Open Access

Log Analysis in a Virtual Learning Environment for Engineering Students

  • Gilles Lavigne1Email author,
  • Genoveva Gutiérrez Ruiz1,
  • Lewis McAnally-Salas1 and
  • Javier Organista Sandoval1
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12030113

DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v12i3.2162

Received: 15 April 2014

Accepted: 15 September 2014

Published: 15 July 2015

Abstract

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) at different educational levels has impacted the teaching-learning process. ICTs have effectively become tools that support educational environments and, hence, have become educational technology. Virtual learning environments (VLEs) are widely used, offering advantages to both students and instructors. Different platforms include various activity modules, within which collaborative learning communities are built, file sharing and grade handling are facilitated, and navigation log statistics are provided. These logs shed light on the daily use of the platform. The resulting information creates an overview of users’ online navigation characteristics and preferences. Through the analysis of these navigation logs, relevant information can be extracted that may help in understanding the teaching-learning processes within VLEs. In this study, the navigation logs of students enrolled in a course offered at a School of Engineering were analyzed. The objective of this project was to analyze the characteristics of the students’ navigation by identifying, summarizing and characterizing the way in which they interact with the platform. Based on the results, it is inferred that students apply different learning strategies and follow individualized navigation paths.

Keywords

logs educational technology educational data mining virtual learning environment Moodle