Online ISSN: 1989-9572

Volume 7, Issue 2 (14)

Volume 7, Issue 2 (14), Winter 2016


Virtual Learning Communities: review of a decade of Spanish-Portuguese scientific production

Manuela Raposo-Rivas; Joaquim Escola

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

Virtual Learning Communities (CVA) by definition, are aimed at learning and building knowledge both individually and collectively in a technology mediated environment characterized by interactions and collaborations. The profusion of technological developments in the last decade has encouraged the parallel development of multiple and varied CVA that respond to different socio-cultural types and contexts. Therefore, in this paper we care about analysing the scientific production done on this subject in Spanish and Portuguese during the last decade. Following a qualitative bibliometric design, a sample of 73 items obtained from Scopus, CSIC, Dialnet and CAPES databases has been studied, using a registration categorized in bibliographic components (year, keywords, number of authors, number of pages) and thematic elements (authors�" institution, context, purpose and type of community, virtual support and type of contribution). After an information content analysis, the findings show an increase and change in the proposals regarding the technological support of the CVA, from platforms and virtual classrooms to Web 2.0 applications such as social networks and wikis. At the same time, the benefits of these virtual communities are empirically verified.

Virtual Communities, youth and learning. The complexity of a categorization

Alejandra Bosco; Raquel Miño Puigcercós; Pablo Rivera-Vargas; Cristina Alonso Cano

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

The current article derives from the first stage of the research project �SVirtual communities of youth: making visible their learning and knowledges⬝, funded by The Reina Sofia Centre on Adolescence and Youth (Second Call for Research Grants-2015), exploratory and with a duration of one year. The main goal of the study is identifying and mapping typologies of youth virtual communities, exploring them as learning and knowledge production spaces, and analyze how and what the young people who participate in them learn. In this first stage we carried out a cartography of the virtual communities with Spanish youth participants. In the second stage, from a virtual ethnography approach, we will carry out a depth study of those communities that are most significant among those identified in the first phase (from 4 to 6) for their relevance to young people learning. The results of this contribution focuses on the identification and mapping of the communities. We have identified 25 virtual communities in which Spanish young people are involved and draw up a first classification where we will present their categories, typologies and some examples. This classification has also allowed us to evaluate the relevance of dimensions such as community conformation, multimodality, participation and heterogeneity among participants, to address the young people learning that takes place in these virtual communities.

The challenge of teaching and learning in an academic social network. A case study at the University of Santiago de Compostela

Adriana Gewerc; Ana Rodríguez-Groba; Lourdes Montero

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

Here we present the experience of the Stellae research group (University of Santiago de Compostela) in the use of academic social networks as a means for teaching and learning in Higher Education. It is an experience using student e-portfolios as artefacts spanning the breadth of teaching, learning and assessment processes. The teaching approach respects student diversity, promotes autonomy, proposes an elimination of barriers between formal and informal learning spaces and aims to encourage self and socio-regulated learning. The study aims to analyse the social network conditions that stimulate the development of these processes and how to use data generated in this context to improve proposals. We worked from a qualitative perspective combined with learning analytics quantitative techniques. The results show improved teacher access to data regarding student learning processes, and better knowledge of student network behaviour and motivation data. We conclude that the use of social networks creates a participation structure among students that provides great opportunities, fosters self and socio-regulation skills and promotes a positive correlation between the number of interactions and marks obtained.

Approach to Social Network Analyzing (SNA) on Virtual Communities

Pilar Ibáñez-Cubillas

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

Virtual Communities (CV), in the diversity of its type, develop forms of collaboration that can be studied under the analysis of social networks (ARS). This technique allows identifying the social structures that emerge from interactions among individuals, whose relations provides patterns that affect the behavior of individuals. The added value of Web 2.0 tools has increased interest of social researchers to the ARS study in a variety of contexts. The purpose of this paper is to introduce globally the concept of social network analysis as an analytical tool for the study of virtual communities. The article reviews the key theoretical concepts, software applications and stands for ARS, demonstrates the potential of as capital and presented based on the use of ARS in education studies CV. In discussing some methodological aspects as well as the challenges and prospects for development in the field they are addressed.

Virtual learning communities as a part of PLE. Perspective of university students

María-Teresa Becerra-Traver; Prudencia Gutiérrez-Esteban

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

The development of Personal Learning Environments of university students allows the expansion, consolidation and creation of learning communities, both in formal as in informal scope, which affects their education and their professional and personal development. A study carried out with university students from Teacher in Primary Education, in Early Childhood Education and from Psychopedagogy through the development of Personal Learning Environments is presented in this article. It aims to determine the impact that has caused collaborative work in these groups and shared knowledge in this virtual learning community, by applying an open-ended questionnaire. Contributions from students give us information about the possibility to incorporate new training itineraries which encourage digital competence and collaborative work in Higher Education. These itineraries would be carried out by setting activities that generate shared work and shared goals, where space and time come together synchronously and asynchronously to look for same learning objectives, using sharing and generation of knowledge that arises from interaction and collaboration in both learnings spheres, formal and informal.

