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Constructing a Learner Centric Semantic Syllabus for Automatic Text Book Generation

Constructing a Learner Centric Semantic Syllabus for Automatic Text Book Generation






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  • 1. Creating a Community State office hours and times and methods of availability of the instructor. Is the instructor available via phone or e-mail? The accessibility of the instructor demonstrates the willingness of the instructor to provide extra time and energy in providing students assistance. This ease of accessibility creates a feeling of community for the student. Create a personal connection with the student. Write a letter to the student in the syllabus. You may want to ask students to respond to your letter by asking you two questions concerning the information in your letter. You may ask the student to evaluate the course to aid in improvement. Set a tone of caring and concern on the part of the instructor. Describe collaborative work and active learning activities. Instructors who engage students in collaborative and active learning activities demonstrate respect for the students with lessons that encourage higher levels of thinking by the students. Collaborative activities allow students to learn from each other resulting in a learning community. What do I want students to know about myself? My interest in the discipline? My teaching philosophy? How can I convey my enthusiasm for teaching, for the course? 2. Providing Students with Power and Control Empowering students is motivating students to accept their own responsibility in the learning process. Wording in the syllabus is a key to providing students a choice with regard to the acceptance of their learning responsibility. Providing students with a choice, even a minor choice provides the student with a sense of control (M. Harris/R. Cullen, 2009) 3. Evaluation and Assessment Assessment is ongoing formative feedback, allowing students to determine progress in the learning of the curriculum. Assessment also provides feedback of the students’ level of learning to the instructor. Assessment is ungraded. Evaluation determines if learning out comes are appropriate and valid. Evaluation is used as summative information. Evaluation is graded.
  • Syllabus from many Indian universities for technical courses was reviewed by us and we found that most of the time instructors fail to communicate the course content unambiguously to the students and don’t adhere to a well-defined syllabus structure as delineated above We see that this observation in Taiwan also holds true in similar developing economies like India. The reason for such an attitude towards syllabus can stem from the lax approach used by traditional teaching and learning for undergraduate level courses in developing countries. Y. T. Tung, “A Case Study of Undergraduate Course Syllabi in Taiwan,” University of North Texas, 2010.
  • According to Vygotsky , students are capable of performing at higher intellectual levels when asked to work in collaborative situations than when asked to work individually[11]. Thus in a learner centric syllabus the content and the teacher adapt to the students feedback and suggestions rather than expecting the students to adapt to the content. The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky (1978) states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals."
  • A semantic learner centric syllabus facilitates the collaborative learning process by allowing the machine to understand the semantics (meanings) of the syllabus which can be used by intelligent agents and book authoring tools to mine relevant information from the web
  • For designing undergraduate engineering courses a new engineering education model named CDIO[23] is proposed by four leading universities of the world which includes MIT. The CDIO Syllabus is a taxonomy that represents a long list of desired knowledge and skills required by graduating engineers. The CDIO syllabus document makes the following statement: “Graduating engineers should be able to Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate complex value-added engineering systems in a modern team-based environment”[24]. Thus the CDIO taxonomy assists the syllabus maker in designing a CDIO inspired syllabus.
  • An ITU matrix is proposed by [25] can be used to classify subject topics into three categories, namely the category of (I:Introduce) if the topic is of introductory nature and requires no assessment, , (T:Teach) for topics that need to be taught systematically and assessed and finally U:Utilized for prerequisite topics that are assumed to be known by students.An example of an ITU matrix is given by [26] delineating the how the subject topics in a syllabus can be classified as Introduce(I) , Teach (T) and Utilized(U) corresponding to the CDIO taxonomy levels 1,1.1,1.2 … is shown in Table 1
  • Using a semantic web language like OWL to represent the syllabus document will make the syllabus machine understandable allowing semantic web applications in the LOD to query from such documents as well as allow a textbook generation tool to efficiently assemble educational resources form the semantic web. It will also allow the learning community of students as well as subject matter experts (SMEs) to take part in the course construction process and add useful resources to the course repository. Fig. 6 shows a typical scenario of using a semantic syllabus. Each syllabus ontology is represented by a cloud. The small circles represent subject topics of interests to the user or subject matter experts in its respective ontology cloud. The users A,BC …F each have their own ontology reflecting their knowledge model of the course syllabus. The instructor sitting at the center has his own knowledge model for the syllabus in terms of topics. The owl:sameAs construct can be used to specify equality between individual topics This built-in OWL property owl:sameAs links an individual to an individual. Such an owl:sameAs statement indicates that two URI references actually refer to the same thing: the individuals have the same "identity". This itself results in a linked ontology. The owl:sameAs statements thus defines mappings between different syllabus ontologies. It is unrealistic to assume everybody will use the same name to refer to individual topics[2]. Researchers have studied the wide use of owl:sameAs statement to link individuals in LOD and the quantitative analysis of owl:sameAs deployment status has also been done[32]. The result is that some user E (which can be A,B…) can see the complete view of syllabus topics which is a merged version of all the syllabus ontologies. This ontology is linked to the LOD (linked open data) cloud through the use of Dublin metadata ontology namespace as described in section 6.1 .As the ontology visible to E is linked to the LOD cloud ,user F is now able to see the complete ontology and can perform complex inferences over the LOD cloud. The open world assumption of OWL ontologies implies that the absence of a class does not imply that it does not exist helps in making the syllabus open to evolution and augmentation thus highly suitable for collaborative learning This is unlike the conventional closed world databases which are highly resistant to schema change and hence it is becomes very difficult to accommodate new syllabus documents as the system evolves. Moreover the open world assumption of the OWL syllabus ontology allows SMEs to easily add , merge and filter different syllabi aiding in personalization of syllabus. This personalization will act as a stepping stone towards personalized generation of textbooks from custom syllabus ontology documents.

