Context-Aware and Adaptable eLearning Systems
This thesis proposed solutions to some shortcomings to current eLearning architectures. The proposed DeLC architecture supports context-aware and adaptable provision of eLearning services and electronic content. The architecture is fully distributed and integrates service-oriented development with agent technology. Central to this architecture is that a node is our unit of computation (known as eLearning node) which can have purely service-oriented architecture, agent-oriented architecture or mixed architecture. Three eLeaerning Nodes have been implemented in order to demonstrate the vitality of the DeLC concept. The Mobile eLearning Node uses a three-level communication network, called InfoStations network, supporting mobile service provision. The services, displayed on this node, are to be aware of its context, gather required learning material and adapted to the learner request. This is supported trough a multi-layered hybrid (service- and agent-oriented) architecture whose kernel is implemented as middleware. For testing of the middleware a simulation environment has been developed. In addition, the DeLC development approach is proposed. The second eLearning node has been implemented as Education Portal. The architecture of this node is poorly service-oriented and it adopts a client-server architecture. In the education portal, there are incorporated education services and system services, called engines. The electronic content is kept in Digital Libraries. Furthermore, in order to facilitate content creators in DeLC, the environment Selbo2 was developed. The environment allows for creating new content, editing available content, as well as generating educational units out of preexisting standardized elements. In the last two years, the portal is used in actual education at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Plovdiv. The third eLearning node, known as Agent Village, exhibits a purely agent-oriented architecture. The purpose of this node is to provide intelligent assistance to the services deployed on the Education Pportal. Currently, two kinds of assistants are implemented in the node - eTesting Assistants and Refactoring eLearning Environment (ReLE). A more complex architecture, known as Education Cluster, is presented in this thesis as well. The Education Cluster incorporates two eLearning nodes, namely the Education Portal and the Agent Village. eLearning services and intelligent agents interact in the cluster.
- PhD