About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1695-1700
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain


Y. Parchemal1, G.L. Baron2

1University Paris Descartes (FRANCE)
2EDA laboratory - University Paris Descartes (FRANCE)
Many e-learning platforms used in higher education mainly offer asynchronous services (document storing, forums, emails, questionnaires) but offer few offer facilities for synchronous exchange (in particular, informal). A specific platform, PLENADIS, emphasizing synchronous exchanges for collaborative work and instant messaging (chats, whiteboards and shared editors) has therefore been developed in order to complement classical course interactions. This platform has been used for several years at the University Paris Descartes, both for distance training or classical training. The following lines aim at presenting its goals and functionalities and at analyzing its usage.
Main goals.
The first goal is to allow collaborative work within a group (students, faculty members, administration staff). There are many work groups in a university: some of them are directly linked to the courses : lectures, tutorials or student projects. Others are related to organizational problems and concern faculty members and administrative staff. The PLENADIS platform allows all these groups to work online in a collaborative way by giving each of them a specific space. Each space is made up of a welcome panel, an access to the members list, forums and to a synchronous area with a chat, a whiteboard and a shared editor.
The second goal is to facilitate private communications between individual persons. PLENADIS is also an instant messaging system which allows every member of the platform to communicate with each others. It is a semi informal instant messaging service, open to all actors of teaching and learning. For example, students can contact the secretary for asking an administrative information, contact a teacher for a pedagogical advice or other students for working purposes or for chatting.
Platform usage
The platform has been operational for 7 years. It has known two main versions, the current one dating back from 2007. We have therefore many data about its usage,both qualitative, and quantitative. The following observations will serve as a basis for our intervention.
Faculty members firstly use the platform in order to communicate documents and information to their students, to get back exercises, and in order to print the member list used for the calling-up of the tutorial groups. A few persons only use the synchronous facets of the platforms. Some are chatting with others members (giving advice to a student for example), others use the platform during the practical lessons for the correction of the exercises.
Two years ago we chose to present the platform at the beginning of the year to all students. As a result, many students have understood its potential and use it for getting the documents related to their courses (more than 1000 are using it this year). The forums are used for asking or exchanging information with others students has also known a raise. For example, in the past month, just about 500 posts had been sent on public forums .
Students also use the platform as an instant messaging system for communicating with others students. Some members of the administrative staff even use the chat for communicating with students. The number of exchanged messages depends on the day and varies between one hundred messages and two thousands
PLENADIS occupies a very specific place in the faculty. It has been extensively used for several academic years and therefore fulfills a need.
author = {Parchemal, Y. and Baron, G.L.},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1695-1700}}
AU - Y. Parchemal AU - G.L. Baron
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 1695
EP - 1700
ER -
Y. Parchemal, G.L. Baron (2010) PLENADIS : A COLLABORATIVE WORK PLATFORM FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 1695-1700.