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The impact of ICT on tertiary education: advances and promises by Kurt Larsen and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin Centre for Educational Research and Innovation OECD Conference on “Advancing Knowledge and the knowledge economy” National Academies 10 -11 January 2005
Outline: 1. The promises of e-learning in tertiary education: access, quality and costs; 2. Comparison between promises and achievements: access, quality and costs 3. The challenges for further development of e-learning: What sustainable innovation models?
The promises e-learning in tertiary education: access, quality and cost • • • Access: Help to meet the huge demand for flexible lifelong learning. Quality: Increased flexibility and learner-centred, innovation Cost-efficient: reaching new students, replacing “brick and mortar” campuses Characteristics of the education sector: • • Weak educational R&D Learning by doing – craft innovation Difficult to carry out experimentations Little codification of knowledge of how to teach
Comparison between promises and achievements: access U. S. Sloan Foundation survey • Over 1. 6 million students took at least one on-line course Fall 2002 (11% of all students). • One-third of these students (578 000) took all of their courses on-line (4% of all students). • Expected growth in on-line students 2002 -03: 20%. • Fully online e-learning is only a few percent. Conclusion: E-Learning lives up to its promises in terms of access – mix-modes learning models the way forward
Comparison between promises and achievements: quality Positive impact of mix-modes: • Flexible access to learning and research material • Enhancement of face-to-face lectures and seminars • Improved communication between students and faculty • Facilitated access to international faculty/peers Conclusion: No radical transformation of teaching and learning. The jury is out concerning quality of fully online learning
Comparison between promises and achievements: costs No radical savings rather add-on costs: • Virtual universities have not replaced campus universities • Digital libraries have supplemented rather than replaced physical ones • Very little codification and standardisation of teaching: not fewer academics teaching • E-learning can be cost-efficient: dependent on the business-model, the profile and number of students, topic taught, initial costs etc. Conclusion: Little evidence that e-learning has led to more cost-efficiency. Numerous failures.
Conclusion: The four e-learning adoption cycles for tertiary education 1) Enhancement of traditional course/program configurations 2) Use of course management systems 3) Imported course objects (learning objects) 4) New course/program configurations (faculty and students to adopt new roles) Conclusion: Most tertiary education institutions are embracing adoption cycles one and/or two. Few are experiencing with three and four
Challenges and future directions for e-learning: What sustainable innovation models? Engaging faculty, students and universities • • • Like in other sectors, the cost-efficiency depends on new organisational and knowledge management practices 3 rd and 4 th cycle will require more collaborative way of producing teaching material It might prove more difficult to provide the “softer” social, organisational and legal changes than providing the technological infrastructures
Challenges and future directions for e-learning: What sustainable innovation models? A possible way forward: Open Educational Resources 1) Open courseware ( e. g. MIT project) 2) Open software tools (e. g. Sakai project) 3) Open material for capacity building of faculty staff ( e. g. eteaching@university sponsored by Bertelsmann Foundation) 4) Repositories of learning objects (e. g. MERLOT)
Challenges and future directions for e-learning: What sustainable innovation models? A possible way forward: Open Educational Resources • • Open Educational Resources (OER) “communities” – innovation through knowledge sharing Need for establishing review process or quality assessment of OER Need to better understand the users of OER Copyright issues (i. e. Creative Commons project)
The future of e-learning in tertiary education: Conclusions • • • E-learning is growing at a rapid pace and has enhanced teaching and learning E-learning innovation is likely to change on-campus learning - the impact of change will depend on “softer” social, organisational and legal changes Proprietary and Open strategies will “live” side by side Mixed-modes delivery will dominate Evolutionary rather than revolutionary innovation and change