Francis Brouns

Francis Brouns
Open Universiteit Nederland | OU · Faculty of Educational Sciences

Dr. Ir.

About

138
Publications
11,755
Reads
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1,883
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Open Universiteit
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Research areas: learning networks, social learning, social support in learning networks, MOOCs, learning analytics, language technology
November 1998 - January 2014
Open Universiteit Nederland
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
November 1993 - February 1994
Scotland's Rural College
Position
  • Researcher
Education
October 1989 - October 1994
University of Aberdeen
Field of study
  • animal welfare
September 1982 - November 1988
Wageningen Universiteit
Field of study
  • biology

Publications

Publications (138)
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper presents a retrospective analysis of learning in a MOOC as reconstructed from the conversations that learners conducted in MOOC group forums while performing the course tasks. A mixed method approach was applied to analyze the quantity and the quality of these conversations. Two activity patterns were distinguished – in groups with highe...
Article
Full-text available
Checking the identity of students and authorship of their online submissions is a major concern in Higher Education due to the increasing amount of plagiarism and cheating using the Internet. The literature on the effects of e‐authentication systems for teaching staff is very limited because it is a novel procedure for them. A considerable gap is t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this study we explored the use of a research assignment on instructional design of MOOCs by MOOC students. The use of a research assignment was expected to be of interest for both students and the designer. The assignment is based on a framework to analyse MOOC designs with the objective to identify best practices. It builds on four principles:...
Article
Recommender systems provide users with content they might be interested in. Conventionally, recommender systems are evaluated mostly by using prediction accuracy metrics only. But the ultimate goal of a recommender system is to increase user satisfaction. Therefore, evaluations that measure user satisfaction should also be performed before deployin...
Chapter
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as provision of open and online education have become phenomena in higher education that cannot be dismissed. While MOOCs have orginated in Canada and the United States, the cMOOC and the xMOOC model used there does not fit entirely with the European take on education. This chapter describes an alternative, colla...
Conference Paper
This work-in-progress paper elaborates on a gradually evolving approach to design of open learning and the design principles used by the Open University of the Netherlands in short open courses - online masterclasses and in Massive Open Online Courses -- delivered in the learning environment of the Open University and in the experimental multilingu...
Article
In a non-formal learning network, knowledge sharing is often desirable when working on complex tasks. However, without support, learners need to first find a tutor and then maintain social interaction, which, according to cognitive load theory, may hamper learning. After all, the extraneous load imposed by these two activities and the intrinsic loa...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of training tutors in content knowledge of a particular domain versus training them in tutoring skills of pedagogical knowledge when tutoring on a complex tutee task. Forty-seven tutor–tutee pairs of fourth-year secondary school students were created and assigned to one of the two treatments. Twenty...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In MOOCs, learning analytics have to be addressed to the various types of learners that participate. This deliverable describes indicators that enable both teachers and learner to monitor the progress and performance as well as identify whether there are learners at risk of dropping out. How these indicators should be computed and displayed to end...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most current MOOC models basically follow a trend originated at the top US universities that is broadly identified in the literature as xMOOCs. These models are proving to be inconsistent with the European standards for formal higher education due to their low-level of learner support and lack of an enriched pedagogical approach. Within the framewo...
Article
Full-text available
Even though informal learning plays an important role in everyone’s life, not everyone is aware of its importance. These informal activities contribute to the development of self-regulated learning that can help productivity in different environments. As this kind of apprentices grow, the need to keep track of this developed knowledge is becoming v...
Article
Nowadays, informal learning is very much part of everyone’s life, even when individuals are not aware that they engage in informal learning. Therefore it is vital that individuals and organisations become aware of the value of informal learning. Not only that, but individuals need to take control of their informal learning and make it known to othe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Learners do not only learn in the institutions, they learn during their live in different contexts, with different resources and from the interaction with different persons. This kind of learning that is not always intentionally carried out is known as informal learning. The application of Information and Communication Technologies to learning and...
Conference Paper
The current knowledge society requires its citizens to continuously maintain and update existing knowledge and competences and thus engage in lifelong learning. Acquiring key competences, such as digital, intercultural and communicative competences is crucial to keep up with the fast changing ways of society. As people need to combine their compete...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Informal Learning plays an important role in everyone's life and yet we often are unaware of it. The need to keep track of the knowledge acquired through informal learning is increasing as its sources become increasingly diverse. This paper presents a study on a tool developed to help keeping track of learners' informal learning, both within academ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Informal Learning is present in everyone's life but its awareness only recently has been reported. The need to keep track of the knowledge acquired this way is increasing as its sources diversity also increases. This work presents the pilots trials on the use of a tool developed to help keeping track of the learners’' informal learning, within a nu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
People do not learn only in formal educational institutions, but also throughout their lives, from their experiences, conversations, observations of others, exploration of the Internet, meetings and conferences, and chance encounters etc. However this informal and non-formal learning can easily remain largely invisible, making it hard for peers and...
