Smartness of Learning Ecosystems and its Bottom-up Emergence in six European Campuses

Carlo Giovannella, Diana Andone, Mihai Dascalu, Elvira Popescu, Matthias Rehm, Giuseppe Roccasalva

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


Each year a considerable amount of money is spent in the production
of several national and international University rankings that may deeply
influence the students’ enrollment. However, all such rankings are based almost
exclusively on numerical indicators weakly related to the quality of the learning
process and do not consider the perceptions of the “end users”, i.e. the learners.
Recently, as part of the activity promoted by the ASLERD (Association for
Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Development), we have developed an
alternative approach to benchmark learning ecosystems. Such novel approach is
based on: a) the detection of the degree of satisfaction related to the levels of
the Maslow’s Pyramid of needs, and b) the detection of indicators related with
the achievement of the state of “flow” by the actors involved in the learning
processes. In this paper we report on the first implementation of such
benchmarking approach that involved six European Campuses and more than
700 students. The critical analysis of the outcomes allowed us to identify: a) the
set of the most relevant indicators; b) a “smartness” axis in the plan of the first
two principal components derived by applying a Principal Component Analysis
(PCA) to the spaces of the selected indicators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInteraction Design and Architecture(s)
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)79-92
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Learning Ecosystems
  • University ranking
  • Benchmarking
  • Smartness
  • Maslow's Pyramid
  • Flow


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