University of Vienna (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4916-4924
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
This paper establishes the underpinnings for the Pedagogical Ontology by synthesizing and utilizing three prominent practices for technology enhanced learning (TEL): Web-didactics, inquiry-based learning and ontology specifications. A specific set of ontology specifications for web-didactics and inquiry-based learning will be developed and discussed. Based on the evolving pedagogical ontology, adaptive e- learning environments can be enabled to recommend different learning objects and activities, which follow certain learning pathways. Henceforth, learners can be enabled to follow inquiry-based learning activities and pathways. This paper will show how the concept of web-didactics provides a suitable framework for recommending inquiry-based activities and following inquiry-based pathways within adaptive e-learning systems. Based on this paper one can see how ontology specifications can be used to bridge the gap between innovative pedagogy and information technology.

Web-Didactics is common set of pedagogical meta-data, which provides a suitable classification for learning pathways, activities and content as well as allows inherent relations for rules of sequencing learning activities and content based on learning pathway structures. This theorem is based on a crucial distinction within TEL: Different types of media and knowledge. These media types and knowledge types incorporate pedagogical functions, enable the description of every possible way of communicating knowledge via media and allow relations between different knowledge types and media types (Meder 2006). These relations as well as its corresponding pedagogical rules and functions can be derived from the approach of inquiry-based learning (IBL) “In inquiry learning, students are required to engage in more intensive self-regulative efforts than in traditional teacher-directed classroom situations” (Veermans, Lallimo, Hakkarainen 2005: 180). Both, Web-Didactics meta-data and inquiry-based pathways need to be formalized by ontology specifications, so that it can be processed by applications. "An ontology is an explicit specification of a conceptualization" (Gruber 1993: 199). Ontology specifications are intended to be used when information needs to be processed by applications, as opposed to situations where the content only needs to be presented to humans.

Developing ontology specifications for pedagogical meta-data from the Web-Didactics theorem and pedagogical rules derived from inquiry-based learning pathways force these pedagogical underpinnings to be in line with each other and ontology formalisms. So this paper describes how the Web-Didactics theorem was adopted to the extent that it can facilitate the complex structure of inquiry-based learning; How learning activities derived from inquiry-based pathways are re-conceptualized and annotated based on the Web-Didactics theorem; How IBL pathways are structured to fit to the logic of ontology formalisms and, finally, how ontology specifications can evolve as the Pedagogical Ontology that facilitates the recommendation of inquiry-based learning within adaptive e-learning systems.

Gruber, T.R. (1993) A translation approach to portable ontologies. Knowledge Acquisition 5(2), 199-220
Meder, N. et. al. (2006) Web-Didaktik, Bielefeld: Bertelsmann
Veermans, M., Lallimo, J. & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). Patterns of Guidance in Inquiry Learning. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 16(2), 179-194. Norfolk, VA: AACE.
Technology enhanced learning, web-didactics, ontology specification, inquiry-based learning, adaptive e-learning systems.