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The goal of SERVIVE is a service for the economic development of computer-based autonomous learning, initially in science and technology at middle vocational level. For the learner, the project will allow for computer simulation of procedures or equipment supplemented with additional instructional support. It will also enable course authors, the teachers, to stimulate learning by manipulating building blocks for simulation and support from a specially provided library, assisted by suitable tools and infrastructure. Author and learner reactions will be monitored at first hand during the project to tailor ongoing service development to their needs.

The servive (SERVice for Integrated Virtual Environments) project seeks to provide a service which will support the cost effective design and development of computer based learning environments for autonomous (discovery and experiential) learning. The project concentrates on the technology and science related domains in instruction and training at a middle vocational level. servive learning environments are based on a computer simulation of for example a process, a procedure, or equipment. Additionally, learning environments provide learners with instructional support that helps them in the process of autonomous learning. For example, while working with the simulation, learners can ask for extra explanations of phenomena or can ask for assignments to guide their interactions with the simulation. The servive authoring environment offers authors (teachers) the possibility of creating learning environments without the need for programming knowledge or specific pedagogical knowledge. An author creates a learning environment by selecting 'building blocks' from a library and adapting and combining these building blocks into a complete learning environment. Building blocks include templates for simulation models, interfaces, and instructional support. The service for authors, therefore, consists of:

- a library that holds building blocks to construct learning environments;

- a set of tools for adapting these building blocks to the author's own needs, and;

- an infrastructure for support, including on-line pedagogical help, courses, user groups, and a help desk.

The instructional approach taken in the project (discovery and experiential learning) is innovative for the target group in the project: middle vocational training. Traditionally, instruction in this area is characterised by the classical lecture, in which the teacher explains to the students rules and principles of the domain. It is expected that the new approach, with more initiative and control in the hands of the learner, will contribute to the acquisition of knowledge that is more flexible, deeper, and has a higher transfer value, and thus will smooth the transition from school to the workplace. In developing the service the project adopts a methodology in which requirements are constantly collected by observing and interviewing learners and authors working with intermediate versions of the service. These requirements are translated into new functionality, leading to an incremental improvement of the service.


University of Twente

7500 AE Enschede

Participants (3)


5200 BP 'S-hertogenbosch
Tour Fiat-cedex 16
92084 Paris La Defence
GEC Marconi Ltd
United Kingdom
The John Sutcliffe Building Fulmar Way
KY11 5JX Dunfermline