e-Learning Experiment: Web Conference Activities in Teaching at a Traditional University
D. Guiana, B. Koroušić Seljak, M. Mozetič, T. Urbančič
International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2019
Nowadays, higher-education institutions are transforming their educational activities from classic ways of providing knowledge to students towards more flexible and open forms of education, aiming to adapt to the needs of new generations of students. Virtual classrooms and e-learning are therefore being introduced not only at open universities offering distance learning, but also at other, traditional universities where face-to-face learning prevails. For this process to be successful, universities should carefully explore technological and infrastructural options, as well as pedagogical issues. In this paper we describe a small-scale experimental e-learning activity concerning the integration of open-source web-conferencing tools into a teaching scenario at a traditional university. In the experiment, we focus on technical aspects as well as on the students' and the teacher's experiences. The outcomes of the experiment are analysed to guide future improvements of the tested e-learning infrastructure and of the newly introduced educational activities, before introducing them at the university on a larger scale. While the experiment answers positively the question of very affordable technical solutions and reports about positive students' perceptions, it also reveals the need for teachers to be provided with specific knowledge about e-learning pedagogy in order to cope with new challenges, such as achieving student-centered teaching also in learning scenarios, including distance e-learning.
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