Topical Collection "The Application and Development of E-learning"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonio Sarasa Cabezuelo
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain
Interests: NonSQL databases; machine learning; artificial intelligence; e-learning; programming languages
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jordi Conesa Caralt
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
IT, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: NonSQL databases; analytics; e-learning; self-determined learning; eHealth; semantics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

E-Learning technology refers to multiple initiatives that have the common objective of facilitating teaching and learning using computer tools. Today, the technologies and applications of eLearning have spread to all levels of education. Thus, it is quite common to use learning management systems such as Moodle or Blackboard to support virtual teaching in universities, digital content creation tools such as eXeLearning to generate resources for students, the analysis of data generated by the activity of students to obtain conclusions about the efficiency of educational methods, the creation of large repositories of digital content, which are created using a standard or specification such as SCORM 2004 or the application of software engineering techniques for the implementation of eLearning systems.

In this Topical Collection, we are interested in receiving contributions about eLearning technologies and their applications in different fields.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Sarasa Cabezuelo
Prof. Dr. Jordi Conesa
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Learning objects
  • digital repositories
  • learning management systems
  • learning analytics
  • content creation tools
  • software engineering in e-learning
  • educational standards and specifications
  • e-learning applications
  • e-learning methodologies
  • big data and e-learning
  • experiences in e-learning
  • e-learning technologies
  • artificial intelligence in education
  • lifelong learning
  • self-determined learning
  • ethics and e-learning.

Published Papers (20 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Article
Redesigning a Foreign Language Learning Task Using Mobile Devices: A Comparative Analysis between the Digital and Paper-Based Outcomes
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5686; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115686 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 291
Abstract
The introduction of mobile devices such as smartphones provides new opportunities to enhance the teaching–learning process of a foreign language. However, its use can affect not only the students’ type and form of writing but also their ability to achieve the academic competencies [...] Read more.
The introduction of mobile devices such as smartphones provides new opportunities to enhance the teaching–learning process of a foreign language. However, its use can affect not only the students’ type and form of writing but also their ability to achieve the academic competencies targeted. Thus, aspects such as the development of linguistic and communicative competencies could be affected. In this paper, a comparative analysis of two different versions (a paper and a digital version) of the same learning task is carried out in order to analyze the impact of each on the development of students’ linguistic and communicative competencies. The study is conducted with undergraduate students enrolled in a course called German II. Modern Language I (level A1.2, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The results obtained illustrate, on the one hand, the advantages of the paper version for developing students’ linguistic competence and, on the other hand, that the digital version, despite facilitating students’ interaction amongst each other, does not seem to be more suitable for developing students’ communicative competence. Future studies will, therefore, focus on identifying those features that might increase the potential of the digital version for fostering the targeted competencies. Full article
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Article
Towards the Implementation Process of Accessible Virtual Campuses in Higher Education Institutions in Latin America
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5470; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115470 - 28 May 2022
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Ensuring equitable and inclusive access to educational services in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) requires the development of strategies that consider the diversity of their academic members, administrative staff, and students, as well as the use of information and communication technologies. The identification of [...] Read more.
Ensuring equitable and inclusive access to educational services in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) requires the development of strategies that consider the diversity of their academic members, administrative staff, and students, as well as the use of information and communication technologies. The identification of requirements for technological accessibility in HEIs allows for the establishment of actions aimed at considering accessibility aspects in the processes of admission, permanence, and graduation, in order to support students with disabilities in their transit through these institutions. Having a systematic approach to guide the design of educational strategies in HEIs contributes to the identification of areas for improvement for the benefit of educational quality and community members. This article describes the proposal of a process based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, and a methodology for the implementation of accessible learning environments oriented to the implementation of an accessible virtual campus based on the establishment of five defined phases: diagnosis, planning, implementation, control, and tracing. This proposal is aimed at supporting Latin American HEIs in the integration of technological accessibility requirements from a systematic and continuous improvement approach. Full article
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Article
The Interoperability of Learning Object Design, Search and Adaptation Processes in the Repositories
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3628; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073628 - 03 Apr 2022
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Learning environments ensure successful implementation of the learning process but not always the effective design of the e-learning objects (ELOs) and moreover, search and adaptation. A technological solution for the design of the learning objects, repositories, and the semantic web is needed. There [...] Read more.
