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Enovation at the cutting edge of e-Learning Research

November 2, 2011 In: Blog, R&D Written by: Mark Melia

Over the past year we have been working on a really interesting research project called Percolate – http://www.percolate.ie. Percolate is a collaboration between various multinational companies in Ireland with an interest in education (Cisco, Intel), indigenous Irish e-learning companies and academic partners – namely Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and DERI in NUI Galway. The project is funded by Enterprise Ireland.

The aim of the percolate project is to examine the very innovative bleeding edge technology that has been developed through research conducted by the academic partners over the last decade and make use of them in a real-world e-learning applications by the industry partners. The project concentrates on social and informal learning in particular as shown in the diagram below.

Percolate Project Themes

Percolate Project Themes – source: http://www.percolate.ie

Just to give you an idea of the kind of technologies that have been developed by the academic partners:

  • A personalised learning delivery engine developed by TCD
  • Semantic search engine from DERI
  • Social search from UCD – check out heystaks.com for the commercial application of UCD’s social search
  • Learning metrics developed by TSSG in WIT

To push these technologies to their limits the industry partners have come up with various use-cases. It is up to the academic partners to show how these technologies can be used in the various use cases. The use cases include:

  • K-12 use case – looking at how technology can be used for kids that are struggling at school, and also kids that are shooting ahead – how to keep them interested.
  • Third Level use case (lead by Enovation) – Looking at how a Learning Object Repository such as the NDLR (http://www.ndlr.ie) can be used to give Just-In-Time guidance and support to students engaged in Problem Based Learning activities.
  • Corporate use case – Looking at how tacit knowledge can be more readily externalised and how corporates can make better use of social learning and quantify learner engagement with social learning.

The aim of this post is really to give you a little taster of what is going on in the Percolate project. Over the next few posts I hope to expand on each of the projects and perhaps go into a bit of detail about the technologies that are being exploited as part of this project.

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