Very nice paper led by my great former PhD student, Patricia Santos, now doing her Postdoc with John Cook at the University of the West of England. The paper is part of a just published Educational Technology & Society special issue on “Technology Supported Assessment in Formal and Informal Learning”.

Santos, P., Cook, J., Hernández-Leo, D., (2015) m-AssIST: Interaction and Scaffolding matters in authentic assessment, Educational Technology & Society, 18(2), 33-45.

Authentic assessment is important in formal and informal learning. Technology has the potential to be used to support the assessment of higher order skills particularly with respect to real life tasks. In particular, the use of mobile devices allows the learner to increase her interactions with physical objects, various environments (indoors and outdoors spaces), augmented digital information and with peers. Those interactions can be monitored and automatically assessed in a way that is similar to traditional objective tests. However, in order to facilitate a meaningful interaction with formative purposes, we propose that the assessment process can be assisted through scaffolding mechanisms that transform the mobile system into a ‘more capable peer’. In this context, this paper presents the m-AssIST model which captures the necessary emergent properties to design and analyse m-assessment activities. The model is used to analyse the benefits and limitations of existing m-test based systems. This paper discusses the importance of meaningful interactions, and the provision of scaffolding mechanisms to support formative and authentic assessment.

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. (Best research paper award finalist.)

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.

Slides of my research seminar at University of Sydney.


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!



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