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A Method for the Articulation of Users' Requirements for Personalised Information Provision

The knowledge economy and the wide dissemination of information supported by infonnation and communication technology (lCT) have created opportunities for people to access infonnation at anytime and from anywhere. They can be endorsed when constructing knowledge in a practical and real-time fashion. The technological advances have also increased the workload on individual users who have to sift through large volume of data to find relevant infonnation. Although search engines can return suitable infonnation sources based on users' queries, this is only to a point. While we live in a 'one size fits all' world, we are not all the same. Therefore there is a need to support a broad and diverse community of users when they require infonnation for improving qualifications or enhancing productivity in the workplace. However, the design of personalised infonnation provision is challenging because there is a need for mechanisms to assist the capturing of users' infonnation requirements. Infonnation provision to support .users' knowledge construction depends largely on understanding users' infonnation requirements. The requirements represent ,. personalised preferences for what infonnation content is required and how the selected content should be presented and delivered to meet individuals' needs. Modelling the personalised capability in users' requirements is essential for effective infonnation provision. Such modelling is required to produce a holistic and integrated representation of infonnation content provision which ensure individual users' satisfaction. Subsequently it imposes challenges to the existing methods, because they normally provide the techniques which focus independently on specific modelling aspects, e.g., processes, functions, data, and infrastructure. The requirements specifications generated by these techniques are sometimes fragmented and difficult to be coherently integrated. The main contribution of this PhD research lies in the delivery of a method for the articulation of users' requirements (MATURE) to assist personalised infonnation prOVISIOn in infonnation systems. The method has adopted Constructivism and Semiotics paradigms which enabled the rigorous examination of users' behaviours during infonnation requests. MATURE allows users to interactively specify infonnation requirements which are systematically encapsulated in a user requirements space. The users requirements are analysed and transfonned into infonnation provision specifications through the process of articulates, maps and configures. The ' MATURE ontology model conceptualises semantic units which represent processes with embedded nonns. The ontology controls systemically the process analysis and the documentation of infonnation provision specifications in an integrated manner. A number of techniques, such as user profiling, learning'object schema, nonn constructor, cognitive style assessment, and documentations of specifications, have been developed to enable the technical execution of the ontolqgy model. The infonnation provision specifications contribute to the packaging: of infonnation content that meet users' needs. The method has been applied and validated using case studies in e-Learning settings.
Date January 2007
CreatorsOusmanou, Khadidjatou
PublisherUniversity of Reading
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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