The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

Archive for the ‘related projects’ Category

news about related projects

everything you wanted to know about pattern methodologies but didn’t know who to ask

Posted by yishaym on March 23, 2009

Planet is hosting a symposium at CAL’09 tomorrow. If you’re in Brighton, drop in and join the discussion. Our plan is to break away from the usual talking heads format, and devote most of the time for conversation. We’ve set up a web-space for the symposium at:

Where you can find drafts of all the slideshows and a few position papers. We’ve also posted some questions for the panel discussion, and you can add some of yours – either as comments on that page or as tweets tagged #cal09ptns.

We’ve managed to bring together some of the top innovators in design pattern approaches to education and e-learning across Europe, so we look forward to be surprised and having our preconceptions challenged.

Now I should turn my attention back to the speaaker.

Posted in conferences, pattern languages, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

three workshops and a symposium

Posted by yishaym on February 20, 2009

March is going to be very, very busy. Apart from the expected business of writing reports and cleaning up project outputs, we’re going to be running three workshops and leading a symposium at CAL.

The Digital Identities Workshop (March 2nd) asks –

We use the term ‘digital identity’ to refer to the online representation of an individual within a community, as adopted by that individual and projected by others. An individual may have multiple digital identities in multiple communities. What is the impact of new technologies on digital identities within education? How should we design technologies and practices to address the complexities of digital identity?

This is a Workshop III type event, which means it is focused on scenarios and builds on previous work. It is therefore, regretfully, an invitation only event. But if you have a special interest in attending, please contact Steven Warburton.

Fast on its heals, we have a meta-workshop at the E-Learning Patterns conference in Tuebingen (March 5th)

This is intended to be a sort of old bikers’ gathering. Taking the opportunity of having many experienced design pattern folk around, we’re going to rev up our (methodological) engines, and compare the tunes.

Then, back in London, there’s a workshop on Patterns for civic empowerment (March 17th)

This is a joint initiative with the Public Sphere Project, and PRADSA network, celebrating the release of the Liberating Voices book. There are still a few places left but you better be quick!

Finally, if you’re coming to CAL’09: Learning in Digital Worlds, (March 23-25th 2009, Brighton) please join us for –

a symposium on The challenges of the design pattern paradigm for the development of learning environments and experiences. We’re bringing our participatory approach with us, so you’re welcome to make a contribution before, during and after the event.

Posted in announcements, conferences, events, related projects, workshops | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Online discussion on Sharing Practice

Posted by Janet Finlay on February 16, 2009

For the next fortnight the Benefits Realisation project EXTEND is hosting an online discussion around the topics covered by Planet. In the first week we will be discussing how we share practice, in the second we will give people a taste of the Planet approach – albeit online! Please come along and join in at – it would be great to have as many different perspectives as possible – and you can see the first version of our new Planet video!

Posted in events, related projects | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Clay Shirky: no, *you* shut up!

Posted by yishaym on February 14, 2009

(cross posted from designedforlearning)

(title nods at Clay’s 2006 talk)

Charlie Beckett hosted Clay Shirky at the LSE a couple of weeks ago, and the Podcast is now available for download – and well worth listening to.

I couldn’t make it to Clay’s talk, but luckily, due to the snow (remember the #uksnow?) some of his interviews were canceled and he generously found some time to have coffee with Niall Winters and me.

Not surprisingly, the conversation turned to design patterns. Clay reminded us of the work he did a few years ago on moderation patterns. Sadly, the original moderation patterns wiki is down. But yay for the waybackmachine, here’s an archived copy.

There’s more than 40 patterns there, dealing with issues of digital identity and managing social dynamics for collaboration / conversation platforms. You would think that at the rate of current technology development, most of these would be obsolete. At the time they where written, nobody had heard of opensocial or OpenId. Yet they are surprisingly relevant. The reason is, that they deal with the social aspects of technology, not with the code. And as fast as technology may change – human nature is reletively stable.

Example? login with email. Have you noticed how more and more sites let you use either a username or login? The rationale for this has nothing to do with technology. Asking us to remember a user name and password for more than seven sites, give or take one, is ignoring the structure of human memory. That may be changed by technology, but marginally.

Social dynamics are much more complex than we tend to realise, which is why most social software is autistic. Its not a fault of the programmers that facebook’s friends featrue looks like this. Anyone (well, any 20 year old male) who would be asked to model the concept of friendship would come up with something similar. What we need is a serious and prolonged attempt at capturing the design patterns for social / participatory media.

