Personalizing the Learning Process in Virtual Environments by means of Adaptive Formative Itineraries based on Reusable Learning Objects and Ontologies.
Customization is a key aspect in every system or organization trying to increase user satisfaction, involving her in the process she is taking part in, thus pursuing fidelity. In the special case of distance education or virtual learning environments, customization allows the adaptation of contents, learning strategies, etc., to the competencies the student has, so her learning needs can be satisfied in optimal manner and with better efficiency.
In this project we consider, from a multidisciplinary point of view, the design of a standard based virtual e-learning environment, allowing the design of customizable learning itineraries, using reusable learning objects as the basis of the system, assuring interoperability with other learning platforms through the use of ontologies and semantic web technologies. The project regards all phases of design, creation, management and distribution of the teaching contents that compose a learning objects repository, and establishes the requisites needed for its integration in content management tools, as a digital library, for instance, and the interoperability among learning and multimedia content description standards. Based upon these elementary learning units, we establish the necessary customization criteria to assure itineraries are correctly used by students, allowing content adaptation, taking into account both the declared and proved competences of every student profile, and the learning goals. Thus, it is important to include usability studies and an analysis of the user experience, providing to the teaching team a response mechanism to the students' use of the learning itineraries and the basic learning units, in order to continually adapt and improve them, increasing the learning contents reusability degree. Finally, this project will also allow us to deepen our knowledge of the learning process in itself, because it will give us quantitative data about the students’ user experience and their interaction with the system, so we will be able to analyse the learning itineraries and contents, allowing their continuous improvement, in a closed cycle of design, use and analysis. Therefore, the project goals are:
- Modelling and establishing the pedagogical base of the concept of adaptive learning itinerary based on elementary learning units, allowing different interpretations for learning.
- Definition of the learning object repository requirements, with the goal of achieving reuse and interoperability of content description standards.
- Creation of an ontology allowing the definition of adaptive learning itineraries, as a result of pedagogical criteria based also on competences and activities, not only on content, according to the needs and particular features of every student.
- Establishing criteria and tools for usage and usability evaluation of learning environments and learning contents.
- Putting the research results into practice through a virtual university or an e-learning platform, making the conclusions publicly available as a study case.