PewePro 2

Project Outcome

The main objective of this research and development project is to increase the efficiency of learning programming by incorporating methods and techniques of adaptation and leveraging social relationships within a learning system. We utilize relationships emerging during learning and enable enrichment of learning materials via annotating and collaboration. Together with methods aimed to support learning and increase learning efficiency, we also created learning materials that are not dependent on the learning environment and can be used by other universities.

Adaptation was involved in systems focused on education since the beginning. Intelligent tutoring systems, which were researched and developed based on the knowledge adopted from artificial intelligence, contain a user model that is used by adaptation engine to adapt to his goals and preferences, or to a group of users he is involved in. With the evolution of technology and increasing an importance of the Web as a medium for education delivery, new challenges emerge. They are typically related to navigation in hypertext and a size, heterogeneity and distributed nature of web-based information spaces. In our research we can build on results from intelligent tutoring systems and face the challenges by considering specifics and aspects of web-based education.

Beside adaptation, a very promising area of research are social relationships and collaboration during learning. Involving students and teachers in a learning process more actively can be beneficial for learning outcomes. If we know that our peer had read some material, it is more likely that we read it too - as in real non-digital life. Studying social relationships and behavioral aspects of learning groups constitutes a potentially relevant area for supporting learning.

Outcomes for the first year of the project

The outcome for the first stage of the project was a design of methods and techniques for intelligent recommendation and navigation support in learning objects. In addition, we researched how to enhance state of the art by incorporating social relationships and technologies and standards for Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web. In this stage we also created new and updated (improved) the quality of existing learning objects related to learning programming.

Outcomes for the second year of the project

The outcome for the second stage of the project was realization of designed methods and their implementation into a web-based framework for supporting learning. We proposed and implemented two layer domain model, which consists of learning object designates layer and conceptualization layer. We also considered social aspects of learning (annotation as a mean for collaboration, various kinds of content creators), which reflected into a domain model core design. The original domain model realized in the previous web-based portal FLIP had only one layer that reduced recommendation possibilities and flexibility. In the second stage we improved learning objects and metadata: we transformed printed book authored by Pavel Herout covering procedural programming into a DocBook format and integrated it into the adaptive web-based portal for supporting learning.

The main contribution of the project is development and evaluation of the methods aimed to improve learning efficiency. Due to the both aspects of the project (providing learning support and creating learning materials), the project outcomes reach beyond a single educational institution and have a potential of use and will create conditions for sharing of knowledge about programming in a broader context (between universities).