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Aggregating Student Blogs with EduFeedr: Lessons Learned from the First Tryouts


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Presentation in MUPPLE 10 workshop, 29 September 2010, Barcelona.

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Aggregating Student Blogs with EduFeedr: Lessons Learned from the First Tryouts

  1. 1. Aggregating Student Blogs with EduFeedr: Lessons Learned from the First Tryouts Hans Põldoja, Pjotr Savitski, Mart Laanpere Tallinn University
  2. 2. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  3. 3. (massive) open online courses
  4. 4. Learning environment
  5. 5. Learning content link link and tag link and tag Course wiki and blog link link and tag link link Student blogs RSS
  6. 6. Problem
  7. 7. How to follow and support learning activities which cross the borders of different Web 2.0 applications?
  8. 8. Vision
  9. 9. Requirements and limitations • support for all major blogging platforms using open standards (RSS, Atom, trackback, pingback) • no special plug-ins should be required on the student blogs • the scope of EduFeedr is limited with aggregating and annotating the feeds from both teacher’s and students’ PLE’s and visualizing the process of knowledge building • only teacher has an user account in EduFeedr, which allows her to modify the EduFeedr settings • anyone has read access to aggregated course content
  10. 10. Related works
  11. 11. gRSShopper
  12. 12. BIM
  13. 13. Design methodology
  14. 14. Design methodology • Lightweight prototyping • Scenario-based design • Participatory design sessions • User stories • Paper prototyping
  15. 15. Current implementation of EduFeedr
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Downloads • OPML file with blog posts feeds • OPML file with blog comments feeds • vCard file for Address Book • Tab separated file with social network data
  18. 18. Technical implementation
  19. 19. Blogs User Crontab initiated aggregation of REQUEST with credentials content EduFeedr EduSuckr front-end WSDL / SOAP back-end service RESPONSE with data MySQL / MySQL InnoDB
  20. 20. Development platform • EduFeedr is developed as Elgg plugin • SimplePie PHP library is used for aggregating feeds • JSViz JavaScript library is used for social network visualization • NuSOAP toolkit for PHP
  21. 21. Open source
  22. 22. Lessons learned
  23. 23. Locating the Comments Feed • Comments feed location is not always specified in the web page • Currently we support only Blogger and WordPress • Possible solutions: - Specifying the comments feed location for major blogging platforms - Adding the comments feed manually
  24. 24. Linking Student Posts with the Assignments • Methods - Link to the assignment post in the course blog - Assignment deadline - Asking from the facilitator • In the first course 10 posts from 91 contained the exact link
  25. 25. Linking Comments with the Participants • URL in the comment metadata is used to link the comment with a participant • Comment meta URL’s in the first course (100 comments): - participants’ blog in the course (3) - Blogger profile URL (57) - URL in the WordPress user profile (18) - OpenID URL (7) - No URL (15)
  26. 26. Only Recent Items are Stored in the Syndication Feeds • Blogger feeds contain 25 most recent items • WordPress feeds contain 10 most recent items
  27. 27. Conclusions and future work
  28. 28. User testing • User testing in Tallinn University: 4 courses running • Think aloud usability testing
  29. 29. Future work • Aggregating recent content from various Web 2.0 services • Providing visualization widgets for external web sites • Archiving the course posts and comments
  30. 30. Ideas • Using EduFeedr visualizations for centralized/ closed LMS • Using EduFeedr for TEL researchers’ blogs
  31. 31. Thank You! • • •