Title: Social support system in learning network for lifelong learners: a conceptual framework

Authors: Danish Nadeem, Slavi Stoyanov, Rob Koper

Addresses: Center for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC), Open University of the Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Center for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC), Open University of the Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Center for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC), Open University of the Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands

Abstract: Learning networks are favourable model for supporting self-directed learning for lifelong learners. Learners can decide about their learning plans to learn at their own pace irrespective of place and time. However, such learners remain hidden from others in the learning network, which makes their learning detrimental and less effective. Bringing learners together would benefit them in sharing each others expertise and learn effectively by collaboration. We tackle the problem of finding people in learning networks by developing a social support system (SoSuSy). The paper presents a conceptual framework for designing SoSuSy in a learning network. Such a system connects learners dealing with similar problems by using their combined skills and increasing their social interaction. We propose the use of people|s profile in a social network and the public text content they create (blogs and book-marking) as supported by Web 2.0 applications to search for suitable people in a learning network.

Keywords: social support systems; SoSuSy; social recommendation systems; lifelong learning networks; learning technology; knowledge sharing; collaboration; social networks; Web 2.0.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2009.028831

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2009 Vol.19 No.4/5/6, pp.337 - 351

Published online: 06 Oct 2009 *

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