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Verbert K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Manouselis N.,Agro Know Technologies | Manouselis N.,University of Alcalá | Ochoa X.,ESPOL Polytechnic University | And 4 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies | Year: 2012

Recommender systems have been researched extensively by the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) community during the last decade. By identifying suitable resources from a potentially overwhelming variety of choices, such systems offer a promising approach to facilitate both learning and teaching tasks. As learning is taking place in extremely diverse and rich environments, the incorporation of contextual information about the user in the recommendation process has attracted major interest. Such contextualization is researched as a paradigm for building intelligent systems that can better predict and anticipate the needs of users, and act more efficiently in response to their behavior. In this paper, we try to assess the degree to which current work in TEL recommender systems has achieved this, as well as outline areas in which further work is needed. First, we present a context framework that identifies relevant context dimensions for TEL applications. Then, we present an analysis of existing TEL recommender systems along these dimensions. Finally, based on our survey results, we outline topics on which further research is needed. © 2011 IEEE.

Wetzels S.A.J.,Open Box Technologies | Kester L.,Open Box Technologies | Van Merrienboer J.J.G.,Open Box Technologies | Van Merrienboer J.J.G.,Maastricht University
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2011

This study investigates the effects of two prior knowledge activation strategies, namely, mobilisation and perspective taking, on learning. It is hypothesised that the effectiveness of these strategies is influenced by learners' prior domain knowledge. More specifically, mobilisation is expected to be the most effective activation strategy at lower levels of prior knowledge. Mobilisation is a bottom-up oriented strategy that serves a broad stage-setting function. It provides learners with a relevant context in which new information can be integrated, which might be especially beneficial for learners with lower levels of prior knowledge to help them extend their limited knowledge base. As prior knowledge increases, perspective taking is expected to become the most effective strategy for activating learners' prior knowledge. Perspective taking is a top-down oriented strategy that results in the activation of a corresponding schema. This schema guides the selection and processing of information relevant to the schema, which might especially support learners with higher levels of prior knowledge to refine their already elaborated knowledge base. The effectiveness of the activation strategies (in terms of learning task performance) was indeed influenced by learners' prior knowledge in the hypothesised direction. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kostons D.,Open Box Technologies | van Gog T.,Open Box Technologies | Paas F.,Open Box Technologies | Paas F.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Computers and Education | Year: 2010

Learner-controlled instruction is often found to be less effective for learning than fixed or adaptive system-controlled instruction. One possible reason for that finding is that students - especially novices - might not able to accurately assess their own performance and select tasks that fit their learning needs. Therefore, this explorative study investigated the differences in self-assessment and task-selection processes between effective and ineffective learners (i.e., in terms of learning gains) studying in a learner-controlled instructional environment. Results indicated that although effective learners could more accurately assess their own performance than ineffective learners, they used the same task aspects to select learning tasks. For effective learners, who were also more accurate self-assessors, the self-assessment criteria predicted subsequent task selection. The results are discussed, particularly with regard to their potential to provide guidelines for the design of a self-assessment and task-selection training. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kelle S.,Stuttgart Media University | Klemke R.,Open Box Technologies | Specht M.,Open Box Technologies
Educational Technology and Society | Year: 2013

Based on a previous analysis of game design patterns and related effects in an educational scenario, the following paper presents an experimental study. In the study a course for Basic Life Support training has been evaluated and two game design patterns have been applied to the course. The hypotheses evaluated in this paper relate to game design patterns that have been used for learning functions, expected to enhance the learning outcome and user experience. An experimental design has been carried out in order to get insight about effects of individual and combined game patterns in a Basic Life Support course. Based on the according educational objectives, the effects of two different game design patterns relevant for learning (a timer pattern and a score pattern) have been evaluated. This game was prototypically developed targeting the application on the healthcare domain (basic life support). The results show a significant interaction effect of the two patterns on the learning gain, as well as a strong covariate influence of the learners' age. © International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS).

