Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier





The COVID-19 pandemic has forced educational institutions to adopt online tools in order to conduct emergency remote teaching and make efficient use of virtual learning contexts. However, although these contexts may serve to improve teaching processes, a number of issues must be taken into consideration in order to ensure quality student learning. We analyze a computer programming module taught during the first year of a Computer Science degree course at a Chilean university. The module is taught online using a Learning Management System (LMS). We discuss the type of participation required in order to achieve the construction of more complex knowledge in virtual contexts, including the need for students to formulate and post longer messages. We also emphasize the need for these messages to be simple and precise. Furthermore, we observe a relationship between the final grades obtained by students and the levels of information and quality of the messages that they post. Our results reveal that students with a positive perception of their own learning are not necessarily those who contribute to the highest level. Finally, we discuss the need for particular attention to be paid to the guidelines that define activities, as these have a considerable influence on the generation of dialogue that is conducive to the construction of new knowledge.