The Minerva/Adaptivity project

(the Adapt project)

e-learning: research project about learning environment design methods and techniques

Dr. ir. F.B.M. (Rik) Min
(Project leader UT part)
University of Twente (UT)
Faculty of Educational Science and Technology (EDTE)
(Faculteit der Toegepaste Onderwijskunde: TO)
(Afdeling of Vakgroep Instrumentatietechnologie: ISM)
P.O.Box 217,
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 53 - 489 3585
Phone (secr.): + 31 53 - 489 3611
Fax: + 31 53 - 489 4580

Overall project leader:
Prof. Dr. Paul de Bra & Dr. Alexandra Cristea
(the project)
Databases and Hypermedia group
Information Systems Department
Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics
Technical University Eindhoven
Postbus 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Ph.: +31-40-247-4350 (direct) or +31-40-247-2733 (secretary)
Fax: +31-40-246-3992

Message in: Tuesday, October 09, 2001; proposal out: October 10, 2001

Start date: nov./dec. 2001
End date: nov./dec. 2003; updated now: sept 2004.
Key-words: methods & techniques, design theories, designing based research, the split attention theory, the cognitive load theory, thechnical way of thinking, conceptuel thinking, building blocks, components.

The participating institutions/ partners

Type of institution:
In Dutch: Faculteit der Toegepaste Onderwijskunde (TO)
In English: Faculty of Educational Science and Technology (EDTE)

The Netherlands


Family + first name + title of contact person:
Dr. ir. F.B.M. (Rik) Min

Telephone (+area, country code):
+ 31 53 - 489 3585


Could you please send me the information above ASAP ?
I did october 10, 2001 (by e-mail).

Also, you could send me a few words about: a) how you would like to contribute to the project:
As project leader of a post doc or a normal researcher (MOZ)

Also, you could send me a few words about: b) your specific expertise:
Simulation and multimedia specialist (researcher, designer, developer, lecturer)

Also, you could send me a few words about: c) a rough cost estimate (please note: avg. funding/ project for Minerva is about 120000 Euro; Minerva are co-financing projects, so please also mention costs you cover from other projects - and the names of these projects).

1. Summary of project (max 200 words):

This pre-proposal will give the opportunity to start research to methods and techniques about learning environment. Not all the learning environments for helping people to understand practical or theoretical phenomenas in their 'lifelong learning' period aren't good considered or technical well build. We want to investigated how building blocks, discrete audio-visual components and standaard elements from libraries can enrich open learning environments and make them more efficient en effective for all learning styles.

This project will be given a set of good and relevant practices with smart (intelligent) multimedial feedback generation, based on current web-technology. The spin off of this project is also some bad practices (or techniques).

This project will be given a modern authoring system, based on templetes (reuse), source-code generation and relatively simple (re-) programming techniques.

This project should finally generate quality factors for courseware authoring (and methods) and practice for adaptation over pedagogical considerations as well as learners cognitive profiles (learning or learner styles).

2. Objectives and Methods of the proposed project (max 1 page):

In the Information Society of the new millennium, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is becoming essential for the rapid dissemination of information in general, and knowledge in particular. In this context, Open and Distance Learning (ODL) will have a growing role in effectively training people to have an active role in society, as a precondition of fostering a real equality among them. However, with this expansion of the reach of education and creation of equal opportunities, as well as with the need of giving practical expression to the principle of lifelong learning, the need of handling cultural and linguistic differences, gender differences, the analysis of learnersí attitudes and profiles, is increasing.

With these premises, this projectís main objective is to establish a European platform of standards (guidelines, techniques and tools) for user modelling-based adaptability and adaptation, in the sense of the new paradigm of intelligent human-computer interaction, based on the new generation of ODL tools, and using methods and techniques of, among others, artificial intelligence and neural networks, towards individualization of the learning process.

In this way, the projectís main contribution is in going one step further than user modelling and comprehension, by focusing on creating a common structure for the ODL systemsí adaptive response to the specific user needs and working towards creating a basis for the modern European Education. For reaching this goal, the IEEE Learning Task force (LTTF) Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) developing standards related especially to Learner, Content and Data and Metadata will be taken into consideration.

Another contribution of the project is that it will research and devise guidelines, tools and techniques for adaptability and adaptation for ODL in distributed learning environments, so in such environments where either the learners, the teachers, the learning material and learning tools, or a combination of the previous is distributed over a wide geographic area, with a special focus on the European dimension and the educational use of the Internet.

Within the user adaptability and adaptation paradigm, the project will also attend to aspects of systematisation of the authoring of adaptive courseware, as well as the particular aspects regarding user adaptation of multimedia educational resources.

This project should finally generate quality indicators for adaptable and adaptive user modelling and courseware authoring for this field, with the aim of being able to evaluate the mapping new ICT methods and practices for adaptation over pedagogical considerations as well as learnersí cognitive profiles.

Thereby, the proposed project will significantly contribute not only to standardize the new generation of ODL adaptation techniques and tools, but also to provide alternate styles of teaching and learning, optimally suited for ODL or a combination of ODL and traditional classroom teaching. Therefore, the resulting guidelines and standards will be firstly of use to educators as well as educational material developers, by providing generic, as well as more specific guidelines for user-adaptation mechanisms, while ultimately being of benefit for learners and trainees. An important aspect of the project is the bringing together of the experience of partners from different European countries, that have been and are involved in the development, usage and evaluation of adaptive environments, targeted at different categories of learners, from different social environments and cultures. Their expertise will be used for studies and comparative analysis of the particular aspects of adaptable and adaptive ODL and the use of new educational technologies towards user-adaptation standards for education, in the project outcome evaluation and the promotion and dissemination of the project results at European level.

The following objectives will be pursued:

3. Envisaged outputs/ products & impact (max 1/2 page)

4. Partnership contribution & composition (max 1/2 page)

5. Monitoring & evaluation (max 1/2 page)

6. Dissemination (max 1/4 page)


7. Planning of activities, timetable (max 1/2 page)

8. Other aspects (max 1/2 page)

The reseacher needs a room at TO (Enschede) and a PC with internet.

Other participants and e-mail adresses:

From my group:

From elsewhere:

Enschede, Oct. 10, 2001; updated: Oct. 11, 2001; updated: March, 25, 2004.