I. Necula

Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
The paper presents the results of innovation projects carried out by the author during the academic year 2011-2012, focused in using cooperative blended techniques (see [1], [3]) during the teaching and learning processes. The projects have been applied in the first level subject “Mathematics applied to Construction II” of the Edification Engineering Degree offered by the University of Seville, having been focused on using active individual learning methodologies and on promoting different manifestations of team working, emphasizing group interaction and also individual responsibility.

The projects have been designed for a group of approximately 75 students, with highly heterogeneous backgrounds, having not only very different levels of background but also a great variety of abilities, attitudes, interests and levels of motivation. Nevertheless, taking into account the learning style model developed by Felder et al [2]:

• sensing learners (practical, oriented towards facts and procedures) versus intuitive learners (innovative, oriented towards theories and meanings)
• visual learners (preferring visual representations of presented material, as pictures, diagrams, or flow charts) versus verbal learners (preferring written and spoken explanations)
• active learners (tending to learn by trying things out, working with others) versus reflective learners (tending to learn by thinking things through, working alone)
• sequential learners (tending to learn in small incremental steps) versus global learners (tending to learn in large steps),
we consider that most of our students are sensing, visual, active and sequential learners.

Our approach puts students into activities that motivate and also force them to use computer-based tools (the virtual platform WebCT and the scientific computing software Maple) and to constructively interact with other students or groups, during both attending and not attending classes, potentiating and positively valuating the students’ continuous work and their active participation during the classes and also their own learning processes and establishing academic incentives for realize (in small groups or individually) different tasks recommended by the professor.

The majority of the students decided to participate in the projects, considered to be very useful and being positively evaluated by the participants.

One of the main topics of further work consists in adapting this approach adding also computer-based techniques as virtual tutorials and e-boards.