Interactive Visualization Tools to Improve Learning and Teaching in Online Learning Environments

Interactive Visualization Tools to Improve Learning and Teaching in Online Learning Environments

Kirsi Kuosa (Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland), Damiano Distante (Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma Sapienza University, Rome, Italy), Anne Tervakari (Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland), Luigi Cerulo (Department of Science and Technology, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy), Alejandro Fernández (CIC, Faculty of Informatics, National University of La Plata, La Plata, Argentina), Juho Koro (Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland) and Meri Kailanto (Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2016010101
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Abstract

This paper presents two interactive visualization tools for learning management systems (LMS) in order to improve learning and teaching in online courses. The first tool was developed at the Intelligent Information Systems Laboratory (IISLab) at the Tampere University of Technology (TUT). The tool is used to analyse students' activity from automatically recorded user log data and to build interactive visualizations. They provide valuable insights into the learning process and participation of students in a course offered to teachers and students. The second tool was developed at the Unitelma Sapienza University. It extends navigation and search functionalities in the discussion forum of an LMS with a topic-driven paradigm. The tool analyses forum content and automatically identifies discussion topics. It then enhances the original forum with a topic-driven navigation structure and an interactive search graph. Both tools have been developed as plug-ins for the Moodle LMS, but their analysis processes and techniques can be adopted into any LMS.
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Recently, on-line education systems have become widespread tools adopted by both historical and newly founded educational institutions. E-learning and e-teaching are new contexts for education through which large amounts of information are generated and available to users worldwide. A large portion of the available information takes the form of free text without the structure required for automated knowledge retrieval.

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