Kalz M.,Open Box Technologies
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

In a recent study the crossdisciplinarity of the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning was analysed with science-overlay-maps and diversity measures. Results reveal that the crossdisciplinarity of the field has constantly increased over the last 10 years. Only in 2004, a significant decrease of interdisciplinary research could be identified. In this paper we take a closer look at the publications of this year and test our hypotheses for the decrease of crossdisciplinarity. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Bezdan E.,Open Box Technologies | Kester L.,Open Box Technologies | Kirschner P.A.,Open Box Technologies
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2013

The effects of four hypertext learning environments with a hierarchical graphical overview were studied on the coherence of the node sequence, extraneous load and comprehension. Navigation patterns were influenced by the type of overview provided (i.e., dynamic, static) and whether navigation was restricted (i.e., restricted, non-restricted). It was hypothesised that redundant use of the overview for inducing a high-coherence reading sequence would result in high extraneous load and low comprehension. Coherence was higher in the dynamic than in the static conditions. Coherence was also higher in the restricted than in the non-restricted conditions. Mental effort as a measure of extraneous load was higher at the end than at the beginning of the learning phase, especially in the dynamic restricted and the static non-restricted conditions, although there was no significant interaction. Comprehension was lowest in the dynamic restricted condition and highest in the dynamic non-restricted and static restricted conditions. Low comprehension in the dynamic restricted condition indicates that overviews can become redundant for reading sequence coherence, negatively impacting comprehension. The evidence suggests that severe restriction of navigation paths should be avoided and that continuous use of overviews such as in dynamic overviews may be detrimental to learning. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

It’s not that I don’t like his more surreal works, but for me the best movie David Lynch has ever made is The Straight Story, a tiny little film about a man riding his lawnmower across Iowa. Because when Lynch focuses his talents on the grand adventure of ordinary human experience as opposed to more absurd visions, the result is profoundly affecting. Lynch is not the chief architect behind Interview Project, but the adventure fits easily into that humanist tradition. Co-directed by Austin Lynch (Lynch’s son) and Jason S., Interview Project captures the results of an epic 70-day road trip spent interviewing Americans about their lives. Interviews were conducted with 124 people, which will result in 121 episodes being released every three days for the next year. The filmmaking involved in this series is spare yet elegant, as the directors intercut the interview segments with footage from the road, including lots of (so far, anyway) dry Southwestern landscape. It’s a concept that celebrates the little details that make up a great road trip, as well as the people you meet along the way. The series premiered on Monday, but waiting a bit to review it paid off. Episode 1 features Jess, 64 years old and hanging out on the side of the road in Needles, Calif., who bluntly relates the story of his life — from a stint in the army to being abandoned by his wife and children to… well, to the side of the road in Needles, Calif. He’s not nearly as dynamic as Tommy, the subject for Episode 2, and in comparing the two segments it’s clear the most successful episodes will probably be the ones in which the subject being interviewed isn’t just reflecting on his or her life, but has a story to tell. In Tommy’s case, he’s waiting out his probation before hopefully moving up to Montana with the love of his life — who’s also the reason he’s on probation in the first place. The process of selecting interview subjects, Austin Lynch said via email, “was very organic and based on a variety of factors, for example: the mood we were in, the time of day, the weather, the last person we interviewed, the song on the radio, what clothes the person was wearing…” When you have more than three months and 20,000 miles to cover, this process definitely works. But as simple as the project was, the immense amount of footage that resulted required a high-tech solution, which the team found in Open Box Technologies, which would allow them to upload any variety of file format to be automatically encoded, while also having the capacity to handle “lots and lots of viewers,” he said, adding, “Of course, we hope to push this feature right to the limit!” Will this series find an audience? Its high production values and tight running time give it a fighting chance, as does its inspiring populist message — though the amount of content that it will yield (121 episodes multiplied by 3 minutes is 363 minutes, which even over the course of a year is quite a commitment) might need some curating so that the best episodes aren’t lost in the mix. However, as David Lynch says in his trademark nasal deadpan during the project’s introductory video, “It’s so fascinating to look and listen to people.” Over the next year, you may want to continue checking in. If you’re not inspired to go out and explore the world a little yourself.

