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Open PhD Fellowships at the DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Marie Curie Fellowships Programme.

The DTIC as a “Maria de Maeztu Centre of Excellence” is a hosting institution within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Fellowships Programme. One of the proposed topics for the fellowships is:

Enhancing Situated Learning through Learning Design and Learning Analytics

Description: 

According to the OECD educational institutions need to focus on nurturing students with new ways of thinking more related to real-world experiences, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making; including the capacity of exploiting the potential of new technologies. This is needed to better raise students who are equipped to contribute to the 21st Century economy and society. To prepare students in their learning development, experts in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) state that a re-conceptualization of educational theories should be undertaken and novel approaches for the present and future of Learning Designs (LD) should be developed.

This project will advance the state of the art in this domain by researching how Learning Design, can play a key role in a new generation of Ubiquitous Learning tools that integrates Learning Analytics services for re-thinking new situated learning scenarios. With “situated” learning, we mean a ubiquitous learning situation that happens when learners take a technological device (e.g. smartphone) into an educationally relevant real-world location and the tool helps the users to learn from that authentic setting. In this context, the analysis of data (Learning Analytics) about learners and their contexts (e.g. physical and digital interactions, social behavior, learner’s profile) can be very helpful to design meaningful ubiquitous learning. The provision of just in time adaptive learning (based on the analysis of the learners’ data) is still a challenge for TEL.

This research project will be supervised by Dr. Hernández-Leo (permanent faculty staff) and Dr. Santos (researcher), both members of the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona. The GTI focuses on human aspects and technology and has a lab focused on technologies for education. The research of the educational technologies lab, led by Dr. Hernández-Leo, lies at the intersection of network and computer applications, human-computer interaction and learning sciences. The team have extensive experience in Learning Design technologies (e.g., Collage, LdShake, ILDE), Ubiquitous Learning (e.g. QuesTInSitu, Discovering the Campus, Worthplay, ChangeMakers) and are currently involved in Learning Analytics projects.

The PhD position is offered to a highly motivated researcher, to join our team in interdisciplinary learning technologies research. The successful candidate should have an excellent undergraduate and master academic record. Candidates should have a strong desire to see their technological work applied in solving impactful problems in the context of education. The successful candidate should also have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Evidence of good programming and data analysis skills as well as excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are desirable. Please contact Davinia Hernández-Leo at davinia.hernandez-leo@upf.edu and Patricia Santos at patricia.santos@upf.edu for any question or further information needed.

Conditions

  • 3-year contract

  • €34,800 gross annual salary + €3,564 annual additional funding

  • Award of €7,500 for the PhD fellow in case he/she presented the thesis within a period of 3.5 years

  • Additional training in transversal skills: technology transfer, entrepreneurship, professional development.

  • Research stays in academia and industry.

  • Participation in networking and outreach activities.

  • Deadline for incorporation of candidates: September/October 2018.

Requirements

Fellowship eligibility:

  • Be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

  • Not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.

  • Have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

PhD program admission

  • Accredited undergraduate degree (Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent degree from an accredited Higher Education Institution).
  • Accredited graduate/master’s degree (equivalent to a Spanish Master Universitario/Oficial, Master’s of Research…. ) which enables them to access a Phd programme in their home country.
  • Total of 300 ECTS credits, 60 of those have to correspond to an official graduate, research oriented, master’s programme.

Selection criteria

Preselection

  • Academic records and CV (50%).

  • Motivation and goals declaration (30%): originality, innovation, impact and link with the selected Research Centre.

  • Recommendation letters (20%).

Interview

  • Potential (40%), motivation and impact (30%), CV (30%).

Important dates

  • Website open for applications: November 8th, 2017.

  • Application deadline: February 1st, 2018.

https://obrasociallacaixa.org/en/investigacion-y-becas/programa-de-becas-de-posgrado/inphinit/programme-description

How to apply

Applications are managed through the program website, More information about the procedure: www.inphinitlacaixa.org

For additional information on the PhD program: phd.dtic@upf.edu

For additional information on the topic: patricia.santos@upf.edu and davinia.hernandez-leo@upf.edu

About UPF DTIC

The UPF DTIC PhD program offers advanced training in a broad range of topics in the field of Information and Communication Technologies.

This is an innovative program, unique in Catalonia and Spain in terms of its content, which aims to provide a bridge between various disciplines in this field. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 130 PhD students and 40 faculty and tenure-track professors who can supervise a PhD thesis. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The DTIC department consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (e.g. the only computer science department from an Spanish university that has even been included in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking). The DTIC’s research activities are organized around 15 groups pursuing a wide range of topics that include networking, wireless communications, multimedia, image and music processing, medical imaging, interactive technologies, learning technologies, artificial intelligence, data mining, and computational neuroscience, among others.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain (e.g. is the top Spanish university according to 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking).

