oltre l'E-Learning? ATTI DEL CONVEGNO

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Evaluating academic professional development as online learning. 49. SES-B3: ... Senior Technician Course in Communication and Multimedia. 72.

SIREMSIEL2014

Apertura e flessibilità nell’istruzione superiore: oltre l’E-Learning? ATTI DEL CONVEGNO Perugia, 13-14-15 Novembre 2014

CURATORI Floriana Falcinelli, Tommaso Minerva, Pier Cesare Rivoltella

SOMMARIO SES-B1: I MOOC COME SFIDA PER LA FORMAZIONE SUPERIORE: FLORIANA FALCINELLI, MINA DE SANTIS, MARIA FILOMIA Designing an on-line learning environment for the qualification

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FILIPPO BRUNI Beyond Videogames Gamification in higher education

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KATIA SANNICANDRO, FEDERICA CIRULLI, CLAUDIA BELLINI The experience of special qualifying courses

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DONATELLA CESARENI, FEDERICA MICALE MOOCs and collaborative interaction

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SARA VALLA A readiness gap for Opening Up education by OER and MOOCs  

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SES-B2: POLITICHE AGITE: IMPLEMENTAZIONE E INNOVAZIONE DELLE POLITICHE EDUCATIVE STEFANIA CAPOGNA Strengths and weaknesses in the future of the e-learning

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LOREDANA CAMIZZI, MASSIMILIANO NALDINI, VALENTINA TOCI, SERENA GORACCI, LAURA MESSINI, CATERINA ORLANDI, MARIA CHIARA PETTENATI A training model for professional development of teachers

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HELEN POKORNY, FEDERICA ORADINI, ANA CARBALLO Evaluating academic professional development as online learning

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SES-B3: STRUMENTI E PRATICHE DI RICONOSCIMENTO DELLE COMPETENZE NEL RACCORDO FORMAZIONE-PROFESSIONI VIVIANA VINCI, ANNAMARIA DE SANTIS, NUNZIA SCHIAVONE Representations, technologies and competence for Learning Disabilities

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AGOSTINA BETTA, STEFANIA PANINI, RODOLFO PADRONI Skills mapping in SELF Emilia Romagna

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PATRIZIA GARISTA, ERIKA MARIA PACE, GIANCARLO POCETTA Defining and accrediting core competencies in higher education

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ANNA ERIKA ENA Senior Technician Course in Communication and Multimedia

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FRANCESCO NAVIGLIO, MARIA FRASSINE, FRANCESCA MORSELLI Safety training and university

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SES-C1: I MOOC COME SFIDA PER LA FORMAZIONE SUPERIORE ROSANNA DE ROSA The Mooc (R)evolution Where the EMMA project come from

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PAOLA CORTI, FEDERICA BRAMBILLA, SUSANNA SANCASSANI Bridging Students’ Soft Skills Gaps Beyond University’s Path

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ILARIA MERCIAI, ROSANNA DE ROSA, RUTH KERR Learning Analytics, the thorny issue of data gathering

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NICOLETTA DI BLAS, ALDO TORREBRUNO MOOCs for Teachers

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ELISABETTA GOLA, EMILIANO ILARDI, VALENTINA FAVRIN Beyond blended e-learning

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STEFANO FEDERICI, ELISABETTA GOLA BloP easy creation of Online Integrated Environments

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SES-C2: LE ICT NELL’INNOVAZIONE DELLA DIDATTICA UNIVERSITARIA STEFANIA MANCA, MARIA RANIERI Social media in higher education How Italian academic scholars are using or not using Web 20 tools

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FRANCESCO CLAUDIO UGOLINI, ROBERTO ORAZI Using an e-portfolio of competences in higher education Technological issues and outcomes

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TIZIANA ARMANO, ANNA CAPIETTO, MARCO ILLENGO, NADIR MURRU, ROSARIA ROSSINI An overview on ICT for the accessibility of scientific texts 119 LUIGI GUERRA, LUCA FERRARI [email protected] A prototype of CSCL pedagogical planner

