During the course 2001-2002, La Salle Engineering and Architecture – Ramon Llull University set off an innovative methodology of blended education in second cycle degrees in Informatics and Telecommunication Engineering.
In the last years, La Salle has been aware to all the changes that the Bologna Process involves and has adapted its blended programmes to the new context, offering for the next course the Master in Networks and Communications, Master in Computer Science Engineering and its Management, Master in ICT Management, Complementary Courses for Telecommunications Technical Engineering and Computer Technical Engineering. Both complementary courses are for reaching the degree in Telecommunications Engineering or Computer Engineering.
Through all this years, there are more than 1000 students that have studied satisfactory this blended degrees. The annual statistics show that the student’s exit in this methodology is equivalent to the one that the students on campus have, approximately a 70%.
This learning methodology allows the students to choose the time and place to study so they can combine the professional and university life.
In this educational model, traditional classes have been changed for ‘digital sessions’ accessible through the virtual campus eStudy. These sessions are carefully designed pedagogically and technologically so students can know what they have to know before each session, what s/he is going to learn, and the activity s/he has to do and the approximate time s/he has to dedicate to it.
Along the existence of blended courses, the new technologies have permitted to introduce a lot of new things in the system: interactive multimedia contents, demonstrations, simulators, video-lessons and online practices that, thanks to the monitoring, make the engineer’s learning easier through the web, from the place and moment s/he wants.
Besides, teachers and classmates are in constant interaction by telematic ways. The learning model includes participation and team work. Working through the web, instead of substituting the presence in a classroom, is fully exploited to get the best benefits. The possibilities of working in forums, communicating by e-mail and using the virtual campus which allows the communication through videoconferences, virtual blackboard and slide presentations, guarantee the system exit.
Likewise, the education model guarantees the personalized monitoring of each student and his/her practical training. It also allows keeping the ‘presence’ of the students through laboratory practices, magisterial classes and problem and monitoring sessions. The timetable of the on campus classes is specially designed to facilitate the attendance of the students that work. If in spite of this, someone isn’t able to come, sometimes is possible to participate through videoconferences.
The blended courses’ syllabuses are exactly the same than the online courses, with the same quality, rigor and exigency that characterizes La Salle’s studies.
Every student may choose during the enrollment process, if they want to study a subject, on campus or in a blended way. This permits them to personalize their studies according to their own schedule and their possibility to come, or not, to the campus.
Lluís Vicent Safont
Director of Open Campus La Salle
Barcelona, October 1st, 2011