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Let’s shake on it: can we support co-edition and sharing using diverse existing learning design editors within the same platform? Davinia Hernández-Leo(*), Pablo Abenia, Pau Moreno, Jonathan Chacón, Josep Blat Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Roc Boronat 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain Abstract. LdShake is a Web tool that enables the co-edition and social network-oriented sharing of learning designs created using a general rich text editor. Use cases for LdShake include joint design and sharing of learning designs in projects or communities across institutions, co-design by teams of teachers in charge of teaching the same course with different groups of students or co-creation of designs that require the integration of knowledge and skills developed by students in previous subjects with different teachers. In this workshop paper, we propose that instead of extending the general editor provided by LdShake to enhance specific aspects of its performance support for learning design, it can adopt existing learning design authoring tools which support diverse pedagogical approaches, are compliant with different computational representations or exporting formats, are specific to particular subject matters, etc. On the other hand, these existing tools are usually dispersed in different websites or product providers, and do not typically offer co-edition and social network sharing features. In the frame of this problem statement this paper poses the interest of supporting co- edition and sharing using diverse existing learning design editors within the same platform. As a proof of concept functional implementation the paper presents an extension of LdShake as an integrative platform providing two additional existing tools (WebCollage and eXeLearning) which, as a result of its integration in LdShake, are visualized within the same contextual interface and adopt the co-edition and sharing features of LdShake. The integrated whole has been shown to different stakeholders so that they could point out their opinion about the interest of such an approach and the quality of the resulting integrated interface and features. Keywords: Learning design, sharing, co-edition, existing authoring tools, integrative platform1 Introduction LdShake, which stands for “Learning design Solutions – Sharing and K(c)o-edition”, is a Web tool orplatform enabling teachers to create and share learning designs. The first version of this tool provided ageneral rich text editor and has been used in real situations and controlled user studies. For detailedinformation on the design of the tool, use cases motivating its development, references to related literature,etc., please refer to (Hernández-Leo et al., 2011; Hernández-Leo et al., submitted). One of the real cases ofLdShake are the “Integrated Biomedicine” courses included in the new curriculums of the Faculty of Healthand Life Sciences of Pompeu Fabra University. These courses are organized around the Problem-BasedLearning methodology. Each problem and associated application guide need to be designed by a team ofteachers from the different areas of expertise (Biochemistry, Physics, Physiology…) whose relatedknowledge and skills are expected to be integrated and applied by the students in the resolution of theproblem. The teachers involved in these courses use LdShake for co-creating and sharing the problems.Another case in which LdShake is used involves a community of teachers from 20 high schools distributedamong the region of Catalonia. The community, “Biologia en context” - officially recognized by thegovernment of Catalonia, is devoted to create and share educational materials that promote the situatedlearning of Biology topics. In this second case, the teachers appreciate the co-edition, commenting andsharing facilities of LdShake but they are not fully satisfied with the editor provided. In particular, some ofthem claimed that for some activities they use eXeLearning (eXe, 2011) – an editor to which they are alreadyfamiliar and that enables them the creation of specific web learning designs. There exists multiple learning design tools addressing different requirements or design principles thatdepend on the characteristics of didactics or subject matters, the pedagogical methods, the provision ofreusable building blocks or templates, the exporting formats so that they are compliant with the learningsystem and devices they have available to use with their students, institutional practices, etc. (Griffiths et al.,2005; Britain, 2007, Neumann et al., 2010). Teachers may face diverse educational situations in which theywould require different learning design editors (e.g., designing an activity for assessment in situ usingmobile phones, designing rich collaborative activities that promote positive interdependence and individual(*) Contact: email@example.com 1Submitted to the ASLD Workshop 2011, http://www.ld-grid.org/workshops/ASLD11
