T6-O/LT1-1 - Educom.ml: A Modeling Approach for Mobile Educational Content

3. Research Full Paper
Marcus Vinícius Ribeiro Carvalho1 , Ellen Francine Barbosa2, MAX MARCUS CAMINHA CARVALHO1
1 State University Piauí - UESPI
2 State University São Paulo - USP

Research Category: the full paper aims to present work developed in the field of mobile learning.

Over time, technology has enabled new forms of access to education. Observing the evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the search for information can occur by studying in digital media on a desktop, accessing educational content through web courses or even with the advent of mobile technology, accessing information in the palm of your hand using smartphones. However, all this evolution creates challenges for the production of educational content. Teachers need to work on educational content to take advantage of the resources offered by ICTs. Nevertheless, this adaptation of the content is not a trivial task. 

In the context of mobile technology, the teacher needs to deal with some challenges: i) the restriction of space to display the content; ii) the level of cognitive load for the study of educational content. iii) knowledge of mobile technology to produce content more suitable for mobile applications. To support the teacher in the task of building educational content, this work proposes educational content modeling for mobile devices. The idea is to offer the teacher a formalism for the production of didactic material, in addition to modeling that abstract the complexity of generating content for mobile devices. So, in summary, two challenges need to be confronted: the structuring of educational content and the abstraction of knowledge from mobile technology.

The challenge of structuring educational content is confronted by the construction of three models, established as part of the IMA-CID (Integrated Modeling Approach - Conceptual, Instructional, Didactic). The Conceptual Model, which aims to specify the main concepts of the domain. The Instructional Model, which attributes to the concepts defined in the Conceptual Model, complementary information that allows the understanding of each concept. And finally, the Didactic Model that is responsible for establishing the sequence of presentation of the concepts.

The challenge of generating educational content for mobile platforms is addressed with the Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) approach. MDE proposes that software development artifacts be produced by transforming models, thus minimizing coding. We use this feature of MDE at work to allow the teacher to generate educational content for the mobile platform without requiring technical knowledge. To this end, the work proposes metamodels based on AIM-CID models, as well as metamodels that represent a mobile platform. It is important to note that the teacher only needs to concentrate efforts on creating instances of the IMA-CID models. The mobile platform models are instantiated from the IMA-CID models by applying transformation rules to build a mobile application.

To illustrate our ideas, the modeling approach was applied to the Project Management domain, to generate a mobile application with content from this topic. The result suggests that the use of the MDE and IMA-CID approaches can contribute to minimizing the complexity of producing educational content for mobile devices, as it keeps the teacher focused on his expertise, dispensing him with the domain of technical details in the implementation of mobile applications.