Use of Virtual Classroom: Summarized Opinion of the Stakeholders
in the Learning-Teaching Process
Myriam Peñafiel
, Stefanie Vásquez
and Sergio Luján-Mora
Faculty of System Engineering, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador
School of Technology, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador
Department of Software and Computing Systems, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
Keywords: Virtual Classroom, Teachers, Students, Authorities, Moodle.
Abstract: Nowadays, the use of ICTs in education is proof of innovation, quality, and ease of access. Aware of this
challenge, higher education institutions are making efforts in line with technological advances by
incorporating tools that promote more and better learning results. The aim of this investigation is to determine
how much backing Moodle virtual classrooms provide to support classroom work at the university in the case
study. Moodle can be used to improve, renovate and motivate the teaching-learning process in the classroom.
To confirm this hypothesis, we conducted a summary of previous research carried out from the perspective
of students, teachers and authorities, and considered the agreements and disagreements among these groups.
We evaluated perceived usefulness, ease of use and other variables to validate the Technology Acceptance
Model (TAM) of the investigation. The results show that Moodle virtual classrooms are an accepted tool in
terms of obtained benefits. We also determined that it is necessary to implement training in using Moodle, as
well having policies and incentives to increase its use.
The context in which higher education develops, the
use of Information and Communication Technologies
(ICTs) in education have become proof of innovation,
quality, inclusion and access to education without the
limits of time or space (Dias et al., 2014; Lee and Im,
Therefore, ICTs are a worldwide trend that
promote digital literacy needed to obtain dignified
jobs and lead fulfilling lives (UNESCO-UIS, 2014).
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should be the
first to fulfill these social requirements in line with
technological advances and development goals, and
should include teaching tools to motivate students and
to obtain more and better learning results.
Governments are aware of these shortcomings, but
do not allocate the funds needed to solve them (Lee and
Im, 2014). HEI clearly identify this problem and take
action to remedy it to the best of their abilities.
This research is a contribution to the inclusion of
ICTs in the teaching-learning process at Escuela
Politécnica Nacional (EPN) Ecuador's, top
engineering university, but where the use of ICTs is
minimal. The investigation considers the opinions of
EPN students, teachers and authorities regarding the
use of virtual classrooms as a support tool for on-
campus learning (Penafiel and Lujan-Mora, 2014b).
The objective of this research is to demonstrate
the intended use of virtual classrooms on the part of
the aforementioned participants as support tools for
classroom work. We considered ease of use and
perceived usefulness as the main variables that will
allow us to answer our research question.
We present a summary of the research indicating
the positions of those involved and highlighting the
agreements and disagreements identified in order to
make recommendations for improvement.
To accomplish this, we propose the following
structure for this paper: Theoretical framework,
Material and Method, Results, Conclusions and
Future work.
Below is a short review of the literature according to
the subject under an agreement on the terminology
Peñafiel, M., Vásquez, S. and Luján-Mora, S.
Use of Virtual Classroom: Summarized Opinion of the Stakeholders in the Learning-Teaching Process.
In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2016) - Volume 1, pages 314-320
ISBN: 978-989-758-179-3
2016 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
2.1 Online Learning
Online learning and e-learning are interchangeable
terms used to refer to technology-mediated learning.
Online/e-learning emerged from the tradition of
distance education and the inclusion of technology
(Dias, 2014).
Its development is based on the advancement of
technology but also maintains characteristics of
organization, planning and guidance similar to on-
campus learning (Kruger-Ross, 2013). Online
learning uses Internet-based electronic technologies
to facilitate student learning (Sunal, 2012).
The use a variety of technology tools allows
elimination of barriers of time and space, representing
relevant changes in the teaching-learning process.
2.2 Definition of e-Learning
As much as the term e-learning is widespread, it is not
clearly defined. Generally, it is used to indicate that
teaching-learning processes are mediated by
technology, but technology is a constantly changing
component (Thalhammer, 2014, Penafiel et al.,
E-learning 1.0 was mentioned when technology
was used for the exchange of information on the net,
now e-learning 2.0 uses web tools mainly associated
with social networks to mediate teaching-learning,
and e-learning 3.0 is used for mobile devices and
augmented reality, as tools for both formal and
informal teaching-learning (Thalhammer, 2014).
2.3 Modalities of e-Learning
The modalities of e-learning differ depending on the
amount of time spent online with teaching-learning
It is to say that e-learning is carried out 100%
online. B-learning is carried out in the classroom and
online, so the best of both learning environments can
be taken advantage of. B-learning is also called mixed
learning because in addition to combining learning
modalities, it encompasses various activities,
methods and tools as supplements to traditional
teaching (Thalhammer, 2014).
