Conceptual Integration and Empirical Validation of a Unified Taxonomy: Quantitative Data Analysis for Virtual Learning Environments

Melanie Moreno-Barahona, Blanca Fraijo-Sing*, Ghozlane Fleury-Bahi, Oscar Navarro-Carrascal, Cesar Tapia-Fonllem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Specific classes of cyberspaces emphasize different types of digital transactions given the user’s context, thus making it essential to take into account what these environments can afford. In this way, we can portray the niches of technological use as ecologies of particular possibilities and compare how they differ between distinct spheres of human life. The present research is focused on describing the conceptual integration of a taxonomic crossover between Virtual Learning Environments and Educational Affordances of Technology, while also performing empirical testing and determining the psychometric properties in a scale regarding the aforementioned taxonomy. The study sample consisted of 320 students in the departments of foreign languages from three different universities in Sonora (northwestern region of Mexico). Students were given a questionnaire of 21 items organized into four subscales with a Likert-type response option to measure the notions concerning their usage of Virtual Learning Environments. Internal consistency procedures and confirmatory factor analysis by means of Cronbach’s alpha and Structural modeling support the derived factorial structure, which contains Cyber-Communications, Virtual Behavior Settings, Virtual Communities, and Availability and Access to Connectivity. This structure traces the environmental properties perceived by learners in a virtual environment. Results sustain the initial conceptual construction regarding the proposed taxonomy, conclude that the ‘Virtual Learning Environments Questionnaire’ demonstrates adequate psychometric properties, and validate it as a fitting measure to assess the perceived psychological experience of students in a digital educational setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number814592
JournalFrontiers in psychology
StatePublished - 25 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Moreno-Barahona, Fraijo-Sing, Fleury-Bahi, Navarro-Carrascal and Tapia-Fonllem.


  • educational affordances
  • empirical validation
  • psychometrics
  • taxonomic crossover
  • virtual learning environments (VLE)


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