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Re.ViCa – Reviewing (traces of) European Virtual Campuses - Project Card


 

Re.ViCa – Reviewing (traces of) European Virtual Campuses

Communitary Program
Lifelong Learning Programme
Contract
Eac/61/2006 ( Multilateral projects, Networks, Accompanying Measures, Studies and Comparative Research, ERASMUS, Virtual Campuses) 2007 - 2013
Duration of project
24 mesi (dal 1 Ottobre 2007 al 30 Settembre 2009)
Scientific Leader
Prof. Maria Amata Garito

Re.ViCa PARTNERS

First Contracting partner
EuroPACEivzw ( Belgio)
Belgium
Partners
Catholic University of Leuven
Belgium
EuroPACEivzw
Belgium
AtiT
Belgium
FernUniversität in Hagen
Germany
Helsinki University of Tecnology, Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli (TKK Dipoli)
Finland
Universite Louise Pasteur ( ULP )
France
University of West Hungary
Hungary
International Telematic University UNINETTUNO
Italy
Matic Media Ltd – UK Catholic University of Leuven
Belgium

REVICA SUMMARY

Re.ViCa will conduct its research on Virtual Campuses along a broad range of parameters that will be defined and investigated at the on-set. During this desktop research phase, attention will be paid to former initiatives which can be useful for Re.ViCa’s study. This desktop research will be validated by the numerous discussion sessions that Re.ViCa will organise with different stakeholder groups throughout the project.

To ensure the success of the in-depth case studies, special care has been taken in the selection of the partnership with respect to Virtual Campus management experience and a vast range of useful contacts with international experts. Partners will employ this expertise and these contacts to the fullest, in order to further validate and compliment the research. Partners will be involved in nearly all work packages in order to facilitate knowledge sharing.

Contacts outside the partnership and external visibility will be established by prominent presence at the two major annual conferences in the field: Online Educa Berlin and the Eden conference.

At the latter stage of the project, Re.ViCa will prepare a global benchmark overview in order to make the most of its non-European campus visits.

As a result, Re.ViCa will:

  1. provide an inventory and systematic review of cross-institutional Virtual Campus initiatives that are fully active, have been discontinued or merged with other initiatives or, especially, those that have continued, albeit with a modified structure, within higher education. This review will lead to a taxonomy of cross-institutional Virtual Campuses and will be complemented by recommendations for the different groups of stakeholders.
  2. stimulate dialogue and share knowledge through the organisation of several discussion sessions at carefully chosen events.
  3. identify measures of success, best practices and generic parameters that influence the outcome of a Virtual Campus initiative, which can be used as replicable solutions for the set-up of a cross-institutional Virtual Campus.
  4. contrast its European findings to non-European initiatives and will feed the outcomes of this effort into a set of findings that can be used for future European initiatives.
  5. compile a manual of guidelines, best practices and recommendations that will be made readily available online and in hard copy.

REVICA DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Practically speaking, Re.ViCa aims to look at the past of Virtual Campus initiatives to enhance their future.

Re.ViCa will make an inventory of the work that has been done and will critically review these initiatives – including in-depth case studies – through the essential parameters of environment (legislation, financing,…); sharing and transfer of know-how; pedagogical approach, technology assessment, quality procedures, content production and relation to research activities; business models; organizational embedding; student and teacher support; accreditation procedures; language and culture. The review will crystallize both the short and long term results and gather crucial success as well as failure factors.

Expert opinions from the various stakeholder groups will be collected to compare their views and concepts with the effectively implemented ones, in view of validation of the implementations. The outcome will be a valid, usable set of guidelines for future initiatives. These guidelines and recommendations will be presented to the larger community online and in hard copy.

The following concrete activities will be undertaken to solve the needs of the target groups:

  1. Review of the Global Virtual Campus phenomenon through desktop research, surveys, case-studies
  2. Evaluation and validation of this review through expert witness, the involvement of an International Advisory Committee
  3. Organisation of Public events
  4. Meetings with policy makers
  5. Production of a final manual

 

Targets group and their main needs
Duration of the project
Justification of the Proposal
Valorisation and Innovation

Targets group and their main needs:

  1. Policy makers

Policy makers including local, regional, national and European political decision makers on a local, regional, national and European level are a main target group. Re.ViCa will provide these decision makers with valid, in-depth information on Virtual Campuses under different forms gathered together in a single review document. This will provide them with a ready insight into what has been done in this area, along with the opportunities, barriers and critical factors which exist. The parameters set out by Re.ViCa will provide them with an in-depth understanding as to the importance of, amongst other factors, the policy context in which a Virtual Campus is set up. The review will provide practical and concrete information in order to enhance their knowledge is this area so contributing towards a more informed approach on their behalf in the future. In particular, an analysis of past successes and failures in the establishment of Virtual Campuses can make a significant contribution towards better decision making in the future by this key target group. Policy makers and key political decision makers will be invited to actively participate in discussions about the review and Re.ViCa will aim at presenting its research at key meetings at all levels. For future reference, the Re.ViCa manual will be easy to use and readily available online and in hard copy.