The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character, its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to live. The DTIC is sited in UPF’s Communication Campus, which was opened in 2009 and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district of Barcelona.

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We offer a research assistantship position to a student enrolled in the CSIM or the MIIS DTIC-UPF master programs. Tasks will be supervised by Dr. Davinia Hernández-Leo and Dr. Patricia Santos, and framed in the context of the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI) / Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE) team. The team has currently ten members and their research lies at the intersection of ICT and learning sciences. This internship offers an excellent opportunity to collaborate in tasks associated ongoing research projects (MOOC production, experiments in schools, technology-supported hybrid education, design thinking game, data analytics, teaching community platforms…), with the potential to become one of the aspects a topic for the MSc thesis.

The position is offered to a highly motivated student, to join our team in interdisciplinary learning technologies research. Both backgrounds in Engineering/ICT (with interest in Education) or in Education (or similar, with interest in ICT) are welcome. Good level of English is required. Spanish or/and Catalan desired.

Please send application with CV to davinia DOT hernandez-leo AT upf DOT edu and patricia DOT santos AT upf DOT edu by July 31st.

CALL CLOSED.

 

 

Sin títuloToday it has been the defense of the PhD Thesis, “Technology Support for Scalable and Dynamic Collaborative Learning: A Pyramid Flow Pattern Approach” by Kalpani Manathunga.

The PhD Thesis includes the following publications:

Manathunga, K. & Hernández-Leo, D. (2015). Has Research on Collaborative Learning Technologies Addressed Massiveness? A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 18(4), 357–370.

Manathunga, K., & Hernández-Leo, D. (2016). A Multiple Constraints Framework for Collaborative Learning Flow Orchestration. In Chiu D., Marenzi I., Nanni U., Spaniol M., Temperini M. (Eds.), Advances in Web-Based Learning: Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Web-based Learning, ICWL 2016 (pp. 225-235). Rome, Italy: Springer LNCS (volume 10013).

Manathunga, K., & Hernández-Leo, D. (2016). PyramidApp: Scalable Method Enabling Collaboration in the Classroom. In K. Verbert, M. Sharples, & T. Klobučar (Eds.), Adaptive and Adaptable Learning: 11th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2016 (pp. 422-427). Lyon, France: Springer LNCS (volume 9891).

Manathunga, K., Hernández-Leo, D., Sharples, M., (2017) A Social Learning Grid for MOOCs: Exploring a FutureLearn Case, Springer LNCS (vol. 10254) Proceedings of eMOOCs 2017, Madrid, Spain, 243-253.

Manathunga, K., & Hernández-Leo, D., Authoring and Enactment of Mobile Pyramid-based Collaborative Learning Activities. Submitted to journal [Under review]

Manathunga, K., & Hernández-Leo, D., (2017). Towards Scalable Collaborative Learning Flow Pattern Orchestration Technologies. Accepted to be presented at 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, EDULEARN 2017. Barcelona, Spain: IATED. http://hdl.handle.net/10230/32248

Hernández-Leo D, Agostinho S, Beardsley M, Bennett S, Lockyer L. Helping teachers to think about their design problem: a pilot study to stimulate design thinking. Paper presented at: 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN17; 2017 July 3-5; Barcelona, Spain, pp. 5681-5690. Open access: http://hdl.handle.net/10230/32247  Link to slides.

Manathunga K, Hernández-Leo D. Towards scalable collaborative learning flow pattern orchestration technologies. Paper presented at: 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN17; 2017 July 3-5; Barcelona, Spain, pp. 6277-6286. Open access: http://hdl.handle.net/10230/32248

 

Last Thursday, June 29th 2017, I gave the invited talk at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Teaching Innovation Symposium (Leganés). The talk was entitled “Lessons learnt working towards quality and teaching innovation” (or “Lecciones aprendidas trabajando hacia la calidad e innovación docente”, as the symposium was in Spanish). As the title of the talk indicates, I went through some of the lessons I’ve learnt during the 8 years I’ve leading the Teaching Quality and Innovation Support Unit of the Engineering School at UPF, Barcelona.

These are the slides of the talk and a link to the video.

As part of EC-TEL 2017, the Twelfth European Conference On Technology Enhanced Learning with the theme of Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education, focusing on the new possibilities and challenges brought by the digital transformation of the education systems. We are thrilled to announce the first Multimodal Learning Analytics Across (Physical and Digital) Spaces (CrossMMLA) workshop. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, in Tallinn.

