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Cyber Education: towards a pedagogical and heuristic
Isabel Borges Alvarez

Nuno S. Alves Silva

Luisa Sampaio Correia

Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Rua Santa Marta 56
1169-023 Lisboa, Portugal

Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa
Rua da Junqueira, 188 a 194
1349-001 Lisboa, Portugal

ISCTE - Instituto Universitário
Av. das Forças Armadas
1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal





their results with a calculation and a real experiment.

The constant and rapid investments in Information and
Communication Technologies (ICTs) have allowed the growth in
the quality of information response available within the internet
which requires considering and addressing the physical, financial,
socio-demographic, cognitive, design, institutional, political and
cultural types of access. The main purpose of this paper is to
revise actual and new emerging ICTs and the use of its application
tools in Education which is dominated by the linear paradigm in
interaction and information as interactivity is not being accepted
as a guiding principle. The concept of e-learning rests on the idea
that pedagogy technologically sustained includes enough
knowledge with regard to the wishes of learning processes, which
are a process of mind embedded in a culture and also challenges
and not just concepts. Learning is a process that humans have
been trying to master for many centuries. However, there are so
many different ways to do the process that it is sometimes very
hard to determine which one is the best of a given situation. One
such type of learning is heuristic learning. Through this method
the students should discover things for themselves, through
problem solving, inductive reasoning, or simply by trial and error.
Discovering things by yourself, knowing from experience rather
than books. In many situations it seems that heuristic learning is
the most suitable when one really believes in something when one
experiences it himself. That is what heuristic learning is really all
about. This type of learning model, in an online format, is tailored
to the adult learner who typically has a sense of self-direction
related to individual interests, goals, strengths, and previous
experience. Also the pedagogical theory of connectivism was born
as a response to very fast ICT development which strongly
influences education and which approach to problem solving is
based on the use of simulation animations, making students
change parameters and verify or seek the problem solving,
applying their need of intuitive searching by the heuristic method;
information is assigned by image without the application of long
texts. After a series of simulation experiments, the students verify

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Categories and Subject Descriptors
K.4.1 [Computers and Society]: Public Policy Issues: Ethics

General Terms
Human Factors

Cyber education, e-learning, pedagogy, heuristics, ethics, equity

“In the information society, citizenship can only be exercised
through the positive involvement of citizens in systems and
processes of information" and "incorrect or false information or its
misuse can endanger people, their privacy and their freedom” [6].
Bearing this motto in mind it becomes important to ensure a set of
citizenship’s values and “social rights” such as the rights to
education, to health and to justice. Education aims to personify
“the beliefs, traditions, customs, rituals and sensibilities along
with the knowledge of why these things must be maintained” [26]
in [41]. In western countries one of the main political concerns is
to ensure a better and broader education. However, economic and
social models are constrains to the implementation of a successful
and enlarged information society. Scandinavian countries standard
policy for education is the student, taking into account that each
one of them is an individual with specific needs to be satisfied to
guarantee a solid growth of their capacities. Still it is expected that
the principle of the universal education reduces poverty and
increases knowledge. Anglo-Saxony countries policies go to the
raise of the education that supports the demands of the XXI
century [6]. It is accepted worldwide that e-learning is a
precondition for future social and economic growth having
knowledge as the key resource to e-learning [41]. Distributed
knowledge must respect and obey to principles common to all
humanity regarding social, cultural, ethical and individual (as the
goal and motivation of each individual) issues. Hence it is
understood that continuous learning is required. Once current
knowledge is too vast for the time of each individual, the aim is
rapid access to knowledge that is necessary 'here' and 'now' for a
given problem and person. “Today, experts are people who know
where to find information of immediate use and only the most upto-date information is useful.... Knowledge has a half-life which
gets shorter all the time.” [22]. Also it is acknowledged that "The

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


economic and financial globalization, the globalization of
technologies, as well as planetarium environmental issues should
be accompanied by a moral and political conscience equal to what
is at stake. It is precisely at times like these that it is needed
philosophical and ethical frameworks able to help us to think
about globalization and the failure of ideologies that we are
witnessing [32].” New learning interactions that were not
perceived before can now be facilitated such as the instantaneous
access to global resources, the opportunity to publish to a world
audience, to communicate with a diverse audience, and the ability
to share and compare information, negotiate meaning and coconstruct knowledge. Such activities emphasize learning as a
function of interaction with others [9]. So, it is critical the
achievement of an easily accessed network, with a well structured
and feasible content for learning proposes. It will allow the learner
to quickly address information that helps him to increase
knowledge and achieve a heuristic value that drives him towards
new ideas, new questions and new hypothesis. For that, ethical
and cultural issues must be carefully addressed.