  1. Providers, sponsor and key actors

Advisors, government and administration, education authorities, e-learning industry, research community and Virtual Campus management.

Because of the partnership’s expertise and the input of various different groups of stakeholders, the research and review outputs will be valid scientific documents that can be used as standard works of reference. As the scope of this project is wide, both horizontally and vertically, it can collect a wide range of data that will be of use for many practical applications. Future project managers will find crucial elements in it that can be used in the creation of a Virtual Campus business plan and the research community interested in Virtual Campuses will find the planned critical historical overview most useful. In practice, Re.ViCa will help initiatives to build on previous experience and gathered know-how, which is not necessarily their own. Its aim is to avoid a situation whereby every new Virtual Campus proponent has to start from the beginning, and will provide them instead with a validated and comprehensive view of the Virtual Campus landscape in Europe as evidenced in the last decade.. Re.ViCa will also look at non-European initiatives and provide action points that future initiatives can adapt and apply to be more successful. For future reference, the Re.ViCa manual will be easy to use and readily available online and in hard copy.

Duration of the project:
 

The project has a duration of 2 years in order to maximize the results of its work packages.

Towards the end of the first year, the preliminary results of the review will be presented to a large stakeholder group during a pre-conference interactive workshop at the EDEN conference, in which the focus will be on gathering feedback from the stakeholders on the preliminary virtual campus review and on formulating “lessons learnt”, but mainly on preliminarily formulating recommendations for decision makers and stakeholders concerning future support actions for virtual campus initiatives In the second year, the project members and their network partners will organise discussion sessions with regional, national and European decision makers, but also within networks and associations of institutions of higher education, and with representative student organizations. The aim of those local discussion sessions will be to refine the formulation of recommendations, and adapt them to the regional and national circumstances.
In the middle of the second year, a second broad dissemination and consultation activity will be held at the Online Educa Berlin conference. During this discussion session experts from e-learning and distance education centres from Europe and outside Europe will be invited to critically review the recommendations, and ascertain their value for the current situation and the near future. On the basis of this review, a final comparative review report with recommendations will be drafted, and then presented to decision makers and associations of higher education, on appropriate occasions, such as the Council of Ministers of Education, the annual conference of the EUA, EURASHE, and other university networks.
Finally, the final review report, together with the recommendations, the decision makers’ comments, and a possible action plan will be presented and discussed at the EDEN conference in June 2009. This manual will distributed both in electronic and print format to the larger community.

The ultimate goal of the project being to contribute to the set-up of successful Virtual Campus initiatives within mainstream education. Project outcomes will be welcomed by the different stakeholders as they will improve and enhance such initiatives. The implementation of project guidelines and recommendations is the best guarantee to create sustainability in the future.

 



Justification of the Proposal:

While numerous Virtual Campus initiatives in the past decade have gained experience and know-how, there is a striking lack of validation and dissemination of this knowledge. Detailed information on Virtual Campuses is hard to come by, unless one already has contacts with Virtual Campus management bodies. With this difficulty in mind, Re.ViCa has taken care to bring together partners who have easy access to vital information and will use their privileged strategic positions to collect all relevant information and open it up for the wider community of the European Higher Education Area. In particular, several key individuals in our consortium and related networks have actually worked in senior positions within Virtual Campus management bodies, including some which no longer exist and for which information is usually unavailable. These key people are:

  • Paul Bacsich,

    Managing Director, Matic Media Ltd, and Visiting Professor, Middlesex University.

    He was a Director at UK eUniversities and was also a consultant to the

    Finnish Virtual University. He is consultant/project reviewer for two years now at Swiss Virtual Campus

  • Matti Sinko, HUT – TKK Dipoli, Former Director of the Development Unit at the Finnish Virtual University

     

  • David Porter, Executive Director of BC Campus, Simon Fraser University, Canada. He worked at the now defunct/transferred Open Learning Agency

  • Toshio Kobayashi is Professor and UNESCO Representative at NIME, National Centre for Multimedia Education, Japan

Throughout the last decade, numerous initiatives have been set up to experiment with the establishment of Virtual Campuses. This specific application of virtual mobility has appeared in various forms and structures and also to varying degrees of success. Re.ViCa will take into account the several classifications that have already been proposed by others, such as:

  • Virtual Classes: teaching and learning in a virtual environment for campus based students or/and distance learners
  • Virtual Campus: including virtual classes, but also research communication and collaboration as well as scientific services to the society at large - e.g. contract research and consultancy for companies and governmental bodies
  • Virtual University: including student registration, student and staff administration, and eventually examination and creditation
  • Alma Mater Virtualis
  • Virtual Universities
  • University Networks
  • Corporate Universities
  • Commercial Suppliers & Educational Providers International Education Consortium

Valorisation and Innovation ( dissemination + exploitation of results)

Re.ViCa’s added value lies not in the creation of a new Virtual Campus but in the foundations it will lay for all future or current initiatives which can learn from the past and from other initiatives. It will provide trustworthy research results, in which feedback from all stakeholder groups has been incorporated and which can be used as standard literature for all current and future initiatives. It will help to make the most out of each initiative, to foresee hidden traps and to find ways of incorporating successful features of the initiative in the university structure itself, should the Virtual Campus in its original form have to be discontinued. Its aim is to avoid a situation whereby every new Virtual Campus proponent has to start from the beginning, and will provide them instead with a validated and comprehensive view of the Virtual Campus landscape in Europe as evidenced in the last decade.

Innovative is that Re.ViCa will also bring outsiders points of view into the research. Re.ViCa will involve non-European experts from Japan, Australia, Canada and Latin America to share their view on European initiatives as well as their own experience. This view from outside the partnership and the continent itself will be enormously helpful in identifying strengths and weaknesses common to European initiatives and to assess Europe's efforts in the light of experiences in totally different cultural contexts. It will shed a light on fundamental issues that perhaps the European partnership takes for granted and/or might suggest as daring but successful solutions to common problems regarding quality in multilateral cooperation.

Exchange of information, expert validation and sharing of good-practice beyond the partnership about Virtual Campus is the key objective of this project.

REVICA OBJECTIVES

Re.ViCA aims

to make an inventory and to carry out a systematic review of cross-institutional Virtual Campus initiatives of the past decade within higher education at European, national and regional levels. To look not only at currently operational Virtual Campuses, but also at the legacy and impact within higher education generally of those Virtual Campus initiatives that have ceased activities. To identify relevant parameters and success factors for evaluating and comparing Virtual Campuses, based on thorough research and expert input. To organise in-depth discussions at various stages of the project, to incorporate the input of different interest groups: including Virtual Campus management bodies, relevant networks, students, policy makers and a range of experts at a global as well as European level. To compare in-depth studies of European cases to selected non-European initiatives in order to refine and elaborate parameters and success factors and to formulate a set of action points that can be applied to ensure the realisation of successful European Virtual Campus initiatives.

REVICA RESULTS

As a result, Re.ViCa will:

  1. provide an inventory and systematic review of cross-institutional Virtual Campus initiatives that are fully active, have been discontinued or merged with other initiatives or, especially, those that have continued, albeit with a modified structure, within higher education. This review will lead to a taxonomy of cross-institutional Virtual Campuses and will be complemented by recommendations for the different groups of stakeholders.

  2. stimulate dialogue and share knowledge through the organisation of several discussion sessions at carefully chosen events.

  3. identify measures of success, best practices and generic parameters that influence the outcome of a Virtual Campus initiative, which can be used as replicable solutions for the set-up of a cross-institutional Virtual Campus.

  4. contrast its European findings to non-European initiatives and will feed the outcomes of this effort into a set of findings that can be used for future European initiatives.

  5. compile a manual of guidelines, best practices and recommendations that will be made readily available online and in hard copy.

REVICA IMPACT

Short Term Targets

The short-term impact target numbers have been calculated on the basis of previous experiences the partnership has with dissemination, i.e. the numbers of people reached through events, workshops, seminars,… that were organised recently by the partners; publications, websites, … that were made during previous projects.

For example, in the framework of the REVE project workshops on the EDEN conference (2005 and 2006) were organised reaching about 30 people, the Virtual Mobility Forum at Online Educa Berlin 2006 organised during the BEING MOBILE project reached about 120 people. The manual of this same project was printed in 500 copies and was downloaded 2000 times.

The EuroPACE website reaches 1000 unique visitors every month. The EuroPACE newsletter reaches 800 people.

he Annual Eden conference attracts each year about 500 people in total and the annual Online Educa Berlin conference about 2000 people in total. The newsletter of ICWE (organisers of Online Educa) is sent to 20.000 eLearning practitioners both from industry and from academia.

Re.ViCa will also a benefit from dissemination activities from other projects run by the project partners. Outcomes will also be disseminated through the SPUTNIC project a Socrates-Accompanying Measures projects coordinated by EuroPACE that is amongst others promoting the concept of Virtual Mobility to a large audience (EDEN 2007, Online Educa 2007, etc.).

