Workshop Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments (#ARPLE11)

Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments (#ARPLE11)
Workshop at the PLE conference 2011
Date 11th of July 2011
Venue: University of Southampton, UK
Submission deadline: 29.06.2011/04.07.2011

Available online at:

Wolfgang Reinhardt & Thomas Daniel Ullmann (eds.): Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments. In conjunction with the PLE Conference 2011. Southampton, United Kingdom, July 11, 2011.

Background and Motivation
The workshop is intended to discuss and build an interdisciplinary understanding for the role of awareness and reflection in Personal Learning Environments. While different researchers have stressed the importance of awareness and reflection support in PLEs there is no agreed set of such functionalities in existence yet. Also we lack a structured overview of awareness and reflections issues that learners are facing in their daily learning activities. As both researchers and developers interested in the PLE domain seem to be in need of such information in order to best tailor their R&D activities, this workshop aims at collecting requirements and open issues in the domain.

The workshop aims to attract participants from educational science, psychology, social science, computer science, and design to challenge the understanding of the research fields of awareness and reflection in Personal Learning Environments. We also aim to attract developers from academia and economy that implement personalizable learning environments.

Goal of the workshop
The concept of the workshop is target to collaboratively develop an integrated roadmap for future research and development in the domain. Therefore we designed the workshop as a highly interactive session. Starting with a short introduction of the work of the participants and their statements about the future challenges of their research we will work towards a roadmap of research in awareness and reflection with focus on Personal Learning Environments. For more information please visit the workshop website at TELeurope.

Submission and Participation
The following types of submissions are possible:
# Position paper
# Discussion paper
# Participation statement

Position paper:
A short position paper situating your research (1-2 pages) in the workshop. The following questions can guide your position paper:
What are you researching?
What are the challenges of your research?
What should we, as the participants of this workshop, focus on?
What should be on the research agenda of the next five years?

Discussion paper:
The discussion papers can for example elaborate existing issues with awareness and reflection in PLEs, sketch ideas for supporting functionalities or discuss the results of ongoing research in the domain (5-10 pages).

Participation statement:
Please write an email to the organizers, to let us know that you are coming.

Your submission will help us to structure the hands-on activities and discussions for the workshop.

1. Requirements on awareness and reflection support in PLEs
2. Awareness and reflection widgets (implementations, visions)
3. Awareness and reflection Mash-Ups
4. Awareness and reflection scenarios for formal or informal learning
5. Awareness and reflection support for researchers
6. Theory on awareness and reflection
7. Methods researching awareness and reflection

Find more information about the format of the workshop:

Important dates
Submission deadline discussion paper: 29.06.2011
Notification of acceptance discussion paper: 04.07.2011
Camera-ready version: 22.07.2011 (after the workshop)
Submission deadline position paper: 04.07.2011
Notification of acceptance of the position paper within two days.
Deadline participation statement: 06.07.2011

Submit to and You will receive a confirmation within one day.

Submissions should use the Springer LCNS template ( We encourage you to produce your submission using LaTeX as typesetting tool and the respective LaTeX template.

Wolfgang Reinhardt (University of Paderborn, Germany, @wollepb)
Thomas Daniel Ullmann (Open University of the UK, @thomasullmann)

Accepted papers ARPLE11

We are happy to announce the acceptance of the following five discussion papers and two short positions papers:

Discussion Papers:

Wolfgang Reinhardt and Christian Mletzko: Awareness in Learning Networks.

The term ’awareness’ finds it roots in the research on Com- puter Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and often does not reflect the changed modi operandi in today’s connected world. In this paper we argue that the term ’awareness’ needs to be understood in a broader way when used in the context of networked learning. In Learning Networks, awareness is increasingly related to finding appropriate learning objects, peers and experts or the ’right’ learning path. We discuss this different understanding and formulate open questions dealing with awareness in Learning Networks and Personal Learning Environments as well as their connection to reflection and issues of technical feasibility.

Firehouse introduction

Kamakshi Rajagopal: Supporting Network Awareness: easing the learner’s journey or challenging them to see?

This paper argues for a changed vision and approach to the design of technologies supporting awareness and reflection for learning in social networks. It discusses the relationship between awareness, reflec- tion and learning, and looks into what supporting these functions with technology for the purpose of learning actually entails.

Firehouse introduction.

Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Buckingham Shum, Ruth Deakin Crick: EnquiryBlogger – Using widgets to support awareness and reflection in a PLE setting
Blogs provide environments within which people can articulate, refine and reflect on practice. These characteristics make them useful for learners who are developing the practical skills and learning dispositions associated with authentic enquiry. The EnquiryBlogger tool is being developed to extend the core features of a robust, open source blogging platform in order to support awareness and reflection for enquiry-based learners. The first phase of the project developed blog plug-ins, together with associated teacher dashboards, and piloted their use. Feedback and use data show that the tools support reflection and are valued by learners. The pilot study has informed the development of a second phase of the project, which will support customization of these tools and increase learners’ opportunities to develop awareness of the experiences of others.

