Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: virtual learning environment

19 Individual Differences and Paired Learning in Virtual Environments

Authors: Patricia M. Boechler, Heather M. Gautreau

Abstract:

In this research study, postsecondary students completed an information learning task in an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment. Three factors were of interest in relation to learning; 1) the influence of collaborative vs. independent conditions, 2) the influence of the spatial arrangement of the virtual environment (linear, random and clustered), and 3) the relationship of individual differences such as spatial skill, general computer experience and video game experience to learning. Students completed pretest measures of prior computer experience and prior spatial skill. Following the premeasure administration, students were given instruction to move through the virtual environment and study all the material within 10 information stations. In the collaborative condition, students proceeded in randomly assigned pairs, while in the independent condition they proceeded alone. After this learning phase, all students individually completed a multiple choice test to determine information retention. The overall results indicated that students in pairs did not perform any better or worse than independent students. As far as individual differences, only spatial ability predicted the performance of students. General computer experience and video game experience did not. Taking a closer look at the pairs and spatial ability, comparisons were made on pairs high/matched spatial ability, pairs low/matched spatial ability and pairs that were mismatched on spatial ability. The results showed that both high/matched pairs and mismatched pairs outperformed low/matched pairs. That is, if a pair had even one individual with strong spatial ability they would perform better than pairs with only low spatial ability individuals. This suggests that, in virtual environments, the specific individuals that are paired together are important for performance outcomes. The paper also includes a discussion of trends within the data that have implications for virtual environment education.

Keywords: Individual Differences, Virtual Environment, avatar-based, paired learning

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18 A Formal Approach for Instructional Design Integrated with Data Visualization for Learning Analytics

Authors: Douglas A. Menezes, Isabel D. Nunes, Ulrich Schiel

Abstract:

Most Virtual Learning Environments do not provide support mechanisms for the integrated planning, construction and follow-up of Instructional Design supported by Learning Analytic results. The present work aims to present an authoring tool that will be responsible for constructing the structure of an Instructional Design (ID), without the data being altered during the execution of the course. The visual interface aims to present the critical situations present in this ID, serving as a support tool for the course follow-up and possible improvements, which can be made during its execution or in the planning of a new edition of this course. The model for the ID is based on High-Level Petri Nets and the visualization forms are determined by the specific kind of the data generated by an e-course, a population of students generating sequentially dependent data.

Keywords: Instructional Design, Learning Analytics, educational data visualization, high-level petri nets

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17 Hacking the Spatial Limitations in Bridging Virtual and Traditional Teaching Methodologies in Sri Lanka

Authors: Manuela Nayantara Jeyaraj

Abstract:

Having moved into the 21st century, it is way past being arguable that innovative technology needs to be incorporated into conventional classroom teaching. Though the Western world has found presumable success in achieving this, it is still a concept under battle in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. Reaching the acme of implementing interactive virtual learning within classrooms is a struggling idealistic fascination within the island. In order to overcome this problem, this study is set to reveal facts that limit the implementation of virtual, interactive learning within the school classrooms and provide hacks that could prove the augmented use of the Virtual World to enhance teaching and learning experiences. As each classroom moves along with the usage of technology to fulfill its functionalities, a few intense hacks provided will build the administrative onuses on a virtual system. These hacks may divulge barriers based on social conventions, financial boundaries, digital literacy, intellectual capacity of the staff, and highlight the impediments in introducing students to an interactive virtual learning environment and thereby provide the necessary actions or changes to be made to succeed and march along in creating an intellectual society built on virtual learning and lifestyle. This digital learning environment will be composed of multimedia presentations, trivia and pop quizzes conducted on a GUI, assessments conducted via a virtual system, records maintained on a database, etc. The ultimate objective of this study could enhance every child's basic learning environment; hence, diminishing the digital divide that exists in certain communities.

