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BUILDING (E-)LEARNING BRIDGES BETWEEN PORTUGAL AND TURKEY

J.A. Lencastre1, J.C. Bronze2, S.Ç. Ilin3, M. Ozonur3

1Institute of Education - University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
2Institute Piaget (PORTUGAL)
3Adana Vocational School of Higher Education - Çukurova University (TURKEY)
E-Learning has revolutionized learning as we know it. Shifting beyond traditional mode of education, e-Learning has become an advantage for all trainees in general. Further, e-Learning also bridges the gap of learning across borders, emerging as the new paradigm of modern education (Sun et al., 2008). With e-Learning, students can have access to training in other universities and to academic resource materials from other countries, thereby broadening the knowledge base of students. Despite these promising advantages, there are many barriers that face both trainers and trainees within an e-Learning environment (Sun et al., 2008; Arbaugh & Duray, 2002; Wu et al., 2006). Data show that teachers and trainers have a lack of confidence that surpasses the general optimism in e-Learning (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training [CEDEFOP], 2012). Teachers and trainers indicated that their skills in preparing pedagogical specifications or e-Learning tools are weak (idem). These barriers to e-Learning are very similar across European countries, example of that is Portugal and Turkey. This is a clear finding of the Building (e)Learning Bridges project (Lifelong Learning Programme – Grundtvig Learning Partnerships, 2012-14). This project aimed to design and test a usable web based protocol to facilitate the creation of effective e-Learning activities. A protocol is generally defined as a set of rules/procedures that should be followed to achieve an outcome. When creating a new e-Learning course these procedures will ensure that all-important aspects of the development process are followed in the appropriate order. Our goal is to give strong guidelines to teachers and trainers that allow them to prepare good e-Learning environments to their students, interactive and pedagogically structured, in order to overcome the barriers to e-Learning that have been found in the scope of the project (including in the literature). This protocol can help institutions adopt e-Learning by overcoming potential barriers, and hence reduce the risk of failure during implementation.

After a first moment when partners identified common barriers to e-Learning, we create an e-Learning Protocol to facilitate the creation of e-Learning courses. With this protocol it was possible to prepare a small-scale “at distance” learning activity among partners. The first tests were conducted with Portugal targeting eleven adult e-learners in Turkey.

This paper presents the accomplished e-Learning Protocol and the results of the mentioned test activity.