On Modeling Learning Communities

  • Zinayida PetrushynaEmail author
  • Ralf Klamma
  • Milos Kravcik
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9307)


The aim to support learning communities by Web 2.0 technology leads to their investigation through the prism of learning theories. However, self-observation and self-modeling requires appropriate tools and skills. In this paper we focus on users of a forum platform and propose several tools that perform community detection, social network analysis, text mining, natural language processing, and clustering. The outcomes serve as inputs for community models that are automatically established using the i* information modeling approach. Stakeholders can recognize issues in their communities by visual analytics of the models. Based on this, they can refine community learning processes and community environments by retrieving new community requirements from the models. The process of model establishment was evaluated by experts in i* information modeling and the results show their acceptance of the proposed techniques. This solution enables also support of various well-known modeling approaches (like IMS Learning Design).


Learning communities Modeling forum communities Communities of practice i* Modeling 



The work of Zinayida Petrushyna was supported by NRW State within the B-IT Research School and RWTH Aachen University. This work was partially funded within the FP7 ICT Work Programme of the European Community: Learning Layers - Scaling up Technologies for Informal Learning in SME Clusters (, grant no: 318209).


  1. 1.
    Wenger, E.: Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Vygotsky, L.: Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1978)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Engeström, Y.: Learning by Expanding. Orienta-Konsultit Oy, Cambridge (1987)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Iandoli, L., Zollo, G.: Organizational Cognition and Learning: Building Systems for the Learning Organization. Information Science Pub, Hershey (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roberts, J.: Limits to communities of practice. J. Manage. Stud. 43(3), 623–639 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Krenge, J.A., Petrushyna, Z., Kravcik, M., Klamma, R.: Identification of learning goals in forum-based communities. In: Proceedings of the 11th ICALT, pp. 307–309 (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Petrushyna, Z., Klamma, R., Kravcik, M.: Designing during use: modeling of communities of practice. In: Proceedings of 4th IEEE DEST, pp. 612–617 (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wasserman, S., Faust, K.: Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1994)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Petrushyna, Z., Ruppert, A., Klamma, R., Renzel, D., Jarke, M.: i*-REST: light-weight i* modeling with RESTful web services. In: Proceedings of the 7th International i* Workshop at the 26th CAiSE (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yu, E.S.K.: Towards modelling and reasoning support for early-phase requirements engineering. In: Proceedings of the 3rd RE, pp. 226–235 (1997)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brusilovsky, P., Hsiao, I.-H., Folajimi, Y.: QuizMap: open social student modeling and adaptive navigation support with treemaps. In: Kloos, C.D., Gillet, D., Crespo García, R.M., Wild, F., Wolpers, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2011. LNCS, vol. 6964, pp. 71–82. Springer, Heidelberg (2011) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Florian, B., Glahn, C., Drachsler, H., Specht, M., Fabregat Gesa, R.: Activity-based learner-models for learner monitoring and recommendations in moodle. In: Kloos, C.D., Gillet, D., Crespo García, R.M., Wild, F., Wolpers, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2011. LNCS, vol. 6964, pp. 111–124. Springer, Heidelberg (2011) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Abel, F., Celik, I., Hauff, C., Hollink, L., Houben, G.J.: U-Sem: semantic enrichment, user modeling and mining of usage data on the social web. In: Proceedings of USEWOD2011 at the 20th WWW Conference (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Soller, A.: Supporting social interaction in an intelligent collaborative learning system. IJAIED 12, 40–62 (2001)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nodenot, T., Marquesuzaá, C., Laforcade, P., Sallaberry, C.: Model based engineering of learning situations for adaptive web based educational