Griffith E-Learning Fellowship Application (for Semester 2, 2006)

Accepted on May 15th, 2006

Applicant: Dr Philippe Martin

Project title: Cooperatively updated knowledge bases for e-learning and research

Project medium:
My knowledge server, WebKB-2, will permit lecturers, researchers and students to share, index, annotate, complement, valuate, structure, efficiently retrieve, and to some extent compare, any statement or any Web-accessible document element (e.g., a paragraph, an image, a section, a whole document - multi-media or not) using mainly conceptual categories and/or semantic relations. To that end, the interfaces of WebKB-2 need to be refined and the implementation of its cooperation protocols must be completed and tested in an e-learning context.

Project summary:
Because e-learning can be viewed as "flexible, efficient, task relevant and just-in time learning", a major part of knowledge-oriented researches in e-learning focus on the use of meta-data for indexing/linking, retrieving and combining Web-accessible learning materials via the use of meta-data (for example the researches related to the future Learning Object Metadata Standard or to the European Commission funded Candle project). However, most of (if not all) these researches allow to index and retrieve whole documents only, or use semantically poor ontologies (conceptual metadata), or propose poorly expressive and overly permissive notations such as those used in Concept Maps. Hence, manually or automatically finding and comparing information remains difficult because (i) the various needed pieces of information are scattered within many documents and expressed in different ways and at often inadequate levels of detail, (ii) these pieces of information cannot be automatically "interpreted" and organised into a "good" and logic-based semantic network by any current (or currently foreseeable) natural language understanding technique or knowledge extraction techniques. I have designed WebKB-2 to permit a much more knowledge-based approach to information retrieval and sharing. Its indexation and representation languages are quite intuitive and permit the users to represent knowledge (manually) as precisely as they wish to: they can add and relate concepts, formal statements and/or document elements, they can use contexts, sets, complex quantifiers, etc. The large ontology and cooperation protocols of WebKB-2 encourage, ease and guide knowledge precision and re-use. The goal of this project is to complete, refine and evaluate the implementation of certain interfaces and protocols in order to provide lecturers, researchers and students with a knowledge sharing, retrieval and learning tool that is a valuable complement to the classic methods based on document writing, retrieval and reading. The outcomes of this project will be 1) a tool which hopefully reaches that goal, 2) an evaluation by the students, myself and other lecturers or researchers of (i) the current and potential help provided by this tool, (ii) the originality and "usefulness" of the content added to the knowledge base by each user (this cross-evaluation method is part of the above cited innovative protocols to implement and refine), and (iii) this cross-evaluation method, 3) an initial semantic network of the core concepts, techniques, tools and debated issues introduced in several courses proposed by the School of ICT during Semester 2 (no such network about these domains seem to exist yet; short questions about the content of this learning support will be used in some examinations), 4) the extension of this network by lecturers, researchers and students, and 5) the sharing of the project outcomes (i) by inviting lecturers and researchers to use this tool to make their teaching and research outcomes more easy to access, understand and compare, and (ii) by preparing publications in the relevant fields: Learning, Knowledge Engineering, Semantic Web, CSCW/argumentation.

Brief description of the proposed learning resource:
The learning resource can be decomposed into an ontology (the logic-based semantic network first initialised by me) and WebKB-2 the tool permitting the students, lecturers and researchers to retrieve, complement and evaluate information in that ontology.
WebKB-1 is a knowledge base (KB) server enabling people to load or execute knowledge representations/queries stored in Web documents and let these representations index any part of a text-based Web document. WebKB-2 is a large-scale KB server that has most of the features of WebKB-1 and also enables people or software agents to store and tightly interconnect their knowledge into a large shared KB on the server machine without having to discuss and agree on terminology or beliefs. To that end, I designed special editing protocols to encourage knowledge interlinking and keep the KB consistent (as far as the inference engine can tell). To initialise this KB, I transformed WordNet 1.7 into a genuine lexical ontology, corrected it, and extended it with several top-level ontologies. The proposed notations are designed to be very concise, expressive and "normalising" (that is, they reduce the number of ways things can be expressed). Various querying and presentation options are proposed to retrieve knowledge (for example, knowledge from certain kinds of creators can be filtered out during browsing). Various graph-matching operators are proposed for querying. The core of the knowledge evaluation method (introduced in the next section) will be implemented by mid-August.

