Towards Responsive Open Learning Environments: The ROLE Interoperability Framework

  • Sten Govaerts
  • Katrien Verbert
  • Daniel Dahrendorf
  • Carsten Ullrich
  • Manuel Schmidt
  • Michael Werkle
  • Arunangsu Chatterjee
  • Alexander Nussbaumer
  • Dominik Renzel
  • Maren Scheffel
  • Martin Friedrich
  • Jose Luis Santos
  • Erik Duval
  • Effie L-C. Law
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6964)


In recent years, research on mash-up technologies for learning environments has gained interest. The overall goal is to enrich or replace traditional learning management systems (LMS) with mash-ups of widgets and services that can be easily combined and configured to fit the learner needs. This paper presents the implemented prototype of the ROLE interoperability framework and a business and an educational case study. The framework provides a common technical infrastructure to assemble widgets and services in Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). Evaluation results indicate that the perceived usefulness and usability is high for one case study in which a mature LMS was enriched with ROLE technology. In the second case study, an early mash-up prototype was deployed. The usefulness and usability of this early prototype were rated low, but the case study provides interesting insights for further research and development.


personal learning environments interoperability mash-ups widgets standards and specifications 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ashley, H., Corbett, J., Jones, D., Garside, B., Rambaldi, G.: Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development. Participatory Learning and Action 59, 8–20(13) (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Birman, K.P., Joseph, T.A.: Exploiting virtual synchrony in distributed systems. In: SOSP 1987: Proc. of the 11th ACM Symp. on Operating Systems Principles, pp. 123–138 (1987)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cáceres, M.: Widget packaging and configuration, W3C working draft, March 22 (2011),
  4. 4.
    Dalsgaard, C.: Social software: E-learning beyond learning management systems. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning (2) (September 2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    DCMI Usage Board: DCMI Metadata Terms. DCMI Recommendation, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (December 2006),
  6. 6.
    Ebner, M., Taraghi, B.: Personal learning environment for higher education - a first prototype. In: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2010, pp. 1158–1166. AACE, Chesapeake (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Eugster, P.T., Felber, P.A., Guerraroui, R., Kermarrec, A.M.: The Many Faces of Publish/Subscribe. ACM Computing Surveys 35(2), 114–131 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Friedrich, M., Wolpers, M., Shen, R., Ullrich, C., Klamma, R., Renzel, D., Richert, A., von der Heiden, B.: Early results of experiments with responsive open learning environments. Journal of Universal Computer Science 17(3), 451–471 (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Friedrich, M., Wolpers, M.: CAM schema and library,
  10. 10.
    Fruhmann, K., Nussbaumer, A., Albert, D.: A psycho-pedagogical framework for self-regulated learning in a responsive open learning environment. In: Proc. of the International Conference eLearning Baltics Science (eLBa Science 2010), Rostock, Germany (July 2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Govaerts, S., El Helou, S., Denis, G., Duval, E.: A federated search and social recommendation widget. In: Proc. of the 2nd Int. Workshop on Social Recommender Systems (SRS 2011) in conjunction with ACM CSCW 2011 (March 2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Govaerts, S., Verbert, K., Klerkx, J., Duval, E.: Visualizing activities for self-reflection and awareness. In: Luo, X., Spaniol, M., Wang, L., Li, Q., Nejdl, W., Zhang, W. (eds.) ICWL 2010. LNCS, vol. 6483, pp. 91–100. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Guo, Y., Rui, J., Zhou, H.: Pervasive and personal learning environment using service-oriented architecture: A framework design. In: International Conference on Networking and Distributed Computing, pp. 153–155 (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    van den Haak, M.J., de Jong, M.D., Schellens, P.J.: Evaluation of an informational web site: Three variants of the think-aloud method compared. Tech. Comm. 54(1), 58–71 (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hickson, I.: The Web Sockets API. Tech. rep., W3C, W3C Working Draft (December 2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hickson, I.: HTML5 web messaging. Working draft, W3C (March 2011),
  17. 17.
    Isaksson, E., Palmér, M.: OpenApplication specification,
  18. 18.
