A Flexible Mechanism for Providing Adaptivity Based on Learning Styles in Learning Management
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AbstractI presented our paper at the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, in Sousse, Tunisia. The presentation of our paper was scheduled on July 7, 2010, in the “Adaptive and Personalized Technology Enhanced Learning” Session, which I was also invited to chair. There were about 25 people listening to my presentation, including very well-known researchers in the area of adaptivity and personalization in technology enhanced learning. My presentation was well received and there were many questions and comments. One comment I found especially interesting for our future research was from one of the keynote speakers at ICALT, elaborating on possibilities for extending our research with respect to more fine-granular adaptivity of learning material. After this session, I had discussions with two researchers about my presentation and possible collaboration opportunities which we will follow up. Overall, attending ICALT2010 was a very valuable experience with respect to my future research and my reputation. During ICALT, I had many discussions, some leading to concrete ideas for collaborations. Besides presenting a paper, I was also organizing the Doctoral Consortium and a workshop on “Design Centered and Personalized Learning in Liquid and Ubiquitous Learning Places – Future Visions and Practical Implementations”. Both events were very well received, with lot of discussion during and after the events (for the workshop, we received an award for “Outstanding Performance” as workshop organizers from the general co-chairs of ICALT).
While today’s learning management systems (LMSs) provide lot of support for teachers to assist them in holding online courses, they typically do not consider students’ individual differences in the composition and structure of courses. In this paper, we introduce a mechanism for extending LMSs’ functionality to provide learners with courses that fit their individual learning styles, using adaptive sorting and adaptive annotation in order to highlight the learning objects (LOs) that support students’ learning process the best. The mechanism enables teachers to add adaptivity to their already existing courses, using a flexible course structure in order to avoid limiting the richness of the learning resources and materials. Besides being flexible to teachers’ needs, the adaptive mechanism aims at asking teachers for as little as possible additional effort when using it, requiring teachers only to choose the corresponding type of LO when creating an LO in the authoring tool of the LMS.