Wednesday, July 18

Virtual Models of European Universities

Link to article
"The study showed that the universities face four key obstacles and challenges in their developmental progression towards the extended use of ICT and e-learning:
  1. From individual initiative to university culture. For most universities a primary challenge is to translate ICT away from individual initiatives into becoming a component of mainstream education, and this is impeded by a combination of the absence of a coherent and comprehensive management approach to ICT integration with a degree of resistance to change in the university culture.
  2. Lack of knowledge. Most academic staff lack knowledge concerning the potential of ICT and new ways to use it.
  3. Shortage of ICT resources. The study uncovered a shortage of high-quality ICT-based teaching material. This is a natural consequence of the generally still-immature stage of development. But since both management and academic staff require inspiration in order to begin developing their own material, this is an important obstacle to start doing so.Additionally, developing ICT-supported material and e-learning content is very costly. Hence there is a need for greater incentives to under-take such development, for national or regional initiatives to support it, and for co-operation aimed at spreading the development costs.
  4. Regulations should be defined. US trends will probably reach Europe, with the mass production of teaching materials and the gradual industrialisation of the process. In this connection, the regulations concerning intellectual property rights and payment systems aimed at increasing the sharing and re-use of learning resources will have to be refined. This will challenge the traditional values concerning academic freedom and teaching based on the individual research of tutors.

Development of Quality assurance systems, High Quality ICT based learning materials and metadata standards are crucial for the future of e-learning. The Intellectual property rights and payment systems must be also regulated in order to increase the sharing and re-use of learning resources. The development of clear ICT strategies, the involvement of managers, the creation of efficient cooperation schemes or the development of business models are also some of the most important recommendations pointed out by the Study. "

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