Creating and Managing Electronic Content for Automatic Adaptation to the Reader’s Profile: the Experience of Project MultiAbile for the Inclusion of Impaired e-Learners
||Timothy Barbieri, Licia Sbattella, Antonio Bianchi, Ferdinando Carella, Marco Ferra
||Creating and Managing Electronic Content for Automatic Adaptation to the Reader’s Profile: the Experience of Project MultiAbile for the Inclusion of Impaired e-Learners
||ELPUB2005. From Author to Reader: Challenges for the Digital Content Chain: Proceedings of the 9th ICCC International Conference on ElectronicPublishing held at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Leuven-Heverlee(Belgium), 8-10 June 2005 / Edited by: Milena Dobreva & Jan Engelen, ed. byPeeters Publishing Leuven, ISBN 90-429-1645-1, 2005
||Project MultiAbile (http://www.multiabile.it) is an ongoing research and implementation effort to create a distance learning environment dedicated to the general public and to impaired people, offering a range of different channels and modalities to access the content and to study it. Some of the different modalities to access the content are: improved accessibility for screen readers; dynamic transcoding to synthesized speech over the telephone, with a dialogue-based navigation within the content; sound/tactile description of images (e.g. cartographic data) using force-feedback mice or pads. The content is also offered in two different textual versions, an original version and a re-processed version, in order to obtain high readability and understandability. The edited version is created in a way that only words from a basic dictionary are used (the Italian “Vocabolario di Base”), and the text is processed in order to obtain a high GULPEase index (an index of complexity in the structure of text). Users can describe their “profile” – whether they use a screen reader, or prefer to have a dialogue-based navigation, or if they prefer a simplified version of the text before confronting themselves with the original version. The user profile is used to dynamically adapt the content to the user, facilitating user access to it.In order to encompass the variety of channels and modality with which the user can “read” content in the platform, we devised a metadata schema with which organize the elements of the provided content, and a creation and editing workflow to process the content before publication in the learning environment. The resulting content is also structured in a way to be compliant to SCORM standards, so it is viable to process for multichannel and multimodal access also pre-existing SCORM contents. In the paper we describe the general data structure devised within the project to accommodate the different access modalities to the content, and to allow the user to access and read it dynamically according to his/her profile. We explain how this structure impacts on the workflow of creating and editing of the content, or of repurposing and adapting pre-existing content in SCORM-compliant format. As a conclusion, we advocate that this workflow and content structure can pave the way to the offering of the same content to different channels and with different modalities (including emerging channels, such as Digital TV, and specific modalities, like for example automatic rendition to sign language), limiting the effort of repurposing the content by means of automatic transcoding and transformation algorithms.
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