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Keynote 1: Social Gamification Works!​​​​

ABSTRACT: In ICT alone, the human-resource gap in Europe approached 1,000,000 at the beginning of the 2020s. Thus, "Every student counts!" is a grand challenge in education (GCE), horizon 2035. We posit that social gamification, which we define as using social and gaming elements to successfully engage students with the curriculum, is a useful tool in solving the GCE. In this keynote, you will learn how you can use gamification to improve university teaching and learning. The interactive session will start from Alexandru's experience using gamification with his teaching teams at the technical university TU Delft and at the research university Vrije Universiteit, both in The Netherlands — for many years, for several BSc and MSc courses, with higher passing rates and student satisfaction than in the years without gamification, and with high student participation and demonstrable engagement. The discussion will focus on gamification mechanics and dynamics, and on activating students from talented to simply disinterested. I hope to convince you gamification is not just the BLT sandwich of higher education; there may also be brownies. Alexandru Iosup is a full professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), a high-quality research university located in the Netherlands. He is the tenured chair of the Massivizing Computer Systems research group at the VU and of the SPEC-RG Cloud group. His leadership and innovation in education led to various awards, including the prestigious Netherlands Higher-Education Teacher of the Year in 2015. His work in distributed systems and ecosystems has received prestigious recognition, including membership in the (Young) Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands, the 2016 Netherlands ICT Researcher of the Year award, and a PhD from TU Delft. Contact Alexandru at or @AIosup, or visit

Keynote 2: The openHPI Learning Platform – Successfully Creating a Virtuous Cycle of Teaching, Development, and Research

ABSTRACT: In 2012, the New York Times proclaimed the “Year of the MOOC”. In September of the same year, the first course with thousands of participants went online on openHPI, the Hasso Plattner Institute's new learning platform. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the “Second Year of the MOOC” was proclaimed by the media. End of 2021, the number of enrollments on openHPI has passed the first million. About a hundred courses have been offered on the platform so far. Meanwhile, the success of the platform and the course format convinced others. The HPI now operates about ten instances of the learning platform for partners in different contexts including corporate education (SAP), information for first responders and the public during pandemic outbreaks (WHO), national and federal research projects (AI-Campus, eGov-Campus), teacher education ( and more. Beginning of 2022, the course enrollments on all platform instances in total have reached about 15 million.

Enrollment numbers are one side of the coin, success rates are the other. While, generally, MOOCs are often criticized for their low course completion, openHPI boasts comparably good success rates. One of the success factors of the platform is that teaching, development, and research are heavily intertwined. Research topics are social learning, learning analytics, game-based learning, storification, automated assessment, peer assessment, teamwork, chatbots, or mobile learning, to mention just a few. Every researcher is involved in the development of features that are related to their research and every researcher has been teaching at least one course on the platform. Due to the pandemic, many new use cases and different educational approaches had to be handled by the platform. Smaller courses, internal courses, blended courses, etc. often with very different requirements. The presentation will provide insights on successful course design, platform features, research results, and challenges that arose from the pandemic.


Dr. Thomas Staubitz is a Senior Lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam. He has been a member of the Learning and Knowledge Engineering research group at the chair of Professor Christoph Meinel since 2013 and is significantly involved in the openHPI project. He is responsible for several related projects, such as AI-Campus, eGov-Campus, or Corship. His research focus is on virtual teamwork in scalable learning environments and peer assessment.
Other topics include online exams, online proctoring, and automated assessment of programming tasks. He has been involved in the production and delivery of about 30 MOOCs and SPOCs in various roles, both in front of and behind the camera.

Keynote 3: Enhanced Learning: A Case Study on digital health adoption of pervasive solutions

Digital health is now integral to daily life becoming an important initiative that allows patients and healthcare professionals to interconnect through various online solutions. As stated by WHO “Its application to improve the health of populations remains largely untapped, and there is immense scope for use of digital health solutions.” We proposed a Just in Time method and tool with initial results carried out in workplace communities. Participants were asked to construct learning objects simultaneously by means of a Just in Time workplace collaborative solution using a tablet application. 
A case study will be presented proposing a solution for healthcare professionals in a residential home for the elderly that monitor people with dementia (PwD).  It is challenging research that aims to build a large dataset that will allow researchers to improve the way we recognize human activities of PwD. This will be possible through the use of mobile applications and various sensors that will be worn by healthy participants that simulate specific activities of PwD. PEM Pervasive Electronic Monitoring in healthcare is research that is conducted at the University of Malta and St Vincent de Paul residential hospital for the elderly. We aim to train professionals through this tool to familiarise themselves with technology.


Dr Conrad Attard is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of ICT (FICT) at the University of Malta and also the Deputy Dean of the same Faculty. He is the lead researcher of a project funded through RIDT and the industry on pervasive electronic monitoring in healthcare PEM.  He has taken part in various panels discussing ICT, digital health, and science. His main research areas are digital health, mobile computing, and enterprise IT planning particularly the way they are adopted in the workplace. He is the Chair of IEEE Malta Computer Society and Chair of IEEE Region 8 Professional and Education activities subcommittee.