Applying Multi-Agent Software System to Support Citywide Mobile Learning
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Mobile Learning is an emerging mode of learning, in which a learner can use his/her mobile device to learn anywhere and any time. The immature and diverse field of Mobile Learning holds a blooming future and promises great benefits for the learners. Therefore, both researchers as well the industry are experimenting with different applications of Mobile Learning through pilot projects to evaluate its effectiveness. Citywide Mobile Learning is a specialized form of Mobile Learning, in which a mobile learner can use his/her mobile device to learn, while [s]he is moving around in the city. To provide technological support for such form of learning, sophisticated supporting systems are required. A major challenge is the dynamic environment of cities that consist of mobile learners and a number of locations. A system designed to provide support for Citywide Mobile Learning shall be constructed using technological components that can manage the dynamic environment. In this thesis, our main goal is to provide support for Citywide Mobile Learning where the main subject of learning is to learn about the city by being in it. To reach this goal we overview the patchy literature of Mobile Learning to extract central characteristics of Mobile Learning in general and Citywide Mobile Learning in particular. To organize and analyze different locations in the city we adopt the theoretical notions of Space, Place and Learning-Experience. These theoretical notions are mapped into a Multi-Agent framework called AGORA. AGORA is extended to provide specialized support for Citywide Mobile Learning. Based on the important characteristics of Citywide Mobile Learning two important technological artefacts are derived. Firstly, a framework consisting of Service-Model and AGORA based Multi-Agent System is created. Secondly, an ontology is created that attempts to capture all the concepts and relationships relevant for Citywide Mobile Learning. More particular contributions of this thesis are as follows: C1: Providing a framework for supporting mobile learning in a citywide context C2: Using the philosophical concept of Place to structure and organize different locations in the city to support mobile learning C3: Applying the theories related to Place and Experience into practice by extending Multi- Agent framework called AGORA C4: Representing the concepts related to Space/Place based mobile learning in the form of ontology. This ontology captures the knowledge related to Mobile User, Learning Groups, Learning Space/Place, and Learning-Tasks C5: Identifying the core patterns of Citywide Mobile Learning
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