Università telematica internazionale UNINETTUNO

The Didactic Cyberspace

 

 

The fulcrum of didactic activity on the Internet is represented by the WEB macro-area known as the Didactic Cyberspace, which allows those who participate in this learning process to access the areas relating to their area of study.
In the Didactic Cyberspace a learning and developmental process is implemented through a new approach to communicating knowledge.
There are various ways to access the Didactic Cyberspace through login and passwords on the basis of the three different roles of those who participate in the learning process: Professors, Tutors and Students.
The three categories of those who utilize the service can access information linked to each teaching subject. In particular, the Professor and Tutor can modify or substitute didactic materials and add new ones for the duration of the teaching period, while the student has his or her own area where data, information and personal notes can be inserted.
When you enter the Didactic Cyberspace, you can choose your Faculty and your Degree Course.. Then, through the window entitled List of Teaching Subjects, you can access:

- the The Page of the Appointed Teaching Professor
- the Tutor Page
Within these pages you will find the Learning Environments.

 

The Appointed Teaching Professor Page

This contains all of the functions of the Appointed Teaching Professor and allows access to the following areas:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Teaching Program;
  • Conceptual Map;
  • Didactic Material;
  • Didactic Planning;
  • Exam Guide;
  • Exam Calendar;
  • Learning Environments;
  • Links to the Tutor Pages

The Teaching Programme is stuctured in such a way as to contain:

  • The description, objectives and contents of the subject being taught;
  • The specification of necessary prerequisites;
  • The reference to exercises relative to the video lessons;
  • The indexing of textbooks;
  • Key words of the subject being taught;
  • Indications as to the methodology along with study suggestions for the subject being taught.

The Concept Map for the teaching subject presents the title of each lesson, a listing of the topics within each lesson along with bookmarks that connect the didactic materials (books and articles, CD-ROM, bibliographies, site links, exercises and virtual laboratories) relating to the various topics that are treated.

The Didactic Material is comprised of elements that have been prepared upon in an ad hoc fashion by the Appointed Teaching Professor. These can include articles, study sheets, exercises, CD-ROM/DVDs and slides. Select materials prepared by students during their collaborative studies may be included at the discretion of the Appointed Teaching Professor.

The Didactic Planning section depends on the number of academic credits, as relates to the amount of work the student does. All of the Teaching Subjects of the Degree Courses at the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO are presented as a series of modules that have a predefined duration according to the number of academic credits attributed to the course, as has been illustrated before. In the Didactic Planning section, the Appointed Teaching Professor will indicate the approach and timing as to his or her teaching programme, the parameters regarding academic credits and other information relative to the teaching subject.

The Exam Guide specifies the following:

  • How the exam wil be carried out;
  • Prerequisites for admission to the exam;
  • The way in which you can reserve a place in order to sit the exam;
  • Documents that must be presented in order to take the exam;
  • The way in which results are communicated;
  • The way in which results are recorded.

The Exam Calendar displays the following:

  • dates, schedules and places where exams are held;
  • the composition of the exam commission.

The didactic activities unfold within the Learning Environments: the Video library, Media library, Virtual Laboratory and Tutoring On Line. For a detailed description of the different environments, please refer to the dedicated paragraph.

The Links to the Tutor Pages allow the appointed Teaching Professor to have at his or her disposal all of the materials, information and tools relative to his or her own subject.

2.1.1 The Functions of the Appointed teaching Professor

The main activities of the Appointed teaching Professor can be summarized as follows:

  • structure the teaching programme or update/adapt the existing one;
  • invent or revise the conceptual map of the subject being taught;
  • furnish didactic materials for in-depth study;
  • didactic planning of the subject;
  • make the exam guide available;
  • coordinate work with the Tutor;
  • organize and lead discussion forums on topical themes of particular relevance to his or her subject;
  • test the students at the conclusion of each teaching module.

In particular, the Appointed Teaching Professor, collaboration with the Tutor:

  • evaluates the topics of the existing lessons and revises them (by reducing them or by integrating new material) if necessary;
  • indexes the video-lessons (available on video cassette) for the dvd layout;
  • if necessary, entrusts one or more of the Video Professors with the task of recording new video lessons;
  • analyses the existing teaching materials in order to select those that he or she still considers to be valid;
  • defines the contents and type of teaching materials to be produced ex novo;
  • specifies, for all of the video lessons, the count in minutes in order to signal the bookmarks relating to the didactic material.

In the case of recording new video lessons, each Video Professor,, where collaboration with the Tutor is necessary, is mainly occupied with:

  • preparing the professorial lesson slides and recording the video lessons;
  • indexing his or her own video lessons for the dvd layout;
  • completing the conceptual map of the subject being taught, connecting several types of didactic materials for in-depth study to the video lesson topics. These materials can include books and articles, CD-ROMs, bibliographies, site links and exercises;
  • specifying, for all of the video lessons, the minute count details in order to signal the bookmarks relative to the didactic materials.

 

The Tutor Page

The on line page for each Tutor of the subject being taught will communicate his or her availabilty (dates and schedules) along with contact details (e-mail, telephone and fax number), whilst in addition allowing access to the following areas:

  • Curriculum vitae;;
  • Teaching Program;
  • Conceptual Map;
  • Didactic Materials;
  • Didactic Planning;
  • Agenda;
  • Evaluation and Statistics;
  • Learning Environments;
  • Links to the Page of the Appointed Teaching Professor;

The Program, Conceptual Map and Didactic Planning of the subject being taught are the same documents that can be found on the Appointed Teaching Professor Page.

The Didactic Material is comprised of:

  • subjects that have been explained in an ad hoc fashion by the Tutor on the basis of student profiles and on the results of the qualitative evaluations that the Tutor periodically administers to the students;
  • a selection, made by the Tutor, of materials developed by students during their activities with the Tutor or with other students during collaborative learning tasks.

The materials developed or selected by the Tutor represent an integral part of the Media Library and of the Virtual Laboratory, and are aimed at a specific class of students.

The Agenda is the tool that the Tutor uses in order to fix appointments and on line meetings, confirm meeting requests made by students and manage his or her personal agenda.

In the area of Evaluation and Statistics the following are made available:

  • the tools of quantitative evaluation, or the statistics tracking the activity of the students (at both the individual and aggregate level). This is done in terms of the number of access times and time of use in the Learning environments on the part of the students as well as by tracking the use of the Tutoring On Line tools, number of exercises completed and the mean average of evaluation and self-evaluation;
  • the tools of qualitative evaluation, or the evaluation of each student based on evaluation sheets (with open questions and/or exercise), developed by the Tutor in order to monitor the learning progress of the student in his or her class.

The Tutor Page, as with the Appointed teaching Professor Page, allows access to the four Learning Environments: Video Library, Media Library, Virtual Laboratory and Tutoring On Line.

The Tutor Page contains links to the Appointed Teaching Professor Page in order to facilitate navigating the Didactic Cyberspace..

The Appointed teaching Professor and Tutor can know about the composition of their own classes of students and have access to the pages of single students through the List of Teaching Subjects for Degree Courses window.

As stated before, in the Educational Psychology Model of the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, the student is at the centre of the learning process, which is designed on the basis of his or her needs and created through a high level of interactivity between the Professor, Tutor and Student

The professors’ and the tutors’ knowledge of their students is possible by several diverse means, including the entrance Questionnaire, which is filled out during enrolment, and the frequent virtual and face to face meetings with the Mentors and Tutors during the entire course of study.

Each and every student has at his or her disposal a page, called My student page”, that can be personalized at will in such a way as to allow the student to use the various didactic support materials available to better meet his or her needs. This makes it easier for the student to actively contribute to the collaborative educational process.

Your home page offers the following possibilities:

  • to personalize your study itinerary by choosing the teaching activities to follow and making note of the last lesson that you have visited in each pf the chosen teaching subjects;
  • verify your progress by checking your self-evaluations as well as those of your Tutor and viewing, for every lesson, which didactic materials you have used, how many times and for how long;
  • plan your didactic activities, by mean of an Agenda, in order to view appointments in the Chat Rooms, Forums and Virtual Classrooms set by your Tutors, to insert reminders and request intervention on the part of your Tutors;
  • send your didactic materials to your Tutors or to your Appointed Teaching Professor which, if selected, can be published on the site and thus made available to the entire scientific community;
  • always have at your disposal your Tutors by accessing the Tutor Page with a simple click.

2.2.1 The functions of the Tutor

Within the didactic model adopted by the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, the Tutor plays a crucial role, acting as mediator between the participants in the Learning Process, so that a Network of Knowledge Exchange (NEKE) is created.

The tutoring activity represents one of the most significant moments of learning input and requires a high level of interactivity between Tutor and Student. It has been noted that the student learns through the continuous integration of theoretical knowledge (through the professor’s lessons), concepts that are acquired thanks to examples and advice provided by experts (through discussions and comparing ideas in the Forums) and practice in the field (through exercises guided by the Professor and/or Tutor that are offered singularly and personally to the student).

The Tutoring phase is therefore a necessary complement to the lessons of the professor and to the period of self study that follows.

The Tutor is presented as a “planner” for the learning experiences of the students, a consultant and guide to the Learning Process; thus he becomes a member of the learning team, reducing the risk of isolation on the part of the student.

The Tutor has the task of organizing and making available to the students a series of materials and tools. These match the lessons given telematically and, taken altogether, give a precise picture of the individual topics being taught.

As shown in various studies conducted in the field, the role of the Tutor is considered by the learners to be a sort of interface between the student and the teaching subject; his or her activity should be aimed at creating the interactivity between student and professor that is missing in the video-lessons.

In addition, an undeniable characteristic is the quickness of response. This underlines the need of the students to have someone who represents a constant and reliable presence. The contribution of the Tutor will be even more appreciated with the preparation and correction of written exercises in preparation for the exam. In this way, a didactic ‘semi-guided’ itinerary is created, taking the student up to the final exam with a preparation suited to the needs of each and every program.

The tasks of the Tutor at the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO are orientated towards organization, both their own and that of the students.

The tasks geared towards organization consist of the following:

  1. Selecting/adapting learning materials:
    • Selecting supplementary learning resources;
    • Organizing the access of the learner to learning resources.
  2. Giving an evaluation/some feedback:
    • Regarding the results of the learner and his or her experiences in the program and the course;
    • Regarding the materials and the organizational aspects;
    • Regarding the students’ problems.

The tasks of the Tutor where the learner is concerned are the following:

  1. Help the student stay motivated:
    • Actively bring about and maintain motivation;
    • Create an open and positive climate;
    • Help fill the gap in a student’s social needs.
  2. Provide help concerning the course contents:
    • Connect the contents to the previous knowledge of the student;
    • Solve problems regarding content;
    • Stimulate the application of the course contents in a professional context.
  3. Develop study skills:
    • Promote a critical spirit;
    • Develop learning styles and cognitive strategies;
    • Help the student to self-regulate his or her study and learning;
    • Promote knowledge of contextual factors in learning;
    • Introduce the student to the use of new technology (e-mail, chat rooms, videoconferencing and Internet).
  4. Give an evaluation/ feedback
    • Inform the learner about his or her progress;
    • Prepare the learner for exams;
    • Help the learner to develop realistic self-evaluation skills.

To these tasks are added other functions specific to tutoring.

At the beginning of the course, for example, the Tutor:
defines what the learner is to expect from the course;
- verifies previously acquired knowledge;
- offers suggestions and materials to strengthen any weak spots in the student’s preparation and, if necessary, offers training to improve study skills (especially time management).

During the next phase, which begins at the start of the course itself, the Tutor’s role as mediator comes into play. In fact, during the course the Tutor carries out a series of tasks with the precise aim of guiding the various aspects of learning and laying the basis for the exchange of knowledge between the participants in the Learning Process.

These tasks are to:
- enrich the materials of the course and provide access to the learning resources (by creating Internet site links, exercises on the web, etc.);
- identify study problems and find eventual solutions;
- instill specific study skills and improve learning capacity;
- lend support in practice activities;
- “try” the contents of the course;
- give objective and constructive feedback on the results of the learning process in the interest of ensuring success on the part of the student;
- help the student to apply the contents of the course in real life situations;
- instill a spirit of cooperation among the students (functioning in this way as mediator); - monitor (evaluate) performance.

As the teaching modules are presented, the Tutor provides qualitative and quantitative evaluations on the student’s learning so as to constantly monitor the results of the Process of Learning, as well as giving the students personalized support in preparation for the exam at the end of the module.

The quantitative evaluation of the student’s participation is given by the Tutor on the basis of statistics regarding the student’s navigation through the Didactic Cyberspace. These are defined as follows: number of access times throughout the time of use on the part of the student within the Learning Environments, the Tutoring On Line tools, the number of exercises completed and the average of the evaluations/self-evaluations.

In order to integrate this level of monitoring, the Tutor administers evaluation sheets to all the students (preferably with questions and open answers and/or exercises) in order to check and see how well the student has assimilated the contents of the professor’s lessons.

The results of the qualitative and quantitative evaluations constitute the basis for carrying out the aims of the Tutor, namely strengthening the student’s cognitive abilities along with preparing him for the exam.

The Tutor’s offering of supplementary learning materials serves two purposes: on one hand to strengthen any weak spots in the Learning Process of the single student or group of students and on the other hand to satisfy eventual requests for study in greater depth. These materials can be: books and articles (therefore study sheets and projects), CD-ROMs, bibliographical or site link references, exercises and and virtual laboratories.

The Tutor’s role as mediator involves a last phase that coincides with the end of the presentation of teaching materials. Here the Tutor helps the student review the teaching contents and prepare for the exam. The Tutor also asks the student for their evaluation of the teaching itself, thus obtaining valuable feedback on the teaching/training process from the student.

As has been previously stated, the Tutor works in close contact with the students and his/her activity is aimed at creating a collaborative environment characterized by direct support for the students through two complementary approaches: the long distance (synchronic and diachronic) method and the traditional one.

In order to carry out such an important and complex role, the Tutor must possess a combination of abilities. These can be boiled down to five fundamental areas:

  • specific ability to control and direct;
  • specific professional ability;
  • organizational ability;
  • communicative and relational abilities;
  • pedagogical and didactic abilities.

Naturally the content of the Tutoring activity and the combination of abilities necessary to carry it out will vary based on various factors, including the aims to be reached, the specific needs of the students, the characteristics of the Degree Course, the type of subject beingtaught, etc.

 

The Student Page

It includes the functions at the students’ disposal and allows access to the following areas:

  • Customised didactic planning: this supplies the student with a customized study programme and the didactic activities planning referring to each course. Every student can find the planning of his didactic activities, divided into four didactic periods, on the Internet. The inclusion in the online study classes is structured in such a way as to grant the student the possibility of attending two subjects for each didactic period while being guided by a professor/tutor. The result of the intermediate assessment that can also be checked by each individual student along with the tracking of his Internet-based learning , so allowing admission to the exams Getting through the exams of the attended didactic modules allows getting enrolled and included into the classes of the following courses.
  • Learning process check: each individual student can check, for each Internet-based didactic activity, his own self-assessment and compare it with that one given by his tutor. He can check by himself if there are some gaps in his learning and develop new learning strategies with the support of not only the professor/tutor, but also of his own classmates.
  • Agenda (planning of didactic activities): This displays the rendezvous fixed by the tutors or by the professor in the Chat-room, Forum and in the Virtual Classroom; it is possible to use the Agenda to include personal memos or ask for the professor/tutor’s support to overcome any learning difficulties.
  • My lessons on TV today: This displays the video lessons programming schedule being broadcast on the satellite television channel for the subjects being currently delivered.

 

The Learning Environments

The didactic Cyberspace is the learning environment on the Internet by the International telematic University UNINETTUNO. In the didactic Cyberspace, for each of the subjects delivered in all of the Degree Programs, the student is given availability of :

  • Supporting tools and didactic planning (Teaching Program, Concept Map, Didactic Planning, Exam Guide)
  • Teaching Material for the Symbolic-reconstructive and hypertextual learning (in the learning environments, namely the Video Library and the Smart Library)
  • Didactic Material devoted to Learning By Doing (in the learning environment Virtual Lab)
  • Interaction tools for the Collaborative Learning (in the Tutoring Online environment through Forums, Interactive Classrooms , 3D Virtual Classrooms on Second Life)
  • Tracking and Reporting of students’ and classroom’s activities

Supporting Tools And Learning Planning

The Teaching Program is structured in order to contain:

  • description, goals and content of the course;
  • identification of the necessary prerequisites;
  • link to the exercises related to the videolessons;
  • list of the textbooks;
  • keywords of the course;
  • methodological instructions and suggestions for studying the discipline.

The Concept Map of the course is made of the titles of the classes, the organisation of the topics within each class and the bookmarks linked to the teaching material (books and articles, multimedia, bibliography, siteography, interactive exercises, virtual labs, carried out interactive classrooms) relating to the various topics developed .

The Didactic planning is linked to the weight of the ECTS, according to the engagement of the student. In the didactic planning, the Area Teacher points out modalities and delivery time for his/her own courses, the parameters for awarding the ECTS to the students and other information pertaining to his/her course.
The Exam Guide specifies:

  • modalities to performing the exam;
  • requisites for being admitted to the exam;
  • modalities for registering to the exam;
  • documents to show for being entitled to perform the exam;
  • modalities for publishing the results;
  • modalities for reporting the results.

 

Agenda

The Agenda is a tool that follows the student along his academic path in the aim of supporting him in scheduling his engagements, of supplying an online events calendar and proposing him training materials in function of the path planned by the student himself as well as by the professors and tutors who assist him. In particular, the Agenda:

  • displays online meetings, such as Interactive Classes or 3D Virtual Class sessions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis;
  • displays office hours meetings, scheduled by the Professors/Tutors for face-to-face or distance one-to-one deepening sessions by Skype for Business or telephone calls;   
  • Highlights the deadlines for each student; for example those related to the submission of exercises, the meetings for classroom-based collaborative works.

Through the Agenda, the Professor/Tutor can fix a set of online events indicating date and time of the event and its typology. These events can be scheduled based on the training calendar and on the students’ availability and can deal with synchronic training meetings in Interactive Classes or in 3D Virtual Classes, online assignments on forums, group collaborative activities, online seminars with experts. The new meeting fixed by the tutor is automatically displayed in the “Online Agendas” of the students who refer to that specific tutor to allow them to reserve their participation.

Video Library

The video library contains the Master Classes, that is to say the digitised videolessons and the relevant slides.
The use of the digitised videolessons allows to kick off symbolic-reconstructive learning processes, bound to a classic teaching modality of linear kind. In addition, the modular organisation of the content, the indexing of the topics and the bookmarks develop hypertextual and multimedia learning processes, which allow to enrich and strengthen the meta-cognitive strategies, encouraging the personalization of the training paths.  

Each videolesson is realised with an indexation per topics that makes the videolesson a hypertextual path. The bookmarks allow to link the subjects of the videolessons to the didactic material that makes part of the Digital Library, in order to make available a contextual in-depth study represented by texts, books, articles, multimedia material, bibliography, sietography, interactive exercises, virtual labs,  carried out interactive classrooms, which have the role of completing the thoretical knowledge acquired with the practical application, through a Learning Process based on learning by doing.

Also in the list of the videolessons, topics are indexed as follows:

 

Once the targeted videolesson is chosen, the student can access the page for harnessing the videolesson:


Henceforth, besides interacting with the Master Class, by means of both the indexation and the commands Play/ Pause / Stop / Forward / Backward, it is possible to access the remaining didactic material related to the videolesson.

Digital Library

The digital library is made of didactic material related to the videolessons – e.g. booklets, films, images, schemes, animations, siteographic references, bibliographic references – gathered within a Smart Bibliographic System.
The objects that make up the virtual library represent an in-depth study completing the content handled within  the videolessons and can be associated to a topic, to a cluster of topics, to a whole videolesson, to a cluster of videolessons or else to the whole course. 

The categories of objects that constitute the Library are overall: Books and articles, Multimedia, Bibliography, Siteography.
In the Digital Library the student can access the learning material related to the videolessons, consistently organised with hypertextual links to topics of the classes, as illustrated in the following screenshots.


Virtual Lab

In the Virtual Lab the student can put into practice the knowledge acquired according to the "learning by doing" method: the tutor can dissipate doubts and provide suggestions by means of the Interactive Classrooms or by using the Forum; the student can carry out a exercise in the Interactive Classroom  tutored by the expert Teacher, who will be able then to analyse the modalities for performing the exercise, following step by step the student and sending a feedback on intermediate processes abd mistakes.

In the didactic Cyberspace also the Interactive Exercises are put in, by means of which the styudent can check in real time and put into practice the theoretical principles learnt from the videolessons, so triggering a learning process of the type “learning by doing”. Through the interactive exercises, new learning patterns can be developed, which tend to shift the human cognitive acting from the simboli-constructive modality to the perceptual-motor one. The student can reflect upon his own experience, upon the theoretical principles made operational and easily memorisable thanks to the activity of solving problems. The type of queries that make up an interactive exercise are different:

  • Open-ended questions
    The student is required to solve a problem or to answer a question, to write within a text booth.
  • Multiple choice Questions
    the student is asked a question among N possible answers, from which only one is correct. The student answers by selecting one of the answers .
  • Advanced Multiple Choice Questions
    the student is asked a question among N possible answers, from which one or more are correct. The student answers by selecting one or more answers.

The execution of the interactive exercises is automatically kicked of  during the use of the videolesson, at the achievement of each of the topics the teacher deals with within the relevamt videolesson. By means of a data bank of questions semantically related to each of the topics of the videolessons, the system generates different question sets at every access, so making the student’s self-evalutaion phase always significant and effective. The interaction is fast and intuitive, and the students get in real time the evaluation of the overall exercise on the basis of the parameters set in advance by the teacher, who:

  • Designs every question and assesses the correct solution;
  • Decides the passing threshold for each exercise (for example, if the exercise is made out of 3 questions and the passing threshold is 60%, the student should correctly perform at least 2 of them)
  • Provides textual feedbacks and recovery instructions in the case of both passing the exercise, and incorrect answers.

If the student passes the exercise, the system leads him/her to keeping on watching the videolesson from the next point. On the other hand, in case of incorrect answers, the system suggests the student to hark back to the topics of the videolesson that are necessary to the correct solution of the exercise before progressing  with the study of the most advanced topics.

At the end of the class, students and teachers/tutors through the system of Learning analytics by UNINETTUNO, can refer to the statistics of the performances obtained in the interactive exercises of the videolesson and in the whole course, which by means of graphs and data provide the student with an adamant framework in order to self-assess his/her own progress in learning the subject, and provide the teacher/tutor with an essential tool in order to address his/her participation in the Interactive Classroom or in the 3D Virtual Classrooms  on the ground of the issues pointed out by the single students and by the classrooms upon certain subjects.

Online Tutoring

The communication functionalities allow the student to exchange information among them and with the professors/tutors, facilitating the consolidation of learning and the spreading of knowledge, creating a true shared environment for collaborative learning. Professors and students can use Forums, Interactive Classrooms and 3D Virtual Classrooms on Second Life.

Forum

A forum typically includes areas in which it is possible to post a message in text format, both new ones and answering messages previously posted. The forum is a tool for asynchronous communication and, therefore allows the students to exchange information in a wholly autonomous way regardless of time and space limits. In the forums, the students, jointly with the tutors, discuss about educational contents and assist one another in understanding contents.

Each area of a forum is given a title showing the discussion issue. These areas are monitored by the Professor/Tutor who acts as a moderator who has the task of blocking or re-directing offensive or off-track messages and of helping inexperienced students.

Collaborative Learning in Interactive Classrooms and 3D Virtual Classrooms

Great importance is attached to the collaborative learning activities that take place through the system of Interactive Classrooms as well as in the tridimensional worlds of the Virtual Classrooms on Second Life  available on UNINETTUNO’s platform.

These two collaborative learning environments both allow to adopt the “flipped classrooms” pedagogic model: students are led to acquaint themselves on the issues related to the planned discussion; then they study the videolessons, the reference texts, the books, the lecture notes, articles, essays, thus preparing themselves to face the debate with teacher-tutor.

Interactive Classrooms

In UNINETTUNO Interactive Classrooms teachers and students utilize interactive tools, they carry on practice work, mid-term assessment tests, exam simulations, they discuss and learn in a cooperative and collaborative way and become active constructors of knowledge.


UNINETTUNO Interactive Classrooms allow teachers and students to adopt various educational interaction modes, beside the already mentioned “flipped classroom”: 

  • Teaching processes and procedures: the teacher/tutor sets up a working environment that allows the participating students to work in practice on the documents and software packages prepared by the teacher; during the first phase of the session, the teacher/tutor shows the students specific procedures and processes, using functionalities of applications and sharing integrated to the Interactive Classrooms systems; during the second phase, the teacher/tutor proposes to the students real-time exercises in which the students repeat the procedures they have just learnt with the teacher’s help; the teacher/tutor intervenes only if the students move away from what is envisaged by the expert model (Kass A., in Garito 1996);
  • Collaborative project work: the teacher/tutor prepares an exercise in which the students are asked to handle, in a practical and collaborative way, the theoretical knowledge they have just learnt; the teacher shares with the participating students the working environment that was created carrying on activities including creative and collaborative writing, preparation of technical documents (i.e. : business plans, marketing plans, analyses and reports), team work, cooperative work on specific technical software packages; at the beginning of the session the teacher/tutor presents the exercise and shares the working environment with the students; in addition, the teacher gives the control of the working environment, one by one, to the students who will physically work on the set-up software package following the suggestions resulting from the group discussion; the realized product can be re-used in the following sessions, whereas the final product as well as the single “revisions”, collaboratively created in each session, can be evaluated through the tracing system;
  • Exam tests simulation: in the last weeks of the course delivery period, when the students will have acquired a suitable skill level, the teacher/tutor organizes a simulated exam test; the teacher/tutor prepares a structured assignment like those that will be worked out for the exam papers; at the beginning of the session, the teacher/tutor submits the paper to all the students who are connected and fix its timing, as that of the actual exam tests. During the exam tests the students can ask for help on specific issues being treated and the teacher/tutor can explain in details how to appropriately deal with the issues or technical problems of the exam tests. At the end of the session, the students submit the completed exam papers through the platform; these will be corrected  by the teacher/tutor, assessed by the assessment system and discussed during the following session of Interactive Classroom.

3D Virtual Classrooms

The 3D Virtual Classrooms’ environment, by handling variables such as space, the roles and interaction among the avatars of actual individuals, creates a setting that is characterized by a strong sense of reality in which the actual individual-avatar figures out the potentials for interacting with the environment and with the other avatars that are present. The individual is immersed in a new dynamic reality in which he is not a mere viewer, but a protagonist. The experience made in this reality is highly emotional and is deeply involving; the individual is “attracted” into a new virtual world which has all the features of the real world.  In this tridimensional virtual world the students and professors/tutors’ avatars meet and take their places inside the classroom where the avatar of the teacher-tutor asks question to the avatars of the students in order to assess their skill level.  In this phase the questions being asked are of greater importance than their relative answers; they represent the bases on which the discussion starts, or better the disputatio. With the disputatio – inspired to the educational model of the medieval universities– they promote a learning process arising from dialogue and discussion, they learn from others and reflect upon their own ideas.

In the three-dimensional virtual classroom of UNINETTUNO’s Island of Knowledge, students and teachers-avatars develop learning processes experimenting a new immersive-collaborative learning dimension. The students use interactive tools, they make practical exercises, mid-term assessment tests, dialogue and learn in a cooperative and collaborative way and become active constructors of knowledge.

Learning becomes a process involving the student in thinking about and conceiving multiple perspectives and viewpoints. In their approach to knowledge, they promote creativity and critical appreciation. It is interaction, dialogue and exchange which add value to this type of learning. The 3D environments and other immersive worlds allow for penetrating into the digital body to perceive oneself no longer as a person sitting before the screen of a PC, but, actually, as being in a virtual classroom animated by actual teachers and students. In the Island of Knowledge debates and conferences among students, experts and teachers coming from other universities around the world take place.

The Virtual Classroom in UNINETTUNO’s Island of Knowledge allows for text-format interaction, multi-conferencing and tridimensional audio interactions.  A network of processors reproduced in three dimensions allow for direct access to UNINETTUNO’s portal.

 

The Conference Hall on UNINETTUNO’s Island of Knowledge allow for organizing seminars and conferences in tridimensional and interactive environment. It is possible to show videos and presentations and interact using texts-format materials and by audio multi-conferencing systems.

 
 

Tracing and Reporting

This functionality allow to trace the student’s activity during all the steps of his learning path: accesses to a didactic unit, use of the various learning contents, time spent on each didactic unit, frequency of contribution in the virtual classroom, assessments and self-assessments on mid-term tests, assessment on the quality of the contributions in the sessions of virtual meetings.  The information related on the use timesheets, on the didactic units visited, on participation in discussion in forums and chats and on the completed exercises and on the related assessments and self-assessments are stored into a database to be displayed by the authorized users in the framework of a reporting system. The information being stored in this way can be used by:

  • tutorsto improve and enhance, through a continuous monitoring of the activities of the students and of groups of students, the effectiveness of the measures taken to sole learning problems, playing a role of guide and encouragement to study;
  • professors to complete the process of final assessment that will have to take into account the results of the mid-term tests proposed to the individual students and to group of students as well as quantitative data on the use of the educational material and on their contributions to collaborative activities and on the qualitative opinions expressed by the tutors in the occasion of synchronic and asyncronic virtual meetings;
  •  students to assess their progress and, through a self-assessment process, conform their own pace in order to achieve the stated educational objectives.

Performance Assessment

In addition, the tutor, can assign assessments and evaluations on the students’ performances based on a personal supervision of the students’ activities, the tutor has the possibility to formulate an assessment that takes into account quantitative data, displayed in the reports of each individual student and of group of students supported by him (student’s online attendance, use of the educational material, contribution to both synchronic and asynchronic online activities, on an individual as well on group basis) and qualitative data since he can store his assessments on the quality of the student’s contributions and of the interactions in teamwork synchronic and asynchronic session into the system.

Monitoring Statistical Data

The tutor will be able to display the statistical data on times and rates of use of the didactic units used by the student, the results of the exercises, his previous assessments and the time spent by the student in training synchronic and asynchronic teamwork activities (chats, forums); the tutor will also be able to enter his assessments on the quality of these training activities.
The statistical data will be displayed both on individual basis,  student by student, as well as on a student classes’ basis

 

Headquarter

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 39
00186 Roma - ITALIA
Tax code number: 97394340588
P.IVA: 13937651001

Certified mail

info@pec.uninettunouniversity.net

Student Secretariat

tel: +39 06 692076.70
tel: +39 06 692076.71
e-mail: info@uninettunouniversity.net

Videoconferencing

Library 1st floor: 90.147.90.157
Meeting Room 5th floor: 90.147.90.158

Do you need further information?

Give us your contact details


Ask for information