Researching student competence development through the lens of cultural historical activity theory

In the present study, we followed a group of students over the course of a three-semester project aimed at increasing their abilities to express their competence development. Extensive data (video, transcripts, documentation of artifacts and communications, and field notes) was analyzed in a framework analysis based on cultural–historical activity theory (CHAT). We understood contradictions, either within or between students’ activity systems, as drivers for expansive learning. Based on the in-depth analysis of three exemplary students, this study adds to the understanding of competence development in higher education by pointing out its individuality and situatedness, as well as the social dimension of expansive learning. Implications call for researchers and educators not to take competence development for granted when designing learning opportunities, but deliberately to create spaces in which competence expression can be facilitated.


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Scenarios, Methods, and Didactics in Teaching Using Video-Conferencing Systems and Interactive Tools: Empirical Investigation on Problems and Good Practices

The restrictions during COVID-19 pandemic resulted in gaining more experience on video conferencing systems (VCS) and continued adoption during post-pandemic teaching scenarios. Designing and installing video conferencing systems in various classroom scenarios are expensive, increase complexity, and reduce interaction opportunities unless the designs for learning activities are well-defined and well-executed. For improving the quality of contact hours, the EdViCon Erasmus + project’s aim is to explore the existing diversity of scenarios of video conferencing systems’ use, various methods, and didactics applied for engaging students using various software and VCS features and define and develop two portable VCS toolkits and training. This paper reports the empirical case of Technical University of Denmark by applying phonomyography [1] as the methodology for exploring the VCS use scenarios, methods, and didactics for exploring problems and good practices. Despite increased adoption and number of papers on VCS, the insights on the diversity of the scenarios of use during contact hours has not been sufficiently reported from the viewpoint of HCI researchers. This study applies Shuman’s [2] concept of signature pedagogies as the theoretical viewpoint for defining scenarios of the use of VCS in teaching and David Benyon’s [3] PACT (people, activities, context, technologies) framework for analysing functionalities, methods, and didactics. The causes and effects of problems with VCS-mediated contact-hour activities were grouped into seven and 12 categories respectively. Seven types of teaching environments, three types of video-conferencing systems (fixed, on-wheels, and mobile), and the various tools used for engaging students were identified.

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Prototyping the Learning Analytics Dashboards of an Adaptive Learning Platform: Faculty Perceptions Versus Designers’ Intentions

This study contributes with a case study on redesigning three Learning Analytics Dashboards (LADs) of the adaptive learning platform Rhapsode™ with instructions for pedagogical actions. Applying self determination theory’s elements of competence and relatedness and mental models in a design thinking process, the differences among the teachers perceptions and the designers intentions are highlighted through several methods to answer the questions of: How might we improve the learning analytics dashboards by prioritizing course instructors’ perceived competence and relatedness? and How might we redesign learning analytics dashboards by including course instructors’ purpose, insights, and recommending actions?

These questions are answered first by developing three Role-based Personas of Alina Action, Niels Novice, and Paul Privacy along with scenarios and user stories. Second, prototypes of interfaces are designed and tested in three iterations showing insights, recommended actions, and explanation of mechanics. Feedback from the tests on the prototypes receives positive feedback from all teacher personas. The teacher persona of Niels Novice also supplies a criticism of the insights and recommended actions on the basis of creating undesired interpretation, potential bias, taking away freedom of interpretation, and authoritative system that “instructs/orders” action. Additionally, the scope of the study cannot meet the persona of Paul Privacy’s reservations on students’ possible experience of surveillance.

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Usability Evaluation of Adaptive Learning System Rhapsode Learner


From a usability perspective, designing and evaluating an adaptive learning system involve complexities associated with adaptivity and the diverse requirements from content designers, educators, and students. Moreover, students and educators are increasing getting subjected to educational quality studies including the evaluation of digital learning technologies, which the desired participants typically do not perceive as valuable. Furthermore, very few case studies report the results of the usability evaluation of adaptive learning systems. Thus, this study addresses the research questions: (1) Considering low participation and time constraint, which established usability evaluation methods might be applied for mixed-methods study of adaptive learning systems? (2) What is the students’ satisfaction score of RhapsodeTM Learner and implications for redesign? The result is the selection and application of system usability scale (SUS) and co-Discovery with concurrent interviews for the evaluation of RhapsodeTM Learner. The average score of 53.8 (n = 15) shows low marginal acceptability with good internal consistency (10 items, Cronbach’s α = 0.863). Analyses of the co-discoveries using 12 interaction design principles enable identifying the scopes for redesigning technological factors. For the evaluation of pedagogy and content aspects, further instruments should be developed.

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Evaluation of Learning Analytics on Adaptive Learning Systems: A work in progress Systematic Review


There is currently no systematic overview of with what purpose Learning Analytics (LA) and Learning Analytics Dashboards (LAD) are evaluated on  Adaptive Learning Platforms. This work in progress systematic review provides the preliminary results of this endeavor. The paper establishes an overview of the current research field from two reviews. From this foundation we provide an analysis of seven papers. The preliminary results show four different purposes for evaluating LA and LAD on Adaptive Learning Platforms. These are: 1) Evaluation of LA and LAD design and framework, 2) Evaluation of LA and LAD performance, 3) Evaluation of perceived value, and 4) Evaluation of adaptivity. Through examining these papers, we see that when LA and LAD are evaluated on Adaptive Learning Platforms there are both single and multiple purpose of applying an evaluation method. These categories might change as the work in progress develops and more papers gets added in the synthesis.

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When the game breaks down the stories begin

This chapter focuses on the design and use of pervasive games, which is an open-ended game format, that invite players to play with the boundaries of the game framing across time, space and/or social relations. We explore how pervasive games provide learning experiences that may be relevant to both game designers and educators. More specifically, we describe how player narratives emerge when players try to enter or are forced to leave the semi-bounded reality of a pervasive game; the actions of entering and leaving a game provide valuable moments for off-game reflection, learning and empowerment that relate back to in-game actions.

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BioSpil: Bringing Interactivity and Gaming into a Cinema-Contex


This paper presents a study on a current phenomenon conceptualized as BioSpil, which brings interactivity and gaming into a cinema context. The study focused on two questions, namely in what way BioSpil can be called a game, and how it functions as a social game. The study applied an ethnographic approach. The analysis showed that BioSpil had a game-like character, but were, to a certain extent, in conflict with two of Calliois’ categories that can define a game, namely being free and separate in time and space. The aspect of a game as being free, is not only dependent on accessibility in terms of devices, but also on cultural and contextual factors. This influenced the conditions of what constitute accepted and expected behaviors of visitors in a cinema-context. Furthermore, the analysis identified that BioSpil offered three kinds of social spaces; an active, a passive, and an external space.

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