Issue III

June 2008 cover

Technology-Enhanced Learning

Volume: 2008, Issue III

Date: June 2008

Guest Editors: Carlos Delgado-Kloos and Fridolin Wild 

Contents: Download full issue (PDF 1.35MB)

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Technology-Enhanced Learning: Supporting Learning in the 21st Century

Technology-Enhanced Learning may not flow readily off the tongue or be easily translated as a brand name, but it very consciously reflects what it is: using Information Communication Technologies (ICT) to secure advancements in learning. By taking advancements as the objective, we go beyond the attempt to reproduce classical ways of teaching via technologies. Technology-Enhanced Learning combines but places equal emphasis on all three elements: on technologies, on learning and on enhancements or improvements in learning. This will help us in devising ICT-based solutions which motivate and inspire learners and teachers, engaging them in meaningful learning and teaching experiences. Download

Winner of the 4th Edition of the Novática Award

Integrating Web-Based and 3D Learning Environments: Second Life Meets Moodle

There has been a recent explosion of interest from academics across a wide range of disciplines in the use of Multi-User Virtual Environments for education, driven by the success of platforms such as Second Life. As these platforms are used more often as environments for teaching and learning, there is an increased need to integrate them with other institutional systems, Web-based Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) in particular. In this paper we outline the open source Sloodle project, which is working on integrating learning and teaching across Second Life and Moodle, a popular open source VLE. We review the history and current status of Sloodle and present results from user surveys, highlighting the benefits educators hope to reap from this integration. Download

Game-Based Learning in e-Learning Environments

The use of videogames as a part of educational processes is becoming one of the most progressive trends in the field of educational technologies. In our opinion, the integration of videogames and e-Learning environments is a critical aspect in the promotion of this trend, due to the importance of e-Learning in 21st century educational processes. In this article we identify two aspects that are critical in bringing about that integration: (i) the introduction of authoring methods that will cut development costs and help instructors take an active part in that process, and (ii) the development of models to integrate videogames into e-Learning platforms that will facilitate a two-way exchange of information and dispel the perception of games as mere black boxes. This article provides an example of these aspects with an environment for the authoring of educational graphic adventures and the integration of the resulting games into on-line learning environments. Download

Use of Folksonomies in the Creation of Learning Experiences for Television

The use of digital television as a way of delivering distance courses maybe a solution to the problem of how to bring education to the less privileged classes. In previous articles we presented our solution to the creation of learning experiences for this medium, based on an appropriate combination of television programmes and educational elements via the use of ontologies. In this article we aim to improve the algorithms responsible for establishing relationships between the two types of content, by exporting collaborative tagging systems, successfully used on the Internet, to the field of digital television, and using folksonomy-based reasoning to detect the above mentioned relationships. Download

Fostering Open Sensemaking Communities by Combining Knowledge Maps and Videoconferencing

In this paper our aim is to investigate the role of Compendium maps for both learners and educators to share and debate interpretations in FlashMeetingTM (FM) videoconferences in the context of OpenLearn, an online environment for open learning. This work is based on a qualitative study of knowledge maps and web videoconferencing interactions and quantitative data presented in diagnostic reports about both tools. Our theoretical approach is based on the sensemaking concept and an existing framework for three learning scenarios. Our findings describe four applications of knowledge maps in videoconferencing: (i) Mind Maps for a FM virtual lecture (transmission scenario); (ii) Learning Path Map which integrates a FM conference (studio scenario); (iii) Concept Maps during a peer-to-peer event (negotiation scenario) and (iv) Web Maps for a FM replay (assessment scenario). Download

Mobile Social Software for Professional Communities

Professional Communities start to make extensive use of Web 2.0 tools and platforms to enhance their knowledge work. But with the Web 2.0 and the new computing capabilities in the mobile ubiquitous Internet, the relationship between professionals in their closed communities and amateurs in the Web 2.0 is debated again. We show here a living community around the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage of the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan, which tries to find an intermediary position between highly trusted work in the cause of cultural preservation and protection on the one side, and communication with a public audience and investors in the sustainable development of the Bamiyan Valley on the other. Our mobile Social Software scenario Virtual Campfire assembles some tools we developed for this community in a common research and development framework. Download

