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STELLAR - The European Network of Excellence in TEL




Sustaining Technology Enhanced Learning at a LARge scale was a project of the European Union and promoted the cooperation and the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas of leading institutions in Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL). It assembled researchers with various professional backgrounds from 16 European research institutions located in nine different countries ( or visit

The University of Freiburg, more precisely the Department of Cognition, Emotion and Communication at the Institute of Psychology, was a member of this European Network of Excellence. A central task of the Freiburg research-team was the conduction of the STELLAR-Delphi Study on the research field of TEL. Below you can find all publications related to the findings of the STELLAR Delphi study.



STELLAR Delphi study briefing - emerging findings

⇒ STELLAR Delphi study briefing - final results


Plesch, C., Kaendler, C., Rummel, N., Wiedmann, M., & Spada H. (2013). Identifying Areas of Tension in the field of technology-enhanced learning: Results of an International Delphi study. Computers & Education, 65, 92-105.

Plesch, C., Deiglmayr, A., Mullins, D., & Spada H. (in preparation). Future Core Research Areas and associated Research Challenges in technology-enhanced learning: Results of an International Delphi study.



Kaendler, C., Plesch, C., Deiglmayr, A., Diziol, D., Rummel, N., & Spada, H.. Emerging tensions in the future of technology-enhanced learning: First results of an international Delphi study. In Spada, H., Stahl, G., & Miyake, N. (Eds.) (2011). Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices – CSCL 2011 Conference Proceedings.

Plesch, C., Jansen, M., Deiglmayr, A., Rummel, N. Spada, H., Heinze, N., & Cress, U. Opinions on future research themes for technology-enhanced learning (TEL): A Delphi study. In S. L. Wong et al. (Eds.) (2010). Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computers in Education. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Plesch, C.,  Kändler, C., Diziol, D., Deiglmayr, A., Kübler, S., Spada, H. Reducing the digital divide – An important challenge for future research in technology-enhanced learning. Paper presented at the symposium on social justice and ICTs in low income countries at the Computer Assisted Learning Conference (CAL 2011), Manchester, UK.


Spada, H., Deiglmayr, A., Rummel, N., Diziol, D., Jansen, M., Plesch, C., & Kaendler, C., Cress, U. & Heinze, N. (2010). First Report on the STELLAR Delphi Study on Technology-Enhanced Learning – Results of the 1st Round and Planning & Implementation of the 2nd Round (STELLAR deliverable 1.3).

Spada, H., Plesch, C., Kaendler, C., Deiglmayr, A., Mullins, D., Rummel, N., Kuebler, S. & Lindau, B. (2011). Intermediate report on the Delphi study – Findings from the 2nd and 3rd STELLAR Delphi rounds: Areas of Tension and Core Research Areas (STELLAR deliverable 1.3A).

Spada, H., Plesch, C., Wiedmann, M., Kaendler, C., Deiglmayr, A., Mullins, D., Rummel, N. (2012). Final report  on the STELLAR Delphi study - Future directions for TEL and TEL research: Areas of Tension, Core Research Areas, and Grand Challenge Problems (STELLAR deliverable 1.6).


The Network of Excellence was motivated by the need for European research on Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Major goals were the integration of key research teams through collaborations, research exchanges and sharing of tools, models, concepts and methods via web-based communication and regular meetings.
By contributing to a common framework for TEL research, for example through the Delphi studies, an integration of perspectives on core issues was desired. The Delphi study aimed at identifying the current state of the art, the most relevant research issues, the evolving trends, any discontinuities and the most promising ideas. The Delphi study aimed to reduce the fragmentation of the field by bringing together the experience and the views of disjoint communities and multiple disciplines. New knowledge was build-up from conclusions based on complementary expertise and provided valuable input to other STELLAR activities.
Also, the Delphi study involved a selected sample of international partners from outside of Europe, thus including international perspectives and making European TEL more visible internationally. 
The STELLAR Delphi study was composed of five consecutive rounds, on which the following paragraphs will give a quick overview.

1st Delphi Round
The first round started in April 2009. The STELLAR Delphi team developed an online survey employing open-ended questions on 1) Important research themes and developments in TEL research in the last few years, 2) Important research questions for a future TEL research program, 3) Future technological and societal developments that might have an impact on TEL, 4) Visionary, maybe controversial statements about future developments in TEL and 5) Personal opinions and visions of TEL researchers with regard to TEL research. The experts’ answers to the open-ended survey items were grouped into topics and subtopics, using a semi-qualitative approach. The results of the 1st round provided the basis for the questionnaire of the 2nd STELLAR Delphi round.

2nd Delphi Round – Visionary Statements and Future Trends
The second round aimed at integrating perspectives of TEL-experts beyond the STELLAR network. The recruiting process started in December 2009 with a request to the STELLAR partners to nominate colleagues with a TEL background as experts. This nominated expert group comprised researchers, developers, business people, and policy-makers in the field of TEL. Altogether 230 experts participated in the first global survey. They rated the relevance of the topics identified in the first round, the desirability of the visionary statements, and their likelihood of becoming reality in the next 15 years.

3rd Delphi Round – Areas of Tension and Core Research Areas
The findings of the second round were analysed and discussed with a panel of STELLAR members. The results of the global survey revealed underlying issues and led to the definition of Areas of Tension which present opposing views on a future development in TEL. Additionally, Core Research Areas were identified within TEL research that combine societal and technological aspects of TEL and thus provide valuable guidelines for future research in TEL.

4th Delphi Round – Evaluation of Areas of Tension and Prioritization of Core Research Areas
The fourth round started in January 2011 and again surveyed a global panel of experts. The underlying issues and relevant trends for future TEL research were further explored by presenting the identified Core Research Areas and Areas of Tension. The experts assessed the relevance of the Areas of Tension for future research, rated the importance of the Core Research Areas and provided first ideas for corresponding research themes. The experts’ input in this final survey round is crucial to the successful completion of the STELLAR Delphi study, which will help shape evidence-based recommendations for future TEL research themes that can inform funding agencies concerning their investments in TEL and future TEL research.

5th Delphi Round – Development of Grand Challenges Problems for TEL
The firth round started in October 2011 and aimed at developing Grand Challenge Problems. In the fourth round of the STELLAR Delphi Study, the panel of experts contributed 311 project proposals for the 11 Core Research Areas. One goal of the analysis of the research project proposals was to identify Grand Challenge Problems.


What are the Areas of Tension?

Areas of Tension


What are the Core Research Areas? (click on the links to download the pdf documents)

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (⇒project proposals)

Connection between Formal and Informal Learning (⇒project proposals)

Contextualized Learning (⇒project proposals)

Emotional and Motivational Aspects of TEL (⇒project proposals)

Improve Practices of Formal Education (⇒project proposals)

Informal Learning (⇒project proposals)

Interoperability (⇒project proposals)

Personalization of Learning (⇒project proposals)

Reducing the Digital Divide (⇒project proposals)

Ubiquitous & Mobile Technology and Learning (⇒project proposals)

Workplace Learning (⇒project proposals)

What are the Grand Challenge Problems?

Grand Challenge Problems 

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