Multimedia Applications for Education

nebraskaslowSoftware and s/w Development

Oct 31, 2013 (5 years and 6 months ago)


Teacher Training Manual


Multimedia Applications for Education

Draft Version

University of Brera (IT)

Missing at the Moment

Chapter 1)

Didactic and the theory of e

University of Patras


Carrying out distance learning (Commercial Learning Environments)

Comparative Analysis of Online vs. Face
Face Instruction (Analogies and Differences)

How video gaming languages can integrate distance learning



Theory of


Vilnius Pedagogical University (LT)





Higher order thinking

long education

Informal Learning

Blended learning

Practical Methodologies of e

Vilnius Pedagogical University (L

Beginning of the course


Goals and Objectives


Organization of content

Language of content and tasks

Learning Resources



Methodology of evaluation


How and why to use videogames in didactics

Vilnius Pedagog
ical University (LT)

Basic principles


Chapter 2)

How to use Multimedia languages in didactics

In.For.Ef (BE)


Analysis of multimedia software

Language learning with multimedia games

Simulation software for environmenta
l sensitisation

How to produce and manage images with IT
University of Brera (IT)

Missing at the Moment

How to use Image processing software

How to use Vectorial Design (es. Flash) software

How to create Texture Maps for 3D

How to produce and manage an
imation with IT

In.For.Ef (BE)

How to create Gif Animation

How to create Vectorial Animation

How to create Morphing Animation

How to
record and digitalise

video with IT

In.For.Ef (BE)


How to edit digital video

How to create Chroma

orting the Project

How to produce and manage sound with IT

In.For.Ef (BE)

How to record and digitalize audio

How to create sounds of synthesis

How to conceive and design an Interface

University of Patras


Missing at the Moment

The videogame environ
ment as an exemplar global interface

The interface of 2D videogames

The interface of 3D videogames

Chapter 3)

Videogames as possible
learning environments

Vilnius Pedagogical University (LT)

Missing at the Moment

Videogames as unimedial ap

Brief history of videogames

Type and characteristics of videogames

Integrated multimedia

Virtual experience

Creating Videogames

University of Brera (IT)

Missing at the Moment

How to create videogames using multimedia tools

How to modifying

videogames with editors

How to identify and partecipate to the gaming online communities

The problem of violence in videogames

Vilnius Pedagogical University (LT)

Psychology of aggression

How to channel competitiveness

Chapter 4)

eory and Languages

University of Patras (GR)


Basic Theories

Basic Data Structures

Function Theory and the concept of the variable

Theory of programming

Programming Language

Timeline of programming Languages


GTK Radiant
University o
f Patras (GR)



Script Writing Examples

The Accum Value

Accum vs. GlobalAccum

Set vs. Bitset

Commonly Commands

Valve Hammer Editor
University of Patras (GR)



Adding New Commands & Variables


Sample Code

University of Patras (GR)


The Unreal Virtual Machine

Class overview






Language Functionality

General purpose functions

Dynamic Arrays

How to programme videogames with accessible


University of Brera (IT)

Missing at the Moment

Basic use of authoring tools

Chapter 5)

Educational Potentials of Second Life

University of Koblenz Landau (DE)

Missing at the Moment

Introduction to
Second Life

ociological implicatio
in the use of Second Life

Education initiatives on Second Life

lan and develop a course addressed to secondary school students to

be delivered using Second Life


University of Brera (IT)

Missing at the Moment

Chapter 1


Didactic and the theory of e

University of Patras (GR)

1. Introduction

It is true that of all the major components of daily life, formal learning is the one that has, to date, been least
affected by the technological developments of the past

50 years. Advances in technology have revolutionized
communication, transportation, and even household chores, but in fundamental respects, the process of learning
today is much the same as it has been throughout recorded history.

During the last years,

however, there has been a powerful growth in the learning sector in parallel with the rapid
development of Internet. Distance Learning has played the main role in that growth.

Distance Learning has the potential for rapid growth and acceptance. It shoul
d come as no surprise that learning
in America, both in schools and the workplace, is already big business. According to
The Digest of Education
Statistics 1999 [9]
, education expenditures alone account for over 7% of the GPD, making it second in size only

to the healthcare industry.

Many people have touted the ability of eLearning to provide information to “anyone, anytime, anywhere”, and
although we believe that this is the phrase that best describes it now, this description is also appropriate for
itional distance learning methods or even the Internet in general. We believe that the true power of
eLearning will be in its ability to bring the

information to the

people at the


This is the yet
be fulfillment promise of eLearn
ing. Web
based integrated learning systems will revolutionize
eLearning by enabling personalized, interactive, just
time, current and user
centric learning tools. These
systems will allow all facets of a course of study, including pre
assessment, learni
ng modules completed,
practice items, collaboration, and testing to be tracked. Adjustments can then be made to the learning program
to make it more effective, and learners will be able to monitor progress. More analytically, eLearning will
embrace the fol
lowing characteristics:

Personalized: Entire programs of study will be customized for the learner. By analyzing the learner’s objectives
and existing skill level, courses will be assembled on the fly that address exactly what the learner needs to know
hout wasting time working on areas in which the learner is already proficient or uninterested. This level of
personalization will be achieved by using small chunks of information, or learning objects, to assemble a course
from the ground up using pre
ing templates. The reusability of these learning objects will make this level of
customization feasible in terms of both time and expense.

Interactive: Much of today’s technology
based learning is simply an extension of traditional textbook
g, where the user reads content from a screen instead of from a page. Today’s interaction generally
consists of the learner being able to click on an unknown word for the definition on a linked page or the ability to
play a short video clip. Coming manifes
tations of eLearning will truly engage the learner in a give
take type
of learning that involves simulations of real
world events and sophisticated collaborations with other learners and
the instructor.

Geographic ant time independence: Learners will
be able to join in the class from anywhere in the world. This
will have as a result that there will be no building restrictions for the learning process and we will have not
problems of overcrowding inside the classes. Geographic independence means also th
at the stored data in a
based lesson can be changed whenever we want, without any delays in the distribution of the material.
When information is in the web all users have access in them. In that way it is not necessary for both the
instructors and the

learners to be present in the same class at the same time. So there are no excuses for
anyone (instructor or learner) to be absent. The freedom of choosing the time increases the sense of controlling
the learning experience and thus increases the motivati
on for learning.

