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Enhancing e-Learning content by using Semantic Web technologies

Herminio Garcia-Gonzalez, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo, MPuerto Paule-Ruiz

Transactions on Learning Technologies. Volume: 10, Issue: 4, pp. 544 - 550 (2017)


We describe a new educational tool that rely on Semantic Web technologies to enhance lessons content. We conducted an experiment with 32 students whose results demonstrate better performance when exposed to our tool in comparison with a plain native tool. Consequently, this prototype opens new possibilities in lessons content enhancement.

Music learning in preschool with mobile devices

MPuerto Paule-Ruiz, Víctor Álvarez-García, Juan Ramón Pérez-Pérez, Mercedes Álvarez-Sierra & Félix Trespalacios-Menéndez

Behaviour & Information Technology. Volume 36, Issue 1, pp. 95-111 (2017).


Mobile and game-based learning are novel approaches characterised by the use of mobile devices and enabling learning anywhere and at any time. In this paper, we share an experience-based design and a pilot study to introduce music learning in preschool education. SAMI (Software for music learning in early childhood education) is a mobile application consisting of four games which main objectives are ear training, sound discrimination and music composition. The pilot study carried out in a real-life setting with third-year kindergarten children provides empirical data about music learning outcomes and compares an experimental group of children using SAMI with a control group which follows the traditional Montessori bells method. Our study results reveal a number of key findings for the design of preschool mobile games and the potential of using mobile technologies for music learning in early childhood.

You can try the app used in this research

Specialized Intervention Using Tablet Devices for Communication Deficits in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

David Cabielles-Hernandez; Juan Ramon Perez-Perez; MPuerto Paule-Ruiz; Samuel Fernandez-Fernandez

IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. Volume:10 Issue:2, pp. 182-193 (2017)


New possibilities offered by mobile devices for special education students have led to the design of skill acquisition software applications. Advances in mobile technologies development have made progress possible in helping teachers with autistic students modelling and evaluation. “Chain of Words” theoretical basis is the autism inventory known as IDEA (Inventory of Autism Spectrum Disorders). Our application is based on the functional area of communication. Tests carried out in educational institutions using “Chain of Words” have shown that it is an adequate intervention supporting tool for such deficits. In addition, teacher can customize task contents according to each child’s characteristics; thus allowing a more personal intervention within the communication field.

Ariane: A Web-Based and Mobile Tool to Guide the Design of Augmented Reality Learning Activities

Victor Alvarez, Juan Ramón Pérez-Pérez, MPuerto Paule and Sara de Freitas

Proceedings of 15th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, mLearn 2016, At Sydney, Australia; October 24-26, 2016

Ariane is an authoring tool that guides the design of augmented reality (AR) learning activities. Developed to support instructional designers and practitioners in the design of AR learning experiences with a strong focus on learning design and student learning. In Ariane, users are encouraged to consider and specify factors including the use of context, task design and assessment criteria. In this work we present the rationale for the toolkit and we describe the software design and implementation. We provide an example of a learning activity design created using Ariane and discuss recent progress and future work.

Adaptation in E-Learning Content Specifications with Dynamic Sharable Objects

Ignacio Gutiérrez, Víctor Álvarez, M. Puerto Paule, Juan Ramón Pérez-Pérez and Sara de Freitas

Systems 2016, 4(2), 24

Indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI - Web of Science)


Dynamic sophisticated real-time adaptation is not possible with current e-learning technologies. Our proposal is based on changing the approach for the development of e-learning systems using dynamic languages and including them in both platforms and learning content specifications thereby making them adaptive. We propose a Sharable Auto-Adaptive Learning Object (SALO), defined as an object that includes learning content and describes its own behaviour supported by dynamic languages. We describe an example implementation of SALO for the delivery and assessment of a web development course using Moodle rubrics. As a result, the learning objects can dynamically adapt their characteristics and behaviour in e-learning platforms.

Students' LMS interaction patterns and their relationship with achievement: A case study in higher education

Rebeca Cerezo, Miguel Sánchez-Santillán, M. Puerto Paule-Ruiz, J. Carlos Núñez

Computers & Education, Volume 96, Pages 42–54 (May 2016).


