University of Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4591-4600
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The University of Murcia's master program, "Master’s Degree in Education and Museums. Heritage, Identity and Cultural Mediation", is on its first edition and it started on september 2010 together with the new institutional eLearning enviroment, Aula Virtual, based on Sakai. There are 30 students from all around Spain.

It consists of 13 courses, some of them optionals for students and a final master thesis that has to be defended face-to-face or through videoconference. The program is fully online delivered and therefore the e-learning platform takes most of the responsibility for it success. The program starts with an introduction course that has different types of activities, all of them for students to try out and get used with the new environment. This course will last for one week and is conducted by the technical assistant that students will have during the whole master program.

Students only have one course at a time and each course takes around two to three weeks. During that time, students have a teaching assistant that will be available for them all the time and will provide them feedback on their activities and encourage them to actively participate on group discussions.

The materials have been adapted for an online education. We have made a website for each couse that contains a guiding text that conducts students through all the course material (documents, pictures, videos, external resources, diagrams...). Each course start with a video presentation from the course coordinator that presents the course content, the teaching assistant and the technical assistant.

On the CLE, Aula Virtual, we have a site for the whole master (all students, teaching assistants, teachers, technical assistant and master coordinator) and then one site for each course. The master's site has a set of tools that encourages and facilitate the communication between all members. This site will be available from the beginning of the program until the last course. It is used to announce the start-end of courses, general information about the master, special events, etc.

When a course starts, the new site is published and the teaching assistant uses the announcement tool to make a personal introduction and provide students with some useful information. All activities are organized on the assignment tool and announced on the calendar. We are using the resources tool to host our contents and the teaching assistants can also provide students extra material if needed. To encourage bidirectional communication, students can use the chat or the forum tool where they can share all type of information with their classmates. Most of the activities are forum oriented to encourage discussion and to share knowlegde between students, therefore students will have to make their contributions in the forum and also comments on their classmates colaborations.

The teaching assistant can use the private message tool to manage student tutoring and the forum when is something interesting for all students. They also use the assignment tool to provide students feedback on their contributions and their final responsability is to grade students using a gradebook tool that allows students to categorize and prepare a final grade. The course will end with a message from the master coordinator and a survey for students to evaluate the course, tutor and learning materials.
Sakai, e-learning, online Master's Degree, education experience.