Visualisation of interaction footprints for enagement in online communities

Christian Glahn, Marcus Specht, Rob Koper

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    Contextualised and ubiquitous learning are relatively new research areas that combine the latest developments in ubiquitous and context aware computing with educational approaches in order to provide structure to more situated and context aware learning. The majority of recent activities in contextualised and ubiquitous learning focus on mobile scenarios, with location as the primary contextual dimension. However, the meaning of context aware learner support is not limited to location based solutions, as it is highlighted by the educational paradigms of situated learning and communities of practice. This paper analyses learner participation as a contextual dimension of adapting graphical indicators of interaction data for engaging and motivating learners in participating and contributing to an open community. The analysis is based on interaction data and interviews with participants in a nine week lasting design study, during which we compared the effect of two indicators on the engagement of the participants in the group activities. The trend of study results supports the presumption that the learners' perception of their activity visualisations is context dependent. We found that more engaging visualisation polarised the participants in this group: while contributing participants were attracted to contribute more to the community, non-contributing participants were distracted by the same visualisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-57
    Number of pages14
    JournalEducational Technology & Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


    • Learner support
    • self-directed learning
    • information visualisation
    • context-awareness
    • evaluation


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