The use of Learning Management Systems has grown exponentially in the last several years and has come to have a strong effect on the teaching-learning process, particularly in higher education. The present study intends to examine students' asynchronous learning processes via an Educational Data Mining approach using data extracted from the Moodle logs of students who were grouped according to similar behaviors regarding effort, time spent working, and procrastination. The behaviors were then matched with different levels of achievement.

First, the different patterns of students' involvement in the learning process in a Learning Management System were clustered. Second, the different variables selected from the Moodle records were studied to see if they were equally suitable for the configuration of student clusters. Third, the relationships between those patterns to students' final marks were examined.

After analyzing the log data gathered from a Moodle 2.0 course in which 140 undergraduate students were enrolled, four different patterns of learning with different final marks were found. Additional results showed that there are variables more related to achievement and more suitable to group the students on the basis of which the different groups were characterized, namely, two Task Oriented Groups (socially or individually focused) and two Non Task Oriented Groups (procrastinators or non-procrastinators). These results have implications in the design of interventions for improving students' learning processes and achievement in LMSs.

The procrastination related indicators in e-learning platforms

Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Riestra-González, M., Sanchez-Santillan, M. & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Journal Universal Computer Science, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 7-22. (January 2015).


In general, research confirms that learning is more effective when students obtain feedback regarding their learning progress. Currently, new versions of e-learning platforms include indicators that provide some static feedback mechanisms and help both learners and educators in planning their learning strategies. This paper explains the usage of indicators in current e-learning systems, generates a taxonomy for their classification, and studies their influence on student performance. Also, it provides a study which is based on the combination of a user-based evaluation process that facilitates data collection and data mining algorithms to infer association rules between learning variables and performance. The results highlight how procrastination influences negative learning performance and how time-related indicators are tightly coupled with students’ performance in e-learning platforms.

MeL: a dynamic adaptive model of the learning process in eLearning

Miguel Sanchez-Santillan, MPuerto Paule-Ruiz, Rebeca Cerezo, Víctor Alvarez-García

Anales de Psicología. Vol 32, No 1 (2016)


The use of the Internet has been progressively integrated into our daily lives. This has also been true for all levels of education, where virtual learning environments have been the means by which teachers, students and educational institutions managed and distributed educational experiences. However, the present design of these systems make students have difficulties in deploying their meta-cognitive skills, in addition to producing a cognitive overload due to an inadequate content organization and navigation. Thus, it is necessary to provide learning platforms with a process that allows for the adaptation of these systems to students’ characteristics, needs and context in order to enhance the teaching-learning process. This paper describes an adaptive model for Learning Management Systems (LMSs) that using variables central to the learning process allows for the application of adaptive rules to the different types of contents and knowledge to be transferred and acquired. In practice, the resulting model allows to develop adaptive courses that support and promote learning and self-regulation in virtual learning environments.

DmTEA: Mobile learning to aid in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders

Cabielles-Hernández, D., Pérez-Pérez, J.R., Paule-Ruiz, M., Álvarez-García, V.M., Fernández-Fernández, S.

Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2014; Graz; Austria; 16 September 2014 through 19 September 2014

Best Student Paper award winner!


Mobile Learning is a teaching-learning methodology which has been developed successfully both inside and outside the classroom. Thanks to the several possibilities of mobile devices, it has been possible to use them with students with special educational needs thus giving rise to software applications focussed on competence acquisition on the students' part and offering such a high level of interaction that it could not be possible by using a PC. Advances in the development of mobile devices have made it feasible to go a step forward and help the teacher with the modelling and evaluation of this type of students. dmTEA is a mobile technology which allows both behaviour evaluation and modelling of students on the autism spectrum. It implements 12 activities - duly verified by experts - which are adapted to interaction with the mobile device within a specific context, the aim of which is to deal with student's disorders by observing learning processes and modelling his or her behaviour during task performance. dmTEA implementation in two studies, i.e. a student with severe autism and another student with moderate autism, has helped the teacher at the time of evaluating by offering him or her the necessary information to carry out any possible intervention.

