Orchestrating Ontologies for Courseware Design

Orchestrating Ontologies for Courseware Design

Tatiana Gavrilova
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-940-3.ch008
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This chapter presents an approach aimed at creating teaching strategies for e-learning based on the principles of ontological engineering and cognitive psychology. The proposed framework is important for many reasons. It is targeted at the development of methodologies and related technologies that can scaffold the process of knowledge structuring and orchestrating teaching ontologies for courseware design. The orchestrating procedure is the kernel of ontology development. Ontologies that describe the main concepts of exemplary domains are used both for teaching and assessment techniques. The main stress is put on using visual techniques of mind-mapping and concept mapping as a powerful mind learning tool. Cognitive bias and some results of Gestalt psychology are highlighted as a general guideline. The ideas of balance, clarity, and beauty are applied to the ontology orchestrating procedures. The examples are taken mainly from the course in C-programming, and in the foundations of intelligent systems development.
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The idea of using visual structuring of information to improve the quality of student’s learning and understanding is not new. For more than twenty years concept mapping (Sowa, 1994; Jonassen, 1998; Conlon, 1997) has been used for providing structures and mental models that support the process of teaching and learning. As such, the visual representation of general domain concepts facilitates and supports student understanding of both substantive and syntactic knowledge. Many teachers, especially those who teach sciences and engineering courses, operate as a knowledge analysts or knowledge engineers by making visible the skeleton of the studied discipline and showing the domain’s conceptual structure (Kinchin, 2006). Often this structure is called “ontology”.

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