Article
Full-text available
The application of information technologies (specially the Internet, Web 2.0 and social tools) make informal learning more visible. This kind of learning is not linked to an institution or a period of time, but it is important enough to be taken into account. On the one hand, learners should be able to communicate to the institutions they are relat...
Article
Full-text available
Learning Networks are online social networks designed to support non-formal learning; they are therefore particularly suitable for self-directed learners. In Learning Networks, learners need to acquire knowledge through knowledge sharing with other participants. However, without a support structure, learners have to organize knowledge sharing thems...
Article
Online communities and networked learning provide teachers with social learning opportunities, allowing them to interact and collaborate with others in order to develop their personal and professional skills. However, with the large number of learning resources produced every day, teachers need to fi nd out what are the most suitable ones for them....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In Learning Networks, learners need to share knowledge with others to build knowledge. In particular, when working on complex tasks, they often need to acquire extra cognitive resources from others to process a high task load. However, without support high task load and organizing knowledge sharing themselves might easily overload learners’ limited...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In Learning Networks, learners have to engage in social interactions for sharing knowledge to achieve their personalized learning goals. When working on complex tasks, self-organized knowledge sharing imposes too much cognitive load and this is detrimental to learning. According to pedagogical guidelines of cognitive load theory, learning environme...
Conference Paper
Learning Networks are particularly suitable for lifelong learners as Learning Networks are online social networks designed to support non-formal learning. Lifelong learners want to learn what they need, when they need it and at a place and pace that suits them. Combined with the heterogeneous background of the learners, it is very hard to meet thes...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soude Fazeli, Hendrik Drachsler, Francis Brouns & Peter Sloep (2012, 4 April). Exploring social recommenders for teacher networks to address challenges of starting teachers. Presentation at the Eighth International Conference on Networked Learning 2012, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Online communities and networked learning provide teachers with social learning opportunities to interact and collaborate with others in order to develop their personal and professional skills. In this paper, Learning Networks are presented as an open infrastructure to provide teachers with such learning opportunities. However, with the large numbe...
Article
Janssen, J., & Brouns, F. (2012, 25 juni). TRAILER e-Portfolio voor Informeel Leren. Presentatie ePortfolio in de Regio, Maastricht, Nederland.
Article
Full-text available
A large-scale experiment is presented which examines the feasibility of using a new method of peer-support called ad hoc transient groups (AHTGs) to foster social capital of learning network participants. In AHTGs participants that have a request are helped by other participants in a dedicated private space ('ad-hoc') which exists for a limited amo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the Netherlands 2008 stands out as a year of significant boosts for nation wide adoption of e-portfolios. In that year the Netherlands Institute for Normalisation (NEN) published the first version of a National Technical Agreement (NTA 2035) for the exchange of e-portfolios using an application profile based on (among others) the IMS ePortfolio...
Article
Full-text available
Learning networks - online social networks where the learner is put central - are well suited for the non-formal professional development of academic staff. Our assumption is that learning networks can build on social network sites. Social network sites are becoming very popular and are very effective in connecting people, allowing exchange and sha...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays, we witness a surge of online profiling sites; in them people make their profile available to others with the intention to share it and get in touch with others, find old friends, classmates or colleagues, or look for new opportunities. Given their capacity to encourage members to be connected with other members and their growing popularit...
Article
Full-text available
Sloep, P. B., Van der Klink, M., Brouns, F., Van Bruggen, J., & Didderen, W. (Eds.) (2011). Leernetwerken; Kennisdeling, kennisontwikkeling en de leerprocessen. Houten, Nederland: Bohn, Stafleu, Van Loghum.
Chapter
Dit boek gaat over de inzet van zogeheten leernetwerken voor postinitieel, non-formeel leren. Leernetwerken zijn een noviteit. In onze opvattingen zijn het relatief grote, online groepen van mensen die om allerlei redenen kennis met elkaar willen delen of nieuwe kennis willen opdoen over een onderwerp dat hen allen interesseert. Dit soort mensen le...