Firehouse introduction.

Thomas Daniel Ullmann, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Buckingham Shum, Ruth Deakin Crick: Designing an Online Mentoring System for Self- Awareness and Reflection on Lifelong Learning Skills

Mentoring supports the process of becoming self-aware of personal believes and to engage with a topic of concern in a reflective manner. With new media, also new opportunities and new means for mentoring have arisen. In this contribution, we outline how an established face-to-face mentoring process has been ‘translated’ into an online mentoring system. It outlines the design decisions made for an initial online mentoring system supporting mentees to gain self-awareness of and to reflect about life-long learning skills. The purpose of the development process was to detect the essential and the suitable elements for an online version of a face-to-face mentoring practice.

Firehouse introduction.


Position Papers:

Philip Meyer, Thomas Sporer: Introducing Feedback Mechanisms to Users of Higher Education ePortfolios

The University of Augsburg offers an optional study programme, in which students acquire key competencies through participating in informal, self- organised project work. The learning design of this programme builds on the stu- dents’ reflection of the project experiences with regard to their competency devel- opment. The reflection also serves for assessment purposes and is organised via an ePortfolio system ( This paper presents research, conducted in order to enhance the portfolio-based assessment. Especially, more advanced feedback mechanisms have been proposed in a scenario approach. Qualitative interviews with students show that feedback is only desired under spe- cial circumstances. Acceptance factors as identified in this explorative study are in particular prior experience, privacy concerns and relevance for grading.

Firehouse introduction.

Steven Warburton: Peer supported learning – a real world case-story

Context: A globally targeted portfolio of distance learning programmes delivered to a large number of students. Some students are helped in their studies (to varying degrees e.g. from lectures to library provision) via affiliate teaching institutions while others follow a more traditional study-alone pathway.
Problem: There are limited opportunities for social interaction for learners who follow the study-alone pathway. The lack of social interaction and social scaffolding impacts negatively on the student learning experience and can reduce: motivation, achievement, retention and progression. The problem space we are researching relates to can we support study-alone student in finding (and taking advantage of) opportunities for peer learning and reflection at a distance.
Solution: One of the solutions we are investigating is to encourage students to organise themselves into study groups (we are thinking below the level of community) and engage a suite of platforms and services (their PLE/PLN?) to support this activity space. The question remains, what is needed to help develop, nurture, motivate and sustain an online study group.


Format of the workshop

The workshop is organized in a highly interactive format. Expect something else than a typical workshop.

Introduction (15 min)
Setting the stage.

Firehouse introduction of the participants
Paper or Demo introduction of each accepted participant. The last slide is about the future challenges of the author (5 minutes for each participant (max 45 mins)). Some question, which can help you to structure your presentation:

  • What are you researching?
  • What are the challenges of your research?
  • What should we, as the participants of this workshop, focus on?
  • What should be on the research agenda of the next five years?

N:1 Feedback
Participants are asked to write down their feedback and to hand it over to the speaker after the presentation, following a short discussion.

Brainstorming session (60 mins)
Session at the Brainwriting pool:
The pool is filled with the initial challenges from the last slide. Everyone can take from the pool one challenge and annotate it, or pass it back to the pool, or add a new challenge.

Clustering & prio session (30 mins)
Cluster it: Everyone introduces their annotated challenge paper. Afterwards the goal is to find three to four general areas in which the challenges could be subsumed. These are then visualized with a Card story board.
Prioritizing: The long shortlist

Mockups / scenario session (60 mins in 3 to 4 groups)
Pencil, paper, glue, and scissor session:
For each of the three to four grand challenges we will create a mockup or a scenario.
Presentation of mockups / scenarios (20 min)
Presentation of results, photo session

Challenges and milestones session (20 min)
Discussion about what’s next and when. Goal: roadmap for at least 2 years (R&D)
Challenge shout out: each participant has to name his major challenge (10 seks per participant)

Round-up discussion (10 min)

Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments Lecture Series – Trailer

The trailer for the MUP/PLE Lecture Series in online. During the Summer 2011 the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University is running a lecture series with experts from all other Europe. The easiest way to stay updated about forthcoming events is to join the MUPPLE group on TELeurope:

And here is the trailer:

Mupple – Mashup Personal Learning Environment Lecture Series


The trailer was made in cooperation with the Sound and Vision department of the Open University. Produced by Alba Madriz in cooperation with Studio 43.

After three years of MUPPLE workshops and one special issue,  the state of the art in Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments will be available as a video lecture series and – subsequently – in a textbook (Editors Fridolin Wild, Matthias Palmer, and Marco Kalz).

The dates for the MUPPLE lectures are:

12/04/2011 – Denis Gillet – Social Media Models: Supporting Interaction, Recommendation and Trust
26/04/2011 – Matthias Palmer: Widget Communication using partial semantic interoperability; Mapping the MUPPLE features of web based systems (double lecture).
03/05/2011 – Ivan Zuzak: Interwidget communication.
10/05/2011 – Scott Wilson: Widgets and Mashups for Personal and Institutional Technologies.
17/05/2011 – Fridolin Wild: Learning an ecosystem: networks, mash-ups, analytics.