accountability in a face-to-face scenario with the support of computers, designing a game for revisingconcepts at home, etc.). Besides, the existing tools are dispersed in websites or product providers, andsometimes they might be even unknown by the practitioners. Moreover, most of these tools do not offer co-edition and social network sharing features. In the frame of this problem statement this paper poses the interest of providing teachers and learningdesigners with an integrated environment where they can use a collection of existing tools, and within whichthey can co-edit and shared the designs created using any of the tools, in the context of the sameenvironment. To show the feasibility of this position statement, the paper presents an extension of LdShakeacting as an integrative platform for multiple learning design editors, visualized in the same contextualinterface and which can take advantage of the co-edition and sharing features of LdShake. The resultingintegrated whole can blend together features responding to the different types of design principles forperformance support systems pointed out in (McKenney, 2008); considering some of these principles in theintegrated authoring tools and others in the LdShake platform. In particular, as a proof of concept, twoexisting learning design tools, which do not natively provide co-editing and sharing support, have beenintegrated. This new version of LdShake has been shown to different stakeholders in a workshop where theypointed out their opinion about the interest of such an approach and the quality of the resulting integratedinterface. LdShake is briefly described in Section 2. The section focuses mainly on the LdShake features that extendthe existing tools as a result of their integration in the platform. Section 3 discloses the opinions about theapproach coming from stakeholders with different profiles that had the opportunity to use LdShake in theopen workshop.2 LdShake integrating learning design tools LdShake enables learning designers or teachers to create and share learning design solutions (LdS) withother teachers (LdShakers) using different access rights so that they can read, comment or co-edit the designs(see the sharing bottom in Fig.1f). Thus, each design solution has associated a group of teachers able ofworking on its edition (LdShakers with write access) and another group that can only see the design(LdShakers with viewing rights). The LdS are organized in listings that are accessible through links in a topbar (Fig.1b). My LdS displays the LdS of which the user is the starter and to the ones (s)he has writingaccess. Browse LdS lists all the LdS the user can read and comment. In those listings the tags associated tothe LdS are shown, so that users can filter the LdS by selecting one of these tags. Editors can add tags to theLdS using a dialog box (Fig.1e) that is bellow the title of the design (Fig.1d). Tags can be of different types,related to the subject matter or the pedagogical approach, and to an indication of the granularity andcompleteness of the design according to the framework proposed in (Hernández-Leo et al., 2007). Theprofile of the LdShakers (listing of LdShakers accessible via the link shown in Fig.1c) also displays the LdSthat the LdShaker started and to which the user has access. As mentioned before, the designs can becommented and the comments are available for all the users that can view the design. The co-editionsperformed to an LdS are registered and can be visualized using a graphical representation that facilitates thetracking of changes by users and time. Moreover, the designs can be published so that a URL associated tothat LdS is accessible outside the platform. The LdS can be also downloaded; the format depends on theeditor in which the designs have been created. The first releases of LdShake included a Rich Text editor with similar capacities of a mid-range wordprocessor. Now it has been extended so that communities of users have a choice of three editors (moreeditors could be integrated in the future) for the co-edition and sharing of diverse types of designs. Theintegrated editors are WebCollage and eXeLearning. WebCollage is an extension of Collage, a pattern-basedcollaborative learning design editor compliant with IMS Learning Design (Hernández-Leo et al., 2006),which is now Web and incorporates assessment patterns (Villasclaras et al., 2009). eXeLearning is a populareditor for the edition of web learning activities (eXe, 2011). The Rich Text editor, WebCollage andeXeLearning can be used in the context of LdShake following the same approach concerning sharing and co-edition since the above mentioned features are supported by these editors when used within the LdShakeplatform.Submitted to the ASLD Workshop 2011, http://www.ld-grid.org/workshops/ASLD11 2
(a) (b) (c) (f) (d) (e) Fig. 1. Screenshot of LdShake when editing an LdS using eXeLearning (out of the three editors available: Rich Text, eXeLearning and WebCollage). Some of the features of LdShake are marked with letters (a-f).3 Opinion from different stakeholders The LdShake tool integrating WebCollage and eXeLearning was recently shown in a two-hour openworkshop in Barcelona. A total of 25 participants were present in the workshop. The profile of 5 of themwas not available, but the data completed in the registration forms of the remainder of the participants (20)show that the workshop involved different stakeholders coming mainly from Education and the Industry,with some (but limited) participation of the Administration. The profiles of the participants belonging to thesame stakeholder type were also varied. 10 participants were educators of diverse subject matters,educational levels (3 school teachers, 2 university professors, 5 postgraduate and continuous trainingeducators) and institutions (none of them came from the same school, university or continuous educationprovider, there were private and public institutions). 