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A. Bustos, A. Engel, A. Saz, C. Coll Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN) Universitat d'Andorra (ANDORRA) abustos@ub

Alfonso Bustos

on 16 October 2012

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A. Bustos, A. Engel, A. Saz, C. Coll
Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
Universitat d'Andorra (ANDORRA) Design of a more flexible university environment which combines the virtual institutional environment with one that students create and customise based on their own interests and preferences, thereby giving them greater control over their own learning processes. THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF OUR PROPOSAL IS RELATED WITH THE USE OF A PLE PLATFORM IN ORDER TO PROMOTE INNOVATION IN
THE DESIGN OF HIGHER EDUCATION ENVIRONMENTS. We will present the selection and setup of the plug-in or tools for constructing the PLEs, the final structure constructed for a pilot group of students using the Elgg platform, and their assessment of the process as a whole. In this first stage we focus on the assessment of Elgg, an open source social networking platform, as a means to enable participants to create their own PLEs. ICT & Information Society
the Internet play a decisive role in the acquisition and development of many of the new skills.
PLEs are environments that combine individual learning spaces with collective spaces for learning in small groups and in multiple communities. Theoretical
framework PLE is a vision of the learner as an agent (a "prosumer") able to take control of their own learning, making decisions about what, how, when and where to learn at all times, and above all, who to learn with.

It emphasizes the need for permanent knowledge updates throughout the professional career and the need to adapt to the rapid and constant changes that characterize the digital age.

It extends the learning processes in formal education settings to all contexts and systems that provide learning opportunities for people – family, work, cultural institutions and so on. In this way, we can say that PLEs give expression to individuals’ learning ecologies PLE from the perspective of education Postgraduate course in Education Psychology. The optional module on the Master degree "Environments, tools and practices of virtual learning". 15 students (12 women and three men) and three teachers (two male, one female) Context &
participants Using this framework, we propose an innovative project which aims to replace this Moodle platform with one that incorporates the resources currently available and also allows users to (re) construct and (re) organise it as a personal work and learning environment. Open Source Social Networking Engine Elgg as a resource The public website Partial view of a participant’s desktop Plug-ins available for Groups View of a participant’s profile Results To create and manage their PLEs, students were explicitly advised to use the features that Elgg provides for the following:
seeking, organising, processing, sharing and disseminating information in groups of varying sizes;
creating spaces for individual work and learning, both public and private;
creating spaces for collective work and learning, both public and private;
incorporating inputs from other virtual spaces;
incorporating inputs from persons not connected to the module. We use three sources of information:
the structure of the PLEs built by the pilot group of students,
their responses to a questionnaire rating their overall impressions of the construction and use of PLEs which they completed at the end of the course, and
the comments during a classroom session evaluating the experience, also at the end of the course Structure of the PLEs built by the students Plug-ins most frequently activated Satisfaction Results
The extent to which the PLEs helped them learn to learn. The responses were clearly positive, with a mean score of 3.07.
Whether the PLEs helped them improve their own learning processes and strategies. the answers were mostly positive, with a mean score of 3.
The possible interest of building the MIPE-DIPE Community on the basis of PLEs. The responses were largely positive with a mean score of 4.07
Overall satisfaction with the technical performance of Elgg; 42% as low or very low, 35.7% as high. Assessment session
Technical performance of some of the Elgg plug-ins is very limited, particularly the forums plug-in.
The pages plug-in was criticised because it lacks a collaborative editor like wiki or GoogleDocs
The files plug-in files because it does not offer the possibility of organising documents into folders.
The lack of tools to customise the environment (e.g., different themes, colours, fonts, etc.). Via Elgg, students create their individual learning ecologies and establish synergies between different educational and professional contexts.

It allows users to create spaces for individual learning and for learning in small and large groups.

It creates an environment that combines individual and collective spaces that may be accessible only to colleagues, to the general public, or to particular people.

Moreover, Elgg offers easy access to a large range of tools that each user can activate and configure according to their preferences and needs. Conclusions The benefits offered are quite limited.
Moodle or Google Docs allow much more sophisticated tasks.

We found no activities or tools for sharing different non-formal educational and professional contexts, or the voices that are significant to them in these contexts.

We are more doubtful about the possibility of changing the organizational culture that pervades our universities: a culture which makes a clear distinction between knowledge and voices from " inside" and knowledge and voices from “outside”. Conclusions
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