By Manolis Mavrikis and Yvonne Vezzoli (UCL)
Manolis Mavrikis and Yvonne Vezzoli (UCL) presented work on the iRead adaptivity and learning analytics components at the Birkbeck University of London Knowledge Lab seminar series. During the seminar, Manolis described the process used to invent, discuss and iterate with the help of experts a set of rules that inform the selection of the games content and mechanics, as well as the underlying mechanism for estimating student ‘mastery’ during gameplay. Following this, Yvonne outlined the participatory design process towards learning analytics tools that will support teachers in their planning and assessment activities, and presented the current prototype of the iRead dashboard developed by iRead partner NTUA.
The talk raised interesting questions on the methodologies employed. For example, we reflected on the use of templates for eliciting rules from experts and how these rules acted as externalisations — a shared design artefact that helped the project to develop a shared language and work together connecting pedagogical and technological expertise.
Template for rule collection from iRead’s interdisciplinary experts
Questions revolved around the tensions of involving experts and practitioners in the design process of complex technologies like iRead. Did experts disagree on the adaptivity rules and, if yes, how was it handled? Will design choices be evaluated empirically at a later stage, and how?
Furthermore, the UCL team collected positive feedback on the iRead dashboard design. Particularly, the group appreciated the opportunities for visualising students’ performance at different levels of granularity (e.g. specific phonemes/graphemes as well as broader linguistic areas such as phonology) and multiple data aggregation options that could promote data-informed teaching in different ways (e.g. insights on students’ performance at both individual and class level; class average).
The early prototype of the iRead dashboard
The studies planned for the next year will help evaluate these and other opportunities offered by the iRead applications through small- and large-scale data collection efforts.