Learning through Online Interaction (EPAL2015)

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The Stendhal University – Grenoble 3 are organising the fifth EPAL Conference (Echanger pour apprendre en ligne / Learning through Online Interaction), which will take place on 4 – 6 July 2015, in Grenoble, France.

Learning through Online Interaction

The conference aims to take a systemic, multidisciplinary view of asynchronous learning. As the conference organisers state:

Every course, be it blended, distance, or MOOC, etc., is a training system consisting of a combination of elements, including resources, learning activities, tutoring, verbal interactions, and evaluation/certification. These elements ought to be analysed as interrelated components. Looking beyond individual courses to the “meso” or “macro” level (Fichez), institutional and societal contexts also influence instructional design, whether at the adult training, university, or school levels.

To that end, the EPAL 2015 conference will bring together perspectives from domains such as educational science, information science, applied linguistics, psychology, sociology, and computing, with a view to investigating distance learning courses, the institutional and societal contexts in which they are embedded, and the interrelations between them.


Some aspects which will be brought under empirical scrutiny, as described in the call for papers, include:

  • Resources: Lecture videos as a resource (MOOCs). Resources drawn from the Internet (notably, the social web as a resource). Resources created by learners and then shared. Links between activities and resources.
  • Learning activities: Which activities promote fruitful interactions? What are the characteristics of collaborative activities? What sorts of activities are best suited to massive online courses? to blended learning courses? Links between collaboration and tutoring, collaboration and interactions, and activities and evaluation, etc.
  • Tutoring, guidance: What kind of guidance for what kind of autonomy? How to be “present” from a distance? The socio-affective dimension of tutoring. Tutoring by peers. What kind of guidance in blended learning courses? Links between tutoring and activities.
  • Verbal interactions: Can verbal interaction serve as a criterion for evaluating learning? How are interactions distributed in blended learning courses? Should interactions be synchronous or asynchronous, written or oral? Interactions between peers.
  • Evaluation/certification: How should collaborative work be evaluated? What kind of evaluation in MOOCs? How can MOOC course work be evaluated? Peer assessment. Evaluation of methods/courses/systems.

Call for Papers

Prospective authors are asked to submit proposals via the conference website by 15 January 2015 (link no longer active). Each proposal, which should address one of the conference themes, should be between 4,000 and 5,000 characters long (including spaces but excluding the bibliography).

Publication opportunities

Proposals will be considered for publication in one of the following forms:

Authors are requested to indicate their publication preference with the first submission, but the EPAL scientific board reserves the right to modify this choice.

Key Dates:

  • Proposal submission deadline: 15th January 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: 1st March 2015
  • Conference dates: 4th-6th June 2015
  • Full paper submission: 7th September 2015.

Featured Image: Bibliothèque lettres campus Grenoble, By Rémih (Own work) [GFDL, CC BY-SA-3.0, or CC BY-SA-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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