2.1 Why e-learning
“Most people are taught in groups; most learning is an individual
experience. Learning is defined as what sticks; it is what remains
years later” [45]. The traditional learning that has prevailed for
decades within the higher education area has been gradually
revolutionized by the computer-based learning regarding the
opportunities in communication, interaction and collaboration
[16] in [25]. Technology changes the way work is done, allows
knowledge integration, and requires new skills and different levels
of literacy. It promotes virtual organizations, knowledge share
between peers; new forms of training are designed and delivered.
It affects the way knowledge is managed and how organizations
learn. The limitations vary in different circumstances depending
on students and instructors need, who and where they are [29].
Today’s life style has speeded up our needs for knowledge and
competitiveness. The global share of knowledge, the research on
advanced technologies such as nanotechnologies, the extensive
curriculums to be learned by students, the accessibility to
information and communication technologies (ICTs) forced
traditional teaching to evolve and made virtual learning critical to
overcome the dependency on space and time, allowing individual
and collaborative learning experiences. Pressures related to the
increasing changing demographics of the student population
increase diverse cohorts, age, educational backgrounds, cultures
and native languages [29]. E-learning is one of the terms used to
refer to open and distributed learning activities as well as online
learning (OLL), web-based training (WBT), Web-Based Learning
(WBL), Distributed Learning (DL), Mobile Learning (m-learning)
and so on. According to the American Society for Trainers and
Developments (ASTD) e-learning has increasingly come to mean
“Web-Enabled material deployed using the Net”. E-learning can
be delivered synchronously “live” in a virtual class-room in realtime (used for distance learning) or asynchronously by the
download of contents made available by a tutor, any place at the
convenience of the learner (used for distributed learning). In other
words “e-learning is nothing more than the use of electronic tools
and technologies to assist us in our teaching and learning.” [27],
in [8].

2.2 Meaningful Learning
“Meaningful learning occurs when learners are able to remember,
recall, understand and reuse the knowledge to explain to others or

apply it in their everyday life” [47]. The associated theories
related to pedagogy [47] are: Developmental theory; Learning
theories; Cultural diversity; Classroom motivation and
management; Learning styles; Instructional design; and
Where some of these theories are briefly presented:
Developmental theory - This theory gives the foundation for
teachers and instructors to understand their learners through the
cognitive development ([30] describes the way people organize
information and how the process changes during a child’s
development stages), through socio-cultural development ([44]
emphasis the social and cultural influences on children’s cognitive
development) and finally the moral development [30] which
provided the children’s stages response to moral problems).
Learning theories - These theories come from the psychological
theory and are used to understand critical issues rose in the
learning process, such as mechanisms of learning and transfer, the
roles of memory and motivation.
Learning Styles - It was described by Kolb as the individual’s
preferred method for assimilating information; it is related with
the active learning cycle. It indicates how different styles affect
the learner’s performance. As learning styles can provide context
to learning objects [47] it is of importance to refer some of the
Models of Learning Styles. These are: Models based on the
learning process; Models based on orientation to study; and
Models Based on instructional preference.

2.3 Learning Methodologies
Teaching-learning strategies should incorporate more than one
form of study. Methodologies such as Web-Quest involve the
study of individual pre-defined web-sites followed by student’s
additional information research activities and review to guarantee
that what he has learned becomes a part of his knowledge. This
process allows learning share between work groups resulting in
the construction of knowledge [35]. This type of process can
occur synchronously via teleconferencing, chat or asynchronously
through individual work that must be shared later. However, any
process must be developed beyond a satisfactory e-learning
experience. It is not enough to provide an efficient and effective elearning environment, it needs to empower and motivate students
to learn [23]. It should so focus on cognitive development and
knowledge acquisition, through creative, efficient and intelligent
tutoring strategies for presentation of the domain knowledge [1].
There are several evaluation methods to design a useful e-learning
system. Michael Giannakos [13] focused on an e-learning system
based on two cores: usability (ensuring usability is one of the
main challenges for the e-learning developers) and pedagogical
usability (which is divided into learning effectiveness and learning
efficiency). Collaborative learning in contrast to traditional,
lectured-base learning is “an interactive, group knowledgebuilding process” [16] in [25]. It instructs peers, not necessarily
expertise in the same area, learners, teachers, researchers,
professionals - to work together on a consensus among members
of that community. They have a common goal and are opened for
the share of their skill, experiences and knowledge. Collaborative
learning within a real-world environment and within a virtual
environment (such as an online collaborative learning) differs in
size, place and method or form. A real-world environment takes
place in a small group of participants composed by heterogeneous
skills and abilities, face to face interaction takes place and they
learn from more experienced colleagues or confluent areas of

