Nikos Manouselis, PhD

Nikos Palavitsinis PhD dissertation

Last Friday, 21st of February, IE doctorate student and AgroKnow member Nikos Palavitsinis successfully presented his thesis METADATA QUALITY ISSUES IN LEARNING REPOSITORIES. The formal defense of the dissertation took place in the ancient Colegio de San Ildefonso of the University of Alcala, a beautiful baroque building currently hosting the Rectorate.

Nikos research work, supervised by IE member Salvador Sanchez and Dr. Nikos Manouselis, aimed to propose a set of methods that can be deployed throughout the life cycle of a repository to ensure that metadata generated from content providers are of high quality. The theoretical model (named MQACP for short) was applied on a Learning Federation of repositories, from day 1 of its existence until it reached its maturity and regular operation. Throughout each phase, the resulting metadata quality was measured to certify that the anticipated improvement in metadata quality actually took place. Based on the success of this first application, Nikos decided to validate the MQACP approach by applying it on another two cases of a Cultural and a Research Federation of repositories: VOA3R and Natural Europe, which allowed to prove the transferability of the approach to other cases as well as to present some similarities with the initial one.

It was a happy day for the whole IE team, many of whose members attended the dissertation (Enayat Rajabi, Rutilio Lopez, Paulo Alonso and David Marting among others). In the pictures below these lines, some moments of the day.

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dissertations, PhD

Carlos M. Lorenzo PhD dissertation

Today, several IE members attended to the Ph.D dissertation of Carlos M. Lorenzo, including Giannis Stoitsis, Miguel Angel Sicilia and other junior members of the team. Carlos has been working during the last 2 years under the supervision of Salvador and Miguel Angel on his research called USING MMOL PLATFORMS FOR COLLABORATIVE EDUCATIONAL TASKS. This research, focused on discussing educational virtual worlds capabilities to train group’s and personal’s social skills in a media-rich, collaborative and immersive environment, is a remarkable step towards exploring new contexts for communication-enhanced learning. The main theoretical assumptions are that participation, concerns, co-participants, contexts and structures of practices have significant influence on couplings between learners’ skills improvement and the use of educational virtual worlds or MMOL platforms. In order to prove these assumptions, Carlos presented three different experimental studies of collaborative educational tasks in an MMOL setting.

From left to right: Manuel Palomo (UCA), Giannis Stoitsis (UAH&AK), PhD candidate Carlos M. Lorenzo, Carlos R. Solano (UAH), German Ruiperez (UNED), Ricardo Colomo (UC3M) and supervisor Miguel Angel

From left to right: Manuel Palomo (UCA), Giannis Stoitsis (UAH&AK), PhD candidate Carlos M. Lorenzo, Carlos R. Solano (UAH), German Ruiperez (UNED), Ricardo Colomo (UC3M) and supervisor Miguel A. Sicilia

Carlos, who received the highest possible mark “Cum Laude” for his quality research, is the third PhD student to complete his doctorate studies in the Computer Science Department “Mention of Excellence” program. Given that the PhD has also the  international mention, professors from Carlos III University, UNED, University of Cadiz, and internationally recognized researchers in the area such as Giannis Stoitsis from AgroKnow, Greece, formed the board of assessors for the dissertation, which took place in the 3M room of the Rectorate building in downtown Alcala.


dissertations, PhD

PhD dissertation by Elena Rodriguez

Last week IE PhD student and UOC assistant professor Elena Rodriguez received her PhD degree in the University of Alcalá. Elena presented her many years of research -supervisd by IE member Miguel Angel Sicilia and UOC member Jordi Conesa- in a dissertation titled “Enriching metadata by providing semantics with commonsense ontologies”. The ceremony took place in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Alcalá where a committee of experts chaired by Angelica de Antonio from the Polytechnic University of Madrid evaluated the dissertation.

Examination board and supervisors posing in the patio of the Faculty of Philosophy with the new PhD Elena Rodriguez (in the center of the picture wearing a white blazer)

dissertations, PhD

PhD dissertation: Leonardo Lezcano

Last Monday IE member Leonardo Lezcano received his PhD degree, awarded cum laude by the University of Alcalá, after defending his four year research in a dissertation titled “COMBINING ONTOLOGIES AND RULES WITH CLINICAL ARCHETYPES”. The ceremony took place in the Faculty of Law of the University of Alcalá where a committee of experts chaired by Pythagoras Karampiperis evaluated the dissertation. From now on Lezcano will continue to develop his research lines, which are related to the Semantic Web as well as to Semantic Interoperability issues, Linked Data, Network Analysis and Knowledge Representation.

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Successful PhD dissertation to close the year

Friday 20th of december, IE doctorate student Alejandra Segura presented her thesis defense in the Rectorate building of the University of Alcala. This research work, supervised by IE member Salvador Sanchez and Manuel E. Prieto from the University of Castilla la Mancha, aimed to propose a strategy for query expansion based on domain ontologies. According to this work, it is possible to find an strategy allowing instructional designers to find objects in a repository relevant enough as to be reused in the design of new courses or in the composition of new, more complex resources. To achieve this goal, proposals of query expansions both in the field of information retrieval in general or specifically on learning object repositories were analyzed.

For the purpose of evaluation, an experiment in the area of genetics was designed. This experiment used the Gene Ontology as a knowledge base and the MERLOT repository as a provider of learning objects in this domain. In the picture above these lines, Alejandra during her presentation in front of the evaluation board (left).

courses, PhD, talks, Uncategorized

Evaluating learning objects quality in MMOL environments

In the framework of a new pHd on the impact of Massively Multiuser Online Learning environments (MMOL) in virtual courses, IE member Salvador Sanchez participates in a pioneering experience on the evaluation of learning objects quality in one of these environments.

Agenda of the session

Run by the pHd candidate Carlos M. Lorenzo, the session uses the collaborative LORI approach, where a group of users contribute their individual evaluations on a learning object and try to reach a consensus after hearing everyone else’s opinion. A first step focuses on each individual evaluations, where each participant briefly presents his / her validation. Later, points where major disagreement exist are studied with the help of a moderator who tries to guide participants to reach an agreement (but not forcing them to change their initial perceptions if they don’t want to).

Getting familiar with others' preliminary evaluations

During the negotiation phase, a shared Google docs spreadsheet is used by the moderator to integrate the validations and to modify them according to the changes suggested after the discussions run.

Integrating individual evaluations in a google spreadsheet in the MMOL environment

Preliminary results in other topics of our master degree will be published soon, as we think these technologies really look promising on bringing motivation to online courses compared to traditional LMSs.


Javier Sanz Ph.D dissertation

Last monday IE members Miguel Angel Sicilia and Salvador Sanchez attended to the Ph.D dissertation of Javier Sanz. Javier’s work on learning object metrics, supervised by Salvador and Juan Manuel Dodero from University of Cadiz, has been positively acclaimed by the community: this was just the last hurdle to overcome.

Professors from University of Alcala, other universities in Spain (Cadiz, Carlos III of Madrid) and Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (Guayaquil, Ecuador) formed the board of assessors for the dissertation.

After the successful event, supervisors, assessors and the new Ph.D had lunch together in the restaurant inside El Parador of Alcala.