Using computer assisted learning systems in the technical academic environment | SIVECO Romania

Using computer assisted learning systems in the technical academic environment

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bucharest, September 20, 2004 –  The Industrial Chemistry Faculty within „Politehnica” University of Bucharest hosted on the 17th of September the workshop on „eLearning in Engineering”. More than 100 participants –guests of honor from prestigious unievrsities in Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain and Poland, professors form the „Politehnica” University of Bucharest, students and pupils took part in the event organized in partnership with SIVECO Romania and the EuPaCe European program representatives.

„Our hosting this event is extremely honoring for us. According to the rules EuPaCe works on, the workshop held at the Politehnica University of Bucharest should have occurred in a EU country, but their representatives were so impressed by the progresses made by the Romanian academic system in using eLearning, that they made an exception and came to Bucharest.”, says Prof. Valentin PLESU, Project Manager at UPB.

The workshop was structured on two sections: presentations and demos of using the eLearning platform implemented in the Faculty for Industrial chemistry within UPB.

            Designed by transforming the AEL eLearning platform developed by SIVECO Romania within the INFOSOC project nr. INF 78/2002, in partnership with the team of the Technological Transfer Center from UPB, the eLearning System for Technical Faculties (SeLFT) is a modern solution, adapted to the learning needs of the faculties in the technical field.

The workshop proved that Romania is on the right way regarding the use of IT&C in education, the models and methods used in our country facing the competition of the educational platforms used by the most prestigious European universities.

“We successfully ended the first exam with a 24 students group. There were no problems with the AEL Academic use mode. Additionally, we received a lot of information regarding specific didactic materials creation, starting with existing resources: Word, PowerPoint, and Adobe. We appreciated the professionalism of the technical support team, as well as the English version of the AEL platform. During the last three months, we have been testing a competitor’s product, which allows didactic activities in an eLearning lab. Its performances are below our expectations; it doesn’t have a secretarial module, a virtual classroom and stable testing module. SeLFT is definitely better!”-Prof. Ana Maria Josceanu, Analytical and Instrumental Analysis Chemistry Department Chief within Politehnica University of Bucharest.

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About UPB

University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB) is the most important technical university in Romania. Its traditions are connected to the founding of the first higher technical school in 1818 by Gheorghe Lazar. Born in Avrig, Gheorghe Lazar studied in Sibiu, Cluj and Vienna. In 1817-1818 he endeavoured to convince the local noblemen of the need for supporting a modern national school in the Romanian language.

Thus, on 24 March 1818, by a Royal Edict, the premises of Saint Sava Abbey were converted into the new school. Later, in 1832 this school was reorganised, including four cycles, in accordance with the provisions of Organic Ordinance. Among other faculties, the one dealing with exact sciences included courses such as applied trigonometry, geodesy, mineralogy, engineering graphics, descriptive geometry, mechanical elements applied to ordinary machines, principles of building roads and bridges, elements of architecture, etc. The graduates were obliged either to work for three years for the state, or to return the grant received. In 1862, the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza had established by another Royal Decree a set of rules for the organisation of civil engineers, the hierarchy of engineers or conductors, their salaries, the conditions for admission and promotion, were clearly defined.

An important figure in the "School of Bridges, Roads and Mines" was Gheorghe Duca. As early as 1887, he analysed the content of courses, finding the weaknesses of the school, as well as the best solutions to improve its academic level. In those times, a substantial condition was the severity imposed on the conduct of students, in addition to evaluation. Students obtaining insufficient results, or having an erratic course attendance, were quickly removed from the school. Indeed, at the beginning, the preparatory year had no admission tests. Starting with 1881, an admission test had been introduced; the top priority was the quality of candidates, the number of the selected ones being less important. Gheorghe Duca tried and succeeded to bring the best professors to the “National School of Bridges and Roads”; among them, we should mention David Emanuel (Elementary Mathematics), Spiru Haret (Higher Algebra and Analytical Geometry), C. M. Mironescu (Statistics and Engineering Graphics), Constantin Istrati (Physics), or Anghel Saligny (Bridges and Roads). Moreover, Gheorghe Duca himself was considered the greatest authority in railways at the end of 19-th century. This was perhaps a turning moment, when it was clearly demonstrated that Romania was capable of achieving on its own what had been deemed likely to be obtained only abroad, namely the training of highly qualified science and engineering specialists. The year 1890 also represented a momentous point, when at the National School of Bridges and Roads a new commission was set up. Its main role was to issue equivalency certificates for the engineering diplomas obtained abroad, thus transforming this national school into a model for evaluating higher technical studies.

Nicolae Vasilescu-Karpen was appointed director of the School in February 1920. As a direct result of his endeavours, the government approved the establishment of Polytechnic Schools in Romania, conceived as higher education institutions, similar to universities, having as their final aim engineering training under the Ministry of Public Works.

No surprise, the first Polytechnic School was set up by transforming the "National School of Bridges and Roads" into the "Polytechnic School of Bucharest".