I’m looking forward to the Open Event we are organizing – METIS project – in collaboration with Cibernàrium – Ajuntament de Barcelona for next December (11th, 12th) on “Design for Learning: new tools for educators”.

The event is addressed to teachers from any educational sector and we also welcome other stakeholders (academic managers, researchers, etc.) interested in learning design tools and experiences of use. The program include a plenary keynote talk by Gràinne Conole, a Panel on “Experiences using the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE)” and hands-on workshops.

The details of the event are available online (in Catalan) at http://eventum.upf.edu/go/ilde14

Hernández-Leo, D.; Asensio-Pérez, J.I., Derntl, M., Prieto, L.P., Chacón, J..; ILDE: Community Environment for Conceptualizing, Authoring and Deploying Learning Activities. In: Proceedings of 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2014, Graz, Austria, September 2014.

Abstract. This paper presents the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). ILDE is being developed in the METIS project, which aims at promoting the adoption of learning design by providing integrated support to teachers throughout the whole design and implementation process (or lifecycle). ILDE integrates existing free- and open-source tools that include: co-design support for teacher communities; learning design editors following different authoring and pedagogical approaches; interface for deployment of designs on mainstream Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The integration is designed so that teachers experience a continuous flow while completing the tasks involved in the learning design lifecycle, even when the tasks are supported by different tools. ILDE uses the LdShake platform to provide social networking features and to manage the integrated access to designs and tooling including conceptualization tools (OULDI templates), editors (WebCollage, OpenGLM), and deployment into VLEs (e.g., Moodle) via GLUE!-PS.

Below my slides describing some of the GTI research activities with and for Àgora – La Verneda Adult School, presented at a seminar on teaching innovation and social responsibility (Jornadas d’Experiències d’Innovació Docent; Responsabilitat Social i Aprenentatge Servei a la Universitat).

I was in charge of coordinating the panel on “The Audience of MOOCs“, part of the XII Jornadas CRAI “MOOCs & CRAIs, el futuro ya es presente” (“MOOCs and Libraries and IT services at universities, future is already here”) last week.
It was a pleasure to count on with the participation in the panel of the invited speakers: Jennifer Dorner (Head, Instruction and User Services, Library. University of California Berkeley) and Lynne O’Brien (Associate Vice Provost for Digital and Online Education Initiatives. Duke University).

MOOC offer vs. MOOC audience.
The characteristics of the MOOC offer is clear. There are reports such as “MOOCs in Spain” (by the Cátedra Teléfonica – UPF, that I also presented in the Jornada), the European MOOCs Scoreboard by Open Education Europa, the courses listed in the MOOC platforms, and MOOC aggregators, …
However, the characteristics of the MOOC audience is not that clear. The data is fragmented, and the partial data available is raising a lot of debate. This is indeed a critical aspect for the creators of MOOCs: For whom are we designing the MOOCs?

There are two relevant facets in this question.
On the one hand, the expectations of the organizations, i.e. the audience expected or desired by the MOOC creators/ providers (the universities) that offer MOOCs serving specific purposes or strategies (a business model, a service to society, …)
And, on the other hand, there is the actual audience of the MOOCs, that is the demographics of the MOOC students/participants, their level of qualifications, their motivations (why they take MOOCs)…

The governing question for the panel was that it is unclear to what extent the actual audience of MOOCs matches up with the desired audience of MOOCs.
And I really appreciate that Lynne and Jennifer prepared interesting data (based on Coursera and EdX reports) and discussion points articulating an answer (or possible answers) to this question. I also asked them to discuss if they see that the current situation will change in the future or not, which are the challenges to be addressed, etc. Their slides are available here.

The conference included additional panel discussions and presentations, all the documentation is available here and the pictures.


Cátedra Telefónica-UPF news item.
GTI website news item.


80 high schools students used on May, 8th Questinsitu: The Game to visit the MNAC museum (National Art Museum in Catalonia)! To design the game the teacher applied the results of Javier Melero’s PhD Thesis on the definition of educational games and the enactment of geolocated learning activities (extension of the QuesTInSitu system). (See related news item in GTI website.)

