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Who should I ask? A Social Support System for Lifelong Learners in...

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Title Who should I ask? A Social Support System for Lifelong Learners in Learning Networks: towards connecting people
Period 10 / 2007 - 10 / 2011
Status Current
Dissertation Yes
URL http://celstec.org/drupal/node/298
Research number OND1332939
Data Supplier Website CELSTEC

Abstract

The project will focus on supporting social interaction of people in learning networks to find the most relevant expertise to foster informal learning. So the research will focus on the problem of finding suitable people for supporting learners in a network of learners (Learning Networks). Learners themselves are a major component of any learning network. People have lots of information in their mind (tacit knowledge) which is not always found in formal documents. Consequently contacting them, opens the avenues for knowledge sharing, social collaboration, support, pieces of advice and support in effective learning. In current practice, people usually search for other people via different sources (evidence of expertise) like web-pages, publications, blogs etc. This is often a time- intensive task which could be saved by automating the process of finding people using relevant sources of information to support a learner in recommending people. In this research, a matching service (Social Support System, aka SoSuSy) will be developed to find other people in learning networks. Such a system would assist learners in deciding whom to turn to for specific questions or requests. Approach: The approach taken in the project will be based on matching process of a learner s question with the topics (key-concepts) to which learners are associated. The proposed system will consider the user-generated content (text), which is a bottom-up information source about people, facilitated by Web 2.0 applications like web logs (blogs), wikis and social bookmarking tags. This project would draw on several theoretical perspectives namely, distributed cognition, informal learning, ad-hoc transient communities, communities of practice, social-affordances in learning network by SoSuSy and Web 2.0 user-generated text content for expertise finding. Research questions: The main research questions this project proposal investigates are as follows: 1. What is the effect of the Social Support System on the perceived speed, easy to operate, usefulness of the help and the projected increase in the competence of the members of the learning network? 2. What is the effect of the Social Support System on the perceived increase in the level of the experientiality of the members of the learning network? 3. How effective is the Social Support System for facilitating social interactions and building of sense of community among the members of learning networks?

Related organisations

Secretariat Welten Institute (OU)

Related people

Supervisor Prof.dr. E.J.R. Koper
Co-supervisor Dr. S. Stoyanov
Doctoral/PhD student Drs. D. Nadeem

Related research (upper level)

Classification

D16200 Software, algorithms, control systems
D52000 Educational theory

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