Learning environments ensure successful implementation of the learning process but not always the effective design of the e-learning objects (ELOs) and moreover, search and adaptation. A technological solution for the design of the learning objects, repositories, and the semantic web is needed. There are many open educational resources, but not many platforms assure the possibility to adapt learning objects. The existing developed multifunctional platforms do not ensure the effective ELOs adaptation as well as the process of design and adaptation in the multifunctional environment. They do not have an automatic search of ELOs in the semantic web, which is directly targeted to the specific objects in repositories of open educational resources and do not allow for adaptation of the already developed ELO by automatically assigning reusable objects. The structure of the papers consists of the literature review and overview of existing practices, research methodology, research results description and conclusions provided by authors. The objective of the research is to suggest, to teachers, a model for effective e-learning objects design, automatic search and adaptation processes in the multifunctional environment by developing a platform based on semantic technologies for e-learning objects design and adaptation. Full article
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Article
A Personalized Learning Service Compatible with Moodle E-Learning Management System
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3562; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073562 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Among the numerous learning management platforms, Moodle is free, open-source software supporting expanding and modularized system functions and services to facilitate online courses or online resources and interactive activities. This study enhanced a personalized learning service for the Moodle e-learning management system, which [...] Read more.
Among the numerous learning management platforms, Moodle is free, open-source software supporting expanding and modularized system functions and services to facilitate online courses or online resources and interactive activities. This study enhanced a personalized learning service for the Moodle e-learning management system, which synchronizes the user’s identity according to the user information database of the third-party user management platform system. According to the user’s demand to provide a personalized e-course, including personalized learning process, e-materials, and learning path to improve learning efficiency. This study adopted the pre-test and post-test achievement to compare the benefit of the personalized e-learning platform. Research samples were students in the “programming” course at the Technology University in central Taiwan. The experiment results indicate: (i) The average post-test result after using the proposed platform was higher than the average pre-test result (before using the proposed platform). (ii) The learning effect gap in the post-test between students was less than in the pre-test result. Hence, the proposed personalized e-learning platform was beneficial. Full article
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Article
Educational AI Chatbots for Content and Language Integrated Learning
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073239 - 22 Mar 2022
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology in learning environments is one of the latest challenges for educators and education policymakers. Conversational AI brings new possibilities for alternative and innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools, such as AI chatbots. This paper reports on [...] Read more.
Using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology in learning environments is one of the latest challenges for educators and education policymakers. Conversational AI brings new possibilities for alternative and innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools, such as AI chatbots. This paper reports on field experiments with an AI chatbot and provides insights into its contribution to Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). More specifically, this paper presents an experimental use case of an educational AI chatbot called AsasaraBot, designed to teach high school students cultural content in a foreign language, i.e., English or French. The content is related to the Minoan Civilization, emphasizing the characteristic figurine of the Minoan Snake Goddess. The related chatbot-based educational program has been evaluated at public and private language schools in Greece. The findings from these experiments show that the use of AI chatbot technology for interactive ICT-based learning is suitable for learning foreign languages and cultural content at the same time. The AsasaraBot AI chatbot has been designed and implemented in the context of a postgraduate project using open-source and free software. Full article
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Article
A Collaborative Framework for Customized E-Learning Services by Analytic Hierarchy Processing
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12031377 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Thanks to the drastic proliferation of the Internet, e-learning has been recognized as an effective medium for various kinds of aggressive learners. However, due to the deficiencies of tutoring and guiding functionalities in current learning platforms, casual learners may deviate from the original [...] Read more.
Thanks to the drastic proliferation of the Internet, e-learning has been recognized as an effective medium for various kinds of aggressive learners. However, due to the deficiencies of tutoring and guiding functionalities in current learning platforms, casual learners may deviate from the original course direction with frustration, when confronting inflexible course materials and fixed learning models. In the post-COVID-19 era, we believe that the most important functionality for a personal learning environment (PLE) to offer is a course recommendation process which adaptively provides a versatile course combination scheme for different learners from different perspectives. In this paper, we propose a flexible framework for users to customize their e-learning environment based on a two-stage Analytical Hierarchical Processing (AHP) structure for building adaptive course portfolios, which adaptively provides a versatile course scheme for different learners. The main objective of our framework is to transform a learner from a role of passively accepting the course content organized by instructors, into another role of proactively selecting the courses and contributing their knowledge to continuously improve the learning platform. We believe the approach proposed is a versatile way for supporting various challenges for the next generation of personal e-learning environment. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022, 2020

Article
Design, Development and Use of a Digital Badges System in Higher Education
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12010220 - 27 Dec 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Badges are non fungible tokens used to document or certify achievements in academics or in any other domain. Besides their utility as proof of achievement, badges are of interest in higher education as pure incentives to push the students and learners in general [...] Read more.
