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Play, simulation and entertainment are the ICT properties that most promote learning

New map relates learning and information technologies

Researchers from the Department of Software Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática have developed a new map that is useful for relating learning theories and information technologies and discovering which information technologies promote learning. The research was presented by Pamela Catherine Flores Naranjo and Nelson Medinilla Martínez at the Fourth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning held in Valencia. It was included in the conference proceedings published by XPS (Xpert Publishing Services). Background Research into educational software has increased considerably recently, as evidenced by the number of conferences and workshops addressing this topic. It is equally clear that there is no reference system, map or chart for positioning research, and pinpointing relationships between research and existing links in applied learning theories. The research focused on two major areas: learning and information technologies. Learning was divided into two dimensions: learning theories and learning features. Information technologies also accounted for two dimensions: information technologies and information technology properties. The final map charts the relationships between these areas and their dimensions. This map answers the question, Which information technology properties promote learning features? This intersection visualizes that some attributes, such as play, simulation and entertainment, are the information technology properties that most promote learning features. Seventeen studies Seventeen studies related to information technologies and learning were gathered to validate the map. After several analyses comparing these papers against the map, important conclusions were extracted such as: Most studies focus on e-learning and motivation. The focus on e-learning is the result of the expansion of Internet-based teaching. The focus on motivation is due to the fact that lately scientists are starting to take into account emotions as an influential factor on learning. A noteworthy achievement of the research is that it has been able to evidence that many studies focus on educational software application development efforts but do not address learning theories. A general conclusion of this research is that learning and information technologies are not cohesive. On this ground, the two areas should be better related and linked.