European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) 2012

The EC-TEL conference is the leading European academic conference in Technology Enhanced Learning. In its 7th year the conference was held in Saarbrücken (Germany) from the 18th – 21st September 2012.

The theme of the conference this year was 21st Century Learning for 21st Century Skills and it covered a broad selection of research including:

  • Technological underpinning
  • Pedagogical underpinning
  • Individual, social & organizational learning processes
  • Learning contexts and domains
  • TEL in developing countries
  • TEL, functional diversity and users with special needs

A full list of the subject areas covered is available on the EC-TEL website.

EC-TEL 2012

Wordle visualisation of the paper abstracts from EC-TEL 2012

The above visualisation was generated from the abstracts of the main conference papers and is indicative of the research focus of the conference.

Prior to the main conference there were a number of workshops held. The following workshops were attended and they both resulted in interesting and stimulating debate around game-based learning and mobile user experiences respectively.

Some of the key areas of interest highlighted at the overall conference include:

  • Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera
  • Designing learning experiences to foster creativity
  • Use of context-aware mobile technologies to aid situated learning
  • Learning Analytics as an emerging research area
  • Technologies to aid reflection e.g. the EU FP7 MIRROR project

iKnow 2012

Now in its 12th year, iKnow is an international conference held in Graz, Austria and focusing on knowledge management and knowledge computing. One of the unique features of iKnow is that it brings together a community of both industry and academia.

Several very interesting keynotes were given during the conference; David Mallon, VP of Research at Bersin & Associates, discussed “The Business Value of a High-Impact Learning Culture”. The take home message very much seemed to be that the capture and sharing of tacit knowledge in an organisation and encouraging learners to reflect on their learning experiences are key to high performance learning.

Another interesting keynote was given by Erik Duval, Professor in the HCI research unit at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven on “Learning Dashboards”.

The research tracks at the conference included Professional Learning, Knowledge Discovery and Knowledge Organisation. The presentation which I gave was on personalised activity-based eLearning research that is currently being carried out at our research partner at Trinity College Dublin. The presentation discussed the results from the recent user trialling of a novel system designed to support a personalised approach to activity based eLearning.

Wordle visualisation of the paper abstracts from iKnow 2012

Wordle visualisation of the paper abstracts from iKnow 2012