Recent paper accepted!

Manathunga, K., Hernández-Leo, D., Has research on collaborative technologies addressed massiveness? A literature review. Educational Technology & Society, (accepted)

Abstract: There is a growing interest in understanding to what extent innovative educational technologies can be used to support massive courses. Collaboration is one of the main desired elements in massive learning actions involving large communities of participants. Accumulated research in collaborative learning technologies has proposed and evaluated multiple models and implementation tools that engage learners in knowledge-intensive social interactions fostering fruitful learning. However, it is unclear to what extent these technologies have been designed to support large-scale learning scenarios involving arguably massive participation. This paper contributes with a literature review that aims at providing an answer to this question as well as offering insights about the context of use, characteristics of the technologies, and the types of activities and collaboration mechanisms supported. The main results point out that till 2013 the level of massiveness considered in top scientific journal papers on collaborative learning technologies was low, the scenarios studied were predominantly contextualized in co-located higher education settings using Learning Management Systems, the most common activities considered were open and structured discussion, followed by peer assessment and collaborative writing, and the most broadly used mechanism to foster fruitful collaboration was group formation following diverse policies.


Today there has been a TEDx even around Education in Barcelona (#TEDxBarcelonaED).

The participation has been outstanding, with 300 participating physically in the auditorium of Torre Telefónica and over 2000 people following via streaming. The talks have been very varied: from values, to technology, to life experiences. A selection of the public has also presented their education-related initiatives.

tedxbarcelonaED-davinia_hl I’ve given a short talk about “Learning Design: Communities and Tools,” mentioning the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE) and scenarios of use. CarlottaCataldi did the lovely drawing below while I was talking!


Yesterday and today we’re running the additional workshop on the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE) that we promised in December. The number of participants in the METIS-Cibernàrium Open Event “Design for Learning: new tools for educators” was limited in December due to space limitations.

16 educators of different educatioworshop-jan-ILDEnal levels (primary, secondary, high school, university, vocational and adult education are participating in this workshop!

Thanks to Jonathan Chacón (UPF) and M. Ángeles Serrano (Agora) for facilitating this workshop, with the support of Pablo Abenia and myself. And special thanks to the so many educators interested in the event and workshops, also to those who couldn’t come because of time or location constraints but are exploring the ILDE and documentation virtually!

Melero, J., Hernández-Leo, Sun, J., Santos, P., Blat, J. How was the activity? A visualization support for a case of location-based learning design. British Journal of Educational Technology. Published online 22 Dec 2014. DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12238 (pdf)

Abstract: Over the last few years, the use of mobile technologies has brought the formulation of location-based learning approaches shaping new or enhanced educational activities. Involving teachers in the design of these activities is important because the designs need to be aligned with the requirements of the specific educational settings. Yet analysing the implementation of the activities with students is also critical, not only for assessment purposes but also for enabling the identification of learning design elements that should be revised and improved. This paper studies a case that applies visualizations to support students’ self-assessment and teachers’ inquiry of a mobile learning design. The design is a gamified location-based learning activity composed by geolocated questions and implemented with the “QuesTInSitu: The Game” mobile application. The activity was designed by seven teachers and enacted by 81 secondary education students organized in a total of 23 groups. Log files, gathered from “QuesTInSitu: The Game,” provided the data for the visualizations, which represented relevant aspects of the group activity enactment (both time used to answer questions and to reach the geographical zone of the questions, scores obtained per zone, etc). On the one hand, the visualizations were discussed with the teachers as a learning analytics tool potentially useful to consider when redesigning the activity, if needed. On the other hand, the study shows that the visualizations led students to make a better diagnosis of their own activity performance.


I’m pleased that the Open Event that we organized as part of the METIS project in collaboration with Cibernàrium – Ajuntament de Barcelona  last week (11th, 12th December) on “Design for Learning: new tools for educators” was a success!!!


The event was addressed to teachers from any educational sector and other stakeholders (academic managers, etc.) interested in learning design tools and experiences of use. Over 100 participants attended the plenary sessions: a talk by Grainne Conole on “Learning Design” and a Panel sharing “experiences of using the ILDE“, with representatives from diverse educational institutions including Àgora association, KEK-Eurotraining, The Open University, the University of Valladolid and the HandsOn MOOC initiative.


The interest shown by participants in the 6-hour hands-on workshops was also outstanding. 40 teachers (diverse educational levels, but mainly Higher Education, Vocational Training and Adult Education) had the opportunity to use learning design conceptualization, authoring and implementation tools integrated in the ILDE.


Some of them will continue in contact via a Linkedin group they created! And since there is a number of people interested that missed the workshops, we will run an additional session in January at UPF. Stay tuned!


Melero, J., Hernández-Leo, D.m Manatunga, K., (2015) Group-based mobile learning: Do group size and sharing mobile devices matter? Computers in Human Behavior, 44(March 2015), 377–385.

Abstract: Within the field of Game-based Learning (GBL) location-based games are based on pervasive and mobile learning to allow the creation of in situ learning activities considering gamification mechanisms. In these learning activities collaboration often plays an important role. Usually, groups of students have to perform different tasks with single mobile device. This paper studies the effects of sharing a mobile device within groups and the size of groups in students’ engagement and their activity performance in an indoor location-based learning activity. In particular, the paper focuses on a game designed by a secondary education teacher to support a learning activity in a contemporary art museum. The teacher’s design has been implemented using “QuesTInSitu: The Game” technology. A total of 76 students played the game during a 3-h activity in the museum. The analysis of the data shows that while there are not important differences in the satisfaction with the activity of the students carrying and not carrying the mobile device within their groups, carrying the device does have a significant (positive) impact in their performance. Group size (4 vs. 5 members) does not seem to be a variable affecting individuals’ performance but students in 4-member groups express higher levels of engagement.

Experts from educational institutions, multinational companies, MOOC providers and MOOC platforms are in Helsinki today to discuss the role MOOCs can have to meet the increasing demand for the European workforce, including Web entrepreneurs, with ICT skills. This is the agenda of the one-day conference, organized by the “MOOCs for Web Talent Network“. The conference is one of the SLUSH side events. These are the slides I used as a speaker in the panel (+ news item at UPF website).





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