Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology & Associate Professor at Royal Roads University

Category: cfp

Conversational Agents & Natural Language Interaction CFP

Posted on November 21st, by George Veletsianos in cfp. No Comments

Disclosure: Please note that I am on the editorial advisory board for this book with regards to my pedagogical agent work)

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS (pdf document)

Proposal Submission Deadline: December 16, 2009

Conversational Agents and Natural Language Interaction: Techniques and Effective

Practices

A book edited by Dr. Diana Perez-Marin and Dr. Ismael Pascual-Nieto Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

Introduction

Human-Computer Interaction can be understood as two potent information processors (a human and a computer) trying to communicate with each other using a highly restricted interface. Natural Language (NL) Interaction, that is, to let the users express in natural language could be the solution to improve the communication between human and computers. Conversational agents exploit NL technologies to engage users in text-based informationseeking and task-oriented dialogs for a broad range of applications such as e-commerce, help desk, Web site navigation, personalized service, and education.

The benefits of agent expressiveness have been highlighted both for verbal expressiveness and for non-verbal expressiveness. On the other hand, there are also studies indicating that when using conversational agents mixed results can appear. These studies reveal the need to review the research in a field with a promising future and a great impact in the area of Human-Computer Interaction.

Objective of the Book

The main objective of the book is to identify the most effective practices when using conversational agents for different applications. Some secondary objectives to fulfill the main goal are:

– To gather a comprehensive number of experiences in which conversational agents have been used for different applications

– To review the current techniques which are being used to design conversational agents

– To encourage authors to publish not only successful results, but also unsuccessful results and a discussion of the reasons that may have caused them

Target Audience

The proposed book is intended to serve as a reference guide for researchers who want to start their research in the promising field of conversational agents. It will not be necessary that readers have previous knowledge on the topic.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Fundamental concepts

Definition and taxonomy of conversational agents

– Motivation, benefits, and issues of their use

– Underlying psychological and social theories

2. Design of conversational agents

Techniques

– Frameworks

– Methods

3. Practices

Experiences of use of conversational agents in:

– E-commerce

– Help desk

– Website navigation

– Personalized service

– Training or education

– Results achieved

– Discussion of the reasons of their success of failure

4. Future trends

Issues that should be solved in the future

– Expectations for the future

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before December 16, 2009, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 16, 2010 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters (8,000–10,000 words) are expected to be submitted by April 16, 2010. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2011.

Important Dates

December 16, 2009: Proposal Submission Deadline
January 16, 2010: Notification of Acceptance
April 16, 2010: Full Chapter Submission
June 30, 2010: Review Results Returned
July 30, 2010: Final Chapter Submission
September 30, 2010: Final Deadline

Editorial Advisory Board Members
Galia Angelova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Rafael Calvo, University of Sydney, Australia
Dan Cristea, A.I. Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
Miguel Gea, University of Granada, Spain
Diane Inkpen, University of Ottawa, Canada
Pamela Jordan, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Ramón López Cózar, University of Granada, Spain
Max Louwerse, University of Memphis, USA
José Antonio Macías, University Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Mick O’Donnell, University Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
María Ruíz, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Olga Santos, University Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain
George Veletsianos, University of Manchester, UK

Inquiries and submissions

Please send all inquiries and submissions (preferably through e-mail) to:

Diana Perez-Marin, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

Email: diana.perez@urjc.es

and

Ismael Pascual Nieto, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

Email: ismael.pascual@uam.es

An article and two CFPs

Posted on October 15th, by George Veletsianos in cfp, papers, sharing. No Comments

My RSS reader brought these presents today. Hope they are useful to you. The article will strike a chord with those who seek to improve schooling (with or without technology). The CFPs also relate.

Singal, Nidhi & Swann, Mandy (2009). Children’s perceptions of themselves as learner inside and outside school. Research Papers in Education. Published online: October 15, 2009 (today) at http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/02671520903281617
Abstract: This exploratory study set out to investigate how a group of children, who were identified as underachieving in school, constructed understandings of themselves as learners inside and outside school. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and image-based methods with the children. Interviews were also conducted with their parents and teachers. Findings of this study highlight the centrality of the children’s relational world and the richness of their learning experiences and capacity for learning outside school. Significant differences were evident in their descriptions of learning processes inside the classroom and outside the formal school setting. Outside school learning experiences, both structured and less formalised were perceived by the children as being more active, collaborative and challenging. Knowledge and understanding in these contexts seemed to be located within the children. In contrast, learning inside school was characterised by dependence on the teacher. Knowledge and understanding in this context appeared to be located within the teacher.

