Online Learning Global Snapshot Project European TEAM http://globalsnapshot.ning.com/group/europeresearchteam/user/list
A challenge for Europe The European Council in Lisbon 2000 decided on the objective that EU within 2010 should “…become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world…” … The transformation of European education and vocational training systems involves both the development of e-learning as a means to increase quality of learning as well as a need to increase the quality of e-learning itself. Within the EHEA, all participating countries should have developed by 2010 a national framework of qualifications based on three cycles in higher education, and national quality assurance arrangements implementing an agreed set of standards and guidelines. The e-Europe and e-Learning initiatives launched by the EC have significantly contributed to the increased awareness and commitment of national and regional governments in supporting the development of a knowledge and information society in Europe.
Methodology We decide to collect some information, searching articles, reports, recent books looking at eLearning trends and evolution. The categories and questions that team participants decided to explore in the research: Mobile Learning, Student Populations, Course Delivery, eLearning Future (potential and growth research & projections), e-portfolios, PLE, Learning evaluation, Open Platforms, Design of competences, Surveys of activity, Open Educational Resources, Quality Assurance, Course Development, Social Media.. A questionnaire/interview was built in order to ask to the different experts and actors in the e-learning field about their experiences and thougths. Available from:https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDA2Z2VJbVpEa1Z5N3pxOWFCdUxCbEE6MQ
We tried to classify all references collected taking in account 3 criterias (title of the publication, url, and topics or key words), but there was no enough time to do it. See an example: Methodology
E-learning definitions A few e-learning definitions were take it in account: “The use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration.” This definition was originally launched in The eLearning Action Plan (European Commission 2001). The E-learning project Exemplo of the European Vocational Training Association (EVTA 2005) proposed different typologies of e-learning or different ways of exploiting the Internet for learning purposes. See the report. “-all computer and Internet-based activities that support teaching and learning – both on-campus and at a distance.” (Tony Bates) Others…
Sources of papers/reports on state of online learning in Europe Journals (European Journal of Open, Distance and eLearning, British Journal of Educational Technology, Revista de Universidad ySociedad del Conocimiento…) Conferences (EDEN, UK - ALT-C conferences, Online Educa Berlin, Learning Forum London, The European Conference on e-Learning, EARLI, Open Ed 2010, SPEDCE, EUROCALL, Mobile tech, Responsive Open Learning Environments...) Reports (Megaproviders of e-learning in Europe, Re.Vica,...) Sites (JISC,BECTA, ElearningEuropa, EIfEL, EUCEN, Checkpoint-elearning) Blogs, Books, etc.
Aspects to highlight from the interviews “Would be interesting to integrate web 2.0 tools in the LMS. If students work always outside the platform there is a lot of dispersion” “To teach online transformed the way I use to plan my classes… because more plannification is needed in online course… so I learnt how to prepare my classes better” “To use ICT implies to design in a different way… I recommend to try to introduce ICT in order to improve learning activities, to take profit of its potential” “The use of langblogs, wikis, e-portfolios, interactive activities, case study method and simulations are recommended...” “Technology is often a barrier because technical staff don’t develop a user-friendly tools, not intuitive, complex…” “I’m not really confident with the use of social networks because I’m not sure about its privacy” “More research and innovation is needed, but focused in pedagogy more than in technology” “…The introduction of ICT in educations helps society to be competent in its use for professional development.” “… More training for teaching staff is needed, but in terms of pedagogy… how to change educational strategies, how to improve using ICT...” “I think we are doing the same as in a traditional class but using ICT… and this need to be different”
The introduction of new technologies for learning has implied an increasingly higher pressure on European education systems to innovate and adapt learning methodologies to the EHEA requirements. The EHEA has been an excuse to introduce ICT to the educational institutions and many training plans for teachers on ICT (platforms, web 2.0, Interactive Tools, design of e-activities, Mobile devices, etc.) are implemented. Many initiatives, at private, institutional and governmental level, are created as a support for professionals and educators. ICT allows to innovate, bur some times still are a barrier. The European Commission is funding hundreds of projects focused in the design, development and implementation of ICT in education and training applied in different contexts and sectors.
Conclusions A lot of conferences, seminars and workshops focused in the use of ICT for education are created in Europe. Main topics are: The uses of the Web 2.0, quality in e-learning, instructional design for VLE, learning objects and repositories, mobile devices, e-portfolios, Personal Learning Environments, Open source for education, second life, virtual worlds, social software, etc. ICT is primarily used to support existing teaching structures and traditional ways of tuition. The elearning repositories were increased in the last 10 years.
Conclusions The integration of the eLearning 2.0 approach into mainstream education did not progress as intensively as initially expected. If a general trend can be identified in terms of (virtual) community activity in Europe and worldwide, this is a trend of participation and collective knowledge sharing and building, especially linked to the expansion of web 2.0 tools. (Aceto, Dondi & Nascimbeni, 2010) Online communities are not only experiencing an impressive increase, but they are naturally opening up to sectors such as school education and higher education, as in the case of the many university Groups in Facebook. Most of the main community-based systems are now connected and interoperable amongst themselves and the tendency is increasing. (Aceto, Dondi & Nascimbeni, 2010) Seems that many SME employers and managers are not sufficiently informed about availability, possibilities, quality and cost-efficiency of e-learning