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The Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences (SDUAS) has been conducting research into technology-based learning for almost 20 years. In 2015, these research achievements were honoured with a UNESCO Chair for Personalised and Adaptive Distance Education. 


Fields of research

Our research activities are centred around research and development of forward-thinking applications in e-learning.

Emotions, reading and learning

In the ‘emotions, reading and learning’ field of research, the most important question is how emotions can be applied in reading and learning to increase the absorption and integration of information. We investigate emotions which arise during analogue and digital reading and learning as well as how emotions can be influenced by texts and learning materials and how emotions can be integrated into texts and learning materials so as to boost performance. One important part of this work is to develop measurement methods which do not disturb or interrupt the reading and learning processes and the combination of different measurement processes e.g. eye tracking with emotion recognition using facial expressions. These measurement methods should be applied in the form of sensors in personalised and adaptive learning.  The findings on the influence and impact of emotions in relation to reading and learning will be used in personalised and adaptive learning applications.

    Personalised and adaptive instructional design

The individuality of the learner and his/her requirements form the focus of attention in personalised adaptive learning. Based on the analysis of learning-related variables (level of knowledge, behaviour in past stages of learning, interest and emotions), presentation of learning content is adapted either automatically or in the form of recommendations.

The learning content (e.g. difficulty), learning instructions (e.g. learning tips) and forms of presentation (e.g. text vs video) vary the most. Learners are therefore provided with a learning process that has been adapted to their individual requirements.

Our research and pilot projects explore how to design and measure the learning impact of adaptive learning environments and their didactic details.

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Lab for Technology-based Learning




Networks & partnerships