Open Source 4 you

“Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”Albert Einstein

How can you cleverly use data about the way students learn (learning analytics) to improve the design of education (learning design)? This is the question Marcel Schmitz asks himself in his doctoral research. From his background in ICT, he designed the board game Fellowship of the Learning Activities & Analytics (FoLA2) to provide insight into this process from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Learning analytics
The aim of this serious game is to enrich education on the basis of knowledge about learning behaviour. Learning analytics provide data about the behaviour during an educational activity. They provide insight into how someone learns,' says knowledge technologist Marcel Schmitz. In this way, the learning activity can respond better to the student's needs.

Developing learning activity
This is done in the game by discussing each step in the development of a learning activity in advance. Schmitz: 'The strength lies in that discussion, because in this way participants consciously think about the use of data and educational technology in the design from the very beginning. For example, do you want to know whether education is activating enough? Or who takes the initiative during the lesson and who doesn't? What data do you need to find out and how are you going to measure it? You ask these questions first and only then do you design the education.

Serious game
Marcel Schmitz also works as a lecturer at the Data Intelligence professorship at the ICT Academy of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. The game, the serious game Fellowship of the Learning Activities & Analytics (FoLA2), is an important part of his PhD research at the Department of Online Learning and Instruction of the OU Faculty of Educational Sciences. His supervisor Hendrik Drachsler, Professor of Learning Analytics at the OU, will present the game during the online conference Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) in Frankfurt from 23-27 March. The co-supervisor is Dr. Maren Scheffel, also specialised in learning analytics at the OU. Here the promo video for LAK20:

Systematically
Tickets with different colours per subject guide participants systematically and in a structured way along the different aspects when designing a learning activity. Participants have different roles, such as student, teacher, but also study coach or developer, and give each other feedback. They first choose the goal (or 'challenge'), then the pedagogical approach and the method of interaction (for example, between instructor and student, or students among themselves).

Data on learning behaviour
The next step is to discuss which technological tools are needed (such as an app) and which data about the learning behaviour can be collected. Think for example of data on how actively students participate during the activity. Finally, various scenarios or learning designs can be developed, tried out and adapted if necessary. A digital version of the 'physical' game with cards will also be developed. This will make it easier to save a detailed scenario and adapt it if necessary.

Reference:
Schmitz, Marcel; Scheffel, Maren; Bemelmans, Roger; Drachsler, Hendrik (2020): Fellowship Of The Learning Activity – Learning Analytics 4 Learning Design. https://doi.org/10.25385/zuyd.9884279
Multimodal Learning Hub: Smart devices with sensor capabilities are becoming increasingly popular opening the opportunity to the development of learning applications able to track and support learners in multiple learning scenarios. The development and research of these types of Multimodal Learning Applications are slow and expensive. Currently, most of these applications are built from scratch and designed to support a very specific learning task. The Multimodal Learning Hub (LearningHub) attempts to address this issue. The LearningHub is system designed to record Multimodal Learning Experiences by collecting, integrating and storing data from customizable sets of generic sensor applications.

Research Project

Github:

https://github.com/janschneiderou/LearningHub

Publications

  • Schneider, J., Di Mitri, D., Limbu, B., & Drachsler, H. (2018, September). Multimodal learning hub: A tool for capturing customizable multimodal learning experiences. In European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (pp. 45-58). Springer, Cham.
Presentation Trainer: Practice and feedback are two of the most important aspects to develop public speaking skills. Having always a human tutor available providing learners with feedback regarding their presentations skills is not feasible. The Presentation Trainer (PT) is a system designed to help learners to develop basic skills for public speaking. It allows learners to practice their presentation while receiving real-time feedback regarding their non-verbal communication. After practicing their presentation, the PT presents learners with the opportunity to reflect about their performance.

