EXPERIENCE OF COOPERATIVE BLENDED LEARNING ON ENGINEERING STUDENTS

I. Uriarte-Ramírez, P. Avitia-Carlos, N.A. Barboza Tello, J.A. Paz-González

Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (MEXICO)
The advent of digital era has settled a new path on education practices. The flourishing of communication technologies and the easiness of access to computer equipment and internet connection that enjoys nowadays a large portion of the population has favored the development of collaborative educational processes on which knowledge is a permanent construction carried by all participants, in opposition to yesteryear passive receptivity of students. Though, is on this scenario that becomes of most importance to highlight pedagogical processes over technological ones.

Education experts conclude that the use of collaborative techniques in learning processes improves academic, personal and social development on students. Collaborative learning fosters positive interdependence, individual accountability and interpersonal skills [1]. Therefore, using online supported techniques allows an improvement on student’s academic performance and competitively positions them in national and international scenarios through the creative solution to situations and opportunity areas identified while increasing their skills on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a result of the combined of teachers and students efforts.

This paper describes the experience in usage of the collaborative learning technic “Investigation Groups” to deliver the subject “Introduction to Engineering” which is studied during the first semester of university engineering programs on the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Mexico. The course is officially classroom delivered and was complemented with online activities using Blackboard platform. Observed results show the relevance for the usage of this technic of the preexistence and development of interpersonal abilities (leadership, respect, assertive communication, etc.), as well as the presence of formative barriers to the optimal educative use of the net such as reading and writing skills.