Academic journal article Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia

E-Learning Library with Local Indexing and Adaptive Navigation Support for Web-Based Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia

E-Learning Library with Local Indexing and Adaptive Navigation Support for Web-Based Learning

Article excerpt

Learning with existing web-based resources has become popular and important, for example, in cases where there are diverse learning resources dealing with the same learning topic. However, many resources do not have a clear description of their characteristics, which makes it difficult for learners to select appropriate resources. This article approaches this issue to provide a digital library for web-based learning called e-Learning Library, which includes a learning resource repository, local indexing support, and adaptive navigation support. The aim of the e-Learning Library is to promote learners' learning with the use of diverse resources involving a certain topic. Also reported on are the experimental uses of the local indexing support and adaptive navigation support modules, the results of which indicate that the system is useful.

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Over the past several years, an increasing number of hypermedia-based resources on the Web have become available that are designed from an educational point of view. Learning with these existing resources has become more important, particularly as the realization of the potential of lifelong and distance learning (Kashihara & Toyoda, 1998).

On the Web, there are currently a number of learning resources on any topic, each of which is designed by different authors. Some of them are suitable for augmenting domain concepts/knowledge about the topic, and are also suitable for gaining a deeper understanding of the topic, or applying their knowledge. By using these resources properly, learners can learn about a topic from diverse points of view, which is an excellent approach to web-based learning. However, finding learning resources on the Web has become increasingly difficult because most existing resources do not have a clear description of what kind of learners should use the resource, what kind of learning goal can be achieved by using the resource, and so forth (Hasegawa, Kashihara, & Toyoda, 2000).

The main issue addressed here is how to help learners select instructive web-based learning resources to promote the learning of any topic from diverse points of view. The authors' approach is to provide a digital library for web-based learning called e-Learning Library, which includes a learning resource repository, local indexing support, and adaptive navigation support. The learning resource repository is a collection of a great number of learning resources reorganized by indexes called resource indexes, which list the resources' characteristics so that learners can know what and how they can learn from each resource. Local indexing is an approach to building the repository with resource indexes from instructors' points of view, which is different from the indexes supplied by the authorities concerned. Local indexing support enables instructors to index existing learning resources in a simple and practical way. Adaptive navigation support guides learners to the resources to be learned next from the reposi tory in accordance with learners' knowledge states or needs.

In the following sections, thee key ideas towards realization of the e-Learning Likrary are proposed. First the way to reorganize the learning resource repository with the resource indexes is described. Next, a support module of local indexing is explained. Then, the adaptive navigation support with the repository is presented. Experimental uses of the local indexing support and adaptive navigation support modules, the results of which indicate that e-Learning Library is useful is also reported.

E-LEARNING LIBRARY

Learning with Existing Resources on the Web

In this article, a learning resource means hyperdocuments, which describe a learning topic within a web site. The learning resource generally provides learners with hyperspace that consists of a number of web pages and their links. Learners can explore the hyperspace to learn domain concepts/knowledge (Conklin, 1988). …

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