In order to achieve the target the partners will create a dissemination plan and an evaluation plan, taking into account the following:

The dissemination activities will focus on the wide spread of the outcomes:

All participating institutions have considerable expertise in dissemination of large scale projects at both regional, national and international levels through developing and maintaining project websites and publicity materials, organising workshops and media coverage, participating in networks and membership organisations, presenting at conferences and publishing widely.

Several partners in the project have their links with international networks through which they can address a larger target group for the project outcomes. With dissemination of information via the own communication channels those networks could facilitate access to project outcomes and ensure the availability of project outcomes for their members all over Europe.

Different partners in the project have also particular responsibilities in more regional networks, through well established links with a number of institutions. Just to name a few: TKK Dipoli is involved in the Baltech network of universities in the Baltic region, is also involved the Finnish Virtual University. K.U.Leuven is leading an association with 12 polytechnics. It is envisaged that through this kind of natural relationships the Re.ViCa project results will find their way to a broader spectrum of institutes and stakeholders that could benefit from the project outcomes.

The evaluation focus on the quality of what is spread:

1. The assessment of outcomes and impacts: Definition of quality framework with set of criteria for each of the outcomes of the project, and development of set of suitable evaluation tools and instruments like questionnaires, discussion fora, and workshops for external evaluation of outcomes by all actors involved in the project and by different target audiences for collecting their feedback on project activities and outcomes: policy and decision makers (on a regional, national and European level), students and student organisations, e-learning experts, professors and teachers, university management, …)

2. The process through which goals are achieved: Monitoring the internal progress of the project and quality assurance plan for the project process

Focus of the operational evaluation will be on

  1. the appropriate execution of the project tasks

  2. the timeliness with which project tasks are performed and corrective measures are implemented by partner in case of delayed development of outcomes or inappropriate performance;

  3. the promotion of and support for a critical attitude of project actors in view of optimisation and further development of the project;

  4. the internal communication of the project;

  5. a SWOT analysis of the project, that could result in actions for change in the project

Long Term Targets

Main indicator for the success of the project will be the application of its recommendations and guidelines concerning support actions for virtual campus initiatives formulated within the review report and its impact on the European e-learning developments and success of the virtual campus concept as a whole. Concrete indicators for the post-project period include for example the number of new (and successful) virtual campus initiatives set up, number of modules put into the virtual mobility schemes, number of students enrolling on virtual mobility modules, degree of integration between existing partners, and number of new partners wishing to join the virtual campus initiatives.

The dissemination of the project will be evaluated on factors such as the number of local and international publications and conference presentations produced, the number of effectively distributed leaflets or other dissemination activities in local institutions through the local communication and information channels, the attendance at the organised workshops and discussion sessions, the number of visits to the Re.ViCA website, …

 

Sustainability

The project was initiated with sustainability in mind: the collaborating networks have all the intention to create within a network virtual education through collaboration of universities, applying the project outcomes.

As most Re.ViCa project partners are member of one or more of the network project partners such as EuroPACE, EDEN, EUNITE, LERU,…continuation of collaboration between the partners is guaranteed after the project.

As the Virtual Mobility concept and the creation of a Virtual Campus currently is and will remain one of the core interests of the EuroPACE new information on the topic will continuously be disseminated to the network members. EuroPACE will continuously use the developed experience in Virtual Mobility/Virtual Campus in future projects and will be a European helpdesk on “Virtual Campus” topics.

Ongoing dissemination even after the official project’s end by the partners should lead to an increased awareness of the potential of networked virtual education as a necessary complement to conventional teaching and learning, and of virtual Erasmus in relation to physical mobility.

On the longer term several of the participating networks have committed themselves to get inclusion of virtual education and virtual student and teacher mobility in the Bologna implementation process. The meeting of existing virtual university initiatives in Europe should lead to closer cooperation between existing and future organisations in view of creating synergies, avoiding loss of resources and efforts and securing sustainability of the concept of virtual education.

REVICA ROLE OF UNINETTUNO

The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO has a strong involvement in all work packages.

REVICA WORK PROGRAM

Work-package 1 (WP1) Project management
Work-package 2 (WP2) Research
Work-package 3 (WP3) Promotion and awareness raising
Work-package 4 (WP4) Quality and evaluation
Work-package 5 (WP5) Dissemination
Work-package 6 (WP6) Exploitation

Work-package 1 (WP1) Project managment

 

EuroPACE takes care of the project management and is in charge of the coordination, monitoring all activities to be carried out and guaranteeing correct fulfillment of the project tasks and objectives. It will ensure that deadlines are met and deliverables produced in accordance with the contract, the project timetable, the quality framework and the budget limitations. It will stimulate all partners to take up their own role, and especially to establish and further contacts with Virtual Campus initiatives in their own region. AVNet – K.U.Leuven will also take care of the relations with the European Commission with regard to this project. EuroPACE and AVNet – K.U.Leuven will organize and host the kick-off meeting together and will take care of the general preparation of activities. It will closely follow up on project progress and will be a place to turn to for partners should they encounter any problems.