News Article | February 17, 2010

What do you do when your company has run out of cash and can’t seem to raise any more, but hasn’t been able to find a buyer through the usual channels? If you’re Open Box Technologies, you sell yourself on eBay. The company has raised $2.5 million from angel and early-stage investors since being founded in 2005, but couldn’t close additional funding necessary to keep it alive. So now, in an effort to find a buyer, Open Box Technologies, along with its white-label video publishing platform SesameVault, has gone up for auction on eBay. The Open Box auction began this morning at 9:01 am EST, and will conclude a week later, on Feb. 24 at 9:01 am EST. The company isn’t the first to sell itself on eBay; in 2006, web calendar firm Kiko put itself up for sale on the auction site, and was bought by Tucows for $258,000. But Kiko, which was founded by Justin Kan (who went on to found live streaming firm, was built for about $50,000, which was the reserve price of the eBay auction. Given the amount of funding that it has raised over the past five years, Open Box Technologies CEO Cameron Brain says he hopes to sell for much more than what Kiko received. Open Box is of course interested in finding the highest bidder, but Brain says that the company probably won’t just hand the keys over once the eBay auction is over. At the conclusion of the auction, he expects to enter negotiations with the winner to determine how much of the staff will be retained and how the new owner plans to handle the transition. Brain expects that any buyer who wins the bid will continue to operate the SesameVault platform while integrating the technology with its own business. Brain says he’s placing the company up for auction on eBay primarily to drum up interest from potential bidders that Open Box has not been able to reach through its own acquisition talks. And while the eBay auction will be public, Brain says he’ll continue exploring acquisition opportunities through back channels with companies that might not want to have their interest made public. If Open Box gets a better offer from a private bidder, it will go with that instead. So what will the lucky winner of Open Box’s auction actually get? According to the press release, the company is selling the SesameVault website, application and platform, in addition to Open Box Technologies’ intellectual property portfolio. All technology infrastructure, including the servers, storage, and networking equipment needed to run the application will be included in the sale, as well as all the company’s office furniture. The winner will also get all of SesameVault’s customers and users. Open Box Technologies has about 100 paying customers on the platform now, most of which are small and medium sized businesses, that deliver more than one million video streams each month. According to the press release, a “killer ping pong table” will also be included.

News Article | February 25, 2010

Last week, Open Box Technologies put itself on the auction block, setting up a one-week eBay auction to sell all of the technology and infrastructure related to its SesameVault online video management platform. And though that auction ended yesterday without any bids, Open Box CEO Cameron Brian said the company is satisfied with the interest the auction generated and confident that it will find a buyer in the next few weeks. Brain said in a phone interview that over the past week, Open Box Technologies has heard from 11 different companies that have shown an interest in acquiring it. Open Box is now in due diligence discussions with six potential acquirers, Brian said. “It became clear after a few days that no one was going to bid on the eBay auction, but it truly was a great lead generation mechanism,” he told me. “In part, we achieved what we set out to do, which was to attract companies that we hadn’t identified as buyers.” So what’s next? Now that the eBay auction has closed, Open Box is conducting all acquisition discussions directly. The company has signed NDAs with and handed over financial information to interested parties, and has set a deadline of next Friday, March 5th, for proposals to be submitted. Brain said he expects a range of proposals, based on the different profiles of the companies that have approached Open Box Technologies about an acquisition. All of the company’s potential acquirers are in the online video space, Brain said, and all operate in the business-to-business market, so it’s not like someone is looking to turn SesameVault into a consumer offering. Open Box Technologies has received interest from U.S. and European firms, and while most are privately held, at least one is publicly traded. While Brain and his investors are obviously looking to get the best dollar value for the company’s assets, he’s also hoping to find a buyer with which he can easily integrate SesameVault into its exiting business. Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required): Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business

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