Aprendizaje de la programación guiado por los errores de compilación (Spanish) / Learning programming driven compilation errors

Carlos Fernández-Medina, Juan Ramón Perez-Perez, Ma del Puerto Paule-Ruiz & Víctor Alvarez-Garcia

Actas de las XX Jornadas sobre la Enseñanza universitaria de la Informática (Jenui 2014) / Proceedings of the 20th Conference on University Teaching of Computer Science (JENUI 2014), Oviedo, Spain.

Studies on errors in programming activities have always been considered relevant among scientific communities. Thus, different approaches are ex-plored every year in national and international con-ferences about programming teaching and learning. All of these studies deal with the relationship between programming errors and bad habits in programming, in order to generate guidance for teachers in concepts where their students fail. However, these kinds of studies are conducted outside the students' natural programming process, which prevents teachers from receiving a feedback report in real-time.

We have created an eclipse plug-in, called COL-MENA, whose purpose is to recover compilation errors and warnings generated by the students during programming lessons. Moreover, this information is displayed in a specific portal where students can retrieve information about the errors, their solutions and different reports about individual and collective information, such as specific groups or sessions inside a subject. Students have the possibility to learn about the solution to their most common errors in the sys-tem or their top-10 error list. Through COLMENA, we aim to assist teachers and students with programming tips and ideas that gener-ate less errors and improve the teacher-learning process. This kind of information, previously discard-ed, allows us to gain a new perspective about the problems that users have in a specific practical lesson or in a whole subject.

Full version (in Spanish)

Voice interactive learning: a framework and evaluation

Paule-Ruiz, Mp., Álvarez-García, V., Pérez-Pérez, J.R. & Riestra-González, M.

Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (ITiCSE 2013), Canterbury, UK

Best paper award winner!


Multi-channel access to information has gained interest in the past years. Yet, the usage of alternative modes of interaction has not been extended into mainstream e-learning systems. This paper illustrates how the elements of a multi-channel learning framework can be identified and used in practice to enable complementary aural access to visual-only web-based environments. To complement these findings, this research proposes an evaluation method that considers usability and didactic effectiveness parameters to support the assessment of voice interactive learning solutions, and allows for the exploration of the meaning and measure of enabling voice interaction in traditional Internet-based learning systems. The results obtained from developing and evaluating audio features with postgraduate students from the University of Oviedo, allow us to present an analysis of the benefits and implications of following the proposed approach, and better understand the influence of voice interaction in e-learning.

Assistance in computer programming learning using educational data mining and learning analytics

Fernandez-Medina, C., Pérez-Pérez, J.R., Álvarez-García, V.M. y Paule-Ruiz, M. del P.

Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (ITiCSE 2013), Canterbury, UK


The learning of programming presents many difficulties for students. Nowadays, a number of software tools are available that enable students in programming courses to develop and exercise their knowledge and skills. However, these tools do not examine their work or provide students with indications on their learning process. In this paper we introduce a learning approach for programming based on the analysis of students' mistakes during practical lessons in programming subjects. This approach makes use of compiler messages to analyse their quantity and semantic value, and report the individual and comparative learning progress. This approach is illustrated in practice by a case study conducted in a class of undergraduate students of computer science. This study makes it possible to provide an analytic representation of reflective learning practice, giving us a better understanding on programming learning processes.

Voice interactive classroom: best practices and design strategies

Álvarez-García, V.M., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Riestra-González, M., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Concurrency And Computation: Practice And Experience, 24(16), 1963-1973. Jonh Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (2012)

DOI: 10.1002/cpe.2814

This paper provides an insight into the process of developing comprehensive voice-enabled and interoperable learning services. It provides a background on the Voice Interactive Classroom, a service-oriented architecture that enables cross-platform multichannel access to Internet-based learning. Strategies and practices for designing, developing, documenting and evaluating service-oriented applications are also presented, which allow aural access to existing e-learning platforms. In addition, it’s summarise the development of four voice-enabled learning services and report the findings obtained from evaluating their usability and didactic effectiveness. This research is intended to facilitate students and practitioners with planning, implementing and evaluating their own solutions.

