Implementation, use and analysis of open source learning management system “Moodle” and e-learning for the deaf in Jordan

Khwaldeh, Sufian M. I. A (2011) Implementation, use and analysis of open source learning management system “Moodle” and e-learning for the deaf in Jordan. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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When learning mathematics, deaf children of primary school age experience difficulties due to their disability. In Jordan, little research has been undertaken to understand the problems facing deaf children and their teachers. Frequently, children are educated in special schools for the deaf; the majority of deaf children tend not to be integrated into mainstream education although efforts are made to incorporate them into the system. Teachers in the main stream education system rarely have knowledge and experience to enable deaf students to reach their full potential.

The methodological approach used in this research is a mixed one consisting of action research and Human Computer interaction (HCI) research. The target group was deaf children aged nine years (at the third grade) and their teachers in Jordanian schools. Mathematics was chosen as the main focus of this study because it is a universal subject with its own concepts and rules and at this level the teachers in the school have sufficient knowledge and experience to teach mathematics topics competently. In order to obtain a better understanding of the problems faced by teachers and the deaf children in learning mathematics, semi-structured interviews were undertaken and questionnaires distributed to teachers. The main aim at that stage of research was to explore the current use and status of the e-learning environment and LMS within the Jordanian schools for the deaf in Jordan. In later stages of this research, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were used again to ascertain the effectiveness, usability and readiness of the adopted e-learning environment “Moodle. Finally pre-tests and post-tests used to assess the effectiveness of the e-learning environment and LMS. It is important to note that it was not intended to work with the children directly but were used as test subjects.

Based on the requirements and recommendations of the teachers of the deaf, a key requirements scheme was developed. Four open source e-learning environments and LMS evaluated against the developed key requirements. The evaluation was based on a software engineering approache. The outcome of that evaluation was the adoption of an open source e-learning environment and LMS called “Moodle”. Moodle was presented to the teachers for the purpose of testing it. It was found it is the most suitable e-learning environment and LMS to be adapted for use by deaf children in Jordan based on the teachers requirements. Then Moodle was presented to the deaf children’s to use during this research.

After use, the activities of the deaf and their teachers were used and analysed in terms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) analysis. The analysis includes the readiness, usability, user satisfaction, ease of use, learnability, outcome/future use, content, collaboration & communication tools and functionality.

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