Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems - (Ph.D.)


Information Systems

First Advisor

George Robert Widmeyer

Second Advisor

Fadi P. Deek

Third Advisor

Julian M. Scher

Fourth Advisor

Thomas Michael Juliano

Fifth Advisor

William Tereshkovich


A number of learning paradigms have postulated that knowledge formation is a dynamic process where learners actively construct a representation of concepts integrating information from multiple sources. Current teaching strategies utilize a compartmentalized approach where individual courses contain a small subset of the knowledge required for a discipline. The intent of this research is to provide a framework to integrate the components of a discipline into a cohesive whole and accelerate the integration of concepts enhancing the learning process. The components utilized to accomplish these goals include two new knowledge integration models; a Knowledge Weighting Model (KWM) and the Aggregate-Integrate-Master (AIM) model. Semantic Web design principles utilizing a Resource Description Framework (RDF) schema and Web Ontology Language (OWL) will be used to define concepts and relationships for this knowledge domain that can then be extended for other domains. Lastly, a Design Research paradigm will be utilized to analyze the IT artifact, the Constructivist Unifying Baccalaureate Epistemology (CUBE) knowledge repository that was designed to validate this research.

The prototype testing population utilized sixty students spanning five classes, in the fall 2007, following IRB approved protocols. Data was gathered using a Constructivist Multimedia Learning Survey (CMLES), focus groups and semi-structured interviews. This preliminary data supported the hypotheses that students using the Integrated Knowledge Repository will first; have a more positive perception of the learning process than those who use conventional single course teaching paradigms and second; students utilizing the IKR will develop a more complex understanding of the interconnected nature of the materials linking a discipline than those who take conventional single topic courses.

Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The goal is to develop a knowledge structure that is capable of facilitating the integration of conceptual development in a field of study.



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