But the death of the moderation patterns wiki holds a warning. Sustaining such an effort is not easy. It required institutional, personal and collaborative commitment. That, in turn, relies on the ability to show a constant stream of valuable outputs. I don’t have an answer to that, but its definitely something we’re thinking of as the pattern language network project nears the end of its life.

As for the moderation patterns themeselves, we’re looking into the options for giving them a new home. By the way, my personal favorite is use email.

Posted in musings, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Visual Design Languages, Affect, Pedagogical Patterns: Workshops at ICALT’09 (July 14-18, Riga)

Posted by yishaym on February 4, 2009

Michael Derntl has pointed my attention to two workshops he’s co-organising at IEEE ICALT 2009, (July 14-18, 2009, Riga, Latvia). Both are relevant to our work:

VIDLATEL — International Workshop on Visual Design Languages and Applications for Technology Enhanced Learning

Many human activities are supported by the use of visual representations, which enable us to manage the complexity of real work problems by facilitating the use of our (commonly very limited) cognitive capabilities. Architects, musicians, surgeons or engineers use visual artifacts in their daily practice to plan, design and carry out their endeavors. Visuals can support imagination, creative thinking, communication, discussion, and organization of the work to be performed. Similarly, the difficult process of creation and provision of learning environments could be supported by the use of appropriate visual artifacts.

The achievement of learning is pursued by the performance of activities using learning objects, resources and tools. The ever increasing number of existing Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) tools and applications (e.g., Moodle, dotLRN, RELOAD, LAMS) provide academic staff with lots of useful functionalities to design their TEL environments. Past research has focused mostly on the computational aspects of TEL environments. There are a number of specifications that allow computational representation of processes and contents (e.g., SCORM, IMS-LD, IMS-CP, IMS-QTI) intended to facilitate reuse and interoperability of solutions. Nevertheless, these specifications provide only limited help and hints about how such learning environments can be developed by the average user (i.e., the instructor, the teacher).

Despite the need for sound and user-friendly instructional design approaches to TEL, there is still a lack of cooperation and integration between the fields of TEL and instructional design. The workshop is intended to explore this integration through the use of visual design artifacts (languages, notation systems, tools, applications). These can support and enhance the quality of TEL systems, facilitate sharing ideas, collaboration, reuse, and learning from experience.

Workshop on Affect and Educational Design Patterns

In this workshop we aim to bring together research in educational design and affective computing. Recent progress in the two areas is opening up opportunities for synergy that could lead to radical improvements in learning experience design. We invite contributions from both the areas of Educational Design Patterns and Affective Science, and particularly those that explore (or show results of) the combination of the two.
On the one hand, educational design patterns describe reusable solutions to the design of learning tasks and environments. Essentially, a design pattern provides a generic, reusable solution to a recurring design problem or situation. The key is to describe the solution in a way that makes the solution reusable for similar problems. Today there are a significant number of design pattern initiatives and projects dealing with educational design patterns. Despite the general agreement that emotions have a significant impact on learning, they have not been considered in pedagogical designs, probably due to the difficulty posed in doing so up to this point.
On the other hand, affective computing, the design of systems that can recognize, interpret, and process human emotions, has made great progress of late and is now being integrated into current intelligent tutoring systems.
Recent advances in biomedical engineering, neuroscience and data mining have increased researchers ability to investigate this issue. We are at a point where significant accuracy in automatically recognizing emotional states is feasible through a number of approaches, even for collaborative situations. The identification of affective and mental states provides a magnifying glass for closer look into the processes involved in collaborative learning experiences.  We are finally in a position where the effect of emotional states on learning experiences, can be taken into account in order to improve the design of these experiences and the technologies that support them.
The envisaged outcomes of the workshop are:
•    Contributions on the state-of-the-art in affective computing related to educational technology, in particular technology enhanced collaborative learning.
•    Identification and discussion of ways of representing good practice in affective educational computing using the design pattern approach
•    Understanding the role and synergies of affective computing and design patterns in the development of advanced learning technologies.
•    Proposals of design patterns for affect-aware learning technologies.

If you’re going to EuroPLoP, you can probably continue straight to Riga.

