Formation continue : l'université dope les frais. - TIGOE Yasmine. - OUEST FRANCE, 19/10/2012.
L'impact de l'économie verte sur les questions de métier, de travail, d’emploi et de formation ainsi que les adaptations nécessaires à envisager en termes de recrutements, de formation initiale et continue, y sont analysés.
Après recoupement de plusieurs études, il semblerait que le potentiel de création d’emplois liés à l’économie verte soit incertain. Un rapport du Centre d’analyse stratégique (CAS) datant de janvier 2010 déclare que la croissance verte contribuera à une évolution des métiers existants et l’apparition de quelques nouveaux métiers autour du conseil en énergie, de la protection de la biodiversité ou de l’éco-mobilité. En savoir +.
The impact of green economy issues of trade, labor, employment and training, and the necessary adaptations to consider in terms of recruitment, training and continuing education, are analyzed. More...
L'individualisation des dispositifs dans les politiques d'emploi, (le fait de laisser l'individu libre de choisir les services qui lui seront délivrés ou le prestataire qui les lui délivrera) fait l’objet d’une attention croissante de la part des pouvoirs publics. En France, des dispositifs individualisés existent déjà dans le champ de l’emploi et de la formation professionnelle: les chèques formation régionaux, les chéquiers-conseil créateurs d’entreprises, aujourd’hui remplacés par le NACRE, l’Aide personnalisée de retour à l'emploi pour les bénéficiaires du RSA, l’Aide individuelle à la formation (AIF)de Pôle Emploi, ou encore le Compte épargne temps (CET), le Congé individuel de formation (CIF) ou le Droit individuel à la formation (DIF).
Le CAS met en ligne une comparaison internationale des conditions de leur mise en oeuvre ainsi que des effets de dispositifs individualisés existants. L'expérience internationale enseigne que plusieurs conditions devront être remplies pour accroître le déploiement d'outils individualisés en France: une bonne connaissance des freins et des leviers à l’utilisation des dispositifs selon le public cible; l’existence de supports facilement mobilisables pour l’accompagnement des bénéficiaires et la construction d’un marché concurrentiel et régulé en matière de services d’accompagnement vers l’emploi et de formation professionnelle.
Lire la Note d'analyse 293 du CAS: L'individualisation dans les politiques d'emploi: quels effets des chèques, comptes et contrats?
The individualization of devices in employment policies (the fact of leaving the individual free to choose the services that will be delivered or the service provider who will issue) is the subject of increasing attention from the government. In France, individual devices already exist in the field of employment and vocational training: regional training checks, checkbooks consulting entrepreneurs, now replaced by the NACRE Help personalized return employment for recipients of RSA Assistance individual training (AIF) job center, or the time savings account (CET), the individual training leave (CIF) or the individual right to training (DIF). More...
S’il n’existe pas de dispositif de formation spécifique pour les jeunes, une part importante des financements leur sont consacrés puisqu’en 2011, ils représentaient 47% des stagiaires de la professionnalisation des intérimaires.
L’étude menée par l’institut BVA pour le FAF.TT montre que, quel que soit le contrat, les jeunes voient leur situation sur le marché s’améliorer nettement après leur formation:
Accès à l’emploi
Près des trois-quarts des stagiaires travaillent six mois après la fin de leur formation. Ils sont plus nombreux que les autres tranches d’âge à accéder au CDI, et ceux qui restent intérimaires travaillent plus souvent sur des missions plus qualifiées. Même le contrat d’insertion professionnelle intérimaire, qui s’adresse à des publics éloignés de l’emploi, favorise leur accès et leur maintien dans l’emploi, puisque 60% d’entre eux sont en emploi six mois après le CIPI. Cet emploi correspond dans la majorité des cas à la qualification obtenue en formation, et la grande majorité considère que c’est grâce à leur formation qu’ils sont en emploi.
Niveau de qualification
La professionnalisation dans le travail temporaire s’adresse en priorité aux intérimaires de premiers niveaux de qualification: 71% des formations financées en 2011 concernaient des stagiaires sans diplôme (28%) ou titulaires d’un niveau CAP ou BEP (43%). La moitié d’entre eux sont des jeunes, qui sont en général délégués sur des missions non qualifiées. L’enjeu de la qualification est donc important pour cette population, et les effets de la formation sont là aussi probants: en CDPI, la part des ouvriers non qualifiés passe de 73% avant le contrat à 57% après; en contrat de professionnalisation, cette part passe de 60% à 28%.
