meetings, projects

3rd ECVET-Step meeting in Alcala

The 3rd ECVET-Step meeting took place in our hometown Alcala de Henares, from 1st to 3rd December. The meeting was held at a crucial moment during the project lifetime, i.e. just before the end of year 1, so a lot of important discussions took place, many reports on the work done during the first part of our project were done and also a few critical discussions run, specially for the University of Alcala, on the shape and features that the project online services and portal will provide. IE members Enayat, Meritxell and Salvador participated in the sessions.

We presented to our partners the revised version of D2.1 (a report presenting the review of existing information models and metadata implementations in systems that exchange, process, use and combine various competence-related information objects in VET), and also started to prepare the documentation for the soon to come interim report. It was also time to complete our report to IAEI concerning dissemination events, as well as to provide feedback for the exploitation activities and to the quality and risk questionnaires by UDE. On the social side, we had a nice dinner in the surprising tapas restaurant Plademunt (the imaginary restaurant) with lots of funny conversation and laughs to develop the teamwork spirit 🙂

meetings, projects, SemaGROW

3rd Semagrow meeting in Alcala

The 3rd plenary meeting of the European project SemaGrow took place in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) during 21st and 22nd of October. As work place of IERU group; Miguel Angel Sicilia, Jakkoo Lappalainen and Alberto Nogales organized it and of course attended to it. The magnificent building of the Faculty of Law, an old College and church dating back to the XVth century, hosted the meeting and welcomed the SemaGrow consortium members. During the meeting, several Work Packages (those about architecture or experimentation) were discussed with an special focus.

We keep on researching!

The Faculty of Law of the University of Alcala

The Faculty of Law of the University of Alcala

dissertations, PhD

Carlos M. Lorenzo PhD dissertation

Today, several IE members attended to the Ph.D dissertation of Carlos M. Lorenzo, including Giannis Stoitsis, Miguel Angel Sicilia and other junior members of the team. Carlos has been working during the last 2 years under the supervision of Salvador and Miguel Angel on his research called USING MMOL PLATFORMS FOR COLLABORATIVE EDUCATIONAL TASKS. This research, focused on discussing educational virtual worlds capabilities to train group’s and personal’s social skills in a media-rich, collaborative and immersive environment, is a remarkable step towards exploring new contexts for communication-enhanced learning. The main theoretical assumptions are that participation, concerns, co-participants, contexts and structures of practices have significant influence on couplings between learners’ skills improvement and the use of educational virtual worlds or MMOL platforms. In order to prove these assumptions, Carlos presented three different experimental studies of collaborative educational tasks in an MMOL setting.

From left to right: Manuel Palomo (UCA), Giannis Stoitsis (UAH&AK), PhD candidate Carlos M. Lorenzo, Carlos R. Solano (UAH), German Ruiperez (UNED), Ricardo Colomo (UC3M) and supervisor Miguel Angel

From left to right: Manuel Palomo (UCA), Giannis Stoitsis (UAH&AK), PhD candidate Carlos M. Lorenzo, Carlos R. Solano (UAH), German Ruiperez (UNED), Ricardo Colomo (UC3M) and supervisor Miguel A. Sicilia

Carlos, who received the highest possible mark “Cum Laude” for his quality research, is the third PhD student to complete his doctorate studies in the Computer Science Department “Mention of Excellence” program. Given that the PhD has also the  international mention, professors from Carlos III University, UNED, University of Cadiz, and internationally recognized researchers in the area such as Giannis Stoitsis from AgroKnow, Greece, formed the board of assessors for the dissertation, which took place in the 3M room of the Rectorate building in downtown Alcala.


meetings, projects

Organic.Lingua 5th project meeting in Alcala

Wednesday to Friday this week the Organic.Lingua consortium representatives gathered in Alcala de Henares for the 5th project meeting. This is an important meeting as the decisions that we will take are essential to plan the forthcoming pilot tests in England and France, as well as all the preparations for the next review meeting.

IE members Miguel Angel, Giannis, David Baños, David Martin, Leonardo and Salvador attend the sessions as the Faculty of Law in the University of Alcala, in a building that was originally a Jesuit college built at the end of the seventeenth century. Below some pictures taken during these 3 fruitful days of  intensive work.

dissemination, dissertations, meetings, talks

IERU day at UAH

Last Tuesday the whole IE staff, consisting of 20~ members that include professors, developers and students, organized a morning presentation session where each member briefly described the current state of the research projects he/she is involved in. As it can be appreciated in the IERU’s wiki, the group coordinates three European projects (i.e., ICT PSP VOA3R, ICT PSP Organic.Lingua and FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES agINFRA) while it is a member of the consortium of other projects with heterogeneous scope. That is the case of the European project Open Discovery Space and the national projects HEDECAMA, MAVSEL and SLROUTE.

The end of the session led to a cocktail in order to celebrate Christmas as well as the research success of the group, in spite of the difficult situation that the academic world is going through. Below, some pictures of the event…

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meetings, Professor Roman

Herbal.Mednet kick-off meeting in Alcala

Today and tomorrow the kick-off meeting of the Leonardo DaVinci Transfer of innovation project is taking place in Alcala. This project will transfer training content that has been tested in Spain and Romania into Italy and Greece, as well as in new geographical region users’ group in Spain.


During the next 2 years, Herbal.Mednet participants will select and adapt existing training contents in organic farming of herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants that is publicly available worldwide to the countries of the participating user groups. At the same time, the project will transfer the innovative training techniques that have been developed for the agricultural advisors and trainers in organic Agriculture through previous initiatives like Organic.Mednet and Organic.Balkanet into agricultural advisors in a new thematic area: organic farming in herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants. In the picture above these lines, representatives of all partner institutions and other external experts pose in the rectorate building of the University of Alcala, where the sessions of the meeting are taking place.

IE member Salvador is representing UAH in the project, in which we are leading WP3 dealing with the design and deployment of the e-learning platform where the courses will be delivered.

Nikos Manouselis, projects, workshops

Working session on European projects with Nikos Manouselis and Cristian Cechinel

Today, Nikos Manouselis from Agroknow (Greece) and Cristian Cechinel from Universidade Federal do Pampa – Campus de BagĂ© (Brazil) are the keynote speakers in a working session organized by the Computing School of the University of Alcala. Both speakers have a strong background relationship with Information Engineering Research Unit of the University and have therefore been invited by us to participate in this knowledge-sharing event.

Nikos’ talk, entitled “Opening Up Digital Collections: a case study on the connection of cultural collections with educational activities”, introduced how digital collections of cultural and scientific institutions may be organized and exposed to Web portals and online services in order to support various user information needs and tasks. It has particularly presented the case of Natural Europe, a research project that connects museum collections with educational activities, allowing the design of digital educational pathways over digitized cultural items from Natural History Museums. After this talk, a discussion on relevant research directions and potential technology challenges took place.


Partial view of room E-101 during Nikos Manouselis presentation

Cristian Cechinel, a representative of the IGUAL project (which stands for “InnovaciĂłn para la Igualdad en la Universidad de America Latina”) gave a talk about the project objectives and achievements, which basically are to improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of Higher Education in Latin America, particularly for the most vulnerable groups.

Cristian Cechinel during his talk

IGUAL project assumes that if more low-income students successfully finish their studies despite the deficiencies in their basic education, the project will have a direct, positive impact in the accessibility of higher education for a segment of the population (public schooled students) that is usually in a disadvantaged position compared with students that could afford private schools. The role that University of Pampa plays in the project was specially highlighted and detailed by Cristian.