Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4448-4456
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In facing the challenge of strengthening the teaching and learning processes, higher education, has proposed the theme of competencies development, that has been considered by Mexican Education Ministry (SEP, 2008) as a set of knowledge, abilities, attitudes and values indispensable for the education of people so that they understand the world and are able to influence it.

To undertake this challenge, it has been enriched by the new communication and information technologies (CITs) as well as by learning and knowledge ones (LKTs) which have led to the educative-technological process, that has allowed the reevaluation of the role of teachers and students, the improvement of teaching-learning process and the experimentation with new methodologies.

Online courses (e-learning) are base on the compromise of the student with his/her learning process and are centered on the intensive use of online courses, while mixed courses or blended learning (b-learning) mainly use videoconferences and attending classes where the responsibility rests on both, the professor and the student.

In order to measure the competencies developed in the courses, theorists agree in four global categories -expression, adequate communication, critical and reflective thinking, autonomous or self-regulated learning and collaborative working- that establish a set of basic competencies.

It was designed a non-experimental, quantitative, descriptive and cross-sectional research that aimed to compare the effectiveness to develop competencies between online courses and mixed or blended courses. The data gathering instrument was structured with 3 questions and 61 items measured with a Likert 7 scale, where positions 1 and 7 correspond to never and always respectively and are distributed under the four dimensions presented in the model.

From the data obtained from the institution’s Scholar Department, it was determined that 76 students from online modality had approved more than 60% of the subjects contained in their programs which resulted in a sample of 64 inquired people. For the mixed modality a census was taken to the 40 enrolled students.

The obtained results show that the more developed competences in the online modality (e-learning) and the mixed modality (b-learning) are: asinchronic communication in the first and honest communication of ideas in the later. In critical thinking, following the instructions and procedures in a reflective way in e-learning and assuming consequences of the decisions made in b-learning. In autonomous learning, for online students integrating knowledge to solve real problems, assumption of responsibility for the own personal education and attaining full development and for the mixed one defining goals in the own knowledge building process, identifying activities from most to least interest, as well as from most to least difficulty, and establishing relationships between knowledge from different fields with daily life. In collaborative work, respect to others’ point of view was developed in both cases.

It might be a priori concluded, subject to a deeper analysis, that competencies are not developed with the same intensity under both modalities.
education, competencies, online courses, mixed courses.