Operating System Independence: different learning applications such as Computer Managed Learning (CML) or
Computer Based Training (CBT), are designed for a specific operating system (Windows, Macintosh). This
specification means that a pr
oducer of a such programs probably will loose a significant part of the marketplace
or that he must try hard in order to sypport multiple systems. The independent of platform function of Internet
reduces such problems.

As the eLearning industry begins to

mature, we are seeing product offerings that are far beyond the simple click
read courses that have characterized the industry to date. Future manifestations of eLearning will allow the
learner more control over his own learning experience, thus makin
g it more efficient and reducing time and
costs. The chart below, illustrates the changes that learning technologies are undergoing and the effect of those
changes on the effective delivery cost [9].

For the creation of Distance learning course usually ar
e used web
based learning environments. These are
integrated software packages that offer all the appropriate characteristics and functions for building complete
eLearning applications. Recently, there has been in the market a variety of learning environme
nts like those of
the list below: Lotus Learning Space [14], Librarian [16], Blackboard [13], webCT [11], TopClass [12], Embanet
[19], Intralearn [18], Ecollege [15], eduprise [17]
. In the next unity there will be presented the basic
operational specifications and features of the most well known eLearning environments. Finally in the third unity
there is a comparative analysis of Online vs. Face
Face Learning.

Chart 1: Evol
ution of Technology
Based Learning.

2. Carrying out distance learning (Commercial Learning Environments)

In recent years there has been a convergence in the available services and characteristics of eLearning
Environments [10]. In a higher level most desi
gners have agreed in the following specifications:

User administration and authentication, user with specific roles like instructor, learner, author, reviewer,
inspector, etc.

Reusable content administration

Dynamic configuration of the courses.

Ability f
or collaborative learning and cooperation among users.

Finding and modification of users’ profiles.

This set of basic functions supposes that every user has an environment in which he can play his own role.
Furthermore, every team of users has its own sub
set of functions. For example, learners and authors may have
searching and navigation abilities. Administrators will have administrative ability in team of user etc.

Analytically, most of commercial tools and systems for developing eLearning courses have
the following

Developing features. These tools have an open architecture. This means that they allow the communication with
existing databases, support the HTML language for content creation and are compatible with all types of
browsers 4.X and
above. Finally these tools support the Windows O/S (
95, 98,
Τ, 2000

Learning tools. Available capabilities include:

Course administration and monitoring.

Online testing.

Online revising.

Student administration and monitoring.

Multiple choice questions support.

Fill in
blank questions support.

Multiple image c
hoice questions support.

False questions support.

Timed test submission, completion and results recovery.

Grades can be stored on server.

Test creation with combination of all types of questions.

Randomized questions.

Reports on statistical results.

ontrol in the designing of the appearance of the course.

The designer can view the lesson as a student.

Teacher tools. The teacher has the following privileges:

Asynchronous communication between teacher and student.

Synchronous communication between teach
er and student.

Creating/importing content, creating assignments.

Course structuring.

Creating groups of students.

Tracking of students activities.

Add/Remove students.

Email communication.

Email management from students.

Email management from teachers.

pport of more teachers for one lesson.

Students tools. The studentshave the following capabilities:

Authentication with password
student can change his password.

Web browsing.

Multimedia support

Creating/importing content.

Student homepage tool/homepage a

Calendar/scheduling tool.


Search tool for course material.

Store bookmarks.

Personal email.

Variety of file types (Word, Excel etc.)
File exchange and file upload.



testing tools

Student access and progress data





Management tools. Efficient and secure system management is supported with the following capabilities:

Scalable security levels for secure access.

Remote access tools.

Use of server.

File management.

Homepage presenc
e also accessible from visitors of the site.

Multilanguage support.

Online manual and help for instructors and students.

Newsgroup facility.

Course cataloging.

Related links.

Support from system administrator to instructors.

Support from system administrat
or to students.

Hardware requirements/Software cost. The variety of commercial learning environments covers all needs no
matter what is the demand. Pricing can be fixed independently from the number of users or proportional, or to
depend on time of operati
on (price/time). Other systems are offered for a trial period whereas the offered
technical support differs from company to company. Finally there are products for any kind of platform like UNIX,
Mac Os, Solaris, Linux, NT Servers etc.

In other words, the
progress of learning environments shows a convergence on their available features as it is
shown on the chart below [2].

Therefore it is of high importance the way these tools are adapted ii the learning process and moreover their
efficiency. For the first

it is required their use in a variety of cases. Each case is a
success story

or not for each
package and are available from the companies that support these tools. In the next unity we deal with their

Chart 2: Functional features of eLearnin
g Environments ([2]).

3. Comparative Analysis of Online vs. Face
Face Instruction (Analogies and Differences)

hile online instruction is gaining popularity, it is not free from criticism. Many educators and trainers do not
support online instruction b
ecause they do not believe it can actually solve difficult teaching and learning
problems [3], while others are concerned about the many barriers that hinder effective online teaching and
learning. These concerns include the changing nature of technology,
the complexity of networked systems, the
lack of stability in online learning environments, and the limited understanding of how much students and
instructors need to know to successfully participate [1]. Online instruction also threatens to commercialize
education, isolate students and faculty, and may reduce standards or even devalue university degrees [5].
Currently, an increasing number of universities and educational institutions are offering online courses and
programs. One new educational entity, cal
led California Virtual University, represents 95 accredited California
universities and has over 1,600 online courses in their current catalog, covering more than 100 degrees and
certificates [6]. With little empirical knowledge about Internet
based educat
ion outcomes and processes, the
need for research in this area is not only timely, but also imperative.

In these unity will be presented the empirical studies conducted from the Human Resource Education
Department of University of Illinois [7], [8]. The
primary purpose of these exploratory empirical studies was to
compare a graduate online course with an equivalent course taught in a traditional face
face format to identify
differences and similarities in a variety of outcome measures.

In the first st
udy comparisons included student ratings of instructor and course quality; assessment of course
interaction, structure, and support; and learning outcome measures such as course grades and student self
assessment of their ability to perform various tasks.
The aim of the second empirical study was to compare the
relationship of learning style preferences and learning success for students enrolled in an online versus a
traditional face
face course format. Comparisons included in this case, the environmenta
l factors that maintain
student motivation in the classroom, task engagement strategies and cognitive processing habits (cognitive

Results from these studies will be presented in order to make useful conclusions.

