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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

Training Teachers for E-Learning A BLended APProAch The course was developed under a blended form, as a proper way to initiate teachers into e-learning. Blended learning is indeed another evasive concept (Oliver & Trigwell, 2005) that some authors relate to the frustration of e-learning in general terms (Bernabé, 2004). But for the goals and features of the course contents and the target audience, it was the chosen model (Valiathan, 2002). The benefits of such a decision were the following: • Organization of the course: As the number of participants was about 250 teachers with only four instructors, a completely online development of the course would have been very difficult to fulfil without a rather high rate of attrition. The long duration of the course was another factor of risk to be taken into account. (Diaz & Cartnal, 2006). • Pace to develop ICT skills: The blended approach of the course shifted gradually from a full face-to-face beginning in the workshops to an almost complete online development for the final assessment (Driscoll, 2002). In the meantime, the monthly sessions allowed the instructors to reinforce the motivation of participants, present the best results of the proposed tasks, and increase the informal meeting of trainers and trainees at the coffee-breaks. Moreover, it allowed learners to gradually move form the traditional role in a classroom, to the active participation in the virtual classroom through forums and chats as a public way to share experience and build knowledge. Thus, the implementation of the course fostered the development of higher ICT skills as essential to the learning process. • Course contents: The same course had been delivered in previous years through a classic distance learning schedule which involved a lot of individual work with a handbook, and the fulfilment of individual tasks to be delivered at the monthly meeting; the use of a computer was previewed as a way to deliver written contents to the participants and to allow them to ask questions in between. The blended form allowed the reutilization of written contents and made a step forward, as the virtual classroom was the central point of the course and the face-to-face sessions were intended to reinforce the online learning. • Learner centred methodology: Due to the very broad variety of interest, working contexts, and previous experience on ICT and adult learning of participants, the blended approach made it easier to present the common points and bring together the different learning situations in the face-to face classroom, and to work in more detail the difficulties and interest of participants almost on demand, in the virtual classroom. It was possible to minimize the tendency to dispersion of participants that grows as a long term online course develops, and helped trainees to keep in mind the main goals of the course. The course was led and coordinated by a team of four tutors who were actually teachers at the same educational levels as the participants and had a broad experience in adult open education, creation of learning content, online tuition, and as teacher trainers. Apart from the “common main course,” in the virtual environment every participant had a “practice course” to test and develop the contents and activities of the course. Therefore, they developed a double role in the virtual environment, as students in the “common main course,” and as teachers in their own “practice course.” On demand, 288 practice courses were implemented, as participants could choose whether to develop their tasks alone or in small collaborative teams.

Training Teachers for E-Learning It was in the virtual common course where the social dimension of the proposed learning path took place. Beside unit contents and tests, special attention was driven to foster and promote the use of communicative tools such as forums, chats, and internal messages. E-mail was another possibility to ask tutors for help or advice, but its use was limited to the moments when strong technical problems took place within the virtual environment. The forums were the main way to develop communication throughout the whole course. A glance at the many logs they received made it clear: there were 42,816 logs in all the available forums (i.e., 147 logs per participant), being the general forum the most visited. It was the place not only for general matters about the course, but mainly to share experiences, to make open questions, and to recommend further information or Web sites always in the scope of the aims of the course. Most of this discussion was started out by the participants and sometimes produced long threads of conversation, often moderated by the tutors. Chat was used only by recommendation of the tutors as a part of the contents of the course, not having an important role in other situations. Internal messages were used mainly to keep in touch with other participants, while the main way to ask for advice to the tutors was the forums. The tutors always answered in less than 12 hours, being the average time of answer 2 hours after the question was made. Another particular feature of the course was the three online workshops, devoted to technical issues that participants might need, when creating their own contents and courses. The goal of these workshops, as stated in the course syllabus, was to improve the digital literacy and ICT skills, in accurate information search in the Web, authoring tools and standards contents formats, as pdf, and audio files creation. Though attendance at these workshops was not compulsory, almost every participant took part in at least one of them. As they began to develop self-made contents, they became more aware of the fact that surfing the Internet is not so easy, making digital contents properly accessible through the Web requires some special attention, and multimedia learning contents were something they could experiment with. By the end of the course, only 26 participants had never entered the course, and for the rest of them only 5 delayed in the delivery of the activities required for assessment. The initial dropout rate was 10%, but the number of participants throughout the whole course stayed the same. At the end of the course, a evaluation questionnaire was answered by the participants. It considered course development and organization, tutors, work, communicative skills, and adequacy, usefulness, and interest of course contents. Unfortunately, the results are not yet available from the department that carried out the course. Nevertheless, according to the posts sent by participants after the end of the course, it was most successful. They reported to have learned a lot and were interested in attending further courses of this kind because of it flexibility and quality. When asked after the final on-ground meeting, the tutors also expressed their satisfaction with the development of the course, the attendance of participants, and the learning results. Learning design and Learning outcomes Some important issues from this reported course could be summarized as follows. In spite of the fact that the aim of the course was to introduce teachers into adult education and lifelong learning and to enable them to create specific learning contents for adults, the final results also included other outcomes. • About one third of the teachers had never before used online communication tools such as forums, chat, or messages. Many of them considered these to be part of the 0

