Prototyping Web-Based and Mobile Apps for Informal Learning: A Semantic Video Annotation Scenario (SeViAnno)

At the Joint Summer School in Technology Enhanced Learning (JTEL) 2013 in Limassol, Cyprus, we held a workshop about semantic video annotation (SeViAnno) as a scaffold for bridging formal and informal learning at the workplace. The workshop was organized as part of our involvement in the Learning Layers EU project. The main objective of the workshop was to actively engage PhD students in design and prototyping activities within the Learning Layers project.

resultsThe workshop audience was composed of PhD students and experts in the TEL domain. The  workshop generated lively discussions in an international, multicultural and dynamic environment about the core research concepts in the Learning Layers project, including learning scaffolds, interaction with digital and physical artifacts and mobile learning. The event turned out to be a good occasion for raising interest around the project and possibly attracting research collaborations for the future.


The students were asked to explore different existing user interfaces for semantic video annotation. They were encouraged to explore the features of the classical Web-based SeViAnno application, of a Widget-based SeViAnno version capable of user interface distribution and of AnViAnno, a vesion running on Android.  After a round of reflection on these different user interface metaphors the participants were asked to design apps and create ideas on how to exploit semantic video annotation for bridging formal and informal learning experiences at the workplace. As a starting point, they were provided with material gathered from application partners in the Learning Layers project by involving the end-user clusters from the construction domain.

Among the ideas discussed as an outcome were annotated 3D animation videos of expected finalized construction work, improving the communication between actors (e.g. master, architect, skilled and apprentice workers, etc.) through semantic video annotation, gamification of the annotation process, real-time feedback through questions, as well as rating and reenactment/circular filming for achieving the best performances in certain scenarios.

IMG_4425Furthermore, it was presumed that semantic annotations are able to capture and characterize work practices––e.g. expected location of various construction artifacts, the sequence of steps necessary in the construction work, and so forth. The annotations could be used to improve the communication between the workers and the masters and ease the capturing and assessment of the work activities. A feedback cycle was also mentioned, where videos can be revised and enriched with new/revised annotations, as a result of the collaboration between workers and masters and the identification of problems and knowledge gaps. Therefore, product reengineering might be necessary or the whole annotation and meaning-making process can be repeated until all involved parties feel confident about the different stages of a construction project.


For maintaining contact with workshop participants and other persons interested in the Learning Layers project and the SeViAnno use case, a design team was established to further promote the ideas generated in the workshop. A dedicated project “JTEL13 Workshop” was also created in the Requirements Bazaar, where everyone can follow the developments in the design team and contribute with new requirements for scaffolding informal learning and peer production by using semantic video annotation.

The workshop slides are available on Slideshare:

More information can also be found at:

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!

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