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Research on Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) investigates how information and communication technologies can be designed in order to support pedagogical activities. The workshop proceedings collects contributions concerning evidence based TEL systems, like their design following EBD principles as well as studies or best practices that educators, education stakeholders or psychologists used to diagnose or improve their students' learning skills, including students with specific difficulties.

The international ebTEL’12 workshop wants to be a forum in which TEL researchers and practitioners alike can discuss ideas, projects, and lessons related to ebTEL. The workshop takes place in Salamanca, Spain, on March 28th-30th 2012.



Understanding Computer Architecture with Visual Simulations: What Educational Value?

Many software simulators have been created for educational purposes. Such educational tools need to be both engaging and pedagogically sound if they are to enhance students’ learning experiences. A system simulator for computer architecture teaching and learning has been developed and refined according to both established and emerging new principles of pedagogy. A methodology for evaluating the simulator’s educational value has been identified and successfully applied during scheduled practical tutorial classes in years two and three of a three year undergraduate computing degree. The results are presented both qualitatively and quantitatively and are strongly indicative of the positive pedagogical value offered by the system simulations.

Besim Mustafa, Peter Alston

Evaluation Plan of TERENCE: When the User-Centred Design Meets the Evidence-Based Approach

TERENCE is an FP7 EU project that aims at developing an adaptive learning system with the twofold objective of helping children in improve deep text understanding, and supporting teachers in their daily work. The present paper focuses on the design of the evaluation of the pedagogical effectiveness and the usability of the TERENCE software. It starts from the user-centred design experience, evidence-based medicine, psychology, and from discussions about statistical methods and ethics considerations. The objective is to provide an innovative, evidence-based and efficient support, for children and teachers, that could be an efficient alternative to the traditional method of reading, so as to prevent and reduce problems of text comprehension that represent a public health and social problem. For this purpose, we developed an evaluation protocol within a reading laboratory in collaboration with teachers, to be hosted in the school structures that will join the project in Italy.

Vincenza Cofini, Dina Di Giacomo, Tania Di Mascio, Stefano Necozione, Pierpaolo Vittorini

Assessing Connective Understanding with Visual and Verbal Tasks

The role of temporal and causal connectives is relevant in reading comprehension. Children with comprehension difficulties have problems in interpreting these connectives (e.g. Amidon, 1976; Feagans, 1980; Pyykkônen, Niemi and Järvikivi, 2003; Trosborg, 1982). The Adaptive Learning System (ALS) TERENCE aims to develop children’s comprehension through the use of adaptive visual and verbal games. Within this framework, the purpose of this study was to assess connective comprehension with three visual and verbal tasks. Two hundred and eight English and Italian children participated in this study. The main results show that the use of pictures does not always support comprehension. Moreover, less skilled children perform better at simultaneous connective “while” compared to the temporal sequential connectives (before, after) and causal (because) ones.

Magali Boureux, Barbara Arfé, Margherita Pasini, Barbara Carretti, Jane Oakhill, Susan Sullivan

Concept Maps and Patterns for Designing Learning Scenarios Based on Digital-Ink Technologies

The research on educational technologies is continuously growing and their application demands an additional effort to instructors. The current work describes the use of concept maps and patterns to provide a better support to instructors in the design of their technology-enhanced learning scenarios. The combination of both representation mechanisms has been applied in a Higher Education context based on the use of digital-ink technologies. The obtained outcomes reveal, first, the contribution of concept maps to represent technology-enhanced learning scenarios from a generic point of view and second, the feasible design of specific learning scenarios based on digital-ink patterns which have been generated from previous concept maps.

Félix Buendía-García, José Vte. Benlloch-Dualde

Online Social Networks Impact in Secondary Education

This paper presents and analyzes the potential uses and motivations of online social networks in education, with special emphasis on secondary education. First, we show several previous researches supporting the use of social networking as an educational tool and discuss Edmodo, an educative online social network. The work carried out during two academic years with senior students of primary and secondary schools is also analyzed. This research has allowed us to see the reality of social network use among young people and identify the challenges of its application to education environment.

Habib M. Fardoun, Daniyal M. Alghazzawi, Sebastián Romero López, Victor M. R. Penichet, Jose A. Gallud

Learning to Read/Type a Second Language in a Chatbot Enhanced Environment

Evidence based design methodology can be applied to second language learning by introducing tools and methods based on human machine conversational agents such as restricted chatbots. General purpose chatbots have been used as English tutors, where the learner tries to maintain a generic conversation; on the contrary the proposed tools, obtained by an AIML chatbot generator, are aimed at having a restricted conversation with learners, specifically crafted for the second language training. In the first case study, the obtainable conversation is inspired by the exercises that typically are in a foreign language text book: the chatbot can corrects learners in real time whenever the learner produces incorrect sentences. On the other case, learners have to ask questions to a FAQ-chatbot about a fable that learners should have read to demonstrate the plot of the story has been understood.

Giovanni De Gasperis, Niva Florio

Learning about Literature on the Web in a German School

This paper discusses new ways of using web resources for teaching German literature at school using the LearnWeb2.0 system. The group project-work focused on teaching the literary work of Wolfgang Borchert, a German writer of the postwar era, to two groups of pupils in a German high school. Even thought the project time was limited to three weeks most students selected good quality material and created very good presentations.