The first study was designed t
o answer the following research questions:

What differences exist in satisfaction of the learning experience of students enrolled in online vs. face
learning environments?

What differences exist in student perceptions of student/instructor intera
ction, course structure, and course
support between students enrolled in online vs. face
face learning environments?

What differences exist in the learning outcomes (i.e., perceived content knowledge, quality of course projects,
and final course grades
) of students enrolled in online vs. face
face learning environments?

The study had as a theoretical background many other studies which were presented previous years on the
same subject. This exploratory empirical study compared outcome and process da
ta obtained from students
enrolled in one of two versions of a graduate level instructional design course for human resource development
professionals. One version of the course was taught on the campus of a large Midwestern university through a
l face
face format while the other version of the same course was offered totally online, with no direct
face contact between the instructor and the students. Both courses were taught by the same instructor,
delivered by the same department, and

required the same content, activities, and projects. Nineteen students,
most of whom are pursuing a graduate degree in HRD, were enrolled in the on
campus course. Nineteen
students were also enrolled in the online version of the course. These students are

also pursuing a graduate
degree in HRD through a degree program that is taught completely online. For the needs of the program were
used the appropriate instruments (which were properly modified) in order to assess students perceptions of
course quality,
structure and support. All data were collected at or near the end of the semester. The on
students completed paper versions of the instruments. Since the online course students were distributed across
the country, an online version of the instrument

was created. The online version was identical to the paper
version in both format and content. Each online student was sent an e
mail message that asked them to
complete the instrument within a set time frame and included a web address so they could locat
e the instrument
web browser. The online students completed the forms and submitted their results electronically.
All instrument data were entered into a statistical analysis package for later analysis. Finally three HRD doctoral
students wit
h instructional design experience were asked to independently evaluate each student project in
terms of the presentation quality, course organization, degree of detail provided, and overall quality. The
reviewers were not told that the purpose of the revie
w was to compare the two course formats and they did not
know which projects were resulted from online or face
to face instruction.

The results are very interesting. The results of this study show that, although student satisfaction

with their learning ex
perience tends to be more positive for students in a traditional course format, the learning
outcomes do not vary significantly between the two instructional formats. These results support the argument
that online instruction can be as effective as traditi
onal face
face instruction.

Overall, students from both groups provided positive ratings of the quality of the instruction and the course.
Although the face
face group provided a slightly more positive rating of the quality of the instructor than th
online group, the reasons for this difference are not evident. It is possible that the instructor was more effective in
the traditional format. Another possible explanation is that student ratings may tend to be higher when there is a
personal connection

between the instructor and the students, something that may not be as fully developed in an
online course.

A variety of characteristics of quality learning environments were examined in this study, including interaction
among students and the instructor,

course structure, and instructor and departmental support. The face
students did have the ability to dialogue with the instructor around the content as it was presented. They also
had the opportunity to receive multiple examples and illustrations
from the instructor. For the online students, this
“dialogue” came in the form of e
mails, IRC chat discussions, phone calls, and synchronous hour discussions.
While every attempt was made to provide appropriate and adequate examples and illustrations with
in the online
content, the possibility still remains that some students will still need more.

Generally, the face
face students indicated a more positive perspective on these learning environment
characteristics than the online students. Considering th
e fact that the face
face class met in person once a
week for a 3 hour period throughout the semester, the differences in student interaction levels are to be
expected. Students in face
face courses can more easily get together at least once a week f
or an extended
period of time to discuss class projects, work out any differences of opinion, and build social relationships. In
contrast, the online students do not have similar opportunities, although the technology does provide a surrogate
form for simi
lar interactions. This suggests that the online environment may lack the strong social dimension that
is beneficial to face
face classroom experiences.

Several reasons may account for the more positive perception of the

face group on the qualit
y of
instructor and student interaction. One possibility is that, because of proximity reasons, online students do not
enjoy the same amount, type, or timeliness of communications about the course as the face
face students.
Another possibility could be
that the online students’ expectations with regard to student progress and instructor
interaction are most likely based on experiences formulated in face
face settings through many years of
schooling. Even though the amount of interaction may have been
adequate to support their learning, it may not
have been equal to what was expected. Also, it is realistic to assume that the relationship between student
progress and student/instructor interaction are among the most important for students.

Differences b
etween the online and the face
face groups were also significant for the dimensions of instructor
and departmental support. Students in the face
face course reported higher levels of instructor support than
did the online students. Across both classe
s, students reported the same levels of instructor encouragement. A
more detailed item analysis reflected that the differences stemmed from the characteristics of instructor
feedback. This makes sense in view of the differing contexts of the two classes. T
he face
face setting allowed
the instructor to vary the nature and type of feedback as the dynamics of student/instructor interactions would
demand. In the online course however, the instructor feedback was limited largely to e
mail, fax, uploaded files
and periodic telephone conversations as a means of delivering feedback. The face
face students received
more live and dynamic forms of support from the instructor while the online group received support that was a
form of one way static communication.

In terms of departmental support, the online students reported higher
ratings than the face
face students. This difference is easily explained by the fact that the face
face class
had direct contact with the instructor and a part time teaching assis
tant, therefore they had little need for support
from the department. In contrast, given the complexities of online technologies, the online class had more need
for technical support, a service that was provided by the department.

The lack of difference i
n the learning outcomes from the two course formats supports the continued development
of online instruction programs. Using a blind review process to judge the quality of the major course projects, the
ratings of three independent reviewers showed no diff
erence in the quality of the projects across the two course
formats. In addition, the distributions of course grades for both the online and face
face classes were to a
large extent equally distributed. Overall, both groups indicated a level of comfort
at performing the tasks. There












less time












A second study was designed to answer the following research questions

Μια δεύτερη μελέτη σχεδιάστηκε για να απαντήσει στις ακόλουθες ερευνητικές ερωτήσεις:

Are there distinguishable differences in the learning style preferences of students enrolled in an online versus a
face learning environment?

How do learning styl
e preferences relate to the student outcomes achieved in online and face
face learning

What learning style constructs significantly influence student outcomes in both the online and face
delivery formats?

