University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 5521-5529
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0239
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
E-learning is defined as a type of interactive learning, where learning content is available online and automatic feedback of student learning activities is assured. Online real-time communication may or may not be included, but the focus of e-learning resides more on the content of learning than on the communication between students and tutors (Keegan & Dias, 2002). This paper covers e-learning in its varied aspects. The terminology of the word e-learning is firstly discussed, as well as its respective definitions and concepts. The main cornerstones in the development of e-learning as a teaching method are presented, then extended to the areas of b-learning and m-learning. This section also describes the historical aspects and the generations which arose from Distance Education. Furthermore, the technical and pedagogical approaches to e-learning are related. A table is subsequently presented, displaying the advantages and challenges of the e-learning practice. Finally, it analyses the e-learning system, together with new platform trends, namely the Massive Open Online Courses. Distinct from the traditional principle of VLEs, which serve to support classroom courses or closed courses and are fully virtualized, MOOCs appear with the goal of extending these courses via the network, and are therefore open to all users who intend to take the course. This concept of "open", according to (Matar, 2013) is already quite problematic because in many cases, a fee is charged if the student wishes to receive a certificate of participation. On the other hand, the knowledge remains open, even though, according to Matar, (2013), there is a tendency of some MOOC to start charging a fee is in a not too distant future.

In addition to traditional teaching materials such as videos, readings and problem sets, MOOC have helped to build a community for students and faculty forums. Academic Room, Coursera, EDX, Erasmus EU's WiredAcademic, Udacity, are some examples of MOOC platform’s (Gonçalves, 2013). Although there are several definitions for the same concept, they have three points in common: Free: anyone can sign up for free; Scale: it supports a large number of participants (large scale courses); Simplicity: you only need a teacher to coordinate all the information found on the respective network.

Within the e-learning courses offered on platforms in MOOCs format have become promising trend. Despite great challenges to overcome in both aspects Pedagogy, as in the area of Human Machine Interface (HCI) whose purpose is to make the interaction more accessible and easy to use, to increasingly heterogeneous users, for example, older people and or disabled.
e-learning, b-learning, m-learning, technical and pedagogical approaches, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).