At German universities, students are currently preparing for their exams once again. The libraries are full of students using different kinds of educational materials and applying different types of learning methods in order to acquire the knowledge expected from them to possess. Imagine each of these students would be supported by a digital companion offering exercises and even complete tests for them to check their current level of knowledge, and which recognizes knowledge deficits and adapts exercises and tests accordingly … Wouldn’t that be great? Well, this digital companion exists! Its name is askMe!, and everybody interested in getting to know it will have the opportunity to do so – at CeBIT, taking place March 20 to 24, 2017, in Hanover.
askMe! allows integration of interactive multimedia content, demanding from the student to exploratively deal with the exercises and questions to be completed and to consciously develop problem-solving capabilities. “Using askMe!, students are always aware of and informed about their current level of knowledge«, says Dr. Christian Saul, one of the co-developers of askMe!. “The tool features an easy-to-use dashboard displaying the student’s test results and listing their specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to what needs to be learned and prepared for the upcoming exam”.
An important aspect for effective learning is that the learning speed can be adapted to the needs and requirements of individuals. Unlike in lectures and seminars attended by a large number of students, askMe! allows tutors and examiners to compile tests taking the level of knowledge and the problem-solving capability of the individual student into account. Likewise, the tutor/examiner can customize and personalize the feedback they give to each student as deemed appropriate. “This is really important to keep up the student’s motivation to actively and consistently deal with the exercises and the whole content presented. If students are permanently over-challenged or under-challenged, they will soon become frustrated”, says Christian Saul.
Apart from using askMe! as a student to prepare for an exam, the tool is also great for human resources managers in companies to assess the knowledge and skills of employees, apprentices, and job applicants, as well as for personnel certification agencies evaluating the skills and expertise of professionals.
Use case: Learning Lab Cyber Security
The latest version of askMe!, as it will be presented at CeBIT, explicitly addresses one of the hot IT topics currently discussed: cyber security. The test environment of askMe! has been developed during the course of a project entitled “Learning Lab Cyber Security”. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and run by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in close collaboration with selected universities of applied sciences. It focuses on critical infrastructures (such as utilities or hospitals), which are potential targets of cyberattacks and must be protected both by powerful security technology and qualified personnel.
The primary goal of the project is to raise the awareness among security personnel, IT managers, and users working in such critical infrastructures with regard to cyber security, and to offer appropriate training and qualification. In the project, askMe! is used for the development of interactive exercises and tests featuring multimedia content. [Fraunhofer booth B36, hall 6]