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


knowledge. Rules for the teamwork are introduced. They work
together or individually on a regular meeting base for leadership,
team management, problem solving and conflict resolution [10],
in [25]. Online collaborative learning can be described as
information communication network. It is accessible to the group
allowing interaction between learners to take place no matter
distance, place and time. Multicultural people meet in these
networks for exchange of ideas and experiences and to
accomplish their tasks within a common propose. Today’s faceto-face interactions are available through virtual conferences
rooms and the support of many management tools. “Collaborative
learning environments (ENVITE, C-VISions) and 3-D
environments (CLEV-R) which allow for asynchronous and group
learning have been used over recent years" [28]. According to
[12] synchronous tools supporting voice communication (Skype)
can be considered a critical factor in enhancing group
collaboration because voice adds a personal touch to the
communication process [25]. Multidisciplinary skills and
innovative forms of learning are often required. It must be
adjusted to one’s needs and reality. There is the need to rebind
knowledge so it is important to identify the common
characteristics of complex systems. As said by Joel de Rosnay
[36], it is no longer only at the microscope or the telescope
dimension, but also at the macroscope dimension. Both analytical
and systemic approaches are complementary of one another.
Within the analytical approach we hold the perception of detail,
regardless of the time variable. Within the systemic approach we
cover up an integrated view. While in the analytical approach only
one variable is modified as the time and facts are validated within
an experimental theory, in the systemic approach groups of
variables are modified simultaneously and the facts are
determined by comparing a model with reality. Here computers,
with its unlimited storage capacity and high speed data
processing, play a role rich in the study of the humanities and

2.4 Pedagogical Perspectives
According to Silva et al. [38], learning is an active process that
aims to connect learner’s new and old knowledge, mainly if it is
an independent and lifelong learning that can involve three main
formal perspectives: pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy.
Traditional pedagogy is the art of being a teacher where teachercentered philosophies of education are essential. On the other
hand, contemporary pedagogy is becoming more complex since it
explores the methodologies enabled by the use of ICT in
education. The inherent characteristics of interaction and
flexibility in the networked environment impose new frontiers to
whether individual or social learning occurs in formal and
informal ways. In addition, artificial-intelligence evolution and
new tutoring systems are as closely intertwined to explore virtual
pedagogical models, which may include the relationship between
culture and online learning behaviours. However, the application
of learner-centred learning techniques is ensuring the flexibility
and relevance of the curriculum personalization remaining
underdeveloped, or at least constantly critical in the timeline of
fast technological developments. In this sense, andragogy
explores how to motivate adults to lifelong learning, but it is not
clear in what extent digital literacy are imposing limits to that
motivation or change in adult educational objectives. Conversely,
heutagogy is a form of self-determined learning with practices and
principles rooted in andragogy. In a heutagogical approach
learners are highly autonomous and should develop learning path
to be well-prepared for the complexities of today’s society [5]. In

that sense, Hase & Kenyon [17] noticed that heutagogy applies a
holistic approach to developing learner capabilities, with learning
as an active and proactive process, and learners serving as “the
major agent in their own learning, which occurs as a result of
personal experiences” (p. 112). In spite of personal experiences,
the affordances provided by emerging technologies and the
ubiquitousness of Web are renewing the interest in heutagogy, but
the absence of critical culture to the creation and development of
knowledge is an essential question. As Hase [17] noted, an
important characteristic of heutagogy is that of reflective practice,
or “a critical learning skill associated with knowing how to learn”
(p. 49). Then, heutagogy is advocating principles of information
literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration. Furthermore, each
individual learner has different goals and characteristics from each
other, leading to different associations between the learning
content and the knowledge level of each learner, or a different
learning path that represent a sequence of concepts and activities
that the learner chooses or must be chosen during the learning
process [20]. Consequently, personalized curriculum is an
emerging phenomenon that can be supported by heutagogy and a
concept map of heuristic information constructed in a network
environment. So, it is critical the achievement of an easily
accessed network, with a well structured and feasible content for
learning purposes. It will enable the learner to quickly address
information that helps him to increase knowledge and achieve a
heuristic value that drives him towards new horizons. For that,
ethical and cultural issues must be carefully addressed.