Project Proposal

Course/Educational/Research Enhancement

The tool and approach that I propose are generic but to test them and show their interest I shall apply them to the following courses proposed by the School of ICT during Semester 2: 3116CIT/NA (Knowledge Representation), 1017INT/GC (Introduction to Multimedia Development) and 7007INT/GC (System Analysis and Design). I selected them because 1) for these courses, even a small semantic network (for example about ideas, techniques, tools and people) can be helpful (i) for introducing more content than via classic documents (more exactly, for introducing precise relationships between a relatively large number of concepts), (ii) for raising the interest of the students (like Wikipedia does, but with a much smaller content and more structured ways of presenting it), and (iii) for helping the students to understand and retrieve those relationships, 2) the students of such courses can be asked to complement the semantic network (e.g., as a replacement for a learning journal), 3) connections between the content of these courses can be made, and 4) the conveners of these three courses have accepted to participate to this project. I shall begin this project by creating a semantic network of the core concepts and debated issues introduced in these courses.

Examples of semantic networks and "structured discussions" must now be given, and hence a formal syntax must be introduced. WebkB-2 uses FL (For-links), FCG (Frame-CG) and Formalised English (FE), three notations [Martin, 2002] that I derived from the Conceptual Graph linear form to improve on its readability, expressivity and "normalising" characteristic (the combination of these three criteria is what made Conceptual Graphs famous). The simplest notation is FL and this is the only one that students will have to see. Actually, the menus and presentation options of the interfaces will permit to see (and already often permit to see) even simpler versions of this notation (e.g., simple indented lists) but such versions are for presentation only since they cannot display all details in a formal way. The first example below shows a translation of three English (E) sentences into FL but does not show the creator of each term and each relation. The second example shows such creators. It is necessary to record the creators in order to avoid lexical and semantic conflicts, allow the filtering of knowledge from certain creators and permit the evaluation of creators.

E:   Any human_body is a body and has at most 2 arms, 2 legs and 1 head.
     Any arm, leg and head belongs to at most 1 human body.
     Male_body and female_body are exclusive subtypes of human_body 
     and so are juvenile_body and adult_body.
FL:  human_body  subtype of: body,
                 part:  arm [0..1,0..2]  leg [0..1,0..2]  head [1,1],
                 subtype: {male_body female_body} {juvenile_body adult_body};

E:   According to Jun Jo (who has for user id "jj"), a  body (as understood in
     WordNet 1.7) may have for part (as understood by "pm") a leg (as defined
     by "fg") and exactly 1 head (as understood by "oc").
FL:  wn#body   pm#part:  fg#leg (jj)  oc#head [1](jj);

FL is very concise and, unlike most other existing notations, allows the recording of the creators of relations between categories (types or individuals). This permits the browsing and visualization of large portions of an ontology and its sources, which is important for its understanding -- this is why graphical notations are not practical as sole support for visualization except for unrealistically small ontologies.

