Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Social and Collaborative Interactions for Educational Content Enrichment in ULEs

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Social and Collaborative Interactions for Educational Content Enrichment in ULEs

Article excerpt

Introduction

Recent surveys have revealed that the number of computing devices, especially mobile ones such as smartphones and tablets, has grown to a great extent in last years (Gartner, 2014), and their usage for performing everyday tasks is now a reality (Kostakos & Ferreira, 2015). Technological advances coupled with infrastructure provided by the Internet provide a scenario in which information can be accessed anytime and anywhere. This new paradigm of interaction between people and computers is known as Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) (Weiser, 1991), and illustrates the omnipresence that technology reached in different environments, including schools and classrooms.

In the educational scenario, UbiComp systems are able to assist instructors and students during the teaching/learning process by automating pedagogical tasks, thus creating the so called Ubiquitous Learning Environments (ULEs) (Settle, Dettori, & Davidson, 2011). Instrumented classrooms are the most common approach for this purpose. Devices, such as electronic whiteboards, cameras, and microphones, can produce media artifacts that are able to recreate experiences that took place in the classroom. In this way, students can focus their attention on the learning experience itself, certain that details are being properly recorded and will be available for later access (Brant-Ribeiro, Cattelan, & Biase, 2015).

ULEs are quite related to Capture and Access (C&A) applications (Truong & Hayes, 2009), a recurring research theme in UbiComp. Supported by C&A, ULEs promote automatic authoring of multimedia content. In this context, social and collaborative interactions constitute significant functional improvements for classic ULEs (Banday, 2012; Cela, Sicilia, & Sanchez, 2015). With these systems, content presented by instructors can be extended and enriched, which encourages information sharing, experiences exchange and discussion among students who start performing active and influential roles in cognitive processes of the members of virtual communities where they are inserted (Banday, 2012; Shukor, Tasir, Van der Meijden, & Harun, 2014).

Therefore, we developed a model for extension and classification of multimedia content based on social and collaborative activities carried out by users in ULEs. As a proof of concept, we proposed and implemented a software architecture that supports assumptions of the proposed model, resulting in an application that provides features for commenting and rating multimedia artifacts. We conducted a case study with integration and validation of the collaborative application into the Classroom eXperience (CX) (Araujo, Brant-Ribeiro, Cattelan, de Amo, & Ferreira, 2013)--a UbiComp platform built to automatically capture and access educational activities in instrumented classrooms.

In addition, we also performed a comparative analysis among our proposal and related studies that include solutions for extension of multimedia content, categorization of digital artifacts and collaborative annotations. Our study, however, tries to meet all these demands through a generic model developed to support the enrichment of media components based on collaborative authoring and rating, and allows analysis of resulting applications at distinct levels of granularity.

Multimedia content enrichment model

The continuous knowledge progress coming from different educational activities is the basis of the spiral content production model (Pimentel, Ishiguro, Kerimbaev, Abowd, & Guzdial, 2001). In this model, the spiral represents all generated information in each context (program, course, class) and each pedagogical activity contributes toward the new development cycle. This way, the spiral's area is increased by instructors and students' interactions and the produced knowledge is leveraged.

The proposed multimedia content enrichment model aims at supporting the task of associating and categorizing media artifacts in Web environments in a simple and concise way. …

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