Open learner model

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1 Definition

A learner model, also called a student model, refers to the model constructed from observation of interaction between a learner and a learning system or instructional environment. “ The learner model is a model of the knowledge, difficulties and misconceptions of the individual. As a student learns the target material, the data in the learner model about their understanding is updated to reflect their current beliefs” (Bull, 2004).

An Open learner model refers to making a student's learner model explicit so as to provide an additional ressource through self-awareness and possible self-regulation of the learning process that is believed to enhance learning and learner autonomy.

2 Application in ID

Designing a learning system that presents learning material suitable to individual students and their respective learning styles requires that the learning system rely on a student model to determine what aspects need to be considered in the particular situation.

In open learner modelling the student model is made available to the learner through the intelligent learning environment (ILE) that gathers information about a learner's interactions and stores it within a learner model. This can be further used to adapt the learning environment to the individual needs of the learner with respect to the type and style of the content and the learning style of the learner. Kay (1999) suggests it can be made explicit in order to:

  • help the learner become aware of their current knowledge in ways that enable them to
  • identify suitable learning goals and
  • facilitate pursuing them.


3 References

  • Bull, S. (2004). Supporting Learning with Open Learner Models. 4th Hellenic Conference with International Participation: Information and Communication Technologies in Education, Athens, 2004. (Keynote)
  • Kay, J. (1997). Learner Know Thyself: Student Models to Give Learner Control and Responsibility, in Z. Halim, T. Ottomann & Z. Razak (eds), Proceedings of International Conference on Computers in Education, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 17-24.