Tag Archives: research

A near complete history of EC funded research

More transparency where EU-funded research is going has always been a desirable. Also to know who is active in it and to what extent. ResearchRanking (beta) is an interesting attempt to rating European research institutions by participation in EU-funded projects. Total funding has been relatively steady over the past two decades:

EU funding statsThe site allows search by institution to see how successful they have been in getting funding, whether as participants or as coordinators. When looking at my own institution, the data is still incomplete, only covering Framework Programmes, but since it is beta, I expect more to come. Still, it’s a good start and judging from how our project activities from the past are identified, it looks representative for the work we are doing.

Interesting to inspect are the ranking tables, where usual suspects CNRF (France) and Fraunhofer (Germany) are leading the 2010 table.

In summary, the site provides opportunities for interesting browsing and it’s worth spending a few moments on it. Finally, it seems, the idea of Open Data has reached the European Commission and we can expect more insights into the workings of the ivory tower in Brussels.


Some research questions for mobile learning

Mobile technologies change the ways we learn, work, and play. One day, they may fully replace stationary computer systems, at least in everyday activities. If we see mobile developments as a trajectory for the transition from stationary computing to fully flexible, nomadic, mobile computing, a number of challenges present themselves. These challenges lead to research questions we need to address:

Fragmentation is one of the challenges across all three perspectives. It encompasses the management and orchestration of fragmented infoscapes, learning networks, pedagogic strategies, and technical devices. The management of these environments is typically driven by user preferences, either individually, or by inter-personal consensus. The research question we derive from this, is how we can better bridge fragmented mobile environments to achieve more effective learning.

A consequence of fragmentation is distraction and interrupts. This is typically caused by having too many devices or activities on standby and alert. Monitoring a variety of information channels, receiving alerts, and the constant anxiety of missing the all-important
information, leads to information overload and distress. We need to ask ourselves what filter mechanisms can be developed and used to reduce this cognitive attention load.

Mobile devices encompass an increasing number of data sensors that allow for environmental perception never before experienced. There is great opportunity in this data, but also a number of issues (mainly relating to privacy and ownership). Exploiting the data produced by mobile devices and applications for learning analytics should become a priority for investigation. This would include automated context analysis and interaction monitoring. In my view this could lead to innovative approaches for personalisation and prediction.