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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

Philisophical

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology IntroductIon the Failure of e-Learning without a method Online training or e-learning is an authentic revolution in its way of conceiving learning experiences compared to how we thought of them until very recently. It would take too long to list all the changes that have taken place in this new educational modality, which have affected technological elements, communication dynamics, social factors, and new teaching and learning roles, as well as the teaching-learning relationship itself, the value of the contents, and the methodology of the process. However, despite the euphoria unleashed by online training in recent years, and the fact that the development of tools, training systems, and digital contents has been and still is extraordinary, we can not hide from the fact that there is a certain skepticism or even disappointment when the level of user satisfaction and the outcomes attained in online training are analyzed, if we limit ourselves exclusively to the learning objectives actually attained. What is important in any educational intervention, whatever its type, electronic, at a distance, or face-to-face, is none other than achieving certain learning objectives: the proof of having taught them does not suffice; we need to be sure that they have actually been acquired. Since e-learning is a type of learning characterized by technological mediation (this is not its only peculiarity, but for the time being we will focus on this aspect) and since what is apparently different with respect to other kinds of training seems to lie in the elements of this mediation, when we analyze the causes of this skepticism (or failure) we usually focus exclusively on the technological factors: the learning environments are not appropriate, the digital contents are not well-structured, and so forth. Consequently, an enormous amount of material and human resources are devoted to perfecting these elements in the hope of improving the learning experience, without our realizing that the solution to the problem lies in another direction. Logically, the evolution of these technological mediation factors will contribute to improve the context, just as we would improve the learning experience if we renewed the blackboards, the lighting, or the equipment of a classroom in a traditional context. However, we all know that this is not the main thing for achieving quality training. And looking back on our own experience, we all remember that we learned nothing, or very little, from the technical or logistic elements in our schools but we did learn a lot with our good teachers and classmates. Thus, technology must be improved but we can not fall into the trap of only blaming the tool for not being able to reach the desired objectives. Technological mediation in e-learning is precisely that, a medium, and in any case it is a mistake of training strategy not to have had suitable resources, or not to have been capable of adapting ourselves to the means available. The tool is, or we should make it be, as neutral as possible. All in all, if we study the brief history of e- learning we can already speak of “generations” that have marked its development up until now, and whose evolution allows us to predict (assuming that this is possible) where we are going in the future (Seoane, García, Bosom, Fernández, & Hernández, 2007). After a first generation marked almost exclusively by the development of technological environments and digital contents, we have moved towards a concern, in recent years, for the e-learning “model” and, consequently, to a concern for the development of implementation strategies and the interoperability of online training environments with an institutional model for the university, the public administration, and business firm. Thus the question of a model of efficiency and quality appears. However, we are witnessing a moment in which a strange paradox is occurring: the greater the technological media-

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology tion and the more we implement our systems and improve the environments and training contents with a view to reducing the intervention of the teaching roles, the worse the learning outcomes. It is becoming necessary to go on then towards what we call the “second-advanced generation” in which the importance of the human factor in online training plays a crucial role, not only from the point of view of planning and strategic design, but also, and especially, as an element present in all the stages of the training itinerary. The redefining and centrality of teaching roles in e-learning is the main characteristic of this generational stage, at which many institutions and training initiatives really concerned about quality currently find themselves. Thus, the cornerstone that will allow us to explain the reason for the disappointment in e- learning up until now is the human factor. The great fallacy of technological mediation has consisted of the belief that the mediating role of the classroom teacher would be replaced by technology, when the latter should really be at the service of the teacher, who will still carry on playing the main mediating role in learning. This mistake, as widespread as it is serious, is the consequence of the transmutation of a training paradigm into one of an “informative” nature. In other words, we can say that underlying this matter there is an enormous confusion between information and education (or training). This situation is not at all new and has come up when analyzing the problems of other “classical” training paradigms, but with online training it has been taken to its ultimate consequences, most likely because of the emergence of the so-called “information society” and information and communication technologies. Their names are accurate enough, but they seem to have subliminally taken on educational aspirations. Indeed, a book, a newspaper, the Internet, or audiovisual material can provide us with information, but never education or training. Education is a specifically human activity that consists, among other things, of the internalization and assumption of specific information with a significant purpose. Thus, as can be seen, education presupposes information, but it is more than that. That is why educational material alone can not “educate.” This can only be done by the subject who becomes educated by internalizing, by becoming aware of the value of the contents, by building a meaningful universe within him or herself, or, what is more common, by the mediation of other human beings, who, either individually (with a teacher) or collectively (with a group of students or in the social context itself), contribute to turning information into an educational experience in the mind of the individual. This dichotomy can be compared to what in philosophical terms Aristotle (and later the Aristotelians, specially Thomas Aquinas) called “active intellect” and “passive intellect” (Aristotle, De anima, 430a 10-25; Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, first part, question 79) or to the cognitive distinction between memory and consciousness. Thus, education is more than information. And if we wish to attain it, we have to go beyond technological mediation and learning objects to speak of human interaction both among students and with teachers, because this is where the success or failure of most educational or training initiatives begins. Hence, it seems that two major questions still remain to be solved (perhaps because they have not been sufficiently well-defined) before we face the main problem: on the one hand, it is necessary to define a suitable interaction model for online learning, taking advantage of the fact that the tools available make possible new modalities of communication up until now impossible (Seoane et al., in press); on the other hand, not only do we have an unsuitable definition of the teaching attributions and profiles in online training, but they are also being drastically reduced or eliminated. They often end up becoming mere dynamizers and stimulators of learning, as if they were the “cheerleaders” of training. Absurd, right? But absolutely true in many cases.

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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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    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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    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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    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 Haina

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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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    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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    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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