The ROLE test-beds: ROLE learning tools in action

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  • 1. The ROLE test-beds:ROLE learning tools in action
    Dr Alexander Mikroyannidis
    The Open University, UK
  • 2. The ROLE test-beds
    • The ROLE test-beds target a large sample of individuals with significant potential for extending to other learners and learning communities.
    • 3. Learning in higher education:
    • 4. The Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) test-bed
    • 5. The RWTH Aachen University test-bed
    • 6. The OpenLearn test-bed by the Open University
    • 7. Learning in the workplace:
    • 8. The FestoLernzentrum test-bed
    • 9. The British Institute for Learning and Development (BILD) test-bed
  • The SJTU test-bed
    • The SJTU test-bed takes place at the School of Continuing Education (SOCE/NEC) of SJTU.
    • 10. SOCE students, mostly adult learners who have a job, attend the classes in the evening or on the week-end, either in person in the classroom, or by watching live over the Web.
    • 11. Improving their competencies via degree education or certificate training enables personnel to increase their chances in the highly competitive Chinese job market.
  • SJTU widgets
    • Creating an audio self-presentation in French includes four main widgets:
    • 12. a translator widget
    • 13. a spell checker
    • 14. a text-to-speech engine
    • 15. a recording widget
    • 16. This widget bundle is useful in a language learning context and can be used to complete a variety of tasks, such as learning vocabulary, improvement of pronunciation, producing of texts and audio-files, etc.
  • The RWTH test-bed
    • The RWTH test-bed is provided by the “Center for Learning and Knowledge Management and Department of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering” (ZLW/IMA) at RWTH Aachen University.
    • 17. The ZLW/IMA is responsible for the lecture “Informatics in Mechanical Engineering” with more than 1000 students each semester.
    • 18. The usage of e-learning tools supports collaborative learning especially within large groups of students.
  • RWTH widgets
    • The environment is composed of three intercommunicating widgets:
    WKM Widget: A Web 2.0 Knowledge Map for accessing and reading topic articles
    Multiuser Chat Widget: general or topic-related group chats & presence information
    History Widget: tracks individual learning activities and shows personal history of visited topics
  • 19. The Festo test-bed
    • The Festo test-bed addresses the issue of providing a responsive learning environment within further education activities of a training centre in a company.
    • 20. This test-bed provides a platform for federating and mashing-up different ROLE learning services within the Festo Virtual Academy, which is the central learning management system of Festo.
  • Festo widgets
    • This widget bundle consists of two widgets:
    • 21. Media Search Widget: search for learning content in various content repositories like YouTube, SlideShare, and Wikipedia
    • 22. Media List Widget: organize learning content in media lists.
    • 23. Tagging, sharing and commenting functionalities as well as collaborative creating of media lists are supported.
  • The BILD test-bed
    • The BILD is a membership organisation representing the interests of over 2000 learning and development professionals.
    • 24. Each member represents a different organisation utilising potentially different learning systems and servicing varying types of learners working in different contexts.
    • 25. The members selected to participate in the test bed activity represent scenarios where there are individual learners and where there is a potential to make a transition from working in isolation to sharing competencies with others and entering into a collaborative situation.
  • BILD widgets
    • Etestmeprovides an online system whereby English language learners can practise for their IELTS examination.
    • 26. Etestme has produced a widget sized version of their online language assessment system, namely an ‘Etestme results thermometer’.
    • 27. The widget has been used by English language learners in SJTU.
  • The OpenLearn test-bed
    • OpenLearn ( is a Moodle-based LMS, consisting of two distinct learning areas: LearningSpaceand LabSpace.
    • 28. LearningSpace includes Open Educational Resources (OER) organised in standalone learning units, plus social software and discussion forums to enable collaboration and group work.
    • 29. LabSpace has an experimental and developmental nature; users can submit their own content, as well as remix and reuse the resources available.
  • OpenLearn courses & tools
  • 30. Learner-centric approach
    • OpenLearn has been built around units of study and not the personal profiles of learners; a learner-centric approach is missing
    • 31. Learners do not get any guidance about how to learn on their own, neither from technology, nor from peers
    • 32. Learners need support to plan and control their learning journey
    • 33. ROLE goal: Provide recommendations to learners about resources and other learners (‘study-buddies’)
    Image source:
  • 34. Tools and personalisation
    • Tools currently available in OpenLearn:
    • 35. Videoconferencing (FlashMeeting)
    • 36. Sensemaking (Compendium, Cohere)
    • 37. Blogs
    • 38. Forums
    • 39. Learning clubs
    • 40. Generally disconnected from learning units
    • 41. ROLE goals:
    • 42. Allow learners to gain control over the manipulation and production of content through tools
    • 43. Enable learners to bring in their own tools and personalise their learning environment
  • Social interactions
    • The learning content currently provided by OpenLearn is comprised of standalone units, which are generally not being studied in a social context
    • 44. Lack of support for social interactions
    • 45. ROLE goals:
    • 46. Provide support to learners for community building and collaborative activities
    • 47. A shared learning experience instead of a lone study
    Image source:
  • 48. ROLE widgets in OpenLearn
    Learners aggregate and work collaborativelyon learning resources provided by the Open University (e.g. OpenLearn, iTunesU) and external sources (e.g. Wikipedia, SlideShare, YouTube)
  • 49. Moodle recommenders for educational resources
    • This widget bundle consists of two widgets that provide recommendations about educational resources related to a particular course.
    • 50. The widgets have been developed as Moodle blocks to be displayed on the sidebar of a Moodle course.
  • 51. ROLE course in OpenLearn
    • The course provides an overview of the concepts behind PLEs and also demonstrates a selection of learning tools that have been developed by ROLE.
    • 52. Additionally, it gives the learner an opportunity to use some of these tools within through a set of learning activities.
  • 53. From LMS to PLE
    • The OpenLearn transition from the LMS towards the PLE paradigm aims in:
    • 54. A richer and more personalized learning experience
    • 55. Support for self-regulated learning
    • 56. Social networking and community-building
    • 57. Openness and adaptivity of the learning environment
    Image sources:
  • 58. Thank you for your attention!