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 Supporting TEamwork in AMbient learning Spaces

Collaborative problem solving can be highly effective, but learning coaches sometimes lack knowledge of how to teach, support and assess the quality of collaborative problem solving. The STEAMS project will deliver a set of metrics, tools and insights to support the assessment and teaching of collaborative problem-solving skills across four real-life use cases in youth education and corporate training.

Teamwork is valuable – when it actually works

In society today, effective teamwork is prized in the public and private sectors as well as in education and training. For maximum impacts, the workforce of tomorrow must be proficient in higher-order reasoning, decision-making and social skills – which cannot be automated using artificial intelligence. Despite the clear value of collaborative problem-solving (CPS), teamwork is often frustrating – or even harmful. This may be due to freeloading, a lack of clear roles or collaborative skills, or the unstable dynamics of constantly shifting teams.

Technological and pedagogical opportunities for improvement

There is an urgent need to scientifically investigate how CPS, a key 21st-century competency, can be taught, supported, assessed and optimized. Potential improvements to current practices include applying technologies like IoT and AI to make learning spaces responsive, applying data insights to enhance and better manage CPS, and using storytelling as a powerful pedagogical tool.

Designing for the needs and requirements of education in the 21st century.

The STEAMS project partners will create a scalable, flexible learning platform that blends the physical and digital worlds to deliver effective CPS experiences in educational and corporate contexts. The components of this prototype will cover the entire chain of preparing for, delivering and debriefing a lesson or training course and consist of:

  • a smart tool for compiling effective teams;
  • a smart editor that enables instructors to define roles and learning scenarios;
  • evidence-based storytelling scenarios and templates;
  • architecture that makes CPS processes visible for feedback and analysis by instructors and team members, including software, sensors and visualization capabilities.

A toolkit that helps embed CPS into 21st-century learning strategies

As a result of the project, STEAMS partners will be able to offer new educational formats and content centered around CPS, including digital tools, scenarios, content, learning paths and more. The resulting toolkit will help make CPS manageable and scalable, contributing to more effective group work, higher wellbeing and greater productivity at school and work.

“The STEAMS project will deliver a set of metrics, tools and insights to support the assessment and teaching of collaborative problem-solving skills across four real-life use cases in youth education and corporate training.”


Supporting TEamwork in AMbient learning Spaces.

STEAMS is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Agentschap innoveren & ondernemen.

It started on 01.10.2020 and is set to run until 30.09.2022.

Project information


  • VRT
  • Hudson Belgium
  • Uitgeverij Averbode


  • imec - ITEC - KU Leuven
  • KU Leuven – HCI


  • Project lead: Luk Overmeire
  • Research lead: Annelies Raes
  • Proposal Manager: Frederik Cornillie
  • Innovation manager: Annelies Vandamme