This work, entitled Virtual Environments built on Web 2.0 for developing competences in higher education has been carried out at the Institute for Knowledge and Learning Management in Virtual Environments of the University of Guadalajara, by Dr María Elena Chan Núñez, Dr Rafael Morales and myself, José Antonio Delgado Valdivia.
The table of content for our presentation goes as follows: If Web 2.0 is the answer, what is the question? From classroom to LMS Actual and future users From Distance to Online Education Development of competences Products from experience
Three essential elements of the proposal for Web 2.0 are those of personalisation (the user deciding what they want, how they want it, according to their needs for carrying out their diverse activities), collaboration (for work or study, collaboration in its deepest sense, that occur when subjects are conscious of common goals and build together a way to achieve them) and changes in ways of producing and consuming information and knowledge, that give raise to prosumers .
Among the possibilities offered by the Web 2.0 is that of constructing open environments that favour communication and promote collaboration. This environments have changed the ways of producing and consuming information, turning back to the original proposals for the Web. Now we can construct a new environment by integrating a diversity of tools, starting from an empty scenario and configuring the scenery as learning develops.
If all these possibilities can be articulated on Web 2.0, then what is the problem to solve? If Web 2.0 is the answer, what is the question? Nowadays LMS’s have become extensions to the school classroom: closed spaces full of instructions for predefined activities, and discussion boards that do little favour to the interaction among educational actors nor promote collaborative learning.
In the beginning, particularly in the Mexican context, Distance Education was a project devoted to tackle the coverage problem, aiming to bring education to adults that have missed to opportunity to study in their youth. Distance Education was offered initially through post, and have slowly moved first to mass media, as tele-education, and nowadays to digital information and communication technologies, to become Online Education (e-learning).
The Virtual University System of the University of Guadalajara provides educational services to a community of over 2000 students, with an average age in between 27 and 32 years. One of our goals is to increase the amount of young high school students, aged 15 to 19 years old, and first degree students in the range of 21 to 27 years old, that cannot find a place in the classroom. In fact, every year there are more students in the younger ranges opting for online learning.
What do we teach them? Three kinds of competences: professional, mediational and “e-competences”. The setting for the teaching and learning processes are Virtual Learning Environments.
This scheme, as simple as it may look, is a complex one, full of interactions among the different “types” of competences. Now I proceed to explain what these types are.
We understand by professional competences those developed by first degree students for solving problems and performing a variety of tasks in the practice of their profession. They include the knowledge and skill that enable individuals to satisfy the diversity of requirements set by the professional environment.
The mediational competences of signification, interpretation and representation are those that support a person to communicate in (virtual) environments, articulate processes of diverse nature and facilitate the transit from “reality” to “virtuality” and vice versa.
E-competences, on the other hand, are dominated by attitudes articulated by the person towards the new virtual environments, in response to the tasks demanded by the “new world” were information and communication technologies are pervasive. They include media, technological and digital literacy, and information management, together with an strategic view of reality and the possibilities of use of technologies and information.
The kind of experience behind this talk is like the one we have with 19 years old blended learning students. They were Psychology and Nutrition students on a computer literacy course. We were particularly interested in the performance of these students in using complex virtual environments beyond traditional LMS’s.
The general idea of a virtual learning environment as composed of four elements of Information, Interaction, Exhibition and Production provided a framework that made possible the introduction of a diversity of tools such as blogs, web pages (Google Sites), collaborative production tools (Google Docs), social networks (Facebook) and chat systems (Messenger).
The outcome of the course was that Psychology and Nutrition students, not particularly inclined to the use of these “sophisticated” technologies, incorporated them into their everyday practice.
This experience summoned some challenges for us: To clarify the relationships between e-competences and mediational competences. To systematise the creative and productive use of Web 2.0 tools in virtual learning environments. To move Education from consumption of general tools and applications towards a principled development of Learning 2.0 technologies.
Virtual environments built on Web 2.0 for developing competences in higher education <ul><li>María Elena Chan Núñez </li></ul><ul><li>Rafael Morales </li></ul><ul><li>José Antonio Delgado Valdivia </li></ul>E-learning 2.0
Content <ul><li>If Web 2.0 is the answer, what is the question? </li></ul><ul><li>From classroom to LMS </li></ul><ul><li>Actual and future users </li></ul><ul><li>From Distance to Online Education </li></ul><ul><li>Development of competences </li></ul><ul><li>Products from experience </li></ul>
If Web 2.0 is the answer… <ul><li>Some fundamental concepts </li></ul>Personalisation Collaboration Prosumer Web 2.0
<ul><li>Open environments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favour communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes in ways of producing and consuming (back to the origin) </li></ul><ul><li>New environment construction by integrating a diversity of tools (starting from a white sheet) </li></ul>Web 2.0
So what is the question? From classroom to LMS Extension of school activities Activities Instructions Discussion boards
From Distance to Online Education <ul><li>Coverage problems </li></ul><ul><li>A proposal for inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Have slowly became mediatised </li></ul><ul><li>Have slowly became digitalised </li></ul>
Competences to develop E-COMPETENCES PROFESSIONAL MEDIATIONAL VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
E-COMPETENCES PROFESSIONAL competences MEDIATIONAL competences VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Reality Virtuality Representation Interpretation Signification Problems Professional settings Functions Practice Tasks Personalisation Collaboration Prosumer Web 2.0 E-Awareness Technological literacy Media literacy Digital literacy Information management
PROFESSIONAL competences Knowledge and skills that enable individuals to satisfy the diversity of requirements set by the professional environment Problems Professional settings Functions Practice Tasks
MEDIATIONAL competences Communicational tasks or operations that articulate processes of diverse nature VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Reality Virtuality Representation Interpretation Signification
E-COMPETENCES Knowledge management using ICT and strategic usage of information, including collaborative work and innovation in problem solving Cristobal Cobo e-competencies.org 2009 E-Awareness Technological literacy Media literacy Digital literacy Information management
Our experience With 19 years old students Blended learning From the computer lab
Virtual environment and tools Blog Web pages Social network Chat Collaborative authoring tools Information Interaction Exhibition Production
Products of experience Everyday practices Workshops on Psychology Nutrition topics Team wok Web sites Transfer to other disciplines
Challenges –Conclusions Future research Conceptual level Mediational competences E- competences ¿? A more controlled construction of virtual environments from available tools Keep pace in the technological race