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The Semantic Web - Implications for e-learning

Vladan Devedžic
University of Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

The goal of this tutorial is to present important theoretical and practical effects of the growing Semantic Web on development of new Web-based educational technology and e-learning applications.
During the tutorial, the attendees are supposed to learn about all the important concepts and topics related to the Semantic Web. They will also see a number of practical e-learning examples, systems, and excerpts from practical projects, all illustrating the topics covered. Finally, they will work interactively with the tutorial presenter on at least one practical example of developing an e-learning-related content for the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web is the next-generation Web that will enable automatic knowledge processing over the Internet, using intelligent services such as search agents, information brokers, and information filters. It will have tremendous impact on Web-based teaching and learning technologies. The Semantic Web can help establish semantic interoperability between different educational applications on the Web.

The goal of this tutorial is to present important theoretical and practical issues of the evolving Semantic Web and to show its effects on development of new Web-based educational technology.

The tutorial starts with a brief introduction to the basic concepts and ideas of ontologies, knowledge sharing on the Web, and intelligent agents. Then it discusses extensively the models, languages and tools for establishing semantic interoperability on the Web. A number of existing educational software tools, applications, systems and development environments are then analyzed in order to show how the basic ideas change the way we develop educational applications in practice. Specifically, the topics covered are:
• The Semantic Web languages and e-learning
• The Semantic Web services and e-learning
• ontologies in e-learning systems
• integration of agent technology and ontologies in e-learning systems
• selected examples, languages, systems, and ongoing projects
  - tools for creating Semantic Web contents
existing ontologies for educational systems
  - task ontology
  - student model ontology
  - ontology-aware authoring tools

During the tutorial, the attendees are supposed to work interactively with the tutorial presenter on at least one practical example of developing an e-learning-related ontology, using appropriate Semantic Web software tools.

Duration of the tutorial

3 hours (half day) or 6 hours (full day).

Intended audience

Developers of Web-based systems, developers of e-learning systems, managers of R&D institutions, students, practitioners, researchers, and other professionals in the broad fields of educational systems and Internet applications.

Prior knowledge required
Only general and vague knowledge of basic concepts in the area of educational systems, as well as some basic ideas of distributed systems design and Internet technology.

Tutorial instructor
Dr Vladan Devedžic, Associate Professor
Department of Information Systems
FON - School of Business Administration
University of Belgrade
POB 52
Jove Ilica 154
11000 Belgrade
Serbia and Montenegro
Phone: +381-11-3950856
Fax: +381-11-461221
Email: devedzic@galeb.etf.bg.ac.yu
URL: http://galeb.etf.bg.ac.yu/~devedzic/

Vladan Devedžic is both an active researcher and practitioner in the field of intelligent systems. His major long-term professional goal is a continuous effort to bring close together the ideas from the broad fields of intelligent systems and software engineering. In that sense, his current efforts and research interests are oriented towards practical engineering aspects of developing intelligent systems on the Web. He has written more than 160 papers (24 of them have been published in internationally recognized journals by publishers such as ACM, IEEE, Pergamon Press, etc.), three books on intelligent systems, and several chapters in books on intelligent systems and software engineering edited by distinguished scientists. He has also developed several practical intelligent systems and tools, and actively participates as a consultant to several ongoing projects in industry. Here is the excerpt from his publication record, showing only some of his most important and most recent publications (full list of his publications is available upon request):

1. Devedžic, V., "Key Issues in Next-Generation Web-Based Education",
   accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and    Cybernetics, 2003. (forthcoming).
2. Devedžic, V., "Understanding Ontological Engineering", Communications of
   the ACM, Volume 45, No.4ve, April 2002, pp. 136-144.
3. Nedovic, Lj., Devedžic, V., "Expert Systems in Finance - A Cross-Section
   of the Field", Expert Systems With Applications, Vol.23,
   No.1, 2002, pp. 49-66.
4. Ðuric, M., Devedžic, V., "I-promise - intelligent protective material
    selection",Expert Systems With Applications, Vol.23, No.3, 2002,
    pp. 219-227.
5. Devedžic, V., "Software Patterns", in: Chang, S.K. (ed.), Handbook of    Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering Vol.2 - Emerging
   Technologies, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 2002,
   pp. 645-671.
6. Devedžic, V., "Software Project Management", in: Chang, S.K. (ed.),
    Handbook of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
    Vol.2 - Emerging Technologies, World Scientific Publishing Co.,
    Singapore, 2002, pp. 419-446.
7. Devedžic, V., "Knowlede Discovery and Data Mining in Databases",
    in: Chang, S.K. (ed.), Handbook of Software Engineering and Knowledge     Engineering Vol.1 - Fundamentals, World Scientific Publishing Co.,
    Singapore, 2001, pp. 615-637.
8. Devedžic, V., "Knowledge Modeling - State of the Art", Integrated
    Computer-Aided Engineering, Vol.8, No.3, 2001, pp. 257-281.
9. Devedžic, V., Jerinic, Lj., Radovic, D., "The GET-BITS Model of Intelligent     Tutoring Systems", Journal of Interactive Learning Research (JILR),
    Special Issue on Intelligent Systems/Tools in Training and Lifelong
    Learning, Vol.11, No.3/4, 2000, pp. 411-434.
10. Devedžic, V., Debenham, J., Popovic, D., "Teaching Formal Languages
     by an Intelligent Tutoring System", Educational Technology & Society,
     Vol.3, No.2, 2000, pp. 36-49.
11. Devedžic, V., "Inside Intelligent Tutoring Systems - Using Design
     Patterns", International Journal of Knowledge-Based Intelligent
     Engineering Systems, Vol.4, No.1, January 2000, pp. 25-32.
12. Jerinic, Lj., Devedžic, V.: "A Friendly Intelligent Tutoring Environment -      Teacher's Approach", ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Vol. 32, No.1,
     January 2000, pp. 83-94.
13. Devedžic, V., Radovic, D.: "A Framework for Building Intelligent
     Manufacturing Systems", IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man,
     and Cybernetics, Part C - Applications and Reviews, Vol.29, No.3,
     August 1999, pp. 402-419.
14. Devedžic, V., "Ontologies: Borrowing from Software Patterns", ACM      intelligence Magazine, Fall 1999, pp. 14-24.

Vladan Devedžic is currently with the Department of Information Systems, FON - School of Business Administration, University of Belgrade. He teaches several courses on intelligent systems and software engineering, and is the chair of the intelligent systems tracks in the program committees of several international conferences and of two annual national conferences on computer science. So far, he has also given twelve different tutorials on intelligent systems and software engineering at other international conferences, numerous lectures and in-house seminars on different software engineering topics, an invited talk at an IEEE-sponsored conference in March 2000, and seven nationwide tutorials on current trends in software engineering.