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APOSDLE - work, learn, collaborate

Conceptual Framework & Architecture Version 1

learning and collaboration activities in the context of knowledge workers’ everyday work processes and within their computer based work environments. Support should be provided by means of a generic application that is not domain specific.

Achieving this goal requires conceptual as well as a technological solutions to many different challenges and problems. This deliverable describes the conceptual problems encountered and solutions proposed for the first and second prototypes of the project. Given the scope of the document it is hard to compress its message in only a few lines, so many relevant aspects are omitted from this summary.

In the most general sense, the greatest challenge is hidden in the phrase “not domain specific”. This implies that the APOSDLE system can easily be adjusted to and fit in existing work practice in a variety of organisations. More in particular, this implies that the domain of work is not known in advance, that information to be used for supporting learning at work is very heterogeneous and not specifically designed for this purpose and, finally, the information resources can reside anywhere in the document base of an organisation. Furthermore, the social network people rely on to support each other during work is not known either, nor the many different ways they interact with each other. This leads to the three major challenges listed below. For each challenge we briefly describe the kind of solution pursued in the first two prototypes of the project.

The three major challenges are:

• Real time learning – APOSDLE aims at supporting the knowledge worker in learning situations within her current work task. Learner support needs to be adapted to a user’s work context and her experiences, and should be short, and easy to apply. Solution pursued – User’s work context and current task detection by utilitzing task models, automated task detection algorithms and extensive user profiling. Providing learning events that are created at the moment the worker needs them while executing a concrete work task. Embedding peer to peer and expert support by communication facilities that take the work and learning context into account.

• Real computational environment – APOSDLE aims at providing a variety of tools which are integrated seamlessly within her desktop and allow one-point access to relevant back-end systems of her organization (via some intelligent middleware). Tools need to be inconspicuous and easy to use. Solution pursued – Developing several computer readable models and a meta-model that allow a unified view on the work domain in the shape of a general knowledge base. Access to learning support through a single application present in a side bar.

• Real content – APOSDLE aims at dynamically creating learning content out of resources from the underlying organizational memory (which originally were not intended for instruction). Resources need to be compared, analyzed and retrieved based on their relationships to each other and the user context. Solution pursued – Creating homogeneous access to a variety of organizational resources stored in different back-end systems. Creation of learning events and retrieving of knowledge artefacts based on semantic annotations of resources. Annotations are achieved by combining manual annotation, automated methods based on machine learning principles and user feedback thereof. Associative retrieval of the organizational resources is used to find relevant material that is related to the information presented to users in learning events.