Category Archives: Highlights

El uso de experimentos como método de aprendizaje activo en cursos de iniciación a la Economía

The economy has long been considered an antithetical discipline to experiments, making it a stranger to the laboratory, the place of excellence for didactic experiments and research; it has therefore, until now, remained the undisputed and exclusive domain of theoretical tools and of the classical lecture.

Article first published in “@tic. revista d’innovació educativa”, n .8, 2012, pp. 26-32 as open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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The development of virtual laboratories in the Indian higher education system, a new frontier of university research

The 2012 IEEE International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education, held at Amrita University´s headquarters in Amritapuri, India on 3-5 January 2012, focused on the use and implementation of virtual laboratories in high schools and universities as a tool of didactic support for improving interactivity in the framework of online education. (…)

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United Excellence: the new GUIDE’s platform to develop high quality university programs for advanced careers

Universities are seen as the repositories of valuable human capital and higher education as a key sector for promoting social and economic development. The accelerating shift to high-technology and information economy forces the higher education system to prepare a competent workforce to meet changing demands for labour. (…)

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Virtual worlds in education: AVATAR, ST.ART and Euroversity action-research initiatives

This paper gives an overview of the educational potential of virtual worlds and draws on the results of the AVATAR  ‘Added value of teaching in a virtual world’, the ST.ART ‘Street Artists in a virtual space’ and the Euroversity projects, all funded with support by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. These action-research projects deal with the technological, pedagogical, cultural and motivational benefits of using virtual worlds in educational settings and provide a framework for the implementation of virtual worlds in education.

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From technology to relationships: the evolving profile of virtual laboratories

The increasing integration between humans and technology, the multiplying interaction modalities, the enhancement of realism, presence and immersivity; the opening to soft sciences and to new multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary fields; the relationships and cooperation element coming to the fore: these are the key issues of the huge ‘scientific research potential of virtual worlds’, as the title of a well-known Science article stated (Bainbridge, 2007). And these are also the core peculiarities of virtual laboratories of today.

Received: 16 May 2012
Revised: 3 June 2012

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WebLab-Deusto-CPLD: a practical experience

This paper shows the experience at the University of Deusto with the WebLab-Deusto-CPLD in the subject ‘Programmable Logic’ of the Faculty of Engineering in the field of Digital Electronics. Presented herein is a technical overview of the laboratory, and its characteristics.

Article first published in ‘iJOE’ – International Journal of Online Engineering’ V. 8 (2012), Special Issue 1: “´11″, February 2012, as open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons attribution Licence.

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GUIDE International Conference 2011: E-learning innovative models for the integration of education, technology and research

Rome, 18 – 19 November 2011

Arturo Lavalle, Università degli Studi “Guglielmo Marconi”, Rome, Italy

A brief overview

The shift from a traditional teaching model to an innovative way of providing education implies the modernization of the organizational structures within institutions and the development of ICT-mediated training processes able to efficiently merge pedagogy, technology and research.

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Human capacity building through the development of a structured university communication strategy in Algeria

Capacity building is the main objective of the Strategicom project (2010-2013), an EU-funded project under the TEMPUS programme, which, specifically, aims at enhancing the university officials´ competences, so as to enhance the quality of a structured university communication strategy in Algeria. After analysing successful communication models in 12 leading European universities, the identified best practices will be adapted and transferred to Algerian Universities. The project will culminate in a policy recommendation paper to be presented to the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education for its approval, that will become a tool for the reform of the Algerian higher education structure.
The transfer of European Best Practices to Algerian Universities relies on a proposal of highly qualified on-line and in-country courses. This is intended to increase the technical skills and knowledge, in the area of communication strategy and ICT, of the staff selected to be part of the newly formed communication department in Algerian universities.
The Project, led by Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, benefits from the support and involvement of the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and of the Research Center in Applied Economics and Development (CREAD), and relies on the international cooperation of five European and six Algerian higher education institutions.