Constructing a Learner Centric Semantic Syllabus for Automatic Text Book Generation Constructing a Learner Centric Semantic Syllabus for Automatic Text Book Generation Presentation Transcript

  • Constructing a Learner Centric Semantic Syllabus for Automatic Text Book Generation Guide: Dr. Kannan Moudgalya Course Cordinator: Dr. Sahana Murthy Aliabbas Petiwala 114380003 Education Technology Dept, Semester I ETS 801
  • Purpose of Syllabus (Jay Parkes 2002)
  • Three Features of a Learner-Centered Syllabi Create a collaborative active learning environment . (R. M. Palloff 1999.) (P. Dillenbourg 1996) (M. Warschauer 1997)
  • Problem
    • syllabus documents are designed for human readers, not computers(PDF,HTML)
    • Inconsistency leads to chaos:
      • difficulty in browsing, managing and evolving the syllabus
    • Even when a CMS is used, the course contents are not structured in a consistent manner which makes the task of reusing or splitting the existing syllabus difficult and tedious
    • The syllabus does not specify the exhaustive list of topics that need to be covered in the course.
  • A Good Syllabus… (Jay Parkes 2002) Important Elements Miscellaneous Elements   – Course Title – Course Description – Course Prerequisites – Topics Covered – Knowledge Units – Learning Objectives – Reading List • Books • Book Chapters • Articles and Papers • Other Scholarly Publications   – Classroom Material • Presentation Slides • Instructor’s Notes • Assignments – Information about: • Instructors • Teaching Assistants – Course Calendar  
  • Studies Regarding Benefits Of A Well-defined Syllabus And Its Importance To Students
    • studies conducted in Taiwan found that, most syllabi in the sciences included only brief outline of the course
    • An exhaustive list of subject topics to be covered was not present (Tung 2010).
    • Studies have showed that students do refer to the syllabus contrary to the usual grievance of the instructors that students don’t read it, loose it or have no interest in it (Calhoon and Becker 2008)
    • Studies suggest that students often enroll a course based on a their own perception arising out of the course name (DiClementi and Handelsman 2005)
    • Conclusion: well-defined and exhaustive syllabus would help in eliminating wrong or incomplete impression about a course from students minds
  • State of Art
    • A learner centric syllabus stresses on collaborative learning (R. M. Palloff 1999.) (P. Dillenbourg 1996) (M. Warschauer 1997)
    • Learner-centric syllabus is vital to the process of collaborative active learning communities.
    • Vygotsky social development theory (1978)
    • Thus in a learner centric syllabus the content and the teacher adapt to the students feedback and suggestions rather than expecting the students to adapt to the content.
  • State of Art:Learner Centric Syllabus
    • Among other things an effective learner-centered syllabus should provide a clear statement of intended goals , student outcomes and include difficult-to-obtain materials such as readings, complex charts, and graphs
    • (J. Grunert 1997)
  • State of Art :Open syllabus format in XML
    • Open Syllabus Model(O. Gerbé, J. Raynauld 2009)
    • Not semantic web ready
    • The schematics of the open syllabus model do not address the exhaustive syllabus content requirements of our proposed book authoring tool.
  • XML Syllabus Structure
  • Why Semantic Syllabus
    • Syntax independent (specifies SemanticsKnowledge Model)
      • Some existing serializations: OWL/RDF/XML, N3, Turtle
      • Focus on semantics
    • Consistent semantics
      • Based on URIs
    • Great for data integration problems
    Model Example Format Data Metadata Identifier Query Syntax Semantics (Meaning) Relational MS SQL, Oracle, MySQL Table Cell Values Table Column Definitions Primary Key (Data Column) Value SQL N/A Hierarchical XML Tag/Attribute Values XSD/DTD e.g. Unique Attribute Key Value XPath N/A Graph OWL/RDF/XML, Turtle RDF RDFS/OWL URI SPARQL Yes, using RDFS and OWL
  • State of Art : CDIO Syllabus
    • CDIO is proposed by four leading universities of the world which includes MIT.
