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Keynote Lectures

From ‘Minimal’ to ‘Maximal’ Digital Experiences for Learning: Focusing on the Learner-centered Design and Use of Technology
Maria Roussou, University of Athens, Greece

Computer Supported CABLE: Collaborative Argumentation-Based Learning
Michael Baker, CNRS, France


From ‘Minimal’ to ‘Maximal’ Digital Experiences for Learning: Focusing on the Learner-centered Design and Use of Technology

Maria Roussou
University of Athens

Brief Bio
Dr. Maria Roussou is an Assistant Professor in Interactive Systems (Human Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality, Games) at the Department of Informatics Telecommunications, University of Athens. In 2003 she founded and co-directed makebelieve, an experience design and consulting company.Previously, she established (in 1998) and directed (until 2003) the Virtual Reality Department at the Foundation of the Hellenic World, a cultural heritage institution based in Athens, Greece, where she was responsible for setting up the immersive projection-based VR exhibits and managing the research, design and development of the VR programs and related visitor experiences. For most of the nineties (1993-1997), during her extensive work with the CAVE® at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Chicago, she focused on the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments for education and the representation of cultural information. She has also collaborated with many museums, including contemporary art museums such as the Walker Art Center, to design and create interactive art education material for the Internet. She holds a PhD in Computer Science (VR/HCI) from the University of London (UCL), a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Electronic Media from the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s of Science (M.Sc) in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the same university. Maria is Chair of the Greek ACM SIGCHI Professional Chapter (since 2011), Vice-chair of the newly established Greek ACM-W Chapter, and the recipient of the 2013 Tartessos Award for her contribution in Digital Heritage and Virtual Archaeology.

The use of digital media for educational purposes has progressed in the past few decades from drill-and-practice software, microworlds, and tutoring systems to more experiential environments that combine learning with play. An increasing number of project efforts and software products are directed to students, across a wide spectrum of environments, from web and mobile apps to interactive toys, augmented reality books and immersive virtual reality worlds.
Drawing from a range of implemented projects using technologically ‘minimal’ media, such as a text-based chatbot, mobile storytelling guides, and 360 degree photographic panoramas of real spaces, as well as technologically‘maximal’ interactive systems such as Augmented Reality and higher-end immersive Virtual Reality, this presentation addresses the question: what is it that, ultimately, will make a digital learning experience more engaging and effective?
To attempt to an answer, we will pull together elements and concepts that have emerged from evaluations with hundreds of learners and educators, pointing to:
- experiences that are emotive, social and shared, tangible, immersive, meaningfully interactive, enchanting and humorous, relevant and resonant;
- participatory design methods and other well-established HCI processes that shift focus to the human learner’s needs, studying what people want and do in their context.



Computer Supported CABLE: Collaborative Argumentation-Based Learning

Michael Baker

Brief Bio
Prof. Michael Baker is a Research Director (equivalent full tenured research professor) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), working in the French National Graduate Telecom Engineering School (Telecom ParisTech) in Paris. He received his PhD in cognitive science at the Open University (Institute of Educational Technology, UK) in 1990. Since that same year, he was appointed tenured research scientist of the CNRS, first in Lyon, then in Paris. In 2004 he gained the habilitation in psychology, for research on “The Elaboration of Knowledge in Dialogue”. He has been visiting professor at the Universities of Stockholm (Sweden) and Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Michael Baker’s research aims to understand the processes of emergence of new understanding and knowledge from dialogues produced in educational and work situations, and the role of technology mediation therein. His specific research interests include argumentation and knowledge elaboration, the interactive regulation of emotions, and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning/Work. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, the European Journal of Psychology of Education and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (amongst others). Michael Baker has produced over 100 research publications (of which over 30 journal articles and 9 books). He has been an invited speaker in over 20 educational technology-related international conferences, including the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education and the recent EARLI SIG on Argumentation, Dialogue and Reasoning. Over the past 25 years he has participated in several successfully evaluated EU-funded projects on computer support for argumentation-based learning. His most recent book, co-authored with Baruch Schwarz, is “Dialogue, Argumentation and Education: History, Theory and Practice” (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Collaborative Argumentation-Based Learning (CABLE) research originated in the “interactions paradigm” of collaborative learning research, that aimed to identify, analyse and evaluate the types of interactions between students working in small groups that are most conducive to learning. From the 1990s onwards, a major focus was on argumentative interactions, given their socio-cognitive intensity and apparent amenability to computational formalisation or support. In this lecture I will take a human-centred approach, in beginning with a summary of the knowledge elaboration processes that may be mobilised in argumentative interactions, their attendant pedagogical outcomes and the (non-sufficient) conditions that must be satisfied for productive argumentation dialogue. In the second part of the lecture, I will describe the way that such processes may be supported by Internet-based Computer Supported Collaborative Learning tools, drawing on examples from two EU-funded projects on CABLE, the first of which was a “success story” and the second a “failure story”. My main conclusion will be that computer-supported CABLE — and indeed, collaborative learning research in general — needs to move beyond its cognitive comfort zone, to better take account of social and cultural diversity.