Design Methodology for Adaptivity and Adaptability of Learning Object’s Interface

Design Methodology for Adaptivity and Adaptability of Learning Object’s Interface

Verónica Rodríguez (Universidad de las Américas Puebla, San Andres Cholula, Puebla, Mexico) and Gerardo Ayala (Universidad de las Américas Puebla, San Andres Cholula, Puebla, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2013040105


In this paper the authors introduce a Design Methodology for Adaptivity and Adaptability of Learning Object’s Interface. The interface should be seen as the action space where mediatic objects are presented for user interaction. A learning object developed based on this methodology adapts itself to the user; it is not the user who must adapt her/himself to the learning object. This adaptation implies the design of the learning object interface, which includes the processes and structures for adaptivity and adaptability. The paper includes a discussion of methodology, the architecture and its components.
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Research Questions

The main motivation of the research was generated based on the current research topics and interests of the scientific community in the area of learning objects and interface design:

  • 1.

    How to maintain student’s interest along the interaction with the learning object?

  • 2.

    What is the most adequate presentation of the educational content of the learning objects?

  • 3.

    How user interfaces should be designed for adaptivity and adaptability of learning objects, in order to present content (educational mediatic objects) based on the interests and preferences of the student?


Theoretical Framework

What is a Learning Object?

The IEEE defines leaning object as “any digital or non digital entity that can be used, reused or referenced during learning supported by technology” (LSTC, 2000). Wiley argues that this definition is too broad; he defines a learning object as “any digital resource that can be reused for support learning” (Wiley, 2002). There are other definitions (Friesen, 2004; Ip, 2001; Magenheim, 2004; Merril, 2002; Polsani, 2003; Shepherd, 2000; Sicilia, 2004). Based on our studies and developments we propose the following definition: a learning object is an informative, digital and interactive entity created for generation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and/or values, which can be adapted and reusable in different contexts.

What is a Mediatic Object?

Learning objects facilitate the learning process when the user interacts with mediatic objects appropriately designed. According to Merrill, a mediatic object is a text, graphic, video or audio presented in the learning object's interface (Merril, 2000). From our perspective, a mediatic object is a digital entity with different forms of representation which is an element of the contents presented on the learning object interface. The basic function of the mediatic object is to mediate the educational content due to its representative nature.

In our research we propose two kinds of mediatic objects: 1) Educational mediatic objects and 2) Operational mediatic objects. Educational mediatic objects show the educational content in the learning object interface (text, video, picture, etc.). Operational mediatic objects allow the user to operate the learning object interface (buttons, links, etc.).

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