See the detailed info, with the CfP, at http://crossmmla.org/ 

 

User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction Special Issue on:

Multimodal Learning Analytics & Personalized Support Across Spaces

http://crosslak.utscic.edu.au/umuai/

Learning often occurs in spaces and at moments that go beyond those shaped in formal educational settings. Students’ opportunities for significant learning are commonly not limited to the moments when they interact with a specific educational tool. By contrast, learning can be considered as a complex life-long journey which is socially, epistemically, physically and digitally situated. Increasing access to emerging communication technologies and the proliferation of mobile and pervasive devices have made it possible for students to have access to a wide range of educational (and non-educational) resources. Moreover, students commonly work outside the boundaries of the institutional learning system(s). They may interact face-to-face, use other educational tools or even use resources that were not specifically designed to serve in learning contexts. Instructors may also want students to not only use the tools offered by the institution, but also other tools that are more suitable for the context and the subject matter.

This proliferation of emerging communication technologies is creating new possibilities for providing automated, continued feedback and a more holistic view for supporting learning. Pervasive and mobile technologies can be used to allow learners to get remote access to educational resources from different physical spaces (e.g. ubiquitous/mobile learning) or to enrich their learning experiences in the classroom in ways that were not previously possible (e.g. face-to-face/blended learning).

However, to date most learning analytics and personalized support systems have been generally designed from a perspective which is agnostic of the physical space where learning happens or the various digital spaces through which learners interact. As a result, key challenges are emerging in regards of how systems can be adapted or how they can be used to provide support and/or feedback across different physical and digital spaces. Moreover, there are also technical challenges that need to be addressed to integrate and exploit learners’ data coming from heterogeneous, multimodal sources in order to provide such continued support or feedback.

In short, student’s learning activity happens where the learner is rather than within a specific educational system. Thus, there is an increasing interest in providing multimodal, personalized support or feedback to students across varied physical and digital spaces. For this special issue, we encourage submission of original papers that demonstrate ways to integrate and coordinate learning analytics and personalized feedback systems that provide continued support to learning across digital and/or physical spaces. Contributions can be made on any of the following themes:

  • Providing Personalized Support to Learners Interacting Across Multiple Digital Spaces: Studies of novel analytics approaches and systems providing personalized support or feedback across multiple digital learning tools. This includes data mining, learner modelling and/or visualization (or Open Learner Modelling) approaches applied to datasets that integrate logs from multiple learning tools;
  • Providing Personalized Support Bridging the Physical and Digital Realms: Design and study of learning situations that include collocated/face-to-face interaction and/or the use of online (remote access) tools (e.g. including ‘everyday’ settings, collocated collaboration situations, multi-device ecologies, ubiquitous learning technology or blended learning cases). This also includes classroom analytics, multimodal learning analytics (MMLA), and modelling collocated group interactions;
  • Generating Models of Learner’s Interaction Data from Heterogeneous Sources: Discussion of methodologies and theoretical approaches, and their technical solutions, to acquire learner models by integrating activity logs from multiple sources of student’s data. This includes technical approaches (such as conceptual models, formal representation of heterogeneous learner models or generic user modelling systems) but also non-technical issues (such as privacy and security of information for personalization, cultural adaptation, or data management).

 Paper Submission and Review Process  

Prospective authors must submit an extended abstract to the special issue editors via EasyChairIt must be at most 4 single-spaced pages long, not counting references, formatted with 12pt font and 1 inch margins. The special issue editors will screen all submitted abstracts. Abstracts that do not pass this initial screening (i.e., abstracts deemed not to have a reasonable chance of acceptance) will not be considered further. Authors of abstracts that pass the initial screening will be invited to submit a full version of the manuscript using the formatting guidelines and submission instructions of the journal, which can be consulted at http://www.umuai.org/paper_submission.html

Suggested Timeline

  • November 1, 2017: Submission of title and abstract
  • December 1, 2017: Notification of suitability of abstract
  • March 15, 2018: Submission of full papers
  • June 15, 2018: First round of review notifications
  • August 15, 2018: Revisions of papers due
  • November 1, 2018: Final notifications due
  • December 15, 2018: Camera ready papers due
  • February 15, 2019: Publication of special issue

Guest Editors

Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, University of Technology Sydney, NSW Australia Roberto.Martinez-Maldonado@uts.edu.au roberto.martinezmaldonado.net

Davinia Hernandez-Leo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain Davinia.Hernandez@upf.edu www.dtic.upf.edu/~daviniah/

Abelardo Pardo, The University of Sydney, NSW Australia, Abelardo.Pardo@sydney.edu.au http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/people/abelardo.pardo.php