The Changing Pedagogical Landscape

Research areas 
Policy
Research team 

Brussels Education Services (Coordinator) | University of Edinburgh - Jeff Haywood, Louise Connelly | European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) | UPCnet

Funding 

European Commission: Contract Number EAC-2013-057

Dates 
01 Jan 201430 Jun 2015

Project report

The shift towards a more student-centred approach in teaching and learning within higher education is rapidly materializing across Europe. Recent technological developments can be instrumental to support this movement. The growing numbers of students constitute a challenge when it comes to ensuring quality and relevance of higher education. At the same time new providers are entering the market.

Technology-enhanced education offers a variety of opportunities for higher education institutions (HEI):

  • Widening the student body,
  • Engaging with non-traditional and remote learners,
  • Blending classroom and virtual higher education,
  • Cross-border cooperation between institutions,
  • More adapted/tailor-made provision,
  • Mainstreaming of a more interactive teaching and learning experiences

Despite all these developments and opportunities, the majority of European HEI have made little progress in adapting their course offer accordingly. This study envisages a detailed examination of the barriers and opportunities that come along with ICT and other new technologies, which have a potential of enriching the teaching and learning experience. It will also look at why and how some institutions are managing to overcome these barriers. In doing so, the study will support the EC Strategy ‘Supporting Growth and Jobs, an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems’.

The overall objective of the study was to examine to what extent government strategies and higher education regulatory and accreditation, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification frameworks support or hinder new modes of learning and, in particular, the increased use of technology in the teaching and learning process.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  • To identify the implications for pedagogy in HEI of the most significant practices and trends in new modes of teaching and learning,
  • To complete an overview of what government-led strategies, policies and measures exist in a sample of 8 European countries to foster an increased use of ICT and the key aims that are envisaged.
  • To assess where the main barriers and pinch points exist with a particular emphasis on accreditation frameworks, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification.
  • To formulate recommendations for policy-makers at the level of higher education systems on how to promote and harness new modes of teaching and learning to improve quality and relevance and how formal frameworks can empower and incentivise HEI to exploit their full potential.