About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7524-7532
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0716

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


M. Cronin, F. Altimari, M. Caria

University of Calabria (ITALY)
The PerLE digital platform was created at the University of Calabria to offer a blended learning support for students. It is an open source dynamic online learning environment, offering course materials exploiting a modularity based approach to learning management systems. It aims to assist students preparing for examinations, emphasising learning and collaboration in the spirit of community of practice. Student-centred involvement in collaboration, interoperability and creativity is essential to development of digital literacy and creative learning. PerLE therefore emphasises employment and integration of web tools and social media so that learners can share and showcase. Our project involved a group of 200 students in Educational Sciences attending a Computer Workshop course. In a preceding experimental phase, in 2015, with a view to gauging students’ responses to working with the platform, we had proposed a project entitled perledicreatività, inviting them to reflect on the relationship between creativity and study and to create a digital artefact on a topic of their choice, to be uploaded to the perledicreatività Google+ community. Participants were invited to comment the contributions of their companions and vote for them. The response was enthusiastic and students manifested a strong inclination to use the platform and its digital tools, so we decided on a more pedagogically structured approach for 2016, offering a more formal blended learning support across five weeks of work. This time, the invitation was to participate in perledicreatività using digital storytelling, producing a video on a topic related to course topics, adopting a step by step procedure. PerLE provided a structure using a MOOC model for presentation of activities and the study and practice materials. The idea was to exploit the advantages of a paced MOOC-style presentation format without having the disadvantage of not being able to “follow” students because of their numbers. Typically, a MOOC offers active engagement through the use of interactive media and PerLE is substantially equipped for this. It is also able to offer support in the blended learning scenario and to create the opportunity to engage in evaluative feedback. Students were asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire responding to questions on: structural efficacy of the course, clarity of objectives, response to learning needs, topic interest and efficacy, teaching methodology, usefulness of storytelling for this and other courses, and usefulness of peer to peer collaboration. They were also asked to provide open comment on the strong and weak point of the course. Results show considerable appreciation for paced delivery, support availability, quick, easy contact with tutors through PerLE, the opportunity to use specific tools and software and concomitant acquisition of digital literacy skills. Students indicated their enjoyment of the collaborative community spirit that the initiative encouraged, although a number also criticised the peer to peer evaluation, considering it to be not objective, suggesting a desire for “expert” evaluation, indicating that mature community of practice collaboration will require further encouragement. Also, the blended learning flex model approach we adopt to encourage personalised learning would probably benefit from intensification of the tutoring, lab meetings and focused explanation already in place in our interpretation of a station rotation model.
author = {Cronin, M. and Altimari, F. and Caria, M.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0716},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0716},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7524-7532}}
AU - M. Cronin AU - F. Altimari AU - M. Caria
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0716
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7524
EP - 7532
ER -
M. Cronin, F. Altimari, M. Caria (2016) PERLEDICREATIVITA’: BLENDED LEARNING ON A MOOC MODEL, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7524-7532.