EVOLUTION OF THE DATA MODELLING COURSE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
University of Rijeka, Department of informatics (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:In the spring of 2019, COVID-19 surprised the world in every way. People, organisations, and processes had to adapt to the new realities. Higher education was one of the first areas where the educational activities of students and faculty had to shift from institutions to home. Many faculties had to move from the traditional model of face-to-face teaching (where ICT is used in a very rudimentary way) to the model of online teaching. The transition had to be made almost immediately using available digital tools, and during this transition period it was difficult for many to remain focused on the educational process as they had before the pandemic.
In retrospect, it was apparent that the digital technologies themselves were not sufficient for a successful transition from the traditional to the online environment. Over the next few months, however, teachers had some time to reflect on the results. Today, still under pressure from the pandemic, they are better organised, trained, and ready for modern teaching, some of which still takes place online. The hybrid teaching model combines both traditional face-to-face and online teaching with lectures supported by ICT and learning management systems (LMS).
The Data Modelling course is one of the foundational courses of the undergraduate computer science curriculum at the authors' university. Like many other courses in the field, it requires both theoretical and practical assignments. Teachers need to design an appropriate range of activities for students to ensure that they acquire the theoretical knowledge needed to solve the practical tasks (drawing, modelling, programming, designing, or the like). However, general or support skills (communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, creativity and critical thinking) are also important. In an online environment, it is very difficult for even an experienced teacher to reconcile both requirements. When it comes to testing knowledge in an online environment, the process becomes even more difficult to implement.
This paper presents the development of this course during the COVID -19 pandemic. The course was delivered in a face-to-face-only setting in 2019, an online-only setting in 2020, and a hybrid model in 2021. The paper compares these three models, their advantages and limitations. In addition, the models were evaluated based on teacher and student evaluations and experiences, as well as grade points earned. The final model can be used as a reference for other courses in the field of information systems design and development. This model is hybrid and the authors try to make it as agile as possible. Agility and speed in adapting to changing policies and constraints at the national and state levels are important because current pandemic conditions are unpredictable and make it difficult to plan far (even weeks) in advance.
Keywords: Online course, hybrid model, face to face teaching, data modelling, COVID-19.