Conceptual Model of Developing a New LMS System of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences

The e-Learning system of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences has been continuously developed since 2004 for the study requirements according to the German study concept of the Fachhochschule and according to the specific study characteristics in the Republic of Croatia, using a modular approach. Currently there are five modules functioning (DMS, SAN, e-Student, SMSCentar and FPZmobile) which together form the Learning Management System (LMS) of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences.
DMS (Document Management System) is a system for managing documents and processes which is used for authorized access by the Faculty staff members to modules: control of work of the computer laboratories (check of access to exercises, etc.), e-Learning system administration (publishing of teaching materials, control and grading of seminar papers, etc.) and the module for documents and processes management within the Faculty (orders for equipment, report on failures, updated on-line directory, etc.)
SAN (cro. Sustav autorizacije i nadzora, eng. The authorization and control system) is a set of applications which applies the advanced IT technologies to allow supervising the work of students on the computers at the computer laboratories of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences and personalization of the working environment in the Windows operation system, regardless of which computer is being used by the student.

Drawbacks of Implementing e-Learning System in the Teaching Process at the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences

The introduction and usage of the e-Learning system for distance learning, i.e. learning via the Internet or some other advanced multimedia method, has become an obligation and not just a possibility, in all the educational institutions, in the function of proactive continuous modernization of the teaching process by applying ICT. Although e-Learning is mostly mentioned within the context of learning at the educational institutions, companies are increasingly accepting and introducing distance learning systems. Negative effects of the implementation have not been sufficiently studied. It is easy to notice that the past focus of research referred mainly to positive effects on implementing the e-Learning method. The relatively short period, and the limited number of syllabuses which apply their own developed e-Learning systems at the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences (Faculty), have yielded the realized results of evaluating the implementation. The number of represented subjects in the e-Learning system is continuously growing, and consequently also the number of included students and the teaching staff. In the carried out surveys among students at the Faculty the majority of students has assessed this method of learning as very useful and a significant advancement in relation to classical learning methods. The assessment of their level of knowledge before using the system and afterwards, has shown significant increase and the students expressed a great wish for further development of the system and implementation of the system into the work of the entire Faculty. A very high percentage of students expressed a desire to introduce this type of studying i.e. learning in all the syllabuses, at all three courses of study at the Faculty. Research and surveys of other faculties and companies involved in the development of e-Learning systems are analogue to the achieved results at the Faculty.

Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in the Teaching Process at the Faculty of Traffic and Transport Sciences

The project of introducing the E-learning system at the Faculty of Traffic and Transport Sciences (FPZ), started several years ago through the project of implementing the WebCT environment. The restrictions in the application led to the development and introduction of the Faculty’s own LMS (Learning Management System) which represents a modularly developed system called e-Student. The base for the performance of the FPZ e-Learning system is the information and communication infrastructure of the Faculty of Traffic and Transport Sciences. The computer network is divided into several logically separated units. The access of the computer network to the Internet has been provided by means of the Croatian Academic Research Network (CARNet) infrastructure. Computer access from the decentralized FPZ locations, such as the building in Vukelićeva Street and the building in the Zagreb district – Siget, the teaching centre Lučko and the teaching centre in Zadar towards the central location of the Faculty, the building in the Vukelićeva Street, has been provided by various access networks, CARNet or T-COM network with the application of a virtual private network. Our own developed application of the SMSCentar, based on the application of T-mobile operator of the mobile network, has enabled the distribution of various data to the mobile network users. The advantage of one’ s own developed solution is reflected in complete knowledge of the system thus enabling relatively simple upgrading of the system with new functionalities and possible adjustment to changes, and elimination of the observed disadvantages and errors in the system operation, which is relatively difficult and time-demanding on the existing remote learning systems.