Chapter
In de voorgaande acht hoofdstukken heeft u op allerlei manieren kunnen kennismaken met leren – dat wil zeggen kennis verwerven, delen en ontwikkelen – in online netwerken. In de eerste drie hoofdstukken bent u ingevoerd in de ideeënwereld van leernetwerken, in onze motieven om over leren in dit soort netwerken na te denken, in de manier waarop lere...
Chapter
Dit hoofdstuk geeft een overzicht van diverse diensten die in een leernetwerk kunnen worden aangeboden om het leren te ondersteunen. Beveiliging, autorisatie, authenticatie en gebruikersbeheer zijn uitermate belangrijk voor leernetwerken, maar vallen buiten het bereik van dit hoofdstuk, net als de gebruikelijke communicatiefaciliteiten die nodig zi...
Presentation
Full-text available
Hsiao, Y. P., Brouns, F., & Sloep, P. B. (2010, 4 November). Effect of using peer tutoring to support knowledge sharing in Learning Networks: A cognitive load perspective. Presentation at ICO-Toogdag, Amstelveen, The Netherlands: VU Amsterdam.
Presentation
Hsiao, Y. P., Brouns, F., & Sloep, P. B. (2010, 15 April). Mechanisms of peer tutoring on optimizing cognitive load during knowledge sharing in learning networks. Presentation at NELLL Colloqium, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open University of the Netherlands.
Article
Full-text available
This report contains a description of the purpose of the workshop, its methodologies and results. Participating experts first brainstormed visions and problems of IMS Learning Design (IMS LD), and then developed potential solutions to some of the identified problems. Three groups formed to work on two of the identified problems in more depth: the u...
Article
Full-text available
An IMS Learning Design Expert Workshop was held at the University of Vienna on November 20 & 21, 2008. This report contains a description of the purpose of the workshop, its methodologies and results. Participating experts first brainstormed visions and problems of IMS Learning Design (IMS LD), and then developed potential solutions to some of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Brouns, F., Berlanga, A. J., Fetter, S., Bitter-Rijpkema, M. E., Van Bruggen, J. M., Sloep, P. B. (2009). Social learning for university staff. In G. Bradley & P. Kommers (Eds.), Proceedings of IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2009 (pp. 27-34). Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal: IADIS.
Article
Full-text available
Hsiao, Y. P., Brouns, F., & Sloep, P. B. (unpublished). Using technology-enhanced peer tutoring to support knowledge sharing in Learning Networks.
Article
Hsiao, Y. P., Brouns, F., & Sloep, P. B. (unpublished). Reducing extraneous load of self-organized knowledge sharing by applying peer tutoring in Learning Networks.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Self-directed lifelong learners often intentionally look for non-formal learning opportunities. Learning Networks (LNs) provide them with an online social network to share knowledge with others. Lacking a formal social structure, the educational environment of non-formal LNs is different from formal learning settings. Thus, knowledge sharing become...
Chapter
Full-text available
The previous chapters of this section discussed why the social structure of Learning Networks is important and present guidelines on how to maintain and allow the emergence of communities in Learning Networks. Chapter 2 explains how Learning Networks rely on social interaction and active participations of the participants. Chapter 3 then continues...
Article
Van den Berg, B., Van Rosmalen, P., Sloep, P. B., Brouns, F., Fetter, S., & Berlanga, A. J. (2009). Ad-Hoc Transient Communities Simulation. The Netlogo application is distributed as a java applet and for that matter part of an archive which contains also the NetlogoLiteJar and the index.htm to start the application. The simulation model is availab...
Article
Brouns, F. (2009). Social network sites in lifelong learning. Paper presented at the IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2009. June, 21-23, 2009, Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal.
Article
Tutors have only limited time to support students. In this paper, we discuss a model that addresses the question of how to help students answer content-related questions. A small group of students is created, which consists of the student who asked the question and peers who should be able to answer it. Criteria used to compose the group are the co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Developing a learning design using IMS Learning Design (LD) is difficult for average practitioners because a high overhead of pedagogical knowledge and technical knowledge is required. Through using peer assessment as an exemplary pedagogy, this paper presents a domain-specific modeling (DSM) approach to a new generation of LD authoring tools, for...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that the TENCompetence ePortfolio definition should integrate rhetorical, pedagogical, social, and technical perspectives. The rhetorical perspective is needed to show the learner’s competences, achievements and history; the pedagogical perspective aims at supporting learner’s self-reflection, through the definition of...
