Personalisation and Community: User Modelling and Social Connections in Web Science, Healthcare and Education

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This workshop, for researchers and practitioners engaged in user-centered endeavours, will bring together people who are working to:

  • model (profile) and personalise (tailor) for different user groups across digital offerings, and / or
  • foster community and personal connection throughout user groups.

We are particularly interested in healthcare and education, although all approaches to user modelling and community building are of interest. Attendees will discuss tools and techniques for user modelling/personalisation and for building community online, and share case studies showcasing such tools and techniques in action.


To build a human-centric Web, we need a solid understanding of human connections online and of mechanisms for fostering such connections. Different people use web technologies and form connections with one another in different ways. Whether the goal is to improve engagement or to foster community, modelling user groups to personalise or tailor experiences can be key.

Tailoring and connection-building are particularly crucial in spaces such as healthcare and education, where evidence clearly shows that perceived social support can facilitate learning and enhance outcomes 1,2.

We invite authors to submit papers describing tools or techniques in personalisation and community building, and/or case studies about these areas in the context of healthcare, education, or broader Web Science.

This interdisciplinary workshop brings together a number of core Web Science themes, including: the use of Web Science for social good, social connections and influence on the web, education online, and online health and wellness.


Given the situation in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), this workshop will run online, with authors presenting their work remotely to the online participants. We particularly welcome case studies and discussion around online community-building and health education during these unprecedented times.


This workshop builds on health and education communities established through previous WebSci conference workshops. By using these two domains to ground discussions of user modelling and community, we will reinvigorate these communities.

Workshop goals:

  • generate outputs that can be reused by the larger WebSci community over the long term, specifically: tools and techniques for personalisation and community-building; examples of their use in healthcare and education;
  • reflect on the ways in which these relate to one another, and reinvigorate the education and healthcare communities / focal groups / special interest groups within the larger WebSci community

Attendees will have the opportunity to collaborate on a future publication.


This half day workshop is formatted as follows (this will be hosted in BST). Any updates will be provided via this website as well as on the conference website:

Duration Activity
2:00 pm Conference line opens: dial in from now, check your settings work, and say hi
2:15 pm Workshop opens: introduction, overview of goals and schedule
2:30 pm Education keynote: “Exploring the third space in online community building”, by Dr. Su White.
Dr. White is a web scientist, digital ethnographer, educationalist and researcher with over 20 years of experience in online education and elearning.
3:00 pm Paper presentations:
Roushdat Elaheebocus et al: “BehaviourCoach: A Customisable and Socially-Enhanced Exergaming Application Development Framework”
Jennifer Golbeck: “Improving Emotional Well-Being on Social Media with Collaborative Filtering”
3:30 pm Health keynote: “The Architecture of Choice: Using Psychosocial Variables to Dynamically Tailor Interventions”, by Michael Fergusson.
Michael is a pioneering technologist whose awards include the PharmaVoice 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences, Ernst and Young Pacific’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and World Healthcare Congress’ Top 10 mHealth Entrepreneurs.
4:00 pm Coffee break
4:15 pm Discussion: Tools, techniques and case studies in tailoring and community-building; how these relate to one another; next steps
5:15 pm Summarise discussion, next steps
5:30 pm Workshop close

Author information

Key dates

  • Paper Submission: 24 April 2020
  • Acceptance Notification: 30 April 2020
  • Camera Ready Papers: 15 May 2020
  • Workshop: 7 July 2020
  • Optional poster reception: 8 July 2020

Workshop papers will be published as a companion collection of the WebSci’20 proceedings. For this reason, the Camera Ready deadline is fixed.

Authors are encouraged to showcase their work in the form of posters on 8 July at the joint conference and workshop poster reception.

The workshop will be held online in light of COVID-19.

Submission details
Preferred papers will

  • describe a tool or technique in personalisation or community building, or a case study about personalisation or community building online (ideally in the context of healthcare or education);
  • describe that tool, technique or case study clearly and concisely;
  • provide an initial indication of what factors may support successful use of the tool/technique, or may have led to success in the case study.

Papers may describe pure research, applied research or research-practice collaboration and should be no more than two pages in Word or PDF format, formatted according to the official ACM SIG Conference proceedings template, available at Please submit papers via EasyChair at

After the workshop
To facilitate the workshop goal of generating resources for the WebSci community, the organisers will ensure that a summary of the workshop is shared online within two weeks of the event.

All participants will be invited to collaborate, if they are so interested, on a publication for WebSci’21 to reflect on and progress the workshop’s contributions.


Questions about the workshop and submission should be emailed to Clare Hooper

Organising Committee

  • Mark Bernstein (Eastgate Systems)
  • Clare Hooper (Ayogo Health Inc.)
  • Mark Weal (Web Science Institute, University of Southampton)

Program Committee

  • Stéphane Bazan
  • Mark Bernstein
  • Charlie Hargood
  • Clare Hooper
  • Mark Weal


About 12TH ACM Web Science Conference 2020
The ​12t​h International ACM Conference on Web Science in 2020 (#WebSci20) is a unique interdisciplinary conference facilitating creative and critical dialogue with the aim of understanding the Web and its impacts and reflecting on the most pressing questions facing the Web. Given the situation in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the ACM Web Science Conference will this year run as an online conference, where presenters will be able to present their work remotely to the online participants from 7-10 July. To learn more, visit and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Ayogo
Ayogo is an award-winning, behavioral science-based company, recently acknowledged as one of the 100 most innovative mHealth companies in the world. Ayogo’s GlimpseTM Platform substantially increases activation, adherence and persistence to therapy by tailoring content, tools and support to each person’s unique psychosocial characteristics. To learn more, visit and follow on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

Ayogo Health Inc

1 Ghaith, Ghazi M. “The relationship between cooperative learning, perception of social support, and academic achievement.” System 30.3 (2002): 263-273.
2 Verheijden, M. W., et al. “Role of social support in lifestyle-focused weight management interventions.” European journal of clinical nutrition 59.1 (2005): S179-S186.