Pour les jeunes salariés qui restent intérimaires après leur formation, la fréquence et la durée des missions s’améliorent nettement. Ainsi, six mois après un contrat de professionnalisation, 69% des jeunes travaillent tout le temps. L’analyse des raisons qui poussent les jeunes à accepter une formation montre qu’ils ont bien évalué l’opportunité que représente la professionnalisation dans leur parcours. Les taux de rupture de contrats sont d’ailleurs très faibles comparés aux chiffres nationaux: seuls 11% des jeunes arrêtent leur contrat de professionnalisation, contre plus de 25% au niveau national.
Enfin, les effets ressentis sur les conditions de travail, sur la rémunération, sur l’intérêt du travail, sont d’une manière générale considérés comme positifs, voire très positifs.
Voir aussi Les effets de la formation sur l'insertion des intérimaires, 2011, Intérimaires - le droit à la formation.
Pour les jeunes peu ou pas qualifiés, les partenaires ont largement évoqué la mise en place de pactes régionaux de réussite éducative et professionnelle qui permettront de définir des objectifs chiffrés pour réduire le nombre de jeunes qui arrivent sur le marché du travail sans formation ni qualification. Le ministre a également insisté sur la nécessité de développer les contrats en alternance, en particulier pour les premiers niveaux de qualification.
Pour les demandeurs d’emploi, les partenaires se sont accordés sur l’importance d’augmenter leur accès à la formation quand ils le souhaitent. L’amélioration de l’information sur les offres de formation tout comme la réduction des délais d’entrée en formation ont été jugées à ce titre essentielles.
Consulter les deux « documents cadres » réalisés par le ministère sur ces sujets:
- document cadre relatif à la formation des demandeurs d’emploi;
- document cadre relatif à l’accès à la qualification des jeunes.
A noter que les plates-formes régionales d’appui interministériel à la gestion des ressources humaines élaboreront un cahier des charges relatif au plan de formation dédié à la mobilité, en vue de mettre sur pied, dans chaque région, une école de la mobilité.
Le Gouvernement souhaite poursuivre la démarche de mutualisation des formations en région. A cette fin, des travaux ont été engagés pour développer une offre de formation interministérielle déconcentrée unique entre les plateformes régionales d’appui à la gestion des ressources humaines (PFRH) et les Instituts régionaux d’administration (IRA). Circulaire du 3 octobre 2012.
Click here (or on the picture directly!) to access EURASHE's 22nd Annual Conference Report.
It contains the report of the various sessions of the Conference, dedicated to Lifelong learning and the Welfare Society as well as information on the Keynote speeches and the social programme proposed to the participants.
The 22nd EURASHE Annual Conference took place in Riga on 10 and 11 May 2012. It was organised in cooperation with Banku Augstskola School of Business & Finance of Riga, Danish Rectors’ Conference – University Colleges Denmark, UC-DK, both members of EURASHE and the FLLLEX project. The Conference is traditionally a meeting of EURASHE’s members, outside experts from a range of academic fields and stakeholders, to construct a unique range of educational experiences of relevance to professionals from all geographical regions and sectors of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and beyond. Its two main topics this year were: Lifelong Learning and Welfare Society; in line with the theme of ‘Active Ageing’ promoted this year by the European Commission. The combination of these two topics is rooted in our firm belief that education is not only firmly embedded in the wellbeing of citizens, but also one of the main pillars of society.
Introduction to the first topic: Lifelong Learning
The world is evolving rapidly. Social, economic and technological innovations require from us the capacity to adapt, the capacity to flexibly respond to new situations, especially on the job market. People are expected to improve their competences, to develop their skills and to learn ‘new things’ to be more suited for market needs. Moreover, it is not only about teaching new generations which enter the labour market, but all the generations. The never-ending acceleration of changes combined with ageing of the population makes learning a constant necessity for all social groups at all levels.
