Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Provocation Based Learning

June 7, 2007

Summer School made me think a lot about TEL, but also about learning in general. When I think about my own teaching experience it seems to me there is a certain approach to grab the attention of students, even if the weather is hot, it’s friday afternoon and the material is boring. The key is provoking the students. Of course “provocation” is a term carefully chosen in order to provoke you and grab your attention, dear reader of this small article. What is really meant here, in fact is trying to motivate the audience  by surprising them, using improvised jokes and funny examples, making them laugh and keeping the adrenaline level high. Did you ever ask yourself why people usually fall asleep in a lecture, but rarely do in the movie theatre?

The question I would like to raise is how we could adress this issue of really making learning a bit more “provocative” when we look at TEL methods. We have to bear in mind that a user is far less patient with software than with a real teacher. If the program does things that are too provocative, the user would probably quickly become bewildered and say “what the..” possibly in a negative sense of meaning. Hence, usability of a learning system must not be hampered by provocative system activity. Also the level of provocation strength needs to be personalized to the requirements of the learner. There could be a small questionnaire at the beginning of a session in order to assess the general level of the learner’s sarcasm tolerance, as well as his/her daily mood.

Then the next question would be how individual adaption of content could soundly be balanced against the properties of materials / system behaviour being applied in a collaborative learning context. Each user has a different provocation tolerance, and some might even have a minimum requirement for being provoked. And the whole concept is dynamic, as people’s attitudes change over time.

I would go as far as to say, concerning the “Future of TEL”,  this is a crucial point to be considered in the early stages of requirements analysis for the design of new e-learning systems. Learning has to be fun, and people have to be drawn on the edge of their sofa, their mouths open in amazement! Otherwise the system is not really usable, pretty much classically speaking in terms of software engineering.

Feel free to discuss. What are you thinking about this? I came up with this myself but if I accidentally stole someone elses idea, please provide me with the according reference – i will add it to this post right away.


Even more comics…

June 1, 2007

For those interested in comics I can recommend the xkcd comic strips. They are usually related to Computer Science, Information Technology, Math and so on, check for example the map of online communities, the map of the Internet and this one.



First Summer School Comic

May 30, 2007

Captured yesterday at the summer school soccer game.

a comic strip!

Some PROLEARN content feeds

May 25, 2007

In preparation for next weeks Ralf has collected useful information sources for PROLEARN:

Two Flashmeetings on our new Conzilla/Collaborilla release

May 22, 2007

Dear all,

our week in Fréjus is getting close, and – just-in-time  😉 – we are in the process of releasing Conzilla 2.1 with its collaboration service Collaborilla. 🙂

In order establish the distributed collaborative modeling community for TEL research that we are aiming for, we will help each modeling team in Fréjus to enter their maps into Conzilla and publish them using Collaborilla. In order to sustain this  process beyond the week in Fréjus, we will try to make sure that each team has at least one “map-publisher” who knows how to use Conzilla/Collaborilla.  All maps will be connected into a distributed knowledge manifold through an overview map containing concepts that correspond to each of our thematic clusters of TEL.

If you are interested in becoming a knowledge manifold mapmaker/publisher, and feel that you want to get a head start (+ have the time to spare 😉 ), we invite you to take part in one of the two Conzilla/Collaborilla installation meetings that we have booked for

Thursday 24 May, 10.00 – 11.30 CET:

Friday 25 May, 10.00 – 11.30 CET:

Each meeting is booked for up to 20 people.
We look forward to seeing you in one of them!

Best regards
/Ambjörn & Matthias & Hannes

Authoring Group Flash Meeting – Friday

May 22, 2007

Hi all,

The authoring group will hold another flash meeting this coming Friday at 13h00 (Dublin, London time) and 14h00 (Paris, Rome time).

There will be two short presentations by Malinka Ivanova (
) and Maurice Hendrix (
) on their work in courseware authoring.

I am still looking for one more presenter if you are interested?

See you there,

Informal virtual learning environments

May 10, 2007

A Hallo to every one of you!!!

I just wanted to ask if anyone of you is focusing on existing cases of (informal) virtual learning environments.

I know that we are all researching on the next “killer application”, but what about the lessons to be learnt from current cases of success to be found at the web?

Anyone out there that looks into:

  • Collaborative content production at wikipedia, in open source, or even at rating systems?
  • Tools used in such spaces – and why the hell don’t they work out if we use them in education (just the critical mass, a question of cultures and hierarchies)?
  • Re-use of visualised learning processes (e.g. at forums and bug-tracker)?
  • CPI (processes and structures) at those environments over time?

Just taking as an example the educanext, TeLearn and … (more here:

Why are those initiatives not taking off like sourceforge, launchpad, wikipedia, frashmeat…?



Cluster Meeting Knowledge Management – Part 2

May 10, 2007

Hello ProLearners,

Unfortunately last weeks Flashmeeting (review: was only attended by summer school participants from TU Darmstadt. Although I am aware of the tight schedule everyone is probably having, it would be great if other students who have expressed their interest in the research topics centering on the convergence of Knowledge Management and TEL would join us.

