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Publications

In Proceedings of the FGIT Conference, Jeju Island, 2010:
Multi-facade and Ubiquitous Web Navigation and Access through Embedded Semantics
Ahmet Soylu, Felix Mödritscher, Patrick De Causmaecker

Abstract: Web content contains valuable information on the semantic structure of a site, which can be used to access and navigate the pages through ubiquitous computing environments. Semantic web approaches normally aim at modeling semantic relations and utilizing these models to provide enhanced functionality for humans or machines. In this paper we present an approach which focuses on using embedded semantics in order to achieve enhanced web access and navigation for the ubiquitous environments. Precisely we propose specifying and extracting microformat-based information within the web server and delivering it along the semantic structure of the site. We also describe our first prototype, the Semantic Web Component (SWC), and report on first experiences which evidence benefits in terms of less internet traffic and reducing the delivery of irrelevant information thus increasing the web accessibility as well as the navigability in ubiquitous environments.
In Proceedings of the USAB Symposium, Klagenfurt, 2010:
Semantic Mash-up Personal and Pervasive Learning Environments (SMupple)
Ahmet Soylu, Fridolin Wild, Felix Mödritscher, Patrick De Causmaecker

Abstract: Personal Learning Environments have emerged as a complementary, even challenging, paradigm to Adaptive Learning Systems. We consider the mash-up era as an appropriate approach for a successful realization of digital personal learning environments. However, mash-ups are also accompanied by critical technical and usability challenges. In this paper, we try to identify some of these challenges and present our solution approach which results in Semantic Mash-up Personal and Pervasive Learning Environments (SMupple).
In Proceedings of the MTSR Conference, Alcala de Henares, 2010:
Utilizing Embedded Semantics for User-driven Design of Pervasive Environments
Ahmet Soylu, Felix Mödritscher, Patrick De Causmaecker

Abstract: The Web does not only offer an almost infinitive number of services and resources but can be also seen as a technology to combine different technological devices, like mobile phones, digital media solutions, intelligent household appliances, tablet PCs, and any other kind of computers, in order to create environments satisfying the need of users. However, due to the large amount of web resources and services as well as the variety and range of user needs, it is impossible to realize software solutions for all possible scenarios. In this paper, we present a user-driven approach towards designing and assembling pervasive environments, taking into consideration resources and services available on the Web and provided through computing devices. Based on semantics embedded in the web content, we explain the concept as well as important components of this user-driven environment design methodology and show a first prototype. Finally, the overall approach is critically discussed from the perspectives of programmers and web users on the basis of related work.
In Proceedings of the RecSysTEL Workshop, EC-TEL and ACM RecSys Conference, Barcelona, 2010:
Towards a Recommender Strategy for Personal Learning Environments (nominated for best paper award)
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: Personal learning environments (PLEs) aim at putting the learner central stage and comprise a technological approach towards learning tools, services, and artifacts gathered from various usage contexts and to be used by learners. Due to the varying technical skills and competences of PLE users, recommendations appear to be useful for empowering learners to set up their environments so that they can connect to learner networks and collaborate on shared artifacts by using the tools available. In this paper we examine different recommender strategies on their applicability in PLE settings. After reviewing different techniques given by literature and experimenting with our prototypic PLE solution we come to the conclusion to start with an item-based strategy and extend it with model-based and iterative techniques for generating recommendations for PLEs.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the MUPPLE Workshop, EC-TEL Conference, Barcelona, 2010:
Client-sided vs. server-sided MUPPLEs: Can add-ons beat platform-based solutions?
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: Typically Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments (MUPPLEs) are based on different theoretical foundations, which lead to different development strategies and architectural styles. In this paper we examine the influence of the two most opposite PLE architectures – server-sided and clientsided solutions – towards relevant social and technical aspects. All in all, we come to the conclusion that the decision for a specific architecture mainly depends on very few factors – precisely collaboration, privacy and trust, computational efforts and scalability, as well as software development and maintenance – and that some shortcomings can be addressed by additional technical concepts, like a practice sharing infrastructure in the back-end or the utilization of existing web-based tools to achieve specific functionality.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the MUPPLE Workshop, EC-TEL Conference, Barcelona, 2010:
Toward Developing a Semantic Mash-up Personal and Pervasive Learning Environment: SMupple
Ahmet Soylu, Fridolin Wild, Felix Mödritscher, Patrick De Causmaecker

