Visual Design of coherent Technology-Enhanced Learning Systems

Visual Design of coherent Technology-Enhanced Learning Systems

Thierry Nodenot (Université de Pau et des pays de l’Adour, France), Pierre Laforcade (Université du Maine, France) and Xavier Le Pallec (Université de Lille, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-503-2.ch112
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Abstract

Visual instructional design languages currently provide notations for representing the intermediate and final results of a knowledge engineering process. As some languages particularly focus on the formal representation of a learning design that can be transformed into machine interpretable code (i.e., IML-LD players), others have been developed to support the creativity of designers while exploring their problem-spaces and solutions. This chapter introduces CPM (Computer Problem-based Metamodel), a visual language for the instructional design of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) situations. On the one hand, CPM sketches of a PBL situation can improve communication within multidisciplinary ID teams; on the other hand, CPM blueprints can describe the functional components that a Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) system should offer to support such a PBL situation. We first present the aims and the fundamentals of CPM language. Then, we analyze CPM usability using a set of CPM diagrams produced in a case study in a ‘real-world’ setting
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Introduction

For several years, the IMS-LD specification (IMS, 2003b) has been the subject of converging theoretical and practical works from researchers and practitioners concerned with Learning Technologies.

The IMS-LD specification is now well documented (Hummel, Manderveld, Tattersall, & Koper, 2004; Koper et al., 2003; Koper & Olivier, 2004) and widely used for the semantic representation of learning designs. A learning design is defined as the description of the teaching-learning process that takes place in a unit of learning (Koper, 2006). The key principle in learning design is that it represents learning activities and support activities being performed by different persons (learners, teachers) in the context of a unit of learning. These activities can refer to different learning objects that are used/required by these activities at runtime (e.g., books, software programs, pictures); they can also refer to services (e.g., forums, chats, wikis) used to communicate and collaborate in the teaching-learning process.

Thus, IMS-LD is an educational modeling language that provides a representation of the components of a learning environment in a standardized XML schema that can be executed by compliant e-learning platforms. According to the classification framework defined in Botturi, Derntl, Boot, and Gigl, (2006), IMS-LD is an example of a finalist-communicative language: it is not intended to enable designers to produce intermediate models of the learning design being studied, nor to provide significant methodological support for designers to build a final representation complying with the IMS-LD specification.

Initially, designers had to use XML editors (like XMLSpy) to benefit from all IMS-LD expressive capabilities (levels A, B, C). Reload, a tree and form based authoring tool, was the first editor to significantly improve this situation. ChapterXV of this handbook provides an extensive presentation of currently available IMS-LD compliant tools (Tattersall, 2007):

  • LD-editors like Reload (Reload, 2005), CopperAuthor (CopperAuthor, 2005), etc.

  • Visual tools to support practitioners in the creation of IMS-LD compliant designs by means of using collaborative pattern-based templates (Hernández-Leo et al., 2006).

  • Authoring environments for IMS-LD designs like the ASK Learning Designer Toolkit – ASK-LDT (Sampson, Karampiperis, & Zervas, 2005).

  • Runtime engines able to interpret a LD-scenario like CopperCore (Vogten & Martens, 2003).

  • learning management systems able to interpret LD scenarios: dotLRN (Santos, Boticario, & Barrera, 2005), LAMS (Dalziel, 2006), Moodle (Berggren et al., 2005), etc.

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