Curry’s Model of Learning

style components and Effects [4] served as the theoretical framework for the study. In
this study was followed the same method as the one in the first study. Comparisons the environmental factors
that maintain student motivation in the classroom, task eng
agement strategies and cognitive processing habits
(cognitive controls).

Based on the results of the analyses, the following conclusions are made: first, even though there were learning
style differences found between face
face and online students, the

differences were not highly apparent when
the delivery format was controlled. Looking at the results from the correlation analysis for all students, motivation
was the only variable found to influence course performance.

Second, the significant results f
rom the correlation analyses for the face
face students also serves to reaffirm
what we know contributes to positive learning outcomes for students. As student participation increased and
avoidance decreased, performance was shown to increase. The surpr
ising correlation was the negative one that
existed between abstract conceptualization (learning by thinking) and course grade. It may simply be that
because the instructional design class was an application, hands
on course, success is highly dependent up

Finally, the most exciting finding from this study is the fact that correlations between learning style and course
performance were not found for the online students. Consequently, this finding suggests that learners can be
equally as su
ccessful in the online environment regardless of learning style.

The findings of the described studies show that online learning can be as effective as face
face learning in
many respects in spite of the fact that students have not the same satisfactio
n form their online learning
experience compared to face
face and despite the fact that students have different learning style preferences.

Firstly, analyses suggest the development and use of online programs should continue. Further examination of
edback and student progress are needed to improve overall student/instructor communication. This includes
identifying and implementing new communication measures to facilitate student/instructor communication at
appropriate points in the course. Second, a
better understanding of why online learners report lower levels of
comfort with their learning is needed so specific strategies for improving delivery of online programs that
increase student confidence levels can be developed. However, it is important tha
t quality and thoroughness of
the design and delivery be the catalyst for ensuring positive online learning experiences. Finally, educational
practitioners who may enroll in or develop online courses need to be familiar with the limitations of online
ams. Such awareness will ensure that the expectations of learners are met and the intended course goals
can be attained.

As it has been obvious from the previous paragraphs, the available commercial products tend to converge to
their available functional
specifications. Although new services under the supervision of research institutes
comprise remarkable efforts, they have the tendency to be more user
centric. But even these needs, show that
everyone has realized the needs of teachers/trainers and trainee

The fight between distance learning against face
face learning shows that there is no winner. And it must not
have a winner. The value of distance learning is certified by all the cases it has been successfully applied. There
are cases whe
re distance learning seems to be the only choice. As it is obvious from the studies we can find in
international bibliography, trainees are touched and are very accepting to be trained with the new mean
(internet). The traditional education techniques cann
ot be integrally applied in distance learning. It needs gradual
adjustment, so as the trainees to be able to go through the pattern of learning the have grown with and have
followed during their basic education. That is why distance learning must function
in addition with face
learning. In that way the drawbacks of distance learning will be reduced and will gradually increase its degree of
penetration into the educational system. This procedure has a fundamental factor. Continuous assessment of
available learning systems and the involvement of trainers and trainees in all the stages. For this assessment
there is still much need for work and documented scientific methodology.

4. How video gaming languages can integrate distance learning

s and disadvantages of computer games used as learning tools

Computer games engage. They are seductive, deploying rich visual and spatial aesthetics that draw players into
fantasy worlds that seem very real on their own terms, exciting awe and pleasure [19
]. They motivate via fun
(‘part of the natural learning process in human development’, [20], via challenge and via instant, visual feedback
within a complete, interactive virtual playing environment, whereby ambience information creates an immersive
ence, sustaining interest in the game. They are fast and responsive, and can be played against real
people anywhere in the world, or against a computer. They handle huge amounts of content and can be instantly
updated and customized by individual players [

It has been suggested [21] that computer games can incorporate as many as 36 important learning principles.

For example, they put learners in the role of decision
maker, pushing them through ever harder challenges,
engaging the player in experimen
ting with different ways of learning and thinking [22]. Crucially for learning,
computer games can provide instant feedback [21].

In other words, computer games are valuable tools in enhancing learning. They are seen as a means of
encouraging learners wh
o may lack interest or confidence [23] and of enhancing their self
esteem. In training
and educational settings it is suggested that they can reduce training time and instructor load, for example
affording opportunities for drill and practice (which is a f
orm of instruction where learners rehearse sets of
material following the same pattern), thereby enhancing knowledge acquisition and retention [24]; [25]. However,
recall may be promoted less by games than by lessons if games are difficult because they hav
e multiple goals
and distracting components [26].

Though regulated by rules, computer games allow manipulation of objects, supporting development towards
levels of proficiency [27]. They are said to be particularly effective when ‘designed to address a sp
ecific problem
or to teach a certain skill’, for example in encouraging learning in curriculum areas such as maths, physics and
language arts, where specific objectives can be stated, and when deployed selectively within a context relevant
to learning acti
vity and goal [28].

It is important, however, that they are used to facilitate tasks appropriate to learners’ level of maturity in the skill
[29]. Moreover, for skills to be enhanced by game playing, players must possess such skills to some degree
y [30].

Even simple types of game can be designed to address specific learning outcomes such as recall of factual
content or as the basis for active involvement and discussion [31]. Exploratory, interactive games are good
vehicles for embedding curriculum

content such as maths and science concepts that may be hard to visualize or
manipulate with concrete materials. Riddles and interactive computer games have been used successfully with
college students to enhance creative and other forms of critical though
t [32].

Complex games, in particular, have the potential to support cognitive processing and the development of
strategic skills. Brain oscillations associated with navigational and spatial learning occur more frequently in more
complex games. This incre
ases users’ learning and recollection capabilities and encourages greater academic,
social and computer literacy skills [33].

Simulation games enable engagement in learning activities otherwise too costly to resource or too dangerous,
difficult or imprac
tical to implement in the classroom [34] as well as those that are hard to accomplish by other
means. Imaginative, well
produced simulation games can be seen as interactive stories. Participation in these
stories can change learners’ relationships to infor
mation by encouraging visualisation, experimentation and
creativity in finding new ways to tackle the game [35]; [22]. Furthermore, simulation games are flexible and
complex enough to cater for different learning styles, for example via the graphics. They
broaden learners’
exposure to different people and perspectives [34], encourage collaboration, and support meaningful post
discussion [28]. They put the learner in the role of decision
maker and push players through ever harder

There are
opportunities with new and emerging technologies for providing effective coaching in an adventure
games environment. For example, the player can experience a role or roles in a near real
life setting and at the
same time learn about the setting itself, dev
eloping intuitive skills at coping in that environment [36]. When
connected to an intranet, learners can interact simultaneously with other users as well as with the environment
itself [37]. Increasing use of mobile devices and of handheld games consoles s
uch as the Game Boy Advance
offers opportunities for developing educational software to support blended learning, for example classroom
based learning linked to learning online and/or outdoor activities such as museum visits and field trips [28].

