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ERIC Number: EJ847833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Software Agents to Assist in Distance Learning Environments
Choy, Sheung-On; Ng, Sin-Chun; Tsang, Yiu-Chung
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v28 n2 p34-40 2005
The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) is a distance education university with about 22,500 students. In fulfilling its mission, the university has adopted various Web-based and electronic means to support distance learning. For instance, OUHK uses a Web-based course management system (CMS) to provide students with a flexible way to obtain course materials. Despite the many benefits of the Web-based CMS, the current ways that the university uses and interacts with the CMS are not ideal. Employing a human teaching assistant to relieve academic staff from manual monitoring and management of course activities is one way to improve the process, but not effectively and efficiently. The authors propose creating a software agent to act as a teaching assistant to the course coordinator instead. This article reports on the implementation and realization of software agents as personal teaching assistants in the distance-learning environment. The software agents work on behalf of academic staff and have the authority and autonomy to interact with the course Web server. The authors hope that further development of the software agent's capabilities will prompt the development of supportive institutional policies and increased adoption of this technology at OUHK. (Contains 5 figures, 10 endnotes, and a list of research publications on software agents.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong