Title: Deriving Semantics from Learning Contexts

Principal Investigator: Dr. Marek Hatala and Dr. Dragan Gasevic

Grant Provider: CIDA

Amount: $10,000

Duration: 2007

Abstract: The other objective of the project is to mine instructional design from usage tracking data of LCMSs. The mining process assumes discovering commonalities (i.e., patterns) in students. learning paths, where a learning path is defined as a sequence of activities performed by a student while taking a Web-based course. Such patterns are highly valuable for teachers, as they help them rethink the applied instructional approach. In addition, they support identification of factors that influence the successful application and pedagogical effectiveness of an instructional design in a specific learning setting (i.e. context).

The project uses the LOCO (Learning Object Context Ontologies) framework which is based on the latest artificial intelligence technologies and aimed at formal representation of the specific context of use of learning resources. On the top of this framework, an education tool named LOCO-Analyst was built. The tool ( http://iis.fon.bg.ac.yu/LOCO-Analyst/ ) is aimed at providing online educators with feedback on the relevant aspects of the learning process taking place in a web-based learning environment, and thus helping them to improve the content and the instructional design of their web-based courses. The generation of feedback in LOCO-Analyst is based on analysis of the user tracking data of e-learning environments. LOCO-Analyst is already tested with the user tracking data of iHelp Courses ( http://ihelp.usask.ca/ ), an open-source standards-compliant Learning Content Management System (LCMS) developed at the University of Saskatchewan.