Morning Session

  • Keynote speech: Vincent Wade. "Semantic Web techniques for Personalised Technology Enhanced Learning in HE"
  • Thanassis Tiropanis. A linked data field for semantic applications in HE (SemTech)
  • SemTech is a UK JISC funded project that recently surveyed Semantic Technologies that are relevant to HE/FE. This relevance was established in terms of addressing learning and teaching challenges and in terms of addressing institutional challenges. The outcome of the survey showed that there is significant value to be obtained by exposing institutional information (repositories, curricula, databases) in linked data formats that provide for interoperability and queries across institutions. The underpinning pedagogy of semantic applications was established in enabling collaborative learning and critical thinning. SemTech published the outcome of the survey and a roadmap for Semantic Technology adoption in the next five years that envisages the creation of a linked data field across the HE/FE sector on which relevant applications can be deployed; mapping linked data to higher level ontologies to meet challenges that require more reasoning is anticipated at a later stage in the roadmap. This presentation discusses the outcomes of the project survey and the roadmap.
  • Michael Tscholl, Frances Tracy and Patrick Carmichael. Case Methods, Pedagogical Innovation and Semantic Technologies (SLIDES) (EPRINTS)
  • This paper describes an approach to conducting research leading to technological development that is grounded in detailed empirical research and participant engagement. We describe our initial findings about the diverse conceptualizations of cases and their use that exist in a number of higher education settings and match this to considerations of the potential of semantic technologies to support these teaching and learning activities. In this way we develop the argument for developing technologies in parallel with empirical research about current practices and engagement of participants in educational settings in order to realize the full potential of semantic technologies to support case-based learning.
  • Patrick Carmichael and Agustina Martinez Garcia. Semantic Technologies to Support Teaching and Learning with Cases: Challenges and Opportunities (SLIDES) (EPRINTS)
  • Visions of a 'semantic web; and the technologies, standards and services associated with it have the potential to support and enhance teaching and learning. As yet, this potential has not been practically demonstrated in ways that are accessible to teachers and students. 'Ensemble: Semantic Technologies to Support the Teaching and Learning of Case Based Learning; is currently exploring the potential of semantic technologies to support and enhance teaching and learning in fields in higher education where knowledge is complex, changing or contested, and where as a result case based learning is the pedagogy of choice. This paper describes how the wide range of case based learning approaches has informed the selection, development and deployment of semantic technologies, and identifies a number of key challenges and areas for development which would enable more widespread adoption of semantic technologies by teachers and students.
  • Minh Tan Vu and Angela Goh. i-OntoLearning: Ontological support for rich learning (SLIDES) (EPRINTS)
  • Many university and college programs have a rich repository of learning resources. These resources could range from multi-media material to simple text documents, from powerpoint slides to web based applets. However, they are created by different authors and are usually accessible by the students registered for the courses taught by these authors. In order to enable students to discover the relationships that exist amongst these resources, we have designed i-OntoLearning, a system based on the Computing Ontology and a Metadata Ontology which we have created. This platform supports learning through the ability to infer relationships within the curricula as well as with the learning resources. As more resources are added to the system, further interesting relationships can be discovered. This paper focuses on the application of semantic web technologies including ontology design and queries on these ontologies.

    Afternoon Session

  • Nadeem Shabir and Chris Clarke. Using Linked Data as a basis for a Learning Resource Recommendation System (SLIDES) (EPRINTS)
  • Resource List Management Systems (RLMS) allow the electronic publication of course reading lists. Aside from electronic access, existing systems in this area provide little utility for teachers and learners above and beyond the traditional paper based reading lists. Our vision is that resource lists could in actual fact become Open Educational Resources that can be shared, re-mixed and re-used across institutions and borders. This paper introduces how we used linked data to architect a RLMS to meet this vision. However, in implementing this system, questions arose around the provenance, sustainability, licensing and reliability of today's linked data cloud. This paper documents the steps we took to address these critisms in our implementation. The paper goes on to discuss how the ecosystem of learning data managed by this application opens the way for future work, which involves leveraging typed
    relationships between learning goals, educational resources and system actors to provide recommendation-like services for academics creating new content.
  • Alexandra Poulovassilis and Peter Wood. Flexible Querying of Lifelong Learner Metadata (SLIDES) (EPRINTS)
  • We propose combining query approximation and query relaxation techniques in order to support flexible querying of heterogeneous data arising from lifelong learners' educational and work experiences. A key aim of such querying facilities is to allow learners to identify possible choices for their future learning and professional development from what others have done. With our approach, query results can be computed incrementally, in polynomial time, and returned in order of increasing "distance" from the user's original query.
  • Panel session: "A roadmap for semantic technologies in HE". Chair: Hugh C Davis. Panel: Stefano Cerri, David Millard, Kathy Kikis-Papadakis, Alex Poulovassilis
  • This session will discuss questions that will emerge during the workshop. Such questions could include the following: What is the value of semantic technologies and linked data on a European and global level and what are the barriers for their adoption? What are the technical challenges of deploying a linked data field across the European/global HE sector? Which pedagogical challenges can be addressed by linked data and by higher level ontologies? How does the semantic Web and linked data relate to the European Higher Education Area and the Bologna process?


  • Axel Tenschert and Alexey Cheptsov. Effective Ontology Matching in High-Performance Computing Environments (EPRINTS)
  • ENSEMBLE Project