The use of tagging to support the authoring of personalisable learning content

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Peter, Sophie Elizabeth (2012)
  • Subject: LB | QA76

This research project is interested in the area of personalised and adaptable learning and in particular within an e-learning context. Brusilovsky (1996) and Santally (2005) stress the importance of adaptive systems within e-learning. Karagiannikis and Sampson et al. (2004) argue that personalised learning systems can be defined by their capability to adapt automatically to the changing attitudes of the “learning experience” which can, in turn, be defined by the individual learner characteristics, for example the type of learning material.\ud \ud The project evolved to cover areas including personalised learning, e-learning environments, authoring tools, tagging, learning objects, learning theories and learning styles. The main focus at the start of the project was to provide a personalised and adaptable learning environment for students based on their learning style. During the research, this led to a specific interest about how an academic can create, tag and author learning objects to provide the capability of personalised adaptable e-learning for a learner.\ud \ud Research undertaken was designed to gain an understanding of personalised and adaptive learning techniques, e-learning tools and learning styles. Important findings of this research showed that e-learning platforms do not offer much in the way of a personalised learning experience for a learner. Additionally, the research showed that general adaptive systems and adaptive systems incorporating learning styles are not commonly used or available due to issues with flexibility, reuse and integration.\ud \ud The concept of tagging was investigated during the research and it was found that tagging is underused within e-learning, although the research shows that it could be a good ‘fit’ within e-learning. This therefore led to the decision to create a general purpose discriminatory tagging methodology to allow authors to tag learning objects for personalisation and reuse. The main focus for the evaluation of this tagging methodology was the authoring side of the tagging. It was found that other research projects have evaluated the personalisation of learning content based on a learner’s learning style (see Graf and Kinshuk (2007)). It was therefore felt that there was a sufficient body of existing evidence in this area whereas there was limited research available on the authoring side.\ud \ud The evaluation of the discriminatory tagging methodology demonstrated that the methodology could allow for any discrimination between learners to be used. The example demonstrated within this thesis includes discriminating according to a learner’s learning style and accessibility type. This type of platform independent flexible discriminatory methodology does not exist within current e-learning platforms or other e-learning systems. Therefore, the main contribution of this thesis is therefore a platform independent general-purpose discriminatory tagging methodology.
  • References (3)

    Peter, S., Mackinnon, L., Bacon, E. and Dastbaz, M. (2011). “Tagging learning objects in Moodle for personalisation and re-use”. In T. Bastiaens and M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 2259-2266). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

    Peter, Sophie E., Bacon, Elizabeth and Dastbaz, Mohammad (2010) “Adaptable, personalised e-learning incorporating learning styles”. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 27 (2). pp. 91-100.

    Wharton, C., Rieman, J., Lewis, C,, and Poison, P. (1994). The cognitive walkthrough method: A practitioner's guide. In Nielsen, J., and Mack, R. L. (Eds.), Usability Inspection Methods, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 105-140.

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