Adaptive Learning Environments: Research Workshop

We are  holding  a mini-conference on Thursday 14th April from at ARC to bring in  researchers in order to discuss current research, identify themes for future collaborations and explore funding opportunities.


10-00 – 10.45: arrival, coffee and informal chats around current research

10.45 – 1.00pm:  Short presentations (10 minutes each maximum) about current research interests

10-45 – 11.00:    Steve Green (ARC, Teesside)

11.00 – 11.15:     Fotis Lazarinis (University of Western Greece)

11.15 – 11.30:     Lilyana Nacheva-Skopalik (TU Gabrovo, Bulgaria)

11.30 – 11.45:      Professor Tom Boyle (RLO, CETL)

11.45 – 12.00:     Simon Ball (TechDis)

12.00 – 12.15:      —coffee break —

12.15 – 12.30:      David Sloan (DMAG)

12.30 – 12.45:     Andy Heath (Access for All))

12.45- 1.00:         Elaine Pearson / Voula Gkatzidou (ARC, Teesside)

1.00pm – 2.30pm:  Lunch and continued informal research discussions

2.30pm – 4.00pm: discussions on future research directions and funding sources (including European Framework 7/8).

Steve Green (ARC, Teesside University)

Dr. Green presented  current work on an accessibility model that combines elements of formal logic, accessibility standards (such as AccessForAll ACCLIP and ACCMD, ARIA – Accessible Rich Internet Applications and W3C Widgets) and a community design approach it is possible to specific, design and develop a robust Adaptable Personal Learning Environment (APLE) framework, on behalf of ARC.He i  outlined the role that each of these components can play in our APLE and suggested new areas for collaborative research.

Fotis Lazarinis (University of Western Greece)

Dr Fotis Lazarinis talked about the trends in e-learning and educational technology with a particular emphasis of his own area of expertise in e-assessment and standards. Fotis outlined some of the tools available to the tutor and the student for e-learning and e-assessment. In particular he will look at his tool iAdapTest and the IMS QTI (Question Test Interoperability) standard, and concluded with some of the research issues and application areas he is moving on to which include personalized e-museums and a ‘safer’ internet.

Lilyana Nacheva-Skopalik (Technical University of Gabrovo, Bulgaria)

Dr. Skopalik shared her experience for  previous research on test systems for automated formative and diagnostic e-assessment, which provides detailed and supportive feedback to the individual student and to a student group and is an assistive tool for the tutor. Her current research aims to extend this study with a look to integrate such a system into an APLE, making it accessible and adaptable according the students’ needs and preferences. This includes development of formal specification and design of intelligent adaptive e-assessment tool.

Tom Boyle (London Metropolitan University).

Professor Tom Boyle outlined a conceptual system for producing adaptable, personalized learning resources based on ideas from generative linguistics. This approach allows for intervention at different stages in the pedagogical decision process. He illustrated how this is implemented in the GLO Maker 2 authoring tool. Professor Boyle opened up the issue of combining this approach with a diagnostic component that detects user needs to create a framework for an Adaptable Personal Learning Environment.

Dr. Simon Ball (JISC Techdis)

Dr. Simon Ball, a visiting Fellow for ARC has discussed the wider area of user focussed accessible e-learning and e-assessment, the use of technology to enable and enhance the learning experience, application of accessibility to library processes and tools and the role of technology in enhancing the employability of disabled students.

David Sloan (Digital Media Access Group,  University of Dundee)

Dr. Sloan has been talking about user profiling and how corresponding interface/interaction adaptation based on user needs has clear potential for accessibility. However there are  challenges relating to 1) the initial populating of a profile and 2) maintaining its accuracy over time and between platforms and environments, as accessibility needs change. Accommodating dynamic diversity is a particular challenge in supporting older people as ICT  users, and profiling and adaptation is something we are exploring as part of the New Dynamics of Ageing-funded SUS-IT project. Dr Sloan expressed interest in research opportunities for exploring the social and technical challenges in using profiling and adaptation to  its full potential in delivering inclusive technology-mediated information and experiences.

Andy Heath (Axelrod Access For All)

Andy had discussed the design, implementation, and deployment of standards-based personalisation in the community. Andy is an invited expert to IMS Accessibility SIG, an editor of ISO/IEC 24751 Individualised Adaptability and Accessibility in Learning, Education and Training, has authored and contributed to many standards in the field of personalisation including all of the AccessForAll specifications and participates in many technical standards supporting AccessForAll approaches and related work under development. Andy led the technical development of IMS Access For All 3.0 – a semantic-web based approach currently available in Public Draft for comment (http://tinyurl.com/afa3publicdraft) which is ready for prototype implementation and further community development. Andy continues to develop this approach working with several standards organisations.

Elaine Pearson and Voula Gkatzidou (ARC, Teesside University)

Elaine and Voula will give a brief overview of WIDE – Widgets for Inclusive Distributed Environments in the context of Adaptable Personal Learning Environments and the WIDGAT proposal to extend the concept of community design and development of learning designs. Other research in the Accessibility Research Centre that contribute to the WIDER concept of an APLE will also be briefly introduced. We are interested in exploring opportunities for collaboration to specify, apply and evaluate standards based applications, tools and services within a learner centred community  to achieve  an APLE that supports learning in the broadest context (formal and informal).Image

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