Abstract: Personal Learning Environments have emerged as a complementary, even challenging, paradigm to Adaptive Learning Systems. One can argue that Pervasive Learning Environments aim at environment while Adaptive Learning Systems focus replacing the physical on replacing learning the instructor. We believe that amalgamation of these two approaches in a complementary manner, i.e. through setting an appropriate balance between learner and system control, is promising. Consequently, we consider mash-ups to be crucial for a successful realization of digital personal learning environments. However, mash-ups are also accompanied by critical technical and usability challenges. In this paper, we try to identify some of these challenges, present solution approaches from a conceptual point of view, and describe our Semantic Mash-up Personal and Pervasive Learning Environment (SMupple) proposal along with initial implementation and evaluation details.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ICL Conference, Hasselt, 2010:
Teaching Business Informatics with Web 2.0 Technologies
Karl Flieder, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: In this paper we report on a collaborative learning approach for teaching Business Process Management (BPM) with a focus on technologies and concepts of the Web 2.0. We explore the virtual continent – the cloud – for web service interfaces and applications related to e-Business in a broader context by following the core definitions of the Web 2.0. In doing so, we strive for an interdisciplinary challenge and investigate an application based on a historical idea. By following the evolution of the Web until we arrive at what is known as the Web as platform. With this metaphor in mind, we aim at interlinking the evolution of the Web and its applications with traditional aspects of computer science.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2010:
Utilising Pattern Repositories for Capturing and Sharing PLE Practices in Networked Communities
Felix Mödritscher, Zinayida Petrushyna, Effie Lai-Chong Law

Abstract: Personal learning environments (PLEs) comprise a new kind of learning technology which aims at putting learners into centre stage, i.e. by empowering them to design and use environments for their learning needs and purposes. Setting a PLE approach into practice, however, is not trivial at all, as the proposed end-users have varying attitudes and experiences in using ICT in general and PLE software in particular. Here, practice sharing could be an enabler for increasing the usefulness and usability of PLE solutions. In this paper we examine the relevant issues of capturing and sharing ‘good practices’ of PLE-based, collaborative activities. By good practices we refer to learning experiences provided by learners for a networked community. Moreover, we introduce the concept of a pattern repository as a backend service for PLEs which should, in the sense of community approaches like Last.fm, support PLE users in applying learning tools for their activities. Finally, we present a preliminary prototype and argue for the advantages of such a practice sharing infrastructure with respect to community literature, experiences, and an internal evaluation study.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ODS Workshop, Aarhus, 2010:
A Meta-Design Approach for Collaborative Process Modeling
Selim Erol, Felix Mödritscher, Gustaf Neumann

Abstract: Modeling business processes has become a complex design task due to a increasing rate of organizational change. Therefore business process modeling is in search for ways to reach beyond the rigidity of traditional approaches. In order to overcome new challenges, like the involvement of a diverse stakeholder community and variability of models, end-user development (EUD) and collaboration are considered promising instruments. In this paper we propose to enhance collaborative process modeling by EUD concepts. Precisely we apply the Meta-Design guidelines to the domain of business process modeling and present a first prototypic environment for collaborative process modeling along with a case-study. The paper concludes by highlighting benefits and unsolved issues of our Meta-Design based process modeling approach and by indicating the next steps of our research.
In International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), Vol. 5, Special Issue on MashUps for Learning, 2010:
Collaborative Development of a PLE for Language Learning
Dominik Renzel, Christina Höbelt, Daniel Dahrendorf, Martin Friedrich, Felix Mödritscher, Katrien Verbert, Sten Govaerts, Matthias Palmér, Evgeny Bogdanov

Abstract: This paper provides a report on the experimental collaborative and distributed development of a prototypic Widget-based PLE. The development process is described and detailed taking into account the requirements of a language learning scenario. First results are presented, and developer experiences are discussed critically with a focus on the development process as well as problems with current Widget technologies and interoperability.
In ERP Management - Zeitschrift für unternehmensweite Anwendungssysteme, 5. Jahrgang, 4. Ausgabe, 2009:
Usability und Semiotik
Karl Flieder, Felix Mödritscher

Kurzfassung: Die Semiotik definiert in unserer Arbeit den Bezugsrahmen für die Beurteilung der Qualität von Dialogschnittstellen. Unter Semiotik wird die Lehre von den Zeichen, ihren Bedeutungen sowie ihren Wirkungen subsumiert. Sie untergliedert sich in drei Teildisziplinen, die verschiedene Ebenen im Ausdruck und in der Äußerung durch Sprache und sprachliche Anwendungen abdecken: Die Syntax beschreibt die verwendeten Symbole und deren strukturellen Aufbau (die ‘Grammatik’) bzw. die Ebene eines voraussagbaren endlichen Entscheidungsverfahrens. Die Semantik beschäftigt sich mit der Wirklichkeit und dem Denken (‘Bedeutungslehre“) und meint im Kontext der Informatik auch die Bedeutung von Zeichenketten. Bedeutung folgt aus Verbindungen mit kognitiven Strukturen. Die Pragmatik umfasst die Ebene der Kommunikation (‘Äußerungszusammenhänge’) und untersucht die (Zeichen-)Verwendung durch den Benutzer im Zuge der Anwendung.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2009:
Why not Empower Knowledge Workers and Lifelong Learners to Develop their own Environments?
Felix Mödritscher, Fridolin Wild

