NC: Designing an Ecology for Collective Action to Support Adaptive Learning Technologies


This session will engage participants in developing prototypes for an infrastructure to support the design, development, distribution, utilization, and evaluation of adaptive learning opportunities. Adaptive learning opportunities are materials, systems, or tools that take account of learner performance and adapt accordingly to maximize learning. Adaptive technologies are the subject of a large number of research projects in diverse fields, and they can be imbedded in a growing number of digital materials and online interactions, yet the spread and utilization of such technologies by learners has been limited. In this workshop we will engage participants in design exercises where they will create prototypes for an ecology to support adaptive learning technologies as major elements in the new learning landscape.


The format for this workshop will be a design challenge organized in an arc of five activities:

1. Collectivities Ice Breaker – An initial ice-breaker activity will engage participants in interactions modeled after a well known digital collective, e.g., an analog version of Facebook. (20 minutes)

2. Role Study – Participants will be organized in role based groups representing the range of individuals to be involved in the adaptive learning ecology (designers, developers, distributors/publishers, educators, learners, researchers) where they will create a motivational map of the role to explain what it would take to generate sustained engagement. (20 minutes)

3. Ecology Elements – Participants will be re-organized into multi-role design teams where they will develop a list of elements to be included in an ecology for adaptive learning (30 minutes)

4. Mission Impossible – Participants will specify concrete plans for an infrastructure to support adaptive learning technologies (30 minutes)

5. Prototype Sharing – Design teams for report on their prototype solutions (20 minutes)

Relationship to Conference Theme/Subtheme:

The overall conference theme highlights the active design of future possibilities. Participants in the workshop will be actively engaged as members of design teams focused on developing prototypes for an infrastructure to support adaptive learning technologies. The subtheme of new collectives highlights the need to understand how recently emerging collectives in the digital environment are engaging and organizing the efforts of individuals in diverse roles and institutional settings to create new ecologies to support serious and sustained educational and knowledge work. In the prototyping activities workshop participants will be drawing on models of new collective initiatives that have mobilized the efforts of large numbers to create virtuous circles of self-reinforcing action.