Build your Responsive Open Learning Environment

ID: 37340 Type: Roundtable
  1. Alexander Mikroyannidis, The Open University, United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 10 10:00 AM-11:00 AM

No presider for this session.

The European research project ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) is aiming at empowering learners for self-regulated learning within a personalised learning environment. Towards this goal, ROLE has developed a number of learning technologies, addressing a variety of learning requirements. The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss the applications of these technologies in different learning contexts, as well as the challenges associated with enabling and supporting self-regulated learning.


At the end of the workshop, participants will have acquired: - A good overview of the different approaches and issues related to Responsive Open Learning Environments. - An awareness of the range of resources, tools and methods available to enable Responsive Open Learning Environments. - An understanding of how Responsive Open Learning Environments can be applied in their own learning and research context. - An understanding of the widget design process and the requirements involved. Additionally, participants will be able to take away the following outcomes of the group activities: - The learning resources that have been shared in the first group activity. - The mash-ups of ROLE tools created in the second group activity. - The widget designs and entries to the ROLE Widget Enchantment contest.

Topical Outline

The advent of Web 2.0 has altered the landscape in TEL. Learners nowadays have access to a variety of learning tools and services on the web. These tools and services are usually provided by different vendors and in many cases are open and free. Repositories like Wikipedia, YouTube, SlideShare and iTunes U offer access to a wide range of learning materials for free. Augmenting and configuring the diverse and distributed Web 2.0 tools and services in order to address the needs and preferences of individual learners is a significant challenge for modern online learning environments. The Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences. The PLE follows a learner-centric approach, allowing the use of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners. Rather than integrating different services into a centralised system, the PLE provides the learner with a variety of services and hands over control to her to select and use these services the way she deems fit (Chatti et al., 2007, Wilson, 2008). Self-regulated learning (SRL) comprises an essential aspect of the PLE, as it enables learners to become “metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviourally active participants in their own learning process” (Zimmerman, 1989). Although the psycho-pedagogical theories around SRL predate very much the advent of the PLE, SRL is a core characteristic of the latter. SRL is enabled within the PLE through the assembly of independent resources in a way that fulfils a specific learning goal. By following this paradigm, the PLE allows learners to regulate their own learning, thus greatly enhancing their learning outcomes (Fruhmann et al., 2010, Mikroyannidis, 2011).


The intended audience of this workshop is: - Researchers in Technology-Enhanced Learning - Learning practitioners and developers The workshop will be based on hands-on group activities. During these activities, participants will be asked to access online tools; they should thus bring their own laptops (BYOL). This workshop will be structured as follows: 1. Introduction to the methodologies and technologies developed by ROLE. 2. First group activity: Use ROLE widgets to find and share learning resources on the web. Participants will be presented with a bundle of pre-selected ROLE widgets and will be able to use them in pairs or small groups in order to find and share online learning resources. 3. Plenary discussion on the outcomes of the first group activity. 4. Second group activity: Build your Responsive Open Learning Environment. Participants will be presented with the ROLE Sandbox (, a facility for building widget mash-ups in shared spaces. The participants will then be guided into creating mash-ups in this platform for their own learning or research purposes. 5. Plenary discussion on the outcomes of the second group activity. 6. Third group activity: Design your ROLE widget. Participants will be provided with templates and guidance on designing their widgets, by defining the learning scenario, the learning design, the actors involved, as well as the ‘storyboard’ of the widget. 7. Reflections, conclusions and next steps.

Experience Level



Dr. Alexander Mikroyannidis is a Research Fellow in the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University UK. His research areas of interest are primarily related with knowledge management and applications of Semantic and Social Web technologies in education. Dr. Mikroyannidis holds a PhD in Informatics from Manchester Business School, an MPhil in Computation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (UMIST), and a BEng in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece. He has been highly active in the 5th, 6th, and 7th Framework Programme of the European Community, through the projects ROLE (ICT-2009-231396), DEMO-net (ICT-2006-27219), CASPAR (ICT-2005-33572), and PARMENIDES (IST-2001-39023). Dr. Mikroyannidis is currently involved in two European Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) projects: ROLE ( and OpenScout ( Within ROLE, he is investigating the challenges involved in the adoption of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) by the life-long learner. Supporting the adaptation and re-purposing of Open Educational Resources (OERs) through tools and services is the focus of his work within OpenScout.


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