This year EC-TEL will include a number of interesting workshops!

I co-organize a workshop on “Design for learning in practice” as part of EC-TEL 2015 (Toledo, Sep. 18). Call for paper is available here!

The Design for Learning in Practice workshop will explore the current and prospective practices of educators as learning designers. Starting from methods, processes, tools and resources that support design for learning, the workshop aims to focus on the competencies, training, certification and institutional frameworks to raise awareness about as well as facilitate and enhance the design of practices of educators. Teacher training and teacher communities will also be addressed since they are instrumental in widening the impact of design for learning in education.

As PC member, I’m also pleased to support the “MOOC-based Models for Hybrid Pedagogies” and the “Facing the challenges of assessing 21st century skills in the newly emerging educational ecosystems

The complete list of papers is at the EC-TEL2015 website.


The other study around videos in education in which I’ve recently participated (see my previous post on “the flipped or the hands-on classroom”), will be presented by Diana Diaz at the ICALT conference (Taiwan) on July 6-9.

Diaz, D., Ramírez, R., Hernández-Leo, D. (2015) The effect of using a talking head in academic videos. IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Hualien, Taiwan.

This study was designed to understand the effect of using a talking head in academic videos frequently used in video-based learning approaches, such Massive Open Online Courses. The experiment consisted of exposing participants to videos about different types of open software licenses. Each participant was exposed to 3 videos, each with a different condition: instructor always presented (talking head condition), only instructor’s voice present (only audio condition), and instructor presented only at the beginning of the video (mixed condition). Dependent variables included cognitive load, and emotional states (valance and arousal) obtained with electroencephalography, a personal assessment of the difficulty of the material, personal opinion regarding the social presence and performance in a memory test. The results indicate an increase in the cognitive load in the mixed condition, which may have implications regarding the use of the talking head in the design of academic videos.

I’ve recently participated in two studies around videos in education. In this first post, I summarize the study that Laia Albó will be presenting at the EDEN conference (Barcelona) on June 9-10. (See a second post on the design of videos regarding the use of “talking heads”.)

Albó, L., Hernández-Leo, D., Barceló, L., Sanabria, L. (2015) Video-Based Learning in Higher Education: The Flipped or the Hands-On Classroom? EDEN Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain. (Listed for competition of the best research paper award.)

This case study shows that the use of video-based learning may not only converge in the use of flipped classroom methodology. It is also possible to use videos in a hands-on class as a support tool that encourages a more autonomous, flexible and significant learning. The application of a flipped or a hands-on classroom approach depends on diverse aspects, including the nature of the course (with practical or theoretical orientations), the behaviour emerging from the students (depending on their needs and preferences, time constraints, etc.) and the design of the activities proposed by the teachers (strongly requiring students to what videos in a certain timeframe, e.g. previously to the class, or offering flexibility). Future research considering variations of these parameters will help to understand the benefits and limitations of both approaches and to what extent they may coexists in video-based learning.

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.


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