Personalization in education : a conceptual framework and an integration of multiple ontologies for personalized education

個人化技術於教育上之應用 : 融合多元本體論以促進個人化學習

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Wai Ping Apple FOK

Related Research Unit(s)


Awarding Institution
Award date3 Oct 2006


Worldwide Education Reform raises the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education. With the abundance of potential learning resources available on the Web and the pervasive access of the Internet, Web-based learning is becoming a main-stream approach and a major channel for the delivery of teaching and learning materials. One major question in web-based learning is how to harness emerging technologies to provide a learning environment that addresses individual differences in the learning process. “Personalization” is an emerging technology for serving the information need of different users in a different way according to their individual needs. As a means to respond to individual learning needs, this thesis proposes the notion of Personalized Education through the Web. Personalization in education can potentially facilitate students to learn better by incorporating different strategies to create a diversity of learning experiences, and also cater to the teacher’s teaching needs in preparing and designing teaching and instructional packages. From past experience, using the technologies without regarding pedagogical concepts frequently leads to failure. A clear understanding about what is personalization, how the technology can be applied effectively to enhance or facilitate the education development, and how to fully utilize the potential value of the available resources is a much needed area for research. To address this open problem, this thesis concretizes the notion of Personalized Education (PE) from pedagogical underpinning, conceptual development, system architectural design to the design and implementation of a Personalized Education test-bed platform. One central research issue of PE is how to ensure the notion of PE and its associated functional components are easily and openly accessible, machine readable and inter-operable through the Web. To this end, this thesis proposes the design and development, based on prevailing standards, a new educational ontology called Personalized Education Ontology or PEOnto. PEOnto consists of five inter-related ontologies that describe the concepts, vocabularies and their relationships for PE and the software agents that execute the various PE tasks. The thesis is structured as follows. After giving a review of the emerging technologies that are relevant to the realization of Personalized Education, this thesis examines the opportunities and necessities of PE from the perspective of different learning pedagogies. To optimize the benefits of exploiting personalization technologies, a conceptual framework of Personalized Education and the design of an agent-based architecture for realizing the PE framework, called Personalized Education System (PES), are proposed. Several PES features that are the essential components for supporting personalized teaching and learning in a distributed computing environment will also be presented. In order to support the design and development of a multi-agents-based PES and discusses the relations between personalization technologies and education, this thesis presents in detail a unique component of the PE framework, the Personalized Education Ontology (PEOnto). The feasibility of PEOnto will be demonstrated through examples of applying PEOnto in various learning scenarios as well as the prototyping of an ontology-driven Personalized Instruction Planner (PIP) which also serves as a test-bed for PES. The Thesis concludes with a discussion of other educational possibilities associated with the use of personalized education services that could be investigated as future work.

    Research areas

  • Individualized instruction, Web-based instruction