Studies on Transitional Electronic Programmes
Start date: Dec 1, 2007,
Transition from school to university and transition between universities’ programmes(bachelor/master) is very significant for students and does not always run smoothly.Students considering taking a next step in their lifelong learning programme have to findways to determine if the new learning programme they are applying for will meet theirexpectations, their knowledge and skill level. The increasing mobility of students inEurope, and the resulting diversity of the student population, enhances this challenge.An increasing number higher educational institutes are responding to problems causedby increased mobility and heterogeneity of students by establishing more elaborateselection processes as well as providing (electronic) preparatory programmes. Somepreparatory courses are offered at the university in form of face-2-face classes, othersare aided with ICT in a blended format and finally there are some universities offeringpreparatory courses only in an online virtual setting. However, little research has beenconducted in the effectiveness in short- and long-term of these transitional courses. Inaddition, most institutes are developing their own content and pedagogies rather thansharing knowledge and expertise. As institutes are preparing for new Web 2.0, recentresearch has provided only limited insights how collaborative learning in a blended orvirtual setting can be used to effectively learn together. More specifically, very little isknown about the dynamics and the added value of ICT on learning in preparatorycourses. Therefore, the project Studies on Transitional Electronic Programs (S.T.E.P.)aims to develop a validated framework for assessing and comparing (online) Europeantransitional programs. On basis of a literature review and identification of practices, theEuropean Framework of Transitional Preparatory Courses (EFTPC) will be developed.This EFTPC will allow good practices of (electronic) preparatory courses to becompared across Europe. In this way, teachers and practitioners can combine theessential ingredients of how to create, manage and maintain a transitional programmeinto a successful recipe to facilitate the lifelong learner (??). In addition, by conductedevidence-based research on preparatory courses, the merits and pitfalls of electronicprogrammes offered in Europe, potential transitional barriers and solutions in lifelonglearning will be identified. Finally, the combined experiences will be shared and exploredusing a Community of Practice, WIKI, several (inter)national publications and numerouspresentations at (inter)national conferences.
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