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Posts Tagged ‘e-learning’

(México) Congreso de la plataforma E-learning Chamilo

June 4, 2015 Leave a comment

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Categories: Chamilo, Conferences Tags: ,

E-learning quality evaluation methods

The written proceedings of the 2011’s International Conference on e-Learning in Serbia caught my eye with an article called “HYBRID MODEL FOR E-LEARNING QUALITY EVALUATION” by Suzana Savić, Miomir Stanković and Goran Janaćković, not actually for the hybrid model (although it has its merits), but mainly for listing projects analysing different aspects of e-learning quality (resulting in evaluation models) actually available right now, which I want to list here for later reference:

  • Supporting Excellence in E-Learning (SEEL)
  • Sustainable Environment for the Evaluation of Quality in E-Learning (SEEQUEL)
  • The quality of e-learning: evaluation of training effectiveness and impact measures (Qual E-learning)
  • The European Quality Observatory (EQO) Model: A Conceptual Model for Classification of Quality Approaches
  • Quality, Interoperability and Standards in e-learning (QUIS)
  • European University Quality in eLearning (UNIQUe)
  • E-Quality in E-Learning Research Laboratory (EQUEL)
  • Benchmarking of Virtual Campuses (BENVIC)
  • Reffering Innovative Technologies and Solutions for Ubiquitous Learning (CHIRON)
  • E-Learning Maturity Model (eMM) benchmarking

The article goes on reviewing those projects and the number of measurements they define, which should serve as a reference

Chamilo 1.8.8.4 is nearing completion

For all those of you who’ve been expecting this release for a long time, we are finally closing in and this week seems to be the ideal time to have ourselves an first release candidate, which will last only one week of all goes well.

Unlike previous versions, Chamilo 1.8.8.4 doesn’t bring any major new feature. Instead, it is the fruit of a very deep process of trials and fixes, which has been lasting more than 60 days now and sums up to a staggering 1000 of working hours. This time, we have felt Chamilo getting more popular and generating more contracts, but also getting into more organizations, with a big 200,000 people company in France adopting it and several multi-national companies with a very large number of offices using it for more and more critical resources, which have forced us to acquire very quickly a deep knowledge of redundancy, cloud computing and load balancing, which apparently we have done quite well as all our Chamilo customers are currently very happy and online 100% of the time.

In parallel, universities in Latin America and academies in France have started to contribute, which made it all wrap around us, developers of the platform. We’ve felt a little overwhelmed and those of us who we have the chance of counting as our customers must have felt it a little: our response time has extended a little for new proposals and (virtual or physical) meetings. We’d like to send our excuses to these people of whom we might have affected the projects that way.

Anyway, you should see Chamilo 1.8.8.4 as a very stable and improved platform which makes of 1.8.8 what we really wanted to make it in May this year: a complete, reliable and efficient e-learning authoring and distribution platform, ready for loads of teachers and students, with better translations, better icons, better screens, better reports, better tools (documents, certificates and exercises tools have been particularly taken care of) and finally, better documentation (both for admin and teachers) in French, English, Spanish and probably quickly enough in Dutch and German! In fact, this is the first version of Chamilo bringing so many excellent stuff that I have been able to hear a simultaneous “wow” from more than 100 teachers in a recent promotion event.

Because we wanted this to be vary stable version, we have also held up a whole lot of new features, that we will be rolling out in Chamilo 1.8.9 to come out (we hope) much before the end of the year. We really think that the new version will push the boundaries of what you thought possible from an e-learning system even further, but future will tell…

Of course, we’ll be the first to cover the release of 1.8.8.4 when it’s finally stable, but if you want to get a previous taste, have a look at http://chamilodev.beeznest.com using the login and password “admin”.

References for studies on e-learning effects

Just publishing a list of references that I found about Mathematics and e-learning.

Why Social Learning Networks are great

April 23, 2010 2 comments

During the last 10 years, online social networks rised from the ground and shot through the clouds of our daily lives at impressive speed. During the last 3 years, specialized social networks started to appear, including many focused on learning. Understanding and adopting that concept, BeezNest developed (in collaboration with the San Ignacio de Loyola University) an integrated learning network inside its e-learning platform: Chamilo.

But what is so great about social networks?

We think there are two great elements in online social networking (and also in classical social networking):

  1. you keep in touch with friends, have fun and organize stuff together
  2. you see a whole lot of things from a different perspective, through increased exposure to distinct point of views

Having fun

Now if you have followed the e-learning trend a little in the last 3 years, you must have heard about serious gaming. Serious games are touted to be a very efficient development of learning, where people can learn while trying to reach objectives and, hopefully, have fun. Wikipedia’s article on Serious games gives us a lot more detailed information about the use of this term, quoting it from Clark Abt who (as far as Wikipedia’s author on the subject know) used the term as far back as 1970.

