Special Issue "Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies"

A special issue of Computers (ISSN 2073-431X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 10746

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonio Sarasa Cabezuelo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dr. Covadonga Rodrigo San Juan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Distance Education University (UNED), 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: accessibility; b-learning; OER repositories and metadata; MOOCs; digital humanities; quality in e-learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, e-learning has spread in the field of education and training, becoming more open, easy to achieve and more ubiquitous. It has been necessary to develop a huge amount of innovative technologies such as learning management systems, specifications for standardization, educational content generation tools or sophisticated digital repositories with recommended systems. New technologies are invading the landscape now, mainly based on artificial intelligence techniques—data analysis, big data, cloud computing or internet of things—which will enrich and personalize the e-learning environments of the future.

With all of the above, new lines of work have emerged in the field: learning analytics, gamification, virtual assistants, the use of sensors to assess learning processes, etc. Now, the question arises of how e-learning will evolve due to the influence and the natural integration of these new technologies with the existing software architectures and pedagogical methodologies.

In this Special Issue, we are interested in receiving contributions that will show the integration of learning design and the introduction of innovative technologies to achieve the best, most inclusive and most personalized learning environments.

Dr. Antonio Sarasa Cabezuelo
Dr. Covadonga Rodrigo San Juan
Dr. Santi Caballé Llobet
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Computers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • e-learning standards and specifications
  • quality in e-learning
  • instructional design, educational resources repositories
  • artificial intelligence applied to e-learning
  • creation of digital educational content
  • data science for e-learning
  • experiences in e-learning

