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Francesca Pozzi

Francesca Pozzi


Office: Genova

E-mail: pozzi@itd.cnr.it

Telephone: 010/6475 338

Academic Publishing

Google Scholar

Research Gate


Francesca Pozzi is presently researcher at the Istituto Tecnologie Didattiche (ITD) - CNR and has got a Ph.D. in Cultures, Languages and ICT (University of Genoa).
Pozzi has partecipated to many national and international projects. Her main research interests include:

  • Learning design: methods, tools and representations.
  • Collaborative learning; Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL); strategies and techniques to support collaboration in online learning processes; how to monitor and evaluate CSCL processes; models, methods and tools for teacher training in the knowledge society; collaborative strategies and inclusion. 
  • Technology enhanced learning for cultural heritage education. 
  • Teacher training and school innovation in the digital era. 

Main publications include:


  • Persico, D., & Pozzi, F. (2015). Informing learning design with learning analytics to improve teacher inquiry. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 230–248.
Abstract (eng): This paper proposes an analysis of current research in learning design (LD), a field aiming to improve the quality of educational interventions by supporting their design and fostering the sharing and reuse of innovative practices among educators. This research area, at the moment, focuses on three main strands: the representations that can be used as a common language to communicate about pedagogical plans and other half-fabricates of the design process, the methodological approaches to LD and the tools that support the LD process. For each of the three strands, the current landscape is discussed, pointing at open issues and indicating future research perspectives, with particular attention to the contribution that learning analytics can make to transform LD from a craft, based on experience, intuition and tacit knowledge, into a mature research area, grounded on data concerning the learning process and hence supporting enquiry while teachers design, run and evaluate the learning process.
  • Dagnino, F., Ott, M., & Pozzi, F. (2015). Addressing Key Challenges in Intangible Cultural Heritage Education. International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era, 4(2), 193-207.

Abstract (eng): The paper draws on the i-Treasures EU project which adopts cuttingedge sensors and ICT technologies to sustain Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) learning and transmission. It highlights how some of the main educational challenges that are characteristic of this peculiar field have been addressed in the project by relying on consolidated Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) practices and related tools. In particular, it focuses on pedagogical planning as a means to sustain the design, deployment and sharing of educational interventions, which are suitable and effective from the viewpoint of contents, structure and learning /teaching methodologies.

  • Pozzi, F., Alivizatou, M., Dagnino, F. M. & Ott, M. (2015). Going beyond preservation: how to support technology-enhanced learning in ICH education. International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era, 4(1), pp. 21-40.

Abstract (eng): The issue of protection and promotion of cultural heritage has become a central topic of European and international cultural policy, especially in recent decades. Beside more 'tangible' cultural manifestations (like archaeological sites, natural parks or museum collections) there is a huge heritage, made up of intangible live expressions like performing arts, social practices, oral traditions, etc. which is threatened by the globalization process. The i-Treasures project looks at some of these intangible cultural expressions with the aim not only of preserving them, but also of providing innovative solutions to education in this field. In order to do this, the project explores the potential of cutting edge technologies for capturing the specificities of the considered Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) expressions, analyzing and modeling data and making these resources available for preservation, research and educational purposes. With this aim an open and extendable platform is developed in the project framework. This paper deals with the process of user and system requirements definition and explains how this was necessarily influenced by the specificities of the ICH expressions considered. This process encompassed the identification of the specificities of rare traditional know-how, the discovery of the existing teaching and learning practices and finally the identification of the most cutting edge technologies able to support innovative teaching and learning approaches to ICH.

  • Dagnino, F., Ott, M., & Pozzi, F. (2014). Intangible Cultural Heritage: towards collaborative planning of educational interventions. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 1314-1319.

