Eleven Recommendations

shutterstock image - technologyThe eleven Recommendations from the study, addressed at the system level, i.e. governments and their national or regional agencies, are:

Overarching

    1. At European and national/regional levels, all policies and processes (including legislation, regulation, funding, quality assurance, IT infrastructures, pedagogical support for teachers) must be aligned to prevent conflicting actions and priorities. These policies and processes should support and promote innovation in pedagogies and greater use of technology, and a vision for change should be expressed through national strategies.
    2. A common agenda should be agreed between the stakeholders in higher education that addresses the challenges of the present as well as shaping a roadmap for the future. This agenda should allow sufficient flexibility to develop concrete actions, particularly at national and regional levels.

Curriculum design and delivery

    3. All countries should put in place measures to support universities in their innovation in pedagogies (including learning design and assessment) and in greater use of technology. Establishing dedicated agencies at national level has proven a powerful means of driving change
    4. Building on the strong existing base of digital education, European and national metrics should be established to record the typologies and extent of online, blended, and open education at institutional and national levels. This would enable institutions to compare themselves with others and to monitor their own progress.
    5. National governments should consider requiring certification of university teaching practice, both initial and continuing (CPD), and that innovation in pedagogy and use of technology should be a core part of this certification. Certification can be used to support research into teaching and learning, which itself is an important part of raising the profile of university teaching.

Quality Assurance

    6. National governments should review their legislative and regulatory frameworks and practices for quality assurance and accreditation in higher education (including recognition of prior learning) to ensure that they encourage, and do not impede, the provision of more flexible educational formats, including degrees and other ECTS-bearing courses that are fully online.
    7. National QA agencies should develop their own in-house expertise and establish processes that are sufficiently flexible to include recognising and supporting new modes of teaching and learning. They should evaluate institutions on their active support of innovation (or importantly, the lack of it), and its impact on the quality of teaching and learning.
    8. ENQA and other relevant European networks should support the sharing of good practice by national QA agencies in the development of criteria on the recognition of new modes of teaching and learning.

Funding

    9. Governments should consider prioritising innovation in their funding approaches, using funding mechanisms such as performance-based funding, funding allocated to large-scale innovation, and funding for excellence, in order to invest continuously in modernising their higher education systems and stimulate early uptake of innovation and new pedagogies.
    10. To be effective and systemic, this funding should strengthen the enablers of innovation at the system level, including – leadership for institutional change, learning technology tools and course design, professional development of teachers, communities of practice , the development of shareable resources and the support of evaluation and research evidence. Collaboration within and between institutions should be stimulated.
    11. Governments should stimulate higher education institutions to assess the costs and benefits of blended and online education, in order to maximise their effectiveness in making use of new modes of teaching and learning for degree studies, as well as for continuing education and open education.

The report and executive summary can be downloaded (pdf):

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