The upcoming lectures are:

07 June 2011 (Tuesday): PolyCAFe: Widgets for Analysing Interanimation: Traian Rebedea

Coming soon as Podcast: Open Learning Ecosystems: learning in niches between self-direction and networked affordance: Kai Pata

23 June 2011 (Thursday): Approach for filtering: Recommender systems for TEL: Hendrik Drachsler

24 June 2011 (Friday): Evaluation: Open Data, DataShop, Shared Methodology: the dataTEL initiative: Hendrik Drachsler

01 July 2011 (Friday):  Loops, Gaps and Contradiction: Three Objects that Foster Learning in PLEs: Philippe Dessus

05 July 2011 (Tuesday):  Approach for data capturing: (Contextual) Attention Meta-Data: Martin Wolper

07 July 2011 (Thursday): Identity: (re-)construction of a digital self: Steven Warburton

08 July 2011 (Friday): Reflection in action / on action / for assessment: from the informal to the formal: Thomas Sporer

13 July 2011 (Wednesday): Why personalise? The snowflake effect: Erik Duval

14 July (Thursday): Structuration of Personal Learning Environments: Marco Kalz

15 July 2011 (Friday): Learning literacies: Alison Littlejohn

Each lecture serie will be recorded and will be available after the event. Further information about when and where to see the series will be announced in this group.

Whats new on TELeurope

During my work for the FP7 Network of Excellence STELLAR, I have been working on the social networking platform TELeurope. TELeurope is based on the open source software Elgg.

Some of the highlights of TELeurope are:

Complete new landing page

The landing page got a complete face lift. We added a FlashVlog, which will update you with information from the leading members of STELLARNET. We especiall addressed five stakeholder groups and will provide information bundles for quick access to relevant information. The podcast widget on the front page shows you the latests podcasts from the TEL experts.

The “What is hot in TEL” area surves the purpose to show all members on the first page what the most important contents, opportunities, events, etc. are.

Help is at your hand: The topbar contains now a link to a help page. This will give you quick access to all relevant pages and groups to find support on TELeurope.

Login/Register page: The login and register form is now included into a drop down menu on top of every page of TELeurope. The landing page can now include Elgg native widgets and the widgets coming from the Wookie Widget server, enabling a high degree of customization.

Spam Security: To prevent spammers we implemented now a promising solution, which will minimize the acitity of spammers. As with the old version, every new user will be approved by a TELeurope admin. To make it easier for the admins to judge about the credibility of a user, the users have to fill out a shot description about themselves.

Latest Elgg version: This release uses the latest version of Elgg (1.7.7). It includes several bug fixes and security enhancements.

New Features:

Enhanced permission system: The write and read access level can now be set tailored to groups. This means that you can write a blog post, which will only be seen by members of the group. An interesting use case could be the following. A user let call him STELLAR can pre-structure pages for the TELeurope members and grant write access to a group called “STELLAR faciliators”. This means that all members of the group can help to bootstrap pages for example for the Alpine-Rendes-Vouz, the help pages, the benefits of TELeurope page, etc.

Enhanced Profiles: Now it is possible to add further fields to the profile page. More to come soon on how to make the most out of your profile.

Messaging protection: By now every member of TELeurope could write an email to every other user.  Now it is possible to restrict the messaging capability only to members, which are friends of you.

Like feature of the river activity: Activities on the river include now a facebook-like Like feature.

Rating of content: Content can now be rated by the members on a 5 scale rating skala.

Enhanced Groups: Groups have now a group blog and you can share bookmarks with the group members. Additionally you can now integrate your RSS feeds into groups. See the VisiTELf plugin description below. And finally you can see all members of the group.

Wookiewidgets: The wookie widget plugin was completely redesigned. You can now scroll through the availalbe widgets or simple use the mouse wheel. It will show the description of the widget. It uses also now the latest features of the wookie connector framework. With this our widget server was updated to the latest version.

Eventspace: The eventspace takes the widget idea a bit further and allows now to show the widgets on a larger space. This will allow the members of TELeurope to personalize a space for their needs for exampe to write collaboratively a paper or to follow a video conference.

VisiTELf: The latest version of the VisiTELf plugin comes with enhanced RSS feed options and visualizations of you feeds. More about this will be introduced by the developer later.

Meet new people: The meet new people page let you explore what you have in common with your friends and serves as starting point to find new interesting people Better

Add this: Sharing on facebook and twitter an Co made easy. Check out the social sharing features on the the left.

Branding: For a strong corporate design of all our STELLAR products, the branding uses now the STELLARNET look and feel. It has now the “Funded by the European Comission” and the the “powerd by STELLARNET” images on every page.

