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An Answering System for Questions Asked by Students in an e-Learning Context

Un sistema de respuestas a consultas formuladas por alumnos en un contexto de aprendizaje virtual


In this article, we present a system that helps tutors to answer questions asked by their students at an online university: the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Communication between UOC students and their tutors is fully online; students ask questions and tutors answer them by e-mail. The system, which is currently being developed at the UOC’s Office of Learning Technologies (OLT), aims to find multilingual contexts with useful information to enable tutors to give fast, appropriate answers to students. These contexts are extracted from course learning materials, from previous messages posted on subject discussion boards, and also from articles and other sources of information available on the Internet. Apart from helping tutors to find better answers, the system is also useful for updating their knowledge and contributing to their lifelong learning.


En este artículo presentamos un sistema que ayuda a los docentes a responder las preguntas de sus alumnos en una universidad virtual, concretamente la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). La comunicación entre alumno y docente se realiza de forma totalmente virtual: las preguntas y las respuestas se formulan y contestan mediante correo electrónico. El sistema, que se está desarrollando en el Área de Tecnología Educativa de la UOC, tiene como principal objetivo encontrar contextos multilingües con información útil para responder al estudiante de forma rápida y adecuada. Los contextos se extraen de los materiales del curso, los foros de participación de la asignatura, artículos y otras fuentes de información disponibles en internet. Además de ayudar a los docentes a encontrar mejores respuestas, el sistema también es útil para actualizar sus conocimientos y desarrollar su aprendizaje permanente.


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Correspondence to Joaquim Moré.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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Moré, J., Climent, S. & Coll-Florit, M. An Answering System for Questions Asked by Students in an e-Learning Context. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 9, 229–239 (2012).

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