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The objective of the Impulse Program was to establish and promote expertise in the development and use of Internet-based interactive online learning units at institutions of higher education in Switzerland. Government funding (30 million francs for universities, approximately 2 million francs for Federal Institutes of Technology and some 9 million francs for universities of applied sciences) and contributions from the institutions themselves were available to support the 50 projects approved in 2000-2003. The Impulse Programme was divided into an initial phase with 27 projects and a second phase with 23 projects.
Overall responsibility rested with the Swiss University Conference (SUC), and a Steering Committee of eight experts was responsible for achieving the following goals:

  • Three or more faculty members of different institutions jointly develop and offer online course modules through their institutions. Students at each of the participating institutions can obtain credit points with these modules.
  • The online modules must reach the largest possible number of targeted students, follow clear pedagogical goals, be eligible for inclusion in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), use current formulation approaches and tools, and support multilingualism where appropriate.
  • Online course modules developed by universities of applied sciences can focus on aspects of continuing education as well as online course development practice, or on organization in general.

Program evaluation
  • The Swiss Virtual Campus (SVC) project has been well received in academia.
  • Good press both inside and outside educational establishments.
  • Teachers are more aware of the potential of online education.
  • Communication between project partners is much better than expected.
  • Various institutions of higher education are willing to work together.
  • Occasionally there are difficulties in reaching agreement on content and content structure.
  • The professionalism of some ad-hoc development teams could be improved.
  • Recruitment of qualified personnel is a serious problem.
  • Implementation costs seem rather high.
  • There is a general lack of an online education culture.
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Please note that this website is based on the information available at the conclusion of the federal program and will not be further actualized

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