And some more…

2nd International Workshop on Research 2.0 at EC-TEL 2010

Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Research 2.0

The proceedings of the workshop are now online available at

Please refer to this proceedings as:

Erik Duval, Thomas Daniel Ullmann, Fridolin Wild, Stefanie Lindstaedt & Peter Scott (eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Re- search 2.0. At the 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learn- ing: Sustaining TEL. Barcelona, Spain, September 28, 2010, 675, ISSN 1613-0073.

As a follow-up to a successful workshop on the same theme at ECTEL09, we are organizing a workshop on Research2.0 approaches to TEL research at ECTEL10.

Research2.0 is in essence a Web2.0 approach to how we do research. Research2.0 creates conversations between researchers, enables them to discuss their findings and connects them with others. Thus, Research2.0 can accelerate the diffusion of knowledge.

Research 2.0

Research2.0 is in essence a Web2.0 approach to how we do research. Research2.0 creates conversations between researchers, enables them to discuss their findings and connects them with others. Thus, Research2.0 can accelerate the diffusion of knowledge.


As concluded during the workshop, at least four challenges are vital for future research.

The first area is concerned with availability of data. Access to sanitized data and conventions on how to describe publication-related metadata provided from divergent sources are enablers for researchers to develop new views on their publications and their research area. Additional, social media data gain more and more attention. Reaching a widespread agreement about this for the field of technology-enhanced learning would be already a major step, but it is also important to focus on the next steps: what are success-critical added values driving uptake in the research community as a whole?
The second area of challenges is seen in Research 2.0 practices. As technology-enhanced learning is a multidisciplinary field, practices developed in one area could be valuable for others. To extract the essence of successful multidisciplinary Research 2.0 practice though, multidimensional and longitudinal empirical work is needed. It is also an open question, if we should support practice by fostering the usage of existing tools or the development of new tools, which follow Research 2.0 principles. What makes a practice sustainable? What are the driving factors?
The third challenge deals with impact. What are criteria of impact for research results (and other research artefacts) published on the Web? How can this be related to the publishing world appearing in print? Is a link equal to a citation or a download equal to a subscription? Can we develop a Research 2.0 specific position on impact measurement? This includes questions of authority, quality and re-evaluation of quality, and trust.
The tension between openness and privacy spans the fourth challenge. The functionality of mash-ups often relies on the use of third-party services. What happens with the data, if this source is no longer available? What about hidden exchange of data among backend services?


Topics for this workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation of existing Research2.0 tools and infrastructures from a TEL perspective
  • Development of TEL-related use case scenarios for Research2.0 tools and infrastructures
  • Influence of Research2.0 tools and technologies on scientific practices in TEL
  • Formats and protocols for Research2.0 data exchange (linked data, RSS, BuRST, …)
  • Ownership and privacy of research information
  • Practices of the diverse Technology Enhanced Learning disciplines, and how Research2.0 can influence them


9h00-9h30: Welcome, introductions, goal of the workshop, logistics

9h30-9h55: Peter Kraker, Angela Fessl, Patrick Hoefler and Stefanie Lindstaedt. Feeding TEL: Building an Ecosystem Around BuRST to Convey Publication Metadata

9h55-10h20: Gonzalo Parra and Erik Duval. Filling the Gaps to Know More! About a Researcher

10h20-10h50: Coffee

10h50-11h15: Marie Joubert and Rosamund Sutherland. Research 2.0: Drawing on the wisdom of the crowds to develop a research vision

11h15-11h40: Bram Vandeputte and Erik Duval. Research at the table

11h40-12h05: Till Nagel and Erik Duval. Visualizing the origins and connections of institutions based on co-authorship of publications

12h05-13h15: Lunch

13h15-13h40: Jim Hensman, Dimoklis Despotakis, Ajdin Brandic and Vania Dimitrova. Tools to Find Connections Between Researchers – Findings from Preliminary Work with a Prototype as Part of a University Virtual Research Environment

13h40-14h05: Fridolin Wild and Thomas D. Ullmann. The afterlife of ‘living deliverables’: angels or zombies?

14h05-14h35: Coffee

14h35-15h00: Herbert Mühlburger, Martin Ebner and Behnam Taraghi. @twitter Try out #Grabeeter to Export, Archive and Search Your Tweets

15h00-15h25: Nina Heinze, Marie Joubert and Denis Gillet. Connecting Early Career Researchers: Investigating the Needs of Ph.D. Candidates in TEL Working with Web 2.0

15h25-16h25: Towards a Research 2.0 Infrastructure for TEL research

16h25-17h00: Wrap-up, conclusions

Format of the presentation

The presentation should not be longer than 15 minutes. Each presentation follows 10 minutes of discussion. This gives every slot 25 minutes.


Format of the paper
Authors are invited to submit original unpublished work. The following types of contributions are possible:

  • Short papers (3-5 pages) that state the position of the authors on issues relevant to the workshop or work in progress, even when in very early state.
  • Full papers: (8-12 pages) that describe problems, needs, novel approaches and frameworks within the scope of the workshop. In this category, empirical evaluation papers and industrial experience reports are welcome for submission.

The presentation of unfinished ideas, tools under development and especially failures is explicitly encouraged. This includes the presentation and discussion of tools and their real-world usability.

The aim of this group is to:

  • facilitate discussions among participants before and after the conference;
  • post submitted papers for an open peer review;
  • publish information and news about the workshop;
  • collect reactions through social media on the workshop.

First steps:

To get you started see the short notice “First steps for the Research 2.0 workshop” in the “Group page” section at the bottom of this page.

Twitter, Delicous, etc.

The hashtag for this event and for further information sharing is: #res2tel (Research 2.0 for technology-enhanced learning)

As a short URL to this page you can use:

Important Dates

The submission deadline for the workshop papers is extended!

  • Paper submission: 04 July 2010
  • Paper acceptance: 18 July 2010
  • Final camera ready: 04 September 2010
  • Workshop date: 28 September 2010

Paper submission and questions
Please submit your paper at

Feel free to contact if you have any questions!

Programme Committee

First Workshop on Research 2.0 for TEL, see the call for papers here:

The afterlife of living deliverables: angels or zombies

Within the STELLAR project, we provide the possibility to use living documents for the collaborative writing work on deliverables. Compared to ‘normal‘ deliverables, ‘living’ deliverables come into existence much earlier than their delivery deadline and are expected to ‘live on’ after their official delivery to the European Commission. They are expected to foster collaboration. Within this contribution we investigate, how these deliverables have been used over the first 16 months of the project. We therefore propose a set of new analysis methods facilitating social network analysis on publicly available revision history data. With this instrumentarium, we critically look at whether the living deliverables have been successfully used for collaboration and whether their ‘afterlife’ beyond the contractual deadline had turned them into ‘zombies’ (still visible, but no or little live editing activities). The results show that the observed deliverables show signs of life, but often in connection with a topical change and in conjunction with changes in the pattern of collaboration.

Find the publication here:

Mozilla Jetpack for Learning – MUPPLE II Mashup Personal Learning Environments


Copy from

MUPPLE II is your learning companion in the web. It supports you in learning new best practices from all the others out there – new practices in how to use tools for learning effectively. More precisely, MUPPLE II helps you to trace and replay usage strategies on the web. As a learner, you learn how to work with all the cool new tools on the web – without loosing endless hours exploring their ‘potential’. As a more knowledgeable other, you give your fellow peers a guide at hand that brings them up to speed – without you bothering to explain the thing over and over again. MUPPLE II is of course built as a Firefox Jetpack. MUPPLE is short for ‘mash-up personal learning environment’.

The following page will show you all the things you need to get started and mupple the web (and a bit more).

Get started now!

1) MUPPLE II is designed as Firefox Jetpack. Because it’s cool, it is for free and open source. If you have not already switched to the ‘world’s best browser’, download it from (recommended version: 3.6 and higher).

2) MUPPLE II runs on Jetpack. Get your own Jetpack at (version 0.8.1).

3) You are one-step away from your first MUPPLE II experience. Get the latest version at (see download zip button in right hand column).

You are now ready to trace and replay the web!

How to MUPPLE the Web

Wouldn’t it be great to have a recorder at hand that helps you trace click stream in your web app use, recording all necessary steps that you have to walk through if you want to, for example, write a paper collaboratively?

Wouldn’t it be great, if you can share this trail with someone else – without requiring you to guide them step by step?

Wouldn’t it be great, if you get guidance of how to write collaborative a paper simply by following in the boot steps of someone else?

With MUPPLE II it’s easy to do all of this.

In the following section, I will show you how you can turn your browser into a recorder of activities – and how you can replay them.

Record the web: The recording and replay cockpit of MUPPLE II is realized as a slidebar on the left side of the browser window. Click on the MUPPLE icon and the slidebar opens. The slidebar section is divided into two areas. The first area contains all recorded activities (see ‘Open Workflows’). Click on one of the activities.

In the second area below, you will see all the action steps needed to fulfill your activity, guiding you through the web. Click on one of the actions and MUPPLE II will show you in the main browser window to the right what you need to do to get things done. Don’t forget: MUPPLE II is not meant to automate things for you (you would use a script for that). MUPPLE II is designed to teach you usage strategies for those things that are too complex to get automated (such as writing a paper collaboratively).

To record an activity you create a new activity. Navigate in the main browser window to the url on which the new activity is supposed to start. MUPPLE will log this. To log further action steps while interacting with the page, you simply right click on the relevant item and add it to the actions via the context menu. The new action immediately appears in the slidebar. Step by step you log all the required actions (and maybe some optional ones).

In the next section, we will go a bit more into the details of recording the web with MUPPLE II. Further down the text you find a demo video of MUPPLE II showing all features in detail.

Overview of the MUPPLE II interface

Please note that in the current prototype, the ‘Open Workflows’ and the ‘steps list’ are non-functional, that is that the prototype shows one single (default) workflow.’ Also MUPPLE won’t force you open new or switch tabs for now.

