INDIPATH project- Formal description of Individual Learning Path in Technology Enhanced Learning has been financed by the National Centre of Research and Development and the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme. It has been selected for funding within a Small Grant Scheme, 2012 edition .
The project promoteur is Pedagogical University of Cracow, the concept of the project has been developed by Maria Zając PhD, a researcher and a lecturer at the Chair of Computer Science and Computational Methods (KIiMK), the Principal investigator in the project. The project team includes also: Marcin Piekarczyk Eng PhD and Magdalena Andrzejewska Eng PhD, from the same department.
Project duration: 1.09.2013 – 28.02.2015 (18 months).
Project scope and objectives
The goal of the project is to define a language enabling formal description of the elements of learning processes enhanced by the use of ICT. An acronym TEL (coming from Technology Enhanced Learning) is gradually building its popularity over the term e‑learning. As technology continues to penetrate the education in its various dimensions one can claim that there is no longer a need to distinguish between electronic and non-electronic forms of education. Instead another very important question should be answered by those involved in the education process: how to turn ICT into a real enhancement of a learning process, that could create a significant added value.
E-learning Description Language (EDL) developed in this project is a markup language to be utilized by the personalization algorithm also elaborated within the scope of the project. EDL tags and attributes allow the course author to describe every single piece of a course, no matter whether it is a unit of content or an activity for a learner or a group of learners. The EDL document is then analyzed by the algorithm, which role is to select appropriate pieces of a course according to the learner’s individual learning preferences. Such individualized approach requires prior understanding of each student personal characteristics. Those will be identified by the supportive tools based respectively on the Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences Theory (Learning Styles Questionnaire KS-TIW), or the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology. More information about gamification and learning styles can be found in the Backgrounds section.
The work in the project has been divided into 6 seperate tasks:
T1: Desktop research – review of existing literature on personalization of learning and the analysis of available solutions;
T2: Implemention and publishing an online version of a learning styles questionnaire (developed prior to this project);
T3: Conceptualization and creation of a prototype of the E-learning Description Language (EDL);
T4: Defining a system of interconnections and relations between learning objects (course elements) description and students’ personal profiles; developing an algorithm for personalization;
T5: Validation of personalized approach on selected academic courses;
T6: Introduction of necessary improvements to the individualization algorithm based on the validation results; implementation of the EDL and the algorithm on a Moodle platform.
A brief summary of results of all above mentioned six tasks can be found in the Results bookmark. During a winter semester of an academic year 2014/2015 two experimental courses based on the individualization concept are scheduled. Both are addressed to students enrolled in a full-time Computer Science program. Observations and conclusions of this study are meant as a step towards development and later improvement of EDL aimed at describing the course structure as well as a selection algorithm used to create a individualized learning path.