MATEL2012

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3rd International Workshop on Motivational and Affective Aspects of Technology Enhanced Learning (MATEL)

Motivational and affective aspects are frequently neglected in TEL although they are one of the most important factors when it comes to acceptance and success of such solutions. This becomes even more important as we move towards more open, independent, and informal learning settings. A growing number of applications are already supporting a broad range of informal learning settings, by motivating users to capture behavior in order to increase their awareness and actively coach them. However, our understanding of these aspects and its implication this on concrete solutions is very fragmented. This workshop wants to bring together in this workshop the different perspectives on the topic in order to foster the formation of a community between psychology, sociology, pedagogy, CSCW and computer science.

Proceedings

Agenda

Tuesday

Wednesday

Presenting the poster to the ECTEL audience: 16:30 -17:00

Summary

NOTE: We will publish post-proceedings as CEUR Workshop Proceedings. If you are not yet on the MATEL mailing list, drop me a line: andreas_peter.schmidt@hs-karlsruhe.de

Verónica Rivera Pelayo opening the MATEL workshop
Lars Müller presenting the xAffect framework
Derick Leony presenting a recommendation widget

Introduced by Verónica Rivera Pelayo from FZI, the workshop started with a session on affective factors in TEL. Lars Müller presented an open-source framework for sensor-based capturing (xAffect) developed as part of the xDELIA project. The application scenario was detecting and allowing traders to regulate their emotions as part of their financial decisions. Afterwards, Derick Leony showed a collaborative filtering approach for recommending learning resources that made use of the affective state as part of the user profile.

In the subsequent session, we collaboratively developed a landscape for the role of affective aspects in the TEL domain.

Workshop

Landcape for affective aspects in TEL Landcape for affective aspects in TEL Landcape for affective aspects in TEL Landcape for affective aspects in TEL

This resulted in the following insights:

  • One of the key parts of the discussion was answering the question to WHY should we incorporate affective aspects into TEL systems? It emerged that there are very different purposes:
    • Using affective state to inform system behaviour, e.g., in Intelligent Tutoring Systems (the affective state does not necessarily become transparent to the user or beyond)
    • Making individuals or groups aware of the affective state, e.g., for the purpose of reflection
      • about one's own effects on others' affective state
      • about individual work practices or coping strategies
    • Influencing affective state through interventions
  • Major concerns or barriers were also raised
    • While humans are trained in detecting affective state of others, automated methods for detecting affective state will never be as good at it. This means that we should not seek to replace human perception, but rather to augment it.
    • Showing emotions is not viewed as acceptable in business environments and in certain roles, which also makes transparency a dangerous aspect.
  • On the research side, the lack of a universally accepted and adequate language for emotions was realized. There are several taxonomies, also emoticons, but there use is culturally limited and not universal.
Andreas Schmidt presenting the MATURE Motivational Model
Teresa Holocher presenting the experiences from IntelLEO
Michael Prilla and Martin Degeling presenting reflection apps from MIRROR
Gonzalo Parra presenting TINYARM

On the second day, the main theme was refocusing on motivation. Andreas Schmidt opened the workshop day by setting the scene for motivational aspects. He had a look at at past MATEL editions and their outcome, such as the different facets of motivation (motivation to learn, motivation to share, motivation use a tool) or the ambivalent relationship between goals and motivation. He then presented a revised version of the MATURE Motivation Model, which is organized along the dimensions "individual", "interpersonal" and "work environment" and is designed to be an analytical tool that is also being used within the Knowledge Maturing Consulting Network. Teresa Holocher-Ertl continued with results from the IntelLEO project on self-regulated learning support at the workplace, presenting also evaluation results on the role and acceptance of learning goals in this context, which has been a controversial topic in the MATEL '11 edition.

Michael Prilla and Martin Degeling continued with presenting a MIRROR reflection support app (on tablets) for physicians in the context of developing their social competence to talk to patients and relatives and how the motivation to use such apps was addressed, e.g., by having regular meetings where insights were exchanged within the group. Finally, Gonzalo Parra presented a social media approach to support researchers in staying aware of important developments: TINYARM, where gamification approaches were integrated, but also taken care of integration into the regular workflow. Results have shown that different user group have different prioritities, so that also motivation is different.

