MODERNIZING CURRICULA AT THE HIGHER EDUCATION LEVEL THROUGH BLENDED LEARNING
1 University of Belgrade (SERBIA)
2 Union University, Faculty of Real Estate Management (SERBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Due to the large amount of information and data fully available in digital form through the Internet, as well as the increasing use of ICT in everyday life, the process of education inevitably had to change. The informal type of education is becoming increasingly common way in which students or course participants choose to acquire knowledge. This type of education is becoming more prevalent, since it is relatively easy to organize the teaching and learning process through modern ICT and make it available to a large number of people. In order to maintain the leading position as educational institutions of the highest rank in the digital age, universities must modernize their curricula, which could be achieved through processing the vast number of available information in a particular field, offering the most relevant ones to students by means of digital technologies and finally by transforming the aforementioned into knowledge. This requires substantial effort coming from higher education institutions and leaders and their willingness and commitment to modernize curricula.
The process of modernizing curricula at the university level must begin with redesigning the relation between teaching and learning. Considering that the technological progress is accelerating tremendously, it is desirable that certain teaching materials become available in digital form, thus relieving lectures and providing an opportunity for students to initiate and actively participate in discussions during active teaching. Blended learning offers the optimal combination of the traditional, more formal, way of transferring knowledge and the modern vision of acquiring knowledge through e-learning or online learning, as it successfully combines synchronous, online synchronous and asynchronous learning components. This paper will emphasize the necessity of modernizing curricula at the higher education level by introducing blended learning, as well as provide illustrations of the manner in which this type of learning can be applied at the university level. In addition, we will give a few examples of the faculties in Serbia, both public, and private ones, which for many years now apply this way of organizing classes and transferring knowledge, as well as provide an overview of their experiences in this regard.
Keywords: Modernization, curricula, higher education, blended learning, digital form, Internet, ICT, synchronous, online synchronous, asynchronous, learning components, faculties, public, private, Serbia.