Many educational institutions have opted for
learning through ICTs (Dias, 2014, Gonzalez, et al.,
2013, Oproiu, 2015), using B-learning because it is
the one that best fits their contexts and needs.
2.4 Learning Management System
One of the most utilized tools to stimulate all forms
of online learning is the virtual classroom, conceived
through a variety of platforms called Learning
Management System (LMS).
An LMS is a web-based software application used
to create opportunities for formal and non-formal
learning. It enables planning, implementation and
evaluation of a particular learning process (Awang,
These teaching-learning enviroments or so-called
virtual classrooms have become one of the most used
tools (Kruger-Ross, 2013, Costa, 2012) to
demonstrate the use of ICTs in higher education (Lee
and Im, 2014). This is even more evident when these
platforms allow for organized and systematic
planning of a course, taking advantage of resources
and activities provided by this type of platform, such
as a face to face classroom.
Additionally, another advantage of using these
teaching-learning platforms is that many of them are
free of charge, currently the most popular LMS is
Moodle. Moodle is the official LMS at the EPN.
2.5 Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic
Learning Environment (MOODLE)
Martin Dougiamas began developing Moodle in 2002
(, 2015). It is an Open Source LMS
adopted by many universities around the world (Goh,
According to the latest data, Moodle has 63,122
active sites in 222 countries. Specifically, in the
country that this study takes place there are a total of
456 registered sites, one of them being the virtual
platform of the university in this study (,
Moodle, as many other LMS, offers a wide range
of features such as: creation, organization,
management, communication, collaboration,
evaluation, and reuse of online courses through
virtual classrooms (Costa, 2012). It provides
resources, activities and functionalities for its
effective and efficient development.
To supplement this information, it is important to
know some of the Online Learning Environment
models available for implementation.
2.6 Online Learning Environments
Online Learning Environments (OLEs) comprise
several organizational and structural educational
models and represent how educational processes are
developed. A rating of the most-used relevant OLE
models according to (Dias, 2014) is summarized
Use of Virtual Classroom: Summarized Opinion of the Stakeholders in the Learning-Teaching Process
Salmon’s e-moderator focuses on the
development of online teaching-learning through
control of the e-moderator;
Anderson’s pedagogical model for OLE is based
on the interaction with the principals involved;
The Siemens model defined in Connectivism
provides an ecological view of learning and
understanding of learning as a process of
The Mishra and Koehler Technological
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is
focused on the interaction and the complexities
of the different types of knowledge.
Zagenczyk and Bosman’s social media in the
classroom is based on Blum’s levels of taxonomy
for obtaining higher-order knowledge; in
addition to the emotional side, its use is based on
social networks.
The Bates and Sangrá Integration of Technology,
Organization and Pedagogy model (TOP), relates
the Integration of technology, organization, and
pedagogy symbiotically for achieving innovation
in education.
Redecker’s iLANDS 2.0 model: Learning (L),
Achieving (A), Networking (N) Embracing
Diversity (D) Opening up to Society (S) focuses
particularly on areas of social computing
applications as support for innovation in learning.
This research is part of a project to implement virtual
classrooms at the institution mentioned in this study;
therefore, its main function is to support the
improvement of teaching-learning processes
mediated by ICTs.
3.1 The Sample
This study will analyze the results of previous
investigations that have gathered information
regarding the use of the virtual classroom as a tool to
support classroom work from the perspective of
students (Penafiel and Luján-Mora, 2014a),
professors (Penafiel et al., 2015) and university
authorities (Penafiel et al., 2016).
3.2 The Method
We worked with the Technology Acceptance Model
(TAM) (Davis, 1989), ease of use and benefit
obtained variables in order to verify the acceptance of
virtual classrooms through Moodle.
The TAM is based on two essential
Perceived Usefulness: the extent to which a
person believes that using a particular system
would enhance their performance at work.
Perceived Ease of Use: the extent to which a
person believes that the use of a particular system
would reduce their workload (Wang, 2013; Goh,
2013, Scherer, 2015; Liaw, 2013; Shaffiei, 2011;
Varela et al., 2010).
We have used TAM to explain the reasons for the
acceptance of virtual classrooms by those involved,
since the perception as to the usefulness and ease of
use of virtual classrooms will redound in their
intention of using virtual classrooms.