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    Advances in E-Learning: Experiences

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    Table of Contents Preface .........

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    Chapter XIV Open Source LMS Customi

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    Chapter III Philosophical and Epist

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    of constructive and cooperative met

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    Chapter XIV Open Source LMS Customi

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    contents, learning contexts, proces

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    xv these organizations do not get a

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    xvii QuALIty In e-LeArnIng Before t

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    allow that the teachers in training

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    xxi ISO. (1986). Quality-Vocabulary

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    Chapter I RAPAD: A Reflective and P

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    RAPAD in fields such as law, engine

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    RAPAD mystery to the new student. B

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    RAPAD example, whereas Laurillard h

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    RAPAD Ontologically, systems philos

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    RAPAD information related processes

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    RAPAD methods and techniques accord

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    RAPAD 2. An introduction to learnin

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    RAPAD then asked to reflect on and

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    RAPAD Figure 4. A rich picture to h

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    RAPAD Again using techniques from t

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    RAPAD university preparation course

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    RAPAD The third interface is at the

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    RAPAD Knight, P.T., & Trowler, P. (

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    RAPAD AddItIonAL reAdIngs Goodyear,

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning t

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning (

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning s

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning r

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Chapter IX AI Techniques for Monito

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    Chapter X Knowledge Discovery from

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Chapter XI Swarm-Based Techniques i

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Chapter XII E-Learning 2.0: The Lea

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    E-Learning 2.0 Table 1. Different s

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    E-Learning 2.0 Figure 1. Difference

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    E-Learning 2.0 where the blog is al

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    E-Learning 2.0 process. Along this

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    E-Learning 2.0 forth, and, of cours

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    E-Learning 2.0 Finally, it is impor

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    E-Learning 2.0 never be a hotchpotc

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    E-Learning 2.0 McPherson, K. (2006)

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    E-Learning 2.0 Rosen, A. (2006). Te

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Open Source LMS Customization Intro

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    Open Source LMS Customization or ev

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    Open Source LMS Customization compa

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Haina

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning p

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning r

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning t

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning p

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning m

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning c

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning H

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    Chapter XVI Formative Online Assess

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    0 Chapter XVII Designing an Online

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Chapter XIX E-QUAL: A Proposal to M

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    E-QUAL is proposed to evaluate the

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    E-QUAL provide competent, service-o

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    E-QUAL 2004; Scalan, 2003) and qual

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    E-QUAL benchmarks address technolog

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    E-QUAL E-learning added two differe

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    E-QUAL Table 6. Application of the

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    E-QUAL Future trends The future of

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    E-QUAL (EQO) co-located to the 4 th

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    E-QUAL SMEs: An analysis of e-learn

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    E-QUAL Meyer, K. A. (2002). Quality

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    Compilation of References Argyris,

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    Compilation of References Biggs, J.

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    Compilation of References Cabero, J

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    Compilation of References Comezaña

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    Compilation of References Downes, S

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    Compilation of References Fandos, M

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    Compilation of References national

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    Compilation of References Hudson, B

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    Compilation of References Harbour.

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    Compilation of References Little, J

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    Compilation of References Metros, S

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    Compilation of References ONeill, K

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    Compilation of References Preece, J

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    Compilation of References Sadler, D

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    Compilation of References Shin, N.,

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    Compilation of References tional Co

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    Compilation of References Vermetten

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    Compilation of References Yu, F. Y.

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    About the Contributors Juan Pablo d

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    About the Contributors part: “An

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    About the Contributors María D. R-

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    About the Contributors Applications

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    Index e-learning tools, automated p

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    Socrates 55 Sophists 55 student-foc

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