Ontological model of study plans for student mobility programs: Erasmus+ case study
Mariela Tapia-León, Abdón Carrera Rivera, Janneth Chicaiza Espinosa, Sergio Luján-Mora
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2017), p. 5944-5953, Seville (Spain), November 16-18 2017. ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7. https://doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1557
(ICERI'17a) Congreso internacional / International conference
Erasmus+ is a program of the European Union aimed to promote student’s mobility and cooperation in the field of higher education. This program allows students to carry out a period of their studies in another participating country and to receive a full recognition of those studies in their university of origin. Besides being a purely academic exchange, Erasmus+ also offers a life experience: it enables active learning of foreign languages, facilitates a direct contact with the culture of a foreign country and it brings students an experience that provides improvement in their personal and academic development. The mobility program should complement the studies of a graduate, master or doctoral student and must ensure that mobility activities perform with high quality standards and thus provide positive impact on students. Unfortunately, the information that a student can obtain from the subjects to be taken in a destination mobility program is scarce. In some cases, the information available is limited to people´s comments about study plans or limited to the information someone can get after doing their own searches on official university websites. The latter represents an issue, since the information of the subjects or study plans offered by the universities is dispersed. Furthermore, each university has its own repositories or databases, which are usually restrictive to people outside the institution. Thirty four countries are part of the Erasmus+ program , if this factor is multiplied by the number of universities in each country, the volume of participating universities exceeds one thousand. The number increases significantly when multiplied by the different study plans that a university degree offers. Given the amount of information to be processed, which is difficult for humans to handle, it is necessary to analyze a model of information representation that will make it easier for computers to find the study plan that best suits the students' academic needs. The following work aims to develop an ontological model of the study plans available within the Erasmus+ mobility program. This model would help the participating universities to share, reuse, communicate and collaborate with the construction of knowledge regarding their study plans. For this purpose, an ontology was created based on the methodology Methontology and for the development of the model the Protégé tool was used. The ontological representation of the study plans will allow to offer recommendations to students who opt for mobility programs.