4. "Translating" existing courses to DUNES map-based form and the development and implementation of new DUNES-based courses or training sessions
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Abstract: Introducing the DUNES system in the actual curricula depends, among other things, on our ability to design courses and lessons building on the new, graphically represented discussion-based environment proposed by DUNES. The present result materializes this condition and extends it also to include the creation of original new courses based on argumentative interaction in moderated e-discussions.
The preparation of the "DUNES-based/translated courses" will build on the vast experience gathered by our group in the project and in parallel activities realized during the last years. Because of the heavy reliance of this result on the thematic content of the course in case, the preparation work will be based, in most foreseen cases, on an intimate collaboration between our group and relevant members of the client institution (e.g., biology teachers for the preparation of a biology course).
The work will also cover the joint analysis (with the client institution) of the original course (i.e., the non-DUNES-based) in order to determine the most suitable parts or lessons for being addressed though DUNES methods and tools.
Subject Descriptors: Expert systems; Microcomputers; Information acquisition; Human computer interaction; Video technology; Information storage; Word processing
Subject Index Codes: Information Processing, Information Systems
Stage of Development: Results of demonstration trials available
Collaboration Sought: Further research or development support,Joint venture agreement,Marketing agreement,Financial support,Information exchange/Training,Venture capital/spin-off funding,Private-public partnership,Available for consultancy
Collaboration Detail: See below
With the conclusion of DUNES as a project, a promising exploitation phase starts, in which the project's achievements are translated into an attractive commercial offer. The products and services that constitute this offer - associated both with the software tools developed and with a varied range of "services" based on the academic knowledge generated in the project - will be of great interest for educational, corporate, governmental and other institutions.
Reaching a "critical mass" of DUNES-based courses seems to be a condition for a decisive evaluation (and ultimate adoption) of our tools and methods in the educational system. For this reason, our ability to design and produce effective and appealing courses based on DUNES will be given utmost importance in our dissemination and exploitation efforts. The key point in this regard is to counter the apparent impression, sometimes detected in teachers and educational authorities, that the translation of courses to DUNES language is a fairly "intuitive" task, for which no special training is needed. Based on our research and experience so far, there is no room for "improvisations" in the preparation of the courses (as there should not be either in the preparation of individual sessions or lessons or, in general, in the moderation of learning-oriented argumentative activities). Our contribution in the mentioned joint preparation of courses has a real added value, which we intend to exploit.
For the exploitation of existing or future products/services of this kind (DUNES-based course translation), would-be collaborations should be sought with the following:
- Marketing companies specialized in CSCL/W
- VC and other investors in educational/e-learning endeavours
Potential customers (note that some of the following could also act as "partners", depending in the specific project):
- Schools, school chains, training companies
- Ministries of Education, Public Health, Environ