S. Martinez-Requejo1, B. Thoilliez1, E. Expósito Casas2

1Universidad Europea (SPAIN)
2Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (SPAIN)
We aim to present an experience of collaborative virtual environment which has been carried out within a b-learning initial secondary teacher education program based at Universidad Europea in Madrid. It is a compulsory MA program of 60ECTS oriented to anyone seeking to teach at the secondary level in the Spanish education system. This learning experience was included in a 12ECTS subject named “Teacher innovation and introduction to educational research”. The main aim of this subject is that students recognize both teacher innovation and educational research’s contribution to improve the quality of their educational practice.

The collaborative virtual environment “INNVED” was created within semantics and social platform named “Gnoss”. Gnoss was created by RIAM co. to generate specialized online social networks with a dynamic semantic publication system. It integrates knowledge management, informal learning and collaborative work within a Linked Data environment. The way Gnoss is been structured makes possible to link any kind of contends for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge. Furthermore this platform reinforces and amplifies knowledge management processes with faceted search, (also called faceted navigation or faceted browsing), and generation of documentary and personal contexts for specific information.

“INNVED” is an acronym of the MA subject’s name. We decided to use this “naming” strategy to strengthen students’ identification with the subject as well as members of a b-learning community. INNVED has been used to develop compulsory and noncompulsory learning activities, sharing information related with the subject’s interests, and students social interaction.

In this paper we will present a quantitative analysis of students’ participation within INNVED community and its relation with their academic performance (both in this subject and the MA program), gender, age, overall satisfaction with the subject, and professional profile. This quantitative analysis is complemented with a qualitative approach consisting on written-based student’s self-reflection on INNVED experience’s contribution to their teacher professional development. Data have been collected out of students’ tracking system in INNVED community, final written-based self-assessment tool, and MA and INNVED final marks. The sample consisted of 87 MA students, aged 23 to 55, attending this b-learning program living in different regions of Spain in the academic year 2013-2014. The preliminary results that we present show how INNVED community has turned into a powerful learning community, which helps to build up future teacher’s identity and their digital competencies.