The process of training and learning in Web-based and ubiquitous environments brings a new sense of adaptation. With the development of more sophisticated environments, the need for them to take into account the user’s traits, as well as the user’s devices on which the training is executed, has become an important issue in the domain of building novel training and learning environments. This chapter introduces an approach to the realization of personalized adaptation. According to the fact that we are dealing with the stereotypes of e-learners, having in mind emotional intelligence concepts to help in adaptation to the e-learners real needs and known preferences, we have called this system eQ. It stands for the using of the emotional intelligence concepts on the Web.
The history of learning can be followed back to ancient Greece, where Socrates used tutorial learning. Plato established one of the earliest known organized schools in Western civilization, the Academy in Athens, and further developed the form of live dialogue. Aristotle considered learning by doing as an efficient way of education. Already, in the 17th century Comenius wrote that learning has to be adjusted to the learner’s abilities. Each person learns differently and needs to develop their own learning skills in their own way. Looking into the past we can see that ideas about how to learn are not new. However, what is new are the circumstances and opportunities. The existing school system is suitable for the industrial age, when manufacturing processes were performed in a routine way. The knowledge age demands higher skilled jobs based on critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and interpretation abilities. Additionally, the percentage of “knowledge workers” is rapidly increasing and 50% of all employee skills become outdated in three to five years (Moe & Blodgett, 2000). Therefore, using only traditional methods cannot cover today’s educational needs. Many relevant authorities have recognized the new demands on one hand and new potential on the other. In the following we mention some of them.
Peter Drucker sees new horizons. “For the first time substantial and rapidly growing number of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.” He cites Plutarch in Drucker (1989), saying that education requires a focus on the strengths and talents of learners:
Any teacher of young artist—musicians, actors, painters—knows this. So does any teacher of young athletes. But schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner’s weaknesses. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, even corrected ones; one can build performance only on strengths. And these the schools traditionally ignore, in fact, consider more or less irrelevant. Strengths do not create problems—and schools are problem-focused.