Educational Environment Modeling Language. Luca Botturi, Curriculum Vitae. Visualising learning goals with the Quail Model. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology2004, 20(2), 248-273.

Educational Environment Modeling Language, Ph.D. Thesis, September 2003 Università della Svizzera Italiana. Via Giuseppe Buffi 13 CH-6900, Lugano, Switzerland. Web siteDemo application ZIPXML exampleview online

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Centre Lonergan » virtuel. Entrevue avec Luca Botturi. This study moves from the consideration of the communication dynamics within the instructional design practice. With the introduction of electronic media, the design of educational environments in Higher Education has ceased to be a craftsmanship activity, and has acquired some features proper of mass production. This makes communication a more and more critical issue in design.

The original goal of this work is to propose a communication tool that can support designers in this new and more challenging professional context. The result is E2ML, a conceptual design language with a simple notation system. The method proposed is that proper of design and applied sciences: critical observation of needs and practices aimed at the definition of a new tool.

The Introduction is devoted to setting the research problem and to introduce a new perspective on education and technologies, taken from the work of B. Lonergan. Chapter I proposes a review of the existing literature about instructional design, which includes also the more recent developments concerning Learning Object and Learning Technologies metadata standards. Chapter II introduces E2ML, in its simple and advanced versions, while Chapter III answers some questions about its conceptual background and exploitation, and explores the relationship between E2ML, other Instructional Design models and Learning Technology standards. Chapter four collects several case studies that illustrate the use, benefits and shortcomings of the new language. Chapter V finally proposes a first evaluation framework for such a language along with data collected from a small study conducted with experienced instructional designers.

The E2ML– Educational Environment Modeling Language– is a visual language for supporting complex instructional design processes. E2ML can be used for visualizing the intermediate and final results of design, thus providing documentation in a shared language that can enhance team communication, improve design, and contribute to the development of high-quality instruction. The language and its formal features are presented from a conceptual point of view and illustrated by examples. The main results of a first evaluation study are reported, and the exploitation of E2ML in practice as well as its costs and benefits are critically discussed.

The advent of technologies has changed our very idea of what a course is (Bates & Poole, 2003). Instructors in Higher Education are now daily supported by instructional designers or educational technology experts that provide advice for integrating Web-based activities, videoconference sessions, high-quality digital media presentations, etc. in their teaching activities. The process of designing courses has grown a more and more structured and interdisciplinary process (Szabo, 2002), one that is too complex for a lone-ranger professor to cope with (Bates, 1999). In some respects, teaching is thus developing from craftsmanship to a large scale production process (Cantoni & Di Blas, 2002), in which communication has become a critical variable. A fairly recent research trend in the field of educational technology is the development of visual instructional design languages. This paper is a sort of tutorial aiming to introduce one of these new professional tools for designers: E[2]ML– Educational Environment Modeling Language. In order to explain the relevance of E[2]ML, the first section is devoted to the identification of some features and issues concerning the Instructional Design process through the analysis of the literature. The second section introduces some relevant literature, among which the foundational work by Gibbons, and two other visual design languages. E[2]ML is presented in the third section through a detailed example, while additional references concerning other studies about the language are provided in section four. The conclusion presents a summary along with indications for further work.