Voice interactive classroom, a service-oriented software architecture for speech-enabled learning

Álvarez-García, V.M., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 33(5), 603-610. Elsevier (2010)


Software technology is creating a ubiquitous context for human living and learning in which new modes of interaction are gradually being incorporated. Speech-enabled software brings a new way of interacting with the Internet, but auditory access to web resources needs to be more broadly supported by software architectures. This paper introduces "Voice Interactive Classroom", a software solution that proposes a middleware approach to provide cross-platform multi-channel access to internet-based learning.

Adaptation in current e-learning systems

Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Fernandez-Díaz, M.J., Ortin-Soler, F., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Computer Standards & Interfaces, 30(1-2), 62-70. Elsevier (2008)


One key element to consider when developing e-learning systems is the adaptation of the system to the cognitive characteristics of the students. However, making this adaptation is not a simple process; it implies the study and conjunction of technical and pedagogical aspects.

This article was written from the point of view of a designer who, without being an expert on the cognitive elements, tries to design e-learning systems that include an adaptation for them. This article attempts to provide the answers to some design questions as a starting point to further develop e-learning platforms.

RSS-based learning using audio

Álvarez-García, V.M., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., van Dort, R., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals, 1(4), 74-85. (2010)

DOI: 10.4018/jhcitp.2010100105

Specifications such as RSS feeds are opening a new channel of communication for Internet-based learning, which gives a decentralized view of web resources while maintaining the privacy of teachers and students who are consulting the information. This philosophy can be used to create personalized learning tools in which users can take control of resources they want to have access to. In this regard, RSS is XML-based, which makes it easy to complement visual access with audio interfaces, adapting the feeds to different educational contexts and learning styles. This paper discusses the use of feed syndication to create personalized feed readers accessible in visual and voice formats.

Modelo de indicadores de aprendizaje para wikis (Spanish)

Prado-González, C., Prado-González, D., Díaz-Gil, A., Pérez-Pérez, J.R. & Álvarez-García, V.M.

Proceedings of the IX Multidisciplinary Symposium on Design and Evaluation of Digital Content for Education (SPDECE 2012), Alicante, Spain.

Actualmente el uso de las Wikis en los sistemas enseñanza-aprendizaje está en auge. Una de las ventajas de las Wikis es que estimulan la cooperación, comunicación y colaboración entre docentes y estudiantes. Este artículo se centra en el objetivo de facilitar a alumnos y docentes la realización de tareas didácticas y de aprendizaje en webs basadas en software de colaboración para creación de contenidos concretamente en las Wikis. Para conseguir este objetivo definimos un sistema de indicadores que orienta a los alumnos y facilita la labor de evaluación y tutorización a los docentes. Para la realización de este sistema se ha seguido un modelo de capas que describe la interacción entre un estudiante y un entorno de aprendizaje. También se plantea una evaluación con el objetivo de medir la usabilidad y efectividad didáctica del sistema de indicadores.

Author's version

COLMENA: Collaborative knowledge and user classification environment based on programming experience

Fernández-Medina, C., Pérez-Pérez, J. R., Paule-Ruiz, M. P., & Álvarez García, V. M.

Proceedings of the VIII Multidisciplinary Symposium on Design and Evaluation of Digital Content for Education (SPDECE 2011), Ciudad Real, Spain.

Nowadays, software developers use their acquired formation, expertise and an integrated development environment (IDE) as the only resources for improving the development of applications. This paper proposes a system called COLMENA which aims to assist software developers during their learning process. COLMENA is based on information retrieval over errors and warnings made by developers (in our academic context, students) and compares this information with the rest of the group’s in order to obtain a user’s programming level. Moreover, the system provides students with feedback about/on their most common errors and warnings.

Author's version

SALO: Sharable Auto-adaptive Learning Object

Gutiérrez-Menéndez, I., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies. Presented at the WEBIST 2011, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.

DOI: 10.5220/0003303103870390

New pervasive computing scenarios such as ubiquitous learning (u-learning) and mobile learning (mlearning) demands real time adaptation. Getting such adaptation couldn’t be possible with the current technologies. It is necessary a change in the development of pervasive e-learning systems using dynamic technologies and including them in both: platforms and e-learning content specifications. In this paper we define and develop the concept of Sharable Auto-Adaptive Learning Object (SALO) like a Learning Object which includes content and describe its behaviour thanks to dynamic languages. Such features allow it to change and include new resources and behaviour, in a dynamic way and using the user’s context at 'anytime, anywhere, from any device'.

