Indexed on: 30 Mar '17Published on: 27 Mar '17Published in: Computers in Human Behavior
On the way to increasing customization in e-learning systems, the learner model is the main source of variability. Such a model includes a number of psychological characteristics and study preferences that describe the learner's personality traits related to learning. During the last decades, the design methods and tools for e-learning have been designed assuming specific learner models. Therefore, in the search for a learning environment suitable for as many learner models as possible, we need tools to explore -and exploit- such models. In general, the learner's characteristics can be linked to the so-called learner's learning style (which is a part of the learner model) to provide the instructor with extensive knowledge about the learner's characterization in perceiving and processing information. Numerous learning styles have been proposed in the last decades, in some cases with overlapping characteristics with the same or different names. Thus, the heterogeneity of the learning style space makes it difficult to handle customization effectively. In this paper, we introduce a Learner's Characteristics Ontology based on creating interconnections between the different learning style model dimensions and learning styles with the relevant learner's characteristics, that: (1) helps instructors to improve and personalize the learning content; (2) can recommend learning materials to learners according to their learning characteristics and preferences; (3) can provide both instructors and learners with extensive knowledge about how they can improve their teaching and learning abilities; and (4) can improve communications and interaction between humans and computers by specifying the semantics of the learning style models' characteristics.