Seek Support Use Case and Wireframes

Trust has been found to be key aspect when seeking support, but the concept seems to incorporate many different individual aspects that need further investigation.

Theory or approach:

Personal learning networks / aggregated trustworthiness (perceived credibility) = social validation + authority and trustee + profiles.

Main References:

Cook, J., & Pachler, N. (2012). Online people tagging: Social (mobile) network (ing) services and work‐based learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5), 711-725.

Cook, J. (2013). Reshaping Workplace Design to Facilitate Better Learning. Invited talk 24th April, Division of Learning Technologies, George Mason University, USA. Slides: [slides]

Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J., & Sloep, P. (2012). Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them.


When staff, in the Health Care context, are immersed in clinical and  management work, they don’t have much opportunity for discussion around  topics of interest (e.g. cascading training about guidelines) or time to exchange  questions (problem). See also: ‘User Story: Practice based learning using significant event analysis’ included in the ODL.


– New connections (trusted contacts) will be established by suggesting related *people and* learning resources created by professionals who are not included in the user’s trusted personal learning network (metadata and semantic analysis is used to support this action)

– The system increases the opportunity of solving problems not only by connecting persons of the same network, but also connecting professionals with similar profiles, interests or questions.

– Notifications of well-recommended resources and promotion of ‘hot-topics’ (those which have high rates) and ‘topics of interest’ (those which are related with ‘tags’ of interest) motivates and engage discussion.


A GP uses the app to seek support in the course of her/his activities. Asks a question by recording herself, annotates the type of problem and selects her group of trusted colleagues for the question to be circulated to. Automatically related guidelines, notes and questions are ‘flagged’ for her, the GP checks the information and authorship and adds a new person to her network as appropriate. After some minutes, some colleagues provide short responses.

In what field and how it can be investigated:

Bradford Health Care, HANDI event. Co-design workshops with GP practices involved in teaching and research activities, and Business managers of all the GP practices in the Leeds/Bradford area. Researchers and academics with an interest in healthcare at Leeds University.


A GP called Susan at the Diabetes Clinic has a PC dashboard with NHS data base icon and Pandora icons (including one for a Seek support through scaffolding informal learning networks). Susan has just used the NHS data base to diagnose a patient and wants to see what her trusted colleagues think. Susan enters the diagnosis (and corresponding tags by annotating the resource) through the Pandora interface asking her network “was I right, what do you think?” She goes on her afternoon rounds and whilst walking to her third visit checks her mobile phone Dashboard. The Pandora Seek Support icon is flashing, when she clicks she has a 4 line answer to her question from her network and also 10 learning resources related with the question has been found by the system; there is also a prompt from Layers to raise this at the next team meeting and to enter this into the notes of her patient (she accepts both). By looking the learning resources Susan realizes that one of the authors (Peter, a new GP) doesn’t belong to their Personal Learning Network, so she decides to establish a connection with him.

Wireframes: PANDORA Seek Support tool


Flow of activities

Normal Course

  • The user encounters a need for seeking support in the course of his/her activities
  • The user ask a question (categorizing it into a set of pre-defined categories) to their reference set of ‘trusted’ contacts.
    • ask this by speaking, using a textual message, and can also upload further info, including doc / image (without breaking patient confidentiality). GP has a choice as to how far out into the circles of her/his network s/he will send the query. S/he can also set time parameters for a response. Once a selection has been made. GP will be notified with photos of contacts as feedback.
    • specifies the different levels of ‘trust’ accorded to the contacts – close / trusted / everyone / anyone – these can be colour coded he can also set time perameters for a response. Close – people you know well + interact with on a daily basis + trust Trusted – well-known names in the industry whose opinions/knowledge is valuable + acquaintances whose opinions you trust Everyone – people in the outer circle you may or may not know, but work in the same vicinity + 2nd level connections (like in LinkedIn) even though working outside vicinity Anyone – people outside the vicinity, could be anyone but in the same profession These groups are like concentric circles: Anyone includes Everyone includes Trusted includes Close. Reaching out to Anyone means you reach out to all contained within every layer. These layers of contacts could exist depending on need

(1) Instantly, The system displays a list of results, consisting of

    • references to guidelines (or guideline sections)
    • contributions by others (with indicators for maturity)
    • references to others (similar questions, answers)
  • The ranking can be based on
    • similarity of query and content
    • maturity and experience
    • personal network structure (for persons)
  • The user chooses an entry
    • guideline section: the user is presented the guideline with the respective section in focus
    • note: the user is presented the note with a link to the originator and – possibly – the guideline context
    • person: the user is presented with contact possibilities (phone – direct link if on mobile, email – direct link to new message)
  • The user can rate the presented result to give feedback to the system
  • The user can add new persons to their Personal Learning Network circles

(2) In parallel, their selected circles of trusted contacts receive an alert of question

    • the user receive answers from their contacts
    • the user can rate the presented result to give feedback to the system
  • effective resources and answers are associated to the question and topic of interest



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