2.5 Heuristic Learning
Following Levy and Razin [24], the heuristic is based on the
assumption that individuals share a common priority, transmit the
whole distribution of their beliefs to one another and update solely
on this information. The sharing principles dominate education in
cyberspace, as well as, interactivity is a major objective in the use
of modern technologies. However, learners should discover things
by themselves, since intuitive searching is applied by the heuristic
method. Anderson [4] also recalls that the heuristic learning
model, presented in an online format, fits instruction tailored to
the adult learner who typically has a sense of self-direction related
to individual interests, goals, strengths, and previous experience.
Conversely, the degree of uncertainty in a heuristic learning is
relative to the individual expertise and mental models. Moreover,
emerging technologies in educational settings are imposing the
same process on young and old. While it will be good for cultural
adaptation, it sounds a disaster for equity of knowledge, if learners
value an item of information differently depending on who else
knows it [15]. Moving forward issues of cyber education towards
a pedagogical and heuristic learning means to put in analysis of
the learners’ autonomy versus the regulatory purposes of
accredited education. A question emerges: How this type of
learning can be made available to the wider global population to
achieve equity of knowledge and progress?

The key concepts in an e-learning project are: lecturer, content,
student, place, time and interactivity. To guarantee the effective
inputs for effective e-learning the following inputs must be taken
into consideration [3]:
Visual - for instance relevant image give support to a simple text;

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


Concise - concise information is important in the context of elearning;
Interactive - learners interact with multimedia activities during the
Engaging - appeals to all intervenient (learner’s professional
experience). Their emotional reaction may lead them to
Relevant - addresses learner’s gaps or current needs;
Feasibility - technological infrastructure must be feasible to
Empowering - provides access to additional resources as relevant
material to explore.

- publicizing the correct courses by promoting organizations,
adequacy of exercises timings, clarity of language, possibility of
sharing knowledge.
To give support to the design and implementation of e-learning
projects some ICT researchers have proposed their own
frameworks. These frameworks’ goal is to provide integrated
guidance for design, development, delivery and evaluation of an
e-learning environment. Some of these are briefly presented
below. They are: RIPPLES Model, E_University framework and
Khan’s framework.

4.1 RIPPLES Model

Technological e-learning systems or subsystems may be classified
into four categories [3]:

RIPPLES model drawn by Dan Surry [42] is another
implementation framework for embedding innovative practice in
e-learning within the Vocational and Technical Education (VTE)
sector in Australia where the monogram stands for:

Learning Management Systems (LMS) - supports administrative
tasks such as registration, scheduling and learner tracking;

Resources - the need for continuing resources, temporary
resources and resources allocation;

Managed Learning Environment (MLE) - includes the whole
range of information systems and processes, contributes directly
or indirectly to learning and learning management;

Infrastructure - the hardware, software, facilities and network

Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) - allow
developers to store and manage and provide access to pieces of
content used in e-learning;
Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) - The components in which
learners and tutors participate in several online interactions,
including on-line learning.
Further, the American Society for Trainers and Development
(ASTD) refers to Learning Management System (LMS) as the
“Operating System” for e-learning enterprises and it won’t be
wrong to consider LMS as the Operating System in any context
where learning issues are involved and they are assessed through
systems information built for that [19]. There are dozens of
companies offering served-based LMS as pure repositories
providers like Click2Learn and others as content providers. Some
LMS are enhanced with Content Management Systems (CMS)
functionality. All CMS or LCMS (Learning Content Management
Systems) are developing compliance with the content object
standards, such as SCORM (Sharable Content Reference Model).
These combined efforts enable:
- learning objects easily reused;
- accessibility to learning objects developed by any proprietary
- portability and roll out facilitated;

People - shared decision-making and communication between all
Policies - organizational policies and procedures to adapt to
innovative practice;
Learning - the need for innovation to enhance the training goals of
the organization;
Evaluation - the need for continual assessment of the innovations;
Support - the need to have a support system in place for those
implementing the innovation.