Applying "Scruffy" Methods to Enable Work-Integrated Learning

This contribution introduces the concept of work-integrated learning which distinguishes itself from traditional e-Learning in that it provides learning support (i) during work task execution and tightly contextualized to the work context, (ii) within the work environment and (iii) utilizes knowledge artefacts available within the organizational memory for learning. We argue that in order to achieve this highly flexible learning support we need to turn to "scruffy" methods (such as associative retrieval, genetic algorithms, Bayesian and other probabilistic methods), which can provide good results in the presence of uncertainty and the absence of fine-granular models. Hybrid approaches to user context determination, user profile management and learning material identification are discussed and the first results are reported. Download

Distributed Feed Networks for Learning

Recent studies indicate that blogs are the breakthrough user application of this decade. Yet, the blogosphere in its current form is suffering from various problems. The fuzziness of the audience, disconnectedness, fragmentation and lack of conversational coherence may have their roots not only in sociological factors but also in technological shortcomings of the current infrastructure. These problems hinder an effective deployment of blogs in collaborative learning activities. Within this contribution, an interface specification for user-centred distribution of feed aggregation activities is proposed which is both a prerequisite and basic infrastructure for blog-based collaboration. By presenting an overview on the current state of the art in feed and interaction standards, a clear lack of support for active network management will be elaborated. The design requirements for a solution to fill this gap will be sketched and complemented by a step-by-step description of the communication process of the proposed "FeedBack" specification. Preliminary results from a trial with a reference implementation for WordPress provide a proof of concept. Download

Contextualized Attention Metadata in Learning Environments

This paper presents the notion of Contextualized Attention Metadata (CAM) in learning environments. CAM describes observations about the handling of digital information in relation to the context in which the respective activities took place. The usage of CAM is exemplified in three scenarios: (i) using CAM to support the learning process of employees in agile business process execution, (ii) enriching learning resource description with CAM and (iii) identifying usage patterns of architectural learning resources with CAM. CAM helps to individualize the learning experience by providing detailed information about the learner’s way of dealing with digital information that can be used, for example, to target the information provision to the learners needs by helping them to focus on the learning activities rather than on information management. Download

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Communities as an Example of Successful Open Participatory Learning Ecosystems

This paper examines participatory knowledge creation and transfer in the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement from the view point of the Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) community. In more recent years FLOSS communities gained attention for their community production and support models and regarding their way of knowledge creation and learning. From the "FLOSS perspective" it becomes obvious that the OER movement falls short in some points. Most strikingly, the traditional way of resource creation using the traditional role distribution models that clearly distinguishes between educators as creators and learners as consumer is still predominant. As a result even the most prominent examples within the OER movement are rather static repositories than open participatory learning ecosystems (OPLE). This paper illustrates how FLOSS communities function as open participatory learning ecosystems, focusing on the aspects content, support and underlying tools. We will also try to show differences between the FLOSS case, current OER initiatives and education at large. Download

New Objects in Formal Professional Learning: Replaying Meetings to Learn 

This paper explores the possibilities of on-line meetings in the context of a formal learning initiative, and how replays of these meetings have been used as Learning Objects to improve the professional learning experience. We report on a study of preparation meetings in professional learning in a formal context (pre-Doctoral Summer School), exploring how a formal learning group has used the videoconferencing system FlashMeeting™ and more specifically the Learning Objects generated by this tool. We investigate the results from a quantitative analysis of server logs and user feedback. We aim at providing insights into improving the use of Technology-Enhanced Learning in different environments, not only inventing new ways to learn but also enhancing traditional ones. Download

UPC’s Moodle Platform: a Study on Architecture and Performance

This article describes a design and implementation project for a Moodle architecture capable of providing service to a community of 30,000 users under criteria of scalability, performance and high availability. In addition to the design of the architecture, we look at the design and development of a series of performance tests which allow us to enhance the efficiency of the system and reliably establish the validity of the platform in terms of environment dimension sufficiently in advance of its actual implementation. The aim is also to be able to repeat this type of performance analysis on a regular basis ahead of future modifications of the Moodle platform. Download

IFIP and TC 3 

Presentation and summary of the main activities and achievements of the Technical Commitee 3 (TC 3) of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), focused on Education. Download