Recording in Detail:

The following picture shows how you can record a link ‘FM technologies’. It is one step of the activity ‘collaborative paper writing’, which we defined by clicking on ‘new activity’ in the slidebar. To record a link make a right click over the link (1) and select in the context menu the entry ‘add link action’. The slidebar shows as action step of the activity the newly added link (3). With MUPPLE II you can define besides the ‘add link action’, ‘add note action’, and ‘add form field action’. The link action records the selected link, while the note action adds selected text and the form filed action saves text fields, button clicks, and check-box and radio-box selections. These are the basic elements, you need, to record all actions of an activity.

MUPPLE II Recorder

Demo: ‘Booking an online video conference’

MUPPLE II is all about recording, replaying, and sharing activities on the web. Have you ever had the problem that you wanted to do something on the web and record this activity so that you can later on replay it and maybe to share it with your peers?

By now, you probably sent your peers a couple of links and told them what they should do. This is quite tedious, because you have to provide explicit explanations for every step and additionally describe what to click with clumsy words – like ‘click here and there’, ‘login here’, or ‘don’t do that’ …

With MUPPLE II, you just can share traces of your best practices with others. They will then be able to follow in your ‘foot steps’ on the web.

In this tutorial, we will show you the basic of how to record the web. We use a simple activity that will get you going for scenarios that are more complex. In our scenario, we want to record ‘booking an online video conference’ with FlashMeeting.

We will show you how you can record this activity using the basic recording elements ‘add link action’, ‘add form action’, and ‘add note action’. With these basic actions, you can already record your activity ‘book an online video conference’. You then can share the activity with your friends, who can replay your activity.

First of all we show you how to record the activity, and how to replay it. Click on the link to see the video: MUPPLE video

Future Jetpack features for MUPPLE II

The MUPPLE concept encompasses a broader vision than implemented in the MUPPLE II Firefox Jetpack Extension. The core of MUPPLES (Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments) is the learner interaction scripting languages (LISL). LISL is a domain-oriented design language to specify actions, interactions with others, with artefacts and with tools. The semantic model behind MUPPLE describes the learning situation as activity consisting of actions, which refers to Objects and/or requires tools.

Scripting learning activities: We see high potential to apply the LISL concepts within MUPPLE II using Mozilla Ubiquity. Mozilla Ubiquity also allows binding actions to objects and tools. It could serve as the foundation for a learner tailored domain specific language.

Moreover, we believe that we could have a LISL implementation on top of the Ubiquity’s Parser 2 allowing for a tight integration between LISL and existing Ubiquity commands, as well as leveraging the localization possibilities of the parser.

Collaboration: Another aspect of the MUPPLE concept is the strong notion of collaboration of learners. Collaboration implies sharing of data. Mozilla Weave could serve as the underlying database infrastructure for sharing data in a secure way.

Note: check also further below the “Technical Notes & Further Work” on sharing workflows, interoperability with OpenAnnotation, RDFa, Ubiquity, etc.

Background of the MUPPLE II concept

Scaffolding with navigational support (Shapiro, 2007) helps preventing learners from getting lost in hyperspace (Otter & Johnson 2000). Our proposed prototype aims to support learners with structure. MUPPLE II offers facilities to trace web activities – and ways to replay them. Complex tasks often involve many different web applications in a variety of concrete action steps to be undertaken in order to finish them. With MUPPLE II users can trace, share, and replay these steps with especially users who have little or no experience in using the involved tools yet. MUPPLE II helps users to develop rich professional competence by guiding step by step through best practices needed to achieve particular tasks.

MUPPLE II is already the second prototype we have build: it bases on MUPPLE (Wild et al., 2008).

Today not only institutions for formal education such as schools and universities but also most work places and vocational training providers are equipped with at least some kind of tools that bring together people and content artefacts in learning activities to support them in constructing and processing information and knowledge.

With increased mobility, with exploding information offers, and light speed in technological innovation, building and maintaining these learning environments has not become easier. More: it has become the responsibility of the individual, rather than an institution. Supporting learners in building and maintaining their personal learning environment (PLE) therefore has drifted into the focus of attention in learning technology. MUPPLEs enable learners to capture, actively manage, and share good (best) learning practice.

The core of MUPPLES (Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments) is the learner interaction scripting languages (LISL). LISL is a domain-oriented design language to specify actions, interactions with others, with artefacts and with tools. The semantic model behind MUPPLE describes the learning situation as activity consisting of actions, which refers to Objects and/or requires tools. Capturing learning activities in scripts makes the learning experiences hidden in them accessible — and helps with learning a better learning environment which will shape future learning experiences. It can additionally help with building up rich professional competences. In addition, it supports emergence of new practices, rather than prescribing.

