Frontiers in Digital Humanities (2019-01-01)

Technology Enhanced Learning: The Role of Ontologies for Feedback in Music Performance

  • Matthew John Yee-King,
  • Thomas Wilmering,
  • Maria Teresa Llano Rodriguez,
  • Maria Krivenski,
  • Mark d'Inverno

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5


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In this paper, we present an analysis of feedback as it occurs in classroom-based and technology supported music instrument learning. Feedback is key to learning in music education and we have developed technology based on ideas from social media and audio annotation which aims to make feedback more effective. The analysis here aims to enhance our understanding of technology-mediated feedback. The result of this analysis is three ontologies describing feedback and feedback systems. First, we developed the teacher's ontology using a qualitative, observational approach to describe the types of feedback that music instrument tutors give to their students. We used this ontology to inform the design of an online music annotation platform for music students. Second, we develop the grounded ontology using a grounded theory approach, based on 2,000 annotations made by students and tutors using the annotation platform. We compare the grounded and teacher's ontologies by examining structural, semantic and expressive features. Through this comparison, we find that the grounded ontology includes elements of the teacher's ontology as well as elements relating to practical and social aspects of the annotation platform, while the teacher's ontology contains more domain knowledge. Third, we formalize the transactional capabilities of the platform into the third ontology, the platform ontology, which we have written in the OWL language, and show how this allows us to develop several practical use cases, including the use of semantic web capabilities in music education contexts.