ALE-1 Unit 2:

 Updated March 17th, 2018 - slides and designs added

Student Seminar Series 2 (SSS2)

1. Designing an ALE for a specific task, using existing research literature

Seminar work officially assigned 2nd March 2018. Groups will be those already determined by doodle poll, as in SSS1. 
Presentations are on Tuesday 13th and Friday 16th March, 2018

Summary: you will work as a design team to develop, and present, a design for a new ALE/ITS for teaching a specific task. Aspects of the design should be based on at least two of the systems covered in the course.   Any aspect of these systems can be used in the design: citations to the relevant reference papers should be used to justify the design decisions made. Previously published research may also be used in justifying design decisions made.  The research might come from a number of disciplines, such as AIED/ALE/ITS, HCI, Education, Interaction Design, Affective Computing, etc.

Your design may use any technology you consider suitable for the approach chosen (i.e. it does not have to be restricted to a desktop or laptop computer). It could use virtual reality, augmented reality, embodied agents in a large interactive touch screen - whatever your decide (and can justify!).

You have been asked to design an adaptive learning environment to teach one of the following tasks:
A.  Teaching learners how to drive a car.
B.  Training learners in 'first aid' (see for example

The focus of the system may be on any aspect of the task (i.e. it should not try and do everything!).
For the task chosen, be clear on what the task entails, and the aspects of the task focused on.

Address the following questions in your group's design:

1.    What are the goals of the learning environment in relation to the specific task chosen?  What is the context in which the teaching is intended to take place?

2.    Who are the intended learners? How does the environment adapt, or customise its teaching, to the learners? Are both cognitive and affective aspects adapted to?

4.     What approach does it take to teaching? Why is this approach suitable for this task?

5.     How does the system interact with the user? Describe an example interaction: you may use possible screen shots, hypothetical dialogues, etc.

In answering each question, all design decisions should be informed by the design of at least  two of the systems discussed in the ALE course (cite the relevant research papers from the group developing and investigating these); or by citations of other published research literature. Be clear on methods and techniques used (and cite the sources for these).

Present your design in c 3 slides, with at most an additional 1 or 2 showing screen shots/examples.

Submit your slides and a one page design summary, with references, for formative evaluation and inclusion on the course page.

group slides and designs:

Group A (first aid)  Group A slides  Group A design
Group B (driving)   Group B slides  Group B design
Group C (first aid)  Group C slides  Group C design (to be added)
Group D (first aid)  Group D slides  Group D design
Group E (first aid)  Group E slides 
Group F (driving)  Group F slides   Group F design


2. Assignment 2: Design a new ALE, using existing research

due to be submitted by wednesday 21st March, 4pm.

Feedback due to be returned by Friday, 6th April 2018


In this assignment you will: choose
ONE task from the list below and design an ALE to teach this task. This will be based on at least two of the systems that have been covered in the course. You will use other research to inform the design. Note: this will be informed by the SSS2 seminar research and presentations.


You have been asked to design an adaptive learning environment to teach one of the following tasks:
A.  Teaching learners how to drive a car.
   B.  Training learners in 'first aid' (see for example

Choose one of these tasks. The focus of the system may be on any aspect of the task (i.e. it does not have to try and do everything!).

1. For the task chosen, specify the requirements for the ALE in relation to this task:
  1. What does the task entail? What aspect will be focused on?
  2. How will we know when the task is completed (what are the criteria for this)?
  3. Who will the learner group be? What can we assume about their skills, knowledge, literacy, background knowledge, etc.
  4. Specify the system requirements that arise from a. to d., (i.e. in relation to the task and the learners).
2. Choose two of the systems discussed in the course, and outline a design for the proposed new ALEbased on these existing systems. Note: it should include at least one of the core systems.
  1. Specify the requirements for this ALE in relation to the approach to teaching, the interface, the student model and the domain model.
  2. Sketch a design for an ALE based on this system, to do this task.
  3. Describe the aspects of the new ALE that is based on research on existing systems. Justify other design decisions using previous research.

3. Describe how the ALE you propose will be customised to support the particular task, and the target users?

4. Give examples of how the might interact with the learners. Show how would it adapt to the individual learners. You might include sample                 dialogues, graphics or anything else that might help illustrate the interaction between the system and learner.

References to existing systems should be used throughout. These should refer to published papers (i.e. not websites, blogs, online lectures, etc.), and cited sources should be included in the list of references at the end of the assignment. If you are not sure if something is published, ask yourself if this source was reviewed by peers? If not, it is not published!

Assignment length: You should not spend more than ~20 hours on this assignment (ideally a lot less - nearer 10 hours). Your report should be 3 to 4 pages long (c. 1,500 - 2,000 words). It would be helpful to include figures to illustrate the design, including hypothetical screen shots, and any other useful figures.

Relation to the Student Seminar Series 2 (SSS2): your assignment can be directly based on your seminar group's work - or could even build on what is presented in another group. However, all design decisions described must either be based on the 2 existing systems chosen (cite their research papers, not just descriptions of these systems), or on other research taken from published sources, including research with other systems.

Submission instructions:
1. Submit the assignment using the submit program:

    submit ale1 cw2 assign2_surname_matricnumber_task.pdf

Please include your surname, matriculation number and task (driving/firstaid) in the title of the pdf file.

Your submission should be a .pdf file; this is the ONLY acceptable format for this course. If you do not know how to convert your assignment to a PDF or how to use the submit command, please ask a classmate!

3. Please also make sure that somewhere, ideally on the front page of the submission itself, there is an indication of who has submitted it (i.e. please write you name and/or matric number on your work --  this is so that it appears in the pdf file when it is printed out!) Also include a title....

Marking and feedback: This assignment is worth 15% of your course mark. It will be marked out of 100. The feedback you will receive will indicate how well your design has achieved various objectives.  You will also receive a short list of things that you do well and suggested priorities for improvement (~3 items each).

Some further general clarifications:

a.  your design should not be directly based on a system that already teaches the task chosen (i.e. do not base the design for an ALE to teach programming on one that already teaches programming); the research used can inform your design, but the resulting design should be different;
b. your design should be based on more than one system - just be clear what aspects are based on which;
c. you can choose any aspects of the existing system to base your design on - just be clear in what ways your design and the existing system(s) are the same and in which ways they differ, and how the research related to the existing systems informs your design;
d. structure it as you best feel to suit the material;
e. you can choose any aspect of the task to teach - just be clear to state what is expected to be learned;
f. you must cite references, e.g. how to teach in the particular domain, to justify your design, and include the full citations for these in the list of references.

The better you justify your design - either from previous system(s) (citing sources that describe them), or from other relevant research - the better....

Also remember that your design can be based on the design that your group presented for the seminar, or even that of another group - but you must cite published sources to support this choice.

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