NEW TECHNOLOGIES APPLIED TO IMPROVING THE TEACHING PROCESS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
Dept. Tecnología Informática y Computación, Universidad de Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays, the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in University classrooms and labs is commonly spread worldwide. In the case of technical studies, such as Computer Science or Audiovisual Engineering, ICTs help to the development of on-line sessions and to the improvement the teaching-learning process at all levels. Improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning has been a crucial concern at colleges and universities for decades. Online teaching is increasingly common at many types of higher education institutions, ranging from hybrid courses that offer a combination of in-person and online instruction, to fully online experiences and distance learning.
In our case, we shall take into account the resources available at the University of Alicante (UA) website. Great efforts have been made to develop innovative approaches and methods at the University of Alicante. Thus, the UA has a corporate system of information which provides, among others, a comprehensive list of the study programmes and subjects, so-called ‘Virtual Campus’. This system is adapted to the current diplomas and it brings, for every subject, several details, such as: general information (code, department, degree, etc.), number of registered students, timetable and groups, subject goals and class schedule, lecturers’ information, bibliographical resources and methods of evaluation.
Thus, the use of Virtual Campus allows almost real-time interaction with the students using all its available tools: agendas, general information, materials, solved exercises, virtual labs, on-line exams, forums, self-assessment exercises, etc. Through Virtual Campus teachers can obtain class lists, view their students' records, answer students’ questions, etc., and they can also manage subject’s recommended textbooks, propose and moderate on-line discussions, provide new materials to students, and so on.
In this work, we shall show the results from the research completed so far in relation to the application of UA’s Virtual Campus and all their tools to the teaching process in Computer Science. Among others, we have used the on-line sessions’ utility, which ensures that our students have read the attached materials corresponding to a session (such as PowerPoint presentations, reading assignments, tests to be completed, etc.) and, as a consequence, they can complete certain tasks on time and progressively acquire competences in a concrete subject, making the most of this kind of non-presential learning.
In conclusion, we believe that our research has promising results and we intend to continue to improve to address the application of new technological devices, such as the UA’s OpenCourseWare or the generation of digital audiovisual educational contents.
Finally, we must point out that this research has been supported by the Grupos de Innovación Tecnológico-Educativa (GITE) of the University of Alicante, Reference number GITE-09031-UA.
Keywords: Online teaching, Academic research, Computer Science.