Design and evaluation of a widget-based dashboard for awareness support in Research Networks
The rapid changes to technology and society in the last decade not only reshaped the way people communicate and collaborate; they also fundamentally altered individual learning behaviour and organizational learning offerings. Lifelong and workplace learning are in the focus of many projects and it becomes more and more obvious that learning environments have to focus on the individual learner and be both adaptable and personal. Learners are evermore escaping the boundaries of controlled, heads-on institutional learning and are consuming learning content from uncountable and uncontrollable sources. This perpetual learning in both formal and informal settings, in online and offline discussions, large networked communities as well as small local teams, form the need for a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). PLEs support the learner’s individual learning style, providing an open and adaptable framework for the aggregation of learning content from different sources. They encourage networking with learning peers, reflection about learning goals and processes as well as other relevant functions. In this paper we introduce a widget-based Rich Internet Application that focuses on supporting reflection and awareness support for learners in online learning communities. The AANalyzer tool builds upon the theoretical model of Artefact-Actor-Networks, an approach to semantically intertwine social networks with so-called artefact networks made up of objects created during the social interaction of people.