Keywords: Digital Divide, Digitization, Digital Learning, Sri Lanka, teaching methodologies

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16 Identifying E-Learning Components at North-West University, Mafikeng Campus

Authors: Sylvia Tumelo Nthutang, Nehemiah Mavetera

Abstract:

Educational institutions are under pressure from their competitors. Regulators and community groups need educational institutions to adopt appropriate business and organizational practices. Globally, educational institutions are now using e-learning as the best teaching and learning approach. E-learning is becoming the center of attention to the learning institutions, educational systems and software inventors. North-West University (NWU) is currently using eFundi, a Learning Management System (LMS). LMS are all information systems and procedures that adds value to students learning and support the learning material in text or any multimedia files. With various e-learning tools, students would be able to access all the materials related to the course in electronic copies. The study was tasked with identifying the e-learning components at the NWU, Mafikeng campus. Quantitative research methodology was considered in data collection and descriptive statistics for data analysis. The Activity Theory (AT) was used as a theory to guide the study. AT outlines the limitations amongst e-learning at the macro-organizational level (plan, guiding principle, campus-wide solutions) and micro-organization (daily functioning practice, collaborative transformation, specific adaptation). On a technological environment, AT gives people an opportunity to change from concentrating on computers as an area of concern but also understand that technology is part of human activities. The findings have identified the university’s current IT tools and knowledge on e-learning elements. It was recommended that university should consider buying computer resources that consumes less power and practice e-learning effectively.

Keywords: Teaching, e-Learning, Information and Communication Technology, and virtual learning environment

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15 Integration of Best Practices and Requirements for Preliminary E-Learning Courses

Authors: Sophie Huck, Knut Linke

Abstract:

This study will examine how IT practitioners can be motivated for IT studies and which kind of support they need during their occupational studies. Within this research project, the challenge of supporting students being engaged in business for several years arose. Here, it is especially important to successfully guide them through their studies. The problem of this group is that they finished their school education years ago. In order to gather first experiences, preliminary e-learning courses were introduced and tested with a group of users studying General Management. They had to work with these courses and have been questioned later on about their approach to the different methods. Moreover, a second group of potential students was interviewed with the help of online questionnaires to give information about their expectations regarding extra occupational studies. We also want to present best practices and cases in e-education in the subarea of mathematics and distance learning. Within these cases and practices, we use state of the art systems and technologies in e-education to find a way to increase teaching quality and the success of students. Our research indicated that the first group of enrolled students appreciated the new preliminary e-learning courses. The second group of potential students was convinced of this way of learning as a significant component of extra occupational studies. It can be concluded that this part of the project clarified the acceptance of the e-learning strategy by both groups and led to satisfactory results with the enrolled students.

Keywords: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Learning Environments, Self-Learning, e-learning evaluation

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14 Students' Perception of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Skills in Setting up the Simulator Welding Technology

Authors: A. Halim Sahelan, Mohd Afif Md Nasir, Faizal Amin NurYunus, Jamaluddin Hashim, Abd Samad Hassan Basari

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to identify the suitability of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in welding simulator application towards Computer-Based Training (CBT) in developing skills upon new students at the Advanced Technology Training Center (ADTEC) Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia and GIATMARA, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. The significance of the study is to create a computer-based skills development approach in welding technology among new students in ADTEC and GIATMARA as well as to cultivate the elements of general skills among them. This study is also important in elevating the number of individual knowledge workers (K-workers) working in manufacturing industry in order to achieve a national vision which is to be an industrial nation in the year of 2020. The design of the study is a survey type of research which using questionnaires as the instruments and some 136 students from ADTEC and GIATMARA were interviewed. Descriptive analysis is used to identify the frequency and mean values. The findings of the study show that the welding technology has developed skills in the students because of the application of VLE simulated at a high level and the respondents agreed that the skills could be embedded through the application of the VLE simulator. In summary, the VLE simulator is suitable in welding skills development training in terms of exposing new students with the relevant characteristics of welding skills and at the same time spurring the students’ interest towards learning more about the skills.

Keywords: Welding Technology, virtual learning environment, computer-based training (CBT), knowledge workers (K-workers), welding simulator

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13 Investigating Student Behavior in Adopting Online Formative Assessment Feedback

Authors: Peter Clutterbuck, Terry Rowlands, Owen Seamons

Abstract:

In this paper we describe one critical research program within a complex, ongoing multi-year project (2010 to 2014 inclusive) with the overall goal to improve the learning outcomes for first year undergraduate commerce/business students within an Information Systems (IS) subject with very large enrolment. The single research program described in this paper is the analysis of student attitudes and decision making in relation to the availability of formative assessment feedback via Web-based real time conferencing and document exchange software (Adobe Connect). The formative assessment feedback between teaching staff and students is in respect of an authentic problem-based, team-completed assignment. The analysis of student attitudes and decision making is investigated via both qualitative (firstly) and quantitative (secondly) application of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with a two statistically-significant and separate trial samples of the enrolled students. The initial qualitative TPB investigation revealed that perceived self-efficacy, improved time-management, and lecturer-student relationship building were the major factors in shaping an overall favorable student attitude to online feedback, whilst some students expressed valid concerns with perceived control limitations identified within the online feedback protocols. The subsequent quantitative TPB investigation then confirmed that attitude towards usage, subjective norms surrounding usage, and perceived behavioral control of usage were all significant in shaping student intention to use the online feedback protocol, with these three variables explaining 63 percent of the variance in the behavioral intention to use the online feedback protocol. The identification in this research of perceived behavioral control as a significant determinant in student usage of a specific technology component within a virtual learning environment (VLE) suggests that VLEs could now be viewed not as a single, atomic entity, but as a spectrum of technology offerings ranging from the mature and simple (e.g., email, Web downloads) to the cutting-edge and challenging (e.g., Web conferencing and real-time document exchange). That is, that all VLEs should not be considered the same. The results of this research suggest that tertiary students have the technological sophistication to assess a VLE in this more selective manner.

Keywords: theory of planned behavior, formative assessment feedback, virtual learning environment, perceived behavioral control

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12 A Recommender Agent to Support Virtual Learning Activities

Authors: P. Valdiviezo, G. Riofrio, R. Reategui

Abstract:

This article describes the implementation of an intelligent agent that provides recommendations for educational resources in a virtual learning environment (VLE). It aims to support pending (undeveloped) student learning activities. It begins by analyzing the proposed VLE data model entities in the recommender process. The pending student activities are then identified, which constitutes the input information for the agent. By using the attribute-based recommender technique, the information can be processed and resource recommendations can be obtained. These serve as support for pending activity development in the course. To integrate this technique, we used an ontology. This served as support for the semantic annotation of attributes and recommended files recovery.

Keywords: Ontology, learning activities, educational resource, recommender agent, recommendation technique

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11 Using Serious Games to Improve the Preparation of Pre-Service Teachers in Bulgaria

Authors: Rumyana Peytcheva-Forsyth, Blagovesna Yovkova

Abstract:

This paper presents the outcomes of a qualitative study which aims to investigate the pedagogical potentials of serious games in the preparation of future teachers. The authors discuss the existing problems and barriers associated with the organization of teaching practices in Bulgaria as part of the pre-service teacher training, as well as the attitudes and perceptions of the interviewed academics, teachers and trainees concerning the integration of serious games in the teaching practicum. The study outcomes strongly confirm the positive attitudes of the respondents to the introduction of virtual learning environments for the development of professional skills of future teachers as a supplement to the traditional forms of education. Through the inclusion of serious games it is expected to improve the quality of practical training of pre-service teachers as they overcome many of the problems identified in the existing teaching practices. The outcomes of the study will inform the design of the educational simulation software which is part of the project SimAula Tomorrow's Teachers Training.

Keywords: Serious Games, Simulations, pre-service teacher training, virtual practicum

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10 Virtual Learning Process Environment: Cohort Analytics for Learning and Learning Processes

Authors: Ayodeji Adesina, Derek Molloy

Abstract:

Traditional higher-education classrooms allow lecturers to observe students- behaviours and responses to a particular pedagogy during learning in a way that can influence changes to the pedagogical approach. Within current e-learning systems it is difficult to perform continuous analysis of the cohort-s behavioural tendency, making real-time pedagogical decisions difficult. This paper presents a Virtual Learning Process Environment (VLPE) based on the Business Process Management (BPM) conceptual framework. Within the VLPE, course designers can model various education pedagogies in the form of learning process workflows using an intuitive flow diagram interface. These diagrams are used to visually track the learning progresses of a cohort of students. This helps assess the effectiveness of the chosen pedagogy, providing the information required to improve course design. A case scenario of a cohort of students is presented and quantitative statistical analysis of their learning process performance is gathered and displayed in realtime using dashboards.

