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Volume 14 / Issue 1

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-014-01-0027


Ontoolcole: Supporting Educators in the Semantic Search of CSCL Tools

Guillermo Vega-Gorgojo

Miguel L. Bote-Lorenzo (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Eduardo Gómez-Sánchez (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Juan I. Asensio-Pérez (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Yannis A. Dimitriadis (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Iván M. Jorrín-Abellán (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Abstract: Collaborative learning systems can be constructed following the serviceoriented computing paradigm. This allows educators to integrate external tools, offered as services by software providers, in order to support the realization of collaborative learning situations. Discovering appropriate services is a challenging task that requires the description of their capabilities. This can be accomplished with Ontoolcole, an ontology of collaborative learning tools designed with the aim of supporting educators in the search of CSCL tools. Ontoolcole is depicted here and some new, relevant features are discussed. Namely, Ontoolcole incorporates an artifact module, a task-level coordination module and the description of static information resources, further improving the capabilities to describe complex CSCL tools. As a proof of concept, we also present a preliminary prototype of the intended target application of Ontoolcole, an interactive system for the search of CSCL tools, named Ontoolsearch. A case study with practitioners has been carried out to evaluate whether Ontoolcole can be employed by educators to search CSCL tools. Evaluation results show that Ontoolcole abstractions fit educators' questions based on their real practice while retrieving useful tools for their educational needs.

Keywords: CSCL tools, collaborative learning systems, ontologies, semantic web services, service discovery

Categories: H.3.3, H.4.3, I.2.4, K.3.1