Information and communication technologies supporting education in times of COVID-19
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Information and communication technologies supporting education in times of COVID-19

Tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones apoyando la educación en tiempos de COVID-19

 

 

Yoisel Leopoldo Rojas Hernández1* https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5284-1616
Lianna María Martínez Rodríguez2 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8160-5161

 

1 Sancti Spíritus University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.
2 Sancti Spíritus University of Medical Sciences. Provincial Teaching Psychiatric Hospital. Cuba.

 

*Author for correspondence. E-mail: yoiselrojas@infomed.sld.cu

 

 

Submitted: 21/05/2020
Accepted: 22/06/2020

 

 

To the editor:

In these times of COVID-19, it is assertive to use good practices in the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in education, taking into account that the Cuban Ministry of Public Health has oriented isolation as the main preventive measure to avoid contagion. This forced the Ministry of Higher Education to adopt new strategies in the continuity of the teaching-learning process, making use of the distance learning modality. In this sense, the VLEs offer the opportunity to carry out a teaching-administrative management in the subjects, according to the technological adaptation of our universities and the quality of the teaching-learning process that characterize them.

VLEs offer a friendly and easy-to-use digital environment; they allow publishing study materials in different formats, available seven days a week and 24 hours a day; this way, they make their access more flexible and allow the student to participate in the teaching process when they have the time required, having the opportunity to review the contents and oriented activities over and over again and guaranteeing that they learn according to their rhythm.(1,2)

The evaluation constitutes a main component in the teaching-learning process, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offer a design for alternative tests or exams to the traditional ones and supervision programs with quality and security; They contain a typology of evaluation tests according to the current confinement conditions, they must be accompanied by procedures to control the authorship of the exams and technologies available for their implementation.

It is recommended to consult the advice offered by UNESCO in its communiqué of March 6, 2020 «COVID-19: 10 Recommendations to plan distance learning solutions», where it proposes to combine different evaluation tests, adapt to the psychosocial situation of the students, take actions to ensure inclusion and select technologies that ensure data protection.(3)

In a first level of non-face-to-face evaluation, Questionnaires are proposed, which allow formulating multiple-choice questions, where one or more correct answers can be selected. Table 1 shows the different providers of on-line evaluation services and offers a rating of Satisfactory (S), Partially Satisfactory (PS) and Unsatisfactory (US) on them.

The measures proposed(4) to minimize the use of fraudulent means during the execution of this type of examination are:

 

  • Change the type of questions: it is recommended to avoid questions that can be answered by memorizing content.
  • Exams with random questions: the questions must come from a single questionnaire (students answer the same questions, but in a different order), or the program selects them from a repository of questions (students answer different aspects).
  • Appropriate duration for the examination: the programs allow setting the time limit for each
  • question or for the global examination; it should not be too long to avoid inappropriate behavior.

 

To guarantee the authorship of the exams(4) three measures are recommended:

 

  • Use of certification programs for authorship and surveillance during the tests (online proctored exams): through the computer webcam, facial recognition mechanisms, voice, study of eye movement, control of the screen where the exam is performed and / or control of the connected hardware, among others.
  • Live online surveillance: the student connects with the person in charge of carrying out the virtual surveillance by means of a webcam, it is identified by means of the respective card and a 360o scan of the physical environment is carried out.

 

Without supervision: the only verification is the entrance of the student to the virtual environment or to the application where the exam takes place, by means of an identifier and password.

Some of the programs that currently offer online evaluation systems, student authentication and surveillance mechanisms during the execution of the exam, through facial recognition, are shown in Table 2.

ICTs in the pedagogical field offer a range of possibilities to develop the teaching-learning process with high quality standards, inserting the term «virtual» in the distance modality, which means using computer advances in order to provide flexibility, comfort, authenticity and effectiveness in the education system, in times of COVID-19.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

1. Junta de Andalucía. COVID-19. Guía para Escuelas, Centros educativos y Universidades. España: Ministerio de Sanidad; 2020.

2. REACU. Acuerdo de REACU del 3 de abril de 2020, ante la situación de excepción provocada por el COVID-19. España: Red Española de Agencias de Calidad Universitarias; 2020.

3. Unesco. COVID-19: 10 Recommendations to plan distance learning solutions [Internet]. UNESCO; 2020. [Citado 11/05/2020]. Disponible en: https:/en.unesco.org/news/covid-19-10-recommendations-plan-distance-learning-solutions

4. González M, Marco E, Medina T. Informe de iniciativas y herramientas de evaluación online universitaria en el contexto del Covid-19. [Internet]. 2020 [citado 11/05/2020]. Universidad D Salamanca; 2020. Disponible en: https://www.usal.es/files/

 

 

Declaration of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest

 

 

Contribution of the authors

Bouth authors search for the information, analyzed ad wrote the article

 

 

This article has been published under license of Creative Commons

Copyright (c) 2020 EDUMECENTRO

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