Form Learning Over E Learning To My Learning


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Form Learning Over E Learning To My Learning

  1. 1. From Learning over E-Learning to MyLearning Wim Van Petegem K.U.Leuven – AVNet, Kapeldreef 62 – bus 5206, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium) Abstract. Lifelong learning is the new adagio knowledge, skills and competence, within a for modern European citizens preparing our personal, civic, social and/or employment- knowledge-based society for the next decades to related perspective.“ [1] come. Therefore, we need open and flexible All forms of lifelong learning are equally learning systems, enabling individual learning valued, whether it is formal, non-formal or pathways for all citizens, suitable to their needs informal learning. Learning opportunities should and interests at all stages of their lives. be therefore made available to all European This paper will address the question how citizens on an ongoing basis. In practice this universities should support the individual means that we need open and flexible learning citizens in their lifelong learning trajectory, by systems, enabling individual learning pathways transforming learning into e-learning with the for all citizens, suitable to their needs and help of modern ICT, and further into a interests at all stages of their lives. personalized way of learning, MyLearning. This paper will address at least partly the question how to support the individual citizens in Keywords. Lifelong learning, e-learning, their lifelong learning trajectory, by using all virtual learning environment, personal learning kinds of ICT possibilities for transforming environment, MyLearning learning into e-learning, and further into a personalized way of learning, MyLearning. 1. Introduction: Lifelong Learning Especially the ever changing role of universities in this new world of teaching and learning will That learning is not only happening at school, be analysed and suggestions to deal appropriately is an understatement. Young children learn to with future challenges will be developed. crawl, to stand, to speak, to eat, and so much more, all at home, on their own, with the help of 2. From Learning to e-Learning parents and other family. And this learning process gets more formalized when they go to 2.1. Learning with e-technologies school: mathematics and languages, science and technology, etc. are nicely packaged into 'learnable' objects learners need to digest with the help of teachers and other educational support staff. Once they graduate and obtain their (formal) degree, they can start a professional career. Needless to say that at the same time a new learning phase starts in their life: to keep their employability safe for the future, learning should go on, on the workplace, in dedicated educational institutions, with friends, and in many other occasions. Lifelong learning is the new (or old?) adagio for modern European citizens actively participating and taking up responsibility in preparing our knowledge-based Figure 1. Learning anywhere, anytime, society for the next decades to come. anyhow The European Commission defines Lifelong Learning as: „all learning activity undertaken For ages teachers and learners have been throughout life, with the aim of improving using ’technological tools’ to enhance 27 th Proceedings of the ITI 2008 30 Int. Conf. on Information Technology Interfaces, June 23-26, 2008, Cavtat, Croatia Authorized licensed use limited to: BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF POST AND TELECOM. Downloaded on October 27, 2009 at 05:07 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.
  2. 2. communication, collaboration and information environment in which the teacher and the learner distribution. The tools used are ranging from are separated by space and/or time and where the blackboard and chalk, paper and pencil, printed gap between the two is bridged through the use books and photo copies, radio and television, to of on-line technologies. modern information and communication technologies (ICT). With the introduction of ICT At the same time and together with the into education, we moved the predefined times, management of the learning process, it became places and ways of teaching into the new apparent that also the management of all learning paradigm of learning anytime, anywhere and content (documents, presentations, simulations, anyhow. tests, graphics, audiovisual material, multimedia, It is beyond the scope of this paper to etc.) needed a more systematic approach elaborate on all e-technologies and the history of allowing the (re-)use of the resources over their introduction to support lifelong learning. individual courses. This resulted into the Nevertheless, the major breakthrough was the development of a learning content management emergence of Internet and especially the World system (LCMS). Linked with the learning Wide Web (WWW). Indeed, in the mid 1990’s, resources provided e.g. by the library, the VLE the Internet was booming, first in North-America turned into a complete digital learning and later in Europe. Universities were environment on institutional level to provide developing their first websites, merely as source integrated access to all resources and activities of academic information. Teachers – early related to teaching and learning [2]. adopters – were experimenting with own websites to support their courses. They were 2.2. e-Learning and hybrid learning offering extra learning material on-line, including self-tests, simulations, etc. and in some In this way teaching and learning transformed cases even dealing with all organisational aspects into their e-equivalents, almost together with the from student registration up to automatic Internet hype around the millennium. Contrary to evaluation. While in the beginning those the Internet bubble, e-learning is still apparent in websites were concentrated on individual (higher) educational settings. Though, we see courses, later on a broader and more complete that in most cases e-learning is not replacing spectrum of teaching and learning needs were traditional (face-to-face) learning, but is mostly handled. considered as an add-on. This combination is referred to as ‘blended learning’, the mix of virtual and physical learning resources and activities. It simply means that the total learning experience is enhanced and enriched by a digital environment, which is smoothly integrated in the physical world of teachers and learners. 2.3. e-Learning and lifelong learning As a specific mode of attending a course or programmes of study where the students rarely, if ever, attend face-to-face classes or need on- campus access to educational facilities, e- learning is of tremendous importance to lifelong learning. Indeed, e-learning is naturally suited to Figure 2. Digital learning environment, called distance learning or flexible learning. Toledo, at K.U.Leuven, with different actors Professionals with learning needs can easily and activities supported access courses from their home or work space, and turn it into a private e-learning environment. As more and more functionalities were Examples could be found in the models of the integrated into the systems, the terms virtual Open University (e.g. in the UK, Germany or the learning environments (VLE) and learning Netherlands – a good starting point for further management systems (LMS) became popular around the millennium, to determine a digital 28 Authorized licensed use limited to: BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF POST AND TELECOM. Downloaded on October 27, 2009 at 05:07 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.
  3. 3. information is the network of distance teaching will not go into detail, though, for more universities, called EADTU [3]). information, we refer to the Re.ViCa project, in In these models flexibility exists in the fact which a review is made on past research, that learning could happen anywhere, anytime development and implementation projects related and anyhow. Or, as the Open University of the to this subject, with the aim to redefine the Netherlands says [4]: concepts in order for them to be applicable to the Interactive CD-ROMs and DVDs, plus the educational needs of today [5]. possibilities of the Internet, enhance the In the challenging way this ‘multicampus’ educational process. Many students make use of idea leads to online networks of individual an electronic learning environment to organize learners, student groups and/or teaching staff – their personal work location. Course sites, sometimes linked to but often independent from newsgroups, e-mail and conference facilities the institution – called learning communities or make distance learning even more appealing. communities of practice. Each participant in This enables people to combine their study with these networks can be considered a small virtual work and private life and to determine where, ‘campus’, learning from home, work or through when and at what pace to study. a mobile device. In this way this university profiles itself as a prime university for lifelong learning. 3.2. Towards MyLearning 3. From e-Learning to MyLearning The formation of such informal on-line communities responds to a need for individual 3.1. The concept of ‘multicampus’ learners to manage their own learning over the boundaries of institutions and institutional With the introduction of ICT, and with the systems [2]. The closed and structured learning emphasis on internationalisation in higher environments as commonly used and completely education, it is clear that learning is no longer controlled by higher education institutions happening on one single campus (and certainly themselves is challenged by the parallel trend in not if that campus is your own working space). society where individuals are willing to take over Universities have agreements or contracts with the control by their own and to develop and use various other institutions worldwide to enable the newer ICT systems and tools in an innovative and support a growing number of teaching and way. Social software or ‘Web 2.0’ is part of this learning activities taking place at and between phenomenon. The term social software refers to different campuses. computer-mediated communication and interaction tools and applications that may result in ‘community formation’, managed by the individuals. Social software systems allow links between users; the ownership and control of these links – who is linked, and who isn't; what kind of information is shared and what not – is in the hands of the user. There are many applications with social software characteristics that facilitate human connection and collaboration in specific contexts and education is considered just one of them. In this way, social software challenges the boundaries of a closed digital learning environment by substituting a combination of a Figure 3. Videoconferencing and live Personal Learning Environment (PLE) (referring streaming to support multicampus education to the personal control) with a Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) (referring to the Several names have been used in the past or community building and social networking). are still in use to define this type of From here it is only a small step to call this collaboration: virtual university, virtual campus, MyLearning environment, in analogy with the virtual mobility or multicampus education. We well-known MySpace. 29 Authorized licensed use limited to: BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF POST AND TELECOM. Downloaded on October 27, 2009 at 05:07 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.
  4. 4. addresses exactly the needs of the modern lifelong learner. He or she is mastering the own learning process, absorbing and creating knowledge, digesting it into (new) learning objects, ready to share them with others, and this all happening at the time, place and pace that suits the best. Needless to say that MyLearning requires careful attention to new skills of both teachers and learners, in different areas, like technological, pedagogical or organisational competences. Appropriate training in these fields on individual and institutional level is condition sine qua non to implement successful Figure 4. MyLearning environment MyLearning environments. Preparing teachers and learners to grow in e-competence is clearly a A similar trend is seen with respect to new and challenging role for universities, or contents. The closed digital repositories and (e-) better for networks of universities, higher libraries linked into the digital learning education institutes, and their partners. environments are challenged by a strong tendency towards Open Educational Resources 5. References (OER). OER are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or [1] EU Commission, DG Education and have been released under an intellectual property Training, 2006. license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course what_islll_en.html [05/04/2008] materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, [2] Van Petegem W., Karaimo A.-K., Using and tests, software, and any other tools, materials or choosing new educational technologies. In: techniques used to support access to knowledge Boonen A., Van Petegem W., editors. for all. Different initiatives are taken nowadays European Networking and Learning for the in this domain, like OpenCourseWare @ MIT, Future. The EuroPACE approach; 2007; Open Content Initiative @ OU-UK, the Open Garant Publishers (Antwerp, Belgium); Archive Initiative, etc. For all learners wherever 2007. p. 95-101. in the world it becomes now possible to have [3] EADTU, European Association of Distance access to high quality educational content and Teaching Universities, homepage. tools freely available on the Web, next to the [05/06/2008] (more closed) repositories in the LCMS at the [4] Growing through lifelong learning. A profile own institute. Again, the closed learning of Open Universiteit Nederland in 2006. environment is heavily challenged by this new trend, turning part of the Web into one global Corporate_brochure_2006_UK_def.pdf resource of learning material [2], as part of [05/06/2008] MyLearning environment. [5] Reviewing (traces of) European Virtual Campuses. Re.ViCa project website 4. Final remarks [05/06/2008] The concept of MyLearning in the social (digital) environment in which it is taking place 30 Authorized licensed use limited to: BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF POST AND TELECOM. Downloaded on October 27, 2009 at 05:07 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.