Abstract: In industrial and educational practice, learning environments are designed and implemented by experts from many different fields, reaching from traditional software development and product management to pedagogy and didactics. Workplace and lifelong learning, however, implicate that learners are more self-motivated, capable, and self-confident in achieving their goals and, consequently, tempt to consider that certain development tasks can be shifted to end-users in order to facilitate a more flexible, open, and responsive learning environment. With respect to streams like end-user development and opportunistic design, this paper elaborates a methodology for user-driven environment design for action-based activities. Based on a former research approach named ‘Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments’ (MUPPLE) we demonstrate how workplace and lifelong learners can be empowered to develop their own environment for collaborating in learner networks and which prerequisites and support facilities are necessary for this methodology.
In Proceedings of the ICWL Conference, Aachen, 2009:
Sharing Good Practice through Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments
Felix Mödritscher, Fridolin Wild

Abstract: Personal learning environments (PLEs) require new ways to motivate and scaffold learners. In particular, practice sharing is of importance for learner-centric approaches in the scope of (technology-enhanced) lifelong learning, as it is an enabler for community building and sustaining. In this paper we elaborate prerequisites for ‘good practice sharing’ and explain how we realized these aspects in our PLE solution named Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments (MUPPLE.org). Finally, we argue for the utility of our MUPPLE approach by highlighting two different strategies of good practice sharing and their benefits for learning and community building.
Download PDF! Im Konferenzband des Internationalem Rechtsinformatik Symposions (IRIS), Salzburg, 2009:
Benutzerfreundlichkeit - Quo Vadis?
Karl Flieder, Felix Mödritscher

Kurzfassung: Dieser Beitrag betrachtet das Thema Benutzerfreundlichkeit von Anwendungen im E-Government im methodischen Rahmen der Semiotik mit ihren Ebenen Syntax, Semantik und Pragmatik. Der Hypothese folgend, wonach E-Government-Anwendungen auf den Ebenen Syntax und Semantik zwar optimal geplant und umgesetzt wurden, betrachten wir die Ebene der Pragmatik, wo Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten vor allem bei nichtfunktionalen Themen wie Benutzerfreundlichkeit zu finden sind. Wir untersuchen das Portal FinanzOnline zusammen mit dem Werkzeug Bürgerkarte hinsichtlich seiner Benutzerfreundlichkeit. Ausgehend von Erfahrungen, die wir mit anderen Bürgerkarten-Anwendungen gemacht haben, diskutieren wir den Grundsatz der Erwartungskonformität.
In International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence (IJKWI), Vol. 1, No. 1/2, 2009:
Semantic lifecycles: modelling, application, authoring, mining, and evaluation of meaningful data
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: The Semantic Web aims at evolving the ‘web of data’ to an ‘intelligent information space’ which is responsive to both human beings and computer systems. Consequently, semantic technologies have emerged in many application fields, primarily to provide intelligent IT systems. Semantics, therefore, is considered to be the essence of systemic intelligence. In this paper, we introduce a lifecycle model for semantics, consisting of five phases: (a) modelling, (b) application, (c) authoring, (d) mining, (e) evaluation of semantic information. With respect to this model, we analyse semantic lifecycles from former research work and summarise experiences as well as future research activities.
Download PDF! In iTec Workshop (invited talk), Kortrijk, 2009:
Semantic Lifecycles: How to create and utilise meaningful data for technology-enhanced learning approaches
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: The Semantic Web, as introduced by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has had a deep impact on web technologies, evolving the ‘web of data’ to an ‘intelligent information space’ which is responsive to both humans and computer systems. Consequently, semantic technologies have been developed and experienced in many application areas, primarily to provide intelligent IT systems even beyond the single-purpose paradigm. Semantics, therefore, is considered to be the kind of information required for systemic intelligence. In this presentation, we present three examples of ‘semantic lifecycles’ within the scope of technology-enhanced learning, each one describing the creation and utilisation of semantics which is used to improve standard learning technology in terms of responsiveness to learners. First and foremost, we highlight the different phases of a concept-based context model which is used to provide background knowledge on course topics through retrieval-based instruction. Second and consequently, we outline the lifecycle of a learner state model applied to adapt the learning process automatically. Third and finally, we deal with good practice sharing in PLE-based, collaborative activities, whereby we demonstrate how learning experiences can be externalised within a short hands-on exercise.
Download PDF! In Journal of Universal Computer Science (JUCS), Vol. 14, No. 22, 2008:
Semantic Information in Medical Information Systems: Utilization of Text Mining Techniques to Analyze Medical Diagnoses
Andreas Holzinger, Regina Geierhofer, Felix Mödritscher, Roland Tatzl

