Partners in E-ViEW are developing and piloting a European Virtual Campus aimed at learners in the work place which will focus on enhancing their management skills and competences within a European context.
Partners in E-View are developing and piloting a European Virtual Campus aimed at learners in the work place which will focus on enhancing their management skills and competences within a European context.
The project begins with a needs analysis followed by the creation of the Virtual Campus Framework. This framework utilizes a customised open source delivery methodology and a work-based learning module based on the needs analysis aimed at trainee managers in European enterprises. The module with an emphasis on working within Europe is being piloted with at least 100 employees in the UK, Poland, Portugal and Ireland involving 4 employers.
Concrete outcomes from E-ViEW include a Virtual Campus Framework for Work-based learning with a sample undergraduate module, a pilot implementation of this course and an online handbook with a description of the experiences gained in creating and delivering this course in the Virtual Campus Framework for Work-based Learning.
In order to select an e-learning platform to implement on a Virtual Campus Project context we have to consider several factors. We present a e-learning framework “paradigm”. Then we present possible criteria, for a real scenario, to analyze e-learning platforms and tools where we cover aspects like selection criteria, language support, standards and specifications compliance and the importance of usability and accessibility to the analysis of platforms and tools.
In resemblance with other countries, e-Learning in Portugal emerged as training systems on enterprises and on education only appeared as small pilot projects.
With the Virtual Campus Project, also know as e-U, through its content com-ponent, the promotion of e-learning gained a national importance, since all the higher-education institutions adherent to the project have to implement it. The case we pre-sent reports to the implementation of this project on a Polytechnic Institute that has about 7500 users, located on an interior region of Portugal.
Through this project, we try to use e-learning as a mean to seek and catch new audiences for the polytechnic education, showing to the public what is taught in these institutions, being not just a mean of teaching but also a way of spreading and sharing information and knowledge.
As we know nowadays there are several e-learning platforms and tools, some commercial and others open source/freeware, so it’s very difficult for an institution to choose the best solution to fit their need, always dealing with several problems.
If you want to buy a platform you have to deal with issues like the cost of licens-ing, installation, maintenance and extensibility of the platform. On the other hand if you choose an open source and freeware solution you’ll deal with issues of lack of/few documentation, support and maintenance.
One of the things that also interferes with the choice and should be considered is the know-how of the future users of these tools, where you have to consider main target of these tools, their previous knowledge and their IT skills.
In order to clarify how to make an analysis of e-learning systems we will present some strategies we have defined, taking into account factors like standards compli-ance, accessibility, usability (Nielsen, J., 1993; and Shakel, B., 1991) and the language support.
First we are going to see some current approaches to e-learning platforms both freeware/open source and commercial and also some authoring & packaging tools. Then we will present a proposed e-learning framework and enter in the process of analysing platforms presenting the factors and criteria we use to evaluate them.
Finally we present some analysis examples of e-learning platforms and tools.
The full text is available in PDF format in the Resource Area.
- Nielsen, J. (1993). Usability Engineering. San Francisco, USA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
- Shakel, B. (1991). "Usability-Context, framework, definition, design and evaluation". In Shackel, B. & Richardson, S. (Eds.), Human Factors for Informatics Usability (pp. 21-37). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.