The Learning Management System as a Social Mediator: a Story with a Happy Ending.



Learning is social and mediated, as argued by social constructivism. When learning groups gather very different people, this difference can be challenging. We had an Interpersonal Relationships course, a large class, around fifty students working collaboratively in groups where students from different degrees, academic years and ages, some of them deaf, tried, and to some extent were able, to communicate. We analyze this example of how diversity can be an asset and Moodle can act as a mediator. We were carrying out a participatory action research project within a blended learning environment supported by Moodle to develop collaborative and personal pedagogical strategies to improve the inclusion and engagement of higher education students in their own learning and evaluation. We have used content analysis of the online discussions held by the students, reflective descriptions of the classes, the students’ e-portfolios, and interviews with the students. The paper describes, from this project, the challenges and potential of using Moodle in a learning context where deaf students interact with hearing students and illustrates how Moodle can facilitate inclusion and the participation of the students.


blended-learning, diversity, higher education, inclusion, participation, social constructivism


Learning Management Systems


10th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL-2011, November 2011

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