Below is a small portion of a semantic network which I once extracted for an e-learning course in Workflow Management that I taught. As a replacement for an informal learning journal, I asked the students to extend this network (although not yet through WebKB-2 at that time). The source for the terms and their relationships is the "Workflow Management" book by Aalst and Hee. This source is left implicit in the example below except for each represented relation ("b" refers to this book and then a page number is given). The general schema is "CONCEPT1 RELATION1: CONCEPT2 (SOURCE1 INTERPRETER1)" which can be read "According to SOURCE1, interpreted and represented by INTERPRETER1, any CONCEPT1 may have for RELATION1 one or many CONCEPT2". The example below only shows one interpreter: "pm" (myself). The information about the terms and their relationships is scattered all over the book. It is also expressed at various levels of details, and sometimes in inconsistent ways (in such cases, different meanings must be represented or choices must be made). Thus, a precise understanding of these terms and their relationships is difficult: I had to create this semantic network in order to gather the relationships and thus better understand the terms. Although the scattering of information in this book was unusually important, the linear and informal writing of each information source and the multiplicity of these sources necessarily lead to information scattering and redundancies, and hence to difficulties in understanding or retrieving relationships between concepts, ideas, theories or techniques, and the features of these theories and techniques. One of the great advantages of Wikipedia is that it promotes some centralization and structuring of information. However, in my opinion, it does not provide enough of them. For example, from the informal sentences of the Wikipedia articles about logic it is difficult to understand which theories are genuinely a part of (or is a refinement of) which other theories. (After several steps of reading and cross-checking, I have made an ontology to express such relations between the logic theories cited in Wikipedia but this ontology needs updates by specialists in logic). Some information require formal and informal presentations using indented lists, tables or graphs. However, the senior members of Wikipedia are currently opposed to "technical categorization" and to "technical content" (an article not "easily accessible by a general audience"), thereby limiting the precision and amount of information in Wikipedia.

  informal_definition: "a generic piece of work; can be seen as the description
                        of activities"(b/p3 pm),
  subtype: WF_process (b/p33 pm);

    informal_definition: "a procedure for a particular case type"(b/p33 pm)
                         "a collection of cases, resources and triggers
                          representing a particular process"(b/glossary pm),
    synonym: workflow (b/p22 pm)  WF (b/intro pm)  network_of_task (b/p22 pm)
    subtype: ad-hoc_workflow (glossary pm)  project (b/p9 pm)  task (b/p32 pm),
    agent: resource (b/p11 pm),
    part: WF_process (b/p34 pm),
    description: at least 1 condition (b/p15 pm)  process_diagram (b/p15 pm),
    object: at least 1 case (b/p33 pm),
    characteristic: complexity (b/p18 pm);
      synonym: atomic_process (b/p32 pm)  logical_unit_of_work (b/p32 pm),
      informal_definition: "a process considered indivisible by an actor is a 'task'
                            in the eye of this actor"(b/p32 pm),
      subtype: {manual_task automatic_task}(b/p33 pm)  semi-automatic_task (b/p32 pm)
               work_item (b/p38 pm),
      example: typing_a_letter (b/p32 pm)  stamping_a_document (b/p32 pm),
      responsible_agent: 1 resource (b/p35 pm),
      parameter: knowledge (b/p7 pm);

        informal_definition: "a task for a particular case"(b/p38 pm);

In [Martin & al., 2005] (references are in the C.V. below) I presented the beginning of an ontology of knowledge engineering focused on the Conceptual Graph domain. So far I have created six files (and thus, modules in the KB): Fields of study, Systems of logic, Information Sciences, Knowledge Management, Conceptual Graph and Formal Concept Analysis. The last three modules specialize the other ones. Each of the last four files is divided into sections, the uppermost ones being "Domains and Theories", "Tasks and Methodologies", "Structures and Languages", "Tools", "Journals, Conferences, Publishers and Mailing Lists", "Articles, Books and other Documents" and "People: Researchers, Specialists, Teams/Projects, ...". This work provides ontological and structural templates for future extensions. The ontology and number of files/modules will increase but the section-based structure seem stable. However, this work still requires extensions in order to (i) incite researchers and lecturers in knowledge engineering to complement it with their research outputs and learning materials (thereby, also "advertising" them and easing their retrieval), and (ii) guide and ease the indexation/representation of new information (without a very well structured core, a good knowledge sharing will not be achieved). During this project, this work will be continued. The semantic network of concepts and techniques introduced by the selected courses will be added first (this includes representing the main features of database management systems, knowledge base management systems and multimedia artefact development systems). Then, my representation and categorization work will focus on ontology editing tools (and hence their features) since this is an achievable target that can incite many researchers to complement the KB in order to advertise their tools. There is currently a demand for comparisons of the dozens of ontology editing tools that currently exist and this demand cannot be satisfied with the few very superficial surveys that have been done. I have already identified (and categorised in an informal way, as introduced below) about 160 features for CG tools (they are ontology editing tools).