In addition, there are external variables that were
used in this study: structure, organization and
classroom support. They directly influence the
participants both in regard to perceived usefulness of
virtual classrooms and perceived ease of use. This
direct influence between the usefulness and ease of
use leads to the intended use and will result in actual
use in the classroom.
3.3 Data Collection Process
The Data collection process was different for each
one of the stakeholders and is described below
Students. The survey of students was carried out
at the university (Penafiel and Luján-Mora 2014a)
selected in the case study, which has about 10,000
regular students per semester. This survey was
conducted in two phases: the pre-test survey
conducted at the beginning of the first period in
January 2014 (2014A) was answered by 186 students
and the post-test survey answered by 175 students in
the second period in July 2014 (2014B).
In order to obtain relevant information from
students regarding professors’ improving the
teaching-learning process in the classroom, we
considered some questions hoping they will be a
significant contribution to the virtual classroom.
Educators. We conducted a survey of the recently
renewed group of (Penafiel and Luján, 2014b)
professors at the aforementioned university (Penafiel et
al., 2015) in January 2015. The survey was sent online
and 199 of the 383 full-time professors answered.
In light of this, the hypothesis for this paper that
the majority of professors support the use of virtual
classroom with Moodle was already proven in the
investigation. We now want to cross-reference this
CSEDU 2016 - 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education
information with their counterparts: the academic
authorities, educators who influence decision-making
at the university. Therefore, we selected only those
questions that contribute to recommendations for
educational improvement.
Authorities. The third group surveyed at the
university is the academic authorities, educators in
academic management positions: president, vice
president, deans, assistant deans, department heads,
directors, commission coordinators or representatives.
The survey, conducted in July 2015 (Penafiel et al.,
2016), was answered by 77 authorities. We take an
interest in their opinions because they will lead to
effective policies.
The results are going to be used to promote and
enhance the use of virtual classrooms at the EPN.
First, we present them from a summary of the
variables used to validate the acceptance of Moodle
virtual classrooms with TAM. Then, we will point out
specific information from each of the participants,
cross-referencing data to obtain relevant information.
Ease of use and perceived usefulness are the variables
in the respective investigations.
Ease of Use. This variable is essential in
demonstrating the model (Figure 1). It shows that
those surveyed unanimously agreed that the used tool
is easy to use.
Perceived Usefulness. This variable was
confirmed in the research considering two sub-
variables: time and effort, which support and confirm
the global variable (Scherer, 2015). Therefore, if
those surveyed claim that the use of this tool will
result in the optimization of time and effort, we can
confirm perceived usefulness. Figure 2 shows that
both students and authorities equally perceive the
tool’s usefulness. In the case of professors, we can see
slight greater differences, but overall the perception
of perceived usefulness is over 70%.
We can conclude that while ratification of the
previous two variables allows us to validate our
assumption, we carried out explicit confirmation
through the express question. The result can be seen
in Figure 3, confirming and ratifying the participants
in the teaching-learning process in using virtual
These results contribute to the main objective of
this research: to support the implementation of virtual
classrooms in the university’s b-learning modality.
Although currently used, ICTs do not have the desired
effect according to current requirements, producing
Figure 1: Ease of use from the perspective of authorities,
teachers and students.
Figure 2: Perceived usefulness from the perspective of
authorities, teachers and students.
substantial changes in the ICT-mediated teaching-
learning process.
Furthermore, it is essential to highlight the
information which transcends recommendations for
Figure 3: Moodle virtual classrooms as ICT tools to support
classroom work.
Use of Virtual Classroom: Summarized Opinion of the Stakeholders in the Learning-Teaching Process
Students. Since students are the core of the
teaching-learning process, they furnished us with
relevant data showing that it is an important medium
for professors for feedback and improvement:
In terms of resources and number of classroom
activities, students consider them adequate overall:
45% consider the resources to be appropriate and
31% consider them average. Similarly, 49% consider
the classroom activities adequate and 31% say they
are average. The students feel that these activities and
resources indeed contribute to learning.
As for the communication of information, 17%
consider it very useful, 47% useful, and 30%
somewhat useful, and the two lowest categories of the
scale are a combined 6%.
Regarding the process of accompaniment in the
classroom, the results are similar to the previous
values: 16%, 45%, 30% and the two lowest a
combined 9%.
With regard to activities that encourage
collaborative work, the results are 16%, 43%, 29%
and the two lowest categories combine for 12%.
Finally, the results on the relevance of evaluation
activities are: 17%, 57%, 21% and the two lowest
categories a total of 5%.
With these results we can clearly see that students
appreciate the work carried out by the professor
(activities and resources in learning, communication
and evaluation) as they generally remained at above
the average values.
