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A Study on Development of Quality Standards of Educational Smart Contents
A Study on Development of Quality Standards of Educational Smart Contents
KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems (TIIS). 2014. Jun, 8(6): 2152-2170
Copyright © 2014, Korean Society For Internet Information
  • Received : April 06, 2014
  • Accepted : June 10, 2014
  • Published : June 28, 2014
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About the Authors
Woochun Jun
Department of Computer Education, Seoul National University of Education Seoul, Korea
Suk-ki Hong
Department of Management, Dankook University Yongin, Korea

Abstract
With advances in smart and ICT(information and communication technology) technologies, our life style has been changing dramatically. Now everybody can enjoy the benefits of such technologies in every aspect of his/her daily life. Currently more and more people are trying to have smart devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs so that smart devices become the bare necessities. New smart technologies have created a new concept called smart learning in education area. As educational smart contents become popular, we need quality standards for the contents. Those standards are essential for evaluating the smart contents and suggesting guidance for future smart contents production. Although there are some standards for the existing e-learning environments, to our best knowledge, there are no standards for educational smart contents in the literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop quality standards for educational smart contents. The proposed quality standards are based on the existing quality standards in e-learning environments and include some characteristics of smart learning. For development of quality standards, wide experts group from academy and industry are selected and surveyed. Their responses are analyzed based on thorough statistical analysis so that final quality standards for educational smart contents are developed.
Keywords
1. Introduction
I n the current knowledge and information society, our daily life relies on the benefits of advanced ICT technologies. With aid of ICT technologies, our life style has been changed dramatically. Our life becomes more convenient and enjoyable than ever. How to use the advanced technologies becomes a part of social competativeness as well as individual competativeness.
Recently ICT technologies have been converged into smart technology. It means that the existing ICT devices become smaller, light, convenient, and portable. In this sense, the concept of “smart environment” is realized. Smart environment is defined as “a physical world that is richly and invisibly interwoven with sensors, actuators, displays, and computational elements, embedded seamlessly in the everyday objects of our lives, and connected through a continuous network.” [1] . In smart environment, every aspect of our life has been affected with smart technologies. Now advanced in smart technologies have created a new concept called “smart learning” in education area.
Smart learning is a new concept so that there is no clear definition yet. However, some research works introduce the definition of smart learning [2 , 3] . In [2] , it is argued that the principle of smart learning has the following 3 characteristics: First, rich instructional resources as learning contents, Second, participatory learning environments with interactions among teachers and learners as learning methods, Third, practical and realistic contexts as learning environments. Also, in [3] , it is argued that smart learning is very essential in future education since it provides personalized contents and easy adaptation to the current education model.
The following Table 1 shows the comparison of different types of education: traditional style, e-learning, m-learning(mobile learning), u-learning(ubiquitous learning), and smart learning, respectively. Historically and chronologically our education system has been changed: traditional style, e-learning, m-learning, u-learning, and smart learning. We see that smart learning is the most extensive and comprehensive education style in the current era.
Comparison of Different Types of Education[4]
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Comparison of Different Types of Education [4]
Note that the simbol △ represents “possible” and the simbol “O” represents “applicable”, respectively.
In [5] , capabilities to be prepared for 21 st century learners are announced. There are 3 categories: 1) learning and innovation skills, 2) life and career skills, 3) information, media, and technology skills, respectively. The following Table 2 shows those capabilities for the 21 st century learners. We can see that smart learning is very best education style and provides the best environment to achieve the capability of 21 st century learners.
Capabilities to be Prepared for 21stCentury Learners[5]
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Capabilities to be Prepared for 21st Century Learners [5]
As smart learning becomes popular, more educational smart contents have been produced and distributed. In this sense, we need some quality standards to determine how smart contents are useful or helpful for students as well as teachers. Those quality standards are very important because the future educational smart contents wil be made based on the quality standards. That is, the quality standards will guide for teachers and contents manufacturers on how to prepare and make new educational smart contents. In the literature, there are some quality standards for the existing e-learning environments [6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10] , to our best knowledge, there is no quality standard for educational smart contents. In [11] , only outlines are introduced. In the meanwhile, for smart literacy standards [12] and smart skill standards [13] for teachers and students are presented lately.
The smart contents can be classified into 2 categories for their purpose: teaching-learning and educaton support . The “teaching-learning” contents means any contents that can be used in class instantly. That is, those contents need not be refined for teachers to use in their class. Also, those contents can be used for students instantly. On the other hand, the “education support” contents means any contents that can be used as supplement tool for classes and students. Also, for teachers and students, those contents need to be refined for later use.
The purpose of this paper is to develop quality standards for educational smart contents. We develop the initial quality standards with various researchers and educators. The initial quality standards have 14 areas and 35 standards. In order to refine those quality standards, we ask various experts to check its validity and usefulness. Their valuable survey works are collected and analyzed. We finalize quality standards that have 14 areas and 34 standards.
