A language learning support system using course-centered ontology and its evaluation

Jingyun Wang, Takahiko Mendori, Juan Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a course-centered ontology for assisting learning support systems to embody the relations among knowledge points and also among the learning materials for those knowledge points. An "individual-class- individual" ontology design (first an individual-class design, then an innovative design about relations among bottom individuals), was applied to the construction of a course-centered ontology for an existing Japanese grammar course. Furthermore, a customizable language learning support system was built to manipulate the course-centered ontology to provide an interface for the learning objects arrangement which displays the visual representation of knowledge points and their relations. The intention underlying the development of the system is to encourage instructors to orient their teaching materials to specific knowledge points and even directly to relations between knowledge points. With these orientations, the learning support system is able to provide an environment in which learners can readily distinguish between related knowledge points. Finally, based on the result of a preliminary evaluation, a study to explore the impact of learning styles and learning habits on learning performance was conducted to further evaluate our ontology-based learning support system. The results of the study suggest three main points: (a) the experimental students who learned with our system achieved significantly better learning achievement than those who just did self-study with textbooks after studying the same target contents for 60 mins; (b) the learning achievement of experimental group was not related to either their learning style in Sequential/Global dimension or their habit of "learning from comparison"; (c) in terms of the learning perception of experimental group, compared to "Sequential learners", most "Global learners" had a stronger feeling that the comparison function is useful in improving their learning performance, and the learners who don't habitually "learning from comparison" were more likely to suffer from lack of the attention and feel more pressure than those who do habitually "learning from comparison".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-293
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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