MAVSEL is a 3-year research project exploring new techniques and tools for mining and analyzing social data in learning technology, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (ref. TIN2010-21715-C02-01) and lead by Dr. Miguel-Angel Sicilia, Information Engineering Research Unit. It is a follow-up of a short 1-year project called MAPSEL.
Rationale and objectives
Learning usually takes place in social settings, with direct or indirect interaction of learners with peers or tutors. Indeed, the contribution of social interaction to learning has been recognized by diverse theories of learning, and it has become a fundamental component in several approaches to instructional design. Also, the design, creation and publishing of learning resources of various kinds can be considered as mediated by community dynamics, especially when considering the expanding model of open educational resources (OER). At the same time, the rise of e-learning for pure or blended on-line education and the increasing use of learning technologies and Web-based systems have resulted in a new landscape for research on education based on empirical data.
MAVSEL has the following concrete objectives:
- Elaborate a model that provides a framework for data analysis in educational settings, informed by theories and hypothesis about the contribution of social interaction to learning.
- Select, evaluate and compare different methodological and computational techniques that can be applied to the analysis and subsequent decision making informed by the theories identified and feasible with the available data specified.
- Developing and testing the methods and techniques identified, resulting in a software framework integrating the different aspects of educational data and theories addressed.
- Developing and testing an integrated data analysis workbench including all the off-line data analysis methods and the base metrics and indicators identified.
- Developing relevant case studies and pilot projects for the methods studied and the tools developed.
iClass is an integrated project which is partially funded by the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development of the European Commission. Although it started off to develop a user-centric intelligent tutoring platform, the educational vision of the project was updated during the third year and bringing support for self-regulated personalisation on mainstream virtual learning environments became the objective.
In this paper, formative features of the visual interface of the iClass Web-based RIA will be explained as signifiers of typical regulatory structures. Semiotic principles underlying each signification will be described and the role of visualisation in operant conditioning and empowerment will be discussed.
In multicultural and multilingual societies, the implicit pedagogical assumptions of e-learning environments need to be made explicit. Two different cultural dimensions of educational practices are more specifically concerned: the pedagogical culture and the values, beliefs, attitudes, theories and models involved; and the digital culture and the emerging transformations related to knowledge and pedagogical modelling.
The development of intercultural abilities, already present in language education, can lead the way to an enhanced experience of learning and teaching. Students and teachers can be empowered as much as they develop a new culture of education, based on intercultural competences, critical thinking, awareness and self-regulated practices.
This article has been published earlier at: Digital Kompetanse | 3-2007 | vol. 2 | pages: 139–161