Tech Report

Semantic Learning Webs

If current research is successful there will be a plethora of e-learning platforms making use of a varied menu of reusable educational material or learning objects. For the learner, the semanticized Web will, in addition, offer rich seams of diverse learning resources over and above the course materials (or learning objects) specified by course designers. This much is already in development. But we can go much further. Semantic technologies make it possible not only to reason about the Web as if it is one extended knowledge base but also to provide a range of additional educational semantic web services such as summarization, interpretation or sense-making, structure-visualization, and support for argumentation. It can thus provide the means for learners to navigate through the plethora of sources, find help in their interpretation of material by contextualizing it to debates and narratives, and actively enter into these debates or construct these stories as members of living online communities of learners. In this paper we present a model of how the Semantic web could be used for learning. In particular we discuss Knowledge Navigation which is the process of linking from web document to web document by means of Knowledge Charts. These are a new form of learning object which represent contextualized community knowledge such as the debates, narratives, and analogies which animate any field. By combining navigation with a means of learner participation within Knowledge Neighbourhoods (locations on the Web where communities collaborate to create and use representations of their knowledge ) the learner becomes, not a passive recipient of knowledge, but the sort of critical thinker able to deal with the complexity of the material available in a knowledge based society.

ID: kmi-04-04

Date: 2004

Author(s): Arthur Stutt, Enrico Motta

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