About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5437-5445
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MASTER IN THE MIX: TRANSITION FROM A REGULAR ON-CAMPUS MASTER OF STATISTICS INTO A BLENDED AND A DISTANCE PROGRAM

S. Verbeken1, M. Aerts1, G. Molenberghs2

1UHasselt (BELGIUM)
2Hasselt University / Leuven University (BELGIUM)
The aim of this paper is to outline our preliminary experiences in and our future plans with the conversion of a regular on-campus Master Of Statistics into a Blended and a Distance Program, each of them having their own target groups. The goal is to offer two parallel programs: one on-campus and one off-campus. With this transition we are aiming at optimizing and broadening the inflow and outflow of the Master Of Statistics both in a qualitative and a quantitative way.

The paper presented describes the motivation that underlies the decision to innovate the Master’s program, as well as the strategy we will apply to develop and implement the new programs. Given the fact that we will reshape the whole Master’s program, it is clear that the innovations needs to be developed at both the level of the curriculum (i.e. meso level), and at the level of the courses (i.e. micro level).

As stated above, the result of the innovation will be twofold: one Blended and one Distance program. The first is to be differentiated from the latter in that sense that it is to be done on-campus. Students will regularly (e.g. several times a month) come to the university campus in order to perform a whole range of learning activities: classes, exercise sessions, group work, all kinds of assessment,… Contrary to the Blended program, the Distance program will contain almost no face-to-face contact. Almost every learning activity will be executed off-campus. At the time of writing, the idea is to bring students to the university campus in case of assessment. Due to practical issues, we will not be ready to organize off-campus exams in 2014-2015 but in the future exams will take place in universities or institutes abroad who are organizing the exams from a practical point of view.

Apart from the on- and off-campus part, there is another important difference between the Blended and the Distance Program. Where students will have to follow more or less a group pace in the first, they will define their own (individual) pace in the latter. There will be certain points in time where they will be able to do exams and other forms of assessment will have certain deadlines, but apart from that they can structure their own learning path the way they want to.

From a curriculum point of view, a number of principles underlie the implementation of the educational innovation. First, the programs will be as identical as possible concerning learning goals and competences to be obtained. Secondly, both program versions will be offered in parallel but they will be as integrated as possible. This means that for instance group work will be done in heterogeneous groups, consisting of students both from the Distance and from the Blended Program. We are confident that several technological tools will facilitate this e-collaboration between students. Thirdly, we are constituting a one-year version of both programs. This means that students with a particular profile and students with certain prior knowledge and education, will be able to enroll for a Master program of one year instead of the full two-year program.

The paper presented finally describes a number of preliminary experiences and formulates conclusions on the state of the art of the transition.
@InProceedings{VERBEKEN2014MAS,
author = {Verbeken, S. and Aerts, M. and Molenberghs, G.},
title = {MASTER IN THE MIX: TRANSITION FROM A REGULAR ON-CAMPUS MASTER OF STATISTICS INTO A BLENDED AND A DISTANCE PROGRAM},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5437-5445}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Verbeken AU - M. Aerts AU - G. Molenberghs
TI - MASTER IN THE MIX: TRANSITION FROM A REGULAR ON-CAMPUS MASTER OF STATISTICS INTO A BLENDED AND A DISTANCE PROGRAM
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 5437
EP - 5445
ER -
S. Verbeken, M. Aerts, G. Molenberghs (2014) MASTER IN THE MIX: TRANSITION FROM A REGULAR ON-CAMPUS MASTER OF STATISTICS INTO A BLENDED AND A DISTANCE PROGRAM, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 5437-5445.
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