Keywords: Business Process Management, virtual learning environment, learning processes, cohort analytics

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9 The use of a Bespoke Computer Game For Teaching Analogue Electronics

Authors: Olaf Hallan Graven, Dag Andreas Hals Samuelsen

Abstract:

An implementation of a design for a game based virtual learning environment is described. The game is developed for a course in analogue electronics, and the topic is the design of a power supply. This task can be solved in a number of different ways, with certain constraints, giving the students a certain amount of freedom, although the game is designed not to facilitate trial-and error approach. The use of storytelling and a virtual gaming environment provides the student with the learning material in a MMORPG environment. The game is tested on a group of second year electrical engineering students with good results.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, e-Learning, Analogue Electronics, computer games for learning

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8 Search Engine Module in Voice Recognition Browser to Facilitate the Visually Impaired in Virtual Learning (MGSYS VISI-VL)

Authors: Halimah Badioze Zaman, Nurulisma Ismail

Abstract:

Nowadays, web-based technologies influence in people-s daily life such as in education, business and others. Therefore, many web developers are too eager to develop their web applications with fully animation graphics and forgetting its accessibility to its users. Their purpose is to make their web applications look impressive. Thus, this paper would highlight on the usability and accessibility of a voice recognition browser as a tool to facilitate the visually impaired and blind learners in accessing virtual learning environment. More specifically, the objectives of the study are (i) to explore the challenges faced by the visually impaired learners in accessing virtual learning environment (ii) to determine the suitable guidelines for developing a voice recognition browser that is accessible to the visually impaired. Furthermore, this study was prepared based on an observation conducted with the Malaysian visually impaired learners. Finally, the result of this study would underline on the development of an accessible voice recognition browser for the visually impaired.

Keywords: Accessibility, Virtual learning, Usability, voice recognition, Visually Impaired

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7 Pilot Study on the Impact of VLE on Mathematical Concepts Acquisition within Secondary Education in England

Authors: Aaron A. R. Nwabude

Abstract:

The research investigates the “impact of VLE on mathematical concepts acquisition of the special education needs (SENs) students at KS4 secondary education sector" in England. The overall aim of the study is to establish possible areas of difficulties to approach for above or below knowledge standard requirements for KS4 students in the acquisition and validation of basic mathematical concepts. A teaching period, in which virtual learning environment (Fronter) was used to emphasise different mathematical perception and symbolic representation was carried out and task based survey conducted to 20 special education needs students [14 actually took part]. The result shows that students were able to process information and consider images, objects and numbers within the VLE at early stages of acquisition process. They were also able to carry out perceptual tasks but with limiting process of different quotient, thus they need teacher-s guidance to connect them to symbolic representations and sometimes coach them through. The pilot study further indicates that VLE curriculum approaches for students were minutely aligned with mathematics teaching which does not emphasise the integration of VLE into the existing curriculum and current teaching practice. There was also poor alignment of vision regarding the use of VLE in realisation of the objectives of teaching mathematics by the management. On the part of teacher training, not much was done to develop teacher-s skills in the technical and pedagogical aspects of VLE that is in-use at the school. The classroom observation confirmed teaching practice will find a reliance on VLE as an enhancer of mathematical skills, providing interaction and personalisation of learning to SEN students.

Keywords: Education, Teacher, VLE, Mathematical Concepts Acquisition, PilotStudy, SENs, KS4

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6 Methodology Issues and Design Approach of VLE on Mathematical Concepts Acquisition within Secondary Education in England

Authors: Aaron A. R. Nwabude

Abstract:

This study used positivist quantitative approach to examine the mathematical concepts acquisition of- KS4 (14-16) Special Education Needs (SENs) students within the school sector education in England. The research is based on a pilot study and the design is completely holistic in its approach with mixing methodologies. The study combines the qualitative and quantitative methods of approach in gathering formative data for the design process. Although, the approach could best be described as a mix method, fundamentally with a strong positivist paradigm, hence my earlier understanding of the differentiation of the students, student – teacher body and the various elements of indicators that is being measured which will require an attenuated description of individual research subjects. The design process involves four phases with five key stages which are; literature review and document analysis, the survey, interview, and observation; then finally the analysis of data set. The research identified the need for triangulation with Reid-s phases of data management providing scaffold for the study. The study clearly identified the ideological and philosophical aspects of educational research design for the study of mathematics by the special education needs (SENs) students in England using the virtual learning environment (VLE) platform.

Keywords: Mathematics, School, VLE, special education needs, Key stage4, Concepts Acquisition

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5 Virtual Learning Environments in Spanish Traditional Universities

Authors: Leire Urcola, Amaia Altuzarra

Abstract:

This communication is intended to provide some issues for thought on the importance of implementation of Blended Learning in traditional universities, particularly in the Spanish university system. In this respect, we believe that virtual environments are likely to meet some of the needs raised by the Bologna agreement, trying to maintain the quality of teaching and at the same time taking advantage of the functionalities that virtual learning platforms offer. We are aware that an approach of learning from an open and constructivist nature in universities is a complex process that faces significant technological, administrative and human barriers. Therefore, in order to put plans in our universities, it is necessary to analyze the state of the art of some indicators relating to the use of ICT, with special attention to virtual teaching and learning, so that we can identify the main obstacles and design adaptive strategies for their full integration in the education system. Finally, we present major initiatives launched in the European and state framework for the effective implementation of new virtual environments in the area of higher education.

Keywords: e-Learning, Blended Learning, ICT, Virtual LearningEnvironments

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4 Building Virtual Reality Environments for Distance Education on the Web: A Case Study in Medical Education

Authors: Kosmas Dimitropoulos, Athanasios Manitsaris, Ioannis Mavridis

Abstract:

The paper presents an investigation into the role of virtual reality and web technologies in the field of distance education. Within this frame, special emphasis is given on the building of web-based virtual learning environments so as to successfully fulfill their educational objectives. In particular, basic pedagogical methods are studied, focusing mainly on the efficient preparation, approach and presentation of learning content, and specific designing rules are presented considering the hypermedia, virtual and educational nature of this kind of applications. The paper also aims to highlight the educational benefits arising from the use of virtual reality technology in medicine and study the emerging area of web-based medical simulations. Finally, an innovative virtual reality environment for distance education in medicine is demonstrated. The proposed environment reproduces conditions of the real learning process and enhances learning through a real-time interactive simulator.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Medicine, Web, Distance Education

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3 Toward a Model for Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments: Strategies for Student Ownership

Authors: N.B. Adams

Abstract:

This article discusses the concept of student ownership of knowledge and seeks to determine how to move students from knowledge acquisition to knowledge application and ultimately to knowledge generation in a virtual setting. Instructional strategies for fostering student engagement in a virtual environment are critical to the learner-s strategic ownership of the knowledge. A number of relevant theories that focus on learning, affect, needs and adult concerns are presented to provide a basis for exploring the transfer of knowledge from teacher to learner. A model under development is presented that combines the dimensions of knowledge approach, the teacher-student relationship with regards to knowledge authority and teaching approach to demonstrate the recursive and scaffolded design for creation of virtual learning environments.

Keywords: Online Learning, Learning theory, Virtual Learning Environments, teaching model

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2 A Virtual Learning Environment for Deaf Children: Design and Evaluation

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

Abstract:

The object of this research is the design and evaluation of an immersive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for deaf children. Recently we have developed a prototype immersive VR game to teach sign language mathematics to deaf students age K- 4 [1] [2]. In this paper we describe a significant extension of the prototype application. The extension includes: (1) user-centered design and implementation of two additional interactive environments (a clock store and a bakery), and (2) user-centered evaluation including development of user tasks, expert panel-based evaluation, and formative evaluation. This paper is one of the few to focus on the importance of user-centered, iterative design in VR application development, and to describe a structured evaluation method.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, User-Centered Design, Virtual Learning Environments, User-centered Evaluation

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1 A Laboratory Assistance Module

Authors: Konstantinos E. Evangelidis, Evangelos Kehris, Theodore H. Kaskalis

Abstract:

We propose that Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) should be designed by taking into account the characteristics, the special needs and the specific operating rules of the academic institutions in which they are employed. In this context, we describe a VLE module that extends the support of the organization and delivery of course material by including administration activities related to the various stages of teaching. These include the co-ordination, collaboration and monitoring of the course material development process and institution-specific course material delivery modes. Our specialized module, which enhances VLE capabilities by Helping Educators and Learners through a Laboratory Assistance System, is willing to assist the Greek tertiary technological sector, which includes Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.).

Keywords: Virtual Learning Environments, Teachingcoordination, Laboratorial education, Technological institutes

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