MACS Continuous Education Modules

Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Virtual Campus Program.

Project Leader: Dr. Carlo Lepori, SUPSI-DTI, Manno (Switzerland)

Period: 3 years: 1 October 2001 - 30 September 2004

Project Web Site


The continuous education program MACS (Master in Advanced Computer Science) of SUPSI is a postgraduate education program built on modules.  MACS modules are obtaining a good success, but are very clearly limited by the peripheral position of Southern Switzerland. To fully realize the MACS program, it is necessary to open its audience to other regions. This objective can be obtained with the realization of IT-based modules.


The MACS (Master in Advanced Computer Science) postgraduate course offered by SUPSI is a module-based continuous education programme. As the geographic situation of Switzerland's Italian-speaking region isolates it somewhat from the main population centres, student numbers are limited. It has therefore been decided to launch online courses to make MACS more accessible to the rest of the country and Northern Italy. One of the objectives is to determine whether the quality of IT-based courses can be improved by broader cooperation among students and increased contacts between students and teachers. Course subjects are "Programming with Java" and "Data Mining". The modules comprise elements of frontal teaching and online exercises. Great emphasis is placed on group work, discussion and reflection.

My contribution

I was resposible for one of the modules: "Programming with Java". I created a on-line course on Java programming (in Italian) that was given to MACS students in the years 2001, 2002, and 2003. I acted as Content editor, Instructor, and moderator of the course. Globally, 62 students from Italy and Switzerland attended the three editions of the course.  The experience acquired in this project and the implemented courses were used in my Ph.D. project as basis for the evaluation of the methodology proposed.

Publications (see publications page for pdf files) 

P1 Federico Flueckiger, Riccardo Mazza. Open Distance Learning at Southern Switzerland Universities. In: EUNIS 2001 - 7th International Conference of European University Information Systems. Berlin, Humboldt-University, March 28-30, 2001. ISBN 3-88579-339-3
R5 Riccardo Mazza, Federico Flueckiger, Carlo Lepori, Lorenzo Cantoni, Osvaldo Arrigo. Open Distance Education at Southern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences: Some Results and Reflections. In: ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, 7th International conference on technology supported learning & training. Berlin, November 28-30 2001.
R4 Riccardo Mazza, Federico Flueckiger, Carlo Lepori, Lorenzo Cantoni, Osvaldo Arrigo. L'utilizzo di tecnologie di comunicazione mediate dal computer per la didattica di un linguaggio di programmazione: alcuni risultati e considerazioni. Giornate Svizzere della Formazione Professionale. Lugano, 8 - 10 novembre 2001 (Book of abstracts)
R3 Riccardo Mazza. Formazione continua e classe virtuale: l'apprendimento del linguaggio Java tramite tecnologie di formazione a distanza. In: XXXIX Congresso annuale AICA, Tecnologie, Innovazione e Società. Como 19-21 Settembre 2001.

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