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MOT and MOTplus - Knowledge Model Editor

MOT is a software which allows to build a graphic representation of knowledge or "mindmaps" in different fields of knowledge and to underline the relations among the knowledge units. It possesses sophisticated graphic functionalities. MOTplus adds to the basic MOT editor powerful multi-domain and layered editing capacities, as well as labeling functions to facilitate knowledge modeling by teams. The latest version enables you to build learning design compliant to the IMS-LD specification and export it to that format with validation. It also enables the graphic construction of ontologies complisant to the OWL-DL standard.

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The MOT knowledge editor enables the user to build a visual representation of knowledge in various fields and to graphically highlight knowledge inter-relationships. A number of icons are used to represent the various types of knowledge, i.e. concepts, procedures, principles and facts, as well as the different types of relationships: composition, regulation, specialisation, precedence, input/output, and instantiation. In addition, the software integrates rules of grammar governing the types of relationships for each type of knowledge. MOT also makes it possible to illustrate skills and to link them to the applicable knowledge, thus defining the level of competency to be achieved toward that knowledge.

Main Functionalities

  • Sophisticated graphical editing capabilities enable the user to easily create diagrams of the various types of knowledge and the relationships that link them, emphasizing the nature and structure of the content.
  • Creates a tree of knowledge models, allowing the user to roll up the display to the required level. 
    On one hand, filters a model to display only certain types of knowledge or relationships and, on the other, automatically creates the knowledge’s context by associating to it all areas of knowledge having a certain degree of relevance. 
  • Associates knowledge to documents of all types, applying OLE standards such at word processing, slide presentations, Web search engines, spreadsheets and databases.Documents a model by annotating the knowledge or links and generates a file of all annotations.
  • Allows modification of most of an object’s graphic attributes such as colour, halftone, font, alignment, as well as relative positioning of objects (alignment, spacing, overlays, etc.).
  • Has import/export functionalities, including into XML and databases (export only), as well as printing, undo and save capabilities, making it a high quality tool.

Comparative Advantages

  1. Simple and powerful. MOT is the first modelling tool of its kind. At one end of the spectrum, drawing tools allow the user to describe a model but do not provide the underlying representation of the objects. At the other, CASE tools support complex model construction better adapted to software engineering than to pedagogical engineering or business process re-engineering.
  2. Easy to learn and use. Practical use has shown that MOT can be mastered within a few hours by instructors, business people, adult learners and even secondary school students.
  3. Capable of producing fully integrated models. MOT’s main advantage is its ability to integrate within the same model various views (conceptual, procedural or strategic) of the same situation rather than representing each of these with different techniques.
  4. Linked with pedagogy and learning materials. The distinction between types of knowledge and links is now well established in software engineering and education. The MOT editor is particularly useful to learning system engineering where the distinction between types of models and types of knowledge impacts on the choice of instructional methods and approaches and learning materials.
  5. Wide-ranging. MOT’s representation technique is wide-ranging. It applies to all cognitive fields and makes it possible to build various types of models such as class or component hierarchies, sequential, parallel or iterative procedures, verification theories and structures, processes and methods.
  6. Versatile. Besides its primary application to pedagogical engineering, the MOT editor has shown its usefulness in other fields: modelling of the processes in a computerised school’s system, graphical representation of various methods, re-engineering of organizational process, conceptual software description, course and document synopses, etc.

History and Current Status
The MOT system was developed within the framework of the Didactic Engineering Workshop (AGD or Atelier de génie didactique) in 1995. Since then, Télé-université’s LICEF Research Centre has completely revamped MOT, solidly basing its architecture on object-oriented programming principles. It has been successfully used by several organizations for the past three years. Available in both English and French versions, the software is supported by a contextual help function as well as a printed user’s guide. On-going R&D on this software through the AGDI Project is financed by the Defence Industry Research Program, with additional financial support from the TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence.

MOT has entrusted its marketing to Technologies COGIGRAPH. Many licenses have already been sold to universities as well as companies such as Hydro-Quebec, Tecsult-Eduplus and COM4.

Additional MOTPlus Functionalities

  • Create stratified models with navigation between them.
  • Create alternative models in an integrated way
  • Link many OLE applications (OLE) or documents to a knowledge entity or commentary in a model
  • Link to a knowledge entity one or more co-models from another domain.
  • Integrate to a file many domains grouped in the same project. 
  • Import MOTPlus files for their aggregation.
  • Compatible with previous MOT models
  • Project management with tree navigation between subjects in a domain and their submodels.
  • Choice between 4 model types:
    • Standard Model: including the usual MOT objects  (concepts, procedures, principles, facts) from the MOT graphic language.
    • Flow charts.
    • IMS Learning Design Models : Has primitive graphic objects corresponding to the IMS-LD specification; produces an XML « Manifest » validated agains the IMS-LD XML schema .
    • OWL-DL Ontology Models : The OWL-DL primitives are all represented as graphic objects and links, plus labels on class and property objects to assert axioms; produces a standard OWL-DL files that is valided when the model is exported.  

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