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Curriculum Encoders Group

Annotation Tools

Added or modified by Paul Libbrecht on Oct-29-2009

Annotation Tools

We wish to present curriculum standards to be browsed on the web to select the competencies and topics, in the form of official curricula and some of the pages of the textbooks in a way that visually resembles much the textbook itself and we wish to let the users click on parts of these pages to indicate the competencies and topics they are looking interactive geometry material for.

Technically, the documents should rather be in HTML format, as much as possible. This is the easiest format we can work with to enrich links although it does not fully guarantee the visual equivalence. Images are possible as well. In both cases, the work of annotating the elements of the textbooks is a simple HTML-editing work, browsing the GeoSkills ontology of topics and competencies.

We shall soon go knock at the door of publishers and ask them if this is thinkable, under what license and what format we could be publishing the parts of their textbooks. Teachers as users of the intergeo platform, once logged in, will be able to identify the textbooks they work with, so as to make them easily accessible. We want them to be able to work with their usual textbook in the classroom and simply click on the paragraph they are teaching to select the applicable constructions relevant for it.

The curriculum annotation work then needs to be made, by a voluntary user, by the publishers, or by members of the Intergeo project. This work consists in linking the applicable parts of the textbook extracts to competencies in the GeoSkills ontology. In other words, browse through the document, select a particular element (a paragraph or a sentence) and associate with it one or several competencies from the GeoSkills ontology.

In order to do so, we need a tool that can

  • browse a TextBook,
  • select a portion of it,
  • link this selection with elements of the GeoSkills ontology.
We need as well a tool to

  • browse through the GeoSkills ontology,
  • select competencies,
  • copy a link to this set in a way where it can be pasted back into the TextBook document.
Ideally these two tools could be bundled into one application but it is not necessary.

Available Tools

Editing html can be performed by a wealth of tools.

Browsing (and editing) the ontology can be performed using Protege. It is a very complete application and has some web interfaces. But it might be too general for our purpose. Moreover, the limits we encountered are twofold. Firstly, as RMI is saving each change on the server, the network bandwidth is critical and sometimes not enough. Secondly, the editing user-interface, which Prot´eg´e o?ers to edit, is not editable in the server version, despite it really being important to let curriculum experts work. It was solved by stopping the server when performing user-interface changes (quite rarely).

Annotating htlm documents with topics can be performed using TopicMapper of the Calibrate European project. a tool enabling curriculum expert to encode curriculum texts in html format into a competency ontology. This ontology is composed of an Action Verb Taxonomy and a Topic Taxonomy. A text fragment is tagged with a speci?c competency described with an Action Verb and a set of Topics taken from the ontology, called Tuple. The developed Topic Mapper, a tool based on the XTM language providing a quite simple and easy GUI. The Tuple approach is suited for curriculum indexing. However, Topic Mapper is a standalone application. It does not work on the web and uses local ?les.

Back to Textbooks As Curriculum.