Students can be evaluated by lecturers on the number of their additions to the semantic network and on the quality of their additions. Adding to such a network should contribute to a deeper learning than writing learning journals since it implies making connections and being more analytic. Compared to learning journals, network additions may also be an easier tool for the lecturer to know whether or not certain important connections have been well interpreted/understood by the students. Some questions on semantic relations between elements can also be asked in a class test; for example, "What are the specializations of a WF_process?". In the above example (and the one below) the fact that some statements are only "interpretations" of certain sources is made explicit; in such cases, it should be made clear to the students which interpretations are "authoritative" (generally those created by the lecturer), or more generally, which are the ones the students are expected to remember and might be asked about in a class test. This characteristic can for example be made explicit using special fonts or colours; the interface will propose options for the lecturers to specify that.

FL can also be used for representing (and hence supporting) "structured discussions", that is, the exploration of the pros and cons of an idea via argumentation trees/graphs, by one or several persons. For the discussion to be precise, there must be a relation between each individual statement (not from/to a collection of statements). This structure increases precision and reduces redundancies and recurring discussions. As opposed to most argumentation systems, WebKB-2 offers a hierarchy of inter-sentential relation types which can be completed by the users. Each statement may be formal (e.g., it may be expressed in Formalized English), informal or semi-formal (e.g., it may contain formal terms and hence may be more easily retrievable by querying or browsing). In the examples below, only the sources of the relations are represented (plus the "interpreter" if he is not the source). The first example is an extract from my interpretation and representation of some ideas of Pr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe ("hhh") (however, I do not endorse his ideas at all). Then, two excerpts from a discussion about the use of XML for knowledge representation (a topic leading to recurrent debates on many knowledge related mailing lists) are presented. This examples illustrates two uses of the parenthesis: (i) for allowing the direct representation of relations from the destination of a relation, and (ii) for representing meta-information on a relation, such as its creator (e.g., "pm" or "fg") or a relation on this relation (e.g., an objection by "pm" on the use of an objection relation by "fg", without stating anything about the destination of this relation). In this example, the content of the sentences and the indentation should permit the understanding of these two different uses. The use of dashes to list joint arguments/objections (e.g., a rule and its premise) should also be self-explanatory.

"every state, regardless of its particular constitution, is economically and ethically deficient"
   argument: ("the result of a state is not peaceful cooperation and social order,
               but conflict oppression, and impoverishment"
                 argument: - "a state is a monopoly with ultimate decision-making powers" (hhh pm)
                           - "a monopolist with ultimate decision-making powers is very bad" (hhh pm)
             )(hhh pm);

"XML is useless for knowledge representation, exchange or storage"
   argument: ("using XML tools for KBSs is a useless additional task"
                 argument: "KBSs do not use XML internally" (pm,
                   objection: "XML can be used for knowledge exchange or storage" (fg,
                     objection: "it is as easy to use other formats for
                                 knowledge exchange or storage" (pm),
                     objection: "a KBS (also) has to use other formats for
                                 knowledge exchange or storage" (pm)))

"XML can be used for knowledge exchange or storage"
   argument: - "an XML notation permits classic XML tools (parsers, XSLT, ...) to
                be re-used" (pm)
             - "classic XML tools are usable even if a graph-based model is used" (pm),
   argument of: ("a KRL should (also) have an XML notation",
                   specialization: "the Semantic Web KRL should have an XML notation" (pm),
                   specialization of: "a KRL (Knowledge Representation Language)
                                       can have an XML notation" (pm),

