1 University of South Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)
2 Tshwane University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 6371-6379
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
The Web is rapidly evolving into a repository of distributed platform-independent e-services that can accomplish a composition of tasks. Consequently, Web 2.0 is revolutionising the manner in which Web content and e-services are produced and consumed on the World Wide Web (WWW) by various service providers and users, who are now more than just consumers, but Web content contributors as well. As a result, there are many similar e-service based systems (e.g. social networking systems such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter) emerging on the Web. The growth of such similar e-service based systems prompt for new integration and reusability solutions. In addition, for real-world intelligent e-systems that could facilitate dynamic location and composition of disparate e-services by keeping human intervention at a minimum. E-mentoring systems are other types of e-learning systems that are beginning to be omnipresent on the Web. In this context, e-mentoring can be described as a process where skilled mentors guide mentees using online tools such as Websites and e-mails to share knowledge and/or solve specific problems. In this paper, we present a conceptual solution that uses intelligent e-services (IeS) to dynamically compose a single scalable and collaborative e-mentoring system. The proposed system could be used by multiple users from various domains for different types of mentoring (e.g. peer mentoring, new employee mentoring, or developmental mentoring). The proposed e-mentoring system is composed of disparate e-mentoring services and content residing across different locations on the Web. The composition of such a scalable and flexible system is achieved through the use of Mashups, Web services (WS), Semantic Web services (SWS), and Open Application Programming Interfaces (API) technologies. In this paper, Mashups are defined as Web 2.0 technologies that collect and combine multiple content and/or e-services from various Web-based sources into one integrated interface for simpler and rapid access. Web services and Open APIs are referred to as loosely coupled software components that promote the interaction and interoperability of heterogeneous software applications and Websites. Whereas, SWS are defined as the extension of the current WS by incorporating semantic descriptions to promote the automation of essential tasks such as discovery, selection, composition, and execution. Ideally, IeS are the basis of the proposed e-mentoring system as their role is to regularly search, discover, select, and compose appropriate mentoring related content and open e-services. In this manner, the proposed e-mentoring system would be scalable, flexible, and always up-to-date. The benefits of such a system are two-fold. For instance, a university can have a single e-mentoring system that has features suitable to both lectures and students requirements, thus, eliminating the need for duplicate systems. Large enterprises could also utilize such a dynamic system to e-mentor their employees and at the same time extend it to their clients (e.g. for new product e-mentoring). Finally, small enterprises under different sectors such as those in emerging economies, who are usually in critical need of mentoring services for their businesses’ growth and sustainability, could use such a proposed system to rapidly and simply access various e-mentoring services (e.g. personal, technical, financial, and marketing) within one integrated environment
e-mentoring, intelligent e-services, web services, semantics, and mashups.