MATEL 2015

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  • Submission deadline June 30, 2015
  • Workshop date September 15, 2015 (full day) - co-located with ECTEL 2015, Toledo, Spain


  • Ingo Dahn, University of Koblenz-Landau
  • Christine Kunzmann, Pontydysgu
  • Johanna Pirker, Graz University of Technology
  • Andreas P. Schmidt, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences
  • Carmen Wolf, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Although motivational and affective aspects are one of the most important factors when it comes to acceptance and success of Technology Enhanced Solutions they are frequently neglected in TEL. This becomes even more important as we move towards more open, independent, and informal learning settings. However, our understanding of these aspects and the implication this understanding would have on concrete solutions for learning is very fragmented: Pedagogical models emphasize the importance of holistic perspectives on learning, but still (implicitly) consider these aspects as peripheral. Psychology has investigated this topic area in depth from a theoretical and experimental point of view, but often there is a gap between generic theories of motivation and emotions, and concrete implications for didactical settings, tool design, and organizational guidance. 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 these 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. CSCW research (particularly as part of the social media) 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, motivation 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 extrinsic motivation schemes which are designed mainly as top-down instruments – with mixed success.

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, human resources, CSCW and computer science. The MATEL workshop has a successful history with its first edition at ECTEL 2010 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 130 interested individuals and a website under Recently, we have initiated a pattern development initiative around the subject area as a continuation of the workshop activities at ECTEL 2014.




The workshop had over 15 participants and was opened by Christine Kunzmann on behalf of the MATEL Organizers, and Andreas Schmidt gave a summary of the past editions of the MATEL workshop series and outlined a pattern-based approach to capture experiential knowledge in the field in a systematic way. This set the scene for the input from the participants of the workshop:

Lisa Facey-Shaw
  • Lisa Facey-Shaw presented an evaluation of an introduction of a badges-based approach to a programming course in Jamaica. While not all students have chosen to participate in the acquisition of badges, it had a motivational effect on those who did. There was discussion about whether the context of a developing context was relevant to the results where participants rather doubted that this is not transferrable to developed countries.
Javier Perez Avilas
  • Javier Perez Avilas presented an analysis of a first semester course with respect to a relationship between friendship and help-seeking behaviour among peers. The results have indicated that the motivation to ask somebody for helpful does not correlate with friendship, and in the discussion it was pointed to other research results that value in help-seeking comes mainly from weak links and not strong links (friendship). However it was also noted that the fact that it was a first semester course could have had also an effect on the results.
Mark O'Connor
  • Mark O'Connor presented a practice-perspective from University of Sydney and experiences related to introducing new technologies to teaching and what are good practices for that.
Luis Prieto
  • Luis Prieto concluded the presentation part of the workshop with a position statement that raised the importance of measurement for the topic area. He stressed the importance of mixed-method approaches where different types of data are triangulated to achieve better result quality despite hard to measure constructs.

As a preparation for the interactive session, the participants collected candidates for more in-depth pattern development and discussion.

The following candidates were collected:

  • Badges for school classes and university courses
  • Measurement patterns / anti-patterns
  • Patterns for successful videos
  • Patterns for motivating teachers to use new technologies
  • Patterns for motivating students to interact with the video / engage with videos
  • Patterns for motivating students to participate in scientific studies
  • Process patterns for designing games
  • Group work as a motivational pattern family

After the lunch break, the participants tried to elicit patterns from their experiences about badges. We have used a simplified structure (problem, solution, context, evidence) for that purpose.

During the discussion we soon identified two types of problems:

  • lack of continuous student engagement
  • lack of motivation for topics not covered by grades
  • lack of self-esteem

Solutions also varied; one element was the badge system, but other mechanisms were also proposed/used on top, such as group-level competition.

The most intensive discussion was on the context section where participants found it difficult to specify the context for which they would propose badges. While it started with "young people", it has shown that also other criteria, such as being in a situation where you need to "show something" to have better chances to advance. Furthermore, several prerequisites have to be met for a successful implementation, such as a well-designed badge system (for which again other patterns may be needed), an understanding about badges among all participants etc.

In the evidence section, we collected quite a few examples. However, it was discovered that evaluation was not always geared towards the problem specified in this pattern. Still, some criteria were identified that provided credible results.

The reflection on the pattern elicitation process has shown that starting with a single pattern as a goal, the discussion process usually yields soon multiple ones that interrelate, and that the sections of a pattern need to be filled in an interactive manner. However, overall participants had the impression that the conversations have yielded quite quickly patterns, also because badges have already been used in various places.

In a second part, we have tackled an even more challenging topic: measurement patterns. As this is a very broad topic, we first collected from the participants their views on methods, constructs (what to measure to target motivation and affect), and problems/challenges. The group then discussed the contributions to structure them and to select candidate patterns. Along the example of using self-efficacy as a related construct, it was soon uncovered that the most challenging issue is that motivation is a multi-facetted construct and its relationship to other constructs is often not clear, not even in theory. To deal with that issue, the participants agreed on bottom-up collection of successful combinations of constructs and methods, e.g., in the area of badges.

There was a lot of interest in continuing the conversation, and the organizers will drive the process towards further pattern development.

Working on Measurement patterns

Programme Committee

  • Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, UK
  • Jenny Bimrose, University of Warwick, UK
  • Alan Brown, University of Warwick, UK
  • Gerd Gidion, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Barbara Kieslinger, ZSI Center for Social Innovation, Austria
  • René Peinl, Hof University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Michael Prilla, Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany
  • Andrew Ravenscroft, University of East London, UK
  • Alexander Richter, University BW, Munich, Germany
  • Cüneyt Sandal, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Alexander Stocker, Joanneum Research, Austria