This paper is organized as follows. First, in Chapter 2, we discuss literature reviews. In Chapter 3, we propose quality standards for educational smart contents. We collect responses from expert groups and do wide statistical analysis. Based on statistical analysis, we propose final quality standards. Finally, in Chapter 4, we discuss conclusions and further research works.
2. Related Work
- 2.1 Characteristics of Smart Learning
In [4] , some characteristics of smart learning are introduced. Those characteristics are summarized in Table 3 . In smart learning, a student’s role is extended to be more active, more personalized, more experience-oriented. However, a teacher’s role is changed to be a guide and mediator.
Characteristics of Smart Learning[4]
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Characteristics of Smart Learning [4]
Also, in [4] , smart learning is compared with the traditional learning in terms of categories suggested in Table 3 . The traditional learning means the existing class-based learning. The following Table 4 shows comparison of smart learning and traditional learning. As we can see, smart learning environment provides more self-directed study and motivated and adaptive study for students anytime anywhere.
Comparison of Smart Learning and Traditional Learning[4]
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Comparison of Smart Learning and Traditional Learning [4]
In [4] , they argue that any smart contents must have the following 4 components. Those components are participation, sharing, cooperation, and accessibility, respectively. Each component is described as follows.
- 1) Participation
Students can use smart contents anytime anywhere. For this purpose, smart education contents must be accessed anytime, anywhere, anyone. Especially the various existing contents must be compatible each other with aid of cloud computing. It means that smart contents must be stored and accessed in the cloud so that students can read, update, and store anytime using networking service.
- 2) Sharing
Students can actualize and develop study process and results with other students and teachers using smart contents. The study contents can be developed by sharing with others. Smart contents can be shared eaisly due to its compatibility and openness.
- 3) Cooperation
In smart education, cooperative work is encouraged among students since smart education service provides diverse technical and social services like SNS. Cooperative works through smart education contents can support collective intelligence that ensures reliability of study results.
- 4) Accessibility
The great benefit of smart environment is that students can use wireless internet with various smart devices. Smat education contents can also be accessed easily without special hardware devices supporting internet connection. Also, various types of interaction can be possible in smart contents: student-contents interaction, student-student interaction, and student-teacher interaction.
- 2.2 Literature Review
In the literature, there is no quality standards for educational smart contents. However, there are some quality standards for the existing e-learning environments [6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10] . In this paper, we introduce the representative quality standards for the general educational contents in [8] since the quality standards in [8] are most extensive among the previous works. Table 5 shows those quality standards.
Quality Standards for E-learning Environment[8]
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Quality Standards for E-learning Environment [8]
3. Development of Educational Smart Quality Standards
- 3.1 The initial Development of Smart Quality Standards
In order to develop new quality standards for educational smart contents, we develop the initial quality standards. The proposed standards are made based on the existing standards in [8] and add some features of smart learning environments. We emphasize accessibility and interactivity for smart contents. For accessibility, most smart contents must be accessed regardless of user’s internet environments. Also, students with some kinds of disabilities must be considered. For interactivity, we must include the basic interaction for students: student-contents, student-student, and student-teacher. In addition, we include student-external specialist interaction.
Our proposed quality standards have 14 areas and 35 standards for those areas. The 14 areas are as follows: requirement analysis, instructional design, study contents, teaching-learning strategy, interactivity, evaluation, feedback, support system, reusability, sharing & distribution, accessibility, restructuring, ethicality, and copyright, respectively. Table 6 shows the initial smart quality standards.
The Initial Smart Quality Standards
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The Initial Smart Quality Standards
- 3.2 Statistical Processing Procedure and Sampling Methods
The following statistical processing methods are adopted for this study. First, for each response from each standard, frequency analysis is performed. Second, descriptives such as average and standard deviation are used for check importance of each area. Third, Cronbach’s α is used for checking reliability of quality standards for educational smart contents. Fourth, for empirical analysis of this study, significance level p<.05, p<.01, p<.001 are used.
For our statistical analysis, 45 experts are surveyed. Those exports are professors and researchers majoring computer education or MIS(management information system). Also, teachers are selected for this study. They are interested in smart learning and working for master degree in computer education major. For unbiased sampling, ‘convenient sampling’ method is adopted. Also, overcome geographic-bias, all respondants are selected from all over Seoul and suburbs of Seoul. Each respondent is required to answer every question of quality standards for both teaching-learning and education support categories. 5 scales are used for each question: 5(very important), 4(important), 3(so-so), 2(not important), 1(never important), respectively.
- 3.3 Statistical Analysis
- 3.3.1 Verification of Reliability
At first, reliability of 35 standards for both categories(teaching-learning and education support) are analyzed. The following Table 7 shows analysis results of verification of reliability for 35 standards of 2 categories. The values represent Cronbach’s α. As we can see from the values of Table 7 , Cronbach’s α is greater than 0.6 so that most standards are sufficient to be used for quality standards.
Verification of Reliability for Each Standard
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Verification of Reliability for Each Standard
Note that, for an area with only one standard, reliability value is not considered.
