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Claroline, an Internet Teaching and Learning Platform to Foster Teachers’ Professional Development and Improve Teaching Quality : First Approaches Article

, , , Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

AACE Journal Volume 17, Number 4, ISSN 1065-6901 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA

Abstract

This paper describes the findings of a survey of Higher Education teachers and students using the eLearning platform Claroline. This survey is enhanced by direct observation of the tools really used by teachers. Claroline was initially developed (in 2001-2002) to sustain and foster pedagogic innovation at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). It is now used across the world. In Louvain-la-Neuve, Claroline is mostly used in hybrid configurations, mixing traditional lectures and online use of technological tools. The survey aimed to identify the changes that teachers and students observe in their own courses when they work with this platform. We find that teachers who make most use of this virtual campus have evolved in their pedagogic practices towards more innovative or active learning methods. The more they use the platform, the more the richness of the pedagogic setup increases, and the more their perceptions of learning evolve. We also investigate the changes which students observe when their teachers use this pedagogic platform. The catalytic effect of ICT in producing more active learning methods is often discussed. This investigation confirms this suggestion, showing that a significant proportion of students observe pedagogical changes, in particular an increase in interactions between students, in learning considered as a research process, and in the active engagement of students in their learning. After a presentation of the pedagogic principles underlying the development of the Claroline platform, this paper describes the most interesting findings of this study and presents some differences between teachers’ and students’ perceptions.

Citation

Lebrun, M., Docq, F. & Smidts, D. (2009). Claroline, an Internet Teaching and Learning Platform to Foster Teachers’ Professional Development and Improve Teaching Quality : First Approaches. AACE Journal, 17(4), 347-362. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

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