Personalized E-Learning Systems

Personalized E-Learning Systems

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2967-7.ch010
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After presentation of a technique for measurement of human preferences and its implementation in an instrument for measurement, several attempts to reveal the great potential of evaluation of human preferences in learner modeling are described.
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1. Learning System And Learning Environment

We consider institutional form of learning activity named institutional learning. It presents the performance of learning activity in the framework of an educational organization (institution) like school, university, college, etc. Its framework consists of four components—education system, teaching/learning system, learning environment, and learning theory (Figure 1). Institutional learning is a complex activity that is carried out as teaching-learning process and applies results of the work of different education-oriented experts in accordance with the learning abilities of the students. Usually the curriculum encompasses different types of learning (learning approaches), which bases are various learning theories. They demand different types of teaching (pedagogical approaches), on which the learning theories are mapped. No single teaching method can be applied for all occasions. An optimal program would be some mixture of diverse pedagogical approaches. To achieve an effective teaching-learning process a teacher has to collaborate with different specialists that do not participate directly in this process like other teachers, methodologists, speech therapists, psychologists, educators and specialists for design of pedagogy.

Figure 1.

Framework of institutional learning

The education system envelops the other components of institutional learning. It ensures the collaboration of education-oriented specialists and management of the entire educational process that concerns the development, control, assessment, investigation, and implementation of the teaching-learning processes. Under the influence of the education system, the learning environment is regarded as an education environment where the main actors of an education system (methodologists, pedagogues, psychologists, educators, and others) participate in mini-societies devoted to specific educational objectives. They interact with each other to produce the overall, complex service to the teaching-learning process and perform specialized problem solving (decision making) activities.

The teaching/learning system is the kernel of institutional learning. Nevertheless, it is a subsystem of the education system, which can be described as an autonomous (self-dependent) system that covers the major task of education—learning activity. The main components of this system are teacher(s) and learner(s). They are considered as agents, since they have intelligent functions. In broad terms the learner gains knowledge (knowledge acquisition) and the teacher generates knowledge and takes decision about the teaching-learning process. We present a model of the simplest teaching/learning system that consists of a teacher and a learner. They work together to achieve a shared objective. The following statement represents an agent-based view of this system (Andreev, 2006).

Teacher ʌ Learner → shared learning objective (object).

This system consists of two kinds of agents: a selfish agent interested in his own need (he tries to maximize his own individual return) and an agent-factor helping to bring about a result. The teacher is an agent-factor in teaching-learning process. The learner is a selfish agent that is a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence of a learning activity. From this analysis, we come to the following conclusions:

  • Learner is the cause of teaching-learning process;

  • Learning activity is one of the innate human’s functions, i.e. a characteristic of human being;

  • Teacher is necessary condition only for realization of institutional learning.

  • The presented description of teaching/learning systems is an opportunity to reveal the major characteristics of a teaching/learning system;

  • The relation between the teacher and learner is symmetrical;

  • The teaching/learning system is non-linear;

  • The teaching/learning system that is based on the collaboration between teachers and learners is an integrated system;

  • A collaborative system is framework for a real process that can be seen as a complex autonomous activity (Andreev, 2008): Teaching-learning process is such an activity that is shared between teacher and learner and can be view as an extension of an autonomous learning activity.

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