Structured discussions can be used as a support for developing and evaluating active thinking, analysis and critical evaluation. Compared to essays or summaries, the required precision and structure of the argumentation trees should ease evaluations by the lecturers. Furthermore, in [Martin & al., 2005] I described a method to valuate the originality and "usefulness" of each statement based on its argument tree and votes from users. This method also calculates the originality and usefulness of the creator of each statement, and uses this values to give a weight to the votes of that user. The initial goal of this method was to permit to filter out or change the presentation of statements that have a low originality/usefulness value, and also incite the information providers to be precise and careful in their statements. In an educational context, since this method makes the students cross-evaluate each other, this evaluation can also be taken into account by the lecturer. This method will be implemented in WebKB-2 by mid-August. It will then be tested and refined in the context of e-learning as a mean for learning and as a mean for evaluating students (various methods, or one method with various parameters, may have to be implemented).

Finally, here is an excerpt from my informal classification of CG tools which was previously stored in Wikipedia and which all the creators and users of CG tools were invited to update or complement. Currently, eight tools are x compared according to 160 features organised into an informal specialization hierarchy (and 7 sections). The following example comes from the section "Search and inferencing features". The symbol "+" means that the tool has the listed feature, "-" that "it does not have it", "." that "it does not have it but could easily have it", and "?" that "no information has been found to decide". The presence of "?" for search operators as important as the "search for CG generalizations" is an example of the difficulty to find some important information in technical documents or research articles. More generally, while it is easy for the authors of a tool, technique or theory to update such a table, it is not easy for any other person to (i) find if certain tools, theories or techniques have a particular feature, and hence (ii) compare them or know if they are suitable for a certain task. Although such a classification is informal, WebKB-2 will be extended to generate such tables for presentation purposes, and use them as support within a knowledge entering interface. However, in the context of this project, this is a low priority task.

                                  Amine CGTNT CGWrd ChrGr Corez CPE Notio WebKB
lexical search                      -     +     ?     ?     ?    -    -     +
  regular expression based search   -     -     ?     ?     -    -    -     +
semantic search within the KB       +     +     +     +     +    +    +     +
  search for CG specializations     +     +     +     +     +    +    +     +
    via graph matching              +     +     +     +     +    +    +     +
    via if-then-rules too           +     +     -     -     +    -    -     -
    complete w.r.t. the KB          ?     +     -     -     -    -    -     -
    consistent w.r.t. the KB        ?     +     -     -     -    -    -     -
  search for CG generalizations     ?     .     ?     ?     ?    ?    ?     +
    via graph matching              ?     .     ?     ?     ?    ?    ?     +
    via rules/operators too         ?     .     ?     ?     ?    ?    ?     -
    complete w.r.t. the KB          ?     -     ?     ?     ?    ?    ?     -
    consistent w.r.t. the KB        ?     -     ?     ?     ?    ?    ?     -
  search for CG analogies           -     -     -     -     -    -    -     -
CG projection (matching)            +     +     +     +     +    ?    +     +

Like creating "structured discussions" the exercise of creating the above kinds of comparison tables can be used as a support for developing and evaluating active thinking, analysis and critical evaluation. Like creating the kind of semantic network illustrated with the "Workflow Management" example, this exercise is also a mean to develop effective retention. In each case, information categorization/indexation, representation, sharing and retrieval is guided and is eased by the existing knowledge (the large default ontology of WebKB-2 plus the additions by the users): less has to be stated than when a linear document is created to publish a piece of information, and everything which is stated is more easily retrievable when needed. Document elements (e.g., learning objects or research materials) that are outside the KB but are pointed/indexed by concepts or statements in the KB can also be easily retrieved by browsing or querying the KB.

