B-LEARNING EXPERIENCES ON THE MASTER DEGREE IN COMPUTING ENGINEERING IN ALBACETE

B. Barba, E. Arias, M.C. Carrión, R. Casado, J.M. Puerta

University of Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
The new educational paradigm emerged from the Bologna Process (1999) and its adaptation to the well-known European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is based on social-constructivism principles, which try on orienting the students to their own responsability in the teaching-learning process by means of participation benefiting the use of b-learning based teaching-learning models.

This paper describes the b-learning (blended-learning) experiences on the Master Degree in Computing Engineering (MUii) in the Computing Engineering School placed on Albacete (ESIIA) at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM).

This experience has been developed around two basic cornerstones: a pilot project to promote and improve b-learning activities on the MUii, and a second pilot project for the creation of opencourseware. Focusing on the purpose of this paper, we are going to describe the technologies used to effectively carry out b-learning activities and, of course, to be able to generate appropriate learning material: Camtasia Studio that allows us to save and edit videos; Skype for Business to carry out telcos; Campus Virtual based on Moodle as a virtual meeting point between teachers and students benefiting the participation of both actors, and all the material available in a classroom dedicated to b-learning.

To select the software and hardware tools we have followed the next three criteria:
1. Cost: due to the fact that is an initial experience we are not able to spend a huge amount of money. In fact, our budget is very limited. Then, we have taken into account opensource and free software, proprietary software and existing software at our institution.
2. Easy to use: in order to motivate teachers to be involved in this experience, the software has to be easy to use and user-friendly, both in recording and editing options, overall the possibility of introducing questionnaires.
3. Interaction amount platforms: in particular between editing and teaching (Moodle) tools.

In general, the result of this experience has been positive, taking into account few initial predictible reticences from the teachers to introduce new methodologies; overall in those aspects related to the generation of their own videos. This experience has been positive due to the fact that:
1. It has been a very motivating experience for most teachers at MUii.
2. Both software and hardware selected have satisfied to teachers (easy to use) and School managers (low cost).
3. The students welcome the experience due to they are able to easily follow live lectures (by streaming), and later, they can review them (that were recorded) to reinforce some concepts.

As a main drawback, it is necessary an extra effort of the teaching staff for the edition and preparation of learning material.
Another final conclusion is that in spite of using these resources have improved the quality and reachability of our study plan, it is necessary a great investment to provide quasiprofessional productions. However, thanks to this experience (and some other similar ones at the university), and of course by the encouraging results, the institution is preparing a professional production plate and recording and editing resources, and also, and more important, support staff.