Again, topics of interest include:

  • Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge Artifact Management
  • Knowledge Work Management
  • Organizational Learning
  • Collaborative Knowledge Networks
  • Workplace Learning

During last week’s Flashmeeting and a follow-up flesh meeting (just couldn’t resist this one…) for a caf, Phil, Doreen, and myself decided to focus on constructing a communicative model or taxonomy of the main concepts in the context of knowledge, knowledge artifacts, learning and learning resources, and so on. We want to start out by creating definitions of the relevant terms, then derive classification criteria and think about relationships between the main concepts. Our goal is to come up with a consistent model of relevant concepts in this field by the end of the summer school.

For this purpose, we have also set up a gliffy diagram ( which I will invite you to if you’re interested.

We want to discuss further activities and a few central definitions next Friday in another Flashmeeting, also start working on our gliffy…


A booking has been made for 11-May-07 at 14:00 (GMT +0100) and lasting 119 minutes.

This booking is for 10 people to use the application FlashMeeting

Go to the following address for full details and to access the event:


Looking forward to seeing you on Friday!



EC-TEL Doctoral Consortium 2007

April 4, 2007

EC-TEL Doctoral Consortium 2007

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline June 1st, 2007

Crete, Greece, September 17-18, 2007

The EC-TEL Doctoral Consortium is brings together Ph.D. students working on topics related to professional training. The doctoral consortium will offer Ph.D. students the opportunity to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their research in an interdisciplinary and international atmosphere.

The doctoral consortium will be accompanied by prominent professors and researchers in the field of professional learning. These accompanying professors will participate actively and contribute to the discussions.

The doctoral consortium is co-located with and will take place immediately before the EC-TEL 2007 conference. The doctoral consortium language is English.

—Topics of Interest—

As for the EC-TEL conference, all topics from the field of professional learning are of interest for the doctoral consortium. These topics include (but are not limited to):

Deploying Technology Enhanced Learning

  • Ubiquitous Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Services for Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Games and Interactive TV as Educational Tools
  • Learning Communities and Distributed Teams
  • Online Experiments
  • Web 2.0 and Social Software for Technology Enhanced Learning

Learner Modelling and Personalisation

  • Personal Learning Environments
  • Learner Assessment and Testing
  • Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Instructions
  • Competencies in Workplace Learning
  • Adaptation Patterns and Techniques

Metadata for TEL

  • Re-Using, Re-Authoring and Re-Purposing (Rip, Mix and Burn)
  • Learning Objects and Learning Repositories
  • Learning Design, Narrative and Navigation Models
  • Metadata in Search, Retrieval and Harvesting

Technology Enhanced Support for Organizational Learning

  • Knowledge Management, Sharing and Learning
  • Business Processes and Learning
  • Sustainability and Business Models
  • Deployment Strategies

Scaleable Technology Enhanced Learning

  • Authoring of Multimedia/ Virtual Reality Content
  • Artificial Intelligence technologies for Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Network Infrastructures (Streaming, Peer-to-Peer Infrastructures)
  • Runtime Engines for Learning Design and Learning Objects
  • Semantic Web technologies

Theoretical and methodological foundations of TEL

  • Formal / Informal Learning
  • Instructional Methods for Collaborative Learning
  • Problem Solving Support
  • Collaborative Knowledge Building and Sharing

Experience Reports, Assessment, and Case Studies

Papers describing doctoral work should be submitted in PDF or PostScript
format before June 1, 2006. The paper length should not exceed 6
pages (single space, Times New Roman (or similar) font type, 12 pt font
size, reasonable margins).

In contrast to regular conference papers, submissions should address
specifically doctoral work! Therefore, the following elements are

  • A clear formulation of the research question,
  • An identification of the significant problems in the field of research,
  • An outline of the current knowledge of the problem domain, as well as the state of existing solutions,
  • A presentation of any preliminary ideas, the proposed approach and the results achieved so far,
  • A sketch of the applied research methodology,
  • A description of the Ph.D. project’s contribution to the problem solution,
  • A discussion of how the suggested solution is different, new, or better as compared to existing approaches to the problem.

The intention of this doctoral consortium is to support and inspire Ph.D. students during their ongoing research efforts. Therefore, it is necessary that authors will have neither achieved their Ph.D. degree nor officially submitted their thesis before the doctoral consortium (September 17, 2007). To enforce this rule we require authors to disclose their expected graduation date and their advisor’s name when submitting.

Papers will be reviewed by at leas two members of the doctoral consortium committee who will be selected from the EC-TEL 2007 ( programme committee. Accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings. Papers will also be made available electronically to the participants before the symposium to facilitate preparation of discussions and questions. Presentations will be kept short (10-15 minutes). A discussant, a member of the doctoral consortium committee, will be appointed to each paper. Discussant comments will be followed by a plenary discussion of the paper. At the end of the consortium there will be a general discussion, including a brainstorming session about current and future research topics in the area.

Only electronic submissions are accepted. E-mail your paper as an attachment in PDF or Postscript format to

A supporting letter should be sent by the PhD supervisor by e-mail to or by Fax: + 33 1 60 76 42 86 to Katherine Maillet.

Participants should register for the EC-TEL conference itself at student rate.

—Consortium Chairs—

  •   Katherine Maillet, Institut National des Télécommunications, France
  •   Tomaz Klobucar, Institut Jozef Stefan, Slovenia
  •   Denis Gilet, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  •   Ralf Klamma, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Hello world!

March 28, 2007

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