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SVC Seminar "Field tests and sustainability of SVC projects"

Programme with abstracts

December 3rd, Afternoon (Grosser Plenarsaal)
Chair: Lorenzo Cantoni, Università della Svizzera italiana
13:30 The development of e-learning in Swiss higher education
Bernard Levrat, president of the SVC commission
14:00 Swiss Virtual Campus: transition from the impulse towards a consolidation programme
Peter Stucki, president of the SVC steering committee
14:00 - 15:30 Strategies of SVC projects
14:30 The state of implementation of SVC projects: an overview
Cornelia Rizek-Pfister, SVC coordinator

The beginning of December 2002 is an interesting moment to discuss the state of implementation of SVC projects, as it corresponds exactly to the end of the e-site visits, or project discussions, that took place in Berne, with representatives of the projects and of the Swiss Virtual Campus Steering Committee. The projects were presented online, and several aspects were systematically considered. The following criteria will be shown in the overview:

The current state of information of Cornelia Rizek-Pfister, the only person who attended all 49 e-site visits, corresponds to:
- 8 days of e-site visits, 6 (or 7) projects per day
- 1 h per project, discussions among experts afterwards

All SVC projects will receive a letter with a short feedback, reflecting these discussions.

As the last e-site visit took place on Nov. 26, and the corresponding Swiss Virtual Campus Steering Committee Meeting with additional project discussions on Nov. 29, this overview could be prepared only afterwards, during the last weekend. This explains why this evaluation is done rather schematically, without many details. The exact numbers in the overview foils might need explanations; these will be given in the discussion after this presentation.

15:00 The institutional landscape of the Swiss Virtual Campus
Benedetto Lepori and Sibilla Rezzonico, Università della Svizzera italiana

The objective of this presentation is to explain the importance of institutional relationships for the management of eLearning activities, as well as for their long-term viability. I will shortly analyse the institutional structure of the Swiss Virtual Campus Programme and, using the results of interview done in the EDUM mandate, present the strategies of SVC projects and of Swiss universities. The major conclusion is that the SVC programme was very effective to stimulate the development of eLearning in the Swiss universities, but that the development of more robust institutional arrangements is necessary in order to establish eLearning in the Swiss universities. Moreover, there is a need for models of use of ICT adapted to the specific Swiss situation.
15:30 - 16:00 Break
Chair: Benedetto Lepori, Università della Svizzera italiana
16:00 - 17:00 Institutional strategies for e-learning
16:00 Managing Technological Change: Strategies for Learning Technologies
Tony Bates, University of British Columbia (

Building technology infrastructure and exhorting faculty to use it is an inadequate response to the need for change in universities. Universities need to apply a range of strategies to support the use of learning technologies. This requires re-allocation of resources, professional development and training for faculty, increased technical
support, new methods of teaching, and above all a change in the culture of the institution. As well as outlining the necessary strategies, the presentation also discusses the impact of technology on the core values
of a public university.
16:30 The issue of e-learning quality in European universities
Lorenzo Cantoni and Chiara Succi, Università della Svizzera italiana
17:00 - 18:00 Evaluation of SVC projects
17:00 Towards a systemic model to assess and support innovative pedagogy
Jacques Viens, IntersTICES, Université de Genève
17:30 Is e-learning sustainable?
Damian Miller, eQuality, Universität Zürich
Slides / Talk (pdf)

This talk is divided into four parts. In the first part, the evaluation concept of eQuality will be presented. This evaluation concept was designed within the framework of our consultation services as formative evaluation and focuses on the virtual learning environment as well as on student's experiences with these learning environments. In the second part, our first observations and experiences and will be presented.
Further considerations, which are based on these first experiences and observations, have as central theme topics which - from our point of view - are seldom taken into account in the current discourse on e-learning. The talk ends with conclusions and recommendations.
18:00 Final speech: Der Virtuelle Campus als Teil einer künftigen Hochschulstrategie
Gerhard Schuwey, director of the Federal Office for Education and Science
18:30 Apéro

December 4th, Morning and Afternoon (Grosser Plenarsaal and Kleiner Plenarsaal)
9:00 - 12:00 Parallel Workshops (Grosser Plenarsaal and Kleiner Plenarsaal)
1. Organization and results of field tests
Chair: Jean-François Perret, Università della Svizzera italiana
9:00 Introduction. What can be learned from a field test?
Jean-François Perret, Università della Svizzera italiana
9:30 Presentation of some experiments
  • ELO - European Law Online: Matthieu Canevaschini et Thierry Gachet, Université de Fribourg
  • Swissling: Andrea Rocci, Università della Svizzera italiana, and Jacques Moeschler, Université de Genève (slides)
  • Antiquit@s: Véronique Dasen, Université de Fribourg
    BOMS - Basics of Medical Statistics: Christian Schindler and Boas Kirchhofer,Universität Basel
  • eCF - Corporate Finance : Peter Lautenschlager, Universität Zürich (slides)
10:45 Break
11:00 Questions and discussions
2. Strategies of Swiss institutions
Chair: Lorenzo Cantoni, Università della Svizzera italiana
9:00 Introduction. Strategies of Swiss Institutions: an overview
Benedetto Lepori, Università della Svizzera italiana

In this presentation, I will analyse the strategies of the Swiss universities for e-learning and the support measures adopted during the last years. The launch of the SVC programme has pushed most Swiss universities to start some reflections on the role of elearning and many developed some form of support structures for SVC projects and other eLearning initiatives. However, there are large differences between the universities; moreover, universities are only ready to support the development of eLearning courses and to provide the necessary infrastructure, while the responsibility for the long-term support to eLearning initiatives is left to the faculties or departments.
9:30 Short presentations of institutional strategies
  • Christian Sengstag, Network of Education Technologies, ETH Zürich (slides)
  • Eva Seiler-Schiedt, ICT-Fachstelle, Universität Zürich (slides)
  • Gudrun Bachmann, LearnTechNet, Universität Basel (slides)
  • Bahram Zaerpour, CENTEF, Université de Lausanne
  • Federico Flückiger, SUPSI (slides)
10:45 Break
11:00 Questions and discussions
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Synthesis report of the parallel sessions and final discussion
Pierre Dillenbourg, EPFL (slides)
14:30 Keynote speech: Operating e-learning in a cost-effective manner
Tony Bates, University of British Columbia

E-learning is seen in some institutions as a revenue generator, in others as a means of expanding access or increasing quality. In every case, though, it is important to be able to assess both the costs and the benefits or limitations of e-learning. This presentation looks at cost-effective approaches to e-learning, in terms of business plans for credit and non-credit programming, drawing on experience in running such programs. The presentation deals not just with the cost side, but also the implications for the administration of programs. It is argued that for universities to operate effectively in this field, they will need vision at an academic and management level. They will also need to make some radical changes in policies and procedures, but in the long run this should improve the quality of service to all students.
16:30 Closure of the seminar

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