To conclude, I have proposed ways to support deep learning and more effective evaluations, and more generally complement classic information sharing/retrieval approaches (e.g., the approach leads to the interlinking of research outputs or learning materials from different lecturers of a same school as well as from different universities). Student and lecturer satisfaction may come from these points. This knowledge-oriented approach may also raise the interest of the students (this too will have to be evaluated). From a "teaching pedagogy" perspective this approach can be associated to the constructivist theory but it is more precision-oriented and fine-grained than all other knowledge-oriented currently existing approaches. Indeed, my approach requires researches on several fronts (ontology, notations, protocols, large-scale knowledge server) to be pursued and embodied into a tool. On the other hand, the application of WebKB-2 to e-learning cannot be compared to subject-dependant learning tools using a theorem prover to guide or evaluate problem solving (e.g., in mathematics or in chemistry) because (i) it is highly doubtful that the users will enter complex enough inference rules to support problem solving, and (ii) although WebKB-2 supports some classic consistency checking and an "always relevant" retrieval mechanism on statements using first-order logic plus contexts and sets, it does not yet use a general theorem prover to exploit them.


For each selected course, many elements must be evaluated by all the involved parties (that is, the students, the lecturer and myself): 1) the initial semantic network provided for the course, 2) the knowledge added by the students, 3) the interface of the tool, 4) the documentation associated to the tool to help use it, 5) the features of the tool, 6) the interest of the current approach (for example, how well it compare to or complement other approaches), 7) the potential of the approach, and 8) the various evaluation methods and the criteria they use. Some examples of criteria that I shall take into account for evaluating the initial knowledge, students' additions, tool documentation and interface are: consistency, completeness, usefulness, attractiveness, originality, precision and clarity.
In each case, all or most of the following evaluation methods will be used: (i) on-line surveys, (ii) questions during examinations (essentially about the initial semantic network), and (iii) votes and additions of argumentation relations via the tool (each question in an on-line survey will also be phrased as an assertion in the KB and thus will be the seed of a structured discussion). The quantitative and qualitative results of these three kinds of evaluation will then be compared and the result of the analysis will be stated in the KB, thus possibly leading to further structured discussions. As noted above, the argumentation+vote based evaluation method may have to adapted for two different goals (as a mean for learning and as a mean for evaluating students) and hence measured according to these two goals.

In order to evaluate both perception and learning performance, the students of each selected course will be divided into two groups (evenly distributed in terms of age, gender, basic skills in Information Technology, national backgrounds, etc.), one which does not use WebKB-2 until the first class test (Week 6 or 7) and one which uses it from the start of the course. (Then, both groups will use WebKB-2). The first class test will permit to compare the learning performance of the two groups. The potential discrepancy will later be taken into account by the lecturer to avoid one group to be disadvantaged in its final results for the course. Similarly, the lecturer may or may not take into account the evaluations resulting from the use of WebKB-2, for example the calculated measures of originality and usefulness.

Disseminating the outcomes

The tool, its underlying approach and its content will be made known in three ways: (i) by inviting lecturers and researchers to complement the KB by representing or indexing their research outcomes or learning materials (thus, sharing or advertising them), (ii) by sending articles to a conference and to journals in each of the relevant fields (Learning, Knowledge Engineering, Semantic Web and CSCW/argumentation), and (iii) by presenting the results of this project to Griffith Uni seminars when invited to do so. Regarding journals, it is likely that IEEE journals will be targeted, for example, "IEEE transactions on EDUCATION" and "IEEE Transaction on Knowledge and Data Engineering". However, since my application of WebKB-2 to (e-)learning is also related to a collaboration with Dr Jun Jo and two overseas researchers, other journals may be targeted.


Here are the deadlines for the tasks that must be performed.

July 24th. Article sent to the ASCILITE 2006 conference (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education).