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The inexact and separate philosophy of Economics: an interview with Daniel Hausmann

Daniel M. Hausman (Chicago, 1947) is currently Herbert A. Simon professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He attended Harvard College, where in 1969 he received a BA in English history and literature. After completing an MA in teaching at New York University while teaching intermediate school, he spent two years studying philosophy at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University (UK) before earning his PhD in philosophy in 1978 at Columbia University. Professor Hausman has taught at the University of Maryland at College Park, Carnegie Mellon University, and since 1988 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Most of his research has focused on methodological, metaphysical, and ethical issues at the boundaries between economics and philosophy, and he has been prominent in the development of philosophy of economics as a separate discipline. In collaboration with Michael McPherson, he founded the journal Economics and Philosophy and edited it for its first ten years. He also edited The philosophy of economics: an anthology (3rd edition, 2008). His most important books are Capital, profits, and prices: an essay in the philosophy of economics (1981), The inexact and separate science of economics (1992), Causal asymmetries (1998), and Economic analysis, moral philosophy, and public policy (co-authored with Michael McPherson, 2006). His latest book, Preference, value, choice, and welfare will be published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. He is currently working on a book on the measurement of health. In this interview, Professor Hausman offers some reflections on his approach to the philosophy of economics, and on various topics central to recent methodological discussions, such as the role of abstraction, idealizations, scientific representation, and causality in economics.

Interview originally published in “Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics”, V. 4 (Spring 2011), n. 1, pp. 67-82. Reprinted with permission.

This interview was conducted by Luis Mireles-Flores, PhD candidate at the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE), Erasmus University Rotterdam, and co-editor of EJPE.

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For a love of false consciousness: Adam Smith on the social origin of scarcity

For Americans, there can be few better lines in the history of philosophy than Locke´s cavalier assertion that ‘in the beginning all the world was America’ (Locke, 1992, p. 753). Taken out of context, it affirms our infamous ‘exceptionalism’ by effectively transforming our country into The Garden that we have always known it to be. Taken in context, it affirms our equally infamous anarcho-capitalism, for herein lies an intricate claim that, whenever not hemmed in by government, our country houses an eternal abundance. Government thwarts our easy access to bliss, casting us out of our Garden and into a world of artificial scarcity that demands endless toil. Thus, embedded within Locke´s logic lies the revolutionary possibility that social equality could be conjured forth in an instant, were we to simply wake up to the true abundance offered by the natural world. Scarcity, according to him, has been produced by mankind and was simply not present in antediluvian America. The foundational ideas of modern economics – supply and demand – turn tail in the face of a world wherein all necessities can be effortlessly plucked from the nearest tree. Given a garden of natural abundance, the equilibrium price of all goods drops to zero. Adam Smith, I will argue, picks up on this Lockean strand in The theory of moral sentiments, but morphs it in significant ways. In so doing, Smith clearly believes that society itself is co-constitutive with the creation of scarcity. For him, there is virtually no ‘natural’ scarcity, save for the market in one keystone good, with which I will conclude. Instead, scarcity is created by mankind in order to achieve very particular and cohesive social goals. Reopening the laissez-faire lineage of the social production of scarcity might not only help us to work through some foundational concepts in the dismal science, which, at least since Malthus, has famously and adamantly insisted that the world is constituted by natural scarcity; it might also allow us to move beyond certain prototypical impasses between the proverbial left and right, by showing that both sides of the political spectrum have a deep grasp of the social origins of inequality.

Article originally published in “Economic Sociology” V. 12 (2011), n. 3. Reprinted with permission.

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Latest news form GUIDE Association

After five years from its foundation, GUIDE Association is constantly enlarging its field of action through different initiatives and strategies.
The main reference points for the GUIDE community are the international meetings which offer participants coming from all over the world the possibility to share and exchange ideas on the latest research results obtained and experimented in the field of e-learning and its branches, and to define the new strategic development guidelines during the Association General Assemblies.

Digital Storytelling to promote reading in secondary schools: the READ IT project

Università  degli Studi ‘Guglielmo Marconi’ presented the READ IT project ‘Training teachers to make READing fun through digITal storytelling’ during the 4th International Conference on Digital Storytelling ‘CREATE-SHARE-LISTEN’ held in Lillehammer, Norway, on 5-7 February 2011. (…)

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Street artists in a virtual space

Information and communication technologies have great potential for knowledge dissemination, effective learning and the development of more efficient education services. The Information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process.
The present paper will give a general overview of a new integrated learning methodology that combines an e-learning platform and a 3D virtual world and that aims at encouraging students participation as well as creative teaching and learning. It will show how this new methodology has been applied through the project ST.ART in the European partner schools. The learning takes place within technology-supported community of learners involved in the creation as well as consumption of content.

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The future of “Geisteswissenschaften“ between Germany and France: talking with Pierre Monnet

Is there a logic of history? Is there, beyond all the casual and incalculable elements of the separate events, something that we may call a metaphysical structure of historic humanity, something that is essentially independent of the outward forms – social, spiritual and political – which we see so clearly? (Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, 1918. English translation. The Decline of the West, 1926)

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Effects of the tutor and of the recovery period on exchange dynamics in the forums of an e-learning course

A very important aspect of the ‘collaborative’ learning model is the interaction in the discussion Forum within e-learning platforms. Actually in this space participants can send their contributions (posts) thus solving their problems and questions, they express comments and increase their knowledge through their personal experiences (constructivist model). The figure that plays a major role in this area is the tutor who acts as the animator and facilitator of group interactive processes. This paper reports on the outcome of a quantitative analysis on the influence of tutor´s activity and ‘recovery periods’ on exchange dynamics in the forums of participants within a case study of a two-month e-learning course organised by MAIB.

