OntoCD - Ontological solution for Curriculum Development

Asoka S. Karunananda, Gihan M. Rajakaruna, Shantha Jayalal


Design of a new curriculum and revision of an existing curriculum are considered as tedious tasks for academics. This process requires considerable amount of man hours from subject matter experts in several areas. In this paper, we present a human-assisted semi-automated solution for the design and revision of curricula for degree programmes. We postulate the curriculum design and revision as an ontology modelling process. The solution has been developed as a plug-in, named as OntoCD, for the popular ontological modelling environment, Protégé. A curriculum developer can customize OntoCD by introducing benchmark domain ontology of a certain degree, and loading a skeleton curriculum for the intended degree programme. Alternatively, the domain ontology can be used to design a curriculum on the visual interface provided, and proceed to improve it. The developer can also use OntoCD to load a known curriculum and to do the modification to align with the benchmark domain ontology. The power of OntoCD exemplifies during the process of editing and improving a curriculum. In this process, OntoCD handles many tasks including the credit balancing with core and elective modules, guidance to choose elective modules to meet local needs and resolving name confusions of modules by ensuring an identity of a degree within the respective area. At this stage, OntoCD has been informally tested by designing a Computer Science degree curriculum according to benchmark domain ontology of ACM/IEEE guidelines for computing degrees. The results show that OntoCD guides the developer by reducing the burden due to clerical mistakes, oversights and negligence of some aspects in the development process.

Citation Info :

International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer), Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dec 13-14, 2012.

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