Practices like writing collaborative a research paper contains several steps, which have to follow a certain order, and involves the usage of several web tools. For each step of the process, learners have to get to know how to make use the provided tool. Help pages are often available, but often the learners only need a small portion of information to become productive. MUPPLE II includes this information directly into the web page.

Instead of only providing navigational support through hyperlinks to text or multimedia, we extend the scope including web functionalities. The navigational support of this prototype will help learners to replay recorded practices and give them the information they will need to make use of the tools. Learners will be able to “follow in experts’ footsteps”, who defined and order the single activities for efficient practice.

The two fundamental principles of MUPPLE II are capturing and replay of web activities. It provides a recording cockpit that accompanies you at the side of running through a learning activity you recurrently use. The recorder prompts you to explain certain steps in your web handling and to explicate the actions pursued. For example, when navigating to WordPress it allows you to record the action you are performing and with which intended outcome or goal. For example you can record that you are about to ‘register’ a new ‘learning diary’. This way, an activity script can be built from the recorded activity. The script captures action-outcome-tool statements binding the URL of a tool (function) to certain actions while explicating the intended outcomes such as goals, states, or artefacts.

This script can be used to monitor subsequent workflows (and provide task list like workflow navigation). This script, however, can also be shared with others as a kind of activity pattern. Whenever necessary, the recorder provides depersonalisation facilities to remove usernames from URLs, replacing them with placeholders that prompt user input whenever instantiated. As many web applications today support simple in- and output formats, even more complex data processing and data travelling activities can be designed that make sure learning traces created in one application (e.g. literature search engine) make their way to the other (e.g. bookmark sharing service).

MUPPLES are a matter of research on personal learning environments using mash-ups. They are actively investigated in the European Commission funded IST projects ‘iCamp’, ‘LTfLL’, and ‘ROLE’.

iCamp is the specific, targeted research project that invented the idea of mash-up personal learning environments to support the adoption of social software in higher education. The project finished with the end of the year 2008. The project had eleven industrial and academic partners, and a budget of 3.4 M EUR.

Language Technology for Lifelong Learning (LTfLL) is a specific targeted research project and deals with flexibilising the learning infrastructure and mixing in text mining technologies to support – say – medicine students in their learning. The project has eleven partners spread all over Europe.

ROLE is a large integrated project that aims to provide an responsive open learning environment, involving several stakeholders mainly in Europe but also from partners all over the world (e.g. China, Canada, Australia). ROLE builds up on the idea of a personal learning environment, that opposed to virtual learning environments tailors its functionalities and practices to informal learning supporting life long learning.

ROLE targets every person with building their network of experts to learn collaboratively in all sorts of fields. The tools and components as well as the personal learning environment will be openly available through the ROLE software repository. This will enable that interested persons can install their own ROLE instance to support their network of learners facing the challenges of the information age.


Main article about the MUPPLE concept:

Wild, F., Mödritscher, F. and Sigurdarson, S.: Designing for Change: Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments. eLearning Papers, 2008 9.

Education Science background:

Otter, M., and H. Johnson: Lost in hyperspace: metrics and mental models. Interacting with Computers, 2000, 13, no. 1 (September), pp. 1-40.

Shapiro, A. M.: Hypermedia design as learner scaffolding. Educational Technology Research and Development, 2007, 56, no. 1 (11), pp. 29-44.

Technical Notes & Further Work

The current [prototype code] is quite hard to follow, it has grown organically around various real and supposed limitations of Jetpack.

If github has issues, you can see the raw sources:

We adapted some cross-site scripting style strategies in order to achieve a tight coordination between Jetpack and the code in the slidebar; therefore we use a hidden iframe (fed with data URIs) to communicate from the slidebat to jetpack (which listens for the load event), while from jetpack to slidebar or to any tab we inject script tags with raw code or JSONP.

We use the Jetpack storage in a particular way: we store a large part of the slidebar’s DOM tree into the store instead of individual objects.

The concept is that the slidebar it is not a mere View (as in MVC) of a Model, but the Model itself, directly manipulable. If someone drags and reorder some actions (DOM elements) there is no need for propagating those changes to an underlying granular database, no need to determine which individual records have to be updated in a consistent manner.

This approach was inspired by the [Naked Objects pattern].

Since the slidebar is also the Model, we need to store things there which should not be revealed to the user (such as IDs, URIs, types). For this prototype we chose to use RDFa annotations.

We will investigate if HTML5 microdata would bring us more benefits; we’re also thinking of the possibility of creating a workflow microformat.

Having such a Model+View combo would allow for a very simple sharing strategy: you could just select and copy a workflow from the slidebar, and paste it in a blog post – all the underlying data would be just propagated and MUPPLE could just recognise in any web page published workflows and prompt the user to import them at will.

Having RDFa annotations also allows us to serialise the Model to RDF and it would be possible to publish a workflow via a public RDF store (like the [Talis Platform]), this would allow MUPPLE to look-up existing workflows involving a site the user is browsing.

