Education and ICT (e-learning)

Flexible and Open Online Education

The Open and Flexible Education research line focuses on investigating new ways of teaching and learning in different contexts and scenarios (current and future) stressing on the new and more flexible education and learning models. We want to look at how they fit with the new student profiles and their needs, and to take into accounts which are the different social and cultural contexts in which they are immersed. The main research areas would include: a) exploring new educational models, both blended and online, which have been generated from diverse cultures and environments, and which mean different approaches to education; b) identifying those pedagogies that are underlying these new models or which better fit with; c) the new forms of organization of learning; d) the technologies which contribute to these new emerging models; e) the opportunities online education provide in the framework of globalization; f) studying the potential of open and flexible models to guarantee equity and access to education for those traditionally most disadvantaged groups; g) the components of quality and cost of the new emergent models and their outcomes.

Thesis proposals 

Researchers

Research 
group

Assesment, feedback and schools 

This research line includes:

  • Feedback strategies in schools.
  • Assessment for learning in schools.
  • Formative assessment and feedback to promote student learning in primary and secondary education.
  • Dialogue-based feedback and student learning.

Dra. Anna Espasa
coordinator 

Dra. Teresa Guasch,
coordinator 

Dra. Rosa Mayordomo 

Ed –Online Research Group 

Changing educational institutions through technologies: leadership and management

The integration of ICT in educational institutions is a process of change which is complex and challenging to carry out. Today, organizations in general and educational institutions in particular are dynamic entities that change in order to meet their own needs and those of society. The direction of this change has two distinct and equally important phases. The first one corresponds to strategy (mission, vision and goals) and leadership; the second one focuses on the operational, ie to identify which resources and processes are most favourable for proper implementation. In our research, we consider the two phases, and, thus, our main research goal is to study the difficulties and challenges in order to analyse, evaluate, and propose solutions which lead to successful implementation. The leadership of this process and its various dimensions are also key elements in our research.
Examples of work in this line are the models and the dimensions of leadership in the adoption of ICT in educational institutions and the study and analysis of elements that facilitate or hinder this adoption, understood as a process of change. Similarly, in our research we identify and analyse the factors of success or failure of e-learning initiatives developed by institutions.

Dra. Montse Guitert
coordinator 

Dra. Nati Cabrera 
Dra. Lourdes Gurdia
Dr. Marcelo Maina 
Dra. Maria Prez-Mateo 
Dr. Marc Romero 
Dra. Teresa Romeu 
Dr. Albert Sangr 

EDUL@B Research Group

Collaborative and interdisciplinary learning network: community of practice applications, and learning & teaching

Communities of practice are nowadays an important concept in the healthcare sector. Described as a group of people who share an interest in a domain of human endeavour and engage in collective learning that creates bonds among them, they give healthcare professionals the chance to build collective knowledge working at different levels of care. These virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) have proven capable of solving healthcare professionals' information and communication problems in a much simpler way. Moreover, they have been found to improve the functioning of organizations by generating the kind of tacit knowledge that emerges from interactions among colleagues. Finally, through virtual communities of practice, the optimal conditions for facilitating a collaborative and interdisciplinary learning network are created. The interest in identifying the benefits that VCoPs offers in the healthcare sector is relatively new in specialized literature. 

Dr. Francesc Saigi
coordinator 

Dra. Alicia Aguila
Dr. Francesc Xavier Medina 

eHEALTHLAB Research Group

Design and assessment in online learning & teaching environments, supported by social and collaborative tools

This line of research studies the pedagogical, organizational and symbolic aspects of the new social and collaborative environments and technologies for teaching and learning in a complex and changing world.

Dra. Adriana Ornellas 

 

 Digital culture and new learning ecologies

This line of research is devoted to the study of new processes, spaces, time frames, tools, activities, and so on, that are related with learning and that emerge as a result of individual and group participation in the network through various digital devices, forming new ecologies of learning and giving rise to new literacies.

Dra. Iolanda Garcia  

ICT for STEM (science, technology, engineering y mathematics) learning

The development of information a communication technologies (ICT) has made it possible to teach and learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in an innovative way. This research line addresses common difficulties in terms of motivation, engagement, monitoring of the learning process, and assessment of or feedback on the STEM courses. We intend to study technologies, methodologies, real cases and methods specially designed for STEM e-learning.

Dra. M. Antonia Huertas
coordinator 

Dra. Ana Elena Guerrero 

Dr. Enric Mor 

Dra. M. Elena Rodrguez

TEKING Research Group

Museums, schools & e-learning

As the literature (Juanola; Calb; Valles, 2006; Fontal, 2003; Calaf, 2009) suggests and from what we have seen in our research, heritage education promotes students' personal development. On the one hand, we analyse educational uses of digital objects with heritage-related content (images, videos, etc.) so that students of different ages acquire knowledge and skills related to heritage, digital literacy and various core subjects of the syllabus. On the other hand, interaction (Hein, 1998; Falk and Dierking, 2000; Garten and Edwards in Casas, 2005) between teachers, museums educators and students is very important in acquiring specific knowledge and skills. Therefore, we analyse student-teacher-educator interactions during teaching and learning processes and the professional relationship between teachers and museum educators during the following heritage education phases: planning, teaching-learning and evaluation.

Dra. Gloria Munilla 

MUSEIA Research Group

Older adults learning and ICT

Older adults have special learning needs that differ from younger adults when it comes to technology. This research line is focused on older adults' ICT learning and the strategies, processes, attitudes and motivations involved. At the moment, it aims to address not only the processes of ICT adoption, but also to take into account people who are already ICT users. The objective is to enhance the effectiveness and experience of learning how to use ICT, even through the use of ICT, whether in formal or informal learning scenarios.

Dra. Eullia Hernndez Encuentra

Dra. Modesta Pousada Fernndez

Dra.  Beni Gmez-Ziga

PSINET Research Group

Open and emergent learning scenarios

Learning opportunities have exponentially multiplied in recent years, driven by societal demands for competent, engaged citizens and enabled by technological advancements. The traditional offer of the established educational system is witnessing as well as contributing to wider educational access through open and flexible educational models and resources.
This research line focuses on the study of the design and implementation of emergent learning scenarios, combining the Social Web, student empowerment, participatory and active pedagogies and new assessment strategies supported by ICT. Technology-enhanced assessment can be embedded within the learning design in a way that can motivate students and help them provide formative feedback and tools to follow up on their learning processes.
Teaching and learning roles, the combination of formal and informal education, hybrid educational modalities and new ways of negotiating curriculum with different stakeholders are given particular emphasis.

Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment from the research perspective allows us to help and guide educators and policy.

Dra. Montse Guitert
coordinator 

Dra. Nati Cabrera 
Dra. Lourdes Gurdia
Dr. Marcelo Maina 
Dra. Maria Prez-Mateo
Dr. Marc Romero 
Dra. Teresa Romeu 
Dr. Albert Sangr 

EDUL@B Research Group

Psychosocial factors affecting women’s access to technology careers and their distancing in ICT socialization

Dra. Montse Vall-Llovera

 

Quality in online education

Concern about quality in education is not new, but it has increased steadily in the last three decades.
This increasing concern basically responds to two variables: the economic and the methodological (and didactic). From an educational point of view, the second variable should be preeminent, but actually, the first one seems to be more decisive. This situation influences the beliefs about the concept of quality in education and, consequently, about quality assessment models and management or existing quality assurance processes.
Thus, quality is a multidimensional, relative, subjective and ambiguous concept that depends on society’s ideology. This ideology establishes many different perspectives: quality as an exception (excellence, standards); as consistency (quality culture); as the capacity to achieve goals; as an economic value (efficiency); as student transformation (improvement, development, added value) (Harvey & Knight, 1996). Depending on each perspective, to sum up, quality assurance or evaluation could have two main possible roles: as a means of accountability and systematization for quality assurance, and as a route to quality improvement/transformation for the educational process. Our research mainly focuses on this second role.
All these quality issues in education take on a greater role with the introduction of technologies and social media in education. Since its introduction, online education has been heavily critiqued and compared to traditional teaching. Since its emergence as an instructional technique, there have been veiled suggestions of inadequacies and low quality. Now, new ways of teaching and learning have emerged in today's society, thanks to the technologies and the new ways of communication and interaction, breaking the barriers of time and space. This all requires the rethinking of existing conceptual quality frameworks and systems if it is to be evaluated. The new learning scenarios and the technology that makes them possible also provide new opportunities for information and data access. Therefore, research on quality in online education has new challenges to achieve, to become a real strategy for change and improvement in education.

Dra. Montse Guitert
coordinator 

Dra. Nati Cabrera 
Dra. Lourdes Gurdia
Dr. Marcelo Maina 
Dra. Maria Prez-Mateo
Dr. Marc Romero 
Dra. Teresa Romeu 

Dr. Albert Sangr 

EDUL@B Research Group

Research-based teacher education in online environment 

This research line encompasses the study of how schoolteachers could learn and develop their professional identity as a teacher through online environments using findings from educational research.

Dr. Toni Badia
coordinator 

Dra. Lorena Becerril Baln

SINTE 
Research group

Self-directed learning and open social learning environments

This research line is devoted to the analysis of self-directed or self-regulated learning processes in flexible and open digital environments, in which participation and social interaction provide the basic structure and resources for individual and collective knowledge building.

Dra. Iolanda Garcia  

Smart classroom & open schools 

This research line analyses and explores how the learning space should be designed in educational institutions to meet current educational needs and pedagogical principles and contemporary models. The approach is made from 3 dimensions: environmental, pedagogical and digital. This research also focuses its efforts on what the design and spatial configuration of classroom elements should be, as well as the most suitable methodologies for teaching and learning in the future learning spaces (smart classrooms). The main objective is to obtain scientific knowledge to guide the decision-making of the teachers and school management teams on how the spaces and the elements in them have to be in order to respond to an inquiry methodological proposal and to an efficient and rich integration of digital environments.

Dr. Guillermo Bautista 

 

Teacher's professional development in the digital era

The evolution of ICT and digital media has led to a substantial change in teaching and learning processes and, consequently, an evolution in the roles of skills and training processes for teachers at all educational levels.
In this scenario, it is essential to identify the competencies, roles and tasks of online teachers. This is crucial if we are to establish teaching strategies that might better fit education. This applies to teachers in general and teaching online; we must keep in mind that we live in the digital era in which all professionals must have a digital skills.
Teacher training must analyse what the right strategies, content and resources will be in pre-service and service training and what formal or informal scenario will facilitate these continuous learning processes.

Dra. Montse Guitert
coordinator 

Dra. Nati Cabrera 
Dra. Lourdes Gurdia
Dr. Marcelo Maina 
Dra. Maria Prez-Mateo
Dr. Marc Romero 
Dra. Teresa Romeu 
Dr. Albert Sangr 

EDUL@B Research Group

The role of e-learning scientific heritage's contribution to social inclusion

Museia is focused on scientific heritage and its social role. This research line includes the relation between museums and social change and the role of museums in different forms of governance. Museia is exploring the role of the Museum 2.0, social media and the concept of identity in societies with foreign populations and other traditionally excluded groups such as people with visual disabilities.

Dra. Gloria Munilla  MUSEIA Research Group

2.0 tools in health and food sciences

This line of research studies the possibilities of 2.0 tools as a support system for learning about nutrition, self-care and enhancing adherence to changing food habits.

Dr. Francesc Saigi
coordinator 

Dra. Alicia Aguilar

Dr. Francesc Xavier Medina 

eHEALTHLAB Research Group