1 Universty of Francisco de Vitoria (SPAIN)
2 University of Alcalá (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4956-4963
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
The Bologna Declaration was an initiative of twenty-nine signatory European states with the objective of making European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents. The three priorities of the Bologna process are: Introduction of the three cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), quality assurance and recognition of qualifications and periods of study.

The establishment of the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE), as it is defined in the Bologna Declaration, implies important changes in the organizational aspects of our Spanish university system, but also in the pedagogical and methodological aspects of knowledge transmission. The main difference is that traditional methods based on teaching must be substituted by new methods based on learning. This implies, among other things, a significant decrease in the face-to-face instruction hours which must be complimented with online learning and other similar methods. This approach is usually known as blended learning o b-learning.

B-learning is mainly focused on increasing the quality of learning, giving the student a greater responsibility and improving the quality of the educational aspects by redesigning the materials and reprogramming the courses activities. In this context a well designed b-learning tool may notably contribute to the change in the education paradigm proposed by the Bologna Declaration: on one hand it would permit the user to exploit the learning possibilities that computer networks can offer and on the other it would help with the organization and support of face-to-face instruction. So far, most popular virtual environments are mainly learning management systems focused on e-learning. This systems should be adapted to satisfy the specific needs of these new educational scenarios.

In this paper we present the Scheduler and Attendance Control, a module for scheduling the face-to-face activities within a course and controlling and reporting students and teachers's attendance. This module is integrated with Moodle, one of the most popular learning management systems, providing it with new capabilities focused on the face-to-face aspects of blended learning.

One key factor for the success of the b-learning model is to properly divide the contents and learning outcomes in two sets: those that will be achieved by face-to-face activities, and those achieved by online and other activities carried out by students in an autonomous way. The course should be carefully designed considering this factor. The attendance control and later data analysis will assist teachers in evaluating and adjusting their b-learning courses by:
- providing information about the motivation and interest of students in face-to-face sessions, and
- allowing to analyze the outcome's achievement degree in relation to the attendance level.

european space for higher education, blended learning, scheduler and attendance.