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ANDREA MOLINARI Where do we go from here

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SES-C3: METODI E FORMATI PER LA DIDATTICA INTEGRATA GISELLA PAOLETTI, M. ELISABETTA CIGOGNINI, MAURIZIO BOSCAROL, RICCARDO FATTORINI Engagement and distraction What about post-Lauream teacher education

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MARIA CARMELA CATONE, PAOLO DIANA E-learning to overcome the problems with the teaching

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FLAVIA GIANNOLI The XXI century School Learning Disruption

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ANTONIO BALESTRA Active aging between social network, video and memory

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MARIA BEATRICE LIGORIO, NADIA SANSONE A protocol for multi-dimensional assessment in university online course

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LAURA FEDELI, LORELLA GIANNANDREA Professional training through a “flexible” distance course

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SES-C4: FORME E PROCESSI DI CONOSCENZA: RICERCA, USI, PRODUZIONE, GESTIONE CHIARA GIUNTI, MASSIMO FAGGIOLI, MARIA CHIARA PETTENATI, ALESSANDRA RE, GIANCARLO CERINI, VANNA MONDUCCI, DANIELE BARCA, MAURO BORSARINI The new frontiers of Digital Collaboration in the professional training of non-teaching staff

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DAVIDE PARMIGIANI, ANDREA TRAVERSO, VALENTINA PENNAZIO Mobile devices as factor for the development of motivation and concentration

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INES GIUNTA A systemic approach to a flexible higher education

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GIUSEPPINA RITA MANGIONE, LUCA ANDREA LUDOVICO, PIO ALFREDO DI TORE, STEFANO DI TORE, FELICE CORONA Visuo-Spatial Attention And Reading Abilities 185 PATRIZIA GARISTA, GIANCARLO POCETTA Digital Resilience

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LAURA PARIGI, MAGHERITA DI STASIO, GIUSEPPINA RITA MANGIONE, MARIA CHIARA PETTENATI, ANDREAS FORMICONI, LORENZO GUASTI, CONCETTA RUSSO, GIORGIO FEDERICI, MASSIMO FAGGIOLI Bridging formal and informal learning in teachers professional development

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SESSIONE PLENARIA:: OPEN ACCESS: RICERCA APERTA, DIDATTICA APERTA PATRIZIA MARIA GHISLANDI Open Access: ricerca aperta, didattica aperta

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E-learning to overcome the problems with the teaching of social sciences methodology Maria Carmela CATONE1, Paolo DIANA1 1

University of Salerno, Fisciano (SA) [email protected], [email protected] Abstract

In last years, Universities are updating their educational activities, thanks to the introduction of e-learning. In this paper, the e-learning course in social sciences methodology, activated in the undergraduate programme in Sociology at the University of Salerno, is presented in order to show how the traditional difficulties of this discipline are faced up thanks to the online course, bringing positive results in the learning process of the student. Keywords: collaborative e-learning, social sciences, research methods, teaching, ICT

Introduction The University of Salerno has been experiencing different forms of distance learning for more than ten years, receiving an increase of the number of students and producing significant results in terms of teaching and learning (Vento et al., 2008). The goals defining the mission of e-learning are the need to respond to an unmet demand for education, to enrich the offer of the University and to make more flexible the study paths using innovative methods of learning and teaching. In addition, the idea to combine the traditional teaching methods with the opportunities offered by e-learning has been fostered by some problems such as the low attendance of students to the courses and the high dropout rates (Arcangeli & Diana, 2009). Since 2001, the undergraduate program in Sociology has taken this chance, giving students the possibility to follow e-learning courses. In this paper, the e-learning course in social sciences methodology of the bachelor degree in Sociology is presented. More specifically, the traditional difficulties that students usually meet in this kind of discipline are recognised and some specific solutions are provided, by adopting the opportunities offered by e-learning. The course is the result of a ten-year experience of the Professors Paolo Diana and Bianca Arcangeli with the support of tutors and technical staff. Since last two year, the e-tutor has been Maria Carmela Catone.

Issues of teaching in social sciences methodology In recent times, different kinds of institutions - from private companies to public administrations have started to invest in technology-mediated learning. In Italy, although with some delay compared to other European countries, e-learning market is growing, registering positive trends. With regard to universities, an increasing number of academic institutions are introducing e-learning courses to support the traditional teaching, in order to make a diversified and flexible educational offer (Mobilio, 2008). The design and the implementation of an e-learning environment is not an automatic conversion of the traditional teaching into the technological environment, but it represents a complex system, consisting of content to be delivered, but also of the theoretical basis, technological choices, human resources to be employed (Trentin, 2003). The contemporary scenario of e-learning moves toward the centrality of student, the customization of contents and a collaborative environment of coproduction where users, apart from being communication receivers, can become communication senders and knowledge creators (Harasim, 2012). For the design of the course in social sciences methodology we tried to work in this direction, starting from the difficulties experienced by students during traditional lectures.

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The course of social sciences methodology is planned in the first year of the bachelor degree in Sociology. It is an introduction to the methodology of the social sciences and it allows the acquisition of the linguistic, conceptual and technical basic skills of the area. In particular, the course aims to promote the development of methodological expertise, to provide students with knowledge, skills and the right vocabulary to design a social research, to translate a generic social problem in a specific research question and abstract concepts into measurable ones. It also provides a systematic introduction to social research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and to the philosophical and epistemological perspectives underpinning the social sciences. The teaching of methodology usually raises many obstacles, caused by different reasons; first of all, being a course held in the first year, it addresses to students with limited reading and writing skills, general knowledge gaps, lack of specific basic skills and inappropriate method of study (Arcangeli & Diana, 2009). Beyond the cultural gaps, also the problems of socialization in the university context emerge. In addition, we have identified some issues specifically related to the discipline. The social sciences methodology course is considered more formal than other courses and, therefore, it arouses less interest by students whose desire of knowledge is usually oriented to substantive topics (Gobo, 2009). Another problem concerns the linguistic register that, in a discipline such as methodology, plays a central role. The acquisition of the correct terminology is one of the main aims of the course. Indeed, the methodology is the study of the logic, the assumptions and the fundamental principles of research, but it is also the reasoning or the discourse on method (Marradi, 2007). It relates to the production of scientific language and it tries to reduce the vagueness, the ambiguity and the redundancy that characterize the common language (Bruschi, 1999). Within the teaching of social sciences methodology, the methods used in empirical research are introduced. In general, there is a negative perception by students to quantitative methods that are considered very hard and uninteresting (Payne & Williams, 2011). Moreover, students seem to be fear the technical aspects related to the statistic notions, arousing in them a state of anxiety. Even the teaching of qualitative method poses some problems because it is often considered as a secondary component of the quantitative method. Students usually attend our classes with the belief that qualitative research is weaker or easier than quantitative research (Fontes & Piercy, 2000). For these reasons, they often pay less attention to the study of this kind of method.

Adopted solutions To respond to the issues raised by the discipline and by the low level of education of entry students, over the years the following solutions have been proposed. Starting from the resistances that students have towards the social sciences methodology as a not substantive subject, we tried to foster the idea of a teaching that, although formal, is characterized by a concrete validation in its use of empirical research. At the end of each unit, interactive exercises (e.g. drag and drop) concerning real research situations are presented. In addition, in discussion forums students, through a collaborative learning, are called to address and to discuss on the research situations examined. Student are encouraged to explore sections devoted to the reading of articles, research reports and resources of the web, concerning questionnaires, data set of classic research and bibliographies. The diversified use of different resources allows students to translate the “abstract” theoretical notions into research applications, so contributing to arouse students’ curiosity and interest. Considering the difficulties that students usually show in the acquisition of a correct linguistic register, each unit is designed with a clear and easy language, without neglecting the rigor of the study area. Also in this case, the use of many examples and exercises is fundamental. In order to enhance the acquisition of a common linguistic code, a glossary, a basic methodological vocabulary, is provided. Moreover, an e-learning course is mainly based on written texts (teaching units, forum, chat, communication between students, and tutor/student, support materials, assignments) and writing is more than just an aid to memory, but it raises the level of awareness and reflexivity (Ong, 1986). For instance, in discussion forums, students pay more attention to the terminology used and the moderation of the tutor is crucial to support and to give some directions for the correct use of the methodological register. According to us, the forum represents the place where student experiments

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both the level of accumulation of knowledge both the adequacy of the linguistic register of the disciplinary field. Moving to the difficulties that students usually meet in understanding the methods used in empirical research, for the quantitative ones, we have tried to show the value of quantitative research in ordinary life as caring and active citizens (Payne & Williams, 2011). E-learning course, thanks to the resources offered by Internet, provides contemporary examples such as publications of social researches, report of articles newspaper, opinion surveys that are crucial for the development of the critical thinking of the student. Moreover, with the introduction of open data, students have direct access to databases, useful to improve the ability to read a table, to distinguish the variables and to understand which kind of analysis is needed according to the research question. With regard to technical aspects of quantitative methods, it is important that students realize that they already possess the skills needed to understand the foundations of quantitative research. Indeed, some easy interactive exercises on the technical notions are offered. In conclusion, for the teaching of the qualitative method, we have tried to convey the idea of a method relied on a rigorous modus operandi and not on improvisation. The organization of the units, wellstructured in the presentation of the different phases of the qualitative research, contributes to the achievement of this purpose. As for the quantitative method, a deep understanding of qualitative one is fostered by the exploration of concrete research experiences. In particular, student learn to use the written text, such as the excerpts of interviews that represent an important empirical basis in qualitative research (Diana & Montesperelli, 2005), developing organizational and interpretative skills. Moreover, the e-learning course, by adopting different kind of web resources, provides a breeding ground for the last frontiers of research method, such as the visual sociology.

References Arcangeli, B. & Diana, P. (2009). Insegnare metodologia delle scienze sociali in modalità e-learning. in A. Baldissera (Eds), Insegnare metodologia delle Scienze Sociali, Acireale-Roma: Bonanno, 55-71. Bruschi, A. (1996). La competenza metodologica: Logiche e strategie della ricerca sociale, Roma: La Nuova Italia Scientifica. Bruschi, A. (1999). Metodologia delle Scienze Sociali, Milano: Bruno Mondatori Editore. Fontes, L.A. & Piercy, F.P. (2000). Engaging students in qualitative research through experiential class activities. Teaching of Psychology, 27(3), 174–179. Diana, P. & Montesperelli, P. (2005). Analizzare le interviste ermeneutiche. Roma: Carocci. Gobo, G. (2009). La didattica multimediale: ipotesi, esperienze, suggerimenti in A. Baldissera (Ed.), Insegnare metodologia delle Scienze Sociali, Acireale-Roma: Bonanno, 87-102. Harasim, L. (2012). Learning Theory and Online Technology: How New Technologies are Transforming Learning Opportunities. New York: Routledge Press. Marradi, A. (2007). Metodologia delle scienze sociali, Bologna: Il Mulino. Mobilio, V. (2008). Scenari dell’e-learning in Italia in M. Colombo (Ed.), E-learning e cambiamenti sociali. Dal competere al comprendere, Napoli: Liguori,173-192. Ong, W. J. (1986), Oralità e scrittura. Le tecnologie della parola. Bologna: Il Mulino. Payne, G. & Williams, M. (2011). Teaching Quantitative Methods. Getting the Basics Right. London: Sage. Trentin, G. (2003). Managing the Complexity of e-Learning Systems. Educational Technology, 43(6), 36-42. Vento, M., D’Esposito, M.R., Faiella, F., (2008). Progetto Percorsi di formazione a distanza, elearning (POR Campania 2000-2006, Misura 3.22): l'esperienza dell'ateneo salernitano. Cavallino: Pensa.

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