Scientific Technical Council
Digital Study and
Utrecht, 1 September 2010, version: 1.0, status: Final
Commissioning party: Stichting SURF Platforms
REQUEST FOR RECOMMENDATIONS AND APPROACH ................................................. 3
Request for recommendations ..................................................................................... 3
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS ........................................................................................ 4
Towards a Digital Study and Working Environment: DSWE ............................................... 4
Varying degrees of ICT maturity .................................................................................. 4
What do users want? ................................................................................................. 5
Students .............................................................................................................. 5
Researchers .......................................................................................................... 6
New user groups.................................................................................................... 7
Consensus on overall approach ................................................................................... 7
Challenges in the change process for the DSWE ............................................................. 8
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................ 10
FINAL REMARKS ..................................................................................................... 14
APPENDIX 1: PARTIES CONSULTED ......................................................................... 15
APPENDIX 2: BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................. 16
Request for recommendations and approach
Request for recommendations
In a letter (10.0311), the platform managers of Stichting SURF requested SURF’s Scientific
Technical Council (WTR) to carry out a study of the Digital Learning and Working
Environment (DLWE) in higher education.
In 2008, SURFfoundation – working in collaboration with the higher education sector –
drew up scenarios for the future of the digital learning and working environment as a
prelude to a programme concerning this topic. In order to give focus to such a programme
and to select activities to be prioritised, the platform managers wish to have a better idea
of the current position of the institutions, the problems that they are facing, and their aims
for the future as regards the DLWE.
The three platforms requested the WTR to concern itself in the study with the
technological, educational logistics, and pedagogical aspects, and with aspects concerning
The research question for the study is:
What is the current situation as regards the digital learning and working environment in
higher education? What current problems are there as regards the DLWE, and what
ambitions and expectations for the future do the institutions have with respect to the
In the light of the conclusions generated by the study, the commissioning parties wish to
have recommendations for:
1. giving focus and direction to a joint long-range programme;
2. activities to be prioritised.
The WTR appointed a committee to carry out the evaluation, consisting of
Prof.dr. P. Kirschner
Dr. E. van den Berg
Prof.dr. J. van Hillegersberg
The committee was assisted by Dr L.A. Plugge, secretary to the WTR.
The committee had a large number of documents available for the study; these derived
from SURF (specifically SURFnet), individual institutions, and partnerships.
The WTR also made use of the information assembled with a view to evaluating
SURFshare, for example the documents for the planned e-Science Research Centre (eSCR).
Not all of the institutions have set out their aims for the future in writing; use was
therefore also made of interviews with stakeholders such as administrators, students and
researchers, and parties involved in support and design/development (IT management and
A list of the interviewees is given in Appendix 1. The documentation used is listed in
1 September 2010 3
Findings and analysis
Towards a Digital Study and Working Environment: DSWE
The WTR’s assignment refers to the digital learning and working environment. Given the
research question, however, the WTR is applying a broad definition under the name “Digital
Study and Working Environment” (DSWE):
A combination of digital services organised by an institution to
support activities by students, staff, and guests at/of an institution
for higher education and research.
This definition refers to “activities” and not to “learning”, “teaching”, or “researching”. The
hope and expectation is, for example, that a student will learn and that the digital services
will help him or her to do so. Whether that is actually the case remains uncertain and
difficult to demonstrate. The definition therefore refers to the broader concept of
”activities”. This includes looking up class timetables, scheduling appointments, sending
and receiving messages, collaborating on an assignment, and so forth. Another reason for
the broader definition is that as students make progress in their programme, the boundary
between learning and research, for example, becomes blurred. The activities carried out by
a student who is working on an assignment or conducting research for a graduation project
do not differ all that much from those carried out by a member of staff, for example
researchers. The WTR therefore recommends referring in future to a “Digital Study and
Working Environment” or DSWE, a name that will do justice to this broader definition.
It became clear during the interviews that many of the interviewees define “digital learning
and working environment” more narrowly: they regard it as synonymous with the
“electronic learning environment” (ELE) for students and instructors. A smaller number of
interviewees used the broader definition.
The preponderance of the narrower definition (i.e. a synonym for the ELE) means that the
findings in fact provide more information on digital environments for students and
instructors than for researchers and (even less so) support staff and administrators.
Varying degrees of ICT maturity
As anticipated, the various institutions differed considerably with respect to the maturity of
their ICT facilities and services. Indeed, they can scarcely be compared with one another in
that regard. Early adopters and followers can be found at both large and small institutions,
and at both research universities and universities of applied sciences. The institutions also
differ enormously with respect to the specific ICT services that they have pioneered. In
some cases, the difference lies in the maturity of the architecture. For example, the three
universities of technology are currently implementing a service-oriented architecture.
Among these three universities the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has made
the most progress in implementing such architecture. Another example of a mature
architecture – based on services and brokers – as well as mature, integrated service
delivery can be found at Zeeland University of Applied Sciences.
What typifies the latter two examples is that the institutions have focused more on
providing proper ICT services for support purposes, and less, or hardly at all, on using ICT
as a general or pedagogical tool.
The arguments put forward by institutions that focus more on educational support
a well-organised educational setting is a requirement for creating a proper teaching
and study environment;
proper, well-integrated services focusing on support processes produce immediate
and visible advantages in terms of the amount of time that staff (instructors,
researchers and other staff) and students must invest in order to teach or take
focusing on support processes makes the task (i.e. providing ICT support) clearer
and more manageable for a centralised ICT department;
it forces the organisation to review its support processes and to make agreements
on (de facto) standardisation and on removing duplicate data and data systems, so
that the data and systems can be used collectively;
1 September 2010 4
it makes it possible to support multiple didacticala models, so that instructors can
select the most effective one instead of taking a “one size fits all” approach.
It is the WTR’s impression that institutions that have organised and standardised their
support processes properly are better able to provide integrated ICT support for these
What do users want?
The interviewees were largely in agreement on the following point: students think that the
ICT facilities provided in higher education generally lag behind those made available by
many commercial vendors, whose customers include students. According to the
interviewees, there are also too many instructors who fail to make effective use of ICT in
As mentioned above, in terms of the services provided, there are considerable differences
between institutions, as well as between instructors. When asked, the interviewees were
also able to provide examples of what they consider effective use of ICT by instructors and
It is clear that in the eyes of many students, too many instructors still frequently have
technical problems when using new facilities, for example smart boards, and/or are unable
to use facilities in the most effective manner, for example Microsoft PowerPoint. In the first
example, the problem lies in the user’s technical skills; in the second, it is related to
presentation and teaching skills, i.e. didactics.
But it is not only instructors who lack the necessary knowledge and skills. Many students
also have only a limited (i.e. one-sided) knowledge of new facilities. The interviews
revealed that students are often very familiar with facilities popular in their age group,
such as Skype, MSN, Facebook, Twitter, Hyves, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. They are less familiar
or even entirely unfamiliar, however, with information sources that are generally available,
for example iTunes-U for open courseware. Describing young people as “digital natives” is
a generalisation that overestimates their knowledge and skills.
Opinions among students differ as to what aspect of ICT requires the most attention. In
order to improve the quality of their education, they believe improvements are needed
both in the ICT facilities for supportive processes in education and in the use of ICT for
didactical purposes. They have a slight preference, however, for ICT facilities for the
supportive processes. Such prerequisite facilities create an environment that makes it
possible for instructors, students and researchers to focus on their core activities.
Unlike the students, who are united in two national organisations, instructors do not have a
national platform through which they can express their views. That is also the conclusion of
a report by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) entitled Towards
instructor professionalism in Dutch higher education: Why a professional infrastructure is
needed to achieve scholastic success [Docentprofessionaliteit in het Nederlandse hoger
onderwijs - Naar een professionele infrastructuur als voorwaarde voor studiesucces] (Van
Alst et al., 2009). The report’s first recommendation is, therefore (p. 53):
In line with examples abroad, there should be a platform of, for
and by instructors that will act as their permanent representative
in the higher education sector.
