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Appears in:
Pages: 63-68
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0032

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

NETWORK ASPECTS AND PETRI NETS IN THE EVOLUTION OF E/M-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

C. De Castro, P. Toppan

IEIIT-CNR, National Research Council of Italy (ITALY)
New technologies make e/m-Learning scenarios evolve quickly and their control becomes challenging. Besides educational factors and learning contents, a modern e/m-Learning system must consider services, devices and aspects related to the network. In fact, both learning conditions and activities at disposal depend on many factors, such as the network load of the location from where the user has logged on. Furthermore, not only has the nature of e/m-learning material changed deeply over time, but so have devices and connection technologies for their fruition, especially in context of mobile learning based on multimedia broadband services.

Teaching is not an univocal process anymore, with fixed steps and tasks, since modern technologies make many alternative choices possible. Moreover, such tasks can be fulfilled or not according to personal and environmental conditions. For instance, a lesson in videoconference can be followed or not depending on the kind of device and network load.

In more detail, the old “linear” teaching paths are evolving into more complex shapes, where parallel and cooperative activities come abreast of conventional ones. Modern communication technologies affect learning deeply from many points of view. One of the most important aspects is that they increase interaction and cooperation and reduce, if not cancel, problems related to distance. This allows to make use of many learning contents, remote lectures, cooperative work and remote use of instruments.

M-Learning was born from the evolution of mobile devices and network access technologies and made e-Learning independent from location and device. Beyond great advantages, there are also many problems. For instance, not every kind of content can be used with any kind of device. In order to make a content available in an m-learning context, it is necessary to design information properly, adapt it and scale it with respect to different devices.

This scenario requires a constant monitoring of the user’s conditions: as a matter of fact, some tasks can be feasible or not depending on network load conditions and devices. This means that such factors become an integrant part of teaching modalities and offers.

This variety can be strongly positive: broadband services, in fact, allow to cooperate or use didactic structures and instruments otherwise inaccessible. Controlling the evolution of educative paths, though, is complicated by this multiplicity of factors.

In this paper, these features and their relationships are analysed and an integrated architecture is proposed which aims at reaching a good compromise between quality of learning and studying conditions.

The proposal consists of a user interface, a module for providing services, a decision engine for evaluating students’ improvements and consequently deciding learning paths and a database storing learning and assessment contents. Due to the use of different devices and to the presence of different network conditions, the database stores contents in scaled formats, or ready to be scaled on the fly.

The whole system is controlled by a Petri Net defined on the basis of the above factors. The definition of the Petri Net by means of such dissimilar kinds of constraints is one the main novelties of the proposed approach.

The research activity described in this chapter originates from the experiences of the Teledoc2 project and Cooperative Telemeasurements (www.teledoc2.cnit.it/Teledoc2/home.htm)
@InProceedings{DECASTRO2017NET,
author = {De Castro, C. and Toppan, P.},
title = {NETWORK ASPECTS AND PETRI NETS IN THE EVOLUTION OF E/M-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0032},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0032},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {63-68}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. De Castro AU - P. Toppan
TI - NETWORK ASPECTS AND PETRI NETS IN THE EVOLUTION OF E/M-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0032
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 63
EP - 68
ER -
C. De Castro, P. Toppan (2017) NETWORK ASPECTS AND PETRI NETS IN THE EVOLUTION OF E/M-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 63-68.
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