Professors. The university faculty has undergone
a radical change regarding professors’ ages (as can be
seen in Figure 4) State policy dictated generational
change, forcing the retirement of over half the faculty.
The result has been advantageous for this
investigation: younger professors more open to
change and willing to invest time and effort in order
to be involved in the requirements of our current
information society.
Figure 4: Age of teachers.
Authorities and Professors. The information
obtained is basically in regard to the two key purposes
of the virtual classroom: communication and general
use. Table 1 and Table 2 show results in regard to
communication tools in the classroom:
Table 1: Relationship between communication tools and
their use in the virtual classroom (authorities).
Studies Content
Blog 5 10 31 45 17
Chat 30 22 3 1 10
Mail 22 17 8 17 21
Forum 22 34 32 14 36
Videoconf. 18 13 18 18 10
No answer 3 4 8 4 5
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Table 2: Relationship between communication tools and
their use in the virtual classroom (teachers).
Studies Content
Blog 9 3 19 33 11
Chat 15 17 3 2 9
Mail 38 34 20 20 29
Forum 16 25 25 13 20
Videoconf. 3 5 7 5 7
No answer 19 16 26 27 24
Total 100 100 100 100 100
In terms of virtual classroom communication with
the student, the authorities say the best tool is chat,
while for professors it is email.
As for resolving doubts, the authorities consider
the forum to be most appropriate while professors
believe it is email.
In presenting case studies, both authorities and
professors prefer the forum as the most suitable
For socializing, both authorities and professors
consider the blog to be the medium of choice.
Lastly, regarding feedback, the authorities
consider the forum to be the appropriate method,
while the majority of professors prefer email.
Another important factor concerns the uses and
the frequency with which the platform is utilized in
the virtual classroom: education, instruction,
communication and assessment. Figures 5 and 6
exhibit information on the most frequent uses of the
CSEDU 2016 - 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education
platform from the mindset of the authorities and
These results clearly indicate that virtual
classrooms are mostly used to assign homework,
organize information and resources as well as
distribute materials. Since the use of this tool is
minimal, beginning to use it this way is not bad.
However, it is noteworthy to mention that the tool has
many activities and resources being wasted and
therefore, it is being underutilized. Figures 5 and 6
show the low current use of the platform.
According to the study (Penafiel et al. 2015), this
confirms that teachers need training to become
familiar with Moodle in all its aspects, not just for
sending information. The most important aspects of
Moodle are communication and teaching.
Figure 5: Use of Moodle platform from the perspective of
the authorities.
Figure 6: Use of Moodle from the perspective of the
The results of this research have shown that Moodle
is a support tool for on-campus work accepted at the
university in this case study, as well as at other higher
education institutes (Wang et al., 2013).
The results of surveys for students using virtual
classrooms indicate that the percentage of students
who answered the survey is only 1.8%, causing a
limitation in this study This is indicative of the low
number of virtual classrooms found at the university,
and consequently the few students using them. These
problems confirm the imminent need for concrete
actions to support the use of ICTs at the university.
We can assert that there is a commitment on the
part of professors to use ICTs. What is missing are
institutional policies and incentives to convert this
commitment into reality. Another key element is the
necessary training to discover the tool’s potential and
therefore reap its benefits (Qizhong, and Qing, 2012).
It is evident that the authorities are fully aware of
the urgent need to define policies for resources and
regulations that define the use of Moodle virtual
classrooms. The aim is to meet the requirements of
society, the state and our social responsibility for life
training (UNESCO, 2014), according to the goal of
education for everyone (EFA) by 2030.
This phase of the research pertains to a
preliminary study of an overall project to include
ICTs at the university; consequently, it was vitally
important to analyze their current situation and the
opinions of those surveyed. The teachers, authorities
and students now propose continuing progress on this
project, developing methodology to employ virtual
classrooms in engineering, creating a teacher training
plan and a strategic plan for mass implementation.
The results are going to be used to promote and
enhance the use of virtual classrooms at the EPN.
Besides, the results can also foster the use of virtual
classrooms in other universities.
Awang, N. B., & Darus, M. Y. B. 2012. Evaluation of an
open source learning management system: Claroline.
Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 67, 416-426.
Costa, C., Alvelos, H., & Teixeira, L. 2012. The use of
Moodle e-learning platform: a study in a Portuguese
University. Procedia Technology, 5, 334-343.