In a similar way, instructors’ opinions also only reach SURF through indirect channels, for
example via the platform contact persons and the ICT expertise centres. Those
representing the instructors are therefore generally not instructors themselves, even
though the demands that instructors in higher education make on ICT may well be even
more varied than those of students. That is because instructors specialise in different
fields, and the requirements that they have probably differ considerably from one HERPb
In Dutch and in German there is a clear distinction between didactics, i.e. a teaching method or
educational style, and pedagogy which is about leading children in their growth toward adulthood.
HERP: The Higher Education and Research Plan [Hoger Onderwijs en Onderzoek Plan], a policy plan
issued every other year by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the higher
education sector. The HERP sectors are: Agriculture, Nature, Technology, Health, Economics, Law,
Behaviour & Society, Language & Culture, Education, and Miscellaneous.
1 September 2010 5
sector to the next, but also within each sector, per academic phase, and between research
universities and universities of applied sciences. In addition, there are also groups that act
as instructors but are not officially registered as such, for example guest lecturers,
graduate students and student assistants.
Within the given timeframe of this study it was not feasible to obtain a representative
picture of what instructors require, based directly on their opinions. Each of the institutions
can, however, gather a general idea of what those requirements might be. For example,
surveys conducted by a number of the institutions show that instructors generally regard
the existing ELE facilities as satisfactory. (See, for example, reports 8, 19, 25 and 26 in the
bibliography.) A study at VU University Amsterdam8 reveals that the majority of instructors
(approx. 82%) use mainly the basic functions, such as uploading content (documents), and
– to a lesser extent – posting notifications and, occasionally, posting lists of marks (p. 21).
It is unlikely that this picture will differ dramatically from one institution to the next, given
what the students, among others, say about their instructors’ ICT skills. On top of this,
instructor professionalism/support is a frequent and recurring issue. This corresponds to
the notion that the instructors’ limited knowledge and skills still inhibit widespread and
more intensive use of ICT in education.
The extent to which researchers use ICT and what they wish to do with it, depends largely
on their field of research. In data-intensive fields, for example high-energy physics or
bioinformatics, researchers involved in research programmes are better able to join forces
and articulate their needs.
The degree to which researchers utilise network bandwidth may serve as an indication of
the extent to which they use ICT. Figure 1, p. 7, shows that only a small percentage of the
researchers (C) are heavyweight users of bandwidth. The majority of users consist of
lightweight (A) and moderate (B) users.
Currently, a special infrastructure is being set up for researchers in the C category, i.e.
those working in data-intensive interdisciplinary fields. The future eScience Research
Centre (eSRC) and SURF data & computing facilities (SURFcdf) will provide support for this
For the vast majority of researchers (A in Figure 1), ICT plays a subordinate – and
sometimes a very subordinate – role. In their case, the eSRC is a too powerful solution to a
relatively small problem, at least for the time being. In addition, some researchers simply
are not (yet) convinced that digitising their research data is the right thing to do, for
example because of a fear for loss of information.
Despite the differences between these groups of researchers, the interviews showed that
researchers in every field have the same basic (generic) need for low-threshold facilities
communicate with fellow researchers;
collaborate on documents and data;
store data for individual and collective use.
1 September 2010 6
Figure 1: Researchers categorised by bandwidth use
SURFgroepen is cited explicitly as an example of a good facility. Researchers also thought
that SURFgroepen is a good alternative to the (free of charge) services offered by
commercial service providers such as Google Docs or Windows Live. Specifically, they had
their doubts about the privacy of the latter and felt that they were at the mercy of the
arbitrariness of commercial service providers.
New user groups
Knowledge networks [lectoraten] have been around for some time now, but ICT facilities
have not yet been sufficiently geared towards taking this structure into account.
Knowledge networks focus on education, business, research and research results. This calls
for more outward-looking ICT facilities that must also be accessible by third parties.
Although institutions are attempting to key into these changes, major adjustments have
yet to be made.