A rapidly changing society poses enormous challenges to European higher education which has to find new ways of fulfilling its principal mission: to provide knowledge. If higher education institutions wish to contribute to the global change of paradigms and make lifelong learning a reality, they have to develop a set of mechanisms as well as a new culture of understanding of the lifelong learning concept. According to the European Commission: ‘For the majority of Europeans, lifelong learning is still not a reality’. More involvement of higher education institutions may change this situation.
The subject of this part closely relates to another concept discussed during the Conference: the welfare state. Improving lifelong learning systems and encouraging people to work longer in different work environments is the only way to preserve the traditionally understood European welfare state as well as economic efficiency in the European Union.
During the Conference, three subjects were discussed. The first session’s objective was to present the current state of policies and legislation concerning lifelong learning in the EU and its member states. The goal of the second one was to discuss self-evaluation tools for lifelong learning at institutions. And the final session was an opportunity to discuss the results of the various projects centred on lifelong learning. All subjects were linked by the FLLLEX project conducted amongst others, by EURASHE members.
Session 1a: Lifelong Learning and National and EU policy
During the session three presentations took place. The first one, by Klaas Vansteenhuyse – KHLeuven, was a brief summary of the FLLLEX project, aiming at measuring the impact of lifelong learning strategies on profession-oriented higher education in Europe. Klaas Vansteenhuyse showed what the initial intentions and goals of FLLLEX were, how the work was divided between different stakeholders of the project and finally how the outcomes of the project might be useful. One of the difficulties mentioned by the speaker was the fact that low number of survey responses sometimes skewed the results which entailed some difficulty in achieving definite conclusions. The presentation put special emphasis on policy propositions stemming from the FLLLEX project. Supporting the development of coherent and balanced lifelong learning strategies to develop flexible and effective education and training systems was one of the main policy priorities. Other important ones are: use of policy hooks, need for investment in lifelong learning, support development of partnerships and adaptation of the lifelong learning definition to clarify communication.
The second presentation’s goal was to discuss the national policies for the implementation of lifelong learning, which was also the subject of the Work Package 1 of FLLLEX. Richard Thorn – Institutes of Technology of Ireland, IOTI – discussed issues such as the definition of the lifelong learning concept itself, presented key numbers concerning the situation on the labour market and showed how certain countries deal with the subject and how they introduce the aforementioned policies. He explained the main features of lifelong learning according to the OECD, and what are the differences between lifelong learning definitions presented in literature and by other public organisms such as the European Commission. The speaker mentioned also the key statistics concerning the lifelong learning question. The society is growing older, new skills are required, but still lifelong learning is not a reality in many countries. One month prior to the survey done by the FLLLEX project, almost 64, 3% of the population did not participate in any kind of lifelong learning activities.
The last presentation during this session was made by Patrick Leushuis from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It was a quick glimpse in the Dutch perspective on lifelong learning in professional higher education. He described how the infrastructure was built to respond to lifelong learning challenges and on what points the government of the Netherlands will focus in the future. According to him the results of the projects involving lifelong learning concepts are clearly visible. Huge investments in expertise development were made and the quality instruments and models were prepared. More and more adults participate in lifelong learning (the best results were achieved in regions with decreasing population), thanks to the recognition of prior learning and modular programs or concepts such as blended learning. Finally, the speaker stressed that the realisation of his government’s programme would not be possible without establishing strategic alliances with employers, local and regional government organisations and with other providers of training and education.
Session 2a: A self-evaluation tool for Lifelong Learning
During this session three presentations took place. The first presentation was entirely devoted to the lifelong learning evaluation tool: the FLLLEX Radar. Josep Grifoll from the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency emphasized the role of stakeholders in the evaluation process and explained what are the main components and “steps” of FLLLEX Radar. He explained that the stakeholders of the FLLLEX Radar are not only members of the academic community, but also actors from the public and private sector as well as learners. The radar should be first and foremost a diagnosis for improvement and enhancement. The speaker added that the tool is composed of 18 questions which should allow to understand the perception and the situation of lifelong learning in a given institution. After having done the report, it should serve as a basis for a strategic plan for the higher education institution in question.
