Monitoring Students' Activity and Performance in Online Higher Education: A European Perspective

Monitoring Students' Activity and Performance in Online Higher Education: A European Perspective

Fernando Lera-López, Javier Faulin, Angel A. Juan, Victor Cavaller
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-786-7.ch008
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In this chapter the authors first explain the recently created European Higher Education Area and its implications over instructors’ and students’ roles. They also analyze how e-learning management systems are contributing to modify higher education around the world, and which are the benefits and the challenges associated to their use. In this new educational scenario, the authors discuss the importance of monitoring students’ and groups’ activity and performance, and some of the monitoring tools already available in the most popular learning management systems are reviewed. Then, after identifying the informational necessities of online instructors and students, the authors propose a data-analysis model to assist instructors by providing them with easy-to-understand and updated visual reports. Instructors can use these reports to classify students and groups according to their activity and learning outcomes, track their evolution, and identify those who might need immediate guidance or assistance.
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The European Higher Education Area

The Bologna declaration (Van der Wende, 2000) proposes the development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) which, in turn, involves a drastic harmonization –both in terms of compatibility as well as comparability– of university degrees among most European countries. According to the Bologna declaration, increasing the international competitiveness and employability of European citizens are some of the main goals to be promoted by the EHEA. Also, in the EHEA framework, it is emphasized the significant relevance of life-long learning processes and the need for a curricular development more clearly oriented to the requirements of the labor markets (Mas-Colell, 2003). In this context, the establishment of an academic system of credits, the ECTS system, introduces a common process to evaluate students work and activities.

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