For acting on the flow of an activity, one must be able to observe and to “understand” the activity.

This is true for each and every actor involved in the process, whether they are the instigator of the activity, the assistants in charge of facilitating the activity, or even the people responsible for designing methods and tools to actually perform the activity. Observing for understanding and acting on an activity flow is a knowledge engineering process : we must enable reasoning on knowledge learnt from observation in order to act on the observed world. The context of open online learning on the web requires to design learning environments facilitating the observation and the understanding of the activity, and thus the process of “acting” on the activity flow. This must take place with a dynamic and reflexive process.

The SILEX (Supporting Interactions and Learning from Experience) research group develops the theory of modeled traces to support a dynamic knowledge engineering process. Interactions performed by the couple « user-­‐digital environment » are learnt as situated knowledge (or situated experiences). The talk focuses on dynamic knowledge construction and modeled trace theory, and shows its application to user assistance in Moocs. The talk also presents TraceMe, and open tool for trace-based applications. Dynamic knowledge construction is a reflexive process ensuring that learners better appropriate their own traces. Indeed, personal activity traces become digital objects that can be reused and shared providing the existence of a sharing policy defined by the owner of the trace.

The talk ends with insights on the generalization of our approach to the questions of developmental learning and radical interactionism in artificial agents. A research MOOC on that topic is now opening !

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