THE IMPACT OF THE AIM-MOBILE LEARNING PLATFORM IN DIFFERENT HIGHER EDUCATION DISCIPLINES
Mobile learning and e-learning technologies have a strong presence and impact on different education scenarios, and quite recently in Higher Education Degrees. In connection with it, BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) is becoming quite popular in many educational prototypes since students feel more confident with their personal smartphones to carry out some learning activities. On the other hand, these strategies permit teachers to automate certain tasks of the learning-teaching process, such as the students’ assessment, the design of electronic contents and the virtual management of students and subjects. As a consequence, we have developed the virtual environment AIM-Mobile Learning Platform, which consists of two software applications, one for teachers and another for students. On the one hand, the virtual environment seeks for improving the autonomy of students to acquire the required skills, promoting their motivation, attention and participation inside class. On the other hand, it allows teachers to speed up and to automate the continuous evaluation process of students and the design of interactive contents. Besides, the learning platform was developed to promote a real time feedback and interactivity inside class to enhance the learning and teaching quality.
The first experimental prototype was applied in Telecom Degrees, although its implementation in multidisciplinary scenarios or different educational contexts can be direct. In fact, the learning environment has been designed so that teachers do not require a deep knowledge in informatics. Therefore, in this paper we describe the experiment carried out in a set of subjects of different Higher Education disciplines (Faculty of Education, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Telecom) as well as the results and the comparison among them. The study case was focused on evaluating students and following the progress of the class during the semester. Therefore, teachers launched real time questions during classes and students had to answer them in a few minutes using the students’ application. Once students answered them, the teacher’s application collected and processed every data so that everybody could visualize the statistics and the graph with every response. Therefore, students were instantaneously conscious of their mistakes and teachers were able to follow the mean progress of the class and to detect the weakest points of the teaching-learning process. Consequently, it was generated a real time and useful feedback in class among teachers and students.
The results of the study have shown that the learning environment made classes more dynamic and motivating, increasing the responsibility, attention and participation of students. Furthermore, students of every degree pointed out that it encouraged a real time interaction with teachers inside class leading to achieve a constant feedback that permits students to immediately know their level of success and mistakes. On the other hand, there were more differences between disciplines regarding the acquired ICT skills, since students of Education felt a higher development of their ICT skills in comparison with Engineering students, probably because engineering students are more used to technology. Finally, students did not perceive great disadvantages with the experience because they recognized high interest and motivation and they thought that the use of personal smartphones inside classroom did not distract them.