Understanding discussions of citizen science around Sustainable Development Goals in Twitter

David Roldán-Álvarez, Fernando Martínez-Martínez, Estefanía Martín and Pablo A. Haya,

in IEEE Access, 2021, 9, pp. 144106-144120 https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3122086


Citizen science (CS) involves volunteers who participate in scientific research by collecting data or by addressing the needs of the project they are involved in. In the last years, there has been an increasing interest in how CS can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that aim to reach a sustainable future. Research about data quality has taught us that through using an appropriate methodology, CS can foster scientific knowledge and promote specific actions to achieve accomplish goals. However, there is not much information about the SDGs that CS is more interested in. This paper presents a long-term study on how CS discuss about SDGs in Twitter, aiming to classify the discussion around the SDGs. The paper reports on a variety of topics such as open science, innovation and biodiversity, among others, but the results show that the most addressed topic in CS discussions in Twitter is about climate change, with corresponds to the SDG 13. Based on these findings, it is possible to affirm that climate change is a hot topic in CS in Twitter. However, there are also other SDGs that although underrepresented, are also discussed in CS.

Collaborative Video-Based Learning Using Tablet Computers to Teach Job Skills to Students with Intellectual Disabilities

David Roldán-Álvarez, Estefanía Martín, Pablo A. Haya

Education Sciences. 2021; 11(8):437. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080437


Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide different opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities and to professionals who work with them. However, few studies address the use of collaborative learning platforms and handheld devices to enhance the integration of people with intellectual disabilities in the labour market. We present a learning experience where active methodologies, such as collaborative work, are combined with the use of iPads and a learning management system following a video self-modelling methodology. The goal of this study was to determine whether the combination of traditional methodologies and new could be appropriate for students with intellectual disabilities and how they behave when having to rate their partner’s work. The results show that the combination of active learning methodologies, video self-modelling and the use of learning platforms and tablets is promising for teaching job related skills to students with intellectual disabilities, as participants experienced increased motivation to complete the tasks, improving their skills in the process

Nuevo artículo: ¿Cómo se difunden las noticias falsas?

Cada vez es más complicado discernir lo real de lo ficticio, la verdad de la mentira. Y no nos lo ponen fácil como estamos viendo durante la crisis sanitaria que nos está tocando vivir. No es de extrañar que el pensamiento crítico sea una de las competencias claves de este siglo XXI. Cultivar ese pensamiento requiere conocer los mecanismos que nos dificultan separar hechos de opiniones, que camuflan lo falso como verdadero, o que amplifican artificialmente la mentira.

En el siguiente artículo resumo cómo se difunden las noticias falsas, una amenaza seria a nuestra convivencia en la que intervienen bots, inteligencia artificial y nuestro propio cerebro. Este artículo ha sido publicado en el número especial de la revista BIT del Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación que conmemora la cien años de vida del título de Ingenierio de Telecomunicación.

Adicionalmente, el blog del IIC ha publicado una versión extendida del artículo anterior dividia en las siguientes dos entradas:

Finalmente, mi compañero Alejandro Vaca escribió una entrada intímamente relacionada sobre las tecnologías de Procesamiento de Lenguaje Natural que se emplean en la generación de noticias falsas.

Impact of different interaction protocols on group communication, satisfaction and learning outcomes of primary school children when using multitouch tabletops

David Roldán-Álvarez, Adrián Bacelo, Estefanía Martín, Pablo A. Haya

Computer & Education, Volume 152, July 2020, 103875. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103875 JCR 2018: 5.296 – 11/106 COMPUTER SCIENCE, INTERDISCIPLINARY APPLICATIONS – Q1, 4/253 EDUCATION & EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH – Q1


  • The relationship between interaction protocol and verbalisation is investigated.
  • Student learning and motivation have also been measured through tests.
  • The turn-taking protocol enhanced verbal communication.
  • Students’ motivation regarding the multi-contact table was high.
  • Students like to work in groups, but they don’t like what such collaboration entails.


Using information and communication technology (ICT) in childhood education is becoming more relevant as research shows that it can be used to foster children’s academic and non-academic skills. ICT can help build environments where children can communicate and collaborate, but creating effective learning environments is not trivial. It is thus necessary to study which configuration is the most appropriate for encouraging collaboration. In this work, we present how two different ways of interacting with a multitouch tabletop, taking turns without having to agree on the answer and working simultaneously but having to agree on the answer, affect group communication and children’s satisfaction. We have carried out four different learning experiments involving 180 children between 6 and 11 years of age who had to solve math problems in groups of three and four at a multitouch tabletop. Our results suggest that turn-based interaction makes students communicate more with each other when solving activities in groups. In addition, children’s satisfaction is high when they perform activities at a multitouch tabletop, but learning outcomes seems to not be impacted by the way of interacting with the device. Thus, while multitouch tabletops can be used to create collaborative learning environments, it is the way in which students interact with the device that may impact group communication.

