Right menu

APOSDLE - work, learn, collaborate

Conceptual Architecture including Component Evaluation

This deliverable gives an overview of the overall APOSDLE design approach to work-integrated learning support. For an in-depth discussion of the work-integrated learning paradigm related to informal learning theories please refer to the integrated Deliverable D II.8 & D III.5 APOSDLE Perspective on Self-Directed Work-integrated Learning. This deliverable focuses on the approach to design support mechanisms for work-integrated learning as prototypically implemented within APOSDLE Prototype 3 and on empirically investigating several features and support mechanisms included.
Specifically this deliverable addresses three major APOSDLE design concepts: models, user?s work context and user profiles; integrated work, learn, and cooperation support; and the knowledge artefact lifecycle. We apply a battery of semantic and scruffy approaches to each of these concepts in order to design learning support flexible enough to cope with challenges of work-integrated learning. By doing so, we draw from approaches to context-aware systems, user modelling, adaptive system design, learning and instruction methods, recommendation systems, retrieval and clustering algorithms as summarized in the following:

  • APOSDLE models and their relationships

Several models are needed to enable APOSDLE to deliver the needed support for self-directed work-integrated learning. This are respectively the domain model (refers to the work-learn domain concepts), the task model (refers to the tasks that are performed in the work-learn domain) and the learning goal model (refers to generic learning goals that can be linked to tasks). Each of the models is described in more detail and methods and techniques for modelling are explained. Also attention is paid to the crucial role these models play in the APOSDLE approach.

  • Userís work context and user profiles

APOSDLE relies on the automatic identification of a user?s current work task and relevant domain concept. This information is utilized to on the one hand trigger a number of work, learn and cooperation support mechanisms (see below). On the other hand this information feeds into a user profile designed as a layered overlay of the domain model. User profile services then allow us to infer the user?s knowledge levels, identify learning goals and compute prerequisite relations, etc. In addition the notion of a knowledge indicating event is explored as a means for unobtrusive profile adjustment and a proxy for outcome assessment.

  • Integrated work, learn and cooperation support

Based on a user?s current work task and/or topic and on her knowledge levels APOSDLE provides a number of recommendation and support mechanisms for learning and cooperation. These support mechanisms utilize on the one hand the underlying semantic models (domain, task, learning goal) and on the other hand advanced retrieval and clustering algorithms based on text and multi-media data. Support is embedded in instructional guidance that intends to help in performing key learning functions in self-directed learning. Cooperation is facilitated by recommendations of knowledgeable persons, context preservation during cooperation and providing communication channels. Outcomes of cooperation activities can be stored and accessed, thus contributing to knowledge creation and knowledge distribution.

  • Knowledge artefact lifecycle

Since APOSDLE re-uses organizational content (text as well as multi-media content) for supporting work-integrated learning this content needs to be turned into knowledge artefacts. We employ advanced retrieval and clustering algorithms based on text and multi-media data in order to do much of this automatically. In addition, the user is empowered to provide feedback and create new knowledge artefacts which over time improve the automatic mechanisms.

Several of the designs were empirically investigated in nine component evaluation studies, covering automated user work context detection, methods for assessing user levels and the validity of these levels, the acceptability of the privacy concept, the effect of manually created learning paths, the difference between several ways to show the domain in terms of work time speeding up, the usability and acceptability of scripted communication, the added value of multimedia and the relative performance of similarity measures for retrieval of resources. Together these studies provided valuable insights into the effectiveness and acceptability of these designs.