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Does a Nordic Baltic approach to e-learning exits? Joergen Bang Information and Media Studies Aarhus University, Denmark.

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Presentation on theme: "Does a Nordic Baltic approach to e-learning exits? Joergen Bang Information and Media Studies Aarhus University, Denmark."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does a Nordic Baltic approach to e-learning exits? Joergen Bang Information and Media Studies Aarhus University, Denmark

2 The BOLDIC project DOES A NORDIC-BALTIC APPROACH TO ODL EXIST? What are the major characteristics? Is it unique Nordic-Baltic? Is it possible to identify a dominating and accepted understanding of learning? 2

3 Conclusion Yes! the Nordic and Baltic countries share a general approach to ODL referring to the same basic understanding of human nature and the learning process. The identified approach expresses a shared vision between the Nordic and the Baltic countries - a vision that may form the basis for future collaboration and further development of the Nordic-Baltic pedagogical approach to ODL. 3

4 An alternative view Jonas Sprogoe: Comparative analysis of lifelong learning strategies and their implementation in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden (Nordic Council of Ministers, March 2003 – presented at Nordic-Baltic Lifelong Learning Conference in Riga, May 2003) 4

5 Nordic-Baltic collaboration 1920ies educational programmes The feasibility study in 1993 The Phare multi-country programme 5

6 Recommendations from 1993 The aim of modern distance education is to offer the students adequate opportunities to study, independently of time and space. The study material must be self-instructive and of high quality. The underlying methodology of distance education courses must take into consideration the need for dialogue between teacher and student and students themselves when this is necessary. 6

7 Recommendations from 1993 Dual-mode institutions have a possibility of shifting their courses between classroom teaching and distance education in a relatively flexible manner. The investments needed for a transformation of regular courses into the distance education mode are relatively speaking smaller than in single-mode institutions and course adaptation to knowledge is smoother and faster. 7

8 The Nordic-Baltic Tradition Five central concepts: –student-centred approach –communication –group or teamwork –active participation –face-to-face. These concepts are interrelated, but they stress different aspects of importance to the identity of the Nordic-Baltic approach to ODL. 8

9 Developmental factors A predominantly constructivist approach to learning, but not an unambiguous one. The focus on dialogue, small-scale operations (in which course authors and tutors often are the same persons), integration of face-to-face seminars into a blended model The fact that institutions offering ODL in the Nordic-Baltic region are dual mode institutions reflecting the general change within universities, seem to be what have generated the Nordic-Baltic approach to ODL. 9

10 But But this approach is neither Nordic nor Baltic in its origin and it does not constitute an elaborated or a consistent unambiguous theoretical framework. 10

11 The present e-learning situation National initiatives: The Swedish Net-university The Finish Virtual University The Estonian e-University The EU programmes – quality assurance 11

12 The content/context question If content is all we need, why would we need universities? Libraries could do the job! (D. Wiley). If content is king, then context is queen (E. Duval)! Content is just another part of the learning environment (P.Baumgartner). 12

13 Learning activities are king Learning resources (learning objects) broadly taken only become active during the learning process when the learner is doing something useful with them. The creation of relevant learning activities becomes essential. Successful learning activities mobilise the capacities (present knowledge, cultural heritage, etc.) of learners and establish a dialogue with the new learning resource as the basis for learning. Hereby, teachers and tutors are reinstalled in a position as responsible for organising the learning process. They are choosing relevant learning resources and creating learning activities needed in order to reach defined educational objectives. Bang, J, (2006): eLearning reconsidered. Have e-learning and virtual universities met the expectations? 13

14 Open educational resources The next phase is to nurture a culture of learning in which both intellectual capital (content) and human capital (talent) spiral upward, together. The conditions now exist, we believe, to consolidate understanding, technology, and incentive from multiple threads of activity into an open participatory learning infrastructure (OPLI). By open participatory learning infrastructure we mean the institutional practices, technical infrastructure, and social norms that allow a smooth operation of globally distributed, high-quality open learning. We include the word participatory to emphasize that the focus is not just on information access, but on the role of technology in supporting the social nature of learning. This perspective is consistent with collaboratories in science and humanities communities and the social software and the Web 2.0 movement more generally. Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities (2007) p. 6 14

15 Joergen Bang Department of Information and Media Studies Aarhus University Denmark Tel

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