, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 207-239
Date: 08 Oct 2011

\(\mathcal{IMA}\) \(\mathcal{CID}\) : an integrated modeling approach for developing educational modules

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Abstract

Educational modules—concise units of study, composed of theoretical and practical content, which can be delivered to learners by using technological and computational resources—are relevant mechanisms to improve the learning processes. Similar to software products, educational modules require the establishment and integration of innovative methods, tools and procedures into well-defined processes aiming at producing flexible, adaptable and high-quality products. In this sense, content modeling activity plays a fundamental role in the development of educational modules, providing a way to structure the relevant parts of the learning content. Motivated by this scenario, we propose \(\mathcal {IMA}\) \(\mathcal {CID}\) —an approach for modeling learning content, capable of addressing conceptual, instructional and didactic issues altogether, in an integrated way. By means of a set of models, \(\mathcal {IMA}\) \(\mathcal {CID}\) helps the author in determining the relevant parts of the learning content, providing a systematic way to structure the concepts and related information. \(\mathcal {IMA}\) \(\mathcal {CID}\) also explores the idea of open specifications, providing support for the definition of dynamic contexts of learning. Besides that, the translation of \(\mathcal {IMA}\) \(\mathcal {CID}\) models into machine-readable specifications, automatically or by hand, makes possible interoperability and promotes reusability. \(\mathcal {IMA}\) \(\mathcal {CID}\) has been applied in the development of educational modules for different domains. The resulting modules have been evaluated in terms of the authors’ and learners’ perspectives. The results obtained provide preliminary evidence of the learning effectiveness, quality and flexibility achieved by the educational modules produced.