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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

Open Source LMS

Open Source LMS Customization IntroductIon Lately both state and private institutions are betting on e-learning solutions so as to satisfy their formation necessities. Any of the kinds of formation which can be offered—in person, blended, and online—should rely on a complete and flexible enough technological support, that is, a learning management system (LMS). It can be used as a support for in-person learning and as a base of the virtual part for the other two types. These systems are in charge of the different actions involved in the online formation process, which include the student management and providing them with resources and activities. Because of this, e-learning cannot be implemented without the support of an LMS. Nowadays, many different LMS can be found in the market, which must be classified into commercial ones and free distribution ones. Commercial LMS generally offer a higher level of customization, since the companies which develop them can accomplish additional features by incrementing the final price. On the other hand, free software-based LMS have several advantages due to its free software condition. However, these platforms are not adequate in some cases. Among free distribution LMS, we must mention Moodle, which is a free software project designed to support a framework for a constructive social education (Comezaña & Garcia, 2005). Currently, it is one of the most extended LMS in the world, both in state and private institutions. It also has a large community of users and developers. Despite this large community behind it, Moodle does not adapt to all the necessities that can arise. The problem arises specifically from a particular necessity of Centro Internacional de Tecnologías Avanzadas (CITA), belonging to Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez. Its objective is achieving an optimal qualification management and a system which allows them to generate diplomas and certificates automatically. This situation must be resolved without providing a new platform but developing an independent Web application which can be used on top of the instance of Moodle being used now. In addition, the use of the product can be extended to any other instance of this LMS. In order to resolve this necessity, the creation of ACEM is proposed. This will be an application independent of Moodle and will provide the desired functionality without having to alter the data obtained from any instance of this LMS. Some of the current LMS in the market will be described next. It will be detailed their limitations about dealing with grades and their management of certificates and diplomas, with special interest in Moodle as it is the starting point of the problem. After that, we comment on the development model in Moodle, the difficulties which are raised depending on the distribution of the data in the LMS. Finally, the developed product is shown and the conclusions and future work lines are listed. current PLAtForms And theIr LImItAtIons New necessities arise from the experience with the usage of knowledge management platforms, which current systems cannot resolve. It is necessary to understand and realize the limitations which these platforms have and also the objectives which are intended to achieve, so that they do not involve an obstacle when deploying. Although it is obvious that there is not a panacea capable of solving all the limitations which these platforms show, it is simple to observe, by going into their features in depth, that some basic functions are not supported. The first limitation which arises when dealing with LMS platforms is just its own definition. They are systems for managing the learning process but generally they do not include other interesting aspects, like an adequate content management

Open Source LMS Customization which enables the creation of content within the platform, that is, the typical features of a content management system (CMS) which turns out to be very useful for this kind of platforms. The so-called learning content management system (LCMS) arise so as to solve this separation, but its extension, apart from scarce, is basically reduced to proprietary tools for specific usages (Rengarajan, 2001). Another limitation shown by LMS platforms is the absence of implementing standards which enable an easy migration of learning objects between platforms (Maurer, 2004). Here comes the concept of reutilization, which is fundamental when talking about learning platforms. An approximation which represents a solution is the implantation of the necessary functionality for the correct processing of packages, like sharable content object reference model (SCORM) (Jones, 2002). Thus, learning objects can be transferred between platforms without having to redefine the contents on each platform. Another lack of functionality in LMS platforms is related to the graphical user interface management, which is derived from the features of any Web application. Although the concentration for this kind of platforms should be in the learning process itself and the quality of contents, important interface aspects like Web accessibility should never be neglected. From a statistic point of view, there are usually not platforms which have a wide range of statistics about their usage, their administration, or, more specifically, the grades of the students who use them. What is more, they do not include any graphical representations which help to take decisions about, for example, the way of posing or presenting contents based on the information taken from the system (about users, administrators, teachers, students, and grades, above all). Taking into account the importance of some aspects like feedback, the features previously mentioned become necessary if a high level of satisfaction of all the involved parts is desired. And this satisfaction is a key element for the success of any kind of platform, especially in the case of a LMS platform which does not pose a total innovation but a new way of understanding the learning process. An unsupported concept by LMS platforms arises as a result of these statistic properties: the idea of portfolio associated to each student, seen as a curriculum which shows the student’s progress and achievements or even information related to learning modalities like in-person or blended (blended learning). Taking the different phases of the learning process into account, many platforms in the market cannot cover the whole process due to, basically, the lack of methods for certificating or generating documentation which proves the acquisition of certain knowledge. Finally, setting aside the technical features, another handicap which these platforms have to face is their necessity to be correctly managed by qualified personnel, not only from the academic point of view, but from a technical point of view. This will help to obtain the desired effect and make the learning process be productive and satisfactory. In general, these limitations are not applicable to every single existing platform but each platform presents a subset of these limitations which forms a base for the implementation of possible improvements. The identification of the weakest points of those platforms will depend on the objectives or requirements which are intended to fulfil and, therefore, a research for helping to choose the most adequate option should be made. the cAse oF moodLe Moodle is a kind of LMS platform aimed basically to provide a set of tools and structures which enable adapting the learning model to an online one. As a result of the nature of LMS platforms and Moodle in special, the lack of a direct communication between the teacher and the students,

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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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    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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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Philisophical and Epistemological B

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    Chapter IV E-Mentoring: An Extended

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    E-Mentoring However, what is unders

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    E-Mentoring baugh, & Williams, 2004

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    E-Mentoring Table 2. Contact. Diffe

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    E-Mentoring Table 10. Ethical impli

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    E-Mentoring Table 15. Technology st

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    E-Mentoring Table 21. Coaching. Bes

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    E-Mentoring Table 27. Moment. Best

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    E-Mentoring Moreover, existing rese

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    E-Mentoring Kasprisin, C. A., Singl

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    E-Mentoring Ensher, E. A., Heun, C.

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    Chapter V Training Teachers for E-L

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning FL

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning ne

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning A

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning yo

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning Di

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    Training Teachers for E-Learning ht

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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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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    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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    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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