KMi wins over 2 million euros in funding from H2020

Once again, the lab has been successful in winning significant sums of funding from Horizon 2020. As a result, we are pleased to announce four new projects due to begin in January 2016.
The lab won funding for four of the six successful ICT projects at The Open University. These projects will be pushing the boundaries in terms of moving analytics into the everyday, helping to deliver MOOCs through collaborative technology and integrating the use of wearables.

What’s more, as mentioned at KMi’s 20th anniversary, social responsibility is a recurring theme throughout our work. The new projects detailed below focus on supporting learners in different contexts and helping us deal with crisis situations. Of the four new projects, we are proud to be coordinating one – COMRADES.

AFEL (Analytics for Everyday Learning)
PI – Mathieu d’Aquin

The goal is to develop, pilot and evaluate methods and applications, which advance informal/collective learning when it takes place in online social environments.

Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining traditionally relate to the analysis and exploration of data coming from learning environments, especially to understand learners’ behaviours. However, studies have for a long time demonstrated that learning activities happen outside of formal educational platforms, also. This includes informal and collective learning usually associated, as a side effect, with other (social) environments and activities.

AFEL will tackle the main challenges of informal learning analytics through 1) developing the tools and techniques necessary to capture information about learning activities from (not necessarily educational) online social environments; 2) creating methods for the analysis of such informal learning data, based on combining visual analytics with cognitive models of learning and collaboration; and 3) demonstrating the potential of the approach in improving the understanding of informal learning, and the way it is better supported; 4) evaluate all the former items in real world large-scale applications and platforms.

Coordinator – Harith Alani

This project will build an intelligent collective resilience platform to help communities to reconnect, respond, and recover from crisis situations.

The rise of social media as an information channel during crises has become key to community resilience and response. However, existing crisis awareness applications, such as Ushahidi, while vital for information gathering, often struggle to address the challenges of real-time social data analysis and aggregation of crisis micro-events, and filtering of unverified content and reporters. 

COMRADES will achieve its aims through an interdisciplinary, socio-technical approach, which will draw on the latest advances in computational social science, social computing, real-time analytics, text and social media analysis, and Linked Open Data. The open source COMRADES platform will go beyond the now standard data collection, mapping, and manual analysis functions provided by the underpinning, widely used Ushahidi crisis mapping tool, to include new intelligent algorithms aimed at helping communities, citizens, and humanitarian services with analysing, verifying, monitoring, and responding to emergency events. 
COMRADES is funded under the CAPS (Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation) H2020 call, and its consortium consists of the Open University, I-Hub (Kenya), University of Sheffield, University of Agder (Norway), and Government To You (Brussels).


PI – John Domingue
This project will develop a state-of-the-art MOOC delivery platform which enables collaborative slide creation.
A major obstacle to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of education in Europe is the lack of widely available, accessible, multilingual, timely, engaging and high-quality educational material (i.e. OpenCourseWare). The creation of comprehensive OpenCourseWare (OCW) is tedious, time-consuming and expensive, with the effect, that often courseware employed by teachers, instructors and professors is incomplete, outdated and inaccessible to those with disabilities. With the open-source SlideWiki platform (available at the effort of the creation, translation and evolution of highly-structured remixable OCW can be widely shared using crowdsourcing.
As part of this project we will run four large-scale trials in secondary education, vocational and professional training, higher education and community-driven open-education. Each of these large-scale trials will be performed with hundreds of educators and thousands of learners in countries all over Europe.


PI – Fridolin Wild

Wearable TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) platforms enhance human abilities to acquire procedural knowledge on the factory floor.

Smarter products and services will improve workflows, enhancing (re)training of workers whose skill sets need upgrading to cyber-physical systems present in a Smart Factory. By building on multi-discipline research (e.g., human-centred methodology integrating cognitive models, ergonomics, an understanding of worker’s wellbeing) we will accelerate how we identify, acquire and exploit skills valued by industry.

WEKIT aims to encourage early adopters (e.g., in manufacturing) who will experienced Augmented Reality (AR) training in situ with live expert guidance, often in new situations, which have a high impact on effectiveness in production. WEKIT is strongly aligned with EU job/training policies (e.g., Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs). It enhances the industrial value chain, reduces fragmentation/cost and improves efficiencies with impact regarding speed and scale in production. The final outputs will be made suitable for workplace integration via industry-standard repositories and toolkits. 

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Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

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