    • The CDIO Syllabus is a taxonomy that represents a long list of desired knowledge and skills required by graduating engineers.
    • “ Graduating engineers should be able to Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate complex value-added engineering systems in a modern team-based environment” (E. F. Crawley 2011).
    • Thus the CDIO taxonomy assists the syllabus maker in designing a CDIO inspired syllabus.
  • ITU matrix to classify Course Topics
    • (I:Introduce) if the topic is of introductory nature and requires no assessment.
    • (T:Teach) for topics that need to be taught systematically and assessed
    • (U:Utilized) for prerequisite topics that are assumed to be known.
    • J. Bankel 2005
  • An Example (S. Gunnarsson) Syllabus Topics
  • State of Art : The Connexions project
    • A repository of educational content.
    • Rice University’s Connexions and the Community College Open Textbook Project (CCOTP)
    • collaborated to develop a proof-of-concept for free and open textbook (Baker 2009)
    • Documents a workflow process that would support adoption of open textbooks.
    • Open textbooks provides low cost alternative to traditional publishers’ textbooks and can help to make higher education more affordable.
  • State of Art : The Connexions project
    • Connexions also identified lessons learned about open textbook use by students and faculty, e.g., the value of availability and customizability
    • CCOTP recommends using Connexions as the common repository for open textbook content in an effort to provide greater national and international access.
    • One major drawback of the open textbook proposal is that the open textbook is not organized as per syllabus requirements and has no mention of the inclusion of syllabus to organize its content accordingly.
    • We have seen the importance of Syllabus!.
  • Proposed Methodology : Active Learner Community
  • Proposed OWL Ontology for syllabus UML Representation of semantic syllabus OWL ontology
  • Object properties and Instances of Units and Topics covered
  • Easier data integration helps in Collaborative Learning Benefits of Using OWL for representing the syllabus
  • Why Semantic Web Ontologies?
    • -Easier Syllabi(data model) Interoperability and evolution
    • New syllabi can be easily added.
    • Real time Schema change seamless.
    • Old and new data models syllabi co-exist in merged model.
    • Relationships between the old and new models are expressed explicitly.
    December 1, 2011
  • Example
    • Learner A has Topics (Data Structures)
    • Learner B has Topics (Data Structures)
    December 1, 2011
    • Step 1: Merge Ontologies
    • Same nodes (URIs) join automatically owl:sameAs
    December 1, 2011 Owl:sameAs
    • Step 1: Merge RDF
    • Same nodes (URIs) join automatically
    December 1, 2011
  • Easier data integration helps in Collaborative Learning
    • Instructor has its own model making use of A and B
    December 1, 2011 Owl:sameAs
  • Future Work And Further Research Directions
    • An automated textbook generator which will employ the semantic syllabus ontology.
    • Granularity of the information extraction in terms of paragraphs, mathematical equations, Figures, tables needs to be specified in the syllabus ontology.
    • Ontology guided information extraction.
    • A standard format needs to be developed or an existing standard is to be used to transcribe the IIT Bombay CDEEP lectures(use of a Content Management System?).
    • The use of a wiki in aiding the collaborative effort of textbook generation has to be studied and evaluated.
  • Future Work And Further Research Directions
    • Additional Meta data to describe chunking, content sequence and granularity in the syllabus ontology is needed to accommodate articulate textbook generation.
    • Personalization and adaptivity in syllabus specification based on learning styles is also an important research direction which will work towards improving the usability and aesthetic appeal of the generated textbook for the learner.
    • A survey needs to be designed and conducted among the Indian SMEs like IIT professors to gather more data on the requirements of the professors from this project and further suggestions.
  • Future Work And Further Research Directions
    • The interoperability of this approach with the Connexions project of Rice University can be studied further.
    • Connexions project can help the textbook generator to compile content from the education repository guided by the open semantic syllabus
  • Conclusion
    • A semantic syllabus is required to guide a book authoring tool to generate educational content or text books in collaboration with an active learning community.
    • The specification of the proposed semantic syllabus ontology was also described.
    • The overall methodology for automated textbook generation was also proposed.
    • The intricacies and specifications of the book authoring tool and the active learning community to automatically generate learning objects needs to be developed.
  • Acknowledgement
    • We would like to thank Professor Sahana Murthy of Education Technology Dept and Professor Pushpak Bhattacharya of Computer Science Dept, IIT Bombay for providing valuable insights and direction to this this truly interdisciplinary effort
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  • Cont’d
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  • Cont’d
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