Software Agents for facilitating collaboration among students in e-learning

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2004, 2004, pp. 761 - 768
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Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is one promising technological means to support e-learning over the Internet. However, current CSCL systems work mostly in a passive fashion and do not attempt to take active control of the collaboration. In such systems, it is the responsibility of the participating students to organize and accomplish all the activities of collaborative learning (CL). Students get little assistance from the system during the CL, e.g. the composition of a CL group, the partition of a learning task, the combination of learning outcomes, etc. This paper seeks to actively help and guide students in the CL by software agents. The CSCL over the Internet is first investigated where some challenges for the students while they are taking part in the CL are highlighted. Based on the investigation, a multi-agent architecture to facilitate the CL is proposed. Then, the implementation in one particular CSCL system, LiveNet, is presented and the supports of the agents for the CL are explored. At the final are the conclusions of the paper and some outlooks.
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