Being a technology oriented company whose mission is to be always at the forefront of innovation, Aunwesha deals with a number of bleeding edge technologies (here we use the term technology in a very broad sense). In this section of the site we provide you with pointers to some of these interesting areas.
Learning Theories and Educational Technology
Learning Theories describe the ways that theorists believe people learn new ideas and concepts. Often, they explain the relationship between information we already know and the new information we are trying to learn. There are two main schools of learning theorists: Behaviorists and Cognitivists. Behaviorists believe that learning results in a change in the learners behavior. The focus of behaviorists is on the outputs of the learning process. Cognitivists believe that learning occurs when learners are able to add new concepts and ideas to their cognitive structure by recognizing a relationship between something they already know and what they are learning. The focus of cognitivists is on the inputs of the learning process.

In 1984, Benjamin Bloom defined the "two-sigma problem," which states that students who receive one-on-one instruction perform two standard deviations better than students who receive traditional classroom instruction. Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) or intelligent computer-aided instruction (ICAI) has been pursued for more than three decades by researchers in education, psychology, and artificial intelligence. ITS systems assess each learner's actions and develop a model of their knowledge, skills, and expertise. An overview of ITS may be found in at http://www.learningcircuits.org/feb2000/ong.html.
Adaptive Hypermedia
Adaptive hypermedia technology based systems aim to support users by tailoring the system and augmenting the delivery of information. An effective adaptive hypermedia system will be capable of filtering out details that are outside a users current field of interest or beyond their level of comprehension. In effect, adaptation controls the size of the hyperspace available to a user at a particular point in time. Control of information within a hypermedia system offers the prospects of addressing both the lost in hyperspace and the information overload problems.

Adaptation is a powerful way of augmenting the functionality of a hypermedia system. There are two main components of a hypermedia system that can be adapted; these are hypermedia links and information contained in the nodes. Adaptation of hypermedia links mainly affects navigation within a hypermedia system whereas adaptation of the nodes themselves affects the presentation of information. These two forms of adaptation are usually referred to as navigational and presentational. These adaptation techniques are presented briefly:

Presentational adaptation : Presentational adaptation aims to adapt the information being presented to the user with a view to hiding details not of current interest. Techniques used to accomplish presentational adaptation are conditional text, stretchtext, page variants, fragment variants and frame-based representations.

  • Conditional text : a concept is divided into chunks of text; each chunk of text is associated with a condition indicating which type of user should be presented with the information chunk.
  • Stretchtext :users are given additional explanation related to the current topic. Instead of retrieving a new page, clicking on an active link or hotword results in additional text being displayed in a pop-up window .
  • Page variants : two or more variants of the pages associated with a concept are prepared. Each variant of the page presents information at a different level or in a different style and the system selects the most appropriate page variant for the user.
  • Fragment variants : each page is broken into a number of fragments and a number of variants of each fragment are prepared and the system selects the most appropriate version of each fragment to present to the user.
  • Frame-based :When using the frame-based technique a concept is represented in the form of a frame structure. Each slot of the frame contains a variant of the same concept and also can be linked to other frames. A system using this technique also embodies a set of rules to calculate the most appropriate slot to be presented to a specific user.
  • Navigational adaptation : The aim of navigational adaptation is to assist users by manipulating the navigational aids (links, labels, hotwords) within the system suggesting appropriate directions to take relevant link to follow; links can also be activated, deactivated or dynamically added. Techniques to accomplish link manipulation can be grouped into five categories as follows: Annotation, Ordering or link sorting, Direct guidance, Hiding, and Mapping.

  • Annotation : links are enriched with extra comments or visual cues. The use of annotation links aims to provide users with more information about the destination of a link prior to selection. Annotations can take the form of text and icons or can be encoded by colours, different font sizes or typefaces
  • Ordering or link sorting :sorts or reorders the links on a specific page or topic according to a user model.
  • Direct guidance : the system indicates to the user the best node to visit next, or the next node.
  • Hiding : controls access to information by hiding or disabling links to pages, which are irrelevant to the users requirements.
  • Mapping :A map allows a user to understand the overall structure of the hyperspace and also to locate themselves within it.