Received: 22 October 2010
Revised: 17 November 2010

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Management and Panchtantra: a door ahead to wisdom in corporate world

When we think of innovation and creativity in India the first thought coming into our mind is the giant software Industry which through its cutting edge technology has created an aura in the global market.
But there is more which Indian legacy has in store, for the corporate world. India is having a rich heritage filled with fables and epics. In the today´s competitive world where uniqueness is the cue it becomes very important to understand the learning´s of this rich heritage and implement them in day to day functioning.

Received: 29 April 2011
Revised: 20 May 2011

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Added value of teaching in a virtual world

The lack of ICT use in teaching is a predominant issue in secondary schools throughout Europe. The AVATAR project (Added Value of teAching in a virTuAl world) provides an opportunity for both teachers and students to benefit from ICT skill development, social learning opportunities and a resource to help revive the traditional classroom environment, adding value to the learning process. V-learning actually promotes learning-by-doing that stimulates different learning styles and increases the level of student engagement in different subject matters through technology, discussion groups and labs.
This article describes how the project contributes to enhance the level of ICT use in education by providing secondary school teachers with relatively new methodological and pedagogical tools. Virtual worlds can be used as an innovative teaching tool that motivates and engages pupils and at the same time enhances their learning by incorporating a collaborative learning, a learning through reflection and a learning by doing approach. Virtual worlds offer opportunities for teachers to have radically different ‘lived experiences’ of educational systems and thus seemed to be the ideal vehicle for exploring alternative models of education.

Guide Association: perspectives on the regional and international activities

GUIDE Association continues to carry out a series of project and activities focused on both regional and global priorities, providing its members with continuing professional interaction and inter-institutional cooperation. In this connection, the first edition of the GUIDE Seminar on Virtual Higher Education dedicated to Latin America has obtained considerable results in detecting current issues and trends related to the development of virtual education in the region. The next Association appointment will be the GUIDE conference 2012 which aims, in a wider perspective, at fostering the exchange among international and global actors coming from both the academic and professional field.

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OEB online 6th international conference on technology supported learning and training

The OEB Conference Berlin, December 1-3 2010, allowed participants to share the innovations in the e-learning sector, debate about the ethical and social impact of the new technologies, acknowledge the current challenges for the virtual environments and discover the most recent developments in the professional field applications.

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The European Union from the Information Society to the pervasive Learning: the role of ICT

Education is not simply a technical business of well-managed information processing [..] It is a complex pursuit of fitting a culture to the needs of its members and of fitting its members and their ways of knowing to the needs of the culture. (J.S. Bruner, 1996, p. 43)

The Bruner’s statement provides the right key to understand the ongoing irreversible turning-point of the EU, which is clearly evident in official documents and community initiatives: from the dominance of the Information Society paradigm, strongly characterized by technological and technocratic concepts and based on a cybernetic notion of the information, to the raise of education and learning considered as pervasive basis of the European society, where ICT plays an essential role.

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Top-Ten IT Issues, 2010

Administered by the EDUCAUSE Current Issues Committee, the electronic survey was conducted in December 2009.1 Survey participants – typically CIOs of EDUCAUSE member institutions – were asked to select the five most-important IT issues out of a selection of twenty-seven in each of four areas: (1) issues that are critical for strategic success; (2) issues that are expected to increase in significance; (3) issues that demand the greatest amount of the campus IT leader´s time; and (4) issues that require the largest expenditures of human and fiscal resources.

© The authors. Article first published in ‘EDUCAUSE Review’, V. 45 (2010), n. 3, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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Self-directed learning processes, motivation towards learning and digital technologies

The conference ‘Efficacité des dispositifs de formation ouverte et à distance’, which was held at Le Mirail University, Tolose (15th -16th January 2009) focusing on the technologies needed to support self-directed learning processes and practices, officially opened a new horizon in the educational research concerning self-training. Anyway it doesn´t coincide neither with digital literacy nor with the acquisition of digital skills. Self-directed learning activities achieved thanks to the use of technologies have to be distinguished from the consciousness of each subject involved as main actor in the learning process and in the different training contexts, activating this way deep motivation processes.

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