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Introducing time management services into Virtual communities and e-learning systems: A case study

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3 Author(s)
Colazzo, L. ; Dept. Comput. & Manage. Sci., Univ. of Trento, Trento, Italy ; Molinari, A. ; Villa, N.

Time is crucial in managing human relationships, especially when talking about communities of people: timetables govern most of our labor activities, our family rhythms, and the organization of our personal life. Strangely, time management have received a great attention in office automation software, like Project management tools, agendas, to-do lists etc, but has been totally forgot in what nowadays is the absolute dominator of human-computer interactions, i.e. social networks, and even in e-learning system. In this paper, we will present the main characteristics of services like meeting organization, shared agendas, shared calendars, task management and to-do lists services added to our virtual community platform, used in educational settings. They are not just a customization of existing similar services: the fact of being integrated and available inside the virtual community gives them many new possibilities of usage and usefulness for end-users. The scope of the virtual community and its well defined mission for participants (a classroom, a research group, a meeting, a secretariat etc) maximizes the benefits obtainable from the usage of these services inside the community with the other members. In the paper, these aspects will be presented together with the theoretical aspects related to time-based interaction among virtual communities. Some of these services will be presented in the details of their structure and in the great potential that could be expressed when used as a support to the virtual community life, like for example the task-list service, a quite sophisticated, CPM (critical path method)-compatible planner resembling project management software and used to plan, monitor and manage the activities of community members. The results of early experimentations on virtual learning communities composed by teachers, students and tutors will be illustrated.

Published in:

Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

4-6 April 2011