EC-TEL 2011 Workshop: Learning activities across physical and virtual spaces (AcrossSpaces2011)

EC-TEL 2011 Workshop: Learning activities across physical and virtual spaces (AcrossSpaces2011)


Call for workshop position statements and abstracts

Learning activities across physical and virtual spaces (AcrossSpaces2011)

to be held in conjunction with EC-TEL 2011, Palermo (Italy)

September 20 or 21, 2011  (Web page)


This workshop seeks to foster discussions regarding new educational scenarios and technological solutions that exploit an integrated transfer from physical spaces, such as the classroom or the playground, to virtual spaces, such as virtual learning environments or 3D worlds. This workshop aims at bringing together both educational researchers, technologists and open public working and interested in this topic in order to identify the possibilities and challenges involved in the design and implementation of learning activities across physical and virtual spaces.

*** Workshop background and aim ***

Nowadays education does not happen exclusively face-to-face, in the physical space. Neither does it happen exclusively through online tools in the virtual space, like Virtual Learning Environments, blogs or wikis. There is a continuous transfer from one space to another: certain activities are done in the classroom, some are accessed on a web virtual learning environment or a 3D world, then the students perform the activities and collaborate ubiquitously either physically or digitally.

This is what has been traditionally understood under the heading of blended learning, but recent technological advances have opened broad opportunities to link these spaces more profoundly, thus enabling the realization of learning activities across spaces that incorporate and coordinate objects from them all. Examples are: the use of augmented reality, that superimposes a digital layer on top of the physical space, providing extra information or linking objects; the use of 3D virtual spaces mirroring the physical space (e.g. showing an image from the physical world coming from a camera); sensors or RFID technology in the physical space that can provide information such as identity or location to digital applications; or tangible computing devices that enable the manipulation of objects in the physical space that have impact on the digital space…

The main different spaces that can be linked to support innovative activities include virtual learning environments, 3D virtual worlds, physical classrooms and open learning spaces that can be integrated with virtual spaces through roomware, mobile and location-aware technologies. The main question to explore with workshop contributions is How to design and technologically support innovative learning scenarios across physical and virtual spaces? Associated research questions include: What are the opportunities and challenges that learning scenarios across spaces pose to the learners’ assessment? Can educational technology specifications offer interoperability solutions to facilitate the transfer between spaces? How can educators orchestrate, adapt, monitor and evaluate the learning process occurring across different virtual and physical spaces?

*** Workshop topics ***

Educational scenarios, technological solutions and evaluation studies focused on learning activities happening across spaces, which can include, but are not limited to:

* Virtual Learning Environments

* 3D Virtual Worlds

* Roomware and other pervasive devices for the classroom

* Mobile and location-aware technologies for open learning space

Transversal topics include, but are not limited to:

* Architectures, frameworks, models

* Design of activities, assessment

* Interoperability, educational technology specifications, data flow, linked data

* Orchestration, adaptation, monitoring, evaluation

Related topics include also:

* Augmented reality

* Augmented virtuality

* Mediated reality

*** Submissions ***

Authors are invited to submit original unpublished work as position statements (max. 2 pages) or extended abstracts (max. 4 pages). Submissions should use the Springer LCNS template ( and will be handled through EasyChair (

All submitted position statements and extended abstracts will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of the program committee. Selected contributions will be invited for extension and submission to a special issue of the Journal of Universal Computer Science.

*** Important dates ***

Deadline for papers: 04 July 2011

Notification of acceptance: 29 July 2011

Deadline camera-ready: 01 September 2011

Dates of the workshop: 20 or 21 September 2011

*** Organizers ***

Davinia Hernández-Leo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain)


Carlos Delgado-Kloos, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain)

Juan I. Asensio-Pérez, Universidad de Valladolid (Spain)


30 May 2011
Re: EC-TEL 2011 Workshop: Learning activities across physical and virtual spaces (AcrossSpaces2011)

I'd like to thank you, Davinia ( ), for giving all of us the opportunity to discuss these important problems. Speaking for myself, let me begin somewhat surrealistically. Imagine the following situation. Some academic from Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University ( ) works face-to-face with students in Barcelona (in Catalan, of course), and I, an academic from Faculty of Management Engineering, Poznan University of Technology ( ) work face-to-face with students in Poznań (in Polish, of course). It would be the course BASES METODOLÒGIQUES EN SALUT LABORAL ( ) in Barcelona and the course ZAGADNIENIA METODOLOGICZNE W HIGIENIE PRACY in Poznań. We all meet in the virtual space, for example, at Multilingual Studies at a Distance. Students and Academics of All Countries, Unite! :-) ( ) to discuss problems of our common course METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH (in English, of course). What solutions would facilitate the transfer between those two physical spaces (in Barcelona and Poznań) and that virtual space? I don't know it exactly enough before experiencing this educational situation but I would like to try it out eagerly. Who else would join us?


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Publication Date
 29 May 2011
Blog type
Calls & Announcements
  • papers
  • physical learning spaces
  • virtual learning spaces