Article
Abstract The introduction of elearning often leads to an increase in the time staff spends on tutoring. To alleviate the workload of staff tutors, we developed a model for organizing and supporting learner-related interactions in elearning systems. It makes use of the knowledge and experience of peers and builds on the assumption that (lifelong) le...
Article
Full-text available
To enhance users' social embedding within learning networks, we propose to establish ad hoc transient communities. These communities serve a particular goal, exist for a limited period of time and operate according to specific social exchange policies that foster knowledge sharing. This paper explores the theoretical underpinnings of such communiti...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays, we witness a surge of online profiling communities; in them people make their profile available to others with the intention to share it and get in touch with others, find previous friends, classmates or colleagues, or look for new opportunities. Given their capacity to encourage members to be connected with other members and their growin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Van Rosmalen, P., Sloep, P. B., & Brouns, F. (2008). Online ondersteuning door middel van automatisch geselecteerde medestudenten. In W. Jochems, P. den Brok, T. Bergen & M. van Eijck (Eds.), Licht op Leren - Proceedings van de 35e Onderwijs Research Dagen (pp. 164-166). June, 18-20, 2008, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Article
Available under the three clause BSD licence, Copyright TENCompetence Foundation.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents some design guidelines for collaboration and participation in blended learning networks. As an exemplary network, we describe LN4LD (Learning Network for Learning Design), which was designed to promote learning and discussion about IMS-Learning Design. ‘Lessons learned’ from pilot implementations of this network over a period...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we describe a system that matches learners with complementary content expertise in reaction to a learner-request for knowledge sharing. It works through the formation of ad hoc, transient communities, that exist for a limited period of time and stimulate learners socially to interact. The matchmaking system consists of a request mod...
Article
Full-text available
A Learning Network is an ensemble of individual users, institutions and learning resources which are mutually connected through and supported by information and communication technologies. Learning Networks are particularly attractive to self-directed learners, who themselves decide on their learning programme as well as on the timing, pace and pla...
Article
Full-text available
Learning in a so called Learning Network is particularly attractive to self-directed learners, who themselves decide on their learning program as well as on the timing, pace and place of their studies. However, such learners may easily become isolated, which is detrimental to their studies. Furthermore, supporting them with their studies rapidly le...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In R. Koper, D. Griffth & O. Liber (eds.), TENCompetence Workshop, on Service Oriented Approaches and Lifelong Competence Development Infrastructures (pp.7-12). Manchester, United Kingdom, January, 11-12, 2007
Chapter
Full-text available
Van Rosmalen, P. (2007). Question-answering – Connecting and Supporting the Learner. Presentation at the 1st European Workshop on Latent Semantic Analysis in Technology-Enhanced Learning, March, 29-30, 2007. Heerlen, The Netherlands: The Open University of the Netherlands.
Article
Demonstration of ATL, ad hoc transient communities for question-answering, at the TENCompetence meeting in Barcelona, 18 June 2007. A first release of the network management tool for TENC WP8
Article
This is a presentation of the paper submitted at Barcelona TENCompetence meeting. It presents an alternate classification of IMS LD authoring approaches, viewing the creation of UoLs as a conglomeration of processes rather than a single process. The classification, characterized as bottom-up and top-down with regard to the way the authors can appro...
Article
A Tutor Locator creates ad hoc transient communities consisting of peer tutors, seeded with document fragments found in the learning network, to answer content questions of students. The sources are available from http://sourceforge.net/projects/asa-atl.Available under the three clause BSD licence, Copyright TENCompetence Foundation.
Article
Tutors have only limited time to support the learning process. In this paper, we introduced a model that helps answer the questions of students. The model invoked the knowledge and skills of fellow students, who jointly formed an ad hoc, transient community. The paper situated the model within the context of a Learning Network, a self-organised, di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates conditions for increasing participation in learning networks, focusing on the influence of incentive mechanisms and face-to-face meetings on participation in the LN4LD (learning network for learning design). Repeated measurements show that the levels of both passive (accessing and reading information) and active participatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Learning in a learning network tends to be taxing for tutors, mainly because of the heterogeneity of the student group. Moreover, online learners tend be 'lone' learners with little or no social contacts in the network. Traditionally, intelligent tutoring systems have been used to provide content related support to individual students. It is argued...
Article
Full-text available
The intent of this study was to investigate how to maximise the chances of success of an educational innovation-specifically one based on the implementation of the educational modelling language called EML. This language is both technically and organisationally demanding. Two different implementation cases were investigated, one situated in an inst...