Pedro Costa, president of the Coimbra Business School, which is running the conference, said “Portuguese higher education will only be globally competitive if it is based on ‘b-learning’ [blended learning] systems, allowing for interaction, either delayed or in real time, between the students, the system and the lecturers”.

In the future there will certainly be a mixture of more theoretical traditional teaching and more practical teaching, based mainly on technological tools”, where the interaction between students and lecturers will involve computers (laptops and tablets) in real time, he said.

This conference is held every year in Portugal or Spain and it is considered to be a hub for researchers to share their scientific production and experience in Information Systems and Technologies.

The use of recent technologies and methodologies such as gamification (the adaptation of characteristics commonly found in games) to get students’ attention, motivating them and involving them in the learning process in a dynamic, interactive way, is one of the topics up for discussion.

“This new methodology, apart from requiring the use of un-traditional teaching materials that are more accessible and appealing, uses a scoring system, ranking and rewards of passing from one level to another just like in computer games”, Pedro Costa explained.

Augmented virtual reality is another possibility.