The semantic web paradigm will change drastically the way the web is used. The current effort is to enable the machines to process meaning which can guide the information delivery process. However, will this ensure the effective use of the web for learning? Will semantically rich
resources empower teachers and learners? Specifically, will the end users of web content share the semantics defined by the content creators. Will those who create resources be aware of the models that those who use the resources for learning will have? All these issues are wrapped in the key question: "Can user semantics be captured and used to provide ontologically appropriate content and ensure the effective use of the educational semantic web?"
In this talk we will outline an approach on articulating and aligning user conceptual models by maintaining a dialogue between the computer system and the user. This builds upon recent work at Leeds on open and interactively constructed user models. It is being extended with methods
for ontology engineering and is being integrated with AIMS (task-based information retrieval environment developed in TU/e) to provide personalised learning content delivery.
The work is conducted within the SWALE (Semantic Web and Adaptive Learning Environments) project funded by the British Council and NWO within the UK-Netherlands partnership in Science, and is partly related to the learner modelling task within PROLEARN EU F6 network of excellence.
Dr. Lora Aroyo is a full-time assistant professor at the Information Systems Group, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. Her research interests are in the field of Semantic Web for e-learning, ontology engineering, conceptual structures, concept mapping, adaptive information retrieval and application of AI methods and tools in education for ITS and Web-based Educational Environments. She co-chaired several workshops on Semantic Web applications for E-learning and was workshop co-chair of AH04 (Int. conference on Adaptive Hypermedia). She is a co-chair of the educational track at the WWW05 conference.
Dr. Vania Dimitrova is a lecturer at the School of Computing, University of Leeds. Her research interests are in the field of applying Artificial Intelligence techniques to building adaptive learning environments. The focus is on using knowledge representation and reasoning, including semantic web and ontology reasoning, to elicit models of users' preferences, needs, and knowledge. She co-chaired two workshops on learner modelling and is a co-founder of an international network on Learner Modelling for Reflection. She is a specialist reviewer for the International Journal of AI in Education, and is workshop co-chair of UM05 (10th Int. conference on User Modelling).