A Content Knowledge Base for Chinese Language Arts Instruction

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Lin, Janet Mei-Chuen
Wang, Pei-Yu

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This paper describes design and development of a content knowledge base for Chinese language arts instruction. It is targeted at high school teachers for use in preparing lectures, homework assignments and exams, and possibly in designing creative learning activities. The aim is to construct a knowledge base that is capable of answering sophisticated queries about subject matter, a capability that is rarely seen in current web-based databases and their associated search engines. Three experienced teachers participated in the development process to assist in defining the knowledge scope, designing knowledge structure and giving suggestions on user interface design. Based on the result of an analysis on the intended usage as well as on the inherent knowledge structure as perceived by the participating teachers, content knowledge was classified into seven categories—personages, writings, books, literary forms, sentences, phrases and words. Attributes of each category and relationships among them were identified and a data schema for the knowledge base was derived from it. The knowledge base was finally implemented as a relational database which contains 70 tables. Knowledge items pertinent to the 200 writings selected from popular high school textbooks were loaded to the knowledge base and a pilot usability testing was conducted. It revealed that the knowledge base was generally considered as a useful teaching tool.