Project ended

The formative e-assessment project ran from June 2008 to January 2009. The final report was published in early February 2009. Please also see the cases, patterns, and other materials on the outputs section. We are presenting these outputs at the e-learning patterns workshop and at CAL ’09. The space below this text is the project blog, which includes the notes we published during and after the project life-cycle. Some highlights of these have been incorporated into the outputs section.

For any enquiries, please contact: Norbert Pachler,

January 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

sweet & simple formative e-assessment

Powerpoint is usually condemned as the archetypal counter-example to formative e-assessment. PowerPoint doesn’t have any mechanism for collecting feedback from the audience, once you your presentation is rolling there’s little you can do to change its course.

PollEverywhere changes that. Their plugin allows you to conduct polls, collect responses by twitter or other tools, and display them as text or charts. Now all you need is a few action buttons, and you have a contingency point in powerpoint: a junction where you change your presentation path based on audience feedback.

As always, the specific technology is an illustration. You may know of other tools that do the same (and please add them in the comments). What you should take from this is the design pattern.

(HT Jane via @tryberg)

May 28, 2009 at 9:32 am 1 comment

Outputs from the Dissemination Event

On April 28th the formative e-assessment project had a very successful dissemination event at the London Knowledge Lab. The room was packed, and another 15 people or so participated remotely via Elluminate. Norbert Pachler, Caroline Daly and Yishay Mor presented an overview of the project and Dylan Wiliam gave a theoretical overview. Next, five of our participants – Mary Webb, Denise Whitelock, Linda McGuigan, Aliy Fowler and Stylianos Hatzipanagos – presented their case stories, design patterns and scenarios. Diana Laurillard concluded the day, using the Conversational Framework to bring all the ideas together.

All presentations and associated materials are available from the event page.

The project report (version 2) is available for download from: (PDF)

Mary Webb, Denise Whitelock, Linda McGuigan, Aliy Fowler and Stylianos Hatzipanagos  –

May 28, 2009 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Closing the loop: Mapping the patterns and putting them back into practice

These are my slides for today’s workshop:

December 4, 2008 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

Caroline Pelletier interviews Yishay Mor on the project methodology

We’ve asked Caroline Pelletier to evaluate the project. She’s been attending our workshops and reviewing our materials, but also wanted to hear a bit more about the methodology. We thought you would be happy to know we have one :^)

It’s a bit longish – about 45 min. Probably best to leave in the background while you’re doing the dishes. We’ll try to get an MP3 up, so you can download it to your iPod.

December 4, 2008 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

Christian Kohls: A story of pattern mining in the field of interactive graphics

Some time ago, Christian Kohls from the Knowledge Media Research Centre in Tübingen gave a talk at the Knowldge Lab on “pattern mining in the field of interactive graphics”.

This is a very nice introduction to the design patterns way.

Christian is also organizing a workshop on e-learning patterns in March:

e-learning patterns worshop, 4-6 March 2009, Knowledge Media Research Center, Tübingen, Germany

e-learning patterns worshop, 4-6 March 2009, Knowledge Media Research Center, Tübingen, Germany

December 4, 2008 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Design patterns

Some of you have been asking about the background to design patterns and the origins of the project methodology.  We’ve collected some references to give an overview of this.  Some key links to get started are:
Good introductory text:

e-LEN Design expertise for e-learning centres: design patterns and how to produce them

The background to design patterns:

The idea of design patterns originates with Christopher Alexander, a theoretician of architecture  See: Alexander, C. 1977 A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction OUP.

Alexander’s ideas were picked up by the computer science community. The “gang of four” book which started the pattern trend in software design is:
Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software  (Originally published 1995, new edition, 2005) Addison-Wesley Pearson Education.

See also this by one of the authors: John Vlissides (1998) Pattern Hatching: Design Patterns Applied Addison-Wesley Longman.

A key publication in the background to design patterns is: Christopher Alexander. The Timeless Way of Building (1979) Oxford University Press.
Key references

Patterns in interaction design:
**Douglas K. van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong. (2007) The Design of Sites: Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites (2nd Edition) Prentice Hall.
**Jan Borchers and Frank Buschmann (2001) A Pattern Approach to Interaction Design John Wiley & Sons.
**Till Schummer, Stephan Lukosch (2007) Patterns for Computer-Mediated Interaction. Wiley.

Pedagogical patterns

Go to this website to get an overview of the first project that brought the idea of design patterns to education. It has example patterns.

Jutta Eckstein

Then look at the E-LEN project This has a pattern repository and a list of publications.

Robert Mislevy’s work on patterns  This is a link to a project on assessment design and one of their main articles on assessment. 
Also look at:

Dana Anthony Patterns for classroom education

Joseph Bergin Fourteen pedagogical patterns

Brad Appleton Patterns and software: essential concepts and terminology

November 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

From stories to patterns, and back, and back again

The focus of tomorrow’s workshop will be on extracting patterns from stories. Not an easy task. Here’s a tutorial that will hopefully help:

November 3, 2008 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

thank you! (and some pictures)

Thanks everyone for making yesterday such a great event! Looking forward to meeting you again in November. (click the picture for more).

October 3, 2008 at 10:24 am Leave a comment

Caroline’s presentation – some issues from the literature

October 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

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