DEDOS: An authoring toolkit to create educational multimedia activities for multiple devices

David Roldán-Alvarez, Estefanía Martín, Pablo A. Haya, Manuel García-Herranz, María  Rodríguez-González.

IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 11(4), 493-505. ISSN: 1939-1382. IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/TLT.2017.2788867 JCR 2018:  (2,315 – 50/106 Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Applications – Q2; 46/243 Education & Educational Research – Q1)


Information and Communication Technologies offer new possibilities for teachers to enhance their teaching methods. The increasing use of personal computers, tablets, interactive whiteboards or even multitouch tabletops in the classrooms seems to attract the interest of the students. However, there are not many tools that allow teachers to create multimedia activities for all these technologies in an effortless way. Most of current authoring tools either focus on creating content for only one device or they do not fully exploit the benefits of rich content for designing engaging educational activities. In this paper we present an authoring toolkit composed by two applications: DEDOS-Editor, which allow teachers to design their own learning activities, and DEDOS-Web, which allows the students to perform those activities adapting them to multiple devices. To test both tools, we have performed two evaluations. One with teachers to test the authoring tools and a second one with primary school students to test if the activities designed with this tool enhance their learning process. Results show that DEDOS-Editor is an easy to learn authoring tool which helps teachers to complement their learning methods while DEDOS-Web is flexible enough to create several learning scenarios from just one set of activities, factors which lead to achieving positive learning outcomes.





Impact of using interactive devices in Spanish early childhood education public schools

Estefanía Martín, David Roldán‐Alvarez, Pablo A. Haya, Cristina Fernández‐Gaullés, Cristian Guzmán, Hermelinda Quintanar

J Comput Assist Learn. (2019) 35(1), 1-12. ISSN: 1365-2729 https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12305 (JCR IF:2.451,  (2018) Q1 41/243 Education & Educational Research)


The adoption of Information and Communication Technologies in early childhood education is crucial for adapting traditional classrooms to the digital era. Over time, young children are increasingly using touch screen technologies such as tablets at home and in early childhood settings. However, the literature shows that there is a significant gap in knowledge of using this technology in early childhood education. Most researchers have focused on the pedagogical theory behind using touch screen devices, but there have not been many empirical studies about how these technologies affect students’ learning processes. This paper presents three learning experiences where early childhood students perform educational activities using tablet computers, interactive whiteboards, and paper cards. The results show that students who used the technology were more motivated and achieved better results that those who used paper cards.

What is already known about this topic:

  • The use of ICT in childhood education offers new possibilities for teachers to provide new and more visual digital learning content to their students.
  • Touch technologies seem suitable for young students. Because their motor skills are not fully developed yet, interacting with computers through a mouse and a keyboard is more difficult than doing it through natural gestures.
  • There are many studies in higher education levels that demonstrate that proper use of ICT in education can lead to an increase of the students’ motivation and learning.

What this paper adds:

  • Three empirical studies in three different childhood education classrooms to shed some light about how ICT can impact positively students learning.
  • A comparison of interactive whiteboards and tablet computers benefits regarding more traditional methodologies in childhood education.
  • Insights about how hardware and software can be combined to provide students a suitable learning environment in childhood education classrooms.

Implications for practice and/or policy:

  • Teachers should consider how they will create the workgroups. It is highly advisable to create heterogeneous groups taking into account the students’ skills. This way, members of the same group can help each other, creating a richer learning scenario.
  • Several teachers who participated in our studies said that they were not able to use ICT in their classrooms because they did not have enough digital competences. Our studies and the results obtained led them consider integrating technology in their classrooms. The good results obtained by the students who worked with technology changed the teachers’ perspective about the use of technology in the classroom.
  • Students showed a great interest in the use of tablet computers and interactive whiteboards, which translated into higher motivation compared with the students who solved the activities on paper.

Nuevo artículo: «El Análisis de Redes Organizacionales: concepto, metodología y aplicaciones»

Nos han publicado un artículo en la revista de Observatorio de Recursos Humanos donde resumimos cómo se puede aplicar el Análisis de Redes Sociales en el contexto organizacional.

