Role: Research assistant (CARET) and Technical research co-ordinator (City University London)

Team members: Patrick Carmichael (PI, Cambridge/Liverpool John Moores), Uma Patel (Lead researcher, City University London), Frances Tracy, Michael Tscholl, Agustina Martinez, Simon Moore, Richard Edwards, Rob Walker, Louise Corti, David Bolton, Jonathan Raper, Lawrence Solkin, Nicky Solomon, Nicola Beddall, Sanna Rimpilainen.

Award: £1.5 million

Funding body: ESRC and EPSRC (under the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Programme)

Duration: October 2008 to September 2011

Website: (Internet Archive)

Project description (from website):

“Ensemble: Semantic Technologies for the Enhancement of Case Based Learning” project is one of eight projects currently funded under the joint ESRC and EPSRC Technology Enhanced Learning Programme, which is part of the broader Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP). This research and development project will commence work in October 2008 and will run for three years.

The project is exploring the potential of the emerging ‘Semantic Web’ to support teaching in complex, controversial and rapidly-evolving fields where case based learning is the pedagogical approach of choice. This involves working with teachers and students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses to explore both the nature and role of the cases around which learning is focused, and the part that emerging Semantic Web technologies and techniques can play in supporting this learning.

It recognises that teaching and learning environments are complex and evolving, and that participants in these environment may have multiple identities – as teachers, learners, researchers and workers. The learning technologies they use need to be robust yet flexible enough to support teachers and learners as they grapple with complex situations and develop creative solutions.

Research questions:

  • What are the nature, scope and role of cases and case based learning across disciplines in higher education and their relationship to learning outcomes and expertise?
  • How do teachers and learners design, develop, describe and reconstruct cases, and how do these processes contribute to academic and professional outcomes?
  • What are the pedagogical affordances of using semantic web technologies in support of case based learning?
  • What new tools can be developed to allow users (learners, teachers, researchers) to access, adapt and manage their case based learning and that of others?
  • What are the theoretical framings for researching technology enhanced learning and informing interdisciplinary dialogues when knowledge, technologies and pedagogies are in a state of flux?


Jordan, K. (2012) Applying semantic web technologies to support learners in plant identification and taxonomy. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 7(3), 46-49.

Carmichael, P. & Jordan, K. (2012) Semantic web technologies for education – time for a ‘turn to practice’? Technology, Pedagogy & Education, 21(2), 152-169.

Tracy, F. & Jordan, K. (2012) Students as designers of semantic web applications. Technology, Pedagogy & Education, 21(2), 171-188.

Edwards, R., Tracy, F. and Jordan, K. (2011) Mobilities, moorings and boundary making in developing semantic technologies in educational practices. Research in Learning Technology 19(3), 219-232.

Carmichael, P., Tscholl, M., Jordan, K. and the Ensemble team (2011) Findings from Ensemble: Semantic Technologies for the Enhancement of Case Based Learning. Poster presented at the annual Learning at City Conference, City University, London, 23rd June 2011.

Jordan, K. and Rimpilainen, S. (2010) The many faces and phases of the Semantic Spider. Paper presented at the 2010 EASST Conference, University of Trento, Italy, September 2010.

Jordan, K. (2010) Authentic Data and Visualisation: Semantic tools from the Ensemble Project. Learning and Teaching Support lunchtime seminar, Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies, Cambridge, 27th January 2010.

Carmichael, P., Patel, U. and Jordan, K. (2009) Semantic technologies for the enhancement of learning in Higher Education. Symposium presented at Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) Conference, Brighton, 23rd March 2009.

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