User Modeling 2007
Towards User Modelling and Adaptive Systems for All (TUMAS-A)

Workshop Format

The format of the workshop is based on question-oriented organization with lively discussions rather than mini-conference organization. In particular, the methodology used will be based on an adaptation of the "learning discussion forum" (aka Learning Café Methodology) which involve expert's introductions and group discussions ensuring that all participants can have a direct impact in addressing the workshop questions.

In order to better focus the discussion at the workshop day, a collaborative space will be set up at in a collaborative platform to facilitate open discussions among participants. The working methodology for the workshop is made up of the following steps:

  1. Three Experts prepare a short presentation and raise some open problems in the field and post challenging questions that the participants of the workshop have to answer in advance, via submitting paper (see Submission instructions).
  2. Those interested in the workshop submit their papers, covering some of the challenging questions rose by the experts. Each paper is reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee to provide feedback from different angles.
  3. The Coordinator set up a community in the collaborative environment to facilitate open discussion among workshop participants previous to the workshop day.
  4. The authors of the papers are registered in the collaborative platform, upload the final version of their paper and introduce it in the forums. Open discussion among participants can take place in the forums previously to the workshop day.
  5. For the workshop day, each participant brings a sheet with his or her relevant conclusions for each topic he or she has worked in his or her paper.
  6. Three round tables are settled, each managed by a Moderator. The tables have A-1 sheets and markers.
  7. A brief overview of each of the topics is done, raising the challenging questions. Each table makes a brainstorming leaded by the Moderator. The ideas are written down in the sheet. When the sheet is full, they are stack on the wall. After 15 minutes, the people from one table move to the next one (clockwise). The Moderator stays in his or her table and summarizes to the new people what was discussed with the previous group. After 15 minutes, they move again to the next table and repeat the process. The same procedure follows for the other topics.
  8. Once finished, for each type, the Moderator presents the conclusions to the audience. Open discussions with all participants are expected to be risen.
  9. The Coordinator summarizes the conclusions with the collaborative help of the group.
  10. Final conclusions are structured and uploaded in the website to be shared with the User Modelling community. Moreover, the community of interest set up in the collaborative platform for the workshop will be kept and extended with people interested in the topics.

The different roles identified above (Coordinator, Expert and Moderators) will be held by the following people:

Olga C. Santos
Martyn Cooper
Carlos Velasco
Jesús G. Boticario
To be announced

Read more about the Learning Café Methodology

  • The World Cafe Community
  • The working method employed in the symposium is known as "learning discussion forum" or "Learning Café which involved expert's introductions and group discussions. The unique composition of the symposium together, with its pioneering methodology of synergy and interaction, provided and documented new ideas and concerns, which were crystallized in a series of observations, important for future planning in this field. (
  • The Café is built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront the most difficult challenges. ( slide 16)
  • The idea of the "Learning Cafe" is a developed form of the coffee table conversation. The participants sit around the small tables (from 6 to 8 people). Each table is presided by a moderator and has a special theme connected to the themes of the other tables by the overall topic of the discussion (for example: Participation). There are paper table clothes and pens on the tables and the participants are making their notes on the table clothes. After a while of discussion (approx. 20 minutes) the group dissolves and the people change to other tables, so the big group is mixing more and more as you meet new faces on every table. Only the moderators do not change to another table. At the new table the participants start to discuss again based on the notes on the table made by previous groups. They have a new conversation with new people and make their notes too. (
  • The Learning Café Workshops, which were used as a methodology throughout the process of writing the report, shared an emphasis on the meaning of attitudes that promote creativity and the will to change. Decision-makers are expected to be able to make decisions which are difficult but indispensable for the future. (ICT Cluster Finland Review 2006)