Conference Paper

A data-logging mechanism to support e-learning systems

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User profiling and e-learning have received great attention in the last years. In a learning environment, user profiling provides historical data of the students' performance on different learning subjects. e-Learning tools such as serious games can collect user's data and build a user profile by appropriate storing these information. Thus, by combining above techniques and analysing each user's data a teacher can provide personalized treatment to her/his students. In this paper we present our solution on storing and analysing user data on a centralized server. Our system stores data collected from users with dyslexia. We maintain one user profile per student from data taken from a) user responses on a screening test and b) from user's performance on a set of serious games. The learning process then depends on the above data, so it is important to store and analyse our resources efficiently while respecting the user's privacy. Our solution is based on the usage of the cube model in parallel with a traditional, table-based storage of log data. The services we present are part of the iLearnRW1 project, aiming to support gamified learning for children with dyslexia.

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Dyslexia includes a large variety of literacy-related difficulties which demands, in most cases, a personalised intervention. However, as dyslexia affects a large fraction of the population, schools cannot provide individual care for each student. The iLearnRW game provides a tool for students to work on their literacy skills following a personalised teaching programme. The design of the game and adaptation mechanisms integrated with it are aimed at maintaining student engagement for the duration of an open-ended number of playing sessions, while using a limited quantity of assets and literacy content. By focusing on maintenance of engagement, we hope to improve learning outcomes and motivate students to also play the game outside of school.
Designers of intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) have long been interested in delivering personalized teaching to individual students, typically by ensuring that the student receives content appropriate to their skills and knowledge. Nonetheless, a more holistic view on what constitutes good teaching practice has challenged whether this approach to user modelling is sufficient. Teaching is not only defined by what is taught, but also by how it is taught. In this paper, we demonstrate that exploratory design research can support this view by generating a more inclusive set of user attributes for purposes of user modelling. Through a case study, we show that design research for user modelling can function as a boundary object serving three important roles that underpin more specifically the design of user modelling and more broadly ITS design. First, design research can establish common ground by encapsulating domain knowledge in an accessible form. This can support diverse project stakeholders to make decisions on what is to be modelled. Secondly, design research can reveal a wide range of teaching and learning perspectives that in turn introduce transparency to the decision-making process of user modelling and provoke a sense of criticality and accountability amongst project stakeholders. Thirdly, design research can build new bridges between the design of the technology and the user model that underpins it. To this end, user attributes deemed important, yet too complex or cumbersome to develop, can become design principles in the context of the overall ITS design. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS • We highlight how the creation of user models rarely incorporates assistance from the HCI community. • We present a series of design activities intended to assist in the creation of a User Model. • We examine how this design-oriented methodology creates a boundary object. • We discuss the three benefits this boundary object brings to constructing user models, namely establishing common ground, creating transparency when considering possible alternatives and creating a springboard for new activities.
User modelling for users with dyslexia and dysorthographia
  • D Gooch
  • M Vasalou
  • D Lukes
  • J Flowers
  • L Benton
D. Gooch, M. Vasalou, D. Lukes, J. Flowers, and L. Benton, User modelling for users with dyslexia and dysorthographia, iLearnRW Deliverable 4.1. Available from