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Professor Yacine Atif

Associate Professor Yacine Atif  

College of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University
Instructional design patterns in a conversational learning model  

Formal instruction still occurs predominantly in a classroom environment, despite the rapid progress in on-line learning. We present a learning model labeled “conversational learning” that supports learning through conversations, not in isolation. We view a classroom as a cycle of reconfigurable learning spaces for which we develop customized instructional patterns to assist instruction developers orchestrating the transition across the proposed learning spaces. Driven by pedagogical requirements of conversation learning needs, technology means are pulled to implement the proposed instructional patterns in a contemporary classroom model. We break down classroom instruction cycle into four phases, for which we advocate design patterns and learning
activities based on classroom-provided technologies. We illustrate and evaluate our reconfigurable classroom learning spaces using standard performance indicators. The results show interesting tradeoffs favoring generally the conversational learning spaces in our technology-enhanced classroom model
over traditional instruction in conventional classroom.

Yacine Atif received the PhD degree in Computer Science from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 1996. After graduation, he worked at Purdue University in the USA as a Post-Doc and then joined a faculty position at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Since 1999 he is with the UAE University as faculty, then Program Chair at the College of Information Technology. Over the last decade, he led several initiatives that are designed to create a rich learning environment to help promote the transformation of teaching and learning through the innovative use of technology. His teaching, scholarship and academic excellence have been acknowledged by several awards including Best Teaching Award, Best Funded Project Award in the area of Electronic Transfer of Educational Media and Resources, and Excellence in Academic Services Award from the UAE University.

He has made significant research contributions to the general field of educational technologies. He introduced the concept of “learning patterns”, bringing together the ideas of educational design patterns with architectural abstractions used in software engineering. His learner-centered research approach has been applied to several empirical studies and integrated into real-life instructional settings to enrich learning experiences.

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