HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS are HANDLED at PRESENT

599 views

Published on

Presentation at the final Conference entitled "HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS are HANDLED at PRESENT".

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
599
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
19
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS are HANDLED at PRESENT

  1. 1. «HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS are HANDLED at PRESENT» Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University / Turkey Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  2. 2. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT At PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Work package 2: WP 2 focuses on the Study of Current Practices LA and in ECTS Learning Agreement Handling Contributors: Nesrin Kenar Mustafa Turan Özkan Canay Engin Can Ali Osman Kurt Rui Raposso Paul Leys 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  3. 3. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University / Turkey Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Introduction Learning agreements (LA) are one of the core documents for student exchange programmes. The LA is originally developed in order to provide a binding agreement before the mobility takes place among the home institution, the host institution and the student. Although an ECTS learning agreement may be understood, as contract between two HEI and a student to define the content of a study programme abroad and to identify and agree upon the number of ECTS credits that the study programme is worth. LA contains the list of courses, which the student plans to attend at the host institution, the courses‟ identification code and their attributed european credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS) credits. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  4. 4. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Introduction By signing the LA; • The host institution agrees and commits to enrolling the incoming student in the courses listed in the official document and to providing the required learning activities. • The home institution commits to granting recognition of the credits obtained at the host institution. • There are some cases in which the LA may need to be modified after the student arrival at host institution. In such cases, the learning agreement must be amended as soon as possible and signed by the home institution, the host institution and the student. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  5. 5. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Introduction • Although this relatively simple formal process is clearly described in the ECTS User‟s Guide, a considerable number of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) adopt different practices. • Moreover, many Erasmus students come across various problems due to the sometimes incorrect or partial application of what is suggested in the ECTS User‟s Guide. • Within the HEION project focus will be placed upon work done with LA, and ECTS handling, within the Lifelong Learning Program (LLP)/Erasmus exchange program. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  6. 6. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Introduction • This presentation provides an overview of the work done in Work Package 2 (WP2), from the HEION project. • WP 2 focuses on the Study of Current Practices LA and in ECTS Learning Agreement Handling. • Work Package focused on the different ways HEI deal with the preparation, signing and dispatch of ECTS Learning Agreements in the context of the ERASMUS program. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  7. 7. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 2) Methodology Work was done according to an exploratory methodology . The main goals were as follows ; • i) the summary of information available in current literature regarding current practices and trends in European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) handling and difficulties felt within the Learning Agreement (LA) process; • ii) the collection of information and data regarding current practices related with ECTS and LA from the actual players in the process (incoming and outgoing students, international office coordinators and staff and department coordinators); • iii) the drawing of conclusions and opinions concerning the issues addressed suitable for being used in the subsequent work packages. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  8. 8. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • The following sections of this presentation will describe the work done; • difficulties come across, • the results and some conclusions that may be drawn from what was achieved. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  9. 9. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 2) Methodology In order to meet these goals the WP2 team: • LITERATURE REVIEW - The ECTS Handling Process - Software • QUESTIONNAIRE • FOCUS GROUP MEETINGS 11/12/2013 : 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  10. 10. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 3) Literature review The ECTS Handling Process • Developed a literature review policies, practices and trends, focused on documented • Literature on the topic of the ECTS Key documents evolved from the late 1980s and early 1990s when the ECTS concept took root as a mechanism, within the context of student mobility. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  11. 11. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 3) Literature review Software • In many cases HEI have chosen to develop their own online solutions, capable of aiding particular tasks such as filing in LA or presenting the lists of courses available in English. • These solutions have been able to improve the LA and ECTS handling process, but have done so at a local level. • But in many cases, the same practices are not implemented at other partner home and host HEI 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  12. 12. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 3) Literature Review Software • However, there are cases in which the concern with providing solutions that promote shared practices has lead HEI to purchase and use the same online software. • Some of these software solutions, such as Moveon and MobilityOnline by SOP, have been able to deconstruct and understand to great extent: work flows, tasks and variables involved in international relation activities. • They have, to an even deeper extent, been capable to pinpoint almost every expected outcome and usage expected from work done within the software‟s context of use. • . 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  13. 13. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 4) Questionnaire 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  14. 14. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 4) Questionnaire
  15. 15. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 4) Questionnaire