4.2 E-University Framework
e-University framework engages an interactive real time feedback
process on e-learning implementation in higher education settings
[39]. It is characterized by four progress layers as described:
Technological Infrastructural and Services (support and services)
- encompass all technical support and administrative services for
the distributed knowledge.
Knowledge/Content Management (production and distribution) it emphasizes content and knowledge production, management
and distribution through multiple technological platforms;
Computer Mediated Communication (interactive technologies) - it
makes learning more interactive and an enjoyable experience;

- granular learner assessment models.

Value Added - a transversal cost/benefit analysis, which aims to
provide information regarding the e-University project at a final


The strength of this model is the constant evaluation of equity by
cost/benefit of each layer and its related cultural and ethical issues
if the project involves multiple contexts.

E-learning concerns with successful projects ranging from:
- product quality (fitness for intended learning, appropriate design,
intuitive navigation and fast, appropriate technology, response
- availability and palatability of the learner (ease of handling
systems from the standpoint of the user, curiosity, capacity
sharing, and innovation);

4.3 Khan’s Framework
Khan [21] has come forward with his own model, specific to elearning environment. It focuses on eight dimensions, as presented

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


Pedagogical (teaching and learning) - this dimension addresses
analysis for: content, audience, media, goal, design, organization,
methods and strategies of e-learning environment;
Technological (infrastructure) - this dimension concerns are
systems availability, interoperability and maintenance costs;
Interface design - this dimension concerns are page and site
design, navigation, content design and usability. The quality of a
page design is based on how user-friendly, appellative, easy to
read the site is;
Evaluation - this dimension includes assessment of learners and
instruction and learning environment;
Management - this dimension is related to the maintenance of
learning environment and distribution of information. A good site
must be currently updated and constantly reviewed by experts on
the subject;
Resource support - this dimension is related to on-line support and
resources required to foster learning’s environments;
Ethical - this dimension takes into account considerations related
to social and political influence, culture diversity, bias,
geographical diversity, learner is diversity, information
accessibility and legal issues;
Institutional - this dimension is related to administrative affairs,
academic affairs and students’ services.
Mohammed Ally [2] in his work for best practice and standards
indicates Khan’s Framework as an important tool. He also advises
to develop e-learning material as learning objects so it can be
accessed from any computer technology and can be reused in
different lessons or courses.

When we see human inability to address the current amount of
information as well the theories that support a given knowledge,
the creation of content is needed and must follow [3]:
- a consensus view on existing theories for each topic;
- a content that must be sufficiently explicit;
- it should facilitate the creation of new theses (heuristic value);
- a satisfactory 'marriage' between knowledge, experience and
characteristics of learners.
Indeed while modernism brought us expertise needed to
encompass knowledge, postmodernism favours the encounter of
knowledge in a consensual and entire form. Knowledge has paths
that intersect and from where cognition emerges [37].

5.1 Content Certification
When looking at contents it is important to ensure the quality and
certification of its sources’ and guarantee that its contents are
regularly reviewed and updated. For instance, we may be
accessing harmful and manipulative information without knowing
it. This kind of information may reach us in an apparently
harmless way. Easily when playing poker games with “virtual”
partners in the net they frequently use compliments to promote the
potential addition of the individual to the game, driving families
to serious bankruptcy. Also, some concerns still subsist related to
the content creation and maintenance. Who is to certify the
quality of the information within these databases? What standards

will define the massive creation of information and its updating?
What are the criteria to determine the relevance of information?
Who has the author’s rights, the person who created it or the
enterprise for which she works? What determines the maturity of
a learner to confine in him his own learning? Are learners grown
up enough to behave ethically, to understand the barriers of
privacy, culture issues? How to ensure the equity of knowledge of
all who access these data? The dialogue between local and global
ethical systems (glocal ethics) suggest a mutual and equal respect,
thus higher education institutions have a social responsibility to
promote “glocal knowledge” and so a concomitant recognition of
“glocal morality” [40].

5.2 Tools and Infrastructures
These e-learning distributed platforms allow users to create and
manage classified information made available for at least two
groups: students who access courses and teachers who are
responsible for the creation and updating of the course’s structure,
its contents, evaluation system. Also, e-learning platforms allow
students and teachers ‘discussion boards’, ‘chat exchange’, e-mail,
instant-messaging, video-conferencing, monitoring training,
questionnaires and interactive exercises as well as to assess
reports and surveys for evaluating actions. Administrative tools
for management and for assessing are available for user
management and content management, allowing the creation and
edition courses. Students and teachers enrolment are also
available. Still, “e-learning offers one–location gateway to
varieties of educational resources, such as electronic book, digital
presentation, web-based lecture notes, case studies and other types
of educational learning materials” [47]. These digital materials
need to be built from scratch using past experience for guidance.
The portability of systems has been possible through the
communication technology. The Learning Objects (LO) concept
introduces small, portable learning materials on the Internet. The
utility of LO is the reusability of the objects in practically any
environment. The repository where these objects are is a Learning
Object Metadata (LOM). IEEE LTSC (2005) is one of the
standards used as the benchmark in LO metadata Development
Today’s most common tools for face-to-face or distance learning
are Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic
Learning Environment), Power-Point and many games once
integrated in a multimedia platform which allows
intercommunication between users. Moodle is an open source
software adopted by a majority of colleges and universities as a
way to communicate and share information with their students
Power Point learned in
schools has become a common tool used by teachers, and students
to present their work. It can integrate voice, documents, text and
movement. For multimedia platforms there are products such as
Adobe Flash and Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is currently
applied to the use of web-pages design, with hypertext links
allowing navigation between information as it suits the user. On
other hand, Flash is highly used in the creation of design of web
pages and movies. At present, games and simulators are being
developed. School curriculum units applied to these games and
simulators are aimed in the engagement of student to the topic,
fastening his cognitive growth. The Global Challenge World
Game is intended to provide pre-college students the opportunities
for self-instruct:
science, technology, engineering and
mathematics. The World Game uses the Microsoft ESP visual
simulation platform to turn available to students “immersive 3-D

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


experience” designed with the propose of helping them to
understand complex nature of global systems. Each curriculum
will be inspired in game experience simulation. The Microsoft
ESP was chosen due to its fast simulation construction and
effective cost. A digital game and simulation-based approach to
STEM (acronym for the fields of Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics) learning both accommodate
student preferences and support the core cognitive process of
learning [14].

5.3 Future Tendencies on E-learning
The heading of subsections should be in Ti xxx Traditional
classroom course based training will remain and be shared with
technology-based learning, mobile learning using laptops, tablets,
PDAs and cell phones. Often learning takes “forgetting” and
“relearning” new ways of thinking and doing things. Computer
simulation will master real situations. Games are an ideal way to
introduce people to new topics. It engages people into play and
learning. Dramatic changes in technology such as the constant
growth of capacity and velocity allows larger networks
computers. As molecular computer evolves and nanotechnologies
and methods of dividing light into specific wavelength
communication channels proliferate. “The introduction to
artificial intelligence and neural networking will make e-learning
software smarter and more responsive. New online learning
programs will be both prescriptive and adaptative.” [45]. It will
allow the computer to learn more about its user, his needs and
preferences; it will ‘sense’ his behaviour and will provide him
with his learning and testing needs. Like computers, in any type of
machine such as cars, traffic control is invisible, computer
training will also be invisible. Small devices hooked to a network
will perform tasks and perform learning activities, such as
household devices. It will also deliver human resources
information (health information), business metrics and so on. All
this will be driven by artificial intelligence [45] such as:
Automatic computing - computers will self-control its resources
by configuring, healing and so on;
Agent-based software - web search engines used for planning,
notifying and negotiating;
Affective computing - computer software will sense emotions and
act accordingly. “They will increase the realism of e-learning
simulations.” [45].
The FH JOANNEUM University department of information
design [11] created a prototype AdeLE (Adaptative e_Learning
with Eye tracking) resulting from its past experience in
hypermedia and application of eye tracking for web usability
evaluation in the Web Usability Center. The eye tracking is
applied for more profound learning research and improvement of
cognitive processes understanding to be able to support adaptive
teaching and learning in a technology-based e-learning in the
future [31]. Data from (i) learning, (ii) reading (iii) skimming
through text, (iv) searching in the text, (v) observing a picture or
reading a text and (vi) looking on the navigational elements are
reported to the prototype simultaneously with real-time eye
tracking. It assesses the learning state and it enhances a user
profile for learning style of user, cognitive style: holist or analyst.
The entire content is presented in different ways: holist style an
overview of chapters and sub-chapters are optionally offered
while for the analyst style the whole content is presented. The first
issue of these methods is to extract individual learning strategies.
People exhibit significant individual differences in how they learn

[31). AdeLE framework can be integrated into different
applications such as content management systems in e-learning

