The University Research Activity
The university research activity is aimed at:
- Carrying on research work to be able to keep on innovating distance study courses’ psycho-pedagogic-didactic models;
- Identifying the application of technologies allowing for improving the services offered by the University;
- Identifying patterns of qualitative and quantitative assessments of the efficacy and efficiency of UNINETTUNO University overall system;
- Identifying distance assessment models of the students;
- Developing tridimensional and augmented-reality applications within UNINETTUNO distance teaching and learning processes.
The university research aims at achieving results that can be applied and utilized by all Faculties that, of course, take part in the realization of the research work.
Cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, computer science, pedagogy have all already produced epistemological models and strategies for analyzing specific problems in the fields of their respective disciplines and which are useful for identifying the complex interrelations that exist between means of communication, cognitive processes and messages. A distance teaching system based on the use of technologies - since it triggers the mechanisms of didactic communication which make up a particular form of dialogue between professors and students together with new interactive procedures between the source of the message and the receiver - requires the development of programs of applied research as a basis for planning and executing psycho-pedagogical and didactic models for distance teaching and learning. Applied research becomes essential so as to ensure that the results can constitute the basis upon which found the organizational psycho-pedagogical models for distance teaching and learning.
Actually, the results of the research projects realized with NETTUNO represented the basis for the pedagogical and didactic model’s evolution which led to the realization of the new distance teaching and learning model applied by the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO.
Most of the research programs carried out are aimed at building up a coherent body of theoretical and operational knowledge on the basis of which there has evolved a complex distance teaching system founded on the use of technologies and cognitive and connectionist theories. The results of the research conducted so far allowed to keep a fair balance between the engineering/ technical components and the cognitive, cultural and educational ones at the heart of the development of information technologies, and have involved scholars from various disciplines (technologists, computer scientists, educationalists, educational psychologists, experts in various languages); the research activity carried out was at once theoretical and experimental, pure and applied.
The first project that enabled to identify new modes for carrying out both face-to-face and distance teaching-learning processes was “Elaboration of television models for distance university teaching and learning with the use of satellites and telematic and informatic network”, linked to the CNR’S strategic research project “Didactic multimedia communication and distance learning” coordinated by the Prof. Maria Amata Garito. The results of this research provided the elements for the creation of the didactic communication model and new languages for the realization of NETTUNO videolessons; the analysis carried out in the field of this research created the basis for the realization of prototypes of videolessons linked to the theoretical hypothesis experimented with 15,000 distance learning students.
The research works whose results were applied to establish the theoretical bases of the psycho-pedagogic model of the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO are:
- VERDI, in this project the psycho-pedagogical model for the realization of the virtual university campus “The Virtual Knowledge City” was designed. This model was designed on the basis of the theories on learning, memory, mental activity functioning in of the general cognitivist nature, anticipating of many years the implementation of a 3D virtual world, designed to act as a collaborative learning environment.
- BIC, that allowed to design and realize a group of automated classes for distance learning that enable students and professors to interact using a computer network in a pedagogically efficient way and that led to the formalization of the concept of Virtual Classroom.
- SOCRATES ECHANGE, that brought to the definition of new distance learning and teaching models; thanks to this project, it was possible to assess the impact of new communication technologies in the field of distance learning, to formalize the role of the field mediators, under a scientific point of view, in distance learning and teaching and to verify and experiment collaborative learning approaches through new technologies.
- GIOTTO, HERMES-GIOTTO and HAMLET, that allowed to theorize, develop, verify and realize a model of digitalized, modular and indexed videolesson, as well as the design of learning environments on the Internet.
- E-xcellance, in the framework of the eLearning Community Program, where we laid the foundations for the realization of an excellence e-learning model for higher education, through the definition of excellence standard and best practices as it regards evaluation tools, internal quality monitoring tools and excellence-level accreditation tools.