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Title: A hybrid e-learning framework : process-based, semantically-enriched and service-oriented
Author: Hammad, Rawad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 8128
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2018
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Despite the recent innovations in e-Learning, much development is needed to ensure better learning experience for everyone and bridge the research gap in the current state of the art e-Learning artefacts. Contemporary e-learning artefacts possess various limitations as follows. First, they offer inadequate variations of adaptivity, since their recommendations are limited to e-learning resources, peers or communities. Second, they are often overwhelmed with technology at the expense of proper pedagogy and learning theories underpinning e-learning practices. Third, they do not comprehensively capture the e-learning experiences as their focus shifts to e-learning activities instead of e-learning processes. In reality, learning is a complex process that includes various activities and interactions between different roles to achieve certain gaols in a continuously evolving environment. Fourth, they tend more towards legacy systems and lack the agility and flexibility in their structure and design. To respond to the above limitations, this research aims at investigating the effectiveness of combining three advanced technologies (i.e., Business Process Modelling and Enactment, Semantics and Service Oriented Computing – SOC–) with learning pedagogy in order to enhance the e-learner experience. The key design artefact of this research is the development of the HeLPS e-Learning Framework – Hybrid e-Learning Framework that is Process-based, Semantically-enriched and Service Oriented-enabled. In this framework, a generic e-learning process has been developed bottom-up based on surveying a wide range of e-learning models (i.e., practical artefacts) and their underpinning pedagogies/concepts (i.e., theories); and then forming a generic e-learning process. Furthermore, an e-Learning Meta-Model has been developed in order to capture the semantics of e-learning domain and its processes. Such processes have been formally modelled and dynamically enacted using a service-oriented enabled architecture. This framework has been evaluated using a concern-based evaluation employing both static and dynamic approaches. The HeLPS e-Learning Framework along with its components have been evaluated by applying a data-driven approach and artificially-constructed case study to check its effectiveness in capturing the semantics, enriching e-learning processes and deriving services that can enhance the e-learner experience. Results revealed the effectiveness of combining the above-mentioned technologies in order to enhance the e-learner experience. Also, further research directions have been suggested. This research contributes to enhancing the e-learner experience by making the e-learning artefacts driven by pedagogy and informed by the latest technologies. One major novel contribution of this research is the introduction of a layered architectural framework (i.e., HeLPS) that combines business process modelling and enactment, semantics and SOC together. Another novel contribution is adopting the process-based approach in e-learning domain through: identifying these processes and developing a generic business process model from a set of related e-learning business process models that have the same goals and associated objectives. A third key contribution is the development of the e-Learning Meta-Model, which captures a high-abstract view of learning domain and encapsulates various domain rules using the Semantic Web Rule Language. Additional contribution is promoting the utilisation of Service-Orientation in e-learning through developing a semantically-enriched approach to identify and discover web services from e-learning business process models. Fifth, e-Learner Experience Model (eLEM) and e-Learning Capability Maturity Model (eLCMM) have been developed, where the former aims at identifying and quantifying the e-learner experience and the latter represents a well-defined evolutionary plateau towards achieving a mature e-learning process from a technological perspective. Both models have been combined with a new developed data-driven Validation and Verification Model to develop a Concern-based Evaluation Approach for e-Learning artefacts, which is considered as another contribution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: e-learning ; technology-enhanced learning ; business process ; semantics ; Service oriented architecture