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Title: Platform m@t-Educate with success: a case study in Higher Education
Author: Araújo, Isabel
Cabrita, Isabel
Keywords: Learning platforms
Information and Communication Technology
Higher Education
Innovative Environments
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: IATED
Abstract: Last decades have witnessed continuous and interrelated changes, namely technological such as the Internet, and socio-economical such as globalization. Both have impacted contemporary society, a global society that has evolved from Information Society to Information and Communication Society and that should ultimately evolve to a true knowledge society. Education nowadays must respond to globalization demands and prepare students for the challenges of today's society which is constantly evolving. Existing technologies (especially online) allow us to manage, in a more expedite way, diversified information and contribute to improve teaching and learning quality namely in mathematics. On the other hand, they have also re-conceptualized the way we perceive teaching and learning. In this context, we created the “M@t-educate with success” (M@t) Platform, which is still giving its first steps and, thus, lacks a systematic validation which will allow to find out if the main objectives have been achieved. A central research question arises then: Does an adequate exploitation of M@t supporting Mathematics topics learning in Higher Education, contribute to the development of mathematical skills, promoting mobilization of knowledge, skills and attitudes? We opted for a qualitative research approach, based on the constructivist paradigm, more precisely a case study, since it allows us to study in detail one particular aspect of a problem. We used the techniques of inquiry, observation and document analysis to collect data in order to understand the phenomenon. Several data collection tools were used since a case study will be more reliable if based on several sources The study was conducted in the curricular unit of Mathematical Analysis from the degree in Food Engineering 1st year (more specifically with the Integral Calculus Thematic Unit (IC)). Before starting IC classes, students answered a characterization questionnaire and a pre-test was also conducted. That served a dual purpose - diagnostic evaluation and, later, assessment of students’ progress, when compared with the results of the post-test, performed shortly after in the IC classes ended and again replicated one month later. In the first class it was clarified the way that IC classes would be held: weekly, the student would carry out a preliminary exploration of the issues to be addressed in the following classes, by solving tasks proposed in the Study Guide (SG) provided in Moodle Platform. Thus, in the classroom, the topics previously explored would be discussed and tasks (of different sort) would be performed to assess the students’ ability to apply the knowledge built by an autonomous self-regulated exploitation of M@t. At the end of IC classes a questionnaire was applied to obtain students’ opinions regarding the M@t and the teaching methodology adopted. The study leads to a favorable conclusion concerning the advantages obtained from students which explored the IC contents through M@t with a particular focus on students high involvement level in the classroom and also the development of mathematical skills, encompassing knowledge and other general and specific attitudes. Also we can highlight the development of autonomy and the ability to transfer the knowledge produced. M@t and the adopted methodology seem appropriate, both because it has improved students’ attitude in the classroom, and by the increasing students’ performance in various proposed tasks, including exams.
Peer review: yes
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:CIDTFF - Comunicações

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