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Impact of e-learning on the 21 st century university – deriving a strategy Paul Bacsich Director, Matic Media Ltd Senior Consultant, Sero Project Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of e-learning on the 21 st century university – deriving a strategy Paul Bacsich Director, Matic Media Ltd Senior Consultant, Sero Project Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of e-learning on the 21 st century university – deriving a strategy Paul Bacsich Director, Matic Media Ltd Senior Consultant, Sero Project Manager on EU projects

2 Paul Bacsich - general  Former Research Director, Re.ViCa – virtual campuses  Benchmarking Consultant, Higher Education Academy (4 phases)  Project Manager, POERUP – national policies for OER uptake  Visiting Fellow, University of Canterbury  DEANZ conference Keynote on 11/4/12  Have advised Chester, Glamorgan, Aberystwyth, Gotland, KTH, OU and AOU

3 “Spaghetti junction” for universities  Broad or narrow focus?  Lack of clarity on purpose – national and for students/parents  Retention  Funding  Effectiveness  Research – role, funding and relevance to teaching  Will foreign students continue? And why?  When will the “rite of passage” become too costly?

4 Analytic methodologies  Comparative education (countries then institutions)  Benchmarking (institutions or groups of institutions)  Costs and time studies

5 Types of Higher Education Institution (Europe)  University (typically old)  University of Applied Sciences (typically new, less oriented to higher degrees) – former polytechnics  University college  College (on margins)

6 Diagram of UNESCO ISCED taxonomy 2 – lower secondary school 4 - college 5B – poly 5A - uni 3 – upper secondary school

7 A world tour...  Virtual universities/polytechnics (outside NZ)  Definitions:  Virtual = more or less fully distance  Hybrid = mostly distance, some f2f (eg Saturday schools, study centres, etc)  Dual-mode = “half” is virtual, other half f2f

8 Virtual universities Teaching all (or almost all) at a distance:  Many countries have a “state” single-mode provider – an open university  Many countries eg UK, Australia, Canada etc – in fact most – have many other dual-mode providers  VUs go well beyond OECD and BRIC, right across Latin America, Middle East (AOU), Iran, China (in profusion), Japan less so but growing fast, patchy across Europe

9 Failures  UK e-University  Scottish Knowledge, Interactive University  Most university e-learning consortia  Dutch Digital University  Many US virtual university consortia

10 Partial successes  NKI but clouds gathering  DL in trouble across the world (President of ICDE) – Latin America, UK, Sweden, NZ, etc  Many DL operations within UK universities never achieve “second stage ignition”  The Campus does not “wither away”  Dutch Ou – more than one Houdini episode  But some Canadian organisations reconfigure and then thrive – TechBC>SFU, OLA>TRU

11 Successes  UKOU (discuss)  Open Universities Australia (discuss – only consortium that works)  Several other Australian unis  Too soon to tell: OER u

12 BENCHMARKING A more granular analysis

13 Benchmarking in tertiary education: the five systems  eMM (NZ, Australia, UK) – you know well  Pick&Mix (UK, Sweden, EU – bit in Canada)  ACODE (Australia mainly) – current work?  E-xcellence (EU only)  Quality Matters (QM) (US) – hard to break in  See

14 UK experience of benchmarking e-learning  Higher Education Academy (like Ako A or ALTC) funded four phases of benchmarking  Across 82 institutions using five systems  Including PnM and eMM – other three have died or been subsumed  Pick&Mix continues as a commercial activity in UK and Sweden and as part of EU projects (Re.ViCa and VISCED) now and to come  eMM recent phase in NZ just completed

15 Distance Learning Benchmarking Club (Pick&Mix)  Ran from  Members were:  University of Leicester (UK) – founder  Thompson Rivers University (Canada) – dual-mode  Lund University (Sweden)  KTH (Sweden)  University of Gotland (Sweden) – dual-mode, late entrant  Drop-outs for various reasons:  Liverpool, USQ (Australia) and a NZ university  Results also correlated with Liverpool John Moores and University of Northampton

16 Weak areas: from Pick&Mix benchmarking and the DLBC  Cost analysis  Market research (all except TRU)  Staff reward and recognition  Accessibility  Note that in UK Pick&Mix was chosen mainly by institutions active in e-learning operationally who wanted to improve their provision

17 Big DL providers in UK apart from OU  London External  Leicester  Staffordshire, Derby  Wales: Glamorgan only  Scotland: Robert Gordon?, Heriot Watt?  Many others have “faded” or were minimal  Ufi sold off, declining  Colleges doing essentially nothing or fading  Several virtual high schools and A level providers

18 Costs  Why is so little work done on costs of learning?  Outside the US, in many countries there is no overall articulated and evidenced case for blended learning on-campus that is acceptable to “full time” students yet cost-effective long term in the days of adversity

19 Retention  A problem in universities in many countries  Usually worse when distance learning and/or adult students are involved  Often not so much of a problem to the students as the universities or Ministry  Because students may want to exit and maybe return later – or use part-qualifications as entry to a job  New developments such as content-rich courses and modular funding are likely to make it worse  But OER may improve things!

