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R. Alcarria, B. Bordel, M.A. Manso, D. Martin de Andres

Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
The learning process has traditionally focused on a process of knowledge acquisition, conceiving knowledge as a property that resides in the mind of the teacher (Bereiter, 2002) and must be transmitted to the student. Modern educational approaches consider a participatory conception of learning as beneficial. Experiential learning, as a driver of the importance of action, experimentation and living experiences (MacCallum et al., 2017), requires a technological support for the design and development of the workspace.

Information and Communication Technologies are frequently used for the development of new educational resources. In particular, the Cloud Computing model is especially suitable for the construction of this technological support (Arpaci, 2017) mentioned in the previous paragraph, introducing the advantage of ubiquity (everything available from anywhere), and the possibility of having a set of pre-installed tools, configurable and adaptable to the educational needs.

This work proposes an experiential learning environment, in order to help students of the degree in Geomatics and Topography to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud Computing for the profession of Geomatics Engineer. The developed environment allows access from any place to a data storage system optimized for each situation and facilitates the students to configure and personalize the system, to have the necessary tools for a correct realization of the geomatic projects, such as databases, positioning systems and geographic information system for the representation of spatial data.

The results of the implementation of this environment have demonstrated a very positive evaluation by students of the benefits of cloud computing in education, through their experience, facilitating and fostering synergies between groups of students, through the subjects in which the authors of this paper are involved. Students developed competencies in the use of ICT, and experienced with concepts such as Learning by Doing, learning at a deeper level than other more traditional learning styles.

Results are analyzed in this work through the qualifications obtained by the participating students, showing the degree of fulfillment of the learning objectives and assimilation of competences of the involved subjects. The results of applying a survey to 18 students assessing the degree of satisfaction and fulfillment of objectives of the proposed environment provides an average assessment of 4.22 (0.18 of standard deviation) in the scales between 0 (Completely disagree) and 5 (Completely agree). Questions answered by students were related to the absence of overlaps with other subjects, the adequacy of the evaluation method, the improvement of the student's starting level, the interest aroused by the teacher and, finally, the level of general satisfaction with the experiential learning environment.

[1] Bereiter, C. (2002). Education and mind in the knowledge age. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence, Erlbaum Associates.
[2] MacCallum, K., Day, S., Skelton, D., Verhaart, M. (2017). Mobile affordances and learning theories in supporting and enhancing learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 9 (2), pp. 61-73.
[3] Arpaci, I. (2017). Antecedents and consequences of cloud computing adoption in education to achieve knowledge management. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, pp. 382-390.