The second presentation was an exhaustive description of the different steps of the FLLLEX Radar tool. Margriet de Jong – KHLeuven – explained how each step should proceed and what are the precise actions behind each of them. The first step consists of choosing proper evaluators from the institution’s staff, the second one is the definition of the evaluation’s objective and its purpose or the establishment, the third one is about establishing a focus groups, the fourth one is the preparation of possible questions, the fifth one is the organisation of focus group meetings, the sixth one is the preparation of a report, the seventh is the review of results and the final one is the dissemination of the acquired knowledge. The discussion after the presentations made explicit the need to also involve managers of the institutions in the evaluation process apart from secretariat staff, students and researchers. One of the presentation’s conclusions was that after the FLLLEX Radar will be applied in KHLeuven, it should be contacted and the experiences from the application of the FLLLEX Radar should be analysed.
The final presentation by George Ubachs, who is a Managing Director of EADTU, dealt with questions relating to developing lifelong learning strategies, business plans and actions. He showed what considerations should be taken into account when adapting an institution’s organisation and administration to provide lifelong learning services. In the beginning he presented EADTU, his own association, which is involved in lifelong open and flexible learning in distance higher education. Initiatives such as Virtual Erasmus or Open Educational Resources lie in EADTU’s scope of actions. The speaker identified the obstacles for organising lifelong learning in higher education institutions (such as the absence of ICT competences from higher education staff or lack of recognition of prior learning) and explained that they may be dealt with, by proposing new concepts. He underlined that institutions and national policy makers should be aware that traditional formal education alone cannot meet the challenges of the knowledge society. Business plans and precise strategies may help higher education institutions define possible lifelong learning educational target groups and adapt to the needs of the knowledge society. He presented how such business plan or strategy should like and how it should be implemented. George Ubachs mentioned during the discussion after his presentation the importance of virtual mobility which may totally change the way we transmit knowledge.
Session 3a: Results from the Lifelong Learning projects
This session was composed of five presentations. The first four were showing results of lifelong learning projects. Sigrid Nindl from Consulting Department 3s Research Laboratory showed, using numerous statistics, what are the expectations of the population towards lifelong learning providers and how their typology looks like. Her survey (of motives, needs and expectation towards lifelong learning) was made to provide support for development of self-assessment tool such as the FLLLEX Radar. It was based on multidimensional typology to identify difference in needs of lifelong learners’ types. Considering how different lifelong learners and how varied their expectations may be, higher education institutions will have to identify which type of lifelong learning they wish to cater their activities towards. Multiple criteria were used to understand who the lifelong learner is. Depending on gender, age, target award, purpose, admission criteria, learning location or pedagogic style, different possible forms of providing lifelong learning emerge. She underlined the importance of individual’s life course when choosing different lifelong learning programme. Factors such as family relations, religion or health issues cannot be ignored. She then moved on to a meticulous presentation of different learners’ types to finally highlight once more that higher education institutions have to find out on their own who may be interested by their potential lifelong learning programmes.
Two of the presentations concerned directly the experiences of different institutions. Gökay Özerim from Yaşar University in Turkey presented the Turkish situation in the lifelong learning context and discussed how FLLLEX methods and ideas influenced his university’s organisation. The aim of his presentation was to share lifelong learning strategy analysis of a higher education institution by explaining prominent inferences, with existing implementations and discovered ideas derived/obtained from the process of the FLLLEX project. He underlined that there are several lifelong learning opportunities in Turkey, but the missing link is the ‘institutional lifelong learning strategy’. The Yaşar University, established in 2001, is one of the most rapidly growing Turkish higher education establishments. The author claimed that the FLLLEX project and particularly the FLLLEX Radar were helpful for discovering the university’s existing lifelong learning opportunities and new ideas to improve it. For example by fostering ties with the business community the university might use actively these networks in development of the new lifelong learning offers and more tailor-made programmes. The speaker explained in a detailed way how the FLLLEX project changed his university’s approach to the concept of the lifelong learning itself.
In the same spirit was Oran Doherty’s presentation about the reaction to lifelong learning tools and the methodology used by the Irish Letterkenny Institute of Technology when applying the FLLLEX Radar. He stressed the positive elements of the tool such as the wide range of information gathered or inclusion of numerous stakeholders and suggested possible areas for improvement (for example fixing different set questions for different focus groups). In the end he concluded by stating that for his institution the FLLLEX Radar was a very useful and eye-opening exercise and advised other higher education providers to not underestimate the workload involved in organising the FLLLEX Radar exercise.