Designing Case Studies for the Voice Interactive Classroom

Álvarez-García, V.M., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Riestra-González, M., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Eighth International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations (ITNG 2011) (págs. 667-672). IEEE

DOI: 10.1109/ITNG.2011.118

In this paper we present a design of case studies for a service-oriented middleware named Voice Interactive Classroom, which allows providing aural access to existing e-learning platforms. This research provides an insight into the process for designing, developing, documenting and evaluating research cases studies based on the middleware. In addition, we summarise the development of three voice-enabled learning services which address the experimental aspects of the design process. This research is intended to provide students and practitioners with indications they can use to plan, implement and evaluate case studies based on the proposed solution.

Unidroid, augmented reality applications for android at the University of Oviedo

Valero-Simancas, G., Álvarez-García, V.M., Pérez-Pérez, J.R., & Paule-Ruiz, M.P.

Proceedings of the IADIS international conference Mobile Learning 2011 (págs. 217-221).


Personal mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, are now easily found amongst college students, but few of the applications available for these devices are used in academic or educational settings. UniDroid is an academic research project for Android intended to help understanding how mobile computing and augmented reality technologies can positively affect the learning environment and campus life. This paper describes the background and development of five prototypes to address the integration of mobile augmented reality technologies at the University of Oviedo.

Plataformas de e-learning multicanales: Caso de estudio sobre Moodle (Spanish)

Riestra, M., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Álvarez-García, V.M., & Pérez-Pérez, J.R.

Presented at the VII Simposio Pluridisciplinar sobe Diseño y Evaluacion de Contenidos Educativos Reutilizables (SPDECE2010), Cádiz, España.

Building a collaborative learning environment based in Wiki

Pérez-Pérez, J.R., Paule-Ruiz, M.P., Labra-Gayo, J.E.

Current Development in Technology-Assisted Education (2006). Volume 2, pp. 1413-1416.

The collaboration is a methodology that allows to improve the ability of each team member that take part in the learning. It is very important the user be able to write and to share documents and to build links among their in a collaborative environment. The Wikis fits in these requirements. Wikis are a very simple tool that allows big groups to collaborate in the documents generation. We have introduced collaborative learning with Wikis in a pre-graduate course of computer science. To carry out this proposal we have used a blended learning methodology. The students have collaborated to write and develop the solutions of a lot of algorithmic problems using a Wiki. The proposal has obtained good results with good evaluation of the students, but we have learned good lessons for improving the methodology.

Adaptabilidad en los sistemas virtuales de formación (Spanish)

Gerrero, S., Pérez Pérez, J.R., Paule Ruiz, M.P.

Actas de las XI Jornadas de Enseñanza Universitaria de la Informática (Jenui 2005), pp. 53-59.

El incremento en el desarrollo de campus virtuales por parte de las universidades españolas hace que cada vez tomen más importancia los sistemas de formación a distancia, y la forma en que éstos son desarrollados con el fin de ofrecer a los alumnos un entorno de aprendizaje adaptado a sus necesidades.

Designing User Interfaces Tailored to the Current User’s Requirements in Real Time

González Rodríguez, M., Pérez-Pérez, J.R., Paule-Ruíz, M.P.

Computers Helping People with Special Needs. LNCS 3118. pp 69-75

Traditional design of user interfaces is based on a perfect knowledge of the user's interaction requirements for the target audience. This approach leads to user interfaces designed for a generic ideal user who doesn't exist at all. As a result, every user or the interface has to adapt his/her own user's interaction requirements to those of this ideal user. In a ideal scenario, there should be as many versions of the user interface as final users. Each of those versions would be designed to satisfy the user's interaction requirements of a single user. Under this approach, we have designed GADEA, a user interface management system able to design different versions of a user interface, on the fly, depending on the cognitive, perceptive and motive skills of each user of the application. This system observes the users as they perform common tasks, analyzing their behavior in order to determine their interaction requirements.