There a
re, however, some educational considerations. For example, for skills to be enhanced by game playing,
players must possess them to some degree already. Teacher bias towards a particular learning method and
teacher input into debriefing can affect the effec
tiveness of games in encouraging learning [38]. A number of risk
factors can impact negatively on encouraging learning via computer games. For example, learning objectives
may not be congruent with game objectives, games can distract from learning as playe
rs concentrate on
completing, scoring and winning, and games require suspension of belief

it may be difficult to retain learning
acquired in that state [39]. What seems like a game to someone will feel like work to another; hence, it is argued
the intent
ion should be enlightenment, not entertainment. There is also an opportunity cost of learning via
computers: time spent in front of a screen could instead be spent, for example, in social or sport activity [40].

How have computer games been used for lear

Computer games have been used to serve a variety of functions in training and educational environments, for
example: Tutoring, amusing, helping to explore new skills, promoting self
esteem, practicing skills, or seeking to
change attitudes. Even sim
ple types of game have been used to address specific learning outcomes such as
recall of factual content or providing the basis for discussion [31], while complex games, in particular, have been
seen to support cognitive processing and the development of s
trategic skills, increasing learning and recollection
capabilities, and promoting computer literacy skills [33]. Computer games have been particularly effective in
raising achievement levels of both children and adults in areas such as maths and language,
where specific
objectives can easily be stated [38], and have been used to support National Curriculum learning [28].
processing educational game components that have been designed to imitate popular computer
games have been found to help poor
readers to make significant learning gains, with the greatest improvement
shown by the poorest readers and resource
deprived learners. They have also had positive effects on motivation
and classroom dynamics [41].

The use of quiz games has also led to po
sitive results in long
term student retention (ie ensuring they complete
a course) by attracting higher student interest than traditional classroom approaches [38]. For example, in
training environments such as the Naval Training Systems Center in Orlando,

Florida, computer
based versions
of board games such as Serious Pursuit were adapted to cater for service personnel whose jobs required a pre
existing knowledge base for certain tasks. This prompted development of GameShell, a software program to
house qu
estion and answer databases. When these games were used there was better retention. This was
attributed to more focused attention, because the students enjoyed the approach [25]. Simulation games have
been used in schools to enhance children’s spatial abil
ities and general cognitive development, with both boys
and girls performing equally well [42], while [43] reports that versions of strategy games like Sim City have been
used in schools to encourage learning in subjects such as geography. Simulation games

have also been used in
business environments, for example in teaching administration skills. Off
shelf games simulations such as
Doom II have been used in conjunction with free tools downloaded from the internet to provide cost
military trai
ning, for example where real
world environments or locations may be unavailable to troops.
Simulation games have been found to be most effective in encouraging discovery learning where the system
provides two kinds of instructional support: learner
ed background information and elaborate system
initiated advice [43]. However, the role of teacher mediation remains important, in explaining or augmenting the
game [28]. For example, task cards were used with games, requiring learners to describe their st
rategies and to
provide tips to others, thereby stimulating reflection and writing skills. Working with sections, rather than the
whole game, may be more useful to particular learning objectives. This means the teacher must know the
content behind the titl
es and understand controls, menus and skill levels of the game, and this requirement thus
increases teacher workload [28]. Complex games have been useful in encouraging attitude change, in
supporting the development of critical thinking, in problem solving

and in developing decision
making skills. They
have been explored as a means to foster learners’ understanding of theoretical models and interaction effects
and to support the development of team, social, communication and resource sharing skills [34], [4
5], [46].


The reasons for playing games appear to be gender

males can focus on winning a game, whereas
females can focus on completion. Either way, struggle is a key factor in motivating learners. Struggle is also
important in suppo
rting cognitive learning, but there should be a satisfactory end to each game, to reflect an
element of progress. Context is also key: it must be meaningful and relevant to target audiences. There is a
strong case for games to incorporate creative tools, g
iving the learner control. This can extend to allowing them
to enhance the game or create new games. It is true that few learners may want or feel able to take up such
options and that even if they do so the results may be unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, it
is vital to encourage
aspiration in learning, with at risk students in particular. It would be beneficial for the game to afford opportunities
for players to personalise the medium, thereby allowing them to key into their lifelong learning experience. This

is important because games should not just relate to curriculum, but also to youth culture and learning styles.

The implications for the planning and design of educational computer games include the issue of the cognitive
style changes associated with a

generation growing up in the age of digital computer games. If complex games
support the development of ‘expert behaviours’ such as pattern recognition, strategic decision
making, superior
memory skills and self
monitoring, students having honed such skil
ls may become disenchanted with learning
games if there is little opportunity to deploy those skills. Educational games should therefore engage and stretch
players in learning at different levels, from the straightforward to the sophisticated. This review
has indicated that
producing educational games that are true games is a worthwhile activity. Indeed, it is a necessary development
if we are to reach out to current and future generations in ways that cater for their needs and expectations.

Educators and

industry experts must work together to research the computer culture, to ensure that innovations
are capable of engaging and sustaining interest. Designers should not only explore ways of combining new
technologies such as mobile networking, context

computing and sensor
based computing but should also
ensure the new generation of edugames builds on the principles of successful commercial games such as risk

reward structures. However, there are budgetary implications in following this route. The modes
t profits thus far
gained from educational games pale into insignificance against the huge profits to be made from commercial
games. As the required investment is correspondingly large, the endeavour requires collaboration between
educationalists and indus
try and the commitment of policy
makers and funding bodies.


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Theory of e

ius Pedagogical University (LT)

The technology is improving, and users often feel, that it becomes part of their world. People are realizing that e
learning is applicable to so much more than learning.
communication becomes part of the life.