    Isaksson, E., Palmér, M.: Usability and inter-widget communication in PLEs. In: Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Mashup Personal Learning Environments (September 2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Maness, J.M.: Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology 3(2) (June 2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Millard, P., Saint-Andre, P., Meijer, R.: XEP-0060: Publish-Subscribe. Tech. rep., XMPP Standards Foundation(July 2010), draft Standard,
  21. 21.
    Mitchell-Wong, J., Kowalczyk, R., Roshelova, A., Joy, B., Tsai, H.: Opensocial: From social networks to social ecosystem. In: Digital EcoSystems and Technologies Conference, DEST 2007. Inaugural IEEE-IES, pp. 361–366 (2007)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Moffit, J., Cestari, E.: An XMPP Sub-protocol for WebSocket. Tech. rep., Internet Engineering Taskforce (December 2010), draft Standard,
  23. 23.
    Paterson, I., Smith, D., Saint-Andre, P., Moffitt, J.: XEP-0124: Bidirectional-streams Over Synchronous HTTP (BOSH). Tech. rep., XMPP Standards Foundation (July 2010),
  24. 24.
    Paulsen, M.F.: Experiences with learning management systems in 113 European institutions. Educational Technology & Society 6(4), 134–148 (2003)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pu, P., Chen, L.: A user-centric evaluation framework of recommender systems. In: ACM Conf. on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2010), Workshop on User-Centric Evaluation of Recommender Systems and Their Interfaces (UCERSTI 2010), pp. 14–21 (2010)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Renzel, D., Höbelt, C., Dahrendorf, D., Friedrich, M., Mödritscher, F., Verbert, K., Govaerts, S., Palmér, M., Bogdanov, E.: Collaborative development of a PLE for language learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) 5(S1), 31–40 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Saint-Andre, P.: RFC 3920 – Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core. Tech. rep., Jabber Software Foundation (October 2004),
  28. 28.
    Saint-Andre, P.: RFC 3921 – Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Instant Messaging and Presence. Tech. rep., Jabber Software Foundation (October 2004),
  29. 29.
    Saint-Andre, P.: XEP-0045: Multi-User Chat. Tech. rep., XMPP Standards Foundation (July 2008), draft Standard,
  30. 30.
    Schmitz, H.-C., Scheffel, M., Friedrich, M., Jahn, M., Niemann, K., Wolpers, M.: CAMera for PLE. In: Cress, U., Dimitrova, V., Specht, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2009. LNCS, vol. 5794, pp. 507–520. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Scott, B., Neil, T.: Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions. O’Reilly, Sebastopol (2009)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C.: Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2004)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sire, S., Paquier, M., Vagner, A., Bogaerts, J.: A messaging API for inter-widgets communication. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on World Wide Web. WWW 2009, pp. 1115–1116. ACM, New York (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ullrich, C., Borau, K., Luo, H., Tan, X., Shen, L., Shen, R.: Why Web 2.0 is Good for Learning and for Research: Principles and Prototypes. In: Proceedings of the 17th International World Wide Web Conference, pp. 705–714. ACM Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Wilson, S., Sharples, P., Popat, K., Griffiths, D.: Moodle Wave: Reinventing the VLE using widget technologies. In: Proceedings of 2nd Workshop Mash-Up Personal Learning Envrionments (MUPPLE 2009). Workshop in conj. with 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2009): Synergy of Disciplines, pp. 47–58. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wolpers, M., Martin, G., Najjar, J., Duval, E.: Attention metadata in knowledge and learning management. In: Proceedings of I-Know 2006: 6th International Conference on Knowledge Management, September 2006, pp. 1–8 (2006)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zimmerman, B.J.: Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory Into Practice 41(2), 65–70 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sten Govaerts
    • 1
  • Katrien Verbert
    • 1
  • Daniel Dahrendorf
    • 2
  • Carsten Ullrich
    • 3
  • Manuel Schmidt
    • 4
  • Michael Werkle
    • 4
  • Arunangsu Chatterjee
    • 5
  • Alexander Nussbaumer
    • 7
  • Dominik Renzel
    • 6
  • Maren Scheffel
    • 8
  • Martin Friedrich
    • 8
  • Jose Luis Santos
    • 1
  • Erik Duval
    • 1
  • Effie L-C. Law
    • 5
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.imc information multimedia communication AGSaarbrueckenGermany
  3. 3.Dept. of Computer Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Festo Lernzentrum Saar GmbHSt. IngbertGermany
  5. 5.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  6. 6.Lehrstuhl Informatik 5, RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  7. 7.Knowledge Management InstituteGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  8. 8.Schloss BirlinghovenFraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FITSankt AugustinGermany

Personalised recommendations