Research Project

Video:



Github:

https://github.com/janschneiderou/PT20

Publications

  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., Van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2015, November). Presentation trainer, your public speaking multimodal coach. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM on International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (pp. 539-546). acm.
  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., Van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2016). Can you help me with my pitch? Studying a tool for real-time automated feedback. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 9(4), 318-327.
  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., Van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2017). Presentation Trainer: what experts and computers can tell about your nonverbal communication. Journal of computer assisted learning, 33(2), 164-177.
  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., Van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2016, September). Enhancing public speaking skills-an evaluation of the Presentation Trainer in the wild. In European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (pp. 263-276). Springer, Cham.
  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., Van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2017, June). Do You Know What Your Nonverbal Behavior Communicates?–Studying a Self-reflection Module for the Presentation Trainer. In International Conference on Immersive Learning (pp. 93-106). Springer, Cham.
VR Presentation Trainer: Practice and feedback are two of the most important aspects to develop public speaking skills. Having always a human tutor available providing learners with feedback regarding their presentations skills is not feasible. The Presentation Trainer (PT) is a system designed to help learners to develop basic skills for public speaking. It allows learners to practice their presentation while receiving real-time feedback regarding their non-verbal communication. After practicing their presentation, the PT presents learners with the opportunity to reflect on their performance. The VR Presentation Trainer enables learners to receive feedback from the PT and train their skills while being immersed in a Virtual Reality classroom.

Research Project

Github:

https://github.com/CanIALugRoamOn/VRPT
Literature:
Schneider, J., Romano, G., & Drachsler, H. (2019). Beyond Reality—Extending a Presentation Trainer with an Immersive VR Module. Sensors, 19(16), 3457.
Salsa Trainer Dancing is an activity that positively enhances the mood of people that consists of feeling the music and expressing it in rhythmic movements with the body. Learning how to dance can be challenging because it requires proper coordination and understanding of rhythm and beat. In this paper, we present the first implementation of the Dancing Coach (DC), a generic system designed to support the practice of dancing steps, which in its current state supports the practice of basic salsa dancing steps. However, the DC has been designed to allow the addition of more dance styles. We also present the first user evaluation of the DC, which consists of user tests with 25 participants. Results from the user test show that participants stated they had learned the basic salsa dancing steps, to move to the beat and body coordination in a fun way. Results also point out some direction on how to improve the future versions of the DC. Literature:
Romano, G., and Schneider, J., and Drachsler, H. (2019). Dancing Salsa with Machines Filling the Gap of Dancing Learning Solutions. Sensors 2019, 17, 3661.
The Booth: Events such as giving presentations, taking an exam, going to a job interview, participating in any kind of tournament, etc. are usually emotionally charged. To perform as best as possible in these types of events it is important to also prepare for them emotionally. The Booth guides learners through a series of psychological exercises designed to reduce unhelpful feelings such as stress, anxiety, etc. and increase resourceful feelings such as joy, confidence, happiness, etc.

Research Project

Github:

https://github.com/janschneiderou/theBooth

Publications

  • Schneider, J., Börner, D., van Rosmalen, P., & Specht, M. (2018). Do you Want to be a Superhero? Boosting Emotional States with the Booth. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 24(2), 85-107.
Serene is a tool to support self-regulated learning, both in research and in everyday practice.

Planning
Serene supports the planning process by offering a template that is especially suited for the creation of learning goals. Learning goals have to be associated with a point in time and learners are asked to also create sub-plans on how they aim to achieve the goals.

We are currently working on features to analyze the written goals via NLP and give direct feedback during the creation (e.g. keeping them SMART).

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Monitoring
Monitoring of the learning in serene is done via an interface that
  • Asks the learner for the progress on their tasks
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  • Asks them for the reasons that affected their learning
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Learners can therefore already connect their goal achievement performance with the reasons, providing them with better insight why they perform particularly good or bad.

Reflection
The reflection tab has several visualizations that are there to help the learner reflect on his progress.

The screenshot shows an example of two possible visualizations, others can be easily activated.

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We are currently working on functionality that will give individualized recommendations to learners based on their goal achievement habbits.

If you are interested in the projects that triggered the development of our products navigate to the research projects page.