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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

Philisophical

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology However, in the name of constructivism, many practices in e-learning have become widespread, practices which, based on the supposed virtues of the training paradigm, entail more than a few difficulties and are to a certain extent responsible for the high failure index of online training initiatives. We now take a look at some of them. the excuse of a student-Focused model Together with expressions such as “constructivist methodology” we often find a reference to the “student-focused model.” In many cases this statement is correct, but students end up discovering that it means something completely different from what they expected. In general, placing students at the center of learning is usually an excuse to unload the whole weight of learning on them and propose a self-learning itinerary with as little assistance as possible. Indeed, if students are the protagonists, they are solely responsible for carrying out the learning task. This is the meaning of “occupying the center” in many e-learning initiatives. A model in which the student occupies the center of the training scenario, far from being a privilege and a stimulus, in many cases ends up being a drawback and gives rise to results contrary to those desired. To show this graphically, the central position of students means that all the elements revolve around them and none of these elements are a point of reference, but rather they all have the student as a reference. This image, which may seem somewhat strange, is disconcerting for many students who are not used to an autonomous style of learning, to setting their own rhythm of learning, and to adapting to the peculiarities of the environment, because the environment never adapts to them. It is true that this training model adapts perfectly to the peculiarities of self-taught persons with a great ability to turn information into training by themselves. However, most individuals need a figure to act as guide and help them change the information into training thanks to his or her mediation. In many cases, this mediation occurs “among peers” (how many of us have learned, thanks to our classmates what our teachers had not been able to make us understand?) but we must not renounce a teaching figure who, suitably adapted to the context, can perform this mediation. The students, therefore, do not have to be the center of learning but the goal of this task, since they are the addressees of the training intervention. In any case, the oft-mentioned “center” should be occupied by that element of human mediation that here we call “tutor” and who adapts the training initiative (with all its technological, academic, didactic, and human components) to the peculiarities of each addressee, takes charge of guaranteeing the actual acquisition of the competencies and skills foreseen for the training initiative and is ultimately responsible (often even more so than the student) for attaining the training objectives. the existence of a community is not enough for social Learning to occur Another of the presumed virtues of many online training initiatives with a constructivist approach is the guarantee of training success based on community working dynamics. Gathering together in one room a hundred splendid musicians will not make this assembly an orchestra, the same as a set of sailors enlisted on the same ship cannot be considered a crew. For there to be a real community (musical, nautical, sport, or learning) we need much more than a set of related individuals in the same space-time or “virtual” context. Indeed, as Gestalt psychologists affirmed, inspired by the old discussion that Aristotle initiated in his Metaphysics (1028a-1041b), the whole is more than the sum of its parts. No one will be surprised if we say that the social context is one of the most efficient and common forms of learning, as is shown in the way we acquire knowledge of our native language—without

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology the need to enroll in any educational institutionand attain a notable mastery of it. However, when we make a set of persons in a training initiative interact, we have no guarantee that they will form a genuine learning community. Communities of students are artificial societies, and making the “sum of the parts” into a “whole” is frankly something very complex. Thus, obliging students to work in a group does not presuppose that they are going to form a learning community. This is a problem well-known to tutors and experts in virtual group dynamics who, using the same strategies in seemingly analogous groups, often attain completely different learning outcomes, both individually and collectively. Turning a group of students into a learning community is a real art, as is turning a hundred musicians into an orchestra. The former may even be more difficult than the latter, but this is coming from someone who has never directed an orchestra. The dynamics that are set up in a learning community are complex and require detailed study. There are magnificent works on learning communities (Wenger, 1998a, 1998b) but there is no method capable of guaranteeing that we will be able to reproduce or build an efficient community. Nevertheless, we can affirm that opening up debate and promoting team work is not enough to constitute a learning community and to “construct” a social learning context. A group must have good leadership and be solidly structured so that guidelines for behavior can be developed that in the end will turn this sum of the parts into a whole that functions as an authentic community. In other words, the possibilities for success in the building of learning communities online (or face-to-face; there are no significant differences in this respect) increase when we start from a situation that includes teaching roles that regulate communication flows, establish guidelines and rhythms for learning, and foster the active participation of the members. The construction of learning in a community is a task that is shared not only by each and every one of the students involved, but also includes the tutor or tutors at the head of said community. It is a matter of achieving a dynamic or model that some scholars call socioconstructivist, in which the result of social construction is not the responsibility of the students or the teachers (the model is not focused on the student or the teacher), but rather is the outcome of interaction between learning contents, teaching staff, and students (Barberà, 2006) by means of a design for activities that foment the acquisition of competencies and skills and that have an eminently practical approach that favors this interaction. tools do not construct The third of the usual practices that can be observed in many initiatives inspired by constructivism is the use of technological tools and methods that are posited as constructivist per se. It is well known that constructivism and especially social constructionism is the theoretical reference model for many developers of software for online learning, especially open source. Possibly the best-known system of this type for course management, Moodle (http://moodle.org), confesses on its main page that its philosophy is “social constructionist pedagogy” based on four underlying concepts: constructivism, constructionism, social constructivism, and connected and separate (Moodle, 2007). The creator of this instrument, Martin Dougiamas, has said that his reference model when designing Moodle was the analysis of learning communities based on constructivism and social constructionism (Dougiamas & Taylor, 2003). However, the use of Moodle or any other e- learning tool does not guarantee social construction, nor does it foment the achievement of certain objectives. The intentionality of the person who constructs a tool has nothing to do with the use that users may make of it and the corresponding outcomes. Was Alfred Nobel responsible for the belligerent use of dynamite, a compound origi-

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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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    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 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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