Abstract (eng): The paper discusses how to design innovative educational interventions in the field of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). This field is peculiar, as it is characterized by the urgency to preserve and disseminate some of the most peculiar intangible artistic expressions, especially those at risk of disappearing; so far these cultural expressions have been passed down mainly through imitation and oral tradition, so now technologies can play a role in fostering their preservation and documentation. Drawing on the discussion held in recent years in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), the paper describes a web-based tool aimed to support the collaborative design and planning of innovative ICT-based learning/teaching activities in ICH education. While providing an overview of the main functionalities of such a tool, the paper solicits some reflections on how TEL approaches, techniques and tools can fruitfully be employed to sustain ICH education.

  • Dagnino, F.M., Ott, M., Hadjileontiadi, L., & Pozzi, F. (2014). An Integrated Platform Supporting Intangible Cultural Heritage Learning and Transmission: Definition of Requirements and Evaluation Criteria. CIT- Journal of Computing and Information Technology, 22 (4), 277 – 292.

Abstract (eng): The paper offers an experience-based viewpoint on two key phases of the development of an Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)-based system: the definition of requirements and identification of related criteria and methodology for its evaluation. In doing so, it refers to the unique context of the i-Treasures EU project, which deals with the development of an innovative integrated platform to support the learning and transmission of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). The i-Treasures integrated platform is conceived to support both traditional learning approaches and innovative and active learning processes, based on extensive use of sensor-technologies. In this light, during the development process, particular attention has been devoted to the definition of requirements with specific reference to sensor-mediated Human Computer Interaction (HCI) issues and the evaluation process was designed accordingly, in coherence with the specific advanced features of the integrated platform. The paper offers a view of the complexity of the design of ICT-based tools supporting the preservation and transmission of ICH and also provides an insight (and this could have a broader impact) into the methodology adopted to harmonize the requirements and the evaluation phases which are key pillars for the construction of any educationally effective ICT-based learning system.

  • Collazos, C. A., Padilla-Zea,, N., Pozzi, F., Guerrero, L., A. & Gutierrez, F. L. (2014). Design guidelines to foster cooperation in digital environments. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 23(3), 375-396.

Abstract (eng): A number of researchers argue that cooperative learning can promote greater productivity and more caring, supportive and committed relationships between students, active learning, critical thinking, the achievement of long-term learning objectives, conceptual understanding, long-term retention of information and high levels of student satisfaction. However, to obtain these potential advantages something more than forming and assigning them a common goal is needed: cooperation has to occur. This paper presents guidelines for designing group activities to foster cooperation by focusing on three elements of cooperative learning: (1) positive interdependence, (2) equal participation and (3) individual accountability in both individual and group learning scenarios. The authors also describe a software tool designed according to the model proposed in which some design guidelines have been implemented in order to support cooperative learning activities and allow the cooperative process to be monitored. The preliminary results show that the participants who have interacted with this software tool have obtained good cooperation scores and cooperative abilities have been fostered: participation, engagement and communication during learning activities.

  • Pozzi, F., Bottino, R. M., Persico, D. (2014). Enhancing Human Capital in TEL Research: a case study from the STELLAR Network of Excellence, Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 425-431. 

Abstract (eng): This paper analyses the case of the Theme Teams, i.e. one of the instruments used within the STELLAR Network of Excellence to develop human capital and support research capacity in the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) field. Qualitative and quantitative data about how this instrument worked are presented in the paper, with the aim to demonstrate its ability to promote integration of researchers in different countries and with different backgrounds, and to develop the researchers’ human capital by overcoming the traditional fragmentation of this specific research field.

  • Persico, D., Manca, S., & Pozzi, F. (2014). Adapting the Technology Acceptance Model to evaluate the innovative potential of e-learning systems. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 614-622.

Abstract (eng):This paper describes an experience where the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been adapted for use in the evaluation of methodological and technological innovations determined by the introduction of a new e-learning system in an Italian online university. While the original TAM allows one to assess acceptance and adoption of a new technology, in this case there was also a need to consider all the phases of use of the system (course design, running and evaluation), all the users of the system (students, teachersand e-learning management), and all the system’s components (the e-learning platform, the learning
resources and mostly the underlying pedagogical approach). The resulting model, which is an extension of the original TAM, is a three-dimensional one, with three aspects to be considered on each axis (phases of use, users and components). For each of the 27 combinations of these aspects, indicators of usefulness and ease-of-use have been identified. When available, data concerning actual use (derived from the tracking
functions of the platform) and effectiveness (based on teachers’ adoption of new tools and students’ learning outcomes) have also been used to complement the data.