Both research universities and universities of applied sciences have more or less
“rediscovered” the alumnus. Unlike universities in the English-speaking world, Dutch
universities do not have a tradition of alumni associations. The institutions are now
considering how to cultivate the relationship with their alumni, for example by offering
them online facilities. Cultural differences between the United States and the Netherlands
mean, however, that it would be impossible to simply adopt the same models used there,
Consensus on overall approach
Despite all the differences, there is clear consensus in the Dutch higher education sector
about the use of ICT facilities in education.
Three trends appear to be developing:
1. the emphasis on using ICT for didactical purposes is shifting to an emphasis on the
ICT facilities for supporting processes to lighten the organisational and
administrative burden, thus allowing instructors and students to focus on teaching
2. giving users (students and staff) more freedom to decide for themselves which
facilities they will use, in what way, when, and on which devices;
3. a reassessment of the facilities and functionalities that are needed to better serve
users, and a reconsideration of who should produce these services: external
service providers or the institution’s IT department.
Illustration provided by Prof.dr.ir. Cees de Laat
1 September 2010 7
With respect to item 3, the interviewees noted that one way to approach the problem of
service provision was to determine whether a facility/service was needed in order to qualify
for accreditation. This is similar to Edwards and Peppard’s “qualifying and underpinning
processes” a,1 (see Figure 2). The yellow diamond represents the strategic processes, with
the competitive processes making it possible for the organisation to compete and promote
itself. The transformational processes indicate the organisation’s ability to adapt to
changing circumstances, for example in legislation, but also to the ICT induced behavioural
As time passes, some competitive processes change into underpinning processes. For
example, providing access to the Internet was a competitive advantage in the 1990s, but
in the past ten years, Internet access has gradually become an underpinning process: it is
no longer considered a unique feature in higher education, although it remains a necessary
one. Digital access to scientific data sources is an example of a qualifying process: without
such access, the institution cannot give its students a good education and it is unlikely that
it will obtain accreditation.
An example of a transformational process is the training of teaching staff in the use of new
technology, or the setting up of a new curriculum. Competitive processes include
employing a distinctive educational method or special facilities to support education.
Figure 2 Operational processes as categorised by Edwards & Peppard
Challenges in the change process for the DSWE
Technology advances in a rapid pace, and our culture is changing just as rapidly. The ideal
that we imagined at the start of the present century – that we would have information at
our fingertips, anytime, anywhere, using any device – has become reality. The market and
the public have embraced these changes with enormous speed – so quickly, in fact, that
some users appear to treat privacy and security somewhat nonchalantly, or perhaps
naively. It is not only the general public that is wrestling with the blurring boundaries
between private, public, work and study, but also – and in particular – the higher education
and research sector.
The higher education sector has always been an open community, particularly at research
universities. The latest advances require us to redefine the limits of openness, however.
What inside information is allowed out, which outsiders are allowed in, and to what are
they granted access? This question is all the more urgent because technology and society
are changing so rapidly that the institutions of higher education appear unable to keep up.
Technology is growing ever more complex and we are becoming increasingly dependent on
it. Moreover, the institutions’ ICT departments are increasingly having difficulty keeping
pace with the new technology and to live up to their users’ expectations of quality. The fact
is that a growing number of users have better and more flexible online facilities at home
With gratitude to J. Jasperse, Zeeland University of Applied Sciences
1 September 2010 8
than at work or school.
This development increases the pressure on the institutions and their ICT departments. All
too often, users – both students and staff – find that only suboptimal use is made of ICT in
various supporting processes. The problem frequently comes down to the “alignment”
between ICT and the supporting operational processes. It was notable how often the
interviewees said that their institution's management was not prioritising this issue
There are also institutions, however, that have indeed recorded good results when it comes
to alignment and delivering quality. These institutions have a number of features in
common: they have a particular vision, they focus on support processes, they follow a
consistent policy, and their units and departments cooperate closely with one another.
Nevertheless, even these successful institutions are facing a new set of decisions:
What services/functionality should our institution offer and what can students and
staffs get themselves from commercial providers?
How should we deal with all the new devices that users want to use to gain access
to information and services?
