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Technology Enhanced Learning

There are numerous examples from recent years of the incorporation of all types of applications and technological systems into the classroom at all educational levels, with the aim to improve both student motivation and academic performance; we can group these initiatives under the term Technology Enhanced Learning, TEL. The Group of REsearch in Technology Enhanced Learning - GRETEL focus its research challenges and strategic objectives on the most common lifecycle of Technological implementation that comprises four distinct phases: design, implementation, approval and final assessment. Focusing in these four main phases, we the students’ learning experience may be improved by:

  • Supporting student engagement, motivation, satisfaction and retention;
  • Helping to produce enterprising graduates with the skills required to compete in the global business environment;
  • Encouraging inspirational and innovative teaching;
  • Personalizing learning that promotes reflection;
  • Delivering and supporting Continuing Professional Development and Internationalization.

To address these scientific challenges, GRETEL has designed four lines of action with specific objectives aligned with said challenges:

A. Active Learning Methodologies. This research line has as a challenge that the student further develops the knowledge and skills that must be acquired throughout their studies. In order to achieve this, the group aims to consolidate methods such as Project Based Learning (PBL), Challenge Based Learning (CBL), Scenario Centered Curriculum (SCC), Gamification (or serious games), and all types of Learning / Collaborative work (CL). Previously, these methods have allowed GRETEL to gain two international projects and one national project, including the publication of the results in both international conferences and impact journals. Other aspects related to active learning such as Advising & Coaching, or the use of Personal Learning Environments (PLE) and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), are also showing their usefulness and educational validity in addition to its scientific and research component, through the use of methods of results analysis and prediction. These results, also referenced in the activity of the group, are positioned as a work objective through the collection of new samples (national as well as international), that will allow us to correlate the results with the profiles of the students for a better characterization of the education process.

B. Visual and Interactive technologies. Hybrid Methods. This has been one of the main research lines of GRETEL in the previous period. Focused on the research on how new interactive visualization technologies allow the acquisition of skills and abilities faster and better than with traditional systems, the group's activity has been applied on two regional projects and in its own projects. In this line, the group has created a high rate of scientific acceptance and interest, especially in areas such as Architecture, where previous work is scarce. The objectives of the group for the new period are focused on incorporating in an effective, efficient, satisfactory (in line with the ISO-9241-11 usability standard), and motivating way new devices that allow students, regardless of their profile and characteristics, a better understanding of three-dimensional space. These skills are not exclusive to studies such as Architecture, Multimedia or Animation, but in a highly audio-visual current society they are fundamental for any user, whether or not they are in a training setting.

C. Social STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths): The lack of qualified professionals in scientific-technological disciplines makes it necessary to develop an interdisciplinary learning of these disciplines, since the skills obtained promote both engineering and computational thinking, as well as research methods, problem solving, creativity, and in general the skills needed to design innovative solutions to problems in our social and environmental context. In this sense, the objectives of the group are to incorporate robotics in pre-university stages, and BIM (Building Information Modeling) systems later to improve the acquisition of complex relational concepts.

D. Learning/Academic analytics and User eXperience (UX): these previous three research lines are based on experimental evaluation. Training is always a difficult task, since it is closely related to the context (formal, non-formal and informal, on-site, online, MOOC, etc.) where training is to be assessed. Assessment, and its derived techniques for analyzing the information obtained in the teaching-learning processes, is one of GRETEL's strengths. The objectives of the group in this field will focus on supporting the rest of the lines through the work and analysis of data and sources like Big Data, and Data Mining using Learning and Academic Analytics and UX.

 

Group leader: David Fonseca Escudero fonsi@salleurl.edu