[special issue] Trends and Opportunities in Online Education #research #tugraz

I editored a special issue on “Trends and Opportunities in Online Education” together with Markus. A first article got published right now with the title “Crossing the Borders: Re-Use of Smart Learning Objects in Advanced Content Access Systems“:


Researchers in many disciplines are developing novel interactive smart learning objects like exercises and visualizations. Meanwhile, Learning Management Systems (LMS) and eTextbook systems are also becoming more sophisticated in their ability to use standard protocols to make use of third party smart learning objects. But at this time, educational tool developers do not always make best use of the interoperability standards and need exemplars to guide and motivate their development efforts. In this paper we present a case study where the two large educational ecosystems use the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard to allow cross-sharing of their educational materials. At the end of our development process, Virginia Tech’s OpenDSA eTextbook system became able to import materials from Aalto University’s ACOS smart learning content server, such as python programming exercises and Parsons problems. Meanwhile, University of Pittsburgh’s Mastery Grids (which already uses the ACOS exercises) was made to support CodeWorkout programming exercises (a system already used within OpenDSA). Thus, four major projects in CS Education became inter-operable.

[Link to website of the Open Access Journal]

Special Issue: Learning Analytics #jucs

Our Special Issue about Learning Analytics is published within the Journal of Universal Computer Science. We like to thank all authors and reviewers for their valuable work. All readers we wish an enjoyable reading experience.

Already back in 2006 Retalis et al. proposed their first thoughts on Learning Analytics (LA) and considered interaction analysis as a promising way to better understand the learner’s behavior. A couple of years later, further activities were organized; especially Siemens and Long predicted that the most important factor shaping the future of higher education would be big data and analytics. Just few months later, the Horizon Report also described Learning Analytics as a big trend for the forthcoming years. Since then a number of conferences (for example LAK 11, LAK 12, …) have been organized and different projects have been started as well as the topic has been rising on Google trends. The number of research publications has also increased arbitrarily in different directions; for instance to define the upcoming research field, to gather practical experiences or simply to confine LA from other topics (especially from Educational Data Mining (EDM)) …

Table of Content:

Reference: Ebner, M., Kinshuk, Wohlhart, D., Taraghi, B., Kumar, V. (2015) Editorial: Learning Analytics J.UCS Special Issue, Journal of Universal Computer Science, vol. 21, no. 1 (2015), 1-6

[Special Issue] Interaction in Massive Courses

It’s a great pleasure to announce that our Special Issue of the Journal of Universal Computer Science about “Interaction in Massive Courses” is online published. Due to the fact that the Journal is part of the Open Access Iniative all chapters are free downloadable. Thanks a lot to all who made this issue possible 🙂 .
Table of Content:

  • Editorial: Interaction in Massive Courses [.pdf]
  • Proposal for a Conceptual Framework for Educators to Describe and Design MOOCs [.pdf]
  • Adapting an Awareness Tool for Massive Courses: the Case of ClassON [.pdf]
  • Developing a Web-Based Question-Driven Audience Response System Supporting BYOD [.pdf]
  • Toward Project-based Learning and Team Formation in Open Learning Environments [.pdf]