16 SES 04, ICT in Higher Education
Nowadays, it is common to use free distribution platforms to develop virtual university campus that support the classroom teaching. Specifically, the Moodle platform promotes the teaching and learning that the knowledge society and the European Higher Education Area demand. Its interactivity allows developing a collaborative and constructivist perspective of education (Matua, Kanaabi & Cayaban, 2013; McLuckie, Naulty, Luchoomun & Wahl, 2009). This perspective has produced changes that have led to new approaches in curriculum materials applied
Moodle is used as the main tool or like other space that links to external resources. Its development promotes better design and resource use of the tool by the teachers and students involved. Both of them interact in the same learning environment (Chen, Wang & Hung, 2009).
Within the learning design process, several aspects are taken into account to define the activities that take place throughout the course. Thus, the activities must be easily understood by students and faculty in order to achieve the learning objectives proposed, they must be a sequencing and coordination of activities, and they should use the resources and services necessary to support the activities learning (Katsamani, Retalis and Boloudakis, 2012). Its interactive feature makes teachers (learning designers) change, update or improve their designs to make learning to be effective (Katsamani, Retalis and Boloudakis, 2012).
There are several evaluation experiences using Moodle (Costaa, Alvelosa & Teixeiraa, 2012; Damnjanovic, Jednak, & Mijatovic, 2013, Escobar-Rodriguez-Lozano & Monge, 2012; Horvat, Dobrota, Krsmanovic & Cudanov, 2013; Matua, Kanaabi & Cayaban, 2013; Mijatovic, Cudanov, Jednak & Kadijevich, 2013; Katsamani, Retalis & Boloudakis, 2012) or one of its tools for teaching in Higher Education (Wai Ying Lu & Law, 2012). However, there are still no widely accepted models of evaluation.
In this paper a study evaluating the design and use of Moodle as a tool that facilitates the development of theoretical and practical activities in a Masters in Environmental Education adapted to the EHEA is exposed. This postgraduate education has blended-learning character and it is taught in six Spanish universities. Use of three websites that correspond to the three modules of the Master degree (general subjects, researcher and professional itineraries) is made.
The coordination between the participating universities let share the resources found in the virtual campus (synchronous and asynchronous learning) and simultaneously it let emit classes with a web conferencing platform by Adobe Connect (synchronous learning).
In the academic context, the use of a platform like Moodle is considered a key resource to the development of a new curriculum approach in higher education. The participating teachers shared similar concepts and procedures in Environmental Education, but they have training and experiences very heterogeneous in virtual education. Therefore, Moodle courses designed show how each participating teacher interprets the virtual model of teaching, depending on how you use the several tasks and resources. Thus, the analysis of the resources used in each of the materials and designed pages is a source of wealth for the assessment of b-learning experience.
The aim of this study is to identify the resources and their use in the three websites by Moodle in the Master’s degree in Environmental Education in the last four academic years (from 2009-10 to 2012-13).
Chen, D. T., Wang, Y. M., & Hung, D. (2009). A journey on refining rules for online discussion: implications for the design of learning management systems. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 20 (2), 157‐173. Costaa, C., Alvelosa, H. & Teixeiraa, L. (2012). The use of Moodle e-learning platform: a study in a Portuguese University. Procedia Technology, 5, 334 – 343. Damnjanovic, V., Jednak, S., & Mijatovic, I. (2013). Interactive Learning Environments (2013): Factors affecting the effectiveness and use of Moodle: students' perception. Interactive Learning Environments. [On line] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10494820.2013.789062#tabModule. DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2013.789062. Education (2014): Adapting physics courses in an engineering school to the b-learning philosophy. European Journal of Engineering Education, DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2013.874980. Escobar-Rodriguez, T. & Monge-Lozano, P. (2012). The acceptance of Moodle technology by business administration students. Computers & Education, 58, 1085–1093. Horvat, A., Dobrota, M., Krsmanovic, M., & Cudanov, M. (2013). Student perception of Moodle learning management system: a satisfaction and significance analysis. Interactive Learning Environments. DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2013.788033. Katsamani, M., Retalis, S., & Boloudakis, M. (2012). Designing a Moodle course with the CADMOS learning design tool. Educational Media International, 49 (4), 317-331. DOI: 10.1080/09523987.2012.745771. Lu, J., & Wai Ying Law, N. (2012). Understanding collaborative learning behavior from Moodle log data. Interactive Learning Environments, 20 (5), 451-466. DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2010.529817. Matua, D., Kanaabi, J. & Cayaban, D. (2013). Using moodle e-learning platform to foster student self-directed learning: Experiences with utilization of the software in undergraduate nursing courses in a Middle Eastern university. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 677 – 683. McLuckie, J. A., Naulty, M., Luchoomun, D., & Wahl, H. (2009). Scottish and Austrian perspectives on delivering a Master’s: From paper to virtual and from individual to collaborative. Industry and Higher Education, 23 (4), 311-318. Mijatovic, I., Cudanov, M., Jednak, S. & Kadijevich, D. M. (2013) How the usage of learning management systems influences student achievement. Teaching in Higher Education, 18 (5), 506-517. DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2012.753049. Tójar, J. C. (2006). Investigación cualitativa. Comprender y actuar. Madrid: La Muralla.
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