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Learning Applications based on Semantic Web Technologies
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media technology and interaction design, MID. (KMR)
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interplay between learning and technology is a growing field that is often referred to as Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Within this context, learning applications are software components that are useful for learning purposes, such as textbook replacements, information gathering tools, communication and collaboration tools, knowledge modeling tools, rich lab environments that allows experiments etc. When developing learning applications, the choice of technology depends on many factors. For instance, who and how many the intended end-users are, if there are requirements to support in-application collaboration, platform restrictions, the expertise of the developers, requirements to inter-operate with other systems or applications etc.

This thesis provides guidance on a how to develop learning applications based on Semantic Web technology. The focus on Semantic Web technology is due to its basic design that allows expression of knowledge at the web scale. It also allows keeping track of who said what, providing subjective expressions in parallel with more authoritative knowledge sources. The intended readers of this thesis include practitioners such as software architects and developers as well as researchers in TEL and other related fields.

The empirical part of the this thesis is the experience from the design and development of two learning applications and two supporting frameworks. The first learning application is the web application Confolio/EntryScape which allows users to collect files and online material into personal and shared portfolios. The second learning application is the desktop application Conzilla, which provides a way to create and navigate a landscape of interconnected concepts. Based upon the experience of design and development as well as on more theoretical considerations outlined in this thesis, three major obstacles have been identified:

The first obstacle is: lack of non-expert and user friendly solutions for presenting and editing Semantic Web data that is not hard-coded to use a specific vocabulary. The thesis presents five categories of tools that support editing and presentation of RDF. The thesis also discusses a concrete software solution together with a list of the most important features that have crystallized during six major iterations of development.

The second obstacle is: lack of solutions that can handle both private and collaborative management of resources together with related Semantic Web data. The thesis presents five requirements for a reusable read/write RDF framework and a concrete software solution that fulfills these requirements. A list of features that have appeared during four major iterations of development is also presented.

The third obstacle is: lack of recommendations for how to build learning applications based on Semantic Web technology. The thesis presents seven recommendations in terms of architectures, technologies, frameworks, and type of application to focus on.

In addition, as part of the preparatory work to overcome the three obstacles, the thesis also presents a categorization of applications and a derivation of the relations between standards, technologies and application types.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , vi, 95 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2012:13
Keyword [en]
Semantic Web, Linked Data, Web Applications, Technology Enhanced Learning, REST
National Category
Communication Systems Interaction Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104446ISBN: 978-91-7501-534-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-104446DiVA: diva2:564709
Public defence
2012-11-22, F3, Lindstedsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20121105

Available from: 2012-11-05 Created: 2012-11-02 Last updated: 2012-11-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. E-Learning in the Semantic Age
Open this publication in new window or tab >>E-Learning in the Semantic Age
2001 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Today educational technologies are reaching a state that allows interoperability and reuse of learning resources. The underlying techniques rely heavily on the standards movement for metadata representation. On top of this, monolithic reference platforms are being developed with the aim to ease application development. However, we do not think this approach is flexible enough to embrace future learning techniques. In contrast, we suggest a learning framework where services can be developed and exchanged between as well as within systems. A fundamental part of this framework is the semantic layer, which builds on the structure of the Semantic Web. Hence we do not regard metadata as something 'objective' that you have to download from some central server. On the contrary, metadata should be allowed to consist of subjective views of resources that are distributed and shared in contexts that can evolve dynamically. In support of such requirements, our learning framework consists of a combination of semantic web techniques and peer-to-peer services for search, retrieval, publication, replication and mapping of metadata.

