Semantic Web, Linked Data and Education: A Perfect Fit?


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Keynote talk at the Metadata and Semantics Research Conference (MTSR) 2012. 29-11-2012, Cadiz, Spain

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  • But… there is a bit of history…LOM! What was the plan, (but when you talk about it people say beeuurgh…) when it went wrong?Parallel story: MARC records…. ??And why to we need LRMI then?Why not used by OCW?What should have been the goal: reusability, recombination, repurposing, discoverability
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  • Semantic Web, Linked Data and Education: A Perfect Fit?

    1. 1. Semantic Web, Linked Dataand Education: A Perfect Fit? Mathieu d’Aquin Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK @mdaquin
    2. 2. The evolution of (higher) educationFrom Local to GlobalHow do we manage that?(at the technological level)
    3. 3. Metadata foreducation already But there are metadata standards forlearning resources, aren’t there? Yes, my dear, but I’m not sure this answers the question…
    4. 4. So this talk should finish here?• IEEE LOM – Standard for Learning Object Metadata – Reuse Dublin Core – XML-based – Final draft in 2002• SCORM – Sharable Content Object Reference Model – Started in 1996 / last edition 2009• MIT OCW Metadata – Open Courseware – Reuse IEEE LOM• LRMI – Learning Resource Metadata Initiative – Started in June 2011, Spec 1.0 (current) – Plan for integration with – Does not reuse any of the other standards
    5. 5. Why it still does not work of flexibility, too much ambiguity, creatingnews silos… Maybe standards are not theanswer?
    6. 6. The Web…… is quite a great platformWhy don’t we…… use it to connect educational resourcesto each other?… use it to express the different ways inwhich these can be understood andreused?… use it to discover, combine and remixthings with different origins and purposes?
    7. 7. Linked Data Open University Person: Mathieu Website Publication: Pub1 author workFor Open University VLE Course: M366 offers M366 Course page Organisation: The Open University Mathieu’s Homepage availableIn setBook Mathieu’s List of Mathieu’sPublications Twitter Country: Belgium Book: Mechatronics The Web The Web of Linked Data
    8. 8. The Web of Linked Data
    9. 9. What is it good for? Accessibility and flexibility!Example: Application at the Open University
    10. 10. The Open University • The largest university in the UK: 250K students per year, 8000 associate lecturers, a big campus in Milton Keynes • Created in 1969 • Almost entirely open and distance learning • 13 regional centers, more national centers, courses available in a large number of countries
    11. 11. Applying linked data to the Open UNiversityExposed as linked DBPedia RAEdata, our data OpenLearn Data from ORO Researchinterlink with each Content Outputsother and the Archive ofexternal world: it Course Library’s Catalogue geonames Materialbecomes part of the Of Digital Content“global data space”on the Web A/V Material Podcasts University public iTunesU data sit in different BBC systems – hard to DBLP discover, obtain, integrate by users.
    12. 12. first linked data platform providing openinformation from a across a whole university
    13. 13. Linked Data at the Open UniversityCourse information: 580 modules/ description of the course, information about the levels and number of credits associated with it, topics, and conditions of enrolment.Research publications: 16,000 academic articles / information about authors, dates, abstract and venue of the publication.Podcasts: 2220 video podcasts and 1500 audio podcats / short description, topics, link to a representative image and to a transscript if available, information about the course the podcast might relate to and license information regarding the content of the podcast.Open Educational Resources: 640 OpenLearn Units / short description, topics, tags used to annotate the resource, its language, the course it might relate to, and the license that applies to the content.Youtube videos: 900 videos / short description of the video, tags that were used to annotate the video, collection it might be part of and link to the related course if relevant.University buildings: – 100 buildings / address, a picture of the building and the sub-divisions of the building into floors and spaces.Library catalogue: 12,000 books/ topics, authors, publisher and ISBN, as well as the course
