A new start …

More reflection on learning and your own development that is the goal so I am making a new start with this blog here. Lot of things have changed since my last blog post. I just started with THREE new great Universities – University of Leiden – Erasmus University Rotterdam – and University of Technology Delft. Lots of things to learn, lots of things to reflect on.

Today I read a article about personalisation in MOOCS and beside some interesting overview there is still a lot of interesting things to do for personalisation in online learning. Main applications currently used are recommender systems, personalised learning paths, personalised feedback as also tools for supporting meta-cognitive skills.

What is your favourite MOOC personalisation:

  • a dashboard component showing visualisation of your logs or performances, or compare your performance with others ?
  • a personal recommender or a social recommender ?
  • a motivational agent …


AduLet kickoff meeting at PH Ludwigsburg

Today I am participating in the ADULET kickoff meeting which is a new ERASMUS+ project on creating best practice descriptions for Technology Enhanced Learning.

The project will

  • produce a template for description of teaching practices which is related to LOM description also produced in the iCoper network.
  • guidelines for the effective use of TEL tools are a structured, standardized collection, describing TEL tools in a way, that enables teachers to find, select and apply appropriate tools supporting specific teaching methods.
  • case studies with a collection of existing strategies and support concepts as well as facts about TEL and concepts for strategies and support.
  • research publications on results and best practices in the different participation countries.
  • a community of practice around the teaching methods and tools to be used in TEL.

Soon more information when the project website is launched at:

Off to MIT …

I am really looking forward to my visit to MIT STEP. Lots of new things to learn, reflect on my own activities, set new goals, re-define my own interests and focus. Working on PhD publications and seeing my own publications in a broader context. So in generla what we call in German “Über den Tellerrand schauen.”

So what I am leaving with topic wise:

  • my work in the last years on sensor-based and ubiquitous computing for learning support. We are running three related European projects in that research topic at the moment: METALOGUE on multimodal dialogue and coaching people in negotiations, weKIT on capturing and transfering expert knowledge, and TESLA on creating more efficient assessment with multimodal assessment and logging.
  • personalization and personalized learning. This is probably what I am longest working on. I expect new perspectives on that from my visit. I think the work at STEP on games, creating games, exploring simulations spaces, creating software is very interesting to give a new notion to personalized learning looking more at the power of creativity and customisation.

Both of these topics are related to my work on competence management and development of competence-based education and learning support.

More to come … so stay tuned.

What makes learning personal ?

… So to continue on my previous blogpost I would like to continue some reflection on what makes learning personal.

In principle this is very simple to answer when we start from broader angle: Things becomes personal when you use them or when you create them. But even in the case that you get a personalized educational offer or use an adapted educational product the effect that humans experience this as something personal grows over time.

In a joint article in 2009 about “Personalisation of Learning inVirtual Learning Environments” with Dominique Verpoorten, Christian Glahn, Milos Kravcik and Stefaan Ternier we have analysed and reflected on the components of “how learning becomes personal”. In the article we looked into some conceptual links between controllability of a learning situation by the learner, autonomy of the learner to make his/her own decisions and therefore build ownership of his/her own learning process and also outcome. In the research there is a relevant link also between the factos of autonomy, self-regulation, and motivation of learners.

There is little research on how this happens with media in distance education, nevertheless in adaptive and personalized hypermedia there is some research in this direction and key components in the personalisation process are the locus of control (teacher, media or system, and learner) or transparency of the adaptation processes. The article in 2009 describes components as Ownership, Participation, Diversity, Regulation, and Reflection.



One of my current research projects is together with Guido van Dijk on using SCRUM methodology for supporting agile learning. For me this is a very interesting project also considering the notion of personalisation. By using SCRUM in the classroom in the Niekee/Agora school student can choose their own learning objectives, they develop their own plan for solving their learning question and create a solution to their question together with others. Theyr use a SCRUM software form the TargetProcess to do this. In the first phase of the research we have now defined several important theoretical backgrounds and also developed a first mapping of the SCRUM process onto the learning process.

For me this project really represents the new definition and shift of meaning of personalisation as described above. I started my research into doing adaptive hypertext and adaptive learning environments and developed a classification model for adaptive methods. Nowadays I see peersonalisation as this huge space of opportunities from which you choose and the choice makes it personal.

Having choices and making use of them makes learning and everything else personal.




Some references:
Specht, M., & Oppermann, R. (1998). ACE – Adaptive Courseware Environment. New Review Of Hypermedia And Multimedia, 4, 1–26.
Verpoorten, D., Glahn, C., Kravcik, M., Ternier, S., & Specht, M.

Verpoorten, D., Glahn, C., Kravcik, M., Ternier, S., & Specht, M. (2009). Personalisation of Learning in Virtual Learning Environments. In U. Cress, V. Dimitrova & M. Specht (Eds.), Learning in the Synergy of Multiple Disciplines. Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2009) (pp. 52-66). September, 29 – October, 2, 2009, Nice, France. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 5794. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. http://dspace.ou.nl/handle/1820/2023