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Learning from Peer Mistakes: Collaborative UML-Based ITS with Peer Feedback Evaluation
Computers 2022, 11(3), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers11030030 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Collaborative Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) use peer tutor assessment to give feedback to students in solving problems. Through this feedback, the students reflect on their thinking and try to improve it when they get similar questions. The accuracy of the feedback given by [...] Read more.
Collaborative Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) use peer tutor assessment to give feedback to students in solving problems. Through this feedback, the students reflect on their thinking and try to improve it when they get similar questions. The accuracy of the feedback given by the peers is important because this helps students to improve their learning skills. If the student acting as a peer tutor is unclear about the topic, then they will probably provide incorrect feedback. There have been very few attempts in the literature that provide limited support to improve the accuracy and relevancy of peer feedback. This paper presents a collaborative ITS to teach Unified Modeling Language (UML), which is designed in such a way that it can detect erroneous feedback before it is delivered to the student. The evaluations conducted in this study indicate that receiving and sending incorrect feedback have negative impact on students’ learning skills. Furthermore, the results also show that the experimental group with peer feedback evaluation has significant learning gains compared to the control group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
Enriching Mobile Learning Software with Interactive Activities and Motivational Feedback for Advancing Users’ High-Level Cognitive Skills
Computers 2022, 11(2), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers11020018 - 25 Jan 2022
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Mobile learning is a promising form of digital education to access learning content through modern handheld devices. Through mobile learning, students can learn using smartphones, connected to the Internet, without having restrictions posed by time and place. However, such environments should be enriched [...] Read more.
Mobile learning is a promising form of digital education to access learning content through modern handheld devices. Through mobile learning, students can learn using smartphones, connected to the Internet, without having restrictions posed by time and place. However, such environments should be enriched with sophisticated techniques so that the learners can achieve their learning goals and have an optimized learning experience. To this direction, in this paper, presents a mobile learning software which delivers interactive activities and motivational feedback to learners with the aim of advancing their higher level cognitive skills. In more detail, the mobile application employs two theories, namely Bloom’s taxonomy and the taxonomy of intrinsic motivations by Malone and Lepper. Bloom’s taxonomy is used for the design of interactive activities that belong to varying levels of complexity, i.e., remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Concerning motivational feedback, the taxonomy of intrinsic motivations by Malone and Lepper is used, which identifies four major factors, namely challenge, curiosity, control, and fantasy, and renders the learning environment intrinsically motivating. As a testbed for our research, the presented mobile learning system was designed for the teaching of a primary school course; however, the incorporated taxonomies could be adapted to the tutoring of any course. The mobile application was evaluated by school students with very promising results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
A Cognitive Diagnostic Module Based on the Repair Theory for a Personalized User Experience in E-Learning Software
Computers 2021, 10(11), 140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers10110140 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
This paper presents a novel cognitive diagnostic module which is incorporated in e-learning software for the tutoring of the markup language HTML. The system is responsible for detecting the learners’ cognitive bugs and delivering personalized guidance. The novelty of this approach is that [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel cognitive diagnostic module which is incorporated in e-learning software for the tutoring of the markup language HTML. The system is responsible for detecting the learners’ cognitive bugs and delivering personalized guidance. The novelty of this approach is that it is based on the Repair theory that incorporates additional features, such as student negligence and test completion times, in its diagnostic mechanism; also, it employs a recommender module that suggests students optimal learning paths based on their misconceptions using descriptive test feedback and adaptability of learning content. Considering the Repair theory, the diagnostic mechanism uses a library of error correction rules to explain the cause of errors observed by the student during the assessment. This library covers common errors, creating a hypothesis space in that way. Therefore, the test items are expanded, so that they belong to the hypothesis space. Both the system and the cognitive diagnostic tool were evaluated with promising results, showing that they offer a personalized experience to learners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
Development of an Educational Application for Software Engineering Learning
Computers 2021, 10(9), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers10090106 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Software engineering is a complicated subject for computer engineering students since the explained knowledge and necessary competencies are more related to engineering as a general knowledge area than to computer science. This article describes a software engineering learning application that aims to provide [...] Read more.
Software engineering is a complicated subject for computer engineering students since the explained knowledge and necessary competencies are more related to engineering as a general knowledge area than to computer science. This article describes a software engineering learning application that aims to provide a solution to this problem. Two ideas are used for this. On the one hand, to facilitate its use it has been implemented as an Android app (in this way it can be used anywhere and at any time). In addition, and on the other hand, a gamification system has been implemented with different learning paths that adapt to the learning styles of each student. In this way, the student is motivated by competing with other classmates, and on the other hand, the application adapts to the way of learning that each one has. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
Motivation, Stress and Impact of Online Teaching on Italian Teachers during COVID-19
Computers 2021, 10(6), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers10060075 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
The use of digital technology as the only communication and relationship channel in work, school and social contexts is bringing out dynamics that are sometimes in contrast with each other. The purpose of this article is to investigate the impact of digital technology [...] Read more.
The use of digital technology as the only communication and relationship channel in work, school and social contexts is bringing out dynamics that are sometimes in contrast with each other. The purpose of this article is to investigate the impact of digital technology on teachers’ school practices in the context of COVID-19. This impact was studied in relation to the constructs of motivation, perceived stress, sense of self-efficacy and resistance to/acceptance of technologies. This study examined the role played by the massive and coercive use of digital technologies (and the relationship with innovation and change) in predicting motivation and perceived stress among teachers. To this end, the impact of digital technologies on motivation and perceived stress were explored in the sample. A questionnaire consisting of three scales was administered to 688 Italian school teachers of all educational levels (from childhood to upper-secondary school), who completed a socio-demographic section, a section on the scale of the impact of technology and distance learning, a perceived stress scale and items on motivation and professional development. Descriptive and inferential analyses were applied to the data. Key findings indicated that the impact of digital technologies during the pandemic negatively correlates with both perceived stress and motivation. Practical implications were suggested to help teachers develop functional coping styles to cope with technological changes in work and life contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
Educational Challenges for Computational Thinking in K–12 Education: A Systematic Literature Review of “Scratch” as an Innovative Programming Tool
Computers 2021, 10(6), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers10060069 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has emerged as an educational response amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, providing students the technological tools that enable them to acquire or strengthen the necessary digital skills to develop computational knowledge. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has emerged as an educational response amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, providing students the technological tools that enable them to acquire or strengthen the necessary digital skills to develop computational knowledge. The purpose of this study was to analyze Scratch, a programming language used to foster the teaching of computational thinking, particularly in K–12 education. A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted, identifying 30 articles on the topic of Scratch and computational thinking in the database ProQuest Central from January 2010 to May 2020. These articles were analyzed to identify the use of Scratch worldwide and the educational impact it has on computational thinking, specifically in K–12 education. The results highlight the following: (1) countries which incorporated Scratch into their teachers’ study plans (curricula); (2) the transformation of learning environments that Scratch promotes; and (3) the importance of incorporating tools like Scratch in the current curricula and, more importantly, developing the framework for innovative ICTs capable of transforming education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Article
Development of Life Skills Program for Primary School Students: Focus on Entry Programming
Computers 2021, 10(5), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers10050056 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
There are areas where the competencies obtained through computer coding activities substantially overlap with life skills components. Studies of these common competencies have suggested the possibility of including these contents in a life skills program. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
There are areas where the competencies obtained through computer coding activities substantially overlap with life skills components. Studies of these common competencies have suggested the possibility of including these contents in a life skills program. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a program through the Entry program that elementary school students could use online to improve their life skills, given the need to increase contactless online classes due to COVID-19. Eight elementary school teachers with 20 years of experience and two curriculum experts participated in the program’s development. For data collection, 360 data points were collected from eight elementary schools located in each Korean province, including urban and rural areas. SPSS 21.0 was used to analyze the data. Upon completing the 8-week program, the difference in life skills between groups was confirmed using variance analysis based on the number of implementation times, and post-hoc testing was conducted. The study’s results confirmed the difference between the groups conducted for two weeks (M = 3.22), four weeks (M = 3.25), and six weeks (M = 3.67), and the group conducted for eight weeks (M = 3.83). In other words, as the number of weeks of participation in the life skills program increased, there was a difference between groups. These findings suggest a life skills program could be included as part of Entry based computer coding activities for elementary school students through a backward curriculum. In conclusion, this study showed the possibility of using contactless online classes with free Entry-based websites to improve the life skills of elementary school students struggling at home due to COVID-19. It also showed that each elementary school teacher could operate the life skills programs as a contactless learning method using a free coding platform and manual. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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Review

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Review
Literature Review on MOOCs on Sensory (Olfactory) Learning
Computers 2022, 11(3), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/computers11030032 - 23 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been described as a “next development of networked learning”, and they have the potential to mediate sensory learning. To understand this phenomenon, the present systematic review examines the research techniques, subjects, and trends of MOOC research on [...] Read more.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been described as a “next development of networked learning”, and they have the potential to mediate sensory learning. To understand this phenomenon, the present systematic review examines the research techniques, subjects, and trends of MOOC research on sensory learning, in order to provide a thorough understanding of the MOOC relevant to sensory (olfactory) learning phenomena by evaluating 65 (four studies are about multisensorial learning and 61 are about multisensorial empirical MOOCs researches) empirical MOOC studies published between 2008 and 2021 by searching through databases: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. The results indicated that most studies were based on quantitative research methods followed by mixed research methods and the qualitative research approaches; most of the studies were surveys, followed by platform databases and interviews; almost half of the studies were conducted using at least two methods for data collection: survey and interviews; most were replicated. The most highlighted subjects included student retention, learning experience, social learning, and engagement. Implications and studies into the future have been considered in order to obtain a more evolved understanding of the acquisition of knowledge through the senses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of E-Learning Technologies)
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