This chapter will examine how and why the “Academy” in the 21st century has both deployed e-learning and adapted to the deployment of e-learning by the “other” (including its own students).
The paper's aim is to explain why the radical solutions beloved of visionaries have happened rarely and then have mostly failed, and yet how more moderate solutions are emerging that are sustainable and manageable within recognisable paradigms of university governance. The chapter will draw out links from the e-learning phenomenon to wider issues of privatisation, internationalisation, culture, research and funding.
The material is based on studies of the author and his colleagues in this area since his first e-learning study tour (of three weeks) to US universities in 1995. It takes particular advantage of his recent work on the Re.ViCa and CAPITAL projects 1 but also from his long experience in many departments of the Open University (UK) and a network of smaller projects and contacts straddling countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United States – together with the four home nations of the UK.
International work placements or internships, as they are generally known, are gaining more and more importance in the context of internationalization of higher education and globalization of our (professional) world. Traditional international work placements, where the learner travels to the company abroad, are not always feasible for all students because of financial, geographical, social or other reasons. For those physical placements abroad that do happen, there are also a number of difficulties to overcome, mainly related to a lack of communication between the student, the foreign company and the institution for higher education.
Virtual mobility or ICT-supported interaction to realize international collaboration, offers possibilities to address these issues. The EU-VIP project looked at how virtual mobility can support or even enable international work placements and addressed the three stakeholders that are involved in an international work placement: the higher education institution, the student and the receiving company or organization. To this end 19 pilot projects were executed.
Firstly, the project established a state-of-the-art regarding virtual and blended placements. Starting from this document and additional research the partnership put together a scenario for organizing virtual and blended work placements. This scenario served as a general framework to design and implement 19 pilot projects. These pilots all varied on the scale from a very limited to a very far reaching integration of virtual mobility activities.
Before executing the pilots, pilot participants (students, teaching staff, administrative staff, company mentors...) received local training adapted to their specific needs (development of technology skills, help while implementing the general scenario, how to undertake e-coaching). After pilot execution, all participants contributed to the evaluation of the pilot, via surveys and/or interviews. The feedback from the pilot participants was used to further expand and fine-tune the framework and to identify critical success factors for the integration of virtual mobility in internships.
During the project al lot of attention was also paid to identifying the needs and the benefits for all stakeholders. To this end two stakeholder meetings were organized to collect feedback on (intermediary) project outcomes. These meetings were aimed at representatives from higher education institutions and from the business world. The students were addressed through the organization of two BEST symposia.
The EU-VIP outcomes:
- Manual ‘Make it work. Integrating Virtual Mobility in International Internships’
This manual is the main outcome of the project. It provides a framework for and a description of the conditions of success for integrating virtual mobility in international internships. Next to this it defines the context and definitions used in the EU-VIP project and it presents the conclusions regarding the perspectives from the different stakeholders: students, higher education institutions and companies.
The quick guide is a summary of the main findings presented in the elaborate manual. Interested in the topic but no time to read the full document? Than this guide might be just what you need.
- Video training material, explaining the context and definition of the project, stakeholder perspectives, guidelines to integrate virtual mobility in international placements and presenting the 19 pilot projects.
The EU-VIP partners:
- Media and Learning Unit, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (BE), project coordinator
- Aalto University (FI)
- BEST (FR)
- Coimbra Group (BE)
- EAL, TietgenSkolen (DK)
- EADTU (NL)
- EFMD (BE)
- EuroPACE ivzw (BE)
- FernUniversität Hagen (DE)
- Laurea University (FI)
- KHLeuven (BE)
- University of Padua (IT)
- University of Bologna (IT)
- University of Turku (FI)
- University of Groningen (NL)
- West Pomerian Business School (PL)
International work placements or internships, as they are generally known, are gaining more and more importance in the context of internationalization of higher education and globalization of our (professional) world.
Traditional international work placements, where the learner travels to the company abroad, are not always feasible for all students because of financial, geographical, social or other reasons. For those physical placements abroad that do happen, there are also a number of difficulties to overcome, mainly related to a lack of communication between the student, the foreign company and the institution for higher education. Virtual mobility, or ICT-supported interaction to realize international collaboration, offers possibilities to address these issues. The European Commission supported project EU-VIP (Enterprise-University Virtual Placements) looked at how virtual mobility can support or even enable international work placements and addressed the three stakeholders that are involved in an international work placement: the higher education institution, the student and the receiving company or organization.
As a result of the EU-VIP project, partners have recently published a new handbook entitled “Make it work! Integrating virtual mobility in international work placements.” The publication provides a framework for and a description of the conditions of success for integrating virtual mobility in international internships. Next to this it defines the context and definitions used in the project and it presents the conclusions regarding the perspectives from the different stakeholders: students, higher education institutions and companies.
The handbook is available as a free download from the project website. Furthermore, you can find on the website a quick guide, which summarizes the main findings presented in the handbook. The quick guide is available in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian and Polish.
The editors of the handbook are Mariet Vriens and Wim Van Petegem.
For more information on and other outcomes/training materials of the EU-VIP project, please check the project website.
Certify the future...?! Accreditation, Certification, and Internationalisation. Early bird registration is available until the 30th of June...
In a European education arena, mobility of students and staff, delivering programmes across borders have become reality. Internationally we can see that universities and training providers are searching for new markets often reaching out across borders to offer their programmes. Open education and open educational resources have unlocked new doors for formal and informal learning, and attempts to certify and recognize achievements through these modes of learning are intensified throughout Europe and beyond.
ICT plays a major role in enabling educational environments to travel and reach out, but also innovate and change the educational organisation, the scope and the landscapes in which it is delivered locally. In this context certification and accreditation have to be discussed anew. The influence of Europeanization and internationalisation is not just a move towards internationalising educational offerings but also towards internationalising certifications and recognition of degrees. The move towards changed educational environments through technology enhanced learning is calling for a redefinition of certification and accreditation since educational organisations are changing their fundamental nature and organisation. The move towards bringing in the concept of open educational resources and open education is challenging the traditional structure of certification for higher education and for vocational education training, schools and adult learning because it questions the delivery mechanisms and the monopoly of traditional educational organisations for knowledge transfer, and brings up the notion of universities, VET providers, adult learning centres as (mere) „certification“ service providers in the future.
Certification is based on past achievements in order to predict and ascertain future quality. But how fit are certification systems to guarantee that educational programmes and institutions are preparing learners for future challenges? Are they prepared to certify the future in this way? Have we designed approaches to certification which are comprehensive enough for a constantly changing world of educational needs and demands of labour markets? And how can we build elements of future orientation and continuous innovation into certification systems? These questions emerge around the theme of certification in a world in which qualifications demands are ever changing in emerging markets, improvisation seems to be a virtue rather than a vice, and often future job profiles do not exist when students enter their programme.
While accreditation and certification becomes increasingly important in all educational sectors, it is changing. Has it played its role as guard to make education and training failsafe in the past, we can see that certification of education and training is more and more striving to award educational organisations achievements to turn towards innovation and excellence. How will the certification look like in 2025 or even further in 2050?
The 6th EFQUEL Innovation Forum seeks to discuss these questions. It will present certification systems for higher education, discuss certification in adult education and schools, for individuals and for organisations from European and beyond. We would like to invite you to debate the value of certifications, to examine good practice examples of innovative ways of certification in the various educational fields and to shape a future vision of how certifications can evolve to become instruments to certify the future.
Date: 14th – 16th of September 2011
Location: Oeiras, Portugal
Virtual Mobility makes European and worldwide available to those who are not able to benefit from existing, physical, international exchange programmes, and therefore benefits a wider community.
In this paper, we reformulate the concept of Virtual Mobility and introduce the Movinter Modelling Framework, which supports HEIs in designing and implementing an integrated use of Virtual Mobility to enhance the internationalisation of study experiences.
The paper closes with recommendations on how to extract the potential of Virtual Mobility in the next decade. We must continue to question why Virtual Mobility is important, and pay attention to the unexploited potential of this idea, in order to: (1) democratise access to an international, transdisciplinary and multicultural study experience, now available only to a relatively small minority of students, thereby contributing to social cohesion; (2) produce stable collaboration among teaching and research teams, and their institutions, building on recognised complementarities and specialisations through networking activities; (3) make the practice of joint titles, at various academic levels (undergraduate, master and doctoral programs) and with diverse modalities (master classes, single subjects, seminars and workshops) a reality, even before a full institutional recognition of academic titles from other countries are in place; and (4) link European universities/HEIs to each other and to universities/HEIs in other parts of the world.
Invitation to participate in a survey: e-Learning and internationalisation of education and training
The specific subject of this survey is the relationship between e-learning and internationalisation of education and training systems. The international dimension is becoming increasingly important in education and training. This is occurring mainly in three ways: through the greater mobility and language learning of students and teachers (e.g. through the Erasmus exchange programme), through the transnational nature of programmes (cross-border distance education), and through the international focus of institutions (e.g. campuses and virtual universities in foreign countries).
This is the fourth of 6 thematic surveys to be carried out during 2005 and 2006. By completing this short survey you will be making a significant contribution to our understanding of the state of e-Learning in Europe.
Click here to participate in the survey: