The DiViLab project focuses on the experimental activities of the learner. These computer-mediated activities are supported whatever the place and time constraints, the nature of the experimental systems (real, simulated or artificial), the organisational and pedagogical models. At the conceptual level we choose a "learner activity centred design" based on results from learning sciences, distributed cognition, Computer Supported Co-operative Work and Theory of Activity.

Due to the knowledge domain selected and the consensus on some generic approaches of the experimental scientific way of thinking, we will produce models and an activity support, for individual or collective contexts, based on reuse of the functions of a Virtual Campus platform. These models will be "tailorable". An educational "Component System Architecture" is choosen at the design level with the potential for cooperation and interoperability of these components, or agents, provided by the Web-object approach.This gives possibilities to provide components interfaces with lightweight coupling and higher semantics through the sharing of a domain ontology, compatible with the progress of the learning technologies international standardisation efforts. Different user interfaces and prototypes will be designed and evaluated. The aim is to support:

Affordable multimedia communication tools for remote access to facilities or services: tele-experimentation, interaction with scientists, reuse of our previous Collaborative Virtual Environment system for collaborative engagement into simulations more reflective cognitive learner activities through cognitive and collaboratory tools based on cognitive maps or dedicated argumentation hypermedia. Several trials will be conducted to measure the user´s acceptance, the usability and the learning efficiency in various contexts. Scalability of the solution, its openness and the management of the necessary changes in the learning process are also addressed.

Reference: IST-1999-12017.

Founded by: IST Programme EC.

Participants: M. Felisa Verdejo, Beatriz Barros, Tim Read, M. Yolanda Calero, Miguel Rodríguez Artacho.

Coordinator: M. Felisa Verdejo.

DIVILAB project