The bad thing about serious games is that you have to prepare them, and in general it takes a long time to do so.

The good thing about them is that a bunch of institutions state they allow for better information retention (people remember better what they learned playing than what they learned any other way).

Now, if we know learning capacity improves having fun, that we don’t have much time to prepare serious games and that social networks increases the possibilities to have fun, we have pretty much reached the first big advantage of social learning networks: they increase possibilities to learn.

Increased exposure to different opinions

Just as a reminder, education and teaching are not the same. Teaching can be done by providing knowledge to a student, while education should rather be done by opening a student’s perspective so that he can analyze things by himself and form his own opinion.

So if education can be done by opening a student’s mind and that we expose the student to more opinions through social networking, then what about considering that social networking helps educate people.

Control

Now most people would stop me here, and remind me that letting loose on all kind of control is not going to help the student learn better, it’s just going to make him loose sight of any order of things and make it impossible for him to see clear through so much information. That’s where the teacher keeps and reinforces its position: a teacher, tutor or mentor should always be around, at least at the beginning, to help the student see through the mesh of information.

Having a social learning tool built *inside* of the Chamilo platform allowed institutions to ensure (through the agreement on terms and conditions) that students would focus their social exchange on learning or any kind of intellectual activity that goes in the same direction as what they are subscribed in the institution for. As I’m sure you are well aware, it is very easy for young or old students, given a friendly social interface, to slip into friendly or lovely discussions that have nothing to do with learning in itself (not that love and friendship are not interesting experiences themselves…).

Increased access to knowledgeable people

Now courses, be them written, talked, filmed or interactive games, could never replace knowledgeable people in terms of learning. Having a particular problem and asking for help can only be done through human interaction of some kind.

When you know knowledgeable people, you tend to ask them for help when faced with a problem you know they can help you solve. Having these people available, in a private context, through the platform you are using for learning makes for a much improved learning experience.

Forming groups

Obviously, people like to form groups around the same topic of interest. Now in real life, you’d have to walk with a “I love Japan” t-shirt to get people to know you are probably interested in exchanging about the Japanese culture. That’s not necessary inside an online platform. You can just say you’re interested in Japan culture, create a group and wait for people in the same institution to look for people interested in Japan. It’s like one major whiteboard where everyone can show and find topics of interest.

Allowing students to join interest groups will definitely focus the learning dynamics around that topic. Maybe it’s not directly related to what your institution is teaching, but then who knows, maybe they’ll find a relation and make your courses improve thanks to that.

Having your own platform

Now with Ning’s new CEO recently declaring that they will cut free community hosting services, you might wonder what to do. One possibility here is to use the free Chamilo campus for that, and share the space with a lot of other users.

Another possibility is to have your own portal, limited to a controllable environment. You can have that by downloading Chamilo and install it on your own server, or by hiring one of our good-value Chamilo hosting services.

Implementing the social network for learning into Chamilo has really been a great experience to us, and we are keen to hear you tell us how you use it and how you would like it to improve. Help us help you! Leave a comment here or contact us for more information.

e-learning en América Latina

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Hay un artículo interesante sobre los aportes del e-learning en América Latina aquí: http://www.elearningamericalatina.com/edicion/febrero2/na_1.php

Categories: otros, Spanish Tags:

Chamilo’s first steps in mobile learning

Last week we started our first baby steps in mobile learning, thanks to our long preparations, an edition of PHPArchitect, and the efforts of one of BeezNest’s employees (Christian), who wanted to try it out.

The very first result was something like this

Dokeos' users list appears on cell phone

Dokeos' users list appears on cell phone

Then I suugested he got a little deeper and got a list of courses-related events and we got this

Dokeos events on a cellphone

Dokeos events on a cellphone

This feature, along with a whole range of additional features, will probably make it into the corporate version first, and then move to the free version, once the costs of development have been covered by corporate customers.

All in all, this is a very exciting feature to have and, although it doesn’t get into the classic expectations of an m-learning system, it certainly opens the door very wide for it. Now the next steps are to

  • allow a student to send comments in the forum
  • allow a student to take simple tests
  • allow a student to reply to surveys
  • allow teachers to check the reports of their students’ progress

These little features, that could get Chamilo right into the m-learning market, will all make it to the corporate version first, then be applied to the free version.

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