Tailorability or appropriation or malleability or flexbility refers to capability of an artifact (e.g. a pedagogical text or a tool) of being adapted to a given purpose or function.
Appropriation (or tailorability): how an individual or group adapts a technology to their own particular situation; the technology may be appropriated in a manner completely unintended by the designers. Wikipedia, retrieved 14:27, 12 January 2009 (UTC).
In educational technology, various researchers did express their concern with the lack of tailorability of educational software. E.g. Dillenbourg (2004:6) state that: “Another weakness of CSCL scripts is the loss of flexibility: good teachers adapt their plan on the flight, based on their observation of group processes, and this adaptation is often more difficult when the script is embedded into a computerized environment. This rigidity is however not intrinsic to any software. They rather result from the fact that CSCL designers so far under-estimated the teachers' needs to modify scripts on the fly.”
2 CoFFEE model
The authors argue that different kinds of users need different levels: “The user/learner needs only the configurability of the system (Tailorability by Customisation), the teacher/facilitator needs the Tailorability by Integration, the researcher requires to expand the fixed set of tool with new additional services/ tools (Tailorability by Expansion) and, finally, the developer is entitled to the full tailorability that can be offered, by extending the system with newly designed tools (Tailorability by Extension).”
3 Dillenbourg and Tchounikine
Dillenbourg and Tchounikine (2007) distinguish between intrinsic constraints and extrinsic constraints that exist in CSCL macroscripts, i.e. scripts that define a integrated pedagogical method that aims at producing some kind of desired interactions, (see CSCL script). Their model is also applicable - maybe with some various - to various other kinds of learning designs.
- Teacher flexibility
Flexibility does not just concern scenario design, but also its instantiation in concrete situations and run-time modifications (needs some explanation ...). Therefore the authors distinguish these four broad tailorability situations:
- Script edition
- Script instantiation
- Session set up
- Run time
- Flexibility for the student
Typically, CSCL script do not often allow for a lot of flexibility on the students side. However, some scripts allow for free role distribution for example
- Computer supported cooperative work (Wikipedia)
- De Chiara, R., Di Matteo, A., Manno, I., Scarano, V. (2007), CoFFEE: Cooperative Face2Face Educational Environment, in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom 2007), New York, USA, November 12-15, 2007.PDF
- Dillenbourg, Pierre et al. (2004). Framework for integrated learning, Kaleidoscope JEIRP MOSIL workingroup, D23.5.1 final report.
- Dillenbourg,P. and P. Tchounikine. Flexibility in macro CSCL scripts. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 13(1):1-13, 2007.
- Dimitracopoulou. A (2005). Designing collaborative learning systems: current trends & future research agenda. In CSCL '05: Proceedings of th 2005 conference on Computer support for collaborative learning, pages 115-124. International Society of the Learning Sciences.
- Hofte, G. H. ter (1998). Working Apart Together: Foundations for Component Groupware. PhD thesis, Telematica Institute, Enschede, The Netherlands.
- Hughes, J.A.; Randall, D.; Shapiro, D. (1992). "Faltering from ethnography to design". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 115-122, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. Abstract/PDF
- Koch. M and G. Teege (1999). Support for tailoring cscw systems: adaptation by composition. In Parallel and Distributed Processing, 1999. PDP '99. Proceedings of the Seventh Euromicro Workshop on, pages 146-152.
- Lonchamp. J. (2006) Supporting synchronous collaborative learning: a generic, multi-dimensional model. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1(2):247-276.
- Neuwirth, C.M.; Kaufer, D.S.; Chandhok, R.; Morris, J.H. (1990). "Issues in the design of computer support for co-authoring and commenting". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 183-195, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. Abstract/PDF
- Slagter. R, H. ter Hofte, and Stiemerling (2000). Component-based groupware: An introduction. In Proc. of Component Based Groupware Workshop of CSCW2000.
- Slagter. R, M. Biemans, and H. ter Hofte (2001). Evolution in use of groupware: Facilitating tailoring to the extreme. In CRIWG '01: Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Groupware, pages 68-73, Washington, DC, USA, 2001. IEEE Computer Society.
- Tang, J.C.; Isaacs, E.A.; Rua, M. (1994). "Supporting distributed groups with a Montage of lightweight interactions". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 23-34, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. Abstract/PDF