On July 7th, we had two papers presented at ICALT 2014 Conference held in Athens, Greece, July 7-9, 2014.

Learner Modeling in Academic Networks

Authors:Mohamed Amine Chatti, Darko Dugosija, Hendrik Thüs and Ulrik Schroeder

Abstract—Learning analytics (LA) deals with the development of methods that harness educational data sets to support the learning process. To achieve particular learner centered LA objectives such as intelligent feedback, adaptation, personalization, or recommendation, learner modeling is a crucial task. Learner modeling enables to achieve adaptive and personalized learning environments, which are able to take into account the heterogeneous needs of learners and provide them with tailored learning experience suited for their unique needs. In this paper, we focus on learner modeling in academic networks. We present theoretical, design, implementation, and evaluation details of PALM, a service for personal academic learner modeling. The primary aim of PALM is to harness the distributed publication information to build an academic learner model.

The paper can be downloaded here.

What Drives a Successful MOOC? An Empirical Examination of Criteria to Assure Design Quality of MOOCs

Authors:Ahmed Mohamed Fahmy Yousef, Mohamed Amine Chatti, Ulrik Schroeder and Marold Wosnitza

Abstract: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have gained a lot of attention in the last years as a new Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) approach in higher education. MOOCs provide more educational opportunities to a massive number of learners to attend free online courses around the globe. Discussions around MOOCs have been focusing on the potential, social, institutional, technological, relevance, and marketing issues and less on the quality design of MOOC environments. Several studies have reported a high drop-out rate in average of 95% of course participants and other pedagogical problems concerning assessment and feedback. Thus, the quality of MOOCs design is worth additional investigation. Although several studies identified a large set of criteria to the successful design of TEL systems in general, not all of them can be used in the MOOC context, due to some unique features of MOOCs. This study is a first step towards identifying specific criteria that need to be considered when designing and implementing MOOCs. The results of this empirical study are based on a large survey targeting learners as well as professors, both with MOOC experience. As a result, we identified and rated 74 indicators classified into our two main dimensions of pedagogical and technological criteria distributed over six categories. From these, the learning analytics and assessment categories were found to be the key features for effective MOOCs.

The paper can be downloaded here