
These modifications will secure the production of a quite high quality package.
11. New and enhanced skills acquired by Egyptian and American Research members.
No doubt that by the end of this project, the Egyptian teams will gain
a quite valuable experience in the production of educational software packages.
It is my belief that the team will be able to help the production of software
Packages for other physics courses.
Concerning The American team, I am sure that they gained the same
Experience. The multimedia group at ECSU will benefit from our experience
And our package as it will be incorporated in the Physics curriculum at ECSU.
One of the important sides of this project is the establishment and
Development of modes and procedures of an international cooperation
In such vital field like Computer Aided Education.
12. Project Future
In view of the gained experience and achievements of the project,
And as agreed upon with the Grant Monitor, we will ask for
Extending the project activity for a mini grant to produce
Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology packages.
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