Work-package 2 (WP2) Research

 

The research work package consists of three main activities

- desktop research: This is the creation of an historical overview, the inventory and the categorization of Virtual Campuses. The aim of this work package is to develop a useable definition of the concept of the Virtual Campus and, subsequently, to suggest a categorization which applies the theory and respects the differences between the initiatives. It will also draw up a historical overview of the evolution of the concept of the Virtual Campus and the societal context with which it is so closely linked. Following from the historical overview is also an inventory of European, national and regional initiatives of the past decade. This work package will also stimulate all partners to gather contact information and experiences. At EDEN, feedback on this work package will be collected from expert discussions.

- survey of the inventory: This work package will be responsible for the development and analysis of a survey taken from the initiatives identified in the inventory. Quite some time will be spent on preparing the survey on order to maximize its usefulness. For the creation of the survey questions, then, previous initiatives’ expertise will be taken into account and where possible adapted to Re.ViCa. All initiatives will be contacted, or, if need be, people who were part of the original management. The partnership will again use its own contacts to the fullest in order to have access to inside information. The data from this survey will then be analysed and improved by adding the feedback recommendations gathered at EDEN.

  1. multiple case analysis: This work package is responsible for the in-depth case studies, which will be selected from the inventory. Contact will be established with original stakeholders and once more the partnership will be asked to use its own contacts in order to facilitate the gathering of information. This work package will also need to identify and describe the parameters along which the review will be designed. These parameters will include: environmental parameters (legislation, financing, educational structures, etc.); pedagogical approach; technology assessment, quality procedures, content production and relation to research activities; business models; organizational embedding: student and teacher support; accreditation and creditation procedures; language and culture. For these parameters, smaller workgroups will be set up in order to gather those with a specific interest and expertise to work on each of them. Once the parameters have been set, data for each case study will be gathered by questionnaires, interviews and campus visits. Afterwards, experts are given the opportunity to comment during a pre-conference at EDEN.


Work-package 3 (WP3) Promotion and awareness raising

This work package consists of 3 main acitivities: - discussion with decision makers: This activity is responsible for the dissemination to the relevant stakeholder groups and the gathering of feedback from these groups. First, half a day of discussion at Online Educa will be set aside for the discussion of the review written by academics in the research work package. Their recommendations are then included in the report. Second, this work package will contact several major networks and will organize presentations and discussions at key events such as the Coimbra General Assembly, the LERU Rectors’ Meeting, the EURASHE Meeting and the EUA Meeting. The preliminary results of these discussions of the review will be presented at EDEN. Lastly, political decision makers are invited to give feedback on the review report. Discussions will be organized on European, national and regional level at meetings with the European Commission, the Council of Ministers of Education and local ministers. - conference organisation: This work package is responsible for the presence of Re.ViCa at EDEN (2008 and 2009) and Online Educa Berlin (2008). ATiT, which is the work package leader, is uniquely placed for this task as it is contracted by ICWE to jointly organize the conference Online Educa Berlin, Europe’s largest conference and exhibition on technology enhanced learning, attracting over 1700 people from the International eLearning sector each year to Berlin. Several discussion sessions with different stakeholders will be organized at these events. - global discussion: This work package will set up an International Advisory Committee at the kick-off meeting. This committee will consist of non-European experts in the field of Virtual Campuses, who will be invited to comment on the findings of the Re.ViCa research. The members of this board will be carefully selected on the basis of their experience. The following people have already been contacted and have expressed their interest and cooperation for Re.ViCa: Toshio Kobayashi (Japan); Gerry White (Australia); and David Porter (Canada). This committee will be involved at key moments (kick-off meeting, Online Educa and EDEN) to advice and share their know-how. Reversely, Re.ViCa researchers will visit non-European Virtual Campus initiatives and draw up a global benchmarking. This benchmarking will be discussed at the various locations and a report similar to the European case studies will be drawn up along the same parameters. A comparison report will then be drawn up between European and non-European case studies. In this report, the specific strengths and weaknesses of the European contexts will be analyzed and action points will be suggested. At EDEN 2009 the results of this report will be presented. This specific aim of this work package is to on the one hand gain an outsider’s perspective on Europe, and on the other hand gain insight into methods and solutions that have been developed in another context but that may be adaptable to Europe.

Work-package 4 (WP4) Quality and evaluation

The objectives of this work package are

  1. to design and develop methods and tools for project monitoring, quality and evaluation

  2. to monitor the project progress in terms of content coverage

to evaluate intermediate and final project results

This work package is on the one hand responsible for the assessment of the project outcomes and its impact and on the other for the evaluation of the process through which the goals are achieved. It will use iteratively circulating questionnaires within the partnership, collecting the partners’ opinion on various project related aspects. It will also address the participants in the discussions to share their comments on the proceedings and usefulness of these discussions. Based upon the results of the first stage, a SWOT analysis will be prepared in order to improve the processes in further stages of the project. Evaluation will happen after every meeting, after each phase, and at the end of the project. The work package leader will provide the partnership with evaluation reports of the meetings and annual progress evaluation reports. All the results will also be gathered in a final evaluation report to be included in the overall final report of the project.

Work-package 5 (WP5)Disseminationd

Re.ViCa’s objectives demand a very broad dissemination as its manual with guidelines, good practices and recommendations is aimed at the whole of the European Virtual Campus domain, and beyond. EuroPACE, which coordinates this work package, is an important network of universities and their partners in education and training and has many strategic contacts in the domain of virtual mobility, including links with many other educational networks, policy bodies and other relevant membership organisations. Extensive use will also be made of ATiT’s contacts with ICWE, organizers of Online Educa. Re.ViCa will be prominently present at the major e-learning conferences Online Educa and EDEN.

For both internal and external promotion, this work package will design a project logo, website and flyer, which will be adapted when the need occurs.

Dissemination activities will consist of presence at events, discussion sessions (key meetings), mailinglists, articles and pressreleases. We will also disseminate through the following existing international and regional networks in which one or more of the Re.ViCa partners participate: BALTECH, EADTU, SPACE, MENON, LERU, Edineb, EUNITE, EURASHE, The Coimbra Group, Baltic Sea Network, JISC, SURF, SEFI, EUA

All participating institutions have considerable expertise in dissemination of large scale projects at both regional, national and international levels through developing and maintaining project websites and publicity materials, organising workshops and media coverage, participating in networks and membership organisations, presenting at conferences and publishing widely. It could be envisaged that international communication will be in English, but that local (especially institutional) communication will be preferably in a language that fits within the own internationalisation policy and strategy.

Several partners in the project have their links with international networks through which they can address a larger target group for the project outcomes. With dissemination of information via the own communication channels those networks could facilitate access to project outcomes and ensure the availability of project outcomes for their members all over Europe.

Different partners in the project have also particular responsibilities in more regional networks, through well established links with a number of institutions. Just to name a few: TKK Dipoli is involved in the Baltech network of universities in the Baltic region, is also involved the Finnish Virtual University. K.U.Leuven is leading an association with 12 polytechnics. It is envisaged that through this kind of natural relationships the Re.ViCa project results will find their way to a broader spectrum of institutes and stakeholders that could benefit from the project outcomes.

Work-package 6 (WP6) Exploitation

The ultimate goal of the project is to contribute to the set-up of successful Virtual Campus initiatives within mainstream education. The project outcomes that will contribute to the improvement and enhancement of such initiatives will be transferred to the appropriate different stakeholders at local, regional, national and international level. End-users will be convinced to adopt and apply the results of Re.ViCa. The exploitation of project results, the implementation of project guidelines and recommendations is the best guarantee to create sustainability in the future.

 

To this end an all-inclusive exploitation strategy will be established by the project partnership in the beginning of the project. This strategy will prepare and structure the exploitable aspects of the research and development to be conducted throughout the project. The exploitation strategies will be consolidated following intermediate reports on future strategies for exploitation of the research results during the project. A final exploitation report will incorporate all results and recommendations from both the evaluation and dissemination reports. It will form the basis for further research strategies and associated resources.
 

REVICA PARTNERS DESCRIPTION

Catholic University of Leuven - Belgium

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / Catholic University of Leuven is the largest university in Flanders, and one of the eldest in Europe. KULeuven has a long-standing tradition within the Erasmus programme and participates in a number of international study programmes.

Moreover, the AVNet department - which will coordinate the KULeuven effort - has participated in a number of research projects on virtual education, e-learning and technology-enhanced learning in general. AVNet supports in an integrated and interdisciplinary way education (and all other communication processes) at the university, with focus on media, technological, pedagogical and organisational aspects, and in particular for networked e-learning and distance education in an international context

The position of AVNet at K.U.Leuven is an interface at the university for networked e-learning in an international context, i.e. to support local university teachers in the internationalisation of their education by using ICT with advise, design, development, implementation, and training, and vice versa, to assess (inter)national trends, to encourage local university teachers to participate in (inter)national activities and to translate (inter)national initiatives to the local and/or regional setting. AVNet therefore hosts the secretariat of EuroPACE ivzw (http://www.europace.org), a European university organisation with a long-standing record of international project collaboration, coordination and participation, with as common denominator the introduction of ICT in higher education at all levels (list of projects is provided on request, or at: www.europace.org). AVNet also hosts the secretariat of EUNITE (http://eunite.tkk.fi/), a strategic alliance of eight European universities, aiming at the exchange and sharing of courses and joint course development.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network