  • Pozzi, F., & Persico, D. (2013). Sustaining learning design and pedagogical planning in CSCL. Research in Learning Technology - Supplement 2013, 21: 20224

Abstract (eng): This paper tackles the issue of learning design and pedagogical planning in the context of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). In this sector we witness the same variety of approaches and tools that we find in the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research field. In particular, in the CSCL context, notions such as ‘Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns’ or ‘collaborative scripts’ have been used to describe and/or run online collaborative learning activities and, consequently, tools have been implemented to reify these concepts and visualize the designs. Despite the differences, most of the existing tools support the representation of learning designs that are already “in the designer’s mind”, while fewer tools specifically aim to provide guidance and support to CSCL designers in the early phases of the design process, that is, when they have to take critical decisions concerning the educational approach, the tools to be used, and the ways to engage the target population. This paper, while focusing on this gap in CSCL research, proposes a unifying model, aimed at supporting pedagogical planning and decision making in the CSCL design process based on the interplay of four model components: Task, Teams, Time and Technology.

  • Persico, D., Pozzi, F., Anastopoulou, S., Conole, G., Craft, B., Dimitriadis, Y., Hernández-Leo, D., Kali, Y., Mor, Y., Pérez-Sanagustín, M., Walmsley, H. (2013). Learning design Rashomon I - supporting the design of one lesson through different approaches. Research in Learning Technology - Supplement 2013, 21: 20224

Abstract (eng): This paper presents and compares a variety of approaches that have been developed to guide the decision-making process in learning design. Together with the companion Learning Design Rashomon II (Prieto et al., 2013), devoted to existing tools to support the same process, it aims to provide a view on relevant research 20 results in this field. The common thread followed in these two contributions is inspired by Kurosawa’s Rashomon film, which takes multiple perspectives on the same action. Similarly, in this paper, Rashomon I, a lesson on ‘‘Healthy Eating’’ is analysed according to five different approaches, while the Rashomon II paper is used to exemplify the affordances of different tools. For this reason, this paper does 25 not follow the conventional structure of research papers (research question, method, results and discussion), but rather it moves froman introduction providing the rationale for the paper, to a description of the five different approaches to learning design (the 4SPPIces Model, the 4Ts, the e-Design Template, the Design Principles Database and the Design Narrative) and then to a discussion of their 30 similarities and differences to inform the choice of potential users.

  • Pozzi F., Delfino M., Manca S., Persico D., Scancarello I. (2013), Boosting innovation in an Italian online university. International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design (IJOPCD), 3 (4), 29-43.

Abstract (eng): This paper describes the process of boosting an innovative e-learning system in an online university in Italy. The system relies on a satellite-terrestrial telecommunication infrastructure and allows for different interaction types, including synchronous, asynchronous, textual, audio and video communication modes. The adoption of this infrastructure was preceded by a training initiative proposed to the university staff to favor its intake. The paper analyses the effects of both the training initiative and the technological innovation based on qualitative data derived from the observed differences between the pre-existing courses and their re-design and quantitative data tracked by the system during a pilot test that lasted eleven months. These data show a trend reversal in the e-learning approach, from a prevalence of transmissive mode to a more interactive one, although there is still a long way to go before more radical changes can take place.

  • Earp J., Ott M., Pozzi F. (2013). Facilitating Educators' Knowledge Transfer with Information Systems for Sharing Practices. Computers in Human Behaviour, 29, 445–455.

