CADMOS a personal learning tool with graphical personalisation

The Cadmos tool was developed from the beginning of 2015 by the CoSyLab research team of the University of Piraeus in Greece and is a handy learning design tool with graphical personalization. CADMOS tool proposes the “separation of concerns” for the design of learning process. This concept stems from the principles of web engineering (Papasalouros, Retalis, & Papaspyrou (2004)) and argues that the designer builds the design in layers, and creates two design sub-models: the conceptual and the flow model. 


One of CADMOS’ main innovative features is that it can bridge the gap between the design of a unit of learning and its enactment into Moodle. This case study presents how one can create a LD using CADMOS and deploy it into Moodle. Also, shows the findings from a case study, which was organized in order to evaluate the usability of the tool, its pedagogical flexibility and the usefulness of its innovative feature of deploying a LD into Moodle. CADMOS seems to be an easy-to-use tool, which offers guidance and flexibility during the design process.

The whole design process supported by the CADMOS tool is considered to be incremental. The practitioner first defines the learning activities and then moves to the definition of their orchestration. If s/he wants to add or remove an activity s/he can return to the conceptual model, do the changes and then revise the flow model accordingly. S/he can also edit only the flow model, i.e. add rules and conditions in the navigation between the activities without making any changes to the learning activities or the learning resources that are linked to those learning activities.

More details: 

The Conceptual Model defines the learning activities that students will be engaged in and support activities that teachers will be engaged in, during the instructional process of a specific subject. Each learning/support activity may be simple or composite. The composite lactivity consists of two or more simple activities, but is addressed only to one role e.g. student or teacher etc. Additionally in this model are defined the type of the digital resources (e.g. text files, images, videos etc.) that correspond to these activities. When the designer makes the conceptual model, s/he specifies a concept map that has as a root the title of the course and as children the learning/support activities.

Other Information: 

The Flow Model defines the navigational patterns (orchestration) of the learning activities. The flow model can be created automatically by putting the activities of the conceptual model, the one after the other as specified in the conceptual model from left to the right. The model that is created assumes that there are no rules in the navigational between the different activities. This means that the student can complete them in a linear way (linear navigational pattern). There are three different swim lanes, one for the student’s activities one for the teacher’s activities and one for a specified pair group’s activities.

If the designer wants, s/he can add the following navigational rules to the model: The “User Choice” rule shows that a specific activity will be completed when its actor wants to. The “Time Limit” rule shows that an activity should be completed by a specific time. The score condition rule helps the designer define which activity will be done if the score of an activity is above a threshold or not. In case the teacher has specified a composite activity in the conceptual model, in the flow model the activities that are part of this composite activity are represented grouped (i.e. inside a rectangular).


Nowadays, the use of Internet has been widely broadened and is being adopted not only for accessing information for news and entertainment but also for facilitating the creation of on-line communities in order to assist the interaction among individuals

that share common interests and goals. These communities are described by the term “virtual communities” for highlighting their “on-line” substance. A key factor for the success and the subsistence of the virtual communities is a strong interest among the people concerned. Such a case could form a group of people that want to share knowledge and learn together and consequently constitute a learning community.

It is the basis of good teaching with technology and requires not only content knowledge or pedagogical knowledge but an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies, how to teach concepts using technology, knowledge on the challenges their students will face when presented with this new pedagogy, and how technology can be used to build on existing knowledge and develop new knowledge. With the availability of dynamic software, like Cadmos, teachers are able to make graphical representations of teaching concepts. As the concepts are introduced with pictorial representations, teachers and their students are able to make the connections between the pictures, the concepts, and the symbolic representation. When presented with a new concept, students need to think, visualize and explore relationships and patterns. This is consistent with the CRA (Concrete, Representational, and Abstract) Model for teaching currently in better reaching students as they learn and understand concepts. Technology makes all of this possible for them in a short amount of time.

In the project, effective teaching practices are modeled and a collaborative learning environment is created in which teachers are encouraged to develop strategies and ideas about teaching and learning while using the technology. The content has explicitly utilized and intentionally emphasized foundational middle school themes, but this in a way that is new, often discovered through technology-based experiments in Cadmos and regularly connected to modern research and applications. The pervasive inclusion of cutting edge software like Cadmos into our program activities raised teacher perception of the significance of their work, and this sense of importance worked to elevate their enthusiasm for investing time, work, and energy into their own growth. 


Boloudakis, M., Katsamani, M., Retalis S., & Georgiakakis P. (2012). Orchestrating learning activities with CADMOS: from the design to the enactment. Paper presented at the workshop Classroom Orchestration: Moving Beyond Current Understanding of the Field, International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), Sydney, Australia. [online] Available at: iclsorchestration2012/schedule/papers-1.

Katsamani, M. & Retalis, S. (2012) ‘Designing a Moodle course with the CADMOS learning design tool’, Educational Media International, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 317-331.

Katsamani, M. & Retalis, S., (2013). Orchestrating Learning Activities Using the CADMOS Learning Design Tool, Research in Learning Technology Supplement-The Journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), Vol.21: 18051, September 2013.