Facebook and Wikipedia-style information sharing are being used by a North Wales university to deliver one of its degrees to students in Spain in one of the first partnerships of its kind in Europe.
Glyndwr University has just signed an agreement with the University of Mataro which will see students from the Spanish university study part of the Wrexham-based institution’s BSc (Honours) Creative Media Computing course in their home country.
More than 150 technology students from Mataro, a coastal resort 25km from Barcelona, will be taught the final year of the programme.
A team of five staff from Glyndwr University are to travel to Spain six times a year to deliver the degree with traditional lectures and seminars on the University of Mataro campus. In between, Web 2.0 technologies will be fully exploited with podcasts, blogs, forums and wikis being used to track students’ progress and to assess their work.
Topics delivered by staff from Glyndwr University will include creative innovation and design, emerging technology, IT project management and post-production and special effects.
John Poulton, subject leader for Computing at Glyndwr University, said the technology would see students complete collaborative group work projects over the Internet. This, for example, could involve someone creating an animation which can be posted on line for assessment.
"You very rarely hear of a university taking their staff abroad to another university to deliver one of their own university’s degrees so in that sense this is a new and unique venture for Glyndwr," he added.
"But more than anything else we’re looking forward to carrying our use of e-learning tools to the next level. Most of our students are now embracing things like Twitter and Wikipedia in their everyday lives so it offers tremendous potential as a tool for enhancing their learning."
The new agreement builds on an existing partnership with the University of Mataro, which has seen hundreds of Spanish students study at Glyndwr University over the last 10 years.
Glyndwr University hopes that in future the agreement can develop into the universities offering a joint degree.