9 of the participants came from the Industry (8 differentorganizations of different sizes, from a large consultancy company to small enterprises) and 1 participantbelonged to the Administration (city council). After a short introduction to LdShake, the participants used the sharing and co-editing features of theplatform, completing a set of tasks that required them to create, share, comment and modify learning designsin the Rich Text editor. After the familiarization with the general framework of LdShake and the use of theconventional editor, a brief demonstration of how to use WebCollage and eXeLearning in the context ofLdShake was performed. None of the participants had seen WebCollage before, but some of them hadalready used eXeLearning. Participants were informed that each authoring tool would require a devotedfamiliarization workshop but that the sharing and co-editing features of LdShake were analogous to that usedwith the Rich Text editor. Then, participants were proposed to either continue using the conventional editoror to complete similar tasks (as the set proposed at the beginning using the Rich Text editor) usingWebCollage or/and eXeLearning. After this activity they were requested to fill in a questionnaire expressingtheir opinion about LdShake and the integration of the diverse learning design editors.Submitted to the ASLD Workshop 2011, http://www.ld-grid.org/workshops/ASLD11 3
The participants saw as positive and encouraging the opportunity provided by LdShake for thecollaboration of teachers in the joint creation and sharing of learning designs. The majority valued as“useful” or “very useful” the sharing and co-editing options of LdShake, being the creation of groups, thecommenting facility, the use of tags to organize the designs, the sharing polices and the visualization of thechange history the most valued features. 18 participants rated as “very useful” that LdShake incorporatesdifferent types of learning design editors, 6 of them rated this aspect as “useful” and 1 did not answer thisquestion. 20 participants decided to use WebCollage or/and eXeLearning in the second half of the workshop,while 5 preferred to keep exploring the general features of LdShake and the Rich TexT editor. When askedabout the quality level of the integration achieved regarding the visualization and use of the editors in thecontext of LdShake, 5 of them indicated that it has been “very well” achieved and 13 as “quite well”achieved. Two of them said that “it seemed as if the editors were part of LdShake, what facilitatesusability…” and some of them also agreed on that “the more editors LdShake incorporates, the more optionswe have…”, “the fact that it incorporates several editors and publication/exporting formats facilitates thesharing of the designs and the direct work with the students - if the editors/formats integrated are compatiblewith the learning environment we use with our students…” Another participant also indicated that “moreeditors would be needed since the ones currently integrated are not suitable for some educational situations”.4 Conclusion This position statement has pointed out the interest of providing practitioners with support for co-editionand sharing using diverse existing learning design editors within the same platform. It has proposed LdShakeas an integrative platform that offers features enabling users to co-edit and share designs created withdifferent authoring tools. As a proof of concept functional implementation a new version of LdShake hasbeen developed. It integrates two existing editors, eXeLearning and WebCollage. The integration ofeXeLearning was an emerging requirement of a real application case (“Biologia en context”) where LdShakeis being used. The integration of WebCollage shows that the approach can be followed with more existingeditors. Different stakeholders, who had the opportunity to use LdShake in an open workshop, appreciatedthe features of LdShake and valued positively that it integrates several authoring tools maintaining theappearance of the LdShake context and benefiting from its general co-editing and sharing features. Futurework includes the use and evaluation of the extended version of LdShake with multiple editors in the“Biologia en context” case along the new academic year.AcknowledgmentsThis work has been partially funded by the Spanish Learn 3 project (TIN2008-05163/TSI). The authors would like to thankother members of the GTI group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra for their contributions and ideas, and the support of theLearning Design Grid Theme Team funded by the STELLAR Network of Excellence.ReferencesBritain, S. (2007). Learning design systems: current and future developments. In H. Beetham & R. Sharpe (Eds.), Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age (pp. 103-114). NY: Routledge.eXe, eXeLearning – the eLearning XHTML editor, Retrieved August 2011 from http://exelearning.org/wikiGriffiths, D., Blat, J., García, R., Vogten, H., & Kwong, K.L. (2005). Learning Design tools. In R. Koper & C. Tattersall (Eds.), Learning Design, a handbook on modelling and delivering networked education and training (pp. 109-135). Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.Hernández-Leo, D., Romeo, L., Carralero, M.A., Cachón, J., Carrió, M., Moreno, P., & Blat, J. (2011). LdShake: Learning design solutions sharing and co-edition. 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Incorporating assessment in a pattern-based design process for CSCL scripts. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1028-1039. Submitted to the ASLD Workshop 2011, http://www.ld-grid.org/workshops/ASLD11 4