And what we believe that is more important in collaboration: it may allow an user to discover friends and co-workers workflows – this would be achievable by publishing workflows with a [foaf:maker] relation, and the user’s foaf profile could point to friends, organisations (hence co-workers). (If the user lacks an explicit foaf profile, we could use one based on his Twitter relations: )

Also, apart of the mentioned RDF approach, we hope that future versions of Mozilla Weave could enable various levels of collaboration.

We consider each recordable action as an annotation, and we would like to have them compatible/interoperable at some level with [Open Annotation] initiative. We already use [xpointerlib] for note actions which would allow us to create [Annotea-like] annotations and be interoperable with Open Annotation.

Xpointerlib proved quite useful in prototyping [recording] and [sharing] of Ubiquity commands; having them as recordable actions in MUPPLE could enable the creation of workflows based on an open market of Ubiquity commands and provide by this a straight forward way in extending MUPPLE functionality.

Moreover, think of the possibilities that the sole command translate from Ubiquity could bring to MUPPLE: collaboration that spans language barriers.

As we already mentioned, a LISL implementation on top of the Ubiquity’s Parser 2 might allow for a tight integration between LISL and existing Ubiquity commands, and it might leverage the localization possibilities of the parser if needed.

Right now the prototype as UI is pretty much what we envisioned, but with partial functionality; this is mostly due not to the difficulties in added the envisioned functionality, but when observing, hands-on, that some activities must be separated, namely editing a workflow and “replaying” a workflow have to be distinct, as controls, as visual state communicated to the user; therefore we did not add extra functionality just for the sake of a prototype, we believe that a reboot of MUPPLE II is required, and we plan to do it in February.

After learning how to fly a Jetpack we can now focus on core functionality, code clarity and unit testing.

Who did it?

MUPPLE II is brought to you by the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University, UK.

The MUPPLE team are:

  1. Laurian Gridinoc (
  2. Fridolin Wild (
  3. Thomas Ullmann (

For more information visit the MUPPLE technology page:

Original Proposal

The initial vision of the MUPPLE II Firefox Jetpack talks more about the motivation and introduces a use case to write collaboratively a paper using Web 2.0 webpages.

KMi Researchers accept Mozilla ‘Jetpack for Learning’ special award

March 14th 2010 saw the Mozilla Foundation’s “Jetpack for Learning Design Challenge” awards presented at the international South by South West interactive technology festival in Austin, Texas, USA. The international community of web learning project teams started work on Firefox prototypes in December 2009. The Jetpack for Learning Design Challenge sought international project ideas that could turn the open web into a rich social learning environment. The Jetpack SDK aims to help designers to build powerful Firefox add-ons and is part of Mozilla’s new Drumbeat initiative. In February, Mozilla announced that ten projects were selected as Design Challenge winners and invited to participate in a Mozilla Jetpack design camp. KMi was already a double winner in this work, as two of this international top ten were KMi Projects: MUPPLE-II and COHERE. Three of the top ten winning projects were also chosen for special awards: ClozeFox was selected as “best use case”; Expression Widgets was chosen as the “best web hack” and our own ROLE Mupple-II web recorder received the prize for “sharing knowledge with others”. The MUPPLE II system, which is now part of the EU ROLE project, implements an end-user friendly toolkit for learning environment design and best practice sharing. MUPPLE-II helps to record activities such as ‘getting to know each other’, share, and replay them. It combines the latest Web 2.0 semantic web technologies to enable personal and collaborative learning on the Web. Accepting the award on behalf of the KMi team in Texas, was Laurian Gridinoc. “Winning this Jetpack for Learning award is only the first of our of MUPPLE II milestones”, he joked. The MUPPLE-II implementation will be further developed as part of the Responsive and open learning environments ROLE, research work. In this EU FP7 funded research, ROLE will offer adaptivity and personalization in terms of content and navigation and the entire learning environment.

The MUPPLE team are:


Announcement of winners:

KMi succeeds in Mozilla Competition

Two teams from KMi participated in the ‘Jetpack for Learning Design’ challenge run by the Mozilla Foundation to revolutionize learning. And two teams from KMi made their way through to the finals. MUPPLE-II implements an end-user friendly toolkit for learning environment design and best practice sharing. MUPPLE-II helps to record activities such as ‘getting to know each other’, share, and replay them. COHERE implements facilities to collaboratively annotate the web, semantically link the annotations, and engage the user in online scholarly discussion. The finals culminate in a design camp organised from March 10-12 by the Foundation in Austin, Texas, preceding the South by SouthWest Interactive (SXSWi) Conference. After 38 international teams were selected in the previous round, the jury now filtered out the ten most competitive ones to go, meet face-to-face on their expenses. The KMi teams guided by Simon Buckingham Shum and Fridolin Wild are sending their lead developers Michelle Bachler and Laurian Gridinoc as representatives to the finals of the competition. Jetpack is the recently released flagship of the Mozilla labs that explores new ways to extend and personalize the web. The ‘Jetpack for Learning Design’ challenge is organised by the Mozilla Foundation with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

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