OntoLEO

OntoLEO stands for Ontology of LEarning Objects. It is a research project under development (july 2010 - july 2012) at the Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Philosophy - University of Cagliari. The main objective is the definition of an ontology representing learning objects (LOs) features. It will be based on pedagogical studies and an ontological analysis.

The project is carried out by Giuliano Vivanet (postdoctoral researcher) under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Giuntini (full professor of Logics at University of Cagliari) and with the active support of Prof. Gianni Vercelli (associate professor of Computer Science at University of Genoa) and the ALOPHIS (Applied Logic, Philosophy and History of Science) Group of hte University of Cagliari.

Contact: giuliano [dot] vivanet [at] unige [dot] it

Summary

In the recent years, different semantic-based educational projects have been carried out with the aim of, for example, supporting learning content design; developing educational digital libraries; facilitating learning objects retrieval; personalizing learning paths and educational servces; and so on.

These projects are usually based on the use of ontologies (or other types of conceptual structures, such as taxonomies, thesauri, and controlled vocabularies) and semantic markup languages for learning resources indexing (defining, for instance, the knowledge domain, as well as technical and pedagogical LO features, such as the instructional strategy, the users profile, pedagogical objectives, and so on).

However, from a literature analysis, LOs ontologies appear frequently to be designed more on the basis of the pragmatic convenience of the specific application frame and the developers’ personal intuition than on pedagogical foudations and a rigorous ontological analysis.

There are different problems related to this approach. With reference to the lack of pedagogical foundations, the main risk is related to the pedagogical efficacy of the ontological model derived. With reference to the lack of a rigorous ontological analysis, the main risks are the following:

  1. “internal consistency” - a not-formal approach can generate incoherent models, not rigorous, and not able to support logical reasoning processes;
  2. "external consistency" - these models cannot be re-used in different contexts from those in which they are originally designed, and different repositories and their content retrieval systems cannot interoperate due to the lack of a common terminological and syntactic structure (for example, the same keywords are used with various meanings or, alternatively, different keywords are adopted to represent the same meaning).

Starting from these premises, the OntoLEO project began in the july 2010 with the following general objectives:

  • definition of the ontological status of LOs (by means of a phenomenological and ontological analysis the their nature and identity);
  • definition of a LO ontological scheme (designed in order to describe in a semantic way learning objects and their properties and to classify them);
  • development of new knowledge in the use of ontology-based systems for indexing and management of educational resources.

In the end, a LO ontology will be developed and make browsable by means of a semantic browser.

OntoLEO

OntoLEO is based on two main components:

  • the OntoLEO core: a multi-faceted taxonomy of core elements describing LO features
  • the OntoLEO LCD extension: a multi-faceted taxonomy of elements supporting learning content design

OntoLEO Core

Element Explanation Value space Notes
author entities, such as people (i.e., a teacher, instructional designer, researcher, and so on) or
organizations, that designed and/or developed the learning object
   
date the date of the learning object creation    
user the principal user for which the learning object was designed    
format the technical datatype of the learning object    
location a string that describe where the learning object is physically located (for example, the Universal Resource Locator URL)    
size the size of the learning object, expressed in bytes;    
subject a description of the knowledge domain(s) to which the learning object is related    
learning objective a description of the learning objective(s) of the learning object    

OntoLEO LCD Extension

Related publications

  • [Lang: IT] VIVANET, G. (2011). Fondamenti per una teoria dell’apprendimento semantico in Minerva T., Colazzo L. (a cura di) Atti VIII° Congresso Sie-L (Società Italiana di E-Learning) 2011, Connessi! Scenari di Innovazione nella Formazione e nella Comunicazione. Reggio Emilia, 14-16 settembre 2011. ISBN: 9788895994765. Edizioni Ledizioni LediPublishing. URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: IT] VERCELLI, G.; VIVANET, G.(2011). Classificazione a Faccette di Oggetti per l’Apprendimento e Progettazione Didattica. in Minerva T., Colazzo L. (a cura di) Atti VIII° Congresso Sie-L (Società Italiana di E-Learning) 2011, Connessi! Scenari di Innovazione nella Formazione e nella Comunicazione. Reggio Emilia, 14-16 settembre 2011. ISBN: 9788895994765. Edizioni Ledizioni LediPublishing. URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: IT] VERCELLI, G.; VIVANET, G. (2011). Fondamenti ontologici per la classificazione tassonomica degli oggetti per l'apprendimento. Atti Didamatica 2011, Torino, 4-5-6 Maggio 2011, c/o Politecnico di Torino. ISBN: 9788890540622.URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: IT] VIVANET, G.(2011). Modelli descrittivi di oggetti per l’apprendimento: stato dell’arte e implicazioni per la progettazione didattica. Atti Didamatica 2011, Torino, 4-5-6 Maggio 2011, c/o Politecnico di Torino. ISBN: 9788890540622.URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: IT] GATTINO A.; VERCELLI G.; VIVANET G. (2011). La Rappresentazione dei Learning Object in Ambienti di Social (Semantic) Web. Atti Didamatica 2011, Torino, 4-5-6 Maggio 2011, c/o Politecnico di Torino. ISBN: 9788890540622. URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: EN] VERCELLI G.; VIVANET G. (2010). About The Nature And The Identity Of Learning Objects. In Escudeiro P. (Ed), Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on e-Learning. Porto, Portugal, 4-5 November 2010. Academic Publishing Limited Reading, UK. ISBN: 978-1-906638-82-5. URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: EN] GATTINO A.; VERCELLI G.; VIVANET G. (2010). The ontological identity of learning objects: an analysis proposal. In Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, Vol. 6, n. 3, September 2010 (pp. 41 - 50). ISSN: 1826-6223 | eISSN: 1971-8829.URL: DOWNLOAD
  • [Lang: IT] GATTINO, A.; VERCELLI, G.; VIVANET, G. (2010). Studio per una definizione ontologica di learning object, In Atti Didamatica 2010, Roma 21-23 Aprile 2010. ISBN 978-88-901620-7-7.URL: DOWNLOAD

OntoLEO Demo

The OntoLEO Demo is based on Exhibit, a publishing framework for data-rich interactive Web pages. Exhibit lets you easily create Web pages with advanced text search and filtering functionalities, with interactive maps, timelines, and other visualizations.

An OntoLEO Demo is available on http://www.elearninglab.eu/ontoleodemo/ontoleo-alpha.html

Acknowledgements

OntoLEO is a research project funded by the Regione Sardegna under the "Programma Master & Back – Percorsi di rientro – Avviso pubblico 2009 – Regione Sardegna (P.O.R. FSE 2007-2013 Competitività regionale e occupazione – Asse IV – Capitale umano - Attività i.3.1)"