Multilingual media components directly embeddable in open educational resources in science and technology

Fernández-Vindel, J.L. and Wilson, T. (2011). Multilingual media components directly embeddable in open educational resources in science and technology. In: International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation - ICERI 2011, 14-16 Nov 2011, Madrid, Spain.



The use and reuse of OER (Open Educational Resources) depends on several conditions. Amongst others, the richness of their metadata, their granularity and the languages ​​in which they are made available.

This work aims to facilitate efficient production of graphical and language-neutral components. It is assumed that the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engeneering and Mathematics) share a common mathematical language and, more intuitively, an iconographic approach linked to the structures that satisfy the formulas used in each case. The work is limited to these areas of knowledge, primarily as presentations and animations of very low granularity, which can be directly integrated into larger resources in any language.

The overall research design consists of four stages:
1. Initially, the manual generation of presentations and animations, with no literal in any language, and very concisely focused (mainly, definitions of a single concept for each animation). Determination of common graphics primitives to differentiate the common subtasks: presentation of examples to make the concept emerge inductively, graphical construction of the definition, highlighting the generalization or instantiation steps, homogeneous use of icons for emphasising or posing a question to the observer .. .
2. Evaluation of the expressiveness and effectiveness of these resources. Currently, these resources are being presented to small groups of students. This fall begins a multilingual evaluation process on a larger scale: as part of a regular course at the UNED and as LabSpace course in the Open University. Here we attempt to clarify the appropriate assessment tools (preferably in the same graphics language) with the minimum amount of additional external comments to constitute a course in a particular language.
3. The first two stages must provide an intuitive and graphical interface of the selected formalism (mainly Discrete Mathematics and Logic). The third stage addresses the effect of changing the output device on the selection of the graphics primitives for each generic subtask. Possible variations of the graphical language will be studied in the context of HCI analyses.
4. Finally the approach addresses semi-automatic generation, via script, of these resources: from formal description of the definitions or processes (as described, for example, in OMDoc) to the production of the corresponding animation. Additionally, the injection of semantics should facilitate the link between different animations, the navigation and search of conceptual dependency and the identification of concepts that have supporting collections of resources as described.

At this point, the current development of this work provides results for the first two stages described.

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