Personalization of Content: Bridging the Gap Between the NSDL and It's Users

Start Date: 09/01/2005
End Date: 08/01/2009

This Targeted Research project aims to investigate and develop technology that allows a college-level course website to be the hub of activity for students and faculty who want access to the National STEM Education Digital Library (NSDL). The end product is a flexible and personalized information-seeking interface that customizes interactions for educators and learners using the NSDL. To provide this functionality seamlessly in the existing NSDL infrastructure and prevailing usage contexts, the project team is:

1. Conducting user studies to learn about student and faculty needs and activities with regard to course websites;

2. Evaluating the composition of context-sensitive services to determine the most common interaction sequences requested by users and to "factor out" the necessary NSDL services that should be composed; and

3. Developing an integrated personalization framework, exploiting the commonality of personalized interaction in various settings and reflecting this commonality in a factored software architecture.

By bringing NSDL content to course websites, the reach of the NSDL is extended into the collegiate educational system. By studying specific technological ideas in concrete educational contexts, the project helps develop guidelines on how personalization technologies can usefully impact educational usage.

For educators, the personalized information-seeking interfaces developed by this project are of direct benefit in improving course delivery, increasing automation, and enhancing information access. For learners, the project offers them the capabilities to find the resources and services they value, and makes NSDL sites more responsive to their needs. The operation of this project itself entails broadening aspects, such as increasing the participation of minority students and encouraging a wider use of existing NSDL resources. The project team is committed to increase the flow of graduate Hispanic students into the field of Computer Science.

Grant Institution: National Science Foundation

Amount: $379,231

People associated with this grant:

Edward Fox