Keyword
Learning Framework, Semantic Web, Conceptual Web, interoperability, peer-topeer, concept browser, Conzilla, Edutella.
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-82641 (URN)
Conference
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2ND EUROPEAN WEB-BASED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS CONFERENCE (WBLE 2001
Note
NR 20140805Available from: 2012-02-12 Created: 2012-02-12 Last updated: 2012-11-05Bibliographically approved
2.
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3. The SCAM framework: Helping semantic web applications to store and access metadata
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The SCAM framework: Helping semantic web applications to store and access metadata
2004 (English)In: SEMANTIC WEB: RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS / [ed] Bussler, C; Davies, J; Fensel, D; Studer, R, BERLIN: SPRINGER , 2004, Vol. 3053, 167-181 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we discuss the design of the SCAM framework, which aims to simplify the storage and access of metadata for a variety of different applications that can be built on top of it. A basic design principle of SCAM is the aggregation of metadata into two kinds of sets of different granularity (SCAM records and SCAM contexts). These sets correspond to the typical access needs of an application with regard to metadata, and they constitute the foundation upon which access control is provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BERLIN: SPRINGER, 2004
Series
LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 3053
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-43976 (URN)000221526400012 ()2-s2.0-26944464730 (Scopus ID)3-540-21999-4 (ISBN)
Conference
1st European Semantic Web Symposium. Heraklion, GREECE. MAY 10-12, 2004
Note
QC 20111024Available from: 2011-10-24 Created: 2011-10-19 Last updated: 2012-11-05Bibliographically approved
4. Conzilla - A conceptual interface to the semantic web
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conzilla - A conceptual interface to the semantic web
2005 (English)In: CONCEPTUAL STRUCTURES: COMMON SEMANTICS FOR SHARING KNOWLEDGE, PROCEEDINGS / [ed] Dau, F; Mugnier, ML; Stumme, G, 2005, Vol. 3596, 136-151 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes our approach to managing the complexity of semantic web-based information by creating conceptual information landscapes (context-maps) and connecting them into a structure called a knowledge patch. The aim is to support the creation of overview and clarity by providing mechanisms for presenting and hiding information in flexible ways. Moreover, we present our concept browser Conzilla as a knowledge management tool for navigating and editing knowledge patches, and we show how it provides a way to link the human-semantic and the machine-semantic perspectives.

Series
LECTURE NOTES IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 3596
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-42728 (URN)000230899600009 ()2-s2.0-26944481480 (Scopus ID)3-540-27783-8 (ISBN)
Conference
13th International Conference on Conceptual Structures Location: Kassel, GERMANY Date: JUL 17-22, 2005
Note

QC 20111014

Available from: 2011-10-14 Created: 2011-10-12 Last updated: 2012-11-05Bibliographically approved
5. Annotation profiles: Configuring forms to edit RDF
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Annotation profiles: Configuring forms to edit RDF
2007 (English)In: DCMI '07 Proceedings of the 2007 international conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications: application profiles: theory and practice, 2007, 10-21 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Most of today's generic annotation tools for semantic web metadata (RDF) are designed forexperts. People with no or little knowledge about RDF are therefore forced to use simplified andoften domain-specific tools that work with fixed sets of metadata elements. This paper introducesthe Annotation Profile Model as a configuration mechanism from which annotation tools can beautomatically generated. The intention is to encourage metadata- or domain experts to defineannotation profiles according to metadata vocabularies. This will allow end-users oradministrators to select appropriate annotation profiles for the task at hand, and then an editorwill be provided by the underlying system. This paper discusses the design of the AnnotationProfile Model, which consists of a data-capturing part (the Graph Pattern Model) and apresentation part (the Form Template model). An implementation that can generate both web-based and standalone editors is also introduced.

Keyword
Metadata, Application Profile, RDF
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-32783 (URN)2-s2.0-84866239822 (Scopus ID)
Conference
International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, Singapore, 28-31 August 2007
Note
QC 20110426Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
6. A Mashup-friendly Resource and Metadata Management Framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Mashup-friendly Resource and Metadata Management Framework
2008 (English)In: Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments (MUPPLE'08): Workshop in Conjunction with the 3rd European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ECTEL'08): Times of Convergence / [ed] Wild, Kalz, Palmér, 2008, 48-56 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mashups and mashed up Personal Learning Environments require easy to use frameworks to support the ease of creation of effective services.

The focus of this paper1 lies on establishing a generic and mashup-friendly resource and metadata management. The assumption is that if we can find an appropriate level of generic functionality, the development of targeted tools (e.g. e-portfolios, PLEs, etc) will become a matter of user interface design and specialization. We hope that such a framework does not result in a single implementation but rather a wide variety of interoperable systems that leverage plenty of functionality. In this paper we look at already existing standards and initiatives and show why they are not sufficiently generic. We propose a framework and take recent developments into consideration. We also show an implementation and introduce a tangible use case.

 

National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50182 (URN)2-s2.0-84885217850 (Scopus ID)
Conference
1st Workshop MUPPLE'08. Maastricht, The Netherlands. September 17, 2008
Note

QC 20111207

Available from: 2011-12-02 Created: 2011-12-02 Last updated: 2014-04-17Bibliographically approved

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