This write-up has been extracted from the latest report to the European commission by the Open Education Europa portal; the portal has defined some new modes of learning and teaching to modernize higher education.
The report starts with the thought that offering high quality relevant education and widely accessible higher education is a fundamental goal of the European Higher Education Area. Higher education institutions have been constantly engaged in achieving this fundamental goal, both individually and collaboratively. But all these goals have not been fully reached however, with latest and emerging approach towards teaching and learning, made possible through new technologies, can balance, support and further advance such efforts.
The report further highlights, “The philosophy behind latest trends in online and open education are not new, and date back to earlier developments including the open university movement, earlier technologies such as radio and TV, and open education resources.”
“These “new” modes sought to expand the reach of higher education by creating more flexible opportunities and were very much driven by the principles of equality, diversity, quality and efficiency. These principles remain at the heart of current developments.”
Digital materials are available at low or no cost and are very flexible in approach. Internet has endowed us a chance to reach every learners of the world, as around 2.7 billion people are accessing resources online, this presents a powerful realm of potential.
Web technology themselves do not essentially assure quality in learning and teaching, therefore, quality of content is important. Educators now have the great opportunity to find huge materials in various formats for the curriculum. Every student has unique learning capacity; therefore, teachers must use those tools that cater every student’s way of learning. Technology in the classroom help teachers to give students the type of learning can adopt. Not just in terms of learning or content, technology in the classroom has much more good impact on pedagogical approaches.
- New technology and communication podiums also enable educators for greater interaction with their students.
- E-learning, teachers can concentrate on their role as mentor, developing with students the skills of information management, understanding and questioning, critical thinking and knowledge application.
- Digital media can facilitate more active, problem-based learning which has been demonstrated to encourage greater student engagement and leads to better learning outcomes.
The report further states,
“Governments across Europe are embarking on different pathways to ensure that their higher education systems have the capacity to respond effectively and efficiently to diverse economic and societal demands and global competition.”
“Governments are increasingly taking a systematic view and are implementing policies aimed at designing a coherent landscape of complementary, collaborating and diverse institutions, providing a mix of provision across the system to collectively meet the needs of individuals, employers and society.”
This is a summary of the report; you can read the comprehensive report here.