ScenEdit: an intention-oriented learning design authoring tool                                              Valérie Emin1,...
2 ScenEdit: a graphical authoring tool to design learning scenariosThe research work presented in this paper was conducted...
Fig. 2. An example of intention in ScenEdit: intention “destabilize- proximity of the battery has an influence on current ...
Each component can be made of re-usable elements that can appear in many scenarios, and for each type the author caneither...
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Valerie Emin and Jean-Philippe Pernin: ScenEdit: an intention-oriented learning design authoring tool

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  1. 1. ScenEdit: an intention-oriented learning design authoring tool Valérie Emin1,2, Jean-Philippe Pernin1 1 Laboratoire Informatique de Grenoble 110 av. de la Chimie - BP 53 - 38041 Grenoble- cedex 9 - France 2 Institut Français de l’Education - ENS Lyon 15 parvis René-Descartes, BP 7000, 69342 Lyon cedex 07 - France, Abstract. This paper presents the ScenEdit authoring environment, a graphical tool dedicated to the design of learning scenarios. The environment is based on the ISiS (Intentions, Strategies, and interactional Situations) intention-oriented conceptual model co-elaborated with teachers-designers. ScenEdit allows teacher-designers to structure the design of scenarios by eliciting intentions, strategies and interactions included in the ISIS framework. ScenEdit aims to favour sharing and reusing practices by providing patterns for each type of component (intention, strategy and interactional situation). We present here the main functionalities of the environment through an example. Keywords: technology enhanced learning, authoring tools, learning design, goal-oriented approach, patterns.1 IntroductionFor several years some researches have concerned the modeling process of learning situations integrating digitaltechnologies. Educational Modelling Languages (EML) [1] aim at providing interoperable descriptions of learningscenarios. As noticed by IMS-LD authors [1], an EML is not intended to be directly manipulated by teachers orengineers: specific authoring systems [2, 3, 4] must be provided to allow designers to design scenarios at a lower cost.The first generation of EML editors has been mainly developed from technical challenges. The main goal of such toolswas (a) to transform easily designers specifications towards implementation features and (b) to insure interoperabilityin order to exchange learning scenarios between technical platforms such as Learning Management Systems. Theproposed editors, which reuse modeling techniques coming from computer science (such as UML, for example) wereconsidered too complex to be mastered by teachers [1].A second generation of editors, such as LAMS [5], proposes another "tool-box oriented" approach. LAMS provides aseries of components of different levels which represent activities that can be combined to create a scenario. LAMS canbe easily used by a teacher to create different scenarios. Although LAMS provides patterns of activities and repositoriesfor sharing scenarios, it does not allow the designer to motivate its choices for the design or for the re-use by didacticalor pedagogical reasons. A third generation concerns "visual instructional design languages" [6], but according to theauthors themselves these tools are still too complex for a non-technical user: "editing facilities need to be moreaccessible to non-technical user in order to develop, implement and reach an easier and further use of this type of casestudies in reality". Our approach is to combine the previous approaches in the teachers designing process: (a) toorganize the scenario by eliciting formally the intentions of the designer and by representing explicitly the learningstrategies chosen and (b) to favour exploration of reusable components in specific libraries adapted to specificcommunities of teachers.To this end, we have co-elaborated the ISiS( Intentions, Strategies, and interactional Situations) intention-orientedconceptual model [7] in a participative design approach with experimented and inexperienced teachers mainly at Frenchsecondary school. This framework proposes a specific identification of the intentional, strategic, tactical and operationaldimensions of a learning scenario. ISiS aims to capture the teachers’ intentions and strategies in order to betterunderstand scenarios written by others and to favour sharing and reuse practices. The Intention level describes thedesigner’s intentions, closely linked to the knowledge context which defines targeted knowledge items (competencies,abilities, conceptions or misconceptions, etc.). The Strategy level is related to teaching methods, in order to reach goalsrelated to the intentions formulated at Intention level, the designer opts for the strategy (at pedagogical or didacticallevel) he considers to be the most appropriate. The interactional Situation level represents the tactical level, i.e. theproposed solution to implement the formulated intentions and strategies. Each “interactional situation” is defined as aset of interactions with a specific set of roles, tools, resources, locations, according to the situational context. Thesituational context is defined at an abstract level, which means that only typical elements are listed (i.e.: word processor,mind map…). Physical spaces are represented by the item locations, which are typical abstract locations: classroom,home, internet connected location… ISiS is not an alternative solution to EML, but complements them by offeringhigher level models, methods and tools designed for and with teachers-designers. In parallel with the elaboration of theISiS model, we have co-designed with teachers a series of software prototypes progressively implementing ISiSconcepts. After the evaluation of some authoring solutions in learning design [1, 3, 5, 6], we have chosen to develop ourown graphical authoring environment based on the ISiS model: ScenEdit [8]. We will present now ScenEdit webversion, our latest prototype. 1
