1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)
3 Universidad Católica de Ávila (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 6878-6883
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0498
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The modern academic system divided into Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree makes more common to pursue a master's degree while working. Today, professional experience and personal circumstances characterizes this master’s student profile. This fact requires optimizing resources (time and effort) dedicated to obtain the Master. With this goal, arise Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) which are systems for delivering learning materials to students via the web. They include assessment, student tracking, collaboration and communication tools. They can be accessed both on and off-campus, meaning that they can support students' learning outside the lecture hall 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This enables institutions to teach not only traditional full-time students but also those who cannot regularly visit the campus due to geographic or time restrictions, doing live web conference classes (which are also recorded to be seen whenever the student have time).

These Virtual Learning Environments engage learners with HD audio, video, webcam support, and dynamic adjustment for network constraints. They experience clear conversations and a face-to-face experience through a simple, convenient, and reliable web conferencing solution built for education. This paper will explain two Virtual Learning Environments used in Forestry Engineering Master at Catholic University of Ávila and Industrial Engineering Master at Universidad Carlos III of Madrid during the 2014-2016 academic year. This article will talk about the experiences, academics results and discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using these VLEs; and we will explain more in detail our experience using web conferencing. The virtual presence of students was handled through the Blackboard Collaborate platform. It provided a fully redesigned, high quality, browser based web conferencing solution making distance teaching and learning simple, clear and worry-free. Thanks to robust collaboration and conference tools, everyone felt like they were in the same room together, regardless of their location or device. Furthermore, through the platform, all related resources (textbook, slides, recorded lectures, paper, web links) were available. Students only needed to go to one place to access all their course content saving time and making fewer efforts for the same results.
Virtual Learning Environments, Master courses, web conferencing, Blackboard collaborate.