Badges are non fungible tokens used to document or certify achievements in academics or in any other domain. Besides their utility as proof of achievement, badges are of interest in higher education as pure incentives to push the students and learners in general toward pursuing well-defined goals and skills. In this respect, badges can be naturally incorporated into digital learning platforms also as part of informal learning activities, and stimulate participation, merit, and visibility for the students. However, the level of engagement of learners into these learning activities depends crucially on how the system of badges and rewards has been designed and on how it is applied, if it is to be used effectively. In this paper, we report on the design and implementation of a smart badges system, and an example of its use inside a gamification methodology for informal learning in a master level course, and discuss the benefits and the observed gains in learning performance that can be obtained. Full article
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Article
Digital Content Creation Tools: American University Teachers’ Perception
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11649; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411649 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
This paper studies the perception of Latin American university teachers about the effectiveness of digital content creation (DCC) tools for the creation of e-learning training actions. For this purpose, the opinions of a group of 564 teachers from different universities in 16 Latin [...] Read more.
This paper studies the perception of Latin American university teachers about the effectiveness of digital content creation (DCC) tools for the creation of e-learning training actions. For this purpose, the opinions of a group of 564 teachers from different universities in 16 Latin American countries have been collected and their answers have been analyzed according to different sociological and academic characteristics (gender, age, teaching experience, area of knowledge, and academic degree). The results indicate that Latin American university teachers express high levels of digital training and highly value the didactic effectiveness of DCC tools to develop e-learning training actions. This valuation is significantly higher among females than males. Gender is also revealed as the most influential characteristic in the perception of teachers about the use of digital resources in the classroom, above any other aspect. Full article
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Article
The Usefulness of Video Learning Analytics in Small Scale E-Learning Scenarios
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10366; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110366 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
A variety of tools are available to collect, process and analyse learning data obtained from the clickstream generated by students watching learning resources in video format. There is also some literature on the uses of such data in order to better understand and [...] Read more.
A variety of tools are available to collect, process and analyse learning data obtained from the clickstream generated by students watching learning resources in video format. There is also some literature on the uses of such data in order to better understand and improve the teaching-learning process. Most of the literature focuses on large scale learning scenarios, such as MOOCs, where videos are watched hundreds or thousands of times. We have developed a solution to collect clickstream analytics data applicable to smaller scenarios, much more common in primary, secondary and higher education, where videos are watched tens or hundreds of times, and to analyse whether the solution is useful to teachers to improve the learning process. We have deployed it in a real scenario and collected real data. Furthermore, we have processed and presented the data visually to teachers for those scenarios and have collected and analysed their perception of their usefulness. We conclude that the collected data are perceived as useful by teachers to improve the teaching and learning process. Full article
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Article
The Accurate Measurement of Students’ Learning in E-Learning Environments
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 9946; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11219946 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
The ultimate goal of E-learning environments is to improve students’ learning. To achieve that goal, it is crucial to accurately measure students’ learning. In the field of educational measurement, it is well known that the key issue in the measurement of learning is [...] Read more.
The ultimate goal of E-learning environments is to improve students’ learning. To achieve that goal, it is crucial to accurately measure students’ learning. In the field of educational measurement, it is well known that the key issue in the measurement of learning is to place test scores on a common metric. Despite the crucial role of a common metric in the measurement of learning, however, less attention has been paid to this important issue in E-learning studies. In this study, we propose to use fixed-parameter calibration (FPC) in an item response theory (IRT) framework to set up a common metric in E-learning environments. To demonstrate FPC, we used the data from the MOOC “Introduction to Psychology as a Science” offered through Coursera collaboratively by Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2013. Our analysis showed that the students’ learning gains were substantially different with and without FPC. Full article
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Article
Privacy Preservation and Analytical Utility of E-Learning Data Mashups in the Web of Data
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8506; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188506 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Virtual learning environments contain valuable data about students that can be correlated and analyzed to optimize learning. Modern learning environments based on data mashups that collect and integrate data from multiple sources are relevant for learning analytics systems because they provide insights into [...] Read more.
