Workplace Learning & Social Media

Focus of my research in recent years has been in supporting learning at the workplace, at the crossroads of e-learning / technology-enhanced learning and knowledge management. My main contributions in that area are:

  • Knowledge maturing process as a macro model for interconnected individual learning processes in an organization – which has already been successfully applied to other domains like ontology engineering (ontology maturing process, combining lightweight Web 2.0 approaches with ontologies) and software engineering. As a result of the MATURE project, this has evolved into a larger research strand on knowledge maturing in general.
  • Collaborative approaches and enterprise social media approaches to competence management based on people tagging and ontology maturing. These activities have aimed at making competence management more agile and sustainable. This is based on an evolutionary perspective to ontology development.
  • Motivational & Affective aspects in Technology Enhanced Learning. Together with Christine Kunzmann, we have been investigating motivational & affective aspects in technology enhanced learning as part of the MATEL workshop series.
  • Professional Learning Ontology as a conceptualization for workplace learning combining learning micro management (like context-steered learning implementations) and macro management (like competence management and other human resource development approaches). Special focus on competence modeling.

More information on that topic can be found in my publications and on the Professional Learning website.

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) & Supporting Active Ageing / Independent Living

Another application field of context-aware technologies is the support for elderly people in their own homes. Main challenges lie in the complex environment models and the modular structure of the infrastructure to enable open markets. As a result of the EU-IP SOPRANO, we have initiated an open source semantic middleware (openAAL), which forms the foundation for the FZI Living Lab.

Context-Aware Information Services

On the technology side, I my research has long orbited around exploiting information about the user’s context. In particular, I am working on the following issues:

  • How can we acquire information about the user and exploit it for improving the interaction with the system?
  • How can user context information be used across different applications?
  • How can we deal with the dynamic and imperfection of user context information in an adequate way?

I am exploring this partcicularly in the domain of workplace learning, and ambient-assisted living (AAL).

Other areas of interest

Technical topics

  • Information integration (lecturer at the University of Karlsruhe on that subject) with special focus on architectural approaches
  • Databases and XML technologies (book on that subject was published by Springer, in German)

Application domains

  • Healthcare (especially controlled vocabularies like ICD10, ICPM, DRG etc. for which I have been developing a successful software solution (in German).