EXPERIENCES OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL ONLINE PROGRAMS IN THE AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
Autonomous University of Baja California (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays the incorporation and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Higher Education (HE) is considered and recognized as one of the most effective means of strengthening global development, as it provides an opportunity for ensuring the improvement of educational quality, facing the demands of today’s knowledge society, and opening access to education for all and lifelong learning.
Consequently, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) face challenges not only in the diversification of their educative modalities, but also in the implicit and constant processes of incorporation and use of ICT in their educative programs, which were traditionally taught in a face-to-face format. In this sense, there are several examples of success related to the educational modalities diversification with ICT incorporation, which have resulted in the emergence of new solutions that broaden and diversify the educative offer under standards of quality and pertinence.
However, in Mexico, with a few exceptions, the transition process (TP) for the incorporation of ICT and diversification of educational modalities in the HE programs has been slow and complicated due to the lack of a synergistic approach between the implicit technological, educational and organizational (TEO) aspects that converge in the TP.
This situation denotes the lack of a clear vision of specific educational needs that imply a process of diversification of educational modalities and the incorporation and use of ICT in HE programs. In addition, the inherent complexity of the simultaneous considerations of the TEO aspects for the TP is often overlooked, mainly because its response is focused only into the isolated needs of each aspect, and also because this aspects were not considered as simultaneous actions of an institutional strategic planning. Furthermore, also denoted the absence of a shared vision, with objectives and responses to the needs for change that involve a coordinated participation of all stakeholders and processes under a new organizational culture.
In response to this condition, an Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) academic and research group developed a research project aimed to design a methodology and an exploration instrument to determine the feasibility of ICT incorporation into HE programs with the aim of diversifying educational modalities. This project was implemented on a pilot basis in a Master’s program of one of the academic units of the university.
Based on this research experience, general recommendations of the interaction of TEO aspects from the TP of a face-to-face program modality to an online program modality were generated. However, the analysis of the results obtained and related to the specific needs detected in the different TEO aspects, lead to reconsider and rethink the stages of the TP itself.
The objective of this paper is to present the reassessment process, which visualizes a preliminary stage of incubation, characterized by its flexibility in the change towards a new organizational, academic and technological culture in a particular context of the program, of the academic unit and of the institution. The paper is organized in four sections that present the introduction, background, description of the experience based on the academic research developed, and the results and recommendations obtained.
Keywords: Academic research, Transition process, ICT incorporation, Educative modalities, Higher Education.