Abstract: Most information in Hospitals is still only available in text format and the amount of this data is immensely increasing. Consequently, text mining is an essential area of medical informatics. With the aid of statistic and linguistic procedures, text mining software attempts to dig out (mine) information from plain text. The aim is to transform data into information. However, for the efficient support of end users, facets of computer science alone are insufficient; the next step consists of making the information both usable and useful. Consequently, aspects of cognitive psychology must be taken into account in order to enable the transformation of information into knowledge of the end users. In this paper we describe the design and development of an application for analyzing expert comments on magnetic resonance images (MRI) diagnoses by applying a text mining method in order to scan them for regional correlations. Consequently, we propose a calculation of significant co-occurrences of diseases and defined regions of the human body, in order to identify possible risks for health.
Download PDF! In SCORM 2.0 Workshop, 2008:
Standardization’s all very well, but what about the Exabytes of Existing Content and Learner Contributions?
Felix Mödritscher, Victor Manuel García-Barrios

Problem definition: Standardization in the field of technology-enhanced learning focuses on structuring and aggregating assets to interoperable educational entities, like a course package. However, available standards and specifications in this area do not include an approach for addressing semantics embedded in existing content. This consideration might be useful for user-centered concepts, like learners tagging or commenting existing material, as well as for automated mechanism, like extracting relations or other meta-information automatically from the resources. In the upcoming section we indicate application areas and explain why available standards and specifications do not support these scenarios. Thereafter, we present a XML-based description language for semantics embedded in web-based content, which might be a solution for these use cases. Finally, we summarize and discuss some experiences on in-content semantics from former projects, particularly AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye-tracking, http://adele.fh-joanneum.at) and iCamp (http://icamp.eu), and give an outlook on future work.
In Proceedings of the USAB Symposium, Graz, 2008:
Personalized E-Learning through Environment Design and Collaborative Activities
Felix Mödritscher, Fridolin Wild

Abstract: Over the last century, many theoretical frameworks and technological solutions for personalized e-learning have emerged. The underlying models, however, are often based on the practice that domain experts develop an adaptation strategy to personalize content or parts of a learning platform, which leads to different problematic aspects decreasing the feasibility or utility of such approaches. After giving a brief overview of the historical development and basic concepts of personalized e-learning, we outline the shortcomings of the traditional ‘top-down, ex ante’ models and present an alternative approach which deals with personal learning environments, web application mashups, learning activities and learner interactions, as well as pattern-based best practice sharing. Furthermore, a prototypic implementation for our ‘learner-driven, bottom-up’ approach to personalized e-learning, namely the ‘Mash-UP Personal Learning Environment’ (MUPPLE), is presented and discussed on the basis of a concrete scenario.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the MUPPLE Workshop, EC-TEL Conference, Maastricht, 2008:
Language Design for a Personal Learning Environment Design Language
Felix Mödritscher, Fridolin Wild, Steinn Sigurdarson

Abstract: Approaching technology-enhanced learning from the perspective of a learner, we foster the idea of learning environment design, learner interactions, and tool interoperability. In this paper, we shortly summarize the motivation for our personal learning environment approach and describe the development of a domain-specific language for this purpose as well as its realization in practice. Consequently, we examine our learning environment design language according to its lexis and syntax, the semantics behind it, and pragmatical aspects within a first prototypic implementation. Finally, we discuss strengths, problematic aspects, and open issues of our approach.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the MUPPLE Workshop, EC-TEL Conference, Maastricht, 2008:
E-Learning and Microformats: A Learning Object Harvesting Model and a Sample Application
Ahmet Soylu, Selahattin Kuru, Fridolin Wild, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: In order to support interoperability of learning tools and reusability of resources, this paper introduces a framework for harvesting learning objects from web-based content. Therefore, commonly-known web technologies are examined with respect to their suitability for harvesting embedded meta-data. Then, a lightweight application profile and a microformat for learning objects are proposed based on well-known learning object metadata standards. Additionally, we describe a web service which utilizes XSL transformation (GRDDL) to extract learning objects from different web pages, and provide a SQI target as a retrieval facility using a more complex query language called SPARQL. Finally, we outline the applicability of our framework on the basis of a search client employing the new SQI service for searching and retrieving learning objects.
In eLearning Papers, Vol. 9, July 2008:
Designing for Change: Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments
Fridolin Wild, Felix Mödritscher, Steinn Sigurdarson

