Pragmatism and an understanding of the current culture are needed if it is to be successfully integrated into our schools. Yet, despite significant changes over the last 5 years, there is still a gap between aspiration and reality with regard to the use of this type of technology in schools. But both the reality and aspiration are valid education positions and the challenge facing us is to enable current practices to be enhanced now, while having a developmental strategy which will allow us to enable paradigm shift in that practice in the future. In effect a strategy which will allow us to move from current reality to future aspiration in a way that will bring the education community along with us. This is by no means an easy challenge and by looking briefly at some current studies on virtual learning environments with particular reference to the schools’ sector, the complexity of the undertaking will become clear. Much is currently being written about VLEs and MLEs in the context of education and there are now many definitions of what constitutes a virtual environment and what is meant when that environment is also ‘managed’. A variety of functionality has been defined and though there appears to some consensus on a set of generic functions that a VLE should have, the term is often used to mean some subset of this such as a communications system, for example. This begs the question of what constitutes a learning environment, virtual or otherwise and is something I will return to later on.
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Abstract. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) provide students with activi- ties to improve their learning (e.g., reading texts, watching videos or solving exercises). But VLEs usually also provide optional activities (e.g., changing an avatar profile or setting goals). Some of these have a connection with the learn- ing process, but are not directly devoted to learning concepts (e.g., setting goals). Few works have dealt with the use of optional activities and the relation- ships between these activities and other metrics in VLEs. This paper analyzes the use of optional activities at different levels in a specific case study with 291 students from three courses (physics, chemistry and mathematics) using the Khan Academy platform. The level of use of the different types of optional ac- tivities is analyzed and compared to that of learning activities. In addition, the relationship between the usage of optional activities and different student be- haviors and learning metrics is presented.
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Eight experts on virtual, distance, and competence education, were summoned from different universities in the country. They were first asked to express their opinion on a general document containing 16 competences covering various areas of professor action in virtual learning environments. By means of a consensus, the teaching practice in virtual learning environments was reduced to six general competences and their characteristic activities. This process was useful to reach a consensus on the specific activities that the professor should perform, which were grouped in six competences: 1) pedagogical; 2) educational interaction; 3) digital; 4) instructional design; 5) professional, ethical and legal responsibility; and 6) research. Pedagogical competency refers to implementing, developing and evaluating the teaching-learning process in a virtual environment. The competency of educational interaction refers to the ability to develop the process of accompaniment, follow-up, and educational interaction in virtual tutorial classes. Digital indicates the ability to handle technological, communication, and informational tools in the teaching- learning process, as well as in the tools management of the virtual learning educational platform. The instructional design competency indicates the ability of the professor to plan and generate pedagogical training and evaluation devices in the design of virtual learning environments. Professional, ethical and legal responsibility refers to the ability to commit to the institution and its values, as well as to assume a personal commitment as an instructor at work in virtual learning environments. The research competency indicates the ability to design, execute and participate in the development and dissemination of relevant research for virtual learning environments.
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not prom ot e t he int roduct ion of t hese m edia on t he back of a new learning philosophy, your t eaching and learning w ill evolve int o new const ruct ivist form s regardless. But from a propagandist perspect ive, j ust don’t push t he const ruct ivist learning m odel t oo hard or t oo fast at t he beginning – you m ay alienat e people w ho are act ually very good at t radit ional t eaching and know t hey are t oo. Take a ‘soft ly soft ly’ approach and let t he pow er of t he new learning t echnologies – once adopt ed - do a lot of t he w ork for you. As t alent ed t radit ionally m inded t eachers explore t he int rinsic capabilit ies of VLEs so w ill t eaching evolve int o learning, j ust as inform at ion m anagem ent appears t o be t urning int o know ledge m anagem ent .
According to Siemens and Gašević , learning analytics can be defined as the “collection, analysis and communication of data concerning students and their contexts for the purpose of understanding learning and optimising the environments where it occurs.” Based on this concept, it is necessary to know what data is stored by the system and to place it into a context which gives it meaning for the analysis. This way, it will enhance the understanding and the optimisation of learning processes within VLEs . Two of the tasks most frequently adopted and associated with learning analytics have consisted of predicting students’ learning success and providing proactive feedback . There seems to be consensus on what the study object of learning analytics is: the analysis of VLEs interaction data by using techniques of data extraction and data mining, so that the relations, useful information and knowledge on the learning processes can be inferred.
