About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3396-3403
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

FIRST VIRTUAL CAMPUS EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENT TO CLASSROOM COURSE IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

M.S. Shmidt, A.S. Farré, M.C. Caterina, M.I. Abasolo, D.G. Bekerman

Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica (ARGENTINA)
The blended learning (b-learning) environments relate face-to face with technology mediated instruction. Researchers recognize its potential for transforming instruction because b-learning capitalizes on the best of both ways of teaching [1]. In addition to that, several studies have highlighted the positive effects of virtual learning environments on learning and teacher-student and student-student communications [2].

Organic Chemistry 1 is a course (lectures, experimental laboratory, and problem solving) taught for the careers of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The community of the Course consists of 3 professors and 20 auxiliary teachers for 850 students, divided into 18 groups. The Campus was opened as a first experience and the entire community was invited to participate in it. Only five auxiliary teachers took the responsibility of selecting resources and activities included.
Our main goal in the implementation of the virtual environment was to offer students resources and activities to optimize the use of time, and exercises that allow them to self-evaluation. Therefore, we designed several activities with increasing autonomy levels suitable for different learning requirements and styles. Besides, five forums were created to give students the possibility to interact among them and with the teacher. We also used the virtual platform to communicate administrative issues.

The aim of this work is to evaluate the pros and cons of this teaching strategy, new in our context.
Data came from students’ and teachers’ ways of participation, and a voluntary survey answered by 209 students.

Main findings were:
The use of Virtual Campus was satisfactory for students, specially forums and questionnaires. Those pupils who attend classes regularly found this tool interesting and very useful, and an opportunity to clarify almost immediately any questions related to the course. They request to incorporate the lecture´s materials as resources, to display the resolutions of some exercises, and that all teachers should carried out a forum. Value judgements in all cases resulted in congratulations for the initiative.

It is necessary to pay special attention to chemical representations when working with forums related to Organic Chemistry. Poor chemical language knowledge makes difficult to understand written communication between students. MOODLE platform does not provide a chemical formulae writer.

One of the reasons for the lack of use of resources by students and teachers was the additional time and effort that b-learning demand.

Only three teachers apart from Campus’ organizers envisioned this tool, without participating. This suggests that the use of virtual tools is not properly valued. The use of virtual environment by our teachers is yet conflictive.

This first experience was positively and widely recognized by the community, which ensures the continuity of b-learning proposal. Our challenge will be to increase the number of teachers who use the campus and participate more actively.
@InProceedings{SHMIDT2011FIR,
author = {Shmidt, M.S. and Farr{\'{e}}, A.S. and Caterina, M.C. and Abasolo, M.I. and Bekerman, D.G.},
title = {FIRST VIRTUAL CAMPUS EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENT TO CLASSROOM COURSE IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3396-3403}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.S. Shmidt AU - A.S. Farré AU - M.C. Caterina AU - M.I. Abasolo AU - D.G. Bekerman
TI - FIRST VIRTUAL CAMPUS EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENT TO CLASSROOM COURSE IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 3396
EP - 3403
ER -
M.S. Shmidt, A.S. Farré, M.C. Caterina, M.I. Abasolo, D.G. Bekerman (2011) FIRST VIRTUAL CAMPUS EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENT TO CLASSROOM COURSE IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 3396-3403.
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