Posted in conferences, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

JCAL special issue on web2.0

Posted by yishaym on January 20, 2009

the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning has just released a special issue on Social Software, Web 2.0 and Learning

And, while we’re in the mood, I thought I’d mention:
Scott Wilson Interactive Learning Environments16(1):17–34(2008)

Posted in readings, related projects | 2 Comments »

programme for the KMRC e-learning patterns workshop

Posted by yishaym on January 14, 2009

(cross posted from

Christian Kohls just sent me the programme for the e-Learning Patterns workshop in March, and it’s looking really good. Some of the names I spotted: Helen Sharp, Ulrike Cress, Davinia Hernándes-Leo, Till Schümmer, Frank Fischer, Andreas Harrer, Yannis Dimitriadis (random list).

I’m facilitating a workshop on “cases to patterns” and also giving a talk on “Patterns for building patterns communities”. Here’s the draft abstract for my talk:

workshop1The construct of design pattern is often summarised as “the core of a solution to a problem in context”. What, then, is the problem that design patterns solve, and in which contexts?
As design patterns break new grounds in educational research and practice, challenging questions arise: how do we engage new audiences in the pattern paradigm? How do we adapt the form and modes of use of patterns to make them useful in diverse realms of practice? Why do we have such a strong conviction in the value of design patterns?
The tradition of design patterns refers to concepts such as “timelessness” and “expertise”. These are problematic in a world of accelerating change. Yet another fundamental principle is accentuated; the need to establish robust design languages capable of capturing the complexity of problems in our environment and offering verifiable solutions. I argue that design-level discourse is imperative in many critical domains of human activity, and that patterns should play a central role in such discourse. Over the last few years, my colleagues and I have been developing a methodology for participatory workshops for practical design patterns. This methodology has emerged from the “Learning Patterns” project, and is being refined by the “Pattern Language Network” project.
In this talk, I will describe the methodology, its history and future plans, and provide some illustrative examples. I will also highlight some of the fundamental questions which is provokes.

Posted in conferences, papers, presentations, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We – have – A – P – I!!

Posted by yishaym on December 23, 2008

Thanks to the good work of Ajdin, we now have an HTML API that serves Patterns and Cases in XML, PLML, RSS or CSV. I’ve also added a generic API, which allows you to browse all object in the system in XML/HTML.

The intention here is to allow other design pattern / learning design repositories to interface with our system programmaticaly with as little effort as possible. Other systems could list our objects, include them in searches, support easy linking, or offer an alternative interface (read only, for now).

More should be coming, so you might want to watch

But there’s also a caveat: we’re still in the experimental / conceptual phase. These APIs work, but they are also subject to change. We give no guarentees of backward compatibility. So if you use them, make sure you wrap them with an abstraction layer on your end.

Posted in code, outputs, related projects | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

pattern browsers that make you go ahhh

Posted by yishaym on December 15, 2008

I’ve recently come across these beautiful pattern browsers from Interface Design Team of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Of course, my immediate reaction was “I want one like this”. Its not surprising that an interface design / information visualisation group can come up with a better interface than our humble table. But there’s more to this than aesthetics. These browsers are functional. They are designed to help you find the pattern you need, when you need it. This makes me think about our quest for organising structures. Our primary criterion for choosing a structure should be functional. After all, isn’t that what pattern are all about? Providing a solution to a problem in context? This suggests that there isn’t a single-size map. Each domain of practice will have its set of contexts and problems, and the organisation of patterns for that domain should be driven by them.
Another question that emerges from these examples is: do we need fixed structures at all? Google made its fortune on the claim that where search is powerful enough, you don’t need structure. These patterns browsers allow you to search by specifying your needs. Although they don’t display any fixed structure, you can find the patterns that fits your problem in 3 clicks.

Posted in musings, pattern languages, related projects | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Planet and the Semantic Web

Posted by johnrg on December 1, 2008

I had a meeting with Tony Linde (U&I Semantic Web) and Vania Dimitrova / Lydia Lau (AWESOME project – Leeds Uni) today where Tony looked at how the semantic web might be applied to JISC projects. With regard to Planet Tony suggested that there were opportunities to apply semantic Web approaches, particularly when we seek to make use of patterns in our pattern store and represent them to users who seek solutions /make decisions about various aspects of designing and delivering learning experiences. I think we should follow this up at the face to face meeting on Dec 15th.

One other outcome of this meeting relates to the AWESOME project and the fact that they have collected together a series of examples from both staff and students of things that worked across the various phases of writing a dissertation. Thisseems to present an opportunity to capture both a collection of case studies and abstract potential patterns for use within Planet. I suggest that we agree a way forward with AWESOME on how to achieve this.

Posted in patterns, related projects, user group | 1 Comment »