The Catalan Secretariat for Universities and Research, with the collaboration of UOC, URV and UPF, organized a conference focused on MOOCs on April 11th (#14MOOCs14 project). Conference’s goal was to share the experience of professors that have already created and run a MOOC and discuss doubts of those willing to create one in the near feature. UPF held the conference (video of the conference below, in Catalan) and I coordinated a short workshop focused on assessment and certification in MOOCs.

During the workshop I asked participants to answer two of the questions considered in The Chronicle‘s survey “The Professors Who Make the MOOCs“. I was interested in their opinions around whether free online courses should be integrated into the traditional system of credit and degrees. Certainly the population answering “my survey” was rather small (28) compared to Guardian respondents (103) and that both samples are not representative. Besides, it is also important to notice that they have been answered in different moments of the “MOOCs history” (mine in April 2014 vs. The Chronicle’s in early 2013). Yet, I find interesting to see the trends suggested by both results and their comparison. (BUT let me insist: More than to lead to definitive interpretations, these limited data may serve to stimulate discussion. Deeper reflections about the topic are needed.)

Do you believe students who succeed in your MOOC deserve formal credit from your home institution?

Do you believe students who succeed in your MOOC deserve formal credit from your home institution?


Do you believe your home institution will eventually grant formal credit to students who succeed in your MOOC?

Do you believe your home institution will eventually grant formal credit to students who succeed in your MOOC?

I also include below the material-conclusions of the workshop (in Catalan), and a translated table of the slide on “certifications”.

Certification in MOOCs

Certification in MOOCs (April 2014)

The Metis ILDE integrates a number of learning designs tools that enable the creation of multiple types of artefacts or solutions (patterns, course maps, activities, implementations, etc.)

The environment includes now a new feature enabling the management of diverse versions of the artefacts, following a “learning design family” metaphor. The scenarios supported by the feature include:

  • Teachers reuse a design the following academic years with minor adaptations. It would be interesting for the teachers to keep track of the “design’s life” across time.
  • New teachers reuse previously existing designs for their new subjects with their particular adaptations. It would be interesting to keep track of the designs across time.
  • A design is co-outlined by teacher teams and later refined by each teacher for their particular group of students. It would be nice to keep track of the original design and the multiple variations.
  • When teacher views a design of her/his interest (for potential reuse), she/he would like to know if there are variations of the same (similar) design
  • Some teachers don’t feel comfortable modifying an existing design (even if they have been invited as co-editors) and prefer working on a “duplication” of the design.

The design of the feature has been presented the 8th of April 2014 at the Networked Learning Conference in Edinburg, as part of the symposium “Building Co-design Strategies in Higher Education Using Technology-Enhanced Learning Scenarios.”

Chacón, J., Hernández-Leo, D., Learning design family tree to back reuse and cooperation, In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning, NCL 2014, Edinburg, UK, April 2014, pp. 510-517.

A “learning design family” is defined as a collection of learning designs which weren’t started from scratch but by replicating (or duplicating) a particular existing learning design. The model, and its visualization, has been implemented as a new feature in the LdShake teacher-community platform, as part of the Metis Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). The development of the feature consists of two main modules: one devoted to the management of the family-related LdS and another focused on their visualization.

This first implementation of both the model and its visualization has enabled the collection of the first feedback from experts. The evaluation was carried out online. 11 experts responded to our invitation to try the feature completing a set of tasks and an on-line questionnaire. The results are described in the paper.

In short, their opinions indicate that the feature is interesting and could significantly address relevant learning design and co-design situations. They used the feature satisfactorily but also pointed out several suggestions to improve its usability and enhance its potential utility. The suggestions are being considered in a second iteration of the model and its implementation, which will be used by teachers in the second round of Metis workshops.

(To appear soon in the forthcoming Metis newsletter)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.