New paradigms and new interactive teaching/learning tools in distance education. The case of economic courses at Guglielmo Marconi University

Learning is change. Especially in a context where student face with a changing world, full of connections and proactive and virtual situations. The need of use new tools in teaching is evident, and literature is facing the phenomenon with a constant rise up of researches and experiments. It is a new unknown field, an undiscovered path that we have no clue where it can lead. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful challenge. We can really use many tools, especially in eLearning classes. Such as Massive Open Online Courses, dynamic video-lessons, blogs, virtual communities, virtual laboratories, social media and information sharing, in a constructivist pedagogy. The most powerful objects we can use are serious games and simulations that can deliver knowledge by entertaining and understanding complex systems. However, near these new opportunities, we have to rethink also courses, curricula and contents that cannot be static and should evolve. Along self-creating knowledge systems, we must build new paradigms, new theories, able to change with the world they try to describe. That can be very expensive in an eLearning University, but there is the way to create a dynamic learning system. At Guglielmo Marconi University, we are trying to make a little revolution, starting in economic courses, because we are living time full of changes and transitions referring to the economic and financial context. Consequently, we need new points of view and new models in theories and new tools for students. In this sense, inside our courses we extended contents of the courses also changing the point of view traditionally used and introduced simulations and serious games. The goal was to make students think in a strategic way, facing complex systems, where operators act in a non-linear way. Teaching them to build their own paradigm to explain real world.

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