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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

A Heideggerian View on

A Heideggerian View on E-Learning tests of knowledge retention that we call exams. 2 In good educational settings, exercises and case studies are also performed. Implicitly, the infocentric perspective makes the hypothesis that if knowledge is transmitted properly (i.e., lectures are clear) then application (practice) is obvious. In fact this hypothesis is falsified. Hence the knowing-doing gap comes into existence. As a business school professor and a practitioner I am committed in research and practice to bridge this gap. I think that my professional activity is an opportunity for innovation and hence I design and implement educational experiences to add value to professional, continuous, and corporate education, by using information and communication technologies (ICT) and applying innovative pedagogical methods. In this journey—thanks to Fernando Flores and his collaborators (Spinosa, Flores, & Dreyfus, 1997; Winograd & Flores, 1986)—I have been in contact with the ideas of Martin Heidegger whose philosophy I have found one of the most valuable for learning innovation (including the use of information and communication technologies to add value to learning). With the exception of the seminal work of Hubert Dreyfus, little research has been done on the impact of Heidegger philosophy on learning and e-learning. 3 Now, this impact could inspire important innovations or, at least, an accurate interpretation of learning, hence resulting in good e-learning design and implementation. The purpose of this chapter is then to show how Heidegger ideas can illuminate learning innovation (including e-learning) and, in particular, help to bridge the knowing-doing gap. heIdegger PhILosoPhy And Its ImPLIcAtIons For LeArnIng Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a very influential German philosopher, probably the most influential one of the 20th century. His work dealt with many topics, but in this chapter I will focus on his thinking about human activity and the relationship between theory and practice. My argumentation is based on the work done by Hubert Dreyfus, one of the best specialists on Heidegger philosophy and who has made important contributions applying Heideggerian thinking to learning and artificial intelligence (Dreyfus, 1986, 1991, 1992, 2001). The essence of Heidegger thinking is that Western philosophy, from Plato onward, has misunderstood the nature of being. In particular, he argues that metaphysical and scientific theories have tended to favour all questions about being into categories, better suited to describe the detached contemplation of inert objects. As a result, according to Heidegger, philosophers and scientists have overlooked the more basic, pretheoretical ways of being from which their theories derive, and, in applying those theories universally, have confused our understanding of human existence. To avoid these deep-rooted misconceptions, Heidegger believes he must restart philosophical inquiry in a different way, using a novel vocabulary and undertaking an extended criticism of the history of philosophy (Wikipedia, 2006) Heidegger says that our everyday action is rooted in the ability to act pre-reflectively when we are thrown in a situation. 4 Most of the time our lives happen this way (to dress ourselves, to go to a place or another, to work, to eat, etc.). We do not think, we just do, and we cope with the situation. There is only some little fraction of time where life happens in the conscious and deliberate way of doing. Heidegger is not against theory. He says that theory is an important and powerful instrument, but a limited one, only a subset of the way human beings cope with things. In particular, Heidegger observes that in order to do something, even a high level cognitive action, we do not need to have a theory of the domain in which we are taking action. 5 He also says that it is impossible to have a theory about what makes theory possible. If he

A Heideggerian View on E-Learning is right, his analysis question one of the most important postulates in Western philosophy, which finds its roots in Descartes and until Plato: that human activity can be explained with theories, that human beings are conscious subjects who observe objects, and that a theoretical and detached perspective is better than a practical and involved one. Instead of this, Heidegger says that a theoretical and detached knowledge imply a practical and involved know-how, which precedes the theoretical knowledge and that cannot be explained by him. Even theoretical knowledge depends on practical skills. The detached knower should then be replaced by an involved doer. As human beings, our relationship with “things” is always purposeful. Heidegger says that we do not find “simple things”; rather we use things in order to achieve something. Heidegger call these things “equipment,” in a very large sense which includes tools, material, clothes, toys, machines, houses, and so forth. The fundamental characteristic of the equipment is its purposeful use; in fact, Heidegger defines a piece of equipment in terms of its purposeful use. When everything is working well, equipment is characterized by its transparency: it is “ready at hand.” Heidegger called this availableness (zuhandenheit). However, when we face a breakdown (i.e., a “surprise”), when something is not “ready at hand,” we move to what Heidegger calls occurrentness (vorhandenheit). According to Dreyfus there are some stages in this move, going from conspicuousness (a short breakdown, easily repaired), to obstinacy (which implies stop and think, planned reflection—“what ifs,” “if-thenelses,” and so forth—all of this in a context of involved action), and to obstrusiveness (detached theoretical reflection). The basic postulates of Western philosophy have had dramatic consequences in learning and teaching. As a matter of fact, in every discipline people try to find context-free elements, basic concepts, attributes, and so forth, and relate them through “laws” (as in natural sciences) or rules and procedures (as in structuralism and cognitivism). Therefore, teaching follows this path: we first present theory (the more abstract it is, the better) and then applications (examples, exercises, or case studies), giving raise to the knowing-doing gap. Moreover, when talking about learning, people usually confuse different kinds of learning. In order to clarify the discussion I will make some important distinctions on learning. 6 • Learn about, for example, negotiation, communication, history, medicine, software design, and so forth • Learn to do, for example, how to negotiate, how to communicate well, how to run a research in history, how to diagnose illnesses, how to design software, and so forth • Learn to be, for example, a negotiator, a communicator, a researcher in the field of history, a doctor, a software designer, and so forth One can love history and be interested in medicine or in human communication. By reading books on these topics, attending conferences, doing courses (online or face-to-face), and so forth, one can learn a lot about history, medicine, and human communication, but that does not mean that one will be able to conduct research in history, to diagnose illnesses, or to communicate effectively. In other words, one will not be able to do. Following the same logic, if one has been successfully conducting a first piece of research in history, has diagnosed some simple illnesses, or has solved a communicational problem, that does not mean that one will be considered a historian, a doctor, or a professional in the field of human communication. In other words, one will be able to do, but one will not yet be (a professional recognized as such by his/her peers). In order to reach this level one must have a significant amount of practice in the appropriate community

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    Advances in E-Learning: Experiences

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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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    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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    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 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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