Reconsidering Teachers’ Roles (X). Jordi Blanch i Hughet, Jordi Moral i Ajado & Diego Haro Nieto: IOC: an Experience in Changing Roles of Teachers and Students

Notes from the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers’ Roles, held in Barcelona, Spain, on October 6-7, 2011. More notes on this event: eLChair11.

Jordi Blanch i Huguet, E-learning Coordinator, Ministry of Education of Catalonia, Spain
Jordi Moral i Ajado, Manager of Technological Resources, Open Institute of Catalonia (IOC), Spain
Diego Haro Nieto, Teacher Trainer for Preschool Education, IOC, Spain
IOC: an Experience in Changing Roles of Teachers and Students

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The IOC is the Catalan Open High School, and have set up an online modality for 26,000 students — usually adults — to follow their courses online, many of them vocational training.

As many students have low educational profiles and are not proficient with technology, instructional technology is very transparent and is only aimed at facilitating the learning process. Thus, platforms the students are familiar with (e.g. Vimeo) are both used by IOC to upload learning materials or by the students to share their work.

A new software has been developed to monitor students’ practices in businesses that have partnered with IOC.

The tutor has great importance in the learning methodology of the IOC online edition.

On the other hand, remote access to “real” research and simulation infrastructures (e.g. labs in universities) are common so that the students can practice, from home, with the same infrastructures they are likely to use once out of high school.

The roles of the student and teacher have radically changed:

  • The teacher proposes a work study plan.
  • Students are the actors of their learning.
  • The teacher stimulates the student, they are their guide, a travel companion.
  • Students work in autonomous ways.
  • The teacher is “who knows”, the expert, but they are learning too, even from the students.


Q: who decides the content of videos? how are their made? Haro: content is decided by the teachers, as it is part of the assignment. Moral: students have to have the skills to tape, edit and publish video, as it is a very important tool. These skills are taught to the students in specific courses at the earliest stages of their learning.

Q: is there peer-evaluation? do students learn from each other? Haro: Students take traditional (face-to-face) exams at the end of the semester, and they are evaluated by teachers. But teachers do not usually share experiences, at least not within the framework of the courses.

Sigi Jakob: How is Mahara used for e-portfolios? Moral: Mahara is integrated with Moodle, which is the LMS of IOC, and each student is provided their own e-portfolio in Mahara.


UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers' Roles (2011)