The New Bologna Environment pushes us to engaging new ways of teaching. Promoting the participation and commitment of students in their learning process is a key factor for the XXI Century University. Active methodologies should be used to accomplish that. In other words, the key for active learning is to proposing activities that make the students work on their own, looking for the achievement of high objectives.
A key factor for the successful application of active methodologies is that students receive as much feedback from the teacher as possible; that way students can modify and improve their learning process continuously. As a result, these methodologies are highly time–consuming for lecturers and face an important resistance to change within Academia.
But technology can help us organize the work and the communication with students. Tools that make the mechanical work associated with the management of students, their papers and their continuous evaluation, improve the efficiency of the time spent by lecturers.
Some e-learning platforms are very useful to the management of the communication with students. For example, lecturers can see statistics of the participation of a particular student in a forum, or listing the mails sent from a student and the responses given to him. But there are other tasks that are not implemented in any software yet.
Developing tools that simplify the hard mechanical work associated to the application of a certain methodology, is key to success in the Bologna process if class groups are not being reduced.
In addition, next generation e-books are being defined at present. As methodology, contents (e-books, technical notes…) have to be flexible enough in order to get our goal. Each student has his own personal resources so the contents have to be that flexible in the sequencing. Two different students may sequence contents differently.
Lecturers will have the possibility to interact within the material to guide each student to a specific direction. In this way, learning is an active process that may change as a function of the different actors that can play a role on it. Contents within text books cannot be static but count on different types of contents, (technical notes, workgroups or deliverables). And the learning strategy applied in each case should be oriented to develop in the students certain specific skills. These specific skills will vary depending on the degree the students are in.
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