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CSCL2009 Conference

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Competitive Challenge on
Adapting Activities Modeled by CSCL Scripts

Christine Ferraris, Laurence Vignollet, Christian Martel, Scenarios Team, Syscom, Université de Savoie, France ,,
Andreas Harrer, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany,
Yannis Dimitriadis, GSIC, University of Valladolid, Spain,


Theme and Goals of the workshop

Both the Learning Design community and the CSCL scripting community are working on the problem of modeling learning activities. The idea is to build a formal description of such activities (called a script, or a scenario, or a sequence, or a learning design) that a computer will be able to read and interpret in order to automatically generate the CSCL environment that will support the execution of the corresponding activity. Researchers of these communities have thus proposed and developed models, languages, methodologies and tools to support this approach.
A script is written in a given language (for example IMS-LD, LDL, the collaborative scripting language, etc.) and transformed in an activity running on an existing virtual learning environment. Thus the activity is strictly running according to what is described in the script: it cannot deviate as it is scaffolded by a computer process. The problem then is the following: how can it be adapted to events that may occur in the activity. Indeed, learning activities are continuously evolving whilst they are running. Teachers always have to adapt the situation to the learners’ reactions and to external events. Some may have been planned and the teacher knows how to react; some may be unpredictable and the teacher has to imagine a way to adapt.
The theme of this workshop is the adaptation of activities modeled by CSCL scripts according to what is happening in the activity. The issues to deal with include the following :

These issues may be considered in both the case of foreseen events (adaptation is specified within the script) and the case of unforeseen events (there is nothing in the script to define how to react).

The adaptation problem raises another problem: the observation one. The workshop will also deal with this problem issue: how can an activity be observed while it is going on? Are concepts dedicated to observation needed in the script models? What is currently existing to support observation within scripting approaches? Which models? Which tools?

Format of the workshop: a challenge with one benchmark scenario

The workshop is defined as a kind of competition gathering teams that will have to work on the design of a common case study (a given learning activity which will serve as a benchmark) dealing with the issues mentioned above. Two kinds of participants are expected:

It is open to any academic or industrial e-learning researcher, e-learning designer or e-learning practitioner in CSCL. It will allow confronting the various solutions and models, approaches and tools through modeling experiences of collaborative learning activities, considering the adaptation and observation problems, starting from a real situation to be modeled and ending at the corresponding implemented activity.

Submission procedure and planned activities

Pre-workshop – submission procedure

Before the workshop takes place, a “challenge”, i.e. a scenario that should be modeled by the different competitors, will be defined and put at disposal in the workshop website. It will be issued by March the 1st, 2009 to allow preparation for the conference. A “call for modeling solutions” will be issued at the same time. Potential contributors (future competitors) are expected to submit an initial text describing briefly their solution approach (planned modeling technique to be used, intended CSCL tools, adaptation approach) and the issues tackled in the solution (of course, contributors are not expected to consider all the issues) for a short reviewing process to select competitors. As we want competitors to have time in preparing the solution and not to be overbooked with writing tasks, the required description will be short (one or 2 pages long). The final decision to be engaged as a competitor in the workshop will be taken on the basis of the description submitted. The selected competitors are expected to prepare a solution to the challenge for the workshop event. More information about the submission process will be available soon in the workshop website, together with the case study (see

During the workshop (one full day)

The competitors' solutions will be collected into a technical report on “adaptation for CSCL scripts” and published at least in the web. We are currently considering a publication for a special issue of a journal.

Program committee

The organizers of the workshop will serve as program committee members.

Workshop Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009