Our thanks to ACM SIGCHI for allowing us to modify templates
they had developed.xxx Spending time on the internet is changing
our behavior and culture which is referred as cyber-culture. “The
Cyber-culture is not simply a culture of cyber-space and
navigation in the huge resources of information; it is a culture of
global government…. What is new here is that cyber-culture uses
means of our time to act on problems of our time [32].
Information technology is nowadays the most prominent
technological development that affects our everyday life, and our
dependence on information technology increases constantly. As a
consequence, emerging ethical issues that individuals or
professionals face, require appropriate skills [33]. Cyber-ethics is
a new terminology to refer to ethical concerns with property
rights, privacy and correct use and divulgation of information in
the cyber world. This subject is referred as cyber-education. Due
to its capital importance it is a subject to be considered as part of
the education and learning process; it should involve teachers and
students from early years of school. Computer illiteracy of staff
and students are factors that compromise the correct use of ICTs
as an educational technology. According to Philipe Quéau [32]
culture is “what can give each person reasons to live and to wait”
It's what gives new means to increase the beauty and wisdom of
the world ... culture ... lives of breaths, streams, fertilization and
miscegenation ... “. It is this understanding of education and
culture that enforces the need of man for constant learning and
improvement. No doubt, it is a global and local obligation of
governors and citizens to take measures to:
- make the access to ICTs as broad as possible;
- the effective effort towards the use of ICTs must be done in the
same way that yesterday was made in relation to reading;
Take into consideration the positive and negative aspects of the
current state of ICT and Education and assure they have their own
ethical tools regardless the censorship they are subjected to
(although you can do a clone of Man, it is not due to censorship
reasons that it is not done but due to consensual reasons).

6.1 Equity
To guarantee more equitable global society cyber-education
should be enhanced to balance cultural and ethical issues and
anticipate problems to come. Moreover, the evolution of cyber or
all related future technologies have the potential to change
cultures and ethical questions may arise [3]. Thus, the constant
evaluation of equity at a level of the project progress assumes a
major importance if it involves worldwide contexts, since cultural
and ethical differences have relevant impacts. The local and
global ethical systems interplay the learning process at networks
that cannot be separated from the knowledge creation [39].
Therefore, it is important to distinguish the heuristic learning from
pedagogies based on certified content. Or, at what extend the
purpose of education depends on the ways that knowledge
recipient is available to collaborate in social processes that
enhance excellence and equity of knowledge. For example, while
ICT is equal at a global scale, concerning education certain values
build large communities that overpass national boundaries but
only make regional impacts (e.g. African ubuntu). On the other
hand, there are generation gaps that should be considered in terms

SIGCAS Computers & Society | Sept 2015 | Vol. 45 | No. 3


of equal competence and digital literacy, which may be the source
for inter-generational inequity [43]. In these scenarios, cultural
and ethical impacts include the way how cyber-education is
distributed equitably across learners, and if the learners’ lifechances are enhanced in equitable ways.

The rate at which technology diffusion takes place is astonishing
and is altering how and to whom we are connected. The wireless
connected machines within the internet turn these repositories into
endless metadata. People need to learn much faster and are in a
constant learning process and consequently seeking for
information. Unquestionably, e-learning will continue to grow in
our organizations and at schools and universities. Remote
teaching may be an advantage for those who live far from colleges
and want to improve their knowledge. Governments and
enterprises must work on effective and efficient solutions.
Feedback management is a key process to the success of any elearning platform. Teachers must be responsible for his students’
first steps at the net. They must teach the young to be responsible
for their actions and to share information with others. It is an
ethical principle to guarantee others safety, privacy, equity and
equality when it comes to workspace. The freedom of each must
halt the moment you get freedom of others and vice versa [32].
Many barriers are still to overcome (interactivity, procurement
practices, policies, performance) so it may be used fully by
students at colleges or universities and enterprises. Many
questions are still unanswered. The virtual 3D environment and
neural computers are not far from now. It will revolutionize the
way e-learning will be done. It will be possible to manipulate
objects, to interact with the computer. It will learn from us and
optimize its own its processes. We will be able to perform and to
teach remotely surgery. These kinds of interventions will be of
great precision due to the diagnosis at hand and the precision of
computer assistance. For all these future technologies and changes
of culture we must center on ethical behavior questions. Mainly
we must guarantee equity and equality and walk as much as
possible towards a balanced information society and try to
anticipate problems to come. Cognition results from the
combination of the integrity and the experience of knowledge

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