D4.1 Concept & Prototype for Artefact and Mobile Layer

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Executive Summary

Work package 4 designs solutions to artefact and mobile layer for informal learning in the workplace. This involves research and theoretical groundwork to define what it means to interact with technology during work and how technology is involved in learning activities in physical work environments. The designs that are created need to be implemented as prototypes and to be scaled for use to have any effect.

To have a starting point for the research on interaction with physical artefacts during work practices as well as how, why, what in these moments support and hinder potential learning, a theoretical framework has been formed. The framework is based on the Model for Scaling the Support for Informal Learning at the Workplace developed in the Learning Layers project (see D5.1, Section 4) and on the pragmatist philosophy of experience, change of practices and theory of reflection. These three concepts allow the research to focus on the meaning making that occurs during work events that can lead to learning. Understanding of the learning events in the physical environment of the work place helps us to scope, design and evaluate the designed prototypes and tools.

During the first year partners, stakeholders and knowledge across the Learning Layers project was combined into design teams in effort to create rapidly evolving prototypes. During the first year, WP4 turned its design and prototyping efforts to design team CAPTUS.

Design idea for CAPTUS formed around the problems in sharing the learning about new tools, methods and materials in ecological and sustainable construction (represented by NNB, Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen). This network has SMEs with varying attitudes towards information technology and the business opportunities are often limited by availability of skilled workforce for specific methods. The initial use case is built around the planned exhibition of sustainable construction in spring 2014 and should subsequently become a means to support the learning of construction professionals. CAPTUS design idea and its prototypes are about mobile and wearable recording of situations and experiences occurring during work practices and using these clips as a basis for learning resources, and to experiment when moving image is the preferred method for supporting personal learning.

For first year prototype of CAPTUS we have built an Android application to save and annotate short video clips. The application is called ‘Ach So!’ and it aims to support rapid recording of situations arising in the workplace. Recorded clips are given genres ‘problem’, ‘problem solved’, ‘tricks of trade’ and ‘don’t do this’. This genre-based scaffolding helps the users to get used to short video clips for specific purposes instead of prepared ‘scripted’ videos. Clips can be annotated by pointing and adding textual notes to interesting targets. The annotations and other metadata situating the video to place, time and professional roles is sent to Social Semantic Servers to build domain knowledge and to help finding relevant clips and to enhance the data layers of the project. Clips can also be linked to any existing QR- or barcodes to permanently connect clips with artefacts or locations.

With CAPTUS we propose that in workplace and informal learning ‘meaning making’ can be extended to situations without linguistic representations of problems and solutions. Learner or guide instead focuses on events where the look or feel is wrong and solutions that seem or feel right or true. In traditional tutoring and guidance, this nonverbal scaffolding activity can be pointing, showing by example or by undergoing some experience together and telling to focus (to feel, or to look) on certain aspect of it. People are natural at giving this kind of assistance in collaborative situations, but worse at chaining these scaffolding activities together as monologues or lessons without cues from learner. The latter is the case when recording lessons or instructions. We assume that by recording single scaffolding activities at time, to one clip for each activity, this shortcoming can be overcome and guidance can be recorded with necessary ease.

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