Until well
into the 20th century most workers were manual workers. Today only about 20% do manual work.
Nearly half, 40% of total work force, are knowledge workers. Preparing children, teens, and adults to function in
this situation is a top priority of society. The
development and expansion of the Internet and distance learning
are essential to achieving this goal. The e
learning industry is one of the fastest
growing areas of the high
technology sector and will continue this trend far into the future. Yet there is a

great deal of confusion
surrounding e
learning for learners, investors and sometimes even for instructors.

Confusion concerning e
learning comes from using the word “e
learning” to describe anything and everything
within this very wide industry. E
ing is a generic term that covers a variety of forms of electronic mediated
learning. E
learning is more than "e
training." Usually e
learning is defined as “
asynchronous or synchronous
learning that is conducted over the Internet,

intranet, extranet or ot
her Internet
based technologies. E
includes a number of different delivery methodologies within it including self
paced content, virtual classrooms,
simulations, online chats, threaded discussions, etc.”

learning has definite technical and pra
gmatic benefits over traditional classroom training. E
learning wins
against face
face learning because of “better


cheaper” reasons:


less expensive

because of not having to travel or spend excess time away from work. The

biggest benefit of
learning, however, is that it eliminates the expense and inconvenience of getting the instructor and students in
the same place.

provides a quality product at a lower cost

less expensive to produce

learning provides a


It helps to save time and money on not learning of extra material. The
objective is to
become competent in the least time and with the least amount of training.

learning is delivered in the
sized pieces.

Learners don’t have to
take a one
hour class for the five
minutes' worth of content they are looking for.

. Most e
learning programs can be taken when needed. It helps to save is time. Speed is a well
known competitive advantage, and not even in business.

It pr
ovide a 24/7 approach

It can work from
any location and any time.

serves as an equalizer in terms of
access and equity.

It can be
updated easily

and quickly.

It can be easily managed for large groups of students and

use the work of the best instructo

It can

use an extensive collection of resources

based products allow instructors to update lessons and materials across the entire network instantly. This
keeps content fresh

and consistent and gives students immediate access to the most curre
nt data. Information
can be retrieved just before it is required, rather than being learned once in a classroom and subsequently

The Internet provides
new channels

and forums to support learning. These include online mentoring, chat,
message bo
ards or threaded discussions, e
mail, synchronous training events, etc. These components make the
difference between a flat, one
dimensional learning experience and one that is
rich in diversity and choice

Online training is less intimidating, more psyc
hologically “safe” than instructor
led courses
. Students taking an
online course enter a risk
free environment in which they can try new things and make mistakes without
exposing themselves. People feel safer, if nobody sees their mistakes. This characteri
stic is particularly valuable
when trying to learn soft skills, such as leadership and decision
making. A good learning program shows the
consequences of students’ actions and where and why they went wrong. After a failure, students can go back
and try aga
in. This type of learning experience eliminates the embarrassment of failure in front of a group.

Modern philosopher of education M.Lipman (
Thinking in Education
, 1991, p. 14) set two contrasting paradigms
of educational practice

standard paradigm

f normal practice (mostly
performed by face


) and
reflective paradigm

of critical practice (educational principles of

learning is based on this

The dominating assumptions of the


The dominating as
sumptions of the


Education consists in the
transmission of

from teacher to learner.

Education is the
outcome of participation


iearners= acquire= knowledge= by=
I= and= the=
are= the= main=goal=
qhe= focus= of= educational= process= is= on= the=
grasp= of= relationships
within= the= subject=
hnowledge= is= about= the= worldI= and= this=
knowledge= is= unambiguous= and=
iearners= ar
and= knowledge= reveal= to= learners= as=
hnowledge= is=
distributed= among= disciplines=
that= are= non
overlappingI= and= together= are=
but= on=
K= qhe= knowledge= from=
different= science= is= required= to= solve= the=
authoritative= roleK
qeachers= role
is= supportive= and=
the demand for alternative forms of education. E
learning leads to
increased retention and a stronger grasp on the subject,
helps to organize more successful learning process:

centric approach

learning is the shift from instructor
centric to l
centric approach. For years, training has organized itself
for the convenience and needs of instructors, institutions, and bureaucracies.
learning focuses on the
individual learner.

Making the learner central to the teaching process has been long

established history

which includes being
pilloried under the heading of 'progressive education' by many educators and politicians. What it implies is a
respect for the learner as an individual who has different needs and expectations. For example, the n
eed to feel
included in the learning process and empowered by the ideas developed.
It is a process that aims to facilitate
intrinsic motivation in which the learning itself is the main reward.

One way of the key differences is the extent to
which learners
are dependent on the tutor or the learning materials

and there can be good reasons for both

Most people a familiar with the traditional education, where lecturer stands in the centre and passes the
knowledge all around. People, who are furth
er, find it easier to “catch” what is being passed. But those who are
far away, find it more difficult, they “catch” the wrong things or simply get buried. It is however a familiar learning
environment for most people.

learning does provide the opportu
nity to revisit what the style of a learning environment could and should be.
people may learn in different ways,

such as individually and collaboratively in small groups

but always on
the move in the direction
that best suits them

An e
program can boast the latest technology available, but if it fails to meet the needs, it doesn’t matter
how advanced it is or how much money is saved. A good e
learning experience does not take a one
approach. Instead it focuses on learner an
d can engage the program and
meet everybody’s learning objectives.

The introduction to the course usually takes into account the
learners’ backgrounds, ability levels, and

including their personal learning goals and objectives, or specifies t
he attributes of the learners for
whom the course is designed.


There are many different learning styles. For example,
active and reflective learners.

Active learners tend to
retain and understand information best by doing something activ
e with it

discussing, applying, or explaining it to

They like group work.

Sitting through lectures without getting to do anything physical but

note taking is
for them very hard. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first. They p
refer to work alone.

Visual and verbal learners.

Visual learners remember best what they have seen

pictures, diagrams, time
lines, films, and demonstrations.
Most people are visual learners.
Verbal learners get more out of words

and spoken exp

Everyone learns more when information is presented both visually and verbally.

Rational and intuitive learners.

Rational learners tend to like learning facts, like solving problems by well
established methods and dislike complications.

tive learners often prefer discovering possibilities and
relationships, like innovation and dislike repetition.

Sequential and global learners.

