Fundamentals of Designing a Virtual Learning Environment
The educational environment is an engineering structure that has its foundations and pillars from which the planning or construction process begins, designing a virtual learning environment, and what is meant by the principles of designing and building a virtual learning environment in the current article is the set of influences and factors that affect the processes of designing the environment in its various stages, which include (planning, design, implementation and evaluation). These influences and factors serve as the main sources for all educational ideas that serve as a basis for building and planning the appropriate environment, which should be taken into account when embarking on the process of planning, designing and building the virtual educational environment. These foundations are reviewed as follows:
(a) Psychological and psychological foundations in designing a virtual learning environment:
They are the psychological principles reached by studies and research in psychology about the nature of students, the characteristics of their development, their educational requirements, their needs, their inclinations, their mental abilities, their psychological preparations, the individual differences between them and the factors that affect their learning and their perception of things, and about the nature of the learning process that must be taken into account when designing and creating the virtual educational environment. The designers and implementers of learning environments, before starting to build the learning environment, must be fully aware of the nature and characteristics of the students because they are the focus of the educational process. Providing any educational experiences to them without prior knowledge of their characteristics, needs, tendencies, and problems inevitably leads to failure to achieve the goals that the educational environment aims for, and given the importance of this topic, the current research will impose a complete axis on it.
(b) Technological foundations for designing a virtual learning environment:
These technological foundations for the virtual learning environment derive from knowledge of the elements, tools, applications, and technologies used in designing the learning environment, and include knowledge of its characteristics, capabilities, determinants, and how to use it to support learning in the virtual environment. Hannafin and his colleagues (Hannafin et al., 1997) show that every educational environment Appropriate materials, media and learning resources are provided in the light of their capabilities and are used in an integrated manner It has these capabilities with the conditions and characteristics of learning, so he emphasizes that the provision of educational technologies benefits or enriches the learning environment if its capabilities and the way in which it is used are integrated with the foundations of the appropriate education / teaching model, and this is consistent with what he sees (Ibrahim Al-Far, 2018), (Majdi Mahdi , 2008), (Abdul Latif Al-Jazzar, 2006) from the need to understand the relationship between educational technology, the method of education and the learning process.
(C) Pragmatic economic foundations in designing a virtual learning environment:
The pragmatic foundations in the design of virtual learning environments, as explained by “Hannafin” and his colleagues (Hannafin et al., 1997), are related to considerations of estimating (cost versus benefit) from designing learning environments, as well as evaluating educational alternatives and conducting feasibility studies, to choose the best and least expensive one, and this is in line with Opinions that emphasize the need to take into account the economic aspects in employing educational technology (Fath El-Bab Abdel-Halim, 1991, 68), (Mohamed Seif El-Din Fahmy, 1991, 47), (Ali Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, 1997, 52), and confirms (Nabil Gad, 2011), (Rida Al-Qadi, 2011), (Khaleda Abdel-Rahman, 2008) that most of the technological innovations are built into the design of systems and environments Learning is affected by these economic foundations, as the technological foundations determine what is available in light of the capabilities, as well as how it is used. While the economic foundations and considerations reflect the range from which one can choose, in light of the cost-benefit estimation. This is supported by the principles of the theory (Vaughan Minimum Frontiers of Multimedia), which states that there are acceptable minimum limits for achieving learning goals in educational environments based on multimedia. Then there is no need for excessive spending or exaggerated effort.
(D) Philosophical foundations in designing a virtual learning environment:
Designers and developers of virtual environments must first define the philosophy they will adopt when designing and building the virtual environment. By the philosophical basis of the virtual learning environment, we mean the accepted intellectual, educational, social and economic framework within the environment through which the designers determine the types of behavior and educational outcomes that they seek to achieve, and take the philosophical method as a means for the overall view of the educational process through virtual learning environments with the aim of organizing and clarifying it and coordinating its elements and tools Designing and directing them in a comprehensive integrated plan, in other words, applying the philosophical method in designing and developing virtual learning environments, and overcoming learning problems through them.
The philosophical basis for virtual environments is that organized effort of a group of beliefs, values, principles, and ideas emanating from the culture of society, to direct learning in virtual learning environments according to the needs and characteristics of learners, variables, and technological developments, and to it is due to drawing the broad lines of the educational content, and interpreting its results, within which the goals are determined. , and chooses the content, and organizes its contents and activities, and in light of it the evaluation process takes place, (Naim Habib 2012, 75), (Hind Al-Dulaimi, 2018, 178).
(e) Theoretical foundations in designing a virtual learning environment:
Adel Saraya (2007-2008), Hassan Nasr (2009), and Hassan Al-Batea (2010) indicate that the principles of educational theories constitute a basic pillar in guiding learning, and provide a lot of sound guidance for designers and developers, and they stem from a philosophy or several general philosophies. It follows its broad lines and general purposes, and educational scholars from time to time create or reformulate the basic concepts and general principles to be within the reach of educators to guide them and live on their guidance, as they are provided with a vision of educational practices and the ability to examine educational content, and improve the means and tools of learning and thinking in new ways. It will improve the educational environment in general.
It is difficult to establish the design of a virtual learning environment without relying on clear and consistent educational theories, otherwise it will be just literal practices that have nothing to do with science, which will quickly disappear with development and scientific and technological progress, as the clear and fixed theoretical foundations ensure the survival, development and continuity of learning, even with transformation. In existing technical and technological practices, because it is a science linked to the tree of knowledge, and the tree of knowledge remains and evolves. (Muhammad Khamis, 2012).
In conclusion: the importance of focusing on the foundations of building and designing a virtual learning environment is due to the fact that the environment derives its components (goals, content, strategies, activities, and evaluation methods) from these foundations, as these foundations are considered as pillars behind those components of the virtual environment, and they also determine the destination environment and draw its features to serve the learning of hearing-impaired students, suit their growth characteristics, and meet their needs, in addition to that effective design depends on the extent of knowledge The educational designer (educational technology specialist) is aware of those foundations that make up the structure of the learning environment, and the environment often writes success or failure to the extent that planners and designers of educational environments take into account these foundations during the planning process, taking into account that these foundations are integrated, overlapping, not separate, as well as interactive. Together, to guide all virtual environment operations planning, execution, and evaluation.