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What are the key channels to change in blended instructional practice as they relate to the use of a learning management system (LMS)? What role LMS users’ profiles play in facilitating change in practice? Can we model users’ quality of interaction (QoI) with LMS? How inclusiveness and affectiveness could lead to a personalized intelligent LMS (iLMS)? If these questions sound intrinsic to you and to your own experience and circumstance, then this book fits absolutely to you.

Here, the term Blended – viewed as a fuzzy concept – is understood as a stepping-stone on the way to the future, to explain the multiple ways human beings think/act/feel of society in the 21st century and to embrace the opportunity of humans to re/co-construct new knowledge through the intermediation role of the technology. Initially, based on an online learning environment’ theoretical framework, some current issues of the educational processes in the digital age of Web 2.0 are analyzed. Then, after exploring the main methodological procedures, characteristic examples of research case studies follow, including LMS users’ trends and profiles and modeling of their QoI using fuzzy logic.

This book offers useful information that evokes initiatives towards rethinking of the value, efficiency, inclusiveness, affectiveness and personalization of the iLMS-based b-learning environment, both by the educators, the LMS designers and educational policy decision makers.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Review of Literature: From Macro to Micro Intelligent Point of View

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. E-Learning Exequibility in the Information and Knowledge Society

Abstract
This chapter aims to place the focus upon some current changes/trends in educational practice of Information and Knowledge Society and, simultaneously, examine the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in multiple contexts.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 2. Coresponsibility on Negotiation Process and Issues in Blended Instruction

Abstract
This chapter underlines the teaching-learning process mediated by technologies, along with the main theoretical assumptions regarding the development of OLEs, viewed through the concepts of multitasking, learning communities, focusing on the coresponsibility of the stakeholders on negotiation process within a blended learning environment.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 3. Embracing and Embedding Techno-Pedagogical Strategies

Abstract
The importance of educational models that support learning in the digital age seems to be modestly explored in academic research communities. In 2004, Hewitt explores the concept of knowledge building community in his book Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning, and defines it as a type of CoP that integrates the following characteristics: (i) sharing of knowledge, values and beliefs; (ii) common points of coexistence among members; (iii) mutual interdependence; (iv) mechanisms for reproduction; (v) common practices; (vi) opportunities for interaction and participation; (vii) significant personal relationships; and (viii) respect for different perspectives and minorities (Hewitt 2004).
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Blending Quantitative and Qualitative Methods: Triangulation as a State of Mind

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. Data Collection Strategies

Abstract
In general, this part describes ways of data collection and analysis, pointing out the central technical and methodological procedures considered. To this end, and in order to describe, characterize and understand the online learning community of a public HEI in b-learning mode, the case study was considered the most appropriate methodological approach. According to Yin (2006), the case study is an empirical research process that intends to study a contemporary phenomenon in the real context, being particularly suited to adopt when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly transparent. In Yin’s own words ( 2006): “Compared to other methods, the strength of the case study method is its ability to examine, in-depth, the ‘case’ within its ‘real life’ context” (p. 111). Generally speaking, the case study aims to tell a story that adds something to the prior knowledge and is, as far as possible, interesting and illuminative (Yin 2006).
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 5. Data Preparation and Implementation

Abstract
Following the sequence of steps initiated with the appropriate strategies for data collection presented in Chapter 4, the present chapter refers to the data preparation and implementation procedures that were involved in the exemplified case studies of Part III.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 6. Data Treatment Techniques

Abstract
After the data acquisition strategies and the preparation/implementation issues discussed in Chaps.​ 4 and 5, respectively, the present chapter refers to the data analysis procedures that are involved in the exemplified case studies of Part III. Similarly to the previous two chapters, the subheadings here also follow the same structure to facilitate comprehension and direct correspondence.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

The Art and Science of a Case Study in Higher Education: Towards a Pro-Intelligent System

Frontmatter

Chapter 7. On Approaching Usability Issues in an OLE

Abstract
The terms of art and science referred to the title of this third part reflect the coexistence, integration and harmony of seemingly opposing extremes: the particular and the general, subjectivity and objectivity, the individual and the social context.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 8. Rethinking Blended Instruction: Academic Community and Teachers’ Profiles

Abstract
The impact of globalization and cultural pluralism from the combined perspectives of the new dimensions of e-community and e-identity (Wenger 1998; Zhou 2011) may justify innovative methodologies in the design, implementation and development of the teaching–learning process.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 9. Towards an Enriched LMS for B-Learning Environment: Students’ Profiles

Abstract
The case study of this chapter sheds light upon the students’ profiles within the b-learning context and serves as the complementary chunk to the teachers’ profiles presented in the previous chapter.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 10. On Modeling Users’ Quality of Interaction with LMS Using Fuzzy Logic

Abstract
Politicians, educators, and investigators have been unanimous in stating that we need to design schools to teach 21st century skills (i.e., creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration); however, HEIs are paralyzed by the lack of consistent and intelligent ways to assess these skills/competences. One of the difficulties is that, usually, the current assessment instruments are based on products and not on processes, due to the intrinsic complexities in capturing detailed process data for large numbers of users. In turn, data mining technologies, signal processing, text-mining, machine learning to explore multimodal process-based learner assessments could offer a possible solution to capture/analyze massive amounts of process data of classroom online activities.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 11. From Blended to Inclusive Learning Environment

Abstract
In HE, technology may be either used to re-enforce the prevailing practices, such as lectures, or it may be used to transform and disrupt those practices. Although, ICTs have provided a potential for change allowing the development of comprehensive approaches regarding teaching and learning, there is still insufficient knowledge regarding best practices in HEI, mainly concerning the use of OLEs (e.g., Moodle platform) and communication tools (Redecker et al. 2009), in general.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Overall Landscape

Frontmatter

Chapter 12. Coda and Critical Discussion: A Systemic Analysis of an Intelligent OLE

Abstract
Most educators focus on products (e.g., exams, portfolios, tests, assessments) rather than processes, i.e., the tangible cognitive/intellectual development during a learning activity. Nevertheless, the present book has placed emphasis mainly upon the characterization of the online instructional process, in order to scientifically analyze the opinions and actions (trends, profiles and modeling perspectives) of the users of the LMS Moodle in b-learning mode.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Chapter 13. Concluding Remarks and Probing Further

Abstract
Reaching the final destination of the journey started in Chap.​ 1, this closing chapter pragmatically exposes a summary reflection of the main considerations and contributions and, at same time, provides a guide for future research decisions/investigations.
Sofia B. Dias, José A. Diniz, Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis

Backmatter

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