20 Quality  Often used to avoid issues, not solve them  Close link with benchmarking (ENQA talk)  Do need a special scheme for e-learning but correlated with general guidelines for nation and global schemes  Institutional guidelines too  No need for separate scheme for OER – and no energy for one in most institutions (note to OER u)

21 The quality pyramid (for ENQA)  Critical Success Factors  Benchmarking  Quality  Detailed pedagogic guidelines Criteria are placed at different layers in the pyramid depending on their “level” Leadership level Senior managers QA mgrs

22 Effectiveness and study time  “Academically Adrift” in US and some similar UK work suggests that students come out of university with analytic skills not much better than those they came in with  In a nutshell, they do not do nearly enough reading and writing of long assignments – as they used to  In England, student study times have dwindled and vary wildly between institutions and courses (HEPI, OU for HEFCE) – much lower than in rest of Europe and for a 3-year BA Hons  Crudely, there are no full-time students any more in UK

23 SUGGESTIONS (in a diffident way)

24 Study time  Do studies on study time to ensure that students, parents and ministers are not short- changed  Part of “knowing your students” (now and in future) – see later  Can the NZ 4-year honours programme resist for long the pressure to make it 3-year as in England? To do a 4:3 compression would likely require e-learning

25 Effectiveness – make them think  Reconceptualise assessment (good idea anyway)  Ensure students can assimilate large amounts of information, analyse it and communicate their conclusions verbally, and in printed reports and presentations, to the satisfaction of employers  Applies to all subjects in relevant ways

26 Know your current and future students  There is always a role for market research techniques – especially when students pay fees but even when the state pays all costs (as then one is competing with other HEIs for government funding)  Student satisfaction is only one dimension of understanding students  Must also understand their life-situation

27 Research-teaching links  Research has value for the nation but not necessarily for all students/courses/institutions  The elite universities have so far managed to avoid any detailed analysis of the research- teaching synergies – but can this last?  More studies are needed on the finances of tertiary institutions and to what (non-teaching) purposes student- and other moneys are put (cf. TRAC in UK)  The “research institute” (separate institution) model might be worth detailed investigation

28 Breadth  The evidence from the for-profit sector suggests that breadth of provision beyond “traditional” HE is key to success of e-learning  But can this be a route for research-led institutions (RLIs) under the cosh of PBRC  There is a role for specialised institutions (e.g. art & design, though many are being absorbed)  but narrowing is often a “weak move”  Should RLIs mentor/own specialised institutions including more vocational ones? Look at UTCs

29 Vision: The Multeversity 4 5B 5A 3 keynote

30 Multeversity features.  Broad-spectrum yet full university range of work/features  Multi-mode according to student demand: pure DL, hybrid e/f2f, trad f2f+e (if really justified); multi-site if need be  Highly cost-aware yet transparent to clients  Covers poly and college areas which are synergistic (e.g. Cisco Academy, fashion design)  Bridges into and from upper secondary school, so as to minimise drop-out and leverage on schools-level knowledge  Generates “liberal arts” thinkers (in all fields) yet who are “(e-)business-ready”  Links with international partners to lobby governments  Joins with other unis/entities to control school-leaving exams..

31 Discussion.... Paul Bacsich Re.ViCa/VISCED/POERUP Canterbury Visiting Fellow

32 PS 1: Key URLs     (OER) 

33 PS 2: Comparative ICT in learning – phases of Paul’s research  1995: US 3-week tour with Robin Mason, for UKOU  1996: Finnish govt support for RA 6-month study  ( : developing a Virtual Campus)  : e-University country/provider studies  : EU Re.ViCa (virtual campuses)  2009: Becta international and other reports  2010: studies for UKOU on retention and on VLEs  : VISCED (virtual schools and colleges), then POERUP (OER policies)

34 PS3: Sources: specific papers and studies  Virtual Campus Handbook, 2009 (Re.ViCa)  “Impact of E-Learning on the 21 st Century University”, book chapter in International Perspectives on Higher Education: Changing values & practice (ed. Trevor Kerry), Continuum Books, May 2012  “Time and microlearning”, Microlearning 2011  Student Retention and the Value of Higher Education (with Ormond Simpson), 2010, for OU  Distance Learning Benchmarking Club


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