    14. 14. Applications Social Resource Discovery Research ExplorationdAquin, M. (2012) Putting Linked Data to Use in a Large Higher-Education Organisation, Interacting withLinked Data at Extended Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2012
    15. 15. Example: map of buildings Interactive map of Open University Buildings in the UK
    16. 16. Example: Study at the OU mobileapplication That’s where linked data is
    17. 17. The Semantic Web rNews Music Ontology Geo Ontology SIOC Media Ontology Dublin Core DBPedia FOAF Ontology DOAP FMA BIBO Ontology LODE Gene Ontology
    18. 18. What is it good for? Interoperability, reusability and open meaning! Examples: For libraries, for universities globally, for understanding student’s activities
    19. 19. Mapping Library Catalogues toStandard Web Vocabularies
    20. 20. Used by theSpanishNationalLibrarySee
    21. 21. Beyond library resources: A global university space mEducator The Open University education Research Orgs., Bu ouputs idings, Lo cations Learning resources University of OrganicEduNet Muenster, DE University University of of Bristol SouthamptondAquin, M. (2012) Linked Data for Open and Distance Learning, Common Wealth of Learning
    22. 22. See
    23. 23. Personal analytics based on log integration (see A generic personal analytics dashboard from web and application logs. Uses a web activity ontology for integration, and ontological reasoning to aggregate information from multiple systems and sitesdAquin, M., Elahi, S. and Motta, E. (2011) Semantic Technologies to Support the User-Centric Analysis ofActivity Data, Workshop: Social Data on the Web Workshop, SDoW 2011 at ISWC 2011
    24. 24. What more is it good for? Using Knowledge from the Web! Examples: For understanding research communities, for discovering new content for, for research, for analyzing student’s activities
    25. 25. Using links to enrich our own data Academics in “Arts and Humanities” Topics most commonly mentioned by most often involved with the media (in news outlets own by the BBC (in number of news items) number of news items)From dataset about From news From dbpedia.orgour researchers clipping data
    26. 26. Discovery of open educational resources(see
    27. 27. Resources Similarity- Interface URIs + Based common topics Search BBC Programme or iPlayer Resource page descriptions Indexes Synopsi s Named Entity Semantic Semantic Recognition Entities Indexing (Dbpedia) Podcasts, OpenL Indexes earn Units and Articles Semantic IndexdAquin, M., Allocca, C. and Collins, T. (2012) DiscOU: A Flexible Discovery Engine for Open Educational ResourcesUsing Semantic Indexing and Relationship Summaries, Demo at International Semantic Web Conference, ISWC 2012
    28. 28. Enriching data-mining results forinterpretation
    29. 29. What even more is it good for? Combining, interpreting and using sources of knowledge at run time! (but I’m running out of time ;-)dAquin, M. and Motta, E. (2011) Watson, more than a Semantic Web search engine, Semantic Web Journal, 2dAquin, M., Motta, E., Sabou, M., Angeletou, S., Gridinoc, L., Lopez, V. and Guidi, D. (2008) Towards a NewGeneration of Semantic Web Applications, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 23, 3, pp. 20-28
    30. 30. Towards global education based onthe Web of DataThe LinkedUp support action ( tackling thechallenge of large scale Web Data integration for concrete educationalscenarios
    31. 31. Conclusion – Final messageLinked data and semantic webtechnologies make thepromises of educationalmetadata truly reachableMore importantly, applyinglinked data and semantic webprinciples make the promisesof open, global educationfeasibleBut…
    32. 32. Facing again the same challenges… any use case but how do weLinked Data is about supportingdiscover resources in linked data if not described according towhat they can do?How do we represent metadata about educational purpose? LRMI just has “educationalAlignment” which can be anything Learning Outcome? Competence acquired? More complexpedagogical models?Contradicts the flexibility of Semantic Web / Linked Data what is the educational purpose of a painting in a museum?Generally: How do we interpret metadata about a resource thecontext of an education scenario?
    33. 33. Thank you!More info and contacts: