E-World: A Platform for the Management of Adaptive E-Learning Processes

E-World: A Platform for the Management of Adaptive E-Learning Processes

Filomena Ferrucci (Università di Salerno, Italy), Giuseppe Scanniello (Università della Basilicata, Italy) and Genoveffa Tortora (Università di Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-342-5.ch002
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Abstract

In this chapter the authors present E-World, an e-learning platform able to manage and trace adaptive learning processes which are designed and created by means of a visual language based tool. To address the goal to have a platform easily extensible with new services, they have designed it selecting a software architecture based on the use of Web Services and a suitable Middleware component. To trace adaptive learning processes E-World also integrates as Web Service a suitable implementation of a Run- Time Environment compliant with the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) standard. Their proposal also supports the “anytime and anywhere” learning paradigm as it enables learners to enjoy linear or adaptive processes using any device equipped with a standard Web browser. In the chapter they also report on the experiment we have carried out to assess the usability of the proposed e-learning platform.
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Introduction

During the last decade a surprising evolution of electronics, computer systems and information technologies, together with the worldwide accessibility to the Internet have made available an incredible set of applications. This trend has significantly conditioned the emerging and the evolution of new academic and industrial opportunities. In particular, the possibility to easily reach an extremely large number of users with significantly low costs has motivated the development of an increasing number of web applications for educational purposes. As a result, e-learning has achieved a worldwide acceptance in several domains, such as universities, secondary schools, companies, and public institutions.

The e-learning evolution proposes a good number of tools assisting instructional designer during the analysis, design, and delivery of instruction and on the other side provides powerful tools supporting students during the knowledge acquisition process. Nowadays, the traceability of learning process is becoming more and more interesting for both teachers and students. In particular, teachers use the achieved information to compare the expected target audience with the students, who really attend the course. Moreover, information on learning performances and the explicitness of teaching materials can also be analyzed to assess the agreement with the teacher expectations. From the student point of view, traceability information is used to assess the acquired knowledge and plan the efforts in the knowledge augmentation process. In order to trace the learning processes several kinds of e-learning platforms have been proposed in the market, see e.g. (IBM, 2008)(BlackBoard, 2008).

To make the knowledge delivery more effective the personalization of the learning process is crucial as didactic contents are usually intended for very large and heterogeneous groups of learners in settings where no teacher is available to help them. Thus, e-learning processes should adapt themselves to the learners’ background and to their achieved knowledge. The use of adaptive processes should move e-learning from teacher-centered to student-centered, thus making the knowledge acquisition more flexible and effective.

Initially, different kinds of communication infrastructures between e-learning content objects and e-learning platforms were defined and used. On the other hand, in the last few years standards providing standardized data structures and communication protocols have been proposed. In particular, the ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) consortium (ADL, 2004) produced the SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) (ADL SCORM, 2004), consequently the collaboration among government, industry and academia to enable interoperability, accessibility, and reusability of Web based didactic contents.

Currently, other relevant challenges characterize the e-learning research, such as interoperability, reuse and extensibility of software components. In order to understand that, it is worth noting that the success of e-learning has caused the proliferation of several kinds of 
e-learning related software applications, from content delivery to collaborative environments. As a result, many companies are entering in the learning market developing new products and often combining existing components opportunely configured. Thus, it is important to understand how these systems relate to each other and how they fit into a complete e-learning environment. Moreover, the issue of component interoperability is especially relevant to promote reuse of services and develop e-learning systems starting from heterogeneous components.

In order to address the above issues we propose an e-learning platform named E-World, whose software architecture is based on Web Services (Bosworth, 2001), (Roy & Ramanujan, 2001) and on a suitable Middleware component (McKinley et al., 1999). Web Services technology provides a common infrastructure to integrate heterogeneous software components, thus enhancing interoperability between different components and component reuse. Whereas the extendibility feature of e-learning systems is ensured by the use of a specific Middleware component.

