4th International Workshop on 
Social and Personal Computing
for Web-Supported Learning Communities 

SPeL 2011

Motivation of the Workshop

The workshop follows the previous SPeL 2008, SPeL 2009 and SPeL 2010 workshops, held in conjunction with the SAINT 2008 conference, WI/IAT 2009 conference and DEXA 2010 conference respectively. The general topic of the workshop is the social and personal computing for web-supported learning communities.

Web-based learning is moving from centralized, institution-based systems to a decentralized and informal creation and sharing of knowledge. Social software (e.g., blogs, wikis, podcasts, media-sharing services) is increasingly being used for e-learning purposes, helping to create novel learning experiences and knowledge. In the world of pervasive Internet, learners are also evolving: the so-called "digital natives" want to be in constant communication with their peers, they expect an individualized instruction and a personalized learning environment, which automatically adapt to their individual needs.

This workshop deals with current research on collaboration and personalization issues in Web-supported learning communities, leading towards the creation of a truly social and adaptive learning environment. Its aim is to provide a forum for discussing new trends and initiatives in this area, including research about the planning, development, application, and evaluation of intelligent e-learning systems, where people can learn together in a personalized way through social interaction with other learners.

This installment of the workshop is intended to have as a special theme the provision of intelligent, adaptive support for collaborative learning. In this context, we will solicit contributions that converge on this topic, either from the perspective of collaborative learning theory and practice (highlighting opportunities for the introduction of intelligent support in the process), or from the perspective of adaptive learning methods and techniques (traditionally more individual learner-oriented). This is aimed at complementing the workshop’s general themes, and focusing on an emergent research area that is expected to have major impact in the area of e-learning in the coming years.

The workshop is targeted at academic researchers, developers, educationists and practitioners alike. The proposed field is interdisciplinary and very dynamic, taking into account the recent advent of Web 2.0 and ubiquitous personalization, and we hope that it will attract a large audience. Furthermore, this installment’s special theme can be expected to draw the attention of researchers active in the area of collaborative e-learning that seek to provide input into, and thus shape the next generation of intelligent and adaptive technologies to support socially-grounded online learning.