How should we deal with new groups of (guest) users, users at other institutions,
companies, or civil-society organisations, and the general public?
How do we take care of our data if we no longer know precisely where our
commercial service provider is storing it, and the service provider cannot or does
not want to reveal this information, for example for security reasons?
How can we offer users more choice and freedom while also bearing in mind the
requirements of security, the need for standardisation, and so on?
What SURF must ask itself is what role it can play as a collaborative organisation /
partnership in the light of the developments outlined above. This topic is addressed in the
1 September 2010 9
Conclusions and recommendations
Given the above findings, the WTR has reached the following conclusions.
1. The boundaries are blurring between many basic/generic activities in education,
research and the processes that support them.
Although every user group will continue to perform specific activities, and therefore will
continue to require dedicated ICT facilities, there are a growing number of ICT services
that are no longer specific to just a single group (communication by e-mail, chatting,
video-conferencing, collaboration on documents, information and data-sharing, word-
processing, presentation of results or progress reports, etc.). Each group uses these
generic facilities to process different types of content and employs them for a different
purpose, but the functionality remains the same. The facilities themselves are content and
purpose-neutral. The mobile phone went through a similar evolution; at first, mobile
telephony was a solution used only by specific groups, but in the end it became part of
The increasingly generic nature of many ICT functionalities is having a particularly
significant impact on how we think about the “learning” environment. Previously, systems
were specifically developed for education. Nowadays there is a trend to develop systems
with generic functions to support different groups of users. Each group still has its own
specific facilities, but a growing number of services are identical for all users and can also
be found in use in business and in other types of organisation. Provided that security and
privacy requirements are met, this makes these services highly suitable for delivery from
Given that many of the activities do not differ fundamentally from one another, there is
now the tendency to support working (instructors, researchers and management) and
studying (students), as opposed to thinking in terms of electronic learning environments.
The electronic learning environment is evolving into a digital study and working
environment (DSWE), offering facilities that can also be used by researchers.
This emphasis on basic support processes was confirmed during a meeting of the DLWE
Special Interest Group on 22 June 2010.32
This is an important observation for SURF, because the focus within the current three
platforms will shift from the individual platforms to the area where education, research and
organisation/operations meet. It will thus be vital for the platforms and subsidiaries to
coordinate and collaborate with one another.
Figure 3 Generic ICT facilities in the overlap between platforms
1 September 2010 10
More than before, collaboration will be necessary within SURF – both within
SURFfoundation and with/between the subsidiaries – in planning new innovation activities.
This goes beyond collaborating on long-range plans; it also means working together on the
annual plans. It is no longer enough to simply read and comment on the annual plans.
More alignment is required during the preparation of the annual plans to decide on the
division of responsibilities.
SURF and the institutions should cooperate on surveying which services are generic in
nature and investigate whether multi-institutional collaboration would be possible in the
case of some services. A possible option is set up shared services covering the entire
higher education sector. A pertinent example is the intended infrastructure for Testing and
Test feedback-based Learning. The deployment of monolithic systems for a single user
group and/or a single purpose (such as a “learning environment") no longer fits within a
modular system of generic services.
SURF can organize demand aggregation and provide a basic infrastructure with facilities to
simplify the use of cloud services. SURFfederatie is an example of such a facility.
2. The views on ICT in higher education sector are subject to change; instead of focusing
on using ICT for pedagogical purposes, the trend is towards using it for support
When it comes to using ICT for didactical purposes, the specific needs and requirements
differ dramatically from one programme, course, course unit or even instructor to the next.
This makes the ICT tool requirements so varied that it is difficult to make the necessary
arrangements centrally, for an entire institution. The educational units will have to take
their own decisions when it comes to using ICT for specific didactical purposes. Central
services can then consider how best to satisfy these wishes: whether through decentralised
facilities, centralised facilities, or other services provided either internally or by external
On the other hand, there are a growing number of generic facilities that can be organised
centrally. However, in many cases it is no longer obvious that it is the institution that
should produce them all or make the necessary arrangements. Undoubtedly, institutions
will continue to provide some generic educational services and facilities, for example
timetabling. The technical work can, however, be outsourced, provided that there is a
proper information infrastructure for data-sharing between systems.
