Semantic Technologies for the Enhancement of Case Based Learning

Call for Papers: “Teaching and Learning with Semantic Technologies”

Guest Editors:  Patrick Carmichael (Liverpool John Moores University) and Katy Jordan  (Technology Enhanced Learning Programme)

Papers are invited for a special edition of Technology, Pedagogy and Education exploring the potential of the broad ‘semantic web’ vision and of specific semantic technologies to enhance teaching and learning in different educational sectors and settings.

Aims and Scope

The emphasis in this special edition will be on teaching and learning practices and the discourses that accompany them, rather than on the development of technical ontologies, semantic enhancements to resource description or educational administration.   This would be an edition which promotes better understanding of how emergent semantic technologies might support and enhance teaching and learning, and that invites educators to consider how their own practice might be transformed, what barriers might exist to adoption of these new technologies, and their implications for learning environments, relationships and outcomes.

Papers are invited that address questions including, but not limited to:

  • How are visions of a future ‘semantic web’ and the affordances of its associated semantic technologies understood by teachers and learners in different educational settings?
  • How might access to a linked ‘web of data’ transform the nature and scope of learning activities?  What hitherto unrealised opportunities for teaching and learning might now be realised?
  • How can the opportunities to access large collections of distributed data be reconciled with predetermined learning outcomes?
  • How do teacher and learner roles, relationships and identities change in teaching and learning environments enabled by semantic technologies?
  • What are the barriers to adoption of semantic technologies in teaching and learning environments? Are these institutional, epistemological or technological?  Or some combination of these and other factors?
  • How can teacher and learner experiences of the introduction of ‘Web 1.0’ and ‘Web 2.0’ into teaching and learning environments inform understanding and enactment of ‘Web 3.0’ – the semantic web?
  • What are the implications of semantic technologies for assessment, transitions into different learning environments and for existing systems such as e-Portfolios or Virtual Learning Environments?


Initial enquiries may be made to Patrick Carmichael at w.p.carmichael@ljmu.ac.uk and a 500 word (maximum) summary of the proposed paper should be submitted to the editor by 11 December 2009.    Successful authors will be notified by 8 January.  Full papers will then be required by July 2010 for final submission following peer review by November 2010.  Normal journal procedures and formatting requirements apply. All papers will be double-blind peer reviewed.    Submitting authors are particularly urged to consider issues of copyright clearance in relation to images and representations of other web content.

Ensemble at SemHE ‘09

author Posted by: admin on date Oct 30th, 2009 | filed Filed under: Middleware, Project Events, Project Participation, Repositories, Semantic Web, Visualisations

SemHE 2009 in progress

The Ensemble Project was represented at the inaugural workshop of SemHE (Semantic Web Applications for Teaching and Learning Support in Higher Education), at the EC-TEL conference in Nice on September 30th 2009.  This brought together researchers and developers from nine countries.

Members of the Ensemble project team presented two papers:

  • Patrick Carmichael and Agustina Martinez Garcia. Semantic Technologies to Support Teaching and Learning with Cases: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Michael Tscholl, Frances Tracy and Patrick Carmichael. Case Methods, Pedagogical Innovation and Semantic Technologies

There was also a display of posters from the project showing work in progress and pilot projects.

For full details of SemHE see the website at: http://www.semhe.org

There is a report of the workshop at: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/about/news/2752

Visiting Doctoral Fellow

author Posted by: katy on date Sep 17th, 2009 | filed Filed under: Uncategorized

María del Mar Sánchez, Malle, has joined the work of ENSEMBLE Project on a four months fellowship. She is a PhD student at the University of Murcia (Spain), thanks to a scholarship from the Ministry of Education to Spain, where she also works as a researcher in the GITE (Research group for educational Technologies). At present she is interested in Open Source and education and in her doctoral thesis she is working in how new Semantic Technologies will contribute to the development of e-Assessment systems and online feedback to learners.

Malle says, “The ENSEMBLE project is one of the most important international projects studying the application of the Semantic Web in education. Semantic Web is a very interesting topic and will be very important in the future of the educational web tools.”.

Her fellowship with the project will allow her to understand better the Semantic Web and work with the most important specialists in the area, that will allow her to propose improvements to the assessment application being developed at the University of Murcia and the possibility of combining the work done by both institutions.

Summer Projects 2009: Gwybodaeth

author Posted by: katy on date Sep 11th, 2009 | filed Filed under: Middleware, Pilot Projects, Students, XML/RDF

Iestyn Pryce is a 2nd year Engineering student at Cambridge. He intends to specialise in Information and Computer Engineering. Iestyn has been a UROP student at Caret with the Ensemble Project over the summer vacation this year, and he has developed a new RDF-izer called ‘Gwybodaeth’ (the Welsh word for ‘knowledge’).

“Gwybodaeth is a set of Perl classes for conversion of data into RDF. It is utility to convert data which isn’t semantic into nice, RDF-ized semantic data” says Iestyn. “It is designed to be modular and extensible because there are n-types of non-semantic data out there, so it was designed so that other people could easily add small bits to the program, so that they can convert from whatever format they have in to RDF”.

What sets Gwybodaeth apart from other existing RDF-izers is the ability to preserve namespaces, allowing data mapping, whilst being a simple to use, user-friendly web service. Iestyn says, “Maps are incredibly useful. Not only do they mean that you don’t have to change your data beforehand, it also means that you can have things like logic.”

Users within the University of Cambridge can use Gwybodaeth as a web service at http://gwybodaeth.caret.cam.ac.uk/. Gwybodaeth has also been released as an open-source application this week at the CPAN - click here to visit its webpage.

For further information: