University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4388-4393
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Globalization and current communication technologies demand knowledge to be accessible by all users around the world. Now Audiology is part of it, thanks to the B-learning studies provided by the University of Alicante since 2006.

The main goals of these studies are: 1) To improve the advanced complementary quality of training in the Audiology fields. 2) Ongoing training needs in emerging issues or in matters of audiology requiring professional and technological updating according to new health and social requirements. 3) To promote distance education studies by applying the new information and communication technologies of b-learning. 4) To offer a major access opportunity to these studies, specially to people with scanty availability of time or difficulties of displacement. 5) To promote teachers and students exchange between participating Universities and corporate partners. 6) To take part in the educational globalization, in order to improve the relationships between Latin America and Europe.

These studies are aimed at international professionals related to whatever field of Audiology. The courses target a wide variety of students, most of them coming from Spain, but several others are coming from Latin America countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico or Venezuela). There are graduates of health areas, such as Medical doctor, Otolaryngology, Paediatric, Pharmacology, Psychology, Pedagogy, Speech Therapy, Nursing, Optometry, Orthopaedic and Physical therapy, Hearing aid technician and Audiology. But also graduates from other specialities such as Education (Teachers, Specialists in Hearing and Language), Engineering (Acoustics, Specialists in Sound, Engineer of Telecommunications), Biology, Physical Sciences and Social Work.

The total of 9 subjects are distributed in 50% e-learning and 50% classroom lectures. From the First Edition to the current one, the concept of the course has been modified, offering now a customized program. The courses can be done independently, providing the opportunity to obtain any of the 11 Diplomas or Certificates available, even though the courses are done in different years. For those students who choose courses with classroom practical sessions, an international service is provided, offering the possibility of attending the lessons in Spain (in more than 10 different cities), Argentina, Mexico or Chile.

Our virtual campus is based on Moodle free Open Source. The tools used for providing the courses are standards, with different text, image or video formats, as well as forum, chat and e-mail. The interaction obtained between students and professors goes beyond the possibilities of classroom courses. The length of the course (13 months) allows the students to share with other students and professors their knowledge, most of the times highly specialized.

This experience gained, which is the first one in B-learning in Spain, gave us the possibility of counting on professors from different Universities, Clinics and other professionals within the Audiology field not only from Spain but also from Argentina and Chile. This situation would have never been possible with classic classroom courses.

Acknowledgements: These General Audiology studies from the University of Alicante (Spain) are endorsed and recognized by the Spanish Association of Audiology (AEDA)
b-learning, audiology, postgraduate, study, university, Moodle, Latin America, Spain.