CFP #1: Call for a special issue of QWERTY. Generation Y, Digital Learners, and Other Dangerous Things (via the red-ink doctoral school)

CFP #2: Call for chapters for an e-book on Personal Learning Environments and Networks (via George Siemens)

BJET Special Issue CFP: Learning and Teaching in Virtual Worlds

Posted on August 18th, by George Veletsianos in cfp, E-learning, learner experience, work. No Comments

Click here to access a PDF document of this call

Crossing boundaries:

Learning and teaching in virtual worlds

While the concept of multi-user virtual worlds is not a new one, the rising popularity of virtual world applications has been rapid over the last five years. Although much attention around such immersive environments has centred upon Second Life, there are currently 80 virtual world applications available and another 100 planned for 2009, with some targeting specific populations (e.g., young girls with BarbieGirls) and others catering for broader audiences (e.g., training applications in There.com). The appeal of virtual worlds is that they allow users to cross over into new spaces that can be used to support a range of social interactions. In this way, they have proven to be quite versatile, embracing varied activities and purposes, including business, cultural activities as well as having educational capabilities.

With its focus upon the educational uses of virtual world applications, this special issue of the British Journal of Educational Technology (Volume 40, Issue 6) aims to provide a definitive profile of the current status of virtual worlds for education and training. Specifically, we invite contributions from the research community to advance our understanding of this field of study and research. In order to build upon existing research, and to support the development of the field as a unique academic discipline, in this unique issue the editors are interested in hosting a forum for rigorous and leading edge contributions to the nascent field that:

  • explore new frameworks, approaches and pedagogical models,
  • present case studies of practice where innovative techniques are pioneered,
  • investigate new methods of teaching, learning and research in the area,
  • evaluate the experiences of teachers, learners and institutions using immersive worlds.

The aim of the special issue is to bring together the most leading edge research and development in the field and allow practitioners and researchers to benefit from these valuable contributions. Towards this aim, recommended topics of interest for this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following research questions:

  • What value can virtual world applications add to conventional methods of education and what evidence exists to support such propositions?
  • What are the institutional changes needed to accommodate learning approaches centred on virtual worlds?
  • What pedagogies and approaches are needed to make the use of virtual world applications most effective and engaging, and what evidence exists to support such approaches?
  • Are particular learner groups engaged more with virtual world applications than others?
  • What are the main challenges for tutors and trainers using virtual world technologies?
  • What are the main technological challenges associated with using virtual world applications?
  • What frameworks and approaches can be developed to support effective, engaging and transformative usage of virtual worlds?
  • Does the use of virtual worlds necessitate more learner-centred approaches? What evidence exists to support claims for or against such approaches?
  • Will using these applications change how people learn? If so, what evidence exists to support such a claim?
  • Do virtual world applications offer greater support than alternative technologies for building and supporting distributed learning communities?
  • How do learners experience virtual worlds? How do they experience their interactions with others?
  • How do learners choose to represent themselves in virtual worlds?

The issue also envisages contributions that relate to a wider range of virtual world applications particularly where learning and training issues are highlighted. Studies focusing upon massively multiplayer role-playing games (e.g. World of Warcraft), mirror worlds (e.g. Google earth) and hybrid worlds (e.g. mixed reality experiences) will also be considered for the issue where they make sure that the focus is upon learning activities and practices and where lessons learnt may be applied to virtual worlds for learning.

The issue will also be twinned with the First International IEEE Conference on Serious Games and Virtual Worlds which will be held in March 2009 at the University of Coventry, UK.

Submission Process

April 1, 2009: Full length papers due (see http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/submit.asp?ref=0007-1013&site=1 for guidelines). Please send an email to the editors with the title of your submission and submit your paper online using Manuscript Central. To make a submission, go to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjet. If this is the first time you have used the system you will be asked to register by clicking on ‘create an account.’ Full instructions on making your submission are provided.  You should receive an acknowledgement within a few minutes.  Thereafter, you will be kept in touch with the progress of your submission through refereeing, any revisions that are required, and – hopefully – to final acceptance.

