USING WEB 2.0 AND ONTOLOGIES AS LEARNING TOOLS
In the context of Bologna Process, a key issue of the Higher Education Area is to prepare students for their future careers as well as maximize their personal development and their contribution to a sustainable and democratic knowledge-based society. In this regard, creativity, innovation and the use of new technologies have been recognized as essential elements for the future success of education, since they may considerably increase the competitiveness of the labor market and improve the social cohesion.
The main purpose of this work is to present a successful learning experience based on creativity, innovation and the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to develop a training practice in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS). In particular, the experience involved the development of an ontology for the knowledge domain of Corporate Governance. The ontology was developed collaboratively by students using an innovative Web 2.0 application.
The activity was used for first time during the second academic semester of course 2009-2010, and it was addressed to the students within the subject “CSR Management of the “Master in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility”. The master, which is offered by University Jaume I in Castellón (Spain) and Spanish National University for Distance Education (UNED), is completely taught online, and the use of ICT by students is therefore a transversal subject integrated in the Programme.
The innovative learning experience was perform with the support of a specially designed Web 2.0 online platform, which allowed students to collaborate with the rest of students in an active, open and interactive manner. During the execution of the activity, students were required to contribute with their knowledge for the creation of a domain ontology about one of the main topics of the subject, that is, Corporate Governance. The activity was structured in two main phases. In the first phase, students had to prepare a list of definitions of terms and to establish semantic relationships among them. In the second phase, they had to assess the definitions of their classmates by means of a process of voting, as well as making contributions to improve the definitions. Moreover, they had to review their initial definitions including the comments of their classmates. The aim of the training task was to reach a consensus about the key terms and definitions of Corporate Governance.
Results indicate that students have increased their motivation in the subject, and have shown their widely knowledge of Corporate Governance as well as learning of their classmates by means of a set of concepts and relationships among key terms of Corporate Governance. This learning experience presents ontologies and their collaborative construction through Web 2.0 as a creative, innovative and effective tool in training practice for students of the higher education.
Web 2.0 application’s functionalities, activity phases and obtained results will deeply explained in full paper.