Abstract (eng):The process of knowledge sharing can be seen as the lifeblood for the establishment of a true Knowledge Society. Such a society must be grounded on an iterative process whereby existing knowledge is constantly shared, consolidated and – crucially – enriched with new knowledge. And knowledge sharing is the means by which that enrichment can take place. Without doubt, these processes play a vital role in the context of education, which ultimately has a strong bearing on the formation of the Knowledge Society. In this paper, knowledge sharing among educators is discussed within the context of long-term research work that the authors have carried out in the field. The paper reports on the design and devel-opment of a series of Information Systems conceived for the sharing of practices among educational prac-titioners. It discusses the thinking behind these different but related systems and examines how this is borne out in the implementation of key system features.

  • Pozzi F., Hofmann L., Persico D., Stegmann K., Fischer F. (2011). Structuring CSCL through collaborative techniques and scripts, International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design, 1(4), 39-49.

Abstract (eng):This paper is rooted in the research field of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), where the debate is lively around whether and to what extent structuring the interactions among students enhances the effectiveness of the collaborative process. The paper discusses two different design approaches to structuring collaboration: the former approach, adopted in the context of an Italian online course, is based on the use of a set of collaborative techniques, while in the latter, proposed in a German context, collaboration scripts are used to guide students step-by-step. The study describes and then compares the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches. What can be learned from the two experiences? Is there any possibility – and with what advantages – of integrating the two approaches, so as to gain from both?

  • Pozzi F. (2011). The impact of scripted roles on online collaborative learning processes. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(3), 471-484.

Abstract (eng): This paper illustrates the experience gained within an online course, where a collaborative technique, namely Role Play, was used within an asynchronous text-based environment to trigger collaboration and interactions among students. In a pilot study, the
technique was analyzed using an evaluation model and two different means: on the one hand, the content analysis carried out by the researchers of the messages exchanged by the students during the Role Play; on the other, a questionnaire aimed at investigating students’ impressions concerning the technique itself. The aim of the study is twofold: to understand the impact of the proposed roles on the online learning process, and to investigate whether roles facilitated members’ awareness of the overall process itself.

Abstract (eng): Collaboration is to date extensively adopted for supporting learning processes, both in face-to-face and in virtual learning contexts.However, technology profoundly changes the nature of human interactions and, consequently, it also changes the nature of the collaborative learning process, therefore giving birth to a range of new potentialities and problems to be faced. This book aims to provide a close picture of the peculiarities of online collaborative learning processes, by looking at those processes through an unusual lens that is through the strategies, methods, and techniques used to support and enhance debate and exchange among peers. Discussion, Jigsaw, Peer Review, or Role Play are examples of such methods and techniques. They specify a structure for the activities to be carried out, fix the rules, and indicate the procedures to be followed by students to accomplish the task at hand.They are frequently used in online learning environments, but research results on pros and cons of their use are still quite scattered and incomplete.
Abstract (eng): In CSCL contexts (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) collaborative activities with different levels of structuredeness are often used to foster discussion and exchange among students and enhance collaboration. In this field the debate around whether and to what extent it is useful to structure the activities proposed to students, is still very lively. In this paper two collaborative activities are explored, namely a simple Case Study (moderate level of structuredness) and the Case Study joint with the Jigsaw (higher level of structuredness). Starting from the analysis of the interactions occurred among students of two real online courses performing these activities, it is possible to identify strong points and weaknesses of the two activities, so to draw some reflections on the impact of structuredness on the collaborative learning process.
Abstract (eng): This paper proposes to regard the structure of CSCL activities as an entity composed of the three independent dimensions: Time, Tasks and Teams. The paper analyses the collaborative processes activated by students during five different types of activities (Discussion, Peer Review, Case Studies, Role Play and Jigsaw). Based on real life data, the authors try to identify the relations between the three dimensions and the nature of the learning process.
  • Pozzi F. (2009). Supporting Group and Individual Processes in Web-Based Collaborative Learning. In Mourlas et al., (Eds.), Cognitive and emotional processes in web-based education: integrating human factors and personalization, IGI Global.