Conclusion 2 has significant implications for the focus of SURF’s innovation activities.
Previously, ICT-related educational innovation was entrusted to the ICT and Education
Platform, given the attention paid to innovation in the teaching-learning process. The focus
will now shift to the ICT and Organisation (Operations) Platform, in view of the attention
given to the support processes. The most important challenges will be business process
redesign and ICT alignment.
SURF can initiate and coordinate discussion of the institutions' policy, and draw on
expertise to support that discussion. Based on these results, the individual institutions will
be able to define their policy and redesign their processes. SURF can then investigate
which services (or service components) have generated enough collective interest to offer
them in partnership with the institutions (or groups of institutions).
Primary responsibility for the support processes will continue to be borne by the individual
institutions, and not by SURF. Only the institutions are capable of redesigning their own
processes and making arrangements about data sources and data flows.
1 September 2010 11
SURF can play an important role in disseminating best practices; it can also encourage and
support collaboration in developing and disseminating new architecture and systems and in
standardising data and drawing up process models. Models and standards of this kind are
vital when it comes to outsourcing services (or service components) to a shared service
centre or to individual commercial parties.
3. Not enough has been done to improve the ICT-related knowledge and skills of
instructors. Their technical knowledge and didactical use of ICT often fall short.
Instructors today can draw upon a huge number of tools to support their teaching, but
their knowledge of the available tools is inadequate.
In the report Knowledge and Innovation Agenda [Kennis en Innovatie Agenda]27 (KIA)
2011-2020, the KIA partners list five priorities, the first one being "an outstanding
instructor for every participant in the educational process" (p. 4). In order to achieve this,
it is essential for instructors to have sufficient knowledge and skills to make effective and
efficient use of ICT in their teaching. This necessitates an effective platform so that
instructors can communicate their needs and requirements directly.
SURF should offer institutions more options for upgrading their instructors’ professional
skills via the SURFacademy, so that instructors acquire the technical and didactical
knowledge they need to use ICT facilities in their teaching. The focus in that respect should
not be on the latest gadgets, but on a basic knowledge of facilities (such as smart boards)
and basic user skills (for example making effective use of presentation software). One
obvious means would be to incorporate these skills requirements into the Basic Teaching
Qualification [Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs], a teaching certificate for university lecturers. It
would be preferable to address this at grass-roots level, as close as possible to the
instructor. With respect to this goal, a more direct connection between SURF’s target
groups and its existing platforms is advisable.
4. There is no hard evidence to support the high expectations with regard to the
knowledge and skills of students in using ICT for educational purposes. Institutions
need to pay more attention to students’ computer information skills. The fact that
students and their peer group make use of ICT does not mean that they are
knowledgeable about effective use of ICT facilities for educational purposes.
In addition to ensuring "an outstanding instructor for every participant in the educational
process", the KIA report27 also lists the following aim: "a more tailor-made approach in
teaching". That should include promoting heterogeneous ICT knowledge and skills in order
to improve the student success rate.
SURF can encourage the institutions to enhance their students’ ICT knowledge and skills as
part of their effort to improve the student success rate. In the past years several
innovative projects in this area have been carried out that deserve a broader and more
5. To some extent, the services provided by the institutions developed from a past
situation in which they were uncommon. That is no longer the case, however. Similar
to the decision to dispense with “PC shops” and home Internet connections, the
institutions will have to decide what services do and do not lie within their area of
responsibility, and also what services they wish to offer as extras for promotional
In its 2008 Trend Report28 the WTR wrote (p. 57): "Higher education must urgently start to
make its services available online and transform them from mass services into interactive,
context sensitive and no-threshold services. Attention should be given to the opportunities
provided by, for example, location-specific information and knowledge of student profiles.
Access restrictions that now apply to location (outside campus) and time (outside office
hours) must be eliminated, and existing paper processes must be converted into electronic
The recommendations and examples given in that report continue to apply.