Abstract: Institutions for formal education and most work places are equipped today with at least some kind of tools that bring together people and content artefacts in learning activities to support them in constructing and processing information and knowledge. For almost half a century, science and practice have been discussing models on how to bring personalisation through digital means to these environments. Learning environments and their construction as well as maintenance makes up the most crucial part of the learning process and the desired learning outcomes and theories should take this into account. Instruction itself as the predominant paradigm has to step down. The learning environment is an (if not ‘the’) important outcome of a learning process, not just a stage to perform a ‘learning play’. For these good reasons, we therefore consider instructional design theories to be flawed. In this article we first clarify key concepts and assumptions for personalised learning environments. Afterwards, we summarise our critique on the contemporary models for personalised adaptive learning. Subsequently, we propose our alternative, i.e. the concept of a mash-up personal learning environment that provides adaptation mechanisms for learning environment construction and maintenance. The web application mash-up solution allows learners to reuse existing (web-based) tools plus services. Our alternative, LISL is a design language model for creating, managing, maintaining, and learning about learning environment design; it is complemented by a proof of concept, the MUPPLE platform. We demonstrate this approach with a prototypical implementation and a – we think – comprehensible example. Finally, we round up the article with a discussion on possible extensions of this new model and open problems.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ED-Media Conference, Vienna, 2008:
The Quiz World Cup: A Game-based Distance Learning Method for Teaching Cognitive Subject Matter Content
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: Teaching cognitive subject matter via distance learning often suffers from different aspects, such as providing passive content or missing motivational elements. Therefore, this paper deals with the extension of an online course on theoretical topics by game-based elements and proposes a distance learning method called "Quiz World Cup". After highlighting problematic aspects of teaching cognitive subject matter and pointing out possible remedies, the realization of the Quiz World Cup within the Moodle platform is described. Consequently, results and experiences of a case study running this method in the area of adult education are summarized.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ED-Media Conference, Vienna, 2008:
Shortcomings of Learning Design Approaches And a Possible Way Out
Felix Mödritscher, Fridolin Wild

Abstract: Shifting away from traditional instructional design to younger research streams like personalized, workflow-based or collaborative e-learning, learning design (LD) has become an important issue in the field of technology-enhanced learning. Nevertheless, current LD approaches turn out to be rather unhandy or costly in teaching and research practice. In this paper, we discuss these shortcomings and propose an alternative solution approach which is based on a web application mashup, learner interactions, and a semantic layer for tool recommendations. As the evaluation of our first prototype is in progress, we can not highlight first experiences, but outline benefits and possible application scenarios in this position paper.
Get the book from Amazon! Adaptive E-Learning Environments: Theory, Practice, and Experience
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: In our knowledge-oriented society, the necessity for novel teaching and learning paradigms has been leading to trends like distance learning or e-learning. But very soon problems emerged in connection with such technology-driven educational approaches. Adaptive e-learning tackles these problems through implementing didactical competencies within information technology in order to improve learning. This book examines aspects of adaptive e-learning and evaluates a technological prototype driven by two ideas: enhanced learner observation based on eye-tracking technology and retrieval-based instruction for adapting the learning process. As such, adaptive e-learning is being approached from different angles, ranging from theory to practical implementation issues, accentuated with different concepts and evaluated through case studies.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the OpenACS and .LRN Conference, Guatemala City, 2008:
A Web Application Mashup Approach for eLearning
Felix Mödritscher, Gustaf Neumann, Victor Manuel García-Barrios, Fridolin Wild

Abstract: In this paper, we present a mashup approach which is based on the XoWiki component and enables a user to add web-based applications to Wiki content and to use and arrange these tools in a comfortable way. In the following, the paper gives a short overview on the topic at hand, describes critical challenges regarding the development of application mashups and – based on that –derives special requirements for eLearning. Thereafter, various solutions and development frameworks are inspected according to our special needs, and a concrete implementation, namely the XoMashup component, is described closer. Finally, a possible application scenario is shown, and the next steps moving towards a semantic layer are outlined.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Semantics Conference, Graz, 2007:
Utilizing Text Mining Techniques to Analyze Medical Diagnoses
Felix Mödritscher, Roland Tatzl, Regina Geierhofer, Andreas Holzinger

Abstract: Due to the increasing amount of medical patient data collected in hospitals, technology-based methods are of increasing interest for processing and analyzing such materials. Therefore, computer supported techniques have to be evaluated by means of their efficiency for this application area. In this paper, we introduce an approach for analyzing expert comments on magnetic resonance images (MRI) diagnoses by applying a text mining method in order to scan them for regional correlations. Consequently, we propose a calculation of significant co-occurrences of diseases and defined regions of the human body, in order to identify possible risks for health, and we present a special tool, which we have implemented in order to test this approach.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2007:
Integration and Semantic Enrichment of Explicit Knowledge through a Multimedia, Multi-source, Metadata-based Knowledge Artefact Repository
Felix Mödritscher, Robert Hoffmann, Werner Klieber

