eLearning in Higher Education and Excellence: when, where and how it is possible
Silvia Dell'Acqua, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa (Italy)
Academics and university administrations in the Higher education institutions worldwide are more and more questioning how eLearning could contribute in keeping up the excellence of the didactic in their institutions. What will be lost without the simultaneous presence of professors and students in the same classroom? Which are the most effective methods to assess what has been learnt in the virtual classroom? At which extent the academics should “re-invent” their way of teaching? These are some of the key questions that globally drive the debate on the introduction or on the potentiated use of eLearning as a mean to deliver knowledge at the highest level. The main concern is assuring that the quality of teaching and learning is not undermined, but on the contrary it is sublimated.
The paper after a brief overview on the global scenario of meaningful eLearning experiences, will focus on the different conditions that make eLearning the key for the “co-creation and co-delivery” of knowledge and training. The authenticity of the learning experience, the possibility to learn in every place at any time, the opening up of higher education institutions to “lifelong learning” and its implications, the intellectual property question, the role that incentives play if academics are asked to explore new ways of teaching, are all points that will be discussed in the paper.
Finally a stress will be put on the importance of “alliances” in order to trigger economies of scales that can benefit the several actors involved at the different levels, always assuring that the quality of the teaching and learning experience is assured.