Category Archives: 2015/1-2


Waiting for the X International GUIDE Conference “Optimizing Higher Education for the Professional Student: A balance of flexibility, quality and cultural sensitivity”, to be held from the 16th to the 18th of September 2015, the new issue of Formamente presents recent articles concerning the incremental relationship between technological innovation and online education.

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New results on νμ → ντ appearance with the OPERA experiment in the CNGS beam

The OPERA neutrino experiment is designed to perform the first observation of neutrino oscillations in direct appearance mode in the νμ → ντ channel, via the detection of the τ-leptons created in charged current ντ interactions. The detector, located in the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory, consists of an emulsion/lead target with an average mass of about 1.2 kt, complemented by electronic detectors. It is exposed to the CERN Neutrinos to Gran Sasso beam, with a baseline of 730 km and a mean energy of 17 GeV. The observation of the first ντ candidate event and the analysis of the 2008-2009 neutrino sample have been reported in previous publications. This work describes substantial improvements in the analysis and in the evaluation of the detection efficiencies and backgrounds using new simulation tools. (…)

@ The authors. Article first published in JHEP11 (2013) 036, and erratum JHEP04 (2014) 014, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0),

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Learning innovation: a framework for transformation

Learning with and through technological enhancements operates in a landscape unrecognizable only a few years ago. Focusing on Higher Education, this article shows how to capture and model complex strategic processes that will move the potential of online and blended learning in universities to new stages of development. It offers the example of a four quadrant model created as a framework for an online and blended learning innovation strategy, and its successful implementation in practice.

Article first published in “Eurodl”, V. (2014), n. 2
Reprinted with permission.

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Trends in distance education research: A content analysis of journals 2009-2013

This study intends to explore the current trends in the field of distance education research during the period of 2009-2013. The trends were identified by an extensive review of seven peer reviewed scholarly journals: The American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE), Distance Education (DE), The European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (EURODL), The Journal of Distance Education (JDE), The Journal of Online Learning and Technology (JOLT), Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (OL) and The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL). A total of 861 research articles was reviewed. (…)

Article first published in “International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning IRRODL”, V. 16 (2015), n. 1 as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Distribution License 4.0 (

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A novel real-time video transmission approach for remote laboratory development

Remote laboratories are an inevitable necessity for Internet enabled education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields due to their effectiveness, flexibility, cost savings, and the fact that they provide many benefits to students, instructors and researchers. Accordingly, real-time experiment live video streaming is an essential part of remote experimentation operation. Nevertheless, in the development of real-time experiment video transmission, it is a key and difficult issue that the video is transferred across the network firewall in most of the current remote laboratory solutions. To address the network firewall issue, we developed a complete novel solution via HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol and FFMPEG that is a powerful cross-platform command line video transcode/encoding software package on the server side. In this paper, a novel, real-time video streaming transmission approach based on HLS for the remote laboratory development is presented. (…)

Article first published in “iJOE International Journal of Online Engineering”, V. 11 (2015), n. 1, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (

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Critical connections: personal learning environments and information literacy

Personal learning environments (PLEs) and critical information literacies (CILs) are two concepts that have been presented as responses to the challenges of the rich and complex information landscape. While both approaches support learners’ critical engagement with new information environments, each was developed within a different field. This paper connects and contrasts PLEs and CILs in order to explore the design of pedagogical responses to the information environment. Through a careful examination of PLE and CIL literature, the paper demonstrates that information literacy education intersects with the concepts and goals of PLEs. As such, the authors suggest that PLE scholarship informed by CIL scholarship, and vice versa, will yield a deeper understanding of modern learning contexts as well as a more holistic and responsive learner framework. (…)

Article first published in “Research in Learning Technology”, V. 23 (2015), and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) License (

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Cogent: a case study of meaningful gamification in education with virtual currency

This paper analyzes students’ experience with Cogent, a virtual economy system used throughout the 4 years of a B.S. degree in a Technology major. The case study explains the rules of the Cogent system and investigates its effectiveness to motivate students to learn. Using focus groups and interviews, we collected qualitative data from students about their experience and perceptions of Cogent. The results indicate that Cogent played an encouraging and motivational role for these students and suggest potential for the successful design and implementation of meaningful gamification systems to promote student motivation and engagement within an educational context. (…)

Article first published in “iJET – International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning”, V. 10 (2015), n. 1, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (

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Collaborative learning and 3D virtual worlds: two experiences in a new didactic perspective

Nowadays teachers and trainers pay attention to the research and the experimentation of innovative pedagogical tools and approaches, such as simulation and 3D virtual world in order to improve the learning capacity of their students. Sometimes they invest time and financial resources to manage their updating courses, especially about how new technological potentialities can be exploited and integrated into their mainstream teaching methods. Also the use of different learning environments apart from the traditional class can stimulate the learning processes creating more educational opportunities and favoring the development of other approaches, such as collaborative learning.

This type of learning approach is represented by a situation where two or more individuals learn or try to learn something together aimed to the building of a common knowledge. Unlike the individual learning, people engage themselves in a collaborative learning process in order to capitalize on each other’s resources and competences. More specifically, the collaborative learning model is based on knowledge that can be constructed within a community in which members interact actively through sharing experiences and assuming asymmetric roles. In other terms, the collaborative learning refers to methodologies and specific environments where the students engage in a common task in which each individual depends on each other and is responsible for the others.

This article intends to describe two different practical experiences derived from TALETE and AVATAR projects on the use of 3D virtual worlds as learning environments to facilitate the collaborative learning among students.

Received: 6 May 2015
Revised: 15 May 2015

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International GUIDE Conferences: Buenos Aires and beyond

The IX International GUIDE Conference, held in Buenos Aires from 6th to 8th May 2015, has seen the participation of outstanding universities coming from numerous countries of Latin America (Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela) as well as from USA, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Italy and UK.

The Conference focused on different topics, ranging from the comparison between traditional and distance education to relevant social themes, such as digital inclusion, e-citizenship and online education accessibility. (…)

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