WP4 – Digitally-Enhanced Artefacts, Mobiles and Multimedia

The main objective of WP4 is to design and develop an artefact layer, a set of mobile and contextual tools that support practices of personal and organisational learning in physical contexts. We understand workplace learning in physical contexts as a form of distributed cognition that seeks to off-load and share cognitively demanding tasks in increasingly efficient manner by delegating them to right people or devices. The artefact layer will focus on digitally enhanced artefacts in physical work contexts, drawing on social semantic layer (WP5) through shared infrastructure (WP6). The challenge for WP4 is to keep artefact layer simple and focused so that the support it offers can be instantly recognized in possible learning situations, and flexible and deep enough that the different demands of different learners and situations can be met.

The artefact layer will enable capturing and annotating learning situations and sending them for processing in other layers. The artefact layer will also produce user interface for receiving topical instructions and scaffolding for learning, based on approximations of learning context and user queries. Thus, the Artefact layer incorporates physical tools and artefacts that can deliver their own learning opportunities by allowing tools and locations to be tagged as learning contexts. Learning resources and scaffolding is then delivered through mobile devices. The learning context is determined from the user profile and location data or QR- or RFID-tags.

Artefact layer aims to use future proof formats and technologies to work in wide range of devices. As far as possible, all media captured, created, annotated or shared should be able to be deployed in open, mobile browser friendly formats. Interaction with existing mobile tools for capturing and sharing will be considered if the workflow can be streamlined for purposes of the project. When mobile devices are used as the artefact layer, the essential methods for workplace communication like making phone calls should also be supported.

In addition to general aims of the artefact layer there are few preliminary solutions that can be developed and
explored. The first would be a tool to record task clips, where task clips are recordings of targets of the task
and vocalized intentions of doing a task that are automatically sent to database and streamed to instructors.
The announcement of intention gives instructor an opportunity to interrupt or to allow proceeding with the task.
Task clips can modify individual actions into complementary actions, where the task can be negotiated and confirmed before the actual work, thus increasing the confidence of both learner and mentor. Task clips also ease reviewing and comparing the daily tasks to those of more experienced workers. A second preliminary tool proposition is the use of ambient lights together with active RFID tags to make visible objects that would require more attention based on their status. These objects can be broken, need refilling or need to be transported to their right place. The lights display that the objects need to be interacted and the RFID key can be used to query the exact problem.

Specific objectives of the workpackage

  • O4.1 Understand the role of physical context and artefacts for personal and organisational learning in SMEs.
  • O4.2 Design and create a mobile interface for capturing, annotating and sharing of mobile learning content for and by the learners about their interaction with physical artefacts.
  • O4.3 Establish Artefact Layer as an interface to the social semantic layer, learning content and scaffolded instruction and infrastructure provided by WP2, WP3, WP5 and WP6.

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