University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 417-428
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Criminology Programme (2nd cicle) was introduced in the 2005-2006 academic year in 7 Spanish universities: University of Alicante, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, University of Girona, International University of Catalonia, University of Murcia and University of Valencia.

Of these, only the University of Alicante offers the student, along with attendance method of teaching, the opportunity to pursue this degree online through the "Virtual Campus". This new model of education allows the student to pursue their studies at a distance, where he planned his pace of study and individually customized according to his circumstances and private employment, without having to go to the school and without fixed schedules. The bid of this degree is justified, mainly, by the student´s profile, the vast majority, people who already play a professional activity. This is the case, for example, of the members of the Security Forces of State, prison officials, private detectives, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, staff of the judiciary, social workers or educator and psychologists, among others.

However, unlike the traditional distance learning, the Virtual Campus allows for greater interaction between student and teacher. Indeed, through this virtual tool students can access the educational materials needed to prepare the subject and can communicate in a quick and easy way with their teacher to resolve those doubts to be raised. Moreover, the teacher can carry out a continuous and increased monitoring by the student's academic performance of individual activities (practices, exams, etc.) or in group (discussion, discussion forums...) that can control establishing deadlines for deliveries.
Thus, the Virtual Campus enables develop a distance learning tailored to the student's personal circumstances, but using a method similar to that teacher attendance with closer supervision and guidance of teachers. For this reason, it is interesting to compare the performance results obtained in the first two promotions for the Criminology Programme (2nd cicle) online and attendance of the University of Alicante to try to determine, first, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this new modality education and, second, whether it be a new teaching model applied in the framework of future European Higher Education Area.