National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ)

 Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology

ISSN 1174-0175

Volume 12,  Issue 1 (2008)

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Box Welcome

This issue was originally published in hardcopy format as one of the publications of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ). In 2010 NACCQ was changed to Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ), and at this time JACIT and its sister publication the Bulletin (BACIT) were merged to form a single publication JACIT.

Are you interested in contributing a paper to JACIT? If so, go to the JACIT home page for more information.

Box Table of contents

Box Refereed Articles

A1: A case study of desired attributes for success within the ICT sector

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Mehdi Asgarkhani, Jun Wan

This paper examines attributes (soft skills) that are perceived as being critical to success within the ICT sector. The required attributes as identified by a study of 205 randomly selected ICT positions are compared with students' perception (based on a pilot study of a focus group of students). Overall, it is not possible to draw clear conclusions from the outcome of one case study only. However, we were able to identify some preliminary trends and identify a number of key factors for future studies.

A2: A future for robots in schools: Fact or fantasy?

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Elizabeth Bridgeman, Noel C Bridgeman

Will the adoption of robots by the education system mirror its earlier adoption of Personal Computers (PCs)? A future in which education may need to accommodate robots is explored. Examples of current advances in robotics are given which suggest that there is a realistic potential for robots to successfully contribute within the four functional areas of an educational system: learnerteacher, knowledgeproblem, control subsystems and support subsystems.

A3: Teaching web application development: Microsoft proprietary or open systems?

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Stephen Corich

This paper revisits the debate concerning which development environment should be used to teach server-side Web Application Development courses to undergraduate students. In 2002, following an industry-based survey of Web developers, a decision was made to adopt an open source platform consisting of PHP and MySQL rather than a Microsoft platform utilising Access and Active Server Pages. Since that date there have been a number of significant changes within the computing industry that suggest that perhaps it is appropriate to revisit the original decision.

A4: Using game scenarios for teaching novice programmers

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Minjie Hu

As programming educators we need to find ways to engage our students. The students we see today have been called the Nintendo generation. Such students are continually exposed to fast-paced sound, graphics, animation and games. It can be argued that these are the kinds of things that Nintendo generation students want to develop when learning computer science. As a result, computer programming educators have started to use games to engage and motivate students who are learning programming.

A5: Mifrenz: Safe email for children

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Tim Hunt

Products currently available for monitoring childrens email usage are either considered to encourage dubious ethical behaviour or are time consuming for parents to administer. This paper describes the development of a new email client application for children called Mifrenz. This new application gives parents the ability to let their children safely use email, with the minimum of intervention. It was developed using mostly free software and also with the desire to provide real first hand programming examples to demonstrate to students.

A6: Towards a framework for a code review process

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Xiaosong Li, Donald Joyce

This paper describes a longitudinal study of a Code Review Process (CRP) which used an action research method. The CRP was used as one of the assessment methods in a third year (Level 7) undergraduate Web Application Development (WAD) course. This paper reviews the past three cycles of the study in order to get a deeper understanding of the issues. To address the issues more effectively and better meet the students needs, the existing CRP is refined to develop a code review framework. The paper discusses different options and proposes a framework consisting of five components. To implement the framework, the course assessment scheme needs to be redesigned. Initially, the framework should be implemented in the same course. If successful, there is a potential to revise the framework and introduce it into similar courses at Levels 5, 6 and 8.

A7: Where’s the bling of the thing?: Ethics, gaming and PBL-I

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Diane P. McCarthy

This paper describes an evaluation of PBL-Interactive (PBL-I) as authoring tool for an ethical decision-making game, in the Dip ICT course, ET600 Ethics and professionalism, at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT). While the prototype was developed and the usability testing conducted with student volunteers returned positive results, the limitations of the authoring tool to create a multi-linear ethics game outweighed its affordances. In particular, the authoring mode interface lacked ease of use and functionality for advanced features such as video and audio, desirable options to motivate computing students with advanced gaming experience, in online and face-to-face learning environments. Scenario-based prob

A8: Longitudinal study of Linux networking in NZ industry and ITP education

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Dileep Rajendran

This paper focuses on the networking services that can be (and to some extent are being) taught using the Linux operating system. First it collates information from recent literature about server and desktop operating systems, allowing the reader to see the position of the Linux in the market.The second part uses a quantitative analysis of networking job advertisements in New Zealand (NZ), to investigate employer demand for Linux knowledge and skills in comparison to other technologies in this job category. Data was gathered for one year to see if trends could be observed and there is a comparison of the results from a previous study.Having identified the level of industry demand for Linux in the first two sections, the final part investigates the extent to which Linux networking services are taught in 89% of New Zealand ITPs. Additional data was gathered about the particular services and subject areas in which the services are taught.

A9: The virtualMe, an integrated virtual teacher framework

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Michael Verhaart

With an ever increasing integration of web technologies into our lives, there is a need to look at how to capitalise on this technology. In a teaching and learning environment students, teachers and administrators are increasingly embedding web technology into their daily work. This paper describes research into an Internet-based, teacher-centred framework that can be used in a teaching and learning environment. A web-based prototype is described that has been used to investigate what features are desirable in a web-based teacher-focused information and knowledge framework, and a survey of existing and potential users is discussed in order to identify the perceived usefulness of the proposed framework.

Box Editorial Board

Editor Dr. Donald Joyce, Unitec, New Zealand
Deputy Editor Dr Noel Bridgeman, Unitec, New Zealand
Editorial Board Dr Tony Clear, AUT
Dr Clare Atkins, NMIT
Mike Mullany, North Tec Te Tai Tokerau Wananga (Web)
Dr Christo Potgieter, Waikato Institute of Technology