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Designing an online learning environment for the qualification of teachers: the case of the PAS in the University of Perugia

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the experience of blended learning conducted in the special Path Enabling Course (PAS: training course reserved for staff working in schools for at least 3 years), at the University of Perugia. The research presented aims to investigate whether, and to what extent, the proposed online course has enabled students to experience different forms of meaningful learning, both individually and in groups; and in which courses they have been stimulated by critical thinking, creativity and metacognitive skills.

Open access
Designing MOOCs in Higher Education. Outcomes of an experimentation at the Catholic University of Milan

Abstract

This article aims to describe the meaning and pedagogical reasons for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) utilisation in higher education. Initially, we consider the situation in the Italian education, where MOOCs usually were used as tools for the universities’ marketing strategies. Knowing this, Catholic University built the MOOC on Digital Virtues for imaging a new way of thinking about these kinds of formative activities. The results are interesting in terms of dropout rates, branding and customer satisfaction. The key, as the survey we present in this article shows, is quality and reputation.

Open access
The impact of an international online accreditation system on pedagogical models and strategies in higher education

Abstract

Health promotion practice is characterised by a diverse workforce drawn from a broad range of disciplines, bringing together an extensive breadth of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and values stemming from biomedical and social science frameworks. One of the goals of the CompHP Project was to ensure that higher education training would not only reach competency-based standards necessary for best practice, but also facilitate mobility within the EU and beyond through the accreditation of professional practitioners and educational courses. As a result, higher education institutions in Italy and elsewhere are requested to shift the focus from the definition of learning objectives to the identification of teaching strategies and assessment measures to guarantee that students have acquired the competencies identified. This requires reflection on the pedagogical models underpinning course curricula and teaching–learning approaches in higher education, not only to meet the competency-based standards but also to incorporate overarching transversal competencies inherent to the profession and, more specifically, to the online accreditation procedure. Professionals applying for registration require competence in foreign languages, metacognition and be digitally literate. The article provides a brief overview of the development and structure of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education online accreditation system and proposes a pedagogical reflection on course curricula.

Open access
A protocol for multidimensional assessment in university online courses

Abstract

This paper presents a protocol developed for multidimensional assessment for e-learning experiences based on socioconstructivist principles. First, we describe the structure of an e-learning course where the protocol has been developed and tested; second, we describe the protocol and how it has been used in that course.

We believe this protocol is a useful tool for a twofold reason: on the one hand, it takes into account the complexity of the pedagogical architecture of socioconstructivist courses – where many teaching models and learning strategies are mixed, different individual and collaborative activities are proposed and students are asked to build a variety of final products. On the other hand, it promotes students’ assumption of responsibility and active role, with a particular reference to self-assessment competences. Instances of how we have applied the protocol will be described in the paper. The assessment protocol we present here is complex, nevertheless flexible. Therefore, although we have tested it in a specific course, it could also be used in similar or simpler courses.

Open access
A tale about Zen philosophy and a motorcycle (that is: OER & MOOC quality)

Abstract

The paper introduces the concept of education quality, mainly based on a shared culture, that is a background for a permanent reflection on a process in which teachers, students, and stakeholders are involved, in a gradual improvement of their competence. People can achieve quality if they head for an open, participatory, iterative trajectory towards personal identity construction through the achievement of satisfaction of a well done work. In this context measurement tools and final quality controls are only a means “toward the end of satisfying the peace of mind of those responsible for the work” (Pirsig, first edition 1974, 2005, p.304).

The also describes the Open Educational Resources and Massive Open Online Courses phenomenon, and presents the most recent studies about the theoretical framework and practical tools available in the scientific literature to scaffold the quality evaluation of open education. The discussion, taking full advantage of the literature presented, recognises that we are still in the infancy of the Open Education quality evaluation, and that the available tools have still to demonstrate their value in the application's fields, through empirical researches.

Open access
Visuo-spatial attention and reading abilities: an action game prototype for dyslexic children

Abstract

The ability to play action videogames – not directly related to phonological or orthographic training – seems to be a teaching tool able to intervene specifically on spatial attention and drastically improve the reading skills of dyslexic children. The MADRIGALE project aims at the design and development of an action game, simultaneously involving both phonological and attention training in order to adapt educational game strategies for special needs.

Within the MADRIGALE project, the design of the prototype was presented at the International Conference on Intelligent Networking and Collaborative Systems, while an experimentation about educational effectiveness of the prototype, conducted using ‘Prove MT2’ as a benchmarking tool for measuring accuracy and speed of reading, was published in the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET). This paper is an extension of the work presented in SIREM – SIEL 2014 Conference, and presents the results of a Game Evaluation Sheet administered to 50 primary school teachers with experience of dyslexic students

Open access