Abstract: Explicit knowledge is often stored in various repositories within a company. As APOSDLE aims at considering the whole intellectual capital of companies, we are coping with the task to integrate the content of several and different repositories within the APOSDLE platform. Further, other modules in the APOSDLE system also require functionality to semantically enrich knowledge artefacts like documents or multimedia objects. In this paper, we present our approach to these challenges, namely the "Multimedia, Multi-source, Metadata-based Knowledge Artefact Repository". After presenting the basic idea and critical issues of this solution, we point out related technological approaches as well as their limitations. Finally, we report about a first prototype realising this idea and our experiences gained so far.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ED-Media Conference, Orlando, 2006:
The first AdeLE Prototype at a Glance
Felix Mödritscher, Victor Manuel García-Barrios, Christian Gütl, Denis Helic

Abstract: According to literature, a lot of research work on adaptive e-learning was carried out and, insofar, many systems in this application domain were developed in the last decades. One solution approach within the scope of adaptive educational hypermedia is the project AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye-Tracking), started at the end of the year 2003 and with the scientific focus on combining adaptive e-learning techniques with eye-tracking technology. After two years of research and development we present the current status of the adaptive e-learning environment realised so far. Thus, this paper sums up relevant publications concerning the AdeLE system, highlights the overall prototype as well as each subsystem and points out our experiences gained within the first phase of the project.
In Proceedings of the AH Conference, Dublin, 2006:
Towards Formalising adaptive Behaviour within the Scope of E-Learning
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: As there are a lot of approaches and projects within the area of adaptive e-learning, several theoretical models have been developed in the last 15 years. Against this background, the AdeLE team implemented a first prototype on basis of informal descriptions given by literature research as well as concrete circumstances of the research project. Nevertheless, a theoretical model fulfilling certain requirements for our approach is still missing. This paper points out possibilities and limitations of existing models in the scope of the AdeLE project. Further, the authors own attempt towards formalising adaptive behaviour in e-learning environments is denoted.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the International Convention MIPRO, Opatija, 2006:
Applying a Dynamic Background Library to evaluate legal Problems in Connection with Domain Names
Felix Mödritscher, Silke D. Spiel, Victor Manuel García-Barrios

Abstract: Domain names are of enormous utility for an efficient browsing through the Internet. Nevertheless, a lot of legal problems and conflicts are faced, for instance domain grabbing or hurting existing trademarks, if someone wants to register a certain domain or already possesses one. In this paper, we describe the so-called LAPD-Inspector, a Web-based application that uses a Dynamic Background Library (DBL) with the aim of retrieving accurate and topical information about the legal status in connection with domain names as well as supporting users within some problem-specific scenarios.
In Journal of Universal Science and Technology of Learning (J.USTL), Vol. 0, No. 0, May 2006:
e-Learning Theories in Practice: A Comparison of three Methods
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: As e-learning and distance learning tend to get more and more important for all kind of organisations, researchers and practitioners are becoming aware of the fact that a simple technology-focussed approach does not guarantee successful teaching and learning. Thus, a shift to pedagogy-based initiatives can be observed within the field of e-learning. This paper examines the implications of commonly known learning theories on online courses. Therefore, a case study was carried out within the field of adult education aiming at the implementation of different e-learning strategies with respect to the behaviouristic, cognitive, and constructivistic school of learning. Furthermore, these instructional approaches are compared with each other in order to examine aspects such as the effort for the teacher and the students, the effectiveness of each method, the students’ workload or collaborative and social aspects of e-learning.
In Proceedings of the CHI Conference, Montreal, 2006:
Foundations of a Pattern Language based on Gestalt Principles
Karl Flieder, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: Traditionally, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a highly interdisciplinary field bridging the research between psychological research and computer science. This paper places great emphasis on a new pattern language based on Gestalt principles, among which Prägnanz is regarded as the fundamental one. Psychological findings, pattern methodology and linguistic categories consequently form the basis of our work. The proposed pattern language, not yet finished, is intended to support visual design in a usercentered way by providing comprehensive information about Gestalt principles.
Download PDF! In Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning (ITDL), Vol. 3, No. 3, March 2006:
The Impact of an E-Learning Strategy on Pedagogical Aspects
Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: Planning and implementing courses – no matter whether done for face-to-face education or within e-learning environments – deal a lot with pedagogical issues. Learning is influenced by a couple of factors such as attention, motivation, emotions, etc. as well as by learner characteristics like prior knowledge, cognitive and learning styles, intellectual capabilities, constitutional states and the forth. This paper examines learner-centred aspects of e-learning by drawing conclusions from traditional learning in the classroom situation and outlining implications for the process of virtual learning. Furthermore, a case study carried out in the field of adult education tries to point out findings on the impact of different e-learning strategies on the factors influencing learning.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the SITE Conference, Orlando, 2006:
Assessment in E-Learning Environments: A Comparison of three Methods
Felix Mödritscher, Silke Spiel, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios

Abstract: Considering didactics, assessment is necessary to evaluate the learning process and, thus, also of relevance for the e-learning situation. In fact, it is harder and more problematic to realise them within online courses. This paper examines important didactical aspects, such as defining competencies, determining learning objectives and assessing learners’ achievements within the scope of e-learning, and, furthermore, it reports about a case study comparing three different assessment methods to each other. In particular, the depicted methods are evaluated in terms of the most relevant factors of the teaching process within the area of adult education.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ELearn Conference, Vancouver, 2005:
The Use of a Dynamic Background Library within the Scope of adaptive e-Learning
Felix Mödritscher, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Hermann Maurer

Abstract: The concept of a Dynamic Background Library (DBL) is well-known in literature and applied for several application areas. As it is planned to use a DBL within the scope of the research project AdeLE, a first prototype named EHELP was developed and evaluated already. Nevertheless, we never analysed the DBL in terms of the applicability for educational usage, in particular for elearning and adaptive e-learning. After a short review of critical aspects of adaptive e-learning, the conceptual design and the implementation of the EHELP system are outlined. Further, concrete educational scenarios for the application of a DBL are described and linked to aspects of the AdeLE project. Finally, first experiences derived by an evaluation of EHELP and the next steps of our future work are given.
Download PDF! In European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL), Vol. II, 2005:
AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye-Tracking): Theoretical Background, System Architecture and Application Scenarios
Christian Gütl, Maja Pivec, Christian Trummer, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Felix Mödritscher, Jürgen Pripfl, Martin Umgeher

Abstract: Due to the rapidly growing amount of knowledge, a stronger need emerges for efficient and improved knowledge acquisition strategies. E-learning can be very helpful for different learning activities in various learning environments. However, in order to support different teaching and learning paradigms, e-learning should deal with more than simply reading online lessons. Therefore, content as well as communication and collaboration have to be supported in a highly personalised manner by e-learning systems. Though, tracking and grasping the user behaviour in real time remains the most challenging task to retrieve an appropriate and fine-grained user profile as well as to provide personalised learning content. In this paper we present AdeLE, a technology-based solution of an enhanced adaptive e-learning framework, which comprises novel solution approaches for fine-grained user profiles by exploiting real time eye-tracking and content-tracking analysis as well as a dynamic background library. Based on the global objectives of an enhanced e-learning environment, the system architecture of AdeLE and the methods used in order to gain fine-grained user information by real time eye-tracking are addressed. Furthermore, various scenarios in different application domains are illustrated.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ABIS Workshop, Saarbrücken, 2005:
Towards a Generic Adaptive System applicable for Web-based Learning Management Environments
Christian Gütl, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: One main objective of the AdeLE research project is the research and implementation of an enhanced, flexible and Web-based adaptive e-learning system by the application of fine-grained profiling and modeling information using multimodal sensor data in real time. Based on our knowledge about a wide range of existing learning management systems (LMS), we have decided to develop an approach to connect and control existing LMSs in order to extend them with adaptability or adaptivity. Backed on our experiences of the first fully functional implementation of the AdeLE system, we introduce our approach towards a generic adaptive system applicable for Web-based learning management environments in this paper.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ED-Media Conference, Montreal, 2005:
Quizzes are not enough to reach high-level learning objectives!
Felix Mödritscher, Alexandra Sindler

Abstract: This paper focuses on special problems about essential didactical aspects for course instructors like defining and evaluating learning objectives within the e-learning situation. Therefore, basics about competencies, learning objectives and assessments are treated with a focus on traditional education. By applying these concepts on e-learning, existing problems for e-learning courses are discussed in detail and some possible solutions are suggested. These approaches will be evaluated in the next phase of our research work.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2005:
Personalisation versus Adaptation? A User-centred Model Approach and its Application
Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Felix Mödritscher, Christian Gütl

Abstract: In this paper, a terminological and pragmatic paradigm shift is proposed and undertaken from the field of Personalisation Systems towards the field of Adaptive Systems. A new conceptual framework for both topics is developed in order to enable a deeper insight into the challenges and benefits of merging the fields. The aim of this paper is to define a generic and component-based Personalisation Model (PM), which is derived from an analytical perspective on systems that are pertinent to adaptation. Furthermore, validity and applicability of the PM are demonstrated for the field of adaptive e-learning. Thus, practical experiences within the AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye-Tracking) research project are discussed.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2005:
AdeLE first prototype: experiences made
Maja Pivec, Jürgen Pripfl, Christian Gütl, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Felix Mödritscher, Christian Trummer

Abstract: In this paper we describe first experiences with AdeLE prototype, a framework for adaptive e-learning utilising both eye tracking and content tracking technology. We outline features of the first prototype and their relevance for the user. We report more in detail about current research challenges where we observe users' learning behaviour in real time by monitoring characteristics such as objects and areas of focus, time spent on objects, frequency of visits, and sequences in which content is consumed. This research is focused on analysing eye-movement patters during learning and linking these patterns with cognitive processes. Possible areas of application are described, such as using the information about the position of the eye for providing additional context specific information to the learner. The framework ensures not only adaptivity to the users' preferences, knowledge level and the real-time tracking of their behaviour, but also the relevance, accuracy and reliability of the knowledge provided.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ELearn Conference, Washington, 2004:
Enhancement of SCORM to support adaptive E-Learning within the Scope of the Research Project AdeLE
Felix Mödritscher, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Christian Gütl

