A COMPUTER SCIENCES TEACHING EXPERIENCE IN THE ERASMUS MUNDUS PROGRAM
Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The European Commission promotes cooperation and mobility in the Education field through the Erasmus Mundus program. The objective of this program is to attract worldwide students to the Universities in the European Union. The Master’s Program in Geospatial Technologies is part of this initiative.
The aim of this International Master’s is to respond to the demand for specialists in areas such as Geography, urban planning, land use, Ecology, transport and traffic, etc.
The maximum number of students in the course is 32. Students come from all around the world. The student’s applications are evaluated in such a way that only students with the suitable profile become pre-candidates to be eventually selected.
The Master’s program is a three semester program. The student’s are enrolled in 30 ECTS credits in each semester. Half of the students follow the course at the University of Castellon (UJI), in Spain, and the other half follow the course at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), in Portugal. This first semester provides balanced knowledge in such a way that students at UJI focus on computer sciences, media and GIS basics, and students at UNL focus on mathematics, data modeling and GIS basics.
All students attend the semester at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, in Germany. The second semester is divided into two modules, in the first module the students follow basic courses in GI, and in the second module they follow advanced subjects in GIS.
The final Master’s thesis is developed by students in the third semester. Based on their preferences, and supervised by their tutors, the students choose the topic for their Master’s thesis.
The computer science and technology module is taught at UJI. This module is focused on the computer science and technology aspects related with GIS. The subjects of this module are: Programming, Databases, Software engineering, Applied mathematics, Computer graphics, Multimedia, Image processing, Computer networks and Internet, GIS I,Spatial analysis, Geospatial infrastructures.
Obviously, there are some associations between the subjects in these modules, for instance, the Computer Graphics course is based on the knowledge of Java programming.
The methodology used depends on each subject, ranging from practical to e-learning; although, the common methodology that is used is a combination of lectures and practical activities.
The Jaume I University promotes excellence in teaching by a program of grants. A group of subjects within the computer science and technology module hold one of these grants. The objectives of this project were to coordinate a group of related subjects within this module, and to generate video tutorials in English to support the learning process outside the classroom. The subjects in this group were: Software engineering, Programming, Computer Graphics and GIS I.
The final result of this project was a set of exercises with transversal content on more than one subject. This way, students were aware of the relationship between the subjects and how the skills in one subject can be used in other subjects.
The content of each video tutorial focuses on some specific aspect of the subject. The CD includes the free software used in the courses.
The students evaluate each course at its end. The first evaluations shows good results in all subjects, mainly in the professor’s attitude with the students (4.7 in a scale between 1, lowest, and 5, highest), and the structure of explanations (4.14).
Keywords: etcs experiences, innovation, blended learning.