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• Accessibility and usability – a project car- ried out at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford demonstrated that VLEs are very complex in that they require a high level of navigational skill for effective engagement. When students are employing a screen reader in combination with a VLE they spend a huge proportion of their time accessing and navigating the VLE and rather less time than other students actually using it for their studies. 7
The low student participation in communication tools is due, it would seem, to a poor or inappropriate use of discussion boards and e-mail. The fact that e-mail was used for general-interest matters, as was the case for online course 3, hindered communication between users. The exclusive use of e-mail severely limited the potential for communication among the group. E-mail is mainly for private communication, and for general-interest topics it is considered essential to use a tool such as a discussion board to enable group participation. In addition, the lack of reflection and discussion board topics in many cases caused students to use discussion boards to pose questions solely about practices (exams, problems accessing materials, grades, certificates, etc.), rather than fostering collaboration and interaction between them. Consequently, it can be concluded that hiding discussion board or e-mail tools hinders interaction and smooth communication between those involved in the teaching-learning process. In addition, on most of the courses the chat tool was not used, which lessens the educational quality of the environments.
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Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are the basic components of contemporary distance learning, but can also be integrated with a physical learning environment (Dillenbourg, 2000), which may be referred to as blended learning. The terms virtual learning environment (VLE) and learning platform are generically used to describe a range of integrated web based applications that provide teachers, learners, parents and others involved in education with information, tools and resources to support and enhance educational delivery and management. These terms are broadly synonymous with 'managed learning environments' (MLEs) and 'managed virtual learning environments' (MVLEs). The applications that form part of these online services can include web pages, email, message boards and discussion forums, text and video conferencing, shared diaries, online social areas, as well as assessment, management and tracking tools (Briefing Paper, 2014, JISC, 2002 and http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/virtual- learning-environment-VLE-or-managed-learning-environment- MLE). The same context and helps promote and spread education plus learning activities on digital mediums on the Article History:
For the purpose of this research work, the learning scenario stated here will represent the basis in the delivery of an online course in ergonomics. At the same time, the Skills vs. Knowledge learning model presented, will direct the different activities within the course, aiming to promote Skills & Knowledge among the participants. Consequently, it will promote and encourage an active use of the different synchronous and asynchronous communication mechanisms available in the course.
Technology has enabled online learning to reach new heights of student numbers and courses offered by Universities around the world. Once considered the poor relation of tertiary education, online learning, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and online supporting tools have come of age and are increasingly used as knowledge repositories and discussional tools. Online learning is now neither a solitary exercise nor a flat knowledge base, it requires engagement from both the tutor (lecturer, teacher, educator) and the student. Research in online learning and virtual environments is a global enterprise; Australia, China, Canada, the USA and Europe are leading the work through papers on VLEs, VWs, games based learning, goal driven education and avatar interaction. Further, back in 2013, Gartner predicted that mobile virtual worlds will be increasingly used by young users, teens and tweens  and the current growth of educational virtual worlds and technologies demonstrates that need.
Although CAA is frequently associated with the use of standard multiple-choice questions (MCQs), it is much broader than this. Multiple-choice tests are one example of objective testing, which is where possible answers are predefined, thus allowing automatic marking. Objective testing can go much further than standard MCQs through the use of different question types or the inclusion of multimedia. Possible question types include labelling (graphical or text based), sequencing, and short answer, requiring text or numeric input. In each case the questions remain based on selecting or providing a predetermined response and the advantage of computer marking is not lost. CAA is not, however, restricted to objective testing. It is increasingly being used in more creative ways to extend assessment methods, particularly through the use of the Internet and virtual learning environments (VLEs) (Bull & Danson, 2004). The online environment is useful for facilitating group work and peer assessment as it affords easy communication and file sharing. Although traditional essay-style assessments cannot yet be marked automatically – this is an area of continuing research (Seale, 2002) – they can be delivered and collected through virtual learning environments, from where feedback can also be provided.
Article 4 has investigated the perception of students about the use of virtual learning environments, and thus has studied their implementation, and appraised the satisfaction with and the utilization of the implemented system. As for the integration between title, problem and objective, data reveal the lack of adequacy to the study object “Virtual Environments of Learn- ing the Free Code with the support to the traditional (live) edu- cation in the field of Applied Social Sciences”, and as for the desired results “implementation of a Virtual Learning Envi- ronment (VLE) and appraisal of the importance, utilization and satisfaction of students in regard to the VLE”. When observing the problem aspect, the difficulty to overcome is related to the behavior of students in view of the VLE. “What are the college students’ attitudes before the existence of virtual environments available in the web to support the traditional education”.
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VLE‟s are still relatively new to the schools market, the general impression is that they are likely to have a significant impact on the process of teaching and learning in the future. While most of the academic literature is from further and higher education, in many cases there is potential applicability to the school sector. Some of these features may include  :
Maintaining student engagement is a major concern in higher education, especially when concepts become more sophisticated and coursework becomes more complex. Shared online virtual worlds are attractive in that they have the potential for supporting student engagement through novelty and intrigue whilst providing a programmable environment that can be tailored for educational purposes. This paper presents two case studies illustrating the use of such multi-user virtual environments (MUVE) for education, in the context of credit-bearing assignments in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). While there is considerable interest throughout academia in using MUVEs academics can experience many challenges when exploring various possible use-cases. The studies presented in this paper were conducted to identify some of the critical issues such as student perceptions, privacy, ownership, access to practical work for assessment purposes, maintaining an association between institutional and virtual world identities, and the achievement of learning outcomes through the use of MUVEs for teaching and learning. Through developing an awareness of the challenges that are encountered in MUVEs for managed learning, and describing how to address them, this paper contributes towards their significance as an educational resource which can inspire and engage students.