Abstract: With regards to a more effective knowledge transfer through adaptation and personalisation, adaptivity is one of the hot spots in the field of e-learning. As one particular and interesting detail of AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye Tracking), a research project with the aim to develop and implement a solution framework for personalised adaptive e-learning based on real-time user behaviour, this paper examines theoretical principles and the possible realisations of adaptivity in terms of technology-based learning and teaching. According to these basics, requirements on an e-learning standard are established. Finally, one well-established collection of specifications and standards, SCORM, is inspected referring to these requirements, and exemplary enhancements to support adaptive e-learning are suggested.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ELearn Conference, Washington, 2004:
Adaptation in E-Learning Environments through the Service-Based Framework and its Application for AdeLE
Christian Gütl, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: E-learning may provide a lot of useful features in a wide range of learning and teaching situations. However, the provision of static learning material will not meet the requirements of the users. We believe that well-tailored, highly personalized learning sessions are needed. Regarding to this background, the research project AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye-Tracking) aims to develop and implement a solution framework for personalised adaptive e-learning based on real-time user behaviour. In this paper we introduce the Service-Based Framework (SBF) - a reusable, scalable and flexible architecture for adaptation systems - and point out its application for AdeLE.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ICL Conference, Villach, 2004:
The Past, the Present and the Future of adaptive E-Learning: An Approach within the Scope of the Research Project AdeLE
Felix Mödritscher, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Christian Gütl

Abstract: In consideration of AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye Tracking), a research project with the aim to develop and implement a solution framework for personalised e-learning based on real-time user behaviour, this paper examines the main approaches to adaptive e-learning based on a research on the history of adaptive instructional learning. Furthermore, an exemplary selection of systems resulted by these mainstreams and classified to the most important types is introduced. Concerning the examination of adaptive models and systems in the field of e-learning, we want to introduce our approach to adaptive e-learning for the research project AdeLE.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ICL Conference, Villach, 2004:
EHELP - Enhanced E-Learning Repository: The Use of a Dynamic Background Library for a better Knowledge Transfer Process
Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Christian Gütl, Felix Mödritscher

Abstract: This paper describes an investigation into the ways in which learning and cognition using a web-based e-learning environment can be supported and enhanced by means of a Dynamic Background Library, namely the Enhanced E-Learning Repository Manager (EHELP). The paper focuses on the evaluation of user behaviour based upon such a model, but gives firstly a general overview of the basic idea, design and implementation of EHELP.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the I-Know Conference, Graz, 2004:
AdELE: A Framework for Adaptive E-Learning through Eye Tracking
Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Christian Gütl, Alexandra M. Preis, Keith Andrews, Maja Pivec, Felix Mödritscher, Christian Trummer

Abstract: In this paper we introduce AdELE, a framework for adaptive e-learning utilising both eye tracking and content tracking technology. The framework is based upon the combination of fine-grained real-time eye tracking with synchronous content tracking, a user profiler, an adaptive multimedia learning environment, and a dynamic background library. The framework ensures not only adaptivity to the users' preferences, knowledge level and the real-time tracking of their behaviour, but also ensures the relevance, accuracy and reliability of the knowledge provided.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the ED-Media Conference, Lugano, 2004:
Why do Standards in the Field of E-Learning not fully support Learner-centred Aspects of Adaptivity?
Felix Mödritscher, Christian Gütl, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Hermann Maurer

Abstract: As a pre-study for AdeLE (Adaptive e-Learning with Eye Tracking), a research project with the aim to develop and implement a solution framework for personalized adaptive e-learning based on real-time user behaviour, this paper examines the learner-centred aspects of adaptive e-learning and their support in e-learning standards. For this purpose, indicators for adaptation criteria are derived from the learner's characteristics and exemplary adaptive methods for an e-learning environment are introduced. On the basis of these indicators and because of the importance of standardization, the paper points out requirements on e-learning standards to support learner-centred adaptivity. According to these requirements two well-established standards - SCORM and IMS - are examined in order to evaluate its applicability to the AdeLE solution approach.
Download PDF! In Proceedings of the EDEN Conference, Budapest, 2004:
Adaptive Knowledge Transfer in e-Learning Settings on the Basis of Eye Tracking and Dynamic Background Library
Maja Pivec, Alexandra M. Preis, Victor Manuel Garcia-Barrios, Christian Gütl, Heimo Müller, Christian Trummer, Felix Mödritscher