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Collado-Villalba, Spain

Caprara M.,Madrid Open University | Molina M.A.,Institute for Advanced Social Studies | Schettini R.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Santacreu M.,Autonomous University of Madrid | And 4 more authors.
Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research | Year: 2013

Active aging is one of the terms in the semantic network of aging well, together with others such as successful, productive, competent aging. All allude to the new paradigm in gerontology, whereby aging is considered from a positive perspective. Most authors in the field agree active aging is a multidimensional concept, embracing health, physical and cognitive fitness, positive affect and control, social relationships and engagement. This paper describes Vital Aging, an individual active aging promotion program implemented through three modalities: Life, Multimedia, and e-Learning. The program was developed on the basis of extensive evidence about individual determinants of active aging. The different versions of Vital Aging are described, and four evaluation studies (both formative and summative) are reported. Formative evaluation reflected participants' satisfaction and expected changes; summative evaluations yielded some quite encouraging results using quasi-experimental designs: those who took part in the programs increased their physical exercise, significantly improved their diet, reported better memory, had better emotional balance, and enjoyed more cultural, intellectual, affective, and social activities than they did before the course, thus increasing their social relationships. These results are discussed in the context of the common literature within the field and, also, taking into account the limitations of the evaluations accomplished. © 2013 Mariagiovanna Caprara et al. Source

Fernandez-Ballesteros R.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Caprara M.,Madrid Open University | Schettini R.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Bustillos A.,The Spanish Open University | And 8 more authors.
Educational Gerontology | Year: 2013

University Programs for Older Adults (Programas Universitarios para Adultos Mayores or PUMAs) have been developed throughout the world as an outcome of two worldwide policies: Life Long Learning (LLL) and Active Aging as a priority direction (UN, 2002). According to these policies, older persons should become full participants in the development process of a society, sharing in its benefits, while policies and actions should promote a positive view of aging. The present paper sets out to report some of the results from the evaluation of four PUMAs offered in 2009-2010 at four Universities: Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain), Autónoma University of Mexico (Mexico), Catholic University (Chile), and La Habana University (Cuba). With this purpose, a study with quasiexperimental design and nonequivalent control group was carried out. In total, 313 students (75% women, age range 50-87) on these four PUMAs and 190 controls (77% female, age range 50-91) participated in this evaluation study. Pre- and postexperimental and control comparisons results yielded significant differences in the expected direction: those people attending PUMAs significantly improved their self-perception of aging and group stereotypes, as well as significantly reduced their negative affect, and improving their emotional balance. At the same time, their perception of cultural age stereotypes became more negative. The results are discussed from the point of view of the II International Plan of Action on Aging objectives: the reduction of negative stereotypes and the promotion of the role of PUMAs in active aging. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Andrade J.,University of La Coruna | Ares J.,University of La Coruna | Garcia R.,University of La Coruna | Martinez M.-A.,Madrid Open University | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans | Year: 2013

The concepts of holon and holarchy were first applied in the manufacturing world to develop Holonic Manufacturing Systems. Since then, they have been used in many fields and have proved to be applicable concepts for developing applications in any business area. Resulting applications are based on conceptual holonic constructions. Like any model, a holarchy needs to be validated under real circumstances. Such validation assures the quality of the holarchy before it is implemented. In general, validation research tends to target: 1) the specific types of holons handled in each proposal and/or the selected development paradigms; and 2) algorithm performance rather than architecture quality. This paper proposes and evaluates a methodology that focuses on the quality of the architecture. This methodology is able to validate any holonic architecture built to meet trade requirements. Moreover, this is a general-purpose methodology. Therefore, the methodology would be valid for any domain and would not be invalidated by holon types and/or implementation paradigms emerging, changing or falling into disuse. For this purpose, we consider holonic architectures as conceptual models, using the pure holon and holarchy concepts and passing up not only any specific implementation paradigm but also any set of specific holon types. © 2012 IEEE. Source

Andrade J.,University of La Coruna | Juan A.,University of La Coruna | Garcia R.,University of La Coruna | Martinez M.-A.,Madrid Open University | And 2 more authors.
Recent Advances in Signal Processing, Computational Geometry and Systems Theory - ISCGAV'11, ISTASC'11 | Year: 2011

Despite being two very closely linked things, hardware and software have evolved very differently. In actual fact, while hardware evolution has been exponential, software has evolved linearly. One of the fundamental reasons for this mismatch between hardware development and software development is that hardware development is supported by engineering based on science whose scientific theory is very well established, whereas software development is not. The goal of the present work is the analysis of, not only software historic development, but also the current theoretical approaches for software development. The results achieved will be used for proposing new research lines that might help this discipline to advance in the scientific field. It should be then possible to establish the foundations that might enable software advance similarly as hardware does. Source

Andrade J.,University of La Coruna | Ares J.,University of La Coruna | Martinez M.-A.,Madrid Open University | Pazos J.,Technical University of Madrid | And 3 more authors.
Information and Software Technology | Year: 2013

Context: Software testing is a key aspect of software reliability and quality assurance in a context where software development constantly has to overcome mammoth challenges in a continuously changing environment. One of the characteristics of software testing is that it has a large intellectual capital component and can thus benefit from the use of the experience gained from past projects. Software testing can, then, potentially benefit from solutions provided by the knowledge management discipline. There are in fact a number of proposals concerning effective knowledge management related to several software engineering processes. Objective: We defend the use of a lesson learned system for software testing. The reason is that such a system is an effective knowledge management resource enabling testers and managers to take advantage of the experience locked away in the brains of the testers. To do this, the experience has to be gathered, disseminated and reused. Method: After analyzing the proposals for managing software testing experience, significant weaknesses have been detected in the current systems of this type. The architectural model proposed here for lesson learned systems is designed to try to avoid these weaknesses. This model (i) defines the structure of the software testing lessons learned; (ii) sets up procedures for lesson learned management; and (iii) supports the design of software tools to manage the lessons learned. Results: A different approach, based on the management of the lessons learned that software testing engineers gather from everyday experience, with two basic goals: usefulness and applicability. Conclusion: The architectural model proposed here lays the groundwork to overcome the obstacles to sharing and reusing experience gained in the software testing and test management. As such, it provides guidance for developing software testing lesson learned systems. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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