The fourth presentation of Rob Mark from the Centre for Lifelong Learning of the University of Strathclyde had a more general goal. It discussed the findings of the FLLLEX Radar for self-assessment in the context of professional higher education and their lifelong learning policies. He started his presentation by explaining the relation between the lifelong learning concept and EU regulations and declarations. Then, he showed the FLLLEX Radar’s importance in general EU policy context. He identified the major FLLLEX stakeholders and discussed the implications for incorporating lifelong learning into European higher education institutions, with special attention given to Recognition of prior learning (RPL). In the second part of his speech, Rob Mark commented on the usefulness of the FLLLEX Radar and presented positive and negative opinions about the tool from different stakeholders. In the end he suggested how the tool may evolve and what steps should be taken to improve its functioning.
The final presentation was putting lifelong learning in the global context. Lifelong learning’s aim is not only to make people adapted to labour market needs but it may also be used as a tool to improve equality between different social groups. Anthony F. Camilleri from the EquNet project showed the results of a concerning report presenting vast disparities in the level of equality of access to higher education between different European countries. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are, in many countries, still less likely to attend higher education and profit from a mobility experience. To answer this challenge, European ministries offer solutions such as promoting flexible learning pathways or involving students as active participants in their own learning. The speaker proposed numerous other social innovations aimed at improving the level of accessibility to higher education. Incentives such as lack of pre-requirements or creating licence-free textbooks may remove barriers and help young people enter higher education. As a consequence, having an opportunity to participate in lifelong learning may help them avoid social exclusion. Anthony F. Camilleri showed how important is this social awareness of equality, which linked this session to the welfare state topic.
Introduction to the second topic: Welfare state
The welfare state is one of the numerous acquisitions of post-World War II European democracies. However, facing new dangers such as economic crisis or ageing of populations, more and more people start to question the very idea of the welfare state. To what extent should public authorities intervene on the national level? What is the most just model of distribution of goods? What is the place of people as individuals towards the omnipresent state? These are just some of many questions we have to face today.
This topic is not irrelevant when confronted with the lifelong learning concept which is the other topic of EURASHE’s Conference in Riga. If we want to preserve our current model of welfare state in an ever-changing world, we have to change, to adapt, to find new ways of organising people’s life. Therefore, if we want to preserve our present European way of life, paradoxically we have to modify it at the same time.
Creating new mechanisms allowing older populations to fully participate in the democratic process, guaranteeing them employability as well as high quality life is crucial. The traditional forms of redistribution may in consequence be insufficient to provide the present level of life in the future, especially considering growing expenses of the public health system. We have to put more effort to understand these issues.
The second topic of EURASHE’s conference in Riga is entirely devoted to this urgent problem. In three sessions, four different subjects were discussed. Issues such as healthy aging, using technology in developing and defending welfare society in Europe or how higher education may respond to the ageing of the population were the main subjects of this part of the conference.
Session 1b: Healthy ageing
The first session about the Welfare State topic consisted of an input prepared by Joost Degenaar who is a director of healthy ageing programme of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen in the Netherlands. With the audience of about 20 people, he started his presentation by explaining the on-going demographic changes in Europe. By 2025 in every Dutch region about 30% of the population will be over the age of 65. This trend is well visible (to a different extent) in all EU countries. The ‘old age dependency’ will change from a ratio of 4 to 1, to 2 to 1 in next 20 years. Not only more and more people will be living in retirement, but also the expenses for public healthcare will rise from 13% of GDP in 2010 to 24% of GDP in 2050 (in the Netherlands). This requires major adaptions of our social security system. We have to adapt to help people with chronic diseases and deal with the shortage of practitioners...
Session 2b: Welfare technology – use of technology in developing and defending welfare society in Europe
Two researchers from Aalborg University, Anthony Lewis Brooks and Eva Petersson Brooks presented how new technologies may improve the well-being of the population in the future welfare state. The main focus of their research is about how technological innovations may, through the proper use of sound, image and several ICT technologies, incite someone to develop and to learn. Their ideas were applied especially in the context of rehabilitation of the handicapped. However we can extrapolate their use to all children, to the elderly or to the population in general. Proper exercises realised through multimedia applications may improve the well-being of people of all ages...
