Back Phd position: "Integrating Human-Centered Design and Generative AI in TEL: Advancing Learning Analytics for effective educational environments"
Phd position: "Integrating Human-Centered Design and Generative AI in TEL: Advancing Learning Analytics for effective educational environments"
Open PhD Fellowship at the TIDE research group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
TIDE is a research group in an ICT department with a clear interdisciplinary vocation. TIDE offers a PhD fellowship position with the topic:
"Integrating Human-Centered Design and Generative AI in Technology-Enhanced Learning: Advancing Learning Analytics for effective educational environments"
The Technology Enhanced Learning field has produced digital tools to assist educational stakeholders (e.g. teachers, students) in the creation of pedagogically-sound learning environments. Learning Analytics (LA) is a field within Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) that borrows methods from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and helps understanding and optimizing learning environments based on the analysis of educational data. However, the adoption of TEL solutions suffers from an on-going debate about the need to provide a human centered and trustworthy approach to AI. In TEL this debate focuses on the tension between the potential of designing solutions to achieve a more effective education and its impact on human behavior and wellbeing.
Addressing human factors in the design process and implementation of learning technologies is due. Significant effort is still needed to design solutions according to the factors (and methods) proposed by the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) field while also considering factors from the learning sciences field to support a successful learning experience.
Furthermore, taking into account the evolving landscape of Generative AI tailored for educational purposes, it becomes evident that these innovative tools hold the potential to assist educators in the seamless integration of Universal design for Learning (UDL) within authentic educational settings. AI can significantly reduce the time and effort demanded from teachers by providing specialized knowledge and automating some related tasks. However, the reality is that many educators may lack a comprehensive understanding of these technologies, hindering their effective application. Additionally, these tools have not been explicitly tailored to meet the unique needs of teaching and learning practices.
Addressing this multifaceted problem entails grappling with the complexities of integrating Generative AI into effective Learning Technologies to support educational practices while considering the intricacies and diverse dynamics of classrooms and learners. It necessitates a comprehensive exploration of methods, strategies, and cutting-edge technologies that can harness the vast potential of AI to create learning experiences that are not only inclusive but also adaptable and equitable for all (teachers and students). It is key to understand the needs and problems faced by educators, for this reason applying a human-centered approach is key for understanding how to enhance this context with a digital learning environment.
This project will advance the state of the art in this domain by researching the mechanisms that can enable educational stakeholders engagement throughout the various phases of the Learning Design process by integrating a Human-centered approach.
Therefore, the goal of this project is to advance the state of the art in this domain (Human-centered Learning Technologies, Learning Analytics, including the integration of Generative AI) and to propose TEL solutions to support educational stakeholders when they are involved in LD processes such as designing, implementing or regulating learning in real educational settings.
This project will be supervised by Dr. Patricia Santos, a Ramon y Cajal fellow and senior researcher of the Interactive and Distributed Technologies Group (TIDE) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. TIDE has extensive research experience in learning design technologies (e.g., ILDE+, Collage, LdShake, edCrumble) and are currently involved in TEL and HCLA research projects (see TIDE projects: https://www.upf.edu/ca/web/tide/projects).
This PhD research will be conducted in the frame of existing research projects coordinated by TIDE, for example the H2OLearn project (see: https://www.upf.edu/web/h2olearn/)
The PhD position is offered to a highly motivated researcher, to join our team in interdisciplinary learning technologies research. The successful candidate should have an excellent undergraduate and master academic record in engineering (e.g. telematics, data science) or computer science. Candidates should have a strong desire to see technological work applied in solving impactful problems in the context of education. The successful candidate should also have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Evidence of excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, good English command, and Spanish or/and Catalan language knowledge are desirable.
Please contact Patricia Santos ([email protected]) for any question or further information needed.
Submission of documentation: [email protected]
- 3-year contract, possibility of 1-year extension.
- Salary depends on the skills and experience that the candidate brings to the position. Medical insurance is included.
- Training in transversal skills.
- Participation in European projects, projects’ meetings, scientific conferences.
- Participation in networking and outreach activities.
- Participation in workshops at formal educational institutions (knowledge of Spanish or Catalan will be positively valued).
- Contribute to teaching, laboratory, practice teaching, supervision, or exam work within the department areas of expertise.
PhD program admission, see requirements at https://www.upf.edu/web/etic/doctorat
- Academic records and CV.
- Motivation letter.
- Recommendation letters (optional)
How to apply and important dates
- Send your application (see selection criteria) to [email protected]
- Application deadline: 15th March
- Expected incorporation decision of candidates: June 2024
About UPF DTIC
The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra covers a broad range of research topics: Computation and Intelligent Systems; Multimedia Technologies; Networks and Communications; Computational Biology and Biomedical Systems; and the Center of Brain and Cognition (CBC). This broad spectrum of topics reflects the current interdisciplinary reality of cutting edge research in ICT. DTIC is only one of the 2 university departments granted the research excellence seal Maria de Maeztu by the Spanish Ministry. Our Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program focuses on data-driven knowledge extraction.
The DTIC consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (1st Spanish university in Engineering studies according to THE2019).
Its PhD program offers advanced training in this interdisciplinary field, becoming an innovative and unique program in Spain. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 160 PhD students and 40 supervisors. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.
The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character, its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to live. DTIC is sited in UPF's Communication Campus, opened in 2009, and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district.