Purpose - The purpose of this study is to propose a knowledge-based mobile learning framework that integrates various types of museum-wide content, and supports ubiquitous, context-aware, personalized learning for museums. Design/methodology/approach - A unified knowledge base with multi-layer reusable content structures serves as the kernel component to integrate content from exhibitions for education and collection in a museum. The How-Net approach is adopted to build a unified natural and cultural ontology. The ontology functions as a common and sharable knowledge concept that denotes each knowledge element in the unified knowledge base, and associates each learner's learning context and usage with a content and usage profile respectively. Data mining algorithms, e.g. association mining and clustering, are applied to discover useful patterns for ubiquitous personalization from these content and usage profiles. Findings - A pilot project based on the proposed framework has been successfully implemented in the Life Science Hall of the National Museum of Natural Science (NMNS), Taiwan, demonstrating the feasibility of this framework. Originality/value - This study proposes a mobile learning framework that can be replicated in many museums. This framework improves learners' learning experiences with rich related content, and with ubiquitous, proactive and adaptive services. Museums can also benefit from implementing this framework through outreach services for educational, promoting and usability needs from combining mobile and Internet communication technologies and learning services.
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