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
Preface
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Acknowledgment
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Chapter 1
Hiroshi Takeda, Hisashi Yaginuma, Hajime Kiyohara, Akira Tokuyasu, Masami Iwatsuki, Norio Takeuchi, Hisato Kobayashi, Kazuo Yana
This article describes a new automatic digital content generation system we have developed. Recently some universities, including Hosei University... Sample PDF
Automatic Digital Content Generation System for Real-Time Distance Lectures
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Chapter 2
Filomena Ferrucci, Giuseppe Scanniello, Genoveffa Tortora
In this chapter the authors present E-World, an e-learning platform able to manage and trace adaptive learning processes which are designed and... Sample PDF
E-World: A Platform for the Management of Adaptive E-Learning Processes
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Chapter 3
Judy C.R. Tseng, Wen-Ling Tsai, Gwo-Jen Hwang, Po-Han Wu
In developing traditional learning materials, quality is the key issue to be considered. However, for high technical e-training courses, not only... Sample PDF
An Efficient and Effective Approach to Developing Engineering E-Training Courses
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Chapter 4
Te-Hua Wang, Flora Chia-I Chang
The sharable content object reference model (SCORM) includes a representation of distance learning contents and a behavior definition of how users... Sample PDF
A SCORM Compliant Courseware Authoring Tool for Supporting Pervasive Learning
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Chapter 5
WenYing Guo
Selecting appropriate learning services for a learner from a large number of heterogeneous knowledge sources is a complex and challenging task. This... Sample PDF
An Ontology-Based e-Learning Scenario
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Chapter 6
Dan Phung, Giuseppe Valetto, Gail E. Kaiser, Tiecheng Liu, John R. Kender
The increasing popularity of online courses has highlighted the need for collaborative learning tools for student groups. In this article, we... Sample PDF
Adaptive Synchronization of Semantically Compressed Instructional Videos for Collaborative Distance Learning
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Chapter 7
Jing Chen, Qing Li, Ling Feng
The abundance of knowledge-rich information on the World Wide Web makes compiling an online etextbook both possible and necessary. In our previous... Sample PDF
Refining the Results of Automatic e-Textbook Construction by Clustering
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Chapter 8
Yueting Zhuang, Xiafen Zhang, Weiming Lu, Fei Wu
Chinese brush calligraphy is a valuable civilization legacy and a high art of scholarship. It is still popular in Chinese banners, newspaper... Sample PDF
Chinese Brush Calligraphy Character Retrieval and Learning
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Chapter 9
William K. Cheung, Anders I. Mørch, Kelvin C. Wong, Cynthia Lee, Jiming Liu, Mason H. Lam
In this article we investigate the use of latent semantic analysis (LSA), critiquing systems, and knowledge building to support computer-based... Sample PDF
Grounding Collaborative Learning in Semantics-Based Critiquing
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Chapter 10
Giuliana Dettori, Paola Forcheri, Maria Grazia Ierardi
Learning Objects (LOs) are increasingly considered potentially helpful to improve teachers’ work and to spread innovation in the school system.... Sample PDF
Improving the Usefulness of Learning Objects by Means of Pedagogy-Oriented Design
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Chapter 11
Frederick W.B. Li, Rynson W.H. Lau, Taku Komura, Meng Wang, Becky Siu
Human motion animation has been one of the major research topics in the field of computer graphics for decades. Techniques developed in this area... Sample PDF
Adaptive Animation of Human Motion for E-Learning Applications
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Chapter 12
Gennaro Costagliola, Vittorio Fuccella
On-Line Testing is that sector of e-learning aimed at assessing learner’s knowledge through e-learning means. In on-line testing, due to the... Sample PDF
eWorkbook: An On-Line Testing System with Test Visualization Functionalities
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Chapter 13
Brian Stewart, Derek Briton, Mike Gismondi, Bob Heller, Dietmar Kennepohl, Rory McGreal, Christine Nelson
Athabasca University—Canada’s Open University evaluated learning management systems (LMS) for use by the university. Evaluative criteria were... Sample PDF
Choosing MOODLE: An Evaluation of Learning Management Systems at Athabasca
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Chapter 14
Damien Clark, Penny Baillie-de Byl
Computer aided assessment is a common approach used by educational institutions. The benefits range into the design of teaching, learning, and... Sample PDF
Enhancing the IMS QTI to Better Support Computer Assisted Marking
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Chapter 15
Ali Dashti, Maytham Safar
Distance education created new challenges regarding the delivery of large size isochronous continuous streaming media (SM) objects. In this paper... Sample PDF
Streaming of Continuous Media for Distance Education Systems
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Chapter 16
Manjulika Srivastava, Venugopal Reddy
The question why some learners successfully study through distance mode and others do not is increasingly becoming important as open and distance... Sample PDF
How Did They Study at a Distance? Experiences of IGNOU Graduates
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Chapter 17
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Ting-Ting Wu, Yen-Jung Chen
The prosperous development of wireless communication and sensor technologies has attracted the attention of researchers from both computer and... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing Technologies in Education
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Chapter 18
S. Grunwald, B. Hoover, G.L. Bruland
In this chapter the authors describe the implementation of an emerging virtual learning environment to teach GIS and spatial sciences to distance... Sample PDF
An eLearning Portal to Teach Geographic Information Sciences
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Chapter 19
Maria Manuela Cunha, Goran D. Putnik
Individualised open and distance learning at the university continuing education and post-graduate education levels is a central issue of today. The... Sample PDF
A Changed Economy with Unchanged Universities? A Contribution to the University of the Future
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Chapter 20
Richard Y.D. Xu, Jesse S. Jin
This article presents a schematic application of computer vision technologies to e-learning that is synchronous, peer-to-peer-based, and supports an... Sample PDF
Rationale, Design and Implementation of a Computer Vision-Based Interactive E-Learning System
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Chapter 21
Dorothée Rasseneur-Coffinet, Georgia Smyrniou, Pierre Tchounikine
This article presents an approach and tools that can help learners appropriate a Web-based learning curriculum and become active participants in... Sample PDF
Supporting Learners' Appropriation of a Web-Based Learning Curriculum
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Chapter 22
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Hsiang Cheng, Carol H.C. Chu, Judy C.R. Tseng, Gwo-Haur Hwang
In the past decades, English learning has received lots of attention all over the world, especially for those who are not native English speakers.... Sample PDF
Development of a Web-Based System for Diagnosing Student Learning Problems on English Tenses
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Chapter 23
Chi-Syan Lin, C. Candace Chou, Ming-Shiou Kuo
The paper outlines a new paradigm and its underlying rationales for implementing networked learning environments that is emerging from new... Sample PDF
Inhabited Virtual Learning Worlds and Impacts on Learning Behaviors in Young School Learners
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Chapter 24
Rory McGreal, Terry Anderson
Any view of e-learning in Canada must be informed by the uniquely Canadian feature of provincial jurisdiction over education. Therefore any... Sample PDF
Research and Practice of E-Learning in Canada 2008
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About the Contributors