R. Lourenço, E. Ferreira, C. Lira Fernandes

Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (PORTUGAL)
The process of teaching/learning is a reality over and over changing, requiring a permanent adaptation of teaching methods with a view to continuous improvement and increased levels of student motivation. Moreover, the use of information technologies and communication in this same process is now an essential factor, not only as a mechanism for accessing content, but also as a tool for planning, learning, collaboration, evaluation, among other variables. The combination of these two realities has forced teachers to a new approach to the pedagogical issues in higher education, with a greater concern with methodology and mechanisms to allow a constant improvement. The article shows of the importance that information technologies have in the definition and implementation of a pedagogical approach really focused on students, with their involved in active teaching and learning. The pedagogical approach that is presented is based on three fundamental principles: (1) the student is the central element of teaching/learning process; (2) active learning should be permanent; and (3) self-study as a key mechanism of preparedness. This approach is divided into six components: (1) Planning, (2) Information, (3) Teaching, (4) Evaluation, (5) Feedback and (6) Monitoring. The advance planning of activities is assumed as a key component, because students can plan their efforts throughout the academic year if, from the beginning and in an easier way, have access to all information for the operation of a Curriculum Units. The evaluation has to be distributed continuous assessment, that includes different instruments at different times, to allow the evaluation tool adapt to the type of skill to acquire, and to minimize dependence on the success of students from only one assessment instrument. The gap between the time of conducting the evaluation and dissemination of results, which should be minimal, it is seen as a major factor critical, not only by the perception of the student that the proposed approach works, but primarily as a mechanism of motivation students themselves. Finally, the monitoring the whole process is an indispensable component, as it seeks to not only meet the expectations of students at first, also with their levels of satisfaction with the functioning of a unit at the end Curriculum in order to understand the differential satisfaction that the methodological approach can bring. This pedagogical approach is linked by Information Technology and Communications, without which it would be impossible to implement, given (1) the constant need of sharing information between teachers and students; (2) the problems of the failure and dropout particularly in the Engineering area, here was been applied, and (3) the new profile of students with increased appetite and dependencies of information technologies and communication. The Moodle platform has been a privileged tool to support the activities of all teaching and learning. The results obtained have been very positive, not only as regards the success achieved by students, but also by the results of student satisfaction, giving good indications of the advantages that this approach, particularly in motivation of students.