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Friday, April 27, 2007

Take a look at these papers, appears 19.04.2007, in edition of European Journal of Open and Distance Learning.

Design of Virtual Tutoring Agents for a Virtual Biology Experiment
By Jian Qing Yu, David J. Brown and Ellen Billett

Virtual learning environments (VLEs) may possess many advantages over traditional teaching methods in skills training that offer empowerment of constructing the skills by freely exploring a VLE. However, a conflict between the free exploration and ensuring the learning tasks tackled emerges in the learning process.

Virtual Laboratory

A strategy to balance the conflict is to employ virtual tutoring agents to scaffold the learning tasks. This research has been carried out to investigate the issues of design and utility of a virtual tutoring agent system in a VLE to allow higher education (university based) students to practise immunology laboratory experiments, which simulates a well known immunochemical assay in the Life Sciences area, namely a Radio Immunoassay.
This paper discusses the classification of category of the virtual agents in a VLE and focuses on the design of tutoring agents. Three types of the tutoring agents have been selected and implemented in the Radio Immunoassay simulation. The considered points in programming the virtual tutoring agents and their tasks are presented in this paper. A formative evaluation studies have been carried out and discussed to verify the designed virtual tutoring agents are satisfied to the target students' needs.

VIRCLASS: the Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe - a toolkit for innovation?
By Grete Oline Hole and Anne Karin Larsen

Through a student-centred virtual learning environment students and teachers in Europe cooperate, exchange information of social work in their own country, and increase their digital literacy. In VIRCLASS students from 15 countries collaborated in their learning process by sharing knowledge with peer-students. Teachers from eight European countries were involved in the course. With a common curriculum, a study-program rewarded with 15 ECTS credits and using A-F marks many of the elements from the Bologna-process are met.