Session 3b: Welfare society: contributions from higher education
In this session speakers had the opportunity to present their research findings on the welfare society topic. The first represented the Alice Salomon Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and presented the new, financed from public resources, master programme at the Hochschule: Master in Ambient Assisted Living (MAAL). This interdisciplinary 2-year master aimed at both fresh bachelors, as well as people with prior professional experience (realising lifelong learning strategies). Its goal is to present the concept of Ambient Assisted Living and problems related to it...
Final interventions, Panel discussion and Closing of the Conference
Following the different sessions on lifelong learning and the welfare society, participants of the Annual Conference gathered for the final intervention by Prof. Andrejs Rauhvargers, Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Council, and Co-Chair of the BFUG Implementation working group. His intervention concentrated on the Bologna Implementation Report delivering a state of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2012. After highlighting the different sources of the report and its new approach, he presented the different scorecard indicators of the report, including the implementation of the first and second cycles and the differences between the credit systems used in several countries for first and second cycle-programmes. The spread of joint degrees and programmes, as well the link between ECTS and learning outcomes, and the implementation of external quality assurance systems were also presented. Higher education attainment was also discussed based on gender and social background; and finally the Communiqué of Minister issued at the Bucharest Ministerial Conference in April 2012 was presented and its main priorities were highlighted. This provided participants with the latest up-to-date information on the implementation of the Bologna Process in Europe at a time of various changes.
FACE Annual Conference 2013 Plymouth University, 3-5 July 2013.
The Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE)'s Annual Conference will be hosted by Plymouth University at Plymouth, Devon, England from 3rd-5th July 2013 inclusive.
Further details about the conference regarding subject themes,submission of abstracts/posters, social calendar, accommodation, booking information, travel and information about Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall will be posted to this website in October 2012.
The conference will take place in the Rolle Building at Plymouth University, UK. Maps (including campus maps) are available here.
FACE aims to facilitate - through avenues such as conferences, seminars, workshops and publications - the exchange and dissemination of information and practice to encourage continuing education and lifelong learning between practitioners and providers. FACE offers both institutional and individual membership and this provides access to monthly e-Bulletins, occasional papers and reports; access to thematic groups and access to other national and international members plus special rates at all events including the Annual Conference.
The second and updated version of the E-xcellence Manual was launched at the 25th Anniversary Conference in Pafos/Cyprus. If you're interested in a hard-copy, please contact the email@example.com. A PDF-version is available at the dedicated E-xcellence label site.
E-learning has become mainstream provision in European higher education and is essential in supporting lifelong learning and internationalisation. By becoming integral part of higher education, e-learning should also be integral part of the QA systems, internal and external, with related innovative and appropriate criteria.
In a recent report (E-learning Quality (ELQ) – Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-learning in higher education. Report 2008:11R) the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (NAHE) has surveyed the work on quality assurance of e-learning in higher education on a European level in nine selected countries. One conclusion is that quality in e-learning is a non issue for many, especially for the quality assurance agencies. In the NAHE report, it is suggested that the same criteria for quality should be applicable to e-learning as it is to traditional campus-based education. The accreditation, audit and assurance process of e-learning should therefore be integrated in the national framework and not be evaluated separately. To this end, there is a need for methodological development within quality assurance agencies. At the same time, there is a need for increased cooperation between national agencies as e-learning enhances the development of borderless education. (From ENQA seminar Sigtuna 10/09).
Although initiatives on QA in e-learning are running for some years now it is still restricted to some interested universities. The QA agencies put QA in e-learning only recently on their agenda and are searching for the expertise for setting the specific criteria and indicators. The expertise and responsibility for QA in e-learning is however in first instance within the universities. The universities have taken that responsibility by sharing expertise in developing the E-xcellence instrument. Further integration of the benchmarks in the institutional QA systems of the universities as well as the QA-agencies is necessary to mainstream QA in e-learning European wide within the existing channels. The E-xcellence instrument was from the start developed as a building block to the existing systems, not interfering with the current models, but fitted for integration.
The newest version of the E-xcellence Manual has been launched on 28th September 2012. If you are interested to receive a hard-copy, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be the first to receive the newest version!
A PDF-version can be downloaded on the E-xcellence label site here.
