1 Universidad Católica de Ávila (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 6794-6801
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Currently the society lives profound changes regarding the fact that information and communication has led to an evolution towards new models of education. The emergence of e-learning (electronic learning) initiated a model of distance education with personal computers and Internet. In some cases, the total absence of human contact has complicated the learning outcomes. For this reason, we shouldn´t ignore the important role of the teacher and oral explanations but we should take advantage of new technologies. As a result of this compromise, the b-learning (blended learning) appeared. This learning is facilitated through the efficient combination of different methodologies; normally it combines face-to-face classroom methods and computer-mediated activities.

As Bloom and his colleagues outlined in their taxonomy, student´s learning capacity of higher levels depends on the acquisition of knowledge and skills of certain lower levels. Not all of these levels are achieved by students in the same way; some of them require teacher's explanation (face education) and others can get through exercises and other tasks (where computer-mediated activities could be useful). In addition, students, in some subjects, can receive the face education from anywhere without the necessity of being physically at the same place where the class physically takes places. Therefore, students who don´t have the means or time to be present can benefit from the advantages of receiving the student class anywhere. This is m-learning (mobile-learning) initiative enables the achievement of Education for All.

This paper will explain three experiences conducted at the Catholic University of Ávila during the 2013-2014 academic years, which has combined both specialties b -learning and m -learning. These are: Master of Forestry Engineering, Course of GIS (Geographic Information System) applied to the Territorial Planning and Remote Sensing Seminar. They have combined the (physical or virtual) face education taught by teachers with computer-mediated activities. Teacher's explanations could be followed, depending on the personal student circumstances, either in person at the headquarters of the Catholic University of Ávila or from their own homes or mobiles devices. The virtual presence of students was handled through the Blackboard Collaborate platform. This article will talk about these experiences, academic results and discussion of the advantages and disadvantages found by the implementation of both techniques.
e-learning, b-learning, m-learning, virtual classrooms, Blackboard Collaborate.