Pablo A. Haya, Pablo García
Observatorio de Recursos Humanos, nº 131, febrero 2018, 60-70


Las relaciones profesionales informales, las que se superponen a las que imponen la estructura formal de una organización, son determinantes para que la colaboración, ya sea entre personas o entre equipos, sea efectiva, eficaz y eficiente. Las técnicas de Análisis de Redes Sociales (ARS) permiten dibujar el mapa de la red social de una organización, sus nodos, los enlaces que los unen y los influencers que las dinamizan. El principio aristotélico “el todo es más que la suma de las partes” adquiere, en este contexto, una dimensión real que, además, encuentra en el ARS su herramienta de prueba.


A novel group engagement score for virtual learning environments

group_norm_atkinson_distributionJorge Castellanos, Pablo A. Haya, Jaime Urquiza-Fuentes

IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 10(3), July-Sept. 1 2017, pp.306-317,  DOI: 10.1109/TLT.2016.2582164 [download] (JCR, IF 2017: 1.869, Q2 Education & Educational research, Q3 Computer science, interdisciplinary applications)


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is currently receiving much attention from governments and educational institutions. Our work is based on active learning and video-based learning approaches to support STEM education. Here we aimed to increase student’s engagement through reflective processes that embrace video film-making, and subsequent on-line discussion and evaluation of those videos. We propose a group engagement score that takes into account both individual activity and similarity of participation, thus allowing corrective actions to be taken when unengaged students or groups are identified. We tested these ideas using our own social learning platform that combines the principal features of Social Networks with tools that facilitate collaborative learning design. This platform stimulates students’ learning by means of two main reflective processes: participatory production and peer-review. We evaluated this platform and the learning approach it supports in an Object Oriented Programming course and identified interesting differences between group engagement and video ratings. Our principal conclusion is that greater teacher and student awareness of the ongoing activities and group engagement are needed.

Mind the gap: Impact on learnability of user interface design of authoring tools for teachers


David Roldán-Álvarez, Estefanía Martín, Manuel García-Herranz, Pablo A. Haya

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.  4 Jun 2016, pp. 18-34, doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2016.04.011 [download] (JCR, IF 2016: 2.863, Q1 5/22 Computer science, cybernetics)

  • We study the learnability of educational authoring tools for preventing teachers’ rejection or abandonment.
  • We evaluate two interaction paradigms of authoring educational tools: menu-based versus direct-manipulation.
  • The interaction paradigm of the authoring tool has an important impact on the tool’s learning curve’s entry point.
  • A consistent interaction metaphor allows teachers creating educational activities smooth and fast.


Few teachers include information and communication technology in the classroom, despite their potential for increasing attention and motivation for students. Educational authoring tools are intended to turn teachers into designers and deliverers of technology-enhanced educational content, and increasing the adoption of these tools is a key element for speeding up this transformation. This paper emphasizes the importance of learnability for preventing rejection or abandonment by of such an authoring tool, and how acceptance is deeply affected by the interaction paradigm and the creation metaphor used in the tool. We present an analysis comparing two design paradigms: the widespread menu-based and choice-guided interaction paradigm versus a consistent metaphor with direct manipulation. The latter was implemented in DEDOS-Editor, a novel authoring tool that allows the creation of diverse educational activities that can be performed on different devices, such as PCs, digital blackboards, tablets, and multitouch surfaces. An experimental study shows the tremendous impact that interface choices have on the tool’s learning curve. The results provide the first mapping of the choice of a direct-manipulation interface and its effect on the learning curve’s entry point, as well as a consistent interaction metaphor with smoother and fast-growing learning curves. This allows users to complete more tasks and gain more knowledge through experience, in contrast to menu-based interfaces. The initial use of the tool is thus made easier for users with no experience or information about the tool, and the advantages of experience and expertise in facing new challenges are facilitating. This work also highlights the appropriateness of learning curves as a tool for measuring learnability.

Nuevo artículo sobre Análisis de Redes Sociales en libro de Comunicación Interna

Acaba de publicarse en Bubok el Libro Colaborativo del Foro CI organizado por AlcorConectar negocio y personas: experiencias y tendencias en CI” en el que tengo una artículo conjunto con Ana Jusdado titulado “Aplicación del Análisis de Redes Sociales (ARS) a procesos colaborativos innovadores“.

Podéis consultar los detalles en la web del Foro de CI (www.foroci.com). El libro se puede adquirir tanto en versión digital como en versión papel así como los videos y materiales de trabajo del mismo.

El próximo día 22 de octubre se presenta a las 9,00 en ESADE Madrid en el evento de DIRCOM.