Case Studies

In the EuroPLOT project, the following case studies did demonstrate that Persuasive Learning objects for Technologies (PLOTs) can be developed and used in different subject areas. The four areas are: archival work, language learning, environment and business computing. For each subject area, the development of PLOTs with project tools was undertaken, and the resources were then also re-purposed in different learning context.

Archival Work: Kaj Munk

The Kaj Munk Research Centre involved tertiary learners in teaching about the work and significance of Kaj Munk, who was a Danish playwrights and pastor, and is commemorated for his role in the Danish resistance against Nazism. This case was developed with the aim on enhancing learning and engagement in the life and works of Kaj Munk. A user of the tools created in PLOTLearner may find them persuasive in that it supports the writing process by suggesting many attractive possibilities for new perspectives on the available materials The assumption is that this writing environment will persuade the user to carry on writing and also convince him or her that he or she will be able to create a product of high quality.

EuroPLOT has also made use of geocaching which may be seen as special kind of so-called mobile persuasion. Within the project a system of four geo-caches related to Kaj Munk were established in co-operation with the Kaj Munk Museum in Vedersø, which is located in Kaj Munks former vicarage. The four caches were installed in June 2011 and the use of the system has been studied over a period of two years. There is strong evidence to support the claim that geocaching can in fact serve as an effective persuasive technology. Promising feedback from the Geocaching system in Vedersø has led to the development of multimodal persuasive learning design, which was implemented and tested in the small village of Vester Hassing in Northern Jutland in June 2013.

The tools developed with PLOTlearner for accessing Kaj Munk’s works can currently not be made publicly available, because Kaj Munk’s works are still under copyright. However, in January 2015 they will become freely available in public domain.

In addition, a tool “Conceptual Pond” has been developed as a simple tool for gathering user input to a specific topic. It can be used online freely:

Language Learning: Ancient Hebrew

This case presents the learning content developed by Aalborg University for introductory Hebrew Language Learning. The development of PLOTLearner, a computer program that automatically selects random sentences from the Hebrew Bible and poses grammatical questions to the student, is an important tool in enabling the learner to read and understand texts and use them in interpretation, teaching or translation. The PLOTs developed in EuroPLOT are aimed at increasing the learner engagement and student motivation, looking to resolve the challenge of bringing alive a basically non-spoken (dead) language.

The material was tested in teaching at the Fjellhaug International University College Denmark in Copenhagen (FIUC-DK) in the course Persuasive Technology for Introductory Biblical Hebrew for students studying Biblical Hebrew in tertiary education and adult learners in vocational training at seminaries or studying Hebrew language and texts for translations jobs or for leisure. The course was repurposed for vocational and tertiary learners in Madagascar at the Graduate School of Lutheran Theology, where it was successfully adjusted to a situation without fast and affordable internet access.

Environmental Science: Chemical Exposure Scenarios

The company DHI (in Copenhagen) developed and tested PLOTs using PLOTmaker, which teach adult learners about dangers of chemicals in professional and industrial context. When the chemical regulation REACH entered into force 1 June 2007, the scenario for the marketing and use of chemical substances within the European Community was totally reformed. Not only manufactures and importers of chemical substances were facing new obligations, but also other actors in the supply chain like formulators of chemical mixtures were met with new requirements. One of the most challenging issues for the formulating industry is how to compile and communicate information on safe use of chemical mixtures down the supply chain using the so-called exposure scenarios. Guidance and different practical approaches have been developed but taking the step from a set of single substance exposure scenarios to a consolidated exposure scenarios for a mixture of substances is still a big challenge for the majority of the formulating industry.

A persuasive e-learning resource is a beneficial tool for teaching individual employees in formulating industries how to develop correct exposure scenarios for mixtures in an appropriate way. These example simulations would enable the student to gain first-hand experience without imposing any real danger on anyone. Self-assessment and simulation take up a large part of the learning sessions, allowing the learner to learn through interaction. The Multiple Choice Questions, Matching Quiz and Drag and Drop components of PLOTMaker have been used several times throughout the course to encourage learners to test their knowledge.

Business Computing: SQL Teaching

Distance learning of Business Computing is offered to adult students in the business sectors who are not used to using computers on a daily basis. The aim was therefore to improve the existing approach to include persuasive design, allowing students to experience their learning with added support and help features about how to operate IT. Academic learners and teachers at higher education institutions Leeds Met and at University of Hradec Králové were engaged in developing PLOTs using PLOTmaker to support the teaching and learning of the relational database design and the database query language SQL

The main purpose of each PLOT is to activate the learners while learning the topic through stand-alone learning objectives. Each PLOT can be best used for recall or revision of a clearly defined topic that is embedded into an appropriate curriculum, and can be used independently in various environments. The basic approach to the design of the PLOTs was based on constructive alignment and followed the persuasive principles of Reduction, Suggestion and Self-monitoring.