- Work package leader of work package 6 (Exploitation)

- Major role in work package 1 (Project management)

- Strong involvement in all other work packages


EuroPACEivzw - Belgium

EuroPACE ivzw (http://www.europace.org)

is a European non-profit association of universities, higher education institutions, educational organisations and their networks. Approximately 25 member organisations participate in this network. The main aim of EuroPACE is to foster collaboration in e-learning. EuroPACE demonstrates and develops the potential of technologies for the European university of the future and thus contributes materially towards the concept of lifelong learning & the creation of a Virtual University for Europe. Main interests are innovation in education, new educational technologies, virtual mobility, quality in eLearning, eLearning competences and skills. EuroPACE has a long history in research and development in technology-supported teaching and learning, as well as in the co-ordination of international research projects. EuroPACE can draw on its member network in the development and evaluation of novel educational technologies and models. Furthermore, as a network organisation, EuroPACE is particularly suitabel to disseminate and relay the information resulting from this project to the Higher Education community more in general.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network

- Coordinating organisation

  1. Work package leader of work packages 1 (Management) and 5 (Dissemination)

  2. Major role in work package 2 (Research)

  3. Strong involvement in all other work packages


     

AtiT – Belgium

ATiT is an audio-visual and information technologies company specialising in the integration of Information and Communications Technologies in the Training, Education and Cultural sectors. This includes training programmes whereby potential users of technology for pedagogical purposes have successfully made the transition to a technology supported environment. ATiT provides audio-visual production, project management, training and consultancy services to clients all over Europe. They are experienced producers of online information and education materials for a wide selection of clients in both the public and private sectors. They are also highly experienced in dissemination, exploitation and validation, and regularly initiate and manage communication and PR campaigns for and on behalf of organisations, projects and networks.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network
  1. Work package leader of work package 3 (Promotion and awareness raising)

  2. Strong involvement in all other work packages
     


FernUniversität in Hagen – German

FernUniversität in Hagen is a university of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is the first and only Distance Teaching University in German speaking countries. As a Distance Teaching University FernUniversität facilitates higher academic education flexible in time and space. It thereby contributes to increased participation in lifelong learning by persons of all ages, including those with special needs and disadvantages due to their engagement in professional and/or family life. FernUniversität is specialized in media-supported teaching. All academic functions are available in electronic networks. FernUniversität has defined as one of its main targets the internationalization of its study programmes. Study programmes are offered on a multilingual basis, and participation in German language is facilitated.

The Institute of Educational Science and Media Research at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences contributes to higher education by researching the facets of education and development with regard to new media. The institute includes five departments in the main fields of training and development, e-learning and intercultural causes. One of these five departments is the department of Media-didactics. The department of Media-didactics is a relatively new department at the Fernuniversität in Hagen. The unit contributes to the field of e-learning and higher education by researching the tangent place between didactics and new media.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network

- Work package leader of work package 2 (Research)

- Strong involvement in all other work packages

Helsinki University of Tecnology, Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli (TKK Dipoli) – Finland

Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)

is the oldest and largest university of technology in Finland. TKK has twelve departments with thirteen degree programmes, eleven research institutes and ten separate units one of them being Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli (TKK Dipoli ).

It was awarded by the Finnish Ministry of Education the status of the University of Excellence in Adult Education for 2007-2009.

TKK Dipoli is one of the largest continuing education providers among universities in its field in Europe. The Institute employs some 100 staff members and engages nearly 2500 visiting lecturers per year. In 2005, the number of courses exceeded 200, and almost 9000 people joined Institute’s courses and programmes; the annual turnover was ca. 10 M€. The institute is involved daily in lifelong learning and technology-enhanced learning practice. Moreover TKK Dipoli develops, manages, and coordinates lifelong learning and professional development programmes. It combines international networks, the solid technological know-how of the university staff, and the business experience of industry to support management and technological development. TKK Dipoli also hosts the teaching and learning support unit of TKK, and participates in the activities of the Finnish Virtual University.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network
  1. Major role in work package 2 (Research)

  2. Strong involvement in all other work packages


     

Universite Louise Pasteur ( ULP ) – France

ULP (Université Louis Pasteur) gathers over 18,000 students, 1400 teachers, 1,700 engineers, technicians, workers and administrative staff distributed within 18 components and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Its top-level research places it among the foremost French and European universities. The University is exploring new scientific fields at the interface between chemistry and physics, medicine and ICT. It is also active in the biotechnology, materials and environment sectors.

