I prototype and investigate environments for learning that, beyond regular consumtion of prefabricated material, allow students to express thoughts in a processable manner, i.e. making the thoughts more useful by their accessability to the students themselves as well as other students and teachers.
I do research on metadata-intensive learning environments using Semantic Web technology.
Metadata is descriptive information such as author, title, ratings etc. about resources such as learning objects, i.e. instructional units such as a piece of material that describes the Pythagorean theorem.
Semantic Web is an initative where metadata is used to describe resources (typically web pages, pictures, movies etc.) in a manner that allows machines to proccess that information for various purposes, e.g. improving web search and personalisation.
The use of metadata to describe learning objects is today a lively field of research and standardization efforts, but it is mainly focused on the kind of metadata that is produced by the author/producer/distributor. In our research group we belive that metadata is equally or perhaps more valuable if it is also expressed by students, teachers, reviewers, etc. Consequently we belive that metadata should be expressed throughout the lifespan of a learning object.
Hence, we foresee that metadata will be used for opinions, experiences, hints, rankings, peer reviews on material as well as relations to persons, conceptualizations, personal learning history etc.
In short, we try to envision and make plausible learning environments, where metadata is produced by everyone and metadatas processability is used by both man and machine to serve the lerner with rich learning experiences (at least compared to naive learning environments that are little more than digitized textbooks).
My research is concretely about two things:
Read my articles in the publication list and contemplate :-) Or you can wait for my thesis to be completed and read that one.