Object DBMS have a range of features that are much more wide ranging and encompassing then XML DBs. Object oriented data models have access to features such as; encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance, polymorphism, the ability to define relationships and late-binding. XML has only limited facilities for defining member functions, which would allow behavioural and structural semantics to be built into the objects. This paper has presented a high-level description of a Learning Object Database-Driven Architecture that is being used in an ongoing research project to design and develop an educationalist centred VLE. The model presented was developed by and ongoing research project and is being tested using formal methods. The model will then be translated into a web-based prototype to be tested in actual educational practice.
Therefore, but we have also tried to make a new learning environment for engineering/natural science-majored learners. First, virtual interaction learning contents with digital textbook were proposed, and the interactive digital textbook using smartphone sensors and methodology of an interactive digital textbook for experimental subjects were developed. Developing digital textbook with interactions should fully take consideration of the relationship between the various interactions and learning efficiency. We will measure the relationship and efficiency of learning interactions and learning activities.
This paper makes the following contributions. We describe a design of a VR lesson based on the idea of connecting different “VR slides”, each providing the scenario supporting teaching and student experimentation. We report the results of a between-groups study in which 36 participants were randomly assigned to one of the two versions. Our main goal was to evaluate how having a human instructor in the system affected the way students used it. We measured the time users spent in the system and how far they progressed in performing the tasks required. Results show that users engaged with the interaction prompts for significantly more time and progressed further in the Two-User version. Overall the Two-User version was rated significantly higher than the Single-User version in terms of subjective preference, clarity and helpfulness of the explanations provided in the system. We also analysed the interviews and the first-person VR video recordings to identify the issues that affected the user experience, which we present as a set of guidelines for the design of future immersive learning experiences.
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In a traditional learning environment, the tutor and the learner communicates in different modes. Generally verbal, visual (body language, visual presentations such as posters or computer based presentations) and text based (traditional blackboard or whiteboard based) are the major modes of communication. Within the case of the institute, Blackboard is being used as a mode for text based communication most of the times. “Horizonwimba” is being used within the institute to accommodate for the need of using audio and visual modes of communication between the tutor and the learner. The visual and audio communication is accomplished through a web conferencing based system capable of establishing video and audio based communications between the tutor and the learner. It uses the voice transfer, application transfer and chatting facilities to deliver synchronous lectures. One of the problems both tutors and learners encounter in utilising web conferencing is the time that it takes to learn the various functionalities of the tool. Particularly at the school with blackboard and horizonwimba, the students are invited to participate at free tutorial sessions before their actual online lectures commence to overcome their fears of using the technology (Ingirige et al, 2005). Among the problems of this software it is often pointed out various connectivity problems due to the nature of local internet connectivity. For example, applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint slides are transferred at a relatively slower pace than voice, so that some students complain that the commentary does not run concurrently with the particular slide in question thereby highlighting problems relating to synchronicity (Ingirige et al, 2005). Therefore it is important to look at this issue from a social aspect perspective, to safeguard the equal opportunities of learning available to all the students in question. As Ingirige et al (2005) pointed out it may be down to the application developers to look at these technological limitations at the user end when developing such applications.
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In design education, web-based tools have been widely used (Craig & Zimring, 2000; Rummel, Spada, Hermann, Caspar, & Schornstein, 2005; Tokman et al., 2006; Tong et al., 2006) in particular in the form of online design studios. Broadfoot and Bennet (2003) define online design studio as a web-based studio, which is a ‘networked studio, distributed across space and time’; such that the participants of an online design studio maybe in different locations handling design communications via computer. Recently, virtual design studios (Çağda et al., 2000; Kvan, 2001; Maher, 1999; Schnabel, Kvan, Kruijff, & Donath, 2001) have been set up by architecture and design schools around the globe aiming to provide a shared “place” where distant design
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In the process of the preparation of the management plan, as part of the ongoing stakeholder involvement, the tree felling method was changed to ring-barking. As a result the dead tree trunks will be standing for some years in order to prevent erosion. As a consequence, the virtual model ‘2020’ (after harvesting most of the existing plantations) had to be adapted. Instead of visualising areas where harvested trees were lying on the ground to rot, these areas were populated with trunks of dead trees still standing. In this example dead tree trunks as seen from a distance are displayed as thin lines and when their positions change slightly from each pre-recorded image to the next image flickering appeared in parts of the animations. This was noticed by some of the stakeholders and is a common problem in computer graphics. It does not occur in still images.
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