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Brussels Education Services has coordinated the production of the EU funded study: ‘Changing Pedagogical Landscape: New ways of teaching and learning and their implication for higher education policy’ (October 2015). The Changing Pedagogical Landscapes study took place from January 2014-June 2015 and was designed to address the following objective: “to examine to what extent government strategies and higher education regulatory and accreditation, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification frameworks support or hinder new modes of learning, and in particular increased use of technology in the teaching and learning process” The research carried out formulated conclusions and eleven recommendations on how these systems – the framework conditions for higher education – can best be tailored to support new modes of teaching and learning. European higher education has a long history of providing high quality degrees and advanced training in a very wide range of subjects, and has expanded its capacity greatly over the past 50 years. The use of qualification frameworks, quality assurance processes, mutually-recognised awards and credits, and support for student and teacher mobility have led to a sophisticated and sought-after higher education system. This study was commissioned by the European Commission to provide research analysis for, and recommendations to, European governments that would aid them in promoting greater innovation in pedagogy and in the use of technology in higher education.

The study, its executive summary and appendices are available on the following EU website: http://bookshop.europa.eu/en/search/?webform-id=WFSimpleSearch&DefaultButton=findSimple&WFSimpleSearch_NameOrID=the+changing+pedagogical&SearchConditions=&SearchType=1&SortingAttribute=LatestYear-desc&findSimple.x=0&findSimple.y=0

BACKGROUND: 

The shift towards a more student-centred approach in teaching and learning within higher education is rapidly materializing across Europe. Recent technological developments can be instrumental to support this movement. The growing numbers of students constitute a challenge when it comes to ensuring quality and relevance of higher education. At the same time new providers are entering the market.

Technology-enhanced education offers a variety of opportunities for higher education institutions (HEI):

–        Widening the student body,

–        Engaging with non-traditional and remote learners,

–        Blending classroom and virtual higher education,

–        Cross-border cooperation between institutions,

–        More adapted/tailor-made provision,

–        Mainstreaming of a more interactive teaching and learning experience.

 

Despite all these developments and opportunities, the majority of European HEI have made little progress in adapting their course offer accordingly. This study envisages a detailed examination of the barriers and opportunities that come along with ICT and other new technologies, which have a potential of enriching the teaching and learning experience. It will also look at why and how some institutions are managing to overcome these barriers. In doing so, the study will support the EC Strategy ‘Supporting Growth and Jobs, an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems’.

OBJECTIVES:

The overall objective of the study is to examine to what extent government strategies and higher education regulatory and accreditation, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification frameworks support or hinder new modes of learning and, in particular, the increased use of technology in the teaching and learning process.

The specific objectives of the study are:

–        To identify the implications for pedagogy in HEI of the most significant practices and trends in new modes of teaching and learning,

–        To complete an overview of what government-led strategies, policies and measures exist in a sample of 8 European countries to foster an increased use of ICT and the key aims that are envisaged.

–        To assess where the main barriers and pinch points exist with a particular emphasis on accreditation frameworks, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification.

–        To formulate recommendations for policy-makers at the level of higher education systems on how to promote and harness new modes of teaching and learning to improve quality and relevance and how formal frameworks can empower and incentivise HEI to exploit their full potential.

WORK PLAN:

The work plan includes the following milestones:

  • Expert report based on Delphi method
  • Desk research and literature review
  • Survey among European HEI
  • 26 Case Studies in a sample of 8 European countries
  • Peer review seminar in Brussels
  • Conclusions and Recommendations

PROJECT PARTNERS:

  • Brussels Education Services sprl (Coordinator)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)
  • UPCnet