Since its creation in 2008, the Valencian International University (VIU) has developed an entirely online teaching methodology using an ecosystem of 2.0 applications with Sakai at its nerve centre. As an online university, the VIU is strongly committed to continuously improving the teaching-learning process through exploring the educational innovation offered by digital technologies. An innovative educational experience became a reality in the subject ‘ICT in Education’ for the university’s Teacher Training Degree in Primary Education. A total of 103 people participated.
The general aim of the project was to design and develop a teaching model founded on the building of an Active-Collaborative Virtual Community Model for Teaching and Learning (ACVCTL) which aims to maximize interest through establishing a virtual identity, encouraging participation and improving learning outcomes for students.
We used Sakai to design the ACVCTL to be an active space where teaching and learning are able to interact on all levels and combine together to use digital tools to achieve a common teaching/learning aim.
The design of our ACVCTL is built upon two main pillars: technical support and user members. The ACVCTL technical support provides users with resources from the Sakai platform and the use of asynchronous and synchronous digital tools. The members involved are the living heart of the teaching-learning process; their dynamism keeps the community active through their virtual interactions of all kinds. The community is mainly made up of: Teaching staff (Senior Professor, Consultant and Invited Professor); an Audiovisual Design Team; a Technical Support Team; and most importantly, the Students. The teaching/learning strategies focus on motivating students to become active by participating asynchronously and synchronously in the digital spaces, with the emphasis on autonomous, collaborative and cooperative work. The aim is for students to learn by doing, be interested in the material and enjoy the learning experience.