Adaptive Support for Collaborative E-Learning

The overall goal of the proposed project is to devise, facilitate and foster more collaborative and group-oriented learning approaches than are possible with today's technological means.



The project's core hypotheses can be summarised as follows:

  • The explicit representation of group-oriented didactic approaches can be used to ground adaptation strategies for providing collaboration support to groups of learners.
  • The identification and representation of group learning contexts improve group awareness and facilitate the establishment of collaboration.
  • Providing system-initiated opportunities for jointly undertaking both ad-hoc and structured multi-learner tasks catalyse the establishment of a "culture of collaboration" within learner communities.
  • Automatically created / augmented personal learning histories can assist in establishing group collaboration, sustain established groups, and increase the levels of cohesion therein.

Case Studies

The above hypotheses will be tested within the scope of the project through two case studies. The planned case studies, built around courses offered by the FIM Institute in a blended learning setting, are:

First case study

The first case study of the project was of a targeted nature, took place under the formative evaluation cycle of the project, and was designed around a course that deals with legal issues in IT. For the needs of the study, the project's infrastructure was used to implement an adaptive generator for tests and exemplary solutions for the legal area of domain name disputes according to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the ICANN. These cases were based on an underlying ontology, which enables the determination of students' knowledge level in this area, on the basis of their correct and mistaken solutions.

The publications page contains some preliminary output from this first case study.

Second case study

The second case study will be more horizontal than the first, and will take place under the summative evaluation cycle of the project. This study will also be designed around an existing course offered by the FIM Institute. The course syllabus will be modified to include additional on-line curricular-, practice-, and exploration- activities; the course's assignments will also be converted to group assignments.

In this case study it is anticipated that the entire software infrastructure of the project will be available, which will allow for a more holistic assessment of the results of the introduction of the novel technologies on the collaboration aspects of the learning process and the learning outcomes themselves. Experimentation will continue at the levels of the employment of different didactic approaches to guide the system's adaptive behaviour, and the generation and utilisation of personal- and group- learning histories.