  16. 16. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • • • • 4) Questionnaire To better understand how students handle the LA and ECTS handling process; Three project partners designed and implemented an online questionnaire focused on obtaining information about the ECTS handling and LA process from current and former students taking part in the Erasmus mobility program all over Europe; The questionnaire was targeted to Erasmus students from all over Europe and was distributed by the WP2 partners, who also asked the other partners of the HEION project to share the questionnaire with their students. The questionnaire was answered by incoming and outgoing students, which either participated (2011-2012) or are currently participating in the Erasmus program (2012-2013). 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  17. 17. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • WP2 leaders chose to only include mobile students of the current and the previous academic year as students from earlier years (before 2011-2012) would probably have addressed problems that may have already been solved. • The questionnaire was disseminated by email and posted on the project‟s Facebook page. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  18. 18. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • • • • • • • • • • • In the questionnaire students were asked about the following topics: personal profile, institutional background; the completion of the first LA and the difficulties faced; the collection of obligatory signatures; their need for original documents/signatures; their need for changes in their original LA after arriving at the host HEI; whether they used the right procedure to change the original LA; who was responsible for the completion of the LA; their opinion about the use of an online tool as a mean to facilitate the process; what features and functionalities such an online tool should include. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  19. 19. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 5 ) Focus Group Meetings • Organized 3 focus group meetings with participants in the ECTS handling and LA process, in each team member‟s HEI. • When asking for problems within the LA and ECTS handling process all parts involved should have a chance to speak their mind. • In order to collect these different perspectives each of the WP2 partners organized a focus group at their university. • Prior to this focus group meeting, the methodology that would be used was discussed and agreed on. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  20. 20. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 The general profile of the stakeholders to invite was discussed and agreed on and resulted in the following list of participants: • at least one departmental/Erasmus coordinator, • some members from the International Relations Office (IRO) staff, • at least one incoming student and at least one outgoing student. • In some cases the focus groups, which should ideally be made up of about 7 participants, included more than one incoming and outgoing student. • A script used for structuring the discussions held was set in advance in order to allow an easier comparison between the answers given by the participants. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  21. 21. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Regarding current practices at each HEI, four main phases of the LA and ECTS handling process were identified and discussed about: • 1. Filling in LA, sending it to the Host HEI and receiving confirmation and acceptance; • 2. Arriving to the Host HEI, reviewing LA and making some changes; • 3. Leaving Host HEI and receiving by snail mail the final results at the Home HEI; • 4. Grades and ECTS transferred to the Home HEI local system. The following questions were asked in relation to each of these phases: • • What problems did you/students face? • • How were these problems solved? • • In your opinion how could these problems be eradicated? • • Could an online tool help to eradicate these problems and how? 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  22. 22. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 6 ) Findings According to results and information retrieved, through the literature review, questionnaire and focus group meetings; all Erasmus students and staff involved in the process researched face the same problems or similar ones. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  23. 23. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Literature • After the review of current available literature, it is clearly viewable that any literature related to the LA handling process, and with the usage of ECTS key documents, is not available in the public domain. • The ECTS Users Guide (2009) is the most detailed document available and provides relatively detailed information regarding the formal requirements of the ECTS key documents on the issue. • When looking for additional information there is not an extent list of documents available related with the usage of ECTS key documents in HEI. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  24. 24. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • The previously mentioned ECTS Users Guide is still the main reference document. • However, it is worth noticing that in 2013 an Ad-hoc Working Group was formed with the goal of revising the ECTS Users' Guide. • This may be related with the upcoming changes in the mobility programs structure and the need to look back on recent practices in order to fine tune and improve them 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  25. 25. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • According to the description regarding ECTS Learning Agreement in the ECTS User Guide, LA seems a clear, short and simple contract between two HEI. • It shouldn‟t be the source of an excessive or complex “administrative workload” for International Offices and ECTS Departmental Co-ordinators, but in reality it can turn into a very complex process. • After scanning ECTS key documents and the LA handling process of various HEI in Europe, it was clear that only portion of HEI have attempted and succeeded in achieving consensus regarding the methods used to ensure quality in ECTS Document usage. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  26. 26. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • • • • • • According to Literature Review; It is a fact that, the administrative workload involved in LA and ECTS handling is still fully or partially paper-based in a vast majority of HEI. In some cases this may, for instance, involuntarily enable a lack of control over documents produced and changed throughout the process. As a result, HEI and students still run into situations in which: LA are left unchanged when changes are required; documents are still left partially unsigned when a well known list of obligatory signatures are essential; and course unit codes and ECTS credits are left unchecked by students and staff at various stages of handling process. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  27. 27. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • There is a still considerable percentage of students that handle their ECTS Learning Agreements without correctly preparing them before the mobility occurs or reviewing them during the mobility period. • Other examples of current literature do not entirely point out the problems faced in mobility as the “Report from the Mobility Working Group - EHEA Ministerial Conference 2012”, which analyses the administrative obstacles on ECTS documentation handling, and the European Student‟s Union (ESU) publications do not mention coordination problems of ECTS Key Document handling, and hence fail to recognize the problem as an obstacle to student mobility. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  28. 28. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Online questionnaire Findings of online questionnaire for LA This section includes a short compilation of the results obtained through the online questionnaire. The complete set of results may be found in the Annex of the Report*. _________ * For full version of the «Report on ECTS Learning Agreement in handling in European HEI» see project`s web site http:// heion.eu 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  29. 29. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 The majority of respondents had a copy (80%) or the original version (13%) of their LA when they arrived at the host university. 5% received their LA after arrival, 1 % stated that they did not have any version of their LA. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  30. 30. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 When it comes to the question whether all parties signed the LA, • 70 % answered positively, • 30% didn‟t have the signature of the host institution. The results of the questionnaire made clear that different practices exist regarding the use of original documents, signatures and a certain template of the LA. • 56% was required to use the LA from the home university while 28% had to use the LA from the host institution. • 52% responded they required an original LA. Although scanned copies of LA‟s are accepted by many HEI‟s, handling hard copies of completed LA‟s still causes problems for other HEI‟s. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  31. 31. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Getting the LA signed by the host university was, • for about 16% of all respondents difficult or very difficult, while getting the LA signed by the home university was, for about 15% of all respondents, difficult (11%) or very difficult (4%). 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  32. 32. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Getting the LA signed by the host university was, • An important finding from the questionnaire is that 75% of all respondents changed courses after their arrival at the host institution. • This means that 75% of all LA‟s needed to be revised and about 18% of a total of 839 respondents, did not complete the add and delete form. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  33. 33. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Only 17% of the responding Erasmus students used online/software systems or tools for the handling of their LA and/or ECTS. • 81% of a total of 939 respondents answered that they were responsible themselves for the LA and other processes. • To conclude, students were asked if, in their opinion, an online tool could make work regarding the LA and ECTS handling easier. • The vast majority of respondents (90%) answered positively to this question. • The most important tasks they think this tool should include have to do with: course selection (90%), LA completion (79%), and Course/credit recognition at the home institution (74%), updates on the validation of the LA (62%). 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  34. 34. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Focus Group Meetings • In this section, the findings of the three different focus groups will be compiled together into a simple general overview. • There were many common remarks and solutions provided by the participant and, curiously or not, what all three focus groups clearly had in common for all phases discussed was the answer on how there problems were solved. • Problems were almost always solved with extra efforts and time from students and staff involved in the establishment of the Learning Agreement (departmental/Erasmus coordinators, International Relations Office staff). 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  35. 35. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • From this perspective there is a clear need for reducing the extra efforts off all participants involved in the LA process. • An online tool could, in the opinion of several focus group members, offer a solution for several of the problems discussed. • In the following sections the most important outcomes of the focus groups will be discussed along the lines of the discussion structure used in the focus groups (see supra 5 Focus Group Meetings). 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  36. 36. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 a) Filling in LA, sending it to the Host Higher Education Institution and receiving confirmation and acceptance • A first important problem students faced at this stage is finding courses at the host institution. • Some HEI do not have a course catalogue, the course catalogue is not available in English, it is not updated are often referred to. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  37. 37. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 a) Filling in LA, sending it to the Host Higher Education Institution and receiving confirmation and acceptance Due to the unclear information about the availability of courses, many students need to change their Learning Agreement when they arrive at the host institution (75% needs to change his/her Learning Agreement). • A second important problem has to do with communication. • There is no/not enough communication between the home institution and the host institution that sometimes students do not know whom they should address at the host institution. • The third relevant problem is that students do not get back a properly signed learning agreement from the host institution 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  38. 38. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Focus group participants in all three countries saw a clear benefit in the online tool that could help reduce communication problems and, at the same time, also help clarify role attribution thus bypassing current complications quite easily with this online system. • The new tool could also enable electronic approval instead of signature collection, which would make the process easier. • The most difficult part of the process remains linked to course selection for HEI will always be dependent on the information they get from their partners. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  39. 39. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 b) Arriving to Host HEI, reviewing LA and making necessary changes • The majority of students change their Learning Agreement when arriving at the host HEI and the problems they face, once again, have to do with communication issues such as: - students do not inform their home institution; - they do not know who to address; - they use wrong subject codes or they do not use them at all. • Finding the correct courses can be a problem in this phase because e.g. information is not always updated or there is no decent course catalogue. • At this stage, students need personnel advise at the host institution. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  40. 40. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Another problem faced by departmental Erasmus coordinators or IRO staff is the difficulty in clearly and immediately recognizing which subjects were added and which ones were deleted. • This makes the revision of changed LA a huge effort for the staff involved. • Many of the problems faced in this stage are due to the fact that the first LA was not properly filled out in the first place. • A lot of work normally expected has to be done twice. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  41. 41. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Eradicating the problem of finding the correct courses in the first phase, will eradicate most problems in the second phase. • Besides that the online tool can once again help with: making communication more easy; • giving correct information about contact persons at the home and host institution; • facilitating the process of „signing‟ the changed LA by using electronic approvals. • It could also make the work simpler for the staff, that has to control and sign/approve the changes, deleted and added courses where visually presented in an easy to understand manner. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  42. 42. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 c) Leaving Host HEI and receiving by snail mail the final results at the Home HEI • Focus group participants in all three institutions agreed on the fact that there is a problem in receiving results on time. • An unofficial transcript of records could be part of the solution but home institutions will always be dependent on their partners (e.g. academic calendar differ among many European countries). • To solve this problem there is the need for a European HEI consensus in relation to means of exchanging the grade documents among one another. • Transforming this task to a partially or totally online activity could help improve the sending and receiving results. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  43. 43. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 d) Grades and ECTS transferred to the Home HEI local system • In regards to this issue the biggest problem felt is that the methodology used for converting the grades is not clear for students. • Often a quite complex system is used and students have no idea why their marks need to be changed or how they were calculated. • In this context the WP-partners want to draw the attention on the Egracons project that has to do with grade conversion. • One of the goals of this project is to develop a tool that will automatically convert the grades. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  44. 44. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 7) Conclusions • The information collected throughout WP2 show that students face several difficulties in handling their LA. • 81% of the respondent students are responsible themselves for finding courses and preparing LA and 75% of them need to change their LA after arrival to host institution. • Duality must also be accounted for, in terms of the LA documents used in the process. • 56% of students are required to use the LA from their home university while 28% had to use an LA document provided by the host institution. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  45. 45. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • The vast majority of respondents (90%) agreed that an online tool could make work regarding the LA and ECTS handling easier and they thought that this tool should include as some of its functions: • course selection (90%), • LA completion (79%), and • Course/credit recognition at the home institution (74%), as well as • the LA changes and updates. • From the information gathered in the focus groups, the project partners where able to get some information about what features and functionalities should an online LA and ECTS handling tool include. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  46. 46. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • One of the most important features pointed out was the possibility of exchanging information between student, home and host HEI. • The online tool prototype proposed, as an outcome of this project, is believed to be able to eradicate a lot of problems by replacing much of the paper based workload for an easier web based one. • On this matter focus group members totally agreed with the HEION concept. • Approving LA‟s instead of signing them, as a possible function delivered by the tool, is but one of the concerns brought up in the focus groups. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  47. 47. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 Other suggestions include: • The use of a virtual inbox where documents are kept that need validation; • An automatic mail for approvals at a certain date/certain amount of LA‟s that need to be approved; • Clear deadlines with warnings; • A color code for the stage of each change (green > finished, yellow > awaiting review/validation, red > out of date, in trouble). • A clear presentation of courses that have been added/deleted for changes on the LA. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  48. 48. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Besides the clear benefit of using an online tool for the LAadministration, the tool could also include some features for statistical analysis. • As a considerable amount of data is gathered in the system, it will be easier to get relevant data that could be used for answering all kinds of questions related with the LA, ECTS and Mobility actions. • From a users perspective it is very important that the tool is userfriendly. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  49. 49. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 • Another important issue from a user based perspective is that the tool should be integrated with the existing administration systems (e.g. Move-on from Uni-Solution or mobility online from SOP), or that it establishes some sort of link between these systems and the tool. • Imposing on the students the need to use different applications, in the course of the administrative process, is something that should be avoided, data is gathered in the system, it will be easier to get relevant data that could be used for answering all kinds of questions related with the LA, ECTS and Mobility actions. 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM
  50. 50. HOW LEARNING AGREEMENTS ARE HANDLED AT PRESENT Dr. Nesrin Kenar | Sakarya University HEION - Final conference | 29th and 30th of October 2013 THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION 11/12/2013 Identifier: EACEA-527937 | Proposal Number: 527937-LLP-1-2012-1-PT-ERASMUS-EAM

×