Inter-Widget Communication for Personal Learning Environments

Bernhard Hoisl

Publication: ThesisMaster's thesis


In recent time a new trend can be recognised on the Internet in general and especially in learning environments by moving away from monolithic one-provider-fits-all to a combinatorial mixing pieces-together approach. Mashing-up stands for the re-use, re-combination, and re-organisation of small software artifacts of clearly defined functionality (so-called widgets). Subsequently, mashed-up learning systems describe the idea of highly customizable environments shifting substantial personalization possibilities from administrators to the end-users (learners). This shift has significant impacts on software design decisions, especially on efficient data communication strategies of learning management systems.
This thesis presents a technical solution for an inter-widget communication in mash-up personal learning environments, enabling the possibility of different data send and receive strategies, such as, cross-domain push/pull mechanisms, topic-oriented broadcast messaging, or user-centered notification settings and, thus, enabling to model learner workflows in distributed environments. It explains the technical background of the widget concept and why inter-widget communication is beneficial, especially in the area of e-learning.
The outcome of this thesis are new methods and corresponding open-source prototype software artifacts. A proof-of-concept pedagogical use-case of a lifelong learner successfully applying the inter-widget communication facilities in a widget-based learning environment validates the approach.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vienna University of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102
  • 503008 E-learning
  • 602011 Computational linguistics

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