Davis Jr, F. D. 1986. A technology acceptance model for
empirically testing new end-user information systems:
Use of Virtual Classroom: Summarized Opinion of the Stakeholders in the Learning-Teaching Process
Theory and results (Doctoral dissertation,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Dias, S. B., Diniz, J. A., & Hadjileontiadis, L. J. 2014.
Towards an Intelligent Learning Management System
under Blended Learning. (pp. 133-149). Springer
International Publishing.
Goh W. W., Hong J. L. & W. Gunawan, 2013. Exploring
students' perceptions of learning management system:
An empirical study based on TAM. In Teaching,
Assessment and Learning for Engineering (TALE),
IEEE International Conference, pp. 367-372.
González, A. B., Rodríguez, M. J., Olmos, S., Borham, M.,
& García, F. 2013. Experimental evaluation of the
impact of b-learning methodologies on engineering
students in Spain. Computers in Human Behavior,
29(2), 370-377.
Kruger-Ross, M. J., & Waters, R. D. 2013. Predicting
online learning success: Applying the situational theory
of publics to the virtual classroom. Computers &
Education, 61, 176-184.
Lee, O., & Im, Y. 2014. Innovation of Higher Education in
the Globalized Era. In ICT in Education in Global
Context (pp. 221-247). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Liaw, S. S., & Huang, H. M. 2013. Perceived satisfaction,
perceived usefulness and interactive learning
environments as predictors to self-regulation in e-
learning environments. Computers & Education, 60(1),
14-24. 2015. History, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 05 08
2015]., 2015), Statistics, [Online]. Available:, [Accessed 05 08 2015].
Oproiu, G. C. (2015). A Study about Using E-learning
Platform (Moodle) in University Teaching Process.
Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 426-
Penafiel, M., Lujan-Mora, S. 2014a. Uso de aulas virtuales
percepción de los estudiantes en la Escuela Politécnica
Nacional de Quito. In Google book. Revista
Actualización de los nuevos sistemas educativos,
Madrid, España. 397-419,
Penafiel, M., Lujan-Mora, S. 2014b. Análisis del uso de las
aulas virtuales en la Escuela Politécnica Nacional de
Ecuador. In XXII Congreso Universitario de
Innovación Educativa en las Enseñanzas Técnicas.
Volumen II (CUIET) 2014, Almaden, España.
Penafiel, M., Lujan-Mora, S., Vintimilla, L. M., & Pozo
Montesdeoca, P. 2015. Analysis of the usage of virtual
classrooms in the National Polytechnic School of
Ecuador: Teachers' perception. In Information
Technology Based Higher Education and Training
(ITHET), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 1-6).
Penafiel, M., Vásquez S., Lujan-Mora, S., Moodle as a
support tool in higher education. Academic Authorities
Opinion. In Information. The Ninth International
Conference on Advances in Computer-Human
Interactions. (ACHI) 2016, in press, IEEE.
Qizhong, O., Qing, Z., 2012, Study on cultivation of
teachers' ICT ability. In Computer Science & Education
(ICCSE), 2012 7th International Conference on (pp.
1564-1566). IEEE.
Shaffiei, Z. A., Mokhsin, M., Hamidi, S. R., & Yusof, N.
M. 2011. A study of user's acceptance and perception
towards Campus Management System (CMS) using
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). In Engineering
Education (ICEED), 2011 3rd International Congress
on (pp. 128-131). IEEE.
Scherer, R., Siddiq, F., & Teo, T. 2015. Becoming more
specific: Measuring and modeling teachers' perceived
usefulness of ICT in the context of teaching and
learning. Computers & Education, 88, 202-214.
Sunal, S. Wright, V.2012. Online Learning, Encyclopedia
of the Sciences of Learning. Springer Science &
Business Media.
Thalhammer, V, Schmidt-Hertha, 2014, Learning across
Generations in Europe, 47–58.Sense Publishers.
UNESCO-UIS. 2014. Towards indicators for a post2015
education framework Post-2015. Education Indicators
Technical Advisory Group of the EFA Steering
Committee, [Online]. Available:
Varela, L. A. Y., Tovar, L. A. R., & Chaparro, J. (2010).
Modelo de aceptación tecnológica (TAM): Un estudio
de la influencia de la cultura nacional y del perfil del
usuario en el uso de las TIC. Innovar, 20(36), 187-203.
Wang, Y. H., Tseng, Y. H., & Chang, C. C. 2013.
Comparison of Students’ Perception of Moodle in a
Taiwan University against Students in a Portuguese
University. In Advances in Web-Based Learning–
ICWL 2013 (pp. 71-78). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
CSEDU 2016 - 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education