In the subsequent general discussion what we have learnt from the contribution, we have identified that the design process and how it is organized is key to integrating motivational aspects into the design. Participatory and user-centered activities are agreed to be the state of the art, but still there is a wide variety of concrete methods to implement it. Particularly, problems were voiced when starting with a specific user group to develop more general solutions. On the other side, the top-down approach - starting general, then becoming more specific - is similarly problematic. This led to a discussion on the role of conceptual models that capture the body of knowledge we have accumulated. As part of user-centered design processes, they can be helpful by scaffolding the users, thus starting a learning process about their own environment, but they can be also a dangerous bias. A lesson from the MATURE project is that users should be as much as possible in control of the design process, not the designers - however, this is difficult in research projects were we always have multiple interests (relevancy to practice, research advances, and technical innovation). Despite all the concerns of influencing users, it is also clear that participatory design is a two-way conversation where both sides should be ready and willing to learn from each other.

It was widely confirmed that developers and designers knowing the users as deeply as possible is crucial. Ethnographically informed studies with immersion into the workplace reality have been useful in MATURE and MIRROR, but can be impossible because of privacy and workers' council considerations. Personas were used by many of the participants, but it was found that they are useful only as long as you don't have contact with the real users.

Past, present, as future of MATEL

The workshop was concluded by a session on "Past, present, and future" of the MATEL workshop, led by Teresa Holocher-Ertl. Participants were asked to voice their key priorities for future research on motivational and affective aspects in TEL, which resulted in the following key results

Key results of the MATEL Workshop
  • From Art to Engineering. Currently, designing and building systems that incorporate motivational and affective aspects is based on intuition, experience - or more often on random developments. This trial-and-error approach found in this area points towards immature design processes and their underlying conceptualizations. In order to have motivation-aware design processes and build affective-aware sociotechnical systems on a larger scale, we need to come to a systematic approach, similar to software engineering, which is also connected to measures for "success".
  • Conceptuals models that inform and guide design and implementation activities are key to making progress in this area as they simplify the real world to those elements that are most relevant. Also such models provide a language to name and organize aspects in a way that they can be communicated in a larger research community and towards practice. However, our experiences indicate that universal conceptual models will remain at a very abstract level. More concrete - and useful - models will be context-specific. This, however, will be an issue of complexity: we need meaningful abstractions of context to reduce the variety of context.
  • As a practical consequence, this should result in a methodology integrated into the design process that includes working with users in user-centered or participatory design activities, but also design patterns (including technical functionality, but also introduction or change management patterns) capturing best practices in motivation and affective-aware design.`
  • From a research perspective, we also need to be clear about what are our goals for incorporating a motivational perspective: do we want to increase motivation (by removing barriers)? Do we want to redirect motivation, i.e., rearranging priorities?
  • So far, research on affective and motivational aspects in TEL has mainly concentrated on the individual as the subject. With the omnipresence of social media and social features of a broad range of applications, we need to move beyond the individual level and investigate in more detail which difference the collective level makes. What is different for motivation on a group level? Does that abstraction mislead or make sense? And what about motivation on the level of society, i.e., citizens' willingness to change their behavior and attitudes.What about emotions on a collective level?
  • Concerning the affective aspects, it was perceived that the understanding of these aspects in TEL is less mature. Here we still need to investigate why we actually want to incorporate affective aspects into tools. What are scenarios that make sense?
  • One specific research issue is the link between reflection and emotions.
MATEL Organization Team (without Teresa)

Organizing Committee

Objectives of the workshop

Motivational and affective aspects are frequently neglected in TEL although they are one of the most important factors when it comes to acceptance and success of such solutions. This becomes even more important as we move towards more open, independent, and informal learning settings. A growing number of applications are already supporting a broad range of informal learning settings, by motivating users to capture behavior in order to increase their awareness and actively coach them. However, our understanding of these aspects and its implication this on concrete solutions is very fragmented:

Pedagogical models emphasize the importance of holistic perspectives on learning, but still (implicitly) consider these aspects as peripheral. We also know little, e.g., about reflection on emotions and one’s own motivation. On the technology side, it is often unclear where and how to consider those aspects in the tool design as it requires a much wider perspective. Here, the affective computing strand has concentrated on tackling emotions, but so far has had little relationship to learning. Besides, new trends and communities like The Quantified Self are improving the capturing and availability of data that may be useful for learning purposes. In these tools, collecting and quantifying data becomes a motivating aspect in itself. However, in many cases there is a lack of understanding on which are the right data to capture and how to spread these tools to broader audience and contexts. While a growing number of these tools deliberately aim at influencing behavior in the sense of persuasive technology, the underlying pedagogical model remains also unclear. CSCW research (particularly as part of the Web 2.0 hype) had a closer look at the influences on collaboration. The (serious) games approach to learning is mainly a response to the motivational success of gaming, but struggles with how to combine this effect with a didactical approach. In workplace settings, particularly in knowledge management, this has been recognized as key success factor to ensure that introduced instruments and tools are getting used. However, many approaches have concentrated only on incentives, both in terms of monetary rewards and other extrinsically motivation schemes which are designed mainly as top-down instruments – with mixed success. Psychology has investigated this topic area in depth from a theoretical and experimental point of view, but there is often a gap between generic theories of motivation and concrete implications for didactical settings, tool design, and organizational guidance.

We are convinced that we can meet these challenges only in an interdisciplinary way. Therefore we want to bring together in this workshop the different perspectives on the topic in order to foster the formation of a community between psychology, sociology, pedagogy, CSCW and computer science.

History and format of the workshop

The MATEL workshop has a successful history with its two editions at ECTEL 2010 & 2011, and continued to provide an engaged forum for the subject area, which helped to form a community around the topic, set up a mailing list with more than 120 interested individuals and a website under http://matel.professional-learning.eu.

Based on the discussion results at ECTEL 2011, we want to develop the format further towards more extensive opportunities for analyzing and discussing concrete examples, including both prototypes and systems in use. Within a one day workshop, we plan to complement a first session on position statements and short scientific contributions on (e.g., empirical results) with a second session on tool demonstrations where participants analyze and discuss the motivational and affective aspects of those tools. More or less in-depth evaluation results by the presenters are welcome, but not a prerequisite. The participants should be given the opportunity for an intense moderated discussion. Where possible, we encourage presenters of tools to provide access to the tools prior to the workshop to allow workshop participants to prepare themselves. As a concluding session of the workshop, we want to synthesize the discussion results and further develop research priorities from last year’s edition of the workshop.

This leads to a rough workshop schedule:

  • Keynote presentation (0.5h)
  • Learning from empirical and conceptual findings (2h)
    • Position statements with discussion slot
    • Short scientific contributions with discussion slot
  • Learning from concrete examples (3h)
    • Tool demonstration
    • Moderated discussion
  • Concluding discussion slot synthesizing the results (2h)
    • Constructing an overview figure
    • Identify key priorities for further research

Topics for position statements and short scientific contributions

Topics for position statements (2-4 pages) and scientific results (4-10 pages) encompass the following:

  • Models for understanding motivational and affective aspects/emotions from disciplines like psychology, human resources management and economics, sociology, usability engineering (e.g., joy of use driven approaches), or computer science (e.g., context ontologies for affective and motivational factors)
  • Design methodologies for incorporating motivational and affective factors
    • Experiences with participatory design
    • Experiences with concrete research instruments (like ethnographic studies, experiments)
    • Indicators for evaluation
  • Approaches, services, or tools to address motivational and affective aspects, e.g.,
    • Feedback mechanisms
    • Organizational incentives
    • Gamification
    • Detecting affective states via sensors
    • Lifelogging and Quantified Self inspired approaches
    • Learning about emotions (e.g., coping strategies)
    • Persuasive technology
  • Organizational aspects
    • Role of context (social, cultural) on motivation to learn or share knowledge
    • Role of affective aspects for daily work routines
  • Experience reports and lessons learnt from introduction of technology-enhanced learning support as enablers (success and failures):
    • Knowledge management and workplace learning
    • CSCW and Web 2.0
    • Enterprise 2.0
    • Serious Games

Topics for tool demonstration and discussion

We invite developers and researchers of tools and systems in the area of technology enhanced learning, such as

  • Tools for supporting individual or team reflection
  • Quantified Self approaches and use of sensors
  • Mobile learning support apps, e.g., for e-coaching
  • Personal Learning Environments
  • Tools for informal learning and knowledge management in organizations
  • Innovative Enterprise Social Media approaches
  • Serious Games

Participants are expected to submit a 2-4 pages summary of the tool and the motivational and/or affective aspects to be discussed. If evaluation results with respect to those aspects are already available, authors are encouraged to be submit an extended paper (4-8 pages).

Program Committee (to be completed)