  2. 2. 2 ScenEdit: a graphical authoring tool to design learning scenariosThe research work presented in this paper was conducted in collaboration between the Laboratoire Informatique deGrenoble and the INRP1. This collaboration, part of the ApprenTice PPF Program, closely associates groups of teachersin charge of co-elaborating and experimenting models we want to implement. Our research focuses on authoringenvironments dedicated to specific designers: teachers who integrate digital technologies in French secondaryeducational system.ScenEdit is a web-based authoring environment which allows a community of teachers to create, modify and reuselearning scenarios. ScenEdit allows teachers to quickly and easily create structured scenarios by:− eliciting its intentions in terms of knowledge, competencies and abilities from pre-existing database, common to a certain community of teachers;− choosing scenario patterns corresponding to common or novel strategies, well adapted to its intentions and to the learning context;− selecting interactional situations and matching them to the different steps of the strategies;− managing different components in specific databases, like scenarios, intentions, strategies, interactional situations…In this version, operationalization features have not been yet implemented.ScenEdit proposes three workspaces: the Scenario edition workspace, the ISiS Components workspace, and theContext workspace represented by tabs in the ScenEdit editor as shown in figure 1, to edit a structuring scenario. Figure1 shows the view provided by the Scenario Edition tab, on our scenario example: LearnElec [9]. LearnElec is acollaborative scenario concerning the concept of power of a bulb in Physics in secondary school. This scenario has beenco-designed by didacticians and teachers with a main intention which is to destabilize a usual misconception inelectricity: “the proximity of the generator has an influence on the intensity”. Fig. 1. ScenEdit main screenFigure 1 shows this scenario implemented with the ScenEdit graphical tool, each type of component (Intentions,Strategies, Situations) is shown with a different symbol: a triangle for a step, a rounded rectangle for an intention, arectangle for a strategy, a circle for a phase and a picture for a situation. Checkboxes (Intentions, Strategies andSituations) of Figure 1 allows visualizing the desired levels.In LearnElec scenario, the teachers’ first didactical intention is “to destabilize” a frequently encountered“misconception” of students in electricity which is that “proximity of the battery has an influence on current intensity”.Figure 2 shows how this intention is implemented within ScenEdit, by defining mainly 4 elements: the formulator of theintention, the actor concerned by the intention, and the intention itself: an operation on a knowledge item. After havingdefined his intention, the teacher-designer has to choose the appropriate strategy he wants to use to reach the goal.1 Institut National de la Recherche Pédagogique (French National Institute for Research in Education), which is now Institut Français de l’Education since April 20112
  3. 3. Fig. 2. An example of intention in ScenEdit: intention “destabilize- proximity of the battery has an influence on current intensity”In LearnElec scenario, the didactical intention is implemented with a specific didactical strategy called “scientificinvestigation” composed of four phases: hypothesis elaboration, solution elaboration, hypothesis testing and conclusion.Figure 3 shows the visual representation of the intention and the strategy we have implemented with these four phases. Fig. 3. An example of strategy in ScenEdit : “scientific investigation”Each phase can be performed through various pedagogical modes and can be refined by another intention according tothe type of activity, the availability of computer services, etc. the teacher wants to use. In our example, the first phase:“hypothesis elaboration” is refined by a pedagogical intention called “increase the ability to work in a collaborativeway” as shown in figure 1. This intention is implemented with a strategy called “elaborating a proposal by making aconsensus” composed of two phases: “Make an individual proposal” and “Confront proposals. Obtain a consensus”. Foreach phase, an interactional situation can be defined. Fig. 4. An example of interactional situation in ScenEditFigure 4 shows the form used to define the interactional situation: “Individual proposal using MCQ”, in which actors,tools, resources and locations are specified. Finally, during these two phases the teacher is involved in an activity ofmanagement of the groups symbolized by an interactional situation called “Group management” as shown in figure 1.ScenEdit proposes three workspaces represented by tabs in figure 1. The Scenario edition workspace allows tographically design a structuring scenario using the hierarchy of ISiS levels by assembling and logically linking elementsdefined in this tab or previously defined in the ISiS Components tab. The ISiS Components workspace is dedicated tomanage the three main components of the ISiS model: (a) Intentions, (b) Strategies and (c) interactional Situations. 3
