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Funding Institutions:

HP (Digital Publishing for Teaching and Learning RFP Grant)

People involved:

cmbm, santanch

Person in charge:

Claudia Bauzer Medeiros


Project Overview


The core of this proposal is the notion that digital publishing for teaching and learning is based on the notion of reuse. Here, reuse is not a passive activity, but involves adapting, modifying, improving and sharing digital artifacts. Learning is levered by understanding someone else’s production, and extending it to answer new needs. Indeed, almost any content consumer is also an author of some artifact (simple text, complex course material). Published artifacts are shared among users, who are propelled to become “reusers” in their authoring task.

Several obstacles hamper effective publishing and reuse: (i) proliferation of incompatible formats and standards; (ii) poor semantics in most standards; and (iii) monolithic artifact structure. Our proposal addresses these issues, being based on: a digital content reuse unit called Digital Content Component (DCC); and Magic House (MH), a cooperative authoring environment, whose first version is already used in an environment to share and publish teaching material.

DCCs combine software engineering software components and digital library complex objects. Stored and managed in databases, they encapsulate any digital content – software or data – that can be reused at will. MH integrates a set of tools that support reuse of DCCs. Its working version concerns only construction and composition of pieces of software; a new prototypical version fully supports DCCs, and has been tested in Biology and Geosciences, for a limited scope.

Our goal is to evaluate the suitability of DCCs and MH in cooperative authoring of teaching material in CS courses at UNICAMP, and their adaptability to CS and Arts. An expected outcome is the extension of this experiment to other course domains in UNICAMP, thereby establishing a basic infrastructure for publishing educational digital content.