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How can Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology inform Personalization, Adaptation, and Recommendation?

by Darko Dugosija last modified Jun 15, 2011 05:34 PM

Organizer Name

Milos Kravcik, Ralf Klamma, Zinayida Petrushyna

Type of Workshop

demo and collaboration

Short Description

Psycho-pedagogical theories have a usually underestimated high impact on adaptive education. In the ROLE and TeLLNet projects, a primary goal is to identify functional and non-functional requirements specifications, with the aim to integrate them into a psycho-pedagogically sound framework as a basis for the development of a highly responsive open learning platform. The results of behavioural and cognitive psychology show that humans make mistakes predictably and this knowledge can be harnessed to support them. Various biases emerge from the interplay between the automatic and reflective system driving our thinking processes. Apparently there are opportunities for choice architecture to influence options in a way that will support choosers to act in their own interest. The main challenge here is to offer nudges that will most likely help and least likely inflict harm, preserving freedom of choice. In this workshop we demonstrate some of human cognitive biases and ask participants to elaborate in collaborative and interactive way on possible consequences for requirements specification of adaptive and recommender learning systems. Our aim is to raise awareness of some outcomes from behavioral and cognitive psychology that can be relevant for the design of future responsive learning solutions. This topic is closely related to the grand challenge on contextualising virtual learning. The context provides clues for learning and an open issue is how technology should support adaptive learning experiences in an appropriate way.

Lecturer Biography

Dr. Milos Kravcik has a doctoral degree in applied informatics from Comenius UniversityBratislava. Currently, he works as research associate at the information systems chair, RWTHAachen University. In the past he has worked at the Comenius University in Slovakia,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT in Germany and at the OpenUniversity in the Netherlands. He has been dealing with Technology Enhanced Learning since1988. He has participated in nine EU funded projects and several other ones, some of which he has coordinated. He is executive peer-reviewer of several journals, including Journal of Educational Technology & Society and IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, as wellas editorial board member for the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.

Dr. Ralf Klamma has a doctoral degree in computer science from RWTH Aachen University. Currently, he leads the research group “metadata in community information systems” at the information systems chair, RWTH Aachen University. His research covers information systems theory, the application of information systems in engineering, cultural sciences, and virtual communities, social software, social network analysis, technology enhanced learning, geographic information systems, cultural heritage management, and new product development. He is responsible for several EU and German Science Foundation (DFG) funded projects. He has chaired all five EU NoE PROLEARN Summer Schools, the European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) 2007 and the International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) 2009. His full CV can be found at

Zinayida Petrushyna is a PhD student at the Databases and Information Systems department in RWTH Aachen University. She is interested in social networks and learning communities Her dissertation is built on the ideas of learning media observations, data analysis and simulations. She handles the data mostly using social network analysis and natural language processing and makes reasoning based on Community of Practice concept and Actor Network Theory. She works on the TeLLNet project, teaches under others Web Science, and organized "Social Network in TEL"workshop at the last Summer School.

Reading List

Gilbert, D. T. (2006), Stumbling on happiness. New York: Knopf. Link

Taleb, N. N. (2007), The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random Hous. Link

Thaler, R. H., Sunstein, C. R (2008), Nudge: Improving Decisions on Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Thaler, R. H., Sunstein, Cass R. and Balz, J. P., Choice Architecture (April 2, 2010). Available at SSRN:

Other Material

Pre-Summer School events planned

Survey on Present Learning

Post-Summer School events planned

questionnaire comes

Expected outcomes/objectives

raised awareness of cognitive biases and their consequences for design of learning
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