University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 2047-2056
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Technological evolution has brought remarkable changes in economy and society, with an irreversible impact on education. The Internet has enabled the emergence of a global world where knowledge and information move at a fleeting pace, and flexibility and innovation are essential demands of the learning process. In this context, ICT-enhanced learning and online learning environments are presented as a major challenge for educational institutions. In higher education, colleges and universities tend to feel the pressure for proactively embrace technologies in their administrative routines and teaching practices. The implementation of projects that promote the development of updated teaching and innovative research practices, where virtual learning systems, multimedia resources and blended/fully online learning initiatives start to take place is a major investment of a significant number of universities.
Technological developments and the introduction of Web 2.0 enabled new ways to create, develop and deliver educational content in diverse and innovative formats. This increasing pace of change led to the progressive development of distance learning with an emphasis on e-learning. Some authors even consider that the traditional, face-to-face, classroom (as we now perceive it) could disappear in a near future (Shachar & Neumann, 2010).
When it comes to organizing programs for ICT-integration and e-learning initiatives in higher education, the need to think about how these programs can converge with universities’ strategic plans, faculties direction councils’ ambitions and departments projects tend to be highly valued. In the contrary, students opinions, their favourable/unfavourable positions regarding the defined lines of actions, their concerns, suggestions and needs tend to be poorly considered. Thus, in a critical and determinant resolution, it is necessary to include students in the institution decision-making processes (Castells & Benner, 2004; Behrens, 2009), especially when main changes that directly affects this audience are intend to be achieved.
Trying to fill this gap, the study described in this paper reports the inputs collected from the analysis of students’ point of view regarding the e-learning program developed for the University of Lisbon.
An empirical research based on qualitative-analysis methods were conduct. Data was collected in 2010 through semi-structured interviews developed with all the students associations of the university. As participants the study presents the fourteen (14) students’ representatives of the eleven (11) faculties of the University of Lisbon.
From the information collected, it was possible to perceive the students’ association evaluation of the pertinence of the universities’ e-learning program, considering 6-domains of analysis: (i) value and relevance of an e-learning program for their institution, (ii) identified potential, (iii) possible weaknesses, (iv) positive and inhibit factors of the programs’ implementation process, (v) benefits and limits of the initiative for the students and (vi) prospective analysis of program development in the institution.
SHACHAR, Mickey. & NEUMANN, Yoram (2010). “Twenty Years of Research on the Academic Performance Differences Between Traditional and Distance Learning: Summative Meta-Analysis and Trend Examination.In MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2, 6, 318-334
Higher education, e-learning.