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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

The Role of

The Role of Institutional Factors in the Formation of E-Learning Practices ated interaction in real time appeared all the more redundant and artificial. For these reasons, synchronous CMC options remained unexploited and removed from the learning practice. Finally, the influence of the learning culture of the organisation prevailed in specific e-learning practices. In particular, the individualistic culture and the competitive atmosphere of the institution were reflected in individual-productivity and in discourse practices as described above. In these cases, the use of the technology served to support individual efforts and achievements and coincided with the dominant learning culture of the organisation. This culture manifests itself in the perception of students and lecturers, and is embodied in formal institutional documents as shown below: At XXX [name of institution], we believe you should be largely responsible for organising your own work and meeting the requirements of the programme. Although support with your studies is always at hand if required, a strong emphasis is placed on self-reliance. You will spend the majority of your time on your own work rather than with formal instruction. There is sufficient time in your schedule for reading and reflection. (Graduate Prospectus, p. 8) Although collaborative e-learning practices have emerged, these were typically associated with sharing and exchange rather than with team efforts or collaborative tasks which remained, by and large, individual-based. concLusIon The aim of the study reported in this chapter was to explore institutional and socio-organisational factors involved in the adoption and use of learning technology in higher education. In so doing, the study attempted to address a perceptible gap in the current e-learning literature. Findings arising from the study indicate that the adoption and use of learning technology is strongly influenced by the socio-organisational environment surrounding it. More specifically, institutional factors are shown to play a vital role in the formation and shaping of e-learning practices within the context of LMS use in higher education. Organisational factors found to figure predominantly include institutional conventions and standards, pre-existing activities and routines, existing resources available to the institution, and finally, the institution’s organisational culture. These factors have particular relevance in the context of hybrid modes of e-learning implementation, as they illuminate the tensions involved in integrating technological innovation into an established system. Further analysis of the emerging socio-organisational parameters, demonstrates the ways in which these factors can both promote and inhibit the integration of LMS. The important role played by an array of organisational properties denotes the institutional embeddedness of the e-learning practice. Since institutions of higher education can and do exhibit diversity in terms of their socio-organisational characteristics (Ermann, 1995), efforts to integrate learning technology across academic organisations should expect to encounter inconsistent and contradictory consequences (Robey & Bourdreau, 1999). Within hybrid models of e-learning implementation, the role played by pre-existing rules and resources becomes all the more significant as the technological environment is meant to complement, rather than replace, the existing and long established learning system. The analysis suggests that, in cases where technology was introduced to supplement existing arrangements, that is, to compensate for deficiencies affecting the existing off-line setting, the integration process was typically vigorous and accelerated. Clearly, difficulties and challenges also arose as the online system was seen to compete or clash with its veteran off-line 0

The Role of Institutional Factors in the Formation of E-Learning Practices counterpart. In some cases, interoperation and fusion were achieved through negotiation; in others, technological properties were ruled out and capabilities remained unexploited. Understanding the ways in which socio-organisational factors impinge on LMS use bears practical implications. Rather than be driven by the technological capabilities and the features available, LMS implementation efforts and course design should take account of the contextual particularities associated with the educational institution in question. Particular attention should be paid to the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation as they may be viewed from the students’ point of view. This is especially relevant in hybrid e-learning projects, where the advantages of both learning systems—online and off-line—ought to be realised. As the case study illustrates, the implementation process of the LMS was accelerated when it compensated for deficiencies apparent in the physical system on campus. This was evident in, for example, the case of space and physical resources available for the students. At the same time, conflict between the systems is expected if the LMS competes with the perceived strength of the “off-line” learning environment. Of main concern here is the tension arising between virtual and collocated interaction, which directs course design efforts to offer complementary online and face-to-face communication in the learning practice. Evident in this hybrid e-learning case study is the dominant influence of the “traditional,” off-line learning system and its methods on the new online practices. An illustrative example discussed in this chapter is the role played by traditional assessment in structuring e-learning practices. While established, traditional methods may prove powerful in reinforcing the use of the technology, they might also stand in the way of innovative learning practice and, in so doing, undermine the original aim of implementing the technology. dIrectIons For Further reseArch This chapter has presented preliminary findings of an exploratory research study into the institutional factors involved in e-learning. The lack of previous research on this topic, and hence, the exploratory nature of the study, suggest that further research is called for in order to achieve a more rounded understanding of the role played by institutional factors in the formation of e-learning practices. In particular, further research may enable validation of the results across cases. While the institutional factors identified stemmed from a longitudinal in-depth analysis, a single case study design was applied thus suggesting limited generalisability. Further research may also discover institutional factors in addition to the ones reported here, and in so doing extend the knowledge on this apparently important topic. While any mode of e-learning application is embedded within some institution or broader systems surrounding it, the relationship between the existing institutions, or the off-line environment, with the online learning environment is particularly relevant in the prevailing mode of hybrid or blended e-learning. This is so because, in b-learning, traditional off-line learning and innovative online learning are deliberately mixed with one another. To better understand this crucial relationship, the study described in this chapter has sought to address the ways in which pre-existing institutional factors influence emerging online practices. Yet, further research is warranted on the reverse affects, that is, on the ways in which online learning practices influence off-line practices and traditional routines in learning. reFerences Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2004). Sizing the opportunity: The quality and extent of online education in the US, 2002 and 2003. Needham, MA: Sloan-C. 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 o

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning n

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning M

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    A Heideggerian View on E-Learning W

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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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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