Object Retrieval and Student Behavior Using Tags in a Learning Context
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- Institutt for design 
Learning objects are reusable digital resources used in education. They are expensive to create and it is hard to maintain a sufficient amount of metadata in them. This impedes the ability to locate learning objects for reuse. Computer supported learning, and its branch called e-learning, aims to engage the students in their own education. This can be beneficially used to create metadata in learning objects, by engaging students to tag their own learning objects. This thesis examines how students use a system designed for annotating learning objects, and discovers that students are not willing to tag. Interviews were conducted, which discover that a tagging system needs to be introduced as an integral part of the course to induce participation, as well as properly communicate the benefits for the students themselves. The used system, implemented in the Learning Object Repository DSpace, is evaluated to determine how well it is suited for implementation of social technologies like tagging in a production environment. The thesis also investigates how well the tags produced can be used to retrieve related objects by testing a new algorithm. Promising results were observed with a test set, but the algorithm could not be tested with real tags from this study, as the tag set was too small.