Usability of Institutional Personal Learning Environments

Lucila Pérez

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

Learning Communities have proven to be a fundamental pedagogical strategy to support formal and informal learning, both in the educational context and organizational. Due to its specific characteristics, open and flexible virtual environments, such as an institutional personal learning environment (iPLE), facilitates the creation of learning communities as they provide to its members multiple technological resources, which are necessary to promote communication, reflection and generation of new knowledge in collaboration and networking. The main objective of this study was to construct and validate an instrument to determine the usability of an iPLE, which is focused on the area of education, social sciences, and communication research. It was built to support students who are developing their Master thesis, those who are taking courses in research and other stakeholders interested to build and use a PLE.  In order to determine the validity of the instrument, the Expert Judgment technique was applied, involving seven professionals from the areas of pedagogy and educational technology. The reliability and internal consistency of the instrument was determined by calculating the Cronbach Alpha Coefficient, based on the results of the pilot test applied to a group of 146 students from the graduate programs of the Casa Grande University in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Based on the obtained results, it can be assumed that the instrument developed to assess the iPLE is valid and reliable because it fulfills with all the requirements that confirm its content validity and internal consistency required to ensure its reliability. Consequently, it can be used to assess other iPLEs of similar characteristics.

Communication in the Community of Inquiry in Higher Education. Students satisfaction and suggestions for improvement

Elba Gutiérrez-Santiuste

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

This study presents the correlations found between the social, cognitive, and teaching elements of the Community of Inquiry and students�" satisfaction in Higher Education. The community created uses forums and chats to support communications. The theoretical and analytical model proposed by Garrison, Anderson y Archer (2000) for the study of virtual communication is composed of three interrelated categories: social, cognitive and teaching presence. We focus to observe if this categories found in our study are correlated with the satisfaction generated by participation in the community. We use a quantitative methodology through Pearson correlation analysis of items answered through two questionnaires (one for each of the communication tools). Secondly, we analize by content analysis of the proposals for improving the educational experience for the students. The results show, especially with the forum tool, higher correlations between satisfaction/cognitive and social presence. The students have a high degree of satisfaction, however they believe that there are aspects to improve. We conclude that the forum tool can be more effective to enhance satisfaction in virtual learning environments.

Inducing Supervision Practices among peers in a Community of Practice

Daniela Gonçalves; Isabel Cláudia Nogueira; Maria Cristina Vieira da Silva

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

The Bologna process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area have been proving to be a challenge. As teachers trainers in a Higher Education institution, the teacher training models deserve, to us, particular reflection, namely the teaching processes adopted by Higher Education teachers. We believe that teacher training is an important period in the individuals socialization, in which the inherent criticality of the professional knowledge construction process (in the sense of Shulman (1986) � including content, pedagogical and curricular knowledge) should be a central tenet in the construction of teachers professionnality. Presenting itself as an organization capable of conceiving, designing, acting and thinking, we claim for supervision pratices that help school to discuss and plan for the future, truly ambitious, that questions the less well achieved moments to understand their causes, being able to draw new action lines.Thus, having the establishment of a Community of Practice as a starting point, it is our goal with this text to present some of the support tools that are being tested in pedagogical supervision among peers with some preliminary results. We believe these results point towards what it is essential to develop and present the induction of a new pedagogical supervision for Higher Education. By identifying facilitators/constraining mechanisms on the implementation of regulatory processes of educational activity among peers, we aim not only improving the quality of the practices on Higher Education contexts, but also benefiting, from our point of view, the learning process of students in general.

Assessment of teaching skills with e-Rubrics in Master of Teacher Training

Daniel David Martínez Romera; Daniel Cebrián Robles; Manuel Cebrián de la Serna

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

Technology impact assessments in high-schools give different results depending on the context. However, there are coincidences as to the important role of teachers in successful experiences, especially when they carry out an analysis of their practices together. This paper studies the impact of collaborative methodologies and peer review using technologies as CoRubric for negotiation and use of collaborative rubrics, and the acquisition of digital skills in the initial training of high school teachers. The case study was conducted with a group of 27 master students of secondary education teachers in social science specialty at Malaga University generating a collaborative methodology to building a rubric where 260 records of contents were analyzed by category analysis. This methodology was supported by educational technologies in order to agree on the criteria for assessment of student presentations, with a high rate of participation among them. As conclusions of the work are showed that the proximity among the evaluations given by student and professor is getting closer thanks to the increased eRubric use.

The Learning-network: the Internet as a learning context

Mónica López-Gil

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages -

In this paper, we intend to expose a possible new approach to learning called learn-network. Learn-network could not be considered a theory of learning but is based on learning theories as Connectivism, Constructivism, the Collaborative school, and others. We will consider it as a paradigm that expresses new ways of doing, thinking and learning caused by / consequence of the Net Society (Castells, 2004). This concept comes from the study "New ways of doing, new ways of being: digital technologies as dynamic agents of informal learning", doctoral thesis of the author. The main objective was to analyze the understanding of youth on media and technological culture around them and to comprehend their involvement in this culture from a qualitative perspective and case of study. The method has been adapted to the particularities of research in the digital environment but off line too. Reference cases are examples of net-learning. This particular learning it is characterized as collaborative, cooperative, liquid (Bauman, 2006), creative, experiential, based on connectivity, among others, and, following the computer metaphor, in beta.