Reference : The ALMA-Yactul Ecosystem: A Holistic Approach for Student-centered Integration of Le...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Engineering, computing & technology : Computer science
Educational Sciences
The ALMA-Yactul Ecosystem: A Holistic Approach for Student-centered Integration of Learning Material
Grevisse, Christian mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Computer Science and Communications Research Unit (CSC) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Informatique
Rothkugel, Steffen mailto
Zampunieris, Denis mailto
Reuter, Robert mailto
Mariño, Olga mailto
Paek, Seungoh mailto
[en] Scaffolding support ; Learning material ; Integration ; Semantic annotation ; Cognitive Load Theory ; Authoring tools ; Domain Ontology ; Active Learning ; Gamification ; Formative Assessment ; Knowledge Graph ; Core concept identification ; Sketchnoting ; Document Browser ; Office 365 ; Authoring Support ; Learning Management Systems ; Moodle ; Student response systems
[en] Digital learning resources play a key role in technology enhanced learning, yet their organization poses a challenge to both learners and teachers. Students are confronted with an ever-growing amount of available resources in an open, heterogeneous corpus. Finding relevant learning material for a given context or task, such as an exercise, is non-trivial, especially for novices in a complex domain, who often lack specific search skills. In addition, there is often no direct link between the learning material and the task at hand, and the constant interruption of the task in order to search for resources may have an impact on the cognitive load. Moreover, from the perspective of teachers and instructional designers, authoring high-quality learning material is a time-intensive task. Hence, reusing the authored material in multiple contexts would be beneficial.

This dissertation addresses these issues by proposing the ALMA-Yactul ecosystem, a holistic approach for student-centered integration of learning material. Learners can benefit from scaffolding support to retrieve learning material relevant to their current context at a fine-grained level and across the boundaries of individual courses. This integration is showcased in multiple applications and domains, such as a plugin for an Integrated Development Environment or an enhanced sketchnoting app. While the former provides novices in computer programming the necessary tools to scaffold the search for heterogeneous documents on fine-grained syntactical elements, the latter allows for suggesting further information while taking notes in class. In both cases, it is not necessary for learners to leave their current study environment. To implicitly link learning resources and tasks, Semantic Web technologies such as ontologies are used to annotate documents. For this purpose, an extensible and lightweight modular domain ontology for programming languages has been created. While the main study domain in this work is computer science with a special focus on programming, the transferability of the proposed approach to other domains is demonstrated through multiple examples.

Furthermore, to foster the active engagement of students in the learning process, Yactul, a game-based platform for continuous active learning has been developed. Apart from its use in the classroom, the platform also provides formative assessment to the individual learner by keeping track of her performance on a per-concept basis. Yactul activities are a key element in the ecosystem, both benefitting from and contributing to the integration of learning material.

Finally, teachers are assisted in semantically enhancing their resources through semi-automatic annotation support within popular authoring tools. A Knowledge Graph-based approach is employed for core concept identification.

Apart from analysing the usage of this ecosystem and evaluating the user satisfaction in university courses, an experiment with high school pupils lacking prior knowledge in programming yielded positive results with respect to the proposed scaffolding support.

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