Abstract (eng): This chapter tackles the issue of how it is possible to integrate individual differences in the learning design of Web-based collaborative learning experiences. In particular, in online collaborative learning environments, it is quite common to adopt techniques to support collaboration and interactions among peers. This contribution proposes to monitor the enactment of the collaborative techniques to make individual and group differences emerge, thus allowing the consequent customization of the learning experience. To this aim, a monitoring model is proposed, whose flexibility allows the tutor to bring different aspects and different levels of the ongoing learning process under control.

  • Persico, D., Pozzi, F. & Sarti, L. (2009). A model for monitoring and evaluating CSCL. In (Eds.) Juan, A.A., Daradoumis, T., Xhafa, F., Caballe, S., Faulin, J., Monitoring and Assessment in Online Collaborative Environments, 149-170,  IGI Global.

Abstract (eng):This chapter tackles the issue of monitoring and evaluating CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) processes. It starts from the awareness that most of the tasks carried out in managing, tutoring, fine tuning and evaluating online courses heavily rely on information drawn through monitoring. Information of this kind is usually needed for both the assessment of individual learning and the evaluation of a learning initiative. The development of a sound, general purpose model to organize this information serves a variety of purposes, since it makes the monitoring, assessment and evaluation processes more systematic and effective. By describing the model and providing concrete examples of its use, the goal of this paper is to demonstrate its potential, flexibility and suitability to meet evaluators’ aims in a wide range of cases. The model gathers consolidated practices in the field and is based on the most recent findings of theoretical CSCL research.

Abstract (eng): The present paper illustrates the experience gained within two “twin” online courses, where three collaborative techniques, namely the Role Play, the Jigsaw and the Discussion, were used for triggering collaboration and interactions among students. The use of the techniques in the two courses is analyzed by looking at the participative, the social, the cognitive and the teaching dimensions and the way these components vary across techniques and across the two courses. Despite the results are certainly affected by factors that could not be set aside in a real context (the individual differences of students, the topics and sequence of activities, etc.), still it is possible to draw some final considerations concerning the strong points and weaknesses of the three techniques in online learning contexts.

Abstract (eng): Both quantitative and qualitative methods are being increasingly used to investigate the learning dynamics that take place within CSCL environments. Since such practices are a crucial aspect of the CSCL field,Design Patterns (DPs) can be used for capitalizing on experience and sharing know-how among practitioners. This paper describes three DP instances that have been developed and fine tuned by a community of practice consisting of researchers, instructional designers and tutors with the aim of supporting monitoring and evaluation of CSCL interactions. The DP solutions are based on a set of indicators, some of quantitative and some of qualitative nature, as well as on the methods to gauge these indicators, starting from data tracked by the e-learning system. The process of development of these DPs is described and examples of use are reported and discussed in order to advance the instructional design field and inform the development of CSCL systems. The proposed DPs belong to a Language, aimed at describing tracking problems in different types of e-learning systems and at capturing in their solutions the know-how developed by communities of experts in the different fields.

Abstract (eng): In this paper an approach for analysing learning processes in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environment is presented. The approach is based on tracking the interactions among learners and tutors. Keeping track of meaningful events can have three main aims: to evaluate the quality of the process, to monitor students’ performance in real time and to assess individual learning performances. The results can be of benefit to course designers, tutors/instructors and researchers involved in collaborative learning experiences. The proposed approach is based on a five-dimensional model that includes a participative, an interactive, a social, a cognitive and a teaching dimension. Each dimension can be analysed through a set of indicators obtained by tracking course participants’ behaviour within the learning environment. Examples of significant indicators, drawn from the literature and the authors’ field experience, are discussed for each dimension. The paper also proposes a taxonomy of the data needed to obtain the described indicators. Finally, possible directions for further research are outlined.

Abstract (eng):.The present contribution focuses on some of the most common techniques typically used in CSCL contexts in order to enhance interactions among peers and foster the collaboration process. The papers briefly illustrates those techniques and then proposes some reflections on the most important factors to be taken into consideration by the designer and the tutor, so as to increase the student motivation, performance and satisfaction.


List of main publications