Dynamic Learning Content Adaptation using a Software Product Line Approach

Online, distance and electronic learning is gradually becoming one of the mainstream methods for  training and teaching. This is due to various reasons among which is 1) the rapid development of new knowledge and the need for keeping up with the changes and recent advancements; 2) specificity of career requirements  even in a certain field of study such that a university degree in a given subject would not be sufficient and a necessary guarantee for success in a career position and therefore need for constant learning (i.e., support for life-long learning is needed); 3) the provisioning of quality course and teaching material regardless of the location of the learner; and 4) adaptive learning content for the target learner such that his/her target computational and processing platform, learning needs, requirements, background knowledge and the area of application of the required knowledge is taken into account. This proposal is concerned with addressing and provisioning methods for the last characteristic, i.e., adaptive learning. Adaptive learning is engaged with providing appropriate and individualized learning content for its intended audience which could be a group of like-minded and similar learners or an individual person. We envision representing courseware material including Learning Objects through a standard software engineering methodology, called the software product lines. There is a strong synergy between software product line technology and the adaptation of learning content in that both areas emphasize on the maximization of structured content reuse engineering. This will enable us to provide dynamic adaptation of courseware for the target audience.


Athabasca University