Build your Responsive Open Learning Environment (ROLE)

The PLE ConferenceExperiment with new learning technologies and design your learning tools

Workshop at the PLE Conference 2012

July 11, 2012 – Aveiro, Portugal

This will be an interactive workshop directed to anyone who wants to build their widget-based Responsive Open Learning Environment (ROLE) and design their own widgets through a set of structured activities.


A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is an innovative paradigm conceptualizing the aggregation, manipulation and sharing of digital artefacts by learners, within a flexible and versatile online space. The PLE follows a learner-centric approach, allowing the use of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners.

The European project ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) is aiming at empowering learners for lifelong and personalised learning within a responsive open learning environment. Towards this goal, ROLE has developed a number of learning tools and services, addressing a variety of learning contexts and requirements.

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experiment with the learning tools and services developed by ROLE. Participants will be presented with ROLE widgets that cover a variety of learning goals and will be able to create mash-ups of these widgets for their particular learning and research purposes.

In addition, participants will be able to design their desired widgets, according to their learning scenarios and requirements. They will also have the opportunity to submit the widget designs produced in this workshop to the ROLE Widget Enchantment contest. The winners of this contest will be supported by the project to implement their designs.


The workshop will be structured as follows:

  1. Introduction to the PLE methodologies and technologies developed by ROLE.
  2. First group activity: Use ROLE widgets to find and share learning resources on the web. Participants will be presented with a bundle of pre-selected ROLE widgets and will be able to use them in pairs or small groups in order to find and share online learning resources.
  3. Plenary discussion on the outcomes of the first group activity.
  4. Second group activity: Build your mash-up of ROLE tools. Participants will be presented with the ROLE Sandbox and Graasp, two facilities for building widget mash-ups in shared spaces. The participants will then be guided into creating mash-ups in these platforms for their own learning or research purposes.
  5. Plenary discussion on the outcomes of the second group activity.
  6. Third group activity: Design your widget. Participants will be provided with templates and guidance on designing their widgets, by defining the learning scenario, the learning design, the actors involved, as well as the ‘storyboard’ of the widget.
  7. Reflections, conclusions and next steps.


At the end of the workshop, participants will have acquired:

  • A good overview of the different approaches and issues related to PLEs.
  • An awareness of the range of resources, tools and methods available to enable PLEs.
  • An understanding of how PLEs can be applied in their own learning and research context.
  • An understanding of the widget design process and the requirements involved.

Additionally, participants will be able to take away the following outcomes of the group activities:

  • The learning resources that have been shared in the first group activity.
  • The mash-ups of ROLE tools created in the second group activity.
  • The widget designs and entries to the ROLE Widget Enchantment contest.




Participation in the workshop is free if you register for the PLE Conference. For more information, visit the PLE Conference web site