- 3.3.2 Verification of Validity for Standards
Evaluation of importance for each standard of 2 categories is analyzed. Table 8 shows analysis results for evaluation of importance. In the table, the following notations are used:
  • A: never important
  • B: not important)
  • C: so-so
  • D: important
  • E: very important
Evalution of Importance for Each Standard
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Evalution of Importance for Each Standard
For further analysis of importance evaluation, average and standard deviation for each standard are calculated. Also, ranking is calculated. Note that the highest score for each standard is 5(very important) and the lowest score for each standard is 1(never important). Table 9 shows results of further evaluation of importance for each standard.
Further Evaluation of Importance for Each Standard
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Further Evaluation of Importance for Each Standard
After thorough analysis for importance evaluation, the following results are obtained. For teaching–learning category, the highest standard is No. 12(4.58 average) and the lowest standard is No 22(3.42 average). No. 22 is the only standard that has less than 70% of the perfect score 5. On the other hand, for education support category, No. 12 has the highest score 4.58 average while No. 22 has the lowest score 3.40 average. No. 22 is excluded since it has less than 70% of the perfect score, that is, 3.5. Table 10 shows the summary of the analysis.
The Excluded Quality Standard
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The Excluded Quality Standard
In the meanwhile, we analyze importance for areas. The following Table 11 shows the importance of each area. For teaching-learning category, the most important area is “instructional design” while the least important area is “interactivity”. On the other hand, for education support category, the most important area is “copyright” while the least important area is “interactivity”. For both categories, “interactivity” has the least score. This can be explained as follows. The smart contents inherently include various types of interaction with wired/wireless communication tools so that “interactivity” need not be emphasized.
Evaluation of Importance for Each Area
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Evaluation of Importance for Each Area
- 3.4 The Final Smart Quality Standards
Based on extensive statistical analysis in 3.3, we finally the following quality standards for educational smart contents. The final standards consist of 14 areas and 34 standards for both categories. Table 12 shows the final areas and standards.
The Final Quality Standards for Educational Smart Contents
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The Final Quality Standards for Educational Smart Contents
- 3.5 Implication of Statistical Analysis
As we can see from analysis results in previous section, most of the initially proposed quality standards are selected as the final quality standards. The only rejected standard is No. 22 for both categories: student-external specialist interaction. In additions, the importance of interactivity is given lower priority based on the survery work. It implies that smart contents themselves have already various interaction mechanism and communication tools inherently. Thus, interactivity needs not be considered redundantly.
On the other hand, accessibility area is considered more important than interactivity. It means that smart contents must be accessed anytime anywhere anyplatform, and any network. Accessibility is very important premise for smart learning. Also, the disabled must access smart contents without any barriers as well as the non-disabled.
Analysis results also show that the quality standards of smart learning include the quality standards of the existing e-learning since the concept of smart learning includes the concept of the existing e-learning as indicated in [4] .
4. Conclusion and Further Works
In the current knowledge and information age, with aid of advances in smart and ICT technologies, our life style has been changing dramatically and greatly. Regardless of age, sex, and region, everybody can enjoy the benefits of advanced technologies in every aspect of our daily life. As more people have smart devices and use them in their daily life, smart devices become the necessities. Smart technologies have affected educational area so that a new concept called smart learning is introduced.
As educational smart contents become abundant, we need quality standards for the smart contents. Those standards are very important for evaluating the smart contents and can be a milestone to guide for future smart contents production. Although there are some standards for the existing e-learning environments, to our best knowledge, there are no quality standards for educational smart contents in the literature.
The purpose of this paper is to develop and present quality standards for educational smart contents. The proposed quality standards are made based on the existing quality standards in e-learning environments and include some distinct characteristics of smart learning. For development of quality standards, 45 experts group from academy and industry are selected and surveyed. Their responses are analyzed based on thorough statistical analysis so that final quality standards for educational smart contents are developed. The final quality standards consist of 14 areas and 34 standards.
Our further research issues are as follows. First, we need to develop quality standards for different applications of smart environments such as text contents, graphic contents, sound contents, and video contents, etc. Second, we also need to develop quality standards for elementary school, middle school, and high school, even for lifelong education center, etc. Finally, our task is to develop practical guidelines for educational smart contents production. Those guidelines can be a milestone for every type of smart contents production for teachers, researchers, and manufacturer, etc.
BIO
Woochun Jun is a professor in Dept. of Computer Education at Seoul National University of Education, Seoul, Korea. He received Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from University of Oklahoma, USA in 1997. He also received a Master’s degree and BS degree in Computer Science from Sogang University, Seoul, Korea, in 1987 and 1985, respectively. His research areas include information education, information communication ethics, and gifted education in IT.
Suk-Ki Hong is a professor in the Department of Business Administration, Dankook University, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. He received Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, in 1996. His main research interests are e-Learning, e-Business, e-Service, Service Quality, SCM, and IT Strategies.
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