Subject: Virtual Learning Environments

Scientific Area:



27 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Understanding that the audience is made up of teachers, social educators, educational administrators, other professionals interested to deepen education issues, this course aims at they are capable of the following: Conceptualize virtual learning environment;
2 - Recognize the importance of using ICT as learning tools;
3 - Understand the role that the use of ICT can play in pedagogical innovation;
4 - Understand virtual environments (supported by ICT) as contexts of learning;
5 - Analyse virtual learning environments in the light of Papert?s concept of microworld;
6 - Relate the use of virtual learning environments with constructionism;
7 - Relate the use of ICT with the creation of virtual environments characterized by intrinsic motivation and selfregulated and meaningful learning;
8 - Develop criteria for the evaluation of virtual learning environments.


1 - Virtual learning environments: concept and characteristics;
2 - Virtual teaching environments and virtual learning environments;
3 - Digital technologies, virtual learning environments and pedagogical innovation;
4 - Micro worlds and their characteristics: motivation, self­regulation and significant learning;
5 - Constructionism, virtual environments and micro worlds;
6 - Exploration of examples of virtual environments that are also micro worlds: Logo and variants; Lego Mindstorms, etc.
7 - Definition of criteria for the evaluation of virtual learning environments.


Aukrust, V. G. , Learning and Cognition in Education , Oxford: Elsevier
Gee, J. P. , Situated Language and Learning ­ A critique of traditional schooling , New York and London: Routledge
Christensen, C., Horn, M. & Johnson, C , Disrupting Class ­ How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns , New York: McGraw­Hill
Jonassen, D. H. , Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology ­ Second Edition , New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc
Jonassen, D. H. , Learning to Solve Problems A Handbook for Designing Problem­Solving Learning Environments , New York: Routledge
McDermott R., Snyder W. M. & Wenger E. , Cultivating Communities of Practice , Boston: Harvard Business School Press
Papert S. , Logo: computadores e educação , S. Paulo: Editora Brasiliense
Papert, S. , The children´s machine: Rethinking schools in the age of computer , New York: Basic Books

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The course is based largely on the ideas and authors studied in the course of Technology and Constructivist Pedagogy, also requiring a broad reconceptualization of the theories underlying pedagogical action. It also raises the question of incorporation of technology as a central element of the discussion, and must take into account the main implications of this merger, including false expectations, dead ends and the conditions in which technology can be a tool of pedagogical innovation. It is expected of learners autonomy and participation, including by helping to build and substantiate the evaluation criteria that can be applied to virtual learning contexts supported by ICT. The assessment focuses on the drafting of an individual written work with a scientific paper format, for the substantive definition of evaluation criteria and their application to a particular virtual learning context.