Collaborative tools to support higher education.

This project pursuit to improve and implant in massive way (open source) the Telepresence tool applied to the superior education, developed for the EAFIT University in the 2004, by means of research project co-financed between the University and Colciencias, and between the years 2005 and 2006, by means of a collaborative research project between Quindio University, is continue improving and probing the pilot courses of mathematics and physics applied to the construction.

We find that the Universities involved in the project dictate courses in which the teachers are in the campus and the students in the influenced regions of the participant Universities. In case that the courses dictated will be successful, the tool will be use for several courses in the Universities and will be offer to other Institutions or Departmental Education Secretary in order to it can use to prepare their teachers.

The Telepresence tool, developed since 2004 with support of Colciencias, integrate audio and video with a collaborative virtual space. In this way the instructor and the students can observe and communicate each other using voice and video. Also the participants can interact using one or several virtual objects in the shared virtual space. Additionally, the instructor can control a slides presentation that the students can observe remotely. In the current version just can interact two " points " : the teacher and the students group.

The tool has been used successfully in a distance environment simulated between the EAFIT University and the Quindio University. In all the cases, it has been used "learning for compression" as pedagogical support. The development group has found that is essential to use a suitable pedagogical support because just the technology is not a significant different in the learning of the students. Specifically, the research groups of the EAFIT University and the Quindio University are going to work in two topics:

In the technical aspect the Universities will work together to dictate course remotely in the influenced areas of the Quindio University and EAFIT University, giving the possibility to get several students groups in different physical locations.

In the pedagogical aspect, it will be create two courses (one for each University), in electronical format. The courses have to use the learning for compression as pedagogical support and will be dictated using the telepresence tool.

In the experimental test will be defined an experimental group using the telepresence tool and the control group using the conventional methodologies of learning. With the results of this test can be compared the profits and limitations each of the methodologies used in the design of the course.


Person in charge

Helmuth Trefftz