Facilitating knowledge construction by customized supportive services

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Journal Article
Education and Information Technologies, 2007, 12 (4), pp. 245 - 265
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This research is aimed to assist individual learners to construct knowledge in online learning through providing them with customized supportive services. The services go beyond simply presenting course materials, but supply a diverse range of technological facilities, tools and services to assist individual learners to progress in the learning process. In this paper, the theoretical background for facilitating construction of knowledge by individual learners is built at the first, through the review of constructivist theories for learning and the objectivist ones. Then, a general conceptual model to describe any number of practices in learning and teaching online is built. It will be used to customize online learning environments to cater for various different learning demands. The services to support the individual's knowledge construction are identified based on the relevant theoretical background. After that, software agents are proposed to customize the supportive services for individual learners based on their particular learning characteristics. Next, the implementation of these services is investigated and a system prototype is reported. Finally the preliminary research result and the further work are presented. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
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