HIGHER M@T-EDUTUTOR - A PROTOTYPE OF A PLATFORM TO SUPPORT TUTORING AT DISTANCE USING MOBILE DEVICES

I. Araújo, P. Faria

School of Technology and Management - Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (PORTUGAL)
Currently, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education is becoming more frequent. Several studies consider it as a potential advantage for education. Almost all students have their mobile devices and use it frequently during the day. In this sense, it was perceived the importance to extend the physical and temporal space of the teacher’s timetable. Thus, it was decided to implement a prototype of an online platform, to be used by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, where students and teachers can ask questions (problems / activities / challenges) to be solved collaboratively. In this way, it will be possible to extend the physical attendance time in the university environment to online, and at any time, in order to extend the time devoted to accompany higher education students. The main objective of the first prototype of the platform is to provide an easy mean to students and teachers discuss several tasks related to the curricular subjects. The prototype of an online platform was created. It was conceived and implemented with the objective to be used by several scientific areas of knowledge. The first scientific area decided to be used to implement and to test the online platform was mathematics. At this time, the platform allows to design and to use graphical symbols, in real time and collaboratively, enhancing the discussion and execution of online tasks. Using the platform in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, helps to potentiate its dynamic use by teachers and students. This paper presents a usability study related to the use of this platform. The obtained results will help to evolve the platform in order to potentiate a better user experience, to both students and teachers.