The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities - EADTU is Europe’s leading association for Lifelong Open and Flexible (LOF) learning in distance Higher Education (HE). (www.eadtu.nl). As well as e-learning, the model of LOF learning embraces the characteristics of open learning, distance learning, online learning, open accessibility, multimedia support, virtual mobility, learning communities, dual mode (earn & learn) approaches, and the like.
The focus of this manual is Quality Assurance for e-learning in Higher Education. It is the main product of the E-xcellence and the E-xcellence+ project, undertaken under the auspices of EADTU and involving a pool of experts from altogether 20 European institutions with a stake in e-learning developments.
In a first stage (2005-2007), the E-xcellence instrument has been developed. In the second stage (2008-2009), E-xcellence was updated with the involvement of some 50 universities and 10 assessment and accreditation agencies in intensive local seminars (national level). Also, the instrument was finetuned to blended learning situations (in cooperation with ESMU).
Quality Assurance in HE has received much attention at the institutional, national and European level through validation centres, universities (and their umbrella organisations), quality agencies, national ministries of education and the like. These have established systems to cover the full organisational and content-related quality assurance of HE institutions and their programmes. However, few of these systems have so far developed a focus on the parameters of quality assurance governing e- learning. This has therefore been the objective of the E-xcellence project.
It has not been the intention of the project to interfere in any way with existing systems of quality assurance, and this manual is not a comprehensive guide to QA procedures even in the context of "pure" e-learning provision. It is assumed that institutions and regulatory bodies will have a defined set of processes which provide for the development, monitoring, evaluation and enhancement of HE provision. This manual offers a supplementary tool which may be used with these QA processes to allow the consideration of e-learning developments as a specific feature. An important aspect of the E-xcellence project is that it offers a European-wide standard, independent of particular institutional or national systems, and with guidance to educational improvement.
1.1 Purpose of the manual
The primary purpose of the manual is to provide a set of benchmarks, quality criteria and notes for guidance against which e-learning programmes and their support systems may be judged. The manual should therefore be seen primarily as a reference tool for the assessment or review of e-learning programmes and the systems which support them.
However, the manual should also prove to be useful to staff in institutions concerned with the design, development, teaching, assessment and support of e-learning programmes. In providing a set of benchmarks, quality criteria and notes of guidance it is hoped that course developers, teachers and other stakeholders will see the manual as a useful development and/or improvement tool for incorporation in their own institutional systems of monitoring, evaluation and enhancement.
It is intended that the manual will be relevant to a wide range of e-learning contexts, including blended as well as pure provision. Where e-learning is offered alongside other forms of learning as part of an integrated or blended learning programme it is important that the evaluation of these components takes place alongside those delivered by other means so that the relative merits of different teaching/learning approaches and the role of e-learning in overall provision can be determined. A set of performance indicators, both qualitative and quantitative, chosen to reflect the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, need to be employed.
One of the characteristics of an e-learning environment is the sheer amount of monitoring information which may be made available relative to more traditional methods of learning. Most e-learning platforms provide for an extensive level of monitoring and feedback, and student learning behaviour is usually more easily tracked and recorded in an e-learning context than in a traditional classroom. Also, external reviewers are able to gain access to the full range of course materials and to sample the delivery of the programme directly. This has obvious advantages for evaluation but also certain potential disadvantages associated with the sheer volume of data and opinion available. It is hoped that by focussing on specific benchmarks and criteria, institutions will be able to develop performance indicators which are fit for purpose in their own context.
EADTU is committed to supporting the continuous improvement of e-learning programmes and intends to produce a web-based supplement to the quality manual giving examples of good practice identified by contributing organisations. EADTU therefore welcomes feedback from any organisation which may be able to contribute to the good practice guide.
The manual is organised into six sections covering strategic management, Curriculum design, Course design, Course delivery, Staff support and Student support. Each section follows a similar format setting out benchmarks, critical factors, performance indicators, and assessor’s notes.
The benchmarks provide a set of general quality statements covering a wide range of contexts in which programme designers and others work. It is intended that the benchmarks will be relevant to virtually all e-learning situations. These benchmarks might usefully form the basis for institutions' quality self assessment where the full range of criteria and performance indicators are not judged relevant to the institutional context (e.g. in situations where e-learning developments are confined to a minority of courses or to specialist areas of the institution's work).
The critical factors and performance indicators which follow then focus on particular topics relevant to the benchmark statements. Not all the critical factors will be relevant in all situations and several will be seen to cut across more than one benchmark statement. Thus there is not a one-to-one relationship between the benchmarks and the critical factors since they are pitched at different levels of analysis. Performance indicators relating to the critical factors have been developed at both general and excellence levels.
The Assessors notes provide a more detailed account of the issues and the approaches which might be taken to meet requirements in each situation.
2 Strategic Management Benchmarks
1. The e-learning strategy should be embedded within the teaching and learning strategy of the institution.
2. The institution should have e-learning policies and a strategy for development of e-learning that are widely understood and integrated into the overall strategies for institutional development and quality improvement. Policies should clearly state the user groups and include all levels of implementation, infrastructure and staff development.
3. Investigating and monitoring emergent technologies and developments in the field of e-learning and anticipation for integration in the learning environment.
4. The resourcing of developments in e-learning activities should take into account special requirements over and above the normal requirements for curricula. These will include items such as equipment purchase, software implementation, recruitment of staff, training and research needs, and technology developments.
5. The institution should have an e-learning system integrated with the management information system (registration, administrative system and VLE) which is reliable, secure and effective for the operation of the e-learning systems adopted.
6.When e-learning involves collaborative provision, the roles and responsibilities of each partner (internal and external) should be clearly defined through operational agreements and these responsibilities should be communicated to all participants.
Downloaded the Manual on the E-xcellence label site here.
Despite evidence that learning can have a positive impact on everyone's lives, it is a concern to NIACE that many older people are missing out on the benefits of learning.
The latest figures from NIACE's 2012 Adult Participation in Learning Survey shows that only 16% of those aged 65-74 and 7% of those aged 75+ regard themselves as learners. Also of concern is that only 14% of those aged 65-74 and 7% of those aged 75+ have any plans to take up learning in the future and around 70% of adults aged 65 and over say that nothing would make learning more attractive.
NIACE and Age UK have joined forces today to explore better ways of supporting older people into learning, at a conference hosted by BT in London. We live and learn: active ageing in the community and workplace will help to encourage older people to make the most of learning opportunities and to use them to enhance their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
Delegates will have the opportunity to take part in a number of workshops, to hear from experts within the field - including MEP, Mary Honeyball, BT, Age UK, the Skills Funding Agency, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and NIACE - and to address the following key issues:
- Older people and learning for employment
- Older people's participation in learning
- Career review during the life course
- Approaches to learning in the pre-retirement life phase
- Intergenerational work and active citizenship learning
Christopher Brooks, Policy Adviser, Employment and Skills, at Age UK, said:
"With rising expectations from the government that people will have to work for longer, it is essential that actually being able to do so becomes a reality. Many people will find it difficult to work into their late 60s or even 70s, often due to being unfairly stereotyped as being unwilling to learn - this could prevent people returning to work or moving into a new role. Ensuring that people have appropriate opportunities to update existing knowledge and learn new skills - in both the workplace and communities - is a vital part of the extending working lives agenda."
Jane Watts, NIACE Programme Manager, said:
"As more people have to stay in work or seek work in older age, it is vital that all have access to learning, including those who are traditionally least likely to get this opportunity. There are many wider benefits of learning for all of those outside the workplace/working life, but NIACE's recent research on older learners shows that employment status is the most influential factor in taking up learning. This research will be presented and discussed at the event on 19 October. Older people have much to offer and can make a huge difference - let's make sure they get the chance to do so."
NIACE has a long history of making the case for older learners, including being commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in 2009 to collate examples of learning opportunities provided for older people in care settings. The project resulted in a film, as well as a report and a resource pack of support materials, which are all available for free online. They aim to raise awareness of the benefits of learning for older people, their carers and families, and to encourage and support public, private and voluntary sector care providers to extend and enhance learning opportunities for older people in care settings.
Recently, NIACE has again been commissioned by BIS to identify new and updated examples of good practice and to refresh these publications in light of policy changes and key research published in this area.
To contribute to this work by sharing examples of existing learning opportunities for older people in care settings, complete this form and send it to Emily.Jones@niace.org.uk by Wednesday 31 October 2012.