Integrating Ontology-Based Content Management into a Mobilized Learning Environment

Integrating Ontology-Based Content Management into a Mobilized Learning Environment

Gábor Kismihók (Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary), Barna Kovács (Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary) and Réka Vas (Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-882-6.ch010
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This chapter describes the architecture of an ontology based content authoring system, developed according to the challenges emerging from Bologna process deployment in Hungary. Considering the needs of Hungarian academic sector, mobility of learners has also been treated as a key requirement. This system has several fundamental components: an educational ontology–which also serves as the domain of curricula development, a content developer, a content repository, and an adaptive knowledge testing engine with a test bank. The services and learning objects are distributed towards the students through a mobilized learning management system.
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On 1st February 2008 Carl-Henrich Sandberg, the CEO of Ericsson announced: “There are now 3.3 billion mobile subscriptions in the world – and every month an additional 50 million people in the world start using their first mobile phone. Broadband is the next step with both mobile and fixed broadband growing rapidly. This figure of 3.3 billion mobile subscriptions far outstrips all previous forecasts.”

Competition between eLearning solutions is increasing at an alarming rate, while changes of the surrounding environment and the demands of students and the labour market are frequent and substantial. As the announcement of Sandberg indicates, the importance of mobile technology in mainstream education is inevitable. At the same time several questions regarding this impact have not been answered yet. Several factors put pressure on higher education institutions to turn towards the development and application of innovative and modern technologies that enable students to easily access, understand and apply complex curricula and other teaching materials.

In this chapter a comprehensive learning environment will be discussed, emphasizing its mobile learning aspects and potentials, stressing its importance in the Bologna System.

We divided this work into two main parts.

In the first part a detailed problem analysis is given about motivating factors behind this project. As it will be visible, the Bologna-process indicated important challenges for the Hungarian higher education, which need to be dealt with. Innovation in education provides competitive advantages for universities therefore, as we argue in this chapter, a combination of an ontology based learning content management with mobile devices enabled content delivery is certainly a solution. Still in this section we show the results of an important empirical research, which examined students’ attitudes towards mobile learning. These results are being incorporated into the design and development processes, but also into the deployment strategy of our ontology driven educational environment, namely Corvinno Studio. Further sections discuss the inclusion of mLearning in higher education and other strategic issues of mobile learning deployment.

The second part of the chapter is more technical oriented. It describes steps and important concepts of an ontology based content development system implementation. This system rests on two major pillars. One is a repository layer that has a key role in content development and management. The other one is an ontology layer that supports the creation of reusable learning objects (based on the Educational Ontology) and the promotion of reliable knowledge testing (Adaptive Knowledge Testing System). Mobile learning adds flexibility to this system, since individual learners are not bound to a certain location or time anymore, however the mobilized content is still connected to traditional lectures and seminars. Topics of educational ontology, Studio system architecture, content development and delivery are argued in separate sections. At the end we talk about the first user experiences and our future plans.

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