Recognition of Learner's Personality Traits through Digital Annotations in Distance Learning

Recognition of Learner's Personality Traits through Digital Annotations in Distance Learning

Nizar Omheni, Anis Kalboussi, Omar Mazhoud, Ahmed Hadj Kacem
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2017010103
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Researchers in distance education are interested in observing and modelling of learner's personality profile, and adapting their learning experiences accordingly. When learners read and interact with their reading materials, they do unselfconscious activities like annotation which may be key feature of their personalities. Annotation activity requires the reader to be active, to think critically and to analyse what has been written, and to make specific annotations in the margins of the text. These traces are reflected through underlining, highlighting, scribbling comments, summarizing, asking questions, expressing confusion or ambiguity, and evaluating the content of reading. In this paper, the authors present a semi-automatic approach to build learners' personality profiles based on their annotation traces yielded during active reading sessions. The experimental results show the system's efficiency to measure, with reasonable accuracy, the scores of learner's personality traits.
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“It’s evident for anyone who has taught a course that students are not a homogeneous group. They come into courses with major individual differences among their level of knowledge about subject matter content, their intellectual and meta-cognitive skills, their beliefs and attitudes toward the topic and toward learning” (Ambrose & Lovett, 2014) as well as their human personality characteristics. For such reasons, some students in some classrooms might learn more than students in the same or another classroom. Thus, it’s necessary to adapt teaching activities to different student characteristics.

Different factors can be considered to personalize learning activity such as the ability levels, patterns of different abilities, learning styles, personality characteristics, and cultural backgrounds. Actually, the rapid changes and increased complexity of today’s education systems present new challenges and puts new demands relative to learning process. Thus, there is a strong need to adapt teaching activities to the diverse learners’ characteristics by using more differentiated teaching strategies (O'Donnell et al., 2015).

In the literature of psychology, it has been widely accepted that human personality traits have decisive effects on different concepts. For decades, psychologists have searched to understand the human personality hoping to find a systematic way to measure it. After several researches they show a relation of dependence between human personality traits and different behaviors. (Ryckman, 2012) reported the Allport1 definition of personality: “personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought”. According to Allport’s view human behaviors are really controlled by internal forces known as personality traits.

Several works have shown that learners’ personality traits are correlated significantly to diverse learning parameters (academic performance, learning achievement, learning motivation, online course impressions, learning styles, learning approaches, etc.) (Ariani, 2013; Beaujean et al., 2011; Burton & Nelson, 2006; Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2009; Duff, Boyle, Dunleavy, & Ferguson, 2004; Ghazi, Shahzada, & Ullah, 2013; Ibrahimoglu, Unaldi, Samancioglu, & Baglib el, 2013; Keller & Karau, 2013; Komarraju, Karau, Schmeck, & Avdic, 2011; Nikoopour & Amini Farsani, 2011; Pornsakulvanich et al., 2012; Poropat, 2009; Sahinidis, Frangos, & Fragkos, 2013; Shahri, Javadi, & Esmael, 2012). For instance, (Al-Dujaily, Kim, & Ryu, 2013) shown the impact of personality traits (introversion vs. extroversion) on learners’ motivation and ability to learn with adaptive e-learning system. Such empirical works constitute theoretical basis for applications tending to develop classrooms that are student-centered (El Bachari, Abdelwahed, & El Adnani, 2010; Fatahi, Kazemifard, & Ghasem-Aghaee, 2009). Researchers in education emphasize the importance to consider learners’ personality differences in teaching which can lead consequently to student’s positive academic outcomes (Ambrose & Lovett, 2014; Seifert & Sutton, 2009).

In face-to-face learning model, there are more differences among students; this has made the teaching more challenging. Now more than ever, experts in educational psychology train teachers to use flexible, open-ended teaching plans and to adjust their instructional strategies and relationships with students so as to challenge and respect their special individual characteristics. By experience the teachers acquired proficiency as well as knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed for their teaching career.

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