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file icon Developing an evaluation methodology for immersive learning experiences in a virtual worldhot!
This article proposes an evaluation methodology for supporting the development of specified learning activities in virtual worlds, based upon inductive methods and augmented by the four dimensional framework. The study undertaken aimed to test the efficacy of the evaluation methodology and to evaluate the broader uses of Second Life for supporting lifelong learners in their educational choices and career decisions. The paper presents the findings of the study and argues that virtual worlds are reorganising how we relate to the design and delivery of learning. This is opening up a transition in learning predicated upon the notion of learning as made up of immersive experiences rather than sets of knowledge to be transferred between tutor and learner. The challenge for tutors remains in the design and delivery of these activities and experience and the approach advocated here builds upon an incremental testing and evaluation of virtual
world learning experiences.
file icon Using Similarity Metrics for Matching Lifelong Learnershot!

The L4All system provides an environment for the lifelong learner to access information about courses, personal development plans, recommendation of learning pathways, personalised support for planning of learning, and reflecting on learning. Designed as a web-based application, it offers lifelong learners the possibility to define and share their own timeline (a chronological record of their relevant life episodes) in order to foster collaborative elaboration of future goals and aspirations. A keystone for delivering such functionalities is the possibility for learner to search for ‘people like me’. Addressing the fact that such a definition of ‘people like me’ is ambiguous and subjective, this paper explores the use of similarity metrics as a flexible mechanism for comparing and ranking lifelong learners’ timelines.

 The paper appears in the  Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, B. Woolf et al. (Eds.): ITS 2008, LNCS 5091, pp. 142–151, 2008, Springer.


file icon Towards Cross-System User Model Interoperability for Planning Lifelong Learninghot!

User model interoperability offers opportunities for acquiring relevant fragmented information about learners in order to provide cross-system personalisation and support for planning lifelong learning and related activities throughout life. To this end, in this paper, we adopt a service-based approach and develop a comprehensive ontology for planning lifelong learning that could serve as a reference model in order to support the development, mapping and integration of user models in the context of a lifelong learning network.

This paper appears in the Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Ubiquitous User Modeling with focus on User Model Intergration (UMI 2008) in conjuction with the 5th International Conference on Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-based Systems, July 29, 2008, Hannover, Germany, pp. 28-32.

file icon Designing Services-Enabled Personalisation for Planning of Lifelong Learninghot!

Lifelong Learning is a complex environment where strategic planning, coordination and collaboration between partners are needed. Lifelong learners form a rather diverse student population with a variety of backgrounds, evolving needs and varying accessibility requirements. Making lifelong learning happen in practice requires learners becoming more aware of their own studying and thinking processes, and tools and guidance that support the planning of learning throughout life. To this end, technology should be used effectively to assist lifelong learners to access, compose and manage their learning under varying circumstances and settings, such as institutional, informal and work-based. Models also need to be developed and frameworks need to be extended that would allow local, regional, national and international systems to work together to provide lifelong learners coherent access to e-infrastructures within and across institutions. This paper explores a lifelong learning dimension in the context of the MyPlan project, which aims to create a personal space where learners are supported in planning their learning throughout life. It investigates the role user modelling can play in this context to support personalisation when searching for new learning opportunities and receiving recommendations, and to facilite learners’ reflection both on their own individual learning experiences and learning from the experiences of others.

This paper appears in the Proceedings of the Workshop on Personalisation in E-Learning Environments at Individual and Group Level, 11th International Conference on User Modeling (UM 2007), Corfu, Greece, 25-29 June 2007, pp. 8-15.

file icon Modelling the lifelong learner in a services-based environmenthot!

A user model contains and maintains information about the user, which is needed to tailor information and services to each individual user’s characteristics, usage behaviour and/or usage environment. This paper explores user modelling in a service-oriented framework for lifelong learning. It identifies lifelong learners' attributes that should be stored in a user model and proposes personalisation functionalities to support learning throughout life in the context of the L4All1 system.

 This paper appears in the Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications, 4-7 September 2007, Wrexham, UK, pp. 191-201.