 

ULP Multimédia has been a central department of ULP since 1998. It is in charge of the promotion and development of the use of ICT in education towards teacher, trainers and students. ULPMM has thus developed digital work environments, a distance learning platform (UNIV-RCT) and multimedia tools. ULPMM is also involved in activities of scientific and technical communication through its web TVs UTV (http://utv.u-strasbg.fr)

and CanalC2 (http://www.canalc2.tv).

ULP Multimédia is part of an outward-looking University that is particularly internationally oriented. To fulfil its missions it has built up its activities in close co-operation with other departments, universities and organisations. Its quest for synergy has led ULP Multimédia to set up and take part in many national and international projects relative to distance learning (see below), as a partner as a project manager.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network
  1. Major role in work package 6 (Exploitation)

  2. Strong involvement in all other work packages


     

University of West Hungary – Hungary

Faculty of Geoinformatics - University of West Hungary (GEO) in Székesfehérvár (www.geo.info.hu) is the leading institution in Hungary in continuing professional education on Land Surveying, Geoinformatics and Land Management. GEO is involved in uvarious flexible education programmes for land management giving professional development services to engineers, technicians, and executives. GEO has accumulated a great experience in the UNIGIS and similar international networks of universities, which offers common courses by open and distance learning to in-service professionals in the area of Geographical Information Systems and Land Management.

 

International co-operation of GEO is oriented at the development of education. Several projects where GEO has participated aimed at the issues of interactive use of GIS, development of distance learning courses, education for continuing professional development, development of knowledge in land administration matters, and development of networking between universities. GEO has been actively participating in Erasmus programmes in last eight years and also in the projects regarding the open and distance learning as for instance: NetCampus, REVE, Land Valuation Training, eduGI, VENUS, and newly VM-BASE project.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network

- Work package leader of work package 4 (Quality and Evaluation Plan)

  1. Strong involvement in all other work packages


     

International Telematic University UNINETTUNO – Italy


The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, established by Ministry Decree (April 2005) has been realised to valorise and enlarge the telematic didactic system settled by Consorzio NETTUNO (founded in 1992), enlarged at Euro-Mediterranean level thanks to the Med Net’U Project (Mediterranean Network of Universities- Eumedis Programme)in which a network was established among 31 partners of 11 countries of the Euromediterranean area, aimed at designing and realizing university courses at a distance in a multilingual format. With UNINETTUNO, the Universities of the different countries are actually creating shared knowledge networks together and cooperate to deliver multilingual international university degrees at a distance. The courses are completely on-line, delivered trough the learning environment on the Internet (www.uninettunouniversity.net),

developed by the University in a multilingual format: both contents and interfaces are available in Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish. The University has also two satellite television channels (RAINETTUNO SAT 1 and 2) that broadc-ast 48 hours at day didactic materials produced by the University. The didactic offer of the University (5 Faculty and 7 Degrees) is designed and realised according to the Bologna Declaration (3+2) and structured in Credits (ECTS).

The University has a long experience in international research programme cooperation started in 1994. A particularly important aspect has been the experience of designing common curricula shared a the European and Euromediterranean level implemented by the LIVIUS (Learning in Virtual Integrated University System) and Med Net’U projects. Since 2003, the University participates in several European project in the Virtual Campus sector of the E-learning programme: HEAL - Higher Education E-Learning courses Assessment and Label, REVE - REal Virtual Erasmus Project; E-MOVE, An Operational Conception of Virtual Mobility, VENUS - Virtual and E-mobility for Networking Universities in Society.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network
  1. Strong involvement in all work packages.


Matic Media Ltd – UK Catholic University of Leuven – Belgium
Matic Media Ltd is an e-learning consultancy firm operating from Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England, but with an international reach and perspective. First set up by Paul Bacsich in 1996, it now has a wide range of clients from the education, government and corporate sectors, in the UK and abroad, as well as intergovernmental agencies including EU and UNESCO, plus national government agencies including in Australia, Canada, Ireland and Hong Kong.

 

The company has worked on the benchmarking of Ufi (LearnDirect, the UK e-University for Industry) against global comparators, 2001; for UNESCO (Latin American office) on a report “Towards a virtual campus observatory for Latin America”, 2001; for the Finnish Virtual University in 2004; for the Swiss Virtual Campus in 2005 and 2006 including evaluation of project bids and a keynote presentation in 2006 on “benchmarking national e-learning programmes”; for the UK Higher Education Academy since November 2005 until end 2007 on benchmarking 28 UK universities for e-learning maturity, including six with substantial Virtual Campus operations, in particular the UK Open University and the London University External Programme.

Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network
  1. Work package leader of work package 2 (Research)

  2. Strong involvement in all other work packages

 

The project consist of 6 work packages: