The UOC's has been the University's hallmark since its beginnings. It was created with the goal of offering an effective solution for the educational needs of people engaged in lifelong learning and to optimally leverage the potential offered by the internet to learn in a flexible environment.
One of the added values of this model is that it guarantees the development of digital skills of students
Dynamic and flexible
The educational model was conceived to adapt and evolve constantly over time, in step with the progress of the internet and the knowledge society. Within this context, it is a model that focuses on the learning activity, offering a diverse range of options to suit the requirements of each student. The model allows students to learn in the same way that they work, and to communicate with one another over the internet.
Focused on the student and the learning activity
The model is based on learning environments that combine a variety of resources and working dynamics with support from the teaching team and interaction with fellow students. The students and their learning activity are at the centre of the educational process.
Assessment has been devised as a mechanism for learning and providing feedback on the learning process. It is therefore continuous and formative, and provides constructive feedback to ensure continual improvement in the learning process.
The assessment activities help ensure the achievement of learning objectives and the development of competencies.
The model is oriented towards collective participation and knowledge building, and embraces the students’ learning, social and working experiences. It is committed to a learning process that balances the individual engagement of the student with collaboration, enriching the student’s learning process with the knowledge, opinions and experiences of their fellow students, and developing their teamwork skills in preparation for the professional world. Some methodologies that are used to advance this type of learning include project work, problem-based learning, enquiry-based learning and agile methodologies.
The student is supported at all times by specialized faculty whose primary functions are to design, guide, drive and assess the entire educational process. There are three teaching profiles (professor, course instructor and tutor) who work jointly to assure quality in the learning process.
- The professor designs the course, assures its quality and coordinates the course instructors.
- The course instructor guides and assesses the students' learning process within the framework of a particular course.
- The tutor guides the student in choosing a personalized academic pathway at the UOC.
The UOC’s Virtual Campus is the environment where all these elements converge and become interrelated. The life of the whole university community takes place on the Campus, comprising students, professors, researchers, course instructors, tutors and administrative staff. Through the Campus, the student has access to the virtual classrooms, which are the learning spaces where the teaching staff, fellow students, activities, content and tools for learning can be found.
The learning activity forms the core of the University's educational model. To help students in their learning, the University uses three main tools: support, networked community and tools and resources
1. Teaching support
This is the combination of actions undertaken by teaching staff and tutors to monitor students and help them make decisions, plan the learning process, complete the activities and pass the assessments. Likewise, it is through this support from teaching staff that students receive personalized attention, benefit from constant guidance throughout their academic career and establish close links with the community.
2. Networked community
This is the series of communicative and participatory dynamics that facilitate joint building of knowledge by students and teachers.
3. Learning resources
These include the learning materials, environments and tools needed to complete the learning activities, and their corresponding assessment.
The model is also flexible as it allows for a wide range of learning activities to cover the competencies that are being developed, the area of knowledge and the level of educational specialization that the student is engaged in.
As a logical consequence of this, the dynamics and resources contained in these activities are equally diverse, heterogeneous and adaptable to a broad spectrum of learning situations and needs. In this regard, the UOC is committed to using the most advanced technologies and communication tools to assist students in their learning activity. These include
- Social tools that facilitate interaction and knowledge sharing (blogs, wikis, microblogs, social bookmarks, etc.).
- Multimedia resources that provide interactive and engaging content that combines elements such as text, audio, image and video.
- Interactive and multi-format materials such as enriched videos, hypertext links, audio books and video books.
- Advanced synchronous and asynchronous communication systems that enable smooth and clear communication in any situation (video chats, forums, video blogs, etc.).
- Immersive environments that enable interaction with people and objects, simulating real situations.
- Easy access to content and learning via different types of mobile devices allowing students to learn whenever and wherever.