  4. 4. Each component can be made of re-usable elements that can appear in many scenarios, and for each type the author caneither create a new element or import and adapt an existing one from a library. The library contains the components ofthe scenario and all the patterns provided in the global database. The Context workspace defines the two different typesof context in which a learning unit can be executed: the knowledge context and the situational context. The knowledgecontext tab allows to define the different contexts of knowledge that can be used in the scenario for defining theknowledge items used for intentions and pre-requisites. The situational context tab allows to define the elements ofinteractional Situations: actors, tools, resources, locations. The choices available for each component depends on thecharacteristics defined in the Context workspace.3 Experimentation of the ScenEdit environmentSeveral experiments have been conducted since the beginning of this research work in order to adopt a user-orientedapproach. These experimentations with teachers-designers have shown the benefits of the ISiS model (1) to improve thequality of the scenarios created, (2) to illustrate the importance of the elicitation of intentions and strategies by usersthemselves, (3) to better understand the scenarios created by others and (4) to simplify the design process by reducingthe distance between users’ requirements and the effectively implemented system. An experimentation of our graphicalonline tool ScenEdit in terms of utility and usability, has been done in April 2009 during two days in a Frenchsecondary school. The subjects were a group of five teachers in Industrial Sciences and Techniques fields (electronics,mechanics and physics). Two teachers had worked with us before on the definition of reusable components, such aslearning strategy and interactional situations patterns, inside our tool ScenEdit and the three others had never heardabout ISiS model or learning scenario design before this experiment. The analysis of this qualitative study [7] shows thevalue for the practitioners of having reusable components in the context of designing for the teachers’ own ordinarywork in their classroom or for a collaborative work with other teachers. Some of the comments suggested improvementsof the visual representation of the ISiS model: in particular more precision is required for the temporal dimension whichis not represented on the actual simple tree version, as mentioned before. Moreover they pointed out that making thephases and the activities more explicit helped them as « the scenario can be appropriated more quickly ».4 ConclusionIn this paper, we have presented an overview of ScenEdit authoring environment whose purpose is to assist teachers inthe design of learning scenarios and to favour sharing and re-use practices. According to our experimentations, the ISiSmodel, co-elaborated with a panel of practitioners, appears efficient. Part of our work with the teachers has been toformalize and design patterns of learning scenarios, pedagogical approaches and recurrent interactional situations.ScenEdit offers some patterns of different levels (intentions, strategies, interactional situations) elaborated from best-practices found in the literature or within communities of practice. With this environment, we expect users will be ableto feed databases, in order to share their scenarios with others or reuse them further in related or different contexts. Asthe scenario can be encoded as an XML file, different outputs can be produced and several possibilities oftransformation can be offered in nextversion: a printable text or form for the teacher is now available, and we plan toprovide a printable picture of the edition views, an IMS-LD compliant version for editing with another authoring tooland a SCORM package which can be executed on a LMS. We aim at experimenting ScenEdit more thoroughly, with awider audience which not necessarily has a great familiarity with ICT and scenario design software and methods.References 1. Koper, R. and Tattersall, C.: ‘Learning Design: A Handbook on Modelling and Delivering Networked Education and Training’. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg (2005) 2. Koper, R.: Current Research in Learning Design. Educational Technology & Society, 9 (1), pp. 13-22, (2006) 3. Botturi, L., Cantoni, L., Lepori, B., Tardini, S.: Fast Prototyping as a Communication Catalyst for E-Learning Design: Making the Transition to E-Learning: Strategies and Issues. Hershey, M. Bullen & D. Janes editors (2006) 4. Murray, T.; Blessing, S.: Authoring Tools for Advanced Technology Learning Environment, Toward Cost-Effective Adaptive, Interactive and Intelligent Educational Software, Ainsworth, S. (Eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 571, (2003) 5. Dalziel, J.: ‘Implementing learning design: the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS)’. Proceedings of the ASCILITE 2003 conference, Adelaide. (2003). 6. Botturi, L., Stubbs S.: ‘Handbook of Visual Languages in Instructional Design: Theories and Pratices’. Hershey, PA: Informing Science Reference., USA, (2008) 7. Emin V., Pernin J.-P., Guéraud V., Model and tool to clarify intentions and strategies in learning scenarios design, EC-TEL 2009 Proceedings, 15p, (2009) 8. Emin V.: ScenEdit: an authoring environment for designing learning scenarios. Poster ICALT’08, IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Santander, 2p, (2008) 9. Lejeune A. , David J.P., Martel C., Michelet S., Vezian N., To set up pedagogical experiments in a virtual lab: methodology and first results, International Conference ICL, Villach Austria (2007)4
  5. 5. Web-references for the demonstration ScenEdit Home Page Remote access to the Prototype login: demo_scenedit 5