Sequential learners tend to gain understanding in linear steps, with each step
following logically on from the
previous one. Sequential learners tend to follow logical stepwise paths in finding
solutions. Global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing
connections, and then suddenly "getting it." Global learners may b
e able to solve complex problems quickly or
put things together in novel ways once they have grasped the big picture, but they may have difficulty explaining
how they did it.

Onetime learners and repeaters.
Onetime learners spend more time reading and put

more efforts on material
analysing. But they do it once

after don’t “come back”. Repeaters like to re

read parts of content, they many
times “come back” on pieces they liked most of all or on pieces they don’t understood well enough.

There may be det
ected more learning styles and strategies.

learning tries to support all individual learning
. Whether learner thrive in a highly interactive environment or prefer solitude, learning program should
provide components that accommodate individual app
roach to learning. This allows learner to tap into the
resources with which they are most comfortable,
resulting in greater knowledge retention.

accepts and encourages independent thinking, autonomy and initiative.

attain their
own in
tellectual identity, and have possibility to become autonomous thinkers, who do not merely parrot what
others say think and do, but make their own judgments, form their own understanding of the world. Autonomous
thinkers develop their own conceptions of th
e sort of persons they want to be, and the sort of world they would
like it to be.

Many elements

are combined in e
learning to reinforce the message, such as
video, audio, quizzes, interaction,

There is also the ability to revisit or

of the training that might not have been clear the first
time around.


Traditional learning often tries to get students to learn solutions rather than investigate the problems and engage
the inquiry for themselves. Learners just have to study
the end results of what the others have discovered.
Traditional learning neglect the process and stresses up on the results and products.
When problems are not
explored, no interest or motivation is engendered,

and education becomes imitation and repeating

Modern educators propose, that learning process should take as its model the process of scientific inquiry. Then
learners will be intrinsically motivated to learn if there is a meaningful nature of the learning environment and


Students get higher retention of content through personalized learning.
Since they can customize the learning
material to their own needs,
students have more control over their learning process

and can better understand
the material, leading to a fast
er learning curve.

centric scenario requires people
to take on personal responsibility for their own learning.
It can be a
more daunting experience for those whose experience of learning is limited to the expert on the mountain

they need he
lp and support to make the change. E
learners are responsible for their own learning. E
empowers them to manage and implement their own learning and development plans.

Self assessment.

Learners should be able to track and evaluate their own prog
ress, using self
tests, similar to
the final evaluation instruments. Learning is effective only in circumstances of self
critical practice, which entails


Most learning is social. The coffee room is a more effective
place to learn than the classroom. Studies reveal
that the majority of corporate learning is informal, i.e. outside of class. E
learning seeks to foster collaboration
and peer interaction.

Online learning should not sacrifice the human element that is so

important to learning experience. Programs
should offer
online communities

for peer
peer collaboration and coaching or mentoring from industry veterans
and experts.
Students should be engaged in dialogue with the tutor/teacher and with each other.

dents are engaged in experiences that challenge and encourage
Discussion helps students to
grow cognitively


adopt new ideas
, enables students to show that they understand.
However, only when they
feel comfortable enough to express their ideas

will meaningful dialogue occur.

Most e
learning is project
based and occur in a group context.
Conducting their own projects is much more
interesting to students then answering sterile textbook problems. And because they get to define the nature of
the p
roject (even if they don't choose the topic), they have a sense of control over their learning which is absent
in traditional classroom instruction.
The authentic learning context of the project increases student motivation
and satisfaction.

learning h
elps to create successful collaborative teams, e
mphasizes team efforts that involve
and social skills, encourages respect for each others ideas.

Research on collaborative learning suggests that in the process of collaboration, students are
forced to clarify
verbalize their problems,
plane, manage and
facilitating solutions.

Furthermore, when students work in
teams, they often have the opportunity to work with others from quite different backgrounds and this facilitates
an understanding
diversity and multiple perspectives.

Distance education can be more stimulating and encourage more critical reasoning than a traditional large
led class because it allows the kind of interaction that takes place most fully in
small group set
Online students had more peer contact with others in the class, enjoyed it more, spent more time on class work,
understood and performed the material better.

Higher order thinking

Of course, traditional education involved thinking, but the quality

of such thinking was deficient.


involves active cognitive processes,

such as

creating, problem
solving, reasoning, decision
making, and evaluation.

Students must connect and summarize concepts by

analyzing, predicting, justifying and

their ideas.

Higher order thinking is a term about quality, not about the quantity. Higher order thinking, learners may develop
in e
learning process, is conceptually rich, coherently organized and persistently exploratory, resourceful and
flexible. Hig
her order thinking is a
fusion or creative and critical thinking
, where those two aspects supports and
reinforce each other, as when the critical thinker invents new premises or new criteria, and creative thinker gives
a new twist to tradition or conventio
n. Such complex thinking is prepared to recognize the factors that make for
bias, prejudices and self
deception (it is important in sociocultural, moral, psychological education). It involves
thinking not about its
subject matter
, but about its

at the same time.

B.S.Bloom (in
Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
) generated pyramid or hierarchy of skills, at the apex of
which are
analysis, synthesis and evaluation
. If by “analysis” is meant critical thinking, by “synthesis” is meant
creative th
inking, and if by “evaluation” is meant judgments, these skills may be called the main components of
higher order thinking.

Purpose of higher order thinking is not to help decide what to believe.
The role of higher order thinking is

to protect

people from being coerced or brainwashed into believing what others want to compel us to
believe without having an opportunity to inquire for themselves.

long education

learning is forever. E
learning is continuous education, the forty
year degree
. It is a daily learning.
becomes learning, learning becomes work
, and nobody ever graduates.

There may be many different forms of e

Live e
Learning, Instructor
led, Online, Self
study or informal
learning, Computer games, etc, and Blende

Live e

(also referred to as instructor
led training through the Internet) is the newest method of
presenting training. Many people prefer learning with an instructor but cannot afford the cost or time to travel to a
classroom. Other times, pe
ople in widely dispersed locations need to be trained simultaneously within a short
period of time, with company specifics integrated into the course by the instructor. Live e
learning is a viable
solution for these and other training situations. Live e
is instructor
led training

conducted through the
Internet (or company intranet) within a
virtual classroom

Live e
learning is more expensive than self
paced e
learning. After all, you have a live instructor or the benefits
of a live instructor pr
esent at all times. Second, if you are expected by the instructor and your employer to be in a
class all day for three to five consecutive days, you will probably finish the course faster than if you use self
paced e
learning, unless your employer permits
you to devote the same work hours to taking a self
paced class.
Third, a live instructor with excellent knowledge of the topic being taught might provide additional insight into the
topic based on questions asked by learners in attendance. Fourth, live e
earning can require much more
network bandwidth than self
paced training because of its audio, video and collaboration capabilities.

