THE VIRTUAL ROOM AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN THE AREA OF KNOWLEDGE OF CONTINUUM MECHANICS
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The recent interest in technology-supported collaborative learning in higher education represents a confluence of trends: the development of new tools to support collaboration (Johnson & Johnson, 1996), the emergence of constructivist-based approaches to teaching and learning (Kirschner, Martens & Strijbos, 2004), and the need to create more powerful and engaging learning environments (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005: cited by Resta & Laferrière, 2007).
The goal of the collaborative work classrooms of the Virtual Lab of Continuum Mechanics (launched in 2013) is to provide an area for collaborative knowledge construction among students with teacher support. In these classrooms, students can meet virtually a small group of colleagues to perform exercises together about the subjects of study and raise doubts. To access this virtual area the student must have an "avatar" therefore, be enrolled in a subject of Mechanics of Continuous Media in the UPM. Using firestorm software graphic capabilities and built-in microphones and speakers, students can raise their doubts orally, prepare graphics and use them in their presentations. Work group is always developed real time, but worksheets can be saved and consulted by the group of students and the teacher afterwards.
These classes aim at improving "the approaches to learning and teaching" with a collaborative approach, that yields better results than rather simple work-splitting cooperative processes. Pilot experiences are being developed throughout 2014 with very successful results and greater student involvement.
Keywords: Technology-supported collaborative learning, Mechanics of Continuous Media, Virtual Lab.