Bianca Pereira: Recommendation of role models to support the development of learning plans
Bianca is a PhD candidate at the Data Science Institute in NUI Galway. Her research aims at supporting self-directed learners during the development of their personal learning plans (also known as portfolios or personal development plans). This will be realised through the development of a computational artefact that recommends role models who can support learners while engaged in planning their learning. This artefact is envisioned to be an innovation that links the areas of peer recommendation systems in computer science, role models in psychology, and self-directed learning in education.
This research is based on a Design Science Research methodology that will start with a pilot study with professionals engaged in career development. In this pilot, the characteristics that make someone a role model supportive to the development of learning plans will be investigated through a Collective Intelligence session. Next, the requirements for a computational system that supports learners in finding such role models will be outlined. The remaining steps in the methodology will follow a cycle of software design, development and evaluation to develop a computational system that attends the requirements identified by the pilot group. The PhD research project will progress by engaging in new cycles of Design Science Research with other groups of learners.