Eva Holdack-Janssen, Ivana Marenzi

Towards a Sociosemiotic WebAnalytics: Higher Education TEL Tools Handling Access and Information Extraction in Textually Complex Websites

This paper reports the first stages in the authors’ plans to build


a sociosemiotically-oriented websearch-and-webshare platform for Higher Education students. It incorporates a model of textuality based on minigenre theory in which linguistic structures are related to text structures in explicit ways. End-user perceptions of textual and linguistic tie-ups are explored in relation to the functions of search engines and annotations. As space precludes detailed reporting of our field investigations, the experimental tools used are described in relation to the theoretical foundations and the potential for improving their interoperability. In so doing, the paper puts forward an approach to software development that posits a step-by-step integration of existing tools as a way of enacting the planned platform.

Cristina Arizzi, Ivana Marenzi, María Moreno Jaén

Adapting with Evidence: The Adaptive Model and the Stimulation Plan of TERENCE

TERENCE is an FP7 ICT European project that aims at developing an adaptive learning system for supporting learners and educators. The TERENCE learners are 7-8 to 11 year old children with poor reading comprehension skills. The TERENCE educators are primary-school teachers, support teachers and parents. This paper describes the stimulation plan for the TERENCE learners, based on clinical practice, and the adaptive learning model of TERENCE that stems from the stimulation plan. In other words, the design of the model follows the evidence based design.

Mohammad Alrifai, Rosella Gennari, Pierpaolo Vittorini

The User and Domain Models of the TERENCE Adaptive Learning System

TERENCE is an FP7 ICT European project that aims at developing an adaptive learning system for supporting learners and educators: the TERENCE learners are 7-8 to 11 year old children with poor reading comprehension skills; the TERENCE educators are primary-school teachers, support teachers and parents. The analyses of the context of use and requirements of the TERENCE system are based on real data. Therefore also the design of the conceptual model of the TERENCE system is based on real data. This paper describes the domain and user model of the TERENCE system, and its evidence-based design process.

Mohammad Alrifai, Rosella Gennari, Oana Tifrea, Pierpaolo Vittorini

Visual Representations of Narratives for Poor Comprehenders

Poor comprehenders are children with specific reading impairments. Several reading interventions for them, evaluated in the literature, use images for representing textual information in narratives. Our paper overviews several such studies, and highlights current findings and shortcomings in the literature. The results of the overview can be taken up for designing specific evidence-based visual representations of narrative information for poor comprehenders.

Tania Di Mascio, Rosella Gennari, Alessandra Melonio, Pierpaolo Vittorini

Using Virtual Worlds and Sloodle to Develop Educative Applications

Education is one of the most interesting applications of virtual worlds, as they can create opportunities to offer educative contents with the advantages of online courses, with the feel of “presence” that this immersive environments can provide. While most of social networking resources are mainly focused on sharing contents using a traditional web interface, virtual worlds facilitate the creation of social networks that enhance the perception and communication among its users through the use of additional modalities. In this paper we analyze the main resources provided by the Second Life virtual world and Sloodle to develop educational environments and describe their application in a educative project at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

David Griol, José Manuel Molina

The User Classes Building Process in a TEL Project

Nowadays, circa 10% of 7-11 olds turn out to be poor comprehenders: they demonstrate text comprehension difficulties, related to inference making, despite proficiency in low-level cognitive skills like word reading. To improve the reading comprehension of these children, TERENCE, a technology enhanced learning project, aims at stimulating inference-making about stories. In order to design and develop the TERENCE system, we use a user centred design approach that requires an in depth study of the system’s main end-users, namely, its learners and educators. This paper reports the user classes building process for learners by means of user-centred design field studies.

Tania Di Mascio, Rosella Gennari, Alessandra Melonio, Pierpaolo Vittorini

CBR Proposal for Personalizing Educational Content

A major challenge in searching and retrieval digital content is to efficiently find the most suitable for the users. This paper proposes a new approach to filter the educational content retrieved based on Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). AIREH (Architecture for Intelligent Recovery of Educational content in Heterogeneous Environments) is a multi-agent architecture that can search and integrate heterogeneous educational content within the CBR model proposes. The recommendation model and the technologies reported in this research applied to educational content are an example of the potential for personalizing labeled educational content recovered from heterogeneous environments.

Ana Gil, Sara Rodríguez, Fernando De la Prieta, Juan F. De Paz, Beatriz Martín

Evaluating ZigBee Protocol to Design CAFLA: A Framework to Develop Location-Based Learning Activities

The inclusion of mobile devices in learning environments has allowed both the emergence of new ways of learning and the adaptation of traditional teaching methods. In this sense, the information about the users and their environment must be taken into account when developing new approaches and solutions. Fortunately, there are several technologies that can help gathering such information. This paper introduces CAFLA, a context-aware framework aimed at helping developers to create location-based learning applications. CAFLA provides tools for integrating several communication technologies that can be used in collaborative learning scenarios.

Óscar García, Ricardo Serafín Alonso, Dante Israel Tapia, Juan Manuel Corchado

Menu Navigation in Mobile Devices Using the Accelerometer

In this article an application for mobile devices is presented. This application uses the accelerometer integrated into the own device to detect certain user movements and use them to navigate through the menus. The application is destined to those users with visual incapacity who need an alternative mechanism for the selection of the different options in the menus.

Alejandro Sánchez, Gabriel Villarrubia, Amparo Jiménez, Amparo Casado, Carolina Zato, Sara Rodríguez, Ignasi Barri, Edgar Rubión, Eva Vázquez, Carlos Rebate, José A. Cabo, Joaquín Seco, Jesús Sanz, Javier Bajo, Juan Manuel Corchado


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