POTENTIALITIES AND CAPABILITIES TO EXPLORE THE MOODLE PLATFORM IN PORTUGAL
In Portugal, the relatively recent development of Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (the so called Platforms Moodle) appeared associated with the implementation of the program e.escola, both in e-learning or b-learning modalities (Azevedo, 2001). The main desire of these platforms is to improve the flow of information between teacher and students in the period away from the classroom. It is, in short, a content management training that should be as much as possible, bilateral, frequently focused on solving the Home work.
These platforms moodle on the other hand, already have a long tradition of operating in Anglo-Saxon countries, particularly in the U.S.. In this context, it is worth noting, for instance, the interactive homework (eg, the widely known TIP's Teachers Involve Parents In Schoolwork) (Van Vorthis, 2004) where Moodle form the core of the all dynamic process, providing a plurality of applications and related functions. The first aspect stems from the proven advantage of such connection / extension of the strategy work of teachers to the family (see, for example McDermoth and Rothemberg, 2009; Brophy, 2000, Hirsch, 1998, etc.) This connection is even more relevant as we refer to students with lower academic performance (Bryan and Burstein, 2004), in particular, to develop a dual-feedback monitoring of the difficulties, progress, etc.. of these students (Cooper, Lindsay, and Nye, 1999; Van Vorthis, 2004) and because parents often feel that the kind of support they provide in compliance with the homework is inappropriate, inadequate or even wrong. In such cases calling teacher’ participation through the platform is fundamental. Indeed, Lee & Heyworth (2000), for example, found that when questions arise during the study, some students may have favored immediate assistance from their relatives. However, in most cases, students have to wait until the next lesson until they overcome their doubts. Now, since homework is flying on sets of concepts articulated the fact that some of them remain misunderstood can determine the structure of a learning process founded on incorrect grounds. On contrary, platforms can be a useful answer in a reasonable time.
Furthermore, analysis of the use of Moodle is still important because, in turn, there are studies that show that students who tend to make better use of these platforms are, in turn, those who achieve better outcomes (Bryan and Burstein, 2004).
Given the above, and taking into account the cultural specificities of our country, in particular those arising from the structure of our education system, we will:
1 - Confront the type of use that has been given to the Moodle platform among us with the U.S. experience;
2 - Identify sets of best practices in the use of ICT, reveal other less profitable, due to the confrontation between theory and practice;
3 - Propose measures for the development of the use of Moodle in Portugal considering, moreover, in respect to the use of moodle, the principal issues connected to the social class of students in order to improve their results.
In methodological terms, we worked with a sample of 24 teachers and 500 students from schools in Lisbon.