Informal Learning

Informal learning is perhaps the most dynamic and versatile aspect of learning. Unfortunately, it is th
e least
recognized. Learners need for information (and how we intend to use it) drives the search. Search engines (like
Google) coupled with information storage tools (like Furl) and personal knowledge management tools like wikis
and blogs present a powerf
ul toolset in the knowledge workers portfolio. Peoples usually discover how to do jobs
through informal learning

observing others, asking the person in the next cubicle, calling the help desk, trial
error, and simply working with people in the know.

Blended learning

learning can’t replace everything. Solution may be the
blended learning format.

Blended learning

is a term
now widely used to describe myriad combinations of learning experiences. Blended learning gives permission to
combine learning
ingredients in new and creative ways to satisfy the tastes of every learner. Blended learning
gives everyone the opportunity to shape programs to meet specific needs and goals.

Blended learning provides the best opportunities for learning transition from
classroom to e
learning involves classroom (or face
face) and online learning.

This method is very effective for adding
efficiency to classroom instruction and permitting increased discussion or information review outside of
. Learning is a social process, requiring instructor direction and facilitation. Blended learning utilizes
the best of classrooms with the best of online learning.

Practical Methodologies of e

Vilnius Pedagogical University (LT)

Online learn
ing is the latest trend in education.
Its success will depend on the quality of its instructional design
and the academic and technical support provided to learners and instructors.

learning itself isn’t a unique field. It’s a combination and extension
of many other existing fields. As such, what
happens in technology/learning theory/web design/network analysis, etc. impacts and shapes e
learning. The
best way to succeed with e
learning is to understand the landscape, and to make choices based on the uni
environment and concerns in the organization where e
learning is being implemented. E
implementation should be holistic.

Successful e
learning requires a "whole picture" approach:


learning can be initiated program wide in an
institution or at an individual level with a trainer or
instructor. Pre
starting include: overview (overlooking benefits/negatives), beginning (converting to online,
integrating technology with teaching), and readiness (organizational

choosing learners a
nd instructor).


Technology, in the context of e
learning, should enable and provide support for the learning (and
resource development) components of the whole picture. Technology is used primarily to
increase the

of learning, or to

increase access to



At this level, the content is being created, delivered and learning is being assessed. An intense focus on
the learner is critical for success. Components of this stage include instructional design, content management,
usability, accessibility, learning objects, selection of media, assessment, adoption/promotion, and


Evaluation refers to the actual e
learning program, not the learners. The e
learning initiative is
evaluated using a variety
of techniques.


This stage represents the challenges in managing, organizing, and sustaining an e
learning initiative.
It includes knowledge management, communities, and copyright too.


Resources are divided into two areas: technology a
nd general.

Beginning of the course

At the beginning of the course, the
availability of technical support should be stated,
and links to online technical
information provided. The hours during which technical support is available have to be clearly identi

Before starting the course should be reviewed by experts in content and design, to get evidence, that
course is

current in both content and technical aspects, and learners can achieve the objectives of the

developers and

reviewers of the course have to be listed.

Brief biographies may be provided to assure
students of the developers’ knowledge and expertise. A copyright statement or disclaimer clearly identifies the
owner(s) of the course and the source(s) of the material

students are about to use.

Learners have to be provided with
general information

that will assist them in completing the course and in
understanding its objectives and procedures. Brief description of the course should include information about:

and learning objectives

and outcomes,

how this
course is related to other courses in the program

credit value

of each course,

estimated time

required to complete the module and course,

technical requirements

(recommended modem speed, Interne
t bandwidth, etc),

a list of required and recommended

includes all textbooks, courseware, and online resources
necessary to complete the course,

a source for answers to “frequently asked questions” pertaining to online learning. This source may p
information covering many of the items listed above, as well as items related to plagiarism, virus protection, and

, and clearly stated consequences of missing deadlines,

clearly specified
expectations for participation in collab
orative or team
based learning activities
, specified
procedures for grouping learners for team
based learning activities. (Learners should be encouraged to interact
with others and benefit from their experience and professional expertise).

Learners have t
o be informed about their
right to privacy

and the conditions under which their names or online
submissions may be shared with others.

Learners should be informed about the
consequences of plagiarism

and the failure to properly cite copyrighted


At the beginning of the course instructor should ensure, that the

and server
can handle

the number
of learners enrolled in the course, the
course material


, and the learners can quickly find
information, th
function of each icon

or button is explained and/or is naturally

to the learners.

Every section of the course or module should begin with a

should be provided throughout
the material, particularly at the end of topics, lesson
s, and modules.
Every page
should be

to the previous
page, the start of the module, the beginning of the course, and to e
mail so that learners may contact instructors
and other learners for clarification and discussion.

A glossary should
define u
nusual or technical terms

used in the course and may provide links to sources of
supplementary information.

Goals and Objectives

A goal and learning objectives and outcomes should be provided to outline learning expectations
at the
beginning of the cours

and, where appropriate, at the beginning of each module. In some cases, it is possible
to ask learners to select their own goals, objectives, content, learning strategies, resources, and evaluation

Goals and objectives should
clearly and concis
ely state

what must be done, should
cover course content and be
related to the program of study
, and be
relevant to the subject matter and to the “real world”

in which the content
may be applied.

Objectives have to specify learning outcomes related to
owledge, skills, competencies, behaviours, and

Appropriate action verbs are used in goals and objectives. The accomplishment of objectives should be
measurable; therefore,
vague words

such as “understood” and “realize” are
not used


In the traditional instructor
led learning, one of the ways training and development programs differentiate is in the
skill of the instructor. Weak material in the hands of a gifted trainer still resulted in valuable knowledge transfer
and skill acquisitio
n. In the world of e
learning, weak content has no ally. No matter how sophisticated the
technology is or how flashy the graphics and images are, it's the quality and relevance of the content to the
business issue.

complete, providing all the conten