1 Polytechnic of Porto / ISCAP (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade Portucalense (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 835-843
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1191
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
The 21st century could be declared to be the age of information and communication technology, in the holistic perspective. When we observe the education sector, it has undergone some changes, both from a technological and a social point of view.

As a matter of fact it is assumed that:
(i) The educational model based on fixed time, place, curriculum, and pace is not enough in today’s society and knowledge-based economy. The education system must change in order to address the diversity of students’ backgrounds and needs;
(ii) Educational equity is not about equal access and inputs, but ensuring that a student’s educational path, curriculum, instruction, and schedule is developed in order to meet students’ needs;
(iii) Personalized learning requires a leveraging of modern technologies enabled by smart e-learning systems, developed to track and manage the learning needs of all students, and to provide access to learning content, resources, and learning opportunities which are not all available within the traditional classroom.

This is the time when more people everywhere are involved in acquiring new knowledge and skills. The “new” world citizens’ people feel “naked” without the use of technology.

Additionally, the lack of interaction in traditional classes is a well-known problem with a long history of research. The interaction between teachers and students is essential for learning in accordance with teaching theories, resulting in increased adoption of e-learning platforms and less frequently, of web 2.0 services. We can to do a comparison in the context of distance education between e-learning, m-learning, and u-learning, taking into account the Physical devices, Computation and communication and finally Learning features. The Physical devices start with wired (e-learning), evaluate to wireless (m-learning) and finally disappeared (u-learning). When Computation and communication feature are analyzed there is an effective distinction between distinctive (e-learning) and blurry (u-learning) learning. As for the last feature, it is possible to confine it to the single desk (e-learning) or go until it becomes dynamic/flexible (u-learning).

The platforms designed for e-learning, open source or commercial are more focused on the design of the needs of institutional progress or activities concerning teaching and learning; whereas Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is an approach to integrate different practices and resources (web 2.0 services) to address individual learning needs. This approach is more flexible and aims to focus on the needs of students. Although PLE includes the integration of a number of web 2.0 technologies and envisages the creation of a personal learning centre, where content is used and reused according to students’ needs and interests, it still relies on what teacher makes at students’ disposal and not empowering the student to create his / her own environment. In this paper, we propose a model where all the learning and x-learning elements – where x could be applied to e-learning, m-learning, and u-learning – are present and where the student is the focus and the one who decides what should be included in this learning environment in order to create a Customized xLearning Environment (xCLE). The idea behind this model is to help students to develop their own learning environment using a set of tools and services that cover the functions in their learning process and customise their learning environment.
e-learning, adaptative Learning, Higher Education.