Ontologies and Contracts in the Automation of Learning Object Management Systems

Ontologies and Contracts in the Automation of Learning Object Management Systems

Salvador Sanchez-Alonso (University of Alcala, Spain), Miguel-Ángel Sicilia (University of Alcala, Spain) and Elena Garcia-Barriocanal (University of Alcala, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-729-4.ch011
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Abstract

Current standardized e-learning systems are centred on the concept of learning object. Unfortunately, specifications and standards in the field do not provide details about the use of well-known knowledge representations for the sake of automating some processes, like selection and composition of learning objects, or adaptation to the user or platform. Precise usage specifications for ontologies in e-learning would foster automation in learning systems, but this requires concrete, machine-oriented interpretations for metadata elements. This chapter focuses on ontologies as shared knowledge representations that can be used to obtain enhanced learning object metadata records in order to enable automated or semi-automated consistent processes inside Learning Management Systems. In particular, two efforts towards enhancing automation are presented: a contractual approach based on pre- and post-conditions, and the so-called process semantic conformance profiles.

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