July 30th (end of Week 1). The core semantic network for each selected course is completed and an interface permitting the students to add to such networks is completed too (the current interface is not user-friendly enough for all students to use). This interface includes the possibility for a user to vote on the originality and usefulness of a statement. The students that should first test WebKB-2 are selected and are given documents about how to use the interface and what they should do with it.

August 15th (beginning of Week 4). The implementation of the knowledge evaluation method (based on argumentation relations and votes as described in [Martin & al., 2005]) is completed (thus, the users will be able to see originality and usefulness values associated to statements).

August 25th (end of Week 5). The tool-related questions for Survey 1 and Class test 1 are completed and sent to the lecturer of each selected course.

August 31st (end of Week 6). Some improvements on the querying mechanisms of WebKB-2 are completed.

September 30th (end of the mid-semester vacation week). The analysis of Survey 1, Class test 1 and the first students' additions to the KB are completed. Refinements to the interface are in progress. Refinements to the knowledge evaluation methods and other cooperation protocols of WebKB-2 are in progress (no final deadline can be given for these open-ended tasks).

October 20th. Final version sent to ASCILITE 2006.

November 18th (end of Week 16). A first journal article (either to a Knowledge Engineering or Semantic Web related journal) has been sent.

November 30th. The ontology about ontology editing tools is completed and permits to compare about 50 tools on about 250 features. The analysis of Survey 2, Class test 2, Final examination, and all the students' additions to the KB are completed.

December 3-6. ASCILITE 2006 conference in Sydney.

December 8th. Submission of the Fellowship Report about the outcomes, expenditure and future commitments related to this project.

December 20th. A second journal article (to a Learning or CSCW related journal) has been sent or is in preparation.


1) Teaching relief via the hiring of an academic casual for the 7018INT and 1005ICT courses: $21,861.79
  - for 7018INT (Internet Programming II):
      13 weeks * (2 hours of lectures at SL3 rate [$123.17 per hour] +
                              2 hours of tutorials at ST2 rate [$87.84 per hour])
                       * 1.1805 [the on-costs are 18.05%] = $6476.53
  - for 1005ICT (Programming II):
      13 weeks * (2 hours of lectures at SL2 rate [$164.22 per hour] +
                              2 hours of tutorials at ST1 rate [$105.06 per hour] +
                              4 hours of tutorials at ST2 rate [$87.84 per hour])
                       * 1.1805 [the on-costs are 18.05%] = $13244.84, finally adjusted to $15385.26
2) Advices for making the interface more user-friendly: $1650
  - advices from FLAS Educational Designer (1 day): $501
  - advices from FLAS Graphic Designer (3 days): 3 * $383 = $1149

Equipment: no additional equipement required.

Travel: return air-plane ticket to Hawaii E-Learn 2006, $1512 via Qantas.

Running expenses: none foreseen.

Others: registration to E-Learn 2006: $585 (450 USD).

TOTAL: about $25608.79

Proposed Project Reference Group

Member from GIHE: Dr Duncan Nulty
Member from the Learning Environment Committee: Mr Kevin Ashford-Rowe
Members from the School of ICT: Dr Kewen Wang and Dr Jun Jo

Curriculum Vitae

Click here.

Statement of support from the Dean

The application prepared and submitted by Dr Philippe Martin, School of ICT, is in line with the Faculty's teaching and learning philosophy of fostering a flexible learning approach to learning. More specifically, the project aims to provide lecturers, researchers and students with a knowledge sharing, retrieval and learning tool which complements traditional methods based on document writing, retrieval and reading. The application has a strong focus on usability thus providing added value to students and lecturers alike. The generic features of the tool and its potential applicability to a number of courses make it an attractive addition to the diverse learning tools available within the Faculty. It is worth noting that the proposed project is a logical extension to the excellent work previously undertaken by Dr Martin in designing and developing the knowledge server WebKB-2.

In view of the above, I strongly endorse the proposed project entitled: Cooperatively updated knowledge bases for e-learning and research.

Prof. Sherif Mohamed

Acting Dean
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology