Isuru Perera and Hiranya Mudunkotuwa, students at Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) - Sri Lanka, were honoured to have been the only representatives from Sri Lanka to be given the opportunity to present a paper at this year's International Workshop on Technology for Education (T4E'09) held in Bangalore - India, from August 4 to 6 2009.
The workshop was held with the aim of bringing together leading researchers to present their research results and debate future research in the use of technology to improve the quality of education and make education more widely accessible.
Of the sixty five papers submitted, only twenty five were selected to be presented at the T4E workshop. Contributions were made by academics and professionals from institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - USA, University of Queensland - Australia, IIT - Bombay, University of Alberta - Canada, Microsoft Research - USA, as well as from universities and organisations from Chile, India, Taiwan, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.
The paper, "QuizFun: mobile-based quiz game for learning," which was presented by Hiranya, was researched and developed by four students from IIT - Sri Lanka, M. Isuru Tharanga Chrishantha Perera, Hiranya Mudunkotuwa, Madura Kularathna and Nevindaree Premarathne, during the second year of their BSc (Hons) degree in Software Engineering offered by IIT in collaboration with the University of Westminster - London. The students were supported in this project by Ms. Kulari Lokuge, Senior Lecturer at IIT.
This research paper is based on the software that was prototyped with the aim of increasing students' interactive participation in learning. The software is also intended to motivate students to engage in specific subject content and inspire them to use the activity by encompassing the gaming mode in teaching and learning. The mobile application was built using Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME), while the web application was created using ICEfaces, which is an integrated Ajax application framework for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIA). The prototype was evaluated by several users and the research revealed a high level of interactivity and enthusiasm among students participating in the learning activity.
The opportunity given to these students from IIT, has broadened their outlook and has also opened up a new dimension for other first, and second-year undergraduates in areas of research normally available only to final-year undergraduates and postgraduates.
These students are now taking on the challenge of developing innovative projects, not just as a college assignment, but as a stepping stone to taking part in and contributing to similar workshops and conferences.
They are encouraged and motivated by the possibility of participating in and benefitting from research in their areas of interest, both locally and globally.