Please advise Sara de Freitas that you have made a submission for the special issue.  If you do not then it will be treated as an ordinary submission for a subsequent general issue

June 1, 2009:  Notification of acceptance

July 1, 2009: Final papers with revisions due

November, 2009: Publication date

Note: Submissions to the Crossing boundaries Serious Games and Virtual Worlds conference to be held at Coventry University in March 2009 that fit the purpose of this call may be recommended for co-submission to the special issue. Authors will be contacted directly where this is the case so that they can revisit the paper for the BJET special issue review process. Successfully reviewed papers will be processed by BJET in the normal way and according to the normal peer-review procedures. For those wishing to submit papers to the conference, details can be found at: http://www.sgandvwconference.net/announcement.asp?event=42

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sara de Freitas B.A. (Hons), M.A., PhD

Sara de Freitas is Director of Research at the hub for research and development in serious games and virtual worlds at the Serious Games Institute at the University of Coventry, UK. Her research interests include evaluating the efficacy of serious games and virtual world applications, pedagogic modelling and policy and strategic development of e-learning. Sara chairs the Lab Group, speaks internationally and has a significant publications list in the field of e-learning, game-based learning and lifelong learning. Sara also holds a visiting fellowship at the University of London where she continues to build on leading edge research in the field at the London Knowledge Lab. She currently has four books in publication and is setting up an interdisciplinary research group focusing upon artificial intelligence, evaluation and validation for immersive forms and developing links between physical and virtual spaces through smart buildings. (Address: Sara de Freitas, PhD, Serious Games Institute, University of Coventry, Cheetah Road, Coventry, CV1 2TL, United Kingdom; s.defreitas|at|coventry.ac.uk).

Dr. George Veletsianos B.A., M.A., Ph.D

George Veletsianos is Lecturer of Digital Technologies, Communication & Education at the University of Manchester, UK. His research interests involve the design, development, and evaluation of electronic learning environments, adventure learning, emerging technologies in distance and hybrid education, virtual characters, and the learner experience. His research and development work has been published in excess of 30 times in articles and manuscripts in academic journals, books, and conference proceedings, while his work has been presented at over 40 national and international conferences. (Address:  George Veletsianos, PhD, LTA, School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom; veletsianos|at|gmail.com)

Call for Chapters: Using Emerging Technologies in Distance Education

Posted on July 3rd, by George Veletsianos in cfp, E-learning, Ideas, open, work. 2 comments

Dear everyone,

I am very excited to announce a CFP on the use of emerging technologies in distance education. Specifics are listed below. The CFP can also be downloaded in pdf form.

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS

Proposal Submission Deadline: September 1, 2008

Using Emerging Technologies in Distance Education
edited by George Veletsianos (University of Manchester, UK)

Part of the Issues in Distance Education series
edited by Terry Anderson (Athabasca University, Canada)

and planned publication online and in paper format by Athabasca University Press as an
Open Access publication

Introduction

Emerging technologies – such as virtual worlds, serious games, wikis, and social networking sites – have been heralded as technologies that are powerful enough to transform learning and teaching. Nevertheless, minimal work has investigated the affordances of such tools in the context of distance education. Most often, the literature presents a description of such technologies along with classroom integration ideas, presenting an incomplete picture of how such technologies are used in distance education. In particular, the goal of this book is to amalgamate work in the use of emerging technologies to design, enhance and deliver distance education. Researchers and practitioners interested in the above issues reside in varied academic domains, rendering the sharing and dissemination of their work a formidable task. Via this book, we hope to harness dispersed knowledge and multidisciplinary perspectives. The target audience is both members of research communities and innovative distance education practitioners.

Scope

The book will be limited to the use of emerging technologies for distance education. Recommended emerging technologies of interest for the book include, but are not limited, to:
• Blogs
• Microblogging platforms,
• Wikis and Wikibooks
• Social Networking Sites
• Virtual worlds
• Video games
• Cell/mobile phones and devices,
• Virtual characters, Avatars, and Pedagogical Agents
• Web 2.0 and data mashups
• Pod and video casts
• Online grassroots video
• Open Educational Resources and Open Access Technologies
• Pod usage production models

Invited Submissions

The book will consist of chapters (5,000 – 8,000 words) showcasing best practices, illustrating and analyzing how emerging technologies have been used in diverse distance learning and teaching areas. Via such work, it is expected that each chapter will contribute a list of ideas and factors that need to be considered when emerging technologies are adopted for distance teaching and learning. Equally important, contributing authors should highlight the pedagogical, organizational, cultural, social, economic, or political factors that influence the adoption and success/failure of emerging technologies.

Audience

This book is intended to be used as a one stop locale for work relating to the use of emerging technologies in distance education. As such, it is expected to be relevant to researchers, practitioners, and students. Importantly, due to the fact that interested parties reside in multiple disciplines and academic departments, chapters should be accessible to a broad audience.

Submission Procedure

By September 1, 2008: Submit a 1-2 page chapter proposal summarizing the intended submission.
Papers should be submitted via email to: veletsianos |AT| gmail.com

October 1, 2008: Author notification along with chapter guidelines

December 1, 2008: Full chapters are due.

All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis.
Expected Publication date is late 2009.