INTEGRATION OF ICT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: EXPERIENCES AND BEST PRACTICES IN THE CASE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BAJA CALIFORNIA IN MEXICO
In the context of global development, the worldwide use of new communication and information technologies (ICT), and today’s knowledge society demands, Higher Education continuously confronts new challenges related to the use of ICT for information and knowledge gathering. Along with this situation, there are other constant and renewed challenges for education, which are not only related to the gradual or immediate incorporation of ICT, but also to the notable absence of a culture of technology assisted instructional design, and even more due the significant changes that are given by the nature of the different disciplines along Higher Education.
In this sense, Higher Education is challenged as how to efficiently deliver theoretical and practical knowledge that is relevant to the learners’ professional practice. This, while also providing learners with the general skills required from each of their educational programs and each institutional academic model. Thus, education can aid students on how to better adapt to the current needs of the labor market within their professional fields.
For this reason, the framework of reference for the instructional design, the creation of learning content and the use of ICT for different educational programs is directly defined by the set of skills needed by students in relation to each of their professional disciplines.
Moreover, regardless of the mode of learning, the incorporation of ICT leads the function of educational tools. Yet, these do not replace the function and role of the teacher. So it is the teacher's responsibility to support the construction of student learning through the appropriate incorporation of ICT into the educational process under a new culture of teaching and learning.
Likewise, it is explicit that the incorporation of ICT in education seeks to guide and facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge for the students of various disciplines and academic levels of Higher Education. Furthermore, ICT brings new educational resources that can strengthen the work of the teacher.
Given the above, the objective of this paper is to present the study of the experience, best practices and results obtained of the incorporation of ICT in the instructional design and their application to the teaching and learning processes of a course within the Master of Architecture Program, of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Autonomous University of Baja California. Also, this study was developed in order to contribute to the understanding and to make a critical reflection of the vision and results of the integration of ICT in Higher Education in Mexico, based on the experience of the Autonomous University of Baja California. The paper presents the three most important aspects of this experience: 1) The study and definition of ICT incorporation in instructional design, 2) the analysis of the teaching and learning process with the use of ICT, and 3) the evaluation of results obtained through evidence of students’ performance.