SOMA – A Service-Oriented Mobile Learning Architecture
Service-Oriented Mobile learning Architecture (SOMA) is a project focusing on interactive learning using mobile devices, with the main focus on devices running the Google Android operating system. While state-of-the-art solutions mainly cover text-based, multiple choice interrogator-responder concepts, our approach is characterized by interactivity, allowing multimedia-based e-learning concepts. Providing access to different hardware features enables a variety of novel input methods. Examples include obtaining user input through hardware accelerometers or cameras. In order to provide these advanced features we implemented the SOMA framework as part of this work, which acts as wrapper between the e-learning application and the underlying hardware components. Additional features can be developed using the SOMA plugin environment, which enables almost unlimited extension of the main application. Besides that, developers are encouraged to use any functionality provided by the SOMA framework. We use a custom implementation of Java Reflection for the plugin environment to guarantee extendibility.
We will capture all user input needed for detection of learning styles, while the implementation of automatic recognition of learning styles is part of future work. Another important aspect is the integration of the e-learning process into social networks. The system allows users to publish their results online and invite friends to take the same course. We assume this will improve learning motivation significantly. Users can compete and incite each other to enhance their learning progress.
Besides the SOMA framework itself, several sample plugins have been developed as part of this work. For evaluating our solution, we provide a sample course that uses these basic plugins. This sample course that covers basic first aid content has been created in cooperation with the Youth Red Cross Klosterneuburg.
Future work includes the automatic recognition of learning styles, as mentioned before, as well as the implementation of a graphical user interface for editing content used with the SOMA application.
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