Feedback Authoring for Exploratory Activities: The Case of a Logo-Based 3D Microworld

  • Sokratis KarkalasEmail author
  • Manolis Mavrikis
  • Marios Xenos
  • Chronis Kynigos
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 739)


This paper presents AuthELO an authoring environment that can be used for the configuration of logging and authoring of automated feedback for exploratory learning objects (ELOs). ELOs are web components (widgets) that can be integrated with learning platforms to synthesise highly interactive learning environments. AuthELO has been developed in the context of the MCSquared project that is developing a platform for authoring interactive educational e-books. This platform comprises an extendable set of diverse widgets that can be used to generate instances of exploratory activities that can be employed in various learning scenarios. AuthELO was designed and developed to provide a simple, common and efficient authoring interface that can normalise the diversity of these widgets and give the ability to non-experts to easily develop or customise the feedback that is provided to students using a data-driven approach. In this paper we describe the architecture and design characteristics of AuthELO and a small-scale evaluation with activities in a logo-based 3D microworld called Malt+. We reflect on both the challenges of the authoring process and the pedagogical potential of the feedback when these activities are used by students.


Feedback authoring Exploratory learning environments 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement N\(^{\circ }\)610467 - project ‘M C Squared’. This publication reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein


  1. 1.
    Healy, L., Kynigos, C.: Charting the microworld territory over time: design and construction in mathematics education. ZDM 42, 63–76 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mavrikis, M., Noss, R., Hoyles, C., Geraniou, E.: Sowing the seeds of algebraic generalization: designing epistemic affordances for an intelligent microworld. J. Comput. Assist. Learn. 29, 68–84 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mavrikis, M., Gutierrez-Santos, S., Geraniou, E., Noss, R.: Design requirements, student perception indicators and validation metrics for intelligent exploratory learning environments. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 17, 1605–1620 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bunt, A., Conati, C., Huggett, M., Muldner, K.: On improving the effectiveness of open learning environments through tailored support for exploration. In: 10th World Conference of Artificial Intelligence and Education, AIED 2001 (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gutierrez-Santos, S., Mavrikis, M., Magoulas, G.D., et al.: A separation of concerns for engineering intelligent support for exploratory learning environments. J. Res. Pract. Inf. Technol. 44, 347 (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blessing, S., Gilbert, S., Ourada, S., Ritter, S.: Lowering the bar for creating model-tracing intelligent tutoring systems. Front. Artif. Intell. Appl. 158, 443 (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mitrovic, A.: Fifteen years of constraint-based tutors: what we have achieved and where we are going. User Model. User-Adap. Inter. 22, 39–72 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mitrovic, A., Martin, B., Suraweera, P., Zakharov, K., Milik, N., Holland, J., McGuigan, N.: Aspire: an authoring system and deployment environment for constraint-based tutors (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Munro, A.: Authoring simulation-centered learning environments with rides and vivids. In: Murray, T., Blessing, S.B., Ainsworth, S. (eds.) Authoring Tools for Advanced Technology Learning Environments, pp. 61–91. Springer, Dordrecht (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brusilovsky, P.: Developing adaptive educational hypermedia systems: from design models to authoring tools. In: Murray, T., Blessing, S.B., Ainsworth, S. (eds.) Authoring tools for advanced technology Learning Environments, pp. 377–409. Springer, Dordrecht (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Razzaq, L., Patvarczki, J., Almeida, S.F., Vartak, M., Feng, M., Heffernan, N.T., Koedinger, K.R.: The assistment builder: supporting the life cycle of tutoring system content creation. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol. 2, 157–166 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ainsworth, S., Major, N., Grimshaw, S., Hayes, M., Underwood, J., Williams, B., Wood, D.: Redeem: simple intelligent tutoring systems from usable tools. In: Murray, T., Blessing, S.B., Ainsworth, S. (eds.) Authoring Tools for Advanced Technology Learning Environments, pp. 205–232. Springer, Dordrecht (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Aleven, V., Mclaren, B.M., Sewall, J., Koedinger, K.R.: A new paradigm for intelligent tutoring systems: example-tracing tutors. Int. J. Artif. Intell. Educ. 19, 105–154 (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koedinger, K.R., Aleven, V., Heffernan, N., McLaren, B., Hockenberry, M.: Opening the door to non-programmers: authoring intelligent tutor behavior by demonstration. In: Lester, J.C., Vicari, R.M., Paraguaçu, F. (eds.) ITS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3220, pp. 162–174. Springer, Heidelberg (2004). doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-30139-4_16 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sottilare, R.A., Goldberg, B.S., Brawner, K.W., Holden, H.K.: A modular framework to support the authoring and assessment of adaptive computer-based tutoring systems (cbts). In: Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ginon, B., Thai, L.V., Jean-Daubias, S., Lefevre, M., Champin, P.-A.: Adding epiphytic assistance systems in learning applications using the SEPIA system. In: Rensing, C., Freitas, S., Ley, T., Muñoz-Merino, P.J. (eds.) EC-TEL 2014. LNCS, vol. 8719, pp. 138–151. Springer, Cham (2014). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-11200-8_11 Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mayer, R.E.: Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? Am. Psychol. 59, 14 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Klahr, D., Nigam, M.: The equivalence of learning paths in early science instruction effects of direct instruction and discovery learning. Psychol. Sci. 15, 661–667 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Karkalas, S., Mavrikis, M., Charlton, P.: The web integration & interoperability layer (wiil). turning web content into learning content using a lightweight integration and interoperability technique. In: 7th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development (KEOD) (2015)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Karkalas, S., Bokhove, C., Charlton, P., Mavrikis, M.: Towards configurable learning analytics for constructionist mathematical e-books. In: Intelligent Support in Exploratory and Open-ended Learning Environments Learning Analytics for Project Based and Experiential Learning Scenarios, p. 17(2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Diamantidis, D., Economakou, K., Kaitsoti, A., Kynigos, C., Moustaki, F.: Social creativity and meaning generation in a constructionist environment. In: CERME 9-Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, pp. 2340–2346 (2015)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zantzos, I., Kynigos, C.: Differential approximation of a cylindrical helix by secondary school students. In: Proceedings of the Constructionism 2012 Conference - Theory, Practice and Impact. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens (2012)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Latsi, M., Kynigos, C.: Meanings about dynamic aspects of angle while changing perspectives in a simulated 3d space. In: Proceedings of the 35th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Ankara, Turkey (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kynigos, C., et al.: Half-baked logo microworlds as boundary objects in integrated design. Inf. Educ. Int. J. 6, 335–359 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sokratis Karkalas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manolis Mavrikis
    • 1
  • Marios Xenos
    • 2
  • Chronis Kynigos
    • 2
  1. 1.UCL Knowledge LabUCL Institute of EducationLondonUK
  2. 2.Educational Technology LabNational Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations