A practical toolkit for integrating eLearning in Higher Education Curricula (Onlinehe)
About the project
Recent developments with COVID-19 and pandemics that threaten our way of life and work are forcing organizations and governments to rethink the way we meet, work, teach, learn and collaborate. A big push towards online education, distance learning and virtual teams is evident across the globe. According to UNESCO (2020), as of late March 2020, over 850 million students and youth – roughly half of the world’s student population – had to stay away from schools and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Education is asked to respond to this challenge by offering courses at a distance. So far, the large majority of content was offered by video conferences and Learning Management Systems. There is a strong need to develop more immersive experiences for learners.
Although the need of online courses has increased, a few universities have been experimenting with eLearning as a teaching method or making online lectures a part of the curriculum (Bezegová, 2017). Same situation in partner countries, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Spain, and Serbia, where eLearning is not widely used in HE. So far, there is not any common strategy on how universities can build a strategy on how to adopt eLearning in their teaching and learning.
With more than 90% of the student population going fully online during the last few months, there is a stronger need than ever to reform higher education (UNESCO, 2020). The Bologna Process Implementation Report cited earlier, confirmed that blended learning is the most common across European Universities. The trend in higher education towards eLearning, and in particular blended learning, was already visible in 2014 when an EUA survey found that 91% of institutions offered blended learning (i.e. integrating eLearning into conventional teaching) and 82% offered online courses (Gaebel 2014; EUA 2019). It is generally accepted that these trends will change dramatically in the coming months, since COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of eLearning across the globe. In a systematic review of research in the use of e-learning, several gaps are identified among university staff, which include lack of strategic understanding of the need for e-learning, the lack of skills to design and deliver online learning, and the need to improve assessment of education offered online.
1. To build the capacity of HE teaching staff, academics, learning designers, and teaching staff in integrating eLearning in the design and delivery of courses. (IO1, IO2, IO3).
2. Develop innovative quality resources for HE faculty members to support the adoption of eLearning in higher education (IO1, IO2, IO3).
3. To raise awareness on the need and value to integrate eLearning in HE in close cooperation with all stakeholders involved, including policy makers (IO1-4).
4. Improve the supply of quality higher education opportunities for all (IO1-4).
The project builds on the existing knowledge developed by partners and aims at supporting higher education institutions develop innovative policies and practices for integrating eLearning in designing and teaching courses. The primary target groups for this project include:
- Higher education faculty and instructors
- Policymakers and university leadership teams
- Learning designers, educational technologists, and support staff
- Higher education students (indirect target group)