Virtual learning environments contain valuable data about students that can be correlated and analyzed to optimize learning. Modern learning environments based on data mashups that collect and integrate data from multiple sources are relevant for learning analytics systems because they provide insights into students’ learning. However, data sets involved in mashups may contain personal information of sensitive nature that raises legitimate privacy concerns. Average privacy preservation methods are based on preemptive approaches that limit the published data in a mashup based on access control and authentication schemes. Such limitations may reduce the analytical utility of the data exposed to gain students’ learning insights. In order to reconcile utility and privacy preservation of published data, this research proposes a new data mashup protocol capable of merging and k-anonymizing data sets in cloud-based learning environments without jeopardizing the analytical utility of the information. The implementation of the protocol is based on linked data so that data sets involved in the mashups are semantically described, thereby enabling their combination with relevant educational data sources. The k-anonymized data sets returned by the protocol still retain essential information for supporting general data exploration and statistical analysis tasks. The analytical and empirical evaluation shows that the proposed protocol prevents individuals’ sensitive information from re-identifying. Full article
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Article
A Study on the Design and Application of Fictional Storytelling in Online Learning of Computer Security
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 6185; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11136185 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Computer security is an important part of the computer science (CS) curriculum in all kinds of universities. Although the educational approach tends to be highly technical and practical, it cannot be avoided that some understanding and memorizing of the core concepts is necessary [...] Read more.
Computer security is an important part of the computer science (CS) curriculum in all kinds of universities. Although the educational approach tends to be highly technical and practical, it cannot be avoided that some understanding and memorizing of the core concepts is necessary beforehand. One method that has been found to work in favor of human psychology, and of special interest in the case of online learning, where student motivation is at a higher stake, would be to present such content as memorable and relatable situations to the reader, using some form of fictional storytelling. However, this approach must always serve its educational purpose first, following a set of sound design principles. This paper presents a study including 111 participants to evaluate the convenience of using a digital book called the “novelette”, which relies on storytelling, to teach computer security concepts in the CS degree of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), a 100% online university. The study involved two questionnaires to gather quantitative and qualitative information about the format, content and students’ perception. This study shows that the validity and usefulness of this approach is on par with traditional ones, but also has a higher impact on student motivation and self-perception of the acquired knowledge. Full article
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Article
A Predictive Analytics Infrastructure to Support a Trustworthy Early Warning System
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5781; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135781 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 766
Abstract
Learning analytics is quickly evolving. Old fashioned dashboards with descriptive information and trends about what happened in the past are slightly substituted by new dashboards with forecasting information and predicting relevant outcomes about learning. Artificial intelligence is aiding this revolution. The accessibility to [...] Read more.
Learning analytics is quickly evolving. Old fashioned dashboards with descriptive information and trends about what happened in the past are slightly substituted by new dashboards with forecasting information and predicting relevant outcomes about learning. Artificial intelligence is aiding this revolution. The accessibility to computational resources has increased, and specific tools and packages for integrating artificial intelligence techniques leverage such new analytical tools. However, it is crucial to develop trustworthy systems, especially in education where skepticism about their application is due to the risk of teachers’ replacement. However, artificial intelligence systems should be seen as companions to empower teachers during the teaching and learning process. During the past years, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya has advanced developing a data mart where all data about learners and campus utilization are stored for research purposes. The extensive collection of these educational data has been used to build a trustworthy early warning system whose infrastructure is introduced in this paper. The infrastructure supports such a trustworthy system built with artificial intelligence procedures to detect at-risk learners early on in order to help them to pass the course. To assess the system’s trustworthiness, we carried out an evaluation on the basis of the seven requirements of the European Assessment List for trustworthy artificial intelligence (ALTAI) guidelines that recognize an artificial intelligence system as a trustworthy one. Results show that it is feasible to build a trustworthy system wherein all seven ALTAI requirements are considered at once from the very beginning during the design phase. Full article
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Article
Digital Geological Mapping to Facilitate Field Data Collection, Integration, and Map Production in Zhoukoudian, China
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115041 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 866
Abstract
The development of innovative information technologies has improved the geological mapping process through the use of smart and portable equipment to collect field data, build a geological database and produce geological maps. This revolution has also brought great influence and challenges to practical [...] Read more.
The development of innovative information technologies has improved the geological mapping process through the use of smart and portable equipment to collect field data, build a geological database and produce geological maps. This revolution has also brought great influence and challenges to practical training in field geology. In this paper, we present our workflow and application of the Digital Geological Survey System (DGSS) during field geology training for undergraduates in Zhoukoudian. The DGSS employs a Point-Routing-Boundary (PRB) model to reform the methods of geological section survey and geological mapping in terms of data collection and map-making and provides a pipelined solution from field data collection to map-making. The experiences of data collection, geological mapping, cross-section survey, and production of stratigraphic histograms and cross-section maps prove that DGSS can save time and reduce labor intensity for undergraduates during learning field geology. Based on the field practice of undergraduates in Zhoukoudian, the influence of the DGSS in promoting field geological teaching and the students’ feedbacks to DGSS are discussed. Overall, the DGM system is more popular than the conventional notebook and toolbox. The experience in Zhoukoudian proves that digital devices are efficient and useful for geological practical training of field geology for undergraduates. Full article
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Article
A Model with Iterative Trials for Correcting Logic Errors in Source Code
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4755; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114755 - 22 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
It is difficult for students and teachers to detect and correct logic errors in source code. Compilers and integrated development environments (IDEs) have the ability to detect and correct syntax errors but it is also difficult for them to detect and correct logic [...] Read more.
It is difficult for students and teachers to detect and correct logic errors in source code. Compilers and integrated development environments (IDEs) have the ability to detect and correct syntax errors but it is also difficult for them to detect and correct logic errors. Although many machine learning approaches have been proposed that can show correction candidates for logic errors, they do not provide guidance concerning how the user should fix them. In this paper, we propose a model for correcting logic errors in a given source code. The proposed model realizes debugging of multiple logic errors in the source code by iterative trials of identifying the errors, correcting the errors, and testing the source code. In this model, in the first stage, a list of correction candidates is provided by a deep learning model, and then the list is given to an editing operation predictor that predicts the editing operation for the correction candidate. To learn the internal parameters of the proposed model, we use a set of solution codes created to solve the corresponding programming tasks in a real e-learning system. To verify the usefulness of the proposed model, we apply it to 32 programming tasks. Experimental results show that the correction accuracy is, on average, 58.64% higher than that of the conventional model without iterative trials. Full article
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Article
Validation of a TAM Extension in Agriculture: Exploring the Determinants of Acceptance of an e-Learning Platform
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4672; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104672 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
Supporting education and training initiatives has been identified as an effective way to address Sustainable Development Challenges. In this sense, e-learning stands out as one of the most viable alternatives considering its advantages in terms of resources, time management, and geographical location. Understanding [...] Read more.
Supporting education and training initiatives has been identified as an effective way to address Sustainable Development Challenges. In this sense, e-learning stands out as one of the most viable alternatives considering its advantages in terms of resources, time management, and geographical location. Understanding the reasons that move users to adopt these technologies is critical for achieving the desired social objectives. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) provides valuable guidelines to identify the variables shaping users’ acceptance of innovations. The present study aims to validate a TAM extension designed for FARMER 4.0, an e-learning application in the agricultural sector. Findings suggest that content quality (CQ) is the primary determinant of farmers’ and agricultural entrepreneurs’ perception of the tool’s usefulness (PU). Furthermore, experience (EXP) and self-efficacy (SE) shape potential users’ perceptions about ease of use (PEOU). This study offers helpful insight into the design and development of e-learning applications in the farming sector and provides empirical evidence of TAM’s validity to assess technology acceptance. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Educational Data in the Current State of University Learning for the Transition to a Hybrid Education Model
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2068; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052068 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Currently, the 2019 Coronavirus Disease pandemic has caused serious damage to health throughout the world. Its contagious capacity has forced the governments of the world to decree isolation and quarantine to try to control the pandemic. The consequences that it leaves in all [...] Read more.