1 September 2010 12
As recommended by the Veerman Committee, SURF should encourage institutions to look
critically at the services they offer, and in particular to consider new services that can help
them promote the institutions individually, as a group, and nationally or internationally.
Accreditation criteria will also play a role in this regard.
SURFdiensten can play a key role in helping users (instructors and students) find, assess
and use services offered on the Internet. Crowdsourcing can be used to survey the
services/information sources that are suitable for use in teaching, research and studying.
Systems of this kind can be modelled on existing popular software sites.a Technical access
and the use and integration of institutional services can be organised via SURFnet’s new
Collaboration Infrastructure (CoIn).
6. Institutions will need to adjust their policies (e.g. security) and their technical facilities
to the growing range of (wireless) devices being used.
The use of multifunctional mobile devices is growing unabated, and it would be putting off
the inevitable to simply forbid or ignore this trend. Mobile devices have already become
indispensable, similar to the unstoppable advance of the PC and the Internet in the
SURFnet can play an important role in developing and supporting the development of
institutional policies and technical facilities to grant access by means of wireless devices.
This topic has a close relationship with SURFnet’s current interest in identification,
authentication and authorisation and the wireless network topic in GigaPort3.
7. Researchers need more basic support for international collaboration with fellow
researchers. Such basic facilities should be low-threshold, reliable and meet
SURF can play an important role in creating a multi-institutional facility for researchers.
This will require close collaboration and coordination between SURFshare, the eSRC (NWO,
SURF and KNAW), SURFnet (CoIn) and SURFdiensten.
Examples are Tucows en Cnet download.
1 September 2010 13
The observed shift away from using ICT for didactical purposes to using it in support
processes represents a minor revolution in the way we think about ICT in higher education.
The advantages are clear, however: better and more effectively integrated support
processes, facilitated by ICT, create an environment that enables a focus on what really
matters: research, teaching and studying. It gives users the freedom and flexibility in
organizing their core activities.
However, the story does not end with properly supported processes. At least as important
are attention to the knowledge and skills of users to manage the growing variety of new
Development of a DSWE requires more innovation in the way institutions are organised.
Experience shows this is a complex undertaking due to the number of stakeholders
involved and the complexity of the organisations. However, the need for change is urgent.
The urgency is emphasised by the public pressure for a more efficient and effective use of
resources whilst the number of students is growing.
Collaborating in SURF does preclude individual merit – on the contrary. By collaborating on
properly organising the underpinning and qualifying processes, institutions create
opportunity to concentrate on their distinguishing features.
On behalf of the Scientific Technical Council,
Prof.dr. F. Leijnse Dr. L.A. Plugge
1 September 2010 14
Appendix 1: Parties consulted
The following persons were interviewed for this study (degrees and other titles have been
S. van den Berg Wageningen University and Research Centre
C. Brouwer Board member of the Open University of the Netherlands,
Chairman of the ICT and Organisation Platform
CIO Consultation Group members present during the meeting in Ermelo on 19 May 2010
P.W. Doop Board member of the University of Amsterdam, Vice President of
the Executive Board and Chairman of the Board of the SURF ICT
and Research Platform
S. Dormans Radboud University, Social Geography, and postdoctoral
researcher at the Royal Academy’s Virtual Knowledge Studio
until March 2010
G. Eenink SURFdiensten, on behalf of J. Bakker
E. Fioole Avans University of Applied Sciences, LIC
G.E. Jansen VU University Amsterdam
N. Juist SURF SharePoint, Inholland
F. Kalmthout Board member of Avans University of Applied Sciences, ICT and
R. Ketelaar student, representing the student union LSVb
J. Koets student, representing the student union ISO
R. Kooy COMIT, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, CIO
B. Mons NBIC, BioAssist programme coordinator
D. Paap student, representing the student union ISO, treasurer
G. Pronk SURFnet
Platform contact persons Platform Contact Persons Day, 10 March 2010
R. Rexwinkel SURFnet
M. van Rijn Avans University of Applied Sciences, DIFF
SIG DLWE Special Interest Group Digital Learning and Working
Environment, 22 June 2010
J. Snijders Avans University of Applied Sciences, LIC
D. van der Ven student, representing the student union LSVb
R. Waterham Chief Information Officer, Eindhoven University of Technology,
P. Wolters InHolland University of Applied Sciences
D. van Zaane Green Knowledge Network
A. Zandstra Wageningen University and Research Centre
The interviews were conducted between April and June 2010.