systems. In: Proceedings of the 13th WWW Conference, pp. 94–103 (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rebedea, T., Dascalu, M., Trausan-Matu, S., Banica, D., Gartner, A., Chiru, C., Mihaila, D.: Overview and preliminary results of using PolyCAFe for collaboration analysis and feedback generation. In: Wolpers, M., Kirschner, P.A., Scheffel, M., Lindstaedt, S., Dimitrova, V. (eds.) EC-TEL 2010. LNCS, vol. 6383, pp. 420–425. Springer, Heidelberg (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Settouti, L., Guin, N., Luengo, V., Mille, A.: Adaptable and reusable query patterns for trace-based learner modelling. In: Kloos, C.D., Gillet, D., Crespo García, R.M., Wild, F., Wolpers, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2011. LNCS, vol. 6964, pp. 384–397. Springer, Heidelberg (2011) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nistor, N., Dascalu, M., Trausan-Matu, S., Mihaila, D., Baltes, B., Smeaton, G.: Virtual communities of practice in academia: automated analysis of collaboration based on the social knowledge-building model. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Ley, T., Klamma, R., Harrer, A. (eds.) EC-TEL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8095, pp. 623–624. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Trausan-Matu, S., Dascalu, M., Rebedea, T.: PolyCAFe–automatic support for the polyphonic analysis of CSCL chats. Int. J. Comput. Support. Collab. Learn. 9(2), 127–156 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Suh, H.J., Lee, S.W.: Collaborative learning agent for promoting group interaction. ETRI 28(4), 461–474 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kleanthous, S., Dimitrova, V.: Semantic enhanced approach for modelling cognitive relationships in virtual communities. In: Proceedings of SociUM Workshop held at the 11th International Conference on UM (2007)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kleanthous, S., Dimitrova, V.: Analyzing community knowledge sharing behavior. In: De Bra, P., Kobsa, A., Chin, D. (eds.) UMAP 2010. LNCS, vol. 6075, pp. 231–242. Springer, Heidelberg (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Karam, R., Fraternali, P., Bozzon, A., Galli, L.: Modeling end-users as contributors in human computation applications. In: Abelló, A., Bellatreche, L., Benatallah, B. (eds.) MEDI 2012. LNCS, vol. 7602, pp. 3–15. Springer, Heidelberg (2012) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Grishman, R., Sundheim, B.: Message understanding conference-6: a brief history. In: Proceedings of GOLING, pp. 466–471 (1996)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Paramythis, A.: Adaptive support for collaborative learning with ims learning design: are we there yet. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Adaptive Collaboration Support, held at the 5th International Conference on AH, pp. 17–29 (2008)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Derntl, M., Neumann, S., Oberhuemer, P.: Lost in Interaction in IMS learning design runtime environments. Edu. Technol. Soc. 17(3), 332–342 (2014)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mylopoulos, J.: Information modeling in the time of the revolution. Inf. Syst. 23(3–4), 127–155 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Harrer, A., Pfahler, K., de Groot, R., Abdu, R.: Research on collaborative planning and reflection – methods and tools in the metafora project. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Ley, T., Klamma, R., Harrer, A. (eds.) EC-TEL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8095, pp. 139–150. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tammets, K., Laanpere, M., Ley, T., Pata, K.: Identifying problem-based scaffolding patterns in an online forum for construction professionals. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Ley, T., Klamma, R., Harrer, A. (eds.) EC-TEL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8095, pp. 526–531. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tabuenca, B., Kalz, M., Specht, M.: Lifelong learning hub: a seamless tracking tool for mobile learning. In: de Freitas, S., Rensing, C., Ley, T., Muñoz-Merino, P.J. (eds.) EC-TEL 2014. LNCS, vol. 8719, pp. 534–537. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Karkalas, S., Gutierrez-Santos, S.: Eclipse student (in)activity detection tool. In: de Freitas, S., Rensing, C., Ley, T., Muñoz-Merino, P.J. (eds.) EC-TEL 2014. LNCS, vol. 8719, pp. 572–573. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ruipérez-Valiente, J.A., Muñoz-Merino, P.J., Kloos, C.D.: A demonstration of ALAS-KA: a learning analytics tool for the khan academy platform. In: de Freitas, S., Rensing, C., Ley, T., Muñoz-Merino, P.J. (eds.) EC-TEL 2014. LNCS, vol. 8719, pp. 518–521. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Davies, J., Graff, M.: Performance in e-learning: online participation and student grades. Br. J. Edu. Technol. 36(4), 657–663 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Morris, L.V., Finnegan, C., Wu, S.S.: Tracking student behavior, persistence, and achievement in online courses. Internet High. Edu. 8(3), 221–231 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Deslauriers, L., Schelew, E., Wieman, C.: Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class. Sci. 332(6031), 862–864 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Palmer, S., Holt, D., Bray, S.: Does the discussion help? the impact of a formally assessed online discussion on final student results. Br. J. Edu. Technol. 39(5), 847–858 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Carceller, C., Dawson, S., Lockyer, L.: Improving academic outcomes: does participating in online discussion forums payoff? Int. J. Technol. Enhanced Learn. 5(2), 117–132 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Anderson, A., Huttenlocher, D., Kleinberg, J., Leskovec, J.: Engaging with massive online courses. In: Proceedings of the 23rd WWW Conference, pp. 687–698 (2014)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Klamma, R.: Community learning analytics – challenges and opportunities. In: Wang, J.-F., Lau, R. (eds.) ICWL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8167, pp. 284–293. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Blondel, V.D., Guillaume, J.L., Lambiotte, R., Lefebvre, E.: Fast unfolding of communities in large networks. J. Stat. Mech. 10, P10008 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gliwa, B., Saganowski, S., Zygmunt, A., Bródka, P., Kazienko, P., Kozlak, J.: Identification of group changes in blogosphere. In: Proceedings of ASONAM, pp. 1201–1206 (2012)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ferguson, R., Wei, Z., He, Y., Buckingham Shum, S.: An evaluation of learning analytics to identify exploratory dialogue in online discussions. In: Proceedings of the 3rd LAK Conference, pp. 85–93 (2013)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Pennebaker, J.W., Chung, C.K., Ireland, M., Gonzales, A., Booth, R.J.: The Development and Psychometric Properties of LIWC2007 (2007)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Zukier, H.: The paradigmatic and narrative modes in goal-guided inference. In: Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior, pp. 465–502. Guilford Press, New York (1986)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Yu, E.S.: Social modeling and i*. In: Borgida, A.T., Chaudhri, V.K., Giorgini, P., Yu, E.S. (eds.) Conceptual Modeling: Foundations and Applications. LNCS, vol. 5600, pp. 99–121. Springer, Heidelberg (2009) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ferreira, T.L., da Silva, A.R.: Foster an implicit community based on a newsletter tracking system. In: Meersman, R., Panetto, H., Dillon, T., Rinderle-Ma, S., Dadam, P., Zhou, X., Pearson, S., Ferscha, A., Bergamaschi, S., Cruz, I.F. (eds.) OTM 2012, Part I. LNCS, vol. 7565, pp. 398–415. Springer, Heidelberg (2012) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Dalpiaz, F., Horkoff, J., eds.: Proceedings of the 7th International i* Workshop at the 26th CAiSE, vol. 1157, CEUR (2014)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Krippendorff, K.: Estimating the reliability, systematic error, and random error of interval data. Edu. Psychol. Meas. 30(1), 61–70 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Derntl, M., Nicolaescu, P., Terkik, B., Klamma, R.: SynC-LD: synchronous collaborative IMS learning design authoring on the web. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Ley, T., Klamma, R., Harrer, A. (eds.) EC-TEL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8095, pp. 540–543. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Nicolaescu, P., Derntl, M., Klamma, R.: Browser-based collaborative modeling in near real-time. In: Proceedings of the 9th IEEE Collaboratecom 2013, pp. 335–344 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zinayida Petrushyna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ralf Klamma
    • 1
  • Milos Kravcik
    • 1
  1. 1.Advanced Community Information Systems GroupRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations