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http://hdl.handle.net/10609/26001
Title: Toward the creation of effective virtual learning environments for online education
Author: García Solórzano, David  
Director: Santamaría Pérez, Eugènia
Morán Moreno, José Antonio
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
Keywords: online education
e-learning
virtual learning environments
learning management systems
learner-centered design heuristics
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2013
Publisher: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
Abstract: Although virtual learning environments (VLEs) and learning management systems (LMSs) are consolidated online education tools, some researchers argue that most of these platforms are mainly designed from a technological approach, with pedagogical aspects given a back seat. As a result, the teaching-learning process conducted via these systems may not be as effective as expected. For this reason, this thesis focuses on identifying those elements which may improve the efficiency of VLEs when they are used in fully online courses. First of all, a document-based research allowed to know the implications of online delivery for education as well as the main features, needs and barriers of online students and teachers. Next, eight of the most popular VLEs were analyzed by focusing on their pedagogical approach, information structure and interface. Based on the main conclusions drawn from the document-based research, a set of recommendations/heuristics for creating effective VLEs for online teaching-learning was proposed. To evaluate the suitability of each recommendation, these were put into practice by means of three prototypes of an ad hoc VLE called AdVisor, which also included a student monitoring tool called FACRO. A sample of learners tested AdVisor in fully online courses and, afterward, assessed the suitability of the heuristics through a questionnaire. Furthermore, eight teachers were interviewed to know their opinions about AdVisor and FACRO. On the whole, the results showed that the recommendations are suitable, especially those related to self-regulation (i.e. to guide students through the course and help them to be aware of their learning process).
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10609/26001
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Thesis

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