The basic aim of the demonstrator is the development of a completed system of a digital information, education and entertainment (edutainment) for adults, adolescents and teenagers concerning the most representative monuments and landmarks of Cyprus, reusing existing data from Europeana.
The proposed UNESCO monuments digital learning system further aims to:
- Help users to learn the history of the UNESCO monument
- Educate users in architecture and cultural heritage
- Raise awareness on protecting and conserving our heritage
- Promote the UNESCO monuments
- Inform on risks that threaten the monuments
For the development of the Educational Tool, we are re-using Digital Heritage Data (DHD), starting from simple pictures of the Monuments and – at the highest end – 3D objects.
In order to achieve a more personalized and possible on-site and anywhere learning experience, we developed a platform compatible to all smart devices (android, iPhone, iPad, windows tablets). A responsive web site was decided to be used, with the capability to run on desktop and portable devices. The design of the platform is based on an Educational Theme (WordPress) using this way an environment familiar to most of the visitors (both students and teachers). This way we cover the UX Design requirement.
As one can see at the demonstrator site every monument is a different “Course”. Every course has a number of lessons, just like in any online education portal. The information about the monument is divided to separate lessons, as follows:
- Lesson about the History of the Monument.
- Lesson about the Local History: short reference on the local history through the literature study.
- Video: short dramatized video, which presents on a descriptive and communicative dimension the key elements that anyone should know about the monument (in an understandable form, suitably subtitled for both adults and children).
- Glossary: important words that are used at the text.
- The 3D object (downloadable in a pdf file and in a simple online version).
- Comprehension questions.
- Activities: puzzles, hotspot images, games.
- Quiz: a short quiz (usually 10-20 Questions) about the Monument. You need to score 70% in order to pass.
- References: resources and links for further studying.
In every lesson, there is a time estimation, to help educators and users to manage their own time and pace when studying about the monument. At the end, there is a “Review” section. Every visitor can write a review and choose 1 – 5 stars for the course. This way, courses with better score will be proposed at the Home Page. Finally, users can print a “statement of accomplishment” of the Course, if they pass the Quiz.
One of the future features of the platform would be the ability to provide a 3D model of the monument constructed by photographs taken by actual users being on the site’s physical environment. For cultural e-courses this kind of personalized e-learning functionality, and therefore personalized interaction, is one of the most important requirements.
Also, an evaluation of the platform is planned to be conducted with (a subset of) our target users participating at the procedure. Students, teachers as well as teaching inspectors in two schools, one in Greece and the other one in Cyprus, will evaluate the platform. In order to cover the cross-cultural aspect of the application, it is important to engage both the users that know the monuments and can visit them on site (Cypriots) and the users that might have some information about the monuments but they are not capable of visiting those (Greeks). The evaluation of the educational aspect of the platform will follow a methodology of joint techniques, in order to have a more integrated and overall view of the evaluation results.