Currently, the 2019 Coronavirus Disease pandemic has caused serious damage to health throughout the world. Its contagious capacity has forced the governments of the world to decree isolation and quarantine to try to control the pandemic. The consequences that it leaves in all sectors of society have been disastrous. However, technological advances have allowed people to continue their different activities to some extent while maintaining isolation. Universities have great penetration in the use of technology, but they have also been severely affected. To give continuity to education, universities have been forced to move to an educational model based on synchronous encounters, but they have maintained the methodology of a face-to-face educational model, what has caused several problems in the learning of students. This work proposes the transition to a hybrid educational model, provided that this transition is supported by data analysis to identify the new needs of students. The knowledge obtained is contrasted with the performance presented by the students in the face-to-face modality and the necessary parameters for the transition to this modality are clearly established. In addition, the guidelines and methodology of online education are considered in order to take advantage of the best of both modalities and guarantee learning. Full article
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Article
Improving Technological Infrastructure of Distance Education through Trustworthy Platform-Independent Virtual Software Application Pools
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031214 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Distance education (DE), which has evolved under the wings of information technologies in the last decade, has become a fundamental part of our modern education system. DE has not only replaced the traditional education method as in social sciences and lifelong learning opportunities [...] Read more.
Distance education (DE), which has evolved under the wings of information technologies in the last decade, has become a fundamental part of our modern education system. DE has not only replaced the traditional education method as in social sciences and lifelong learning opportunities but also has significantly strengthened traditional education in mathematics, science, and engineering fields that require practical and intensive study. However, it is deprived of supporting some key elements found in traditional educational approaches such as (i) modern computer laboratories with installed special software suitable for the student’s field of interest; (ii) adequate staff for maintenance and proper functioning of laboratories; (iii) face-to-face technical support; (iv) license fees. For students to overcome these shortcomings, a virtual application pool is needed where they can easily access all the necessary applications via remote access. This research aims to develop a platform-independent virtual laboratory environment for DE students. This article has been developed specifically to guide DE institutions and to make a positive contribution to the literature. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been used to explain student behaviors. It was concluded that students using the platform performed more successful grades (12.89%) on laboratory assessments and that the students using the developed platform were found to be more satisfied with the education process. Full article
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Article
Students’ Behavior and Perceptions Regarding Complementary Videos for Introductory Physics Courses in an Online Environment
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020523 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Digital videos have an important and increasing presence in student learning. They play a key role especially in subjects with high mathematical content, such as physics. However, creating videos is a time-consuming activity for teachers, who are usually not experts in video creation. [...] Read more.
Digital videos have an important and increasing presence in student learning. They play a key role especially in subjects with high mathematical content, such as physics. However, creating videos is a time-consuming activity for teachers, who are usually not experts in video creation. Therefore, it is important to know which kinds of videos are perceived as more useful by students and why. In this paper we analyze students’ perception of videos in an introductory physics course of engineering with over 200 first year students in a 100% online university, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Students had 142 videos available of several types. We followed a qualitative methodology from a ground theory perspective and performed semi-structured interviews. Results show that students found videos as the most valued resource, although they considered that videos cannot substitute text documents. Students valued human elements and found them in videos where the hands of the professor appear. Finally, students consumed videos according to the course schedule, visualized the whole video the first time, and consumed it later according to further deliveries and exams. The main contributions of this paper were analyzing the perception of students from a qualitative perspective in an introductory course of physics in engineering, obtaining the main elements that make videos useful for students and showing that videos with hands are valued by students. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2022, 2021

Article
iPlus a User-Centered Methodology for Serious Games Design
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9007; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249007 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Standard video games are applications whose development process often follows a traditional software methodology. Serious Games (SGs) are a tool with an immensely positive impact and great success. SGs enable learning and provide entertainment and self-empowerment, which motivates students. The development of an [...] Read more.
Standard video games are applications whose development process often follows a traditional software methodology. Serious Games (SGs) are a tool with an immensely positive impact and great success. SGs enable learning and provide entertainment and self-empowerment, which motivates students. The development of an SG consists of complex processes requiring multi-disciplinary knowledge in multiple domains, including knowing the learning domain and adding the appropriate game mechanics to foster high intrinsic motivation and positive player experience that makes the players feel like they are having fun while learning. Otherwise, the game is viewed as boring and not as a fun and engaging activity. Nevertheless, despite their potential, the application of SGs in education has been limited in terms of pedagogy. Several authors assert that this lack is because SG standards and guidelines have not been developed. There is an imbalance between experts’ contributions to education and game design specialists for the SG development. Not all the SGs that have been developed have applied appropriate design methodologies that incorporate both the entertainment mechanics and the serious component. To ensure that an SG meets the user’s expectations, it must be designed using an appropriate method. This work aims to present iPlus, a methodology for designing SGs based on a participatory, flexible, and user-centered approach. Additionally, this paper analyses several case studies with the iPlus methodology. Full article
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