1 September 2010 15
Appendix 2: Bibliography
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the initiative, Cranfield School of management, 1997.
2. SURF, Toekomstscenario's: De nieuwe digitale leer- en werkomgeving voor studenten
en docenten in 2020, nov. 2008.
3. SURFnet, Collaboration Infrastructure, report 2009.
4. SURFnet, Roadmap 2010 Online MultiMediaal Samenwerken, augustus 2009, versie
5. DLWO-Sharepoint Consortium, Jaarplan 2009-2010.
6. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Resultaten Behoefteonderzoek, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt
7. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Overzicht Alternatieve Systemen, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt.
8. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Evaluatierapport Blackboard 2009, Onderwijscentrum VU,
9. Verkenning Next DLO VU, Evaluatierapport Digitaal Portfolio / Blackboard Content
System, Onderwijscentrum VU, okt. 2009.
10. DU, E-learning trends 2004, juni 2004.
11. DU, Eindrapportage Digitale Leer- en Werkomgeving Next Generation, april 2005.
12. 3TU, Op weg naar een federatieve Digitale Leer- en Werkomgeving, jan. 2008.
13. Wind, H. Verkenning van de samenwerkingsmogelijkheden op het gebied van de
werkplekomgeving, RuG CIT, UMCG, Hanzehogeschool, 7 april 2010.
14. Cynop, Advies keuze teleleerplatform 2000, juli 2000.
15. DLWO- Sharepoint Consortium, Jaarplan 2009-2010, juli 2009.
16. Stuurgroep ICT Vernieuwing, Avans & ICT, presentatie Portaal, ELO en Mobiliteit.
17. SURFnet, Gebruikersonderzoek SURFgroepen en SURFmedia, 2010.
18. Wageningen UR, Systeemvisie – uitgangspunten Virtuele Werkplek Wageningen UR,
versie 0.5, 15 maart 2010.
19. Van der Zanden, P. The facilitating university, proefschrift, december 2009.
20. Universiteit Twente, Functionaliteiten voor de student in een Digitale Leer- en
Werkomgeving, november 2005.
21. SURFnet Kennisnet Innovatieprogramma, Jaarplan 2009.
22. SURFnet, SURFworks Jaarplan 2010, oktober 2009.
23. SURF, Portals: de nieuwe ELO’s? e-Learning reeks deel 5, september 2005.
24. Van Alst, J., De Jong, R., Van Keulen, H. Docentprofessionaliteit in het Nederlandse
hoger onderwijs - Naar een professionele infrastructuur als voorwaarde voor
studiesucces, mei 2009, VSNU.
25. Baars, G., Van de Ven, M. ICT-Monitor 2008 - ICT in het onderwijs aan de Erasmus
Universiteit Rotterdam, EUR, juli 2008.
26. Lam, I., Ritzen, M. Eén ELO voor de UU, IVLOS-expertisecentrum ICT in het onderwijs,
27. KIA-overgangsbestuur, Kennis en Innovatie Agenda 2011-2020, Den Haag, juni 2010.
28. WTR, ICT – fundament voor vernieuwing, Trendrapport 2008.
29. Van Popta, E. Onderwijsconcept en digitale Leeromgeving, Presentatie, 22 juni 2010.
30. Juist, N. Een visie op DLWO, Themabijeenkomst en presentatie, 22 juni 2010.
31. Zijlstra, E., Blijker, G. Een nieuwe ELO voor de HvA “from scratch”, Presentatie, 22 juni
32. Zijsltra, E. Uitwerking sheets van themagroepen tijdens visie bijeenkomst DLWO, 22
1 September 2010 16