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FROM PHYSICAL BENCHMARKS TO MENTAL BENCHMARKS: A Four Dimensions Dynamic Model to Assure the Quality of Instructional Activities in Electronic and Virtual Learning Environments

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The objective of this paper was to develop a four dimensions dynamic model for designing instructional activities appropriate to electronic and virtual learning environments. The suggested model is guided by learning principles of cognitivism, constructivism, and connectivism learning theories in order to help online learners to build and acquire meaningful knowledge and experiences. The proposed model consists of four dynamic dimensions:  Cognitive presence activities;  Psychological presence activities;  Social presence activities; and  Mental presence activities. Cognitive presence activities refer to learner’s ability to emerge a cognitive vision regarding the content of learning. The cognitive vision will be the starting point to construct meaningful understanding. Psychological presence activities refer to the learner’s ability to construct self awareness and trustworthiness. It will work as psychological schema to decrease the load of learning at distance. Social presence activities refer to the learner’s ability to share knowledge with others in a way to construct a community of practice and assure global understanding of learning. Finally, mental presence activities refer to learner’s ability to construct mental models that represent knowledge creation. It will help learners to make learning outcomes and experiences transferable. Applying the proposed model will improve the process of developing e-based activities throughout a set of adaptive and dynamic frameworks and guidelines to meet online learner’s cognitive, psychological, social and mental presence.



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