THE E-HOOP LEARNING PLATFORM – AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO EXPAND
LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Eleni Chatzidaki, Michalis Xenos, Lefteris Kozanidis, Hellenic Open University (HOU), Greece; Thomas Fischer,
New Technologies and Learning in Europe (NTL), Germany; Aliki Economidou,, Cyprus Neuroscience and
Technology Institute (CNTI), Cyprus
The European Research & Development project ‘e-Hoop - Unified e-Hoop Approach to Learning Differences’
(http://www.e-hoop.info1) approaches the issue of different learning abilities and styles and adopts a collaborative
approach between adults and children. e-Hoop will create a universal, dynamic and adaptable e-Learning
environment able to offer free personalised educational solutions to all learners regardless of their learning,
cultural and social background.
The main target groups of e-Hoop are educators, primary school students and special educators with their
students, schools and organisations working with people at risk of social exclusion. More specifically e-Hoop
provides the appropriate e-Learning environment in order to address the following special needs of learners:
Disabilities – visually impaired, blind, hearing impaired, deaf;
Learning Preferences – visual, aural, read/write, kinaesthetic;
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);
Learning Styles – Activists, Reflectors, Theorists, Pragmatists.
The educational material on the e-Learning environment can be created, used and modified by educators, while
learners with diverse needs can easily use and benefit from the platform and the content.
Figure 1 The e-Hoop Web Platform for Learners at http://learning-platform.e-hoop.info
1 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the
authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained
The e-Hoop learning environment is based on an Open Source (OS) platform that has been expanded in order to
apply to different learning styles, and will allow the adaptation and presentation of educational content based on
the individual learner characteristics and on the initial assessment of learners. The learning environment aims to
fully exploit broadband technologies and paradigms. The benefits of the learning environment comprise:
Free personalised learning for all, especially for those with learning disabilities and who face the high
risk of social exclusion;
Easy upload of Learning Objects (LOs) to the platform and design of lesson plans through educators,
thus supporting the concept of personalised learning;
Provision of diagnostic tools enabling learners and educators to adapt the learning experience to
Creation of learning groups that are easy to track and manage;
Immediate access to Open Educational Resources (OER);
Fun learning user interface and environment that engages learners, thus decreasing dropout rates;
Use of Open Source Software (OSS) allowing the future expansion of the e-Learning environment.
In order to achieve the above described aims and objectives, an e-Learning Platform that provides a dynamic and
personalised learning environment has been developed by e-Hoop. The platform embeds tools that can evaluate
learning abilities of each learner and support learners with special needs to expand, customise and enrich their
learning experiences. The proposed educational approach is based on Distance Learning methodologies, exploits
Information and Communication Technologies and the production of appropriately developed learning content in
order to overcomes the obstacles of a traditional classroom.
Figure 2 System Architecture of the e-Hoop Learning Platform
During the EDEN Annual Conference 2015 e-Hoop will therefore demonstrate the following features of the
Underlying technological platform;
Design, creation and implementation of sample content and individualised lessons plans;
Pre-assessment tools for the classification of learners;
Learning Object delivery system;
Graphical Interfaces for learners, educators and their integration.