THE IMPACT OF BROADBAND IN THE UNIVERSITY INTERNET ACTIVITIES

J.F. Fondevila-Gascón, J.L. Olmo-Arriaga

Universitat Abat Oliva CEU (SPAIN)
The technology is a key factor involved in the teaching University development. A lot of traditional universities have included the virtual campus as a forum to include contents, to stimulate the students’ participation, to match documents or to establish evaluation practices. It is a mix model, not only virtual, not only face-to-face. In the Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, in Barcelona, we have elaborated a research (March 2011) about the impact of broadband capability and the development of virtual activities in the classroom. We have established five parameters of usual exercises which require a generous broadband in the development of a class: -to search online information related to the contents explained in the session; -to include hypertext in contents when the students are solving an exercise; -to project bandwidth streaming contents by the professor to illustrate a theme; -to establish Internet connection in the class to analyse a theme; -to include the solved exercises in the folder for delivery. We have analysed the broadband in each case, in different moments while the situation was generated, using a speed test. We have compared the average and we have indicated, by a Likert scale, the results from the professor or from the student perspective. We have made this research in a sample of ten sessions. With the collected empirical results, we conclude that the broadband tax could determine the five parameters in a different way. Some parameters require more bandwidth than other, and the broadband could be enough in the physical cable connection (in the Catalonia case, the Scientific Ring or Anella Científica, with fibre optics technology), but it decrease the performance in the wireless applications, which impact especially in the students. Furthermore, the professors are affected by the broadband taxes in the streaming situations.